THE ABSURD TIMES — STILL

Let’s call him 45

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on March 5, 2021

THE ABSURD TIMES

Illustration: I know – I can’t believe it either: when I first saw it, I had no idea as to what it was supposed to represent. It was wheeled in at the CPAC festival. I rather doubt it is pure gold as that might compromise values. [Made in China.]

Oh, I didn’t expect the program below when I wrote this, but it is a good one. It always looked to me as if nobody could criticize Israel here and hope to be elected. Well, they explain all about it at the bottom.

Well, we have the latest from Qanon sent to the GOPq and in effect now. The inauguration will not be on March 4, but April 1. First, the government has to be renewed and Donnie will become the 19th President. Seems there was some problem involving the Civil Service? Some still think it is March 4, so the military is prepared. [r so we were told. Remember 45 was still 'ruling' and replaced all of the liaisons with the National guard as soon as he lost the election.He snappened into action, watching the mob on 'tv and eating popcorn or something more appealing./]

Biden announced that another vaccine is ready, one shot and that’s it. Another company will assist in manufacturing it and he moved the expected date up two months. The Governor of Texas, a Republican who thinks the Green New Deal was responsible for the failures in Texas (there is no green new deal and wind and solar out performed the other sources, immediately snapped into action: he ended the mask band and told everybody they can meet indoors and sneeze on one another.

To say this is preposterous is mild, but then every Mayor in Texas hope to defy this order and retain the mask restrictions. Mississippi is close by and NOBODY is going to get more backward than Mississippi and they are angry they didn’t think of it first. Well, they are joining in and pretending, I think, they thought of it first.

A nurse in Kentucky mentions that she had helped a woman at the clinic and the woman said “I’m sure glad I didn’t have to go through that Obamacare.” The nurse told here she was being covered by that and she asked “Well, please don’t tell my friends about it.” I try to be open minded, but this is worse than the third world. At least they have a reason for being backwards. These people don’t HAVE to be backwards – they just CHOOSE to be and that gives them no excuse. Even George Wallace wised up, or at least said he did.

Aware that they seem racist against blacks, the domestic terrorists and the like have taken to beating up asians. See, this way, it doesn’t matter if you are black or yellow, they will beat you up. Oh, and they are not very happy with the brown skinned ones either and they are starting to get out of their cages. Looks like trouble ahead.

The last stimulous bill did have money to lend to small businesses, but small businesses are definded as 500 employees or less. Also, the money was distributed by the banks. We don’t like the term “mom and pop stores,” but who do you suppose got the money last time? Right, now, the bill is limited to 20 employees or less and also hires enough people to help them fill out the beurocratic forms as the applications go directly to the government, not the banks. [Just
a side note here: FDR ran “to save my friends from themselves.”
He called an emergency session of congress and could have
nationalized the banks at that time, but that would be socialism.
Still, his proposal went through so well, he kept on submitting bills
until the time was up. That happened to be 100 days, that’s all.]

Israel and the United States blasted the International Criminal Court’s decision to open a probe into Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories, as well as crimes committed by Palestinian militant groups. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the Biden administration “firmly opposes” an investigation. Mitchell Plitnick and Marc Lamont Hill, co-authors of “Except for Palestine,” say it’s an illustration of the “Palestine exception” that makes even supposedly progressive people unwilling to criticize Israel’s human rights abuses and its ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories. “We are attempting to show that the American left — those who identify as progressive, radical, liberal, what have you — have not held up the bargain in terms of matching their own ideals and values on this question of Israel and Palestine,” says Hill.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

The International Criminal Court has officially opened a probe into Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories, as well as crimes committed by Palestinian militant groups. Israel and the United States blasted the decision. Israel is not a member of the ICC, but the Palestinians joined the court in 2015. Israel has argued the court has no jurisdiction over the Occupied Territories because Palestine is not an independent state. On Wednesday, Wasel Abu Yousef of the Palestinian Liberation Organization welcomed the ICC decision.

WASEL ABU YOUSEF: [translated] This decision is so important because it shows that justice will be imposed on those who carry out crimes against the Palestinian people or any crime in the world. The Israeli occupation thought that they were exempt from the crimes that they committed and that they won’t be questioned for these crimes. Today, this decision will cut off the ways for occupation to continue committing these crimes. I think the occupation will think deeply about how to defend itself in front of the court.

AMY GOODMAN: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by claiming the ICC decision is anti-Semitic.

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: The decision of the International Court to open investigation against Israel today for war crimes is absurd. It’s undiluted anti-Semitism and the height of hypocrisy. … This court, that was established to prevent the repetition of the Nazi horrific crimes committed against the Jewish people, is now turning its guns against the one and only state of the Jewish people. It’s targeting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. But, of course, it turns a blind eye to Iran, Syria and the other dictatorships that are committing real war crimes.

AMY GOODMAN: The Biden administration also criticized the ICC. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said, quote, “The United States firmly opposes and is deeply disappointed by this decision. The ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. … We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly,” Blinken said.

Still with us, the co-authors of the new book, Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics, Marc Lamont Hill, Temple University professor of media studies and urban education, and Mitchell Plitnick, president of ReThinking Foreign Policy, also the former director of the U.S. office of B’Tselem and former co-director of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Marc Lamont Hill, let’s begin with your response to the ICC decision to investigate Israel for war crimes.

MARC LAMONT HILL: I am always skeptical of the ability to adjudicate these matters in international criminal courts, not because I don’t believe in them, but because I’m often skeptical that they’ll actually produce a fair and just outcome. But this is a moment of promise. This is a moment of possibility. The fact that the ICC last month acknowledged that it had jurisdiction and this month says that it’s going to actually open up an investigation, I think, is extraordinary.

It’s important, though, to respond to what Prime Minister Netanyahu said. First, this is not a probe exclusively targeted toward Israel. Obviously, Hamas will also be investigated — and, ostensibly, the PA could be, although this is largely about Operation Protective Edge, and so it won’t focus on them — meaning that any war crimes in the territories and in the area could be investigated.

Second, the idea that the ICC is somehow targeting Israel, to me, is a bit curious, when, quite frankly, the African countries are the only people who seem to get any kind of rebuke or censure or criticism from the international courts, whether it’s Muammar Gaddafi, whether we’re looking at the LRA in Uganda. I mean, we could look — we could look at Sudan. I mean, the critiques of the — or, the actions of the ICC are largely directed toward African nations, not the West, not Europe and not Israel. And it would be anti-Semitic — it would absolutely be anti-Semitic to only investigate Israel, to only focus on Israel. But the ICC is not attempting to do that.

