Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Two Up Productions - Limetown Season 2


About This Show Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. In this podcast, American Public Radio reporter Lia Haddock asks the question once more, "What happened to the people of Limetown?" 

I posted a link to the first season of the very popular currently produced audio drama Limetown and now the second season is being posted. The series is written and directed by Zack Akers and produced by Skip Bronkie.

Stupid Mail - Don't Worry JR, As Long As Simps Is Breathing You're Not The Stupidest Liar At Duncan's

Freki, rich person  Mike E • an hour ago
it's very important to bring you to God /Sparky

I mean, after someone hurts themselves doing something stupid I will help them, but I reserve "I told you so" rights

Simp's calls me "Sparky" at Duncan's, for those who might not know that.  Being as unoriginal as he is stupid.  Being a locus of stupid unoriginality, it's what Duncan's more doltish dolts call me.

Of course, I've never said anything remotely like that.  Considering the use of "The Question of Suffering" in atheist propaganda, considering that it's one of their favorite tools to bring people to atheism, it's a pretty stupid thing to attribute to me when the lying skank is doing something like that in her very comment.

"Freki" is a Britatheist liar  who hates the Irish, and is there any other kind?    She is as big a liar as Simels but she's somewhat less stupid, though she's no mental giant, either.

Update:  Oh, I should have mentioned "JR" is another of "Freki"'s online identities.  I caught her using it on the old Scienceblogs when she was trolling me there.  She used to use it at Duncan's and got pissed off when someone noted that.

Scrap The Green Party By Exposing Its Relationship With The Fascist Right

I was involved enough in lefty politics in Maine, which has the dishonor of having been the place where the fraudulent Green Party first took hold in the United States, that I remember how it was first sold to suckers of the left.  It was sold as a party which, if it didn't overtake the Democratic Party and become the alternative to Republicans that it would be a third party that could push the Democrats leftward. 

It was an interesting enough idea that I followed the early days of the Green Party but soon came to the conclusion that it was going to be the typical secular-lefty screw-up as things like the pudding-headed idea of consensus decision making were asserted by people whose self-righteousness and attention seeking towered over their actual desire to do any work, take office and make law. 

It's far more fun to be Prima Donnas of the future than to actually put in the work and learning enough to DO something,  That has been and will, I've come to conclude, always be the actual character of secular leftism in the United States.  I hear the younger generation of secular lefties and hear the discouraging sound of them repeating the same idiotic mistakes of the old-"new left" of my generation, looking to the total and absolute futility of the extinct groups and movements and the defunct figures of that discouraging sixty years of counter productive stupidity.  And those are the smart ones among them I'm hearing, the ones who can actually name the groups and barren champions of the left, c. 1968.  If they've sold that line of bullshit to even ten kids who don't know better, that's ten too many.

The history of the secular left in the United States is a history of total ineptitude mixed with dishonesty and duplicity, of leaders whose real concern wasn't making actual change by taking office and power in the government but by winning leadership of the mole hill of whatever group they were leaders of, fending off challengers to that position.  It is such a stupid history that total and absolute futilities like the I.W.W. various cults of anarchism and the total disaster that the Marxists have been the substances of its heroic lore and lying mythology.  All of which have one thing in common, they never produced a single thing that had any enduring effect except the discrediting of the left that had a proven ability to take office, to win majorities and to make change. 

The Green Party does those historical actual enemies of actual change better by matching that with actual collusion with Republicans to put the worse of them in our history in office while attacking Democrats for not being lefty enough.   The Green Party is a total fraud whose most recognizable figure is the shady, shifty false front, Jill Stein who is reasonably suspected of being a Putin asset, as the infamous photo of her at the RT dinner shows. 

The head table of a gala celebrating the tenth anniversary of Russia Today in December of 2015 included Russian President Vladimir Putin and American retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

As an aside, and to Jill Stein's right side, if you don't know, Willy Wimmer is a far-right German political hack who has been a major figure in the "Querfront"  a coalition of right-wing and pro-Putin fascists and "leftists" in Germany whose major feature is that they hate the United States.*   I won't link to one of the few English language sources of his actual words, an interview with the Putin propaganda outfit "Sputnick" but one of the more hilariously hypocritical parts of it accuses the United States of murdering journalists, one of Putin's more obvious means of maintaining his terror state.   In my opinion,  Wimmer is most easily understood as a sort of revival of the Nazi "left" that Hitler dispatched during the Night of the Long Knives, in which he had rival leaders in the Nazi party murdered, along with a lot of other people. 

The superficial coverage of the Green Party in the United States, part of the broader, international Green Party movement, has been short on noting one of the things I early on found disturbing about it, the presence of actual facists in Green Parties in Europe and the willingness of Green Parties to make common cause with fascists and white supremacists.  If you want details of that you could look up "Third Position" "Third Way", the "Red-Green-Brown" phenomenon in France, . . If you look into it, seeing Jill Stein sitting next to Willy Wimmer at a table with Mike Flynn, Vlad Putin and a bunch of other anti-democratic, fascist scum won't surprise you anymore.  It also doesn't surprise me to see Mike Flynn sitting down across the table from a major hater of the United States, even with him actually being a sworn American general with a long career in the military.  But that's another post.

I have grown to understand that that is not a surprising thing but, actually, so often something that happens among figures of the secular left, that it betrays an actual similarity between the secular, alleged left, and the far right.  It accounts for how so many Marxists, especially in the United States, Trotskyites, turn into fascists and crypto-fascists.  That has been a feature of the "real left" in the United States from the 1920s certainly up till now, Christopher Hitchens being, perhaps, the most famous example in the memories of most people.   I think that, itself, leads to one not being surprised by the long history of the persuit of and praise of the ineffectiveness of the "real left" the secular-left.  That indifference to the futility and the failure to learn a single thing from failure proves that they never really believed in the goals they claimed to, to start with.  I looked at In These Times magazine right before this, its mixture of claiming to champion "labor" as they discredit the only party with the power to do much of anything for actual labor, the Democrats and look at their romantic presentation of the history of the secular left and it makes me want to throw up.

The Green Party does have an effect in American politics, it regularly acts as or threatens to be Republican-fascist spoilers, defeating moderate and even liberal Democrats, putting some of the worst Republicans in the history of that corrupt party into office.  That has been its only accomplishment, it continues to be its obvious reason for being.  The thing and, in fact, the entire secular left should be exposed for the fraud it is and its phony romantic presentation torn down and scrapped before it dupes one more kid into buying into it. 

