Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Trump Resignation End-Game?

Conventions of Thinking That Are Dangerous

Sometimes when you go back and read something you've quoted to make a point, as I did this morning when I re-read the post on the eminent American biologist Vernon Kellogg regarding Darwinism as he found it among the Kaiser's troops in WWI, you notice something that needs to be remarked on.  This morning it was this passage of what Kellogg wrote and why pretending to use science as a method of administering or making law is so bad an idea.

Altruism — or mutual aid, as the biologists prefer to call it, to escape the implication of assuming too much consciousness in it — is just as truly a fundamental biologic factor of evolution as is the cruel, strictly self-regarding, exterminating kind of struggle for existence with which the Neo-Darwinists try to fill our eyes and ears, to the exclusion of the recognition of all other factors.

What struck me about that is the habit of scientists in  addressing the motions and results of combinations of inanimate objects, their habits of thought, their modes of expressing things in terms of unconscious objects doing things in a predictable way described by physicists and chemists becomes entirely irrational when you are dealing with human behaviors and, likely, those of other animals.  The idea that you would not, rightly, consider "altruistic" behavior in terms of one of the most obvious things about it, that it is a result of conscious choice by those who do it and that an eminent biologist could refer to that as a preference among biologists, scientists, is to identify a choice to refuse to acknowledge the crucial and defining place that consciousness plays in producing the behavior.   It is a pretense that such conscious decisions happen in the way that objects set in motion continue in that motion or that chemicals brought together react.

What Kellogg was describing is a formalized choice, a conscious choice of scientists to deny the obvious reality of the phenomenon.   And that conventional choice to be unrealistic pervades biology and the pseudo-social sciences.   We are in a period when that choice to pretend that isn't true has reached up into the realms of ultimate dishonesty and decadence in which consciousness, itself, is dismissed out of hand as a choice by materialists of the scientistic kind.

To do that in the crucial question of behavior which produces equal treatment instead of mass murder, which is what Kellogg was talking about, should never become a habit of lawyers, judges, justices and law scholars, it should be kept out of any democratic governance because it has the proven potential to produce disaster, as Kellogg had already noticed in the years before America joined in the First World War.  His discovery was disturbing enough to him that it turned him from being a pacifistic opponent of American involvement to his conclusion that such thinking was too dangerous to allow it to stand unchallenged.  And such thinking has become far too common among us, today.

The "mutual-aid" ploy to remove some of the most dangerous and appalling aspects of Darwinism, to the extent that it denies the origin of good behavior in the good choices of those who are good to other people, gave up the effort in order to pretend what they were doing was scientific.  Even someone as well-intentioned a Vernon Kellogg, clearly sensed the problem.

This Is What Your Unregulated Media Has Produced Yet Again

OK, I took some anti-emetics and listened to Trump.   Sometimes Trump acts like the most spoiled 2-year-old you've ever seen, his conception of war and spoils is essentially that of a 10-12 year old boy raised in the unreality of Hollywood conceptions of that mixed with his inner 2-year-old sense of narcissistic entitlement to the spoils of winning.  Trump, the creation of "reality" TV and the most vulgar of the celebrity media, unsurprisingly, is entirely informed by such expression.

In listening to the recitation of presidents not ending unendable wars the United States have been drawn into, Johnson in Vietnam, Nixon not only in Vietnam but extending the war his "secret plan" obviously didn't end, George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq and the arguably justifiable invasion of Afghanistan, something which many older people who knew a bit about former wars in Afghanistan warned would be a lot harder to get out of, I think we need to consider the popularity of war in the United States and the uses of war in our politics due to the pro-war propaganda in our media.  Lyndon Johnson was reportedly afraid of being called the first American president to lose a law* and being called a president who lost a war has been far more feared than even starting or continuing an illegitimate war that killed tens, hundreds of thousands, maimed and harmed more and which left things worse than before it was entered into - often with the enthusiastic support and incitement of the free press.

* History, more than merely arguably could point out that James Madison was that president in 1815.  The plans of him and his friend, Thomas Jefferson, to invade and annex Canada failed.  Thomas Jefferson set the pattern of extremely stupid imperial aspiration based on ignorance that has become one of the worst habits of American politicians and presidents,  "The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us the experience for the attack on Halifax, the next and final expulsion of England from the American continent."   Sounds exactly like the neo-cons in the Bush II regime.  I would encourage Canadians to remember that, today.

Update:  I had originally mentioned comic books with Hollywood but took it out because I doubt Trump ever did that much reading of text on paper.  Though I'm prepared to believe he'd have looked at the pictures.


The Further And Dangerous Irrationality Of The Extension of The Abrams Dissent. Last Part

In trying to figure out what Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. really meant in the several decisions of his I looked into over the years, I had to take into account that he wrote in favor of his interpretation of the theory of legal realism, a reaction to the ancient natural law theory of the law and other law theory that had to some extent been interposed between it and Holmes theory.   I can't say my reading of the philosophy of law inspired me to have any confidence in any of the various isms that lawyers come up with.   My guess would be that they do some of that to wile away the hours they would otherwise be reading some pretty dry stuff in the legal record, though I get the feeling Holmes did much of his theorizing out of an envy of the more exciting life of scientists.   I think his widely shared faith in the applicability of scientific method to the sometimes extremely complex evidence and facts involved in the law was profoundly naive and, though he would violently deny it, a sentimentalized view of what science is good at doing and the limits of that.   There was and is a lot of that going around.

I don't know if various lawyers and judges and justices and law professors (Holmes was all of those at various times) attachment and assertions of isms is for the better or for the worse, though I suspect any that pretends that what they're doing is science, including coming up with predictive strategies to prejudge what the outcome of a judges conduct will be, is going to generate some bad things along the way.   I think Holmes' faith in science and the abilities of those in the biological sciences to discern hard truth did, in fact, lead to one of his worst actions in the Buck v Bell legalization of state forced eugenic sterilization.   As mentioned, that led to American eugenics and eugenics propaganda being an inspiration for the Nazis and made it possible for them to cite the words of Holmes in defending what they had done when they went to trial.   I think his faith in the efficacy of late 19th and early 20th century psychology and, perhaps more so, sociology, as well as Darwinism had a largely negative impact through its confirmation of his propensity to think attempts at regulation of business wrongheaded and, in the ultimate Holmesian invective "sentimental" and his skepticism about the government playing a role in righting injustice.

All isms will generate negative effects, people are not capable of generating a perfect ideology without negative consequences.  The extent to which a judge or a "Justice" (I just hate that so often dishonest title) cleaves to an ideology will, I predict, generate the characteristic evils that are bound to come with making an ideology the controlling feature of your thought.   One which pretends to have the reputed reliability of anything that gets called "science" in an academic setting will likely produce bad in ways that law governed by the asserted reliability of theological theory will.  Only it won't admit that what it's doing is a matter of faith as religion admits.


Holmes is famous for declaring that the life of the law was not logic but experience.   That makes it even more amazing to me that his dissent in Abrams v. the United States has produced a string of some of the most experientially uninformed decisions applying a rote line about "free speech" to exactly those groups in question, the KKK (in the famous Brandenburg decision) and Nazis in the recent permission given to them to rally with guns and torches in Charlottesville Virginia and elsewhere.  The experience of both groups is of violence, murder, the denial of rights the denial of equal rights and the denial of due process and everything else American lawyers and courts are supposed to deliver on.  Holmes writing the very year that the Nazi party was forming, the very year that the first horrific returns from Marxists taking control of Russia were known, may not have had any idea of where such thinking would very soon lead.  Though he very well may have already seen murderous results from legal and political applications of Darwinian thinking, especially if he'd read the writing of the eminent American biologist, Vernon Kellogg.

One thing we do know is he was very much aware of what America's proto-Nazism could produce through speech, through writing, through advocacy of racism, including sciency sounding arguments about the inferiority of Black People and other groups.   The KKK was known to Holmes as well as the full flourishing of lynching, a crime which is intimately tied to speech, the speech advocating murder and the speech of racism.  Holmes was a lawyer and a Justice at the height of lynching as a national epidemic.   He had written one of the most important decisions allowing the Supreme Court to hear the only criminal trial conducted by the Court, the contempt case United States v Sheriff Joseph Shipp et al, in which the sheriff and some others were held guilty of permitting the lynching of Ed Johnson who had been granted a stay of execution by the court after, as so often happened, he was almost certainly wrongly accused of raping a white woman in Tennessee.   The case declared powers for the Supreme Court which had never before been written, on the basis of its position at the top of the legal system in the United States,  the "justices" acting as jurors.   It established the principle that the Supreme Court could always intervene in the actions of lower courts, including state courts.  Often, though not always, for the better.

