The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.
And nobody is claiming only the Jewish Centre outcomes were unique, though likely more extreme.
Slimeballs. Thugs. Don't even contemplate the word 'sophisticated'.
He is reliably funny, even with all the intensity, and the pipsqueaks he targets are clearly proven to be such. Including the Journalism Doctor (what self-importance!).
A bit of his well-justified admiration:
La Fallaci had just raised with the Ayatollah the matter of “the condition of segregation into which women have been cast” in the Islamic republic. “They can’t study at university with men, or work with men,” she said, “or go to the beach or to a swimming pool with men. They have to take a dip apart, in their chadors. By the way, how do you swim in a chador?”
What a splendidly offhand question. Alas, the Ayatollah didn’t care for it. “This is none of your business,” said Khomeini. “Our customs are none of your business. If you do not like Islamic dress you are not obliged to wear it. Because Islamic dress is for good and proper young women.”
“That’s very kind of you, Imam. And since you said so, I’m going to take off this stupid, medieval rag right now. There. Done. But tell me something. A woman such as I, who has always lived among men, showing her neck, her hair, her ears, who has been in war and slept in the front line in the field among soldiers, according to you, is she an immoral, bold and unproper woman?”
That was 1979 - before any “literary hoax” called The Little Green Book was ever published. I had a thousand points of disagreement with Oriana Fallaci, but I adored her. She was a fearless woman, and when she went into a room with the dictators of the day she was full of facts. In a navel-gazing media forever congratulating itself on “speaking truth to power”, she just got on and did it.
And clearly very annoyed, he lets a bit loose on the Journalism Doctor:
In his “open letter” to me, Professor Miller wrote of Oriana:
"When the New York Times wrote her obituary on Sept. 15, 2006, the headline called her a 'writer-provocateur.' Sound familiar? Remind us of anyone we know?"
What a sad little man. He actually thinks he’s insulting me by comparing me to the peerless Fallaci. But, of course, he's only doing it so he can go all J-school on us:
"Journalists usually try to deal with primary sources (Writer-provocateurs seldom do)."
Oh, my! I wonder if he has any idea quite what a Ryerson-atrophied pansy he sounds wagging his finger at Oriana Fallaci? “Writer-provocateurs” don’t “deal with primary sources”? Well, her “primary source” on Ayatollah Khomeini is Ayatollah Khomeini. What have you got, Finger Boy? When she was hurling her chador at him in 1979, what were you doing? Retyping press releases from Ed Broadbent?
The pipsqueaks asked for it, and it is fun to watch the wrath come down. A sad little man indeed. And I love the word "Ryerson-atrophied".
The only terrorist captured alive after the Mumbai massacre has given police the first full account of the extraordinary events that led to it – revealing he was ordered to ‘kill until the last breath’.
Apparently the recruiting was not entirely perfect.
the attacks were meticulously planned six months ago and were intended to kill 5,000 people.
Maybe not so meticulously. Or perhaps the estimating skills were deficient.
Mercifully, the group, armed with plastic explosives, underestimated the strength of the 105-year-old building’s solid foundations.
Sophistication indeed! Imagine what might have been the outcome if the local police had been willing to shoot.
Shortly before the terrorists moved into their targets in South Mumbai, a black and yellow taxi, with three passengers and enough ammunition to bring down a dome, sped in the direction of the airport. Instead of taking a slip road that would have taken the passengers straight to the airport, the driver took the flyover which bypassed the airport, only to get stuck at a red light.
At rush hour, the lights stayed red for long, at which the passengers berated the driver and asked him to cut the traffic lights. The driver moved on, but the wait turned out to be a minute or two too long. The car exploded. All that was found was a severed head and parts of three human legs. Had the terrorists' plans of coinciding a blast at the airport with the attacks on the Taj and Oberoi hotels succeeded, the death toll of 26/11 would have been much bigger than it already is.
First rule with GPS - update those maps!
Again, nothing I would call sophistication. Just savagery.
