"It seems to me that to organize on the basis of feeding people or righting social injustice and all that is very valuable. But to rally people around the idea of modernism, modernity, or something is simply silly. I mean, I don't know what kind of a cause that is, to be up to date. I think it ultimately leads to fashion and snobbery and I'm against it."
Jack Levine: January 3, 1915 – November 8, 2010
I will be out tomorrow and perhaps for a few days after that. A health matter has sprung up and it can't be put off, it happens at my age.
In the mean time I'm going to leave you with a few lectures to listen to. This one by the physicist and critic of cosmology George Ellis contains so much that is fascinating and so much that will make my ususal detractors upset AND ONE BIG THING THAT WILL MAKE THEM SMILE BUT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR TO HEAR THAT. I bet none of them listens to it to find out what that is. It is addressed in by one of the truly distinguished audience of questioners, needless to say I disagree with Ellis on that point for reasons I've already addressed. The question period is especially interesting. It's is not you typical Youtube Q and A, it's really worth listening to.
Bernie Sanders is clearly not going to concede that he lost the nomination for president because, unsurprisingly, it turns out most Democrats prefer a Democrat to be the Democratic presidential candidate. He has yet to admit he lost and the longer that he holds out that concession that Hillary Clinton's win was a clear one, with 57% of the votes, the more damage he does to her chances of beating Donald Trump and to his reputation. Both of which show that he is not a particularly skilled politician if beating Trump is, as he claims it to be, his highest priority. I'm becoming more convinced, the longer he holds out, that Bernie Sanders is afraid that his revolutionary forces will turn on him if he does speak realistically to them, I don't think he really believes they will stick with him. He should save us all a lot of bother and run the test. If they are really up for mounting a revolution they will stick with it though they've lost the nomination. If their participation is only as thick as the ink on a Bernie sign, it's better to find out now when it can fade away in the summer sun before November.
His continuing to deny reality is also unfortunate because it diminishes his strength to advocate for his political policy agenda. I am entirely in favor of most of that, though not all of it, some of it is essential to save life on the planet, democracy and a decent world and society. Some of it is just unattainable a bit of it is stupid.
His speech to his supporters the other day had much in it I could agree with but it also had some things in it that I am absolutely against. Foremost of those are his just bad and even foolish demands in terms of future nomination contests. For someone who was not a Democrat before last year, he seems to think he has some kind of right to dictate how our party nominates candidates. And he seems to have learned, in what I am just about certain is his first and only fight for a nomination, only that the things that he believes deprived him of the nomination should go. He is against closed primaries and super delegates. At least that's what I got from his speech. It seemed as if those were the excuse for him not conceding his loss.
He leaves out the worst feature of the nominations process, those states which hold caucuses - the most antiquated, least democratic, least voter friendly and so most vote suppressing of all election processes in current use. Caucuses favored Bernie Sanders, as someone said, Hillary Clinton was the candidate of the primaries, Bernie Sanders the candidate of the caucuses. And the caucuses had a minuscule voter turn out as compared to the primaries. In the North Dakota caucuse, Bernie Sanders won with 253 votes and Hillary Clinton lost with 101 votes. That is total votes, not a margin of votes. [Note: See correction below ] You can compare that with the South Dakota primary held on the same night which Hillary Clinton won with 27,046 votes and Bernie Sanders lost with 25,958 votes. Clearly primaries get the most voter participation and caucuses discourage the most voter participation. But Bernie Sanders' claimed reform to the system would, apparently, allow for caucuses, which discredits his effort as some kind of radical reform of the nomination process.
On the other hand his proposal to do away with closed primaries is really a call for the Democratic Party to commit suicide. There is no reason for a political party to hand its nominations process to people outside of the party, not any logical reason, nor any reason of justice, fairness nor on the basis of any rights that non-members of the party have to that decision. In places where that was possible, in West Virginia, for example, non-Democrats can vote for someone they believe is the weakest possible candidate for the party in order to try to hand the election to Republicans. I believe that's what happened in that state this year.
As I said, if there are open primaries, officially or, as in my state, de facto, then Democrats should swamp the Green Party, take it over and either make the Democratic nominee its nominee or they should dissolve the party which has most prominently run spoiler candidates in order to defeat Democratic candidates, putting Republicans in office. The Greens have certainly given Democrats more than enough justification for doing that over the past twenty years. Including some races in which their candidate was financed by Republican money, as in the Senatorial race in Pennsylvania twelve years ago.
If you can tell me why it would be wrong for Democrats to hijack the Green Party nomination process in order to dominate its convention and change its rules, you will be telling us exactly what's wrong with open primaries and what's wrong with Bernie Sanders idea of reforming the Democratic Party. Only more so. It's exactly what he's trying to do now.
Bernie Sanders didn't prove he had the support of most Democrats, he came in from outside of the party to run for president on the pretext of "moving the discussion to the left". Well, that may have been a good idea which I favored right up until the time he made it clear that he was really intent on tearing down Hillary Clinton, who was clearly going to be the nominee of the party based on the number of votes cast and that he was also intent on tearing down and discrediting the Democratic Party - no doubt to the delight of Republicans and their media mouthpieces. And that became apparent a number of months ago. For him to come in from outside of the party to demand rules that would destroy its integrity as an expression of members of the Democratic Party is outrageously arrogant and displays a sense of entitlement that his admittedly impressive but failing nomination campaign doesn't justify.
At this point, there isnt much to be gained by giving into Sanders on those points. He's not even conceding his loss, being a problem for our legitimate nominee. And that's nothing compared to the continuing trash talking - using Republican talking points, of his supporters.
Nor, given what happened in the Republican nomination this year, do I think that his demand to scrap the super delegates is a good idea, either. Super delegates are there to hedge against the possibility that voters could be talked into making a really bad choice for the nomination which couldn't be undone at the last minute. Samantha Bee gave the example of John Edwards whose career-ending affair was revealed at a time it would have been a total disaster for Democrats if he had won the nomination. I think Donald Trump is a far better example, though Ted Cruz could serve for one as well. The super delegates were adopted as a means of addressing several losing elections in a short period when it was clear that the nominations hadn't produced strong candidates. However, the super delegates have never overturned the will of the voters, it is another clue as to Standers real motives in that he is attempting to talk them into doing that this year.
