Monday, November 20, 2017

How To Avoid Being Accused of Groping Someone

1. Don't touch anyone who is not very closely related to you unless it is to shake their hand.  

2.  Don't touch strangers unless it is to shake their hand, don't even put your other hand on their arm while you're doing it  Don't hold on past two shakes like that ultimate creep, Trump. 

3.  Is that hard to understand?  

While it's no guarantee that you won't be accused falsely, it would help if you were known as a hands-off type of guy.  

Nothing Simps Says Should Be Believed Without Confirmation, The Simplest Distinctions Can't Make It Through His Trump Like Mind

What is the difference between Beatles, Stones etc, and Minstrelry? Minstrels never convinced anybody they were black, either.  Leroi Jones

Literally everything I've ever said online about Stevie Ray Vaughn is contained in two posts.  You can read them and the comments and see that Simps is lying about what I said. 

He apparently doesn't realize that Mick Jagger was notorious for copying black (and white) musicians well after they released their first album, which is pretty funny considering he's supposed to be a pop music expert.  Simps really never did master the idea of how time works.  Apparently he figures Mick and his old stones never did anything but repeat their first album, over and over again.  As the article at the link shows, they stole lots of stuff after that.

Update:  Hey, if he keeps it up at this rate, the lies he's dropped on me are going to outnumber the names he's dropped.  He's the worst name dropper I've ever seen.

Why Didn't Her Husband Punch Him On The Nose, If It Happened?

Oh, for heavens sake, a woman who claims that as her husband was taking a picture of her with Al Franken at the Minnesota State Fair is claiming he inappropriately touched her derriere?   And her husband didn't notice at the time?  As he was recording it for posterity, in more than one sense, clearly.   Give me a break.  If that's the standard for a sex scandal, I'll bet most of the men in the Senate, the House and definitely the Trump white house had better be nervous over it.  

I wonder how many pictures people asked to take with him during the state fair that day?   Dozens?  Hundreds? Tens?  If people will insist on touching other people, these things will happen.   I'm definitely not the huggy, touchy, kissy type, Irish from New England, but I can imagine that a politician who lots of people want to have their pictures taken with want it up close and personal.  

I think what we have here is someone who wants to get on cabloid TV - if the right-wing talk show invites start rolling in and are taken, it's a lot more than that. 

If this is as much as they can dig up on Al Franken there must not be much to make hay out of.   This is beginning to feel like that infamous episode in shit level, cabloid leading, pack journalism, the pursuit of Richard Jewell.   Only, thanks to the idiocy of the Supreme Court, if it gets that out of hand Franken won't be able to sue.  Not even the right wing scum level media that is already whipping up lies around this. 

Hate Mail

Ha,  Simps is calling for someone to apologize for something they said in the media?   That NYT op-ed dolt Michelle Goldberg?   That's a bit like as Trump calling Al Franken out for being accused of kissing a consenting actor too hard in rehearsal and one incident of taking a mildly offensive prank photo.  I have yet to see one that actually shows Franken so much as touching the kevlar vest.  

As Simps has claimed, here and at Duncan's play group for dotty prevaricators, that I agreed with such "journalists" as Goldberg when I said exactly the opposite of what she did, let me just say I'm not waiting on any kind of correction or apology for that lie any more than the scores of others he's told about me.  If he were to apply what he aid about Goldberg to himself, he'd probably have to shut up for good. And it would be for the good if he did.   

Why Not Investigate The Accusations Against George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, Then?

I just heard an interview of Sherrod Brown on NPR, I think it was Steve Inskeep (they don't have the citation up on their website, yet)  who conducted it, where, after talking about the Republican Tax bill, Inskeep insisted on bringing up the accusation against Al Franken and, when Brown, sensibly, said that there was going to be an investigation, the asshole from NPR started on the minor flurry of bull shit from opinion journalists about "reopening" the accusations against Bill Clinton. 

