Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Donald Trump is F*cking Crazy

I don't know how Youtubes are playing on the computer of anyone else but the past day commercials have been getting through my ad blocker, if you're getting commercials, I apologize but it's not my fault. 

I may have to rethink posting Youtubes if they are going to carry commercials.  Some of the ones I've gotten are really awful.

Question I Haven't Heard Anyone Answer Or Ask

Why isn't anyone slamming any of the conservatives in Hollywood and show biz for not outing Harvey Weinstein?   It doesn't seem to have been a secret among them. 

Citations of Natural Selection - A response

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

NATURAL SELECTION. KILL all retards, people w/ brain fuck ups, drug adics, people cant figure out to use a fucking lighter. GEEEAWD! people spend millions of dollars on saving the lives of retards, and why. I don't buy that shit like "oh hes my son though!" so the fuck what, he aint normal, kill him, put him out his misery. he is only a waste of time and money, then people say "But he is worth the time, he is human too" no he isnt, if he was then he would swalow a bullet cause he would realize what a fucking waste and burden he was. --  Eric Harris's Journal 4/10/98

 Isnt america supposed to be the land of the free? how come, If im free, I cant deprive a stupid fucking dumbshit from his possessions If he leaves then sitting in the front seat of his fucking van out in plain sight and in the middle fucking nowhere on a Fri fucking day night. NATURAL SELECTION. Ibid. -- 4/12/98

Harris was wearing a white T-shirt with the words "Natural Selection'' on the front, black combat boots and a black glove on his right hand with the "fingers cut away.''   Denver Post on the release of the coroners report on Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

I chose that Darwin quote out of many others amounting to the same thing because it's possible it was as much as someone like Harris understands about natural selection.   It certainly would seem to be what even college credentialed comment tread commentators understand about it and its role in the human species.  People dying and getting killed.  That's what Darwin said it was about, confirmed by his most scientifically qualified successors, people such as Galton, Haeckel, Huxley, Karl Pearson....  Eric Harris just put the same thing in cruder language.  If anyone but the sacred Darwin had said it they would be considered a Nazi.

It wasn't reading that Eric Harris's psychopathological thinking was inspired by the idea of natural selection that led me to doubt it was anything but a British aristocrat's imposition of the homicidal British class system on nature, though it should have led me to wonder about it.  When you read the statements of Darwin, including the idea of huge numbers, the disabled, the poor, many races and ethnic groups being murdered through natural selection and that the results would be good for the survivors, it's really just what Harris said in academic and scientific language.   If you google "Eric Harris shirt," you can find shirts saying "Natural Selection" on sale to their fans, even today.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Donald Trump is the Harvey Weinstein of Washington

Hey, as far as I'm concerned Duncan Black is the man who has let Steve Simels peddle the lie that I'm an anti-Semite for more than five years, as far as I'm concerned, he's become the kind of thing Media Whores Online targeted only on a tiny scale.  

He's aging shit in a grey pullover. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hate Mail

I don't care what Duncan's blog rats say about anything.   They spew old, worn out, predigested attitudes, they never challenge their prejudices or assertions they took on in conformity to the milieu they chose to be a part of, some as long as a half century ago.   They never test their ideas. They're just a different flavor of bigots,  they're the failed past that pissed away the progress made by real radicals like Diane Nash, the Reverend Martin Luther King jr. and so many others.  As people wedded to the millstone that sank the left, they're less than undeserving of attention. As persistent and insistent  agents of futility, they are best ignored.   

Insisting on doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.  Nothing will ever come out of that but more failure. 

Ralph Vaughan Williams - Symphony No.9

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Malcolm Sargent, conductor

Vaughan William's last symphony, completed shortly before his sudden death.   Not bad for an 85 year old man.   It's a work of someone in full control of musical materials, especially the very large orchestra he chose to write it for.

I was dared to post something by RVW.  Why the dare?  No idea.

