Monday, December 16, 2019

Greenwald on the IG report

Glenn Greenwald examines the extent of the failure and corruption, in both the intelligence community and the media, exposed by the IG report.  This is an excellent article.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Bruno Turner Again

I came across mention of Bruno Turner. I blogged him years ago, so this is just a bump of that post. The kind of man who made the world better.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Impeachment follies

In short: I pretty much agree with Turley, but I see even less evidence than he does. I was in favor of a real investigation but that is not what we got. This op-ed from CNN of all places is a good summary.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Best Ellery Queen Novel — The Finals

The poll is closed! The results  are here. Close! The winner, by 1 vote, is ...
Cat Of Many Tails 16 votes
The Greek Coffin Mystery 15 votes
The Siamese Twin Mystery 13 votes
There Was An Old Woman 12 votes

That was my pick, but look how close the 4 finalists were.

There were no big surprises in the Ellery Queen polls, except that Roman Hat got a vote, and so now we have two finalists from period 1 and two finalists from period 2.

Vote once in the poll below.

Best Ellery Queen Novel - Finals (Pick One)

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Pluckrose on “fat shaming”

Helen Pluckrose is always worth reading. Fat is unhealthy.

Break them up

YouTube taking down videos again. Here. I don't agree with their solution but the problem is real. The solution is anti-trust.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rod Stewart's Railway Model

Yes, that Rod Stewart. 23 years in the making.

Turning Medieval

I really enjoyed this essay on the return of the medieval mind.

On the topic of social media, it occurs to me that we need a new word: mobling. It is a noun whose plural is mob. I googled and couldn't find it, so you really did hear it here first.

Coyne on Newspapers

Coyne has a good round up and comments on the shit-show at Northwestern.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ellery Queen Polls

The polls are closed. There are no big surpises in the final four. Here is the new poll; I have also put up a new blog post about it. You may choose only one book.

Ellery Queen Poll - Finals


Since Puzzle Doctor did an elaborate series of John Dickson Carr polls, I thought I would do a quick set of Ellery Queen polls.  The poll is for novels written by the cousins.

I have split the field into the early Period 1 novels, up to about 1937, and the rest. The second list is smaller; this represents a bit of seeding.

There will be two finalists selected from each poll. We will have a final poll of 4 finalists. You can vote for up to 2 novels in each of the qualifying polls. I hope!

The polls will be up until the end of November.

Ellery Queen Poll - Early Novels

Ellery Queen Poll - Later Novels

Go here for the finals

Friday, November 8, 2019

Undermining Trust Redux

I don't know who is telling the truth here, but two things are obvious: ABC is lying, and the priorities of the media. I hope she sues both ABC and CBS.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Undermining Trust, Again

Harsanyi on ABC's coverup for Epstein.

UPDATE: More on covering for Epstein.

Not just Epstein of course. Lauer, Weinstein, Lack.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Undermining Trust

Glenn Reynolds says that Trump's greatest accomplishment is driving supposedly elite institutions to expose their lack of civic virtue and self-control. The ABA report on a Trump judicial nominee seems to be a case in point. There are also some posts over at the Volokh Conspiracy, a very interesting website.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Beto packs it in

Just a gigolo,
Everywhere I go,
People know the part I'm playing.
Paid for every dance,
Selling each romance,
Ooh what they are saying.
There will come a day
When youth will pass away,
Then what will they say about me
When the end comes I know,
They'll say just a gigolo,
As life goes on without me 

A Font is Born


Free Uyghur Edition

Notepad++ is a good text editor. It is in the news today.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Incredibles 2 Suite

Music by Michael Giachino, from the movie The Incredibles 2, arranged for big band.

Monday, October 14, 2019

ABC uses fake war footage

Wow. This is really disgusting. Whipping up fury with fakery.  You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war.

Update: caught, they confess. Here

Friday, October 11, 2019

Taibbi's Permanent Coup

Once I would have dismissed this essay by Matt Taibbi. No more. I don’t buy all of it, but I don’t dismiss any of it either.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Drawing a line

A game designer reacts to Blizzard. Bravo.

Not just Blizzard of course. Apple for example.

And naturally the NBA.

Update. The NBA objects to the word Uyghurs. Here.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Monday, September 30, 2019

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Modern opera conductors suck

So says this 20 minute video. It's engagingly mean-spirited but convincing. The most eye opening bit is the soprano praising Thielemann for making the orchestra so quiet! WTF. Before amplification the orchestra was the loudest thing going. That was the idea, otherwise composers would just write for piano accompaniment.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Prime Minister Al Jolson

He has Governor Northam's endorsement! 
Update on the press playing euphemism twister to avoid saying blackface.