It doesn't make any sense and is, in fact, irrational to pretend that the speech that encouraged the murderers of Ed Johnson to lynch him, or anyone else, is unrelated to the act of murdering him.  If there had been any trial of the murderers the evidence of their speech, of speech encouraging the murder would have been part of the evidence in the case.  In instances when it is members of racial, ethnic, gender or religious minorities and women are attacked or killed on the basis of their identity or on stereotypes imposed on them,  that speech is the direct cause of the crime.  That is why it can be evidence of the crime.  In some of the most terrible of crimes of the 20th century, the Nazis genocidal murders, the scientific and legal theories of the Nazis were the cause of the crime.  There is every reason to believe that if Nazism had been effectively suppressed by suppressing that speech, those publications of propaganda, speech which was articulated to lead to the discrimination against Jews, Poles, Slavs, members of other racial and ethnic groups and which, from the beginning justified violence and murder for the benefit of their murderers, that those crimes would never have happened. The law catching up with the Nazis, in some, hardly all cases and hanging many, though hardly most of those who killed millions is hardly some kind of evening of things.   Preventing the Nazis from talking people into doing what they stated they wanted to would have been better.  It may have even been better if the always imperfect law and its imperfect application had gone a bit overboard in the opposite direction, taking a chance on the equal rights of Jews, Poles, Roma, etc. to a peaceful life unblighted by the hate talk of those who hated them instead of the chance that was taken with their lives.  The kind of chance that that bet by the ACLU placed and lost on the Nazis in Charlottesville, only it was betting with the lives and rights of their victims.

The law can't be 100% efficacious in producing truth or justice.  One of the things I read about the ideology of legal realism cited  a study that used linguistic analysis in relation to the International Court of Law that claims something like a 76% success in predicting the decisions of the court - it didn't claim that it could tell if the decisions in that percentage were judged rightly.   There is no way to know what the results of hate speech will be, if the effect will be immediate enough to satisfy Holmes rules of declaring it could be restrained or held responsible, or if that speech will produce its poisonous results hours, days or even years later.   The well trained lawyers of the ACLU and the Supreme Court can't seem to even understand that with their history of violence in the world and the United States, that the Nazis really mean it when they say they want to abolish equal rights, egalitarian democracy and impose oppression and violence and murder even as those murders are happening and the haters are winning elections through lying and propaganda.  Pretending that Holmes misguided attempt to come up with a scientifically more justifiable method in that area before the Nazis showed what the murderous, genocidal effects of their ideology would be if they had the power to enact it was applied in an even more unrealistic and ahistorical assertion of it in the 1960s and up till today is entirely irresponsible and rightly discredits the lawyers and judges and law scholars who assert that.

Nazis have an absolute right to assert equality under the law, the rights of people enumerated in the opening of the Declaration of Independence and all else.  But if they did that, they wouldn't be Nazis. Nazism is one of a number of ideologies that, by their defining ideas, cannot be made compatible with egalitarian democracy.    As I stated before, I will never admit that anyone has a right to advocate the legal inequality of people, a right to advocate the denial of their rights, to advocate violence against innocent people, to advocate the discrimination against them, certainly no right to advocate their murder, individually or on a genocidal scale.  Anyone who would call that a right privileges those crimes over the lives of their intended and often named victims.  White, rich, people holding advanced degrees often from the most elite schools have often been willing to  grant those privileges, when they were not the ones whose rights and lives were being demoted.

Egalitarian democracy has the right, if any government has rights, to protect itself, to protect egalitarianism and democracy,  as vital any other aspect of national government.   Those aspects of American democracy are as vitally important to the lives and right of The People as national defense. Those rights are often asserted for even the most horrible of governments.* Since egalitarian democracy exists to serve all of the people living under it, since it is really the only form of government which has the legitimacy that only the just consent of its citizens can grant a government, it has a right to protect its citizens against those who would take away that right to be governed by those exercising the power of government.  But it is government which cannot be held to impossibly achieved perfection.  Certainly no other form of government in history has been held to that ridiculous standard which is another of the inanely unrealistic assertion of many in the "civil liberties" industry and egalitarian democracy can't be declared illegitimate on that basis, certainly not when Nazism, white supremacy, neo-Confederacy (of the kind which holds sway, now) and anti-democratic ideologies are the very real possibility as an alternative.  American history includes the proto-Nazism of slavery, of the Confederacy, of Jim Crow, of lynch law which coexisted with the Bill of Rights and by Supreme Court rulings.  Even up to and including the lives of many reading this, it was found impossible for the federal government to pass anti-lynching laws.

There will not be any time soon that those anti-democratic, anti-egalitarian habits of thought will not present a very real danger to the lives and rights of millions of Americans on the basis of their race, their ethnicity, their gender and gender identification and their religion.  The kind of bet that the ACLU, the Supreme Court have placed on a theory of free speech and free press, enabling those advocating those habits of thought, using those bad habits to destroy egalitarian democracy for the benefit of the haters and their would-be drivers is one of the most dangerous that could be made. At the time of Trumpian governance, brought to us through the media's creation of his public persona and through the lies told about Hillary Clinton for a quarter of a century.  It is probably too late to avoid that price which will be paid with the lives of Black people, Latinos, Women, LGBT people, Muslims, Jews.   For us, we're paying the price of that bet.  It's just a question of how much the choices of those lawyers will cost us, not them.

*  I've mentioned before the idiocy of John Kennedy citing Robert Taft's opposition to the Nuremberg trials on the basis of what the Nazis having done having been made legal in Germany and Austria at the time they committed atrocities as a "Profile in Courage".   It is one of the daffiest appeals to principle that I've ever encountered.  There was a real legal problem in asserting the legitimacy of the Nuremberg courts under just such ideas as a government, even the Nazi government, itself, having rights.  That a neat, pseudo-scientific elucidation of the matter can't be invented doesn't, though, mean holding the engineers of mass murder accountable wan't an obviously legitimate and necessary, even essential act.  Our "free speech - free press" permission to Nazis to make another try at doing what they will never stop trying to do is even daffier.

Monday, August 21, 2017

What Happened to Trump’s Beef With North Korea?

Dušan Bogdanović - Diferencias Diferentes

I believe it's the composer playing

This set of variations shows how well Dušan Bogdanović has studied the style of the vihuela and lute composers of the 16th and 17th centuries.  I've listened to it many times and have the music, it is a masterpiece.

Hate Mail - How Dare You Diss The Constitution

I've got to get into the garden or I'm going to lose my onion crop.   I would go into detail but the best way I can think of to show how dangerous the vague, "B" grade, 18th century poetry of the Constitution is, is to point out how a clever and malign reading of it by someone like Robert Bork can make excuses for all kinds of inequality, discrimination and denial of rights. 

The testimony of William T. Coleman at the Senate Judiciary hearings on the nomination of Bork to the Supreme Court [starting on page 867 of the document] gives a good list of things he wrote and got accepted in allegedly respectable law journals, the things that got him appointments to government posts and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  If you consider what would have happened if his learned arguments became Supreme Court made law, it shows how dangerous that document's vague language can be.  

Evil, especially in the form of paid-off lawyers and bought off judges for billionaires and millionaires, is always looking for opportunities and loopholes.  There is an entire fleet of well paid lawyers and law professors at places like Harvard and other elite universities looking for enabling interpretations of the vague language of the Bill of Rights.   If you want a practical reminder of what that leads to, look at the open-carry automatic weapons the Nazis had with them in Charlottesville, put in their hands by such lawyers and judges on the basis of the Second Amendment.  

More Hate:   Uh,  this place is called The Thought Criminal for a reason, I say things that are not allowed to be said, including about the defects of the Constitution, including the deified Bill of Rights, the authors of it and those who have twisted and turned and formed its vague non-specificity and its often disreputable history to do bad things.   When it's used to allow armed Nazis to terrorize an American city, marching on Black churches with torches, allowing Nazis armed with automatic weapons to menace people worshiping in a synagogue, with the help of what is alleged to be a civil liberties legal outfit, I'm not holding back. 

The Misrepresentation of What Holmes Said in The Abrams Dissent Is Obvious, Part 2

Considering the use by later Supreme Courts of Oliver Wendell Holmes jrs dissent in Abrams v The United States to protect the speech of terrorist groups with a history of violent attacks and murders, the KKK in the Brandenburg decision and Nazis, certainly among if not the most successful of murderous ideologies, dwarfed only by the inclusive group of ideologies that fall under white supremacy, it is remarkable how much of Holmes dissent he spends denying that the politically impotent anarchists and single socialist and vaguely lefty writers and publishers of two pamphlets were any real danger at all.  Or at least. that they were not in any way dangerous in the way that the majority opinion implied and stated.   That, alone, makes the use of his dissent to enable the propaganda and proselytization and encouragement to violence later courts made use of Holmes dissent for both illogical and a dangerously irresponsible lie.

The paragraphs of the dissent describing the supposed offenses and how the actual facts of what they said was harmless, the identities of the lefties changed to the KKK, Nazis, militant white supremacists WITH THOSE GROUPS HISTORY AND IDEOLOGICAL BASIS IN DENIAL OF RIGHTS TO MILLIONS, OF MURDER BASED ON RACE AND IDENTITY,* would turn to total and complete, lying, ahistorical nonsense in later uses of it.