When Darwinists Call Darwin A Liar

The claim is made that the infamously proto-Nazi assertion of Darwinism by Darwinism's foremost proponent in Germany, Ernst Haeckel, is a complete distortion of the theory of Charles Darwin and its consequences for the world and, most relevantly to my posts on it, human, their societies and their countries.   That claim is obviously a lie, it can be known to be a lie because Charles Darwin endorsed Ernst Haeckel's interpretation of his theory of Natural Selection and common ancestry* in letters written to him in the 1860s and, in fact, for the rest of Charles Darwin's life, his son Francis attests to the agreement of his father and Haeckel on these things from his first person witness accounts of Haeckel's visits with his father, and, most of all, Darwin's citations of Haeckel, especially his glowing, complete endorsement of one of his most extreme, racist and homicidal volume published during Darwin's life,  Haeckel's The History of Creation.

That he agreed with Haeckel' social Darwinism is also known by the letter Darwin wrote to Haeckel on reading what was Haeckel's most overt statement of that published during Darwin's life, His "Freedom in Teaching and Science," in which Haeckel said that Darwinism didn't support socialism or democracy but supported the inequality of an aristocratic system.   His idea of such a Darwinian aristocracy included those he regarded as superior murdering huge numbers of those he regarded as inferior, that's something he had asserted in his scientific books and would, in fact, continue to assert during the rest of his life, ending the very year Nazism was first organized 1919.  That is especially true of what was probably his best seller,  The Riddle of the Universe, which went through many editions in German during the formative years of the boys and girls who would become the Nazi leadership and the true believers in it.  Of that book, the scholar of the rise of Nazism, Daniel Gasman said:

The common understanding among historians about the connection between Haeckel and Hitler is this: Adolf Hitler (b. 1889) came of age during the decade and a half following the publication in 1899 of Ernst Haeckel’s Riddle of the Universe, a runaway best seller that over the next two or three decades sold more copies internationally than the Bible and profoundly shaped the consciousness of the modern world. Haeckel’s book imparted a rigid Social Darwinist message purportedly derived from science: politics is applied biology, the Jews were an inferior race compared with the Aryans, Christianity was a religion of weakness, and that eugenic action was necessary to protect the racial composition of society.

That reading of Haeckel will be confirmed by that rarest of events in the life of any true-believing Darwinist, honestly reading Darwin and those people he cites, especially Haeckel.  Though Darwin was reluctant to be specific about which races he believed were bound for extinction, though he named a number of smaller groups in the South Pacific and a few others, Haeckel, in books Darwin promoted as reliable science, was not so shy about starting an extermination list.

For anyone, especially today, who wants to deny that Haeckel's thinking was genuinely Darwinian, he could, if he were still around, point to numerous letters from Charles Darwin endorsing his excellence in articulating Darwin's theories,  praise for his boldness and appreciation for the promotion of Haeckel of Darwin's theories in Germany.   He could also cite Darwin's second in command, Thomas Huxley naming him the "chorus leader" of Darwinism on the Continent and, as mentioned, Francis Darwin's first hand testimony about his father's agreement with Haeckel.   No one today has the authority to deny that all of the evidence, up to and including Charles Darwin's own assertions, is that he accepted Haeckel's view of Darwinism and his assertion of its logical consequences for human, individually, in societies and between racial groupings, including that it was supportive of salubrious and progressive violent struggle, murder and genocides.

I, from time to time, look closer at the English language and German phenomenon of Darwinism and, over and over again, find confirmation of that characteristic of it, producing ideas and theories and ideological assertions that produced anti-democratic movements and, yes, Nazism.   When I started writing on this nine years ago, I was hesitant to make that connection but every year since then has only confirmed that connection and that it is obvious.

