Hooded Crows

These wonderful, rather intimidating (loud, travel in packs, large) birds were all over Rome, but nowhere more so than at the Protestant Cemetery. Here are a few pictures, taken late November.

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New Years Wishes and Buon Capodanno

Friends, readers, please enjoy this New Year’s Eve greeting, brought to you by ABBA. May your 2017 be as excellent as ABBA’s lyrics. Not being ironic – I believe they were among the best pop music lyricists in modern times. And they weren’t even writing in their own languages. I love all the Scando-angst in this song, and the Bergman-esque angles in the video. (On another note, what I wouldn’t give for a dress like the one Agneta is wearing.)

O Jerusalem

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.

With Obama’s abstention on yesterday’s anti-Israel UN resolution (just another day the UN), the Western Wall and the Temple Mount are now declared to be “occupied” by the Jewish people. This was a dark, sorry decision from Obama, and as petty and ignorant of history as I knew him to be, I never imagined he would sink this low. He has brought the U.S. and the Democratic Party down to such depths, especially when you consider the greatness of a Daniel Patrick Moynihan on pretty much this same issue.

Is Obama an anti-Semite? Or is he just so personally vindictive and nasty that he wanted to kick Netanyahu on his way out the door?

A couple of good articles – from Ricochet and from the Washington Post.  And sanity from Lindsey Graham.

I have doubts about Trump — many, in particular about his isolationism and his relationship with Russia — but at this point, January 20th can’t come soon enough. Heckuva job, Barack.

Identity Politics

I mentioned — in my post about Trump (“Curb your Hysteria” – see below) — that I know some real chattering-class types who are convinced his victory was not only something maleficent — a rejection of their brilliant, tolerant ideas —  but the “last gasp” of the bad people among us (i.e., people who don’t think like them), to boot. Further, they seem convinced that it’s only a question of a generation passing before they will be in power again. They are, I think, projecting their own rigidity and lack of self-awareness onto everyone else. They assume that, because their world view has never changed, no one else’s will either. (Some of us do learn and grow in this life, however slowly and painfully.) This is where they are insanely, embarrassingly wrong.

They ought to read this terrific Mark Lilla piece from the NYTimes. Money quote here:

A convenient liberal interpretation of the recent presidential election would have it that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage — the “whitelash” thesis. This is convenient because it sanctions a conviction of moral superiority and allows liberals to ignore what those voters said were their overriding concerns. It also encourages the fantasy that the Republican right is doomed to demographic extinction in the long run — which means liberals have only to wait for the country to fall into their laps. The surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote that went to Mr. Trump should remind us that the longer ethnic groups are here in this country, the more politically diverse they become.

Emphasis mine. Spot-on. Fyi, Mark Lilla writes brilliantly about France a good deal, as well.