12 Apr 2024

The Smart Money is Betting on Trump

, ,


Donald Trump, $291,719

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., $36,790

Joe Biden, $35,877


Donald Trump, $1,134,035

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., $75,949

Joe Biden, $68,871

10 Apr 2024

Clarence “Frogman” Henry Dead at Age 87

, ,


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Clarence “Frogman” Henry, who was one of New Orleans’ best known old-time R&B singers and scored a hit at age 19 with “Ain’t Got No Home,” has died. He was 87.

Henry died Sunday night, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation said on social media. It didn’t give the cause of death.

Henry, who had been scheduled to perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival later this month, imitated the voice of a frog in “Ain’t Got No Home.” It was a hit in 1956 and later brought Henry renewed fame when it was featured on the “Forrest Gump” and “Mickey Blue Eyes” soundtracks.

Now, there is a blast from the past. I was in second grade when this was playing in the local Malt Shops.


09 Apr 2024

Taylor Swift’s Supporting Biden


07 Apr 2024

Maurizio Pollini (5 January 1942 – 23 March 2024)

, ,

The 18-year-old Pollini at the the 1960 Chopin Piano Competition. Arthur Rubinstein served as head of the jury who gave Pollini the award that year, and offered his candid assessment: “That boy can play the piano better than any of us.”

I just learned from Ted Gioia that we recently lost Maurizio Pollini, one of the very greatest pianists of our time.

Pollini was the pupil of the great and extraordinarily eccentric Michelangeli and was renowned for the combination of precision with emotional restraint.


Maurizio Pollini – Beethoven: Sonata No. 30, I. Vivace Ma Non Troppo – 28 March 2022.


Pollini, aged 14 or 15 circa 1956, plays the Chopin Études op.10 in Milan.

06 Apr 2024

The Differing Impact of British Versus US Education

, ,

In the Spectator, Yascha Mounk notes some major differences in educational standards and contemplates how much these must produce national differences in both journalism and political leadership.

When I first started teaching undergraduates at Harvard, the grading system the university employed struck me as very odd. Even ambitious students at top colleges in the United States see it as their job to answer any essay question in the most thorough and reasonable way. They regurgitate the dominant view in scholarly literature in a competent manner. If they pull this off without making major errors, they fully expect to get an A. And with grade inflation rampant in the Ivy League, they usually do.

This attitude has had a significant influence on American public life. If you read an opinion piece in the New York Times or the Washington Post, its basic thesis is often utterly unsurprising. But writers will usually argue in support of their uninspired conclusion in a painstakingly logical manner, building their case by placing one square block atop the other. In American journalism, to be right — or, at any rate, to argue for the position that the right people consider to be reasonable at the time — is much more important than to be brilliant or entertaining.
This stands in stark contrast to the grading scheme — and the implicit value system — I learned as an undergraduate at Cambridge. There, my teachers explained to me that the earnest and methodical essays I initially submitted as an overseas student fresh off the boat (or, rather, fresh off the Ryanair flight) from Germany would, at best, qualify for a high 2:1. To contend for a first, I needed to learn to be ‘brilliant’. … Read the rest of this entry »

05 Apr 2024

Ezra Pound “Lament of the Frontier Guard”

, , , ,

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915) standing in the midst of fellow soldiers 1915.

I wanted to quote the Ezra Pound poem, and then I found a particularly splendid framing for the poem by Wen Stephenson in the January 2005 issue of the Atlantic, so fine that I feel obliged to include it, as well.

“E has sent me the Chinese poems,” wrote a young French-born sculptor named Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, who was serving as an officer on the Western Front, to his London patron Olivia Shakespear on April 11, 1915. “I keep the book in my pocket, indeed I use them to put courage in my fellows. I speak now of the ‘Bowmen’ and the ‘North Gate,’ which are so appropriate to our case.”

[S]omething triggered a memory of Gaudier-Brzeska at the front and the little book he kept in his pocket.

That book, Cathay, published in London in April 1915, was a curious pamphlet containing eleven “Chinese” poems by Ezra Pound. It came in a drab tan wrapper—a reference, perhaps, to the uniforms then being worn, and shredded, in Belgium and France.

