Sunday 30 September 2018

The Indonesian tsunami

Horrific Images From Indonesian Tsunami

Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100

It is very unusual for any of my sources on geopolitics to reference climate change, albeit not the full truth.

Trump Administration Acknowledges Climate Change - Predicts Large Rise In Global Temperatures

28 September, 2018

The Trump administration admits that climate change will increase the global temperature more than anticipated:

Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous 7 degrees [Fahrenheit] by the end of this century.

A rise of 7 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 4 degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists.

That increase though, says the Trump administration, is no reason to stop emitting gases that, for a large part, cause such warming:

But the administration did not offer this dire forecast, premised on the idea that the world will fail to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: The analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed.

"The child already fell into the well, there is no longer any need to cover it."

The administration uses such faulty reasoning to eliminate regulations that are supposed to limit 'greenhouse' gas emissions. It is set to allow higher emissions from cars and trucks.

For millions of years plants on earth used the energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into hydrocarbons. Where those plants were later covert with volcanic ash or sunk into the sea, geologic pressure and time converted them into coal, oil and gas. Since the start of industrialization humans have used an enormous amount of these dead plants to generate energy. Coal, oil and natural gas - the hydrocarbons - oxidize in exothermic reaction. They burn and give off heat which humans transform into various kinds of usable energy. The emissions from such fires are basically the stuff from which the plants were created - carbon dioxide and water.

A large part of the energy from the sun that hits the earth is reflected back into space. Carbon dioxide and other gases (Methane) in the atmosphere lower the reflection rate of the earth, they trap the energy (heat) the sun shines onto earth within the atmosphere just like the glass of a greenhouse traps the heat inside. Spectroscopic measurements from space over several decades show a decrease of reflections from earth at the spectral range of carbon dioxide. Long term measurements on earth of carbon dioxide concentrations correlate strongly with the general temperature increase.

All this is well known and not controversial. But, as John Maynard Keynes said, in the long term we are all dead. Humans are not willing to give up on their personal comfort and profits for the benefits of far away future generations. The 2015 Paris agreement to limit carbon dioxide emissions was largely a scam. Hardly any country stuck to the endorsed targets. After the Fukushima disaster the Merkel government in Germany decided to shut down nuclear power plants but increased the use of brown coal for electricity production.

It was a 'populist' decision, sold as a "green" policy even as it was the opposite, and contradicted the commitment to decrease emissions. The Obama administration allowed a huge increase in fracking which, next to the hydrocarbons, releases a large amount of other greenhouse gases.

The decision by the Trump administration is wrong. Yes, we will likely not be able to stop a global temperature increase in next few decades. But future generations also deserve our compassion. We must still do our best to limit the long term increase by ending the use of hydrocarbons wherever possible.

It will not be easy to replace hydrocarbons as a source of energy. Large amounts of electric energy are difficult and expensive to store. We need a certain locally distributed base capacity in our electricity networks to provide energy when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow. For now nuclear energy is still the most climate friendly way to generate this base capacity. It also creates highly toxic waste that is extremely difficult to get rid of.

The effects of climate change, higher temperatures, rising sea levels and generally more extreme weather, will hit the poorest people the most. This within the U.S. as well as in a global frame. The consequences will be mass migration on a never before seen scale, widespread lack of consumable water and large violent conflicts arising from both.

Two countries may hope to profit from the rise in global temperature as it will increase their access to natural resources that are currently covert by ice. The U.S. (with Canada) and Russia may be the winners of the trend. Most other countries will be losers.

While short term human greed will likely prevent a reduction in hydrocarbon use, and a slowing down of climate change, there may be other effects that could suddenly turn the trend. A large volcanic eruption or a big asteroid impact could cloud the earth and bring back (much) colder times. Some yet unknown effect in the atmosphere that is not anticipated in current climate models could stop or reverse the current trend.

The human race is able to adopt to extreme climates. Humans can live in deserts as well as in the arctic. But such extreme climate zones do not allow for high density populations. The current number of people on this planet may prove to be too high to sustain. Climate change itself, through large scale conflicts and famines, may well provide for its own natural regulation. Reduced to some 100 million individuals humanity may well survive. Nature will not be compassionate in effecting such.

