23 Apr 2024

Queen Elizabeth II Memorial

This is the first memorial statue to the late Queen. It was unveiled the day before yesterday at Oakham, Rutland on what would have been her 98th birthday.

20 Apr 2024

Is There Anything This Administration Cannot F-Up?

, , ,

Way back, almost a year ago, Federal News announced that military funerals carrying the casket on the traditional horse-drawn artillery caisson were being suspended temporarily, for just a month and a half, 45 days.


The cause was absolutely appalling.

The Army will make changes to the long care of its Old Guard horses, including expanding their pastures, allowing them rest and rehabilitation, and purchasing new horses. It also plans to improve the equipment and possibly use lighter caissons to ease the load for the horses. An Army report last year found poor management practices and unsatisfactory sanitation in caring for the caisson horses.

Horses were being overworked, underfed, neglected, used with ill-fitting tack, and actually dying.

That 45-day suspension continued right up to the present day, just about a year later, and the Army has announced that it expects it will be roughly one more year before replacement horses can be purchased and proper equipment and care put into place.

“more than half of the 48-member herd had muscle, joint or hoof issues.”

The original suspension followed a string of military working horse deaths, reports of unsanitary and potentially life-threatening living conditions, as well as congressional scrutiny directed at the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, also known as “The Old Guard” — the service’s premier ceremonial unit, which is in charge of conducting the horse-drawn services. …

Officials could not give an estimate of when that suspension would lift, though Bredenkamp said that the decision to resume operations would be “conditions-based” and did not expect the extension to last multiple years. Those conditions include factors like how many new horses the unit can procure to replace those who have retired, aged out or were adopted.

It also centers around fine-tuning training and rest cycles, which officials said were overburdened before experts and lawmakers leveled scrutiny at the unit. Before April 2023, the caisson horses were doing 6-8 funerals per day, every two hours, according to officials.

“What we’ve learned is that the more appropriate work-rest cycle is no more than five hours under saddle and tack in a day,” Bredenkamp said. “So, that reduces the amount of funerals we can support with those squads.”

In 2022, CNN reported that two horses died within just days of each other and that the herd was living in small, unsanitary conditions, consuming low-quality feed and suffering from parasites. Within nine months of those deaths, two other horses died, totalling four in less than a year.

Following those deaths, the unit started rotating horses to a larger plot of land in Virginia in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management. One of the challenges that officials and soldiers who care for the horses have grappled with is the lack of organic space at Fort Myer and Fort Belvoir, where the horses live and train. In 2022, the Army said the then-60-member herd was living in less than 20% of the space equine experts recommend.

“It just became very cost-prohibitive to be able to expand the relatively small facility we had at Fort Belvoir to accommodate a larger herd,” Bredenkamp said. “And we’re not going to get any more in Fort Myer.”

Over the last year, the number of horses began to dwindle as some were adopted out of the unit, which meant those remaining had more space as the unit looked for alternatives to the tiny six-acre pasture complex at Belvoir. Two years ago, the herd numbered around 60, which crowded the limited space they occupied at the two bases. Now, the herd totals at 42, which includes 18 new horses since June 2023.

The people in charge of those horses were members of he U.S. Army’s ultra-elite “Old Guard” Third U.S. Infantry Regiment which is used to guard the President of the United States and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and for other important ceremonial functions.

Some elite!

19 Apr 2024

Trump Trial

, ,

17 Apr 2024

It May or May not Be “Art,” But It Is Interesting


Via C.W. Swanson: Hadi Rahnaward: ‘Fragile Balance’ (2023) rug sculpture created with matches. And dangerous, if those are real matches. The temptation for me would be enormous. I don’t know if I could resist.

I’m with him. When the exhibition closes, they absolutely need to light it.

16 Apr 2024

Involuntary Cultural Change

, , , ,

Ludwig von Langenmantel, Girolamo Savonarola Preaching Against Prodigality, 1879. St Bonaventure University.

Robin Hanson observes the magnitude of cultural change during the lifetimes of older people like myself and wonders aloud if the converso elites made sound decisions.

[W]hile as communities we are reluctant to change key institutions, and as individuals we are wary of letting other individuals change our values, as communities we perhaps surprisingly do not at all lock down our deep values. We instead freely, even with abandon, copy behaviors, beliefs, and values of all sorts from our prestigious associates. This allows cultural evolution, The Secret of Our Success relative to other animals.

For example, in my life I have seen a big increase in expected parental attention to kids, a switch from cornerstone to capstone marriage norms, lengthening of expected career preparation durations, great declines in religion, patriotism and militarism, far more acceptance of homo- and trans-sexuality, far stronger norms against sexist or racist language, and a merging of national cultures into a global culture, especially among elites.

These changes are quite shocking if you think about them. A system we rely on far more than our systems of units, voting, or times is changing very fast, and no one seems to be in charge, either of picking these changes ahead of time, or of evaluating them after the fact. In my essay Beware Cultural Drift I consider some stories trying to frame these as something better than maladaptive culture drift, but was not persuaded. The space of possible cultures should mostly be harsh and dysfunctional, where we started was functional due to strong selection centuries ago, yet our cultures really are wandering fast off into that vast space without a plan, map, or light.

Such changes are even more shocking to those of us old enough to remember when our culture told us to have different values than it tells us now. Neither set of values came with detailed justifications, and the arguments we are given now for recent value changes are ones we were aware of long ago, and rejected then. So do we just pretend to go along while secretly keeping our old values, abandon both the old and new values, or give the new values the benefit of the doubt, and assume our elites had good reasons for them, even if we can’t see them?

No real cause for wonder, I’d say. What we have here is one more of the periodic outbreaks of religious mass hysteria resembling the Byzantine Iconoclasm, Savonarola’s Bonfire of the Vanities, and the Puritan version of the English Reformation’s demolition of ecclesiastical art and ban on music and the celebration of Christmas.

Our misfortune, though, consists of the irresistible rise of not one, but two demented species of radical faith-based fanaticism.

On the one hand, we have a hypertrophied Egalitarianism that declines stopping at an obdurate, utterly inflexible denial of reality that insists on regarding that which is not equal as equal and then proceeds hysterically to the inversion of values by which the inferior is transformed into the privileged class owed a limitless debt of apology, homage, and reparation.

And, on the other hand, we have a spectacular recrudescence of the dualist Manichean heresy with Nature and the Environment envisioned as the Good and Humanity, especially all forms of human economic and productive activity as Evil. Nature is envisioned as perfect and self-regulating and unchanging. At this exact moment, every species is essential (Sorry, Darwin!) and any observable change, whether the increase or diminution of some critter’s range or population size is a disaster!, a tragedy! Any extreme or unusual weather; any long-term change in shorelines; ocean currents, or climate is all your fault and mine. Every human activity is violative somehow of that sublime natural order. Really, the best thing we could do is to go extinct ourselves.

Our elites subscribe overwhelmingly simultaneously to both of these crackpot ersatz religious cults and they are ruthlessly intolerant.

Practically, What have you to recommend? I answer at once, Nothing. The whole current of thought and feeling, the whole stream of human affairs, is setting with irresistible force in that direction. The old ways of living… are breaking down all over Europe, and are floating this way and that like haycocks in a flood. Nor do I see why any wise man should expend much thought or trouble on trying to save their wrecks. The waters are out and no human force can turn them back, but I do not see why as we go with the stream we need sing Hallelujah to the river god.”

— James FitzJames Stephen (1829-1894), Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, 1874.

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.


  • 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