This joins an impressive list of Trudeau apologies. He apologized for assaulting a male member of parliament on the floor of the house. He apologized for shoving his elbow into the breast of a female member, telling her to get the fuck out of his way. He did not apologize for strong arming the Solicitor General to get SNC immunity for crimes it committed, so it's not a perfect record. 

UPDATE He was in town the other day.  I heard his Swanee River was great. 

Social Constructionist Mea Culpa

An interesting essay in Quillette

Monday, September 16, 2019

The war on evidence continues

A NYT story falls apart. More than falls apart actually, since the story is fraudulent, supressing the only pertinent evidence.  And of course we see the politicians piling on because they don't worry about evidence either.

UPDATE: Piers Morgan.

And over at Coyne's where they preen about being the ones who care about truth, decency, and evidence, stuff like this.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Coyne refutes Gelerntner

David Gelerntner made quite a splash abjuring Darwin and all his works. Coyne refutes him thus. (Imagine a stone kicked.)

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Daryl Davis Update

I blogged about Daryl Davis, a black musician who persuades kluckers to leave the KKK. He collects their robes, and has a large collection. Well, he is in the news.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Black writer quits Star Trek

Devil In A Blue Dress was a good book.  Now I am tempted to read another book by Walter Mosley. I surely won't be watching that Star Trek.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Is mishearing a hate crime?

Baristas have misspelled my name.  This is not a complaint, it is context.  My name is as simple as it gets but errors can happen. Kent, Can, Kevin, Keith. Is mishearing a hate crime?

Friday, August 30, 2019

TheGreat Stupiding Continues

Another 16 year old girl charged for child porn, of herself.  This law is ostensibly to protect 16 year olds. We had to destroy the village in order to save it.

Thursday, August 29, 2019


Jibbers Crabst this is bad.

Seriously, this shows how broken US politics is. Trump is running a monster deficit, fighting a huge and dangerous trade war, and the press has to make stuff up to criticize him!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Child Sacrifice in Peru

A new archeological find with over 200 child victims, presumably in a religious sacrifice.

Monday, August 26, 2019

An Amazon review

Most Amazon one star reviews are pointless, but this one is brilliant, and worth reading.

Lurking in the background is a subtle point about statistics. It is not enough to simply look at total production: a thousand bullets but only 300 percussion caps is really less that 400 bullets and 400 percussion caps. (And even those are less valuable if their assembly is disrupted.) It is not only total production which matters, but co-ordination. As Adam Tooze details in his book, German contemporaneous sources believed the bombing had a serious effect on war supply.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Apotheosis of Skank Noir

From the way her buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she'd be good in bed.
A while ago I came across a good list of the best private eye novels. One I had never heard of was Solomon's Vineyard. It was published in 1941 in England but banned in the USA. That opening line only hints at why.

It's derivative of Red Harvest but adds some daft plot points and a heavy dose of kink. Definitely presages Mike Hammer. It's not Hammett, but it's a good read. Recommended to anyone who likes hard-boiled detective stories.

As for the Thrilling Detective list ... I was especially pleased to see James Crumley there. His first three books, from the 70s, are the best since Ross Macdonald's.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

QPQ Micro reviews

QPQ is my name for the ever shifting team of mystery writers behind the names Q. Patrick, Patrick Quentin, and Jonathan Stagge. I will collect here some brief reviews of mysteries by QPQ under various names.  Ratings like grades, A to D.

I will update as I read more. 
Latest: Murder By Prescription Oct 2022, The Scarlet Circle May 2022 

S.S. Murder Q. Patrick. An amusing tale on board ship in the form of a diary. A-

Puzzle For Fools Patrick Quentin. The first Peter Duluth. Takes place in a psychiatric ward. The weakest book so far. C

Puzzle For Puppets A later Duluth, like a screwball comedy. The solution is obvious but it’s the most fun of the books so far. A-

Puzzle for Pilgrims A very strange Duluth, more a chronicle of characters in an emotional pressure cooker than a mystery. Takes place in Mexico. A-

The Grindle Nightmare Another Q. Patrick, again very strange. Reactions vary; I liked it but thought the solution a let down. B

Return To The Scene Q. Patrick. A florid melodrama with a good mystery B+

My Son The Murderer Patrick Quentin. This is a re write of Return to the Scene! B+

Death's Old Sweet Song Stagge.  A variation on the nursery rhyme series of murders. A different feel than either QP or PQ. B+

Puzzle For Fiends Patrick Quentin. Peter Duluth has amnesia. Beautiful women tell him he is really Gordy Friend.  More thriller than mystery. A bit over the top but very vividly told. B+ 

Family Secrets Patrick Quentin. QPQ are always doing something different. In some of the Duluth books for instance the person who solves the murder is a surprise. Here they — actually he, it’s by Wheeler alone — give us a 50s noir pulp pot-boiler transferred to the Manhattan elite. Not the most satisfactory of their books to me, but it has its points and as ever the construction is skillful and the writing a cut above most mysteries. B-

The Scarlet Circle, Stagge. Dr Westlake finds himself on vacation in a New England seaside village, with his daughter Dawn in tow. Murders ensue! Not a difficult mystery to solve but very atmospheric and fast moving. B.

