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Wednesday, August 3, 2022


When the Alito memo leaked, I predicted that overturning abortion rights would become the central issue in the midterm elections. Last night, I got up at 1:30 AM (do not ask) and learned that in a midterm primary with no important contests on the Democratic side, voters had turned out in presidential election numbers to defeat a sneaky effort to deprive Kansans of their abortion rights.  It is just possible that November may not be a disaster it was shaping up to be.

As I lay in bed, trying to go back to sleep, I reminded myself that in seven out of the last eight presidential elections, Republicans have lost the popular vote, lately by enormous margins.  Democrats have won 16 of the last 24 presidential election popular votes. All is not entirely lost.


Tony Couture said...

For any philosophers seeking more intelligent comic relief in the continuing pandemic and as Nancy Pelosi tours Asia seeking publicity and stirring up political trouble, I recommend the Joe Rogan Experience #1848 which originally aired on July 27, 2022 and involves American stand-up comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan interviewing English comedian Francis Foster and Russian-English Jewish stand up comedian Konstantin Kisin, who together host their own YouTube podcast called Triggernometry.

Most Joe Rogan podcasts are available on Spotify, which you can download and install on your computer for free and listen to the podcast (with ads, if you don't block them). #1848 is about contemporary politics and culture debates, education, comedy, censorship, racism, immigration, transgender activists, and many other topics as it is over 4 hours long. They are particularly worried about intolerance and cancelling comedians or their careers due to politically incorrect banter or experimenting with explosive words.

The most interesting thing to observe is that these three stand up comedians are doing philosophy of art without any professional philosophical training, and that what comedians learn in their art is useful logical self-defense. All three comedians are committed to the online podcast format as a way of communicating directly with the public and advancing their ways of interpreting the world without editors, gate-keepers or publishers getting in their way (direct action comedy?).

As the world burns in anticipation of the next geopolitical chess move towards Armageddon, the stand up comedians have become the new generation of popular philosophers who might use their influence to advance culture and remind us all to be more reasonable. In the pandemic classroom, the masked teacher is forced in comic directions by the absurdity of the communication obstacles and all the pressure against learning.

Here is a link to part (about Russian using nuclear weapons) of Joe Rogan #1848 which appears as a sample on YouTube to give any one a sense of whether it would be useful to listen to the whole podcast, or more than 4 hours of cranky podcasting liberated comedians bantering about the crisis in progressive culture:

s. wallerstein said...

After Nancy Pelosi's recent stunt visiting Taiwan and baiting China, I ask why celebrate the Democrats? Ok, vote for them, they're better than the Republicans, but can't we on the left try to do better, while we accept that Nancy Pelosi and her crowd are the lesser of two evils, but evil, nothing to cheer about.

One of my first political experiences is watching the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debates and observing to my father that Kennedy was more virulently anti-Communist and hawkish than Nixon. And it was JFK who got "us" deeper into Viet Nam. So vote for the Democrats, but watch out!

John Rapko said...

On the issue of the power of comedy in dark times, I cannot resist recalling Peter Cook's line about how the great satirical cabaret of Berlin c. 1930 stopped the rise of Hitler and prevented World War II. I very much agree with Tony Couture's suggestion that some stand-up comedians are doing the philosophy of art, in my experience most interestingly by Frankie Boyle and Stewart Lee, both in their performances and their writings. And for the ultimate comic reflection on the contemporary anti-solidaristic liberal ideologies, there's Tracey Ullman:

Marc Susselman said...

The Tracey Ullman clip is hilarious.

Marc Susselman said...

Someone sent me the link below to an interview with a law professor about legal racial classifications and how they came about. I thought it was interesting and informative, and could generate discussion on this blog, so I have included the link below.

aaall said...

A few years ago "personhood" amendments were attempted twice in Colorado and once in Mississippi and all three attempts lost. It's not like the anti-abortion folks in Kansas didn't have warnings - probably why they tried to game the vote.

" ...Kennedy was more virulently anti-Communist and hawkish than Nixon..."

The Kennedy's were good Irish Catholics so anti-communist with McCarthy connections - Bobby was briefly an assistant counsel on McCarthy's committee, however context should be considered.