And then, finally, the argument, somehow, that Palestine is not a state, and therefore is not able to appeal to the ICC, simply is contradicted by international law. It’s contradicted by the U.N.’s decision a few years ago. They absolutely have the jurisdiction. And this is an opportunity for not just Israel, but for the United States, to actually reset relations with the ICC and actually move toward an investigation that could produce justice.

And the fact that the Biden administration has resisted that, and that this is one of those areas where Biden has not reversed course from Trump — right? He reversed Trump — he reverses from Trump on Muslim bans, on the Paris accords, on all these issues. But on the ICC, he’s making a different choice, and that different choice is very disappointing.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Mitchell, your response to the ICC decision to investigate both Palestinians and Israelis for war crimes? And if you could respond — I mean, Marc said about Netanyahu saying that Israel is being singled out and that it’s principally African nations that have been investigated by the ICC. But what about war crimes being committed elsewhere, from Syria to Yemen? Those have not been referred to the ICC. Could you respond to that?

MITCHELL PLITNICK: So, yeah. I mean, first of all, I share with Marc a skepticism about the outcome of the ICC investigation. First of all, the current prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, will be stepping down in June, and her replacement, Karim Khan, is someone — we don’t know what he thinks specifically about this issue, but we do know that both the United States and Israel are optimistic about his appointment, so that kind of makes me nervous about where this is going to go.

On top of that, Hamas, because of the nature of the two sides and the weaponry that Israel has versus the weaponry Hamas has, Hamas uses weaponry that is, by definition, indiscriminate. It cannot distinguish between its targets. It’s very difficult to aim properly. So it’s going to be — it does not meet the standards of international law. Almost by definition, Hamas will be found guilty of war crimes, whereas, with Israel, it’s much more — it’s more difficult, and there are more questions of international law involved. So I’m skeptical about a positive outcome here, as Marc is, which is not to say that war crimes were not committed. I think that’s clear. The question is not, you know, what we know happened, but what we can prove happened. And that’s always a problem because of the way international law is constructed. So, starting with that.

As far as what Netanyahu said, first, let me say, as a Jewish person, that using anti-Semitism — and even worse, using the Holocaust — to shield Israel from being investigated for potential war crimes is remarkably contemptible and deeply offensive to me personally, and, I think, to many Jews around the world. The issue is very simple. If you committed war crimes, you should be investigated. If you didn’t commit war crimes, what are you worried about? So, I think there is that point.

And there’s also — look, you know, the fact is that a major complaint against the ICC has been that it’s almost solely focused on Africa, with Yugoslavia having been the only real exception here up until now. And we’ll see, again, where this goes. But it’s a fair criticism to say that the ICC has not applied standards of justice globally. Part of that is because we see the kind of backlash that it faces when, for example, it goes up against the United States and tries to investigate U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan. It is a lot of this — a lot of this backlash is tied to that, as well. It’s not just defense of Israel. It’s also the U.S. looking at its own war crimes and not wanting those to be investigated by an international body. So, all of that is kind of coming together here.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And I’d like to turn now, Marc, to the book that the two of you have just brought out, called Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics. Marc, can you lay out the argument there?

MARC LAMONT HILL: You know, Mitchell and I were very excited to write this book, particularly at this moment. We didn’t know who would be president. We didn’t know that there’d be an ICC investigation. But all the issues that are coming up right now really speak to the various ways that Palestinians have been made the exception to many of our progressive values and politics and actions, if you think about — or, rather, in activist circles. I’ll start there, in activist circles. You know, we have this person we call the ”PEP” — right? — the person who’s progressive except for Palestine. This is the person that’s outraged at Trump for his actions at the border, who’s disgusted by children in cages, who can’t stand to think about the erosion of civil liberties. But when it comes to Palestine, somehow, they don’t engage those same ideas in the same way.

And so, in our book, what we attempt to do is lay out the kind of policy groundwork. We lay out the frontier on which these battles are fought. We want people to understand not just the contradictions of the so-called left, but also to understand how those contradictions emerged. So, whether it’s questions about the right to exist, whether it’s questions about BDS, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or whether it’s the attempt to make Trump the exception rather than part of a more aggressive articulation of the American rule, we are attempting to show that the American left — those who identify as progressive, radical, liberal, what have you — have not held up the bargain in terms of matching their own ideals and values on this question of Israel and Palestine. And that’s something that we want to raise.

I’ll give one quick example. Donald Trump, who we’ve made the bogeyman — and for good reason — moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And that was seen as outrageous. Of course, him acknowledging Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel goes against international law. It goes against the idea that we’ll allow Jerusalem to be a final status issue. But Donald Trump didn’t create that rule. Donald Trump actually was acting on decades of American policy. The Jerusalem Embassy Act was actually signed by Congress in 1995 under the times of Clinton. And every U.S. president has simply signed a waiver not to move the embassy, but no one has fought to actually get rid of the legislation. So, this is bipartisan American policy. Again, Trump was an ugly — he was American policy on steroids. But he was part of a bipartisan movement to neglect the values, the needs, the self-determination of the Palestinian people. And in our book, we try to lay that out in what we think is a compelling way.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Mitchell, if you can talk about — more about the weaponization of anti-Semitism, silencing those who might otherwise be critics?

MITCHELL PLITNICK: Yeah. I mean, that is reaching a fever pitch right now. And I think it’s actually reflective of where Israel itself has gone. I think Israel has abandoned a lot of the veneer of idealism that it once had and any legitimate idealism it once held for itself, and is now simply — you know, we hear the arguments in Washington about why we support this or that Israeli policy, and it’s all about an unbreakable bond and an undying friendship. It’s not about geostrategic thinking anymore. It’s not about Israel is actually right anymore. It is simply about the idea that this is our ally, and we’re going to stand by her. And I think this is part of it.

So, when you’re trying to actually engage in the debate, you’re not — you don’t want to debate the issues. You want to simply say anyone who criticizes Israel is anti-Semitic. And Jews are certainly — as I know your audience is very well aware, we are certainly not immune from that accusation. I’m certainly not. I get called anti-Semitic all the time.