Murder By Prescription, Stagge. Dr Westlake finds himself suspected of several murders, mercy killings. But there is a more dastardly plot afoot! Once again pretty easy to solve but atmospheric and smoothly written. The good doctor is a bit clueless on a couple of occasions. Dawn has a birthday. B-

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Facebook denies shadowbanning, gets patent for shadowbanning

The patent is here. The abstract is a perfect description of shadowbanning. which facebook lies about not doing.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Punishing Professor for revealing Fraudulent Journals


The charges against Boghossian are pure bullshit: that duping editors of predatory or bogus journals is unethical human experimentation!  PSU delenda est.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Algorithmic Governance and Populism

A brilliant essay. This is pretty long, but it is the best thing I have read in months.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Project Veritas Google Video

YouTube banned the video. So did reddit. Here it is.

UPDATE: of course vimeo took it down. Here it is on BitChute Link.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Jordan Hunt Update

Jordan Hunt is the man who kicked a woman in Toronto because he didn't agree with her.  I blogged it and promised updates. he was tried, and convicted but got probation. Details.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fantastic News — Oberlin

Terrific news. Oberlin College has been hit with the maximum allowed by law.

Pour encourager les autres.

Lying About Nothing

They literally lied about nothing. They said there was nothing. They said it without checking, and without any basis for saying it. They said it — loud and proud and certain.

UPDATE: Another example. It takes a special kind of mind to see something that surprises you and immediately — immediately — trumpet to the world the supposed ignorance of others.

UPDATE: Deliberate fakery.  This is such small potatoes, but they go to the trouble to fake it anyway.

Never forget Gell-Mann amnesia!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cantor Function - The All Purpose Calculus Counter Example

The Cantor Set is a standard example and counter example in set theory. It has a cousin, the Cantor Function, sometimes called the Devil's Staircase, which is a very useful thing to know if you are looking for counter examples in calculus, or just building intuition. A nice explanation of it is here.

Normal people should ignore this but for the mathematically mature here is a case in point.

Sunday, June 9, 2019


I posted awhile ago about Hate-Knitting. Now there is Hate Sewing. Can Hate-Needlepoint be far behind?

Friday, June 7, 2019

Noah Carl Update

I agree with this
Liberal civilization is under assault in ways scarcely imaginable just a decade ago.

Hot Button Example

A jewelry store employee refused to serve a cop because he was armed. The employee was just fired. I think firing was excessive (I am giving the employee the benefit of the doubt here over the reason for denying service), but I am glad there were consequences, and the reason has nothing to do with cops or guns. We are plagued with a particular kind of principal-agent problem, where people use their positions of trust to enforce their private politics. This is an example. I suspect much of the idiocy we see at Google for example are cases of this. It corrodes the culture of trust.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Naval Ravikant On Digital Mobs

I have never heard of him but this clip, about 3 minutes, is fantastic. He echoes all my preconceptions! I hope he is right about the suicide. I think they are squandering trust and goodwill, which might make an antitrust breakup easier.

Don’t be evil — that’s our job

Google/YouTube at it again. Note that the letter he received indicates YouTube knows how the footage was and is used, this is not an algorithm over reaching. With a real marketplace of hosting sites he could just move, but YouTube is a near monopoly.

I just finished Tim Wu's little book The Curse Of Bigness. He lays out well the case for breaking up big tech (which I have supported for several years now). Relevant update.

Fake News Married and Miserable Edition

That story that married women are miserable? Naomi Wolf level error.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Fake News Dutch Teenage Euthanasia Edition

Not as reported by CNN and Washington Post and ....
But accurately reported in the initial Dutch reports.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Bernstein on a Whiteness studies fraud

This post disproves a foundational claim that is much cited in “whiteness” studies.

TwelveInchPianist  hits the nail on the head: The man was prosecuted for miscegenation because the authorities saw the Sicilian woman as white.  The court did not dispute that, only that the government had not actually  proven she had no negro ancestry.

His linked article is worth reading so I repeat his link here.


An excellent essay on “believing in Science.” He doesn’t.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Turley on Mueller

Turley thinks Mueller should be called to testify. That is counter-intuitive to me, but he makes a strong case. I did not know about Mueller’s failure to mark the grand jury material. That does indeed seem like playing a game.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

More doxxing, CNN applauds

Greenwald has it right. Stelter on CNN predictably was lauding the doxxing, because there is nothing quite as salutary in his mind as major corporations unleashing mobs on the uppity.