I don't blame Bernie Sanders for shifting positions as it appears will advantage him in an election - he is a politician, it's the rarest of politicians who won't do that, politicians who get to hold offices, that is. I do blame him for trying to pretend his trying to game things for his advantage are some kind of reform, when he wants to keep some of the worst features of the nomination process in place, those which advantaged him, this year.
Democrats might consider changing the super delegate rules - as they almost always have - but they should demand an end to caucuses and they should demand an end to open primaries. If independents, Greens, and ratfucking Republicans want to vote for the Democratic nominee, they should have to make the effort to become members of the party. And they should have to stay in it until the next presidential election. Democrats have the right to protect the integrity of our party. Bernie Sanders will be gone after this year, if he keeps up with the pretense that he is a Democrat, I say that's his right. What isn't his right is to dictate the destruction of the party to suit his theoretical inclinations.
Update: I just found out that the figures for North Dakota I cited were misreported in both of the sources I checked. Those are the numbers of delegates to the state convention, not raw votes. I apologize for the error. Apparently I wasn't the only one who was confused on that point a it was misreported in both of my sources consulted. I did not find an actual vote count, which is a problem in itself. Clearly when the result isn't based on a clean and clear tabulation of votes the process isn't transparent. Any number of problems with caucuses could be cited, the incredibly cumbersome and absurd system in Nevada with both county conventions and a state convention in addition to the local caucuses are emblematic of why they should all be replaced with primaries.
Andrew Hill (piano
Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone
Kenny Dorham, trumpet
Richard Davis, bass
Tony Williams, drums
Gone With The Wind - piano solo
You can definitely hear Andrew Hill's style in this as well as how he references other jazz, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, and, I think, a bit of Teddy Wilson. A great inventive genius is influenced by other inventive geniuses.
The Dorian Wind Quintet
Elizabeth Mann, flute
Gerard Reuter, oboe
Jerry Kirkbride, clarinet
David Jolley, horn
Jane Taylor, bassoon
George Perle has arguably written more significant wind quintets than any other composer since the early 19th century. He wrote four, in all. The notes to the New World Records recording of his complete quintets, - 80359 which I couldn't recommend you buy more highly - say:
Less dramatic than that of Boulez, Wuorinen, or even Babbitt, Perle's music usually sounds simpler than it is. If his surfaces seem uncomplicated, one can listen through the texture to hear the background irregularities that keep the music interesting--a changing note in a held chord, a beat quietly dropped or added--much as one does in Mozart or Schubert. Repetition is common and never literal. Perle never writes down to an audience and never worries about "accessibility," but he is a firm believer that "a piece that 'makes sense' will reach one, at some intuitive level, even at first hearing." Such is certainly true of these quintets, which place Perle alongside Schoenberg, Nielsen, and Jolivet as composers who have raised the wind quintet above its utilitarian origins to make an enduring personal statement.
The CD really sounds so much better than the mp4. If you want to hear this music in as close to optimal conditions as possible outside of an excellent live performance, you should hear it.
The same fact accurately portrayed by a number of artistic intelligences should be different in each case, whereas the same fact accurately expressed by a number of scientific intelligences should be the same.
Harold Speed : The Practice and Science of Drawing
Materialist dogma holds that our ideas and our minds are the epiphenomena of physical structures made by and residing in the physical brain, this is something which has been asserted by many materialists in science and outside of science for a long time now, it has been taught in schools and universities and is one of the reigning dogmas of popular culture. You can hardly turn on the radio or pick up a newspaper without some reporter or other pushing the idea, explicitly or by extension.
In the past year I looked at one problem of that "brain only" dogma, that if ideas are the result of physical structures in the brain, there would be no way for the brain to know what structures to make in order for it to contain ideas since the right idea would be unknown to it until that structure was made by the brain. Materialists have to believe that brains make just the right structure in order to contain an accurate, objective idea BEFORE THAT IDEA EXISTS IN THE BRAIN. Which is, clearly, not possible if the idea is a product of a physical structure. Either the ideas which comprise a good part of the mind available for discussion are non-physical and are transmitted into the mind non-physically, or the brain does what no thinking person would ever really believe it could do.
I don't see how that couldn't definitively refute the claim that our minds are the product of the structures within the brain and have been asking that any materialist who has a solution to that problem to say what it is. I have gotten the typically vague and, really mystical-magical formulas of "genes" and "natural selection" thrown at the problem but those aren't really any kind of answer. Those only prove that for many a rigid, Brit-style atheist-materialist, those ideas are held to be magical and mystical formulas which are supposed to be answers in themselves. IN FACT, THOSE ANSWERS, GIVEN AS SUFFICIENT IN THEMSELVES ARE EFFECTIVE ASSERTIONS OF MIRACLES IN THE PLACE OF A PLAUSIBLE MECHANISM OF HOW WHAT OBVIOUSLY DOES HAPPEN, HAPPENS WITHOUT POSSIBLE EXPLANATION.
Atheists who believe in and cling emotionally to the brain-only, materialist mind are really not so different from supernaturalists as they love to believe they are in their great conceit. Not when you bring up such problems with their superficial and unquestioned articles of faith. In the end what is asserted to be a scientific holding (but is demonstrably not scientific) is really just a rigid refusal to really address the problems with their cherished ideas which they believe give them some special status in intellect and significance, that special status, as well being rendered meaningless by their dogmatic faith.
Growing out of that year long effort to get them to address that problem leads inevitably to the problem for the materialist model of the mind, of how different brains - different "intelligences" in Harold Speed's statement - could produce exactly the same physical structures to constitute scientific facts with sufficient uniformity to produce anything like scientific truth or even uniform physical laws for science to validly hold. It is a general and social expression of the same problem. How would each individual brain which holds a physical law make exactly the same structure to constitute the physical substrate to be that law in each individual brain? How does that happen? What does the fact that every individual human mind - and, so, presumably, under materialist dogma every human brain - is quite different and hardly uniform. How do you get uniformity of an idea held across so many different brains, given their huge differences.