At the front of the volume appeared this puzzling inscription:

    For the most part from the Chinese of Rihaku, from the notes of the late Ernest Fenollosa, and the decipherings of the professors Mori and Ariga.

Some explanation, some deciphering, is required. Rihaku is the Japanese form of Li Po, the great T’ang Dynasty poet who lived from 701 to 762. Ernest Fenollosa (1853-1908) was an American scholar of Far Eastern literature whose voluminous notes on classical Chinese poetry—compiled in Tokyo in 1896-99 and containing the Chinese characters accompanied by rough English translations of the poems—had been entrusted to Pound by Fenollosa’s widow in 1912. The professors Mori and Ariga were the Japanese scholars who served as Fenollosa’s translators and interpreters of the Chinese texts. Fenollosa, you see, couldn’t read Chinese. Neither could Pound.

There is much more to be said, about the text of Cathay itself and about Pound’s theory of “Imagisme” and his understanding, erroneous as it may have been, of the Chinese written character or “ideogram.” (For further decipherings, Richard Sieburth’s notes on Cathay in the Library of America’s recently published Ezra Pound: Poems and Translations are highly recommended, as is the chapter entitled “The Invention of China” in Hugh Kenner’s 1971 study The Pound Era.) T. S. Eliot famously called Pound “the inventor of Chinese poetry for our time.” But what Pound invented here had little to do with Chinese and everything to do with his time, our time—maybe all times.

So it was that somewhere in the trenches near the Marne in the early spring of 1915, the twenty-three-year-old Henri Gaudier -Brzeska read to his troops the following poem from Cathay, the one referred to in his letter as the “North Gate.” It’s a text, it has to be said, that is not so much translated—Pound’s Chinese “translations” are notoriously inaccurate, though accuracy as such was hardly the point—as derived, paraphrased, transmuted from the eighth-century source (by way of professors Fenollosa, Mori, and Ariga) into a new and startlingly powerful, startlingly alive, English poem.

To Gaudier-Brzeska in the trenches—despite the layers of history, geography, and language, of cultural and aesthetic mediation, separating him from the original Chinese—the poem, by some uncanny process, rang as true, as immediate, as any news bulletin. If literature is “news that stays news,” as Pound would later write, then here is a war poem appropriate to the ages.

    Lament of the Frontier Guard

    By the North Gate, the wind blows full of sand,
    Lonely from the beginning of time until now!
    Trees fall, the grass goes yellow with autumn.
    I climb the towers and towers
    to watch out the barbarous land:
    Desolate castle, the sky, the wide desert.
    There is no wall left to this village.
    Bones white with a thousand frosts,
    High heaps, covered with trees and grass;
    Who brought this to pass?
    Who has brought the flaming imperial anger?
    Who has brought the army with drums and with kettle-drums?
    Barbarous kings.
    A gracious spring, turned to blood-ravenous autumn,
    A turmoil of wars-men, spread over the middle kingdom,
    Three hundred and sixty thousand,
    And sorrow, sorrow like rain.
    Sorrow to go, and sorrow, sorrow returning,
    Desolate, desolate fields,
    And no children of warfare upon them,
    No longer the men for offence and defence.
    Ah, how shall you know the dreary sorrow at the North Gate,
    With Rihoku’s* name forgotten,
    And we guardsmen fed to the tigers.
    By Rihaku

[*Rihoku, not to be confused with Rihaku [Li Po], is the Japanese for Li Mu, a Chinese general who defended China against the Tartars and died in 223 B.C.E. (Richard Sieburth, Ezra Pound: Poems and Translations, Library of America, 2003).]
In his last letter to Mrs. Shakespear, on May 29, Gaudier-Brzeska wrote: “Today is magnificent, a fresh wind, clear sun and larks singing cheerfully. The shells do not disturb the songsters…. They solemnly proclaim man’s foolery and sacrilege of nature. I respect their disdain….”

He would be killed on June 5, 1915, in a charge at Neuville St. Vaast.


Li Po aka Li Bai Wikipedia entry.