Related, I think: Twitter takes down accounts critical of the Chinese government.

CNN and Twitter are very popular with the Left it seems. All my life I have heard the left rail about evil corporations. They finally come across examples of particular corporations which are evil, and seem to love them.

UPDATE: Treacher has some interesting updates.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Stephen Cohen on Russiagate

The Nation has been pretty consistently good on the Russian collusion hoax. I guess it helps that their main Russia expert, Cohen, is married to the publisher. Anyway, an interesting column.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

America has lost its mind, Maryland edition

Charging a 16 year old for a video of herself. Details. She should be on a sex criminal registry??

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Vegan 'fesses up

Her diet was destroying her health. Of course, health is rarely the reason for veganism in the first place.

Monday, May 27, 2019


The Banach-Tarski Theorem, often called a paradox, is one of the most famous results in math that concerns the Axiom of Choice. This video does a really good job of explaining it. He does though skip over where the Axiom Of Choice comes into it (because it’s very technical). It is used when you perform some of the steps on the uncountable remaining points. Roughly speaking, you talk about countable things by creating finite sequences and taking their limit. But you can only do that countably often. So you cannot get at all the surface that way, it’s uncountable. You need to be able to operate uncountably. The key step is where you can “find” the uncountable number of new starting points that have not been colored.  Anyway, an excellent explanation that you don’t need to know set theory to follow.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Open fake

The real purpose of propaganda is not to convince, it is to assert the power and privilege of lying with impunity; it is to clarify who rules.

Time magazine is openly faking quotes.

PhD Recorded — Naomi Wolf Update

Althouse has a summary and observations. The big news here really is that this house of cards got a Oxford PhD. Is there a classification for “PhD recorded” where it isn’t actually issued because it would be unjust?

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Colliding blocks and pi

This is quite astounding. Imagine a large block sliding frictionlessly towards a smaller one and colliding elastically. The smaller reflects elastically off an infinite wall, and the blocks collide many times. How many? If the bigger block is a power of 10 as massive as the smaller, the answer is ... quite astounding.  Do be sure to watch the follow up video, which is here.

Friday, May 24, 2019

“Death Recorded”

Here is a lovely lovely, lovely video of Naomi Wolf learning her latest book is based on her misunderstanding of a legal term. She did no checking at all; too good to check. And there's a sting in the tail!

I hope Althouse is being ironic. This kind of thing deserves derision not empathy. The longer interview, starting about 19:00 and continuing after the end of that clip, is even more crushing.

Wolf has a track record for shoddy research.  “Anorexia recorded.”

Extra Time on the SAT


Monday, May 20, 2019

Destroying Good Schools

The Bernie way!

The Democrats time after time sacrifice the welfare of the urban poor, disproportionately black,  to the teachers' unions. The polling numbers Chait gives suggest voters are wising up.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Distilled Essence Of Twitter

What is the essence of Twitter? Anti-intellectual, vindictive, hysterical, ignorant. Also, risible and silly. It manages to combine Gladys Kravitz and Ted Baxter in one.  A fine example.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Century Old Player Organs

These organs work like player pianos, with a punched scroll. Raucous and rowdy!

Mack The Knife.

Bad Romance

Take On Me. (And, because we live in the golden age of the accordion, Take On Me arranged for accordion quintet.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Constable Ken B Progress Report

Earlier this year I signed up for the Vintage Mystery Challenge, at the very wimpy Gold Constable level. If I don’t write it down I'll forget ...

Where: Locked Room: Til Death Do Us Part, J D Carr, 1944.
What: Person's Name in Title: Laura, Vera Caspary 1942
How: Involves Fire: Death's Old Sweet Song, Jonathan Stagge 1946
Who: In A Medical Field: Puzzle for Fools, Patrick Quentin, 1936

Why: Read by fellow challenger (Kate): There's Trouble Brewing, Nicholas Blake 1937
When: During a trip (weekend trip!): The Reader is Warned Carter Dickson ( John Dickson Carr) 1939

So GOLD CONSTABLE completed!
Mini reviews and ratings are here.

Asia Bibi Update

She is in Canada. Kudos to Trudeau.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

NYT abandons “literally Hitler”

I guess the editors decided portraying Jews as dogs was best left out of the domestic edition.

Thursday, April 25, 2019


A clear explanation of the dishonest distortions of Roger Scruton.

A decade ago I was asked who I thought was the most destructive person in American politics. I chose Jonathan Stewart, the high priest of drive-by distortion. I still like that choice. This is an example of why. I was also asked what I thought the biggest single problem in American politics was. My answer is that most people think ad hominem is a valid argument. I still like that answer too.