The first of these leaflets says that the President's cowardly silence about the intervention in Russia reveals the hypocrisy of the plutocratic gang in Washington. It intimates that "German militarism combined with allied capitalism to crush the Russian revolution" — goes on that the tyrants of the world fight each other until they see a common enemy — working class enlightenment, when they combine to crush it; and that now militarism and capitalism combined, though not openly, to crush the Russian revolution. It says that there is only one enemy of the workers of the world and that is capitalism; that it is a crime for workers of America, &c., to fight the workers' republic of Russia, and ends "Awake! Awake, you Workers of the World! Revolutionists." A note adds "It is absurd to call us pro-German. We hate and despise German militarism more than do you hypocritical tyrants. We have more reasons for denouncing German militarism than has the coward of the White House."

The other leaflet, headed "Workers — Wake Up," with abusive language says that America together with the Allies will march for Russia to help the Czecko-Slovaks in their struggle against the Bolsheviki, and that this time the hypocrites shall not fool the Russian emigrants and friends of Russia in America. It tells the Russian emigrants that they now must spit in the face of the false military propaganda by which their sympathy and help to the prosecution of the war have been called forth and says that with the money they have lent or are going to lend "they will make bullets not only for the Germans but also for the Workers Soviets of Russia," and further, "Workers in the ammunition factories, you are producing bullets, bayonets, cannon, to murder not only the Germans, 626*626 but also your dearest, best, who are in Russia and are fighting for freedom." It then appeals to the same Russian emigrants at some length not to consent to the "inquisitionary expedition to Russia," and says that the destruction of the Russian revolution is "the politics of the march to Russia." The leaflet winds up by saying "Workers, our reply to this barbaric intervention has to be a general strike!," and after a few words on the spirit of revolution, exhortations not to be afraid, and some usual tall talk ends "Woe unto those who will be in the way of progress. Let solidarity live! The Rebels."

No argument seems to me necessary to show that these pronunciamentos in no way attack the form of government of the United States, or that they do not support either of the first two counts. What little I have to say about the third count may be postponed until I have considered the fourth. With regard to that it seems too plain to be denied that the suggestion to workers in the ammunition factories that they are producing bullets to murder their dearest, and the further advocacy of a general strike, both in the second leaflet, do urge curtailment of production of things necessary to the prosecution of the war within the meaning of the Act of May 16, 1918, c. 75, 40 Stat. 553, amending § 3 of the earlier Act of 1917. But to make the conduct criminal that statute requires that it should be "with intent by such curtailment to cripple or hinder the United States in the prosecution of the war." It seems to me that no such intent is proved.

You can contrast that to, not only the language of the past and current KKK, Nazis, what is euphemistically called "neo-Nazis" and white supremacists,  you can compare the violent, murderous results that came from that language.   And while doing that exercise, you can consider the speech and publishing and the agitation led to the Confederate treason against the United States government and see that not only is Holmes argument not applicable to them, the part of his argument that gives any of his dissent a character of rational realism in the particular case he wa addressing is clearly not applicable to the people the ACLU, the Rutherford Institute, the "civil liberties" industry and the Supreme Court have enabled through clipping out words from the rest of it.

The argument that permitts the advocacy of denial of rights to Black People - let's admit that they are the primary targets of all of those groups in the United States - Latinos,  LGBT people, Women, Muslims, Jews, etc.  AND THEIR MURDER is in any way safe or rational is only possible if you claim that there is no rational expectation of them or their listeners or readers carrying out those attacks.   And in 2017, that argument is obviously wrong and dishonestly made.   If making that argument is acceptable within the legal profession, law scholarship, in the judicial branch of government for groups which do advocate the denial of the most basic of natural rights to named racial, ethic and other groups and which do advocate violence and murder of them, then there is no reason for anyone to trust anything they do because they have all become dangerously and whimsically undependable.   Arguing that, after the carnage of WWII, it is in any way safe to bet that "it can't happen here" is ridiculous exceptionalism that there is no rational basis in believing BECAUSE IT DID HAPPEN HERE UNDER OTHER NAMES.   Slavery, the Confederacy, Jim Crow, the murderous theft of the continent and nearly successful genocide of Native Americans, the eugenics program made Constitutional by Holmes, which was studied by the Nazis in Germany as an inspiration to learn from, etc. are an obvious proof that it not only can happen here, it has and it does happen here.

Implied in the entire dissent of Holmes is the idea that even the Supreme Court is undependable in being able to make those distinctions.   If that is the case then Holmes should have called for the abolition of the Court, something no member of it ever did and which no member of the ACLU or other lawyer would ever do.   Also implied in the entire range of First Amendment babble on such matters is the even more unspeakable idea that the words of the First Amendment are too vague to really mean what they say.  That is true.   The First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I will assert that the wording of that long, complex sentence is as ambiguous as the troublesome Second Amendment which was applied absurdly and dangerously in the Heller decision to turn what had been less insanely interpreted as a collective right to bear arms into an absolute individual right to own and publicly carry automatic weapons.  Something which anyone not trained to put on judicial blinders would see in the pictures of the "open carry" fanatics, especially the Nazis and KKK members at the rally the ACLU advocated for.   And Congress, from the start, even the Continental Congress members would make law abridging an absolute freedom of speech, even inserting a ban on consideration of petitions to abolish slavery from the early years of Constitutional government.

The desire for the drafters of  the original Constitution to play 18th century Augustan poet making universal and so vague pronouncements has made the Bill of Rights a land mine and opportunity for the enemies of equality in the hands of the Rehnquist and Roberts courts.  The idiotic advocacy of the ACLU for the "free speech" of billionaires and Nazis has presented them with those golden opportunities to deny rights to the very people the ACLU allegedly pretends to exist to protect.

What you make of the part of that sentence relating the second clause "or abridging the freedom of speech, of of the press, to the word "peaceable" found only in the clause of the right of people to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, is the difference between admitting a right to advocate for peace and for the exercise of rights and the permission to advocate for the abolition of rights with violence, even murder.

Pretending that the elite lawyers who are, in almost all cases, the product of elite law schools and many years experience as lawyers and judges and law scholars cannot discern the difference between The American Friends Service Committee or the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the KKK and Nazis on the basis of the latters advocacy and history of violence and inspiring violence is an absurd exercise in willful blindness at the top rung of the legal profession.   Only people miseducated by a system which rewards such dishonesty could get away with that and, obviously, our legal profession does that because that pretense is the real basis of pretending they don't know, in 2017, that Nazis and the KKK are terror groups that can and have, in world history and the history of the United States, successfully organized to non-peacefully assemble and kill people, sway state legislatures and Congress to deny even more fundamental rights to entire groups of people, often with the blessing of the Supreme Court.

The left buying that line is as dishonest.   As I mentioned yesterday, anarchists had, in fact, still were in 1919 waging idiotic campaigns of senseless violence which only produced a backlash which damaged the political identity of the left.  Marxists, another group on behalf of whom lawyers of the left have asserted this line of legal bull shit, were never any real danger to the corporate state in the United States.  Asserting that "we must allow the Nazis and KKK to say what they want to or "they" will prevent us from speaking" often meant communists as the "us" asserted.   That is not only total nonsense, it is a ridiculous aspiration in a country in which fascists have always been a far greater danger of gaining power than any lefty group.   And once they did gain power, they would do away with any idea of equal rights, oppressing, enslaving and killing the real "us" including everyone that the idea of equal rights was developed to protect.

The early years of the ACLU, its early history was based in exactly that kind of idiocy that believed that enabling the KKK, Nazis, white supremacists, the publishing and movie industry to advocate the most depraved of things would, somehow, advantage the political aspirations of the left.  It was always blended with a dishonest ruse to benefit the red fascism of Marxism, who never had any chance of benefitting from it because their ideology was unacceptable to the rich and powerful and the major organs of the media while the equally anti-democratic ideologies of fascism, white supremacy and Nazism were acceptable and congenial to them, and so would be the obvious beneficiaries of such a ruse.*

That was a stupid idea then, it has become even stupider as they succeeded in putting their "free speech" language into the mouths of billionaire oligarchs, right-wing Supreme Court justices who are taking a wrecking ball to the voting rights and civil rights of Black People, Latinos, Democrats and in 2017, when Nazis rally under the slogan of "free speech".

* You should consider the history of Max Eastman brother of Crystal Eastman, sometimes considered the founder of the ACLU.   Max Eastman started out a lefty of the Marxist kind who eventually migrated, as so many Marxists have, to the far right.  You can also consider the history of that other founder of it,  Roger Baldwin who, as I mentioned a week or so ago, went from a shameless apologist of the Soviet Union in the early years of their murderous campaign of terror to, during the red scare of the late 40s and 50s, requiring an anti-communism oath for members of the ACLU.  Behind the successful PR coverup of that organization there is some pretty sordid stuff, especially if you've admitted the real character of Marxism as an anti-democratic ideology which is not really much different from fascism or Nazism in history of murder and violence and denial of rights.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I am challenged to say a word about the death of Jerry Lewis.