How could you even get uniformity of an idea being transmitted through as big a difference as different languages? Science doesn't hold that the a law of science exists in different languages, an English, a German, a Russian, a Chinese and a Korean,.... form, the idea of scientific objectivity and universal validity couldn't be true if that were the case. Answering that the law is contained in a uniform equation doesn't get past that problem, a mathematical formula is entirely meaningless unless it is translated into actual language in which the individual terms of the equation are related to whatever physical entities they represent. Mathematical representations of material objects are both translated into and out of numbers and numerical forms, the equation only shows relationships among different physical entities in order to make a generalized claim about them, the actual entities represented can't be divorced from the mathematical form of the argument or it becomes meaningless. Considering the considerable grammatical differences in different languages, the different cultural and personal views of things, I don't see any escape from the vicissitudes of human individuality and cultural difference for the materialist mind model.
I don't see how any scientific concept could maintain anything like a close to uniform status among so many different brains in so many different languages and cultures unless they are not dependent on physical structures but exist independent of those. I will challenge anyone who wants to tell us just how that could happen to try it.
Of course, since materialism resides in the minds of human beings, it is an ideology unknown to even our closest animal cousins, all of these same problems which it generates are especially problematic for its validity. An idea can't be valid if it generates its own invalidation by its claims. I have held that materialism is the one ideology that can't be true unless it is false. That doesn't keep it from being the faith of some of the most highly esteemed people in the world, today and well into the past. Which, I suspect, has a lot to tell us about why modern culture is so screwed up and so why we are well on our way to destroying ourselves.
Update: Well, atheist boy, "zombie body-mind dualism" doesn't get materialism out of these paradoxes of its own making. That's no less a magical incantation than saying "genes" or "natural selection" without filling in the huge gap which this represents for materialism. Materialism assumed to be there without explanation is no better than that "god of the gaps" stuff you guys are always and ignorantly claiming other people of asserting
Though I don't advocate the classical position of "mind-body dualism" it does have the advantage of not creating its own falsification within the statement of it. Dualism never was disproved, it merely was made unfashionable. I'll bet you couldn't even properly state what it held without looking it up on Wikipedia (assuming they've got it right which I wouldn't bet on). I'll bet the sum total of your knowledge of it is learning in college that it was unfashionable. Which is pretty much what most atheism is for most atheists, a matter of fashion and conforming to it.
Stupy, as clearly stated in that footnote, I wrote that eight years ago, not yesterday, well before Barack Obama had been elected, while George W. Bush was still occupying the presidency. And in the context of the passage, it is clear that it was the attempt to make Barack Obama appear to not be legitimately American and exotic which I was referring to. Considering that attempt has been ongoing during his entire time in office, becoming part of the Trump campaign which was so notably successful with your fellow TV informed dolts, I'm not the least bit embarrassed at having called it eight years ago. Lying is the mother tongue of so many, not only the Republicanfascist materialists, but the atheist-materialist "left," as well, it distorts all of their thinking. I'm beginning to think that a more realistic distinction in politics isn't between "conservative and liberal" it's between liars and people who appreciate the difference between truth and lies.
There are at least two ways to accurately quote what someone has written, the honest way which cites and accurately represents what it said without distortion and the typically ideological way of clipping it closely to distort what it meant for reasons of misrepresenting it. You can further distinguish between those dishonest uses of it to merely use the quote to appear to support your point or to misrepresent it to try to discredit what was said. Guess which one is filling up my pending comments box tonight.
For some reason, summer weather is something I associate with wind ensemble music. Perhaps it's the title of Samuel Barber's Summer Music, maybe it's something else. Listening to Arthur Berger reminded me of his friend and colleague, Irving Fine and the weather led me to think about his woodwind music. Irving Fine was a composer who died far too young at the age of 47. He accomplished a lot, composing a good number of really good works, conducting and performing and practically building the music program at Brandeis University from scratch, attracting some excellent faculty members, including Arthur Berger. You can learn more about him, his career, his associates and the history of wind quintets from the lecture posted below by Nicholas Alexander Brown, primarily about his two works for wind quintet. But first some music.
Irving Fine - Partita for Wind Quintet
"The President's Own" Marine Band Woodwind Quintet
If I could find the names of these musicians, I would list them. They aren't listed anywhere. I hate it when the musicians aren't credited. They are quite good.
For me Clint Eastwood's raving at the chair at the Republican Convention in 2012 was a perfect encapsulation of the racism which was and still is the Republican party and media's treatment of Barack Obama. Everything from the use of his father's Kenyan ancestry, his father's Islamic ancestry, his name, the birther non-issue and lie, the attempt of media venues from the sewer of FOX to NPR's Cokie Roberts* to exoticize his real birth place, as if Hawaii isn't one of the Nifty Fifty United States, something that fifth graders who learn RAY CHARLES' song know is a lie
but which the great American media tried to use against Barack Hussein Obama as it took it upon itself to disunite Hawaii to disqualify one of its sons from election as president of the United States.
And the Republican Racism Machine wasn't done, not by a long shot. The disrespect as ignorant, vacuous racist slimers such as Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump denied his intellectual brilliance demonstrated in an exemplary record of academic achievement, of intellectual engagement. And for me, most of all today, having read that truly inspiring article-interview of President Obama by Jeffrey Goldberg his capacity for questioning and doubting one of the most destructive and stupid foreign and military policies which is an article of faith in official Washington, his practice of one of the highest of intellectual powers human beings are endowed with, the capacity of self-questioning and reconsideration of our conclusions based on an engagement of morality and reality COMING TO THE CONCLUSION THAT EVEN THOUGH IT WILL CAUSE US TO LOOSE FACE WE MUST CHANGE OUR MIND AND COURSE OF ACTION.
There has been, in opposing Barack Obama's public career every strategy of racist white supremacy used over and over again. The active attempt of Republicans in the House and Senate to overturn the will of The People to make him a non-president by blocking his appointments, blocking his action, refusing to pass laws that he would sign into law, the attempts by them to turn his eight-years in office into a cipher in terms of achievements, turning a man who is, in fact, one of the most capable of men ever elected to the office, into a non-president, one who will go down in history as a footnote instead of one of great achievements. As I said, read the article linked to above to see the potential that their conscious campaign of whipping up racism against Barack Obama has deprived this country of.
