Saturday, October 12, 2019

Saturday Night Radio Drama - David Harrower - A Slow Air

A Slow Air follows the funny, poignant and engrossing story of Morna and Athol – a brother and sister who haven’t spoken to each other for nearly 15 years. Now Morna’s son, Joshua, is turning 21 and he’s planning a party to which they’re both invited. It’s going to be a night to remember! 

As they recount their troubled history, they tell the story of modern Scotland.

Athol lives in Houston, round the corner from where the Glasgow Airport bombers planned their raid in 2007. He believes that only Scotland could produce such 'crap terrorists'. Dyed-in-the-wool SNP supporter Morna remembers the good old days of well-intended protest. As they talk, their differences - political, social, even musical - begin to seem less important.

David Harrower is one of Scotland's leading playwrights. 

Director ..... David Harrower
Producer ..... Gaynor Macfarlane.

AtholLewis Howden
MornaSusan Vidler

Stupid Mail

I come by these beliefs honesty and through personal experience. My parents fled Communist and Nazi regimes. Having seen, first hand, the war, poverty and displacement common to totalitarian regimes, they valued the freedom and democracy the U.S. represents.   Marie L. Yovanovitch

It is one of the dumbest things in the post-war period that the anti-communism of the late 40s and 50s, to some extent the 60s led to the reaction among liberals of sympathy for those poor, dear, commies.   Which led to the idea that Marxism was not similar to fascism and Nazism when everything about the rule of Communists disproved that difference.  Thus is the idiocy of superficial thinking among the college credentialed play pals of the play-left. 

Stupy is accusing me of being in bed with William Barr because Barr is using the pseudo-Christian manifestation of  Trumpian Mammonist anti-Christianity  for political ends.  Of course, he uses the United States Constitution, the law, "free speech" "free press" etc. in exactly the same cynical way, none of which have lost the support of the play-left who hate Christianity a lot more than they are in favor of anything else.  

That would be the William Barr who I held should have been disbarred and convicted of crimes against democracy back when he worked for the Bush I administration, before Stupy and the Eschatots probably had heard of him.   

Seeing their kind of idiocy has led me to understand that the real left, real, traditional American liberalism based on egalitarianism and the provision of a decent life to the least among us has to drop the atheists and secularists because they have created the reaction that William Barr is exploiting.  Their idiocy of decades and decades running has been a millstone around the neck of the real left, long enough.  Its attitude towards Marxism that has, as well, been a burden to the real left is a product of that hatred of Christianity.

There Is No Right For The Media To Lie, That We Don't All Know That Is One Of The Worst Results Of Mixing Up Rights, Freedom and Privileges Granted

This post is brought into being from watching this exchange between Chris Hayes and Jean Mayer talking about the way in which the elite media as well as the gutter media has helped Peter Schweitzer peddle the lies which the Trump regime are in trouble for expanding on.   I think listening to it will help understand some of the points I'm going to make.

One of the most frustrating things about the media's now constantly pointing out that lies are killing democracy, other than them admitting that our experience in this decade disproves the widespread theory of freedom of the press and freedom of speech, is their concurrent failure to note that there is a very basic, very important distinction between freedoms and rights.   It is a failure that was at the heart of the line of "free speech-free press" rulings that the past four Supreme Courts have all had a hand in, which has, with increasing obviousness, delivered us to billionaire financed fascism, rule by gangsters instead of by an adequately informed People of good will. 

Let's get one thing clear to start with, there is a right of We The People to be told the truth, there is no right for the media and its employees to lie, there is no right for them to unwittingly lie.   Any mistaken notion that the "freedom" granted to the "press" by the Constitution is a right is wrong, what was given to the artificial entity "the press" was a permission, it wasn't even a freedom, which is one of the more dangerous deficiencies of the language of the First Amendment.   There isn't even a right endowed by The Creator to any individual that extends to their using it to deny rights as equally endowed.  The freedom to violate even the most basic of rights granted by humanly constructed law, by humanly constructed and interpreted Constitutions is a permission to do what is wrong, one that in the United States gave slave owners and crooks the notion that they had a right to own other people, force them to work for them at no pay, to destroy their families, to work them to death.   That is a basic problem with the United States Constitution that we still live with in merely altered expressions, not in kind from what was put into effect by Madison and Hamilton and the rest of the fabled Founders. 

There is no getting around the fact that the American media, from the sewers of FOX, Sinclair, Breitbart, . . . to the sewer that is the New York Times, is the venue through which fascism came here, "freedom of the press" as interpreted by Supreme Courts, "liberal" to far right and as enjoyed and delighted in by professional scribblers, yackkers and opinion influencers WAS THE HORSE THAT FASCISM RODE IN ON.  The more recent organs of influence, Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc. are certainly as if not more powerful than the New York Times and FOX were in giving us Trump.  

The problem is the judicial and legal theorists intentional mixing up of two distinctly different things, rights - which can inhere only to living beings and freedoms - which the Supreme Court has granted to artificial entities such as corporations and media businesses.   That failure is embedded into the deeply flawed Constitution in the most ill considered of the original parts of it, the badly written Bill of Rights.   The chasms of opportunity given by the slave owners and sharp businessmen to themselves by their vagueness are clearly big enough to destroy the democracy that they, by and large, didn't have any intention of risking happening.   The notorious and the too little known permissions of them to enslave and steal and hoard and amass fortunes within it are matched by the merely not very well thought out.  The failure to distinguish between the rights of living beings, especially People and the permissions of freedom given to artificial entities to which no rights can inhere is just the start of it. 