04 Apr 2024

A Boeing Insider Speaks

, ,

Christopher Rufo, at City Journal, interviews an anonymous Boeing executive, who explains what went wrong at one of America’s greatest companies.

So, right now, we have an executive council running the company that is all outsiders. The current CEO is a General Electric guy, as is the CFO whom he brought in. And we have a completely new HR leader, with no background at Boeing. The head of our commercial-airplanes unit in Seattle, who was fired last week, was one of the last engineers in the executive council.

The headquarters in Arlington is empty. Nobody lives there. It is an empty executive suite. The CEO lives in New Hampshire. The CFO lives in Connecticut. The head of HR lives in Orlando. We just instituted a policy that everyone has to come into work five days a week—except the executive council, which can use the private jets to travel to meetings. And that is the story: it is a company that is under caretakers. It is not under owners. And it is not under people who love airplanes. …

tatus games rule every boardroom in the country. The DEI narrative is a very real thing, and, at Boeing, DEI got tied to the status game. It is the thing you embrace if you want to get ahead. It became a means to power.

DEI is the drop you put in the bucket, and the whole bucket changes. It is anti-excellence, because it is ill-defined, but it became part of the culture and was tied to compensation. Every HR email is: “Inclusion makes us better.” This kind of politicization of HR is a real problem in all companies.

If you look at the bumper stickers at the factories in Renton or Everett, it’s a lot of conservative people who like building things—and conservative people do not like politics at work. …

Boeing is just a symptom of a much bigger problem: the failure of our elites. The purpose of the company is now “broad stakeholder value,” including DEI and ESG. This was then embraced as a means to power, which further separated the workforce from the company. And it is ripping our society apart.

Boeing is the most visible example because every problem—like, say, a bolt that falls off—gets amplified. But this is happening everywhere around us, and it is going to have a huge effect. DEI and ESG became a way to stop talking honestly to employees.

We need to tear off the veil of all this coded language that is being used everywhere, and our elites need to recover some sense of service to people. They think they have it already because they are reciting these shibboleths of moral virtue: “I am serving because I am repeating what everyone else is saying about DEI.” It’s a form of cheap self-love that is being embraced by leaders. If you pay the tax to the DEI gods or the ESG gods and use coded language with your workforce, it absolves you of the hard work of really leading.

No. Service means you are spending the extra time to understand what’s really happening in the factory and in your supply chain. There should be some honor in understanding that we inherited something beautiful and good and worth loving.


04 Apr 2024

Diversity Always Increases Our Strength!

, ,

03 Apr 2024

A 1900-Year-Old Gold Ring Contains a Holographic Image

, ,

It is the gold ring of Titus Carvilius Gemello.

The jewel was found on the finger of a Roman matron, the noblewoman Aebutia Quarta, in a Flavian-Trajanic tomb, now known as the ‘Hypogeum of the Garland’.

The tomb was discovered only in 2000 in the necropolis of Grottaferrata, near Rome.

According to Prometeo Magazine, the underground chapel contained two marble sarcophagi of excellent workmanship, decorated in relief and inscribed with the names of the two deceased: Carvilio Gemello and Aebutia Quarta.

When they opened the sarcophagi, the archaeologists were in for a huge surprise – the bodies were still intact.

The embalming they had been subjected to had allowed them to be in such an extraordinary state of preservation that Carvilio’s remains became known as the ‘Mummy of Rome’.

Carvilio’s body was wrapped in a shroud and completely covered with flowers.

Large, well-maintained garlands covered the upper half of the body, one of which was placed around the head. One of his femures was found fractured in two places.

In addition, a high percentage of arsenic was found in the hair, which means both septicemias caused by an injury or a fall from a horse and poisoning were hypothesized as the circumstances of his death.

Carvilio had died quite young, at the age of only 18. His mother, Aebutia, followed him a few years later, at the age of 40-45.

Aebutia’s body was barely perceptible, as it was covered with a plant mantle made up of hundreds of tiny garlands.

A well-preserved wig was placed on her head, wrapped in a net woven with fine gold double thread, and finished with a braid.

