Saturday, March 7, 2020

Saturday Night Repeat Radio Drama - Katherine Anne Porter - Pale Horse Pale Rider

I have resisted posting adaptations of novels because I almost inevitably think the originals are so much better.  But I think this one must have been made with the cooperation of KAP, about my favorite non-living American author.   I have linked to it just as the radio play is beginning, leaving off the adaptation of her Flowering Judas and the long and rather annoying announcement of Pale Horse Pale Rider.  

And I wouldn't be posting it at all except that I found the original source, the book of the same name that has two other great KAP short novels in it was posted online so you could read the novel in all of its timely greatness. 

I haven't had the time to look for a new one for tonight and for all I know some of you might only come here on Saturdays for the radio drama and wouldn't know I'd posted this last Thursday.   I'll see if there's another one to post as a second feature. 

Covid-19 - How Long Will People Still Get The Felling It's A Problem Somewhere Else

My family's experience with Covid-19 as of today matches this report from two-hours ago.

PORTLAND, Maine — According to a report in the Portland Press Herald, Maine is one of only five states yet to be approved for in-state COVID-19 testing.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed Maine, West Virginia, Ohio, Wyoming, and Oklahoma as 'in process' of setting up in-state coronavirus testing labs.

Maine currently sends tests to the U.S. CDC labs in Atlanta. According to the Press Herald, 18 blood samples have been sent and have been tested or are currently been tested. Maine's CDC has not reported any new test results. 

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of Maine's CDC, said the state has been preparing for this possibility since China declared an outbreak of the virus back in December.

It was just three months ago when the world first heard of the novel Coronavirus, a fast-moving and ever-changing virus that quickly reached outbreak proportions in China

My fever is up again, my cough is about what it was yesterday, I'm avoiding people and hoping that it's a mild case, so far it seems to be.  My sister who I got it from is expected to be in the hospital into next week, or longer, my other sister who was exposed is about where I was a week ago.  The CDC still hasn't sent results of her tests back.  Yesterday someone at the hospital said they thought it wasn't Covid-19, today they're saying they've ruled out everything else.  So, locally, mixed messages.  I get the feeling they're only a bit less in the dark than we are. 

I've stopped looking at the CDC website because I can't feel confident that they'll tell what they know for fear of Trump and his gang of goons, I've started looking at what other countries heath agencies are saying,  health Canada, for example.  

Oh, yeah, and it finally occurred to the people at the hospital to ask how her family members were.  I haven't been contacted about getting tested. 

Hate Mail - The Play-Left Will Never Learn, Not Even The Least Stupid Of Them

Sam Sarandon - they're all "Sarandon's" to me from now on - even as he and his Majority Report fan boys and gals were whining  yesterday that Elizabeth Warren isn't supporting Bernie has on the flaming jerk Benjamin Dixon to crap on her - as he was in the interview - calling her all kinds of names, accusing her of being a back-stabber, of being a hypocrite . . . 

Here, if you don't believe me, I'll hold my nose and provide the link to it.   

Benjamin Dixon, if you hadn't heard of him either, apparently has a podcast and a tiny little cult which he optimistically, or fraudulently, calls The Progressive Army, yeah, like the Folksong Army that Tom Lehrer mocked in one of his better songs or the "Majority" that Sam Sarandon imagines his show reports. 

Geesh! these guys are the biggest idiots there are.  Yet they wonder why they and those who love their style ARE SUCH UNIFORM LOSERS IN POLITICS!  I think one of the things they can't face is that after more of a century of pushing this stuff, they're still expecting the majority of people they clearly consider to be ignorant sheep are going to step in line and join them when if there's one thing history shows, that's not going to happen. 

Don't Endorse Anyone Without Extracting A Price Elizabeth Warren - Why This Ex-Socialist Who Still Believes In Socialism Knows Socialism Is A Guaranteed Loser

You're still my candidate, Elizabeth Warren, I don't want you to endorse either of the men, they're in their late 70s one of them is guaranteed to be ballot box poison down the ballot as well as at the top, the other one isn't exactly a great bet, either. Both have had serious health issues.   I want you available to step in if needed because you were the best candidate in the race.

If that doesn't happen you should hold out to get the most you can from whichever it is who wants your endorsement, I know you know best how to do that, certainly better than me.  I would want you to accept the vice-presidency if it is offered if you think that would be the best thing in your judgement.  I could give you a long list of women you could demand be named as the price of your endorsement, hopefully one that would not mean a Republican got to name their successor in the Senate.  

People who wanted Elizabeth Warren should still vote for her because it will strengthen her hand in extracting promises for her support. 


I have been testing the Bernie Bots and am finding that while some of them are prepared to vote against Trump by voting for the only other person who will be on the ballot who will be president in 2021 a large number of Bernie Bots will vote Trump by either not voting or will vote Green or Bernie as a write in or whatever.   

Going on from here, they've done it in election after election, the quasi-Marxist, Marxist, and now, I have to face the fact the Democratic Socialists who I used to contribute to, are the never will-win-enough-elections play-left who have achieved nothing but to act as spoilers to put Republican-fascists in office and lead young and older idiots to dream of what will never be.  

That ever left-behind left have policies which I might agree with but which, clearly, will NEVER get a majority of American voters.*  As I've noted, "socialism" is a label which has been discredited by those who used the word and by a large number of its theorists.  

I remember when I read Michael Harrington's book of that name I had to shake my head as often as I found myself nodding in agreement.  I found his example of nationalizing the production of salt to be one of the most discouragingly pathetic things I ever read.   If I could find my old, no doubt moldy, copy of it I might go through some of it, his catalog of the "mistakes" of the history of socialism, up till the late 1980s is a very partial list, an entire book of the same size would be required to list the malignancies that appropriated the name, everything from the worst forms of Marxism to the lesser atrocities flowing out of the theories of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao, etc. to, yes, that too, National Socialism.  So many of America's indigenous discrediting socialists have latched on to some of histories worst mass murderers and oppressors, including those who clearly saw workers as a material resource to be exploited as certainly as the most depraved capitalists have. 

When a word has acquired the kind of self-imposed damage that various self-named socialists have heaped on socialism, it is not any surprise that it becomes a label which carries problems.  In the United States, "socialism" has a burden of such associations that probably means any socialist will never, ever have enough votes to become president and will seldom, except under the rarest of congressional districts or states, be accepted by a majority of voters for a few candidates for the Congress.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comes from one of those rare places as does Bernie Sanders (at least when it's him) and then only in the period after Vermont became, effectively, a colony of New York City.  