He was running against Nixon and Nixon made his bones on the Hiss case. Nixon tarred Jerry Voorhis in his 1946 House race and Helen Gahagan Douglas in his 1950 Senate race with various Communist aspersions. In the 1952 race he termed Adlai Stevenson as a communist appeaser and dragged in the Hiss case. A little preemption makes sense.

Kennedy did not intervene militarily in Laos and negotiated neutrality which was criticized by hawks of both parties (recall Johnson's 1965 statement as he sent troops into the Dominican Republic "We don’t propose to sit here in our rocking chair with our hands folded and let the Communists set up any government in the Western Hemisphere.”). Kennedy put "advisors" in and pulled them out and made contradictory statements. We have no way of

knowing if Kennedy would have done a war, would have won a second term (in the context of no assassination would the Republicans have nominated Goldwater?), etc.

Not sure about the "philosophy of art" thing but I don't see how a series of incoherent takes contributes to our civic discourse (dragging in Tom Sowell?). Rogan backed Bernie (basically a New Deal liberal) in 2020 an has stated that he could see backing DeSantis (basically a fascist) in 2024.

Joe Rogan probably put more then a few folks in their graves with his takes on covid so more a stopped clock (went into town to get some feed and scratch and there was a stack of Ivermectin on the counter, so thanks Joe).

John Rapko said...

On the issue of comedy in political philosophy, I would like to recommend the professor's earliest masterpiece, 'Beyond Tolerance' in A Critique of Pure Tolerance (1965). In that essay the professor takes on liberalism in light of Mannheim's conception of ideology as a group-specific pattern of thought that obscures the real conditions of society (as if?) in the service of stabilizing the group's situation in its society. In particular an ideology (a) refuses to bring into view certain facts the recognition of which might tend to undermine the group's self-legitimation and (b) denies "unsettling or revolutionary factors in society." (p. 40) The young professor subjects the liberal virtue of toleration to withering critique in the later pages, but the comic gem comes earlier in the image of society suggested by J. S. Mill's liberalism: "it is as though society were an enclosed space in which float a number of spherical balloons filled with an expanding gas. Each balloon increases in size until its surface meets the surface of the other balloons; then it stops growing and adjusts to its surroundings. Justice in such a society could only mean the protection of each balloon's interior (Mill's private sphere) and the equal apportionment of space to all." (p. 28)

RidiculousIcculus said...

But does voting in presidential elections actually matter? See, e.g., Mike Huemer from Colorado here:

Marc Susselman said...


Perhaps you should ask the 10-year old girl who was impregnated via an incestuous rape and recently had to travel from Ohio, which banned abortions in the case of rape after the Dobbs decision was issued, to Indiana in order to obtain an abortion; or the doctor who performed the abortion, whom the AG of Indiana is considering prosecuting, whether elections matter, and whether it is “immoral” to vote.

As usual, and as I have written many times on this blog in response to your comments, this most current comment by you is nonsense.

LFC said...

Trump-aligned candidates, incl for the key office of sec of state, won their primaries in several important states yesterday. It's crucial that they all be defeated in November.

Michael Llenos said...

I wish my ballot had a choice of monks or nuns to vote for. Like, Mother Teresa, HHDL, Pope Francis, Gandalf, or Origen. Why? No scandals. But they might not win since they are all anti-abortionists. However, their charm of being who they are might get them elected. I've always looked up to Emperor Palpatine since I saw ROTJ as a child. The man just wants order in the universe & he never parties.

aaall said...

Redic, Huemer seems unaware of the 80/20 rule.

David Zimmerman said...

Mother Teresa was a cruel fascist sympathizer who withheld treatment from those in her care and supported dictators.

Christopher Hitchens had her number in "The Missionary Position."

Enough with all this "She's a real Mother Teresa" hagiography.

Tony Couture said...