There was the longest, most expensive* and most ethically questionable congressional, and special prosecutor series of investigations cum inquisitions brought against Bill Clinton, there were articles of impeachment and a Senate trial of him which didn't result in anyone ever proving or even proving credible criminal accusations against him.  At this point "reopening" the accusations against Bill Clinton in any public way wouldn't constitute double jeopardy, they'd constitute at least septuple jeopardy.   The journalists who are calling for this make the red-scare media of the 1950s look like they were practicing high ethics by comparison.  And it's for the most transparent of reasons, the corporate media created and installed a sex predator, possible rapist in the presidency and the Republican-fascist hopes of retaining the Senate depend on a pedophile predator as a candidate.   As mentioned in the comments last night into this morning, some of what the media peddles as "liberals" especially the type of those who get into the op-eds of the New York Times, are joining in this stinking, burning manure pile smoke screen.

Well, if that's what they want to do, why not go after George H. W. Bush for the accusations against him.  He was never investigated the way that Bill Clinton was, there was no special prosecutor who dealt with such accusations, there was never a Senate trial of him.  Why stop there?  How about the rape accusation against Ronald Reagan?  How about possible sexual harassment by him in Hollywood?  Why not that?

The American media, especially the pseudo-liberal parts of it such as the New York Times and the allegedly liberal NPR are willing partners in the billionaire oligarchic propagandizing of the United States.  The New York Times did a lot of the early effort in the vilification and inquisitorial "investigations" of both of the Clintons that has gone on for a quarter of a century, they'd do it again against a Democrat if it was to  the advantage of the owners of the rag and the staff - and if there's one thing that is certain, few if any journalists ever suffered for carrying water for the corporate fascist, Republicans.   The journalistic and "public interest" elites are full of such phonies, both individual careerist "reformers" and whole institutions, such as the ACLU and, as mentioned, others like Common Cause.  I once called that kind of "liberalism"  "process liberalism" and still think it's a good name for it, lots of such process liberals are career climbers at places like NPR and the New York Times.  They're tools.

Considering the problem they had at NPR, having it revealed that their chief editor was accused of sexual misconduct more serious than Al Franken is accused of, they might want to consider what their participation in this latest call for new Clinton wars could bring up among them.  Maybe even the guys who conduct interviews like the one that inspired this.

*  As I recall, a couple of decades ago the, then, cost of those were over 40 million dollars, I'd imagine it's probably at least double that by now, probably ten or more times that when you include the efforts that weren't paid for by billionaires and millionaires and those they could sucker to give them money.   Jerry Falwell made a lot of money out of that kind of stuff.

Update:  The accusations, made by more than one woman against NPR's Michael Oreskes were certainly far more obviously sexual assault, in a context that didn't involve rehearsal of a stage kiss in a skit Leann Tweeden consented to participate in.

In separate complaints, the women said Oreskes — at the time, the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times — abruptly kissed them while they were speaking with him about working at the newspaper. Both of them told similar stories: After meeting Oreskes and discussing their job prospects, they said he unexpectedly kissed them on the lips and stuck his tongue in their mouths.

The same can be said about the accusations against George H. W. Bush who wasn't doing a USO skit with a willing participant at the times of the incidents.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The lady doth protest too much, methinks

OK, so, yesterday and the day before I pointed out that show biz is full of off color hijinks of which a kiss during rehearsal, such as Leeann Tweeden may not be used to which could account for her reaction to one during a skit with Al Franken during USO tour would be a mild example.  It looks like that idea is out the window because photos of Leeann Tweeden on USO tour, on stage, did some more involved groping on a guitar player and did dirty dog moves with the same guitarist, on stage.

So, it looks like it wasn't a kind of cultural difference that explains why she decided to make her accusation on that count.   While Franken was right to apologize for the joke photo (more of the kind of joke that is hardly unknown among show folk) her complaints about the kiss (there are photos of the skit, showing her hardly repulsed during a kiss) evaporate with this and other footage of her other behavior, on stage which is pretty sleezy.   Did she rehearse the grope?