*  Along with its hostility to religion, Christianity most of all, one of the most common features of the American secular left which is serious ballot box poison is too little taken into account, the snobbish, reflexive anti-Americanism of that American "left".  Virtually everything in that "American left" is an expression of disdain for even the least bad if not best of American history.  Marilynne Robinson has asked:

Why do the Land Grant Act, the Homestead Act, and the G.I. Bill, three distributions of wealth to the public on a scale never contemplated in Britain, have no status among political events, when the dreary traffic in pittances institutionalized as the British Welfare State is hailed as an advance of socialism?

I think it's due to that habit of academic, secular-left disdain for the vulgar, aspiring to be democratic and egalitarian, United States as opposed to foreign,  more aristocratic societies.  Though it could be ignorance on the part of those snobs, figuring that British "socialism" of that kind lends it some kind of Marxist cachet.  I can tell them that even as it was being adopted in the Parliament the architect of the British Welfare State William Beveridge, reported to the Eugenics Society he was a member of that he was dismayed that the pittances doled out by the final bill that created the Welfare State didn't give more money to people higher up in income, he hoped that it would encourage them to have more children.  He held the typical Brit position, held by those on the "left" as well as the right, that the poor of Britain and the world needed to be harried out of existence through eugenics policies, holding that wealth was a sign of natural superiority.   Quite frankly, when you get down to it, I think a majority of secular lefties also feel that way, though they might never admit to it.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Jill Stein Is Propagandizing For The Republicans Apparently Retweeting Seth Rich Truthers In The Process

I'm reading that Jill Stein is accusing Democrats in Florida of trying to steal the election from Republicans, just in case anyone was still stupid enough to think the Green Party isn't a Republican-spoiler scam.  Not my regular readers, obviously. 

I'd say Democrats should spend a lot of time discrediting the Greens and the media that carries dirty water for them.  But I've been saying that for the past twelve or eighteen years.  

The Greens should be exposed for the fraud on the left that they are.  Magazines and media of the pseudo-left, In These Times, The Nation, etc. that promote the Greens to the kinds of suckers who trust them should be discredited, too.  

I  hate the Green Party. 

Watch For Saghdad Sarah Huckabee Sanders To Tweet This One Next

On Listening To Michael Moore Spouting Off On TV

I am at a point in life where I would prefer to never hear what Michael Moore has to say ever again. 

Stupid Mail - Simps, You And Dennis Miller Have The Same Schick - He's Stuck In The 80s, You're Stuck In The Early 60s

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I would think if preventing the billionaires' wet-dream of a constitutional convention were desired, either New York or California or some other large, rich state, in their legislatures could say, before that appalling threshold of risk is reached that they won't guarantee to enter into union with such a new nation formed under one.   And that any such decision is so momentous they wouldn't agree to it unless it was the choice of a popular vote of the Voters, not the various state legislatures, there is no reason in the diverse 21st century to go along with that 18th century, world of property owning, white, Christain men means of adopting a new constitution.  I would think that would limpen the wick of the billionaire boys club. 

If I were a member of either legislative assembly, I'd introduce a bill to that effect as soon as possible.  Since I think a horrific civil war would be the likely result of such a con-con, someone should look into doing that, not to mention the desired results of its patrons, corporate feudal oppression.  

Panpsychism Isn't An Advance On Old Line Materialists Attacking Their "Hard Problem" Panpsychism Doesn't Make A Dent In It Either - A Response

One of the most often heard slogans among atheists is the likely apocryphal line attributed to the mathematician and physicist, Laplace,  Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là, which atheists say meant he had no need of the idea that God was the origin of the natural phenomena that Laplace described.  "Having no need of God" in studying an aspect of physical universe is supposed to mean God disappears.  Which makes about as much sense as saying that having no need of chocolate when making pickles requires the belief that chocolate doesn't exist.  "Having no need of" something has never made it disappear.

Apparently there is no actual witness to the conversation between Laplace and Napoleon who attributed that line to Laplace, those who place it in his mouth all had an ideological motive in doing so.  And one of his younger colleagues and eulogist, François Arago, said that when Laplace was made aware that something like that statement was going to be attributed to him, he wanted the claim he'd ever said that refuted.  Like other ideologues, atheists seldom let the truth get in the way of their cherished myths.

The idea that atoms are conscious as a means of atheist-materialists trying to rescue their ideology from the ever more apparent fact that the human experience of consciousness cannot be convincingly explained as a material effect by attributing consciousness to atoms and molecules and larger physical structures is a nifty way to bypass that hard problem*.   It is not, it doesn't even get you past the problems of the vulgar materialism of the most benighted kind being unable to explain the consciousness which enables us to experience and observe the material universe, the very consciousness which, in a way that even our own physical bodies don't seem to be ARE WHAT WE ARE.

As I said this proposed atomic consciousness, whatever else you can say about it, would not appear to be nearly like human consciousness.  It doesn't result in the same range of variable behavior that human consciousness does, even any statistical account of variation in behavior is far more predictable than human behavior is in reality - though the corner cutting, dismissal of outliers, willful narrowing of focus, and everything up to and including the widespread file drawer effect of sociology and psychology produce an academically accepted illusion of a manageable statistical range.  That is it's acceptable until its methodology is rigorously challenged, then it crumbles.  The same can happen when the experiment is run again.

The human experience of consciousness - at least my experience of it - is that it is singular, not that it is built of components, any supposed component parts of it are aspects of that same unity which can change.  The same consciousness can change its ideas, those things which it holds and it will still be experienced as the same unity.  I would  have to say that looking at videos of bacteria responding to light by moving towards it seems to me to demonstrate the same experience of a unified sense of self which is what consciousness, at bottom, or at least any foundation of it we can access, seems to consist of. It is my experience of consciousness, despite the many changes in me over decades of experience.

Just how this "atomic consciousness" gives rise to any unified "higher consciousness" which would be proposed for molecules and crystals and, heaven help us, as found in human beings and whatever other creatures the atheist-materialist wants to attribute consciousness to, is no real advance on merely insisting that what is genuinely called consciousness in human beings is a mere epiphenomenon of physical causation. Though it is superior to eliminative materialism, than which I think there are few ideas inferior.

For materialism to fail, you don't need to create consciousness for atoms and adding it only confirms that materialism can't account for consciousness.  Panpsychism as a means of explaining human consciousness is just a short-term, illusory gain, buying time for the denial of the failure of materialism.  For anyone to deny the material nature of consciousness, that consciousness is a material object, they have no need to refute that hypothesis because its necessity can't be demonstrated.  It looks like a desperate move to me.

