Saturday assorted links

1. “Morris attacks Kuhn in the time-honored Johnsonian style.

2. Obituary for Richard Pipes (NYT).

3. “Today, deterrence through classical music is de rigueur for American transit systems.

4. “Germany spent €37bn on defence last year. If we wanted to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence by 2024 that would mean almost doubling the budget to around €72bn,” said Hans-Peter Bartels, the armed forces commissioner of the German parliament. “We cannot just double the size of the Bundeswehr. How is this going to work?” Marcel Dickow, a defence expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, makes a similar point: “The Bundeswehr cannot spend that kind of money. It does not have the procedures in place, and it wouldn’t even know what to spend it on.”  FT link here.

5. This year, going to school has involved more fatalities than serving in the U.S. military.

6. John List on corporate social responsibility.


#5: "I like taking guns away early," Trump said. "Take the guns first, go through due process second."

I for one, endorse Houston Chief of Police @ArtAcevedo, and his FB page:

You'll love it when police chiefs run the World.

Odd thing to say about a chief who is acting like a good citizen, and not a rogue disrespecting our laws and institutions.

Were you thinking Joe Arpio?

It is very strange that cell phones cause more deaths of children than guns do but no excitement to take away their cell phones. Texting and driving just doesn't make the front page or 24/7 on the cable news but some nut case with a gun does. Why? I think there are two simple reasons: 1. Most in the media want to push this narrative in an attempt to take away guns from honest people. 2. The media knows if they show this school shooting 24/7 that some other nut will get a gun and shot up his school and that makes money for them AND pushes their agenda to have more gun control of the honest citizens.

I'd like more attention placed on texting while driving and I'd like to take away your guns. Happy?

Yes. It is easier to deal with the truth than deceit. Most of the left lie and claim they want to take the guns to make us all safer. At least you admit you don't care about our safety you just want the power and thus need to take our guns. So, come and take it.

Children can drive?

Let's be honest. It is not as simple as Trump or even guns. There is something fundamentally wrong in and with America. There are guns in Brazil, too, but people just don't go around children at schooltime.

Brazil might not be the best example seeing how some cities are close to civil war with police and army and gang member and civilians dead by the dozens.

1) There are criminals in Brazil as in any other country, but, in Brazil, crime is rare, illegal and strongly frown at.
2) Lots of Brazilian cities are incredibly safe. My home state experienced a collapse in homicides (-60% in a decade). The city my mother was born in saw no murders in the past year!
3) Some places face above-average crime, but they are not abandoned. There are no Chicagos or Detroits in Brazil. Rionde Janeiro Sate was facing a wave of crime. Presidrnt Temer sent military troops. Tanks are patrolling the city. Today, a dangerous drug lord died fighting security forces. About 50 cops (not to mention Army soldiers) died in Rio de Janeiro City alone this year so far. It is not Vietnam or Hungary or Iraq or Iran. We are not cutting and running or leading from behind.

The murder rate in all of Brazil in 2017 was 30 per 100,000.

Chicago's murder rate in 2017 was 17 per 100,000.

I know your whole comment schtick is to be a troll, but jesus don't be so bad at it. I feel second hand embarrassment for you when I read your comments.

1) As I said, SOME places face somewhat higher crime levels. But they, unlike, Chicago, are not being abandoned. President Temer scrapped his constitution reform plan, so close to his heart (Constitution can not be changed while a state is under federal intervention), and sent federal troopos and tanks to Rio de Janeiro State. An entire state! What has the federal government done for Chicago or Compton or Detroit? No expense is being spared and no stone is being left unturned to fight crime in Brazil.
2) According to famous American intellectual Stephen Pinker, there are places in America where boys hardly grow to be 18. I can not imagine it happening here.
3) Representative Bolsonaro has vouched to, as soon as he become President, escalate the war against crime beyond anything we can imagine now. He is leading the polls.
4) As I said, in Brazil, crime is rare and is the province of the professional. We don't see normal citizens killing their friends and relatives and colleagues because they don't have sex or because the train was too crowded. Killing innicent people is antithetical to the Brazilian character.