I could go on and on documenting how the Republican Party, the Republican judiciary, the Republican media, de jure and de facto, have promoted and used racism against Barack Obama, calling on the worst in the American People to try to destroy the first Black president of the United States for the basest of motives.
For me, all of that is summed up in Clint Eastwood's racist, condescending rant which reduced President Barack Obama into an empty chair on a stage for him to rail at to the delight of the Republican racists in the audience, those who were too stupid to understand how truly disgusting and appalling that was - the few who may have feared that it had gone too far and had given away their game perhaps excepted. They had little to fear from the corporate media, they had been as much a part of the years long campaign of racist diminution of trying to turn the term of the twice elected President Barack Obama into an empty presidency, not only turning him into a non-person but acting to overturn the will of The People who had elected him to lead a government of, by and for The People.
What Clint Eastwood is too stupid to understand is that stunt was a revelation of him, the real him, that a dozen "Bird" movies won't ever erase. It was also an exposure of a party and a corporate oligarchy which will never do more than scab over, only to tear open again at any time.
And what they still don't understand is that Clint Eastwood, at the Republican Convention, to the delight of the combined racists there, demonstrated, beyond the possibility of rational denial, that there is a very real difference between the party that didn't pull the ranting old white man off with a hook ... that it is, in fact, entirely different from the Democratic Party which enthusiastically elected Barack Obama to one of the most powerful positions of trust in the world. A party which has, now, nominated the first woman who has a real chance of being president and against whom the Republicans and their media are mounting every strategy and mechanism and tool of misogyny to defeat her.
* I'd forgotten I'd written this almost eight years ago.
Hearing the “exotic” line recited by Cokie Roberts last Monday has to rank up there with Sally Quinn on marital propriety. There is no one more exotic than Cokie Roberts, whose family left New Orleans, a perfectly normal city, to morph into the most alien life form, the DC insider. Her brother’s a DC lobbyist, her husband, another DC media pod person. The talking heads are service droid mannequins more believable as Sci-fi Channel filler than as sources of information about life in the United States.
One of the more important aspects of this campaign of racism is whether or not white people, especially those in “the heartland”, will be played for chumps as the Republican racial strategy wishes them to be. You would think that people who live in the mid-west would be tired of that role, especially as many of them are fully as progressive and sophisticated as anyone who works on either coast. I’ve known many people from states that start with an I who are more enlightened than any member of insider Washington and New York City. I’d be hard pressed to think of a mid-westerner I’ve known who isn’t more aware of real life than anyone who gets asked to yack on the cabloids. People in the mid-west aren’t consigned by fate to assume roles in perpetual I-Hop commercials. They should punch anyone who tries to force them into that square in the mush and in the only way they will stop it, by overturning the corporate establishment that creates these roles for them.
Obama’s campaign must point out how insulting and condescending those Republican campaigns are to the people who live in the fabled “heartland”. I’ll bet there are millions of white mid-westerners who are just waiting for evidence that they are not eternally consigned to the role constructed for them by snobs in the media and publishing elites over the past century*.
The announcement by the Census Bureau that the United States will be white minority about the middle of the century makes me wonder if it isn’t part of the effort by the Bush Regime to scare white people. But that’s one of the problems with this kind of thing, once you get used to seeing it used, you get suspicious of everything. Doesn’t mean your suspicions are wrong, unfortunately.
Update: Stupy, get some remedial reading help. What you can do about your propensity to misrepresent, I don't know what you can do about that.
Sorry, I'd have posted this earlier but I can't stop laughing when I found out how for so many lefties Clint Eastwood seems to be some kind of phallic totem symbol. Well, I think he's a dick but not in that way. The reaction I got to dissing his Clintness is so funny, especially considering the guy is a raving, fascist, rolling senior-moment of a guy. Yeah, some lefties. It was like I was rendering their Viagra ineffective or something.
You can see that each movement begins with "mesto", sadly. 1939 was a year to have lots of sadness about in Hungary, anywhere, really. The war was coming, something that Bartok certainly knew, he followed world events closely. He must have known that he would have to leave Hungary though he couldn't have known what that would include, including a struggle to make a living and his eventual death.
Of course you people who read my blog know that I knew that posting that link to Mark Vernon and Rupert Sheldrake's Science Set Free podcast yesterday would provoke the atheists who monitor this blog. Thought I certainly would have posted it on its own merits if that weren't true, I knew that they'd get into a swivet over it, and they did. I can't claim to not see that as a bonus, I do like to push that particular button and watch the predictable response.
Also in the e-mail newsletter I get from Rupert Sheldrake, listing his recent activities and recommending things he's read and heard, there was a very good and, from what I gather, badly received speech which the science journalist John Horgan gave to a "Skeptics" convention. I recommend it as well worth reading. Even though I sometimes disagree with some of what John Horgan says, like one of my scientist-materialist-atheist heroes, Richard Lewontin, he's an honest person and I suspect even something of a kindred spirit. He says:
I’m a science journalist. I don’t celebrate science, I criticize it, because science needs critics more than cheerleaders. I point out gaps between scientific hype and reality. That keeps me busy, because, as you know, most peer-reviewed scientific claims are wrong. So I’m a skeptic, but with a small S, not capital S. I don’t belong to skeptical societies. I don’t hang out with people who self-identify as capital-S Skeptics. Or Atheists. Or Rationalists. When people like this get together, they become tribal. They pat each other on the back and tell each other how smart they are compared to those outside the tribe. But belonging to a tribe often makes you dumber.
Well, I'm not a science journalist but I endorse most of that, especially the last paragraph. I certainly have found it to be the case in online commenting communities, which can get stupider as they go on, or maybe it's just that anyone who isn't prone to stupid group-think drop out of them.
His discussion of various lapses in scientific honesty and practice, especially when motivated by the ideological program of materialists and anti-religious atheists, isn't something I haven't gone over before but it's nice to see that I'm not the only one who has noticed that, even skeptical science reporters have.