Bringing these up is definitively different from bringing up the posed photos of her made as part of her modeling career. What she is documented as doing during the tour, just as what Al Franken is documented as doing during the period of her complaints is relevant.  With these pictures and the footage of her aggressively sexual physical moves onstage with people like Robin Williams, I take back what I said.   I think now it's entirely justified to see this as part of a wider political effort to protect Republican child molesters and Trump who bragged about grabbing women by their genitals and any political or political media associations she has are relevant to the discussion.   Any of those which are documented impeach her credibility and identify her motives.  Apparently Roger Stone knew about the impending accusations hours before they were made, knowing how he found out about them is also necessary.  Where would he have learned about that?

Sunday Night Radio Drama - David Butler - Vigil

In tonight's premiere of David Butler's first radio-play, the vigil-keeper is a thwarted thirty-something spouse convinced of his wife's infidelity; but when does a person cease to be a vigilant and become a vigilante?

Aonghus Og McAnally played poor, paranoid Arthur;
Paul Ronan was his confidant Trevor
Kathy Rose O'Brien ... Jennifer;
Tadhg Murphy the charlatan Chandler.

Sound supervision was by Mark Dwyer

I'm thinking I might post more drama, there's a lot that's worth trying. 

It's RTÉ so you've got to download it to listen to it. 

Why I Like The CBC Better Than NPR

I liked this piece which I was listening to on the radio as I was typing stuff this morning. 

Eilmer the flying monk made wings out of chicken feathers, leapt off a cliff and broke both his legs. But he never gave up trying to fly. His story inspires Claire Steep.

How Some Intellectuals Can Be Such Idiots Generation After Generation

Last night's truncated brawl with Simps included him claiming or bragging or something that he had read Romain Rolland's fictitious biography of a great German composer which is long.   I've never been all that impressed with Rolland who I've read a bit of in the original French and, though I'm sure I looked at the book at one time or another, it's not something I read.  As I said last night, I prefer biographies to be about actual people.   I also pointed out that Rolland's biography of Beethoven isn't something which I ever heard another musician refer to or recall anyone citing as a scholarly work.  I vaguely recalled something I'd read about Rolland's conception of Beethoven and remembered a paper by Michael David-Fox which  I read a while back, Origins of the Stalinist Superiority Complex:  Western Intellectuals Inside The USSR.

Rolland illustrates certain kinds of connections to the USSR that contrast with the distance of both Dreiser and the Arplan rightists: Rolland had been steeped in a non-denominational socialism since the turn of the century. He thought his study of the French Revolution and his leadership in European anti-fascist culture gave him special insight into the Soviet Union, and he had extensive links to the Soviet Union through key intermediaries, including his Russian wife, Mariia Kudasheva, and his correspondent of 20 years, Maxim Gorky, who was arguably the most influential architect of Stalinist culture. Culturally, the 1930s Soviet repudiation of the avant-garde and Socialist Realism’s embrace of classical high culture and didactic mass enlightenment appealed to Rolland, and for a time his own hero-worship of revolutionary men of action was directed toward Stalin. When he met Stalin in person in 1935 Rolland compared him to Beethoven as the creator of a new humanism.

Which, said, in 1935, well into the widely reported starvation campaign against the Ukranians, well into the purges and show trials, well into Stalin showing Hitler how mass murder could be done, marks Romain Rolland as a monumental meat head.  Anyone who could think that the man who suffered such a drastic disillusionment when Napoleon had himself made emperor would welcome being compared to Stalin obviously knows nothing about Beethoven.  It is the kind of idiotic thing that a literary man will say about a musician, confirming Aaron Copland's generous estimate that half of what a literary man says about music will be wrong.  Rolland as well as the other 1930s admirers of Stalin were both epically stupid and morally defective.   That's something which could also be said for most of the atheist-left in the West of the time and continuing to today with such useful idiots as Katrina Vanden-Heuvel and her husband, Stephen Cohen.  Which is why I'm writing this.