So, we’re seeing a lot of arenas. Right now with Facebook trying to collapse the phrase “Zionism” as a proxy, so that you cannot criticize Zionism or Zionist thinking or the Zionist movement without being called anti-Semitic. I mean, that’s part of that battle. Of course, the IHRA, International Holocaust Remembrance Association, definition brings in the same problematic language.

And the idea is to shut down all criticism of Israel. And the reason is because Israel can no longer defend itself against that criticism. Supporters of Israel can no longer argue that there’s any legitimacy to dispossessing an entire people and holding them without rights for decades, for generations. There’s no argument that’s going to stand up to that. So, instead, you simply call the person who’s making the criticism anti-Semitic.

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Yemen and other Atrocities

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on February 13, 2021

THE ABSURD TIMES

Yemen. Trump vetoed the bill, Biden just passed it.

Holocaust Anyone?

By

Czar Donic

Before we start with our very important stuff, we have to announce that the Absurd Times will attempt to reclaim it’s video platform soon. One day I got a very strange note from, or purporting to be from, You Tube informing me of some changes I did not understand but interpreting as meaning that Donald Trump was in the process of taking over our channel. In addition, try as I did, I have not been able to figure out again the process on Facebook. Even Blogspot has become more puzzling. All of this had been change in the process of “improvement”, and that word is now as ominous as “reform”. Yahoo Mail has innovated a new form of improvement. Unless you give them the money they want, they will only let you read half of any letter sent to you at a time. Well, of course have have not received any money from Donald Trump, nor do I forsee that happening.

So, we have done several things in order to make things better. First, we have refurbished our equipment so that our site will be more accessible (we bought a new mike). In addition, we have adjusted things so that human interference will be less likely (people are becoming hard of hearing) to interfere. We will let you know when the telecasts begin.

Meanwhile, you are watching the Road Runner or the trial on TV, so I’ll cover the rest. Dubai sent a shit, er ship, into otbit around Mars.

Once this impeachment trial is over and done with, if it ever is, we will try to explain it to a rational audience and in such a manner as those of you overseas can understand it. Right now, there is simply too much nonsense going on with it.

MAIN STORY

We had decide to skip the impeachment (he will not be convicted, no matter what) and move on a bit to other matters.
Below is one of those. However, people in other countries are fascinated (that’s a polite term for it) by this impeachment of Trump – who has been impeached twice as many times as he has been elected. When this thing is over, we will explain what had been going on as it seems perfectly insane overseas.

The main point is that Biden has decided to cut of the arms to Saudi Arabia that are used to exacerbate the hunger, killing, death, and maiming in Yemen:

In a landmark decision, judges at the International Criminal Court say the body has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories, opening the door to possible criminal charges against Israel and militant groups like Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the international tribunal’s decision “pure anti-Semitism” and rejected its claim of jurisdiction, as did the United States, while Palestinian officials and human rights groups welcome the news. Human rights lawyer Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, says the decision restores “the independence and the credibility of the ICC.” We also speak with Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and a legal representative for Palestinian victims in front of the ICC. She says the court’s ruling is “a landmark decision” that provides “some measure of accountability” when war crimes are committed in Palestinian territories. “There are just an array of violations that have been going on for years,” Gallagher says.

Addle Essence Loosing Power

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on February 3, 2021

THE ABSURD TIMES

We have used this too many times, but it remains true, especially with the white supremacist militias and organizations. While LBJ was a liar and really kicked off the Viet-Nam war, he was colorful and shrewd. During his election, he said "Ah don’t think American boys should be fighting a war that is the job of Asian boys." That is an accurate quote. His opponent, the Republican Barry Goldwater to the position that we should “bomb Hanoi into the stone age." Also an accurate quote. The choice was pretty clear. Years later, he was interviewed by Walter Cronkite (who didn’t like the war by that time) and asked about that lie. LBJ just drawled, “Now you didn’t listen closely: Ah said ‘shouldn’t,’ not ‘wouldn’t’, and smiled.

So, he was a prick, not a liar. In his earlier days, he once told a campaign manager to let the local press know that his opponent was having sex with pigs. His campaign manager said, “you can’t do that, he doesn’t and you know it!" LBJ just said "Oh course ah know it, but make him deny it!" LBJ won that election. Still, he knew what he was doing. Not like the Orange Man.

“Hang Mike Pence”

by

Czar Donic

It is becoming exceedingly difficult to comprehend the psyche of the mob that attacked the Capitol building on January 6 on the individual level. It is easy enough to imagine a group of people looking for a sense of belonging to join a group of others with similar characteristics for companionship, no matter how strange and reminisent of Twilight Zone episodes thay may be, but seeing them all joined together shouting “Trump invited us” is certainly baffling. “I am a guest of the President!” was another cry often heard when they met resistant.

One of the first impulses or reactions I had was absolute curiosity. If I were called upon by someone I didn’t know to join an insurrection some two thousand miles away, I would not have considered the trip worthwhile. Too much gas, too much time, and energy, not to mention all the mileage I would pile up and how many masks I would need today – no, it simply would not have been an invitation even worthy of an RSVP.

I went to one of these things when I was younger than most of those folks. There was to be a protest held at midnight at a cannon used, we were told, during the Civil War. It was sort of a local monument. Well, several of my friends announced that vigil, I believe it was called. Well, a group of VFW types threatened violence if the vigil was held and said that they would be there anyway. The clash was anticipated days before and the local newspapers reported quotes from both sides and also the police. On the nigh of the anticipated clash, I put on my leather jacket, put a menacing (and well-sharpened) hunting knife that I had learned to use to great effect a few years before (I grew up in Chicago and that was a part of many childhoods) in my belt, and walked a couple blocks to the monument, ready for action. I seriously wondered how many I would have to stick or slash before they left me alone and, I admit, I was quite nervous.

Well, nobody showed up. There I was, at midnight, in the center of town, looking around, and it was quiet and deserted. I could hear the noise from a nearby tavern, but that was it. I went back home and never attended another such gathering. Anyway, I had a paper to finish before 2 P.M. the next day, so I went back home.

At any rate, that is one reason it is difficult for me to even conceive of all these people traveling such great distances to oblige Donald Trump. However, when they were told to get out of the capitol, they said that they were invited by the President, the Orange Man.

