Monday, July 24, 2017

Don't Care

Yes, I did look at the thread you sent me a link to.  I have decided that it makes no difference how often you point the truth out to Simps, Freki, Skeptic Tank, Thunderboy, etc. they lie.  Sometimes they lie because they frequently don't understand what was said, sometimes they lie just because they lie, sometimes they lie because the truth is just not congenial to their prejudices.  They lie and Duncan Black doesn't mind them using his blog to lie on.  Pointing that out is as effective as refutation and far easier.  

Case Closed. Collusion Has Been Proven

Betty Carter - Geri Allen - Dave Holland - Jack De Johnett - Giant Steps by John Coltrane (of course)

Geri Allen, "Our Lady" - Live at Berklee Commencement Concert 2014

Geri Allen, piano
Terri Lyne Carrington, drums
Maurice Chestnut, Tap Dancer

Don't Let Sleazy Little Jared Kushner Get Away With Lying

So, Jared Kushner is claiming he didn't know what the meeting with the Russians his brother-in-law, Trump jr. invited him to was about?   That is despite the contents of little Donald's e-mail invitation which said it was a meeting with a Russian government attorney who was bringing dirt on Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign.  

I don't buy it for a second, nor will I believe that his testimony given today, NOT UNDER OATH, will be worth the spit that lubricates his lying tongue.   

About the only thing that is clear in this is that something illegal happened and they're coming up with alibis and excuses and evasions and smoke screens.  

I wouldn't trust anything that comes of of Kushner'\s mouth without both the possibility of him being charged with perjury and solid verification from independent sources.   Any Senate Committee which would agree to take testimony from someone like him without them being under oath is probably not conducting a credible investigation by choice of its leadership.  I'm a little surprised that the leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee would do that, that the ever more obviously sleazy Chuck Grassley would do it through the Judiciary Committee wouldn't surprise me at all. 

"they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened" Hate Mail - Paul Said It Well In Romans 1:19-21

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened.

That not only admits the reality of the natural world but it asserts that what we know of God in this life is to be known through our minds and that it can be seen THROUGH what he has made.  That's about as strong an assertion of the validity of the study of natural philosophy, what we call "science" as has ever been made, though it includes the validity of making inferences outside of the material universe to the unseen reality of God.   I'd say that's a far more ambitious assertion of the power of the study of the universe than we, trained to think in the limits of science, are used to feeling comfortable with.  And it's right there, in the Bible. 

Update:  I didn't want to go that far but verse 22 says,  
"While claiming to be wise, they became fools."
So Paul didn't so much anticipate the neo-atheists, he knew such people first-hand.  

Geri Allan - Daybreak and Dreams

The other atheist idiot who trolls me made some snarky comments about Geri Allen, assuming she led the same kind of drugged-up, dissipated life that is a stereotype of jazz musicians.  But, as you will know from my many other previous encounters with him, he doesn't think in reality or ideas, he thinks in Colorforms and in images and narratives cut out of pulp sources and pasted onto a poster board.  He's made a career, of sorts, of that kind of thing, it is typical of the pop cultural milieu he inhabits.

The truth is that she was a great scholar and dedicated artist and a genius who moved the art of jazz farther than most.  As the obituary in The Guardian puts it,

Fortunately for music-making, creators emerge in every generation who balance deep understanding of the evolution of their art with a fearless relish for changing the rules moment by moment in restless working lives – and by doing so, change the game for their successors. Geri Allen, the jazz pianist, composer and educator, who has died of cancer aged 60, was one of those.

And as it quotes the jazz commentator Ethan Iverson, he said:

There were other avatars from the late 80s and early 90s, perhaps most notably Marcus Roberts and Brad Mehldau. But it seems like most of the celebrated younger pianists of the current moment — a recent poll has names like Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, David Virelles, Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruán Ortiz —  don’t play like Kirkland, Roberts, or Mehldau. They play like Allen.

It also notes that he said, shortly before her unexpected death:

And of course, there’s all the great music Geri Allen has played since 1989. It’s a large body of work that deserves as much attention as anyone else from these times. But for now, on the occasion of her 60th, I just wanted to make sure that the official record was correct. In this music, there was before Geri Allen and after Geri Allen. She’s that important.