Note:  I think Robert J. Richards attempt to rehabilitate Haeckel so as to exonerate Darwin is one of the most blatantly dishonest things I've ever looked into.  It is blown up by doing what I've always advocated, reading the primary documentation and looking up the primary documents cited in those.  I think it is truly stunning that someone who has done what he has is accepted as a legitimate scholar, who can work at a major university.   While I think Gasman was too reluctant or unwilling to note that Darwin endorsed pretty much everything Haeckel said up to the time of his death - and, in fact, most of the worst things he said he'd already said in one form or another by that time - his take down of Richards is quite convincing.

* I believe in the latter, with the caveat that the ultimate nature of that is unknowable for the earliest life on Earth, I have become ever more skeptical of the former.

Update:  Unlike you, unlike Robert Richards, unlike all of Darwin's post-war hagiographers who want to disassociate them,  Ernst Haeckel knew Darwin, met him, conversed with him, first-hand as Darwin's honored guest at his home, he corresponded with Darwin and had letters from him endorsing his understanding and articulation of Darwin's theories and ideas.  He had the confirmation of his understanding of that from Darwin's closest British colleagues and, in fact, Darwin's children, as well.

Your claims in that matter, separating Haeckel and Darwin and, in fact, even Daniel Gasman's has to give way to the superior claims that Haeckel could make in that regard.  Richards is right in so far as he associates Haeckel and Darwin, he is not merely wrong but dishonest in asserting that both men didn't assert some of the most putrid of racist, elitist and violent assertions ever to be taken up as legitimate science and acted on politically and legally by politicians and jurists and military figures on the strength of those ideas identification as having the reliability of scientific knowledge.   That couldn't possibly be clearer from reading the primary documentary evidence.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Roger Hall - Book Ends

I know, I promised I'd get back to stand-alone plays this week but people liked the two series I posted the past two weeks so here's a short one.  It's a bunch of old farts of a literary sort who have solitary work and who meet to try to maintain a connection with the world.  It's pretty good, going past a scenario that could turn really quaint and cosy but which turned out to be better than that.   It's by New Zealand's most successful living playwright. 

Roger Hall (1939 –), New Zealand's most successful playwright, Roger Hall was born in Essex and moved to New Zealand in 1958. As well as stage plays, Roger has also written scripts for radio and television, and for children. His writing is known for its comedy, political and social purpose, and underlying pathos. His plays have toured widely and have been performed at international venues. His biggest success was with Middle Age Spread that ran for 18 months in London's West End and won the award for Comedy of the Year (1979). Hall has been the recipient of awards and fellowships in recognition of his work. Book Ends was first performed at Dunedin’s Fortune Theatre in 2014.

Hate Mail

I am aware of Robert Bannister's revisionist and seriously wrong idea that Darwinism and social Darwinism are not equivalent and claiming that Darwin and his closest associates were not racists.  I think one of the problems is that the old regime of pre-internet scholarship which could more easily assert an ideological agenda as scholarship is running into the problem of primary documentation that gives away their game being freely available and easily found.  The post-war revisionist Charles Darwin is a construct that depended on the unavailability and even obscurity of that documentation but that's over and done with. 

The first idea is, as I have had to point out over and over again, not only contradicted by no one less than Charles Darwin, himself, when he explicitly said, in HIS 5th edition of On the Origin of Species he said that Natural Selection was the same thing as Survival of the Fittest and that he repeatedly asserted that natural selection was at work in human societies and in human institutions in The Descent of Man and in his correspondence, going so far as to express opposition to such ideas as equal pay and organized labor as a hindrance of his struggle for existence.  That is enough to dispel anything claiming otherwise.   His racism is also on full display all through The Descent of Man and in his correspondence, any claims to the contrary by any scholar of the subject is, in my opinion, a discreditable distortion for clearly ideological purposes.   The example you sent me, of Bannister claiming that the infamously racist essay of Thomas Huxley was not racist is absurd and clearly obvious to anyone who read it. 

