Q is for Famous Quotation

My late father used to say, fairly frequently as I recall, this quotation: “It is better to remain silent and be thought of as a a fool than to speak up and remove any doubt.”

But who was he quoting? I couldn’t find anything in Bartelby or Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, the latter, in print form, a constant source of my entertainment growing up.

Finally, I found a similar quotation at Quote Investigator. Was it attributed to Abraham Lincoln? Mark Twain? A Biblical Proverb?

“There is a biblical proverb that expresses a similar idea, namely Proverbs 17:28. Here is the New International Version followed by the King James Version of this verse:

“‘Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.’

“‘Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.'”

After dismissing Lincoln and Twain because the attributions to them were so much after their time, and noting the Proverbs have not quite the same sentiment, QI favors Maurice Switzer, from a “book titled ‘Mrs. Goose, Her Book’… The publication date was 1907 and the copyright notice was 1906. The book was primarily filled with clever nonsense verse, and the phrasing in this early version was slightly different:

“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”

This all begs the question, Is it true? Do people actually think you’re smart if you retain a mysterious silence? Perhaps; this does not appear to be a period in history when a lot goes unsaid. That apparent need to always say SOMETHING is often to the detriment of the speaker, and, quite often, of us all.

Rather off topic, but LISTEN to the Tremeloes sing Silence is Golden.

For ABC Wednesday

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Halloween rambling 2017

NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY IN TERROR. Now, a year after its historic presentation, and in gothic celebration of Halloween, Film historian Steve Vertlieb takes us aboard a dark yet wonderful cinematic time machine, delving into the creation of Murnau’s seminal horror film, examining its influence on generations (from Lugosi and Lee, to SALEM’S LOT, HARRY POTTER and more), then reviews the startling new stage presentation.

Dead of Night- Chapter 3: Bobby

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Reminder: Race is Not a Costume

A Halloween Ghost Story

RANKIN/BASS’S ‘MAD MONSTER PARTY’ (1967). WITH BORIS KARLOFF AND ‘MAD’ MAGAZINE CREATORS

The Halloween Capital of the World Isn’t What You Think It Is

Facts for Features: Halloween

#Trumpkins and other items

Now I Know: Starving Garfield

Kickstarter for Son of Ugh. Pete Von Sholly. Deadline, November 15, 2017.

What You Need to Know About 6-Foot Trick-or-Treaters

Keep Safety in Mind This Halloween!

Candy corn

The Halloween Costume Everyone Was Wearing The Year You Were Born

Shopping and Costume Trends

50+ Spooky and Sweet Halloween Treats

<a href="https://dougphotoblog2016.blogspot.com/2017/10/m-is-for-mums.html&quot; target=_newMums

Fanta

Orange Jack O Lantern

MUSIC, mostly from Jaquandor

The Mask of the Red Death, a work for harp and string quartet by Andre Caplet

Antonin Dvorak’s The Noon Witch – the backstory is creepier than the music

Jerry Goldsmith for the movie The Haunting

Bernard Herrmann’s seminal film score, Psycho

Wojcech Kilar’s wonderful score to the rather uneven film Bram Stoker’s DRACULA

A Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

The Isle of the Dead by Sergei Rachmaninov

The Ventures – The Twilight Zone

John Williams’s rare forays into the world of horror: a suite from his score to the movie Dracula

A local (SoCal) production of Young Frankenstein

Areopagitica: press attacked well before Nixon

The New York State Writers Institute, a local treasure, offered a two-day, six-panel “symposium of topics crucial to an open democratic society” called Telling the Truth in a Post-truth World. The session I attended the evening of Friday the 13th of October at Page Hall on the UAlbany Downtown Campus, was “Presidents and the Press: Trump, Nixon & More.”

This turned out to be extremely timely because the Washington Post had just published Trump’s threat to NBC’s license is the very definition of Nixonian.

The moderator of the panel was Bob Schieffer, moderator of three presidential debates and former anchor of CBS Evening News and Face the Nation
The panelists included:
*Douglas Brinkley, CNN Presidential historian and biographer of Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford
*Amy Goodman, investigative reporter, host and producer of the award-winning news program, Democracy Now! that airs on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide
*Harry Rosenfeld, Times Union editor-at-large, and former Metro Editor at The Washington Post who oversaw the paper’s coverage of Watergate
*Shane Goldmacher, chief White House correspondent for POLITICO, who previously reported on the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign

There were some interesting moments, such as when Schieffer, who I’ve watched for decades, suggested that Goodman, who had a LOT of fans in the audience, was positing her opinions as facts, citing Daniel Patrick Moynihan. However, Goodman did note that it was important that the corporate media defend itself from attack from the regime.