On the woman’s finger was a gold ring, with a bezel of rock crystal worked in cabochon, through the convex upper surface of which was seen the bust of a male figure finely executed on a sheet of micro-relief.

This creates a holographic image that fascinates the viewer, especially given the age of the jewel. The luminous effect of the crystal lens lends a mysterious depth to the image of the deceased.

Following the loss of her beloved son, Aebutia commissioned the precious gold ring to keep his memory alive.

The ring is currently on display at the Museo Archeologica Nazionale di Palestrina.

03 Apr 2024

The Jack Russell

, ,

Country Life pays tribute to one of everyone’s favorite breeds of dog: the high-spirited (frequently much too high-spirited) Jack russell.

As legend has it, Oxford undergraduate John Russell was strolling dreamily in the meadows of Magdalen College — ‘Horace [poet] in hand, but Beckford [sporting diarist] in head’ — when he came upon an appealing rough-coated terrier bitch called Trump, with a ‘dot, no larger than a penny piece’ on her tail. The Revd E. W. L. Davies, who became Russell’s curate and biographer, wrote that his hunting-mad subject ‘halted as Actaeon might have done when he caught sight of Diana disporting in her bath; but unlike that ill-fated hunter, he never budged… til he had won the prize and secured it for his own’.

Tan-and-white Trump became the foundation bitch for generations of what would become known as the Parson Russell terrier, predominantly white with a few patches of colour, long-legged enough to keep up with hounds, but compact enough to fit down a fox’s earth. And the original retained her fame: Edward Vll commissioned a painting of Trump, which hangs at Sandringham in Norfolk.


27 Mar 2024

Zbigniew Herbert — “The Message of Mr. Cogito”

, ,

The death of Roland at the Battle of Roncevaux (manuscript illustration c. 1455–1460. Bataille de Roncevaux en 778. Mort de Roland Grandes Chroniques de France, enluminées par Jean Fouquet, Tours, vers 1455-1460 Paris, BnF, département des Manuscrits, Français 6465, fol. 113 (Cinquième Livre de Charlemagne).

Przesłanie Pana Cogito

Idź dokąd poszli tamci do ciemnego kresu
po złote runo nicości twoją ostatnią nagrodę

idź wyprostowany wśród tych co na kolanach
wśród odwróconych plecami i obalonych w proch

ocalałeś nie po to aby żyć
masz mało czasu trzeba dać świadectwo

bądź odważny gdy rozum zawodzi bądź odważny
w ostatecznym rachunku jedynie to się liczy

a Gniew twój bezsilny niech będzie jak morze
ilekroć usłyszysz głos poniżonych i bitych

niech nie opuszcza ciebie twoja siostra Pogarda
dla szpiclów katów tchórzy – oni wygrają
pójdą na twój pogrzeb i z ulgą rzucą grudę
a kornik napisze twój uładzony życiorys

i nie przebaczaj zaiste nie w twojej mocy
przebaczać w imieniu tych których zdradzono o świcie

strzeż się jednak dumy niepotrzebnej
oglądaj w lustrze swą błazeńską twarz
powtarzaj: zostałem powołany – czyż nie było lepszych

strzeż się oschłości serca kochaj źródło zaranne
ptaka o nieznanym imieniu dąb zimowy
światło na murze splendor nieba
one nie potrzebują twego ciepłego oddechu
są po to aby mówić: nikt cię nie pocieszy

czuwaj – kiedy światło na górach daje znak – wstań i idź
dopóki krew obraca w piersi twoją ciemną gwiazdę

powtarzaj stare zaklęcia ludzkości bajki i legendy
bo tak zdobędziesz dobro którego nie zdobędziesz
powtarzaj wielkie słowa powtarzaj je z uporem
jak ci co szli przez pustynię i ginęli w piasku

a nagrodzą cię za to tym co mają pod ręką
chłostą śmiechu zabójstwem na śmietniku

idź bo tylko tak będziesz przyjęty do grona zimnych czaszek
do grona twoich przodków: Gilgamesza Hektora Rolanda
obrońców królestwa bez kresu i miasta popiołów