There is no right to lie about someone else or about anything.   People have no right to be mistaken that is superior to a person to not be lied about OR WE, THE PEOPLE HAVE TO THE TRUTH BEING TOLD.  

There is no right granted by superior wealth to magnify lies you prefer or can benefit from, the Buckley v. Valeo, case, brought on behalf of fascism by a fascist,  but which introduced the terrible idea that money equals speech into the law.  You should read that opinion and the assurances that the mostly (by current standards) "liberal" justices made as to the impact of that decision on the integrity of American elections.  It is a classic example of supreme judicial naivete and utter cluelessness which the entire subsequent history of the United States proves to have ushered in a disaster for democracy.  

The United States Supreme Court, the legislature, even The People voting as a majority does not create rights, those inhere to living beings as an endowment of The Creator, as the founding document of the United States as an independent country said - something which should have the most profound influence on all of this talk of "rights" and "freedoms".   There is an absolute right of The People to not be lied to by mass media, THERE IS AS IMPORTANT A RIGHT OF EVERYONE THAT THE MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO VOTE AND LIVE IN A SOCIETY NOT BE PEDDLED LIES SOLD TO THEM ON THEIR GREATEST WEAKNESSES AND DEFECTS OF CHARACTER.  

There is no right for the media to lie, there isn't even one to mistakenly report lies as the truth, AS THE NEW YORK TIMES HAS DONE TO AS GREAT DAMAGE AS ANY OTHER ORGAN OF THE MEDIA.   There is no right to present lies as "it's being said that" one of the favorite means of the New York Times, NPR and other supposedly superior media venues to include and repeat the lies of billionaire gangsters, generated through their paid liars like Schweitzer.  

The concern that is everywhere about the way that recent Supreme Court rulings have opened us up to the corruption of foreign billionaires, those who run gangster governments, as Putin does and those who are merely hoping to benefit financially or out of some malignant ideological preference for gangster rule to democracy, is understandable but it is as short sighted as all of the talk of rights and the mistaking of permissions to corporations as freedoms.   Domestic billionaries, millionaires and haters of democracy are as dangerous as Putin or Erdogan or the rising class of ruler gangsters in so many places.  Those are the people who own the media in the United States, the media which will only be as honest, as enabling of self-government by an adequately informed People of good will as they will be made to be by laws.  The phrasing of the First Amendment with its breezy, even stirring 18th century poetry is disastrously non-specific as to the obligation that should not only be understood BUT STATED UNAMBIGUOUSLY IN WRITING SO EASY THAT EVEN A LAW SCHOLAR OR JUDGE CAN UNDERSTAND IT that there is freedom granted for the media to tell the truth, there is an obligation that comes with that that they serve the right of all of us to have our neighbors and those who we know nothing about but whose votes clear across the country have the most direct impact on our lives to know the truth and that truth to make us free.  

That is what I was saying yesterday, that is what I will say until I stop saying anything. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Stupid Mail

I don't believe I've ever used the word "deconfliction" before in my life, though I've certainly read it.   For example, I remember this article in the Guardian about its use BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IN THE CONTEXT OF AVOIDING DIRECT ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN AMERICAN AND PUTONIAN FORCES IN SYRIA.  

The word “deconflict” – or worse “deconfliction” – is being used by US officials to describe attempts to ensure that US and Russian air forces don’t shoot at each other while they conduct overlapping air campaigns over Syria. 

The risk of a US-Russia clash over Syria’s crowded airspace has become an alarmingly real possibility, especially since two countries are at loggerheads over which rebel areas to target in Syria. The US and its allies, including several Gulf countries and since last week France, are targeting areas held by Islamic State fighters, while Russia and the Syrian air force are attacking areas held by groups linked by the US-backed Free Syrian Army.

Hence the need for talks on how various air forces don’t clash, inadvertently or otherwise. Only the US doesn’t put it that way. US secretary of state John Kerry announced plans for a “military-to-military deconfliction discussion”.

It is not just Kerry who has been using the term deconflict this week. According to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama talked about “deconfliction” when they met at the UN this week. 

He said the presidents “agreed that it would be important to begin conversations on a practical, tactical level to deconflict coalition and Russian military activities inside of Syria”.

Call me whatever, but, even as much as I've got trouble with Barack Obama's record, he's smarter than anyone I encountered at Duncan Black's blog. 
I'm never surprised to find that the voluntarily retarded, post-literates who comprise the "brain trust" (they really do call themselves that) of Eschaton are not only ignorant but too lazy to look up a word online but in this case they're accusing me of using a word I'm certain I've never used.   It doesn't show up in a search of this or my other blog.  Lord knows I've used a lot more words than your typical Eschatot knows but that's not one of them. 
I haven't bothered to see if Duncan or any of the smarter former regulars at  Eschaton have used it.   Perhaps one of the smarter of those such as Echidne or Hecate has but I have not. 