Here is the original item

Here is the original item

Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100

Beethoven in post-modern Germany

Post-Cultural Germany Has Banned Beethoven by Stealth
Adam Garrie

29 September, 2018

When the two E♭ major tutti chords which introduce Beethoven’s 3rd symphony first rung out over Vienna in 1805, European music was forever changed. It was this piece of music which marked the beginning of an era in which the symphony would be the axis around which all public orchestral performances revolved, while the monumental Eroica (Heroic) Symphony likewise re-shape perceptions of music’s role in society and its scope as a modern art form.

In terms of musicality, Beethoven’s 3rd expanded the symphonic form in respect of harmonic dexterity, subtle narrative arch, melodic development, overall size and scope, dynamic range and emotional longevity. In terms of its cultural impact, Beethoven’s 3rd begun the manifold transition wherein symphonic music was transported from the stately homes of neo-feudal patrons to the public concert halls in which orchestral music became modern entertainment for the masses. The 3rd likewise helped transition the symphony form into one that could be readily augmented, extended and re-imaged in terms of musicality, thematic grandeur and cultural relevance.
Beethoven’s subsequent symphonies continued to push the boundaries of symphonic form as it existed in the early 19th century. His final symphony, the 9th was in many ways more revolutionary than the 3rd although without the 3rd there could have been no 9th. The 9th symphony broke the record of the 3rd in terms of being the most lengthy and heavily orchestrated of the era. Moreover, while the 3rd represented something of European musical classicism’s Indian summer, the 9th was in many ways the singular moment in which the late classical European music transitioned into the early romantic.

With the 9th, Beethoven did not just allude to a new era in music and in culture but he boldly declared it without reservation. The 9th continues to stand as one of the most recognisable and unifying forces in European art which has incidentally been largely embraced by the wider world including in much of Asia and the Americas. Beethoven’s Chorale symphony as it is also known is likewise famous for incorporating Friedrich Schiller’s poem An die Freude (Ode to Joy) in the final movement. Beethoven’s melody against which Schiller’s words are set has become so beloved over the centuries that it is often sung as a song, independent from the context of the 9th symphony’s final movement.
Beethoven was remarkable not only for challenging preconceptions of the symphonic form and the symphony’s place in culture, but he was also remarkable for adding new layers of musical complexity to the orchestral form. Prior to Beethoven, orchestral musicians of Europe had never known music of such complexity and as a result, the modern European orchestra of the 19th century is largely an outgrowth of attempts to give Beethoven’s music the kind of presentation it beckoned for and ultimately required at both a technical and emotional level.

As a result, performances of Beethoven’s music became far more complete and substantial after his death than they were during his lifetime. In this sense, there is some ironic justice in the fact that in his later years Beethoven was virtually completely deaf as it is thought that Beethoven may well have imagined the way his music would have been performed by an orchestra of the 1880s rather than that of the 1820s, as a means to compensate for his lack of hearing.

While Wagner is in many ways the founder of the large romantic European orchestra that has been known to the world ever since the mid 19th century, without Beethoven, there would have been no Wagner to re-arrange the physical expansion of the orchestra in order to accommodate the weighty sounds that Beethoven first inspired among the generation who would lead post-Wagnerian European romanticism into the 20th century.

Accordingly, as orchestras grew larger, more dynamically capable and more musically proficient, Beethoven’s sound continued to grow into itself as large modern string sections and augmented wind and brass sections were by the turn of the 20th century, at long last able to reveal the beauty of Beethoven that was only partly understood in his own storied lifetime.

While Frankfurt School Communist music theorist Theodore Adorno decried the advent of recorded sound in the 20th century as he felt it would only cheapen, commodify and ultimately vulgarise music, the realities turned out quite differently to his expectations. Just as the growing concert hall that Beethoven’s music required allowed for wider audiences to hear orchestral music, the advent of radio and gramophone recording democratised this experience one-thousand fold as now the music of the great orchestras could be listened to in homes and public spaces across the world.

The fact that the dawn of recorded sound also corresponded in terms of proximity in time with the era of some of the great romantic European conductors has allowed subsequent generations to enjoy the majesty of performances of Beethoven that are scarcely possible in 21st century Europe in spite of advancing technologies.