Americans tend to think of freedom of the press as a uniquely American ideal that has spread throughout the world. But that value was codified more than a century earlier.

From here: “In 1644 the English poet and man of letters, John Milton, published the Areopagitica as an appeal to Parliament to rescind their Licensing Order of June 16th, 1643. This order was designed to bring publishing under government control by creating a number of official censors to whom authors would submit their work for approval prior to having it published. Milton’s argument, in brief, was that precensorship of authors was little more than an excuse for state control of thought.”

Although the freedom expressed took a half century to come to pass in Great Britain, the Milton argument regarding prohibition against prior restraint, or pre-publication censorship, is fundamental to the US Constitution. Threatening censorship prior to publication, as the current regime is suggesting, would have a chilling effect on expression and speech, and would interfere with the pursuit of truth.

Music Throwback: Weather the Storm by Rebecca Jade

I discovered just this week that the video for Weather the Storm by Rebecca Jade was among the music videos nominated as finalists in the Viewers Choice category for the MUSIC CALIFORNIA VIDEO AWARDS, which will be held on November 30th in San Francisco.

You could vote for Rebecca Jade, or one of the other entries HERE, but only until November 1. Of course, I am pushing for RJ, since she’s not only an extremely talented singer and emerging songwriter, she’s my eldest niece, daughter of my sister Leslie.

She sings in a variety of genres. As her bio reads: “Rebecca is a vocalist and has been involved with music her whole life. Growing up in a musical home and having generations of musicians in her family, she has been exposed to a vast assortment of artists, genres and styles. Her own mother was a professional jazz singer in Puerto Rico. With such influences, it seems a natural progression that Rebecca has followed in her footsteps.”

She has been a top artist in San Diego, which you can read about here. My wife, daughter and I got to see her sing in New York City this past August when she was a backing singer for Sheila E., which was a fabulous experience.

Listen to:

Weather the Storm – Rebecca Jade (2015)

Hour Glass – Rebecca Jade and The Jade Element (2014)

Gonna Be Alright – Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact (2015)

Cuts Like a Winter – Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact

Planet Cole Porter medley – Peter Sprague and Rebecca Jade (2017)

I’d Rather Go Blind – Rebecca Jade, singing at Spaghettini (2014)

All This Love – El DeBarge w/ Rebecca Jade @ Music Box 11-28-2015

Siren’s Crush promo reel (2015)

Soultone promo reel (2014)

Available for purchase:

Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact

Planet Cole Porter – Peter Sprague & Rebecca Jade

You can find her social media contacts, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

Oh, and a belated happy birthday, niece!

The cancer in the White House poisons General Kelly

In this whole Niger/condolence controversy, people are correct to point out that almost no one, certainly those in Congress who should have been in the loop, knew that the United States even had troops in the western African country.

The intelligence was so insubstantial that four US service members were killed, and that needs to be thoroughly invested. The body of one Green Beret, that of Sgt. La David Johnson, was not recovered until two days later, and that hasn’t been explained either.

I suspect General John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, advised the Donald not to make calls because he knew that wasn’t in his skill set. Kelly tells Trump the touching, inspirational words of his friend who said, “(your son) knew what he signed up for and he was surrounded by the best men in the world, doing what he loved.” The message goes in, comes out sideways.

Responding to media criticism, he calls the sergeant’s widow, Myeisha Johnson, quoting General Kelly’s words without any real feeling or personal experience and bollocks it up. At Mrs. Johnson’s request, her friend, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, was listening in, and later noted the insensitive response.

NOW he lashes back, and not with just with his Twitter war, when he refers to Rep. Wilson as “wacky” at least thrice, presumably because she always wears hats in honor of her grandmother. He claims to have proof that the member of Congress, and presumably Myeisha Johnson, are lying. Or as Borowitz satirically put it: Trump Says He Is Only President in History with Courage to Stand Up to War Widows.

Compare this response to that of George W. Bush, who accepted a grieving mother’s anger.

While condolences are being rush shipped out, he deploys General Kelly to the briefing room. As the New Yorker notes:

“The press briefing could serve as a preview of what a military coup in this country would look like, for it was in the logic of such a coup that Kelly advanced his four arguments.
1. Those who criticize the President don’t know what they’re talking about because they haven’t served in the military…
2. The President did the right thing because he did exactly what his general told him to do…
3. Communication between the President and a military widow is no one’s business but theirs…
4. Citizens are ranked based on their proximity to dying for their country…

“When Kelly replaced the ineffectual Reince Priebus as the chief of staff, a sigh of relief emerged: at least the general would impose some discipline on the Administration. Now we have a sense of what military discipline in the White House sounds like.”

