"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Friday, May 27, 2016

Giordano Bruno's problem was he annoyed everybody

Just to pick up with that poster, which I was rather surprised to find on-line:  it's a perfect example of how science wants to re-contextualise religion in order to make science both its replacement and its superior.

At the age of eleven he went to Naples, to study "humanity, logic, and dialectic", and, four years later, he entered the Order of St. Dominic, giving up his worldly name of Filippo and taking that of Giordano. He made his novitiate at Naples and continued to study there. In 1572 he was ordained priest.

It seems, however, that, even as a novice, he attracted attention by the originality of his views and by his outspoken criticism of accepted theological doctrines. After his ordination things reached such a pass that, in 1576, formal accusation of heresy was brought against him. Thereupon he went to Rome, but, apparently, did not mend his manner of speaking of the mysteries of faith; for the accusations were renewed against him at the convent of the Minerva. Within a few months of his arrival he fled the city and cast off all allegiance to his order.
Bruno was not a guy who got along with people:

From this point on, his life-story is the tale of his wanderings from one country to another and of his failure to find peace anywhere. He tarried awhile in several Italian cities, and in 1579 went to Geneva, where he seems to have adopted the Calvinist faith, although afterwards, before the ecclesiastical tribunal at Venice, he steadfastly denied that he had ever joined the Reformed Church. This much at least is certain; he was excommunicated by the Calvinist Council on account of his disrespectful attitude towards the heads of that Church and was obliged to leave the city. Thence he went to Toulouse, Lyons, and (in 1581) to Paris.
In 1583 he crossed over to England, and, for a time at least, enjoyed the favour of Queen Elizabeth and the friendship of Sir Philip Sidney. To the latter he dedicated the most bitter of his attacks on the Catholic Church, "Il spaccio della bestia trionfante", "The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast", published in 1584. He visited Oxford, and, on being refused the privilege of lecturing there, he published (1584) his "Cena delle ceneri", or "Ash-Wednesday Supper", in which he attacked the Oxford professors, saying that they knew more about beer than about Greek. In 1585 he returned to France, and during the year which he spent in Paris at this time made several attempts to become reconciled to the Catholic Church, all of which failed because of his refusal to accept the condition imposed, namely, that he should return to his order. 

He went to Germany in 1587 but was excommunicated by the Lutherans (!).  He was finally extradited from Venice to Rome to stand trial before the Roman Inquisition:

 In the spring of 1599, the trial was begun before a commission of the Roman Inquisition, and, after the accused had been granted several terms of respite in which to retract his errors, he was finally condemned (January, 1600), handed over to the secular power (8 February), and burned at the stake in the Campo dei Fiori in Rome (17 February). Bruno was not condemned for his defence of the Copernican system of astronomy, nor for his doctrine of the plurality of inhabited worlds, but for his theological errors, among which were the following: that Christ was not God but merely an unusually skilful magician, that the Holy Ghost is the soul of the world, that the Devil will be saved, etc.

A modern day philosopher, or a thinker of any note, he was not:

Thus, his system of thought is an incoherent materialistic pantheism. God and the world are one; matter and spirit, body and soul, are two phases of the same substance; the universe is infinite; beyond the visible world there is an infinity of other worlds, each of which is inhabited; this terrestrial globe has a soul; in fact, each and every part of it, mineral as well as plant and animal, is animated; all matter is made up of the same elements (no distinction between terrestrial and celestial matter); all souls are akin (transmigration is, therefore, not impossible). This unitary point of view is Bruno's justification of "natural magic." No doubt, the attempt to establish a scientific continuity among all the phenomena of nature is an important manifestation of the modern spirit, and interesting, especially on account of its appearance at the moment when the medieval point of view was being abandoned. And one can readily understand how Bruno's effort to establish a unitary concept of nature commanded the admiration of such men as Spinoza, Jacobi, and Hegel. On the other hand, the exaggerations, the limitations, and the positive errors of his scientific system; his intolerance of even those who were working for the reforms to which he was devoted; the false analogies, fantastic allegories, and sophistical reasonings into which his emotional fervour often betrayed him have justified, in the eyes of many, Bayle's characterization of him as "the knight-errant of philosophy." His attitude of mind towards religious truth was that of a rationalist. Personally, he failed to feel any of the vital significance of Christianity as a religious system. It was not a Roman Inquisitor, but a Protestant divine, who said of him that he was "a man of great capacity, with infinite knowledge, but not a trace of religion."
If you don't catch the full import of that final sentence:  nobody much liked him.  And what he left behind was gobbledygook.  And what he was executed for, had everything to do with his stated theological opinions, and nothing to do with his secular, non-theological opinions.