The organized "Skeptics" are and always have been a fraud, they aren't skeptical about anything. They never question their own assumptions, they have absolute faith in what they believe in even as they deny that their belief is belief but declare it is knowledge. They have shown themselves to be able to lie and commit fraud and to refuse to look at evidence and to admit what it shows when they see it as any other fundamentalists - and fundamentalists they are. I would say that the current crop of anti-religious "Skeptics" are even more uniformly closed minded, anti-intellectual and dishonest about their motives and their behavior than many who fall in the category "evangelicals" and even many who might be called religious fundamentalists. I think it's more likely that someone who seriously believes there is a God-given requirement to be honest and to question your motives to grow past that than materialists who don't believe they are required to do that, though the difficulty and emotional challenge of doing that is hard for any of us.
We disagree about a number of things but I agree with him that "Skepticism" is largely a fraud and the attitude they have is, actually, destructive of science. His take down of Lawrence Krauss in his emergence as an ideological cosmologist says things I've been pointing out about that for about as long as he has (his links to his previous articles are well worth following up on).
And it should be noted that John Horgan is critical of the field of scientific inquiry that Rupert Sheldrake is often engaged in these days, Psi. Sheldrake clearly isn't going to let that keep him from recommending that people read what he says. Another thing that Rupert Sheldrake recommended in his newsletter is a blog post by Massimo Pigliucci, as he points out a big S Skeptic and atheist who is finding that his fellow ideologues are, in fact, anti-intellectuals and less open and honest than could produce real skepticism or even intellectual honesty. He goes into the matter of Krauss and other heroes of the neo-atheist-skeptic movement. I wish I could hear more of what Pigliucci has to say about the late Paul Kurtz, one of the biggest figures in turning pseudo-skepticism into a self-congratulating, anti-intellectual club of conceited, ignorant snobs. The pseudo-skeptics are, ironically enough, leading us back into the same intellectual decadence of the worst of pre-scientific scholasticism, only without the intellectual standards they practiced back then.
I don't see, a. that science under the regime of the materialists is going to reform itself, or b. that these critics will be taken seriously. I doubt that they will even really fix the wreck that peer review has become in the age of Big Science. I believe that we are well into the materialist-atheist dark age, the unlightenment. And the basic reason for that is because people have been sold on the idea that there is no sin, there are no moral obligations to tell the truth or to care about consequences. A lie is as good as the truth if you can get what you want with it. That is the result of this, even the few honest atheists and materialists are not going to save us from it. That will have to come from outside of it.
Republicans, the party of opportunistic hatred of Latinos and LGBT people, their hate spouting presidential candidate, Donald Trump, the candidate of most of those who voted in their nominations process are still trying to use the LGBT-Latino victims of a hate crime against both communities united in Latino - LGBT people to gain power so they can continue their hate campaigns against both communities. They are also using hatred and xenophobia against all Muslims because, just like the shooter, Omar Mateen, they are all about hate and like ISIS they are all about grabbing power no matter how they do it. The Republican Party has transformed itself into the party which is all about the worst of us, appealing to the worst in us for the worst possible motives, to gain power to steal the wealth of this country for the filthy rich. Their candidate, Donald Trump, has made himself famous as an icon of sharp business practice which is all about self-enrichment, of wallowing in the sort of sleazy luxury that is the putridly vulgar and facile form of conspicuous consumption promoted by the bottom end of show biz glitz. It would be the ultimate disrespect to the people murdered at the LGBT night club to allow their deaths to propel Donald Trump into office, it would be the ultimate disrespect to their memory to allow the same people who denied the horror of previous mass gun murders by psychopaths armed by the Republicans in the congress, the executive and most shamefully on the Supreme Court in order to make it easy for the murderer in this case to buy weapons despite him being on the radar of the FBI and him having been reported as being a violent, abusive hate talker who had been reported for his violent hatred of specific groups, including those he murdered last weekend. Yet that is what the media is going to allow to happen because they serve the same masters. That is, unless we stop them from stealing the bodies of the dead to use that way.
Scherzo. Alla bulgarese
Finale. Allegro vivace - Presto
Ana Török, Răsvan Dumitru - violins.
Traian Boală - viola.
Zsolt Török - cello
The last movement is, perhaps, played a bit too fast for a hall with such a long reverberation, though it might be the recording. It is a bracing tempo, I don't have the score here so I can't check to see what it says.
I wish I'd always played to such impeccably polite audiences. I didn't realize it was played in front of an audience until they started clapping.
Smith & Wesson Model 29: This giant revolver was on the verge of being discontinued until Clint Eastwood immortalized it as "the most powerful handgun in the world" while pointing it at a cowering "punk" in 1971's Dirty Harry. The gun used in the film is now on display at the NRA's National Firearms Museum.
Hollywood is the breeding ground of the fascist pathology that is the real danger to American democracy that communism never was. Update: Simps doesn't seem to understand that I'm not the one who wrote the article, I didn't choose the six guns and the movies that placed the products. Sorry, Simpy, you again fail the basic literacy test. I'm telling you, find one of those old SRA reading kits and go through them, one story at a time and you might get up to where 8th graders used to be expected to get. At least in my rural public school way out here in the sticks. I can't answer for yours.
Update: I don't know how Duncan can bring himself to sponsor the stupidity that Simps evoked with the comment he posted here posted there. Really, just stupid.
We always have to point out that the Republicans are sleazy ambulance chasers always trying to use these terror events to gain power, essentially the Reichstag Fire strategy of taking power. In this case it is especially disgusting because they are the foremost force in both promoting and exploiting the hatred of LGBT people and Latinos, who are most of the people who were murdered in Orlando. Now Trump and the Republican-fascists are trying to steal their corpses to turn them into election opportunities.
Mark Vernon and Rupert Sheldrakes' podcasts, Science Set Free, are something I look forward to. For one thing they are always interesting and informed, second, they are always calm and rational, third they always say things in a calm and rational way which makes orthodox atheists go nuts.
Dealing with domestic terror is not going to be a simple thing that reduces down to or conforms to facile slogans, neither the paranoia encouraging racism and xenophbia of Donald Trump nor the idiotic paranoia about the Feds keeping track of us which would predictably issue from the likes of Glenn Greenwald and the lefty magazines.
The BBC has up a piece asking if the mass murder in Orlando will secure the election of Donald Trump. Which would only intensify the crime into a tragedy because if there is an issue which needs the most mature and experienced of people dealing with it, the campaigns of gun violence - which is as real as could be - and that of domestic terrorism - real as well, and the most exploited of foreign terrorism, real but blown up into an illusion masking the two far larger and real issues in the United States. Donald Trump is probably the worst, possible person to turn to now and the media is doing absolutely nothing to discourage that insanity, they are inviting it.