So let's break this down. (1) The terrorists assaulted several targets simultaneously. How hard is that, provided you have enough people, access to Google maps, and some wristwatches? (2) They took and kept hostages. How hard is that, provided you have guns and the hostages don't? I mean, the FLQ took hostages, for goodness' sake. (3) They carried enough weapons and ammunition to fight for several days. Okay, so they had some money and there were a lot of them. Fair point.
What stands out here is not great organizational skill or sophistication, but savagery.
Sleepless again, I find CNN absorbed in its silly 'Heroes' show and the BBC feed utterly dead on Rogers Cable so I have moved to IBN's live internet feed.
And I find an amazing homage to Hemant Karkare, the head of India's counter-terrorism effort, killed in the current Mumbai battles.
It is alternately heartbreaking and inspiring. Sad that vermin have killed someone so apparently interesting - a mechanical engineer who made a curious career change. Young family still, but daughters spread over the world - funeral held up to let them return from the US and the UK. I love some of the coverage - "You must have done something right when you come under attack from all political groups". Well, maybe not - maybe everybody else was right.
But one thing is clear - India has to figure out how to stop the next attack, as it did not figure out how to stop this one.
Glenn Reynolds has repeatedly been making the point, rightly, that the Mumbai attackers depended on the fact that the populace is unarmed:
Of course, if significant numbers of citizens were armed, the response would be much harder to overwhelm.
It has always struck me that the annual anti-gun obeisances in Canada around the Marc Lepine shootings (coming up depressingly soon) are utterly fatuous, as the simple fact is that if the students had been armed Lepine might have killed at most one or two people, not fourteen.
To be honest, I do worry about the potential outcomes here; it is hard to imagine any good outcome at all. Fortunately, a disaster in Canada is really only a disaster to Canadians and won't matter much to the world.
On CNN, an escapee from one of the hotels under attack in Mumbai, Jonathan Ehrlich, tells a harrowing story of his escape. What I thought was most delightful was his order to the rest of us, "Book an airline ticket to Mumbai." I recall the same feeling back in July 2005, with nothing like so close an encounter with the slimeballs, in London.
... has been thrust into likely international prominence as CNN's correspondent at the Taj hotel in Mumbai. Attractive and articulate, she has managed to keep me engaged when all she really has to report is continuing explosions and sounds of gunfire from the hotel.
I've had two rather sleepless nights and I continue to be amazed to find her still standing guard outside the hotel, dealing tirelessly with unruly crowds, authorities, and no doubt her colleagues as well. How does CNN hire so brilliantly? I have become accustomed over the years to seeing local Ontario anchorettes popping up on CNN International during my summer trips to Europe, and now I discover that Sara has come from a station I used to watch when I was in Berkeley, KTVU. Good poaching, CNN!
As commandos enter the Jewish Center, shown for a couple of moments on both BBC and CNN at the top of the hour, attention has moved away on both networks, on the BBC to the Thai airports (a story worth some coverage), on CNN to Christina Applegate's breasts (also a somewhat worthy story).
When I could not sleep through last night and absorbed myself in news coverage, CNN did not break away, but the BBC had to include several sections of their news coverage explaining the implications of the Mumbai attacks for the England-India cricket tests matches underway in India.
Culture. Priorities. I suspect the Indians would understand the BBC's.
I cannot even recall who asked it in the midst of all the channel-changing, but someone onscreen actually asked at one point, "Why would anyone attack the Jewish Center?"
Indeed. When did that poor soul graduate from journalism school? How readily we forget. Maybe forget is the wrong word - many people (including some commenters to this blog) seem ignorant of ties between Islamism and other past forms of anti-Semitism. Appalling.
I have received this note a few times today. It was accompanied by this lovely picture.
Don't read - page down past the quotation.
Hello man my new friend!
