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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy Salut d'Amour by Edward Elgar (1857-1934):

Read about the above piece HERE. Excerpt:
...The dedication was in French: "à Carice". "Carice" was a combination of his wife's names Caroline Alice, and was the name to be given to their daughter born two years later....
Read the rest HERE.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Iran Nuclear Deal Fiction

Silverfiddle Rant!
Provocations by Iran continue, even after the rocket attack against one of our bases in Iraq.  A rocket attack by Iranian proxies against our embassy in Baghdad on 16 February didn't garner much attention.

Nobody screams about Logan Act violations as John Kerry and US senators meet with officials representing Iran's totalitarian mullahs.

It's not over between the US and Iran, so before the next flareup, a review is in order, and it comes courtesy of Hans Rühle, German Ministry of Defense, 1982-1988.  The Iran Nuclear Deal was a grand stupidity, or a western act of self-deception, or who knows what...

It could not get more absurd than this: the Obama Administration, together with its allies, concluded an agreement with Iran that centered on the long-term prevention of the production of weapons-grade uranium in Natanz, even though they knew that weapons-grade uranium was not produced there, but in secret facilities of the Revolutionary Guards.
Rühle cites CIA director Michael Hayden's book, "Playing to the edge." Hayden recounts his response when newly-elected President Obama asked him how much nuclear material the Iranians had stored at Natanz:

"There isn’t an electron or a neutron at Natanz that’s ever going to end up in a nuclear weapon. They’ll spin that uranium at some secret military facility beyond the eyes of the IAEA.”[3] Hayden, whose book was published around the time of the conclusion of the JCPOA, argued that U.S. intelligence had always assumed that enrichment for weapons-grade uranium was carried out in secret facilities. Consequently, he demanded that IAEA inspectors should be given unrestricted access anytime, anywhere, especially to the facilities operated by the Revolutionary Guards.
The agreement with Iran was flawed from the beginning, and the Obama gang knew it:

Iran demanded that the parties agree that for the purposes of the JCPOA the two known enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow were the only ones actively operated by Iran, i.e. that Iran did not operate any further uranium enrichment plants. However, U.S. intelligence had known for quite some time that Iran was operating about a dozen secret facilities, with one or more of them enriching uranium to weapons-grade levels.
What say you?

Monday, February 24, 2020

FEATURED QUESTION: The Path To Destruction

In my homeschool World Literature class this year, we are reading George Orwell's 1984, the other outside-the-textbook readings being Edith Hamilton's Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart.

I am reading 1984 again, of course. Until now, I hadn't opened the novel itself for over half a century! Naturally, my insights and interpretations are much different now, and I find myself occasionally gasping and frequently nodding my head.

Anyway, here is one of the famous quotations from Orwell's dystopian novel.

For discussion, this FEATURED QUESTION, in two parts: (1) How is the above Orwell quotation true and engulfing us in Orwellian Times? (2) How is the above Orwell quotation not true and therefore not engulfing us in Orwellian Times?

Saturday, February 22, 2020


(For politics, please scroll down)

Jubilee is not a therapy dog, but is a dog with alarmed eyes:

Jubilee's story

On a personal note, I can laugh at these graphics: problems here on the household front have lessened. Not the least of those problems was plumbing problems, which seem finally to have been resolved after months of worries and troubles. On the other hand, The Big Clean Out here continues ad infinitum. I will, of course, have to call a junk man before this Big Clean Out can be finished. **sigh**

Monday, February 17, 2020

The New Way Forward Act

From Infidel Bloggers Alliance comes this important information.  You must make time to watch this and follow up with a few Google searches as well:

Detailed reading: It Is Time for a New Way Forward. Worth your time.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Americans United

Silverfiddle Rant!
We are a divided nation, so I enjoy finding those rare examples of overwhelming agreement, even when the points of agreement are a dismal commentary on our nation or our government.