Also in the paper is this interesting passage, interesting for what we can see about the current, definitely non-Marxist Billionaire Mafia State Russian effort to promote fascism and neo-Naxism and doing, through our own billionaire mafia class and its kept mass media, what Stalin could only aspire to do.

In this case, archives reveal a lengthy, year-long battle over whether to extend Soviet financial support and political energy to an organization that included fascist intellectuals.  The biggest Soviet supporter of Arplan was a diplomat and VOKS representative in Berlin by the name of Aleksandr Girshfeld. Despite his positions as a diplomat involved with cultural diplomacy, it appears he was specially empowered by the Soviet leadership and secret police to rcruit German rightist intellectuals. He thus felt free to act independently and he repeatedly rebuffed VOKS and the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, which were both very suspicious about the rightists in Arplan.

Girshfeld’s relish for courting fascists reveals yet another motivation behind Soviet interaction with Western intellectuals: espionage. There is documentary evidence that Girshfeld had ties to the secret police, for whom he later recruited at least one rightist Arplan member.  In 1932, Girshfeld wrote that the current Soviet “cultural-political line” lay in “deeply penetrating radical…right-oppositionist circles of the intelligentsia, who have political weight, widening sources for our influence and information…

Which makes the contemporary devotion of Western Stalinists especially disgusting and pathetically stupid, something which American and British Communists proved in their U-turn on Nazism that came with the Hitler-Stain pact of August 1939, the month before Hitler and Stalin started to try to carve up Poland, setting off WWII.   Up to that point Western Communists of the Stalinist denomination could be thought naive, after that they were scum. 

The current rump effort on the journalistic-academic left that claims we can do business with Putin does lead me to something more than mere disgust at the serial chumping of the atheist-left by such creeps, it adds confidence to my belief that materialism and atheism is inevitably damaging to egalitarian democracy, to justice, to equality.  On the basis of snobbery, alone, they'll sell those out without so much as a doubt, doing so in the weird parody of virtue that also comes with that.  The "enlightenment" has made that mix of snobbery and idiocy a continuing feature of human culture, only adding the pretense that they've left that behind because "science" because "reason" because because.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Alan Bennett and Judi Dench perform a short radio play

Alan Bennett and Judi Dench perform a short radio play

This is fun and fun is good. 

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Graham Greene - Stamboul Train

Dramatised by Jeremy Front

Myatt Joseph Millson
Coral Abbie Andrews
Czinner Sam Dale
Josef Nicholas Murchie
Mabel Jane Slavin
Janet Isabella Inchbald
Petkovitch Simon Ludders
Ninitch Samuel James
Hartep Philip Fox
Mrs Peters Ellie Darvill
Mr Peters Charlie Clements
Actor Tayla Kovacevic-Ebong
Actor Adam Fitzgerald
Actor Gary Duncan
Actor David Reakes
Actor Kath Weare

Director Marc Beeby

I understand they've made the, what is it, 17th version of Dame Agatha's Orient Express?   Just what the world needs.  Two years before that cynical, formulaic, uh .... she wrote her book, the entirely better author Graham Greene wrote Stambol Train as one of his "light" books.   It has a far more complex plot, far deeper characters and far more interesting implications   I don't ususally post adaptations but I figured this one was worth it.

The Madisonian Origins Of Today's Neo-Serfdom, or Neil Gorsuch Tells A Joke About The Time He Wanted To Freeze A Trucker

Son of a criminal, Neil Gorsuch, made a really disgusting speech to the Federalist(-fascist) Society and waxed hilarious about his infamous dissent in the case in which he said that a company was within its rights to fire a trucker because he didn't choose to freeze to death as instructed by someone sitting in a heated office, somewhere.  Here, from Think Progress:

Which brings us back to Gorsuch’s Thursday night speech to the Federalist Society, an influential group of conservative lawyers. The premise of Gorsuch’s joke is that he was unfairly attacked during his confirmation hearing because he reached a result that was required by the law. A judge may be presented with a law, Gorsuch began his joke, and “immediately know three things.”