But it makes a more convenient story for "science" to make him a martyr of medieval religious dogma and anti-empirical ignorance; even if it isn't a fact, at all.

An no, Galileo wasn't imprisoned for promoting the Copernican system.  A brief quote from the long article at New Advent tells the true tale of that:

 Nevertheless it was a churchman, Nicholas Copernicus, who first advanced the contrary doctrine that the sun and not the earth is the centre of our system, round which our planet revolves, rotating on its own axis. His great work, "De Revolutionibus orbium coelestium", was published at the earnest solicitation of two distinguished churchmen, Cardinal Schömberg and Tiedemann Giese, Bishop of Culm. It was dedicated by permission to Pope Paul III in order, as Copernicus explained, that it might be thus protected from the attacks which it was sure to encounter on the part of the "mathematicians" (i.e. philosophers) for its apparent contradiction of the evidence of our senses, and even of common sense. He added that he made no account of objections which might be brought by ignorant wiseacres on Scriptural grounds. Indeed, for nearly three quarters of a century no such difficulties were raised on the Catholic side, although Luther and Melanchthon condemned the work of Copernicus in unmeasured terms.
I would not the objections from the Protestants Luther and Melanchthon.  Most of the stories of the perfidious Catholic church fighting to dispel the light of science come from Protestant cultures, where there is still no love lost for Catholicism.  Which means a lot of the popular history of the Middle Ages turning into the Renaissance is filtered through some very cloudy lenses.

And a lot of nonsense is still taken as fact; when, in fact, it has its roots in Protestant anti-Papist sentiments.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sen. Sanders, Admiral Akbar would like a word with you....

This is apparently the story of Trump v. Sanders in a debate sans Hillary:

On ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Trump was asked if he would consider holding a debate with Sanders. Trump agreed to the idea. "If he paid a sum toward charity I would love to do that," said the business mogul, noting that a Sanders vs. Trump debate "would have such high ratings." Sanders quickly responded with a tweet reading, "Game On. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7th primary."

Here are the problems with it:

1)  Twitter says CBS has reports from the Trump camp that "nah gonna happen."  Yeah, it's Twitter, and it's completely unattributed.

2) But if CBS is right, Twitter has a point:  "Which makes Sanders look pretty dumb. 'Ooh, me, me, pass the ball to me!' 'Um, it was a joke. You're not even in the game, kid.' "

3)  Note the condition Trump put on this:  "If he paid a sum toward charity...."  Plenty of room there for Trump to say whatever sum Sanders offers to put up wouldn't be enough, and for Trump to shame Sanders for being cheaper than Trump (and allow Trump to move away from having to talk about his own charitable donation problems.)

4)  Note, too, Sanders' tweet said nothing about any contributions to charity.

And then there's the one Charlie Pierce raises:

The alternative is to believe that Sanders has gone crazy from the heat and decided that the best thing he can do as a national politician is to collaborate in a silly and dangerous carny sideshow act that can have only one result: the spectacle of two aging white men slamming the first woman ever to have an odds-on chance to be president of the United States.
So, yeah, this is completely "heads I win, tails you lose."


As I was saying:

At a press conference in North Dakota on Thursday, Mr. Trump suggested that he was serious about the debate on the condition that the networks would donate $10 million to $15 million of the proceeds to charities that support women’s health causes.
Trump the "billionaire" wants people to forget the problems he had donating $1 million as he promised he would do from his last non-debate appearance.  Anybody think he's not putting this number out there knowing the networks won't go for it?  And what is the Sander campaign saying?

"We hope that he will not chicken out," [Sanders campaign manager Jeff] Weaver said. "We hope Donald Trump has the courage to get on stage now that he said he would."

