One of the great fighting men of American politics has died, Angelo Codevilla. He was born in 1943 in Italy, came to America as a teenager, then became a citizen in spirit, not just in paperwork: He rejoiced & suffered in America’s virtues & vices, greatness & misery; he knew right & wrong, he knew the difference between courage & cowardice, & he acted unhesitatingly on his unusual knowledge of foreign affairs; more, he served America in the military, then as staff in the Senate, finally, as college professor & writer on political matters. He had a private life, but that belongs to his family; his public life concerns everyone who loves America, because it reveals better than almost anything now available to us the powers democracy summons & liberalism educates. More than most men, he lived up to his name. …
Mr. Codevilla chronicled liberalism’s delusions on foreign affairs since the 1970s & his seriousness about political science comes across even more than his expertise in his various tracts & policy papers. Read his investigation of the French Fifth Republic or of the politics of Switzerland in WWII & you will learn from him how to be serious about serious things. His writing on America is much harder to learn from, since he was unpopular & perpetually contemptuous of the silly people that find favor with our cowardly elites, always teaching his audience to show no respect to the intellectually corrupt. If there is beauty in justice, in the requirement of the punishment of the offensive, there was beauty in his anger.
It was the misery worse than tragedy of his life to live long enough to see a necessity to speak about American domestic affairs. Only something as ugly as the potential for civil war could make him speak about the problems of our own affairs. He understood too well that we do not even call America a regime before we are ready to tear it apart. He never ceased blaming elites & never ceased encouraging citizens to share in his great spirit, that they may be free & at the same time respect themselves.
Okefenokee Joe, an 11-and-a-half-foot alligator who is believed to have lived in a Georgia swamp since World War II, has died, officials said.
The alligator passed away from old age, the Georgia’s Coastal Ecology Lab said, and had been part of a satellite tag program. The lab had been observing his movements in the Okefenokee Swamp since June 2020, according to a statement on Facebook.
The celebrated alligator’s exact age was unknown, but he “was a very old alligator as he had scar tissue over both eyes and his scutes were worn almost smooth,” the lab said. “Alligators can live to be approximately 80 years old though so it is possible he was close to that!”
Joe was last tracked via GPS on July 20, and the lab said, “We first thought the tag had simply fallen off as it had been several weeks since we had received any GPS points from him.”
But after several weeks, the satellite tag was found and the lab confirmed his death.
“We are so grateful to have known him, for his contribution to science and the further understanding and preservation of his species,” they said.
Joe weighed in at more than 400 pounds and would have been considered a “dominant male in his day,” the lab shared in a Facebook post last year.
The Stones’s final public appearance with Watts was a filmed segment for the first we’re-all-in-this-together COVID broadcast in April 2020. Charlie played along on a spirited version of ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’, drumsticks in hand, using a trio of musical storage cases and a nearby couch for percussion. It was an effortless, funny and musically deft performance, and absolutely right for the occasion. Only the drummer in the world’s greatest rock band, it seemed, might not wish to keep a set of drums at home. Somehow that summed up the man.
Tyler McCarthy, at Fox News:
The quiet, elegantly dressed Watts was often ranked with Keith Moon, Ginger Baker and a handful of others as a premier rock drummer, respected worldwide for his muscular, swinging style as the band rose from its scruffy beginnings to international superstardom. He joined the Stones early in 1963 and remained over the next 60 years, ranked just behind Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as the group’s longest lasting and most essential member.
Watts stayed on, and largely held himself apart, through the drug abuse, creative clashes and ego wars that helped kill founding member Brian Jones, drove bassist Bill Wyman and Jones’ replacement Mick Taylor to quit, and otherwise made being in the Stones the most exhausting of jobs. …
He had his eccentricities – Watts liked to collect cars even though he didn’t drive and would simply sit in them in his garage. But he was a steadying influence on stage and off as the Stones defied all expectations by rocking well into their 70s, decades longer than their old rivals the Beatles.
