Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Mystery Reprints

The details are here. I will collect my ratings and reactions here of the ones I read or have already read.

My own votes were for two of the QPQ and the Rogers, because they all went on the TBR and look interesting.

Grindle Nightmare, Q. Patrick.(Alredy read)  A bit over 4/5. Not as grim as Brad presents it, lots of dark humor.

So Blue Marble, Hughes. 3/5

Seventh Guest, Boca. 1/5 Didn’t finish.

Murder Isn’t Easy, Hull. (Already read) 4/5 Amusing, clever, but not very surprising.

Verdict of Twelve, Postgate. (Already read) 5/5 This is a famous classic, so I didn’t vote for it,  but if you are just looking for a good vintage murder mystery this is the clear winner so far.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The war on pain relief


The war on drugs is somewhere between stupid and evil. The war on pain relief is pretty much just evil.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Merry Christmas

My Christmas Drabble

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words (not counting the title).


“There is no Santa Claus” mommy said. “I told you when you were five. Such a stupid child.”

I hate mommy.

I put out milk, and oreos, my favourite, and carrots. Reindeer like carrots. This time Santa would come, he would.

“What foolishness! Go to your room! Stupid, stupid child.” 

Maybe if I was awake Santa would come this year. But mommy made me drink warm milk.

In the morning I rushed downstairs! No presents. The cookies were still there. Mommy laughed.

“I told you. I've been telling you since you were five. Fifty years, my god!”

I hate mommy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Barbara Allen, Lord Rendall

The two most beautiful and arresting English folk songs, each with a twist in the tail.

Barbara Allen

Lord Rendall

These are both with Andras Scholl. But Deller is also superb, and his recordings are available very cheap on Amazon. A comparison of their voices.

Best newspaper article of the year

A German magazine published a series of lies about a small town in the Midwest. The local paper demolished it.

Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect!

Der Spiegel has, since this went viral, fired the reporter. But not the editor.

UPDATE: Better and better. Relotius and Der Spiegel have been peddling bogus stories for a decade, and winning awards for it. And since Der Spiegel brags about its fact checking it is entirely correct to call them complicit, and peddlers of fake news.

I think that the guild members of the WSJ are covering for Der Spiegel a little bit, since in fact it was the small town paper linked above which first said Relotius “made up facts”.

Sunday, December 16, 2018


Q. Patrick, Quentin Patrick, Patrick Quentin, and Jonathan Stagge are all kinda sorta the same person, or perhaps “person”. They were pseudonyms shared by a shifting coterie of writers, mostly Richard Webb and Hugh Wheeler, the latter later laboring with Steven Sondheim splendidly. Anyway, a whole raft of their books, from the 1930s to the 1950s are suddenly available. I have read four so far, and they were all good. Recommended for fans of GAD. Amazon, or if your library has it, Hoopla.

Related, with more.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Gnarls Barkley Crazy

Here is a better performance than the single.

And here is the source.  Gnarls Barkley were very upfront about this, and credited Reverberi.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

AirBnB update

I noted a while ago that AirBnB delisted ads from Jews, and only from Jews, in the West Bank. Non-Jews are still allowed to advertise. This explicit anti-semitism has led to some blowback, which could lead to AirBnB being blocked in Illinois. Kudos to the Illinois board.

Titania's Twitter Triumph

Coyne has a good summary.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Nederland Blazers

What happens when you give Michael Nyman a James Last treatment? Maybe this.

Subpoena me


This is obvious.

Coyne calls her “the Sarah Palin of the left”, but I don’t recall Palin making threats.

Friday, December 7, 2018


Twitter is for idiots. And it is staffed by idiots.

Gilets Jaunes — Background

The protests are not sudden. They have been going on for a while and are in response to far more than just the latest tax hike. Here is some background.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Good Coyne Post

Coyne can be a frustrating guy, but he is good about understanding that the rejection of science happens across the political spectrum. Link.

5th Law

It's fake but just the tip of the iceberg ...

And another.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Canadian Classical's Greatest Hit

This was at one the most famous piece of Canadian classical music. Maybe it still is.
I believe this is the Hanson performance, from the VT album of the previous post, but with better visuals. A more modern recording, by the BBC Orchestra, is here.

BONUS McPhee and Henry Cowell were friends. Here's a short bit by Cowell.

The Feast Of Love, first recording

The first recording of Virgil Thomson’s The Feast Of Love. I suspect this was the personnel for the premiere too, which was also in 1963. Not up to the later recordings I think, but nice to hear. I love this music. The poem is VT's own translation of Pervigilium Veneris, and I think he captures the odd detached passion I find in Roman love poetry.

Friday, November 30, 2018

A little Josquin, with lute

Here.  And especially here.  More from this duo.