The police should have the ability to investigate Omar Mateen's past and his associates to see if there is any link to Islamic fundamentalism in the mass murder he committed. They should also be able to look into what media he was watching which informed any claims he made to have committed his murder in the name of ISIS or whatever he thought and if there were any actual links. I would say that even if he had an i-phone that he used to access such media or make such contacts which is locked and which they can't find a third party who can unlock it so they can access that information. The idea that the PR campaign of a corporation like Apple should trump national security should be ended definitively, modern electronic devices that are used to commit major crimes should be as searchable as they need to be to be - with the proper warrants obtained from real judges and with whatever protections for normal peoples' civil liberties. We trust judges to make those decisions when it's plain old physical records, it's stupid to suddenly enable terrorism and organized crime to use electronic media without that possibility. Stupid and unworkable and, sooner rather than later, unacceptable.
That is certainly true in the case of dead mass murderers shot in the act. They and those associated with them can't be treated like they didn't have anything to do with a major crime for the duration of the investigation. It is the business of the cops to figure out who is involved and to uncover those for whom there is no evidence of involvement. Since that is the case, if one of my associates or, please, God, never, relatives did what Mateen did, I'd want the cops most trained and competent and most restrained by oversight looking into it.
The political use of paranoia about the Feds is an unfortunate result of past wrongs committed by them. There is a less than gripping piece by David Corn up at Mother Jones, right now rehashing the matter of the the FBI file on the dear old folkie, the late Pete Seeger. His file began when a letter he wrote while a new recruit to the military, protesting the internment of Japanese citizens in the West was referred to them* I would imagine that his being a member of the military while he wrote the letter had more than a little to do with why they figured he might be a security risk of some kind. He was being trained to maintain airplanes and they were nothing if not nervous about saboteurs. There was a rather friggin' massive war on, at the time. Of course, they kept it up for a lot longer than war time emergency might have warranted. That the FBI has and, no doubt, still does waste time on surveillance on peaceful peace activists, civil rights activists, even the most pacific of groups and individuals has been what made people paranoid about them looking for the ability to gather information and evidence. As have other government agencies. However, letting that get in the way of effectively tacking probable or known terrorist groups and of fighting against their recruitment and incitement propaganda is not going to prove sustainable as they terrorize the population.
From how it looks right now Omar Mateen may well have been motivated by mental illness as much as any ISIS propaganda sites. I don't know if the rumors that Mateen went to the Pulse nightclub trying to pick up men is true but it may have been a factor, as well. But combining instability with the encouragement to violence could, in fact, be what drove him to do what he did. His involvement with Islamic fundamentalism might have been entirely in his own head, in which case the most important thing to figure out how to screen out dangerously mentally ill people from obtaining automatic weapons which any rational country would keep out of the hands of civilians for just the reason that they might use them to kill lots of people in a short time.
The paranoia of the left and the libertarians about the FBI is matched by the artificial and commercially incited paranoia on the right and the libertarians about the government confiscating guns. The National Rifle Association and other gun nut groups, with the promotion of the gun industry are the source of that paranoia. The Republicans have adopted it as a means of winning elections by motivating a small but effective group of zealots to vote for them - the entirely politicized Republican faction of the federal judiciary and the Supreme Court have been actively a part of that campaign strategy. Their part in producing the conditions that have made mass gun murder a nearly every-day occurrence in the United States, multiple 9-11s a slow moving rolling wave of domestic terror which, when someone has the right name, can also be made into a motivation to vote from paranoia instead of reason, which also benefits the Republican Party at its worst. These days that worst IS the Republican Party, the party of Donald Trump and the likes of Paul LePage**. Paul LePage, the governor of my state, is the proof that there is no bottom below which that party won't go. If Trump hadn't done his PR stunt run for president that got out of control and risks destroying out democracy, LePage would have been a fitting poster boy for the Republican Party.
The left came about its paranoia honestly, through being targeted by the Feds - though not entirely without reason in more cases than one is supposed to admit in polite company. The right's paranoia is a creation of advertising techniques to promote it by the gun industry and their allies, the Republican right. The extreme right that is the real danger to us, both from gun violence and through the destruction of our real rights and freedoms. And they will use everything they can, no matter how incoherent it is. You can make anything cohere through repetition through the media. That's how Trump was created.
Just to add, if there were any way to block web sites and other propaganda from terror incitement groups like ISIS from being read or heard or viewed in the United States, I would be entirely in favor of that being done. Their ability to influence the acts of people otherwise unconnected with them is too big a danger to allow those to continue. Of course that's a violation of free speech-free press absolutism in its pure form, which only shows how much more those who advocate that pose - an industry in itself - care more about their slogans than the lives of those who get killed when such incitements incite them to action. Absolutist positions carry their own form of insanity and those are often not without a financial motivation in the lawyers and political propagandists who make money through promoting them.
* His Communist connections, starting with his dad, the musicologist and husband of the very significant composer, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Charles Seeger, probably did nothing to discourage Edgar Hoover's FBI to keep up gathering gossip about young Pete, especially as he and his group, The Weavers, barely cracked into the pop music industry during the brief period when folkie music charted. The idea that communism was ever going to be more than a brief fad for a significant number of people is and always was ridiculous. Democracy, even the far from perfect form of it found in the United States, might not be a secure bulwark against fascism, as we could well find out this year, it is about as a reliable repellent to communism as anything ever invented. I know the old line Marxists figured their big competition was religion and that they had to knock that off before they could take over but their real competition is the possibility that people can make change through democratic means, nonviolently and fairly.
** Both of the "moderate" Republicans Senator from Maine, Susan Collins and former Senator Olympia Snowe have supported LePage, despite him being far worse than Donald Trump. LePage was a protogee of Olympia Snowe's first husband, the "moderate" Republican Peter Snowe. There are no moderate Republicans, no one who is a moderate would remain in that party today.