Bądź wierny Idź


Zbigniew Herbert – The Message of Mr Cogito (English translation by Czeslaw Milosz)

Go where those others went to the dark boundary
for the golden fleece of nothingness your last prize

go upright among those who are on their knees
among those with their backs turned and those toppled in the dust

you were saved not in order to live
you have little time you must give testimony

be courageous when the mind deceives you be courageous
in the final account only this is important

and let your helpless Anger be like the sea
whenever you hear the voice of the insulted and beaten

let your sister Scorn not leave you
for the informers executioners cowards – they will win
they will go to your funeral with relief will throw a lump of earth
the woodborer will write your smoothed-over biography

and do not forgive truly it is not in your power
to forgive in the name of those betrayed at dawn

beware however of unnecessary pride
keep looking at your clown’s face in the mirror
repeat: I was called – weren’t there better ones than I

beware of dryness of heart love the morning spring
the bird with an unknown name the winter oak
light on a wall the splendour of the sky
they don’t need your warm breath
they are there to say: no one will console you

be vigilant – when the light on the mountains gives the sign- arise and go
as long as blood turns in the breast your dark star

repeat old incantations of humanity fables and legends
because this is how you will attain the good you will not attain
repeat great words repeat them stubbornly
like those crossing the desert who perished in the sand

and they will reward you with what they have at hand
with the whip of laughter with murder on a garbage heap

go because only in this way you will be admitted to the company of cold skulls
to the company of your ancestors: Gilgamesh Hector Roland
the defenders of the kingdom without limit and the city of ashes

