19 November 2010

Yevgeny Kutic plays Franck Sonata in A Major

Violinist Yevgeny Kutic was a recent guest on WGBH's "Live from Fraser" program. He played one of my all-time favorite pieces: the Sonata in A Major by Cesar Franck.

The whole show is worth listening to, but since the audio program below lasts about an hour . . .

. . . you can get a taste of it with this video, in which Mr. Kutic plays the second movement of the Franck sonata.

04 November 2010

Rhoads, Hsieh, and Cushman on Midterm Elections

I came across three very good articles on the topic of Tuesday’s Republican victory (or to be more precise, I should call it Tuesday’s Democratic defeat).

In the first article, Jared Rhoads reported that he voted against Democrats across the board:

Since I am emphatically not a registered member of the Republican party, allow me briefly to explain.

My votes were cast with one goal in mind: to stem the tide toward statism and in so doing buy more time for rational ideas to take hold in the culture. On the surface, that means limited government, lower taxes, lower spending, and less regulation. More deeply, it means individual rights.[1]

In another article, Paul Hsieh advises the Republicans to understand what swept them into office. Their victory is decidedly not a mandate to compromise and deliver “ObamaLite”:

The 2010 vote was a powerful message from Americans rejecting the socialist policies of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid -- including the bailouts, the out-of-control federal spending, the higher taxes, and the nationalized health care scheme.

Voters elected Republicans to halt and reverse these policies -- not compromise to pass watered-down versions of those same bad ideas.[2]

Nor is the victory a green light to impose “social conservative” values:

The Republicans’ electoral rebound has been driven by millions of independent voters like the Colorado small businessman Ron Vaughn, who told the New York Times, “I want the Democrats out of my pocket and Republicans out of my bedroom.”[2]

Finally, at American Thinker, Charlotte Cushman urges the Republicans not to compromise with the Democrats to “find common ground” with policies that are disastrous for America:

We have been taught than compromising is a virtue, that in any conflict, we must concede things to the other side. . .

Finding common ground means that both sides agree on some fundamental principles. By compromising with Obama we would be saying that we agree with some aspects of Socialism. No we don’t. There is no common ground between an ideology of slavery and the ideology of freedom. Rush Limbaugh said the meaning of the election was “No, we don’t want to ‘work together,’ and the American people did not say they want to work with you. The American people said yesterday they want to stop you!”[3]

With an entirely secular meaning, I say, “Amen!”


1. Jared Rhoads, “A Republican voter . . . ,” 2 Nov 2010, http://lucidicus.org/editorials.php?nav=20101102a.

2. Paul Hsieh, “GOP: Dance With The One Who Brung You,” 3 Nov 2010, http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/gop-dance-with-the-one-who-brung-you/?singlepage=true.

3. Charlotte Cushman, “No More Goodie Two-Shoes,” 4 Nov 2010, http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/11/no_more_goodie_twoshoes.html.

03 November 2010

Democrat Drubbing

In the aftermath of last night’s evisceration of the Democrats, the biggest whopper I’ve seen so far comes from Tim Kaine, the Democratic National Committee chairman. Here is his explanation for the utter repudiation of the Obama agenda:

“Voters sent a message that change has not happened fast enough.”[1]

What? Change has not happened fast enough? That is what Kaine thinks the drubbing of his party means? Assuming the man is not joking, and giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is not simply a conniving liar trying to rally his pack of true-believers, I am left to conclude that he must be as innocent of facts, logic, and judgment as a new-born babe.

I hasten to add that I am not saying Kaine is stupid, of course. (Accusing public figures of stupidity is the refuge of the Left, which, being so bankrupt of ideas itself, resorts to ad hominem attacks as its primary form of argument.) On the contrary, I believe Tim Kaine is probably a pretty smart guy, and he certainly deserves to be in the company of other very smart people who are equally delusional--like, for instance, Paul Krugman, who thinks the recent expansion of government spending is a myth[2]; Ben Bernanke, who believes that government spending actually stimulates an economy; Harry Reid, who thinks paying income taxes in America is voluntary; and Nancy Pelosi, who thinks people who show up at Tea Party events are sponsored by large corporations.

To think that Democrats lost last night because they were not far enough to the left during the past two years is preposterous. Does Kaine think voters chose Tea Party candidates because they were angry at Democrats for being too “hands off”? Were Democrats kicked out of office because their President seized only General Motors instead of taking over the whole automobile industry like Hugo Chavez would have? Were supporters of Obamacare dumped because there was not enough bureaucracy, regulation, and redistribution of wealth built into the two-thousand-plus pages of the “health care” legislation? It’s completely absurd.

Barack Obama has, more than any politician in my memory, clarified the meaning of the so-called “liberal” agenda.[3] We owe the very existence of the Tea Party to that clarity; there is no way that such a spontaneous movement would have emerged if John McCain had won the election. Ordinary Americans talking about freedom versus socialism, reading Atlas Shrugged, and calling for sweeping cuts in government spending would not be nearly as widespread if there were a Republican in office, even though I think McCain is just about as horrendous a collectivist as Obama is.

The repudiation of the Democratic agenda is encouraging to me in the same limited manner as the Scott Brown election was earlier this year. I expect nothing good from the Republicans themselves--apart from some gridlock that will help retard the march toward statism, a march that has been accelerating alarmingly in the Bush-Obama era. However, I am pleased about the American spirit that the Democratic defeat signals. Evidently, there are still Americans not willing to let the government run their lives.

Hopefully, this will give us time to convince those Americans that they are right to live their own lives and seek their own happiness.


1. “G.O.P. Captures House, Not Senate,” New York Times, 3 Nov 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/us/politics/03elect.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all.

2. Paul Krugman, “Hey, Small Spender,” New York Times, 10 Oct 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/opinion/11krugman.html?_r=1&ref=paulkrugman.

3. See John David Lewis, “Obama’s Atomic Bomb: The Ideological Clarity of the Democratic Agenda,” The Objective Standard, Vol. 4, No. 3, http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2009-fall/obamas-atomic-bomb.asp.


I added the Reid and Pelosi examples to the fourth paragraph.