Gotta know when to hold, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away; and in this case, Sanders should just run.  Especially because Bernie would come out of this as their man on our side.  I mean, if he wants to burn whatever bridges he has left in the Senate, and become completely useless to Vermont.....


One of the favorite tropes of the more insane Sanders supporters is that the media is promoting a narrative that favors Clinton.  You know, like the new poll from California that shows Sanders and Clinton tied for the primary race (the margin of error is 5-7%).

Funny nobody is writing stories about the other recent California poll that puts Hillary ahead of Sanders by 18 points.   The PPIC polled 550 likely voters; the SurveyUSA polled over 800 likely voters.  And a somewhat older poll polled over 1600 likely voters, and gave Clinton a 10 point victory.  538 is giving much greater weight to the SurveyUSA poll than the PPIC poll, for reasons which I’m sure have do with the patriarchy and rigged primaries and being generally undemocratic.

Then again, the 538 analysis is not driving the narrative.

O machine! O machine!

I am neither a genius, nor do I play on on TeeVee; but:  no.

I knew there was a reason I was giving Stephen Hawking's new PBS series a pass.  I found out what it was last night, within 10 minutes.

The episode had something to do with Isaac Newton; or maybe it was the Enlightenment.  I wasn't paying close attention at first, except that the story began with medieval times when people "believed" in "magic" (an idea that is really more modern than ancient, especially the way Hawking presented it; more as Harry Potter than with any authenticity.  That seems like a minor quibble but it isn't; it just isn't something I can develop here, although this is fairly close**.)  Hawking follows the crowd, giving Newton credit for replacing "magic" (his term, and obviously less volatile than "religion," but it's clear what he really means, and eliding the fact that Newton was an alchemist) with "science," and so setting us on the road to explaining, as he repeats, "why we are here."

"Magic," of course, has nothing to do with religion.  Nor is religion (specifically Christianity, since both Newton and Hawking are products of a Christian culture, like it or not) about an explanation of the universe.  Search the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament all you want, there is no explanation of the cosmos equivalent to anything the Pre-Socratics came up with.*  The two Genesis stories are not about how the earth came to be, but why God is connected to the Creation:  because God is the Creator.  "Creator of the Universe" is the felicitous phrase of the Jews.  But why are we here?  The best answer I can give you is:  because we are.  There's nothing magical about it; but in the same sense, it is all miraculous.

“My mother was always at work, by day helping my father on the croft, and by night at wool and spinning, at night clothes and at day clothes for the family. My mother would be beseeching us to be careful in everything, to put value on time and to eschew idleness; that a night was coming in which no work could be done. She would be telling us about Mac Shiamain, and how he sought to be at work. If we were dilatory in putting on our clothes, and made an excuse for our prayers, my mother would say that God regarded heart and not speech, the mind and not the manner; and that we might clothe our souls with grace while clothing our bodies with raiment. My mother taught us what we should ask for in prayer, as she heard it from her own mother, and as she again heard it from the one who was before her.

“My mother would be asking us to sing our morning song to God down in the backhouse, as Mary’s lark was singing up in the clouds, and as Christ’s mavis was singing it yonder in the tree, giving glory to the God of the creatures for the repose of the night, for the light of the day, and for the joy of life. She would tell us that every creature on the earth here below and in the ocean beneath and in the air above was giving glory to the great God of the creatures and the worlds, of the virtues and the blessings, and would we be dumb!

“My dear mother reared her children in food and clothing, in love and charity. My heart loves the earth in which my beloved mother rests.”
Quoted from Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the Last Century, by Alexander Carmichael (Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press 1997), pp. 197, 621.

Stephen Hawking might make little of that, but to me there is more of value there than in all of the Principia Mathematica, at least insofar as Newton helps explain why we are here.  I'm not even concerned with rejecting Newton, or keeping science in its sphere and religion in its sphere (all this talk of spheres is as ludicrous as Paul's mention of the "seventh heaven," at least in any literal sense).