Whether the profound metaphysics and spiritual enlightenment of Wilhelm Furtwängler, the poetic gusto of Willem Mengelberg, the sincere Apollonian sheen of Hermann Abendroth, the broad elegant brush strokes of Hans Knappertsbusch, the somewhat paradoxically austere romanticism of Bruno Walter, the unflinching exactitude of Karl Böhm, the masculine confidence of an ageing Otto Klemperer and later, the aural completeness of Herbert von Karajan: the great European interpreters of Beethoven in the early and middle 20th century were all unique in terms of their approach, but all grand in their elevation of Beethoven to a musical titan among men.

As many of the aforementioned maestros had careers both before and after the second world war, such a phenomenon is a testament to the fact that Beethoven’s music was able to survive even the darkest period in modern European history unscathed. Indeed, as Nietzsche called Beethoven the last cosmopolitan/universal composer before European music tended to divide itself into categories of romantic nationalism, Beethoven was well placed to redeem his German homeland in the decades after 1945.

Yet while Beethoven and his greatest modern champions tended to survive the second world war, it was only in the final thirty years of the 20th century that a generation of Europeans conspired to destroy Beethoven’s legacy and in so doing, deprive Germany of its greatest artistic treasure.

In the latter half of the 20th century the so-called “historically informed performance” (HIP) movement began to look at mainly pre-Beethoven and even pre-Mozart composers and re-examine performance methods associated with such luminaries as Bach and Handle. The central premise of the HIP movement was that in performing composers like Bach on modern organs, pianos and ensembles, the lush sounds of modernity were obscuring the more restrained and rugged tones of the instruments of Bach’s time.

While Bach’s music was that of the church and grand manner house and while Mozart’s symphonies never reached the epic scale of Beethoven’s, by the end of the 20th century, the HIP movement set their sights on Beethoven – the composer whose music required modern orchestral treatments in order to realise its full musical potential.

The HIP movement first attacked the flexible tempo rubato that characterised most modern performances of Beethoven before attacking maestros who performed Beethoven’s symphonies with a full modern orchestra. Not content with this, the HIP movement then began to dictate that Beethoven’s symphonies be played at lighting fast and inflexible tempi in a vainglorious attempt to revive Beethoven’s old and long malfunctioning metronome and finally, the HIP movement suggested that the modern instruments that audiences in the 20th century had grown up with be replaced by archaic and coarse sounding instruments of the early 19th century.

Even forgetting the fact that according to the HIP movement, the beauty of modern Beethoven performance should be replaced by a return to the ugliest elements of cultural infancy, the fanaticism of the HIP movement has gone far beyond a group of people making a free argument in favour of bad taste. Instead, the HIP mentality has sunk into the wider European zeitgeist and become incredibly brutal in its ability to proscribe all those who oppose its crusade of hatred against beautiful music. As a result, even mainstream conductors in the 21st century tend to perform Beethoven with metronome like high speeds, small orchestras and little legato, vibrato and portamento. The bullying tactics of the HIP movement have become so pervasive that it is difficult to find Beethoven in modern Europe, even in places where his name still exists.

The result has been that multiple generations of young Europeans and those who love European orchestral music have been deprived of a genuine all immersive, emotionally convincing Beethoven experience. The grand Beethoven that existed between the era of Wagner and the mid-20th century has become a boring, ugly and watered down shadow of its actual self – a poor reflection through a cracked dust covered mirror. The overriding effect has been one of brutally transgressing the overwhelming beauty of Beethoven and transforming it into ghastly alien sounds that are necessarily repugnant to anyone who maintains the slightest contact with the range of human emotions conveyed by Beethoven and his most masterful interpreters and performers.

The idea that one of Germany and Europe’s great cultural icons can only be enjoyed if largely obstructed from view is the sonic equivalent of the backward Wahhabi practice of covering a woman’s face and body for fear that men are somehow unable or unworthy of looking upon the female form without becoming maddened. But just as Wahhabism rejects the human form, modern Europe and Germany in particular is rejecting its own cultural form – forcing young generations to view a heavily censored version of their own culture for fear that it might inspire some awakened sense of cultural identity that is incompatible with the post-cultural agenda of political tyrants like Angela Merkel. Furthermore, while it is true that the German civil war against Beethoven began long before the political arrival of Angela Merkel, Merkel’s overt loathing of German culture has helped to solidify this vicious process, thus elevating it to the level of de-facto state approval. This is the case because Merkel’s vindictive crusade/jihad against German and pan-European culture has been a major plank of her long time rule and as such, Beethoven is the fitting cultural sacrifice to be made on the altar of anti-German/anti-European, anti-cultural, anti-beauty ‘Merkelism’.