They are rare exceptions that are bound to remain rare exceptions, I doubt there are many if any congressional districts in Massachusetts or California or elsewhere where an overt, life-long, dedicated and self-declared socialist can win in a general election on a reliable basis.  If they could be, that would have happened by now.  Even at the height of the only really successful Socialist party in American history, it managed to elect two members of Congress and a number of municipal governments, the "real" "left" the Communists on orders from Lenin and Trotsky destroyed it a hundred and one years ago.  

One of the first experimental pieces I ever wrote as a blogger was about one of those congressmen, Victor Berger who was derided even as he was a successful Mayor and even as he did what no one had done, be elected to the House of Representatives as a Socialist, his supposed comrades derrided him as a "sewer socialist" because one of the things he did as mayor was to make good on his promise to provide a sanitation system that would not mean people were getting killed from drinking their tap water.  He did that while his more ideologically pure socialists did nothing at all.  And even his kind of socialism that got real results for real people couldn't stand up to the bad publicity it got from the publicity stunts and posturing and posing of his political enemies on the "left".  

If you look at that link you will note I said that I thought Bernie Sanders running for the Senate as an independent was the only third-party effort I could support, but, then, there was a lot of stuff I wrote then that, looking at fourteen years of history and reading and hearing fourteen years worth of the unfiltered thinking of the play-left, there is a lot I believed then that I don't believe anymore. 

One of the things that I have learned is that the alternative of fascist gangster government isn't Marxist gangster government, it is egalitarian democracy.  It is through egalitarian democracy and, even more than merely being informed, encouragement to be people of good will that the alternative will be found.  It won't be found in Marxism, it is found in the Golden Rule.  One of the things I read from the goddamned Bernie Bots as they were tearing down Elizabeth Warren in favor of Sanders, called it a choice between Louis Brandeis or Eugene Debs.  Since it was in one of the higher-mid-brow play-lefty sources, Jacobin, there was never any doubt that on the basis of ideological purity it presented Debs uh, Bernie as the real right choice.  It did so as it noted the political futility of Eugene Debs' several runs for president - it doesn't mention the role the real true-believers had in destroying Debs' Socialist Party on behalf of the anti-democrats in Moscow who wanted to see it destroyed.   

It also doesn't note the alternatives it poses carries its own answer.  We never "got Debs" there was never any real prospect that we would "get Debs" we did get Brandeis but it was only when the deeply flawed and rather awful Woodrow Wilson, an ELECTED Democrat, appointed him to the Supreme Court.  It's an inapt analogy but one thing is clear, it might have been a long shot but it was possible that we would get a Warren, it is a far longer shot that we would get a Sanders and once he was there, there was absolutley no prospect for him getting the pie-in-the-ever-to-be-put-off future to be made law in the Congress that a president Sanders would have to get it through.  Warren's programs would have been hard enough to get made law, Sanders' for all of their attractive dream quality will not be for the lifetimes of anyone who cast a vote for him.  

Cleary, for a lot of the play-leftists, being able to have a president who wears the "Socialist" label is everything, even losing that is desirable to them than saving egalitarian democracy.   And by that they prove they are irresponsible children, even when those people are in their late 70s and older. 

We're struggling in a losing battle to try to hold on to the progress that came with not only the only real revolutionary in the history of our presidency,  Lyndon Johnson got but also the legacy of his predecessor, Franklin Roosevelt and even the reforms of the progressives Woodrow Wilson and the Theodore Roosevelt.  For fucksake, we're struggling to keep the vestiges of electoral democracy alive in the wasteland of Trumpian fascism.  We won't even hold on to the Civil War amendments when the Roberts courts are done.  

If the play-left hadn't done its best to join with the Republicans to bring down Hillary Clinton, we wouldn't be struggling to do that, right now. 

*  In the end, the left has to decide if it really is in favor of democracy, in which case it means that you have to trust The People, as a body, to make better decisions more often than any ruling elite will.  You have to really believe that only a government that governs with the consent of The People or a majority of them can be legitimate.  No "Democratic Socialist" who doesn't really believe that even when the majority doesn't want to take a risk that your "good-socialism" is better than what the Marxists, various elite-Socialists (Mitterrand socialism, really?) and the National Socialists when those socialisms have been so bad.  Not even the "good" "Democratic Socialists" of the past were that big in condemning the worst of the socialist governments when they were murdering enormous numbers of people.  Look at Sanders' past enthusiasms in that regard, look at how even Eugene Debs made nicer to them than I'd like to read about.   Victor Berger's widow signed petitions supporting Stalin's show trials.  

No, "socialism" is a label that will always be ballot-box poison in the United States. It should be scrapped and while we're at it, we should scrap a huge part of what it came to mean.  Absolutely rejecting and banning anything and everything that is anti-democratic is only the minimal requirement for coming up with a genuine left alternative to it.  I'd think worker ownership of the means of production and an absoulute limit on the ownership rights of money lenders is a good basis for that alternative.  Nationalization of the health system as well as the educational system are proven legitimate areas for that, regulated private sector entities with safe guards against money being injected into our politics and, most of all, a prohibition on the media lying us into fascism, are necessities.  

Friday, March 6, 2020

The Best Medical System In The World If You Happen To Be Rich And Even Some Times Not Then

Well, there's still no definitive diagnosis of my sister's illness, the samples sent to the CDC haven't yielded any results yet so we're all wondering if what we're coming down with, another sister and myself, is Covid-19 or a cold or whatever.   

I've got a number of the symptoms which, unfortunately are also symptoms of having a cold - the dry cough has developed today.  My second sister is just beginning to come down with similar symptoms.  We've pretty definitely got the same thing, it would be nice to know what it's called.  

Just an update. 

I'm Hearing People Reflexively Assuming That Criticism Of The Cruel, Dangerous Chinese Wildlife Markets Is Racism, It's Not, It's Science

We Have To Get Rid Of the Play-Left By Organizing A Real Left That Excludes Them And Lets Everyone Know We Reject Them

Sam Sarandon, Michael Sarandon, Jamie Sarandon, no doubt Cenk Sarandon, . . . This is Why We Have To Get The Left Shut Of The Play-Left

The day Elizabeth Warren ended her campaign, ending the possibility of us having the most competent of those who ran for the nomination get it, Sam Seder's Majority Report called her "Toxic Liz" in the title of one of their posts.   And later I got a notification that one of their guys was telling me I'd better get on the Bernie Sanders train before it was too late.  And they were demanding that all of us Warren supporters get in line?  Going all Pete Seeger Which Side Are You On? 

I replied that if I'd been able to cast a rank-choice vote in the Maine primary I'd have voted Warren, then Biden (with regrets) then Sanders, as the last choice. If it had been a few days before it would have been Warren, Klobuchar, Biden, based on if not the best then the one I though had the best chance to beat Trump.  