Not only that but it is also disconfirmed in the understanding of Darwin's closest colleagues, his children and in other people who knew the man as well as the next several generations of Darwinists who never knew him but certainly knew his work, it is also disconfirmed by many of his critics who, as well, perhaps even more so, did a close reading of his scientific writing and his other written legacy.  It is certainly disproved in the Darwinian character of eugenics, something whose origin in Galton's and Schallmeyer's reading of On the Origin of Species we know, beyond question, by their own assertions and that Darwin agreed with eugenics by his own written approval sent to Galton on the publication of Hereditary Genius and his citations in The Descent of Man praising that work, the two articles in Macmillan's Magazine which Galton marked as his first eugenics publication as reliable science in The Descent of Man.  From Francis Darwin, Charles' son and the first collector of his correspondence,  we have confirmation that he supported George Darwin's very early eugenics proposals published in a magazine article calling for the legal dissolution of marriages - even against the will of those so married - in the event of a mental illness in one of the partners, even if such a person were held to have recovered from it.   We also have Leonard Darwin's assertions that his eugenics activity was something his father would have approved of and that he was continuing his father's work in it. 

Bannister can claim many things, as any present day scholar can, he and they can't, however, claim to have superior knowledge of what Charles Darwin thought as compared to people who knew him intimately, even his own children.   Nothing he claims can reasonably be said to overturn what they said, nothing short of Charles Darwin, himself, contradicting their claims, in writing.   That record will stand as long as the book and articles and letters written by Charles Darwin, Galton, Haeckel, Huxley, Francis, George and Leonard Darwin, etc. exist.  And all of that evidence is fully available now, online, where it can be known through a fairly simple online search.  

The cover up of Darwinism's relation with eugenics, scientific racism and social Darwinism that was mounted by academics in the wake of the reaction against crimes of the Nazis and English speaking eugenicists is over, for good.   You don't have to "cherry pick" or "quote mine" or depend on secondary sources and tertiary and lower junk to make that case, it is best made by a full reading of the original source material which is almost all available online.  The pre-internet cover-up of that kind is over in so far as anyone wants to honestly know the truth about it.

Again, as I have said recently, I could fill this short piece with citations and links so that virtually every word of it would how up red on my blog.  Perhaps it's time for me to do another comprehensive index of the pieces I've written on this topic, each of them with citations and links to primary documentation of what I said, but there are so many of them.   I'm absolutely certain on this, you can be when you find the exact word confirming that in Darwin's own writing and that of those he cited as having the reliability of science. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Robin Eubanks - X-Base

trombone: Robin Eubanks
bass: Kenny Davis
guitar: Kevin Eubanks
drums: Marvin "Smitty" Smith
horns: Randy Brecker, Antonio Hart

For N. - Thomas Tallis - Third Mode Melody - Sung to "Why F'umth in fight" a paraphrase, kind of, of Psalm 2

Theater of Voices
Paul Hillier, conductor

The "Theme of Thomas Tallis" which Ralph Vaughn Williams wrote his fantasia on, originally one of nine 4-voice pieces Tallis wrote to be sung to metrical paraphrases of the psalms in Archbishop Parker's Psalter.  The same setting could be used for any text that shared the same metrical structure.  This one is notable for being in the third, of Phrygian mode which, in my analysis, gives it the distinctive feel it has and which gives it both a definite feeling of  non-repose and harmonic motion, even though the actual melody dwells and lingers on the fifth degree,  a feeling of active not altogether easy meditation.  Though Tallis, like William Byrd, remained a faithful Catholic for the entire period of the Tudor persecution of Catholicism, he also wrote music used by the Protestant establishment.  Williams included it in the Anglican song book that he edited in 1906 set to a much later hymn by John Addison, as well as his Fantasia. 

The Anti-Gay KKK Is Emblematic of The Anti-Christ Here And Now In The Republican-Fascist-Putin-Nazi Axis

For even the most hardened atheist and anti-Christian and, perhaps most resistant of all, liberalish member of the First Church of the Brunch* one prophesy in the Bible is on full display, in real life, in the clearest of terms, manifesting in the world,  starting today.