From HuffPo. Donald Trump on Monday proposed punishing Americans if they don’t turn in their friends and neighbors for behaving suspiciously. “In San Bernardino, people knew what was going on, they knew exactly, but they used the excuse of racial profiling for not reporting it,” Trump said during a speech in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee was presumably referring to unverified reports that a woman who lived near the mother of one of the San Bernardino shooters had noticed that the family received “quite a few packages within a short amount of time, and they were doing a lot of work out in the garage.” A man who claimed to be friends with this neighbor said she did not report the packages and the behavior to authorities because she “didn’t want to do any kind of racial profiling.” In Trump’s America, however, that woman would face serious consequences. “We need to make sure every single person involved in this plan, including anyone who knew something, but didn’t tell us, is brought to justice,” Trump said in New Hampshire. “These people need to have consequences, big consequences.”
OK, so if your neighbor is a shopaholic who shouldn't ever watch the Home Shopping Network, it's your legal obligation to report her or him to the cops so they can bust them for amassing tacky zircon jewelry stockpiles. And, in the mean time people can amass personal arsenals of the kind that so many of our mass murderers have. I mean, yeah, I can see a Republicanfascist congress making it a felony to not report it when too may UPS truck pull up to your neighbors house but no one can keep track of a loony who is on the FBI radar when he buys automatic weapons and Glocks.
Our country is on the verge of being officially certifiable because Donald Trump is still the official nominee of one of the two real parties and he could be the head of the government in less than a year. And the media is being "even handed" in not pointing out one of the two candidates is a certifiable fascist nut case and the other isn't because a lot of people would get upset with them IF THEY POINTED OUT THAT GLARING TRUTH WHICH COMES IN EVERY DAY WITH ALL THE ALARMS BLARING OUT AND THE LIGHTS FLASHING.
In a way this reminds me of the kind of paranoia that some of the really hard core preppers have. I remember one woman who buys huge amounts of toilet paper talking about how she had to be careful because when the big one hits she didn't want her neighbors thinking that she was hoarding TP. You have to wonder what such a person would do if the neighbor she was paranoid about got three deliveries in a week. I can imagine them sending in the feds to bust her for changing her fall pallet as the next deranged mass murderer was buying the automatic weapons he'd be using to try to outdo the last one.
For some reason NPR's Morning Edition decided it would be a good idea to have on the Federalist Magazine LGBT baiter and Donald Trump supporter, Denise McAllister on to try to claim the mass murder of gay people for the Trump campaign. Perhaps why that is such a massively repulsive idea can be seen from the title of her anti-trans screed published exactly five days ago in what I consider a crypto fascist rag - Why Bruce Jenner Can Never Be A Woman. Other titles you can find if you do a web search, Judges Say Gay Marriage Forced Them Out, North Carolina Protects Religious Rights In Same-Sex Marriage Debate.
And to show how much integrity Denise McAllister has, she talks out of both sides of her mouth, using Caitlyn Jenner two ways, depending on what's most useful for pushing neo-fascism and hate politics, she also wrote a screed called, Backlash Over Caitlyn Jenner’s Cruz Support Proves Leftists Are The Real Bigots.
What does it say about our politics that one of the two real parties is trying to use the mass shooting of gay people as an opportunity to benefit politically by whipping up hate and paranoid xenophobia over it. Especially as the same party has used and is using hatred and paranoid fear of LGBT people in their electoral strategy this year. The Republican Party is the major force of moral depravity and evil in the United States - especially if you include the media which will promote their lines to get them elected because they are more profitable for media corporations. That proposal last night that Democrats demand equal rights under the law for the very people being used by Republicans was a serious one. I think that Democrats in the House and Senate should introduce a bill that would explicitly name LGBT people as a covered class under the Civil Rights Act. Today, it isn't an outrageously complex proposal. Just say that from the day the bill is signed into law that discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people is a violation of the law and liable to be prosecuted. Make the Republicans put their votes where there mouths currently are, before they go back to whipping up hatred of us.
What with those formerly LGBT slamming Republicans all of the sudden all so concerned about us, maybe it's the perfect time for Democrats in the House and Senate to post a bill including LGBT people as a covered class under the Civil Rights Act. Let Republicans put their votes where their mouths are, since they're putting us to such political use just now.
The latest things I've read say that there are 50 victims dead and 53 who were shot at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. They were shot by a gunman named Omar Mateen whose father said he was angry when two men had kissed and embraced each other in public. There are rumors that he had ties to ISIL or some other alleged Islamic group but his father said that what he did had nothing to do with religion. I'm ambivalent about that, I don't think that if you're going to call the Wahabi style of Islam religion, then it certainly advocates terror and violence. I wouldn't blame anyone who condemns that, as most Muslims do.
I am sure this will be used politically, it already is. From what I've read Chuck Todd of NBC has already declared to talk about this in relation with the powerful automatic weapons used to kill so many people at once is to "politicize it", that in itself politicizes if on behalf of the gun industry and the Republican Party who the gun industry favors.
The FBI has said that they had Mateen on their radar, so they'll take a big hit, fair or not I wouldn't say that if they hadn't been the old Whitewater thing for the Republican Benghazi witchhunters maybe they could spend more resources on preventing domestic terrorism of this kind, well, I just did, didn't I. Tell me what's wrong with saying that.
Though when someone decides to give into their hate and kill a lot of people and they have access to powerful weapons and training - yeah, gun training such as he was reported to have had is such a deterrent, isn't it - then they can kill many people very fast and without any alarms that even the best and most competent of police agencies can have on those they are watching.
If this is anything like the many, many past mass shootings, it will be played and twisted by the corporate media to benefit Republicans, It won't benefit the one candidate for President who has a strong record on opposing gun violence, Hillary Clinton.
Look for more of this, from what I have read ISIS and their colleagues in terror really would like to have the United States lose its mind and elect Donald Trump. They are already using his statements in their recruitment videos.
In quickly re-reading this, I have to ask, if he has an i-phone that the FBI should look at, would the paranoid faction of the Glenn Greenwald set oppose them having access to it? I think someone who kills 50 people + should be held to have given up a teensy bit of their right to such privacy. Ironic in that the FBI have been investigating what appears to be a totally bogus political issue surrounding Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail account with the support of such people.
Well, for a start, if he's still a Democrat then he's "Democrats". Other than that the short answer is a lot less than it owed him at the beginning of March.