I just grow so weary of ignorance parading itself as knowledge, and foolishness putting on the raiment of wisdom.  What is clear to me is that Hawking, in line with a school of thought rooted in the 19th century, wants to replace religion with science as the total explanation for all things worth explaining (beauty, truth, love, music, joy, sorrow, mourning, most of human experience, in other words, need not apply, except as science can reduce them to absurdities and simplicities).  To the extent religion ever took that role, it took it (wisely) as ambiguity and only foolishly as a totality.  If science is truly forced to fill out that role, science, too, will fail.

I was working up some notes the other day on themes in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian gospels.  Not "a theme," because there isn't one; but themes.  There are several, but to keep it to two closely related ones, there is "justice" and "covenant."  "Covenant" is the more restrictive:  it is what binds the God of Abraham to the children of Abraham, and them to their God.  Justice, however, is of central importance to the prophets (the bulk of the Hebrew Scriptures), and to the gospels.  Justice is not about why we are here, but how we should live since we are here.  Covenant is the guidance to the children of Abraham to attain justice; and it is that attainment, per the vision of Isaiah, which will draw the nations (i.e., the Gentiles) to the "holy mountain."  Not from coercion, or even conversion, but from desire to have what Israel has (and which, obviously, that nation-state does not yet have, but that's yet another discussion).  There is no magic in the teachings of the prophets or the Law, any more than there is clear and rigid guidance in the parables of Jesus.  Those parables are not simple allegories about how to be good, but subtle, complex stories that don't lead to any clear conclusion but keep us aware of how much we don't know, how much we never know.  This is the essence of Hebraic thought:  that we will always misunderstand justice, that we will always turn it to what benefits us.

And justice is never "just us." (sorry!)

Why are we here?  That's not the important question.  The important question is:  what do we do now that we're here?

And science has bugger all to say about that; because the answer is not in "magic."  And "magic," at least in its modern conception, is all that science has really replaced.

*Specific mentions of magic in the Hebrew Scriptures involve imposters who are not backed up by the Creator of the Universe.  Strict monotheists that they were, the Hebrews had no room for alternative explanations for how the world worked:  it all came from God.  Which is part of the grievance of Job, but also the reason Jonah is so pissed off.

**Just building on some ideas there, but if, 700 years from now, "Game of Thrones" were to be resurrected and taught in schools (the video version or the print version), would it be proof that we believed dragons and zombies and magic were real?   Is Dracula proof the English believed vampires were real in the 19th century?   Is "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" proof that people in the 14th century believed the beheading game was real, and not a literary trope?

Where do ya go when ya gotta go?

I'm beginning to think some of this problem is perceiving all men as predators:

 “this opens the door to all kinds of issues with men deciding one day to be women and switching back the next day”
That's the indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton talking to FoxNews.*  Because, you know, that's what men do, just so they can get access to bathrooms, where people are coming in and going out all the time.  It's a perfect place for a sexual assault, right?  Because the only thing that keeps men from preying on women and children now, is how they identify with the sign on a door.

I'll retire to Bedlam.

*not surprisingly this ignorance is a feature, not a bug; and is central to their lawsuit, which I'm beginning to think doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell, even in the 5th Circuit.  And, as that article points out, there have been more criminal charges brought against Ken Paxton than against any transgendered person who tried to excuse their entry into a bathroom so they could commit assault.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I can resist anything but temptation

As goes East Texas, so goes.....

In hindsight, a Texas flag shirt might have been a better choice....

There is, even in East Texas (which is culturally western Louisiana) an embarrassment factor, as well as a competency factor.  On a statewide scale, one reason Rick Perry didn't run again for governor was "Oops!".  We really don't like politicians who embarrass us on the national stage.  And reaching back to the pre-social media age, there was Clayton Williams' famous refusal to shake Ann Richards' hand at a debate.  He was pretty much done after that.

It's the little things that count.

So while Mary Lou Bruner's Facebook posts about Barack Obama didn't keep her from getting into a runoff, when she was one of two candidates, instead of one of several, it began to be embarrassing:

"It would appear that a perfect storm occurred to defeat Bruner," Jones said in an email Tuesday night. "Superintendents and teachers (and their friends and families) across the district rallied against her due to disagreement with her positions on education policy, the belief she would not be a good representative of the district’s interests, and the embarrassment they felt her election would bring to the region."