"One, the law is telling me to do something really, really stupid. Two, the law is constitutional and I have no choice but to do that really stupid thing the law demands. And three, when it’s done, everyone who is not a lawyer is going to think I just hate truckers."

The joke was a hit with the gathered Federalist Society members, who laughed and clapped uproariously after Gorsuch delivered his punchline.

But here’s the thing. Either Gorsuch is wrong, and his vote in TransAm Trucking v. Administrative Review Board was a cruel swipe at a man who, after nearly freezing death, was illegally humiliated by his employer. Or Gorsuch is correct, and what happened to Alphonse Maddin is the horrible consequence of a terribly worded law. Maddin’s case is neither an easy win for Maddin nor the slam dunk for Maddin’s employer that Gorsuch thinks it is, but whoever is right about the law, this case is a human tragedy.

Or, if you are Neil Gorsuch, it was an annoyance that briefly stood between you and a powerful job in Washington. And now it is something to joke about.

And such is the quality of asshole that the Republican-fascists are putting on courts, these days   But, one thing to notice is who is standing behind Gorsuch as he made his funny joke about how he was required by the friggin' Constitution (or his employee murdering interpretation of it) figuratively, at least, as well as in the Societies emblem on the podium.

Image result for neil gorsuch federalist society

That's goddamned James Madison, from whom you will be hearing more next week on this blog.  If you want to see where the assholim of Gorsuch and the Federalist-fascists was born.

I Don't Think It's About Two Dimensional Tic Tac Toe It's Just About The Dough

If Duncan meant me, I've never implied that his blogging, after about 2006, was about much other than lack of ambition and providing income for him.  I remember him as a bright, chipper protege of the Media Whores Online owner and thinking he had promise only to see that quickly dwindle down to Tweet length posts, most of them about either the entirely obvious and already said to just inanity.  And that's when they weren't bot generated.   If he didn't sponsor libel against me just about daily, I wouldn't bore people with mention of him, his blog or the rump of regulars that comprise what was once a far larger, far more varied and far more adult bunch.  I think it was about the time HaloScan went away that it started getting really stupid, then there were the Obamaite-Clintonite wars of the 2008 primaries, what a friggin' disaster that was.  

I was never a critic of him until about 2012, on the contrary, I was one of those who encouraged him to try harder.  He didn't try harder.   He's an Ivy League PhD slacker, not a mastermind. 

Last Thing I Hope To Say About This

I haven't seen Al Franken or anyone I know to be close to him bringing up Leeann Tweeden's history of modeling, though I have seen it brought up in regard to yesterday's big distraction.   As far as I've seen Franken's side has taken a high road in that regard and so should everyone else.  Whatever you think of the kinds of photos she posed for - which may not have been entirely in her control, I have no idea what kind of power she had to refuse to do them - those are irrelevant to the issue.  

I still think the kissing accusation, which happened as part of a rehearsal for a skit (skit comedy, geesh!), might have been a misunderstanding or the kind of off-color joke that isn't unheard of among actors of all genders, the photo, about which it's not even clear he ever touched her kevlar vest, was sleazy and, yes, as well the kind of "joke" engaged in among show folk.   And I think the whole thing might be a sort of misunderstanding between two cultures, one which I've seen quite a lot of, actors, and one which I have seen very little of.   I think I knew a grand total of three people, one young man and two young women,  who got paid as models and couldn't form any kind of conclusion on that basis.  

I'd think it wiser to cut out all physical contact in such stuff but since that can't be done outside of my favorite form, audio drama, they should at least cut the joke part of that out, entirely.  Knowing actors and that a lot of them aren't models of maturity, that probably won't happen.  They should have the wit to avoid bringing in outsiders who aren't familiar with the habits of actors.  I don't think adults in show biz should ever be with underage people without witnesses, for the protection of the children but, really, for all involved.  