* It's only hard if you insist, beforehand on making it come out as a prop for materialism.  If you accept that consciousness isn't a material thing then it ceases to be a problem though it remains what it is, a mystery that can't be solved out of out experience of material substance.

Update:  It's easy.  If you're going to claim that not needing to reference God to explain the interactions of the planets with the sun and each other means that God doesn't exist, what physical relationship that is observable in atoms necessitates reference to their alleged consciousness?

I do find it hilarious that atheists think that because they can't discern the hand of God intervening to alter the "laws of science" in the motions of physical objects that means God isn't there.   According to Genesis, the very first sentence in the Bible, God created the entire universe including whatever forces those "laws of science" describe.  If that's true then those "laws of science" they can't observe God tinkering with are laws God made, they would be God's laws.  So there would be just as much reason for a believer to expect that since, as it says in Genesis, God found his creation good that he wouldn't see any reason to tinker with them on a regular basis.  I mean, if the order of nature is impressive it's certainly a better made "machine" than any that human beings can come up with.  They're thinking too much like human beings in expecting that God would tinker with the work that God did well, we're the ones who screw up.  That doesn't, though, preclude that God might intervene, rarely, as miracles, by definition, are rare, in ways that would not be amenable to statistical analysis or even common experience.  It does mean you couldn't necessarily do science about them.

Calling A New Constitutional Convention Would Mean All Bets Are Off On What Results Having The Same Map

The billionaire oligarchs who have been hell-bent on reopening the Constitution by buying state legislatures to vote for that are, I think, overly optimistic that it would go their way, that they could get a majority of their bought state legislatures, often the cheaper to buy ones in those same tiny states that I mentioned yesterday, and they'd be able to destroy even the vestiges of democracy hard won through two centuries and more struggle against the original, anti-democratic slave-owner-Northern financier class written Constitution.

Well, to that I say if you rip up the old one or even open it up for rebuilding again, that old deal is entirely off. States could go their own ways if they didn't like the results of such a con-con of, by and for the cons. Those large population states who are so disadvantaged by the anti-democratic Senate,  New York, Massachusetts, other East Coast states - which would probably be able to take the small states in their regions along, certainly California and Oregon, maybe Washington State get to opt out of whatever atrocity the billionaire con-con would come up with.  And I'm betting what they came up with would be so much more unattractive than the too often abominable thing we've got now is that even lots of the bought states wouldn't want to be a part of it.

The original Constitutional Convention was a rigged thing to start with made worse by the blackmail of the slave power well represented by James Madison (who Charles Pierce worships rather counterfactually) and their allies in the corrupt Northern mercantile and financial interests who are, actually, well embodied in the real Alexander Hamilton (not the rap war and dance fiction figure of the Broadway musical).   It could have failed, it probably would have been a good thing if it had and they had been forced to try again.

But no matter what those groups did in 1787, 100% of whom were affluent white males, all nominally Christian (though more like baptized pagans), from a very narrow range of ethnic backgrounds,  THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON FOR US TO BE BOUND TO MAKE THOSE SAME MISTAKES TODAY.   They weren't wiser, they weren't smarter   They most certainly didn't have better morals, certainly not when it comes to the most vital of those moral convictions necessary for the prevention of political and legal evil, the firm belief in an equal right to a decent life, including economic justice and an equal voice in making an informed choice for the people and laws that will govern usThey were almost to a white, rich male among them SLAVE OWNERS AND INDIAN MURDERERS.

A new constitutional convention should be a total non-starter if it doesn't start with  the possibility of states and regions opting out of what results.   It should not depend on the adoption by state legislatures - that would give far too much power to those who exercise it in a tyranny of the tiny states in the Senate now.  I wouldn't find it tolerable for several states even smaller than the small state I live in being able to vote my family into a billionaire-financed corporate fascism.  If New York and Massachusetts opted out of such a rigged deal, I'm sure the three Northern New England states and the other two would go it alone with them, I can imagine New Jersey might go with such a new nation and, coming up with our own Constitution, we would be in a position to make it more attractive than what states more remote from us would come up with.  I strongly think that many of the Eastern states would be in a position to negotiate on an Eastern States Constitution that could be made far more attractive.

Heck, if it came to that I'd imagine there might be a serious consideration of joining Canada floating around here.  Its more modern Constitution* has a lot of things in it that are quite attractive as compared to the 1787-slaver-written one we've got now.

A new constitutional convention would carry no legal obligation of the various states to go along with what even a majority of the ones adopting it would choose.  As soon as one is called, any legal obligations a state might be under under the previously agreed-to federalism of the present Constitution would be null and void.  There would be no question of keeping a union together that was dissolved to write a different constitution, it would have been dissolved by the action of calling the convention.   Even if no seriously awful changes were adopted, just opening it up would probably be a catastrophic temptation for state and regional nullification.

Any attempt to force a state to remain within such a new, unacceptable Constitution by military means would be an international crime in a way that opposing the unilateral choice of the 100%, mostly affluent or aspiring to be affluent, white males in state legislatures of Confederate states to break the Constitution on their own,  was not.  It would be opening the whole thing up in a totally different way for the first time. I have not the slightest doubt in the world that it would lead to bloodshed, most likely a bloodbath.  I think the people who chose that route, or got stupidly suckered into doing it, would have ample reason to regret having done it.

*Though that Notwithstanding Clause as so recently invoked by the American style fascist pig Doug Ford would be a problem.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

If The United States Doesn't Democratize The Senate The Country Will Not Stay Together, I'm Not Expecting It Will

So the great Blue Wave failed, in so many cases, to reach the shore, as the great Charles Pierce put it.  I'm not surprised it didn't in Florida where, as he or someone else said, DeSantis won the governorship on the power of not being Black, which can be said of Georgia if it were not that the Republican-Nazi winner was also ratfucking the election to his own advantage.  That such things were not stopped by judges proves that the law is not only an ass, it's a cowardly ass when it isn't as crooked as Kemp was.

The House will be under Democratic rule, including all of those committees that have enabled Trump but who now are in the hands of people who will be able to issue subpoenas.  We will see how that works, though the media is already trying to sandbag their efforts even before the results of the election are confirmed.

The increasing margin of Republican-Nazi control of the Senate is not good, there is no other way to put that.  Trump will almost certainly get to put another Nazi on the court and there won't be any question of them not getting through, the same for lower courts.