UPDATE: an episode of [me:mo] with the lutenist, Bor Zuljan.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Fight Over Credentials

A very interesting article from Chris Bray.

Ricky Jay

Ricky Jay has died. He was a miraculous card magician. An example.
There is a movie about him which is worth seeing, Deceptive Practice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Predatory Journals - Whistleblower Punished

This is an example of a Canadian university punishing a professor for talking about the use of predatory journals to boost resumes, tenure, and salaries.

New frontiers in stupid

Hollywood blazes the trail.

If cash is proof of coercion then wages are proof of slavery. We must end this slavery! Criminalize paying wages, with jail time.  Hire a clerk, 5 years; leave a tip, 3 years.  Hard time you bastards. 

More here.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Res Ipso Loquitur

Hive mind

An effective montage from Ali Alexander. Context.

Asia Bibi

Trudeau announced with a flourish that Canada was in talks with Pakistan to offer asylum to Asia Bibi. Excellent, if he means it. That was two weeks ago today. I have seen nothing since.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Playing Dumb, Rake Edition

One of the most striking things about modern America: playing dumb to look smart. We see it all the time.  Acosta didn’t “lay hands” on her! It was one hand! He didn’t lay it!  

There was an interesting example at Mizzou. A protester pushing someone but saying “I'm just walking ahead here. Don’t I have the right to walk ahead?” Playing dumb. 

I think the logic is: see my mastery with words, applaud my control of narrative. It seems like an outgrowth of the “There is no truth only competing narratives “ nonsense. 

Althouse on the rake. Great tag line.

Believe Victims, 25th Anniversary Edition

Gail Harriot notes it's the anniversary of the end of a case from the satanic child abuse mania.

I recommend Julia Shaw's recent book on memory, The Memory Illusion.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Beethoven Cheap

Some cheap digital downloads are to had at the US Amazon site. They are from a company Musical Concepts. They own alto, and the Vanguard and Vox catalogs.

Beethoven 9 Symphonies London Symphony Orchestra, Wyn Morris. 99 cents! This is an 80s digital cycle, and very good it is too. Very good indeed.

Beethoven Complete String Quartets, Colorado String Quartet. 99 cents. Also a digital set, from Koch I believe, and good.

Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas Robert Taub, 99 cents. The digital cycle that appeared on Vox in the 90s, one of the last original Vox recordings.

The Big Beethoven Piano Box has Bruce Hungerford's incomplete sonata set and Peter Serkin's Diabellis. 99 cents!

I also recommend looking at the Big Music Box series from the Bach Guild (owned by Musical concepts), especially the Big Chamber Music Box vol iii. 99 cents! There are a few other sets too, for 99 cents
Rachmaninov, Complete orchestral Music, Pavel Kogan
Tchaikovsky, Symphonies, Rozhdestvensky
Great Russian String Quartets, on the alto label

Amazon has a series with dreadful covers, Rise of the Masters. They are $2.19 each. Most are filled with BIS recordings. Superb bargains most of them. Listen to the Stabat Mater in the Vivaldi! Incredible. The Handel box has the Suzuki Messiah. For two bucks!

More fake news

This really is fake news, because its intent is to misinform not to inform. You don’t need actual falsehoods to be fake news. If you report on the Lincolns' night at at Ford's theater, and discuss only the play, and conclude that Mrs Lincoln did not seem happy, but the president made no comments, that's fake news too.

Shamelessly stolen graphics

All from Powerline.

Jordan Hunt Tweets

An update on the man who kicked a standing woman in the shoulder, yes shoulder, almost her head, for disagreeing with his politics. I linked the video earlier. This article includes some of his tweets.

He claims now that he was aiming at the camera. But one tweet boasts he “kicked some sense into her.” That sounds like he was aiming for her, possibly her head.

Friday, November 16, 2018

CNBC lies about Acosta

Video footage of the event does not show Acosta putting his hands on the woman, who had walked up to him and reached across his torso to grab the microphone.

This is a flat out lie. I linked the video earlier.

A perfect example of fake news, and the press covering for one of its own. Is this a press conspiracy to re-elect Trump?

Why won’t CNN, or CNBC, ask the intern what happened?

Social media mob burns two alive


This isn’t really new of course.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Cop panics, unarmed man charged

A lot of Americans feel that the government is working against them. Here is a stark example of why. A cop panics and fires his gun (then calls for backup: “Shots fired!”). He is eventually, temporarily, disarmed by another officer. Who is charged here, and with what? The man lying unarmed on the ground is charged, with upsetting the cop. The video is about 10 minutes long. Here.

As an aside, a win for body cameras. That was part of my 2016 platform.

UPDATE 16 Nov: Mullinax was acquitted by a jury yesterday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Mother Jones agrees with Trump on forest fires. This isn’t new. I was taught this in grade school. When I spent part of a summer fighting a forest fire for the Ontario government we knew this. Jerry Brown did not.