I understand, that you do not know me and I do not know you, but probably in the future all can change. All good always occurs in the future and I ask a few patience from you to read my letter up to the end. In the beginning I want to be presented you and to tell a little about my life. My name is Elena and to me it will be very pleasant, if you will name me so. Was born 32 years ago and all this time I live in Russia, in Cheboksary . Now I work as the pediatrist in hospital and I very much like my work as I every day communicate with many different people. My life goes in regular intervals and every day is similar on previous. I like my friends and love my family. Certainly the most important i want to found love and my the husband to be the happiest woman in the world. For all my life I could not meet the man to which I could trust completely and with which I would like to connect my life, but very much I want. Several days ago I laid at home on a sofa and thought. Why I am lonely? Why I cannot find my special the man? Probably I have made nothing to be happy? Certainly I can be together with the man which I not love, to give birth to the child and simply to be mum, but to not be happy in the family, but I do not want it. I want to love the man and simply be happy to be with him. Also I have thought. Why to not try to get acquainted with the man from other country if I could not find my special man here in Russia? Now we live in 21 century and I know, that many people use the Internet and "Marriage agencies" to get acquainted with suitable the man in any point globe. I do not want to be lonely during my life or simply to sit and wait, when my love will come to me. I want to do itself my life happy and have found such marriage agency here in my city. I knew, that their help will be not free-of-charge, but they have asked the big sum of money from me. Nevertheless I have thought and have decided to not be greedy this money, for the sake of my happiness and my love. Money - never can give to me of it. Probably my destiny to be with the man from other country? I do not know, but I want to try to know. They gave to me yours E-mail and have told, that you also are interested to find the woman for a life. I think, that now you can understand, how my letter has come to you, could learn a little about my life and about me, but I do not know your desires and I ask to think. We can try to build serious relations or probably simply to be friends. If you do not have desire simply speak to me and I can understand. Nevertheless if I am interesting to you it would be very pleasant for me to learn also a little more about you and to receive your photos. I understand in computers not much, but I hope, that you also can receive my photos in this letter. Certainly appearance not the most important in the person both his private world and soul are of great value, but nevertheless it is more pleasant to receive the letter from the person and to see, how he looks. All this, that I wanted to tell to you and now I shall wait only your answer. Excuse, if I something have offended you in my letter or something has told not correctly, but understand, that I try it for the first time and I worry a little. Even if serious relations are not interesting to you or I am not pleasant, simply let to me know. Ok?
Please reply only my personal e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tired of loneliness Elena
Fact One: The To: field on my mail client never showed my address - always someone else's. How dumb can they be? This is easily fixed. So they put NO attention into this one thing.
I think they have put a lot of brilliant attention into the text, working hard to make it seem someone is struggling to write in English using a dictionary.
I especially like
Now I work as the pediatrist in hospital
Lovely choice of non-word.
Probably I have made nothing to be happy?
I cannot recall from what Russian I once knew whether this make/do confusion should occur there as it naturally does in German.
And of course the final "Tired of loneliness" is quite sweet.
Another problem is that each individual message has a different reply-to address.
I imagine these people may get a lot better at this over time. I wonder how many hits they get.
How many economic-advice-giving organizations does it take to run a White House?
There was already some inherent ambiguity and conflict as to what the respective contributions and roles would be for Larry Summers at the National Economic Council, Christina Romer at the Council of Economic Advisors, Tim Geithner at the Treasury, and Peter Orszag at the Office of Management and Budget. ... based on my knowledge of those four, I could imagine them working together very effectively.
What I'm less clear about is how creating yet another separate advisory group is going to facilitate that. Fortunately Justin Fox has come up with a solution to the potential problem: Obama just needs to appoint Jason Furman to run the "Coordinating Council of Economic Advice-Givers".
I sure hope Obama has the executive skills he clearly thinks he has.
The savagery is unbelievable - not on the scale of 9/11, but hardly untypical of the representatives of Islamism.
During a sleepless night I got the shock of my life, finding the CNN coverage much better than BBC's. While this tone is absent now from the coverage, I found offensive some initial comments suggesting an almost fawning admiration for the organization behind the current attacks.
Now I work in software development, and I know organization, the sort it takes to create something new and useful, and try to get people to appreciate the result sufficiently for my company to recoup its costs. That is what I consider organization to be.