The great struggle against gerrymandering of House and state government districts is made a hard fact nationwide through the intent of the slave-holding framers of the Constitution in the Senate.  That there are mid-sized cities in the United States larger than the population of North Dakota and Wyoming whose citizens have vastly more power than most other citizens.  That is an anti-democratic abomination.   I've seen figures which say by 2040 75% of the voters in the country will be represented by 20 or fewer Senators while the remnant hold the power to rule, thought the Senate and through appointing judges and members of the Supreme Court.  I've seen other ways of measuring it that makes the case that it is far worse than that now.  And that is and has been a hard fact of the idolized Constitution.   That ensures that democracy is increasingly endangered as that difference becomes greater, added into that are the various voter suppression efforts on the part of Republican-Nazis, which their appointed judges and members of the Supreme Court rubber stamp and approve.   And it wasn't only Republican appointees who did that this time, at least one of those who refused to intervene in one of the most egregious cases, the one in Dodge City Kansas was an Obama appointee.  What happened in North Dakota was as disgusting as anything done during the Jim Crow era.

The United States Senate is in a state of permanent gerrymander, it is, under the slave-owner drafted Constitution, a guaranteed prevention of democracy.   Short of amending the goddamned Constitution, itself made next to impossible by the same slave-owners' design since it would depend on small-state legislators giving up their unequally held power, the only means of effecting that imbalance is through the House of Representatives, the delegates from larger states and any cooperating smaller states banding together to hold out against the interests of the reactionary small population states.  I don't know of anyone who has proposed that strategy but I'll bet something like that is found to be the only means of defending democracy against the increasingly anti-democratic Senate. 

I know a lot of people, rightly, fear a Constitutional convention, the one being pushed by the billionaire-oligarchs would be a disaster.  But there will have to be one as this situation grows ever worse.  The tyranny of tiny states will be found increasingly intolerable for the majority of people and the collusion of the corrupt judiciary will only make that worse.  The part that the slave-power on the Supreme Court played in bringing the country to the Civil War and refusing to prevent it is too seldom considered.   As the country grows increasingly "minority-majority" and urban the crisis we are moving towards will be as bad as the one then, in fact, it is merely a continuation of it. .

I think the United States will either blow apart or there will be a major, basic constitutional change.  If the small states in various regions won't allow reform, and I doubt they will, I don't see the coastal regions disadvantaged by the Constitution putting up with their tyranny forever or wanting to continue to  live under it.  I think the country is headed for inevitable break up and it's not going to be good.  And a lot of individual states will also be houses divided.  For example,  I can't see things in Floirida continuing the way they are, non-whites living under a renewal of American apartheid.  Not with anything like democracy being the result.

"How do you know atoms aren't conscious?" A Response

I didn't claim to know that they weren't, I merely pointed out that panpsychism (the belief that matter is "conscious") is a matter of ideological faith, not science.  I would never claim that there is any possibility of scientifically disposing of that rising article of atheist faith, I would hold that will never be possible.  I also hold that science is incapable of confirming it, either.

Since, whatever else you can say about it, this proposed "consciousness" in atoms is not like human consciousness.  So, right there, you have the problem of how that "consciouness" turns into the human experience of consciousness.  It will be rather difficult to settle how the "consciousness" of atoms gives rise to human consciousness - the only consciousness to which any human being has direct experience of and access to, the very thing which defines the word - since there is no definition of what it is. 

And any definition of atomic "consciousness" is most likely one of those illusions that science so often has given rise to.  I don't think there's any way to measure such stuff but my guess is that any such "consciousness" is more likely to be an illusion than God by a very high probability. Whatever else you can say about God, no theologian of the same status as the panpsychists mistakes the mind of God as mere consciousness.  I think, as it is, the current fad of panpsychism among atheist philosophers and scientists is a product of their own ideological preferences only they will, in the hard-bitten cases, pretend it is something which science can access or that philosophical methods can discern with some degree, any degree, of reliability.   And what you can say about the "consciousness" of atoms under panpsychism, applies to the proposed consciousness of non-living larger structures and accumulations of matter. To claim that an igneous rock the size of a human being is "conscious" in some way as a conglomeration of molecules forces the question of why they wouldn't have the same kind of consciousness as a person does. 

The installation of "consciousness" into atoms and larger structures of non-living matter seems to me to be the same kind of thing as attributing consciousness to the entirely human created entities proposed to have "artificial intelligence."   It looks to me to be most related to the installation of human like personalities into teddy bears and dolls and pet rocks.  And to old fashioned idol worship of the most primitive kind.

I have come to think of these things, these kinds of theories, especially those in and around questions of consciousness, minds, behavior, as like hour glasses that are filled quickly from the top as the former devotees of other schemes of materialism flock to them but which run down gradually or rapidly never to be flipped over again.   The problems with them accumulate as they are tested and all of them seem to carry basic defects that insure their discontinuance.

The greatest likelihood is that this is all a desperation move by those increasing numbers of hold-over 19th century materialists who have had to face the fact that atheist-materialist-scientistic ideology will not convince people that they do not experience the reality of their own consciousness, the thing about them that makes all experience and knowledge of any kind possible.  The current resurgence of panpsychism is just another in an atheist dance of the veils in which they keep adding one more as the last one is in danger of falling apart.  It is just the latest attempt for them to keep their leaking, floundering ideology afloat. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Greens And If He Runs For President Again, Sanders Are Thick As Thieves With Republican Ratfuckers And How Democrats Must Take Control Of Their Nominations System

The news accounts of the clear Republican use of Green Party candidates in today's election to ratfuck on their behalf says that the various politicians being used in phony ads,  Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or the six Green Party candidates those Facebook ads are supposedly endorsing has any relation to the fake organization which has put out the ads.

A Facebook page for a group called “America Progress Now” is running ads online urging progressives to vote for Green Party candidates in seven competitive races in the Midwest.

“People of Color NEED Marcia Squier in the Senate to represent them,” one of the ads says, promoting a Green Party candidate in Michigan. “Americans don’t have control over our government anymore. We’ve lost it to greedy, corporate capitalists,” says another, calling for voters to support Ohio Green Party candidate Joe Manchik.

The page features ads with images of prominent progressive politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Problem is, America Progress Now hasn’t registered with the Federal Election Commission, as all groups making independent political expenditures are required to do. Six of the Green Party candidates being promoted by America Progress Now say they have no affiliation with the Facebook page, and most say they’ve never heard of the group.

You can read the story and the details of how Facebook has refused to take down the ads, though it's clear they violate their own claimed standards - Facebook can stand in as the quintessential example of how the tech companies are as bad as any in the past when it comes to destroying democracy.  I'm going to make two points about the story.