It seems pretty clear that these are older folks, in their late 20s, 30s, and 40s mainly, but some were in their 60s and 70s. Something was missing in their lives. Their present life is not what they expected and not what they like and they can not look back at their past and get any satisfaction out of that. [I do remember some woman
in California who was running for Governor as a Republican saying
“this state was run better when I moved here. This Jerry Brown has
never been any good.” It turned out that he had been Governor some
time ago, the same time when she moved there.]

The rabble moved on, soon shouting “Hang Mike Pence,” for his role in performing a meaningless task – reading the electoral totals of the election. Mike Pence had been obsequious in his devotion to Orange Man and we can give you his political position easily as he joined with the administration in order to stop “the war on coal”. No, you read that correctly. He also would not have lunch with any female unless his wife joined them. He was hardly a liberal.

One of them actually got elected to the House of Representatives. She and her ilk actually give anti-Semitism a bad name. You may remember the chant awhile back “Jews will not replace us," but she somehow thinks there is a Jewish laser beam burning up California. There is enough weird stuff as it is. After seeing that crowd, their behavior and demeanor, and hearing a few utterances, I felt that I could reasonably assure them that the Jews did NOT want to replace them, whatever they were doing. After all, the Jews apparently had a laser up there in the sky and could use it, I suppose, to eliminate them.

More importantly, Trump twice tried to give a Medal of Honor to Dolly Parton, but twice she claimed a schedule conflict. Somehow, just never worked out. I have also seen several transactions attempting to include David Duke in this whole mess. Once Wolf Blitzer (on the network of fake news) announced him as the former “Grand Dragon of the Klu Klux Klan". He did not deny this, but did say it was irrelevant and that Wolf should also identify himself as a former lobbyist for AIPAC, a fairly aggressive Zionist organization. Blitzer did not answer, but continued. Somehow Mr. Duke managed to mention the fact that he had a Ph.D. from Germany. He hardly fits the stereotype. In stat language, he is an “outlier". No, you morons, I am not calling him a liar; I reserve that for Trump.

**

In the United States, amongst the rabble, Science is considered just another ideology, along with Buddhism, Hinduism, Existentialism, Christianity, Judaism, and Anti-Abortion. It has been a gradual transformation from private to public, but today Science is looked down upon as some sort of evil sect bent on destroying the Great America, especially since the last “President” was dethroned.

We need to pause here to take up another issue, then to return. Many have not noticed this prevailing attitude towards science in the past decade or so. It has become even more virulent lately, almost viewed as subversive and anti-Christian. There are several reasons for this, but most of them have to do with a clash between reason and fact on the one hand and myth or religion on the other. Myth or religion can be counted on to supply reasons or motives for outlawing abortions, for example.

Furthermore, Science relies on two main concepts: facts and reason. Well, one can hardly have these facts running around out there. They can provide us with “alternate facts" and we should use those. So far as reason goes … [I can’t help it, I'm just laughing too much to
finish that sentence]. These two things, taken in tandem, will one day be considered adequate grounds for a trial for treason or, if you prefer, “trial by combat".

Another reason for this hatred is IQ. From hearing these people talk (not the instigators or leaders, but the followers) it seems clear that the intelligence of people in this “movement” are anywhere in the range of average down to a standard deviation below the norm: Old enough to be eligible for the death penalty but dumb enough to support it. They seem to have had trouble with that subject in school. In some cases this is justified as many teachers are just about above average and much of the Physics, especially, involved long division and the like. They consider Mathematics to be the multiplication tables and Algebra as worthless: “Ya don use dat stuff out dere.” [Mentioning Calculus to them sends them to the
Dictionary and they say “What’s stones got to do with it?”
Frankly, I am afraid to even consider the Biology and so on as that
is where real trouble starts.

Ok,
how does it start? Let’s take the example of someone from the 90s,
over 30 years ago – John Aschroft. He, as Governor, declared that
human life began at conception. He even got it into some sort of lar
or memo or something and people started to enforce it. Then, one
bright youngster is arrested for underage drinking, 3 months before
his “official” birthday. He fought the ticket on the grounds that
he was 6 months OVER to legal drinking age. The battle went on for a
long time. When the charges were dropped, he ran again, lost to a guy
who died a week before the election, so the Republicans made him
Attorney General. One of his first moves was to order a sheet to
cover Lady Justice’s bare bosom. This weirdness is not new.

The
anti-abortion crowd (let’s not get hung up on words, they like to
be called ‘pro-life’ and would like the death penalty for anyone
who thinks differently) works to make abortions illegal. At the same
time, the demographics shift to favor Blacks or African Americans who
usually vote Democrat. Also, white women are more likely to have the
money needed to travel to another state or location to obtain one.

We
could continue by pointing out that the earth is older than 6k years
and that the nearest starlight reaches us 4 years later, or, another
way of putting it, is that the North Star is about 4 light-years
away. An yes, DAMMIT, a light-year is a measure of distance, not
time! Ok, I give up. We only got to 5
th
grade math and if I go further, this would become a book. Back to the
mob. As one of them said recently, “if they take Trump away from
us, it will be light years before we get America Great Again!”

Now,
there are exceptions. We need only to look at the State of Ohio (no
Republican has ever been elected President without Ohio). There is a
rare form of sanity at work there. For example, Trump’s nomination
at the Republican convention was in Cleveland and John Kashich was
Governor of the state. He refused to attend the convention in his own
state, saying something like "I'd rather not have to sit through
that." He is fairly right wing so far as most domestic policies
are concerned, but he has a sense of humor and some integrity.
Another one, for the same state is a Democrat, still in the senate:

Sherrod
Brown.

When
Trump won Ohio by something like 20 points, Sherrod Brown won his
Senate seat back by 8 points. That is a net difference of almost 30
points. (Numbers are not solid here, but the general idea is.) He
started to run for President, as he was popular with many Democrats,
he started out, found out what the campaign trail entails, and
quickly dropped out. The total time it took him to realize the
insanity of the whole thing was about one week. Another Senator from
Ohio, Rob Portman, observed what was happening in the Capitol
building on the 6
th
and decided not to run again. He was/is a Republican. His reasoning
seems to be “I know I’m a right-wing fascist, but some things are
just too weird."

The
most recent development has been the ex Pres. Loosing another legal
team. Now, the first to be lost, somehow, was Rudy Guiliani. He has
been afraid to appear in public ever since he spurred on the mob of
neo-Cretin angry Berserkers (need to look that up in Norse Mythology,
sorry) that this is time for “Trial by Combat”! He may be
indicted for inciting a riot, but I haven’t seen him lately. He was
hired at $10,000/hour by the Orange Man, but so far has not seen a
dime of it.