Dušan Bogdanović - 12 Note Samba etc from The Book of Unknown Standards

Matthew Greif, guitar

Esmerelda's Waltz


Dušan Bogdanović is a genius,  my trolls are not.


Odds and Ends 

Steps To Hell And Halfway Back

William Kanengiser, guitar

I Won't Take A Syllable Of That Back And I'll Say It Again

The "free speech" absolutist meaning of "Never Again" means, "Well, we're willing to take a chance on it happening again".   Which is stunningly irresponsible after the history of the genocidal 20th century, a symptom of moral indifference. 

Hate Mail

For people who can discern the difference that Trump refused to make, the complete and qualitative difference, distinguishing between people, Nazis demonstrating for hatred and racism and violence and those other people who were protesting against them, and rightly slamming Trump for that, it's amazing to me that you now claim to not be able to make a similar qualitative judgement about the ideas of the two groups.

If the people who are Nazis are qualitatively different from anti-Nazis, as I hold they are, they are different ON THE BASIS OF THE IDEAS THEY HOLD AND ARTICULATE.   To hold that the ideas, somehow, have to be pretended to be equivalent in terms of their acceptability and their protection ignores that it is the ideas of the Nazis which make them dangerous.  That such ideas are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people within still living memory makes pretending that they are deserving of equal status under the law is insane.   

Your position gives hate speech an equal status to speech for equal justice for people under the law.  

In reality, due to the difference in intent,  it privileges the hate speech of Nazis who are trying to gain power to make their hate into a reality over the lives of their targets, so it empowers and values that speech above the lives of their current and intended victims.  

That is the real position of the lawyers and judges and justices who hold that position.  It enables and empowers the very real, and historically proven possibility of such hate speech gaining power and doing that.  It did in Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and under the Jim Crow era in the United States which the current Attorney General and members sitting on the Supreme Court clearly want to go back to. 

Anyone in a group targeted by Nazis is entirely justified in feeling that those professionals are ready to sacrifice them on their altar of Holmesian First Amendment Purity in ways they never would themselves. 

Update:  The difference in intent of speech is a basic and crucial difference in whether or not that speech can lead to results that damage the rights and lives of other people.  If I said that someone should give you a hundred dollars and there was a chance someone hearing that might do that it would be entirely different than if I said someone should kill you and there was a chance someone hearing that might do it, the first would, in no way, endanger your rights, the second one would.  

Pretending that all speech is somehow neutral and that, therefore all speech deserves equal status under the law is an absurdity that is asserted only when the results are likely to hurt someone else, to deprive them of their rights and lives.  It is only when that's the case that judges and justices play stupid and pretend that can't reliably be done.  If it were commercial speech, or even commercial "speech" under copyright or something, they'll tease out the most obscure and technical of points to make that judgement. 

Winne Clement - Fujara Improvisation

"It's such a thing," someone told a friend of mine when he got his first lute.  This is certainly such a thing, which I'd never heard of before Friday.  

Here's a video where Mr. Clement explains the instrument and demonstrates that, though it's built on the same principles as a bass recorder, it's being played through the overtone series and three sound holes gives it a totally different character.

I like how he uses these traditional instruments to make music that is all his own.

The Irresponsible Unreality Of Holmes' Abrams Dissent, 1. The Background In Real LIfe As Opposed To Pretend

I, like probably everyone reading this who is not a lawyer, never read the entire decision and dissent in the 1919 Supreme Court case, Abrams v United States.   It is the case which said that the motley combination of anarchists and other vaguely and inaccurately identified lefties who wrote and produced two pamphlets against the First World War or, more accurately, it would seem, any covert military or other opposition to the revolution in Russia had a right to issue inflammatory pamphlets advocating action against that.  The producers of the pamphlets were arrested and prosecuted for violating several laws passed to prevent propaganda for the purpose of attacking the government and to inhibit things like wartime production to hinder the course of the war.  Since the important thing about this is the dissent to the majority opinion that let those prosecutions stand by Oliver Wendell Holmes jr.  a dissent joined in by Louis Brandeis, all I'll point out is that Holmes had voted in several earlier cases to uphold those laws as Constitutional.

The dissent Holmes wrote in Abrams is widely considered to have, ultimately, won because it was so heavily relied on to allow all kinds of speech, much of it, clearly dangerous to people in ways that have become entirely familiar.  The permission of such "speech" as has been allowed through the use of and extension of Holmes words is exactly the kind of hate speech which is such a danger to the lives and rights and freedoms of Black People, Latinos, Women, LGBT people, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans etc.   By that list it is obvious that the majority of Americans are the target of such speech and of attacks promoted in such speech.   I will note that, by and large, the members of those groups most in danger are not such people who are wealthy, people of ordinary or modest means, people who are poor or destitute are more likely to be the targets of such violence and discrimination. That is easiest to see in whose rights are effectively denied them by that kind of hate speech made law and upheld by the Supreme Court, especially in the area of voting rights.   If such hate speech impacted on rich, straight, white men, those laws would never have been made and such hate speech would never have been permitted to stand.   

I am certain that courts comprised of the victims of such speech, if they really cared about the people who would be the targets of such speech would never have issued such words as Holmes did in that case or the ones extending those words.  Anyone who was or had their rights and lives, the rights and lives of their loved ones targeted though hate speech would never agree with that thinking.  Unless they'd been acculturated and trained in the conventions of thought that issue from such places as elite law schools at Ivy and may-as-well-be-Ivy universities.  The role that such acculturation and the privileges and benefits even members of severely discriminated against minorities expect to gain from their diplomas from such places plays in their upholding of speech and actions that damage their fellow minority members is something that really needs thinking about.  Needless to say, any lawyer whose thinking is seriously at odds with what Holmes said, if such deviation did not advantage the wealthy and powerful, wouldn't expect to be appointed to a judgeship or expect to rise in the judicial profession or in a major law school faculty.   

As I started, I'd never read the full dissent, never having read more than a closely clipped part of it that is often given as the core of Holmes thinking.   Reading it I was surprised to see how little the dissent has to do with the realities of the situations it is misapplied to in the subsequent history of its use.  Today it is used to allow hate speech and lies which promote Nazism, fascism, white supremacy and the party which made a conscious decision to benefit from overtly taking on white supremacists as a result of the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, the Republican Party.   The thinking of Holmes in such "free speech" cases has also been used to benefit the pornography industry, mass media (which, being corporate entities which exist to profit the owners, share a great deal in common with the white supremacist enabling Republican Party and pornographers) and even the vestiges of the old print media who have an ever less important role in political and cultural life.  Such are he people who have so often been the beneficiaries of the branch of government least answerable to The People, the courts, especially the Supreme Court.   

Reading the decision I have to say Holmes thinking is quite flawed, even for the time it was issued in 1919 and subsequent history has shown that his thinking was even less attached to reality than its repute would have you believe.  Yet the beneficiaries and imagined beneficiaries of that line of thought pretend otherwise. 

This is going to take at least a couple of posts.  Before I get into the actual words of Holmes in this case I will repeat something I wrote a few years ago about the misplaced trust that liberals have put in the thinking of Holmes who was no liberal and whose basic personal and legal philosophy rejected the very basis of American liberalism.   It was, in fact, far more in line with the thinking of some of our more amoral libertarians and, as can be seen in his most infamous majority opinion, Buck v Bell issued seven years later, it shared some proto-fascistic characteristics.   So much so that his words were used by the Nazi defendants at the Nuremberg tribunals to defend their actions, something which must have stood out for the chief American judge there, Holmes' former secretary, friend and confidant, Francis Biddle.   As I said in those earlier pieces about what Biddle wrote about Holmes in 1960.


His familiarity with Holmes gives Biddle's analysis of the effect that Holmes' thinking and reading a particular credibility that could stand alone as evidence of how he came to decide what he did.  In a series of lectures Biddle gave, which were published in 1960 he said.  

[In Holmes' thinking] All society rested on the death of men or on the prevention of the lives of a good many. So that when the Chief Justice assigned him the task of writing an opinion upholding the constitutionality of a Virginia law for sterilizing imbeciles he felt that he was getting near the first principle of real reform— although of course he didn't mean that the surgeon's knife was the ultimate symbol. 

... He was amused at some of the rhetorical changes in his opinion suggested by his associates, and purposely used "short and rather brutal words for an antithesis," that made them mad. In most cases the difficulty was rather with the writing than with the thinking. To put the case well and from time to time to hint at a vista was the job. . . . 

The vista of which Biddle spoke was provided by Holmes' reading of Charles Darwin.  Biddle continued:

This approach is characteristic of Holmes, and constantly reflected in his opinions— to keep the law fluid and the doors of the mind open. For pedestrian lawyers it was often unsatisfactory— they wanted everything defined and settled and turned into everlasting precedents. 