The Weekly Sift quotes other critics of the general. “Vox’ Dara Lind compares his attitude to Jack Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Men… ‘He actively thinks that they have America wrong, and that they will never understand it in the way those who serve it will.

“Charles Pierce sees Kelly’s lying defense of Trump as ‘a terribly sad moment. Everything and everybody this president’ touches goes bad from the inside out.

“Matt Yglesias had another depressing thought. ‘Kelly’s performance… should be a wakeup call to anyone who still thinks there are ‘adults in the room’ who’ll save us.” We’re down to Mattis, I suppose.

Equally chilling is WH spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders who suggests that one ought not to challenge the word of a four-star general, even when he’s wrong. It’s part of the increasingly authoritarian response to criticism.

And THAT is what I think is another takeaway from this debacle.
***
THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH, OCTOBER 23, 2017 – John Kelly lies about a congresswoman while defending President Trump; Gold Star father Khizr Khan

The Lydster: Don’t learn this from daddy

As a followup to a question I answered in this blog months ago, someone, probably Chris, asked: Is there anything you don’t want her to learn from you? – the “her”, of course, being the Daughter.

I sent myself an email to remind me to write about it, but it got buried in other messages. As for the answer:

I don’t want her to find her sad place, or at least not to stay there for too long. I don’t want her to let the bastards keep her down.

I don’t want her to use food as a drug.

I don’t want her to be too proud or stubborn to ask for help.

I want her to be more tidy, not because it matters so much to me, but because it’ll matter to people she’ll encounter – roommates, friends and romantic entanglements.

I want her to drive a car with confidence and competence.

I want her to try to avoid senioritis, which I surely had in both high school and college.

I think I want her to find out what she wants to do in life sooner, but I’m not sure. The journey can have value in and of itself. AND work in the 21st century continues to be so different, she’ll probably have several jobs anyway.

I want her to travel much more than I have.

I want her to start saving for retirement earlier than I did.

I hope she can find a faith community that she is comfortable with in her twenties.

i’m sure there’s more, but that’s enough. That question is tough because, ultimately, it’s a dissection of myself as much as anything, and it’s a bit brutalizing, to tell the truth.

But as I’ve noted before, she does already have, for good or ill, a lot of my sensibilities. This parenting thing is every bit as difficult as I thought it’d be.

Hillary Rodham Clinton turns 70

On her 70th birthday, my thoughts about Hillary Clinton, who I did vote for in the 2016 general election for President after backing Bernie Sanders in the New York State primary:

I’ve been watching her on her tour this year and I believe this is true: “Most of the tabloid criticism of the book suggests the book is an effort to shift blame elsewhere. That is complete bs. It is difficult to imagine any author more directly and completely accepting responsibility directly — and not just once, but throughout.”

It’s my fault Trump is President.” Follow the Vox interview.

But there seems to be a concerted effort to keep her in the woods, to get her to gracefully bow of public life, NOT to speak on International Women’s Day, NOT to speak at the Wellesley College commencement, NOT to go on a book tour.

As Dan Rather declared, “If you don’t like Hillary, don’t buy the book—it’s her prerogative to write it.” Or as the Boston Globe put it: Hate on Hillary, but she’s right about Trump. “You don’t have to like her. But don’t settle for a less than full reckoning of what happened to her.”

Hillary Clinton noted that the Donald was “creepy” in stalking her during one of the debates but that her cool reserve
wouldn’t allow her say anything to him at the time.

Rebecca Solnit notes: Don’t call Clinton a weak candidate: it took decades of scheming to beat her. “Years of Republican plots, an opponent deified by television, and FBI smears stood in her way – and she still won the popular vote by more than Kennedy did.”

Joe Conason stated: “Now everyone knows that the Washington press corps dislikes and distrusts the former Democratic nominee. After all, several of its most eminent members have admitted their herd’s prejudice against her. But the nearly unanimous demand for her to be silent… cuts against normal journalistic curiosity, let alone the usual lust for fresh gossip.”

He points to a 140-page report out of Harvard, Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. “What they found was a sharp asymmetry between left and right outlets that benefited Trump and damaged Clinton. And while most mainstream coverage treated both candidates negatively, it ‘largely followed Trump’s agenda.’ That meant reporting about Clinton focused on ‘scandals’ involving the Clinton Foundation and emails, while reporting about Trump focused on his issues, such as immigration.

A perfect example of that was Matt Lauer questioning Clinton about her email scandal instead of foreign policy at the “Commander in Chief Forum” in September 2016, while asking Trump policy questions.