The
second of note mentioned was Alan Derschowitz, but this publication
and it’s editors immediately dismissed that as impossible. Not that
Derschowitz would have any ethical or moral problems with the idea,
but because he would require payment in advance given Orange’s
payment history and financial troubles.

The
last group wanted to argue the issue on Constitutional grounds. He
was no longer President and thus the entire purpose of the Senate
trial was moot. He wants to argue that he is still President. There
is no clue so far as to what happens next, and we really don’t
care. It will be funny, laughable, if he decides to so it
pro
se
.

Actually,
He hired another couple of lawyers and we wish them luck. One was
the lawyer for the genius Roger Stone (you know, the guy with a
portrait of Nixon on his back) and the other was working for the
president’s friend until he supposedly committed suicide in Prison
while on suicide watch. Biden will be able to push through his
programs while everybody else is watching the Senate trial, sort of
like the road runner cartoons. They submitted their brief and on the
first page it read “Unites States.” We are not about to make a
point about typos, yet a law firm submitting a brief in such a
visible case really hould be a bit more controversial. It just does
not look good on the first page. [The one on page 9. is hardly
noticed.]

Another amusing side show is the Marjory Taylor Greene who has a lot of strange ideas, but Mitch McConnell doesn’t like her so perhaps she has a point? In anycase, she could always contact the Jews and ask them to turn their laser on Mitch.

**

The final issue is the focus. Although our “circulation” has risen greatly during this idiocy and a mock epic on the situation was more popular than any 4 other issues in the past, the readership has been increaslingly in the United States and other countries seem to find the last 4 years as unfortunate and look forward to genuine leadership from this country.

As a result, it is time to return to issues that reflect more of an international concern. Recently, the President of Ukraine lamented the stupidity here as we lost the representation of a peaceful transition of power. Well, he should know. Ukraine was the victim of a coup that was mainly cheered on, perhaps engineered, by Hillary Clinton (Biden was opposed to the idea) and carried out by Nazis. [I
had wanted to call then “neo-Nazis,” but they object to the ‘neo’
part of it.] We should remember that we had originally promised not to expand NATO east of where the Warsaw Pact borders were. Still, it was clear that he spoke for many leaders in his laments. Germany had come to similar conclusions BEFORE the attack or coup attempt. Once a group of leaders were in a circle telling jokes and laughing. Donald found out they were laughing at him. He ordered our foreign aid to Canada be shut of as the leader of Canada was in the group. “Er, Mr. President, we don’t give foreign aid to Canada.” He had walked away to watch Fox news so we don’t know what his reply would have been.

This has become such an insane four years, that at least 5 times we announced the “Final Edition” on the grounds that the absurd was perfectly obvious. Each time, someone or some parties, lamented this and we put out another “final edition.” Now, we can take a breath and then focus on less foolish and foppish events.

A couple things come to mind right now: first, the Democrats complaining about Putin “interfering" in our election to help elect Trump. Most likely, he did and, if we were in the same position, we would much rather see Donald Trump in charge of this country than Hillary Clinton. All you have to do is see the situation from Putin’s point of view.

That Oriental looking skinny woman in Burma who got a Nobel prize and immediately supported the military slaughter and rape of Moslems in her country is now under attack by that same military government. [They are the ones that made their country so hard to spell. I think
it’s Myanmar, but Burma is easier.]

Another item in the news is Navalny returning to Russia. Now, it seems obvious that Putin had him poisoned and just about everybody agreed on this point. It is strange that he was allowed to go to Germany for treatment, but he did and was revived. So, what does he do? He goes back to Russia.

Not to put any value judgments on this, but how many people remember all the “pirates” coming out of Somalia and demanding ransom? It was the lead news story for some time until these Sonalis (not the brightest people) “captured” a Russian ship. Perhaps the immediate reaction from Russia was a bit overdone, but since then there has not been one single incident. Zero. It is simply the way Russians will act in such circumstances. Right now you will see quite a few demonstrators. Anybody wonder what their fate will be? I have my suspicions.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on February 1, 2021

THE ABSURD TIMES

Fred Hampton before the assassination.

Black History Month

By

Czar Donic

I have a lot to say about J Edgar Hoover myself, but I wanted to get this out. These are the leaders to celebrate, Black Panthers, Malcolm X, etc. Forget about “we shall overcome” and MLK.

Newly unearthed documents have shed new light on the FBI’s role in the murder of the 21-year-old Black Panther leader Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969, when Chicago police raided Hampton’s apartment and shot and killed him in his bed, along with fellow Black Panther leader Mark Clark. Authorities initially claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police who were there to serve a search warrant for weapons, but evidence later emerged that told a very different story: The FBI, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Chicago police had conspired to assassinate Fred Hampton. FBI memos and reports obtained by historian and writer Aaron Leonard now show that senior FBI officials played key roles in planning the raid and the subsequent cover-up. “It was approved at the highest level,” says attorney Jeff Haas. We also speak with attorney Flint Taylor. Both are with the People’s Law Office and were the lead lawyers in a landmark civil rights case over the deaths of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.

New day?

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on January 19, 2021

Last one didn’t work so well. What else?

The Absurd Times https://absurdtimes.blogspot.com

ABSURD PLAY BY PLAY

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on January 7, 2021

THE ABSURD TIMES

icon_10_generic_list.pngTRUMPCOUP03_o.jpg

THE ABSURD TIMES

Thanks, Latuff, how we look world wide.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=e5f1962623&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-a:r8339410059684068562&view=att&disp=safe&realattid=f_kjnf4w6z0

PLAY BY PLAY

BY CZAR DONIC

Damn it – this is not a play be play thing. Yes, at one time I thought it would be nice to have Bob Costas look up to me and for me to look down on old Harry Carey, but this is not baseball and I’m not 12.

Someone said he had to be incapicatedd to have the 25th Amendment enforced. What about mental illness? He is obviouswly suffering from Sociopathic disorders, paranoiq or projection, and narcissism (fairly rare with low IQ subjects). I let my own certification lapse when I ended my practice and I saw no point in paying for lectures and events where I had to correct the speaker and bring them up to date or untangle logical twists, so that was that. However, there must be plenty qualified and right there in D.C.