Watts didn’t care for flashy solos or attention of any kind, but with Wyman and Richards forged some of rock’s deepest grooves on “Honky Tonk Women,” “Brown Sugar” and other songs. The drummer adapted well to everything from the disco of “Miss You” to the jazzy “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and the dreamy ballad “Moonlight Mile.”
Jagger and Richards at times seemed to agree on little else besides their admiration of Watts, both as a man and a musician. Richards called Watts “the key” and often joked that their affinity was so strong that on stage he’d sometimes try to rattle Watts by suddenly changing the beat – only to have Watts change it right back.
Jagger and Richards could only envy his indifference to stardom and relative contentment in his private life, when he was as happy tending to the horses on his estate in rural Devon, England, as he ever was on stage at a sold-out stadium. …
Charles Robert Watts, son of a lorry driver and a housewife, was born in Neasden, London, on June 2, 1941. From childhood, he was passionate about music – jazz in particular. He fell in love with the drums after hearing Chico Hamilton and taught himself to play by listening to records by Johnny Dodds, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and other jazz giants.
He worked for a London advertising firm after he attended Harrow Art College and played drums in his spare time. London was home to a blues and jazz revival in the early 1960s, with Jagger, Richards and Eric Clapton among the future superstars getting their start. Watts’ career took off after he played with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, for whom Jagger also performed, and was encouraged by Korner to join the Stones.
Watts wasn’t a rock music fan at first and remembered being guided by Richards and Brian Jones as he absorbed blues and rock records, notably the music of bluesman Jimmy Reed. He said the band could trace its roots to a brief period when he had lost his job and shared an apartment with Jagger and Richards because he could live there rent-free.
“Keith Richards taught me rock and roll,” Watts said. “We’d have nothing to do all day and we’d play these records over and over again. I learned to love Muddy Waters. Keith turned me on to how good Elvis Presley was, and I’d always hated Elvis up ’til then.”
Watts was the final man to join the Stones; the band had searched for months to find a permanent drummer and feared Watts was too accomplished for them. Richards would recall the band wanting him so badly to join that members cut down on expenses so they could afford to pay Watts a proper salary. Watts said he believed at first the band would be lucky to last a year.
“Every band I’d ever been in had lasted a week,” he said. “I always thought the Stones would last a week, then a fortnight, and then suddenly, it’s 30 years.”
Ari T. Hart fly reel, 1990, Museum of Modern Art, New York.
I have yet to find a published obituary but it was reported that Ari T. Hart, the renowned Dutch designer of modernist fly reels and fly tying vises, passed away July 16th.
I’ve owned several of his reels and, despite my normally reactionary tastes, admired his work. His reels were strikingly modern and original in form, beautiful, and effective in operation. There is no one like him. He will be missed.
Underneath the paranoia and craziness of his last years, beneath a persona that took on what felt like a bit of a forced Hank Scorpio world supervillain act, was someone who understood the very foundations of personal liberty and freedom. As he said in the 2016 Libertarian party debate, ‘Our minds and our bodies belong to us.’ This was a basic foundational principle of his politics — a constitutional tenet that neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden, nor many members of either major political party seem to grasp today. In the end, as we learned yesterday, he would rather check out altogether than have either have his freedoms curtailed by any government. …
John possessed an extraordinary emotional intelligence behind the leathery exterior. He had the soul of a poet and composer. In interviews about his latest crypto or blockchain scheme, he would veer off-topic and talk about, say, the genius of John Lennon. That was ultimately the most fascinating thing about him. It made him truly accessible in the social media age. He regularly conversed with his social media followers and responded to unsolicited podcast appearance requests, genuinely because it seemed he loved putting on a show. He had real charisma. John McAfee also built up an entire myth of himself. What was real? What wasn’t? This made him even more absurdly well-suited to the social media age. He understood the media enough to manipulate it. He once mused on Twitter that ‘A world in which dogs write poetry is more believable than the world as seen through the eyes of the media.’ That’s a great line. As old world media collides and colludes with new tech oligarchs, it has become more and more true.