I said that I would certainly vote for Bernie Sanders if he were the Democratic nominee, that it was guaranteed that I would vote for the only person between us and four more years of Donald Trump, even if I had no faith that they would win the election.

It was then that I said,  Will you guys, Sam Seder and Michael Brooks and Jamie Peck and their fan boys and gals pledge that you will do the same thing, vote for the other other person who is going to be the only one standing between the world and four more years of Donald Trump.  The answer was no.  

That's when I started calling them Sam Sarandon and Michael Sarandon and Jamie Sarandon.   And that's what they are.   We know which side they're on, it's the same side the Republican-fascist enabling play-left has always been on and it isn't on the one they claim to be. 

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Yes, Yes, Yes

”If you say, 'Yeah, there was sexism in this race,' everyone says, 'whiner.' And if you say, 'No, there was no sexism,' about a bazillion women think, 'What planet do you live on?' I promise you this: I'll have a lot more to say on that subject later on."

Elizabeth Warren 

Thursday Night Radio Drama - Katherine Anne Porter - Pale Horse Pale Rider

I have resisted posting adaptations of novels because I almost inevitably think the originals are so much better.  But I think this one must have been made with the cooperation of KAP, about my favorite non-living American author.   I have linked to it just as the radio play is beginning, leaving off the adaptation of her Flowering Judas and the long and rather annoying announcement of Pale Horse Pale Rider.  

And I wouldn't be posting it at all except that I found the original source, the book of the same name that has two other great KAP short novels in it was posted online so you could read the novel in all of its timely greatness. 

Response To A Bernie Bot

"establishment candidates"  You know that phrase is so indicative of why the play left doesn't do politics effectively.  THEY BECAME THE "ESTABLISHMENT'" BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE MOST SUPPORT FROM THE VOTERS.   

They won elections, a number of them, if the VOTERS hadn't supported them they'd be what most of the play-lefty dream candidates have been FAILED POLITICIANS.   

That politicians support a candidate who they think will win the election over another one isn't one of those DARK CONSPIRACIES by DARK FORCES! that you play-lefties always theorize as the reason for your losses, it's something called "politics".   

I can imagine a Senator Amy Klobuchar looking at what Bernie Sanders leading the ticket would do the the prospects of retaking the Senate and keeping the House and opt for Biden who won't be ballot box poison in key states and who might even have coat tails.  Bernie would have negative coat-tails.  

The play left has been wedded to anti-democratic ideologies and movements for so long I'm beginning to think they have contempt for democracy and voters and have developed a reflexive habit of detesting and disrespecting the voters and the choices they make.  I'm beginning to think that's what generated the play-left, how it coalesced around college towns and other similar oases of non-reality, a snobbish contempt for other people.   

And I'll add:  I wonder how many people in Massachusetts have voted for Elizabeth Warren as compared to how many people in Vermont have voted for Bernie Sanders and whether or not in her relatively short career in elective office if she hasn't proven to be more effective by sheer numbers. 

Apparently there's been a declaration by the Bernie Bots to primary Warren when she runs for the Senate again.  

I wonder why anyone with a rational mind wouldn't rather she stay actively in the race AS A BACKSTOP IF BERNIE HAS ANOTHER HEART ATTACK OF IF BIDEN, A BIT YOUNGER BUT OLD, HAS SOMETHING THAT BAD HAPPEN TO HIM.   I hope she doesn't drop out if for no other reason than that she is a fall-back candidate. 

Hate Mail - You Dissed St "Steven" Hawking!

Gee, if I'd known that comparing Hawking to a cake decorator would get that kind of response I'd have done it when he was alive.  I just threw it off, thinking of an area of expertise far removed from being a competent electrician but in some ways, considering the claims of Hawking, comparing theoretical physics of his type to cake decorating isn't absurd, 

 I'd think given his faith in literally every possible universe that could be dreamed up having the same scientific validity of those a speculative cosmologist could dream up and write up in equations that balanced, it's not far fetched to think of of those infinities of universes in which  cake-decorators drew universes that were taken as being as valid as the one we can study with scientific method.  Hawking literally proposed scrapping scientific method in favor of his kind of neo-scholastic speculation in his next to the last book which some reviewers suspect his co-author of having written.  Maybe it's the fever talking but that sort of reminds me of the last time the highly infirm Benedict XVI was in the news for being ill-used by one of the sleaziest of Cardinals around and his sketchy secretary, Bishop Georgeous Georg [who used to be the prettiest bishop I've ever seen].  But I digress.

The analogy was apt.  Atheist super-heroes who slam philosophy as they ignorantly spout philosophically and who slam theology having never read any are incompetent to make that kind of commentary.  It is my experience of reading people of similar fame within theology who dare to engage on scientific topics that they do their homework, atheist scientists seldom have, they figure their superiority due to their scienciness exempts them from knowing what they're talking about.  Given their faith in multi-verse conjecture of the most absurd kind - "Many worlds" still has scientific adherents - it doesn't surprise me.  Though when I first read about it I already couldn't believe any serious scientist could take it seriously.  But,. then, I hadn't had enough experience with the decadence of atheist polemics [you haven't looked it up, yet, have you].  That kind of atheist science is totally decadent and has been for a good long time. 

Blogging In Time Of Plague

It seems fitting to be going all late-medieval in the title because it appears that's about the state of public health and the medical system unless you're filthy rich in the United States. 

Thought I'd give you an update on my experience, possibly,  with the Covid-19 thing.

My sister who has been in the hospital  has still not been definitively diagnosed, they decided yesterday to APPLY FOR TESTING! though the multi-antibiotic regimen they decided to try does seem to have knocked her fever out.  That is she was hospitalized when the home care one of our other sisters and I were giving her and the meds her doctor had prescribed didn't work.  Several days of that home healthcare given before either of us news-junkies had heard that pneumonia not related to the flu should be suspected as a case of Covid-19.  

That second sister has not started showing symptoms but I have a fever and a cough, though I'm no where near as bad as needing hospitalization and my doctor has said unless I have trouble breathing I shouldn't try to get tested.  I'm expecting that I'll have one of those less severe cases of it that they warn will spread it unknowingly.  I hope I haven't given it to anyone in the period before I realized I'd possibly been exposed through my sister as our public health system didn't issue that warning until days after it was too late thanks to Republican-fascist destruction of the public health infrastructure and the private medical system.  

Several people I told who might have been exposed through me have expressed skepticism that it "was here" in Northern New England, that's due to the way that the media has irresponsibly and stupidly reported it, pretending that by the time it was noticed on the West Coast that it was not everywhere.  With travel what it is today that is incredibly stupid.   It would seem that the medieval public health system is matched by a media that, even as they, themselves travel all over the place, can't imagine what that means to something like the spread of a highly infectious virus.  By the time we found out there was something happening on another continent it was certainly already bound to get here and probably already had been for a number of weeks.  

