Archive for January, 2016
28 Jan 2016

Getty’s Major New Acquisition

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Frontispiece

BLOUINARTINFO:

[T]he Getty Museum has acquired an illuminated copy of the Book of Deeds of Jacques de Lalaing (c. 1530s). It includes a frontispiece by Simon Bening that (judging from the press images) rivals the best paintings of the Flemish Renaissance. The book’s primary author, Jean Lefèvre de Saint-Remy, is shown in his study. Within this image, about 8 inches high, Bening looks forward to such Netherlandish specialties as portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes. It’s also a menagerie of sorts, with a dog, peacock, dappled horse, and chained pet monkey.

That’s the only Bening, but the Book of Deeds has 17 other miniatures by an artist assigned to the circle of the Master of Charles V. These show the adventures of knight errant Jacques de Lalaing. A famed tournament fighter and favorite of Philip the Good, he became one of the first Europeans to be killed by firearms. … Philip was so distraught at the loss of his knight that he ordered everyone in Poeke Castle hanged—sparing only children, priests, and lepers.

28 Jan 2016

The Dowager Countess of Grantham Is Right

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Downton Abbey’s Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) explains her opposition to the absorption of the private local hospital by the national public system.

27 Jan 2016

“Bernie Sanders, The Bum Who Wants Your Money”

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MarxSanders

Investors Business Daily tells you who the potential democrat party presidential nominee really is.

Despite a prestigious degree, however, Sanders failed to earn a living, even as an adult. It took him 40 years to collect his first steady paycheck — and it was a government check.

“I never had any money my entire life,” Sanders told Vermont public TV in 1985, after settling into his first real job as mayor of Burlington.

Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances — “We will raise taxes;” he confirmed Monday, “yes, we will.”

One of his first jobs was registering people for food stamps, and it was all downhill from there. Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail. “He was a shi**y carpenter,” a friend told Politico Magazine. “His carpentry was not going to support him, and didn’t.”

Then he tried his hand freelancing for leftist rags, writing about “masturbation and rape” and other crudities for $50 a story. He drove around in a rusted-out, Bondo-covered VW bug with no working windshield wipers. Friends said he was “always poor” and his “electricity was turned off a lot.” They described him as a slob who kept a messy apartment — and this is what his friends had to say about him.

The only thing he was good at was talking … non-stop … about socialism and how the rich were ripping everybody off. “The whole quality of life in America is based on greed,” the bitter layabout said. “I believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation.”

So he tried politics, starting his own socialist party. Four times he ran for Vermont public office, and four times he lost — badly. He never attracted more than single-digit support — even in the People’s Republic of Vermont. In his 1971 bid for U.S. Senate, the local press said the 30-year-old “Sanders describes himself as a carpenter who has worked with ‘disturbed children.’ ” In other words, a real winner.

27 Jan 2016

The Future of Europe — German Identity Movement

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A powerful video made by right-wing young Germans.

26 Jan 2016

“The Republic is Dead… Time For the Empire.”

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7DaysinMay

Glenn Reynolds examines the entrails of the sacrifices and finds the omens alarming and disturbing.

According to a recent Associated Press poll, the public lacks confidence in government. And by “lacks confidence,” I mean “really lacks confidence.” Specifically, “More than 6 in 10 respondents expressed only slight confidence — or none at all — that the federal government can make progress on the problems facing the nation in 2016.” …

A much-hyped YouGov poll from last fall found that 29% of Americans could imagine supporting a military coup. That poll probably overstated popular support — it didn’t ask if people favored a coup right now, just whether they could imagine supporting one, including in the instance of the government violating the Constitution — but there was also this, as Newser reported: “Some 71% said military officers put the interests of the country ahead of their own interests, while just 12% thought the same about members of Congress. “

A democracy that gives rise to those sorts of sentiments is a democracy that’s in trouble. And America’s political class, which is used to operating in a world where there’s lots of room to get things wrong, needs to up its game before things get worse.

I must admit: I’m part of that 29%.

