|Ernest Hemingway at age 24|
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Below is a screen shot of a part of the Daily Mail's web home page right now, where three stories about politicians are juxtaposed. First, a "Republican congressman" is caught in a minor kerfuffle about excessive spending to decorate his office. A problem, yes, but a minor one, and what about all the money the Clintons have spent decorating? Not a word. Then there's a story about "GOP" politicians "rushing to condemn." All that intemperate rushing to judgment hotheadedness. In both headlines, the political party is the first thing mentioned.
But then comes the really big story about the man who just resigned as the governor of Oregon after being caught up in a corruption scandal with an FBI criminal investigation heating up. Looks like he's destroying evidence! He's "disgraced." Now here's something meaty! But hmmmm, of just what political party is he a member? No mention in the large headline, or in the caption to the photo. One clicks through to the article. No mention in the five point summary of the report. One reads through the article, down past all the photos and ads. Finally, there at the very end the "disgraced" ex-governor's political party is mentioned at last – though in an oblique way at that.
OK now – Guess That Political Party!
It's obvious the lie that's going on here. The Daily Mail knows that by placing the big story of the corrupt unnamed Democrat just below two negative headlines about named Republicans, it creates the impression for inattentive readers that the third story is about a Republican as well. The Daily Mail also knows that few people will click through to start reading the article, and that even fewer will read all the way to the end where the corrupt politician's political party is finally mentioned. By mentioning the Democrat party only at the very end, the Daily Mail can try to deflect accusations of political bias by stating that it did indeed mention the Democrat party of the politician, but by placing the mention at the very end it ensures few readers of the original headline will ever know the truth.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
As opera plots go, this one is simple. All the action takes place in a 24 hour period in Rome in the year 1800. The painter Cavaradossi stumbles upon an old revolutionary comrade on the run from a jailbreak and helps him with food and a good hiding place. But the ruthless police chief Scarpia appears and finds reason to suspect Cavaradossi of just that. Although the painter denies all, Scarpia proceeds to torture him to see if he’s lying, and forces his inamorata Tosca, a singer, to listen. Scarpia is clearly obsessed with Tosca – he proclaims in the Te Deum scene of the first act “Tosca, you make me forget God” – and uses her relationship with Cavaradossi to attempt a two-fer – get the information he wants and possess her as well. When Tosca can no longer stand her lover’s screams, she reveals the truth to Scarpia. Since she confirms that Cavaradossi has in fact aided a political enemy of the state, it is not at all clear what Tosca thinks the happy ending could be for her lover (and herself as well). Well, it is usually a capital error to expect much logic from opera characters, so strike that thought. Nevertheless, Tosca seems to work out a solution, and through double double-crosses the opera moves on to its dramatic conclusion.
|Cover of the Original 1899 Libretto|
In the Lyric Opera Companion, Stephanie von Buchau writes that "the most memorable slur cast on opera ... is Professor Joseph Kerman's celebrated dismissal: Tosca, that shabby little shocker." But, she writes, "Tosca, like all of Puccini's mature operas, consists of more than just a series of caloric tunes draped over a lurid story line in dubious taste. Puccini was an artisan, and however you rate his inspiration, you have to rate his craftsmanship very near the top of the list." No argument here, but in Tosca we the audience do not develop quite the same emotional attachment to Tosca as we do, for example, with Mimi in Boheme or Cho-Cho-San in Butterfly.
Tosca has been a favorite at Lyric Opera. It was featured in the company’s first season in 1954, although it may have been performed in the city earlier as there had been previous opera companies. That first production featured Eleanor Steber as Tosca, Giuseppe Di Stefano as Cavaradossi, and Tito Gobbi as Scarpia. Two years later Tosca was back, this time with Renata Tebaldi, Jussi Bjoerling, and Gobbi again. In the Lyric’s first 25 seasons, Tosca was featured in 10 of them with Gobbi as Scarpia in eight. In 1976 there was a newcomer to the role of Cavaradossi at the Lyric – Luciano Pavarotti, whose "favorite tenor and idol," according to his Wikipedia entry, was the Lyric's very first in that role, Giuseppe Di Stefano.