Ocasio-Cortez is right about Amazon. Trump should agree, this is pure swamp, and in this case Democrat swamp, but I don’t know that he does. It's a rotten system.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Chansonnier Cordiforme

is a 15th century songbook. It is about 6 inches tall.   Example. Another.

Changing direction, here is an interesting site for all things lute.
And a nice piece for lute from the Gottweig manuscript.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Friday, November 9, 2018

Still more Koehne, Eisenga, Melnyk

Song of the Open Road by Graeme Koehne

Sunset by Graeme Koehne

The Writers Dance by Douwe Eisenga

Bliss by Douwe Eisenga

Illorium 3 by Lubomyr Melnyk

No Robert Moran tonight!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Fakest news yet

In the video you can see Acosta's hand come down. You can see her react to his resistance. You can hear him say to her “Excuse me” while he keeps the microphone. His tone does not express solicitude. Her balance is affected. The video is very clear: it happened.

CNN denies it happened.

This is surely the fakest new yet. CNN even provides a link — which shows the interaction. But notice that the video CNN puts up looks like it isn’t from quite the same angle as the one I linked above, which shows things very clearly. You can see his hands better in the video than in the CNN link. My link above seems higher resolution video too. Funny that.


Acosta: “I didn’t put my hands on her or touch her as they are alleging.” Here. That's a lie.

So, this is CNN straight up lying. Challenge to CNN: interview the intern.
Acosta is also straight up lying. Challenge to Acosta: interview the intern.

UPDATE: A good take from the BBC. ‘Mistouch’ is a cute euphemism; but wasn’t that part of the rudeness? Trump called him rude after the interaction with the intern.

How could there be a mistouch if there was no touch?

UPDATE: Jerry Coyne is spreading the idea that the tape was faked!
Apparently the video showing Acosta touching the aide was DOCTORED by the White House to make it look as if he gave the woman a hand chop. 
I know Coyne is often, well, uncareful with facts but this is pretty funny. There's a Reuters watermark in the video; maybe Reuters done it! Buffoon.

More on this doctoring charge. Buzzfeed explains. I knew all this, so surely people at CNN do. Watch the real video.

Hilarious. CNN shows video but cuts it off just before the contact!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Glass Harp

Glass, for harp.

Vine, for strings. This one is a bit slow to get going, but then it really takes off.

Middling awful, the Joy Reid edition

I missed this earlier. Joy Reid sued for defamation. How awful is this behavior by Reid really? I think it’s pretty awful. People get fired over tweet storms like this. It’s reckless for a person who works in news, who has such a big platform because of it, to spread such stuff, seemingly with her endorsement too. I don’t see deliberate malice here, but I do see a reckless disregard. This is just part of the casual awfulness of the political class.

The Scarlet Letter

A for Abstention

Monday, November 5, 2018

Choices, choices

Prediction:  Senate 53 or 54 Republicans, and the House within 6 seats either way.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Some recent reads

Mostly mysteries as I binged this summer.

Bart Ehrman, The Triumph Of Christianity
Ehrman is always worth reading. I found this a bit less interesting than his others, but I have read a few books on this topic.

Cornell Woolrich, The Bride Wore Black
Frankly a disappointment. I preferred the movie, and the other book of his I have read, I Married a Dead Man.

William DeAndrea Killed on the Rocks
A fun impossible crime novel from the 80s. The solution is simple but the book is engaging, so I have another of his in queue.

The Book Of Why, Judea Pearl. Causality and statistics. I need to reread this, and one of his texts. But I think this is most likely going to be book of the year.

Megan Abbott, Die a Little
A letdown after Queenpin.

Martin Edwards, Gallows Court
A modern writer channels his inner Edgar Wallace. Think Fantomas as well. A lot of fun.

Harriet Rutland, Bleeding Hooks
A long out of print mystery from the Golden Age. Not difficult but a really pleasant read.

Richard Stark, The Black Ice Score
One of the weaker Parkers but still readable. Those new to Parker should read the Sour Lemon Score, Deadly Edge, or the Rare Coin Score.

John Russell Fearn, Except For One Thing
An inverted Colombo style mystery from 1947. A decent book.

Dan Jones, The Templars.
A history. A bit too detailed in places but Jones is always good at context and narrative.

Alice Arisugawa, The Moai Island Puzzle
A recent Japanese Puzzle mystery written as an explicit homage to Ellery Queen. Most mystery bloggers really liked this, but I wasn’t wild about it.

S Shimada, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders
Another modern Japanese Puzzle mystery, but this one is brilliant.

John Dickson Carr, The Man Who Could Not Shudder
The best Carrs are excellent. This is dreadful.

John Dickson Carr, The Case of the Constant Suicides
A reread. One of Carr's best books. Suicides in a tower, or were they?