For most of my life I've considered the last book of the Christian Bible, what we called The Apocalypse, what most Protestants call Revelations, to have been a big mistake.  The often misunderstood, easily and often sensationalized vision of some guy named John, is among the most abused books in the collection.  When I was young I thought it was just silly to believe in it, that is at the childish and historically and literarily ignorant hermeneutic of believing it was to be taken as literally true, a literal prophesy of things that were to come.  But those habits of reading, which modern atheism holds in common with modern Biblical fundamentalism aren't the terms under which it was brought into the cannon of Biblical scriptures, it was brought in because it was understood that the book was not literally describing future events but it was a poetic description of how disaster would come, a description, in figures, illusions, symbols, numerological implication, etc. of any enormous disaster, even ultimate, cataclysmic environmental destruction on top of  horrendous violence, oppression, moral decay and mass slaughter on a, well, these days the journalists like to say, "Biblical scale". 

But it was during the 2010 BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico that, hearing the description and seeing the aerial footage of the oil pollution that my thoughts went to the passage that says,

The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died. (16:3)

though that wasn't the first thing that led me to think maybe the author was on to something, it was witnessing the degenerate association of Christianity, of Jesus, with the corporate-Republican agenda that had co-opted the Biblical fundamentalists, integralist Catholics and others who, together with their other political allies made a pretty convincing anti-Christ. 

The "Values" Voters Summit, who turn hate and depravity and injustice and inequality into a perversion of "values" is a particularly evil hate group, well connected, well financed, and powerful, perverting the name and superficial trappings of Christianity to pretty much try to do the evil work of destroying any progress made to make The Gospel, the Law and the Prophets real in law and in life in the United States.   It is addressed by a whole host of people who could either stand in for or easily represent figures in the Book of Revelation as a manifestation of evil, using lies and deception and superficial appearance to sucker the gullible, the foolish and, most of all, those whose own moral failings make them easy prey for Satan or The God of the World or any of the other names given to evil and its emanations in the book.   In that reading of the Apocalypse or The Revelation, I believe completely because I see it unfolding before our eyes and have seen it unfolding my whole life and in recent history. 

It is unfortunate that, with our modern and simplistic expectations of literal truth that the poetic language of the author and the seemingly bizarre and easily and facilely ridiculed aspects in those do more to blind people to the truth behind them than to inform them.  The condemnation of wealth and its accumulation - often expressed in the contemporary equivalent of our billionaire class, kings, emperors and other rulers - and the moral degeneracy and disaster that they promote and practice couldn't possibly be clearer, once you get past the language of dragons with stars on their heads.  Though that can be useful, too.  If Putin is taken to equal "Babylon" Trump would certainly be a good candidate to be his whore, or, in contemporary terms, "his bitch".   I think once you take it on its own terms and see it as a general analysis of what happens when great fortunes rule the world instead of a one-off event in the extended future, there's an enormous amount to learn from it.  John could have written it as a political science or sociological treatise instead of giving it a poetic treatment but, really, who would read it now except for old farts writing papers in little read journals? 

For the record, I don't think a single person who is going to address that coven of anti-Christians really believes in anything they're going to say, they're either trying to rope in the dopes like a carny huckster or they're going through the motions for their patrons.  The whole thing is an exercise in lies on behalf the father of lies, as Jesus, recorded by another John said:

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

I've come to understand a lot more about that most troublesome of the Gospels, too, looking at the signs of the times and to appreciate much that is found in it. 

* The estimable Garrison Keillor's phrase is perfect.  That sort of nominal Christianity,  in its easy-going liberal wing, is not enough to fight against real evil.  It's to busy with keeping up buildings, salaries, etc.  It can, at its worst, be sort of like Trump during the campaign going back to the Presbyterian church where he made a pro-forma profession of faith in his youth but, it having since become a majority minority congregation, he had to ask the pastor if Presbyterians were Christians during the campaign. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Is Mueller Trying to Stop Trump From Pardoning People?