TPM noted before the runoff election that:

The only crack that has formed in Bruner's stronghold on the race is a recent meeting with a group of East Texas superintendents that went off the rails. During her speech to the superintendents, Bruner cited incorrect statistics, drawing protests from the audience.

When she claimed that close to half of the students in the state were enrolled in special education programs, people in the audience told her that was incorrect, according to video posted by Texas television station KLTV. Bruner then asked, "Is that wrong?" before telling the superintendents that she would like to be informed.

And when Bruner claimed that she met with the superintendent of the Mineola school district, that superintendent stood up and told the crowd that the two had not in fact had a meeting.

The meeting lost Bruner the endorsement of a Tea Party group in Texas, Grassroots America, We the People, last week. The group said they asked Bruner to correct the statistics she used at the meeting with East Texas superintendents, and then they withdrew their endorsement when she did not issue a statement.

"We are all disappointed to have to take the strong measure of withdrawing our endorsement for a candidate," the group's executive director, JoAnn Fleming, said in a statement. "Since the institution of this organization in 2009, we have never had to take such an action however, this organization requires accountability and personal responsibility from the candidates it endorses. We have always made that abundantly clear."

Bruner apologized for the remarks she made at the meeting with superindetendents in an interview that aired Sunday on Dallas television station WFAA. She said that she meant to refer to students in special programs, not special education, and asked for Grassroots America to reconsider its endorsement.
It would seem even the Tea Party groups are starting to expect some minimal competency in their candidates.

How did she get that far?  Last person standing in a crowded race where nobody really knew who the candidates were (how many people go into the voting booth determined to elect someone to the Texas Board of Education?).  In the runoff they found out, and they voted for their children, not for their ideology.  Is this a lesson for the nation?  Is Kevin Ellis the best choice for the position?  No, probably not, to both questions.

But it does prove the system works; at least sometimes.

And in other news (just to save another post), Elizabeth Warren said this:

The rest of us were horrified by what happened in the 2008 financial crisis, by what happened to millions of families that were forced out of their homes.

But Donald Trump was drooling at the idea of a housing melt down because it meant he could buy more property on the cheap. What kind of a man does that? What kind of a man roots for people to get thrown out of their house? What kind of a man roots for people to get thrown out of their jobs? To root for people to lose their pensions?

What kind of man does that? I will tell you exactly the kind of man. It is a man that cares about no one but himself.

What kind of a man does that? A man that will never be the president of the United States.
NPR played a clip (in headlines, which are not on-line, and I can't find a news story on it yet) where Trump replied he was a businessman, he was supposed to make money in real estate.  Which isn't exactly a thunderous riposte.

And note this CBS story on the Trump/Warren battle, which includes information about Trump's lies regarding his charitable donations to veterans.  That is not only not going away, it's growing legs.

This could almost start to be fun, soon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Looking for the handle

I didn't actually start this with this, but now that it's there, I will.  And rather than start where I did, I'll start by repeating a comment I left there:

Because if we make things simpler, they are easier to "handle" (a euphemism for "control"), and if things are easier to handle, then we have power over them.

And having power isn't everything, it's the only thing.

The answer to this (not surprisingly) is philosophy (or theology, but that's a narrower recourse I don't think is quite as universal, because making it universal weakens theology and forces it to be what it is not).  The "other" of phenomenology (French, mostly) is the key here, the idea of the "other" being not to objectify people who are not you into "things" you can control (i.e., handle).

Life, as my Pastoral Care teacher insisted, is messy.  We go wrong when we think religion, any more than science, is a method of control, and that control is the telos of understanding.

Maybe that will put this in context:

I'm just making note of incidents regarding uses of power, or the descriptions and/or justifications of same.  Something of an internet commonplace book, I suppose; except then I'd have to update this
post, and no doubt it will get lost in the sequence in time:

For the circle of leftists who surround him, being horrible online has become a kind of ethos. “Vulgarity is the language of the people … to wield righteously against the corrupt and the powerful,” Amber A’Lee Frost wrote recently in Current Affairs. A piece on Medium titled “In Support of Matt Bruenig” quoted that passage approvingly, adding,  “Bruenig, better than almost any contemporary writer, understands this power, and wields it unflinchingly.”