Darwin's influence was strong on Holmes, and his theory of the survival of those who were fit to survive must have been constantly and passionately discussed in Dr. Holmes's house when 
Wendell was a growing lad and young man. On the Origin of Species had appeared when he was eighteen, and The Descent of Man in 1871, when he was thirty. Darwin led to Herbert Spencer, 
whom Holmes thought dull, with the ideals of a lower middle-class British Philistine, but who, with Darwin, he believed had done more than any other English writer to affect our whole way of thinking about the universe. All his life Holmes held to the survival of the strong, and did not disguise his view that the Sherman Act was a humbug, based on economic ignorance and incompetence, and that the Interstate Commerce Commission was not a fit body to be entrusted with rate making. However, as he said to Pollock, he was so skeptical about our knowledge of the goodness or badness of laws that he had no practical criticism except what the crowd wants. Personally he would bet that the crowd if it knew more wouldn't want what it does. 

Compared to the "right" of private businesses to do things that could have enormously effects, good or bad, on countless people, including deaths,  Holmes saw the danger of individual people asserted to be "imbeciles"  having a child as more deserving of the most extreme state intervention, even into their bodies with surgery, on the mere prediction that any child they had was of an increased potential to be intellectually or physically deficient.  

Yet Holmes is seen as some kind of great progressive force in the law, primarily, I'd guess, due to his free speech dissents and his usefulness to Franklin Roosevelt at the very end of his life.  There also was the movie of the play "The Magnificent Yankee" which only adds weight to the case that historical fiction in the hands of the theater and Hollywood, is best considered to be fiction.  Liberals seem to be suckers for that kind of "history".

Since he lived until 1935, Holmes saw eugenics activity in the United States increase enormously after his decision, responsible for the forced and involuntary sterilization of scores of thousands of people.  He also lived to see the rise of fascists in Europe, the Nazis, he lived long enough and could have been quite aware of the Nazis eugenic laws, the first in Germany, in July of 1933, laws which were justified by the Nazis and their supporters by citing the eugenics laws in the United States, both at the beginning and, as mentioned before, after the fall of the Third Reich.  I don't know if he is recorded as ever having said anything about that,  other than his declaration that he felt he was getting at "the first principle of real reform" in his decision, I haven't yet found anything he said in its wake.  I would suspect there is something, I just haven't found it yet. [I still haven't found it.]


Given his use by "civil libertarians" the "free speech - free press" industry and the subsequent PR campaign which turned a pretty nasty and vicious and cold blooded enthusiast for inequality, laissiez faire capitalism, eugenics and even was prepared to believe that the result of Darwinian struggle was beneficial for the survivors into a hero, it is no real surprise that his thinking would end up benefitting Nazis. Looking at the Abrams decision,  I noticed that the year it was issued is also the year that is generally considered as being the beginning of the Nazi party, though it wouldn't change its name till the next year.   It was two years into the Russian revolution which had already pretty much disposed of the democratic movement within the revolution and the ascendant Communists under Lenin had already started the campaign of murdering their opponents and were embarked on the terror that cemented their power in the lands under their control.   They were already exercising their influence and power in foreign countries, including in the United States,  1919 was the year that the Communists in Russia helped engineer the destruction of the old Socialist Party at the emergency convention that had been called in Chicago through such Hollywood mythologized celebrities as the idiot Jack Reed.   

More to the point of the danger of hate speech, there were 83 known lynchings in the United States in 1919, who knows how many other racially motivated murders where a rope wasn't used.  The KKK had reformed, inspired by the blockbuster movie of 1915,  Birth of a Nation which glamorized and mythologized the KKK and promoted some of the most vicious and still politically potent lies of racism which the incumbent president and Attorney General are using to attack voting rights on behalf of the Republican Party.   Lynching is a crime in which hate speech plays a crucial, motivating role, though rich, white, powerful men are almost never those who have to worry about it. 

Perhaps more to the point of why Holmes issued a dissent instead of writing the majority opinion, 1919 was also the year that anarchists inspired by the words of  Luigi Galleani had sent a series of package bombs to prominent people through the mail.  Bizarrely enough, considering his language in favor of the rights of anarchists to such "free speech" one of the people who were sent a bomb was Oliver "Wendell Holmes jr.  Or maybe that explains why he might have wanted to appease such anarchists?  I don't know.   I do know that one of the few actuall casualties was the maid of one of the intended targets and that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were narrowly missed by one of the packages exploding near them.   

The context of the very year that Holmes issued his dissent proved that his thinking was not closely related to reality, it would certainly become less so as the speech of Nazis matured and bore some of the worst fruit ever sown.  That lawyers and judges and justices, pretending their use of Holmes in the even less relevant context of the intent of 18th century slave owners was adequate to post war reality is even more insanely irresponsible.   Today, with Nazis, white supremacists and actual fascists in the White House, put their by cabloid and hate talk radio hate talk and preying on the paranoia of people who have imbibed that hate talk for decades, creating a reality show Fuhrer who, even as his treason to the country, his pathological racist excuse making for Nazis known has about a third of the country supporting him, continuing with that line of idiocy is a guarantee of disaster.   And I would bet my last dollar on that, expecting to win the bet soon. 

I will call your attention to this part of what Francis Biddle said about the man he knew better than anyone alive today and more qualified to talk about the basis of Holmes' thinking.

he was so skeptical about our knowledge of the goodness or badness of laws that he had no practical criticism except what the crowd wants. Personally he would bet that the crowd if it knew more wouldn't want what it does. 

That was, actually, something he said in the most quoted paragraph of his dissent:  

But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.

He said that in a year, 1919, in which Jim Crow was as powerful as it ever would be, in which women had not narrowly been given the vote (the fate of that amendment rested on one vote in one state legislature) it was a country in which racism, bigotry, sexism, class hatred and other forms of thought were on top and did rule and blight the lives of a majority of the people in the United States.  Holmes, himself, supported some of that thinking as his infamous Buck v Bell decision proved.  And what Holmes no doubt thought of as a Darwinian struggle for existence among ideas would soon give ascendence to Leninism and Stalinism and Nazism and fascism in the same way that Jim Crow ruled a large part of the United States, imposing an apartheid-fascism on Black Americans, the terror campaign of Lynching and other violence a very real reality for them.   

Anyone who has a reasonable expectation of being the focus of violent hate speech , of an advocacy of violence in their real life instead of Supreme Court Justice theoretical pondering who doesn't think an assertion that such violence should not be given a chance to prevail is insane.   Such people who do accept, without objection, the "free speech" industry lines on that are suffering something like the Stockholm Syndrome, in which their own imprisonment and endangerment is accepted through some pathological identification with their oppressors.  Many of them with no more thought than the rote learned conventional slogans of such interest groups, created and spouted on behalf of those who benefit from the hate speech.   Women who accept the slogans that benefit the epic misogyny of the porn industry are especially out of touch with reality.  LGBT people who accept such "free speech" as has tortured us are as much victims of those automatically learned lines.  

There is no rational reason, in 2017 for any honest person to pretend that Nazis have a right to spew violent hate speech or that Nazism is based in anything but genocidal hate speech.   As people piously recite a far more noble and realistic slogan of "Never again", they should consider that the thinking of Holmes and the "free speech" industry includes the very real assertion that those who want it to happen again have a right to try to make it happen again.  Free speech absolutism is, in as real a way as possible, incompatible with the declaration of Never Again.  For its present day victims, "again" is already here.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Arch Oboler - The Truth

"The Truth". A thoughtful story about a scientist who puzzles after the ultimate source of cosmic rays and eventually discovers, "The Truth." The 12th of a series of 26 broadcasts. Edmund Gwenn, Roseanne Murray, Bruce Elliott, Antony Ellis, Gordon Jenkins, Jack Meighan, Arch Oboler.

This is a radio play that was done several times on at least two different series of Oboler's plays.  I listened to it on another transcription so I'm not certain if the cast is the same.  This was the clearest of several I sampled.

Apparently Arch Oboler had some knowledge of what, four decades later would be called a near death experience.

Second Feature:  Alf Silver - Clean Sweep - Suddenly This Summer 

Deborah Allen, Richard Donat, Michael Pellerin, Ryan Rogerson, Ashley Swain, Jeremy Ackerman,  Jocelyn Cunningham

Hate Mail - There's Absolutely No Question That American Nazism Is A Darwin Inspired Phenomenon I've Proved That With The Nazis Own Words

I wrote those pieces an earlier time Duncan's Mendacity Choir chimed in ignorantly and stupidly.  

Here's an index to some of them, I will update when I have time to look up more of my archive.

Here's a clue, friends, start indexing your posts at the start.  You wait till you get a few hundred or a thousand or so and you'll never get back to it. 

Update:  Simps, you should put the Zod sockpuppet away, you're wearing a hole in it and people can see your hand under it.  You haven't used "Lubyanka" for a while, did it get lost in the wash?  

I can assure you that anyone who reads my blog knows that Nazis are anti-Semites, my readers, apart from you-Zod aren't as ignorant as the non-readers you're accustomed to.  It's mentioned in those things I indexed, especially the ones which quote the most influential American Nazi of all, William L. Pierce who was a scientist and an atheist who had no problem with attributing his genocidal racism to Darwin and Darwinists like Arthur Keith, E. O. Wilson and Kevin MacDonald, you know, David Irving's scientific witness in his libel action against Deborah Lipstadt, which he lost so ignominiously and satisfyingly.   As I also noted the other day, Pierce's living ..... um.... "intellectual" heirs also make no secret as to the Darwinist origin of their Nazism.  