I For One Hope That Barack Obama Doesn't Attempt To Lead The Resistance To Trump

I can't agree with Charles Pierce that having Obama "joining the resistance full time" would be a good thing, if that were going to help then why didn't it during the eight years he held actual power?  In his piece, yesterday, Pierce noted that Barack Obama, instead of being engaged in full time efforts to resist the destruction of American democracy and the world has been engaged in socializing with the A+++ list of celebrities and giving $400,000 speeches to bankers and the such, which, given his presidency which never challenged the utra-rich and ultra-powerful at any basic level should surprise no one.  It's what a golden-boy preppy-Ivy leaguer who became and remained president for two term could be expected to do, that is the dominant culture of his class.  I was really disturbed earlier in the year reading that his idea of resistance was unleashing the Wall Street lap dog, Eric Holder.   To be fair, I was just as skeptical about the idea of Bill Clinton being any kind of effective opponent of George W. Bush.  While I wouldn't say that Barack Obama is someone I would like to never hear from again, something I have said about Bill, though not Hillary Clinton, I can't see him as being any more effective in opposing what, out of power, he did little to nothing to fight against while in power. 

No, I think any leadership in opposition to Trump has to come from someone who isn't a member of the elite which has never been an effective opponent of that kind of thing.  I suspect the set of all former elite law school grad and faculty such that they might be effective in leadership in opposition to Republican-fascism might be pretty much limited to one member, Elizabeth Warren.  And the null set, but that's just a formality of set theory.

Obama is a figure of the past, a great campaigner, while he was running for office but one who I heard many down ballot politicians complain about being unwilling to help them with resources or even lists.  In office he did a good job of setting low bars, achieving easy wins, being unwilling to play political hard ball for even his own signature agenda items, more interested in courting Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and making nice with Republicans who regularly spat in his face than even trying to get the votes from stray members of his own party in the Congress.  By comparison with Trump, I certainly miss him, as the leader of the Democratic Party I see what he squandered and gave away.   If he and Holder had held the wall street crooks accountable, if he had pursued a full and extensive economic recovery instead of giving away huge chunks for the non-support of Snowe and Collins, if he had put the screws to conservative Democrats and passed a really great healthcare bill which would be more resistant to sabotage, we wouldn't be where we are right now.

So, please, Barack Obama, don't try to do now what you refused to do then.  Obama's big mistake wasn't what Charles Pierce noted, giving the country absolution without penance, though that is a good idea, too, it is that he decided to play statesman while he was holding a political office during a time when statesmanship was never going to work.  I always said I'd give him 2009 before I gave up hope.  That was a long, long time ago and hope deferred evaporates. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Lecture - Walter Brueggemann - Truth-Filled Futures

So much said in less than 16 minutes.  

I have decided to get back to posting lectures, sermons, interviews on a more regular basis.  This is one given by Walter Brueggemann which I listened to recently while doing some otherwise boring chore.   I've listened to it several more times.  While listening  the first couple of times, I was impressed with the expansive interpretation that Brueggemann gave to what is implied in those troublesome, often exclusively interpreted texts where Jesus said no one came to God except through him, and which have been abused so often to say that no one but a small circle of believers were eternally damned.  His association of Jesus as conceived of as The Logos in John with Wisdom in Proverbs Chapter 8 and the association of Jesus with the justice and mercy and compassion that Wisdom created as fundamental attributes of the universe and that THAT is what we have to conform ourselves and our lives to or there will be disaster is the first time I've ever felt entirely comfortable with the idea.  NOT that Brueggemann's interpretation is more comfortable or easy or untroubling than the tradition that interprets that as being baptized and claiming that you're a Christian.   It's not easier, it's to throw yourself against the machine of the powerful, the rich, governments, societies that oppose those, "the world of power" which Brueggemann says, so well, "is dedicated to phoniness".   By the time he gets to the part about Jesus saying "it's all mine" and that he will give it all to us, Brueggemann associates that distribution with conformity to justice, compassion, generosity.