The women who have come to Al Franken's defense on the basis of their work history with him and his record of advancing women's rights and opportunities is another contrast between him and most of those who have been accused of everything up to entirely worse behavior.  It is a total and complete contrast with the child molesting Roy Moore and Donald Trump.  That, as well, leads me to believe what happened was probably due to the kind of culture of show biz in which that kind of joke is common and that Al Franken knows such behavior isn't permissible in real life.  It would be better if it didn't happen anywhere, I hated it when I had to rehearse with people who did things like that and, unless it happened in a large group I performed in, I didn't choose to work with people prone to that kind of thing.   But music is a harder, more intellectual and more disciplined art than show biz. 

I had to throw that last bit in. 

Friday, November 17, 2017


Hate Mail

This blog is not written for people who choose to be stupid and choose to be ignorant while insisting that they are brilliant and informed.   I don't write for the kind of people who frequent Duncan's blog after about 2008.  If I wanted to write for them I'd write it in rebus using emojis and monosyllables. 

Jacques Bittner Three Pieces 1682

Roderick Blocksidge, lute

I've decided to post some French baroque lute music.   You can find a pdf of Bittner's music in tablature at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France website

To download it you have click on the download symbol on the left side panel, (the arrow pointing down) then to agree to their terms of use, the square box at the bottom of the side window that says, "En cochant cette case, je reconnais avoir pris connaissance des conditions d'utilisation et je les accepte, " pretty much the standard formal agreement, the material is in the public domain.  I did yesterday and it didn't set off my malware alarms or anything.  You will need a baroque lute or an 11 stringed guitar to play it, tuned to a baroque lute tuning.   I can't find any of it transcribed into standard notation.  It is spectacularly good and beautiful music that is too little known. 

The Terrible Tragedy of Giving Up To Those Who Want To Destroy You

In reading more of Mark Joseph Stern's work at Slate around and as background to this mornings post, I noticed he said something that I've noticed said a lot, something which I've found increasingly disturbing.  In his rather good piece of November 9th, in which he sets out his fears as a gay, Jewish journalist encountering a Nazi-like pushback from Trumpzis, he used a description of his great-grandparents and himself:

As I heard it, my great-grandmother was the one who wanted to stay. After all, they had lived there their entire lives. Why leave now? Everything they knew and loved was there.  It was Poland, 1933. They were secular Jews living a pleasant modern life. They knew about Hitler, of course, and Hindenburg’s pathetic enabling of his rise to power. They read the news. They knew about the Jewish business boycott, then the Nuremberg Race Laws, then the Night of Broken Glass—78 years ago today, as it happens. When Germany invaded, my great-grandmother insisted, we stay. Her Jewish friends panicked, fled, but she said, no, it won’t happen here. Then the soldiers moved them to the ghetto. A wealthy friend offered my family safe passage out, but my great-grandmother said: No. We stay.

Later on, after expressing his understandable unease at being subjected to overt hate at a level he had not experience before, after the rise of Trump he talks about his great-grandmother who wisely fled the Nazis

My great-grandmother on the other side of the family fled. Her family was comfortable, secular; they owned a popular photography studio, and sometimes I look at the portraits they took of themselves shortly before they packed their bags and left forever. There is no panic in their eyes. They knew what they had to do, and they did it. They weren’t especially happy when they came to America, but they were alive. They left their old lives behind, understanding that there would soon be little left of them to salvage. I am thinking of their eyes this morning. And I am thinking of my other great-grandmother, the one I never got to meet.

Do read his article, it carries important information.  Information that could save us.  The most important information of all, that not only can it happen here, IT IS HAPPENING HERE, RIGHT NOW. 

What I noticed was the pains he took to describe both sets of great-grandparents as "secular," something I always feel a little uncomfortable with hearing Jewish people say, as if it is an assurance to other people that they're not all "that Jewish" or something.   