* Steven Pinker.

senor Costilla
un biólogo vería las pantallas de drogas de orina de los tiradores de la escuela para comprobar la presencia de sustancias que aumentan la impulsividad y aflojan las asociaciones y las hacen oler graciosas

The biology dept also offers empericism and ample free parking

The average rate of murder across the whole country including both the dangerous and "safe" parts is 2x higher than the city that you are calling out as being the most unsafe in the USA.

Also I don't understand this notion that Chicago is being abandoned. The cities population is slightly up +11,000 people in the past five years. That's also happening in conjunction with the growth of sort of satellite cities like the western suburbs / Dupage county. The Metro area is up 500k since 2000 so while both those are very slow growth rates it's in fact growing.

I think you are just embarrassed that the Chicago metro area has an economic output equivalent to 40% of the GDP of Brazil, and that since 2011 Chicago has expanded output by 23% while Brazil has decreased 30%.

I didn't say Chicago is the mist unsafe American city. I said it has been abandoned by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!! Why? Because it is a minority city, with large proportions of Blacks and Hispanics!! Again, nothing is being done to help cities such as Detroit, St. Louis, Stockton, San Bernardino, etc. They have left to fend for themselves while crime terrorizes the populace!! Compare and contrast to President Temer abandoning his whole government plan to send troops to protect Rio de Janeiro State!!

"I think you are just embarrassed that the Chicago metro area has an economic output equivalent to 40% of the GDP of Brazil, and that since 2011 Chicago has expanded output by 23% while Brazil has decreased 30%."

It is a lie! Brazil is the 8th biggest economy in the world, more than three times bigger than America's ally Argentina's. Nominal GDP is not a reliable measure because Brazil is deliberately devaluating the real to hasten the coming of the end of a market correction. Our currency had been a
Lowed to appreciate to much. Brazil's per capita GDP PPP is just 3.5% lower than its 2011 value and lass than 10% lower than its 2015 record. Thinks are under strict control. Lest us forget that Brazil grew about 7% in 2010.

I'm going to ignore the part about Brazil because that was me obviously trolling you, and then you reciprocating.

I understand your point that there are cities, and really specific areas of those cities that are occupied by minorities, that have government services (education, policing, public services, etc..) that are failing them. While at the same time a few miles away in rich primarily white areas you have government services being provided as or more effectively than anywhere in the world.

I just don't see how the federal government sending in the military and infringing on basic freedoms is the solution, or even remotely close to the correct response. There are neighborhoods on the south and west side of Chicago, and this goes for every city I've ever lived in, where the residents are being egregiously failed by the government service providers, but their plight wouldn't be alleviated by infantry and tanks. They need opportunity and mobility not government imposed detention.

But the criminals who control those communities must be crushed.

Thiago informs: "in Brazil, crime is rare, illegal"

Crime is illegal, by definition, everywhere.

De jure, but not always de facto. How many laws are barely if ever enforced? How many times there are insurmountable standards of evidence?

Well Hillary has still not been charged. So I guess the law in America only applies if you are a Republican.

Seriously, here is what happened:

For years the right-wing invested themselves in pure paranoia, birthers and Benghazi to uranium deals.

It was nuts, but they believed every crazy thing they told themselves. Then they allowed their own crazy-talk to become their standard.

The reason we have everything from Scott Pruitt to five kinds of collusion is that Republicans convinced themselves that there are no rules.

Today Trump tweets that investigation is a crime. Of course, painted into this corner, what else does he have?

Hillary's team smashed their hard drives with hammers after using BleachBit on them. This is illegal. Hillary knowingly violated the law on handling of sensitive information. None of this is in dispute. You can try to deny this if you like but what Hillary did would have put anyone else behind bars.

And we know that homicide laws do not apply if you are Teddy Kennedy. We know sexual harassment and rape laws do not apply if you are Bill Clinton. We know that laws on the proper legal treatment of charities and their money will not apply to the Clintons either.

There is a law for Democrats and a law for everyone else.

