Monday, October 22, 2018

Your Papers Please!

The new push to redefine sexuality as strictly conforming to DNA or organs at birth, is another chapter in the reactionary drive to supress human agency.  All the better to conform to the needs of power, as always, by fully encircling intimidation.

It's a further abomination because "rights" such as Title IX are exactly where the most universal protection is applicable and needed.  Like gays, transgender people have been around since forever, and had long needed protection from small minded guardians of virtue.

The actual areas where DNA or birth organ identification is necessary, in medicine or scientific reasearch, do not need heavy handed federal "definitions."

Saturday, October 6, 2018

It's Done

This has to be a pivotal moment for respect for the Madisonian institutions, notably the US Senate and Supreme Court.

Not that I've had any respect for them in a long time, and had I known the whole history when I was younger, I would never have had any respect.  All these institutions were designed to supress real democracy by defusing it, and to guarantee the continuation of slavery.  When slavery was defeated, these same institutions worked amazingly well to protect wage slavery of varying degrees of oppressiveness.

The ONLY progressive Court in US history was the Warren Court, 1954-1969.*  Not surprisingly, that conincided with a golden age, in which the US may have been among the world's most progressive, socially and economically, domestically at least.  The progress during those years was enormous.  Segregation was ended, voting rights extended, and widescale poverty eradicated on an unprecidented scale...with the poverty rate reaching the lowest before and since.

Not that there weren't other factors...much was enabled by New Deal politicians and programs from 1932-1974.

These were all getting unfair abuse by the early 1970's.  You can almost pin the ultimate downturn to either the end of the Warren Court, or a particular decision regarding campaign finance in the early 70's, or virtually any major decision in the immediate post-Warren era, as the beginning of the free fall in social health we are experiencing today.

NOW, there are some positive signs, such as the once again acceptance, especially among younger people, of the word socialism.

Social Democracy was the essence of the New Deal era, and if we could merely get back to that level it would be huge social progress from where we are now.

And if we ever get the kind of majorities in Congress that Democrats had in the New Deal era, for real social democrats and not the usual quislings, we could impeach all the sanctimoneous corporate hack Justices on the Court, and start with all new progressives.

However, given the Madisonian design, increasing plutocracy and oligarchic control, the reverse may be more likely.

Vote!  But don't hold your breath.  Much more may be required now.

Friday, October 5, 2018


Kavinaugh was George W's Attorney, involved in the legalization of torture, and the coverup and defense of universal government surveillance.  And that's before 2006 before he was appointed to DC district circuit court, where's he's written a tirade of anti human decisions.  Because of that, "religious" conservative leaders like Pat Robertson have been demanding that he be appointed, and denouncing the "weak kneed" Republicans (who, to us, seem more like the scorched earth variety) in comparison with "fascist" Democrats.

He's provably perjured himself before Congress on this occasion and previous, talking about government wiretapping programs.

He shows intemperance and partisanship denounced by his Republican Predecessor, John Paul Stevens, who unusually is stepping down while still alive, and over by 2400 law professors. and by a leading Jesuit magazine (I haven't been able to figure out if his congregation is Jesuit), not to mention the National Council of Churches, and ACLU--who says they rarely take such positions.

Along with angry partisanship, he shows conspiratorialism-without-evidence to denounce his accusers, to evade answering questions.  These denunciations are picked up as gospel truth in the right wing-o-sphere, making him the ultimate partisan figure.

He was in his own words a puking drunk in his college years (which he lies about now) and apparently back to his high school years, and reportedly and believably committed a number of sexually agressive acts.  He refuses to accept responsibility and apologize for these acts, instead contributing toward further demonization and harassment of the victims.  He provably lied about many things in the hearings in these regards.  Not admitting any fault in the past, he continues to drink today and praises the activity, like a good shill for the Beer industry.  (By some accounts, there was far more than beer involved on some occasions in his past, especially hard liquor, and even 'Ludes--the drug ubiquitously used in sexual exploitation.)

