Saturday, September 22, 2018

Careers: Dr. Ford and Mark Judge

The Washington Post has twin pieces on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Mark Judge. Out of the debauched culture of Georgetown Preparatory School, they both ended up reinventing themselves. Dr. Ford moved west, became a surfer, and, ultimately, a degreed expert in depression and trauma recovery, a well-respected clinician and teacher. Mark Judge got on the wagon, became a conservative Catholic, somehow blaming liberalism for all the problems of Georgetown Prep, that most conservative Roman Catholic school, and has gone on to a writing career of pious hypocrisy. His own brother, Michael Judge, once wrote, “Mark is a solipsist: spoiled as a child, gazing always inward, unable to recognize any pain but his own.” I would call that narcissism. Mark Judge went on to become a pious hypocrite, harassing Eric Ruyak, who reported his own molestation at Georgetown Prep.

Whyfor the difference? Dr. Ford became a healer, Mark Judge became hypocritically pious. Perhaps this is a matter of inborn character. Perhaps. But I wonder if seeking to steeping himself in the hypocritical pieties of the Roman Catholic Church led Judge to embrace his narcissism. The liberalism of California, I think, did far better by Dr. Ford.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. – Matthew 23

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Modern European History -- Apocalypse Then

The history of modern Western Europe can be viewed as a series of apocalypses. War after war after war, only at peace after nearly destroying itself. And that is the history of the modern world.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Cruelty of Kavanaugh

By reopening the investigation of Vince Foster's suicide Kavanaugh "tormented the Foster family in the most vicious, cruel, abuse of power I think I've ever seen in 30 years," says @PaulBegala: "If he would do something that horrible, I don't know what he was like in high school." – link, with video
It appears Kavanaugh is a compulsively cruel man.

I think I know what is in the Kavanaugh material the White House is withholding: evidence of his Kavanaugh's cruelty. And if he is seated on the Supreme Court he will have the opportunity to be cruel to the entire USA; the kind of cruelty we saw in Hitler's lieutenants.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, and Prof. Blasey

(A hypothesis originally tweeted.)

Problem is, the Republicans are trying to set up a hearing where one witness will be Prof. Blasey and all the rest will be favorable to Kavanaugh. Her lawyer and the Senate Democrats object.

Personally, I want to see Mark Judge under oath, on the stand. Based on his subsequent writings, I suspect that he put Kavanaugh up to it. There's no evidence that Kavanaugh is a compulsive rapist. There is only this one event. But Mark Judge, him I want to see questioned under oath. And then I want the Senate Judiciary committee to consider if a man so easily swayed to a criminal act ought to have a seat on the nation's highest court.

Stochastic Slavery

We all have to work to live. If one is alone one needs to seek water, gather food, find shelter, wash, and so forth. If we live with other people, we also have to make efforts to interact with them. But – as Karl Marx observed – in unfettered capitalism people work extra to enrich the capitalist class.

We have abolished chattel slavery – workers are no longer the property of their owners, with no rights, not even those of family. But labor markets still distribute the work. One is better off free, no question: one has at least one’s family and the right to go elsewhere. But if all the growth in wealth goes to business owners, as it has for the past generation, one is living in a kind of stochastic slavery; free as an individual, not free as a member of the working class.

Which why socialism is enjoying a renaissance. Young people – the more educated have seen the numbers, know what they mean. But it doesn't take much education to know that your life is harder than your parents's.


"You cannot lie to the working class, James, not even once. They will know, and they will never trust you again." – fictional Fredrich Engels, Steven Brust and Emma Bull, Freedom and Necessity

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tweets to a Black Democratic Socialist, on the Erasure of Class from a Discussion of Racism and Wealth

Reinforcing identity is comforting. Economic reality cuts across our intuitions of identity, reminding us all that we are all in the end material beings, trapped in material reality. This is not at all comforting.

"All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, …" — Karl Marx

Original tweets

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Tweets to an Anti-Abortion politician

Will you force children to bear the children of incest, the way they do in Latin America? Or make them go before a male judge to get permission to terminate their pregnancy? Will you let women die or be severely injured to protect fetuses, the way the US Conference of Catholic Bishops mandates? Fetuses themselves doomed to die, non-viable fetuses, those are.

When women start dying, will you change your opinion? Because abortion is as common in places where it is illegal as it is where it is legal; outlawing it only makes it dangerous.

Will you protect rapists and child molesters by law?

You do not remember, you do not know.