And yes, the investigation into Trump is clearly illegal, or if not exactly illegal - they may have ticked all the right boxes to get their farce of a coup attempt approved - certainly contrary to what was normal practice up to about the day before yesterday. The Church Committee was supposed to have stopped the CIA and FBI being used to spy on domestic people - much less a presidential campaign. At least MLK was actually working with Communists. Unlike Trump.

If any of that is true, why can't President Donald Trump make any of it stick?


Because the whole FBI is working to cover up for her and impeach Trump. Law enforcement has been politicized. So Comey admitted Hillary broke the law - but decided not to charge her anyway.

The attempt to smear him as a Russian stooge is just to cover up the gross illegality of what has been done.

Still I do like your logic - if the Deep State decides not to prosecute, then the Deep State is innocent.

That's nuts, but even if it were true, is the FBI the only law enforcement arm available to the President of the United States?

Or is he in on it!

Donald Trump is in on the conspiracy to protect Hillary Clinton!

I would have thought that he could use the distraction, but I think we've found The Logical Conclusion of your argument.

Donald Trump has to be protecting Hillary Clinton.

Lock them up!

Geez, the party that believes pizza parlors are fronts for child abuse by high politicians.

Of course they have no standards for their own behavior. Reality and morality have become for them kaleidoscope impossible to control.

Name a single Republican who believes in the pizza nonsense. You are just flailing about because of the grossly illegal spying on the Trump campaign. Something pretty much every Democrat has endorsed.

That's a very relevant point, my wife (a former Russian citizen) and I were discussing this very topic today. Being a criminal in Russia is only illegal if you aren't in power or don't have friends in power, otherwise it's just the easiest way to get rich.

These were Trump's role models.

My point pertains to definitions, not facts. Here's how Websters define crime = " an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government". Like I said, a crime is, by definition, an illegal act. Whether a government actually tries to do anything about crime is a completely different question.

If crime is not is not punished, is it even crime?

My personal favorite take is the sarcastic "schools are a gun free zone, it's not a supposed to happen!" I guess rape and murder happen so why bother enforcing it? I assume they are approaching it at the enforceability standpoint like marijuana legalization - Which is absurd considering the lack of social good that comes out of that.

Are there any laws on the negligence of parents securing their firearms and access by their loser incel kids?

Maybe all those "well spent" US Counter Terrorism dollars could go domestically for once without militarizing the police force. They could give teachers all kinds of military surplus such as armored vests, obsolete M16s, and call up the national guard to train the teachers. Wouldn't be surprised in this current regime.

I guess it highlights the idiocy of gun free zones. They make something more like easy pickings zones. I guess gun free zones are more emotionally satisfying to those who never go anywhere where you would need to protect yourself.

What? You want more guns in schools? Last time someone brought that up in these pages I asked how long it would be before the first "desk pop?"

Since then I think we've had at least three accidental discharges by adults carrying guns in school.


I'd like to see a few teachers or vice principals train and carrying in the schools. These idiots kids will know it's a suicide mission to attack it. If they are willing to die, lack of guns aren't going to stop anything.

On one hand I agree, that trained security is valuable. Obviously.

But here's the deal, once you are trained security and armed, you are limited in the way you can interact with kids. You can't let one close to you, get in your blind spot, and make a grab for the gun at your waist.

You notice how policemen keep one hand on their gun during all close interactions?

Do you really want teachers or vice principals to behave that way around students?

I was thinking of having the gun in a lock box somewhere. I wouldn't like the effect of a teacher with a holster on the kids, but then again, in some neighborhoods.....

The school in Texas already had two armed guards. Clearly that wasn't enough to intimidate, so what makes you think a few more armed administrators will help?

Self Defense Prohibited zones. Let’s be clear.

The U.K. is already far down the path of making that a blanket prohibition. Not working out too well for them.

4. I have been thinking a bit about nuclear deterrence and the need for foreign wars. It seems that states who translate their nuclear threat into a disinterest in foreign adventures might be the good guys. Whether Germany or Korea, maybe it's good when they say "ok, we've got nukes, now we will stick to our own knitting."

I think the old theory of conventional war in Europe was that states like Germany "couldn't" use nukes for border defense. Maybe that theory is shot.