The Origin Of The End Of The Possiblity Of Democracy Which Will Not Be Named

I have not been sympathetic to Lindsay Graham, the lying, in the closet, gay, Republican-fascist of South Carolina in the past.  I loathe him.   Now that his particular chickens have come home to roost in Trump going with whatever the Turkish dictator Erdogan dangled in front of him by way of real-estate deal or slander on Joe Biden or flattery, in one of the most disgustingly irresponsible betrayals of recent American policy, I don't feel sorry for him.  This one is so bad that even Lindsay Graham, a flattering sycophantic little scumbag of Trumpery is publicly critical of it. 

“By abandoning the Kurds we have sent the most dangerous signal possible — America is an unreliable ally and it’s just a matter of time before China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea act out in dangerous ways.“
Oh, NOW Lindsay Graham understands what the disaster HIS political party has wreaked in the world, now with his own strong-man, Trump, in the last decade with the Republican-fascist Dick Cheney, and the Republican Supreme Court imposed George W. Bush, which resulted in the start of the fall of what Trump is restarting in this latest disaster.   

What should have been apparent in international relations was that Turkey under strong-man gangster rule is not a reliable partner in NATO - as so many of the once Marxist-gangster run, now capitalist-gangster run countries in Eastern Europe.   

What is obvious in American politics is that the Republican Part is, in fact, a fascist party, now that the last of the merely aristocratic old-Republicans a William Weld, here and there excepted, are passed from the scene.  

What is also obvious in every one of the frustrating cries from liberals, moderates and even some sane Republicans about the disaster that people believing lies that obviously would result by permitting the media to lie, are destroying the possibility of American democracy and democracy elsewhere.  

Yesterday morning I started counting up the major instances of media figures going into detail about the disaster, in the form of the Trump regime and things like Brexit and the rise of 21st century fascism in the once believed reliable democracies of post-WWII Europe and couldn't keep up.  And I'm not the obsessive news junkie I once was.   Wednesday night everyone from Rachel Maddow to Samantha Bee, who did major pieces about the consequence of media's and social media's ACLU style First Amendment granted ability to lie with impunity to minor mentions of it in virtually every news item I read about Trump - lies being the non-secret to his success - Putin, Boris Johnson, etc.  noted that it all starts and finishes in lies told, lies sold, lies believed.  


In the United States our slide into fascism is datable, it happened in the time when the American Congress was passing one after another item extending equality, extending doing better for the least among us as the United States Supreme Court granted immunity to the media to lie about that and the politicians who were doing that in the Sullivan Ruling.  As I've pointed out,  Nixon lost in 1960 before that Supreme Court ruling on behalf of the New York Times, he won in 1968, the first presidential election after that ruling.  Republicans have increasingly ridden the wave of media lies to power ever since, even now coming to a point where very conservative Republicans are some of the loud voices complaining about the result in Trump, even such as who could tolerate George W. Bush-Dick Cheney, who in so many ways, with the Rehnquist and then Roberts Republican-fascist courts paving the way for Trump with such extensions of the Supreme Court "free speech free press" rulings as Citizens United and others to reimpose Jim Crow era voter suppression.  

I have yet to hear any major figure in the media admit the role that it has played in this, the New York Times, the beneficiary of that first disastrous ruling allowing lies, is a full member in regularizing Republican-fascism, even, in some ways, its worst, Trumpian form.   It was part of the New York City media that helped create Trump as a celebrity and a person who has gone from playing a media strong-man to one in real life.  I have yet to hear anyone in the media talk about the role that the New York Times played in allowing Trump to use lies to get power.  Allowing the media he spreads his lies in,  Cable TV, network TV, hate-talk radio,  Twitter, Facebook, etc. to make money off of those lies with the impunity that the Supreme Court gave them in 1964 to lie with impunity.   Even such journalists who try to tell the truth,  Maddow, Charles Pierce, all of them, really, will not tell that truth.  That it is the very permission given to their media, their employers, themselves, to lie that is the original sin that Putin's gangsters recognized and used along with the domestic billionaires and millionaires who did even more than Putin did to bring us down to the point we have reached.  

The media was always only as honest as the law forced them to be, in that it as never, as a collective assembly that law could be made about, any better than it faced consequences for lying.  The good, virtuous media that strove to present fact and analyze it was never going to be dangerous for democracy, in so far as they served egalitarian ends.  The problem is that their ability to tell truth that they could back up was not in danger, so long as egalitarian democracy was in the ascendant.   They should have always realized that giving the media permission to lie was going to empower the gutter media, the media that would lie for money, that would lie in the interest of its owners and advertisers would eventually get to the point where those who got power through those lies would endanger their ability to tell the truth, that lies constructed to appeal to the worst in us, and so be easier to sell was bound to destroy democratic government through destroying the ability of people to elect government that would not be in the hands of gangsters.   

If, as I believe it will, the American media either sees what truth it tells swamped by such well planned, well constructed, easily sold lies or their ability to tell the truth without the kind of danger journalists under Putin are in for telling the truth, it is because they refused to acknowledge that truth I put in all caps above.  I don't feel sorry for them in that failure.  They deserve it.  We, The People, don't, the Kurds don't, people who were murdered by the Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and II and now Trump didn't deserve it. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

I Guess How Trump Became A Public Figure Is A Mystery To the "Brain Trust" [they really do call themselves that].