John Dickson Carr, The Crooked Hinge
Another seemingly impossible crime. This is one of Carr's most audacious puzzles, and opinion is split. I liked it, and it fooled me completely.

Richard Hull, Murder Isn’t Easy
A very clever if not very difficult murder mystery. Not as good as his Murder of my Aunt, but quite good nonetheless.

Freeman Wills Crofts, Mystery in the Channel
A solid example of the dogged investigator murder mystery. Excellent use and evocation of 5he setting, and decent enough as a mystery. I have another couple on tap before I decide on Crofts.

John Rhode, Death in the Tunnel
Another dogged investigator from the 20s. Dogged. Dogged, very dogged. I have another Rhode in queue, but won’t be getting to it for a while.

Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest
Fifth time for this. A masterpiece.

Dashiell Hammett, The Dain Curse
Second time for this, Hammett's weakest novel. Still worth reading but only after all the others, and some of the stories.

Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express
Second time reading this. Lots of fun. It holds up, though of course no longer puzzles or surprises.

Ellery Queen The Greek Coffin Mystery
I loved this 40 years ago. It did not hold up to a rereading. Not remotely.

S Kolhatkar, Black Edge
A page turner about a real insider trading case. Recommended.

Ryan Holiday, Conpiracy
About Peter Thiel taking down Gawker. Too much extraneous stuff from Holiday. Fascinating article stretched into a book.

Maurice Druon, The Accursed Kings
A series of six historical novels about the fall of the house of Capet. Immensely fun page turners.

Adam Hochschild, Bury the Chains
A history of the British anti slavery movement. A good book but: too many asides, too much on rebellions in French territory, too much of Hochschild telling one what to think. It would have been better at 2/3 the length.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Tom Holland on the Origins of Islam

A good hour long talk.

This is pretty mainstream stuff nowadays amongst serious historians, as far as I can tell. The case for a more northerly origin of the Koran has been building since the 70s, and the case for a late Koran eroding.

A few minutes more.

More “not the mob” I guess


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Josquin's Lament

For Ockeghem.

Ockehgem's lament for Binchois. Schmelzer is rather controversial. I thought his Machaut a bit crazed but I do like this.

Binchois just plain lamenting. Also Schmelzer. Beautiful for sure but to me this one is less convincing. It sounds too modern, and a bit prettified.  So here a 13th century chanson I find just right.

One for the road.

UPDATE: I am not a musician, so struggle to explain what bothers me about Schmelzer. It sounds too modern somehow, too granola. Anyway here is an interesting analysis.
Their Josquin works well I think, especially the start.

So for comparison, Dominique Visse's group here. I think this has a strangeness that it should have.  I have heard this group perform this live, so might be prejudiced.

I suppose the reference recording is the Hilliard Ensemble.

The Orlando Consort is also splendid.

The King's Singers take a more stately approach.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Ehrman vs Price Debate — Did Jesus Exist?

Here is the YouTube of a debate between Bart Ehrman and the mythicist Robert Price.  It's looooong.  Here.

What's my prior? I think the mythicists are borderline loons. I have linked History for Atheists before; here is his latest on mythicists.  (The “big stick” motive fits Jerry Coyne very well! Not surprisingly I think he's irrational on the topic.)

I recommend Ehrman's book on the topic, Did Jesus Exist?

UPDATE: Oy. I have so far listened to the presentations. Price is incredibly weak. Like the stuff about Q, M, and L is dreadful. Whatever they are they are something, and independent somethings.

UPDATE: Hoo boy. At about 1:25 we get a jaw drawing bit about Zoroastrianism.  Price's main point seems to be about Clark Kent and Superman. His argument seems to be that if Superman were real surely someone would have noticed and written about him, and Clark Kent wouldn’t attract disciples. Well, maybe, although it’s a form of argument from silence, but more to the point as Ehrman says, Jesus wasn’t actually Superman, but some followers thought he was. Price's argument is hopeless.

UPDATE: Less interesting at the end, except in a grisly forensic sense. Price has to keep expanding the conspiracy. He seems to end up claiming Paul did not exist either. I wonder how long until Eusebius becomes a myth. But John the Baptist, attested in Josephus, exists ...

Trump is middling awful

I have noted several times that an important thing about Trump is that he isn’t somehow an outlier, uniquely awful. In terms of the American political class he's really about middling awful. Here is another small example.

Update: An Occasio-Cortez email.

And here is a more substantive example. (Plus note the bit about eminent domain.) There is nothing criminal here, but there's a lack of civic virtue here; reporters pretend to their audience that they are diligent and fair.

And discussion of another. Again, it's not the gravity of the case I am highlighting but the pervasiveness.