McAfee understood the new tech empires because he helped build them. He would have been an invaluable ally, a lunatic suicide bomber and recruiter, in the coming information-and-techology wars, where the truth is now suppressed by YouTube, Google and Facebook as they preach about ‘false news’. This is a big deal — and McAfee understood that.
I didn’t come of age with Hunter S. Thompson, though of course like almost every other high-school kid or college student I read him. But this Thompson line immediately jumps to mind when I think of McAfee: ‘One of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.’ God doesn’t make many of these guys. When he does, he never takes them back. John McAfee is beyond the great blue yonder now, aboard his eternal freedom boat to sea, a drink in hand, still searching for that great white whale to fuck.
Melania Trump presented Rush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Back in 2004, when Ronald Reagan died, his casket was carried in the hearse up the winding Simi Valley roads to his presidential library where the burial site was waiting. For 25 miles the narrow roads were lined with crowds of people standing in tribute to the former president. I recall one woman was holding up a large sign which bore the simple message: “Well Done.”
Rush Limbaugh was undoubtedly the greatest spokesman of Conservatism after Reagan, and I think the same sign would be equally applicable to Rush.
Ossa molliter cubent. “May the earth lay lightly on his bones.”
Mark Steyn put it rightly, paraphrasing Rush’s favorite line: “Talent returned to God.”
Brigadier General Charles Elwood Yaeger, WWII Ace and the pioneering test pilot who became the first man to break the sound barrier passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 97.
Yeager was chosen for the most dangerous and innovative test assignments because he was considered the best instinctive pilot the Air Force authorities had ever seen and because he had demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to remain calm and focused in stressful situations.
On December 10, 1963, then Colonel Chuck Yeager flying a modified Lockheed F-104 Starfighter equipped with a liquid fuel rocket engine narrowly escaped death when his aircraft went out of control at 108,700 feet.
For once the Times outdoes the Telegraph in its obituary of a colorful British figure.
If you have to die, it’s nice to have so as to be memorialized like Peregrine Worsthorne.
It was said of Sir Peregrine Worsthorne that he wrote as he dressed, with style and flamboyance. His bow ties, spongebag trousers and Leander socks were combined with wavy, collar-length silver hair, giving him the appearance of an aesthete on his way to the Athenaeum Club. To complement his exhibitionist tendencies he had an amused, fluting voice and, unusually for a High Tory Fleet Street editor, he was considered something of a flaneur and a bohemian. He was also a man whose engaging recklessness was, on occasion, his undoing.
As a commentator he could be salty, moralistic, reactionary, contrary and even, on occasion, self-contradictory, but he was rarely, if ever, boring or predictable. On Desert Island Discs in 1992 he chose as his luxury item a lifetime supply of LSD. His columns, meanwhile, were less formal argument than a series of assertions, often enough strikingly original and elegantly expressed, but sometimes merely silly, or so outrageous as to disturb even his most unflinchingly right-wing readers. For much of his career he longed for an editorial chair as well as a polemicistâ€™s pulpit; when it finally came, its sweets were short-lived. …
In 1961 he became deputy editor of the newly founded Sunday Telegraph, a post he was to hold for the next 15 years (complementing Welch, who was deputy editor of the daily from 1964 to 1980). He was then associate editor until 1986.
He wrote in the first edition of the paper and, in some ways, thereafter became its personification. The values he was to espouse in his political columns for the next 36 years were not for the faint of heart: they were to include an argument that voluntary repatriation was the answer to Britainâ€™s supposed immigration problems, for example, as well as a vigorous defence of Ian Smithâ€™s white minority government in Rhodesia. His views on homosexualists, as he was wont to call them, could seem especially unpalatable. Despite his experience at his public school, Worsthorne castigated Roy Jenkins in one editorial for his tolerance of â€œqueersâ€.