In terms of the US and our own defense budgets, I think we've been led to accept a bunch of b*******. We too have a mighty big nuclear deterrent, and our ability to fight multiple wars is really about projecting power and not sticking to your own knitting. When you come down to it, it is about not sticking to international capitalism.

So don't ask Germany to pay, and reduce our own defense spending at the same time. If anybody really wants to come and get us, we can just nuke 'em.

"If anybody really wants to come and get us, we can just nuke 'em."

But who is going to anyway? What is war about? It's about gaining land. Traditionally agricultural land, but in the modern era, you can also include oilfields. And since the introduction of the tractor and chemical fertilisers, and the rise of the industrial economy, agricultural land just isn't that valuable. People get richer making a better vacuum cleaner or microchip than killing someone to take their field. It's why war is almost non-existent today. Where do we have war? The middle east where industrialisation is almost non-existent and people fight to get oilfields, and a few bits of Asia and Africa.

I think you still need an insurance policy, and maybe a way to give some countries a spanking who try it on. So, yes, nuclear weapons and ways to launch missile attacks, I think. But stuff like the F-35 is just a giant waste of money. When you reach the point where you're fighting people at that level of sophistication, they're so industrialised, they're past war.

People thought we were past war in 1913, too.

First, that ignores nuclear deterrence.

Second, their thinking was very much different.

There is nothing wrong with a few cruise missiles, when judiciously to reinforce global norms.

It gives some shades of grey between peace and nuclear exchange.

The genesis of war isn't greed for the land of others, it's directing the anti-social behavior of testosterone infused teen-age boys toward strangers rather than their own community. Only later in human evolution were the old timers, teen-age vandals grown up, able to direct wars of conquest with new generations of delinquents.

There is also beachfront property, water, national unification, and denying other people agricultural land.

People get richer making a better vacuum cleaner or microchip than killing someone to take their field. It's why war is almost non-existent today.

But the people making vacuum cleaners are not the same people who get rich by making war. So it isn't really about manufacturing. It is about the type of people in charge. The manufacturers of Argentina presumably did not want a war with Britain but they got stuck with one anyway.

Anonymous, what are you talking about? Germany has no nuke, never had, and in the foreseeable future, will never have.

Moreover, having nukes is no guarantee that you won't be attacked. Examples: India and Pakistan attacked each other despite both of them having nukes. Israel was attacked many times, for instance by surprise in 1973 (Yom Kippur war) despite having nukes then. Also the surprise attack of China against US troops in Korea in October 1950. Also the UK attacked by Argentina in the Falklands war.

This comment looks like pure nonsense to me.

Wikipedia says:

"NATO member nuclear weapons sharing states (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey)"

But you are right that nuclear powers may "skirmish" but always short of a critical threshold.

Israel is a special situation as always.

That sharing program is just propaganda to make those countries take up part of the tab for US nukes and basing rights in Europe. None of the NATO members have nukes they could dispose of, and none are stationed in Germany nowadays. The last weapons were quietly shipped back to the US and Russia in the late 1990s/early 2000s - German governments wanted to get them shipped out, since they were rightly concerned about safety issues due to proven careless handling from both the US and Russian armies. You know, Germans bickering about enforcing safety standards can be quite tedious. I recall many Spiegel articles on that topic from the 1990s.
In any case, they could spend 2% of GDP on defense easily, if they wanted to. But why weaken the economy and give a cause for concern to Russian and Polish friends by the same token?

I have to admit that I thought Germany owned at least some of those shared NATO bombs.

Given the uncertainty with US presidents they probably should.

No worries. In two generations, the nukes in Britain, France, Germany, and Turkey will be under the control of anti-American (and anti-Israeli) Muslims.

#2 I didn't know he was dead. As those giants who fought the Soviet Behemoth die, a generation of pygmies sell their children in bondage to be sacrificed by and for the Chinese Moloch in exchange for a mess of pottage.

Finally our favorite Ohioan says something that I can at least half agree with. Or rather agree with half. He was a giant. He has been succeeded by pygmies.