The shift

I read a lot about how the Republicans have moved right in recent decades. But I think the greater shift has been in the Democrats. Here is one important example.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Another mob

Back to Wisconsin, which has been a hotbed of the kind of nutbaggery so prevalent in American politics. This time shutting down a school board meeting.  No one injured, no burning brands, but once again the orderly conduct of business is impossible, because of the intimidation by a few. Mob rule.

UPDATE. This is from a small catholic university, Seton Hall. It isn’t the Beerhall Putsch, but it’s another example of rule by intimidation. Note that the promised video has not appeared. I can guess why not, can you?

Monday, October 29, 2018

National Cat Day

Robert Moran - Angels of Silence

More Moran.

This appears to be a recording of the world premiere, in 2017. This won’t be to all tastes, it’s very slow and minimalist, but if you like Gavin Bryars or Ingraham Marshall it might appeal.

More conventionally beautiful, and very beautiful indeed, is this arrangement of material from his opera Desert of Roses, which I am keen to hear complete. Link.

And, The Angel Stood There. The performance is in fact by Ensemble Chrismos.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

A closer look at an example of drive-by fake news

Georgetown Prep was much in the news for a while. How careful and diligent were reporters in that coverage? To judge by the Washington Post, not very.  And not very even when people tried to correct errors.

True, this doesn’t rise to the level of NBC editing Zimmerman tapes, but it's still dishonest, tendentious, fake. Remember Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia.

UPDATE: Speak of the Murray and he appears!


Friday, October 26, 2018

BMOP 4 Saints

Here is a link to the YouTube recordings from the BMOP recording of Four Saints in Three Acts, by Virgil Thomson. I adore this weird music.

4 Saints in 3 Acts

NBC admits to fake news

NBC knew their reporting about the Kavanaugh rape smear was wrong, but hid the fact. We know this for certain now because NBC has confessed.

Russian collusion confirmed

Michael Foot, once leader of the Labour Party, was a paid agent of the KGB.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

More Graeme Koehne

I have posted music by Graeme Koehne several times. The Persistence Of Memory.

Bonus: I was the first view of this one!

And Forty Reasons to be Cheerful

Candidate arrested for trying to get radio-active material

Not the sort of headline one often sees. Here.

This is an extreme example of something I like to point out. Trump is not uniquely awful, as people in Canada or Europe seem to think. He's about middling awful for American politics.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

CNN is despicable, update

When CNN doxxed one of its critics that was despicable. So too is this
“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.” Jeff Zucker, President CNN Worldwide
Why? Because it jumps to conclusions, because it assumes guilt, because it exploits threats of violence. Did CNN show the desired “comprehension” when Steve Scalise was shot? Or Rand Paul was shot at? Or when he was assaulted? When a man tried to break into the White House? When ricin was sent to members of Trump's staff?

CNN is a for profit company. It dishes out criticism. It reports bogus stories and distortions with some regularity.  It can be criticized, and harshly, and it is despicable to treat such criticism as Zucker does here.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I thought I was joking

I used to liken the Left's reaction to Trump as “Hitler with bad breath.”

UPDATE: Perhaps he is really that a Democrat.

This is what corroboration looks like

First, a contemporaneous 911 call. That is pretty solid corroboration isn’t it? Hard to fake a 13 year old 911 call.

Second, a doctor's note with a name, here. By itself this isn’t a lot, because of the date, but unlike some notes I was told about recently this one has a name in it.

This is vastly stronger evidence than there ever was against Kavanaugh.

2400 year old shipwreck found

In the Black Sea. From the map it looks near where Ovid was banished, and it had been there for as long before Ovid as Shakespeare is before us.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hero dies at 99

You have heard of the raid on Norway's heavy water in WWII. Here.

A deliberate WaPo lie

Here. Trump is right about the press: they lack basic ethics and self-control. This is perhaps a small example, but it's still telling. You see a chance to sex it up you sex it up.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

House of Horrors

Mob rule redux

Of course this is the mob.

And so is this, as I am sure CNN will agree.

A Review of a Review

Conor Friedersdorf reviews a review, but what makes it so outstanding is that he is really reviewing a non-review. He discusses the rhetorical tropes used to attack a book without confronting it. A bracing look at the extended ad hominem style which characterizes so much of what passes as thought or discussion. Here.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Running against Ontario

It isn’t unheard of in Canadian politics for candidates in other parts of the country to diss Ontario. “Let the eastern bastards freeze in the dark.”

I used to tell a joke back when Quebec separatism was a live issue: “I started an Ontario separatist party and got 100,000 members first day. Including one from Ontario.”

But I have yet to see an Ontario candidate run against Ontario. I am sure it’s coming though, since American trends reach us eventually.

UPDATE: Wasn’t she supposed to be part of the A Team? Over the past decade the Republicans have tossed away a lot of senate seats with atrocious candidates. Seems it’s the Democrats' turn.