Some related posts:
Il Trovatore at the Lyric Opera
The Lyric Opera at Millennium Park, 2014
La Boheme at the Lyric
Aida at the Lyric
Show Boat at the Lyric Opera
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Williams was not the only NBC employee on that assignment, so many more have been involved in perpetrating this lie. This "false story," as the liberal site Politico describes it, has been touted for over 10 years by NBC and Williams as evidence of the network's heroic news people who will go anywhere for a story. Politico reports: 'Williams has told the story several times, including during a 2013 appearance on "The Late Show" with David Letterman. "Two of our four helicopters were hit by ground fire including the one I was in, RPG and AK-47... we were only at 100 feet doing 100 forward knots," he told Letterman. "We landed very quickly and hard, and we were stuck, four birds in the middle of the desert. And we were north out ahead of the other Americans." '
Williams claims to be puzzled about how he could have mixed up landing safely and quietly with being shot down by gunfire, but vows to get to the bottom of the mystery. In addition, Williams, who for decades has also been claiming he is an objective journalist, insists that this story is the only thing he has made up, ever, honest. Double honest.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
After being blasted by even ultraliberals for not sending a senior American official to the recent Paris anti-Islamic terror rally, Obama sent his buffoonish Secretary of State John Kerry to help bolster the French morale. France needs a new backbone and a division of Marines. So what were brought to Paris by Kerry of the Democrats, who made a name for himself during the Vietnam War by sonorously accusing American soldiers of widespread war crimes just before jetting off to Europe to meet surreptitiously with the enemy?
Well, we’ve heard about strong power, and during the Obama years about soft power, and now there’s song power. Kerry offered a song and then gave a hug to the socialist French President Hollande. A song and a hug. They’re sure to help defeat Muslim fanaticism.
Osama bin Laden is said to have remarked that when people see a strong horse (presumably Islam) and a weak horse (that would be Western Culture), they are naturally drawn to the former. I agree in principle though not in reference. Well, now Obama has introduced a third choice – the gelded horse. Gelded horse power.
Well, was the song at least as rousing to the spirit as the French anthem La Marseillaise? A song that would finally buck them up for the long struggle ahead against fanatical Muslim murderers? Nope. He brought in the old American liberal icon of touchy-feely treacle, James Taylor, to sing “You’ve Got a Friend,” a sappy song much loved by 13 year-old girls and saccharine enough to induce a diabetic coma. And that hug. As a teenage girl would say – awkward! Word is that Obama’s first choices were Barney the Purple Dinosaur and Beyonce, but they were booked, so he sent Kerry and Taylor instead. I imagine the French muttering to themselves at this insulting display like the French police inspector in an old Inspector Clouseau movie – “I-di-ots, i-di-ots!”
A sappy song and a cringe-inducing hug. How embarrassing and pathetic. The Obama presidency has descended into absolute farce, not that it had far to fall.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Muslim fanatics for some time have been instigating conflict throughout this world, and Christians, Jews, and those of other faiths have been on the receiving end. Some in the Muslim world and their apologists in the West blame the existence of Israel, but as many have said, if Israel didn’t exist as an excuse to incite their followers, Muslim rabble rousers would need to invent it. I doubt the Muslim murdering terrorists in the Philippines or in East Timor or in India really care much about the fate of the Palestinians, whom their own Muslim neighbors seem to barely tolerate and prefer to keep segregated on Israel’s doorstep.
Lately it seems that the more some Muslim troublemakers act up, the more some Western leaders trip over themselves to embrace and promote Islam. Merkel, the leader of Germany, stridently marches arm and arm with the terrorist-sponsoring Muslim Brotherhood in a pro-Islam rally, and proclaims "Islam belongs to Germany." Duke University in the United States just this week announces it will loudly broadcast across its campus the Muslim call to prayer from the tower of its, apparently former, Christian chapel. The American politician Pelosi of the Democrats gleefully declares she will appoint a Muslim congressman, one of two now, to a Democrat party seat on the House Intelligence Committee of the United States Congress, despite his disturbing view on Islam in the West. And the American president Obama and his disciples doggedly persist in denying the impulse to violent jihad within Islam, risibly asserting that it doesn’t exist and that any violence committed in the name of that faith is a misinterpretation of it; although they deny being Muslims themselves they assert their power to determine who is and who is not a Muslim, rather than leaving that theological point to those of the Muslim faith themselves.