Stupy is pretending that Trump didn't become a public figure through being presented by entertainment media as a celebrity, an expert in business, a credible figure.   Anyone who has missed that most relevant fact about the public career of Donald Trump should not remain out of custodial care.  

TV, pop culture, movies, etc. have made a dangerous percentage of the American public dangerously stupid.   The play-left incorporates people as stupid as any with conceit about the intelligence they lack as an added debility.  

This Is Your Free Speech Asolutism At Work

I've felt so sick over Trump doing the bidding of the dictator of Turkey by abandoning the Kurds so he can attack them that I didn't feel like writing yesterday. 

The American entertainment media has given us Donald Trump as president so he could give its owners and its advertisers and its associates a huge tax break and the result includes the disastrous bloodbath against people who risked their lives to help the United States recover from the aftermath of the previous media installed presidency, George W. Bush-Dick Cheney.   It's being called a likely genocide against the Kurds and I have absolutely no doubt that Trump sees some real-estate deal in it for his crime family dangled by the Turkish strongman.   

American politics is not an entertainment, it's deadly serious because it's deadly dangerous.   

Lies permitted by American judges and justices have a deadly effect, for American soldiers, of course, but far, far more so for people around the world. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Arthur Berger - Partita for piano (1947)

Geoffrey Burleson, piano

I remembered it was about this time of year when Arthur died (October 7).  I love this Partita, the last movement was used as part of his later, extremely beautiful Serenade Concertant.  Here's a page devoted to him from the New England Conservatory.

the political economy in which all of us have invested cannot make us safe and cannot make us happy

And what the Bible is all about is the endless discovery that the dominant political, economic, technological system cannot deliver security and cannot deliver happiness. And – I don’t know – I think that’s what we are discovering now. We’re discovering that the political economy in which all of us have invested cannot make us safe and cannot make us happy.  So, the Gospel question is to whom shall we go?

Walter Brueggemann 

One of the biggest problems with the idea of the essentially administrative formality that the government be secular, is the rather stupid idea that that means that The People have to also be secular, that religion is not to have any role in their lives, their thinking their political decisions.  That is something that nice, liberal religious people have bought into, have been encouraged into and gulled into and coerced into.  The presentation of religion in popular entertainment has had a big role in that.   But the biggest problem with that is that politics is not enough, slogans of "civic piety" are not enough, they are one of a number of entirely inadequate replacements for religious obligations to each other and, especially, the least among us.

The idea that, somehow, "ethics" or esthetics or art appreciation or social work or education or economic prosperity or some vague, general sense of niceness were going to be a sufficient replacement for religion has failed, over and over again.   While all of those can be nice - though I would probably be most skeptical of "ethics" - they are not enough and without the force of a real, durable, sufficiently powerful source of morality, all of them will fail.  I think the unarticulated history of Western secular liberal democracy, in the United States, in England, in France, in other European countries is the serial failure of even an aspiration to egalitarian democracy on the basis of secularism, of it failing without that force which will only come by addressing a "whom" who wants us to be good to each other to who we owe deeper obligations that the artificial substitutes which are erected in its place. 

 That literally secular replacement of patriotism, nationalism, is one of the most dangerous of them, having the power to drive people into wars of conquest, wars allegedly of internal purification, genocide, expulsions, etc.   In my criticism of the nominal Christianity which has thrown everything in the Gospel, The Law and the Prophets aside for Donald Trump, in the pseudo-Christianity of that kind of nationalism, the names of Jesus and Christ, the physical book of the Bible are retained but they are certainly not only not central aspects of that American-exceptionalist idolatry, they are replaced with modern day equivalents of the Roman imperialism that the Gospel opposed.   Wars of conquest and subjugation are replaced with wars to spread economic hegemony - which, itself is renamed "democracy",  gladiatorial entertainment with American football (with football in other countries) and every four years the piratical and commercial product of the Olympics industry.   Sex in its various manifestations in Roman patriarchy are replaced with their equivalents in modern cultures - so long as it's not same-sex, it will be deemed unobjectionable and even that distinction is falling, as long as someone is used by a dominant male.   

As Walter Brueggemann notes, all of them, the American military-industrial-entertainment complex, the European secularist modern order, which, as I said, is falling to facism, once again, now that the generation that experienced World War Two is about done.  Communism has certainly failed as it turns into capitalism with central planning by gangsters and not even the people who experienced it want to return to government under Marxism.  Capitalism works only for those who have, it never was intended to work for anyone else.  

And there is no replacement, even the churches, when they try to substitute other things, Church history and tradition, the idolatry of the post-Counter-Reformation, especially in its putrid late 19th, first-half of the 20th century form in Roman Catholicism, other churches having other baggage that replaced what Brueggemann was talking about.  The Old Testament is full of stories of the dire consequences of that kind of thing, Isaiah and others on the Temple and its ceremonies, for excellent example.   Not only does that substitution not work in trying to depend on the "political, economic, technological system"  to produce security and happiness, it doesn't work when those substitutes have the aroma of sanctity sprayed on them. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Jacob Wohl

A number of people have asked what Jacob Wohl's motivation is.  