Stupid Materialist Tricks and The Far Greater Plausibility of Pluralism

"Which leads me to ask - do you own anything that could be considered materialistic? I'm guessing YES."
"General Zod"

This is a variation on one of the questions that atheists believe can clinch their argument for their supporting argument of materialism, surely they can force a religious believer into admitting that they use and rely on material objects in their daily life here on Earth, in this universe, which is, by the way, the only universe the existence of which we have any verification.  One I always get asserts the unstated assumption that computers wouldn't be here if atheism wasn't true.  I have pointed out that in the past two decades of reading more atheists on atheism than in my previous fifty years, combined, that one thing I've learned is that most atheists aren't nearly as bright as they love to believe they are.

But as atheists, especially those of the modern, scientistic variety, are wont to be, they are generally entirely ignorant of philosophical definitions and even the definition of the materialism they cling to as their ultimate weapon and shield against God.  Materialism, unlike virtually all religion is a monistic faith that will only admit of one ultimate real thing, the material universe, matter and energy, and that, as one of the more superficial but pretentious of their celebrities propagandized, "The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be."  Being a materialistic atheist, Carl Sagan didn't understand that even the word "cosmos" had a more extensive meaning than he could conceive of.   Being rather silly whenever he got far outside of his area of professional expertise, Sagan didn't even seem to understand that in his conception of it, reality was only what could be contained within his rigid scientistic faith.  Just as evolution and even modern cosmology can't be seen through the blinders of the original Biblical Fundamentalism, much is left out of the narrow scientific view of the universe when that is treated as an ideological truth.

Religions,  not being monisms,  have no problem with containing both the material universe AND MORE, WHICH MATERIALISM CAN'T CONTAIN.  Considering the mutual obsession that atheists have with fundamentalists, the opening chapters of Genesis, in which God creates the universe*, any atheist who had any wit at all would understand that no Jew or Christian or Muslim who took that declaration in scripture seriously would deny the existence of the physical universe.  

I think even an extreme Christian idealist such as George Berkeley didn't really act as if he believed that the material universe didn't really exist.  I think his philosophical position really comes down to the fact that everything we can experience, or comprehend or know or discuss about the material universe is entirely dependent on the mind which cannot be accounted for by the properties of the matter which human minds perceive and make understandable to themselves.  As high a figure in the philosophy of physical science as Karl Popper wrote a paper** in which he called Berkeley a predecessor to Mach and Einstein in his insight into the fact that any, even the most high scientific investigation into matter was entirely dependent on the minds that were doing it, and that whatever science can know of the material universe is inseparable from the nature of the minds that are dong the looking, the measuring and the understanding and knowing.  Even the atheist-materialist does that in his naive declarations that the material universe is in charge of minds, they do it even as they try to demote the mind to nothing because they can't make it fit into their rigid, monistic ideology which they both want to and must make an exception of for in their rigid ideology, making it self-inconsistent.

Like it or not, the material universe, in so far as human beings can even perceive its existence, is utterly dependent on human minds and whatever we can know about it and the things it contains is only knowable in so far as our minds permit us to know those things and the knowledge of them is inevitably shaped and colored by the mind, right up to and including the measurement of it and the logical arguments developed about it and even the causal chains that we splice together as science.  I'd go into the nature of causality and its unknowable nature and status (the traditional conception of causality dealt a severe blow by modern physics) but I think those trolling this blog are probably having a fit over what I've already said.

I am not an idealist or a materialist, it might come as a shock for the either-or, black-white, thinking of the materialists, but no one is bound to be either of those.  Pluralism is a possibility that monists never seem to take into account.  The desire to have everything reducible to one thing is an emotional and aesthetic inclination, not a law of anything.  Neither is that great desideratum of late 20th century scientism, "elegance".   I think that kind of stuff is probably a sign of weak thinking.

* God creates the material universe in Genesis, the sun and moon, the stars, the earth, the waters, and in the opening act of creation, that central aspect so important as a measuring instrument in modern physics, light, and, in the opening words,  "In the beginning God created..." that God is responsible for beginning time itself which later in the collection it says in the collection will end, itself.   No or very, very few Jews, Christians or Muslims would deny the existence of the physical universe, they just don't limit themselves to believing that is all there is.  In Genesis, God several times is said to have seen that what he created was good.