What did this take? Find a bunch of disaffected layabouts, young males looking for murderous excitement and glory. That seems pretty easy these days in the Muslim world. Get some money to support destructive attacks on any modernizing part of the world. Also pretty easy. Get lots of weapons. Really easy! (And largely the fault of that modernizing world.) Choose a bunch of low-security targets to attack. And then, knowing in advance that you are entering a world built on mutual trust and co-operation, exploit all that to inflict violence on an unexpecting and innocent population.
This is not organization of any serious quality. Nor does it require much in the way of character, except for a Jeffrey Dahmer sort of character. (And Dahmer at least fought against his tendencies.) No courage involved. Not much in the way of brains. And what nobility! - to attack the maternity ward of a hospital, a Jewish centre, a cafe, the railway station, and some hotels which were clearly a favorite spot for Mumbai families to stage family events.
One wonders where this will lead.
UPDATE: The minute I post this Barbara Starr on CNN begins to rave about the sophistication of the attacks. WTF? Sophistication is Mozart, is building a gothic cathedral, creating the iPod. Mass destruction is something any of us can do with almost no brains or organization. And yes, this attack is more complicated than wandering into a shopping mall and opening up with an AK-47, but it is not that complicated when you pick targets, as these cowards did, that are essentially dependent on not being secure. It is a lot easier to wreck a civil society than build one.
I got this nice e-mail from Albert Schultz regarding activities at Soulpepper.
Thank you for supporting Soulpepper. I would like to extend a special offer to you for three remarkable shows happening here at the Young Centre. As a Soulpepper patron you can receive $20 tickets to Radio Play, Sylvia Plath Must Not Die and Doing Leonard Cohen. Radio Play features Canada's foremost contemporary dancer Peggy Baker and celebrated actor/writer Michael Healey in a delightful piece that blurs the line between dance and theatre. Sylvia Plath Must Not Die and Doing Leonard Cohen are two acclaimed works by Calgary's internationally celebrated One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre. Book your $20 tickets today by calling the Young Centre box office at 416.866.8666 and quoting SOULPEPPER652.
Hmm, I thought, that is a tad vague. I went to the Web page and discovered tickets for all these shows are priced at $20 and $30.
Surely, I then thought, he cannot mean that the reward I get is paying $20 for $20 tickets? So I called, and guess what!? That is exactly the deal.
In any case, no big deal - I have to give them credit for their spamming. I do wonder what Albert thinks is so special about his offer. This is close to sleaze.
UPDATE: Soulpepper responded to my posting with this claification:
I wanted to address your concerns about the Young Centre offer to Soulpepper patrons that you received by e-mail for $20 tickets to our upcoming programming. The prices you reference from our website does indicate that the range is $20 - $30, but omits the fact that the $20 is exclusively student pricing. By quoting the code for this offer patrons can save $10 off of the $30 general ticket pricing.
I hope this clarifies a few points and that this hasn’t soured your experiences of Soulpepper and the Young Centre.
This does make me a lot happier! I wish it could have been made clear in the original note - and maybe the box office staff should have been briefed - I explicitly asked, after identifying the code, "Does this mean I get a $20 seat for $20?", and was told "Yes".
Arnold Kling's observations here are quite likely to have applicability far beyond New Jersey.
I sympathize profoundly with this bit:
I am convinced that those of us who save for our own retirement are going to be taxed to pay for other people's defined-benefit plans. For some reason, this crime bothers me even more than most other government crimes.
I visited Singapore for three weeks almost twenty years ago, and was impressed at the time by what amounted to a congestion charge. It is no surprise to me to learn that, as technology has improved, they have apparently introduced Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), which I consider an excellent idea.
I learned about this from this post by Bryan Caplan, who also points to this wonderful YouTube video - it is worth watching, and got belly laughs from me.
Caplan's post is also interesting in the discussion of the psychology of Singaporeans regarding public policy. I met many very kind and friendly people, but the answer he describes to the question posed match perfectly my recollections of attitudes towards what the government was doing.
It was in Singapore as well that I was startled as a taxi-driver shouted "F**king Honkie" when feeling dissed by someone else out on the road. Of course it turned out he was referring to someone from Hong Kong, not me.