Indeed, I personally have little doubt that if a young composer began writing music today that hinted at Beethoven and the tradition he inspired, such a young composer would be mercilessly condemned as a miscreant, provocateur or even a racist or cultural criminal. Such is the extent of self-loathing in the heart of Merkel’s post-cultural Germany of the 21st century. While the aforementioned examples of proscription directed at a neo-Beethoven may sound extreme, in many cases, merely discussing cultural icons including Beethoven, Wagner, Wagner’s rival Brahms, Bruckner, Strauss, Furtwängler, Mengelberg, Abendroth and von Karajan have become sufficient to make one shunned throughout the self-hating Europe of the 21st century.

It appears that there is no room for the full, open, grand and emotionally genuine Beethoven in post-cultural Germany/Europe and in this sense Beethoven is already being censored without being formally banned. This stealth ban on Beethoven was recently confirmed when the Berliner Philharmoniker passed on the opportunity to appoint either Daniel Barenboim or Christian Thielemann, two latter-day champions of Beethoven as director of the orchestra in 2016 and instead selected a man highly removed from the tradition of proper Beethoven interpretation. This single episode in the heart of Merkel’s post-cultural German perhaps has sealed Beethoven’s fate.

But while Beethoven was much beloved in his lifetime and remains beloved today, his censorship by stealth in his homeland ought to help to awaken a love for the genuine, emotionally authentic Beethoven in lands beyond Europe. While Europe rejects its own heritage, other cultures that are at peace with their own heritage now have the luxury of adopting the “foreign” Beethoven as after all, Beethoven was the last true universal composer in spite of his German/European heritage and in this sense such an adoption can be done with some degree of harmoniousness.

While Germany censors Beethoven, future years could likely see some of the best modern Beethoven performances coming from China, a country which unlike much of Europe, continues to cherish multicultural orchestral traditions including that of Beethoven, even while Beethoven’s homeland becomes consumed in a morass of total social decline which is verging on the irreversible.

NZ prime minister in New York

In vaguely normal times I would be proud of our Prime Minister.

NZ PM Jacinda Adern at the United Nations General Assembly

Cracking jokes with Stephen Colbert


"Me too" should become "we too" - her speech at the UNGA.


Temperatures at North Pole are at leas 10 deg Celsius above average.

Conditions at the North Pole – 29 September, 2018
These are temperature anomalies at the North Pole today


Temperatures were barely below freezing at the North Pole.

The blue colour here represents temperatures (measured in degrees Kelvin) below freezing; the green and the yellow represents temperatures above freezing.

The US has nothing to teach the world about justice or politics after Kavanaugh farce

I was not going to talk about this, partially because taken in context the events of the last few days have been the greatest distraction  from the things that matter and because my energy is insufficient to extend to matters of this sort.

However, it is Sunday today and seeing I woke up this morning thinking about this and I have a few hours before the next large headlines come

At the age of 62 I was brought up with different mores but I have always had what I would self-characterise as a healthy respect for women and have always supported the aspirations of the women's movement.

However, in the last couple of days I have been aghast at the ease with which people on social media, some of whom I would have expected might have known better have blindly followed the lead of CNN and the entirety of the media.

Not one of the people who talk about this has come out strongly against war being waged across multiple country. All men, according to some are inherently rapists but when the situation of mass rape of women in Europe by Muslim gangs that is okay and any criticism is labelled as 'islamophobia".

When one is talking about Justice Brett Kavanaugh none of the women who are coming forward to accuse him are "ordinary" people but are just as much part of the corrupt elite as their male counterparts.

Look at this. It seems that Ford has connections with the CIA which, these days perfectly fine with the Democrats

There are a thousand reasons to not confirm Justice Kavanaugh, up to an including his role as an author of the Patriot Act which eviscerated the US constitution but this is perfectly fine with the Democrats who have less than no objection to Trump waging wars of aggression in the Middle East.

Ralph Nader: Kavanaugh Is a Corporation Masquerading as a Judge

The following article, written by a Russian, reflects perfectly my response to the whole affair.  In this I identify with the "rest of the world" rather than the dumbed-down American populace or the brainwashed sections of the population on the edges of empire.