**  I've only seen it once, you can read the first page as printed in The British Journal For The Philosophy of Science, here.   I have to say that I find Karl Popper to always be hedging what he says with an eye to the criticism his conclusions were bound to get by the bully boys of materialist-atheist-scientism.   Like in his accurate criticism of natural selection as being, in essence, a seriously flawed tautology, only to dial that back when the outrage of the Darwinists started, here he knows that any positive attributions to the usually grossly distorted, often mocked George Berkeley would risk similar treatment of what he said.  Probably the stupidest reaction to Berkeley was Samuel Johnson's, but he was generally an ass, anyway.

Note:  In the earlier posted version of this, I mistakenly mixed up the name of George Berkeley with the colonial governor,  William Berkeley, who was not much of a philosopher.  I shouldn't write so early in the morning.

Update:  There is no such thing as an objective view of nature, that idea is a myth that pretends we can see things as they really are when we have to see them only as our minds can see them.  You can try to remove personal bias in your understanding of things and in may areas should make that effort but, as Werner Heisenberg said, "What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."  The natural world we see, even that which science sees, is not the actual natural world but what we can comprehend of that world, limited by our minds.  Materialists might just hate that fact, but their view of the universe is not the universe.  They have the choice to consider that if they want to demote the minds view of itself as an illusion, that blanket demotion of the reality they attribute to the mind and consciousness has to extend to the human view of the material universe which is an even more remote inference of the minds that are viewing it.  That is they have no choice when their belief is pushed past where they want to consider it, and I'm pushing it there, kid.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Geri Allen Trio, Dark Prince

I just found out that the great, great pianist Geri Allen died last month at the age of 60.  Now, that's something to regret, far too young for someone like her to go.  She should have had at least two more decades.  I love Geri Allen's playing.

Update Betty Carter - Geri Allen Stardust- Memories of You 

Arnold Schoenberg - Three Folksong Settings op. 49

Simon Joly Chorale
Robert Craft, director

Schoenberg wrote tonal music all through his many years as a teacher, reportedly sometimes composing examples extempore at the blackboard.  Some of those have been collected and performed though not part of the official opus.  Here are three extremely beautiful settings of German folksongs, I believe done late in his life.  For people who wonder why he stopped writing tonal music the answer is that he didn't.

Update:  Here are two rather effective canons that may be some of those he composed for his classes. I don't think many composers would have wished they hadn't written them.

Donato D'Antonio - guitar,
Anselmo Pelliccioni - cello,
Vanni Montanari - flute,
Roberto Noferini - violin

Just Bob and Ray [10]

Constitutional Crisis? We're in One And Have Been For Going On Half A Century

The other day I made a promise to myself that if I read someone wringing their hands over an impending "Constitutional Crisis" being officially begun when Trump fires Robert Mueller that I'd point out that our Constitution has been in crisis ever since Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon.  It was that fixture on PBS establishment political talk shows, the LA Times reporter Doyle McManus who set this piece off.

Since the criminality of Richard Nixon*, Reagan mounted Iran Contra, George H.W. Bush incited Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait so he could have what he hoped would be a politically advantageous and short little war, the Supreme Court handing his son George W. Bush the presidency as part of a putsch engineered out of the state of Florida governed by Jeb Bush and the catastrophic wars that Bush brought., now, as a result of another anti-democratic election result, we have what might be the most corrupt and criminal presidential regime of them all.

We have been in Constitutional Crisis that entire time and the real means of preventing another flare up has not been done because the Constitution and the media and the billionaire class and Republicans on the Supreme Court and in state houses and governors residences around the country would prevent the basic changes needed to prevent another.  They have not abolished the electoral college, they have not protected the integrity of elections and the equal right to vote, they have not required that the mass media - the only really effective political media, now - doesn't lie and distort and propagandize for the shadowy but real government of the billionaires.  It hasn't even been possible, in 2017, after the sordid history which has brought us here today, made it impossible for a Donald Trump and his sleazy rich lawyers to ask if he could pardon himself.