John Rapko, the Tracey Ullman bit is a good example of political comedy thinking better than the slow-witted philosopher doing conceptual clarification. I have been teaching Philosophy of Humour at UPEI for over 20 years and rely mainly on an excellent book called Comic Relief by John Morreall, who is the world's expert on philosophy of comedy and tours around giving corporate presentations, etc. (Many YouTube video clips of John Morreall including this one:

There are many more clips, including the whole version of this particular lecture. In Comic Relief, he also interprets the Nazi cabaret example to which you refer. He has over 6 books on the philosophy of comedy, with some overlap, and Comic Relief is his perfected version of the position he defends. Satirizing politicians is an important practice expressing our inalienable right to joke and live in a politically liberated way.

aaall refers in comments above to misrepresentations of Joe Rogan's show as a bad political influence, but forgot to include the attack video complied by enviers of Joe Rogan's success which selected clips of Joe speaking the "n word" in interviews and tried to get Joe Rogan Experience cancelled on Spotify and censored.

The main result of these pathetic political attacks on Joe Rogan, similar to many efforts to ban comedians and jokes of poor taste such as The Aristocrats by Gilbert Godfrey and others, was to make him even more popular. The public investigates the hub-bub over the joke, realizes it was a total bullshit call, and turns against the misrepresenters. Regarding best treatments for covid-19 and Rogan's anecdotal confessions about how he treated his own case, Rogan himself said: "I am a stand up comedian and talk shit, so if you take your medical advice from me, then you are a dumb ass" (or something close to this, I paraphrase Rogan's joke defense). In the art of misrepresentation, comedians are way ahead of philosophers or others in arguing back and swearing to tell the truth.

Also, John Rapko, one source for philosophy of comedy I often use are the autobiographies of stand up comedians such as Groucho and Me by Groucho Marx, Harpo Speaks! by Harpo Marx and Rowland Barber, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People by Lenny Bruce, Born Standing Up by Steve Martin, My Autobiography by Charles Chaplin, Last Words by George Carlin, Brain Droppings by George Carlin, and Hollywood Causes Cancer by Tom Green (this is a partial list, ever major comedian today gets a sweet book deal).

If you are interested in seeing more of my argument for increasing comedy in philosophy to recover its popularity with the masses, here is a link to my manuscript on philosophy of comedy, Comedy Matters: Laughing Games in a Viral Joke World:

Regarding our great host on the blog RPW, there are many examples of using comedy in his philosophy practice and writing, but the best in my opinion is still Money Bags Must Be So Lucky which uses comedy to spread Marxist ideas more widely than they grew before. Comedy is great fertilizer for ideas and who knew that talking shit like Joe Rogan says could turn out to be so good for growing wisdom.

John Rapko said...

Thanks Tony Couture! I shall certainly read your manuscript. In the philosophy of comedy I've only ever read Bergson and Ted Cohen's little book (which has given me one of my most recited jokes). I don't know anything whatsoever about Joe Rogan, and I've only ever watched his admirable interview with Abby Martin. I would be very interested also in reading your thoughts on some of the jokes that have incited attacks on Frankie Boyle (whose comic characterizations of political figures seem to me some of the funniest utterances by any living person (for example: and his diffident self-defense (very similar to Stuart Lee's in its tone suggesting that the people who object to the jokes maybe are just thick, and in any case don't understand that a stand-up routine is, in the hands of sophisticated comedian, not just a random string).--That's it for me on this topic, at least until the professor posts something inviting more such comments.

Ridiculousicculus said...

aaal - thanks for the reference. How does the Pareto Principle inform a response to Huemer's argument/conclusion?

aaall said...

"... but forgot to include the attack video complied by enviers of Joe Rogan's success..."

TC, perhaps you will inform us just how you know what I remembered or forgot or was that just a red herring to allow you to blow off a few hundred thousand dead Americans with a little cancel culture BS?

Rogan spread a lot of misinformation, gave a platform to folks with really crazy assertions (at least two are speakers at the current CPAC convention in Dallas) and name checked Alex Jones on chips. "'I'm a dumb ass, I didn't know the gun was loaded," isn't much of a defense.