It became clear that the editorship he was waiting for would never come as long as Lord Hartwell was proprietor. Hartwell admired Worsthorne as a controversialist but did not think him staid or reliable enough for the editorial chair. There was some evidence for this view, in his professional and also in his private life. He had married in 1950 Claudia Bertrand de Colasse, a Frenchwoman previously married to an RAF officer. Yet, as he described with remarkable candour in his 1993 autobiography Tricks of Memory, it was far from a conventional marriage, and he was far from a faithful husband, with many liaisons, prolonged or casual. They had a daughter, Dominique, who is married to the potter Jim Keeling.
The Worsthornes mixed in a notably raffish set, including the journalists Henry Fairlie, George Gale and Paul Johnson and the dons Michael Oakeshott and Maurice Cowling. By some of these friendsâ€™ standards Worsthorne was temperate â€” an early bout of jaundice made heavy drinking impossible â€” but his life was chequered with comically untoward incidents. Over dinner in a Brighton restaurant, he and the late Vanessa Lawson, then the wife of Nigel Lawson, later of AJ Ayer, decided to exchange shirt and blouse while sitting at their table, an episode reported back to the proprietor by a mauvaise langue among his colleagues.
When appearing on an early-evening programme in 1973 to discuss the abrupt resignation of Lord Lambton from the government, he became the second man, after Kenneth Tynan, to use a well-known monosyllable on television, lightly remarking that the public did not â€œgive a f***â€ about the affair. This brought a period of suspension from the paperâ€™s pages.
In print, Worsthorne was almost as unpredictable. He was no dialectician, no scholar, indeed, and (despite his aspirations) no intellectual. His attempts at serious political thought were repetitious but persuasive even at column length, still more so in his one book in this vein, The Socialist Myth (1971).
But he was a wonderfully readable columnist, with a feline knack of puncturing specious arguments, of seeing through humbug with a single memorable phrase. He once argued ingeniously that the advertisements in newspapers were in a sense more truthful than the news pages. In the news, houses burn down and aircraft crash, killing and bereaving. In the ads, families live securely and happily in their homes, while flights land on time reuniting loved ones, a far more accurate reflection of everyday life. And it was Worsthorne who described the mood of the Thatcherite 1980s as â€œbourgeois triumphalismâ€, a phrase which has lasted longer than most coined by the left.
His leaders apart, Worsthorne was at his best writing Spectator diaries where he could be as irresponsible and malicious as he chose.
Quality Wine, just to the left of Cutler’s. 1970s or 1980s photo with Broadway under construction.
A Yale friend forwarded today the New Haven Independent obituary for Elliot Brause, the genial owner of the long-time Yale community institution Quality Wine Store.
I know a good bit about wine, and I was recently reflecting just how much I learned, back in my student days, from Elliot’s selections. Really, I found myself ruefully noting, when you come right down to it, I’ve never known a better, more knowledgeable, more discerning, and more sophisticated wine merchant.
Kermit Lynch is pretty darn good, but he operates at a much more Olympian price level than Elliott used to, and Kermit (the toad!) won’t ship to Pennsylvania. There are, of course, good wine stores in New York City, but… again, for them, too, price is no particular object.
Elliott knew his audience and recognized that Yale undergraduates had lean purses and he skillfully filled his shelves with amazing bargains. Back then, German Rieslings were just as out of fashion as they are today, and Elliott made a point of laying in superb vintages of QualitÃ¤tsweins mit PrÃ¤dikat with Spatleses and Ausleses offered for peanuts. I used to drink Schloss Eltz routinely, it was so cheap.
Even less expensive were hocks from the less prestigious Rheinpfalz region. Their prices were derisive.
It was from Elliott that I and my friends developed the habit of drinking May Wine, flavored with Woodruff (the Waldmeister) and strawberries in the Spring.
I remember, too, a particular “Quinta de Something” Port Vintage of 1940, which cost something like a piddling $7.50 a bottle back in the early 1970s. It was ambrosial.
I wish I could shop at Quality Wine today.
It was always a pleasure to do business with Elliott. He was cordial and avuncular and surrounded always by his enthusiastic corgis. If you were short of cash, Elliott would have no problem taking a check for $10 or $20 dollars over your purchase. He was essentially a member of the family and Quality Wine was a key and basic institution of Yale student life.