I'm still hearing idiots whining about pleasure trips being canceled and how disappointing that is.  College-credentialed idiots.  Clearly, as noted here recently, modern thought is a failed project.  Modern education is, the mass media is and free-market economics is worse than a failure, it's going to get us all killed. 

What Rustypickup Said

rustypickup said...

I took the totally extremist step of reading through Joe Biden's policy positions on his campaign site. He is to the left of Hillary who was to the left of pretty much all the candidates going back to LBJ. Biden wants universal healthcare, to make it affordable. He wants to strengthen and increase Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He has a fascinating set of plans for schools, he specifically has programs for low income communities of color (he recognizes the needs of communities of color, I wonder why he did so well in South Carolina?). There is so much more. His platform addresses problems I hadn't even considered or recognized. As an example, he wants to place child development experts in pediatric offices with high numbers of Medicaid and CHIP patients. What a good idea! This isn't the platform of Bill Clinton, or Al Gore or even Barack Obama. It goes beyond that of Hillary Clinton. My point is that Biden is presenting a full throat liberal agenda. The difference is that he doesn't think you need to burn it all down to accomplish these goals.

What is now considered "progressive" looks more and more like totems or virtue signalling. "Medicare for All" is much more narrow and restrictive than affordable universal healthcare. (You will take your M4A and like it!!). The same with any other number of slogans that are ultimately reductionist and simplistic. Eliminating "Big Banks" won't stop predatory lending, excess fees, higher rates for people of color. Those changes come through boring but important regulation and enforcement within the banking system.

Biden wasn't my first choice, but as the mainstream Democrat he represents a solidly liberal agenda. I am not remotely surprised he is popular, if this is moderate we are going in the right direction.

On a side note, I want to thank you for the support comments as I have been looking for a new job. I signed an offer letter yesterday, which is a small relief but also now makes real all that needs to follow. I will be starting the end of the month a new job in New Hampshire (those Live Free or Die crazies, do I need to switch to defending NH as the first in the nation primary?), and we will be moving the rest of the family at the end of the school year. We need to frantically pull our well worn house in upstate NY together so we can sell it, find a new place (damn, East Coast housing is really expensive, especially if you want decent schools) and move this summer. Finding a job in your 50's is not fun. Less money, more work, but I am still grateful to have found a decent place to work. It's going to be rough on child number 3, moving at the end of your sophomore year of high school is rough, the youngest is actually excited to start middle school somewhere else. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Steve Reich - Proverb - Text By Ludwig Wittgenstein

Theatre of Voices
The Steve Reich Ensemble
Paul Hillier

Retreat on H.R. Niebuhr's Christ and Culture - Part Three

Feeling poorly, I'm giving the link, today. 

Response To A Comment On Another Site

Basing "the left" on college age kids is about as sensible as basing medicine on 3rd year pre-med students, only the pre-med students will probably be more reliable.  You willing to bet your medical care on one? 

It's in no way encouraging that the Bernie Sanders cult is so dependent on the most inexperienced and most callow segment of the electorate - from what some are saying, even a lot of those who were officially all-in with Bernie didn't bother to show up yesterday.  

The real left needs to be based on serious people who aren't prone to ephemeral enthusiasisms. 

Paranoia Among The Self-Deputed Rationalists

No flipping way Bernie lost in Massachusetts and Maine. All of those voters tuned center-right and voted for Corporate Joe?

The Bernie Bot podcasts, etc. are melting down because Sanders didn't clinch the nomination on Super Tuesday,  that comment above is just one of the totally clueless things I've read as the likes of The Young Turks, Majority Report, no doubt In These Times and The Nation work to do what they're good at, convincing their idiot play-lefty audience that DARK FORCES! are denying their cult god the victory that is rightfully his.  

It's remarkable how I missed that feature of the play-left, quasi-Marxist, "socialist (though not the Socialists who at one time actually won elections) etc.  that they so obviously only trust the voters when the voters do what they want them to do.  And if they don't do what they want them to do it's because DARK FORCES! are at work.  

That Massachusetts liberals are liberals who have produced the one member of "The Squad" who isn't a Bernie Bot, have elected many center-left to moderate Democrats to state and federal office doesn't do a thing to counter the manufactured paranoia of the play-lefty media.  And if that's the case for Massachusetts, Maine is certainly more to the center than the Bay state.  

But they never let a little thing like reality impinge on their narratives.  They really do have more in common with the Trump true-believers than they'd ever want anyone to notice. 

It's no wonder that so many of them are fans of low-grade paranoia fiction like Lovecraft.  

Maine Opts To Rejoin The 20th Century In the 21st

Maine decisively beat back the anti-vaxxers at the polls, defeating a "peoples' veto" of a bill tightening requirements for vaccination of school age children K- College and people who worked in health care after the pudding-headed libertarians, both Republican fascist and pseudo-left had left us with one of the worst vaccination rates in the country in the name of "liberty" or something.  That's right, the opponents even thought that healthcare providers should be able to opt out of vaccination so they could be Typhoid Marys in doctors offices and emergency rooms. 

As of now about 73% of Maine voters voted to keep the new requirements for vaccination in place.  Which is good news even as other news is mixed.  I look at such ballot measures that are so easy to get on the ballot here due to other 1960s-70s era "liberalism"that sounded so nice to all those nice liberals in the Maine Legislature, making it easier to junk up the ballot with things put there by an easily gathered number of petition signatures which sounded so grass rootsy and folksy (I'm really off the "folkie" stuff these days) and so friggin' Jeffersonian but which, as always seems to happen with such pudding headed "reform" of that sort, it was easily gamed by special interests, most of them anything from Republican-fascist to overtly fascist and with some money behind them.  This latest one seems to have had a lot of Chiropractor money behind it which sort of makes me think I wouldn't go to one of those during an epidemic.  

One of my biggest objections to it is the practice of those behind such measures to rig the timing so they can get them on during a special election or something like a primary that are likely to have a low vote turnout so their true believers can get it through with less of an effort.  I don't think any such measure should ever appear on anything except a general election ballot when the largest number of votes can be expected.  I've been even hotter on fixing that idiocy than I have been on getting rid of the caucuses. 

But in this case, perhaps thanks to the ongoing reminder of what a pandemic can be like, we didn't do the stupid thing at least here, for now. 

Stupid Mail - An Easy Post On A Sick Day

"Stephen Hawking is a remarkable person whom I've know for 40 years and for that reason any oracular statement he makes gets exaggerated publicity. I know Stephen Hawking well enough to know that he has read very little philosophy and even less theology, so I don't think we should attach any weight to his views on this topic."