The late legendary pollster Pat Caddell created such an opportunity, and his creation, The Smith Project, lives on. John Della Volpe explains:

"...in 2013 he established the Smith Project and poll. Inspired by Jimmy Stewart’s 1939 portrayal of a newly appointed U.S. senator hellbent on fighting corruption in Frank Capra’s “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” the Smith poll regularly poses scores of questions to Americans about the state of discourse, division, and isolation in our country. 
Here are the two takeaways from the article:
72% of those in our recent poll said they would vote to replace every single member of Congress, including their own, if there was a place on the ballot where they could do so. This is the highest number ever record in the Smith survey.
84% of Americans agree with the statement, "The country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists and other powerful money interest groups for their own gain at the expense of the American people."
I agree. What say you?

Monday, February 10, 2020

Ancient Wisdom & Forest Fires

Silverfiddle Rant!
Yahoo schools us on ancient aborigine traditions for preventing wildfires:

Long before European colonizers settled in Australia, Indigenous groups have been setting their own lands ablaze as a fire management technique. They use carefully controlled low flames and the power of the wind to clear grasses and kindling, the materials that fuel more unpredictable blazes during fire season.
Many Indigenous people see their techniques as part of a solution for devastating blazes like the ones that have ravaged the country in recent months.
 They even throw in some strawman condescension from a noble aborigine...
"Western knowledge of fire is that they're afraid of it," Kylee Clubb, a fire practitioner from Queensland, told Business Insider Today. "Whereas traditional burning and Aboriginal knowledge is that we work with it."
We “European colonizers” call the technique a “controlled burn.” We do it during the wetter parts of the year to keep it from getting out of control. Back in Mark Twain’s time, not only did they do controlled burns out west near settlements, they did not even attempt to fight forest fires. They were nature’s way of clearing dry underbrush and killing weak trees.

If attributing common sense forestry practices to Indigenous Peoples is all it takes to get city-dwelling progressive enviro-nuts to embrace controlled burns and fire breaks, I don’t mind a little “Stupid white man ignores the traditions of the ancient noble Indigeni” to get it moving. We all need to do our share...

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Musical Intelude

(For politics, please scroll down)


According to this YouTube blurb:
The largest pipe organ ever built, based on number of pipes, is the Boardwalk Hall Auditorium Organ in Atlantic City, New Jersey, built by the Midmer-Losh Organ Company between 1929 and 1932. The organ contains seven manuals, 449 ranks, 337 registers, and 33,114 pipes. It weighs approximately 150 tons....
More information HERE and worth your time.  What a treasure!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Impeachment Wrap-up

Silverfiddle Rant!
Well folks, it's all over but the pussyhat screaming.  The Democrat impeachment scheme has collapsed.  Time to move on.  The "Crime" was in plain sight and agreed upon by all, including the suspect.

President Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Burisma and the Bidens' role in its known corruption.  "...for purposes of foreign influence in the 2020 election" was always a tacked-on, ridiculously unprovable assertion.

(Many believe this was actually about the 2016 election)

Democrat strategerists robed their partisan attacks in the gravity of decades-old impeachment tropes that just don't resonate anymore.  They larded their hyperbolic attacks with adjectives, adverbs and histrionic outrage in an attempt to drive voters to demand President Trump's ouster.  They failed. Bigly.  And this bodes ill for Democrats in Election 2020.  The President's approval ratings have risen, and its pretty much a tie ballgame on impeachment, trending against impeachment and removal.

Senator Lamar Alexander provided some timely candor:

“There is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense,” Alexander said in a statement, arguing that while Trump had taken “actions that are inappropriate,” they did not merit his removal from office." 

 Senator Murkowski of Alaska summed it up nicely:

"The House chose to send articles of impeachment that are rushed and flawed. I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena.

"Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don't believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.


"We are sadly at a low point of division in this country.

Finally, Jeremy Lott offers reasons why America yawned at this partisan circus...

The idea that the president is being impeached because of a temporary delay of U.S. aid to the government of Ukraine is literally too distant an issue to rile up many people.

Furthermore, to the extent that Americans are following the details of these foreign dealings and think Trump did something improper here, there’s little to suggest they see it as far outside of normal Washington corruption. The charge is that he tried to game the system to get a foreign government to look into … another American politician’s alleged corrupt gaming of the system in a foreign country.

What say you?

Related: Top 8 Reasons Trump Already Won Impeachment

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy Adagietto Symphony 5 - Karajan* by Gustav Mahler (1860–1911):

The above is the 4th movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 and is said to be his love letter to his wife Alma.