Be faithful Go See less

27 Mar 2024

Don’t Forget to be Stupidly Happy Once in a While

, ,

  • Overcoming Bias
  • More or Less Sound Blogs
  • A Mind Aroused
  • Aaron’s cc
  • ABFreedom
  • Ace of Spades HQ
  • Albion’s Seedlings
  • Alphecca
  • American Conservative, The (Buchananite Paleocons)
  • American Nihilist Underground Society
  • Amused Cynic
  • An Antique Dealer’s Blog
  • Andrew Cusack
  • Ankle Biting pundits
  • Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
  • Art of the Blog
  • Assistant Village Idiot
  • Assistant Village Idiot
  • Augean Stables
  • Austin Bay Blog
  • Becker-Posner Blog
  • Begging to Differ
  • Bidinotto Bog, The
  • Big Lizards.net
  • Black and Right
  • BlameBush!
  • Blue Crab Boulevard
  • Brainster
  • Brussels Journal, The
  • Brutally Honest
  • Captain’s Journal, The
  • Carnage And culture
  • Cato at Liberty
  • Cato Unbound
  • Cave of the Curmudgeon
  • Chaos in Motion
  • Chequer-Board of Nights and Days, A
  • Chicago Boyz
  • Claremont Institute
  • Clarity & Resolve
  • Clayton Cramer’s Blog
  • Cobb–Curious,Skeptical,Analytical
  • Cold Fury
  • Colonel Robert Neville Always Dresses For Dinner
  • Conblogeration
  • Confederate Yankee
  • Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid
  • Corner – National Review Online
  • CounterIntelligence Center
  • Coyote Blog
  • Crosspatch Chronicle
  • Cubachi
  • CultureGrrl
  • Daily Pundit
  • Daisy Cutter
  • Dalrock
  • Damnum Absque Injuria
  • Dangerous Times
  • David Bellavia
  • David Frum
  • David Thompson
  • Dean’s World
  • Death By 1000 Papercuts
  • Democracy Reform
  • Dennis the Peasant
  • Diminished Expectations
  • Dinocrat.com
  • Don Surber
  • Doug Ross
  • Dust in the Light
  • Eject! Eject! Eject!
  • Enchiridion Militis
  • Error Theory
  • ex-Liberal in Hollywood
  • Faster, Please (Michael Ledeen)
  • FKIN
  • Flit(tm)
  • Flopping Aces
  • Forward Movement (Jules Crittenden)
  • Fraters Libertas
  • Front Porch Republic
  • Future Uncertain, The
  • Gates of Vienna
  • Gateway Pundit
  • Gays Defending Marriage
  • Greg R. Lawson's Blog
  • Grouchy Old Cripple
  • Hog on Ice
  • Horsefeathers
  • Hugh Hewitt
  • Ideas
  • IMAO
  • In Mala Fide
  • In the Bullpen
  • INDC Journal
  • Interested-Participant
  • Irish Pennants
  • Isegoria
  • Jack Lewis
  • Jawa Report, The
  • JayReding.Com
  • Jeremayakovka
  • Jeremy Lott
  • Jon Swift
  • Just One Minute
  • Ken McCracken
  • Kim du Toit
  • Kobayashi Maru
  • Law of the Bad Premise
  • Left Exposed
  • Likelihood of Success
  • Lileks
  • Lone Pony
  • Make Haste Slowly (Trad)
  • Man Without Qualities
  • Mark Levin
  • Mike Stopa
  • Modern Art Notes
  • Mr. Blonde’s Garage
  • Musings of the Geek with a .45
  • Nation of Riflemen, A
  • New Majority (David Frum) -Neocon Sellout Blog
  • Nickie Goombah
  • No End But Victory
  • No Left Turns
  • Obsidian Order
  • Oh, That Liberal Media!
  • One Cosmos
  • One Hand Clapping
  • Only Republican in San Francisco, The
  • Other Things Amanzi
  • Outside the Beltway
  • Palmetto Pundit
  • Patterico’s Pontifications
  • Pileus
  • Point Five
  • PoliPundit.com
  • Political Horizons
  • Political Teen, The
  • PostLiberal Blog, The
  • ProfessorBainbridge.Com
  • Prospero; the Home of the Generative Thought Experiment
  • Protein Wisdom
  • QandO
  • Radio Blogger
  • Rage Against the Kakistocracy
  • Rantingprofs
  • Reason Online – Hit and Run
  • RedState.org
  • Republican Dan
  • Revolutionary War Veteran’s Association Weblog
  • Revolver Guy
  • Riding Sun
  • Right Reason
  • Right Wings News
  • Rightwing Nuthouse
  • Roger L. Simon
  • Room 12A
  • Samizdata.net
  • SayUncle
  • Scylla & Charybdis
  • Secular Right
  • Shot in the Dark
  • Shrinkwrapped
  • Solid Surfer, The
  • Soxblog
  • stikNstein
  • Stop Obama
  • Stop the ACLU
  • Strange Women Lying in Ponds
  • Sultan Knish
  • Sweetness & Light
  • Taki’s Top Drawer
  • Tech Central Station
  • The Buck Stops Here
  • Three Rounds Brisk
  • TigerHawk
  • Tim Chapman Blog
  • TKS
  • Tom Delay
  • Tongue Tied
  • Transterrestrial Musings
  • Unqualified Offerinds
  • Unqualified Reservations (Mencius Moldbug)
  • Vanishing American
  • VariFrank
  • Victor Davis Hanson
  • View from the Right
  • ViewPointJournal.Com
  • Vince aut Morire
  • Vodka Pundit
  • War and Piece
  • Watcher of Weasels
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Western Confucian
  • What Would Charles Martel Do?
  • Will Wilkinson
  • Winds of Change
  • Wizbang
  • Xavier Thoughts (Pawn Shop Guns!)
  • YARGB – Flares into Darkness
  • Blogs From Australia
  • Dissecting Leftism
  • Tim Blair
  • Blogs from Mauritius
  • An Economist in Paradise
  • Blogs From the Philippines
  • Pinoy Stupid
  • Blogs From Israel
  • Zionist Conspiracy
  • Racial blogs
  • Undercover Blackman
  • Blogs From Russia
  • Mat Rodina
  • Blogs From Japan
  • Gaijin Mama
  • Linguistics
  • Language Log
  • Statistics
  • William M. Briggs
  • Shrink Blogs
  • Dr. Sanity
  • Macho Blogs
  • FKIN
  • Business
  • OilPrice.com
  • Blogs From Germany
  • Observing Hermann
  • Photo Blogs

    Entries (RSS)
    Comments (RSS)
    Feed Shark