Archive for January, 2016
31 Jan 2016

Ted Cruz Ad Has Trump Dead to Rights

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31 Jan 2016

Binge Reading Trump

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Donald Trump has published 8 books. Who would have imagined? I’d actually heard of one of them. Mercifully, you and I do not have to read them. Carlos Lozada did last summer and tells us all about them. It sounds as if they are very much what you would expect.

Sitting down with the collected works of Donald J. Trump is unlike any literary experience I’ve ever had or could ever imagine. I spent this past week reading eight of his books — three memoirs, three business-advice titles and his two political books, all published between 1987 and 2011 — hoping to develop a unified theory of the man, or at least find a method in the Trumpness.

Instead, I found . . . well, is there a single word that combines revulsion, amusement, respect and confusion? That is how it feels, sometimes by turns, often all at once, to binge on Trump’s writings. Over the course of 2,212 pages, I encountered a world where bragging is breathing and insulting is talking, where repetition and contradiction come standard, where vengefulness and insecurity erupt at random.

Elsewhere, such qualities might get in the way of the story. With Trump, they are the story. There is little else. He writes about his real estate dealings, his television show, his country, but after a while that all feels like an excuse. The one deal Trump has been pitching his entire career — the one that now culminates in his play for that most coveted piece of property, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. — is himself. …

Streaks of insecurity run through the books. Trump constantly reminds readers that he studied at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, a concession to the credentialism he purports to despise. (“I went to the great Wharton School of Finance and did well” . . . “I learned at the Wharton School of Finance that the economy runs in cycles” . . . “I have had friends, many friends, who went to the Wharton School with me who were very smart.”) Everything he owns is the best, biggest, hottest. His apartment: “There may be no other apartment in the world like it.” His yacht: “probably the most beautiful yacht ever built.” His living room: “While I can’t honestly say I need an eighty-foot living room, I get a kick out of having one.” And his third wife, Melania: “considered by many, including me, to be one of the most beautiful women in the world.”

Read the whole thing.

31 Jan 2016

He Promises!

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30 Jan 2016

When the King Enjoys His Own Again


A popular Royalist ballad from the time of the English Civil War, written by Martin Parker in 1643.

30 Jan 2016

King Charles the Martyr

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King Charles I’s scaffold speech:

“For the people. And truly I desire their Liberty and Freedom as much as any Body whomsoever. But I must tell you, That their Liberty and Freedom, consists in having of Government; those Laws, by which their Life and their goods may be most their own. It is not for having share in government, Sir, that is nothing pertaining to them. A subject and a soveraign are clean different things, and therefore until they do that, I mean, that you do put the people in that liberty as I say, certainly they will never enjoy themselves.

Sirs, It was for this that now I Am come here. If I would have given way to an Arbitrary way, for to have all Laws changed according to the power of the Sword, I needed not to have come here; and therefore, I tell you, (and I pray God it be not laid to your charge) That I Am the Martyr of the People.”

30 Jan 2016

The Toughest, Smartest Candidate in Action

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30 Jan 2016

The Harriet Dean Sword

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This 600-year-old Italian broadsword (Oakeshott Type XVIIIC) came out of the armory at Alexandria, having been made as a diplomatic gift from the king of Cyprus to the Mamluke Sultan of Egypt in 1419. It became part of the collection of the renowned arms historian Bashford Dean (1867-1928) and was left by him to his sister Harriet Martine Dean. Harriet died in 1943 and the sword was sold into an unknown private collection from which it recently emerged.

Nerdlist article

The sword sold last December 17 for 386,500 pounds (529,923 Euros — roughly $550,310).

Christie’s Howard Dixon discusses the sword’s consignment and identification.

30 Jan 2016

Daesh Hunter

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The Daily Mail reports that someone is shooting ISIS leaders in Sirte, Libya.

ISIS chiefs are living in fear of a mystery sniper after it was rumoured three of the evil terror group’s leaders had been assassinated within 10 days of each other by a long-range marksman.

The leaders are said to have been picked off one-by-one in Sirte, the Libyan coastal city where Muammar Gaddaffi was born, which the militants took control of last year.