Given his audience's demographics, spreading dubious and outright false information would incline to reinforcing existing biases. This was largely a group that would benefit from accurate information. Of Course, Rogan isn't responsible for every unnecessary covid death but he could have made a difference and he owns a share. Whatever, I guess, political humor is just fun and games.................until someone loses an eye (or winds up electing a fascist).

aaall said...

Anon, knowing how to vote in a given election doesn't involve as much effort as Huemer seems to believe. a little work goes a long way.

Also, a recent Virginia state legislature race ended in a tie and it was settled with a coin flip. The legislature was otherwise evenly split, so that flip decided which party controlled the legislature. Ties in local races aren't unknown and lots of races are decided by a vote per precinct.

s. wallerstein said...

aaall and others,

I've listened to a couple of Joe Rogan videos in Youtube. He can be perceptive and while I'm not a fan, I'm not turned off by him completely.

Right now I'm reading George Steiner's little introduction to Heidegger. Heidegger was not a wonderful human being, but seems to be a thinker worth paying attention to.

Unfortunately, not all the interesting thinkers, writers and media figures (like Rogan) are great people and not all the great people are particularly interesting. Life's like that.

aaall said...

s.w., sometimes a single act is egregious enough to deserve a beat down, e.g. Andrew Sullivan on healthcare back in the day and Colin Powell/Tony Blair on Iraq. I would classify failing to do ones homework around a once in a century pandemic that has killed millions (and isn't done yet) and caused major economic as well as personal hardships (wait till the disability claims start for long covid). I see more kayfabe and shtick then perceptivity, but perhaps that's just me.

s. wallerstein said...


How about Richard Wagner? Do you listen to his music? I do.

aaall said...

s.w., Hitler liked dogs and Lenin had a cat. So do I. Seeing music as art and then classing political commentary as comedy and then that comedy as art and that art as beyond criticism and consequences seems like more then a category problem.

That may be how TC got to his cancel culture take. All I'm saying is that Rogen got over his skies on covid and some other things. How is calling him on that a problem? I don't recall going beyond criticism. Given his reach and demographic he can do a lot of harm in a way that listening to Wagner or Hank Williams can't.

Rush Limbaugh also had chops when it came to communication and the United States is worse for his art. Ditto O'Reilly, Carlson, Hanniday, Prager, etc.

s. wallerstein said...


I get your point.

In any case, TC recommended Rogan to fellow commenters here, who hardly make up Rogan's core demographic.

This may sound elitist and it may be elitist, but I'd bet that everybody who participates in this blog is well educated enough to listen to Rogan a couple of times without being harmed by his fake news about Covid and whatever alt right stuff he talks about.

aaall said...

s.w., it is elitist and I have no problem with that or Rogan being recommended - let a hundred flowers bloom. I objected to what is too often the default to "cancel culture" whenever problems are noted. That and treating commentary and propaganda as art/comedy and therefore beyond criticism for its actual effects seems decadent.

Michael Llenos said...


My gosh! What negativity you show for such a good woman. It makes me wonder how negative you are towards people who are actually bad.

Marc Susselman said...

Michael, “Goodness” is in the eye of the beholder.

David’s criticism of Mother Theresa is accurate. I suggest you watch Christopher Hitchens’ critique of her below.


What have you got against Hank Williams?

Marc Susselman said...

Mother Theresa “stands under a Niagara of free publicity.”

Christopher Hitchens was a master of the English language, and his satire and perspicacity are sorely missed. I wish he had stopped smoking sooner, and perhaps he would still be with us.

Achim Kriechel (A.K.) said...

Just a practical perspective:

If I had a "blog" like Rogan or thousands of other so-called "influencers" who, as lone warriors, today reach as many people at the same time with their productions as the Washington Post never has in its history, wouldn't I have to ask myself whether I am capable of thinking as much as I have to talk?

There are often situations in my life when I hear an argument or even just a remark from my conversation partner that I immediately have the impression that I really have to think about it for a long time before I can take my own standpoint on it. I think I can observe that this "time of reflection" is really burned out by the individualized mass media and their so-called platforms. A break, an interruption, a somehow extended boredom, is the most deadly poison for the immune systems of these formats. ...

At the very end, it seems to me that there are only transmitters left and the receivers have become obsolete.