First, note that when they say "Bernie Sanders" they, correctly, say Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.  Bernie Sanders, after running for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2016, he, his campaign operation and his cult of followers causing no end of trouble for the Democratic Party and likely participating in creating the catastrophic results of that election didn't stay in the Democratic Party,.  As soon as it was over he changed his registration back to Independent.  BERNIE SANDERS IS NOT A DEMOCRAT yet he and his people and his cult are talking about mounting a second, and this time, absurd run for the DEMOCRATIC PARTY nomination for president in 2020.

On election day in 2020 Bernie Sanders will be 79 years old, in September the next year he will be 80.  On that ground alone Sanders should cut the bullshit that he's running to win the presidency, he'd never get it, he's not stupid so he knows he's not going to get it.  Even some of his inner circle are that smart, so they're not doing this in order for someone running as a DEMOCRAT will be president in 2021, he's running it with every chance that him doing so will be doing exactly what these Republican ratfuckers are doing with the ad that's using his image and name are doing, guaranteeing a Republican will hold the office. 

Bernie Sanders, someone I agree with on many things and have expressed deep admiration for in the past is a hairs width away from turning into the same kind of Republican ratfucker that Ralph Nader, Eugene McCarthy and Jill Stein have been, ratfucking for Republicans from the alleged left.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, in contrast to Sanders in the twilight of his career, is at the beginning of hers.  She embodies a lot of promise, she should start cutting her ties to Sanders and other such Republican ratfuckers now.   She deserves to become her own woman, to forge her own basis of credibility and repute apart from any of the people who will try to use her.  We will see if she does that or if she turns into the same kind of figure that Denis Kucinich (is he still at FOX?) has become.  I hope she chooses wisely and doesn't become the captive of whoever among her circle is most like Bernie Sanders' putrid campaign manager, Jeff Weaver.

The six Green Party phonies being used in this Republican ratfucking operation are, in fact, Republican ratfuckers, themselves. They can pretend to whine about being so used all they want, by running as Greens they made themselves what they are whining about now.   The Green Party has long been suspected of being one big Republican ratfucking fraud and with Jill Stein, that isn't something you have to suspect anymore, not with her various connections with Putin, the patron of Republican ratfuckery.   They can disclaim the effort all they want, even if this hadn't happened that's what their running as Greens is.  The Green Party should be swamped by Democrats and obliterated, it is a fraud that has been used to help Republicans - the actual opponents of everything the Greens claim to stand for - for decades now.  It is a fraud.   That has been the nature of these groups and candidates "from the real left" for a long time.  On the basis of the idiotic Marxist superstition that things going to the extreme right will force the dialectic to make a sharp left swing, they have attacked the only "left" that has a chance of actually winning an election and governing, the Democrats.  That is so obvious that even in office Bernie Sanders has acted in concert with the Democratic coalition, in both the House and Senate - and, yeah, I'm even more pissed off at Sanders now because he should know that better than anyone.  He further proved that because he didn't run an independent campaign for president, he tried to hijack the Democratic Party to do that, using the Democratic Party he was never a sincere member of to promote himself in the process.

The Green Party is a fraud that should have been ended decades ago, it is a fraud kept alive mostly through such idiocy as pushed by the lefty magazines, on paper and pixilated, and some of the flakier perennial professional lefty figures of the "real left".   Any magazine that was carrying water for the Green Party in the past twenty years could probably have ceased publication and the results would be anything but negative, if there were any results.

To some extent I think that this has been a result of the folly of trying to base a left on the power of youth, something which arose with my generation because the cohort of young, new voters was so abnormally large.  The young, those in the process of gaining college credentials, most of all, are inevitably callow, that's the nature of being young and inexperienced and not having seen enough of how things are.  Their vulnerability has been something which dishonest politicians have long taken advantage of.  In the case of the right (see the idiocy of Jacob Wohl) it works for them because their entire thing is based on lies and deceit and using that.  It doesn't work for the left, at all.  The excitement of the old-left, old-new-left revolutionary clap trap, the allure and fun of self-righteousness, and other such follies of youth, the unwelcome news that actual governance is not fun and exciting and will inevitably become hard and dirty and, on occasion, sordid makes young people particularly vulnerable to such con men and hucksters as can be represented by the Greens.  I used to think Bernie Sanders wasn't one of those, I am a hairs width of concluding I was wrong about that.  I know it about the Greens and such rags as In These Times and, yes, The Nation.


I am going to again say that the Democratic Party needs to take over the mechanism of its presidential nominations and conduct its own national primary based on the actual membership of the Democratic Party.  It has to get rid of the disgusting, anti-democratic, 19th century anachronism of caucuses - the source of Bernie Sanders' illusory strength in 2016, the source of endless squabbles REMEMBER  NEVADA! should be the rallying cry for scrapping the caucuses.

The Democratic Party should adopt the strictly by-mail elections system to choose its nominees, sending secure paper ballots through the U. S. Mail to all voters registered as Democrats to be mailed back to a central location where they could be counted - with independent oversight - and tabulated in order to choose a Democratic candidate guaranteed to be chosen by registered Democrats.   No more same-day Green Party ratfucking operations, no non-enrolled screwing with the choice of Democrats, none of the various bull shit of regional advantage for states like Iowa and New Hampshire, no non-Democrats trying to hijack the party.  It would get rid of Republicans on the state level trying to screw us through various laws - it would be entirely extra-governmental AND IT WOULD COST THE TAXPAYER NOTHING TO IMPLEMENT.  The ballot could be standardized in a form which was uniform and simple to understand, the order of names on ballots could be varied on a random basis so there would be no "top of the ticket" advantage (which is a matter of fairness, not necessarily a test of integrity or honesty).   It could institute ranked-choice in which people got to vote for their first AND THEIR SECOND CHOICE.  Having experienced rank-choice voting twice here in Maine, I love it.

Best of all, on the basis of those places in the world which conduct elections on the basis of the mail, it would certainly drive up participation and the choice would be made by a far larger number of voters who would, then, have a far higher chance of turning up to vote in November - that is assuming they wouldn't have the far more democratic and honest option of voting on a paper ballot by mail.

I can't see any downside to such a radical change and those, as they come up, could be corrected, internally, by the Party without interference from Republican in legislaturess or Greens (I repeat myself) - they could put those changes up to a mail-in vote of registered Democrats.

It would be a radical change and would, no doubt, lead to criticism but the present day patchwork of bull shit that the nominations process is leads to more.  It would end the kind of bull shit discussed above and much more.

