May 29, 2020

At the Sunrise Café...


... you can talk 'til dawn.

And given that 172 years ago today, Wisconsin became the 30th state, it's a good time to buy yourself some things you want using the Althouse Portal to Amazon.


John henry said...


What's everyone reading this week?

Last week Big Mike recommended A Splend Savage: The Life of Frederick Russell Burnham. Sorry Narciso. I think I've found a new faviorite book recommender. This has to be the best

biographies I've read in a long, long, time. Completely engrossing and can't put it down.

Starts out he's a cowboy in Arizona, involved in some shady dealings but always just this side of the law. Pits his wits against Apaches, serves the govt as a scout. The "Scout"

Job description involves far more than I had ever imagined. It makes Delta Force seem like a bunch of pansies.

The he decides he want to get married to a childhood sweetheart but the father says he has to show he can support her so he goes prospecting and becomes fairly wealthy. Then ups

sticks for Rhodesia which is interesting and involves him in a couple wars and a lot of real estate and mineral speculation with Cecil Rhodes. Then to the Yukon where he seems to

do pretty well for himself in a short period. Then the Brits ask him to come scout for them in the Boer war. I am at the point where the Boer War is almost over. Anxious to see

what happens next.

It's enough to make one's head spin and at this point in the book he is not yet 40.

As I said, best bio I have read in a long time. Maybe ever.

He also wrote a book about his exploits, "Scouting on Two Continents" available via the portal for 99 cents in the Kindle version. I've got that cued up next.

Probably something I should have known but didn't. Robert Baden-Powell and Russell were great friends and Burnham served under him in the Boer War. Baden_Powell founded the Boy

Scouts, which I knew. What I didn't know was that what he had in mind was a quasi-military organization to train boys to be army scouts, like Burnham.

Also, since I had recently mentioned Tim Bax and the Selous Scouts, Burnham and Selous served together in the Rhodesian militia.

John Henry

John henry said...

I also read Glenn Curtiss' Aviation Book. I had been under the impression last week that it was the history of aviation up to the 1930s. Once I got into it I realized I was mistaken.

The book was written in 1912 about aviation between about 1908 and 1912 but it crams an awful lot into those 4 years. It reminds me of Nevil Shute's comments on his early days in aviation (1918 and on) "In those days there was something new to be learned on every flight"

Ditto Curtiss and he seemed like the man to learn it and figure out what to do with that knowledge. The money in aviation in those days was not selling planes. Nobody wanted to buy them. But there was a lot of money in prizes for first flights. First flight over a mile, first flight over a mile and return, first flight over an hour. Later first flight NYC to Philly. And so on. Some of the prizes were the equivalent of $100m today.

Also lots of exhibition flying that people paid to see.

Perhaps not a book that many people will enjoy because of its specialized nature. I found it interesting and very well written.

John Henry

narciso said...

On a lighter note

Richard said...

It appears that lockdown and social distancing had finally ended.

narciso said...

The library will be open on monday so theyll be new material.

anti-de Sitter space said...

“The library will be open on monday so theyll be new material.“

It’s always been true that reading is for nerds.

Now it turns out that reading re educations is for fools.

Smart =

Keep America Great!

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

caveat emptor

Grimes will legally sell her soul as part of a virtual art exhibit titled 'Selling Out'

" according to Bloomberg, the most peculiar addition to the list of things going up for sale is a legal document she drafted with her lawyer that will entitle someone to purchase her soul. As for how much a celebrity’s soul goes for, the artist first set the price at a staggering $10 million."

...but for ~$50/hr you can get some peace of mind

People rent by-the-hour spaces to escape loved ones, homes during lockdown

Lewis Wetzel said...

Elian Kazan, _A Life_ (1997).
Before picking up this book I knew Kazan only as the director of A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden. I also knew Kazan as being famous for "naming names" during the McCarthy era.
The book is an autobiography, written when Kazan was in his late 70's. It is intensley personal. Kazan seems eager to excoriate himself his personal flaws (an obsession with sleeping with the wives of his friends, for example), while he passes over his successes as just being something he happened to be good at, hard work, in other words, not genius. He is extremely self-critical about everything he has ever done -- except for naming names. He has no regrets about that.
The most surprising thing I learned was that Kazan was not a jew. Given his name, his appearance, and his industry, I just assumed he was a Jew. Kazan was, in fact, an Anatolian Greek, raised, nominally, Orthodox Christian & Catholic.

Mark said...

It appears that lockdown and social distancing had finally ended.

The last ten weeks have been piled-up, pent-up kindling. Add the spark of legitimate racial grievances to the frustration of locked people not wanting to take it anymore. Add on the gasoline of Antifa rioters and looters. Add the non-response and ignoring of public officials to the utter repudiation in cities across the country of social distancing -- with masks used now only to hide rioters identity.