The latest recruit to the new Obama administration
Iowahawk hits it beautifully, capturing a lot in the process:
Ending weeks of speculation and rumors, President-Elect Barack Obama today named Bill Clinton to join his incoming administration as President of the United States, where he will head the federal government's executive branch. ... "I am gratified that the President-Elect has entrusted me with this important responsibility," said Clinton. "I'm looking forward to getting back behind, and under, the Oval Office desk again. As I have told the President-Elect, I pledge to do whatever I can to serve his historic administration by making sure that none of that bullshit he talked about during the campaign will ever see the light of day. ... Obama also announced that he had accepted his own appointment of himself as an Assistant Undersecretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"It's a fairly low-stress job that I'm reasonably qualified for," said Obama. "I really can't do much damage there, and it will give me plenty of free time for Oprah specials. Plus work on my next autobiography and re-election campaign."
Even as I laughed, I wondered nostalgically if this might not be a good approach.
On top of the usual year-round canada geese, ring-billed gulls, double-breasted cormorants, mallards, and swans, we now have buffleheads, oldsquaws, chickadees all over, kinglets, and a couple of creatures I saw today and could not identify. (I never saw a kinglet, nor with certainty a chickadee, but it was clear they were there.)
This is the winter occupation! (I think the kinglets may well be year-round - but I have seen only one that I could confidently identify, a golden-crowned, in three years, and their chirping is harder to isolate other than in winter).
One bufflehead let me take a fuzzy shot. Another winter feature are the conferences of gulls on ice: Of course there are other sorts of bird-brains that show up. (About similar to the 9/11 troofers previously documented.)
Finally, "fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead" haven't gone through the formality of being invented yet.
And talk that says any of us will free ourselves on dependence on foreign oil is clearly the tsalk of a scoundrel, and Obama never differentiated himself from any other candidate in the primaries on this topic.
I love Steve's use of "formality", though I have been thinking, what other words could we use - courtesy, kindness, obeisance, ...?
I am not sure why Serena Ryder has been in the news lately, but she has - I think she rightly finally won one of those dumb Canadian awards - and I must say I LOVE her song "Weak in the Knees", and I love her throaty voice (apparently derived partly from smoking a lot). (I would mostly line up for the suggestions in the song, but, being married, would likely dodge the suggestion to come to bed.)
But hey she can also choose and do great covers!
The voice makes the cover work as well as it does. I do not like the slowing of the tempo. Holly knew what he was doing.
That voice really works for this old song!
And it is nice to see the young'uns inspired by old coot songs. Ryder's voice is stunning.
When Neil Young wrote the lyric line "And I'm getting old" it was ridiculous, but look at this couple! It is almost nonsensical - at least Neil Young looked lightly wasted at the time.
And finally - some Leonard Cohen, with her voice a total delight, and help from the family:
Wow!!! Wow!!! If I were still buying CDs, I know I would be buying Serena Ryder CDs. I have never gone to see her perform live and might do that. For now I think I might go back to "Weak in the Knees".
I have long been a big fan of corvids. And want to use this as an occasion to plug all the books of Bernd Heinrich, who has done studies of ravens that show their ingenuity to match that, unsurprisingly, of crows.
Doris Kearns Goodwin brings me to helpless tears. That is just the Lincoln part of her talk!
But the talk is lovely also about Lyndon Johnson, a man much under-appreciated by history. "This aging lion of a man."
Her baseball memoir is lovely, too. My first childhood vaguely solid memory is my father saying "Don Larsen just pitched a perfect game," obviously explaining to me some enthusiasm I did not then understand. I was 7 then so it makes some sense.
A wonderful TED talk by Deborah Gordon, exploring the emergent behavior of an ant colony, trying to figure out how it arises from such simple creatures. They are not so simple!
It exposes as much about the obsessions of scientists, and their odd assiduity, as it does about the ants. And it made me laugh in many places. And it seems that there are ants who only stand and wait, and one hopes they surely somehow serve in the process.