However I can't help notice his Obituary makes much of his B Team shellacking of the CIA but it does not point out how wrong they were. They were probably right on the intention - after all I pretty much believe everyone to the Left of Le May was a pink-ish sell out apologist for Communism. But it turned out the Soviet economy was a lot weaker than even the CIA thought.

"As those giants who fought the Soviet Behemoth die, a generation of pygmies sell their children in bondage to be sacrificed by and for the Chinese Moloch in exchange for a mess of pottage."

I count an impressive 6 mixed metaphors in that sentence.

4. Germany spends 1.2%. The U.S. spends 3.3%. China spends 1.9%. Russia spends 5.4%. Saudi Arabia spend 9.8%. Singapore spends 3.4%. Ethiopia spends .7%. Should Germany be more like China or Singapore?

It is a good question, how much should Germany spend. But it should not be Germany to decide.

4. How about actual modernization or recapitalization instead of lame excuses or increases in pension or salary. Actual lifecycle costs (procurement, parts stockage, training of personnel, disposal and replacement) of high end equipment adds up quickly:

"There are so few German army helicopters available for the troops that pilots have been forced to train in bright yellow civilian choppers leased from the German Automobile Club.

A chronic shortage of spare parts and assorted technical woes has grounded 29 of the Bundeswehr's 130 camouflage-green colored helicopters. Acute shortages of parts have also left only 39 of the Luftwaffe's 128 Eurofighter jets combat-ready — idled along with nearly half of the armed forces' 224 Leopard tanks and five of its six submarines."

As a German I can say I'm not sad about the apparently terrible state of the Bundeswehr.

One army less to go around killing people in the world.

A sentiment which can only be indulged because the American military keeps the sealanes open for trade and keeps the Russians from advancing westward.

Unless you want to tell us that soft power keeps Putin from gobbling up the Ukraine?

You mean, like he did to Crimea? Ukrainians were under the impression it was part of their country. Americans sold the Ukrainians out as they sold the Hungarians out in 1956.

Ukraine is a corrupt, alcoholic hellhole. It would probably be better for everyone if the Russians gobbled it up.

Who is threatening sea lanes in the 21st century? A few pirates in outboard skiffs?

Germany and Russia are natural allies and important trading partners. An uppity Russia threatening Poland is actually in the interest of Germany since it makes them more pliable and makes concerned Poles look East, not West.


The Poles and the Balts don't share your sang-froid about the east. Poor they may be, but they at least make an effort to protect themselves and their allies, and in that they are greater than Germany.

The German armed forces have degenerated into a joke. Readiness levels are appalling. Logistics and C2 and ISTAR are threadbare. The problem is not a lack of troops or platforms; its a nearly total lack of combat support and combat support services. Germany needs spare parts, technicians, and munitions; UAVs, ECM, C2, and new transport capabilities to have an armed forces worth a damn.

The rest of us, Europeans and US alike, are tired of keeping order in Germany's backyard so you can sell them BMWs. Pull your damn weight in NATO, Germany, or get out.

"The Poles and the Balts don't share your sang-froid about the east."
They are legitimate parts of Russia since the times of the Russian Empire. Soon or later, they will rejoin the fatherland. Poland was invented by Wilson in 1918.

Thiago, you are more interesting when you are not a Troll.

I am not a troll. Poland is widely known to be part of Russia. Famous Polish dictator Piłsudski was Russian, a schoolmate of the founder of the forerunner of KGB, Dzerzhinsky.

While I do enjoy your trolling Thiago, my old retired Ohioan accountant, Piłsudski was born in what is now Lithuania. I don't see how being an ethnic Pole born in Lithuania makes one Russian. Ted Cruz was born in Canada and John McCain in Panama.

He was born in the Russian Empire. He is as Russian as Putin, Lenin or Golda Meier.

Gandhi was born in the British Empire. But he was not British.

Golda Meir was effectively American, her family having left Ukraine (Russian Empire) when she was five years old.

'The Poles and the Balts don't share your sang-froid about the east.'

Ask the Poles what they would think of a truly capable German Army.