I think he gave that away when he he revealed he sees Trump as a "peak alpha male".   Anyone who could consider Trump in those terms has got the most terminal case of raging daddy issues with the most unlikely and revolting of daddies.   This is way beyond chubby chasing.  I've often teased the obvious Russian troll-farm rent-boys over their over-the-top descriptions of Trump, laced with, or more aptly put, larded with bizarre homo-erotic content, generally talking about a mattress in Moscow when I mock them.  But they have the excuse that English is not their first language and they might not realize what they're copying is fraught with sexual neuroses and unintentional hilarity to those of us who know English and can spot the subtext of their unintentional sub-fantasies.  And when it comes to Trump, he's all sub.

Jacob Wohl doesn't have that excuse.  He's like one huge Freudian slip.   His script for the "marine" prostitute, the one the rent-boy couldn't read without laughing at its incredible stupidity is a rather simple road map into his nightmares.   

What I'd really like to know is what the "bodyguard" who ignored his orders was thinking about the whole thing. 
I listened to one of Simp's garage band pieces when he started vanity-publishing them online.  It was more than I needed to hear to form a bad opinion of his music.  It was sort of like when I heard Three Doors Down for the first time when Samantha Bee did her show about Trump's inaugural concert.  Needless to say, I didn't need to hear more.   I don't need to hear the 4 Mormon boy gang banging the piano group again, either. 

Update:  Oh, dear.  I'm told I misspelled it.  It's "3 Doors Down" not "Three Doors Down".   And you know what,  I'm kind of proud that I didn't know that. 

Hate Mail - On The Exemption Scientists Give Themselves From Questions Of Morality

Someone thinks I'm insufficiently pious in regard to the moral status of science because I mentioned that scientists gave themselves an exemption from questions of morality in what they produce.   To which I say, he or she can go screw themselves.   It happens whenever I mention that most obvious and salient fact about science and the phony halo of sanctity that is placed around it.

As the Nobel Prizes for this year are announced, as during every Nobel season recently around early November, I wished I had the time and language ability to look for any documentation surrounding some of the more morally appalling Nobel awards of the past, especially the 1918 Chemistry prize given to Fritz Haber for his synthesis of ammonia in a year when his work in pioneering gas warfare should have made him more eligible for being prosecuted for war crimes.   In looking him up at the official Nobel site, they tactfully frame that very notable feature of his biography

When the First World War broke out he was appointed a consultant to the German War Office and organised gas attacks and defences against them. This and other work undermined his health and for some time he was engaged in administrative work. He helped to create the German Relief Organisation and served on the League of Nations Committee on Chemical Warfare.

So, you see, HE was the real victim of his work pioneering the use of poison gas as a weapon.   No doubt others' health suffered from his work as well, though the official Nobel site doesn't go into details about that.

I will note that in 1918, as the scientific establishement and the Nobel juries were awarding that prize to Haber, they didn't award a prize for Peace or for Medicine.  Or literature.

I'd really like to know what kind of discussion may or, perhaps even more tellingly, may not have passed among those who nominated and awarded the prize to Fritz Haber that year, what discussion of his activities in the war that didn't end until November 11th of that year were part of that decision.  I wonder if the end of the war overlapped with the Nobel season - perhaps having something to do with why a "Peace prize" was not given that year, nor one for Medicine, nor for Literature.  Max Planck got the physics prize, something that is certainly not shocking in the same way.    

This passage from the official Nobel article on their 1918 Chemistry laureate shows that his work was instrumental in the extension of that entirely idiotic war before two-stepping into the more pacific use of Haber's process.

In 1905 he had published his book on the thermodynamics of technical gas reactions, in which he recorded the production of small amounts of ammonia from N2 and H2 at a temperature of 1000° C with the help of iron as a catalyst. Later he decided to attempt the synthesis of ammonia and this he accomplished after searches for suitable catalysts, by circulating nitrogen and hydrogen over the catalyst at a pressure of 150-200 atmospheres at a temperature of about 500° C. This resulted in the establishment, with the cooperation of Bosch and Mittasch, of the Oppau and Leuna Ammonia Works, which enabled Germany to prolong the First World War when, in 1914, her supplies of nitrates for making explosives had failed.

You have to suspect that they thought that was something to celebrate in the inverted values of the scientific inconsideration of morality.

Perhaps they suspected awarding a "Peace prize" that year would have left the Nobel establishment open to a level of cynical mockery that it too seldom has gotten for anything other than some of the Literary and Peace prize winners. Perhaps it would have brought up the widespread suspicion that Haber's first wife, Clara Immerwahr, the first woman to get a doctorate in Chemistry in Germany, a woman's rights supporter and pacifist, committed suicide because she was so ashamed to be married to a war criminal, something that has been too little mentioned. 

You have to wonder what they meant by it, giving a war criminal that prize, that year.   I have to imagine it was something of a celebration and declaration that science was exempt from questions of morality and even decency.   It's certainly something that is obvious in them making that award to that person in that year.  It was hardly the only morally dubious award of a Nobel.  Giving the "Peace prize" to Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho the most notorious but, as the award to Haber shows, hardly the only thoroughly disgusting one.  I'd certainly include the one given to the Nazi, Konrad Lorenz among those. 