Michael Arrington's summary is a bit unfair to the stupid laws in this province, but the laws are clearly stupid. In Ontario one can help arrange car-pooling only with the following witless constraints:
The only way you can ride with someone is if you meet ALL of the following extremely impractical set of specific criteria:
* You must travel from home to work only – (Not Home to School, or Home to the Hospital or the Airport) * You cannot cross municipal boundaries – (Live outside the city and drive in – sorry you cannot share the ride with your neighbour) * You must ride with the same driver each day – (Want to mix it up go with one person one day and another person another day – no sorry cannot do that – must be same person each day) * You must pay the driver no more frequently than weekly – (Neighbour drives you to work better not pay her right away just in case she drives you later on in the week)
Meanwhile, as Arrington points out, our idiotic government makes traffic lanes unavailable by designating them for high occupancy.
Brad DeLong makes me think that my precise reason for a virtual Obama vote is justified.
That Barack Obama has an economic advisory team that consists of lots of very smart and public spirited people who think differently is not a problem but an advantage, no matter what Michael Fletcher thinks
Since this year's Soulpepper program was announced, Rondi has raved to me about the movie made from this play. so we went tonight. The play was great, the performances superb, causing tears to well up in just the right places - just a fine theatrical experience, but for one unprecedented thing in all my years of theatre-going.
My ticket said the play would start at 7:30. At 7:35 (long past the point where I am accustomed to a play supposedly scheduled for 7:30 starting) rows 5 and 6 of the orchestra below me were empty and we were sharing odd theories of what was going on. Another five minutes later an army of dressed-up folks, in pinstripe suits and wrapped in dead animals, filed in to fill those seats slowly, with no particular concern for the fact that a couple of hundred other people had been sitting and waiting long beyond an announced start time.
So look! - I do understand how private parties probably contribute significantly to Soulpepper's bottom line, and I care about that bottom line. But the private party COULD conceivably be informed that the start time is the start time, and no they cannot have another round of drinks. Soulpepper chose to treat all of us who had got into our seats on time with UTTER contempt by holding up the start by almost 15 minutes to accommodate some people who cannot check their watches.
I have NEVER experienced the like in all my very many years of theatre-going. I doubt I am quite ready to boycott Soulpepper, but one more repetition and I probably will. If they have so little regard for their normal customers (and I am not quite normal - I see almost every production, and many of them several times) I cannot see why I should maintain my regard for them, despite the intrinsic quality.
In the intermission we found what the private party was - at first I thought I had seen John Tory and suspected the Conservative party of Ontario. Instead, it turned out it was a TD Securities function (interesting that they can have such in these times). I have thought of switching my finances from my current host to TD in the last years - not a f***ing chance now ever.
But the play and production are great - go see it, but call in advance to see if there is some private party planning to nullify any notion of what the start time will be! Actually - maybe you should skip the show and rent the DVD of the movie - you can start it whenever you want.
It made me think a lot more favorably about both presidential candidates, and realize that, of the two, it was Obama who remained most true to himself, through a process that struggles to warp anyone. Norberg picks some great quotations (and read them at the linked post above). My favorite displays how self-aware and thoughtful and ironic Obama is in many ways:
Obama recalled that he often joked with his team, "This Barack Obama sounds like a great guy. Now I'm not sure that I am Barack Obama, right?" He added, pointedly, "It wasn't entirely a joke."
And another snippet that says a lot about relationships:
So that Christmas season, 2006, Michelle and Barack went for some long walks on the beach in Hawaii, where they were visiting his grandmother, and "just talked it through. It wasn't as if it was a slam-dunk for me," said Obama. "I think part of the reason she agreed to do it was because she knew that she had veto power, that she and the girls ultimately mattered more than my own ambitions in this process, and if she said no we would be OK." Michelle was able to extract a promise: if he ran, her husband would have to quit smoking.
Opera Atelier - The Abduction from the Seraglio - they strike again
See it! (Of course I say that about every one of their productions.)
Under time pressure, we left the theatre after two or three minutes of curtain calls, but half suspect there were many people still applauding as we reached our target ten to fifteen minutes later. People loved this production - as did I; I have seen three or four productions in my life, and this was by far the most exuberant, funny, moving, and overall enjoyable of all, by far.