My understanding of what Joël wrote - 'It is a good question, how much should Germany spend. But it should not be Germany to decide.' is that a lot of countries with experience of a capable German military feel they should be in a position to decide just how capable the German military should be - with the default answer being not very. For example, the French, the Czechs, and the Poles all have experience of what happens when a capable German military goes out to defend civilization from the evils of communism - and to reclaim its former territory, of course.

The situation is quite comparable with Japan - none of its neighbors wants to see a capable Japanese military again, either.

I was going to say the same thing. Maybe they don't have use for 72 billion euros, but they sure as hell have use for more than their current budget.

+1 Exactly. I could make them a list of things to hire/buy and capabilities to reconstitute right now. Any defence expert could.

"Double the size of the Bundeswehr" is just an asinine comment by some appointee with no clue about the problem; they have plenty of troops (low grade) and vehicles (low readiness). What they need is a massive overhaul of their Combat Support and Combat services support to the front line.

The Bundeswehr is also corrupt as hell and has literally no accounting and no way to track where the money goes. During my military service I was actually scammed out of 20% of my (of course extremely meager) wages there. Doubling ther budget probably wouldn't help much except making a few soldiers and contractors rich.

And that's the way we want it. An effective army would be scary, not only for Poland but also in the perception of most German civilians.

That link makes zero sense. "We don't have enough people to use the equipment" Hire more people. "It takes 15-20 years to train new people" No it doesn't. Hire people from the U.S. or wherever if you need to. "Nobody makes the parts" So make the parts yourselves or offer enough money to where someone will.

What kind of idiot could buy the arguments presented?

It makes zero sense because they can't say what they know...Germany, historically, does very very bad things when they have a functioning military.

If Germany claims it can't productively spend 2% of GDP on defense, why not contribute, say, 0.8% of GDP to a general NATO (or EU defense) fund. Money could be spent on real military needs - say transport, logistics, etc. - stuff that individual European govts either ignore or do poorly.

5. As the tweet linked to appears to have disappeared, here is a link to a related story: Ignored in all the gun debate, however, is any examination why schools, disproportionately managed by women, disproportionally staffed by women, are such a toxic environment for young men. The malign influence of all that estrogen is under-examined. Even if you remove all guns, male students will suffer from being coerced into a toxic environment where they will be abused by women who will work out their sexual frustrations upon them. The young males will predictably, as the bombs in this latest incident suggest, respond in new, and even deadlier ways. Don't expect to see any improvement until there are equal numbers of male and female elementary and high school teachers.

#5 is much ado about nothing. In the same way, let's compare that China has had 3.7 million deaths so far this year, while American Samoa has only had 90!!!!

If you look at the "rate" instead of the total, "being a solider is 17 times more likely to result in death than being a student."

2. I got started on Pipes's trilogy on Russian history a few months back. Liked it very much (whatever little I read).

Sorry to hear about his passing

3.- I don't know which way causality goes in this case, but I've always wondered about the effect (or cause) of the ubiquitous and loud presence of ambience music in almost every kind of public space in Latinamerica.
I can still remember the times when, at least where I live, you would hear baroque (or other classic) music in some of those same public spaces. But nowadays it's a rarity.

“There’s something about Baroque music that macho wannabe-gangster types hate.”

Maybe it's true.

The term "baroque" is probably derived from the Portuguese word barroco, or irregularly shaped pearl, which was used as an epithet. Since Portuguese-speaking Brazilians epitomize thug culture, examining the pathologies of Brazilian culture would be the best place to start in order to ascertain the origins of the hatred.

That is not true at all! Brazilians oppose thug culture. Thugs are despised and frowned at in Brazil. Baroque literature is highly regarded by Brazilian scholars and connoisseurs. I myself have read most of famous Portuguese baroque write António Vieira's voluminous work.

“I myself have read most of famous Portuguese baroque writer’s António Vieira's voluminous work”

It all makes sense, and a pretty picture it does not paint.

Yes, it does.

2. An excellent way to say: "Get off my lawn, you vagrants, thugs, and juvenile delinquents!" Paradoxically, this means that classical music is more likely to be heard around low rent establishments than elsewhere.

5. Before we let Israeli dual-citizen politicians disarm us (Feinstein, Emmanuel, Bloomberg, and a long list of others), have a look at how Israel behaves with an armed state versus a disarmed populace.