*  Remember, the Nixon crimes that are covered up, the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and Laos, the Reagan ones of the terror campaigns in Central America he funded illegally, the most serious of crimes done by American presidents done with the military and para-military terrorists, many trained by the military in Georgia, are not to be mentioned.  No matter now many hundreds of thousands, eventually millions, die as a result.

Update:  Would you want to bet your life on today's Supreme Court NOT saying that Donald Trump has the power to pardon himself, turning the president into an absolutist monarch?  I wouldn't bet on it doing the right thing.  Not with Gorsuch having been put there by Trump, through one of the most blatant abuses of power in our history by Mitch McConnell, aided and abetted by his fellow Republicans.   I don't see much in the way of any Republican resistance to Trump, certainly nothing from the leadership in what is supposed to be a check and balance in the legislature or the Supreme Court. That's all gone to hell.

There's a reason that the really serious crimes by presidents - the invasion of Cambodia, Watergate, Iran-Contra, lying us into the invasion of Iraq with its massive cost in lives, and now the lavish corruption of the Trump regime - come regularly within Republican presidencies, it is because it has gone from a party of the center right to the party of overt fascism over the past fifty years.  It has happened here. Only, up till now, it hasn't been happening here.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Fats Waller With A Topical Message

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Platinum Listening from the Hear Now Radio Festival 2017

You only have till August 1st to listen to these radio dramas from this summer's Hear Now Radio Festival.   They're well worth trying, you'll be likely to find something you like, maybe all of them. 

And for desert, yet another BBC radio production of J. B. Priestley's 
An Inspector Calls. 

Stupid Trolls

I think that along with other phrases and terms that have obviously suffered a decline in denotative significance in common usage - especially as used among atheists - such terms as ad hominem, fallacy, Occams razor,  evidence, proof, ... etc, you can add "run on sentence".  I think for most people online that term means "long sentence" or, "longer than I'm used to reading because I don't read much".   I think short sentences tend to lead to superficial, simplistic and facile thinking, so I use whatever length of sentence I think in.  If the guys who troll me can't keep up, I'm not surprised.   I write the occasional run-on sentence, sometimes I even go back and fix that in editing.  But I'd rather be guilty of the occasional run-on sentence than the long ago ran-out  of ideas contents of the trolls who get sent to the Spam file. 

Update:  One of the two trolls trolling here today, "General Zod" for anyone who wants to get a general sense of the level of maturity I generally spare you from, obviously doesn't know what a "run-on sentence" is.  Here, from Warriner's English Grammar and Composition, the Freshman course: 

13b.  A run-on sentence consists of two or more sentences separated by a comma or by no mark of punctuation.  

The Senior Year version says this in a note on run-on sentences:

Professional writers (who have a strong sentence sense or they would not be professionals) do at times write fragments and use the comma between sentences, especially when the ideas in the sentences are very closely related.  

I don't see why non-professionals shouldn't get to do what the pros do, on occasion.  Though I suspect one of the most important differences between professional writers and non-professional ones is that the pros get editors.   

If you want me to take what you say seriously, find out what you're talking about, don't just pull it out of your asininity. 


So many of Duncan's regulars believe what Steve Simels says without fact checking, they are brainlessly trusting, not a brain trust. 

It's Almost Too Late For The Left To Wise Up And The First Thing We Need To Do Is Admit We Haven't Been Wise And To Dump The Stupidest Who Will Never Learn

One of the most obvious and frightening truths to come from the past six months of Trumps regime and the Nazi style spectacle of his campaign is that there is a dangerously large number of Americans, after 241 years, an abolition campaign, a civil war, the struggle to expand the franchise to women and even among white men, the labor struggles, the civil rights struggles, etc. after all of that and the institution of effective universal availability to basic education and mass media, that thirty to forty percent of Americans have a dangerous tendency to support a fascist strongman as phony, as vile and as repulsive as the troll-doll hair, lard bucket, ignorant sleazoid, predator and proven crook, Donald Trump.  Anyone who wonders how the Germans could go for a vile piece of crap as Hitler should take a really good look at what's living in the White House, with that history to inform our choice.