So, enough, impeaching is also going on.

Alan Nairn has been missing for awhile, so here he is:

World leaders reacted in horror over the storming of the U.S. Capitol, with the U.N. secretary-general calling on political leaders to demand their followers refrain from violence. Leaders of the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, France, Germany, NATO and the European Council called for a peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden. Investigative journalist Allan Nairn looks at what steps Trump may take next, and says despite protestations from President-elect Joe Biden and others that the insurrection was “not who we are,” the U.S. has a long track record of disrupting democratic processes elsewhere. “What has shaken the U.S. population so badly, this assault on the Capitol yesterday, is really nothing by comparison to what U.S. operations have done in Latin America, in Asia, in Africa, in the Middle East, to other democratic movements and elected governments over the years,” says Nairn.

Covid and Apartheid

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on January 5, 2021

THE ABSURD TIMES

This is what is happening.

Covid Apartheid

By

Czar Donic

I simply refuse to publish the first edition of the New Year by discussing the Neo-Cretin activities in our politics (although this may be unfair to the Cretins). So, while Georgia and the like permeate our news, it is time to look at other aspects of things.

You will hear much about how well Israel is doing with its vacination program, but I doubt you will hear much, if anything, about the apratheid. So, here it is:

Israel has administered COVID-19 vaccines faster than any country in the world, with more than 14% of Israelis receiving vaccines so far. Despite the fast rollout, human rights groups are expressing alarm over Israel’s decision not to vaccinate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, where about 1,500 people have died during the pandemic. Israel has defended its actions citing the Oslo Peace Accords, which put Palestinian authorities in charge of healthcare in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian officials are facing a number of hurdles in launching their own vaccine campaign, including a shortage of money, lack of access to vaccines and lack of infrastructure to distribute a vaccine. “Israel actually is violating international law because it is denying its responsibility as an occupying power,” says Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a physician, member of the Palestinian Parliament and head of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. “Israelis are getting the vaccines, and Palestinians are getting nothing.”

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

Israel has become the first country in the world to administer COVID-19 vaccines to more than 10% of its population. As of Monday, 14% of Israelis had received a vaccine — far higher than any other country. Despite the fast rollout, Israel’s health minister says a total lockdown is needed to combat the surging number of new infections.

This comes as human rights groups are expressing alarm over Israel’s decision not to vaccinate Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, where about 1,500 people have died during the pandemic. Physicians for Human Rights recently said, quote, “Israel bears moral and humanitarian responsibility for vaccinating the Palestinian population under its control,” unquote. Israel is, however, offering vaccines to Jewish settlers living in the illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Israel has defended its actions, citing the Oslo Peace Accords, which put Palestinian authorities in charge of healthcare in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian officials are facing a number of hurdles in launching its own vaccine campaign, including a shortage of money, lack of access to vaccines, lack of infrastructure to distribute a vaccine. Israel has so far been relying on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which needs to be stored at minus-94 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing such a vaccine is impossible in Gaza, where residents often go 12 or more hours a day without electricity. In 2014, Israel bombed Gaza’s only power plant in what Amnesty International described as “collective punishment” of Palestinians.

We go now to the West Bank city of Ramallah, where we’re joined by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, physician, member of the Palestinian Parliament, head of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, has been leading efforts to manage the pandemic in the West Bank and Gaza. He was infected with COVID-19 in December. He’s secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, a political party. And he was a presidential candidate in the 2005 elections.

We welcome you to Democracy Now!, Dr. Barghouti. Can you explain what is happening? How has Israel become the country that has vaccinated more of its population than any country in the world, and yet Palestinians are not getting vaccinated? Who’s in charge of this program? Who should be?

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Well, thank you, Amy. I’m glad to be with you.

Israel actually is violating international law, because it is denying its responsibility as an occupying power. Israel managed to get 14 million vaccines for the Israelis and those who hold Israeli IDs, but gave nothing to Palestinians. So, practically, they are vaccinating 8 million Israelis and not vaccinating 5.3, 5.2 million Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories.

More than that, this system of racial discrimination, which can only be compared, in my opinion, to apartheid system, is doing something horrible in the West Bank. Seven hundred fifty thousand illegal settlers, as you said, are getting the vaccines now; 3.1 million Palestinians in the West Bank are getting nothing. More than that, in the Israeli prisons, Israel ordered the guards in the prisons to get the vaccine, and probably the Israeli criminal prisoners, but the Palestinian prisoners, 5,000 of them, are getting nothing. What can be more clear here than that this confirms that this is really a system of racial discrimination?

And when they speak that the Palestinian Authority is responsible, this is totally misleading. First of all, the Palestinian Authority approached them, asking at least for vaccines for us, the healthcare providers, who are being infected around the clock. And Israel refused. The Palestinian Authority is in charge only of 38% of the West Bank, only. Sixty-two percent of the West Bank is Area C, under full Israeli military control, and Israel is doing nothing for Palestinians there. More than that, if the Palestinian Authority tries to import a vaccine from outside, they will need Israeli permit. And Israel did not allow any permit yet for Palestinians. Israel controls the borders, controls the imports, controls the exports.

And the biggest disaster is in Gaza, because in Gaza you have 2.1 million besieged by Israel, lacking health facilities, lacking equipment, and there, they are not getting any vaccines. And more than that, 70% of them are refugees displaced from their land in 1948. When you tell them, “Go and quarantine,” I don’t know how they can do that, if you have 10 people living in two rooms. It’s impossible.

The problem is that the rate of infection today in the West Bank and Gaza is 36%, while in Israel it’s 4.5%. Israelis are getting the vaccines, and Palestinians are getting nothing.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But, Dr. Barghouti, isn’t it in the interest of Israel, from a public health perspective, even if they want to pursue this continued antagonistic policy toward the Palestinians, to have the Palestinians vaccinated, to reach herd immunity in the total area?

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: You’re absolutely right. In my opinion, Netanyahu and his government — this man is so racist. He only thinks of himself. He only thinks of his political future. He only thinks of escaping the criminal charges against him and being reelected again. And all he does is to satisfy the Israeli right-wing voters.