3. Wow, how much nonsensical left-wing jargon can a writer pack into one essay? I quit halfway through. I'll never get those 3 minutes back, either.

I don't think they quite grasp the nature of "Orwellian."

Orchestral classical music, mostly a bit later than what we would call baroque, plays continuously at the Sharon Heights shopping center in Menlo Park to discourage teenagers from hanging around the shopping center. It seems to be successful.

The performances played are mediocre. Sort of what you would get if you asked Pandora to pay second movements from classical concerti.

They're probably mediocre because they can only use public domain recordings. I ran into this problem years ago when I had to select our company's on-hold music. So much great stuff I could have used, but that would have brought the rights-owners down on our heads.

Thanks for the humorous comments. I am not sure who Pandora is these days but otherwise those were three fabulous comments.

When people who are good at music were young, they all wanted (every single one) to do what anyone who is good at anything wants to do, leaving aside the (and we all know this) selfish motivations of those with more talent than heart: they wanted to produce good music, they imagined their long-meditated melodies and rhythms and harmonies would exist , somewhere, in some version of eternally valid love-intoxicated evenings at the seashore or in the gardens, where the work day was far away, and young heart spoke to young heart, for many generations after they no longer had to live in this world.

Fast forward a couple hundred years, their music is apparently used to chase away their less likable descendant-great-grandchildren, who are (correctly) considered selfish and unlikeable and who are the sort of people who other people do not want to be around. Imagine what they think (the music makers, imagine what the music makers think)

Well, even if you are the sort of person who nobody ever wants to share a shopping mall with, or if you were never such a person, imagine if you fell in love with the sort of partner who, with you, would produce, after a few years of a mediocre marriage and after years of you doing whatever you thought you ought to do to raise a child, such a person: (God loves you, trust me on that):

Pause for a moment and consider why some of us consider the Gospel of Luke, while arguably no better than the Gospel of John, to be more full of love that we can understand.

And no, Bach was not the greatest composer, and Mozart usually wasn't either. Nobody you ever heard of was the greatest composer. Trust me, listen to the wind in the trees or over the water or over the sands or just listen to your own heart beat. God loves you.

actually you may know who the greatest composer is

remember that good composers want, really want, other composers, writing music a week later, or a year later, or a decade or a century later, to be better than they had been

just saying

so if the person you think was the greatest composer was born before, say, your great-grand-mother was born, said composer probably would hope you are wrong

lots of generations lots of room for error but a first derivative and a second derivative and a third derivative are rarely all that hard to figure out in a universe that is friendly to the type of continuity that eventually after 4000 years led to the compositions by Mozart which people who like music generally think of when they think of Mozart Kochel 300 plus

Remsenberg Pleasanton Potters Field Potters Field 2 miles from the entrance at Arlington Cemetery that was a long walk Quantico Smith Point, that is what I remember, what you remember is just as important and always will be

English is a nice language too

odds that your favorite composer spoke English are higher than you think

"there is a great deal of good music still to be written in C major" " Schoenberg

#6 - so an applicant will take 73c on the $1 to work for a company that practices corporate social responsibility, and that applicant is likely to be a woman?

Sounds like discrimination to me.

5.Alternate link

3. I used to live in a neighborhood where the folks across the street blasted salsa from the humongous speakers in the trunk of their car. I turned my Bose 901s around to face the street and started blasting Bruckner symphonies. Worked like a charm. It's also an effective mosquito repellent.

4. Of course, the Trump administration hasn't complained about how much China spends on defense but rather how much China spends on public capital investment. Duh.

We have a pact with Germany that we will go to its defense if attacked, not so China. They should not cheat providing for their own defense.

1. Is good, but suffers from the fact that to get anyone to read it at all it has to be phrased as a book review of something by some dude named Morris, whereas the thing is in fact an explanation of Kuhn's philosophy.

I haven't read Kuhn, and didn't know he was influenced by William James. Though it is unsurprising in hindsight. What is a little surprising is that there is no William James revival going on in the wake of Jordan Peterson. The parallels are almost eerie: two psychologists who defend Christianity alongside science by invoking Pragmatist epistemology and go on rock-star speaking tours to trade on this trick.