Previous productions have struggled with the problem of filling a lot of orchestral time with no singing, but this company has little difficulty, with the commitment to a large balletic component, and the ability to make those components more than just twirling and jumping (though that is fun to watch); they add humour, and a degree of plot development as well through the choreography they choose.
The highlights in the cast were the servants, Lawrence Wiliford as Pedrillo, and Carla Huhtanen as Blonde. They were able to inject all the humour their roles required, and in many ways more - Wiliford is not just a fine singer, but a great slapstick performer, and mugger, in the sense of making faces, and acrobat. Huhtanen (my favorite Papagena ever, over many productions seen of the Magic Flute) is utterly skilled at roles like this for Opera Atelier.
The other great role for generating humour is that of Osmin, also wonderfully filled by Gustav Andreassen.
Frederic Antoun appeared to fit in well with the ensemble in his initial Opera Atelier role as Belmonte. As Konstanze, Amanda Pabyan sang wonderfully, but seemed to me to have some difficulty getting the Baroque gestures that are such a part of Opera Atelier's productions exactly right; they seemed off, and when I studied scenes where she and Huhtanen were paired and intended to be gesturing similarly, I noticed small differences, small but significant in how I found I was responding. The miss I perceived on the gestures extended to arias in which she was alone as well (I have watched these gestures for years now.). I suspect the female lead did not have enough time to rehearse getting this entirely right. But this is a small point - she held up through the coloratura work, and the audience overall loved her.
I cannot say enough about Curtis Sullivan - his role as Pasha Selim was perfect for his bass baritone, his acting skills, and his utter naturality as part of this company. Also, he is a hunk.
As always, the dancers were an addition to the drama (I think this is very special to this company). And set design, and costume design, and stage management, etc. etc. etc.
And then there is Tafelmusik - I too often forget how great they are in this role - Marshall Pynkoski made their presence a key point in his introductory speech and that was right. What a delight that Toronto has such a fine baroque chamber orchestra!
Readers anywhere near Toronto have some time to see the production! So go.
Thanks so much to Marshall Pynkoski and Jeanette Lajeunesse-Zingg for founding this company and keeping it going.
Oh yeah - thanks to Mozart, though they won't help him much.
In Toronto we had some snow last week which lasted about an hour on the ground, and some scraping of frost off the car the same day. But it was not that pretty. On the same day, the SillyWife was subjected to a blizzard, maybe a hundred miles or so away.
Several days later I was in her town, having driven down there in almost 70-degree-Fahrenheit weather, and there was still snow like this in a nearby parking lot! And with some remarkable colored leaves immediately at the side!
Such an unpredictable time of year in this part of the world!
I do miss the leaves in the winter, but their absence does permit several interesting sightings that would otherwise not have happened. The only time I have seen porcupines in nature is a result of the absence of leaves. And my morning walks are a lot more entertaining when creatures cannot hide in leaves. Here were two little creatures unexpectedly the object of a lot of human (and some canine) interest shortly after dawn a couple of days ago.
One bit of brilliance at the Cologne Zoo is the placement of the meerkats so close to the entrance. It is impossible not to be utterly charmed by these creatures, especially with them prepetually in a sort of lookout mode. OK maybe not perpetually. It is a bit difficult to parse this picture, but it features two babies fighting playfully, and leaving it to the adults to stand on guard.
Brad DeLong has his silly moments, but this gives me great comfort.
What strikes me are a couple of key points.
The bench is very deep right now. Practically everyone competent and qualified for high executive office has come over to the Democratic Party over the fourteen years since the coming of Gingrich. Thus there are a huge number of superb choices available for every position.
This just seems obvious to me.
Everyone's knows that this is bigger than any of us, and that the right attitude is to ask for an oar, find a place on a bench, and start rowing. There is an awful lot to do.
Yup. I never believed for a second the Republicans could produce a team with these qualities. Obama has not yet but he has a shot at it. And I hope he does!
In his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial 45 years ago, Dr. King said "I have a dream that one day my children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Let us now take pride that Tuesday we Americans proved that neither thing matters anymore.