Martin Rees, when he was President of the Royal Society, the Astronomer Royal, etc. and a friend of Stephen Hawking.  You know Hawking as a figure in pop-culture and atheist polemics (look it up,I'm tired of playing dictionary researcher for post-literates), If he hadn't been disabled I doubt one in a thousand of you guys would have heard of him. Rees knew him as a fellow scientist and personally and what he said makes perfect sense so I'll go with that atheist instead of you.  

And if Hawking read little philosophy and less theology there's no reason to trust any "oracular statement"  he made on those topics. That's a general rule with atheists, few of whom have the philosophical chops or the background knowledge to have anything interesting to say on those topics.  The internal critics of theology are fully able to handle the job,  depending on the people you cite would be like calling a professional cake decorator without any relevant experience to work on your electricity, depending on your typical sci-ranger blog rat would require something even more far fetched to reach a useful analogy. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Part Two

Here is the next presentation of the "retreat" that Sean Michael Winters is conducting around H. Richard Niebuhr's book, Christ And Culture.  

This passage from Winters is so spot on with the Scirpture passages I'm dealing with in the Brueggemann Lenten passages, some of which are rather jarring to my sensibilities that I wanted to point it out.

There is, I suppose, a tendency in all of us to cherry pick from Scripture and tradition to bolster our positions, just as there is a temptation to elide or omit entirely those parts of the New Testament witness which might cause embarrassment in sophisticated company. That such tendencies and temptations are what lead us astray is so obvious that it barely warrants a mention, and so, unmentioned, it becomes easier to forget. And off the path we go.

And there is one of the large block quotes from H. R. Niebuhr's book that is worthy of deep consideration.

Thomas Jefferson is one of the group. "I am a Christian," he declared, "in the only sense in which he [Jesus Christ] wished any one to be," but he made that declaration after he had carefully excerpted from the New Testament the sayings of Jesus which commended themselves to him. … The philosophers, statesmen, reformers, poets, and novelists who acclaim Christ with Jefferson all repeat the same theme: Jesus Christ is the great enlightener, the great teacher, the one who directs all men in culture to the attainment of wisdom, moral perfection, and peace. Sometimes he is hailed as the great utilitarian, sometimes as the great idealist, sometimes as the man of reason, sometimes as the man of sentiment. But whatever the categories are by means of which he is understood, the things for which he stands are fundamentally the same — a powerful, co-operative society achieved by moral training. … Many of the leading theologians of the church in the nineteenth century joined the movement. … Christ is in this presentation less the Jesus Christ of the New Testament than the principle of mediation between finite and infinite. Christ belongs in culture, because culture itself, without "sense and taste for the infinite," without a "holy music" accompanying all its work, becomes sterile and corrupt. This Christ of religion does not call upon men to leave homes and kindred for his sake; he enters into their homes and all their associations as the gracious presence which adds an aura of infinite meaning to all temporal tasks

For a lot of us there is the constant temptation to domesticate Jesus to transform him into a servant house-god or a good fairy, the kind of thing that is taken up so opportunistically by the enemies of religion and Christianity, insisting that's what everyone believes in.  Which is a bit like accusing the naive, simple beliefs and holdings of faith which the online sci-rangers cherish as the sum total of their scientific knowledge of being the same thing as science.  

If I'm out for a few days, as seems possible, I'll try to post a link so you can follow the "retreat" which apparently Sean Michael Winters has extended because he know seems to intend to go for five days.  Something to look forward to. 

Tuesday after Lent 1

The presence of Jesus poses the question, What counts for real and effective power in the world?  What figures as genuine authority?  In the Gospel narrative, Jesus teaches and heals with an inexplicable authority.  His capacity is unlike that of the "scribes' who are the learned authorities but who in fact have no capacity for transformative power.  They are custodians of the status quo. 

Paul takes up the same issue of authority.  He writes of the conventional authority of the scribes who are credentialed with social authority based on "wisdom."  But then he contradicts such conventional authority by the self-giving authority of Jesus, who seemed foolish and weak but who was i truth laden with uncommon authority to effect positive change. 

In the Gospel narrative, Jesus calls four fishermen to be his followers and to participate in his particular authority.  Paul also carries the case for alternative power from Jesus to the Christian community.  The church, when it is faithful, does not specialize in worldly wisdom or worldly power.  It is a community of the foolish, the weak, and the uncredentialed.  It turns out, however, that in Jesus' own life and in the life of the faithful church, real power to transform is not administered by learning or by leverage but by self-giving presence.  That self-giving presence from time to time has brought to naught the exploitative power and too-certain knowledge.  These texts invite us to consider our own exercise of this particular transformative power for the sake of our part of the world. 

It is one of the things I find most convincing in the Christian tradition that most of the important figures in the Gospels are from the lower and lowest rungs of society, certainly among those, Jesus, himself.  I would compare that with most of the other comparable scriptures, even Moses, though born to, in effect, a slave is the adoptive grandson of Pharaoh,  the Buddha is a prince, many of the major figures of Eastern religions are from the elite priestly classes, from the intellectual elite. 

These days I'm finding all of those elites to be undependable.  I have yet to be let down by the teachings of the laborer, Jesus.   

We've Apparently Got It - It Should Be Official But This Is the United States Where Money Rules

Our sister's doctor said that, indeed, he believes she has Covid-19 though he does not have access to testing so he can't be certain.   Which means, as far as can be told, I've been exposed to it as have several members of my family and whoever we have been in contact with potentially have.  I've got a low fever and a cough.  I don't care what the hell the doctors and others say, as soon as I heard about it I figured it was worth it to take large doses of vitamins, I've been taking 8-10 grams of vitamin C a day figuring it costs pennies, isn't toxic and might help.  I figured I should say that here as I've been telling everyone I know.  What?  We're supposed to trust the medical establishment at this point? 

I'm really pissed off that I might have exposed other people to it for two days when I should have known her pneumonia was likely a manifestation of it.  I'm pissed off that her doctor didn't get back to her to tell her once it was officially something people should be watching for, he diagnosed her pneumonia a week ago. 

I'm telling you, the screw-up with the testing kits has money, donor or investor money, at the bottom of it.  Repubican-fascist, Trumpian money.  I can't help but wish it would take out some prominent Republicans.  That's how pissed off I am. 

Don't Know Why Anyone Would Care What I Think About Matthews' Retirement, I Barely Care About It Myself - But Since You Ask

I have never been a fan of Chris Matthews.  His retirement is long overdue.  He was a rich guy's, TV executive's idea of what the common man is, I think that's what Matthews believed himself to be that too when he was, at best, a parody of it.  He was an advertising product, about as real as Uncle Ben or President Bartlett or . . . well, you get the idea.  One of the problems with it is that "common man" in that view means a right-wing, white-middle to upper class MAN.  It was the man thing that was his undoing, in the end. 