Actually it suffers from not being able to explain what the problem between the two was. A teacher writes three dozen pages in rebuttal of an under-graduate's essay? That seems excessive. The student's response is such that he has to quit and move to Berkeley? That is definitely excessive. What was the beef? Who was right? The fact that the student was expelled suggests Kohn was doing his job and the student took it poorly. But you never know.

1. Errol Morris is a gifted filmmaker and probably worth hearing out. I studied at the University of Chicago during the peak of Kuhn's influence, and I absorbed his work as if it were received wisdom, but later realized that his critics included Karl Popper, Michael Polanyi, and my professor Dudley Shapere, all of whom are exemplary. Academic fights such as this one are fun to read about, and in this case the participants are serious people, not cranks.

Errol Morris might just be the greatest documentary filmmaker ever. And he is an educated and thoughtful person, i.e. he's not an idiot savant who's good only at film-making.

The linked article is quite good however, in suggesting that he might have been an obstreperous grad student who still hasn't gotten over his conflict with Kuhn. I think he was periodic columnist for the NY Times a couple of years ago and wrote a series of columns that explored similar philosophy of science themes -- but I wasn't getting much out of them so I stopped reading them.

Speaking of Kuhn, his theory of scientific revolutions is fascinating, but it is self-defeating upon closer inspection: doesn’t his theory apply to itself

4. A 7.5% increase in spending a year for ten years (which is what it would take to have gone from Germany's 2014 spending level to the suggested 2024 target) is not a massive strain. Insofar as Germany might be unable to spend more, it's because it procrastinated on following through on its commitment. If it's impossible now, that's Germany's fault.

Not that, in fact, that they're telling the truth about the difficulty. For example, Germany's original order for A400Ms was for 60, then they cut it to 53, and then they decided as part of spending cut plans to sell or lease 13 of the order. Going back to buying and operating a full 60 would cost money, sure, but it's hardly beyond their actual capability.

But, hey, if Germans are psychologically incapable of spending that money themselves, I've got a perfect solution -- they can write checks to other NATO members willing to spend it on Germany's behalf.

Your last paragraph is the obvious solution. That it has not been applied
yet is the main problem of NATO , the one which, if not addressed, will lead to its implosion. Trump should honor his electoral promise and say publicly that if Germany doesn't pay, the United States will not defend it if it is attacked. There will be no need to go thus far, because then, of course, Germany will agree to spend on military expenses or to give 2% of its GDP.

Just give it directly to Poland. They are motivated to use it effectively. Europe would be better off all around.

How much damage and destruction do the united Krauts have to do before people wise up? The unification of Germany was one of the most catastrophic events in world history. Yet the West rejoices that the Commie East has joined up with their statist western cousins instead of being broken up into their former little principalities. Why should this be so? Because when the Soviets want to overrun Europe they'll have to expend lots of artillery shells on the Krauts. Only there ain't anymore Soviets. But there are Russians, and we need enemies, so they're the ones. The alarm goes off when their tanks cross the Oder, just as they would have in 1940.

The unification of Germany was one of the most catastrophic events in world history.

Genuinely curious, how so?

5. Especially in Chicago...

You are using your reactionary non-logical part of your brain here.

0 of the school shootings in 2018 happened in Chicago.

They happened in North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, California, Maryland, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Alabama, California, Maryland, New York, Missouri, Florida, California, Texas, and Michigan

Given the level of violence in Chicago, how do you know? Who would even notice one school shooting among so many?

I assume that guards, fences and metal detectors means most Chicagoan school shootings don't take place in schools but after school hours, outside.

4: Hey Germany, make out a check to the US Treasury. We'll take it from there. Thanks so much.

Another white male incel commits mass murder this time in Texas. Why aren't we calling it what it is? Terrorism.

"This year, going to school has involved more fatalities than serving in the U.S. military."

Shame on America.

#5 - Schools are too big. De-scale them.

I'm not sure there's any good justification for public schooling beyond the 8th grade.

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