Winston Churchill said over one hundred years ago that although individual Muslims may show splendid qualities there is no stronger retrograde force in the world than Islam. Its subjugation of women, promotion of violent jihad, killing of apostates and homosexuals, and rejection of any separation between church and state are some of its major flaws that desperately need to be changed. As far as I can see, Western leaders are not asking Muslims to examine and reform their faith but rather are celebrating Islam the way it is now. This simply astonishes me.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Not long ago, the American president Barack Hussein Obama, raised a Muslim but later a long-time follower of a radical, hateful black-supremacist pseudo-Christian preacher, said that "the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."
In a statement released today, Obama criticized the murders but made no reference whatsoever to Islam.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
A postcard from the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany at Ashland Avenue and Adams Street on Chicago’s Near West Side, giving times of various 1905 Christmastime worship services and celebrations. According to Father George Lane in Chicago Churches and Synagogues, the Church was constructed in 1885 of rusticated Lake Superior limestone in the Romanesque style reminiscent of the Trinity Church in Boston, and contains “elegant woodwork and beautiful mosaics.”
Friday, December 12, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
The distasteful but undeniable fact is that organized feminism is not very much interested in rape as a crime; organized feminism is interested in rape as a metaphor, which is why the concrete problem of rape has been displaced in our public discourse by the metaphysical proposition of “rape culture.” .... For feminists, rape is not as much a discrete crime as it is a dramatic instantiation of what they believe to be the larger and more insidious project of men’s domination of women in all spheres — sexual, economic, social, political, etc. The reality of rape — and it is a horrific reality — is for them a political tool: If you refuse to prostrate yourself in front of the designated totem of the day, then you are an apologist for rape. It is not coincidental that false accusations relating to rape are used as political tools by the Left, or that the targets of these false accusations are either explicitly conservative groups and individuals or such traditional bugaboos of the campus Left as fraternities, the military, and sports teams.
Friday, December 5, 2014
|Carl von Clausewitz|
Now we have the fantastical claim, hyped in the ultraliberal Rolling Stone magazine, from an anonymous woman that two years ago she was brutally gang raped at a University of Virginia fraternity party, where much of the assault occurred on the broken shards of a shattered glass table top. Yet she did not seek any medical attention, let alone call the police. This serious accusation was published based solely on the nameless woman’s story without any verification of a single detail. In response to this most dubious allegation, the woman running the university saw a good excuse if ever there was one and promptly shut down all fraternity activity there. Clausewitz would certainly recognize the age-old military tactic – create a fake incident that justifies to a gullible public more power for you.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
With them he held many important leadership positions, culminating in being appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, the head of the British navy, a post he held for over three years extending into the start of WWI. While there he upgraded, modernized, and developed new technologies (such as the tank, despite his being in charge of the navy, not the army). After the disaster of the Gallipoli campaign which he had helped formulate, he took much of the blame, unfairly in my opinion, and resigned. He then reactivated in the Army and served as a front line senior officer on the brutal Western Front.
He had become the living exemplar of British glory.... and the most universally honoured man on earth.... [N]ot only his own nation, but half the world paused wondering and reverent to mourn him. It was like that moment of antiquity when, the wild god Pan having died, strange music sounded and spirits moved from one end to the other of the classical world. Churchill had gone, and a sigh, part regret, part wry, part sentimental, went round the nations.R Balsamo
Monday, November 24, 2014
Despite repeated previous announcements that he was not the “Emperor of the United States” and “could not legally” issue the dictate that he just in fact did, once all federal elections during his presidency were over this former ersatz lecturer in Constitutional law decided to go ahead and make the decree anyway, Constitution be damned. Quite predictably, the gaggle of lawyers working for him quickly patched together a legal justification, chock full of hair-splitting and analogizing that voilà! discovered that everything in Obama’s edict is all hunky dory with the US Constitution, legal precedents (real or imagined), the Articles of Confederation, the Magna Carta, and the Ten Commandments. Indeed, time and again without fail ultraliberal lawyers through their patented legalistic legerdemain, their semantic razzmatazz, can justify legally any action taken by any Democrat president, any time, anywhere.