I would like to see the Bernie Sanders supporters among Democrats have major influence on a. economic policy, b. trade, c. commerce, d environmental issues. And I would hope that would include a veto on any appointees from the disastrous, incompetent in-bed-with-the-kleptocrats Geithner-Summers style of economic advisers.
I suppose that e. would be on nominees to courts. I would like a Hillary Clinton to, most vitally urgent of all, appoint only those to the court who are firm opponents of corporate person hood, the equation of speech with money and the preferential option for the filthy rich and other such people.
f. would be on an attorney general who doesn't hold with the Ivy-Wall Street legal dogma that the filthy rich are too big to jail.
I am hearing the dead-enders talk about "process reform" but, frankly, unless they are willing to get rid of the grotesquely undemocratic caucuses and the anti-Democratic open primaries, I'm not greatly enthusiastic about giving up on the super delegates just yet. Those were invented to fix problems with the nominating process that are not fixed and, as can be seen in the Republican nomination, they might be able to pull the party back from a fit of insanity that can nominate a Donald Trump with a Ted Cruz coming in second. Of course the real dead-ender aren't really interested in "process reform" they are interested in destroying the Democratic Party. I think a lot of them are Greens - I know a lot of them at our caucus were because I heard them talking about it - and a number of them are Republican agit-trolls who are just trying to ratfuck this years election for the Republicans.
But all of those things are things that the liberals in the Democratic Party might have gotten a long time ago if so many on the alleged left hadn't turned out to be so unreliable and unrealistic in previous elections. The United States has never had a far-left president and the prospects of us ever having one are vanishingly improbable. A real left will work with the best deal it can get, not pie in the sky that it will never get.
I think Bernie Sanders should be asked, for once, what he owes the Democrats who have allowed him to declare, at the age of 74, that he is suddenly a Democrat who deserves to have the nomination of a party he never joined before then. Democrats have made him far more famous than he was before, now, nearing the end of his political career and might provide him with the high-point of his influence if he and his alleged supporters don't continue to blow it. He's blowing it even now. I wish the Democratic Party owed him a hell of a lot more right now than it does, and that's his choice.
I'll say something about the mass murder at the Orlando, FL gay club when there are reliable reports about it. Other than that a lot of people were murdered and injured by another American gun killer, we don't know anything about what his motives were. I won't repeat rumors because a lot of those are bound to be wrong and a lot of them are most likely motivated by bigotry, just as the murders would appear to be. For now, my country has been driven insane by right-wing corporate media to the point where even this being routine doesn't drown out the gun industry lies and slogans.
I am tired. I am old. I've seen this movie over and over again. It's like the Midsummers' Night's Nightmare of lefty drama festivals, the drama queens of the play-left poised to blow another election because their guy isn't the nominee of the party. They want us to bend over backward and kiss their collective asses or they're going to vote for Jill Stein or Donald Trump or stay home and preen in their lefty purity as the country and the world goes to hell because their dream candidate didn't win the nomination or, as I'm beginning hearing that Naderite excuse for gargantuan irresponsibility echo over and over again, "the debates".
I don't include all of Bernie Sanders supporters in that, some of them aren't idiots, many of them appreciate and care about reality. But Ithink anyone who is talking that way at this point in the middle of June is never going to vote for Hillary Clinton and it's best to tell them to go to hell and we should stop wasting our time trying to placate them. Their reaction to a real and accomplished heroine of the left, Elizabeth Warren. this week was the last straw for me.
The Democratic left, the left that actually has sitting members of congress and a few Senators and even the odd governor have to get rid of the dead weight of the play lefties because they are not someone we will ever be able to work with or depend on. They are a dead weight on us.
How would I define a play lefty? Someone who, as we have the all too real prospect of having Donald Trump as president, is now talking about voting for someone other than the one and only woman who stands in the way of that effort, Hillary Clinton. Those people and the organizations and media sources of the left who encourage them are the play left. At this point I would also include anyone who is giving any platform for the Greens to promote their bull shit con game and that includes just about all of them from Democracy Now to the more obscure magazines such as In These Times. If they didn't learn anything from 2000 and 2004, they are invincibly ignorant. I'm at the point where I don't even want to read them anymore.
I am also rather tired of the perennial and condescending insistence that we have to court "the young" as if "the young" are a monolithic pro-Sanders mass instead of a mix containing everything from those who are rabid Trump supporters to their most accommodating allies, the la-la lefties who this post is about. And I would guess their fair share of young rational left and voters who will not fail to vote for the only other candidate who will be president in January, Hillary Clinton. I know of young people who are quite enthusiastic about the prospect of her being president. To pretend that all of youth fell lock step into the Bernie or Busters or even those people who supported him on a reasonable basis is to lie about "the youth vote". It is one of the most cherished lies of the let's pretend left that "youth" is going to support it. It's just like they're always so confident that the blue collar vote - much of it solidly Republican for decades- is going to magically join their revolution.
Today, I'm totally uninterested in the goofy guys and gals of the play left, no matter what age they are. The young among them may. may, possibly, theoretically, may be able to do what their elders who, even after the Bush II regime, are still fans of fantasy revolution gaming haven't done, grow up and out of it. But they are going to have to do that through the hard school of experience. I know, that's how I grew out of it. I stupidly and shamefully voted for Barry Commoner in 1980 and Ralph Nader in 1996, though I'd grown up enough to not repeat that shameful folly in 2000. Coming to realize that much of what I was reading in the lefty magazines who continued to support Nader - I subscribed to four in those years - was dishonest bull shit and a con job was a big part of that shift.
It's my experience that most of the play-left will never grow up, look at the geezers who scribble for that media mentioned above if you want an example. Some of them will evolve, but only into the not so distant ideology of neo-conservatism. Quite often when they figure they can make more money from it. For most of them politics has as much reality as an appropriately themed video game that they play at when they're not spending their lives being entertained by something else.
We have got to stop considering them as any kind of potential allies, they aren't anyone we can depend on and the cost of stroking their egos has come with too high a price. We have to face the harder reality that if we are to ever really gain power and keep it for the minimum of two election cycles needed to make change, those guys are totally unreliable. Dump them now.