I always feel uncomfortable when people feel the need to explain away their identity or to diminish it.  When it's a Jewish person making sure that people understand they're safely secular it's worse than when an ex-Catholic (as if there's really any such thing) talks about themselves as a "recovering Catholic" because the persecution of Catholics in the United States is far more remote in time and far less likely to become as seriously bad is it has so recently in Central America and elsewhere, I guess.   
In the case of Stern doing it, it reminds me of something especially troubling, that was the talk among the Nazis of how the Einsatzgruppen, the soldier-murderers who murdered hundreds of thousands, probably well over a million Jews by shooting them, found it easier to kill religious Jews, especially those in Poland and the Soviet Union and other places who didn't look or dress so much like non-Jewish Germans or, I'd guess, others who they might think looked too much like they thought they did.   It was one of the reasons they decided to develop a "more efficient" means of committing genocide.  I'm sure that's not something Stern would think he was signaling with what he said, indicating that, somehow, "secular" Jews were .... I don't know, it comes down to superior to religious Jews in some way.   He should certainly indicate what he means by it, especially in the context of that topic. But, as I've experienced, the declaration by Jews that they are safely secular is widespread in the United States.  It's a practice which is a lot more serious and fraught with implications and danger than someone declaring themselves an ex-Catholic or ex-Protestant.   

Having an ever growing appreciation for the depth and knotty complexity but the irreplaceable value of the Jewish scriptures and many Jewish religious thinkers, becoming convinced that it, in fact, is one of the irreplaceable foundations of modern egalitarian democracy and any hope of decent governments, certainly in the West it's horrible that so many Jews think there's something admirable or good or just - in that most superficial and inverted form of value judgement  -"modern"  to walk away from that heritage.  It's worse than tragic.  In some ways it accomplishes a lot of what the Nazis wanted to do.  They hated Jewish moral teaching, the egalitarian justice of it more than just about anything.  It's not for me to decide these things but I can express my profound sorrow at it.   The greatest hope for Christianity is to become more of what it originally was intended to be,  Jewish.  There was a huge move in Catholicism, from Vatican II to introduce more of the First Testament into the liturgy and to incorporate more of its substance into Catholic thought and life.  It would be a tragic irony for, at the very same time, the people with the greatest claim to those traditions to be swindled out of them by the trappings of modernism, the same modernism which, in the forms of Nazism and Stalinism, tried to wipe out the Jewish people and Jewish identity.   To do so just because following the requirements of equal justice and equality, economic justice is harder than being kewl and modernistic and au courant is even worse.  

Stern's justifiable fears of Trumpzi fascism are best answered by the very aspects of Jewish religious morality that should not be given up on.  They overcame other tyrants, from Pharaohs to Antiochus, after all. 

Sure Hold Franken To Account Just Make Any Punishment Proportional To The Charges

Oh, those show folks.  I expect the allegations made by Leeann Tweeden against Al Franken to be put up as some equivalence to the accusations that Roy Moore sexually assaulted adolescent girls when he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s.  In fact, I'm noticing that's pretty much how National Public Radio is using the accusation in their reporting this morning.  And I expect that to sell among more people than should buy it.  We don't know if there were ever any other incidents which Franken, unlike Moore, has apologized for, if there never were the problem for Franken is that one recorded incident, people will wonder if that's just because other women aren't talking about it.  And who knows at this point. Al Franken has said that he is sorry and admits what he's accused of is sleazy, especially the stupid stunt photo of him making sleazy motions against her while she was sleeping, strapped in an airplane seat, with helmet and body armor. 

Tweeden's description of the kiss sounds to me like the kind of thing that actors might consider a joke on each other,   I've heard actors and actresses laugh about the off color stunts like that they pulled on each other during  rehearsals.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were many incidents of actresses groping male stars subtly or not in similar situations That kind of off color joke is a feature of  life among athletes, and far more.   If the kiss was Franken pulling the kind of physical joke of that sort, it was stupid to do it with someone who didn't come from the same world, exactly.  It would be stupid even with another actor.  But it's certainly not unknown even if a bit sleazy.  Modeling and sports reporting aren't exactly the same kind of show biz that Franken was involved in.  They sometimes aren't that far apart but maybe in the case of Leanne Tweeden they're far enough apart for there to be offense given where none was intended.