According to unconfirmed social media reports, ISIS fighters are now sweeping the city for the man ordinary Libyans are said to be dubbing ‘Daesh hunter’.

The first ISIS leader to lose his life was Hamad Abdel Hady, a Sudanese national who was killed on January 13, according to Libya Prospect.

He is said to have been an official in the sharia court, handing out ISIS’ warped and violent sense of justice.

Abu Mohammed Dernawi was killed on January 19 near his home in the city, according to some reports.

The most recent death is rumoured to be that of Abdullah Hamad al Ansari, a high-up commander from southern Libya, who was shot dead as he left the mosque on January 23.

However, this may not be the start of such a campaign against ISIS fighters in the city.

Journalist Daniele Raineri pointed out a similar assassination took place in July, when an ISIS preacher was shot dead.

Read the whole thing.

From the film version of Rogue Male, Fritz Lang’s “Man Hunt” (1941):

And from now on, somewhere in [Libya] is a man with a precision rifle and the high degree of intelligence and training that is required to use it. It may be days, months or even years, but this time he clearly knows his purpose and, unflinching, faces his destiny.

29 Jan 2016

“Growing Old”

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John Sparrow (1906-1992), Warden of All Souls College, Oxford 1952-1977.

I’m accustomed to my deafness
To my dentures I’m resigned
I can cope with my bifocals
But –o dear!– I miss my mind.

29 Jan 2016

Last Night’s Debate and Continuing Trump Fever

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I still think Trump made a big mistake by chickening out of appearing at last night’s debate, but I suppose I agree with him at least in thinking that Megyn Kelly goes way too far in an adversarial direction at times.

In this episode from last night’s debate, she went after Ted Cruz, armed with a prepared gotcha video, in which she tries to damage Cruz by attacking his record on illegal immigration.

Watching this, I thought that she was much, much too pleased with herself and that she was behaving unfairly as a debate moderator by singling out the front runner present for a specially elaborate attack. The tone of her questioning was too avid. Her appetite for Cruz’s destruction too clear. She was too obviously trying to promote herself professionally by moving beyond the proper level of neutrality to take on, only in one special case, the role of attack dog. I think Cruz handled her perfectly well, and I expect poor little Donald Trump could have managed as well, had he be possessed of sufficient fortitude to show up.

Watch the exchange. The gloating “Yes, it would!” at 0:10 I thought was particularly inappropriate.


The enthusiasm for Brave, Brave Sir Donald has, astonishingly survived in numerous quarters his cutting and running, his skulking away and buggering off, his funking last night’s debate.

This morning, Trump is winning Matt Drudge’s Poll (63.51%) and The Blaze’s Poll (54% – “by not being there”!). Go figure.

Yesterday, enthusiastic Trumpkins were all over the Internet explaining just how brilliant The Donald’s missing-the-debate strategy really was. It wasn’t about Megyn Kelly and her mean questioning back last August about misogynist remarks, no, no, no. Trump was dignifiedly boycotting the debate because he was righteously offended by being mocked in a press release issued by some of Roger Ailes’ subordinates.

FOX NEWS: “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president. A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”

Some conservative commentators and their friends on Facebook yesterday were assuring me that I was clueless because I had failed to do the research necessary in order to learn that Fox News had nefariously arranged to invite “a Muslim and an illegal alien” to participate in the debate questioning, thereby ambushing Trump. I watched (most of) the debate last night and never saw either of them. Their appearance must have been cancelled at the last minute when that political genius Trump craftily avoided the ambush, or maybe not, too.

29 Jan 2016

Conspicuous By His Absence

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28 Jan 2016

Travelling in Style

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Yves Géniès drives a Bugatti Type 41 Royale across Paris.

La Traversée de Paris avec la Bugatti Royale , escorté par l'ami Raymond Loiseaux et son équipe Honda Goldwing , un souvenir inoubliable .. Et unique privilège , je suis le seul a l'avoir conduit dans ces conditions, moment inoubliable !!