If there is anyone so stupid as to not know that Nazis are anti-Semites, I don't write down to their level.  You must know that, you don't read what I write either. 

Moldavian kaval solo - Flutemaker Winne Clement

Improvisation by flutemaker Winne Clement on a Moldavian Kaval 'branch flute' made out of locust wood with the bark still partially attached .Recorded at night during the winter of 2013 at the church of Eggewaartskapelle.

Listening to that Turkish ney music I posted a few weeks back led to me listening to the related music on other end-blown flutes from Eastern Europe and the surrounding area.  It's amazing how much worthwhile music there is that we never listen to.  I hope it helps me get Bobby Vinton's  1970s My Melody of Love that was played on the Polka Party out of my mind.  NEVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN, Gary!

Update:  Improvisation

Hate Mail Defending Hate Speech

"Deny a right [ to spew violence inciting hate speech ] to one, then you deny that right to all."

Why is that argument not, essentially, the one that Trump made equating Nazis with the opponents of Nazis?   It refuses to note that there is as bright a line as could possibly be found between the advocacy of denying rights to people, of advocating the oppression, subjugation, exclusion and murder of entire groups of people and those who oppose all of those things contained in Nazism, white supremacy, the KKK.  What there is is no real difference between that assertion of equivalence and the one Trump relied on to support torch carrying Nazis rallying in an American city, organizing and proselytizing others to join them in destroying the rights and threatening the lives of people.  Yet, that is the lie that the "civil liberties" industry has used to justify ITS enabling of Nazis in even stronger ways, with the force of judicial orders, than Trump could. 

It is also not true.  If there is one thing that is obvious, Nazis could be denied the right to organize, to proselytize, to advocate attacks on and the murders of Black People, Jews, LGBT people, the subjugation of women, totally and effectively and not one of the people in those groups would suffer a thing except being safer from Nazis.   If the KKK had been effectively crushed in its infancy many people would certainly have stood a better chance of living and gaining safety and security.  If the propaganda that revived it after it had gone moribund, Birth of a Nation, had not been made, if the backers of the film had rejected it, it is very likely that the increased outbreak of lynching would not have happened.  

Hate speech is not, in any way, comparable to speech that advocates equal rights and equal justice under the law.

I will have more to say about that Holmes dissent later. 

More Hate Mail - We Have Been In A Crisis For Democracy We Were Brought Here By The Lawyers and Judges

I will never pretend that there is a right to advocate genocide and murder.  To do that is the negation of rights and a forfeiture of rights, not a right.  The genocides of the 20th century, those of our previous century should have proved that hardest of realities.

The simple, slogan based understanding of the role that speech plays in egalitarian democracy used by "civil liberties" advocates in the past century, including what has been consistently identified as a right to advocate the denial of life and equal rights to innocent people on the basis of their race, their ethnicity, their religion, their gender their gender identity, is inadequate and based on willful ignorance and stupidity.   Its simplicity is attractive and easy, its results have been catastrophic, especially for those who are not rich and members of non-targeted groups.  That is certainly no surprise to those who have been victimized through the advocacy of violence, discrimination (inevitably imposed through violence) and those who are the focus of media-wide lie campaigns.

After the 20th century when real genocidal campaigns killed tens of millions of people, after the American history with the not infrequently deadly violence of slavery, of Jim Crow, of other campaigns of racism and subjugation of women, etc.  CONDUCTED UNDER THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND, AS CAN BE SEEN THROUGH THE BILL OF RIGHTS AS INTERPRETED BY THE SUPREME COURT AT THE BEHEST OF GROUPS LIKE THE ACLU, THE RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE, ETC.  It's long, long past time to come up with something that protects people against the results of such speech.

That is especially true now that the decades long barrage of anti-liberal hate speech on cable TV and hate-talk radio has put Donald Trump in office and, after his treason is exposed, after his placement of a white supremacist in the office of Attorney General, after his hiring of actual Nazis to work in the White House, we still have the same idiots who brought the cases on behalf of well financed extreme right-wing groups that resulted in Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United still spouting the same enabling lines that have brought us past the point of that fabled "Constitutional crisis" from the ongoing and never mentioned crisis of Democracy.

The theory of "free speech" such "civil libertarians" has been made the law of the land and the results are a crisis for democracy which could, well, finish off American democracy.   And the idiots have learned nothing, they are enabling Nazis, the KKK, and other enemies of the American People, Black People, Latinos, Women, LGBT People, Jews, liberals, and yesterday they announced after last week that they've finally, decades after a campaign of violence which includes the largest mass murder of Americans before 9-11 that, maybe, it's not a good idea to have people who bring guns to rallies as clients - though if it had not turned bad for publicity, I doubt they'd have noticed.   And they'll still, no doubt, take their side in court if they claim they won't bring their guns to another one. But it was a car that was used to kill and maim people this time.

The lawyers, judges and "justices" who have enabled this situation, both privileging the billionaires boys club, the right wing media moguls on the upper scale and the Nazis, KKK and white supremacists on the bottom have driven this country into this crisis through their favored interpretation of articles in the Bill of Rights, the First and Second Amendments and others.  They show no sign of taking any responsibility for what has resulted, not even the supposed liberals among them.  They don't even seem to notice the problem.

The only reason that free speech is politically important, its ultimate legal importance is to protect the rights and lives of people on an equal basis, to create a decent, peaceful life for all of us.  Its secondary importance is to produce effective and just self-governance by a population on the basis of accurate information and an expression of their good will, an expression of their intention to have, promote and maintain egalitarian democracy with just laws that apply equally.   The ACLU with its "free speech" fetish is only one part of the American legal establishment and judicial system which has actively worked against that.   The results are a product of the theorizing of law scholars, none of them poor, relatively few of them living lives where they have to worry about Nazis, the KKK or white supremacists, none of those who act to enable them believing that they are really the ones in danger from them.  Lots of people don't have that luxury.

I noted the other day that the ACLU spoke out of both sides of its mouth about how the police were strong handed in trying to keep the order in the KKK rally in Charlottesville in July and, then, that they didn't do enough to keep the peace when their Nazi clients turned as ugly as they had always intended to get, they complained they weren't strong handed enough.   They want it all ways, in every way, and they deny any responsibility for any of it, even as they enable the worst of the worst among us and create publicity for their organization and get Hollywood idiots to raise money for them on that basis.   There was talk of a big post-Oscar party for them to raise money for the ACLU to protest Trump's regime.  That they would raise money for an organization which, through their "money equals speech" advocacy had done so much to make it possible to put Trump in office only shows how successful the ACLU PR job has been.   The left won't defeat Trump with that kind of willful blindness as to the effect that group and others like it have in real life instead of pious PR.

If the First Amendment is what leads us ever farther to the right and right into fascism, as it has already produced the once unthinkable Trump "presidency" there is something very wrong with it, just as there is, clearly, something wrong with the Second Amendment.   The ACLU exists to promote everything wrong with it on the basis of pretending the law can't distinguish between the Civil Rights Movement and Nazis.  Anyone who can't do that is too stupid to be running a legal system and a judicial system.  And they claim they are that stupid.  We should believe them and act to protect ourselves from them.   You can't support the billionaire boys club's destruction of our elections, swamping the media, and the ability of Nazis, the KKK and other violent hate groups and honestly claim to promote democracy and the equal justice before the law.  Not honestly.

It was politicians, even Republican ones, along with Democrats, who tried to get big money out of our elections.  It took the lawyer and judges and justices to put it right back in   If you want to see how Nazis came to be working in the White House, they're the one who enabled that.  Including the big role in that by the sacred ACLU.   Remember that if the Boston and other "free speech" Nazi rallies turn ugly enough to get in the news.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Albert Roussel - L'Accueil des Muses - In Memoriam Debussy

Désiré N’Kaoua, piano

Noticed the first intimations of autumn today.   Reminded me of this.

Since I Can't Say It With Skunk Cabbage I'll Let Martha Davis And Her Spouse Say It

Have a couple of meetings and the next thing you know Steve Bannon is self-fired because Trump is too cowardly to fire anyone.

Life After Hate

Lord Fa-fa(rage) Drops A Penny

F is for "fascist" FOX, has on that Brit blight on the world, Lord Fa-fa (Neil Farage) to scold Americans on getting upset about those Nazis terrorizing people here when it should be picking a fight will 1.6 billion+ Muslims.

I'm all for getting him and the Brit-Hungarian Nazi, Sebastian Gorka deported back to Britain where they'll be their problems and to keep them both out of a de-Nazified United States.   Murdoch should go too, for his role in promoting fascism, white supremacy and Nazism.   FOX should lose any broadcasting license it holds on the same basis.    A broadcasting code that bans violent hate speech is going to turn out to be necessary to protect democracy.  The mass media changed everything except the old habits of thought that should have died with the world based on print on paper.  Electronic media, especially mass media, makes those old assumptions dangerously out of date and a tool for those who, like Putin, like Murdoch, like Sinclair want to destroy democracy.   