26 Jan 2016

Connolly on Addison

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JosephAddison
Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

From Enemies of Promise, 1938 by Cyril Connolly:

Style is manifest in language. The vocabulary of a writer is his curency but it is a paper currency and its value depends on the mind and heart that backs it. The perfect use of language is that in which every word carries the meaning that it is intended to, no less and no more. In the verbal exchange Fleet Street is a kind of Bucket Shop which unloads words on the public for less than they are worth and in consequence the more honest literary bankers, who try to use their words to mean what they say, who are always ‘good for’ the expressions they employ, find their currency constantly depreciating. There was a time when this was not so, a moment in the history of language when words expressed what they meant and when it was impossible to write badly. This time I think was at the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the metaphysical conceits of the one were going out and before the classical tyranny of the other was established. To write badly at that time would involve a perversion of language , to write naturally was a certain way of writing well. Dryden, Rochester, Congreve, Swift, Gay, Defoe, belong to this period and some of its freshness is still found in the Lives of the Poets and in the letters of Gray and Walpole. It is a period which is ended by the work of two great Alterers, Addison and Pope.

Addison was responsible for many of the evils from which English prose has since suffered. He made prose artful, and whimsical, he made it sonorous when sonority was not needed, affected when it did not require affectation; he enjoined the essay on us so that countless small boys are at this moment busy setting down their views on Travel, the Great Man, Courage, Gardening, Capital Punishment to wind up with a quotation from Bacon. For though essay-writing was an occasional activity of Bacon, Walton and Evelyn, Addison turned it into an industry. He was the first to write for the entertainment of the middle classes, the new great power in the reign of Anne. He wrote as a gentleman (Sir Roger is the perfect gentleman), he emphasized his gentle irony, his gentle melancholy, his gentle inanity. He was the apologist for the New Bourgeoisie who writes playfully and apologetically about nothing, casting a smoke screen over its activities to make it seem harmless, genial and sensitive in its non-acquisitive moments; he anticipated Lamb and Emerson, Stevenson, Punch and the professional humorists, the delicious middlers, the fourth leaders, and the memoirs of cabinet ministers, the orations of business magnates, and of chiefs of police. He was the first Man of Letters. Addison had the misuse of an extensive vocabulary and so was able to invalidate a great number of words and expressions; the quality of his mind was inferior to the language which he used to express it.

26 Jan 2016

Unfair!

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SoWhite

25 Jan 2016

Won’t Lose Any Votes

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Trump2Corinthians

25 Jan 2016

New Video Game

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BloomCounty1

25 Jan 2016

“Big Boy” the Funnel Web Spider Captured

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BigBoy
“Big Boy,” a Funnel Web Spider with a 10 cm. (4 inch leg span)

Sydney, Australia is basically the centter of the natural range of the deadliest spider in the world, the Funnel Web Spider, Atrax robustus. Funnel Web Spiders additionally are aggressive, equipped with large fangs, and inclined to stand their ground when confronted. Death from Funnel Web bites was extraordinarily painful and was preceded by horrific symptoms. Death was certain before the creation of an anti-venom a generation ago.

Australia has so many deadly creatures that they have a poisonous varmint service which will come to your home and scoop up the lastest nasty, then carry him away to be used for anti-venom production.

A nice large Funnel Web, described as having “fangs dripping with venom, was recently encountered, totted off to the Reptile Park for milking, and christened “Big Boy.”

Daily Mail

25 Jan 2016

Restoring a Pistol Automaton

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ParmigianiFleurier

Parmigiani Fleurier, watchmakers, undertake the restoration (restauration, as they put it) of a pistol automaton probably built circa 1815 by the Frères Rochat.

24 Jan 2016

Trump at His Trumpiest

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Trump2016

Matt Labash has compiled a list of Donald Trump’s most Trumpish moments.

If you’re the sort of person who’s been conditioned to accept reality-show excess as entertainment, which is to say the sort of person who lives in America, then what’s not to love? There’s the supermodel wife and the gold-covered “Trump”-embossed Boeing 757. There’s the garishly decorated three-story Trump Tower penthouse that had a New Statesman writer, after a tour, calling Trump “a man whose front room proved that it really was possible to spend a million dollars in Woolworth’s.” There’s that hair that looks like a mac-‘n’-cheese-colored nutria that was hit by an oil truck. There’s the permanent pucker, which at rest makes Trump look like a puzzled duck working out long-division problems in its head.

And who doesn’t admire his fiscal conservatism? (“The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes.”) His impeccable manners? (To Larry King: “Do you mind if I sit back a little? Because your breath is very bad.”) His commitment to diversity? (“I have a great relationship with the blacks.”) Who couldn’t appreciate the executive know-how and tested mettle that come from telling La Toya Jackson “you’re fired” on Celebrity Apprentice?

