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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Two examples of the wonderful music of film composer Elmer Bernstein:

Of note: Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004) studied under Aaron Copland, the influence of whom can be heard in the above two selections.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The New Ethos

Devolution and inversionism rule the day:

What's next?  The determination that pedophilia and bestiality are just fine and dandy?  "If it feels good, do it" is the new moral standard. 

Any objections to the new ethos make one a bigot.  Sit down, and shut up!

Related reading: Three High School Girls File Discrimination Complaint Over Dominating Transgender Athletes (dated June 19, 2019).  These three girls refused to sit down and shut up.  Good for them!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy the selections and images from the mostly-Bach compilation Classical Music for Relaxation:

The selections on the above video:

Friday, June 21, 2019


What option(s) do you favor as the course to take in reaction to Iran's recent attack upon and shooting down one of our drones?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Jeremiah was a Bullfrog

Silverfiddle Rant!
Western governments have seemed to be biased towards Christianity and Judeo-Christian culture, because that is where we came from! Regardless of an individual's religion, the Bible shaped and built Western Christendom.

Any system built by man has logical inconsistencies that spawn hypocrisies, and on the other end, abuses by those attempting to carry out every last jot and tittle of the letter of the law.

Given all that, Judeo-Christian praxis, even with its excesses and deficiencies, has built the most powerful and most advanced civilization humankind has ever seen. Our broad-based system of rights for all is not perfect, but where else is it better?

Despite Christianity's persecutors and inquisitors, the fundamental tenets of the Bible are essential for a salubrious and prosperous society.

That is why government appears to endorse or favor Christianity. Anti-Christians continue to scream about this, and my answer has always been the same: if you can build a secular system of morality with similar foundational bedrock principles, I am all for it as a national ethos.

But didn't the founders give us that already?

How often do public officials invoke our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Never. Like the founders, they wisely use broad euphemisms like the creator, or divine providence. That is the respect religious people pay to those who are not into that.

Outside of the early colonies, nobody has been forced to go to church here. We had a good set up. Religious people could live their lives, and the irreligious could as well. People were always free in this nation to practice their perversions, and the tribute vice paid to virtue was hypocrisy. People practicing perversions didn't do it in the public square; they respected community standards for the most part. They went off to their dens of iniquity, which town fathers and churchmen knew existed, and no doubt a number of them visited, but this unspoken social compact made for a healthy society.

What we have now is creeping neo-paganism, and it will not end well.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Outspoken Valedictorian

Not the proper venue, perhaps.  Apparently, however, frustration overcame etiquette, and Nataly Buhr decided to tell it like it is. Furthermore, what she decided to do is one way to hold a school somewhat accountable for what amounts to malpractice of education — a horror which, in large part because of tenure, has infiltrated all school systems, even the best of them. I myself have seen this malpractice of education over the years, but in the past four years or so, it seems to have accelerated, even in Honors and Advanced Placement courses.

Blurb for the video below:
Gradation is supposed to be one of the happiest nights for students, instead a South Bay valedictorian took to the podium to call out a teacher and other staff in her commencement address that has since gone viral.
San Diego valedictorian graduation speech:

From Valedictorian delivers scorched-earth graduation speech (New York Post, June 13, 2019):
A California valedictorian delivered a scorched-earth graduation speech in which she thanked her guidance counselor for having “absolutely no role in my achievements” and a teacher who was “regularly intoxicated during class.”

Sardonic senior Nataly Buhr didn’t mince words in her speech to San Ysidro High School’s class of 2019 last Thursday, according to video posted [above].

She started by thanking, in earnest, her “hard-working” parents before launching into a tongue-in-cheek tirade. {She also commended some excellent teachers by name]

“To my counselor, thanks for teaching me to fend for myself. You were always unavailable to my parents and I, despite appointments,” Buhr deadpanned while dressed in a white cap and gown. “Only in these past few weeks, with the awards ceremonies and graduation coming up, did you begin making your appearance.”

She added, “And might I note, you expressed to me the joy in knowing that one of your students was valedictorian when you had absolutely no role in my achievements.”

The plucky teen also gave a shoutout to the “staff in the main office” for teaching her to be “resourceful.”

“Your negligence to inform me of several scholarships until the day before they were due potentially caused me to miss out on thousands of dollars,” she said.

Buhr drew thunderous applause from her fellow seniors when she brazenly called out “the teacher who was regularly intoxicated during class this year.”


Unsurprisingly, school officials were not pleased with the stunt....
Read the rest HERE.

What Nataly Buhr did will have no impact, of course. It's like screaming into the abyss. Our public education system is rotten to the core.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy this Renaissance Dance Music, which reminds me of the wonderful music I've heard at various Renaissance fairs and could well be used in the classroom teaching of Shakespeare's works:

The pieces included in the video above:

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The June Force-Feeding

Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month — or else! (graphic from The Patriot Post):

We've gone from Gay Pride Day to LGBTQ Pride Month. Sheesh. This is why, IMO...
LGBTQ Bigotry: Tyranny Masquerading as Tolerance.  A bit long, but important if we are to answer those who are promoting tyranny disguised as tolerance.