We will adapt to that new reality or democracy will die, replaced by racist, violent, murderous fascism. 

The Left Needs To Dump The ACLU For More Competent Representation - You really get people upset when you hold up those guys to a critique

The injunction is made, who cares where it comes down, 

“That's not my department,” says the ACLU
after Tom Lehrer

The habit of non-thought on the left that holds the ACLU is beyond any kind of criticism is really stupid in so far as they have been instrumental in a list of things which have made things worse. They, in their "free speech" absolutist purity have:

- Supported Supreme Court rulings which have led to the most effective means of propaganda, the mass media, to lie with impunity about liberal politicians.  The corporate networks who control what most people hear as something like news is certainly not in control of liberals and they have used their impune "free speech" to tell the most outrageous lies about such politicians as the Kennedys, the Clintons, and a steady stream of Democratic challengers to Republicans.  The ruling of 1964 allowing the media to lie has had the effect of steadily driving American politics to the right, putting ever more right-wing people on the Supreme Court, forcing even liberal politicians into governing ever farther to the right.

- Supported the rights of fascists, Nazis, white supremacists to rally and organize even as those groups and their propaganda corrupt people into opposing equality and democracy and target entire races and ethnicities, LGBT people, and, of course, Jews, with messages up to and including incitement to murder.

From the real life results of that, its impact in the lives of real people, in our politics, in the damage it has done to egalitarian democracy, I've concluded:

- Anyone who claims that a book, such as the Turner Diaries, which was written by the Nazi, William L. Pierce to foment the murders of those it targets, is not identified as such, beyond any rational doubt and which has, in fact, inspired fascists and Nazis and white supremacists to murder people and, so dangerous speech which any rationally governed democracy would rightly suppress, must not be because a bunch of white slave owners in the 1780s wrote the First Amendment in ridiculously vague and inspecific language have forfeited their right to be taken seriously or to have their opinions on such matters respected by reasoning people of good will.

-  Any group which made the various and shifting stands on the rallies in Charlottesville, both the one last weekend and the earlier one in July, talking out of both sides of its mouth to enable the KKK and Nazis, minimizing the potential for people to get killed in the way the ACLU of Virginia did, is a group which has forfeited all of the trust that people have put in it through the ACLU's successful propagandizing of the left which it has played such a role in harming.

The repute the ACLU is held in is based on some idiotic game of calling its refusal to responsibly admit that there are ideas which are dangerous to egalitarian democracy and that enabling those ideas, especially those which tell lies that end up in getting people killed is some kind of perverted idea of a virtue.  

You can only take that as a virtue if you are part of a group, mostly rich, white, mostly male mostly lawyers  who are generally not the kind of people targeted by Nazis, fascists, white supremacists, the KKK, etc.  and, what do you know, the members of the legal profession, the judicial class, comprise mostly those kinds of people.   The members of the Supreme Court have been, by an overwhelming majority, NOT the kinds of people targeted by violent hate groups.  The mostly straight, white, male, upper-middle class to affluent members of the Supreme Court, listening to lawyers who are mostly the same, reading past members of courts and law scholars, mostly the same, are the ones who strike the poses and make the rulings that constitute the legal tradition in this country.   I think we have reached the point where the Supreme Court poses the greatest threat to egalitarian democracy.   That was on display in the court decision allowing the Nazis to rally in accordance with their preference over the demonstrable threat to public safety that posed, on the basis of the similar event in July.

I am sure, based on that long tradition that such lawyers and such judges, feel some frisson of virtuousness  when they advocate that position and hand down such rulings, buoyed by the language of Holmes and others.  I even think they might feel some perverse satisfaction in having committed that action most bizarrely held as a virtue, permitted the most dangerous and potentially murderous speech by people who held the most murderously anti-democratic of insane ideas.   I can only imagine such a crazy idea being considered a virtue by people who didn't have any reason to suspect they would be the ones targeted by such people, no sane person who had that expectation would hold it to be any kind of good or necessary thing.   Anyone who is the target of such speech would have to rationally consider it a clear and present danger to their lives and rights and freedom..   And any rational person would consider a judge or Justice who permitted that, any lawyer who advocated them endangering them and their loved one evil and ready to sacrifice them on their altar of First Amendment purity.

The pose that judges can't determine those obvious things, that they can't judge the character of those things and their dangers is ridiculous, as that is something they do in far harder cases whenever large amounts of money are contested on highly technical issues.  The case of the Nazis, the KKK, fascists, white supremacists and others such as now have a place in the White House, and those they intend to deprive of their rights, even those enumerated in the Constitution, even of their right as full citizens of the United states, even their  lives is not a hard one.  It is only when the rights and lives of minority groups is targeted that the courts and lawyers play so dumb as to claim that it is dangerous for their judgement to be trusted.

What I think we need, if they are so stupid, so incapable of giving us and our rights safety is a new set of laws with lawyers and judges who aren't so stupid and incapable of putting today's egalitarian democracy, the equal rights of living people above their long standing pretenses and traditions and the words of 18th century rich, white, male, slave holders.   Obviously the ones ruling us into violence and fascism aren't up to that job.

The left needs alternative representation, the left needs to dump the ACLU.

Update:  Way, way too little, way, way too late.   In the wake of Charlottesville, the ACLU has decided it won't advocate for the Nazis and KKK if they  don't promise on their Hitler Junger honor to leave their guns home.   Gee, you wonder why it took them that long to take that ineffective baby step. 

Dump the ACLU, its basic ideology is never going to change and it will always damage egalitarian democracy because that's not what they really care about. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hate Mail - How Dare You Criticize the ACLU!!!!

I read the article in Newsweek about the criticism of the Charlottesville police not providing security for a Synagog which was named in Nazi propaganda encouraging Nazis to burn it down and if an investigation into it shows that the police were negligent, there should be consequences for that failure.  But the police had tried to prevent the rally from happening in the way it did and, I'm certain, that many, perhaps most of the police would have rather it didn't happen at all.  Just as I'm reading criticism of the police and the local and state politicians, I'm reading very little in the way of criticism for the judges, justices and lawyers who permitted it to happen as it did, in the way the Nazis wanted it to, where it happened and when it happened.

But police and local and even state resources aren't infinite, they aren't and can't be pretended to be 100% efficacious in protecting us, especially when they are hemmed in from doing so by lawyers and judges, even against the best will and experience of the police.   Even when the people they are supposed to protect us against are armed with automatic weapons that lawyers and judges have made it legal for them to have.

There has been some criticism of the criticism of the ACLU from the media jerks who have a knee jerk "can do nothing wrong" attitude toward the ACLU because of its past, successful PR.   It's really a bad idea to let that kind of PR turn into a habit that shields groups that go to court to enable Nazis the KKK and white supremacists, the gun industry, the gun nuts, the billionaires who, having with the ACLU's help had their billions of dollars declared protected "speech", etc.   Really, when do the lawyers who make up the ACLU have to answer for their history of enabling the worst of the worst WHICH DOESN'T MAKE UP IN ANY WAY FOR THE "OTHER SIDE" ADVOCACY THEY DO. Glenn Greenwald, with all of his baggage in enabling the election of Trump, etc. his cosy relationship with people associated with Putin, was one of the typical jerks who holds up the ACLU as beyond reproach and above criticism.   You can look up that jerk yourself if you need verification.

In looking at stuff to prepare for writing this post, I came across this headline, with at Charlottesville, VA byline,

ACLU criticizes ‘militaristic’ police response at KKK protest

which I had to rub my eyes at, though, reading the story, it was from the police response to a KKK rally in Charlottesville in July.  several weeks before they joined with the right-wing Rutherford Institute on behalf of the Nazis last week.   You might consider who they were criticizing for trying to keep the public order in Charlottesville last month with what's being said now.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and other groups are asking Gov. Terry McAuliffe to investigate police’s response when protesters gathered in Charlottesville to condemn a Ku Klux Klan rally.

The ACLU, Legal Aid Justice Center, Rutherford Institute and National Lawyers Guild Central Virginia Chapter sent a letter to McAuliffe this week criticizing what they called the “outsized and militaristic” police presence to the July 8 protest.

About 1,000 protesters showed up near the Charlottesville park where a small group of Klansman planned a rally.

In the letter, the groups questioned the appropriateness of police’s use of tear gas and riot gear, among other things. They say the “aggressive display” didn’t help deescalate tensions between protesters and Klansman.

The groups sent a similar letter to Charlottesville officials.

Contrast that with what happened after they got the court injunction permitting an even bigger, even more inflammatory rally last weekend.

The injunction was filed early Friday by civil rights organizations American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Albemarle County-based Rutherford Institute.