In reality, what his government is doing is actually hurting the Israelis, as well, because you cannot reach herd community if you have 8 million people vaccinated and 5.2 million people not vaccinated, especially that 130,000 workers will continue to go to Israel for work and will interact with Israelis, of course, and there are 750,000 other Israelis, illegal settlers, in the West Bank, who will continue to commute and communicate with the 3.1 million unvaccinated Palestinians. So, practically, this is a crime against Palestinians and a crime against the health of Israelis. It’s a violation of the international law, but also it’s, in my opinion, the worst crime against medical ethics, which says nobody should be discriminated against because of anything, which says, “Do no harm, and help people as much as you can as a health professional.”

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I wanted to ask you — the COVAX facility that the World Health Organization established to help poor countries has pledged to vaccinate 20% of Palestinians. Where does that stand right now in terms of that pledge?

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: I am in communication with the head of WHO here. And they are trying their best, but they do not think they can get anything here before four or five months, and if they are lucky. Up ’til now, they don’t know what vaccine they can get in. Up ’til now, they don’t know how to get vaccines. That’s why, given the huge spread now of community infections in the West Bank and Gaza, a very high number of cases — I estimate we have already 600,000 cases. And they approached the Israelis. The WHO approached Israel, asking at least for vaccines for the health professionals. Israel refused and continues to refuse.

So, unfortunately, we are looking here at a potential real serious disaster. And as a person who is suffering from COVID-19 now, after nine months of being so protective and trying to be very careful, I can tell you this is a horrible disease. I don’t wish it for anybody. It’s very dangerous. It can be destructive. It can kill the people. And it can also leave them with incapacity for a very long — for the rest of their life.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, as you said, you yourself have COVID-19 right now. You’re in the throes of it. We know that Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator, died of COVID-19. You’re a frontline physician. Do you get vaccinated? And what about the vaccines? Apparently, PA has asked the United Arab Emirates to share some of its supply of Chinese-made vaccine, and the Palestinian Authority has reportedly ordered 4 million doses of the Russian Sputnik vaccine. When are these doses going to come? And what are you demanding of the not only Israeli government, but the U.S. government, since it gives so much money to the Israeli government?

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: I think I demand from the whole international community to do two things: first of all, to exercise immediate pressure on Israel to allow the passage of vaccines to at least the beginning — in the beginning, to the health professionals that are taking care of people, so that the health system would not collapse, and then to the elderly, of course, etc.; but also, we’re asking the international community to provide aid, bypassing Israel. Israel will not respond. And the international community has a big duty here.

I was not vaccinated. No health professional in the West Bank has been vaccinated yet. And we don’t know when we will get this vaccine. And it is really critical, because the rate of infection is going up, and it is affecting — it could affect everybody in the community. So what we need is immediate pressure.

Regarding the Russian vaccine, yes,, there was a request, but I don’t think the Russians can provide such vaccines, because their capacity of production is still low. They have produced only 500,000, up ’til now, vaccines. And their maximum capacity is 4 to 5 million per month, and they need 100 million vaccines for Russia itself. So I don’t think that is a solution, although the Sputnik vaccine seems to be very good.

I think what we need is to really have a way of getting the AstraZeneca or the Moderna vaccine. Of course, we have a problem with Pfizer, although we have managed to provide some facilities in the West Bank, if we can get it, to give it to people.

But the most immediate need now — now it’s a health disaster. Now it’s a very risky situation. A whole population is subjected to a very big, alarming risk. That’s why it is very urgent to immediately exercise pressure so that Palestinians also get the vaccines.

AMY GOODMAN: Would you describe this as medical apartheid?

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Yes, absolutely. This is the worst form of apartheid: medical apartheid. It didn’t even exist in South Africa. This is just beyond description. Imagine you go to a prison: You vaccinate the guards, but not the prisoners; you vaccinate Israeli prisoners, who are criminal usually, and not vaccinate Palestinian political prisoners. Imagine you go in the cities of the West Bank: The settlers are vaccinated, and nearby Palestinian cities and communities are not vaccinated. Not only they grab our land, not only they settle illegally on our land, take away our natural resources, take away our —

AMY GOODMAN: We have five seconds.

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: — sources of economy, but also they back this system of apartheid. I call it — I call it vaccination with racism.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, physician, member of the Palestinian Parliament, thanks for joining us.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

There will be plenty of time in the next week or so to churn your stomach at the machinations of the Narcissistic Sociopath "Concrete Thinker" who is desperate to stay out of the courtroom later.

An old friend died — full performance

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on December 25, 2020

Celebrate

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on December 2, 2020

THE ABSURD TIMES

Now these are the sorts of people we have living amongst us:

Ok, now that our current moron in chief has been removed, we can once again breathe and actually think.

Of course, you realize that all those tax cuts, 2 Trillion tax dollars with be our gift to the upper .5% of the population, and Biden will have to deal with the consequences. Try explaining that to the American people. Let me give you a few facts about the American people to help you out. They have been described as a form of “Truth Decay,” but point out how ignorance these people are. We have to remember that about 79% of those who voted for Trump (republicans) are certain that the election was stolen.

First, a few remarks about when he leaves. He has many court cases pending. The most important issue, however, for those who worry about the big, bad wolf is to make sure he looses any access to classified documents and new briefings. We should know enough about him to realize that he could and would sell them to the “enemy,” whoever will pay the most.

It is highly unlikely that Trump knew nothing in advance of Israel’s assassination of the lead nuclear Physicist in Iran. Netanyahu mentioned him by name several times in advance, there was a flurry of activity with him and Pompeo and some Arab gulf states, also just in advance. Anything to make Biden’s administration more difficult, don’t you know?

1) A woman dying of Covid, and now dead, kept asking how she could be dying because there was no such thing as Covid-19. Our leaders, and probably her church master, said so. So why did she die? Since, I’ve heard several instances of this from different nurses. They will believe him until they die, and many have.

2) As a result of this election, Republicans will have a free hand to re-district their own states according to the recent census.

3) Another woman, probably in Tennessee, thanked the nurse and said, “This is so much better than that Obamacare.” When she was told that it was Obama-care that did save her, she asked the nurse “Please don’t let any of my friends know?” What is this?

4) Certainly, during the epidemic that is growing, many lost their healthcare, as they were “laid off” which certainly doesn’t sound as bad as fired. But they lost their healthcare, of course. Still, they didn’t want any government health system, even when called Medicare of All, as it was, gasp, SOCIALIST. They would rather die, have parts of themselves amputated, etc.? Yes, better than being SOCIALIST! (Pol Pot, a southern Republican said, Pol Pot was a socialist, and that was that.)