Troll idea

Trump could send Warren a cheque for $976.56 —  1/1024 of $1,000,000.00

Monday, October 15, 2018

Genetic Test Says Vote For Me

What kind of fool trumpets the results of some arcane genetic test as proof of their good character?

Elizabeth Warren is unelectable. Just look at this thread if you doubt me. Or look at this reaction.

UPDATE: Reading some blogs, the Leftwing reaction seems to be “She really is an Indian but never claimed to be.”


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Awesome And Awesomer

I don’t know which is more awesome here, his response or the way these two think the video makes them look good. Here. Seriously, this is their video, they preserved it, they posted it, expecting we'd see them as heroes.

Make news fake again!

Check the date and time on this prediction about the Lee/Grant bullshit from NBC et el.

NBC eventually issued a correction, including correcting the “incredible” lie. But even without that the original piece was fake news. Trump went to pay Tribute to Grant and that was not only not mentioned it was edited out of the clip. That is the very definition of fake news.

Catalan Folksongs - El Comte Arnau

Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras made an astonishing recording of Catalan songs in the early 90s. Here is El Comte Arnau.

And the even more exquisite El Fill del Rei

A small example

Of lying on facebook. And indeed of bearing false witness.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The mob

Harsanyi explains.

Here's my quick diagnostic test: persuade or punish? Is chasing a man and his family out of a restaurant an attempt to persuade or punish?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A little Hugo Wolf

Time for a lied.

To serve man — The Google Cookbook

Lots about “serving” Chinese users here. “It's a cookbook!”


Ken's 5th Law

”Highly symbolic attacks with no witnesses and with no injury or serious damage are often fake.”

Another example.

Bredesen probably lied


Now staff are not the candidate, and maybe they are wrong or lying. But the disdain for the Tennessee voters is clear, and real. And Bredesen surely knows of it.

Arizona sucks! says Arizona senate candidate.

The deplorables speech was a turning point, the moment when the Democrats became the party of contempt.

More about Sinema.

Texas too.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Two Years

At least. This happened in Toronto, not the USA. The time to stop this shit is now. His name is Jordan Hunt.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Reminder: linking does not imply approval

But I do want this article widely read.

It's hard not to notice Enoch Powell's infamous phrase. This make Powell seem moderate in comparison.

I'd like this noticed too.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Mob rule

Facebook style. I am perfectly serious; if a bunch of people demanding punishment for a difference of opinion isn’t an attempt at mob rule, what is? Protestors chase senators, ambush them in elevators, drive them from restaurants.

UPDATE: Pressuring a witness.

UPDATE: The process is the punishment.

UPDATE: McCarthy

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The deep dishonesty of the University of Maine

Offering a credit for protesting Kavanaugh. Details here.  And yes that is what it was intended for. A fraud upon the taxpayers and anyone relying on the university’s standards. A fraud upon the students, pretending that using them for theatre is teaching.

This may look trivial, but it's not — it's revealing. Glenn Reynolds said Trump's greatest achievement is exposing the lack of civic virtue and self discipline in America’s elite institutions. Indeed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Pluckrose Strikes

I have read a few excellent pieces by Helen Pluckrose. She and two collaborators have pulled off a modern Sokal hoax. Wonderful.

Monday, October 1, 2018


Civic virtue and moral courage are in short supply these days. Bravo to the owners of this restaurant.

UPDATE: Dershowitz too.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Rachel Mitchell's Report

Rachel Mitchell is the prosecutor who questioned Dr Ford at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. She has written a report. I will not summarize it or give highlights, just a link. This is the reverse of what I saw CNN do: they gave a summary but no link.

UPDATE: David Bernstein draws a conclusion from Ford's refusal to turn over records here. My first thought was that he is being a bit harsh, but he isn’t. She submitted a part of that record to bolster her case, but now refuses to let even the committee investigation see the full context and any other details.  That's just not reasonable.

UPDATE: Her lawyers say they did inform her about the committee's offer to travel. Her testimony conflicts. Analysis.

Piers Morgan

A sane take.

I am reminded again of Richard Feynman: it's okay to not know. It might be frustrating and unsatisfying, but honest uncertainty is something you need to get used to.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

One thing Trump is right about

is the media. Every one of these journalists and pundits, who blather about fact checks and integrity, retweeted this lie without checking.


Thursday, September 27, 2018



Whatever you think about anything Kavanaugh, Graham is right about Feinstein, and the Democrats.

The WSJ summarizes.

Andrew Sullivan too. An excellent article.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


Britain famously has an “unwritten” constitution. All that really means is that there isn’t an explicit one in writing. America has a written constitution, but it too has an unwritten one, norms and standards without which the written cannot function. I believe that it is under attack. You discard it at your peril. This week seems like a Rubicon in the making.

