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.