Meanwhile, we have this...Johns Hopkins Research: No Evidence People Are Born Gay or Transgender.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Recommended Reading

See 'Scorched Earth': Mueller's Targets Speak Out by Paul Sperry at RealClear Investigations.

The last two paragraphs therefrom:
Ex-Trump campaign official Michael Caputo, who went public earlier, complaining he had to remortgage his house after having to hire expensive Washington lawyers, wants Mueller and his team investigated for “prosecutorial abuses.” “Ruining lives was blood sport for them,” he said.

[Journalist Art] Moore agreed: “You look at the lives ruined — Corsi, Michael Flynn and others. That alone is enough to warrant a special investigation.”
Read the rest HERE.

Look. I understand that a lot of people don't like Donald Trump.  Disliking, even hating, any given President is an American tradition. But resorting to the methods as described in the RealClear Investigations essay cited above? 

Such measures are Kafka-esque. Orwellian.

Some say the methods of an attempted coup.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy Walk to Paradise by English composer Frederick Delius (1862-1934):

About the above piece:

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

75 Years Ago On The Beaches Of Normandy

Honor The Greatest Generation....

The assault phase of Operation Overlord was known as Operation Neptune.  Operation Neptune began on D-Day (6 June 1944) and ended on 30 June 1944.

Reading for today, from The Last Longest Day by Richard Fernandez:
...It was an all-out throw of the dice. A maximum effort. There was no plan B if it didn't work. Had it failed, Eisenhower would have said: "Our landings have failed and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone." The consequences of defeat would have been incalculable....


...It is for the current generation to decide whether to build a new dark age of universal surveillance or one of expanding freedom. It is for the present to decide whether to succumb to new cults or keep the flame. The men of the Longest Day have done their job. Only the living can still make history. The past has already made it.
Read the rest HERE.  Worth your time.

The American military cemetery in Normandy, 2003

Claude and Kenneth, two of my cousins, served on the beaches of Normany during Operation Overlord — one cousin in the US Army and one in the US Navy. They were 19 and 21 years old. Miraculously, they both came home physically whole. But psychologically, Claude and Kenneth were forever changed and never again slept through a night without nightmares. Both of my cousins died young, one at the age of 39 and the other at the age of 44.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Planet of the Apps

Silverfiddle Rant!

“I think big data is so powerful that nation states will fight over how much data matters.” He added: “He who has the data can do the analytics and the algorithms at the scale that we talked about will provide huge nation state benefits, in terms of global companies and benefits for their citizens, and so on.” (Eric Schmidt, Google CEO)

WhatsApp--owned by Facebook--is a free app that allows you to have private networks and exchange text, voice, video, pictures, and even make free international phone calls. Yes, Free. The data Facebook gleans from users must be worth billions...

Turn off tracking on your cell phone?  You just turned off the information that is fed back to you.  The technology is still tracking you.  Every non-cash purchase is tracked, catalogued and fed into Big Data.

Are machines conditioning us?

You automatically respond to your phone's noises and vibrations, taking your attention away from a good book, TV, movie, children, social activity, or engaged conversation.

When seeking help, we take instruction from chatbots and computerized voices driven by programmed algorithms.

Two quotes from The Atlantic's How AI Will Rewire Us:
Parents, watching their children bark rude commands at digital assistants such as Alexa or Siri, have begun to worry that this rudeness will leach into the way kids treat people, or that kids’ relationships with artificially intelligent machines will interfere with, or even preempt, human relationships. Children who grow up relating to AI in lieu of people might not acquire “the equipment for empathic connection,” Sherry Turkle, the MIT expert on technology and society, told The Atlantic’s Alexis C. Madrigal
If AI is creating socially-stunted human beings who cannot create empathetic relationships with others, another worry pops up:  Are humans forming emotional bonds with AI?
As digital assistants become ubiquitous, we are becoming accustomed to talking to them as though they were sentient; writing in these pages last year, Judith Shulevitz described how some of us are starting to treat them as confidants, or even as friends and therapists.
Will computerized technology become like eyeglasses or a prosthetic we cannot do without?  We now have a whole generation of motorists who have never had to drive across their city or state without the aid of computerized navigation. Average intelligence is declining across the developed world.

Could humans become so hooked on technology that we would be literally helpless without it?

Is there a darker agenda?

Evan Horowitz: IQ Rates are Dropping
Daily Mail - Are We Becoming More Stupid?

Saturday, June 1, 2019

A Half Century Ago...

(For politics, please scroll down.  Active political thread below)

Moi — in my college ID photo.

Those were the days, huh?

I still can't believe that I kept my college ID card.  But I did.