UPDATE: This from Althouse is on point. I agree perfectly. Think about it: Day 1 and he has already ceded the moral high ground, to Donald Trump.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Mini mystery reviews

I have read only a few mysteries recently.

Till Death Do Us Part John Dickson Carr. Is Dick Markham's fiancée Lesley Grant a serial poisoner who committed a series of locked room murders? Another man is killed in the same way ... This is one of Carr's best books, from 1944. I did not solve it, or even get very close. 5/5

Chef Maurice and a Spot Of Truffle J. Lang. A modern cozy about a chef in the Cotswolds, a trufflehunting pig, and murder. It's often pretty funny, sometimes a bit cloying, and has an okay mystery. Somewhere between 3 and 4 out of 5. Several mystery bloggers liked it a lot.

An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good H. Tursten. Maud is pushing 90, and she eliminates some annoyances in her life, by murdering them. Five stories. Droll, but the last two linked stories are a bit of a let down. Short. 3/5

Laura Vera Caspary. The basis of the famous movie, with Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker, and Gene Tierney in the title role. The movie is quite faithful to the book; Lydecker is big and fat in the book, but Webb catches him perfectly. There are several narrators in the book, but Waldo is most interesting.
The movie is better, see it first, but this is well worth reading. Cheap in Kindle. 4/5

Puzzle For Fools Patrick Quentin, 1936. The first of the Peter Duluth books, set in a psychiatric ward. Some of the characteristic QPQ humor, and some nice points in the solution, but it felt artificial and contrived to me. And not enough Iris, whom I usually image as Myrna Loy. I found this the least satisfactory QPQ so far. 3/5, just barely.

There's Trouble Brewing Nicholas Blake 1937. The third Nigel Strangeways. This is so obvious from the start that it makes all the investigation and theorizing tedious. I have liked other Blake books but not this one. 1/5.

The Reader is Warned Carter Dickson 1939. Can thoughts kill? Henry Merrivale thinks not, but bodies start dropping. This is one of Carr's most complex plots, and so other aspects of the story suffer a bit. It's easy to partly solve, but the core of the solution I missed, as does nearly everyone. 4/5  if you like complex puzzles. If Agatha Raisin is more your style, pick another Carr, like The Judas Window.

Fat Woke

A fat sex therapist, woke. But if the standard woke mantra is right, why wouldn’t it apply to fatness? The wrong answer is objective truth, because wokeness rejects that.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Julia Beck

6 minutes

Trump is Middling Awful, part 400

Bernie Sanders is a crook. He raised campaign money and used that money to buy his own book, giving him royalties. House Speaker Jim Wright pulled a similar stunt in the 1980s and had to resign. Sanders won’t have to resign; ethical standards are lower now than they were in the age of Michael Millken. Trump is middling awful.

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Great Awokening

An excellent article about the woke lunacy and its underpinnings.

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 Nusrat Jahan Rafi.

I'm guessing CNN would cover this story if the women had used Trump brand kerosene.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Is this, at last, peak stupid?

I wouldn’t bet on it, but today we have two serious contenders.

First Maggie Haberman of the NYT seems to think Edelweiss is some sort of Nazi anthem, and that this proves something nefarious about Trump. It is from The Sound of Music. It is sung by Captain von Trapp and it is a song of sorrow and lament that the Nazis have taken over his country. It was used in the titles of the Netflix series The Man in the High Castle —which is about Nazis taking over America — in exactly that sense. Perhaps she just didn’t know anything about the song when she decided it was important and damning, but she didn’t bother to check before Tweeting, and then she doubled down. Details.

But I think Max Boot has her beat:

It's that “inter alia” rodomontade which secures him the win.

Monday, April 15, 2019

An Antidote to Woke

The most interesting article of the week, a British convert to Islam explains his conversion.

UPDATE: A moderate Muslim has harsh words for Ilhan Omar. Bravo.

I think I know why

A common theme at Coyne's site is, why don’t people like atheists?

Here is what one atheist commenter said about Notre Dame
the only church that illuminates is a burning church

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Zuber Wall

While in Natchez, Mississippi, I saw the Stanton Hall home. It has on the second floor an enormous hall, featuring a Zuber wallpaper. I have not found a photograph of it but here is a smaller Zuber, to show the kind of work.

The one at Stanton is much larger, covering two sixty foot walls. 

Zuber's wallpaper is made by pressing finely cut blocks of wood daubed with paint. Each color requires a separate block, and so many pressings are required for each strip. The pattern at Stanton was carved in 1809, but the wallpaper was made in the 1930s; the wood blocks had been in storage. Here is a 10 minute video showing the manufacture.