Update:  I was curious to see the Biography that the Official Nobel site had for Konrad Lorenz and found they had an auto-biographical thing written by Lorenz, himself.  He skates rather easily over his direct involvement with the Nazi regime thusly.
I wrote about the dangers of domestication and, in order to be understood, I couched my writing in the worst of nazi-terminology. I do not want to extenuate this action. I did, indeed, believe that some good might come of the new rulers. The precedent narrow-minded catholic regime in Austria induced better and more intelligent men than I was to cherish this naive hope. Practically all my friends and teachers did so, including my own father who certainly was a kindly and humane man. None of us as much as suspected that the word “selection”, when used by these rulers, meant murder. I regret those writings not so much for the undeniable discredit they reflect on my person as for their effect of hampering the future recognition of the dangers of domestication.

Being somewhat familiar with him from my research into eugenics and Darwinism  this passage about his activities in 1942 jumped out at me.  

In spring 1942 I was sent to the front near Witebsk and two months later taken prisoner by the Russians. At first I worked in a hospital in Chalturin where I was put in charge of a department with 600 beds, occupied almost exclusively by cases of so-called field polyneuritis, a form of general inflammation of nervous tissues caused by the combined effects of stress, overexertion, cold and lack of vitamins. Surprisingly, the Russian physicians did not know this syndrome and believed in the effects of diphteria – an illness which also causes a failing of all reflexes. When this hospital was broken up I became a camp doctor, first in Oritschi and later in a number of successive camps in Armenia. I became tolerably fluent in Russian and got quite friendly with some Russians, mostly doctors. I had the occasion to observe the striking parallels between the psychological effects of nazi and of marxist education. It was then that I began to realize the nature of indoctrination as such.

But it didn't keep him from publishing in support of Nazi ideology the next year  as in most of the previous decade.

These [papers relevant to the topic] were "Die angeborenen Formen moglicher Erfahrungen (1943) and "Durch Domestikation Verursachte Storungen" (1940).   In them Lorenz justifies the Nazi efforts to prevent interbreeding of persons of different so-called races (it must be noted that the German concept of race bore little relation to what most anthropologists, and certainly biologists, understand by the term).  Basically, Lorenz's argument was that since displays of waterfowl are species-specific, hybridiation destroys the integrity of the releasor mechanism andn leads to the destruction of the species.   By analogy, humans are believed to possess relasors for ethical and esthetic values which are lost through "hybridization."  

A number of the scientists who not only worked during the Nazi period but gave support to their eugenics which are inseparable from their genocidal programs were entirely and successfully installed in post-war science in virtually every field, often without any more effort at rehabilitation than is present in Lorenz's officially published Nobel auto-biography.   I have to say that reading it makes me want to now more about what Konrad Lorenz was doing in various "camps" that he mentions in it.  How much doctoring and how much using the inmates as guinea pigs. 

Update 2:  I should mention the well known fact that Haber's post-war invention of an insecticide, Zyklon, was modified and used in the Nazi gas chambers to prevent the kind of "hybridization" that Lorenz warned against. 

Defund NPR, Kill It

As I'm typing this NPR's Morning Edition has Republican-fascist legacy hire Jonah Goldberg on saying why Democrats shouldn't impeach Donald Trump, letting him slam the entirely honorable Adam Schiff and other Democrats as he plays "never Trumper". 

We should have let the Republicans kill NPR back in the 80s.  There has been nothing good about that non-profit fraud since before the Carter administration.  It is disgusting.  Anyone who gives money to their local station should condition future donations on none of it going to NPR.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Stupid Mail

Simps, Mendacity is your mother tongue.  

Update:  These days Eschaton is as intellectually inbred as Pitcairn Island.   Any diversity of thought has been pretty well gone from there for a decade.  I can't say that it doesn't make me wonder what about three of them are bothering with it for.  The rest, I don't bother wondering about.   No point in it. 

Update 2:  Simps, if you think you can shame me because as I was rapidly typing I inadvertently transposed the position of those two letters, you're even more of a minor league Jacob Wohl than I said yesterday.  If I had the time to waste I'd proof-read your typelage and that of your host, Duncan.  He's often pretty careless in proofing his far shorter excuses for writing.

Joe Biden Should Retire His Mouth, Then His Political Career

This piece on Buzzfeed points to everything about why Joe Biden should not be running for President, something he proved in the infamous incident from 1987 when he plagarized a speech given by Neil Kinnock, the man does stupid stuff with his mouth, both planned and, especially, off the cuff AND HE HAS LEARNED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT NOT DOING THAT IN THE PAST 32 YEARS.   He is his own worst enemy. 

And then he told a story. Recounting a trip to Kyiv in late 2015, Biden described telling the then-president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, that he had to fire the prosecutor general or the US would not release $1 billion in loan guarantees. “I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours,’” Biden told the crowd, taking a long look at his watch for effect. “‘If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch.” Here the audience laughed. “He got fired.”