Hate Mail - How Stupid Do You Have To Be To Buy A Pig In A Poke When The Bag Is Lying Flat And Empty On The Ground?

I don't drive anymore so the get out the vote effort isn't one I can participate in so I can answer some backed up hate mail.

In my attack on eliminative materialism I pointed out that the entire thing was based on promissory notes of materialism, guarantees made by supposed scientists and philosophers of what will be found by science in some unspecified future about the nature of some very complex phenomena of and around consciousness that can't be seen and everything about which, including that science involving alleged brain mapping is highly subject to being governed by, not the a priori knowledge of those doing and interpreting the research but the a priori attitudes and preferences of those doing it.  Even the imaging, itself, is a product of choices in what settings and ranges to set their machinery to based on what outcomes are desired.  Which, I've got to say, is probably about as likely as random chance to happen to come to the full and final conclusions about it.  Whenever the human predilection of the scientist becomes part of your experimental model, those predilections will inevitably become part of the results.  They can't be filtered out, once included.

The confident, arrogantly made and guaranteed value of the promissory notes that the atheist-materialist scientists and philosophers do actually base their conclusions on are in no way guaranteed,  I think in the reversion of many atheist philosophers, perhaps scientists, into the atheist-animistic dodge of panpsychism -  the holding that all of matter is "conscious" or possesses something which the philosophers and, perhaps, scientists don't define and can't relate to the human experience of our own consciousness - is evidence that among their own, many of them are realizing the bogus nature of those promissory notes is becoming apparent.   Panpsychism is, itself, based in promissory notes such as the one mentioned, that somehow something within atoms and molecules and larger structures of matter is the primitive "thing" that gives rise to our consciousness, buying their ideological line depends on the faith that somehow, in some future science will define that something and make those connections to our own experience of consciousness. 

How that is an advance on the idea that what is behind the forces of nature and the structure of material substance isn't its own conscious volition but the will of God, I'd love to hear the panpsychists explain.  But not today. 

In a comment the other day I noted another huge load of conjecture you have to buy in order to believe the atheist-materialists of eliminative materialism, you have to have the same childlike faith that such allegedly hard core atheists believe that whatever their promissory notes are going to deliver in some unspecified future will be the real, final word on the topic instead of a mere and transitory conventional consensus among those predisposed to buy such knacks before it, too, falls into the boneyard of discontinued, not discussed science.

That last one is the most ridiculous of the promises made about the promissory note because if there is anything we can be certain of in all of the human endeavor to understand minds and mental function and behavior, it is that nothing they've produced has stood the test of time, the test of durability.   Since the promises in these promissory notes depend on the unspecified theories of PSYCHOLOGY they guarantee are coming, anyone who depends on them being more durable than any of the major schools of psychology have been is probably too naive and gullible to take seriously.  I mean, Freud, Jung*, Watson, Skinner, etc. all had actually produced what later turned out to be bogus.  There is some little safety in making guarantees of the scientific reliability and durability on things which have yet to be produced and are merely promised to be coming, that is until people understand they've bought a pig in a poke and for now the poke is entirely empty and there is no guarantee the bag will ever be opened.   That is what the entire dodge of issuing promissory notes of materialism depends on.  It is an atheist version of promising pie in the sky, as the old line of old time atheists snarked about religion.  The irony is that they fall for the same stuff, only they call it "science" and not religion.

*  I find it hilarious how Jung, foremost disciple of Freud, the guy who loved to assert just about everything was illusion, primitive remnants of dark ages and inner darkness, religion, most of all, is primarily a figure of the most vulgar level of occultism.  The publication of his book a few years back was most eagerly awaited by occultists.  Bertrand Russell, desparing over the findings of quantum physics and relativity physics in the 1920s, which he was smart enough to realize debunked, rather definitively, his materialist faith, predicted that science would devolve into something like the occult obsessions of the late Renaissance - which was where so much of what gets derided as medieval superstition actually gets to us through.  I think in panpsychism in string and multi-verse theory that's coming true. Though maybe it's a character of what inevitably happens when you try to build science around things too complex and unobservable to actually do science around and enough schools of a topic rise and crumble.  How long can you keep setting up things as the real view of the truth to watch them fall before people figure out you're whole thing is a con game.

Monday, November 5, 2018

So, Duncan Is Already Declaring Defeat? How Eschatonian Of Him

Take the day to spend one last one on getting the Democratic vote out and someone tells me Duncan is already throwing in the towel.  Imagine my unsurprise.  Quitter. 

Here's what Howard Zinn said. 

Failure To Quit

By Howard Zinn

This essay, written for Z Magazine in 1990, and reprinted in my book Failure to Quit, was inspired (if you are willing to call this an inspired piece) by my students of the Eighties. I was teaching a spring and fall lec­ture course with four hundred students in each course (and yet with lots of discussion). I looked hard, listened closely, but did not find the apathy, the conservatism, the disregard for the plight of others, that everybody (right and left) was reporting about “the me generation.”


I can understand pessimism, but I don’t believe in it. It’s not simply a matter of faith, but of historical evidence. Not overwhelming evidence, just enough to give hope, because for hope we don’t need certainty, only possibility. Which (despite all those confident statements that “history shows …” and “history proves …”) is all history can offer us.

It was on the first of February in that first year of the new decade that four Black students from North Carolina A & T College sat down at a “white” lunch counter in Greensboro, refused to move, and were arrest­ed. In two weeks, sit-ins had spread to 15 cities in five Southern states. By the year’s end, 50,000 people had participated in demonstrations in a hundred cities, and 3,600 had been put in jail.

That was the start of the civil rights movement, which became an anti-war movement, a women’s movement, a cultural upheaval, and in its course hundreds of thousands, no, millions of people became committed for a short time, or for a lifetime. It was unprecedented, unpredicted, and for at least 15 years, uncontrollable. It would shake the country and startle the world, with consequences we are hardly aware of today.

True, those consequences did not include the end of war, exploitation, hunger, racism, military intervention, nationalism, sexism—only the end of legal racial segregation, the end of the war of Vietnam, the end of illegal abortions. It was just a beginning.

When activists commit civil disobedience, the degree of their distance from the general sentiment can be measured, at least roughly, by how juries of ordinary citizens react. During the war in Vietnam, when reli­gious pacifists entered draft boards illegally to destroy draft records as a way of protesting the war, juries became increasingly reluctant to convict, and near the end of the war we saw the dramatic acquittal of the Camden 28 by a jury which then threw a party for the defendants.

