Tuesday, December 29, 2015


  1. “You just watch yourself. We’re wanted men. I have the death sentence on 12 systems.”“I’ll be careful.”
    “You’ll be dead!”
 Since Genesis, no story has been free of gossip about all kinds of topics. Without Cain and Abel, there is no Chaucer, no Boswell, no Jane Austen, no Proust, no Henry James, most of all no Imrich 

War photography is brutal and beautiful. Indeed, the intensity of war makes the aestheticization of violence inevitable ...

They’ve got a special kind of charisma—it’s like reverse charisma, or anti-charisma. Charis-meh. They’ve got the platform, they’ve got power, they’ve got the opportunity to change everything, and instead they…don’t. They are the biggest nothing-doers in the world this year, and this is their reward ... The Worst People of 2015 Esquire. According to some name droppers, Imrich should be higher ...

Every once in a while — perhaps thrice a lifetime, if one is lucky — a book comes along so immensely and intricately insightful, so overwhelming in beauty, that it renders one incapable of articulating what it’s about without contracting its expansive complexity, flattening its dimensional richness, and stripping it of its splendor. Because it is, of course, about everything — it might take a specific something as its subject, but its object is nothing less than the whole of the human spirit, mirrored back to itself. The Cold River in 3980 AD aka MMMCMXLLL
Early in Walter Olson's time at the Manhattan Institute, after Wolfe’s New York novel The Bonfire of the Vanities had made a gigantic popular success, "I put together a roundtable on “Today and Tomorrow in Tom Wolfe’s New York” with Terry Teach out, Richard Vigilante, the late Walter Wriston, and others. MI published it as an envelope stuffer one-off with, if memory serves, a cover letter in which Wolfe himself mentioned observations the various participants had made, but in his own words. Not to say I was awe-struck at this, but for the next few days I wandered the streets of New York talking to the trees."

"We are the saddest men in the history of the world … we are infinitely disgusting, and infinitely sad.” We are the Sonderkommando, the Jews who work in the gas chambers, who cheated death in order to spend their time scurrying over dead Jews for valuables. “Nearly all our work is done among the dead, with the heavy scissors, the pliers and mallets, the buckets of petrol refuse, the ladles, the grinders.” 
Rudyard Kipling's “If—” was an instant hit, a poetic paean to moral generalities, a classic of righteous certitude. But read it again; note the mounting anxiety 

The very wealthiest families are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield their income using maneuvers available only to several thousand Americans.

My Dad’s yellowing reports on work could apply today FT

The Origins of Totalitarianism Part 1: Introduction Emptywheel

That is his latest Upshot column about power couples for the NYT, here is an excerpt from Tylor:
Of all the causes behind growing income inequality, in the longer run this development may prove one of the most significant and also one of the hardest to counter. For instance, the achievement gap between children from rich and poor families is higher today than it was 25 years ago, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center. 

One of the noteworthy reading things I did in 2015 was to go back to Dostoevsky after years and years away. I did it with one of his late works, and definitely among the best things he ever wrote, Demons (Bestia aka Bessy alternatively translated as The Possessed). It’s a major novel of his coming in at over 700 pages, and possibly the book of his that has aged the best.
He was a tall man with close-cropped hair, courteous and reserved, but there was a dark energy about him.  Every spring, with the melting of the snows, he would give in to black moods that would last for days during which we all kept away from him.  It was rumoured that in his youth he had killed a woman who had been unfaithful and that her spirit returned year after year to haunt him.  One only had to be near him to sent the taut quality beneath his reticence, the knife edge of bitterness arising from that old betrayal ...

"I have a problem. I live with a terrible demon inside me who is very frightening, who has this ability to wrap his scaly tentacles around all of my sterling characteristics and take over. He doesn’t come out as much as he used to, but he’s still there and he wants to destroy every good thing that happens to me and take down a few people if he can. He is a fearsome entity driven by fear who invades my core and tells me that I am not deserving of happiness and he persuades people who love me to stay away for the rest of their natural days On living with an inner demon

Court in Turkey considering a doctor’s comparison of Turkish President Erdogan with “Lord of Rings” character Gollum aka Golem, and the results are preciousss [Sarah McLaughlin, Popehat]

When Martin Luther nailed an essay to the door of a German church, he forever altered what books look like and how they're marketed and written...  Nailing Storytelling ...
Motion Blur
A former Ernst & Young partner was sentenced to eight years in jail at the end of last week for his role in a tax fraud scheme

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO thinks that suggestions that Apple avoids tax are “total political crap” and claims that “Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.”

Once upon a time, there was a safe welfare state called Sweden, where people rarely locked their doors.
Now, this country is a night-watchman state — each man is on his own. When the Minister of Justice, Morgan Johansson, encourages breaking the law, it means opening the gates to anarchy. Mr. and Mrs. Swede have every reason to be worried, with the influx of 190,000 unskilled and unemployed migrants expected this year — equivalent to 2% of Sweden’s current population. The number is as if 6.4 million penniless migrants who did not speak English arrived in U.S. in one year, or 1.3 million in Britain.

And speaking of Britain, as Michael Walsh writes, “Things Getting Ugly at the Chunnel as ‘Migrants’ Attack.”

LARRY KUDLOW: ‘Show Me the Money’ Could Yet Emerge As Battle Cry Against ISIS

Lucien knew that there exist four types of desperado: 1) Those who live and sleep at the market, beggars and pickpockets, less harmful.  2) Those who hang about the station and sleep inside the locomotives, semi-harmful.  3) Those who stroll about The Tram, harmful. 4) And finally, those who operate in the mines, extremely harmful.
They are either demobilised soldiers, or adolescents from families stuck in a downward spiral, fleeing famine and other drudgeries such as “Today it’s your turn to feed the family, shift your ass and go get us some palm oil, salted fish, cassava flour, and matches,” or else defrocked students.
Their age, according to the seasons and the frequency of trains at the station whose metal structure: eight to thirty. At thirty-one years old, they become suicidals or city highwaymen who’ll slit your throat once night has barely fallen...