Their catalog is online; here is a design comparable to the one I saw. 1265 blocks, carved in 1807!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Monday, April 1, 2019

Franken Follow Up

Endorsed. If you look back you will see I said he should not resign and that the ethics committee should investigate it. And I thought him an awful senator.

Cartoon, please don’t riot.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Rota Trombone Concerto


This isn’t a rarity I am happy to say, and there are many versions on YouTube. Here, with challenged live acoustics, is a recording of Yuri Simonov rehearsing it.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

A good, short discussion in Tablet about the effect of the Russia hoax on the pundit class's credibility. He is more optimistic than I am.

I am struck by how central to this were senior members of “the Intelligence community”. I recall discussions with friends over the past decade where I was skeptical, or sometimes dismissive, of their worst imaginings about the intelligence infrastructure. I need to look at this again.

PS When I was in West LaFayette I saw a bookstore selling votive candles with Mueller's picture on them. I wonder if they still have them.

UPDATE: I don’t watch Tucker Carlson very often, but I happened to see this, which is related, and hilarious.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Coyne's Intellectual Cowardice

Jerry Coyne
so please do not fault me for neglecting the Mueller report, as I have nothing to say about it that you can’t read in the mainstream media.
Actually I will fault you. You hyped this hoax pretty heavily over the past few years. You mocked doubters. You were taken. Admit it. (I don’t expect you to ask yourself why you were hoaxed, I have read you too long.)

Innocent men

... get their bond back.
Innocent men don’t want the record sealed. Innocent men want their innocence seen.

Rahm Emmanuel is right:
This is without a doubt a whitewash of justice, and sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power, you’ll get treated one way, other people will be treated another way,” [Chicago Mayor Rahm] Emanuel said. “There is no accountability in the system. It is wrong, full stop.

This is an escalation. This isn’t just corruption, it is open corruption, flaunted. It is, we can act this way and you can’t stop us.

Monday, March 25, 2019

A belter

That is British slang that corresponds to a home run. Piers Morgan nails it, and ...

The press was either lying or lied to. If I were lied to that much, to such effect, I'd want to know by whom, when, why. But the media seem uninterested. There is an obvious conclusion.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Greenwald and a spectacular montage

As Greenwald points out, Maddow gets paid $10,000,000 a year. US dollars, that's over 13 million in Canadian. Every month a multinational conglomerate pays her more more than the average American earns in a lifetime.

And this is SPECTACULAR.

This is pretty funny too. The saddest part is he thinks “my opinion” can be certain “beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

Matt Taibbi: We broke every written and unwritten rule in pursuit of this story, starting with the prohibition on reporting things we can’t confirm.

UPDATE: A list.

So much for the rule of law

Bernie Sanders tweeted
I don’t want a summary of the Mueller report. I want the whole damn report.
He knows that this would be illegal. If he didn’t know it before he should know it from Barr's summary. Of course he's not the only grandstander. But the underlying complaint is that Trump cannot be trusted with power, and this complaint is coming from someone crying “to hell with what the law says.”

UPDATE: This seems the new tactic. The report was X pages long, so the 4 page summary cannot be right! The GOP is afraid to release it! Let my Mueller go!
This Is a mistake by the Democrats. The report, somewhat redacted, will be released. That has been announced already. It might take a few weeks but it will happen. Febrile speculation always looks foolish in retrospect, and retrospection is only weeks away.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Leshnoff Violin Concerto

Jonathan Leshnoff is an American composer. His violin concerto is a new work. Here is one short movement.

Bonus: a little Eisenga.

Masturbation Hoax Exposed

It’s a mania. Putin is literally in our underpants. Maybe, if we’re lucky, New York might someday admit its report claiming Russians set up an anti-masturbation hotline to trap and blackmail random Americans is suspicious, not just because it seems absurd on its face, but because its source is the same “New Knowledge” group that admitted to faking Russian influence operations in Alabama. 
From a long piece by Matt Taibbi that is honest about the shit show of the past two years of Russia mongering.

Here is his conclusion:
As a purely journalistic failure, however, WMD was a pimple compared to Russiagate. The sheer scale of the errors and exaggerations this time around dwarfs the last mess. Worse, it’s led to most journalists accepting a radical change in mission. We’ve become sides-choosers, obliterating the concept of the press as an independent institution whose primary role is sorting fact and fiction.
We had the sense to eventually look inward a little in the WMD affair, which is the only reason we escaped that episode with any audience left. Is the press even capable of that kind of self-awareness now? WMD damaged our reputation. If we don’t turn things around, this story will destroy it.
I hope he is right, and I hope their reputation and business model is destroyed. These are after all only particular for-profit multinational corporations. We can get new ones. Sears is gone, did the sky fall?