Elizabeth Warren Is Still the Best Choice

The whining and whinging on the Bernie Bot podcasts and other media over the "fucking unfairness" of two life-long Democrats dropping out and giving their support to another Democrat whose political positions are close to theirs is rather hilarious, considering the same Bernie Bots are whining and whinging that Elizabeth Warren won't do the same in support of their man-god, daddy-issues cult figure who was never a real Democrat and whose candidacy sandbagged her clear intentions of getting the nomination of - wait for it - THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WHICH SHE IS AN ACTUAL MEMBER OF, UNLIKE BERNIE SANDERS.

I have made no secret of it,  I'm an Elizabeth Warren supporter because she is the candidate farthest to the left who has a right to seek the Democratic nomination and the best chance to win the election as Bernie Sanders is a guaranteed loser of it.  I will vote for her for the nomination and hope her rumored strategy of waiting the old men out works.  It might be a long shot but what the last two days have proved, you have no idea what's coming next in this election.  I wish Buttigieg and Klobuchar had dropped out a few weeks ago - though there was no reason for them to - it would make things a lot less wacky than they were going to be.  But, then, as I confessed the other day, I wish the three oldest men in the race had to drop out, too.

It's a crazy race.  These are insane times.  

One thing I intend to fight for it is the total reform of the Democratic nominations process to a. keep out non-Democrats, both running in it and voting in it.  It's a Democratic nomination, it should be Democrats only.  b. to institute a system that takes the early voting out of the hands of Iowa and New Hampshire and Nevada, three very small states which do not have a history of responsible processes or reliable results.  If you want a good example of that, look at the list of candidates on the New Hampshire ballot this year.   It's time for the Democratic Party to take direct control of the primary process and get it out of the hands of state parties and state governments.  That process isn't working to get candidates who win regularly.  I have focused on the damage to democracy that the Supreme Court did with their rulings guaranteeing money and lies with swamp the public good and the truth but a lot of the damage that Democrats did was done on the basis of "reforming" the system starting after 1968 as one stupid "reform" after another was instituted and gave us which ever weak candidate got the nod in New Hampshire or Iowa. 

It's going to be a long and scary and discouraging year.   We are putting our hopes in two quite elderly men, one who will certainly be a disaster especially down the ticket, Sanders, the other to put it charitably hardly at his top form.  I think the most rational thing anyone looking at that can do is to at least support the alternative while pledging to vote for whoever the nominee is.  I will hold my nose and vote for Sanders if I have to even though that means doing what his stinking awful cult wants me to do because the alternative is far worse.  I would vote for Biden hoping against hope that he chooses a really good Vice President because I doubt he would serve out the term.  I think she, among all of them, has proven that she is open to doing very unorthodox things to overcome Republican-fascism, including appointing more than nine members of the Supreme Court - completely Constitutional and something which has been done before.  I certainly think a DNC under her influence would take the radical steps necessary to protect the Party from carpetbaggers and the hegemony of Iowa and New Hampshire.  She'd certainly get rid of the caucuses once and for all, though I think after Iowa that might be done, anyway. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Four Day Online Retreat With Christ and Culture

Just came across this and thought some of you might want to know about it.  For the next four days one of the best Catholic journalists I know of Michael Sean Winters is going to sort of conduct a retreat around H. Richard Niebuhr's Christ and Culture.  H. Richard Niebuhr is the brother of the perhaps better known Reinhold Niebuhr.  Here is how Winters explains his intention:

This week, Pope Francis and the Roman curia are on their Lenten retreat. I should like to take the readers of Distinctly Catholic on a retreat as well, less spiritual and more intellectual. Instead of examining the issues of the day in our church and state as this column normally does, I should like to take a step back, a large step, all the way back to 1951. That was the year that H. Richard Niebuhr published Christ and Culture. Last autumn, I decided to re-read this classic work to see what light, if any, it might shed on current situations. Alas, the light was almost blinding at first. The book has lost none of its relevance since its first publication. Since reading it again, and in the rush of events since, I have necessarily written about more timely issues, but the ideas this book unleashed have been steeping in my mind.

For each of the next four days, I will enter into dialogue with Niebuhr and offer some commentary on the five distinct resolutions of the issue of Christ and culture that Niebuhr identifies. Those distinct stances on the issue are: Christ against culture, Christ of culture, Christ above culture, Christ and culture in paradox and Christ the transformer of culture.

I will also include some fairly long block quotes. This makes editors roll their eyes, but I have two reasons for doing so. First, the metaphors Niebuhr uses are rich and highly developed, and it seems criminal to summarize or truncate them. Second, the elegance of his prose is worth sharing. I had forgotten how beautifully written this book is. At the conclusion of my survey, I hope to show how Niebuhr's work invites new directions for the Catholic community.

I thought people might want to follow it for the next few days or save the link for later. 

Imelda Staunton - Some People

Geesh, I was totally unaware of Imelda Staunton until I listened to a video where Sondheim said she sang Mama Rose like you'd never heard it before.   He was right, as he certainly would have been, she's great.  Not only in this but in Sweeney Todd as found online.  And I heard Tyne Daly, who was great, as well, but this is a much different approach.  You get the feeling she's a pathologically ambitious stage mother but one who does really love her daughters. 

I read she played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies.  Sorry, not even to see her, no doubt, great performance as that personification of the banality of evil will I watch another of those.  The books were much better.   But I'd love to hear her Mrs. Lovett in person. 

When Asked What I Think Of The Fall Of (St.) Jean Vanier

I have looked in my archive to see if I ever wrote anything about Jean Vanier the latest big name in Catholicism to have fallen in revelations of sexual scandal and don't see that I've written about him, in a post, at least.  I've always been really antsy about the declaration of people as living saints knowing that a close investigation of their lives will inevitably not match the hype.  Thank God no one is about to mistake me for anything like one.  I can agree, totally, with Jamie Mason's view of this:  

Since the news broke Saturday morning that Jean Vanier had coercive, nonconsensual and abusive sexual encounters with at least six adult women, my social media feeds have been filled with folks trying to make sense of these revelations.

I admit that Vanier was not someone I looked to for spiritual inspiration. Though he was not a priest, my years of experiencing the clericalism of both the clergy and the laity had made me weary and wary of the Catholic tendency towards hero worship, particularly of grand older men.*

The best and most admirable of us - even those of us who don't have disturbing and troubling sex lives or associations with gangsters and fascists  or hoarding wealth and power (generally all of those are to be found together) - fall short of what is considered to make a saint.  And in this case, as someone pointed out yesterday, Vanier had ample warning, from THE VATICAN! from the 1950s that the de-frocked Dominican degenerate Fr. Thomas Philippe who encouraged him down the path that led him to sexually abuse six women - none, so far as we know now, were the disabled people that his L'Arche communities were founded to house and care for.  The Vatican warned Vanier that Phillippe's offenses weren't only found in  his heretical preaching,  they were a matter of his actions. 