Here are some of the best links:

Joe Laurie above at Consortium News is as good as always...but if you want to see more far right wing responses as ever in the comment section.

Ray McGovern below writes about Jesuit high school from personal experience and understanding, this is the article I originally promised though I feel the articles above have more important info.

Kavanaugh's appointment unifies (and discredits) the so-called #Resist Geroge W, who campaigned heavily for him, reportedly even more effectively than Trump.

People misunderstand the Deep State and what has really gone one.

The Deep State was at best agnostic about the election of Trump.  If not, he would have been shot down in the media earlier, instead of given endless breathless coverage.

WHAT THEY wanted to ensure, was continued war with Russia, despite Trumps self-reported desire to be more friendly with Russia.

THATS what the Russiagate nonsense perpetrated by the Deep State (since the leaking of Hillary emails, Hillary then being at the very center of the Deep State) was all about maintaining war on Russia, not about destroying Trump.  It could even be claimed that Hillary had decided to lose to Trump, by some of her bad decisions.  If the deep state had really wanted to, it could have destroyed Trump at any phase.  Instead, he had an active support wing within the Deep State.  But also, the collective push of the Deep State is always toward war and cold war, in this case, with Russia.

Well, Kavanaugh is part of this grand union between the Deep State and Trump.  So now the trolls have in my experience let loose in mass on many websites, denoucing all criticism of Kavanaugh.

These trolls actually come from the Deep State itself, perhaps some private power center.  They are most likely the biggest manufacturer of trolls.  The Russian troll influence, according to Robert Parry, was negligible in 2016..

Saturday, September 29, 2018


Of course the US Senate is a corruptible and fully corrupted institution which should not exist in it's current rule-from-above form which enables plutocracy and imperialism.  Likewise, mostly, the US Supreme Court, with rare exceptions, Roe V Wade being by far their best decision that comes to mind, amidst a lot of other reeking decisions, like Bush V Gore and those relating to campaign finance.

But given that you have any kind of supreme court, one obvious requirement for justices is to speak the language of impartiality.  Best if they were to actually practice it, of course, or at least a certain kind of impartiality which looks at the good of society and therefore the best possible interpretations of law.

Even with the truthfulness of the accusations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh uncertain (I'd rate the testimony against him so far as sounding highly likely), his reaction to those accusations shows the epitomy of an unjudicial temperment.  A truly judicial reply would have gone like this:

"I do not recall such events.  As no one's memory is perfect, this doesn't mean they necessarily didn't happen.  Some may say an an investigation is warranted; I leave that question of law to my investigators in the Senate Subcomittee.  Furthermore, I do not consider them entirely relevant to my nomination.  Much as many people, I had an alcohol problem in my youth, and got involved with activity I should not have.  That is true, and I truly apologize for any harm I may have caused back then.  Nobody one ever confronted me for my actions back then [I've nixed any such memories too] so I had not, and do not now, believe their results to have been permanently harmful.  And 35 years ago I sobered up and became the family and community leader [paternalistic corporate hack] I am today, with a history of the best personal behavior and public service [manic destructiveness in the interests of corporate and state oppression].  I suggest we move onwards [for more complete social destruction]."

Instead, we got angry denialism (which more suggests guilt more than not), and partisan flame throwing.  That display, in itself, should have been fully disqualifying.

We all know the story...he wasn't on the plutocrat think tank list because many well knew he had a history...but George W saw in this guy a likeness of himself (and activities George W himself continued well into his 30's) and made him Circuit Judge, and then Trump saw in him the opportunity to select an unmitigated proponent of Presidential powers and freedom from prosecution, characteristics that would also appeal to Geroge W.

I won't say this destroys the legitimacy of the Court simply because it hasn't had much of that in a long time.  But it certainly shows "the devil may care" attitude toward maintaining that fiction anymore.