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Anatomy of a graph

Here is an interesting look at a graph of purported temperatures in the USA. It purports to show them declining.

Of course the real issue is, are the NOAA adjustments correctly done? I have no idea, but I do know you cannot simply say that adjustment is illegitimate.

Inside The Jimmy Swaggart Ministries

I mean the SPLC, which is considerably sleazier.
But it was hard, for many of us, not to feel like we’d become pawns in what was, in many respects, a highly profitable scam.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Friday, March 15, 2019

The case against CNN

Scott Adams is very direct here. This is very harsh, but justified. Pollak's latest article is here.

I almost never watch CNN (or any television news). I did a few days ago at my parents' place, where it was on in the background. Once again I was amazed at how awful it really is. The only word I can think of for it is cult.

UPDATE: The full Trump quote is here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Now Downy No Peace!

No Downy, no peace!

UPDATE: Coyne has more.

Buying the Ivy League

You have read about the rich and famous buying places for their kids at big name schools. Why? This isn’t about earning power. It's a caste marker. The Eloi and the Morlocks are must be seen to be distinct.

Another Myth Busted: Blind Auditions

I have frequently seen cited a study that purported to prove orchestras with blind auditions hired more women, by a large factor. Someone actually read the paper. Here.

Monday, March 11, 2019

In which I agree with Elizabeth Warren

I don’t support her for president, or for dog catcher, and don’t like some of the reasons she gives, but she is 100% right about breaking up big tech: Google, Facebook, Twitter. They all have more market share than Standard Oil ever did, and they all behave worse. Apposite example.

And another.

UPDATE: Interesting.

The really important news

I have said often that Canadians need to have a better sense of how terrible American politicians and the political class really are. So I have occasionally posted about the Board Of Education in Madison Wisconsin. Here.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

New party. Who dat?

Ilhan Omar is the Democratic Party’s dream of the future, made real. Rahm Emanuel is its past, crying out as it dies.
— Glenn Reynolds

Rahm Emanuel  condemns Ilhan Omar's anti-semitism.

But the some in Congress defend it.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Frank Martin Violin Concerto

A live recording from Martin's homeland, Switzerland. 33 minutes.

This is a beautiful concerto.  I programmed it on radio about 40 years ago.

Trump Defends Free Speech On Campus

With an executive order. This is outstanding.

PS As for the executive order on the wall, I agree with Rand Paul.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Small but ubiquitous

Here is a small example of, well corruption is too strong a word, but slimy sneakiness fits, from an NBC talking head. Our nomenklatura and political class are notable for their lack of civic virtue and self-control.

UPDATE: A more important example, Rashida Tlaib breaking campaign finance laws by drawing a salary from her campaign after the election.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Andre Previn

Dead at 89.

Just one recommendation out of many: his recording of Walton's First Symphony.

“The grinning legatee who taints the Prime Minister's office”

What a glorious description of Justin Trudeau.
What the former attorney general described tonight is a sickeningly smug protection racket whose participants must have been astonished when she refused to play along.
Some more reactions:
And this prediction about Trudeau's tactics.

UPDATE Friday 1 March: Rex Murphy has a little fun.

Lying to our face

I don’t mean Cohen, I mean NBC.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Françaix At 72

A nice little piece by Jean Françaix, written and performed by him at age 72.

And I haven’t linked Frank Martin in a while.

American politics is worse than you think

One thing I try to convince my Canadian and European friends Of is that they do not fully understand how dysfunctional American politics and governance is. Here is a case in point, a school district. I have linked to this saga in the past but it is ongoing.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Brian Wilson plays the studio

Recording Wouldn’t It Be Nice. 9 minutes.

Cartoon, Please Don’t Riot

Daily Beast is despicable

More malicious and petty doxxing, this time of a pastry chef with a silly conspiracy theory. Yes, a pastry chef. Here is a summary. Some good reactions, for example the one by Greenwald.

When did Gladys Kravitz become the role model?

Friday, February 22, 2019

A Constitutionalist

I have had difficulty over recent years describing myself in terms of American politics. Broadly libertarian was the best I could do, until the Russian Collusion fantasy came along, and the wild talk of impeachment and the 25th amendment. And I discovered the word I wanted: constitutionalist. Trump was elected, he is entitled to govern, as was Obama before him. Conrad Black gives a good summary of the ongoing extra-legal attempts to undermine Trump.

Thursday, February 21, 2019


Here is his cello concerto. It won’t blow your socks off but it’s very appealing music, with some lovely passages.

The 20th century is the golden age of the cello concerto. To mention just a few of the more well known ones, the two by Shostakovich head the list, Walton, Barber, Elgar. But well worth a listen are Thomson and Weinberg, which I have linked, Honegger, Myaskovsky, Rota, Glass, Kabalevsky. Of these the Weinberg is the best.