Not to be misunderstood, I am a great friend of free musical improvisation. But this great art lives from it and is also aware that it is like a ride on a razor blade.

David Palmeter said...

Reading these posts is a strange experience for me. I'm not able to listen to podcasts (hearing loss) and have never heard of Joe Rogan.

Marc Susselman said...

People may not remember that before Joe Rogan had his podcast, he was the host of a TV program titled, “Fear Factor,” in which contestants competed against each other performing harrowing and disgusting stunts, the latter including eating insects, decomposing animals, fish intestines blended together.

Tony Couture said...

aalll is falling into sophistry with above comments disparaging Joe Rogan in general. I recommended Joe Rogan Experience #1848, which aalll would do well to give a fair hearing before condemning as it gives 3 different comedian perspectives in dialectic, with no inappropriate comments about covid-19 that I can detect.

Joe Rogan, Francis Foster, and Konstantin Kisin (along with many other stand up comedians) are continuing the ancient Socratic practice of parrhesia (frank and fearless speech), and what Rogan means by "talking shit" is the same as what Harry Frankfurt is exploring in his famous essay "On Bullshit." Thinking out loud, speculating wildly about drug treatments and many other faux pas by comedians like Rogan is forgivable, not unpardonable and the direct cause of many deaths due to his extraordinary influence. (For any one who does not know, Rogan's podcasts get many millions of listeners/viewers and are one of the most popular podcasts in the world so far).

aalll, if you have any comments on Joe Rogan Experience #1848, I would interested to hear them, but no more bullshitting about Joe Rogan's experimental methods of comedy and podcasting as really killing his audience. Comedians "kill" their audiences when they make them laugh so hard they lose control of themselves, it is a term of their art that they take great pride in doing, as the audience is hostile and needs to be conquered by the stand up. You misunderstand the art of comedy as a literal killer. I laugh it off, why can't you?

Michael Llenos said...

Marc SusselmanAugust,

I watched the 4 minute video. I think Christopher H. should stop smoking the ganja! The pro-choice movement has not stopped poverty & it never will. What will stop it then? A Star Trek economy like Gene Roddenberry envisioned. I mean why is it that a lot of people at this blog are in favor of socialism? It is because it has never been accomplished before. Communism itself is the crap version of socialism. A Star Trek economy is the only way to stop poverty. The problem is that we don't have the technology for it yet. Some may say that we are getting there.

Michael Llenos said...

I mean why is it that a lot of people at this blog are in favor of socialism?

I believe one reason is that it is as close to a Star Trek utopia as we're going to get. It is a Star Trek utopia without the alien help. The biggest proof that socialism can solve our problems is that it has never been tried in a real working government before.

Marc Susselman said...


Christopher Hitchens has stopped smoking ganja, since he is now deceased.

Putting aside his claim that poverty could be eliminated by giving women control over their reproductive rights and allowing abortions, oversized families are certainly a contributing factor to poverty – more mouths to feed, bodies to clothe and provide shelter and educate on limited incomes increases poverty.

But his criticism of Mother Theresa was not limited to her religious opposition to abortion – she was also opposed to contraception; she was opposed to providing medial care to the severely ill, on the perverted idea that poverty and suffering ennobles the soul and brings one closer to God. And to took money from autocrats and tycoons who stole the money from the impoverished. His disgust with her was well deserved – contrary to your claim that she was a “good” person.

Michael Llenos said...

"And to took money from autocrats and tycoons who stole the money from the impoverished. His disgust with her was well deserved – contrary to your claim that she was a “good” person."

You can make the same claim against the state lottery and Las Vegas.

Yes, autocrats & tycoons stole the money from the poor & they should be legally destroyed. I agree. But how else would that money be given back? For a different subcategory the money was given to: e.g. the poor in Calcutta vs the poor in some other country. But it was given back to the same major category: the poor. It was the same thing with the logic behind the good offices of Robin Hood.

That was probably Mother Teresa's reasoning. Otherwise the money would probably be just given to family members (or worse: some gold digger) on the person's termination of life.

Marc Susselman said...


Have you watched the second of the two Hitchens’ you tube videos I linked to?