UPDATE: This expresses some of my concerns well. Ford seems, to me, sincere. She seems to believe what she says. But that does not make her right, it just means she trusts her memory. This could easily be a false or mistaken memory, in any of several ways. That she named several witnesses, and that they all, all, contradict her suggests to me that her memory is at fault. This is why corroboration is important, and probing questions essential. There is no logical contradiction between believing she was attacked and believing it was not Kavanaugh.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Queenpin is a shockingly fun novel by Megan Abbott. It is a pastiche of 50s pulp noir, a tale of women in The Organization. Fast, fun, short.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Senator Feinstein's Office

UPDATE: She still has not shown the letter to the committee!

A rape victim on due process

A rape victim  talks about why he did not report the crime immediately, and the need for due process. Do read it.

And I cannot recommend Julia Shaw's book The Memory Illusion strongly enough.

Monday, September 17, 2018

HuffPo nails WaPo fakery

The Huffington Post, of all places, dismantles a WaPo front page story about passport denials. Here.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bearing false witness

A small example here.

Trump lies, and his opponents lie. But not in the same way. I have been struggling to put succinctly how they seem different. It's about bearing false witness. 

Trump lies about the size of his inauguration crowd, Hillary lies about a film maker causing an attack in Benghazi. Trump says CNN’s ratings are down, Kampala Harris says Brett Kavanaugh called the pill an abortifacient. Trump says he ended birtherism, NBC reports Trump told Flynn to collude with Russia during the campaign.

Now, I have chosen some of Trump's less consequential lies for effect, but most of Trump’s lies are inconsequential. Here is Politifact's list of all his statements rated “pants on fire”. Most are puffery or opinion or silly. Very few bear false witness. All the others one I cited do, and they are just the tip of the iceberg.

To me this is an important difference.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Almost Forty

This is from the Metropolitan Opera 2012 version of Satyagraha by Glass. The tempo is noticeably slower than the original recording. Astounding music.

Update: Truly we live in the golden age of the accordion!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Flos Campi

By Ralph Vaughn Williams. One of my very favourite pieces. 21 minutes.

Waltz #2

Some versions of Shostakovich's Waltz #2. It's very famous of course, but I think it is much grimmer than most seem to find it.

For music box. I really like this; the lovely sound with the hard, metronomic precision that brings unease.

For wind quintet.

Chailly is particularly good at bringing out what I think is the essence of this music: it's a death waltz.

And of course, because we live in the golden age of the accordion, an arrangement for accordion. I see he agrees with my take ...

And I thought Trump was tough on the press

Cory Booker accuses a reporter of violating the constitution by asking him a question.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Historically minded readers will recall Becket refused to allow priests to be tried in normal courts, or be subject to normal laws.
We testify to the grace, the keen wit, and the intellectual commitment of Professor Ronell and ask that she be accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation.

Some are now backtracking, and citing in their defense we didn’t know all the facts. Oddly enough, that's the point Becket would have cited too: he didn’t need to know the facts, the priests deserved exemption. It's the the point I would cite too, since it’s a straightforward demand for special treatment. The facts aren’t what’s important here.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

No innocent explanation

CNN, Which has doxxed and hounded private citizens in the past, asked the judge in the Manafort trial for the jurors' names and addresses. The judge denied the request.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Tweet as art

I loathe Twitter, and most tweets are a waste of bits, but sometimes ....

The last word on Jeong: bore

A splendid analysis of the NYT, Jeong, and why she is a bore.

Impeaching the entire state Supreme Court

In West Virginia the members of the supreme court seem to have misbehaved. So the legislature is impeaching all of them.

Oversight is a lot more useful than what legislatures usually do! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

TR phone home!

Which president broke up Standard Oil? TR. And it only took 2 years including the final appeal to the USSC. Standard Oil had less market share than Google does on searches, or Facebook or Twitter. TR phone home!

Some poems, unapologetically

Two by Anders Carlson-Wee.


Another one

and one from me

Advice To a Poet Seeking Publication In The Nation

Do it first, apologize, unasked but sought
The forelock, bend
The knee, bend
And never, ever

Monday, July 30, 2018

Corbyn revolt?

I don't know what to make of this report. I would like to believe it, because I predicted Labour could not survive Corbyn, but it's all very “the cheque is the mail.” 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Corruption in broad daylight.

The NY Daily News is a tabloid which supports Democrats. Andrew Cuomo is a Democrat. Et voilà.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

GAD, a quick list

Over the years I have read hundreds of classic mysteries (GAD: the Golden Age of Detection). I want to mention a few that were once well known and are less so now, but which I really liked.

Malice Aforethought Francis Iles
Dr Bickleigh plans to murder his wife. An inverted mystery.

Death of My Aunt C H B Kitchin
Malcom Warren's wealthy aunt is poisoned. Was it her aphrodisiac? An elegent, light, droll, and clever book. He wrote two good sequels, Death of His Uncle, and Crime at Christmas.