It must be noted that the revelations made against Vanier came from the present leadership of the L'Arche communities that he founded - which is to their credit that they were the ones who not only dropped the dime, they blew the whistle. And they certainly knew that they were risking everything in doing it, Vanier, as "living saints" so often do, was the icon, brand name and trade mark for the institution he founded and anything that discredited him would discredit the institution and the work it does.  I'm sure that in the same way another institution which I respect, a secular one in that case, blew the whistle on wrong doing high up in it, L'Arche will take a hit and so will those it serves.   If it comes out that some of the disabled members of its communities were abused, it could be a fatal blow that will put a lot of them out of homes and support.  

There was a similar revelation that could have hurt the credibility of another important group, Catholic Worker but it was indirect.  It was when one of the two founders of it,  Peter Maurin could be linked, though only through his writing, as far as I can see,  to the bizarre figure of Eric Gill who I was reminded of as soon as I read about the revelations about Vanier.  Gill who Maurin admired enormously, was revealed decades after his death to have been an incestuous sexual abuser. incest and bestiality, among things he, himself, recorded in his diary even as he was, to the word, a Catholic artist - though always one who produced erotica as well.*   Though from everything I can see, Peter Maurin was as much duped by Gill as anyone.  

Which leads to what I think is an unanswerable question.  What do you make of someone who is both admirably good but with a really bad and dark area in their life?   What does it mean that someone who is good does such bad things?  

I think the problem is as much in unrealistic presentation of human beings as saints.  There are few if any of us who don't have deep flaws, those who have only minor ones might be the best we have any right to hope to encounter.  The concept of purity might lead to someone like Vanier to enjoy the status of a moral hero but he, certainly, knew better.  Gill most certainly did as he is the source of the knowledge for some of his worst acts.  They must know their celebrity is based in a lie, their lack of candor while going along with the PR campaign only makes things worse. 


At this point, for reasons I won't go into, I'll address the political downfall of someone who never presented himself as a secular-saint in this because I think it is a perfect example of how complex these issues can be, of what happens when we insist on sainthood from the wrong people at the wrong time in the wrong way.  The price Al Franken paid in the MeToo* reaction was certainly unjustifiable.  His alleged offense, consisting of some puerile show-biz hijinks which the "victim" of it fully participated in, herself, (and far more raunchily) was mildly naughty but it was certainly stupid to allow it to be used to end of his Senate career.  

It was clearly a hit job by the Roger Stone wing of Republican ratfuckery which the "victim" was clearly a part of.  That Franken was dumb to have put himself in a position where that photo could have been used that way is something that I'm sure he realizes now but which is typical of show-biz behavior - just one of the reasons I look at the show-biz celebrity endorsements of Bernie Sanders and others and wonder what pictures like that could be publicized.  I admire Franken as a Senator, I regret that he ever had a show-biz career to generate that kind of weapon to be used against him. 

Franken being removed from the Senate is certainly not in any way related to the downfall of the posthumous reputation of Jean Vanier or much of any of the others who have fallen in the Me_Too phenomenon.   Franken being removed from the Senate shows that Democrats are held to an entirely different standard of purity than Republican-fascists are.  It was unjustifiable and unjust and wrong and harmful to the anti-fascist struggle. 

We really have to make distinctions between things that are important and things that aren't, things that cross a line A LINE THAT EITHER COVERS EVERYONE IN THE SAME WAY OR IT TURNS INTO A REPUBLICAN-FASCIST WEAPON, or people like Franken will be out of office as criminals like Trump and Jim Jordan are in office. 

Women are certainly not better off with Al Franken out of the Senate. 

* I will note that that tendency, especially about "grand older men," is on full display in the secular-left to a troubling extent right now. 

* After finding out about Gill I had the same question I had about the very recent revelations about the Tracy-Hepburn pseudo-affair that covered up both of their many covert and Lesbian sex lives, how come no one saw it for what it was?  I mean the Tracy-Hepburn affair was alleged to have been conducted from Tracy's permanent home-away-from-his-home in, for Pete's sake, George Cukor's pool house.  

Monday after Lent 1 - Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life Psalm 19

Instead of relying on the ever reliable Walter Brueggemann today, I'm going to go with the Catholic scripture readings for today in the lectionary cycle. Or, rather two of them.  One thing is certain from the start, I'm no Brueggemann, so I'm going to keep my commentary on it to a minimum.   One is two verses from one of the most maligned and misunderstood books of the Jewish Scriptures, Leviticus, 9:1-2 and 8-11, the other one of the most beloved passages from the Gospels, Matthew 25: 31-46.  Together they prove something that even the atheist-materialist Noam Comsky has said,  The Gospel is radical, and as Marilynne Robinson has pointed out, the much maligned Law of Moses commands political-economics more radical than even the most radical of quasi-socialist Christian theological manifestations of recent times, Liberation Theology, and I'll add that Liberation Theology is already far, far ahead of any secular leftist economics.  

Here, from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition:

The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

“You shall not steal.
You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another.
You shall not swear falsely by my name,
thus profaning the name of your God.
I am the LORD.

“You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor.
You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer.
You shall not curse the deaf,
or put a stumbling block in front of the blind,
but you shall fear your God.
I am the LORD.

“You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment.
Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty,
but judge your fellow men justly.
You shall not go about spreading slander among your kin;
nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake.
I am the LORD.

“You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove him,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”

I will note that elsewhere in Leviticus and, even more so in the Gospel of Jesus you are to treat the Stranger among you, the alien, the foreigner who resides among you, your enemy and those who persecute you as you would "your neighbor".  In fact, in this very Chapter, verses 33 and 34

When an alien resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one.

You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt.y I, the LORD, am your God.

No matter what you'll read in the antisemetic science of evolutionary psychology as popularized by pop-atheism, that was always as much a part of the Jewish Law as the Golden Rule is and Jesus taught a particularly radical form of it.  And, in terms of political-economy, these aren't even the most radical of the Laws guaranteeing equality. 

I will note that there are passages in Leviticus, in this very Chapter, too,  that are rather troublesome, calling for the death penalty for various crimes - they always fixate on those from South of the belt, for rather obvious reasons of distraction - Clearly not all of what comes down to us in those scrolls stands the test of even their own internal teachings.  The Law as passed down to us in these Scriptures have passages that make no sense to us today or probably were ever carried out.  A lot of them were clearly put there to prevent the ambient, surrounding, floridly anti-egalitarian pagan cultures around them from swamping the small country of the Children of Israel.  You can understand how sex would be an obvious venue for that to happen. 