And as if all that doesn’t qualify Trump to Make America Great Again®, he’s a man who knows his own mind, except when he changes it. (Trump has switched his party registration five times since 1987, once every 5.8 years.) He’s a man who tells it like it is, except when he’s lying. (“Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest and you all know it!”) He’s a man of rich contradictions. (“I’m actually very modest,” he once bragged.)

But to lovingly catalog all of Trump’s gaffes is a pointless exercise. Even calling them “gaffes” is a bit of a misnomer. Gaffes are what stop normal politicians. But a gaffe can’t actually be considered a gaffe if, say, you give a speech in the belly of the evangelical beast, Liberty University, and show your total ignorance of the Bible (an amazing holy book, right up there with The Art of the Deal) by calling Second Corinthians “Two Corinthians,” and yet you still sop up 42 percent of evangelical voters, as Trump did in a recent New York Times/CBS poll. Second-place Ted Cruz (or should I say “two place”) only managed 25 percent. Expecting a gaffe to stop Trump, at this late date, is like expecting a traffic cone to stop a runaway train. …

But with a sizable chunk of the electorate now poised to take the great leap forward with Trump, it may be worth hitting the pause button for some quiet reflection. Who is this man and what do we really know of him?

After combing my vast Trump archive, as well as contacting Trump sources, I present herewith nine of Trump’s Trumpiest moments — a Trump Moments collage, if you will — that distill the very essence of the man.

Read the whole thing.

24 Jan 2016

Trump ‘s Populism

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TrumpPopulism

Rod Dreher notes that National Review may be substantively correct about Trump, but elite conservative writers, a lot like the liberals, are also thoroughly disconnected from the concerns and views of normal working class voters out there in the hinterlands. Trump, in openly and passionately taking on the Establishment, has tapped into a powerful reservoir of political support, and is rejecting the whole elite Establishment intelligentsia, on the Right as well as on the Left.

When I worked at National Review in 2002, I took pride at being part of the team of conservative standard-bearers, and believed that we were articulating what American conservatives felt. This continued after I left NR, but kept up my work as a conservative opinion journalist.

But a funny thing kept happening. When I would go back to south Louisiana to visit my family, I often got into (friendly) arguments with people about conservative principles and policies. I noticed that we were at loggerheads over many things. It frustrated me to no end that reason was useless; “ideologically unmoored cultural passions” weren’t just something, they were the only thing. This was a tribal conservatism, one that had very little to do with ideas, and everything to do with nationalism and a sense of us-versus-them. To be a conservative is to agree with Us; to disagree with us means you must be a liberal.

I remember getting into it with my dad once after I moved home. I was driving him to the VA clinic for a check-up. This was during the Obamacare debate, and he started complaining about welfare spongers who expected the government to pay for their medical care. I pointed out that he was an avid user of Medicare and of veterans’ medical benefits, and that if not for those government programs, he would have died a long time ago.

“That’s different,” he said.

“How?” I asked.

He just got mad, and changed the subject.

This kind of thing happened more than a few times. Moving back to Louisiana to live really did reveal to me the gap between the conservative punditocracy and those for whom they — for whom we — presume to speak. Ideas and reason matter far less to most people than they do to people like us (this is true of the left as well), not because most people are stupid, but because their mode of experiencing life is not nearly as abstract as ours. …

[C]onservative theoreticians (like me) get so caught up in our ideas that we fail to see some important things, even as many of us tell ourselves, as we have for a generation now, that we are the spokesmen for “real” America.

It’s a narrative that is irresistible to intellectuals. The Left, of course, always loves to think of itself on the side of the People, never mind what actual people think. Trouble is, the Right is the same way.

I’d say that we’d better beat Trump in the primaries, because Populist Nationalism is never going to lead to conservative results or good government. What Trump in power and unbridled would turn into is another Juan Peron, another Huey Long, cozying up to the masses with Nativism, Protectionism, and an inevitable package of socialist goodies, with a large helping of crony capitalism and corruption on the side.

23 Jan 2016

“Ihr Deutschland Kaputt Gemacht!”

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This video made by a 16-year-old Bibi Wilhaim tells German elites that they have destroyed Germany with their policy of admitting Third World primitives. She calls on the men of Germany to protect their women and children from Muslim attacks. Facebook is apparently censoring her video as “hate speech.”

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