Acts of civil disobedience today, at a much earlier stage of U.S. intervention, are getting verdicts of acquittal when juries are permitted to listen to the defendants’ reasons for their civil disobedience. In the spring of 1984, in Burlington, Vermont, the “Winooski 44” had occupied Senator Stafford’s office to protest his support of aid to the contras. The jury heard many hours of testimony about conditions in Nicaragua, the role of the CIA, the nature of the contras, and voted for acquittal. One of the jurors, a local house painter, said: “I was honored to be on that jury. I felt a part of history.”

In Minneapolis that same year, seven “trespassers” protesting at the Honeywell Corporation were acquitted. In 1985, men and women blocked the Great Lakes Training Station in Illinois, others blocked the South African Embassy in Chicago, nineteen people in the state of Washington halted trains carrying warheads, and all these won acquittal in court. Last year in western Massachusetts, where a protest against the CIA took place, there was another surprising acquittal. One of the jurors Donna L. Moody, told a reporter: “All the expert testimony against the CIA was alarming. It was very educational.”

Several years ago, when Reagan announced the blockade of Nicaragua, 550 of us sat-in at the federal building in Boston to protest and were arrested. It seemed too big a group of dissidents to deal with, and charges were dropped. When I received my letter, I saw for the first time what the official complaint against all of us was: “Failure to Quit.” That is, surely, the critical fact about the continuing movement for human rights here and all over the world.

Howard Zinn, Our Favorite Teacher — Suzanne Baker |
Newsclippings of May 7, 1985, protests from the Galveston Daily News and Indianapolis Star. Protesters in Boston, including Howard Zinn, were charged with “Failure to Quit the Premises,” from where Zinn drew his book title, “Failure to Quit.”

Howard Zinn, Our Favorite Teacher - Suzanne Baker |
Suzanne Baker recalls that 1985 Boston protest in her contribution to the series, “Howard Zinn, Our Favorite Teacher.”

We hear many glib dismissals of today’s college students as being totally preoccupied with money and self. In fact, there is much concern among students with their economic futures—evidence of the failure of the economic system to provide for the young, more than a sign of their indifference to social injustice. But the past few years have seen political actions on campuses all over the country. For 1986 alone, a partial list shows: 182 students, calling for divestment from South Africa, arrested at the University of Texas; a black-tie dinner for alumni at Harvard called off after a protest on South African holdings; charges dropped against 49 Wellesley protesters after half the campus boycotted classes in support; and more protests recorded at Yale, Wisconsin, Louisville, San Jose, Columbia.

But what about the others, the non-protesting students? Among the liberal arts students, business majors, and ROTC cadets who sit in my classes, there are super-patriots and enthusiasts of capitalism, but also oth­ers, whose thoughts deserve some attention.

Writing in his class journal, one ROTC student, whose father was a navy flier, his brother a navy commander: “This one class made me go out and read up on South Africa. What I learned made me sick. My entire semester has been a paradox. I go to your class and I see a Vietnam vet named Joe Bangert tell of his experiences in the war. I was enthralled by his talk. By the end of that hour and a half I hated the Vietnam War as much as he did. The only problem is that three hours after that class I am marching around in my uniform … and feeling great about it. Is there something wrong with me? Am I being hypocritical? Sometimes I don’t know … ”

Young woman in ROTC, after seeing the film Hearts and Minds: “General Westmoreland said ‘Orientals don’t value lives.’ I was incredu­lous. And then they showed the little boy holding the picture of his father and he was crying and crying and crying .. .I must admit I started crying. What’s worse was that I was wearing my Army uniform that day and I had to make a conscious effort not to disappear in my seat.”

Young woman in the School of Management: “North broke the law, but will he be punished?… If he is let off the hook then all of America is punished. Every inner-city kid who is sent to jail for stealing food to feed his brothers and sisters is punished. Every elderly person who has to fight just to keep warm on a winter night will be punished …. The law is supposed to be on the common bond—the peace making body. Yet it only serves the function selectively—just when the people in control wish it to.”

Surely history does not start anew with each decade. The roots of one era branch and flower in subsequent eras. Human beings, writings, invisible transmitters of all kinds, carry messages across the generations. I try to be pessimistic, to keep up with some of my friends. But I think back over the decades, and look around. And then, it seems to me that the future is not certain, but it is possible.

Duncan might have the luxury of wallowing in his affluent (reputedly trust funded) discouragement, the people down here don't have that luxury and most everyone I know has too much character to indulge ourselves like that.  Duncan should quit. He and his regulars are not helping, a small handful excepted.  

Steve Swallow - Up Too Late

Dave Liebman, sax
Steve Swallow, bass
Adam Nussbaum, drums

Lead Sheet

Update:  Amazing (that's what the piece is called)

Lead Sheet

I've mentioned before how Carla Bley's Watt Records official website has the incredibly generously provided library of lead sheets for pieces by Steve Swallow and Carla Bley and much other freely provided material. 

Now It Is Undeniable That We Are Seeing It Happening Here

There is no upside to the rise in overt Nazi activity in the United States, not to mention other places where billionaires, foreign and domestic have promoted neo-Nazism.   With Nazism there is no upside to its existence.  But one thing it has done is make it impossible for people to pretend that the American right doesn't have a significant neo-Nazi component that the majority of the American right won't gratify as it tries to harness it for other, mostly economic, ends. 

I know it was NPR's "woman who can't open her mouth without a cliche coming out of it" Susan Stamberg who I first heard repeat the conventional piece of fucking idiocy, "the first person to say 'fascist' loses the argument"  I know because when it was on the radio it was one of the few times my mother ever heard me say the words,  "bull shit".  But she wasn't the only enforcer of the NPR-New York Times illusion of normalicy delivered in such pity aphorisms, the "it can't happen here" consensus in which Republicans like Nixon and Reagan and Bush I - all of whom used racism and bigotry to gain power - were entirely acceptable. 

American Nazism is and has always been related to our indigenous form of it as found in the KKK and other venues of racism and white supremacy. The Nazis,in their own literature, knew of and learned from American white supremacists and racists and genocidalists.  And there were direct contacts from the most vulgar to the most elite among them.  That is an historical link that goes back into the 1920s.  And its presence, under various names and banners has been an intrinsic part of our politics all through.  One difference is that in West Germany, after the war, there was a de-Nazification effort that was never done here.  Or in Communist East Germany, which is quite relevant to Nazisms resurgence in Europe, as it turns out.  In some ways "Nazism" and "facism" having a formal definition and identification as foreign ideologies has been the white wash, or, perhaps more appropriately, white hood covering up the fact that those are not really different at their most fundamental levels. 