Now our government masters have no justification for locking people down.

Mark said...

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser today proclaimed that the District is beginning the process of reopening. What does it look like?

Well, consider that the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic church in Washington, has a seating capacity of 10,000 people. It's a big place at nearly 130,000 square feet. Under this "reopening," the District government allows 10 people to attend religious services at the Basilica.

Ten. In a place that holds ten thousand. That is 13,000 square feet for each person.

Duke Dan said...

John Henry - a while back I read “ Unlocking the Sky: Glenn Hammond Curtiss and the Race to Invent the Airplane” which you might find interesting. It goes up through the20s if I recall.

anti-de Sitter space said...

More librul lame stream:

anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW Althouse, hopefully you didn’t see that link. Re fussing re MLK using kids re politics = U.

D 2 said...

If we are noting important things on this day in history, today is generally marked as being when the Turks took Constantinople, starting off a celebrated week (or 3 days) of rape and slaughter of the remaining Byzantines in 1453.

When I first read history in large easy to read type books made for kids, that story always got to me. Maybe there was some picture that haunted me, more than the pics taken from other centuries. In any case I would turn from that chapter to that telling the story of this crazy Genoese guy a few decades later, convincing some folks that he could find a way to get to those spices everyone loves, if only they could provide him some capital. The time between the two events is about the same time as now and the Berlin Wall falling, to put it into context. The two dots of 1453 and 1492 seemed to connect, or at least it did back then, to my immature mind.

The impact of 1492 on the peoples of the Americas was profound and tragic - that is how it is now remembered. But I sometimes wonder why - maybe because of that kid history book from long ago - why those who got tossed with ease over the wall in 1453, and whatever was lost there, is not looked back on in the same way. Why are some losses apparently more profound than others is probably something that keeps us apart. Not any Byzantine blood in me, by the way. (As far as I know)

There was a small business down the way from me, a little shop that sold high end oils and vinegars, stuff like that, before the lockdowns. I’d get some stuff once or twice, at the holidays as a gift, but the price was generally outside my league. On a recent walk, the store looked shuttered. I hope the owner didn’t lose everything, or if the store clerk is now without any means.

Big Mike said...

@John Henry, much obliged, but when I am not reading histories or biographies I am reading the modern urban fantasies of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series and books set in that world, and Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. Also the Monster Hunter International series by Larry Correia. Favorite nonfiction book is John Adams by David McCullough. Also The Glory and the Dream by William Manchester, a history of the United States from 1932 to 1972. I really enjoyed Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, which led me to read Into the Wild, but then I read Where Men Win Glory, which is about the death of Pat Tillman in a “friendly fire” incident. The book was poorly written and the statistics for deaths due to “friendly fire” are off the mark by a full order of magnitude. And of course, since the invention of Blue Force Tracking friendly fire incidents are essentially nonexistent. I have read no more Krakauer books since then.

If you want something lighthearted, the Yellowstone Kelly books by Peter Bowen are great. I like Imperial Kelly the best, with its lightheartedly cynical take on young Winston Churchill and Theodore (“Teethadore”) Roosevelt. Also Douglas McArthur and America’s turn of the century misadventures in the Philippines. The book is fiction but the historical framework is accurate. Just bring your best cynicism.

Back to Frederick Russell Burnham, some of the stories about him are so far out there that you’d think they have to be made up. But they’re documented and they really happened. Have you gotten to the way he and a lone companion effectively ended the Second Matabele War? Batman couldn’t accomplish it, but Burnham did it, and lived to tell the tale.

Big Mike said...

Oh, and Civilization: The West and the Rest, by Niall Ferguson.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Experts say knee-to-neck restraint is dangerous,
but Minneapolis allows it

" the Minneapolis Police Department allows the use of two types of neck restraints as "non-deadly" force options for officers who have received the proper training."

"That's allowed in order to control someone with "light to moderate pressure" or "with the intention of rendering the person unconscious by applying adequate pressure."

"unexplained in-custody deaths are caused more often than is generally known by a little-known phenomenon called positional asphyxia," when someone cannot breathe in a certain position.

The report says a suspect may appear to be resisting if the airway is blocked: "The natural reaction to oxygen deficiency occurs — the person struggles more violently."

anti-de Sitter space said...

Is this real:


Seems like it could be an internet fake thingy.

I dunno.

Big Mike said...

@Richard, not in Michigan, where Governor Whitmer sent state troopers to close down a drive-in theater that was set to open up to provide movies while safely socially distanced. Now that crazy woman is just being petulant.

Guildofcannonballs said...