Meanwhile, the whole fracas made it easer to avoid talking about Trumps new Drug War Globalism, forcing drug war terms on Mexico and Canada, and scolding about it at the UN.

The Drug War is a another major form of national and international oppression, in the service of crushing leftism and poor people.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Life is "Brazil"

"Brazil" the 1984'ish movie by Terry Gilliam, I mean, where they have endless advanced technology, but none of it works correctly most of the time.  Named after Brazil because of the fascist Brazilian government of the day (and perhaps, once again, today?).

Modern life IS beginning to seem more and more like Brazil in the sense of advancement only causing fragile systems that rarely work well.  (I'm not trying to make a point about the fascist angle of "Brazil" in this article.)

Starting pretty much from the top, how the commanding heights of our government shapes our society.

Foremost, that is of a militaristic imperialistic society that spends over $1T a year on endless wars that produce only more chaos and blowback.  While it can't provide healthcare or ensure full education and employment and decent living for all.  All sectors except the rich have been in a kind of social free fall, being unable to afford the basics of a decent life.

We have a need to reshape our entire energy and transportation sectors to renewable energy, or face total devastation or perhaps annihilation--which has already started for increasingly large number of species.  By turning our national largesse from militarism to renewable national energy and transportation development (I believe it should be owned and operated by the people and free for the people) we could solve both problems: creating the jobs to build a new middle class, and having the money to take care of everyone.  That would be investment, even as done by the public.  Instead, we "invest" in craters, enemies, chaos, blowback, and disasters.

But we can't make these changes, in fact we must pile on the fossil annihilation ever faster, because we must make rich people even richer, and because job #1 (empire).

The Madisonian vision was that the wealthy would take a long term view of the health of society as they had much to gain or loose directly from that health.

That has turned out to be such a crock.  It seems in many cases the richer they are, the more they want to take for themselves at the expense of society, thinking they can survive the deluge.  And giving them an upper hand in the functioning of society leads to the ultimate catastrophe for all, exactly as we are headed.

You see this kind of misdirection being played out all over.  We are "investing" in unsustainable models and often ones that don't work from the start, like private roads, and furiously disinvesting in the health of people and society in the future.

One part of the solution is to negate the Madisonian empowerment of the wealthy, and let the people more democratically decide what is going to be paid for, and by whom, rather than have a government that serves as stenographer to the plutocracy and oligarchy.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

IQ is not Intelligence

I've heard the claim about many kinds of intelligence before.  Believers in IQ promote the idea that IQ type intelligence underlies them all.  But clearly they are not the same, so there must be other factors also.

Here's a different kind of delineation than I've seen before: Analytical Intelligence (like IQ), Practical Intelligence, and creative intelligence, as described in this Guardian article.

IQ tests only capture analytical intelligence; this is the ability to notice patterns and solve analytical problems. Most standard IQ tests miss out two other aspects of human intelligence: creative and practical intelligence. Creative intelligence is our ability to deal with novel situations. Practical intelligence is our ability to get things done. For the first 20 years of life, people are rewarded for their analytical intelligence. Then we wonder why the “best and brightest” are uncreative and practically useless.
Here's the book of the authors.

Here's another recommended book

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Why the British Labor Party should not adopt a definition of Anti-Semitism

The very most definitive answer, from a few days hence to the distant past, addressing this issue, by the most thorough scholar Norman Finkelstein.

Also quoted at Mondoweiss.

I've mostly focussed on the political angle, of the neoliberal Blairites, like their American counterparts, using identity politics to destroy leftism.  This outer shell--and what some might call conspiracy theory (but in this case, widely recognized)--is not mentioned by Finkelstein.  He sticks to the facts of the specific decision that will be made by the Labour Party soon.

He looks within the immediate issue, and finds the demand of what he calls British Jewry to be way beyond the pale in every way.  They are attempting to define legitimate criticism of Israel as antisemitism.

I agree totally, and further that such free speech principles as the Labour party has had in the past ought apply even moreso in America, where they have been under similar attack.