With the Nazi-Klan-etc. tiki-torch parade in Charlottesville  and the cowardly mass murder of elderly Jews in Pittsburgh mere days ago, there is no more pretending that what we are seeing isn't it happening here, right before our eyes.  And happening as the great American free press doesn't carry water for them, exactly as they carried water for the earlier incarnations of the same thing.  The country, in general, has made some progress since the 1930s and even the 1950s, the elite, including those who run even the most august parts of our media, not so much so.  If you want an example of that I will point out to the pre-Pittsburgh piece in the New York Times that presented the degenerate thug Gavin Mcinnes as a normal part of our politics. 

We will find out tomorrow how big the trouble we are in is.  Of course, for people who are and have always been the focus of this American Nazism, they already knew it, it's various groups of white people it comes as a surprise to.  The last ones to get that are the affluent and among those probably the last to get it will be the ones you might figure should be among the first, the media, journalists.  But that's not how it works with the American free press under the ACLU-Supreme Court doctrine of free speech absolutism because as long as they say the right things, no one is going to go after them.  And their owners, all affluent, most of them as ruling class as it gets, will be in on it until they can't be anymore. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

We're All Stealing Scripture, If That's How You Want To Put It

I remember, years ago, reading an article about the Chinese women who, being excluded from education, invented their own means of writing their language and developing a literature in that script which was in danger of being entirely lost.  As I recall the article said a lot had inevitably been lost because many of the poets in that tradition had their manuscripts burned at their deaths so they could take their work with them into the afterlife.  Sort of like the old tradition of burning letters on someone's death, sometimes unread.   I seem to recall Emily Dickinson requested her sister burn her correspondence, which she did and for which she's been unfairly faulted.  Who knows what went up in smoke that way?   Who knows what poems or poetic turns of speech and whatever else Emily Dickinson or her correspondents might have written was in those things which Emily Dickinson choose to not include in her "letter to the world" the part of her writing she did choose to let other people, even people who she would never know or who would never know her, read.

Someone didn't like me pointing out that Christianity is inescapably Jewish in its content due to the Scripture of the First Testament being not only considered Scripture by Christians but the insights and thoughts contained in them comprise a large part of Christianity.   The accusation is, of course, theft, of the adoption and interpretation of the Jewish Scripture by those who didn't originate them, the despised Christians.

But that ignores a fact about, not only the Jewish Scriptures, but about every piece of literature that has ever been read by those who didn't write them.  Jews of the time of Jesus who read Isaiah or Leviticus or Exodus or Judges were as much adopters of those earlier writings as the first Gentiles who may have been introduced to them by Paul or the Jerusalem Community.  Paul called himself a Jew, a Pharisee, one who had some kind of legal authority from before his conversion, an enforcer of one orthodox version of Jewish interpretation. James, one of the named leaders of the earliest Church in Jerusalem is believed by some of the earliest accounts of him to have had some kind of position at The Temple. 

Even within Judaism near and at that time there were different religious sects which all used the same scriptures, coming to different views of them, no doubt claiming to some level of authenticity which their rivals didn't have. The writings that give us the thinking of Hillel is set in opposition to that of Shammai.  Which of those Rabbis stole the Jewish Scriptures from those who had an authentic claim to them?  Which of the various sects and factions that Jesus contended with in the Gospels had the authentic claim to the scriptures he cited and referred to?  Which of the different and internally varied sects of Judaism today is most authentic?  If, for example,  you believe the Orthodox are based on some belief that they are an authentic continuation of ancient traditions going back to the origins of it, I have a feeling you'd be in for a fight on that point.  And Orthodoxy is far from homogenous. 

If you want to put it in other terms, they're no more an example of ancient tradition than the revived Tridentine Masses of the absurd present-day Catholic far right* are even a reproduction of the early Tridentine liturgy.  It, itself, is a modern innovation, I believe the books used for it today date from the early 1960s the most recent in a line of liturgical reforms that starts in the early modern period.

The fact is that all later readers and interpreters of the Jewish Scriptures, Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc. up to and those who use them today, are doing the same thing.  They are reading things that other people wrote thousands of years ago, in contexts and cultures and traditions and individual points of view, they are understanding or asserting their understanding of those texts in terms of their own personalities formed from whatever those are formed.

All of us are "stealing" the words of whoever wrote those scriptures, if that's how you insist on putting it.  None of us has a direct line into the minds of the writers except those writings, all of us have an equal claim to the possibility of understanding them. That is especially true of the most poetic, or prophetic of them.  None of us has a superior claim on them just as different scholars of an author have different ideas about what their writings mean. There can be more obviously valid arguments about claims to the authors' meaning based in history and comparative literature, if someone claims something which the author clearly didn't intend, that can be known but even that, in the end depends on whoever you want to persuade to your thinking finding it persuasive. And some of that does fall back on the authors.  If, for example, the author of Isaiah didn't want someone using his images of the Holy Mountain of God to mean heaven, whoever wrote it could have written that in expository prose instead of poetry.  But if they did, I'll bet no one would read it now.


If you want to get more of a feeling of what I'm saying, in a form that's more entertaining, you might read Jane Langton's Emily Dickinson is Dead, #5 of her Homer Kelly mysteries.  I love the fist fight that breaks out in the English Department office between Homer Kelly and the Chairman, it brings me back to my college years and the various, vicious wars within the various departments.  Those in the music department were particularly vicious. The one I recall with particular vividness didn't end till the last of one faction retired and his students graduated.  I believe the faculty there now wouldn't know anything about it, they probably have their own wars.

* I have to smile when I hear young right-wing Catholic fanatics who yearn for the return of a Latin rite they never experienced as children because it stopped being used well before they were born.  I remember it well as a lived experience and it was far from a holy one.  I remember looking down from the choir loft as a child as the priest raced through the Latin text that he and maybe one or another of the hundred and fifty or so people there understood rather imperfectly.  The pious in the congregation were ignoring the mass as they said their rosary, most of the others mouthed the Latin responses which I have a feeling many of them didn't understand, though those who did, they were the only Latin words they did know.

Contrary to what the present day romantics of the Tridentine rite might think, Gregorian Chant had hardly any place in it, apart from one badly botched and altered version of the Kyrie (the Kyrie Orbis factor, in most of the churches as I recall), and that, of course, was to a Greek text. I doubt most of the people who intoned it even realized they were singing in Greek.

Update:  Yeah, it was this one.  This is the Youtube version  that sounds most like what I remember.