Posted by Yves Géniès – Officiel on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

28 Jan 2016

Trump Proves He Isn’t Qualified

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Last night, I happened to catch Bill O’Reilly trying to persuade Donald Trump to change his mind and participate in tonight’s GOP Debate on Fox News.

O’Reilly was his usual annoying self, but I thought Trump was truly intolerable: egomaniacal (“I won all six debates!”), petulant, self-entitled, thin-skinned, vindictive, odiously tyrannical, and childishly spiteful.

I’m rather amazed that there are still lots of American adults out there still inclined to be supporting Trump after such an exhibition of irresponsible behavior.

El Rushbo, for instance, looked on yesterday, and interpreted Trump’s blowing off the Fox Debate as a commendable case of “not playing by the rules” made by the elites, and as a case example of the application of one of his own rules published in his book, The Art of the Deal. That rule being: You have to know when to walk away.

I rarely disagree with Rush, but this is one of those times.

Running for President of the United States is actually different from negotiating a real estate deal. Even if you are a bigshot and a billionaire, in politics, unlike your own private business activities, you cannot expect everything to be specifically arranged for your comfort and advantage. There is a complex process, partly derived from tradition, partly contrived by happenstance, ruled over in the final analysis by nobody in particular, through which American Democracy arrives at its decision and expresses its will. That process is bigger than Donald Trump.

A long time ago, candidates for the presidency were expected to sit in dignity at home, while others sought their nomination, and the country as a whole, in essence, politely invited them to serve. Today, Americans expect presidential candidates to go through a kind of ordeal involving submitting themselves to be tested on their personal history, political record, and grace under pressure by facing hostile questioning by the press and hostile attacks by their opponents. You know this, I know this, and Donald Trump knows this.

For a 69-year-old man, who expects to be taken seriously as a candidate for the presidency, to become petulant and complain that a girl reporter treated him unfairly by pointing to his personal history of saying less than polite things about different women is childishly unrealistic.

For a candidate to carry a grudge over one question for six months, to demand special treatment, to keep threatening a personal boycott of the debate process on the basis of his own self-perceived unique status, and then finally to announce that he will not participate in the final debate occurring directly before delegates actually begin to be chosen is fantastical behavior.

Trump’s refusal to participate is selfish, infantile, petulant, tyrannical, unrealistic, and it certainly should be self-defeating. He may have persuaded himself that he is proving to be oh-so clever, but I think most Republicans are going to agree with me that Donald Trump has definitively discredited himself as a presidential candidate.

Yes, a lot of us agree with Trump that Republican candidates get a kind of hostile treatment from members of the press, including those working for Fox News, that democrats don’t get. Some reform of debate formats and a better selection of journalistic participants is highly desirable. Donald Trump had an opportunity to exercise his alleged leadership skills here. He could have gone to his Republican rivals, and said: “Look, guys, what are we doing holding debates on thoroughly hostile venues like NBC and CNN? Why do Republicans let the likes of partisan lefties like Candy Crowley run the debates? Let’s do all of them on Fox and get Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to do the questioning.” Then, he could have stood back, pointed to an improved process and stronger GOP prospects, and taken the credit. Instead, Trump has delivered a disgraceful exhibition of thin-skinned egomania and rich kid self-entitlement. He obviously has neither the brains nor the character to hold any elected office. If you had a business, despite his megabucks, you would not want a petty tyrant like him as a customer.

28 Jan 2016

Boa vs. Coyote

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A South Florida man and his family came across a shocking sight while taking a break at a rest stop on Alligator Alley.

Will James was driving to Naples on Tuesday with his wife and daughter when they stopped at the rest area at Mile Marker 62 in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

James, an experienced hiker, said he heard snarling and barking just off the trail near the rest area and walked back to find what was making the odd noises.

That’s when they discovered a coyote in distress with a boa constrictor wrapped around its neck and body.

James says the coyote was kicking and biting at the snake before the unwelcome slithery friend finally let go, but not before biting the coyote on its hind leg.

The exhausted coyote was able to walk away with a noticeable limp.

Though I’m not normally on any coyote’s side, I think the photographer ought to have intervened out of mammalian solidarity against that snake.

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