In context, "vulgarity" is mere rudeness (such as calling people you disagree with "old"), not employment of the 7 words you still can't say on TeeVee.  It's interesting to me that this is considered an exercise of power at all (maybe in the sandbox it is), but more interesting that power is so reduced by such claims.  Vulgarity is a "power...wield[ed]...unflinchingly"?

Really?  Then what is an automatic firearm?  Or the police power to arrest and detain?  Or the power to change hearts and minds?

It's interesting how we use that word, and what we mean when we use it.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

God Doesn't Answer Me....

The Revolution Will Not Be Crowdsourced

There are lots of ways to measure the support a candidate has.  Votes are one, fundraising another.

Bernie used to brag about his fundraising as an indicator of his support.  Not anymore:

Even as he racked up primary victories last month and sharpened his attacks against the former secretary of state, online donors started holding back. Sanders raised considerably less in April than his record-setting $46 million in March or $43.5 million in February.

And I've read many an on-line comment that Clinton is spending far more than Sanders, and getting less for it.  Nope:

The two were on roughly equal fundraising footing last month, with Clinton and Sanders each raising more than $25 million. But the Vermont senator spent almost $39 million to Clinton's $24 million, the reports showed.

This year, Sanders has averaged more than $40 million in spending per month, underlining how quickly he could blow through the cash he had on hand at the beginning of May.

Since he started his presidential bid, Sanders has spent nearly $207 million, about $25 million more than Clinton's $182 million in expenditures. For her part, Clinton has averaged $26 million in spending per month since January.
Sanders is now down to $6 million in cash, which sounds like a lot, but when you've been spending $40 million per month, that's less than a week to go before you're flat broke.

And California hasn't voted yet.

No wonder Sanders is making so much noise about what he's entitled to.  He really is that desperate.   And interestingly, all that grass roots fundraising seems to have withered away.  Well, I'm sure it's because of the DNC or Clinton or corruption or Wall Street or undemocratic rules, or something.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Wrong Box

It's a close race as to which is the worst decision of the modern Supreme Court.  I can think of several contenders, but right now, Hobby Lobby v. Burwell is running away with the prize:

Legislators in Oklahoma have taken the freakout over the Obama administration's guidance on accommodating transgender students to a new level with legislation aimed at undermining the guidelines and a resolution calling for the President's impeachment.

Legislation introduced on Thursday by Republican lawmakers in the state senate and house would provide religious accommodations for students who do not want to share a bathroom with transgender students.

Schools would have to provide a restroom only used by people with the same sex "as identified at birth" for students who request a religious accommodation, and the bill states that letting those students use a single-occupancy restroom "shall not be an allowable accommodation."
Because, you know, whatever we don't like now, we have to overrule with an accommodation to someone's religious fee-fees.  Which has already become "whatever I say it is, and you can't question it!"

Dahlia Lithwick thinks the Supremes can't function with an even number of Justices.  I still think they just don't want to revisit Hobby Lobby and have to justify it; because they can't.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Oh Good Grief!

I know, I know, but two things: First,  remind me again why Bernie is deserving of the nomination of the Democratic Party?

The difference, however, is that Sanders and many of his hardest-core revolutionaries are not loyal to the Democratic Party.

"Generally, there's so-called unity because the candidates are not really that far apart. This time, there's a fundamental difference," said Jonathan Tasini, who ran unsuccessful primary challenge against then-Sen. Hillary Clinton in 2006. He now supports Sanders. "While people seem to think it's just a slogan, there is really a political revolution going on and this revolt is not going to stop after this election."

Which, let me say, is all well and good; but it strikes me as something similar to a small group worshipping in a church and then deciding they are entitled to determine how the church is run, how the worship is conducted, how the money the church raises is spent, even what the pastor preaches on (I do speak from personal experience here, in part).  Are they revolutionaries?  Or just assholes?

Two conditions that often appear alike.  But here's the really interesting bit from Sanders' history:

After all, Sanders' first successful political campaign came at expense of the incumbent Democratic mayor of Burlington, Vermont, whom he unseated in 1980. Democrats on the city council vociferously opposed the new mayor's agenda, until his allies defeated many of them, too.