At the Villa Rose A E W Mason. An early mystery, 1909, from the author of The Four Feathers. Charming, not too difficult, and Hanaud prefigures Poirot in some striking ways. Two good sequels, The House of the Arrow and Prisoner in the Opal.

A Pin To See The Peep-show F Tennyson Jesse
Based on a big scandal of the 20s, the Thompson Bywaters case, this isn't really a mystery so much as a how-to-ruin-your-life book.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Persuasion Machines

Facebook documents were leaked .... The internal report crafted by Facebook executives showed the social network boasting to advertisers that by monitoring posts, interactions, and photos in real time, the network is able to track when teens feel “insecure,” “worthless,” “stressed,” “useless” and a “failure.” Why would the social network do this? The report also bragged about Facebook’s ability to micro-target ads down to “moments when young people need a confidence boost.”
Mechanized, weaponized persuasion.

Saturday, July 7, 2018


A devastating book review of a trendy “history” of early Christianity by Catherine Nixey. If you make it to the end, I heartily recommend Duffy's book, which he mentions.

It's an interesting looking blog.

The Great Stupiding Continues


Friday, July 6, 2018

More good news

This time at Marquette University.

If you click through or search and find the dissent, consider the implication of allowing religious organizations to redefine words as they choose.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Democrat Campaign Slogans

A good slogan can boost a campaign. “All the way with LBJ”, “Morning in America”. So here I present, diffidently, some ideas for the Democrats in 2018.

Punch Deplorables

Think Globally, Punch Locally

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

WLU suffering

This is fantastic news.

Update. More good news: WLU, Pimlott, and Rambukkana are being sued by Peterson.

WLU's response is hilarious.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fake Book Spreadsheet

David Bernstein points to a summary of falsehoods in Democrcay in Chains . 
I have previously blogged about point 48. A few random points of interest are the altered quote point 49, the patent falsehood 56, the blend of smear and appeal to ignorance at 14 ( even I know about the Whisky Rebellion), and the smear 37.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Lollipop Guild Is No More

The last surving Munchkin has died.

Few big stars from the 30s remain. The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are Kirk Douglas, Norman Lloyd, and of course Olivia De Havilland.

UPDATE: Baby Peggy is still alive! She was a huge star in the silents.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018



It's just a tweet, and she later corrected. But she didn't just make a false report. She claimed the false report was confirmed. That's not just a lurch at something she wants to believe,  a twitch of confirmation bias. It's fakery.

This is why Trump can call CNN fake news. Because it fakes news.


Not just for Hollywood any more.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Best Tweet Ever?

That click-bait title isn't for a burn, or a snap, or a clever retort, but one of the few really thoughtful and thought-provoking tweets I have ever seen.

Here it is.


A new paper shows epigenetics probably has only a small role (if any) in adaptation.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tough Math Puzzle Explained

Another video from 3blue1brown. This neatly visualizes a tough problem from a tough test, and isn’t too long. Very nice.

Bonus: A short Habanera for violin and piano from our musical admiral, Jean Cras.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Survey says ...

I am not much of a fan of survey science, but this one has so much appeal ... those most vocal about global warming are the least likely to do anything about it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Quotation from The New Yorker

Black studies is a dehiscence at the heart of the institution on its edge; its broken, coded documents sanction walking in another world while passing through this one, graphically disordering the administered scarcity from which black studies flows as wealth.
No, I am not making this up.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Beatings will continue until morale improves

Women at NBC feel the heat. I have no idea if Brokaw is guilty, but I have few doubts NBC is.

Cras Quintet

Jean Cras was a French naval officer who eventually rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. he was also a composer.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Jaron Lanier

An interesting interview. If you find it tl;dr scroll to the last bit, what's worst about social media.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Only the Winds

Ólafur Arnalds

We haven't had any Steve Martland for a while either. Nor indulged my fondness for Robert Moran recently.

I must have posted Moran's glorious Requiem before but twice can't hurt.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


I knew a woman once who was convinced a pianist of her acquaintance was secretly in love with her: the content and order of the pieces in his programs were coded, secret messages to her, surreptitiously expressing his love until he could do so openly.

CNN suspects Melania Trump is secretly in love with them, choosing her wardrobe and transportation as coded, secret messages to them, expressing her love until she can do so openly.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Joe Katzman

I don't know who he is, but this is a brilliant insight, sharply put:
Maybe that’s because American public education is now a 20-year Milgram Experiment. Where the meta-message inside political correctness is to override your own judgement, in favor of deliberately-shifting judgments from people with higher status.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Quote of the year — 2017

The problem, of course, is that the places that have obsessively run those stories for the past year aren’t really news outfits—not anymore. They are in the aromatherapy business.
Lee Smith