All that, of course, cut no mustard with the reptiles and invertebrates who operate the Yale Administration. When the greasy pols in Hartford raised back the drinking age to 21, Yale didn’t like its underclassmen having such convenient access to wine. And, in later years, Yale began making a point of micromanaging its retail rentals so as to grind out every minimal iota of higher income and status advantage.
A key part of Yale’s new strategy required wiping out all the old-time cherished and familiar retail institutions and replacing them with upmarket, high prestige, international brands whose shops would be required to remain open until 10 PM to help deter the street crime Yale had inadvertently invited via its own liberal politics.
Yaleâ€™s Vice President for New Haven Affairs Bruce Alexander… gives us [the rationale behind] the act Yale has performed upon Broadway. From the article:
â€œAlexander said he was walking on York Street near Broadway and noticing litter and storefronts such as barbershops and liquor stores. Since Yalies went through the area on their way to the Yale Co-op, he thought it needed an upgrade.â€
Yalies, you see, did not need haircuts, used books (from Whitlock’s), music (from Cutler’s), or wine (from Elliot Brause). They needed Patagonia, J. Crew, Urban Outfiteers, and Apple.
So perished our beloved Quality Wine. Elliott gracefully retired. He is remembered with affection by all who knew him.
Mark Steyn write a tribute to Mike Adams, an apparent recent suicide after being driven from his teaching job at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington by the Woke leftist mob.
At the time of his death Mike Adams was a professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington – although not a very popular one with the administration. You will generally see him described in the media as “Controversial Professor Mike Adams”, as if it’s the subject he teaches: Mike Adams, Head of the Department of Controversy. It wasn’t always so. A two-time “Faculty Member of the Year” winner at the turn of the century, Adams grew more “controversial” as the university got more “woke”. He got a book deal with Regnery (publishers of America Alone), and was quoted favorably by Rush:
What American university wants a prof who’s published by Regnery and getting raves on the Rush Limbaugh show? The Deputy Assistant Under-Deans of Diversity all frosted him out, and Adams spent seven years in a lawsuit with UNCW – which he won, but it’s still seven years of your life you’ll never get back. …
It was all scheduled to come to an end on Friday with Adams’ painfully negotiated departure and a $504,702.76 settlement. Half-a-mil sounds a lot, but it was to be paid out over five years, if the university stuck to it, and it’s not really a lot, is it, for the obliteration of any trace of your presence at the school to which you devoted your entire teaching career.
On Thursday a neighbor called 911 because Mike Adams’ car hadn’t been moved for several days and there was no answer on the telephone. Inside police found the body of a 55-year-old man with, in cop lingo, a “gsw” – gunshot wound. …
He “seemed like” a happy warrior, but who knows? It’s a miserable, unrelenting, stressful life, as the friends fall away and the colleagues, who were socially distant years before Covid, turn openly hostile. There are teachers who agree with Mike Adams at UNCW and other universities – not a lot, but some – and there are others who don’t agree but retain a certain queasiness about the tightening bounds of acceptable opinion …and they all keep their heads down. So the burthen borne by a man with his head up, such as Adams, is a lonely one, and it can drag you down and the compensations (an invitation to discuss your latest TownHall column on the radio or cable news) are very fleeting.
The American academy is bonkers and has reared monsters. …
Pushing back can be initially exhilarating – and then just awfully wearing and soul-crushing: “I’m with you one hundred per cent, of course. But please don’t mention I said so…” “Oh, we had a lovely time at the Smiths’. Surprised not to see you there…” It is possible, I suppose, that Mike Adams was the victim of a homicide rather than the ultimate self-cancelation: Certainly there are plenty on Twitter and Facebook who would like to kill him, or at least cheer on any chap who would. …
And yet, if the facts are as they appear, a tireless and apparently “happy warrior” – exhausted by a decade of litigation, threats, boycotts, ostracization and more – found himself sitting alone – and all he heard in the deafening silence of the “silent majority” was his own isolation and despair. A terrible end for a brave man. Rest in peace.