Tensions were so high between Sanders and Vermont Democrats that when in 1984 he attended "a formal Democratic Party function for the first and last time time in my life," a woman slapped him across his face, he wrote to his autobiography.

Sanders continued running against Democrats until 1988, when he came in second in a three-way congressional race ahead of the Democrat. Two years later, he and the party struck a truce. Democrats cleared the way for him to win a congressional seat, and later one in the Senate, where he caucuses with and votes with the party to this day.
They say that in a crisis one's true feelings are known.  Howard Dean excuses his friend Bernie Sanders as a sore loser who had the cup of victory dashed from his lips (which reminds me of the Peanuts cartoon where Violet's father almost bowled a perfect game the night before.  He didn't, she explains to Charlie Brown, because he got so excited he blew the second frame.  Get a friend who understands bowling to explain it to you, if necessary.)  I'm not so sure Bernie is a sore loser, so much as he's reverting to his old ways under the pressure of the campaign.  He seems to think he's paid his dues in the Senate and now he's entitled to get something from the Party, by hook or by crook.  Or just by complaining.

On Tuesday night, after splitting the Kentucky and Oregon primaries with Clinton, Sanders said the party had to meet his demands, not the other way around.

"The Democratic Party is going to have to make a very, very profound and important decision. It can do the right thing and open its doors," he said. "Or, the other option, the other for the Democratic Party which I see as a very sad and tragic option is to, is to choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy."

Many of Sanders strongest supporters come from outside the ranks of registered Democrats, which explains explain why, until Tuesday night, he had only won primaries that allow independent voters to participate.
In the end, Sanders' supporter are free to vote for him; but they aren't free to rewrite the party rules so their preferred candidate can win.  They also aren't free to demand victory, or the right to take over the party.  Last I looked, over 3 million other party voters disagreed with them on the choice of candidate.  That kind of margin doesn't put you in control just because you like your ideas better.

And second:

Mr. Sanders’s irresponsibility is sadly unsurprising. He has stirred up populist energy over the past several months with anti-corporate scapegoating and extravagant claims about policy. He has indulged and encouraged hyperbolic feelings that the country is badly adrift, that most of the nation agrees with a left-wing agenda but is trapped in a corrupt system, and that nothing but a political revolution will do. He has attracted some big, passionate crowds. But as he has lagged in votes, he increasingly has questioned the legitimacy of the process and encouraged his supporters to feel disenfranchised. The result is a toxic mix of unreason, revolutionary fervor and perceived grievance.
Now, you know, at some point your opponent always displays a "toxic mix of unreason...and perceived grievance."  And I'm old enough to remember the "revolutionary fervor" of the '60's, which turned into the revolutionary groups (gone and almost forgotten) of the '70's (when bombings were so normal we shrugged at 'em.  No one told us they were "terrorist bombings" and we should be afraid, be very afraid.  No, really.  Those were the days.).  But what galls me is said well there: "He has indulged and encouraged hyperbolic feelings that the country is badly adrift, that most of the nation agrees with a left-wing agenda but is trapped in a corrupt system, and that nothing but a political revolution will do."  That kind of thing encourages a lot of foolishness, and not much benefit. The American people are not prevented from voting for Bernie Sanders; the problem for the Senator is that not enough people want to vote for him.  The system worked, and like the old saw about how God answers all prayers, this time the system (or God, in the bromide), said:  "No."  No, there won't be a political revolution, but also, there never was going to be a political revolution.  And that's where Bernie has gone completely off the rails.

There are no excuses, no reasons, no justifications left, especially if he has to do it this way:

“In the past three weeks voters in Indiana, West Virginia and Oregon respectfully disagreed with Secretary Clinton," communications director Michael Briggs said in a statement. "We expect voters in the remaining eight contests also will disagree. And with almost every national and state poll showing Sen. Sanders doing much, much better than Secretary Clinton against Donald Trump, it is clear that millions of Americans have growing doubts about the Clinton campaign.”

It's over.  Accept it.  Please to be going away now.  You really aren't ready for prime time, and you never will be now.