So Why Isn’t Hillary Clinton Even Angrier?

She has a lot to say. She believes the Electoral College should be abolished. “I said that in 2000 after what happened with Al Gore,” Clinton told Anderson Cooper on CNN. Gore, who was vice president to Bill Clinton, won 266 electoral votes, while George W. Bush won 271. However, Gore won the popular vote by 547,398 votes. She called the institution “an anachronism that was designed for another time [that] no longer works, if we’ve moved toward one person, one vote.”

I cannot ignore, too, the not-so-subtle sexism that she had to endure. She has quipped, “If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.” There was an obsession about her cursing in private, not in public, which made her less “genuine” than her foul-mouthed opponent. A lot of men, and more than a few women couldn’t bear a woman having authority. It’s a
Hillary hatred derangement syndrome.

I felt badly for her when Hillary Clinton, as former First Lady, sat on the platform, listening to the Trump inaugural speech, which was a “cry from the white nationalist gut.” 20 January was “an out-of-body experience”; she attended in the hope of presenting a unified front following an ugly and bitter campaign.

The email Hillary Clinton’s pastor sent her the day after the election must have brought her some comfort.

I know she’ll continue to be perceived as evil incarnate – Harvey Weinstein is Hillary Clinton’s fault! – but I hope she continues to raise her voice anyway.

P is finding the print source via Facebook

My wife is not on Facebook. That is, by NO means, a criticism. There are plenty of reasons to avoid the social media vehicle. But it does make things interesting.

I joined Facebook to keep track of my sisters and their daughters. Niece Rebecca Jade traveled to Greece and Italy in May 2017 on a music Cruise, and I probably wouldn’t have known about that otherwise.

I’m FB friends with some of her work colleagues and relatives. One of my wife’s first cousins had an accident involving farm equipment in 2016. I would take his wife’s Facebook notices and email them to my wife and my mother-in-law.

So I appreciate the 17-year-old who deleted all her social media and felt much better.

On the other hand, my friend, writer/artist Steve Bissette, extols it as a source of research. He had seen MULTIPLE web texts claim that A.E. Van Vogt filed legal suit against people behind the movie ALIEN for plagiarism. Reportedly, van Vogt’s 1939 short stories “The Black Destroyer” and especially “Discord in Scarlet,” (both included in the revised novel-format THE VOYAGE OF THE SPACE BEAGLE, 1950) were ripped off.

The supposed lawsuit, against Warner Brothers pictures and others, was filed sometime in 1979 or 1980, but settled out of court. But Steve could not find ANY hard evidence for this claim, “not a single print source from 1979-1981 supporting this oft-repeated anecdote. NOTHING in the motion picture trade publications such as VARIETY or BOX OFFICE, or science-fiction magazines of the period.”

As it turns out, one of Steve’s friends found “what may be the one-and-only print source for this long-circulated rumor. From ‘Van Vogt Wins ALIEN Settlement,’ Locus #237 (Sept. 1980, Vol. 13, No. 9), page 3” with extra special thanks to Rob Imes for locating this singular print source article:

“A. E. van Vogt has settled out of court with 20th Century Fox for $50,000 after pointing out similarities between the movie ALIEN and his story ‘Discord in Scarlet’…Van Vogt and his agent, Forrest J. Ackerman, acting without attorneys, met a total of nine times during 1979 and 1980 with Fox attorneys and executives and reviewed excerpts from the various screenplays evolved for the movie. No question of direct plagiarism was involved; rather, van Vogt and Ackerman felt that since the story line was similar to the movie, Fox should buy the story or the entire novel [The Voyage of the Space Beagle]. Fox initially offered $30,000 for settlement of all claims; van Vogt suggested $130,000 for the story or $250,000 for movie rights to the book.

“Van Vogt feels that Fox should have hired someone with expertise in science fiction to act as ‘idea monitor’ before buying scripts in a field which has such a large backlog of copyrighted stories. While no one could keep up with the current output, most of the major ‘spectacle’ stories were published some time ago.

“The decision to accept the out-of-court offer was based in part on van Vogt’s age. Although he is in good health, a lengthy court battle might lead to a useless settlement after van Vogt’s death. Van Vogt, who married late last year, is 68.”

Now THAT is using Facebook for good.

ABC Wednesday, Round 21

Getting prepared for the whatever

An article in Forbes notes that “nine states will no longer allow travelers to board an airplane with just their state issued driver’s licenses as of January 22, 2018. To get past TSA security checkpoints, another form of identification will be required: passport, permanent resident card/green card or a military ID.”

The states are Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, , Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and
Washington.