But certainly any genuine egalitarian, democratic leftist or even anyone who didn't want their country to fall to the rule of gangsters could get behind the Laws set down in the verses for Today.  A society governed by those would certainly be more radically egalitarian and paradisaical than anything any atheist-materialistic socialist-Marxist-anarchist has ever proposed to be left untried as they deny, discredit and defame the source of the more radical vision of life.    Imagine, just for a start, how long the Trump regime would last if just the prohibition on lying were taken seriously even by those who profess to believe that.  

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,

but the righteous to eternal life.”

The first part of that, with the happy ending for those who were good is more popular than the second half that warns the rest of us to get over ourselves. 

Taken together there is nothing in any secular political theory that can match these readings for the boldness of their claims, the ultimate completeness in their reach and the liberating effects that they would have.  Taken together, in so far as it lies within human ability, they would renew the face of the Earth.   I am convinced that any progress that has ever been temporarily made in egalitarian democracy has come from the influence of such texts in that religious tradition and it's obvious why it would have to be believed because the one saying that is, as Leviticus keeps repeating, "I am The Lord" the one that more familiarly is asked by the sheep and the goats when they ever saw him in Matthew's Gospel.  I don't think it is possible for anything but that kind of forceful belief to have the power to put such radical requirements on us across a whole society.  I have every expectation that in a post-Christian United States that any ersatz sciency-materialist-Hegelian substitute will a. fail to attract adherents, b. will fail even if somehow it managed to gain power.  The alternative for such a "left" that fails is violence and oppression as the history of Marxists with power has uniformly proved.  

There's nothing to lose in losing the guaranteed losers.

Yesterday the play-lefty podcaster Sam Seder posted a bit slamming Elizabeth Warren just as the assholes at the Young-Turks-Majority-Report pretend-o-sphere have been doing on behalf of their daddy issues cult god, Bernie Sanders to which I said:

Anthony McCarthy
1 hour ago
Enjoy whining for the next five years under Trump, Sam, you and your crew are doing so much to make that possible.  The real left has got to build a left that leaves you behind.  You are proving that the play-left can go for not only for decades and generations but centuries of self-defeating let's pretend.

And I just got a notice someone has answered. 

Ben Dover
10 minutes ago
Yeah let’s leave all the Criticism of the candidates for trump in the general. Do you think if a candidate cant take critiques through a primary that will go away or get better during a general when you’re facing someone you’re running against from an opposing party?!?!?!? Helllllloooooooooo

Anthony McCarthy
35 seconds ago
@Ben Dover  Oh, just go soak your head.  The play-left of whom the Majority Report crew, middle-to-upper class, white, college credentialed, etc. are quintessential specimens, helped put Trump, Bush II,  Reagan and Nixon in the presidency.  They are a liability that the only left that will ever gain power to make laws that make real lives better has, at long last, got to kick out and keep out.   They cost us entirely more than they can credibly claim to bring to the fight.   Elizabeth Warren being sandbagged by them is the last time that  ever is allowed to happen.   There's nothing to lose in losing the guaranteed losers.

She Persisted - That Is Something I Would Love To Hear In A Victory Speech After Election Day

I agree with Katie Porter that Elizabeth Warren should stay in the race.  She is the most credible candidate in the field, the next most credible candidate Amy Klobuchar isn't, I think, as capable of uniting the Democratic Party and defeating Trump.  I don't have anywhere near as much faith in Biden nor Sanders to do that,  Biden is too gaff prone, demonstrably unwise in choosing to speak off script when that is something that has gotten him in trouble. 

Sanders is a ballot box disaster who is Trump's and Putin's dream candidate running against him.  And I have absolutely no confidence in him getting to November without another heart attack.  The best Sanders will do is that perennial wet dream of the play-left, to (temporarily) take over a party structure, to win a turf battle instead of taking offices and having the power to make law and to change reality.  That is what the Sanders operation run by Jane Sanders and Jeff Weaver is, something that might win a temporary turf battle to take over an organization, not something that will defeat Republican fascism.  I would loathe to compare it to what even George McGovern regretted doing by way of "reform" that led to the disaster of 1972 but only because George McGovern was, in every way, a more credible presidential candidate than Sanders and George McGovern, as a real, life-long Democrat, had a claim to the party's nomination. 

Yesterday Katie Porter pointed out something that occurred to even me, that Warren's small donor, heavy on the grass roots campaign might give her the ability to keep on whereas the high-donor campaign of someone like Pete Buttigeig would be more vulnerable to implosion.  If Elizabeth Warren showed that she could become president on that basis, it might show a way for Democrats to fight against the Supreme Court-ACLU granted advantage to Republican-fascists in allowing billionaires to buy elections, not one that should delude anyone into thinking that those Court decisions allowing, no, encouraging the corruption of American politics by big money should not be decisively crushed into the hazardous waste they have proven to be.  

And speaking of delusional, left destroying theories of the play-left. 

I remember when I took Latin when my dear old Latin teacher told me that Cato, no matter what he was speaking on would end with Cartago delenda est, Carthage must be destroyed.  Looking at the Bernie Bot podcast and other media - yesterday in brawling with them, one of them came out and admitted what is so obvious from their Dear Leader, "at the end of the day, we don't care about the democratic party."  Clearly Sanders doesn't enough to actually join and stay in it, treating it like a temporarily borrowed tool, borrowed from someone he doesn't care harming.  

Marxists and quasi-Marxists have to be thrown out and kept out of any real American left, one made real by an ability to win enough elections to take control of governments, state, local and federal, and make change real in reality instead of on the pages of low-circulation magazines and low-viewer podcasts.  There is no one running as a full-time Democrat who doesn't fit that bill better than Bernie Sanders, with the possible exception of his fellow carpetbagger Mike Bloomberg and I think he has a better chance of doing it than Bernie Sanders does.  

The play-left is peopled by affluent white guys and some gals who are secure enough to ride out election cycle after election cycle, decade after decade, generation after generation arrogantly preening in their intellectual pretentions, Richard Wolff - the guest of Michael Brooks the other day as I mentioned below - has been doing it even longer than I've been watching it.  As mentioned last time Bernie ran he was supporting the Putin puppet Jill Stein.  

The play-left are not only people you can't depend on, they are people you can absolutely depend on sandbagging the real left that can make things real.  They've been doing it since its inception.  The play-left is a guaranteed loser for the real left for well over a century, going back into at least the 1880s.  If we can't destroy it we certainly have to throw them out and keep them out permanently.  We'd probably attract a lot of the people they dupe with success, more than those who have been driven away by our inclusion of them in the real left.   I don't know if I'd go full-on Cato with that message, but you're going to be hearing it from me from now on.