The calls for Franken to resign such as the one by Mark Joseph Stern at Slate is, at this point, premature and if there are no other accusations made against him, ridiculous.  It equates one or two lapses in taste and judgement with the kind of thing that Bob Packwood did, habitually, over decades, the kind of thing that Donald Trump bragged about doing to Billy Bush on the Hollywood Access tape.  If someone who is accused of what Franken is is treated the same way that would abolish any kind of proportionality in punishment for dissimilar offenses.  The idea that any and all crimes involving sex are equivalent is ridiculous and can produce a grotesque parody of justice.  That is seen in laws that put some teenage boys on permanent display as a sex fiend because they had consensual sex with their girlfriends whose parents decided to screw him in return.  Or people who may have done something similar fifty years ago but whose records have been absolutely clean ever since.  I've known of women on such lists for such incidents.  A look at your states sex offender registry can be pretty shocking and disturbing on this count.  Especially in states that don't distinguish between dumb teenagers involved in consensual sex, sometimes decades ago, with active, dangerous predators and rapists.

It also doesn't account for the fact that Al Franken, when the incident occurred, wasn't a public official using his office to prey on women, something which, according to more than one those reporting the incidents say Roy Moore did while not only a public official but an assistant district attorney.   Also, Al Franken has handled the accusation entirely differently from the way that Roy Moore did, Moore is attacking his accusers, Franken issued an apology.   Stern at Slate apparently presents Franken's apology and call for HIS OWN investigation for ethics in the most cynical posible light.

He has called for a Senate ethics investigation into his own behavior—which indicates that he has no intention of resigning quickly. Instead, he appears to be attempting to rehabilitate his reputation by expressing penance and desire to grow.

Not only is that obviously not true, any "rehabilitation" of his reputation wouldn't, under the measures he asks to be subjected to,  depend on him, it would depend on those who conduct the ethics investigation,   His continued good behavior is the only part of that which he has control of.   Does Stern want a justice system, a concept of ethics that doesn't include the ability of someone to change their life for the better and to acknowledge that?   That assumption of eternal damnation for a select number of mortal sins - and, as mentioned without any kind of distinction among sins - a souped up form of a crude understanding of Calvinist predestination, would seem to be very popular among people who write about these things these days.   I don't think they would ever be willing to be held to the same kind of standards in their own behavior, I doubt that Stern would want any minor journalistic lapses by him or his colleagues to be punished in the same way that those of Stephen Glass were, after many lies by him were published.  But, according to his own assertions, why shouldn't they be?   If journalists who seriously violated journalistic ethics were held to account, it would probably end a lot more careers than holding politicians to the standard advocated in the Slate article.  FOX, CNN, The New York Times, etc. especially "opinion journalism"  would be practically clear cut under those rules.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Where Do They Figure The Permission To Do This Comes From?

What the hell is it with all of these men who are getting into trouble for gross sexual harassment and misbehavior up to and including the attempted rape and rape of young children?    As alleged adults?  Call me a prude but it's something that not only did I know I should never do or anything I expected was tolerable for anyone to do BUT IT'S SOMETHING I KNEW WAS WRONG AND A VIOLATION OF ANOTHER PERSON'S PERSON, THEIR RIGHTS, THEIR DIGNITY.   

Who brought up these guy?  Tom cats?   Even tom cats have more sense than a lot of them do. I would guess that easily 95% of the men I know, straight and gay, would at least know they weren't supposed to do things like that and a majority probably have been able to keep themselves from doing it and feeling ashamed and disgusted with themselves if they wanted to do it but successfully avoided doing it. 

I would like to know what their porn consumption consists of because what they're accused of is exactly the kind of behavior encouraged and normalized in pornography.   Is that what explains the epidemic?