Video of his statement quickly ricocheted around Ukraine and Russia. On January 24, the day after the event, it appeared on Russia Today, the Kremlin’s main external propaganda channel and a feeding house for rightwing conspiracy in the US. One week later, it was on Sputnik. Back then, it was presented as evidence of US meddling in the internal affairs of another country. Over the next 19 months it morphed into a central pillar of a baseless conspiracy theory pushed by President Donald Trump and his allies that says Biden ordered the prosecutor’s firing because his son, Hunter, was on the board of a company the prosecutor was investigating.

Three former officials who worked closely with Biden on Ukraine said they knew as soon as they watched the appearance that Biden had not spoken well. “It was classic Joe Biden,” said one former official.

The remarks play into Biden’s desire to be the hero of the tales he tells. On the presidential campaign trail this year, he’s shown a tendency to exaggerate or conflate details. His story about pinning a medal on a Navy captain was, if well-meaning, rife with inaccuracies. He’s shared different versions of a story about how seeing two men kiss shaped his acceptance of LGBTQ people at a young age. And he has confused the Parkland and Newtown school shootings while playing up how the survivors and victims’ families turned to him for comfort. Now, this tendency is part of a conspiracy theory that led to events that launched a formal impeachment inquiry against the president of the United States.

My earliest doubts about the political wisdom of Barack Obama included him asking Joe Biden to be his Vice President (WHY DO WE STILL ALLOW THAT CHOICE TO BE MADE BY ONE MAN?).  I say that as someone who, the first time Biden ran for president thought he was one of the strongest candidates.  He, himself, dissuaded me of his qualifications to be president because the guy is a gaff machine.  

I have extreme doubts about Bernie Sanders - not least of which is that his own past of generating attacks on himself from his earlier career as a columnist and public access figure.   I have other doubts about others of the 2020 candidates, but few of them have given Republicans more ammunition against them and reasons for Democrats to be unenthusiastic as Joe Biden.   The news media will let Trump get away with everything, it won't let a Democrat get away with anything, we are already at a disadvantage with the "free press" which is free to do the bidding of its owners, Biden will make their job of sandbagging Democrats all the easier. 

Joe Biden handed Giuliani and the others who steer Trump towards the corruption so much in the news right now, some of their most powerful talking points.  

Joe Biden should retire.  He should write a few books presenting himself in the best light he can.  Note to Joe, get a really tough editor who fact checks you and take their advice and your books might be useful.   You obviously are not the best judge of what you feel like saying. 

You Have To Face The Terrible Truth Or Your Best Intentions Will Turn Into The Worst Ideas

"God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement.  For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren.  What I mean is that each one of you says:  'I belong to Paul' or 'I belong to Apollos' or "I belong to Cephas' or 'I belong to christ.'" 

"Is Christ divided?  Was Paul crucified for you?  Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?  I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Chrispus and Gaius;  lest anyone should say that you were baptized in my name.  (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas.  Beyond that,  I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)  For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.  For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:9-18; emphasis added).

I am going through the last chapter of Hans Kung's book, as published in English which contains two unnumbered chapters after the last chapter of his essay Why I Am Still A Christian.  It asks the question St. Paul asked, Is Christ Divided?, based on this text of First Corinthians, often considered the earliest of the books of the New Testament,

Paul's letter is the first major document of the New Testament, written in Ephesus some twenty years after the death of Jesus to the Christian community in the great city of Corinth.  Already, even then, there is talk of tensions, divisions, schisms, and different  denominations - in the names of Peter, Paul, Appolos, and even Christ.   And although we have to accept a certain anachronism, are there not parallels between this and our situation today?

First there are the Catholics, the denomination of Peter, [Cephas] who seems, because of his primacy, his power of the keys, and his pastoral authority, to put them in the right as opposed to all other Christians.

Then there are the Orthodox, the denomination of Apollos, who has the great tradition of Greek thought on his side and has provided a more brilliant, clear and "correct" or "orthodox" explanation of revelation than all the others. 

Then the Protestants, the denomination of Paul, who is the father of their community, the Apostle pure and simple, the unique proclaimer of the cross of Christ who has worked harder than all the others. 

Finally, we should not forget the Free Churches, the denomination of Christ himself who aim to free themselves from the oppression of the great churches with their authorities and professions of faith, to rely only on Christ as their Lord and master and to let the life of their communities be fashioned only on that basis.  

And for what denomination does Paul opt?   There is no doubt that Catholics would expect an allusion to Peter, who is, according to Matthew, the "rock" on which the Church is built.  But Paul passes over the name of Peter in silence, as he also tactfully passes over the name of Appolos.

What is quite astonishing, however, is that Paul also disavows his own supporters.  Why?  Because he does not want groups to gather around a man and make into an ideal a man who was not crucified for them and whose name they were not baptized.  They were, after all, not baptized in his name, but in the name of Christ, the one who was crucified.  So even the name of Paul, who founded the community, is not permitted to be used in a denomination. 

If this text contains something quintessential for ecumenical thought today, it is this;  No name, no office, no authority, and no specialty of any one Church should be permitted to divide the Church,   What does this mean in practice?  

I will continue with this chapter but here I want to stop to go farther than Paul did.   How can any one Church, any one of the groups of denominations, mentioned in Kung's elucidation in contemporary terms, any nation or "race" of human beings, even the entirety of the human species contain the all of God?