American shame: US has nothing to teach the world about justice or politics after Kavanaugh farce
American shame: US has nothing to teach the world about justice or politics after Kavanaugh farce

29 September, 2018

Many outside the US watched Thursday’s hearing with open-mouthed revulsion at the bad faith, lack of due process and inhumanity on display. Dysfunction in the biggest Western democracy sets a poor example to the rest of the globe.

The present does not own the monopoly on ugly scenes in Congress - the McCarthy interviews are on tape, after all. Nor do either of the parties – from Kenneth Starr’s ultimately futile humiliation of Bill Clinton, to their intransigence during Obama’s two terms, Republicans largely set the tone for the partisanship that reigns today.

But make no mistake about it: in the age of a hysterical and agenda-driven news media, and a social media that amplifies its worst aspects, the Kavanaugh and Ford testimonies marked a new low. And it is the Democrats that have guided the process into a high-stakes wrestling match in a toxic swamp.

Disagreeing with Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination on ideological grounds, and questioning his record and temperament are fine, even if it is to whip up your base before the upcoming mid-terms. This what the confirmation hearings were for (minus the choreographed interruptions from the gallery).

But to pull out a last-minute 36-year-old sexual abuse accusation that you have sat on for weeks, as Dianne Feinstein did, is a dirty trick, notwithstanding her protestations to senators on Thursday that she didn’t time the release of Ford’s testimony, or leak her name (who did then? This person acting against the wishes of a self-described abuse victim must surely be found and punished). As are the systematic stalling tactics in full evidence at the questioning – the condition-setting for the hearings, the alleged flying fears that fell apart after two questions, the “What about Mark Judge, when can we speak to him?” and the demands for an additional FBI inquiry, during which yet more allegations are sure to come out, as Michael Avenatti tap-dances around his office in anticipation. Could a single senator in the room from either party disagree, hand-on-Bible, that the Democrats are hoping to drag out the process to give themselves a better chance?
To do this, the party was prepared to turn a political attack into a personal one, and personal trauma into a political weapon. Whatever traction #MeToo had as a non-partisan campaign that concerns all women is now in question. “Believe women” has turned from an expression of sympathy to reticent victims to a battering ram for short-term political gain, deployed while faux-innocently asking “Why would any woman lie?” in the one case where the reasons to do so are glaringly obvious.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

I love the support I'm seeing for Dr. Ford but I am truly shocked that there are people, particularly women, who don't believe her testimony. She is credible! She has NOTHING to gain by lying! Kavanaugh has EVERYTHING to lose so of course he would lie. We MUST stand with victims!
The Republicans’ scurrying to confirm their candidate is similarly blatant and unseemly. They called the accuser to speak, but how many of them would have changed their mind whatever she said? Five? Three? No one? Staging this hearing for them was as much of a charade about the optics. So polite on Thursday, by Friday Lindsey Graham was calling the accusations “garbage.”

 A tragedy in the hubbubYet this is not what made Thursday’s proceedings tragic. Politicians in that room play their power games and have known each other for decades - but here, real people were involved. For all the disingenuous pretense that this was just a job interview (most employers don’t suddenly ask jobseekers to prove they are not a rapist to get to the next round), their entire lives were at stake over how they would come across in a single afternoon.

Christine Blasey Ford’s account might be fiction or her own truth, but here was a woman who was evidently genuinely traumatized, and having to relive the moment. And if she is telling the facts as they did happen, and she was assaulted by a drunk, violent Brett Kavanaugh, this is hardly the format that best serves to bring her justice. She said she was no pawn, but she was surrounded by politically-motivated lawyers, participating in some improvised talk show format in which smarmy praise from Democrats who regard her exactly as that chess piece, alternated with fragmented lawyerly questioning from a female prosecutor (once again all optics) looking for a “gotcha!” moment in frustrating five-minute chunks. She had been used.

Some observers said she “won” because she looked credible. The entire modern law was invented and allowed to flourish in America, that most legalistic of states, so that people wouldn’t be judged on their “credibility.” It’s fine that she turned out to be an educated, well-spoken woman, but what if she had turned out a little twitchy, or stuttered? Would that have meant that she wasn’t assaulted? After all, many viewers questioned Ford’s patchy memory, the number of times she looked down at her notes, or even her high-pitched voice.