However, this map from the Department of Homeland Security suggests that more than half the states, plus Puerto Rico and all of the territories, are under scrutiny. These include California, Illinois, and New York by 2020 at the latest, if their drivers’ licenses aren’t improved.

“DHS is currently reviewing extension requests from states with extensions that expired on October 10, 2017… In the meantime there will be no change in enforcement status for these states. States will have a grace period until January 22, 2018, meaning that Federal agencies (including TSA) will continue to accept driver’s license and identification cards issued by these states in accordance with each agency’s policies.”

As it turns out, I always travel on planes and trains with my passport, which doesn’t expire until 2020. It HAS come in handy. I looked at it recently and realized I had stuck a rarely-used credit card and a $5 bill in there. The Wife’s passport expires when mine does, but the Daughter’s has lapsed, and we need to fix that.

This has been all part of a preparedness mentality the last few years of disasters has created. We have a manual can opener because the power can go out. We need to replace our bottled water; I assume they feel the plastic will leak into the beverage.

That said, I’m thinking that being in upstate new York isn’t the worst place to me. It’s not prone to wildfires (western US) or hurricanes (mostly south of here) or flooding or tornadoes (Midwest) or drought.

October rambling #2: The Twilight Zone and the Confederacy

The Twilight Zone and the Confederacy.

In 1939, 20,000 Americans rallied in New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism

How the Nazis Used Jim Crow Laws as the Model for Their Race Laws

Trevor Noah: Race and Identity (NY Times interview)

No longer a convicted murderer, Carl Dukes faces life after 20 years in prison

A Fire Story -Brian Fies

Journalists’ lament

Heather Fazio’s exodus from the Times Union blogfarm

John Oliver: Why The Equifax Breach Is A Big, Scary Problem

The lie that poverty is a moral failing was buried a century ago. Now it’s back

How the Elderly Lose Their Rights

Labour will lead NZ Government

LIGO Detects Fierce Collision of Neutron Stars for the First Time

The day the sky turned red in the UK – but what caused rare phenomenon?

The Story Behind the Chicago Newspaper That Bought a Bar

We are alienating each other with unrestrained callouts and unchecked self-righteousness

Chuck Miller: Crossing past my failures

Burger King ad: Bullying Jr.

Vikings Razed the Forests. Can Iceland Regrow Them?

Archaeology in Albany

How did people sleep in the Middle Ages

The shortest regularly scheduled airline route on earth

Swedish death cleaning is the morbid new way to de-clutter your life

28 Boring Words and What to Use Instead

Stop, don’t shoot

Where do mansplainers get their water?
From a well, actually.

How to Pronounce Paraskavidekatriaphobia

5 Zombie Walks to do for Halloween

Magazine of the Living Dead: The bloody rise and frightful fall of Fangoria – at FantaCo in 1980-1988, we sold a ton of back issues; #9 was considered rare

A brief history of Bat-marriage

The Great Catnip Caper Of 1909

Now I Know: Why Things are Tawdry and When Baseball Players Left it on the Field and The Special Sound a Mercedes-Benz Makes Before a Crash

Steve

THE MADNESS OF DJT

We are living in a kakistocracy

Taking Hostages and The chaos grows

The Self-Dealing Presidency

Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump

Grief, compassion -advice ignored

George W. Bush: Bigotry in any form is blasphemy

Lawrence O’Donnell: ‘Stunned’ by John Kelly’s attack on Rep. Wilson and video of her 2015 speech at new FBI building

How Badly Is Neil Gorsuch Annoying the Other Supreme Court Justices?

MUSIC

Tom Lehrer – We Will All Go Together When We Go

Almost like Praying – Lin-Manuel Miranda and friends sing for Puerto Rico support

Since I Don’t Have You – Skyliners

What goes on – Beatles (Lennon vocal)

Coverville 1190: Indie Hodgepodge & Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute

K-Chuck Radio: But they’re not doing the Time Warp…

Hey Ya! – Walk off the Earth (Outkast Cover)

Polly Brown – “Up In A Puff Of Smoke”

Tower Of Power – You’re Still A Young Man (1972)

Jimi Hendrix, May 1966. Playing guitar on two sides of a Lonnie Youngblood single, ‘Go Go Shoes / Go Go Place.”

Shocking Omissions: Joan Armatrading’s ‘Walk Under Ladders’

Female-female songwriting teams

Joni Mitchell: Fear of a Female Genius

<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2017/10/10/556692186/hallelujah-the-songs-we-should-retire Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire?

Why we really really really like repetition in music

Who first said, “Writing About Music is Like Dancing About Architecture”?

CAREER IN MUSIC IS DAMAGING TO MENTAL HEALTH