Every fall down by Ashbridge's Bay the local marina moves sailboats to drydock - quite a scene with cranes, and many many people, a bit of a party atmosphere. I missed the event this year, but you can see the effect - bare not-ruined docks, where late the sweet boats launched. The picture was taken on an unusually warm November morning, which allowed this interesting visual effect from the nearby water treatment facility. (Note also the boats NOT in the water for the winter.)
Recently I noticed this rather odd graffito on the curb near a corner of the block I live on. I was perplexed - was this some religious statement? Later, this rather odd crest appeared, affixed to the curb. And yes, a storm drain was nearby. Even later, I found rather odd document in my mailbox; I have scanned top and bottom. Click to enlarge if you want to read it. What the hey? A bunch of government agencies have spent money painting graffiti and affixing silly crests to the curbs of our city to mark the location of storm drains? Here is the overall effect of such a valuable program. Which is easier to notice? The storm drain or the yellow fish? I am pretty confident even I could think of a better way to spend the money that was laundered through this program by our gubmnt.
Last week I took a half-day vacation to join in the festivities at the University of Western Ontario surrounding the performance of the German elektropop band Dyko. (Well, German-language, given that the vocalist was born in Melbourne, Australia.) For me, part of the charm and pleasure was their amusing integration into their art of German language training videos, which came from John`s background in Australia, and certainly reminded me of the video set I used as an introduction, set in a time long ago, though it seems John`s were even more ancient than mine. In this interview you can see an extract (Wo kann ich hier tanzen gehen)from one of the language videos that played a rather large part in the afternoon`s activities, most particularly in the songwriting workshop following their too brief concert.
It is also a delight to see the comment threads on their YouTube videos - many students saying `They came to my school today!`. And in fact the event here was part of a tour arranged around learning the German language.
Nobody can deny the significance of the first African-American President-elect. Even I was moved seeing Jesse Jackson's tears, and hearing Colin Powell describe his. And had I a vote, I would have cast it, with enormous reservations, for Obama, though I have referred to him, and I think accurately, as a windbag. In the end I just have more faith that he will gather good advisers. Why I think this, given his flirtations with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, might be the base for an interesting psychological study.
I also think both candidates are quite decent people in some basic ways. But I had NO idea how truly decent, and quietly so, McCain is. John Hinderaker added some education for me (this is on top of the adopted Bangladeshi child that never seems to be mentioned).
A nurse entered and seemed surprised to find anyone there, and it wasn't long before I found out why: Almost no one visits anymore. In his time, which was not very long ago, Mo Udall was one of the most-sought-after men in the Democratic Party. Yet as he dies in a veterans hospital a few miles from the Capitol, he is visited regularly only by a single old political friend, John McCain.
It is a lucky country that can celebrate the defeat of such a man.
It fits with both campaigns. For McCain, it would be his chance to do the honorable thing — and help to improve his media image. For Obama, it would be consistent with his message of reaching across party lines.
I like the ritual of concession speech, and this year it will be more important than ever. If Obama wins, there will be a lot of angry GOPers upset over a liberal Democrat winning office; Obama will be lucky to have McCain’s imprimatur.
If McCain wins, the collective shock from the media and the Obama faithful will be enormous — so big that only a good concession larded with lots of grace and promises that the election actually was free and fair.
I agree with Drezner that the campaign has been a disappointment as compared to the primaries.
Joe Klein says it very well. I am sorry she missed what is likely to be the great satisfaction of tonight (or would be for her, not me).
But think, for a moment, if you will of Madelyn Dunham, a white woman from Kansas, strolling the aisle of a supermarket, or having lunch in a coffee shop, with her grandson--way back at the turn of the 1970s, when such sights were uncommon, even in Hawaii. Think about what her friends might have thought, or said, about her...situation. Think about what she poured into the child during the years when her daughter was in Indonesia and she was the closest thing to a mother that Obama had; think about the impact that she and her husband had on creating the man we've come to know, and the satisfaction she must have felt in her dying days.
UPDATE: Obama matches Joe Klein
(I do not know why this is not working but I recommend going to cnn.com, looking for videos, and playing `Tears for Obama`s Grandmother`. Hmmm - new news - works fine in Internet Explorer 7.)