5) We gotta kill all those indigenous people (Indians) up thar in North Dakota because they are talking about the environment. Global Warming? Nah. One Senator brought in a snowball to the Senate Chamber and that proved that there was no global warming. Wake up, citizens.

6) As I write this, millions of people are flying or driving great distances to return from visits to people they presumably think highly of. They will carry infections with them, or pick up infections while there, and then, about the time of the paqan festival of Christmas, will feel the effects and many will wind up in the hospitals, but a new bunch will travel to do the same thing in case they skipped Thanksgiving (which has absolutely nothing to do with Pocahontas who was, in fact, shipped over to England to be observed like a monkey in a zoo). The after-effects are now spreading. Monday, Nove 29 was the biggest travel day.

7) Steve Manuchin of the Tramp Administration has tried to restrict 80 billion for Yellon to deal with and the rest he put under the approval of congress. Whether or not this is legal or works, who knows? Trump will try to do other things to complicate world and national matters in order to make things as difficult as possible for the new administration.

8) The Donald, his ex-Attorney (and how many have that distinction) has warned, under oath, that he is capable of starting a war to stay in office.

9) His people, if such they can be called, agreed with him against mail-in voting, to the point where they did not mail-in votes much. Just one final Example of stupidity.

10) All of this simply reinforces the point that he has only one priority: “What’s in it for me.”

Christmas

Well, the so-called “Black Friday” once was explained the time of the year when accountants of large businesses could move from using read ink to black ink, meaning they were ahead. It has become besmirched to the point it is a sales gimmick and it seems we have had a Black November. So now, it is time to think up some gimmick for December.

A few years ago, a very prominent Astrophysist named Neil DeGrasse Tyson posted something like “on this very day, December 25, a babe was born that changed the way we view the universe, saved us from the errors of the past, and gave us many things ranging from the simplest daily tasks to a prediction of the end of days. His name was Issac Newton.” Well, the response was overwhelming and furious. He was under attack for a long time on social media and eventually his show was cancelled, with “sexual harassment” given as a reason. I have no ideas about his sex life, so discount that. But with all the controversy over the 25th, I think it is best to forget about that date as one to celebrate. [If you are at all interested, Newton predicted
that the world would not end BEFORE 2040. Nothing more precise is available to
me.]

In addition, this year, so many covidiots (a new term listed by the Oxford English Dictionary) went to family gatherings in distant places so spread of it will really be taking its toll about that time. The 16th would be optimum time for such a celebration, and I have my own candidate any way. It also has the virtue of being pre-Winter Solstice.

This time of the year, especially this year, leaves less and less to celebrate. In fact, there is hardly any reason to celebrate anything anymore. There may be a few happy moments here and there, but the senseless killing that continues leaves no ritualistic period untouched. This particular week, we have seen only stock market reports and airline delays as well as major highway shutdowns and deaths on our interstate highway system, all precipitated by a few days off for those fortunate enough to still remain employed during which they are obligated out of habit to spend money they do not have to send things to people they have no real use for and whom they would just as soon never see again.

The new celebration!

One wonders how many Beethovens, or potential Beethovens, or great artists have either been killed by war or aborted by poverty or economics. This winter solstice is the anniversary of Beethoven’s premier performance of his fifth symphony, as well as his fourth and fifth piano concertos, all at the same concert, with Beethoven as conductor and pianist. How often in the history of the universe does a phenomenon such as that occur? Yet I know of no mass celebration of what is clearly one of the greatest accomplishments of humanity. Beethoven spent his life yearning for international peace and brotherhood and eventually expressed it in his 9th symphony which you may hear this season, complete with the text of Schiller’s "Ode to Joy". The best version of it remains the 1963 recording of the complete symphonies conducted by Herbert von Karijan (although he did do the complete cycle two more times as technology improved). I shudder to think how many people may sit through a performance of it out of a sense of duty.

Is it too much to believe that such accomplishments can be duplicated? In 1595, in England alone, perhaps 100,000 people were able to read and write English, and this is being generous. Out of this came Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip Sidney, Nash, Greene, Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, Sir Francis Bacon, and many others whose literature survives and lives to this day. Imagine any city or town with a population of 100,000 and imagine what would come out of it today? In addition, at that time, 95% of everything written was written in Latin, the remaining 5% in the various "living languages." The King James Version of the Bible was to follow, as was John Milton.

And it was not a matter of these people, these great artists, being unrecognized in their own time. Beethoven himself was widely praised, most prominently by Haydn who had also praised Mozart. However, Goethe and Beethoven were reportedly walking together down a street and passersby would wave. Goethe lightly observed that these people should stop flattering him with the recognition and Beethoven reportedly asked, "How do you know they are not waving at me?" There was no contradiction.

So we can think of Goethe and Beethoven, Shakespeare and Spenser, and look for our modern parallels. Perhaps Nietzsche was right when he said that Darwin had it wrong, that "survival of the mediocre" is the rule. Even more of a warning is the thought that they both were right — the fittest are the mediocre.

My favorite line from that period (Elizabethan) is one I am often tempted to use, more often since the last four years, is “Ha! I fart at thee,” by Ben Johnson. A line often attributed to Shakespeare was actually by William Congrieve in 1667. (It is complicated, just take my word for it. The line is often spoken “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but that is actually a shortened version of it — you see…, oh never mind, who cares?)

At any rate, Beethoven’s birthday is the most fitting for us to celebrate. He even contributed to the war effort against Nazi Germany. How could this be? Well, the first four notes of his Fifth Symphony were used as the sign on for the BBC during those times and those notes signaled “V”, for Victory, in Morse Code (3 short and one long), Churchill’s rallying sign for the British.

The last part of the last movement of his last symphony is constantly played at New Year’s Even and other festive occasions (the Ode to Joy, lyrics by Schiller, music by Beethoven). On day he gave a birthday cdoncert where he gave the premieres of the 4th and 5th piano concertos as well and conducted the premier of his Fifth Symphony. Now I submit that he contributed more than anyone else I know of who was born about that time and is worth of celebration. So, January 16 is the day to celebrate. Furthermore, WETA, available internationally via internet, will spend the entire day playing only Beethoven.

Well, happy 250th.

Updated Trumpiad

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on November 12, 2020

The Absurd Times: The Trumpiad https://absurdtimes.blogspot.com/2020/11/the-trumpiad.html