1939 Wizard of Oz is the only real film, ever.

Yancey Ward said...

In my opinion, the Democrats just lost the House, Senate, White House, and probably a good number of state legislatures this week. Those who think these riots mean the end of Trump and the Republican Party are completely fucking clueless how these riots and looting appear to normal people, and how it will affect how they vote. This sort of behavior is never rewarded at the ballot box- literally never.

anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW, like Althouse, I’d like to ask the commenters to do math.

What is the total value of all looted and destroyed property re these thugs over the last few days v the dough currently being stolen from the future of America (w/ interest) that is used to pay for rich folks’ tax cuts and other benefits? [Not to mention film-flam war-spending and other stuff that goes to big-dough political donors.]

Follow-up: is the relative outrage re assessing the worst ‘takers‘ supposed to be correlated w/ the quantity of dough taken? Or, is the psychological comfort re jabbering about thugs to hard too overcome?

I dunno.

Char Char Binks said...

Some “expert” is on Court TV claiming that police forces throughout the USA are filled with KKK members, and that black recruits are widely and routinely screened by tests with questions like “How many bubbles are in a bar of soap?” (actual quote!). She made these claims WITHOUT EVIDENCE! This is BLOOD LIBEL, the kind that liberals condone.

Why is she even on TV? What evidence is there that Chauvin was motivated by race?


Unknown said...

I’ve lurked here ever since best of the web linked to an Althouse post re: Walker for Governor campaign.
First comment ever: I’m absolutely astonished that the media isn’t covering the release of the phone call transcript
compared to the Flynn transcripts. It appears to be a full exoneration for a decent man and shows the despicable actions of high
DOJ, FBI and NSC officials. to falsify evidence lie to a federal judge. They spied on and framed Mr Flynn as part of crossfire hurricane.

Char Char Binks said...

In 2007, George Floyd, with five of his buddies, committed an armed home invasion and robbery in Texas. 6’ 6” former footballer George needed a gun and a gang to menace a lone woman in her home, because he was a depraved criminal, a coward, and a sissy.

I’m glad he’s dead, and I enjoy watching his death on YouTube over and over!

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

DiBlasio to peaceful, mourning Jews at a funeral:

“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups,”

DiBlasio to violent rioting protesters:

"To everyone protesting and expressing that anger and pain, please remember how important it is to protest peacefully. Please remember that we're in the middle of a pandemic. We have to do all we can to protect each other. Everyone out there has a responsibility".

They have military grade communication systems. Who is funding them? Who pays for their bail and fines when arrested? Who transports them? Who else are they communicating with around the country? Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Houston, New York city, and more. Who is responsible?

88 Pct in Brooklyn just been overrun.
Police Commissioner Shea has called a Level 3 mobilization.
Requires all special units respond and four cars from every command in the city to location.
84 Pct under siege, as well. Also, Brooklyn North.

The Secret Service has surrounded the White House in riot gear.

Military police on alert to go to embattled Minneapolis ‘within hours’ - AP

...gotta stop this wanton church-going!! This is getting out of control!!

the Supreme Court upholds California's pandemic restrictions on worship services. Chief Justice Roberts joins the liberal justices on the 5-4

"Everyone just needs to get to church on Sunday en masse. Let the optics of the Gov and Mayors dragging parishioners from church while looters roam freely play across the country".

Lewis Wetzel said...

stolen from the future of America
Letting people keep their money is now "stealing from the future of America," LOL.
See how that works? You, keeping the money you earned, is theft!
Double LOL.

Helfoo said...

Very nice pots, you helped me lot:)

Big Mike said...

The Secret Service has surrounded the White House in riot gear.

Rioters would be smart not to force the Secret Service to defend themselves and President Trump. I used to shoot with a few of them, and their ability to get a handgun out of its holster rapidly and accurately put rounds on target borders on the inhuman.

Christy said...

Big Mike, I'm also an Urban Fantasy fan and can't wait for Butcher's Peace Talks. I confess, however, that his Steampunk The Aeronaut’s Windlass has become my new favorite. I'll check out Ilona Andrews.

I read Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, a deeply disturbing book about a splinter Mormon group. While not an enjoyable book, it was a powerfully affecting one. Maybe because I'm a woman, YMMV.

Big Mike said...

@Christy, try the Mercy Thompson series by Priscilla Briggs. Ilona Andrews has a website with a blog; you will need to read the Kate Daniels series in order. Both of these are written from a woman’s perspective. Mercy runs with a werewolf pack, but she doesn’t change into a wolf herself. She becomes a coyote. Still, there are things a quick little coyote can do that a big, strong wolf can’t.

stevew said...