Particularly worth noticing is what he says about the folly of that American, modernist virtue "self sufficiency" and how destructive and stupid that ultimately is.

Here's the talk, I'll probably transcribe parts of it to discuss some ideas in it later, when I'm not feeling so exhausted.


It happened that just the other day I listened to another lecture session that was much longer, William Lane Craig on "God and the Platonic Host" which got into the concept of The Logos and much more, in which Craig talked at length about his years long philosophical study of the nature of abstract objects and the aseity of God, which is extremely interesting and pretty convincing on an intellectual level but, much as I appreciated what Craig was saying I didn't find nearly as useful.  

Both of these did leave me more convinced than ever that materialism, scientism and atheism are symptoms of intellectual vacuity and the dumbing down of intellectualism.  I have some profound disagreements with William Lane Craig about specific things but he is intellectually heads and shoulders above the atheist competition in the realm of ideas.  To a large extent that could be the result of most of his debate opponents being trained in some narrow aspect of the sciences and so-called sciences, relieved of any in depth knowledge of even the areas of philosophy that deal with logical argument.  As I pointed out not long ago, when he has an argument with another philosopher I've found the atheist was far less prone to arrogantly make an ass of himself, maybe unknown to his own audience but obvious to anyone who has read much philosophy or dealt in rigorous self-criticism of thier own thinking.  I specifically wouldn't include someone like Daniel Dennett or John Shook in that category, I think that Shook in particular is someone who should never have been given an undergraduate degree in philosophy, nevermind a PhD.   I have to confess that I've come to be skeptical of anyone who has a philosophy degree from the University of  Buffalo. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What Mike Pence’s Cynical Anthem Stunt Cost

Dietrich Buxtehude - Suite in e minor

Wim Winters, clavichord

I played this on organ many, many years ago and once in a while on piano since then (not for performance) along with some of the other Buxtehude suites.  It's virtually certain that Buxtehude wrote the suites and associated variations, etc. in the collection this was found in for a small, fretted clavichord with a short octave in the bass (some of the fingering issues on a modern keyboard make that evident) which was the commonest domestic keyboard instrument in Germany at the time.  J. S. Bach, also wrote many of his pieces in the range that would fit that instruments, including many of his most well known works.  His earliest biographer documents that people who knew him said he favored the clavichord for practice.   His son, C.P.E. Bach as well favored the instrument, though I believe his music is generally for an unfretted instrument with the range of a harpsichord.


Score of the manuscript  in tablature.

This suite, unlike most of the others in the unique tablature containing them, is also known in a lute tablature in which the music is somewhat different. 
If you hadn't guessed, I'm not feeling very well the past couple of days.   Truth be told, I have a serious illness that is going to knock me down every once in a  while.   Nothing to get my enemies hopes up so far but I have to take it easy a bit.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fré Focke - Tombeau de Vincent van Gogh

The player isn't listed, the comments carry a speculation but I don't know so I won't pass it on.

Fré Focke was one of Anton Webern's students and while the pieces here are very short, as Webern's were, they are quite different from his style.   I think it's a sign of a great composition teacher that their students don't end up copying them.

I'd never heard of Focke until last weekend when I was reading about Webern's little known conducting career.  This is his only piece I managed to listen to.   The pictures represented are listed by the person who posted this as:

Barques aux Santes-Marie
La moisson
La café de nuit
Les blés verts
La berceuse
La cueillette des olives
Le pont-Levis
Les lavandières
Nuit étoilée
La route aux Cyprès
Champ d'oliviers
Tige d'amandier fleuri
L'homme à l'oreille coupée
Jeune fille assise
Les paveurs
Paysage à Auvers
Champ de blé aux corbeaux.
There are many evocative and distinct moments in the music, the composer was clearly talented.