She did not use the money to improve the lives of the poor. She did not provide them with medical attention – she had them languish on cots in her House of the Dead, claiming that the more they suffered, the close they came to God. She was a sick, perverted religious zealot. And state lotteries and Las Vegas do not get canonized.

Michael Llenos said...

"She did not use the money to improve the lives of the poor."

She stopped the hunger pains of many poor people. So she helped many poor people.

Of course, this wasn't a permanent thing. But most good deeds are not effected by people so they can stop a permanent cause. If I am hungry or have some injury, I don't try to stop some cook or nurse from helping me because they cannot stop my hunger from happening again or my mortal self from ever being injured again. I'm sure that's the same opinion of everyone else.

aaall said...

Marc, my point was that I have no problem with listening to Wagner's music and Hank's great:

T.C., I checked out a reasonable sample (four + hours - really!) and found it a dogs breakfast. Their politics seem chaotic and lean to ox cart/paranoid libertarianism. E.g. Brexit was plutocrats and racists lying to nice old men from the Red Wall. The issue isn't those nice old Red Wall folks being (or being called) racists, it was a few with financial and hobby-horse issues pursuing their interests and screwing over the rest of the country.

True that "experimental methods of comedy and podcasting" don't kill people, bogus "information" about a highly contagious respiratory virus that kills a not insignificant number of those who get it will kill a certain fraction of the folks who take that "information" to heart. That observation isn't "sophistry," it's common sense. He contributed to the wave of covid mis and information that plagued the United States What discussion on covid (you should check it out again) that was on the instant podcast was (again) ox cart libertarianism tinged with paranoia along with simple ignorance - being a doctor doesn't make a person an across the board medical expert but Kisin seems not to know that. I see nothing laughable about platforming grifters and liars when actual harm can result. (I note that Spotify has a link to actual covid information on the page.)

I would guess that if you picked a random sampling of Rogan's demographic and attempted a discussion of "the ancient Socratic practice of parrhesia" and "experimental methods of comedy and podcasting" you wouldn't get far as few of them are philosophy PhDs. Most are young and (ish) white guys with high school or high school and some post secondary educations. As a high school diploma in the United States often means attendance not achievement and we stopped teaching civics long ago and barely teach history in many schools, we have a cohort mostly not prepared to critically engage the claims Rogan and his guests make (I'll note that even you seem to have missed the misleading and paranoid covid statements in #1848).

I did have to chuckle at Rogan's comments on Texas and freedom and that he moved to the liberal enclave of Austin. I guess if one is a white middle aged male with an eight figure income and a nine figure net worth and a mansion on a lake freedom abounds. Texas' tax structure benefits those at the top, the middle and bottom not so much. As for that "tradition of freedom" I would remind Joe about which side Texas was on in the Civil War and all those decades of Jim Crow. Then we have the new abortion laws. Texas brand freedom is the freedom starve.

That being said the annoying PC stuff they allege may be the case in the UK. I'm an old white guy in a rural county on the west coast of the United States whose closest neighbor is a skunk so there's a lot I don't have to experience or put up with. Still nonsense usually burns itself out. All in all I don't get it but I don't have to and Joe is cutting a fat hog (mazel tov!).

aaall said...

ML, having needed a little morphine a few years ago, I would allow that not using painkillers in serous and terminal illnesses is criminal. MTs facility didn't use them.

Marc Susselman said...


Thank the Lord1 I was concerned, given that you coupled s. wallerstien’s reference to Wagner with Hank Williams, that you were going to tell me that Hank was known to be a racist and was secretly a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Thank you for the video clips. His songs are the soundtrack for one of my favorite movies, “The Last Picture Show.” Here’s one of his best:

aaall said...

Marc, this is from the side bar and real history:

Music is just music (well the Horst Wessel Lied is sort of sinister), Lou Reed was a jerk in lots of ways but he did some great work:

Christy Moore has had his problems but then there's this:

Michael Llenos said...

"ML, having needed a little morphine a few years ago, I would allow that not using painkillers in serous and terminal illnesses is criminal. MTs facility didn't use them."

