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Jan 24 2020

And So The King

Is once again my guest. And why is this? Was Herod unimpressed?

What? Sympathizing with Jesus? It’s a sucker bet, he didn’t really exist though some people find aspects of his legend compelling as do I, a stone cold Atheist. That turning over the Money Changer’s Tables in the Temple? Classic Jesus. Sermon on the Mount? “Suffer the little children”? “Eye of a Needle”? “what you do for the least of these”?

Did you read it or not? I have at least twice, even the begats.

Ok, still smarting over the Pilate/Herod thing but he had three really good songs and like, 20 lines of dialog. Never wanted Judas/Jesus, too hard.

Anyway, here we are, back talking Epistemology in an age of Lies, Deception, and Illusion (not to mention spooky action at a distance). What is truth?

‘If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost’ — and we are
By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post
Jan. 24, 2020

After another long day and evening of argument, Schiff explained that it was essential not simply to conclude that Trump did what he is accused of. (“You know he did,” Schiff told the silent Senate chamber.) Why do we need to get rid of Trump with only months to go? Can’t we just wait for the election?

Schiff explained that because we know we cannot trust Trump to put the national interest over his own interest, he poses a threat to the nation. He won’t stop China or Russia from interfering in the election. He’ll give up the national interest (e.g., a better trade deal) to advance his own interests. Schiff then delivered an impassioned plea: “Here right matters. … If right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is,” Schiff declared. “It doesn’t matter how brilliant the Framers were. It doesn’t matter how good or bad our advocacy in this trial is. It doesn’t matter how well-written the oath of impartiality is. If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost. If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost. The Framers couldn’t protect us from ourselves if right and truth don’t matter. And you know that what he did was not right.”

His remarks will no doubt be essential reading and viewing for years to come long after the horror of Trump has evaporated.

If you are as cynical and consumed with ambition as are the Republican senators, the words will bounce off you like water off a duck. But for those of us who have watched with a mixture of awe and amazement, with incredulity that anyone could argue against the merits of the House’s case, it was gut-wrenching because we know what he says is true, and we know that to the Trump cult and timorous Republicans, right and truth do not matter.

We can hold out hope that Schiff’s magnificent words will resonate with Americans, if not with a majority of the Senate. Perhaps Schiff’s call to our better angels will provide the emotional lift and inspiration to banish Trump from the Oval Office in the November election. Whether they do or not, Schiff’s words will serve as a message in the bottle — a love letter to democracy and truth for future generations. When historians look back on this dreadful time, at a president devoid of humanity an decency and a party overtaken with cultish reverence for evil, they might ask: “Didn’t they know better? Couldn’t they see right through him?”

The answer will be that most everyone saw Trump for what he was — a danger, a pathological liar, a self-serving demagogue with authoritarian aspirations. However, too few were willing to say it, and more important, to do something about it.

Scripps College philosophy professor Rivka Weinberg recently wrote in the New York Times on the nature of evil and collaboration with evil. “The truth about how massive moral crimes occur is both unsettling and comforting. It’s unsettling to accept how many people participated in appalling moral crimes but comforting to realize that we don’t have to be heroes to avoid genocides,” she wrote. “We just have to make sure not to help them along.” She argued: “Heroism is not morally obligatory, not teachable and not what we must demand of citizens in order to avoid catastrophic crimes against humanity. What we must emphasize is the cruelty and destructiveness of hate and the perils of collaborating with it.”

Republicans cannot bring themselves to do even that. But the rest of us surely can. The rest of us can say, “Enough.” We can say in November, “Trump is not who we are. We are a free people. He must go. We will not indulge this any longer.” The danger, Schiff reminds us, lies in what happens in the meantime.

Oh, and my answer to Epistemological Questions is always this-

Truth doesn’t change. It’s the acid test and only administered by time. While we are awaiting the results it’s generally more productive to pretend such a thing as reality exists.

Thus I am fundamentally a Utilitarian.

Oh and the 70s version is waaay better but not quite as HQ and I use it a lot and decided to mix things up.

And… people screw up who Pilate is addressing with “And why is this?” It was Caiaphas you morons. Thank goodness I didn’t get cast as Annas.

Transcript @ Crooks and Liars