“Based on the current record, the court concludes that Kessler has shown that he will likely prove that the decision to revoke his permit was based on the content of his speech,” Conrad wrote. “Kessler’s assertion in this regard is supported by the fact that the city solely revoked his permit but left in place the permits issued to counter-protestors.”

Conrad said information presented at the hearing indicated the city’s decision was “based on the content of his speech” rather than public safety factors.

Considering what happened, that was obviously not true, the ACLU and the other lawyers, as they so often do in this, minimized the danger of what they were advocating.

You should read the whole article in light of what happened, remembering the ACLU complaints about the police after the earlier rally.   Here is what the ACLU spokesman said after the injunction was issued but before what happened as a result of their advocacy.

“We are grateful that the court recognized that the First Amendment applies equally to everyone, regardless of their views,” said Claire Gastañaga, ACLU of Virginia executive director.

“We hope that the city will focus tomorrow on managing the expected crowds using de-escalation tactics and flexibility, and avoid the kind of over-militarized response that was mounted on July 8,” she said. “We encourage everyone participating to commit to nonviolence and peaceful protest. We will be there to observe and document police practices as we were on July 8 and at other rallies and protests across Virginia since January and before.”

And now it's the police, city officials and the Governor who are taking the heat and not the lawyers and judges who are most responsible for creating the conditions that led to violence.

The impunity that lawyers, those of the Rutherford Institute, of the ACLU, of other, lesser parts of the "free speech" industry who go to court to enable the opponents of equality and democracy and who would, as mentioned earlier this morning, sweep aside the First Amendment as soon as they took power, needs to end.  The ACLU is one of those groups which have been far too successful in turning themselves into a sacrosanct institution when they are just a bunch of lawyers with an ideological position which, when it clashes with reality, they will refuse to take responsibility for the results.

I said "no more after Skokie" and they've been doing worse, enabling worse, since then.  They are advocates for Nazis and white supremacists.  They need to own up to that.

Update:  Contrast what the same ACLU lawyers are saying now, trying to have it every which way, depending on what resulted from their advocacy.

ACLU Of Virginia Criticizes Law Enforcement In Charlottesville As ‘Not Effective

These people, this ACLU, have essentially the same sense of personal responsibility as Donald Trump, always trying to put the responsibility for what they did on other people.   They don't deserve support, they don't deserve donations, they don't deserve to be taken as responsible people.

It Is Stupid To Believe You Can Safely Allow Nazism To Propagate Because It Can Happen Here Just As It Can Happen Anywhere

Given what they are, what their history of terrorism and murder here as well as in their main place in history in Germany, Austria and the rest of Europe was, given that their definitional ideology is based on genocides that will leave one poorly defined ethnicity the master race......

Tell me why anyone who is willing to make a bet on allowing them to exist as a group and to propagate their ideas WHEN WE ARE SEEING THEM GAIN STRENGTH AS THEY DID IN GERMANY IN THE 1920s AND 30s is not insane.  We have a regime in the White House which not only covers for them, it hires them to work in the government.  How much more ascendent does a horrible idea have to be before such idiots realize we've got a mighty big problem here and now?

As I answered one of the Nazis useful idiots last night about their useful idiots in the ACLU and the "free speech absolutist" industry,  anyone who holds that it is necessary or safe to allow genocidal ideologies with a history of the kind of success the Nazis have had in producing murders, maimings and terror here and elsewhere even as that long bet on them never gaining the upper hand does, is insane.

It would be useful for such "free speech" absolutists to look more closely at what really motivated the man around who a myth, somewhat less gaudy but no less unreal and hypocritical was raised around, Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. and his "free speech" ideology.   His reasoning included one of his favorite ideas, the idea that Darwinian struggle, even that which endangered the further existence of democracy was invigorating because he really did believe in the survival of the fittest, on that we have his own words and the testimony of one of his closest confidants and his secretary,  Judge Francis Biddle*, the chief American judge at the Nuremberg trials.  The Nazis defense lawyers used the words of Oliver Wendell Holme jr. in making their defense before the court.   Just as, no doubt, the ACLU and the Rutherford Institute and others arguing before courts might make recourse to his ideas which are based in the same eugenics that the Nazis, certainly the American Nazis have claimed give their racism, their anti-Semitism, their claims of the socially salubrious effects that killing off those they deem inferior to them will have.  As I have pointed out this past week, there is no doubt about today's American Nazis basing their racism in Darwin and his inner circle and today's Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology, because they claim the scientific nature of their Nazism on that basis.

You can make the excuse for Holmes, who died in 1935, that he didn't live long enough to see where Nazism would take the ideas of the fittest surviving a violent struggle for existence.  Though he, no doubt, saw Nazism rising in Europe as he was in his last years.  He didn't see the possibility of such an ideology in its full horror and evil.   He certainly must have known about another anti-democratic ideology at work in the Soviet Union, he lived well into the reign of Stalin and, no doubt, kept abreast of developments under Lenin.

We don't have that excuse.   The idea that American democracy, egalitarian democracy will always prevail and so we must allow Nazism to have a chance to propagate and flourish and kill a few people here and there, and there and there.... and a lot of people in places like the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building... is safe and some kind of perverted virtue - a virtue which does, actually, get people killed - is insane and one of the most disgustingly irresponsible negligences of moral responsibility ever taken by legal professionals and an allegedly educated class.

That the men gathered to write the Constitution had no idea that such ideologies as Nazism and Marxism could be invented, gain power and murder tens of millions of people, overtaking nascent attempts at democracy, such as in the Weimar Republic and the post-Czarist, pre-Soviet period in Russia and brutally imposing dictatorial rule doesn't merely give them an excuse from moral short sightedness, it is a danger sign that their expression of rights doesn't fit our far different times.   They had no means of foreseeing a United States ruled by men who had no sense of honor and that the institutions they created could be so gamed and corrupted so as to leave a Donald Trump in office for even six months, put there by the efforts of a foreign despot who made George III look positively level headed and benevolent.  Their "First Amendment" is, like their Second Amendment dangerously inspecific because they had no idea how courts and lawyers would twist it in accordance to ideologies that hadn't been invented yet.  But we don't have that excuse of ignorance.   Nor do we seem to have the courage or stamina or moral responsibility to come up with language that will keep us safe from Nazis or fascists or white supremacists.  As I also pointed out last night, Marxists, on whose behalf so much of the recent "free speech absolutism" seems to have been invented were never any practical danger because there was never any way they would benefit as they hoped to from that ideology - which, like Nazis, they would have swept aside without blushing if they'd gained power.

Oh, yes, don't forget white supremacists, many of whom wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which Constitution led us directly, through slavery into a civil war and under which for 76 years Black people were held as chattels as slaves,  subjected to a denial of equal rights and lynched for many, many more years than that,  Native People were slaughtered and robbed of their lands, women denied the vote, and many other minority groups deprived of their rights.  That white supremacist ideology was and still is embedded in that Constitution which we also don't have the moral character to change to make a document truly and honestly one which produces egalitarian democracy.  White supremacy is and has been our domestic form of something like Nazism all through our history.  To believe that can't make a comeback in an even more oppressive and destructive form is sheer idiocy and or moral depravity, especially among those with university and advanced degrees.   To ignore that pre-Nazi form of domestic, American danger to equality and its history among us is even more evidence of the stupidity and dishonesty and moral irresponsibility of these Constitutional ideologies, today.

White Americans are just beginning to understand that the interpretations of our Constitution which enable Nazis can, actually, be used to deny our rights in the way that is no shock to Black Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and others, including the largest group of the subjugated of all, women.   The last group to learn that will be the affluent White Men who are the majority in the legal profession, the law school faculties** who train them,  the courts, who control and staff the media and who impose the limits within which ideas are to be deemed acceptable.

* We also have the observations of one one of Holmes other friends though, in this case his ideological opponent, one of the greatest American philosophers in our history, William James, who tried to talk his friend out of his extreme faith in Darwinism and, especially the eugenic form of it which Holmes based his infamous Buck v. Bell decision on.   As I've pointed out before, Holmes believed that allowing the propagation of even the most anti-democratic ideas was healthy, he didn't, though, believe there was any reason for a woman - who was, actually of normal intelligence - to make the decision to have a baby.   That was because Holmes, as a disciple of Darwin, didn't believe in that level of equality.

** The training of even those lawyers and judges who are members of groups which have been the target of our domestic white, male supremacist ideology acculturates them into a set of ideological positions which effectively bans the idea that the current ideologies in the law are not sufficient to protect Americans from ideas such as Nazism.   The conservative nature of the law retains the effects of affluent, white, male supremacy as a matter of course.   I think one thing the case that allowed the Nazis to name the venue and time of their rally which led to the carnage of last weekend shows that people with practical experience in policing and administering a city or state government will often have more realistic ideas about the consequences that such judicial-legal theorizing leads to.  The Supreme Court, staffed by those trained and rising in the conservative culture of the law are probably, in most cases, the least equipped level of government to be realistic about this danger. And they set the ideological boundaries.  And many of them sitting on that court, now, have proven records of partisan manipulation of those boundaries.