Kavanaugh tears up at hearing while speaking about his family: 'We mean no ill will' toward accuser 
Same goes for Brett Kavanaugh: Some saw a man under extreme pressure in indignant tears as he strove to save his name against allegations so vague they couldn’t even be substantively refuted. Yet his opponents online said his passion made it easy to imagine how angry he would have got before raping Ford (“and this is him sober”), while his tears – a quality supposedly demanded from modern men – merely made him too unbalanced to be a judge. Many just posted photos of unflattering facial expressions and the blotches on his face.
Just got home from work, turned on C-SPAN to watch Kavanaugh’s “testimony.” So far he has done nothing but yell at the Senators, fight back tears over his weightlifting as a teen, and shouted about a dozen times, “I LIKE BEER!” He is so UNHINGED he should never serve on ANY court
Whether he’s guilty or not, Kavanaugh’s aggressive and unstable performance today under duress disqualifies him in my mind from being nominated to a lifetime appointment in the highest court in our country.
In any case, even if Ford provided specific details of her ordeal, this wouldn’t have changed anything. Kavanaugh would still have turned around and denied it. Thursday's hearing was not just inadequate as a court, with its burden of proof, witnesses, evidence, judges and jury – it wasn’t even a tribunal attempting to establish the truth. Instead, it was designed to have the opposite effect, with all sides smearing each other for political gain entirely on the basis of he said/she said accounts.

Lindsey Graham / Reuters

This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics,” said Graham as the hearing wrapped up. But even if he was right, he was not the man to say it. Both over the longer term and in the past few weeks, it is him and the other senators who have allowed this human baiting show to take place.

Human baiting
And a cruelty circus there was: the tarred human targets drew to themselves millions of vitriolic opinions, self-righteous statements, and outright lies. Thousands of women told stories of their own sexual abuse (though there is a question if one man, not proven guilty, should be punished for another man’s crime, or even for the cause of equality before the law), abortion advocates reminded viewers that Roe v. Wade was in danger, the Washington Post wrote dissections of various slang terms in Kavanaugh’s yearbook.

On the other side, Republicans spoke of vast left-wing conspiracies – a subject the prospective Supreme Court justice himself raised – and reposted talking points from the questioning and fake memes casting doubts on Ford’s sexual morals, which somewhat misses the point, as well as being slander.

If there was nuance, it got drowned under the majority of the comments that went along strict party lines. Perhaps in an existential battle for the future of America’s legal system the ends justify the means and no one cares about the collateral. More chilling than all this was the tone of callous disregard for the people involved: even if someone believes that a man or woman may only have a ten percent chance of being innocent, shouldn’t they be treated with humanity, particularly in a murky situation like this? Neither Kavanaugh nor Ford are monsters, and even if they were, what of the compassion and tolerance on which much of America prides itself?

What the world sees

Instead, there were two sacrificial lambs in a kangaroo court among lying, plotting, openly amoral politicians, amid a cacophony of raw noise.

This is how the world saw the US on Thursday.

Scores of countries across the world live according to constitutions modeled on the US Bill or Rights, political systems fashioned after that of the US, legal practices that treat America as the gold standard. American leaders are icons of world history, countries hang on to their every word, and many attempt to emulate and follow them (yes, even Trump).

The US revels in this role, and just this week its leader spoke of its “unique values” and how America made the world better and stood up for it. These scenes are not going to persuade Saudi Arabia that democracy is efficient. It excites not awe but laughter within the walls of the Kremlin.

The US has two choices: to fight as best it can to preserve the remaining value of its institutions - Congress, the supreme court, security agencies, and the presidency – or to continue its all-out battle against itself, where everyone is a loser, even when someone is declared the winner either on this nomination, the mid-terms, or 2020.

Igor Ogorodnev
In case you think this is all restricted to the alt-Right here is an article from the far-Left WSWS.

The day-long, nationally televised hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, devoted to allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, was an exercise in political degradation.

The Democratic Party has chosen to wage its campaign against the nomination of Kavanaugh on the most right-wing basis possible. Rather than focus public attention on Kavanaugh’s ultra-right political views—his opposition to abortion rights, his rubber-stamping of police violence, his consistent defense of corporate interests against workers and consumers—or on his lengthy record as a partisan legal thug going back to the Clinton impeachment, the Democrats engineered a hearing in which all attention was focused on Kavanaugh’s personal conduct as a teenager.