ADDED: The bassoon concertino is a lovely piece.

Green Litmus Test

Do you support nuclear power? The green answer is yes. Yes is also the right answer if you care about reducing poverty or promoting prosperity.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

I'll take Corbyn's word for it

Labour investigated its own supporters:
“Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one individual who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood,” Corbyn admitted.

TDS and decriminalizing homosexuality

Trump does good stuff and bad stuff. Pushing to decriminalize gay sex is unambiguously a good thing. But not to Out Magazine.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Rota Harp

Saraband and Toccata for Harp by Nino Rota.

And a bit of fun from Per Norgard (and a certain Mr Bach), Bach to the Future.

I must reread Hofstadter

Eugene Volokh highlights another example of woke anti-intellectualism.



Jussie Smollett has not only refused to let the cops see his phone, he has even refused to give them his phone records. He gave them a “redacted” listing. Details. It's not easy to find an innocent explanation of this.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Double Edged

Razor blades that is.

King Gillette invented the double edged blade and the safety razor, and Gillette still makes superb blades, but there are a lot of other choices.  One site I have used is, and they seem to have good prices. They carry their own line of shaving soaps and gear, RazoRock, which I have been quite pleased with it. Another site is Maggard Razors.

I don’t actually like the German Croma blades we saw in the video very much. Russian made blades are generally superb. Rapira and most Gillette blades are Russian.

It's wise to start with a blade sampler, as different people like different blades. EBay is usually the best spot for blades.

Some recommendations:

  • Edwin Jagger DE89 razor
  • Polsilver Super Irridium or Astra Superior Platinum blades
  • Razorock Plissoft brush
  • Razorock Mudderfocker or Razorock Zi Peppino or TOBS Avocado soap
The $8 Razorock razor is pretty good for a starter if you are pinching pennies. The Fine Accoutrements lathering bowl works incredibly well. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

On the plus side

No CNN host has expressed a desire to punch any multiply accused rapist Democrat politician in Virginia. Or suggested that Democrats in blackface and/or Klan hoods look punchable.

Baby steps, baby steps.

AirBnB sanctioned

Good for Florida. I posted about this last year.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Gimme that old atonal music!


The Lawsuits Begin

Against the Punch-a-Kid crowd. Here. I hope there are more to come. Not all Punching advocates are on the list of course, only ones who made false factual claims.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Nyman Burning

This is from the score to The Claim, a disappointing movie aside from the score. Here Nyman does something quite remarkable in the way he extends the climax on and on, doing something I cannot describe with a section using piccolos. Remarkable music.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Delicious, but

There has been some delicious hypocrisy about Northam. I am enjoying it. But stupid is stupid, and demanding he resign over old pictures is stupid.  Eugene Volokh gets it right. So does Ann Althouse.  Once more we are seeing Hofstadter's “100% mind” on display in the media and political class.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Correction is Issued

Althouse quotes it. That's a lot of false claims. Fake news anyone?
As a mark of our regret we have agreed to pay Mrs Trump substantial damages as well as her legal costs.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Ari Benjamin Meyers - Symphony X

This playlist has 10 views. It's possible nearly all of them are me!  I don’t recall linking this piece before, but I have been listening to it for years. Head banging minimalist classical music. Caveat emptor.

Child Punching Timeline

Megan McCardle has a good timeline on Twitter, here.

And Kevin Williamson is too kind. In particular he is too kind to his own magazine, National Review, which went off the deep end with sanctimonious high dudgeon rather than spending a moment checking facts. Williamson has himself shown similar prejudice as I recall, so he hasn’t much standing here, but he's mostly right this time.

I saw one tweet that expressed hope for a school shooting at Covington Catholic High School.

Here is Tucker Carlson, 9 minutes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Excellent Atlantic Summary of the Child Punching Frenzy

I don’t agree with every word (for example, the comment about Blackout days) but this is an outstanding summary from The Atlantic.

Here is my summary. In the Jim Crow South, a black man on a sidewalk was expected to step aside when a white man approached. A black man who did not would be punished. To the media, and much of America, Sandman's offense was to not step aside.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Overdue Nyman

Haven’t had Nyman in a while. One of the Lust Songs.
The picture [Twitter] reveals is ugly, vulgar, shrill, and intolerant, with souls exhibiting an incapacity to deliberate, weigh evidence, and judge judiciously. 
More.  This is exactly the point. More important than the bile and the resentment the “punch a child” frenzy reveals is the the thoughtlessness. No-one who jumped on this applied any independent thought, or felt the need for more evidence. Stimulus, response. We are seeing Richard Hofstadter's “paranoid style” and “100% mentality” combine, and take over a large fraction of the culture.