That IS something that should keep people up at night, that is something that should be not only in everybodys mind but in their discourse and in serious political and legal discussions of how to avoid them pitching us into fascism.   With Senator Chuck Grassley and the rest of the allegedly responsible conservatives in the Senate and those in the House not only doing nothing but actively carrying water for the Trump regimes reign of criminality and open treason, it is something that we really can't avoid addressing in an effective way so as to prevent the disaster we are likely not going to avoid.

The idea that people whose political inclinations and ideology were not only anti-democratic but overtly in support of fascism and its preceding movements of dictatorial rule should have ever had the opportunities that an indiscriminate and absolutist interpretation of the free-speech, free-press, freedom of association of violence advocating fascists and other assorted scum is quite insane.   The idea that they should have the opportunity to lie their way into power - and such an attempt would depend on lies and other assorted appeals to the worst in people, was one of the stupidest ideas of the Jeffersonians and their political if not intellectual heirs.  Such a pose is only rational when it is impossible for things to go bad and it is impossible for the fascists to win.  If there is anything that the history of the world in the past century proves, that is not impossible.  Now, with Donald Trump sitting in the White House his enablers and cohorts in control of  the House and Senate, we now know it can happen here.*

That Jeffersonian superstition that enabling lies with the same privileges as the truth, fascists with the same abilities to win as those who support egalitarian democracy, equal right, equal responsibility to respect rights, seems to have believed that things would just come out right in the end in some absurd idea that human societies operate under some "balance of nature" when everything about human cultures, societies and governments happen as a result of human choices and human blunders and human personality.  There is no natural force to keep democracy alive and to prevent fascism.  Our current fashion in the interpretation of the First Amendment, with its facile and media-promoted absolutism and the phobia of censorship of fascist propaganda is as near a guarantee of things going bad as there could possibly be.   Add in that permission to lie that the Supreme Court gave the mass media and that only makes things more likely to turn out as they are.

As recently as 2008 I believed that there was a real difference in intelligence between those on the left and those on the far and even the nearer right.  But that's self-aggrandizing conceit.  If you want to look at who has been smart about things, taking maximum advantage of opportunities, many of them handed to them by liberals in recent decades, it has been the far right, driving our politics ever rightward since 1968 when Nixon won over the flawed but infinitely better Hubert Humphrey.  The left sandbagged him and helped put Nixon in office, it has repeated that in 1980, 2000 and now 2016. If the left were smart it would learn something and it doesn't.  It cleaves to disproven and even absurd theories that were given the test of time and have failed, over and over and over again.

The presence on the alleged left of the Greens, Marxists, Anarchists, and others who have had a hand in that idiocy is even more proof that as much as we love to believe we're brilliant, taken as a whole, we are nothing of the sort.   The political regime that includes them has been a dead weight on the left my entire life and long before my parents were born.  If you want to read a good history of that, James Weinstein's The Long Detour is a good introduction, even if he repeats a few of the stupid assertions that have not only kept us out of power but have enabled the worst.  And if you want to go see how well the left learns, go over to the magazine he started, In These Times and read the massive stupidity in its archive over the past two years and continuing today.   They should try reading their founders last book.  They might learn something.  But I doubt it.

*  I am more convinced than ever that the pose of Free Speech absolutism that was promoted was asserted for what various Marxists and near-Marxists hoped would enable them to propagandize the People of the United States to support their own, red-fascist, political ideology.  It was one of the stupidest ideas ever because if there is one thing that Marxists provided, it was one of the strongest cautionary lessons of all time in Leninism-Stalinism, Maoism and other Communist dictatorships.  Almost as stupid is turning violent anarchists like Emma Goldman into some kind of heroine.  If there has been one thing that has been a definite political loser, it's things like setting bombs and terrorizing people. Especially when it's done for a political ideology as stupid as anarchism.  Just this week I had to point out to an idiot anarchist that if they wanted to find out what an absence of civil authority is really like, they should go to some of the neighborhoods here or the towns in Northern Mexico where there is no real civil authority.   They'd get their stupid asses shot within a week.


And This

Sean Spicer has resigned, stating he wants to spend more time lying to his family

Friday, July 21, 2017

William Bolcom - Tabby Cat Walk

California Porcupine Rag 

John Murphy, piano


Anthony Scaramucci is unfit for television. Yells, filibusters, lies.