I really enjoy Krakauer's work, especially "Under the Banner of Heaven"
which was terrific and, for me at least, enlightening. You might like Sebastian Junger's books too.

I'm reading "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch"
again after our host mentioned it a while ago. The contrast of writing style from that time with today's fiction is interesting. I find it innocent, clean, and simple.

Craig said...

The difference between how the Dems treat churchgoers vs. how they treat protestors and rioters is truly eye-opening. Hopefully moderates are paying attention.

David Begley said...

There was a riot in Omaha last night but the police broke it up.

Christopher said...

So apparently the American Revolution is good again, or at least that's what I gather from all the people trying to explain why burning down low income housing is exactly like the Boston Tea Party.

Temujin said...

The Detroit Lions, the most hapless team in the history of the NFL, will also be the last team to be 'allowed' into their training facilities because of the nightmare petty little tyrant who is currently playing Governor of Michigan. Oh...and she wants to be your President.

I figure the Lions don't really need the practice anyway. Not when your goal is 3-13.

Temujin said...

By the way...anyone notice how many young, white, liberals wearing black masks, pants, shirts, hats, shorts- are playing like they're outraged over George Floyd's death, and showing their outrage by destroying the cities that are the homes to a majority of black Americans in those cities?

Nice work, Kids. Good to see you're putting those college degrees to work.

Christy said...

Big Mike, I love the Mercy Thompson series. I particularly enjoy the way she regularly introduces new archetypes from worldwide mythology/folklore. Coyote, as trickster, has long intrigued me. Gaiman's Anansi Boys looks at the West African version by way of the Caribbean. And who doesn't love Loki? Zelazny's Pan also qualifies I think.

Ray - SoCal said...

Jim Butcher has some micro fiction on his site as part of the 20th anniversary of his first book.

And a fanfic video trailer for his new books. Very well done!

Battle Ground is being released right after Peace Talks!

His proposal to his fiancée video is amazing!

Darkisland said...

Big Mike,

Thanks for the recommendations. Yellowstone Kelly looks interest and I got the first sample.

I've read most of McCullough's books and liked all of them. Except the Adams one. I just couldn't get through it. It was not badly written, it just didn't grab me. Odd since adams was an interesting guy and I liked the hbo miniseries drom the book.

I've read a lot of Manchester books, many more than once. I always like him. Especially liked v1&2 of the Churchill bio. Never read glory and the dream but just downloaded the sample to my ever growing pile.

John Henry

Ray - SoCal said...

I hope Yancey Ward is right. I worry about the impact of ballot harvesting in Ca.

My daughter feels her candidate was cheated out of being a Rep. due to ballot harvesting.

Trump is coming out of this appearing like an adult.

Darkisland said...


Jut added the kazan book to my pile.

He did not testify before McCarthy. McCarthy was only charged with investigating security risks to govt by govt employees. Security clearances

I find it hard to believe that anyone would think that not a legitimste role of the Senate. Regardless of what one might think of McCarthy and his methods.

He also turned out to be right in many of his charges.

Kazan testified before the House UnAmerican Affairs Committee. Huac investigated private citizens for political beliefs.

I find it hard to believe that anyone could find that anything other than abhorrent.

Not talking about you above, Lewis. Just people generally.

John Henry

Mark said...

Make no mistakes, with the tactics and scenes all the same throughout the country, including the mob threatening to breach the White House -- all in violation of emergency orders mandating social distancing -- these riots last night and previously are all coordinated and orchestrated.

Bringing it to the White House may have been a mistake since I'm sure there are all sorts of digital communications tracking abilities.

Mark said...

I would not be surprised to see strong fencing with gated access being put up on the far side of Lafayette Park after this.

PJ said...

@Lewis Wetzel - You are correct that tax cuts for anyone do not constitute theft from anyone else. But the upthread commenter also mentioned “other benefits,” and to the extent we are financing current expenditures on such “benefits” with debt that will not be repaid by us we are indeed stealing from the future of America.

Michael K said...

What is the total value of all looted and destroyed property re these thugs over the last few days v the dough currently being stolen from the future of America (w/ interest) that is used to pay for rich folks’ tax cuts and other benefits? [Not to mention film-flam war-spending and other stuff that goes to big-dough political donors.]

Why I never respond to this creep. Except this once.

ken in tx said...

Elia Kazan wrote a novel called The Assassins. In it, an Air Force senior NCO murders his daughter's boy friend, because the father is a conservative, authoritarian, asshole and boy friend is not--a typical point of view of a Hollywood liberal. There is lots of negative stereotyping about military people in the book. I read it before I was in the AF, and thought it was unfair even then. I didn't even know about Kazan being a turncoat to his commie friends at that time.Nice guy./sarc