How can all of the species on Earth, now and in the past and, if we don't destroy life on Earth with the poisonous mixture of science, technology and gangster politics, in the future contain God, the Creator of all of it?  Or the universe, itself?  Or, in the atheist conjecture of an infinity of universes (created solely for the purpose of getting rid of some logical conclusions drawn from the Big Bang theory and other such consequences of 20th century physics) an infinity of universes?  Including all of those species, all of those times, all of those human categories and our thoughts based in empirical experience and conjecture?  I think that is a question worth asking, all I can do is say that I don't believe that God can be contained in all of them put together.

How, then can I advocate for the one religious orientation I am asserting is the best hope for people to have egalitarian, democratic government with social and economic justice?

I can advocate that for the United States in the West because I think those can only come through the view that we are told those, or their moral prerequisites are willed by God, I don't think anything weaker than that belief by a sufficient percentage of the population will do it.

I will repeat if secularism were going to do it, as has been enforced in the United States in the post-war period, we would have seen some greening of egalitarian democracy under that secular order instead of the steady descent into fascism which we have seen since 1968.  Or, as I would argue, from the highest point of legal egalitarianism in the Johnson administration in the 1960s, the second wave of feminism, the struggle for LGBT rights being a result of that period of the assertion of equality.

Like Marxism, secularism is an experiment which has run its course, here and in Europe and Europe had the direct lessons of the Second World War which could, to some extent urge them from repeating the horrors of gangster government, lessons which have died out with the generation that experienced the Second World War.

I don't think it will be the same in other places, though I think there is a chance that other places, in Asia, in Africa, might be able to improve on the record of Christianity in Europe and North America.  I think if the enormous number of people who live in Islamic societies are to have egalitarian democracy and economic justice, they will have to find those same bases in the religion of Islam, those in India will have to find it in their traditions.

They will have to include that most difficult of human practices, not the mere tolerance of diversity, but the enthusiastic inclusion of those of other faiths, other beliefs, other nationalities, other groups, even those they might not want to treat equally.  There are commandments in the Jewish scriptures, in the New Testament that encourage and command that.  How hard it has been for Christians to carry those commandments out is a good part of the history of their scandalous failures, the list of charges presented against Christianity by its enemies.   No less is the same list of charges presented BY CHRISTIANS AGAINST THEIR OWN HISTORY, examination of conscience of that kind is a tradition which we inherit from the Old Testament which contains the critical self examination of the Children of Israel.  Something which secularism, atheism, doesn't much do.  Something which science practices as much in the breech as in the observance. 

Perhaps they can do that, perhaps they can't.  I can only speak from my experience living in the United States, informed by the thinking, not only of Christians but, ironically from atheists such as positively, Habermas,  negatively by such writers as Nietzsche, Hobbes, Mandeville,  and a myraid of other anti-Christian and secularist promoters.  I will say that nothing has had as big an influence in convincing me of that as the advocacy of the ACLU and that ideological camp's effect on the law of the United States.   A variation of a title from last week,  what such champions of the "Constitution" have given, they've taken away far, far more.


In my political analysis of Kung's book, I have to say that I believe that many other religious traditions COULD serve to reach the same ends, they could but in my lifetime, in the history of my country, Christianity is the one that has the best chance.

It will have to deal with divisions that are inevitable because, in contradiction to what Hans Kung says, there are very large, nominally Christian denominations and movements which are exactly pointed in the other direction, who either yearn for the feudal corruption of Christianity with all of its dictatorial violence, class division, history of violent wars of conquest and genocide.

There are heretical groups which are run more like organized crime than a church such as Paul was addressing, small house churches of people marginalized and oppressed whose divisions were of a different kind and a different order.  I could no more hold his call for ecumenism to include those who support Trump from a stage gilded with idols of Christianity than I could those who would support him from one of the economics of piracy, theft and as much oppression, violence and crime as it takes to wring as much money out of the world for the billionaires as possible.

I think there is everything in the world different about an ecumenical coming together of the followers of Jesus and the followers of Trump (or Falwell, or Robertson, etc.) and the kind of thing we normally consider ecumenism.  Catholics and Orthodox (they would have to overcome the nationalistic features of the various Orthodox churches, which divide them, internally) and mainline Protestants.  Don't worry,  Kung is extremely critical of the Catholic impediments, especially those put up by John Paul II and the one who would, after the book was written, become Benedict XVI.  The neo-fascists among the bishops and Cardinals, appointed by John Paul II and Benedict XVI are a manifestation of this anti-Christianity within the Catholic Church. That i not honestly deniable as we see them making common cause with the likes of Steve Bannon.  If you look up "Hans Kung" on google or Youtube you can find their attacks against him come up, very heavily on the top of the searches.   I believe that the fascists and neo-Nazis have copied Dan Savages googlebombing to far more dangerous effectiveness than Dan Savage managed in his anti-Santorum stunt.

Ignoring this massive, billionaire and millionaire financed, clericalist manifestation of the anti-Christ because these people call themselves and their outfits "Christian" will do nothing to make things better.  I doubt that is what Hans Kung meant in this essay, which was obviously meant for people  of good will.  Ignoring that there are people of malicious will who have power, money, control of media and enormous support from the worst of gangster governments is not a good idea in any way.