She ran a shelter for the shelterless, and a food distribution center. Not an official clinic or hospital.

E.g. one older man was sleeping & dying on the street with maggots all over his body. Mother & her sisters brought him to their shelter where they cleaned him up and dressed him in clean clothes. Dying on his cot, he told the sisters that in life he lived like a dog, but because of them he could die like an angel.

Sorry but I don't consider what the sisters & Mother did for that man to be an evil deed. Nor do I consider anyone who helps the poor in like ways to be an evil person.

Michael Llenos said...

She couldn't run a clinic or hospital. She was not a doctor or nurse. She and her sisters did the best they could do. They ran hospices.

Marc Susselman said...


Sorry, they did not do the best they could. They could have done much more with the millions of dollars she collected from her benefactors around the world. She allowed her religious zeolotry to hamstring her efforts.


Thank you. Great clips. I had never heard of Viva The Quinta Brigade.

A well-written song, well performed, can still inspire hope.

Marc Susselman said...

And some songs can bring you to tears.

John Rapko said...

I've been using that particular performance of Viva The Quinta Brigada for years to cheer myself up. I marvel at the audience singing along, even to the list of names of the fallen. There's almost certainly a great overlap between Moore's audience and Celtic FC's fans, and with the same spirit. Another profoundly cheering one is Crocodile Gena's Blue Train song, and note how many comments say "I can't stop crying when I hear this":

Michael Llenos said...

MS said:

"Sorry, they did not do the best they could. They could have done much more with the millions of dollars she collected from her benefactors around the world. She allowed her religious zeolotry to hamstring her efforts"

Much more? As if the good they did do means nothing then. If someone's college debt is paid in half by a billionaire, should that person condemn the billionaire for not paying the full amount? Where does it end? That person might as well condemn that billionaire for not buying him (or her) a house or a car. Let's be grateful people are not our judges and take the place of God in such matters of philanthropy. Because if people were our judges in such matters forget about that house or that car, billionaires would be sued for not handing over private islands to anyone who told them to. In fact, everyone could be sued by anybody for anything of that nature. To be safe, everyone would have to own nothing, and everything would have to belong to everyone.

The idea of non-ownership by everyone concerning everything in society began with a very great book called Plato's Republic. It's a work of genius but it's not practical. Just ask Mikhail Gorbachev or those who lived in Russia during his time.

Marc Susselman said...


I have read many of your comments on this blog, and generally I find them to be rational and sensitive.

However, your defense of Mother Thresa is neither rational nor sensitive. No one is claiming that she should have been sued for not having been as philanthropic as she could have been. We are just saying that she is, by far, not the saint that society and the Catholic Church have made her out to be. And comparing a billionaire’s failure to buy a home for a homeless person to Mother Theresa’s refusal – not failure, but refusal – to provide medical care or pain killers for the mortally ill impoverished she ministered to – when she in fact had the financial means to do so – was a sin, I don’t care what the Catholic church, and you, say about her.

aaall said...

ML, pain meds are cheap and easy to use. How about addressing that particular issue?

Michael Llenos said...

"However, your defense of Mother Thresa is neither rational nor sensitive. "

It depends what you mean by saint, of course. If you believe a perfect human person, there is no such thing in my belief. Jesus said himself that he wasn't good but only God the Creator was good. If you mean saint, like I define saint, somebody who went out of their way in life to help poor strangers who never repaid them back, then that is a definition I believe is characteristic of Mother Theresa. Jacobus De Voragine wrote a book in the 13 century called The Golden Legend. It is full of many lives & types of Christian saints. I think Mother Theresa fits the bill in that sense. I'm not saying you can't believe what a saint is or not is, or who is a saint or not. Personally I believe she is a saint & one of the greatest.

Michael Llenos said...

"ML, pain meds are cheap and easy to use. How about addressing that particular issue?"

I believe only nurses & doctors can hand out medication. You can buy over the counter drugs at CVS, but you can still be held liable for yourself, family and friends. But I don't think it is legally prudent or permissible to hand out to strangers. You can even be held very liable if you cause damage under the Good Samaritan law.