Trump and “a Bible”

The Feeding of the Five Thousand (and “gathering up the fragments”)
11 Then Jesus took the loaves and the fish, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. 12 And when everyone was full, He said to His disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they collected them and filled twelve baskets

Yesterday Trump had some peaceful protesters teargassed and forced out of Lafayette Park with rubber bullets and “flash bangs” (what is a flash bang?) so he could stand in front of a church for a photo op.

Female reporter: “Is that your Bible?”

Trump: “It is a bible.”

The bishop was not amused.

Heh, Episcopalians. You know their people are undoubtedly in the crowd demonstrating.

So how is Wikipedia doing?

Episcopalians belong to the Mainline Protestant family, a family that is shrinking, even as the southern evangelicals are growing, with the movement of non-union manufacturing to the South. But you won’t find that in their article.

Mariann Budde. Short and sweet. Barely above stub status.

Her book is “Gathering up the Fragments: Preaching as Spiritual Practice”. (For context, see the epigraph above, under the post title.) [gbooks]

Mariann Edgar Budde shows how pastors can create a solid foundation for preaching by taking the fragments of their own life and ministry – their studies, personal life experiences, and relationships with their congregations – and weaving them together in a homiletic mosaic that will bring glory to God and illumination for themselves and their listeners…. Budde believes that preaching is a form of art – a profoundly satisfying creative expression with intrinsic value, a gift from God that ministers offer back to the congregations they serve.

Well, thank you, bishop, for the performance art, and yes, that was some “profoundly satisfying” Twitter fodder.

The bishop’s domain also includes the Washington National Cathedral. You may remember during President Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral, Donnie and Melania stood with arms folded while the rest of the presidents read the Apostles Creed from the bulletin: “Trumps take heat for not reciting Apostles’ Creed at George H.W. Bush funeral“.

I see Budde recorded something for a Sunday broadcast back in March, when she was self-quarantined at home after a possible exposure to coronavirus, and dedicated her remarks to Bishop Barbara Harris, the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion, who had died a few days earlier. It seems the Episcopalians are not lacking in firebrands. Wikipedia said:

“As the first woman ordained as a bishop, and as an African American, she received death threats and obscene messages. Though urged to wear a bulletproof vest to her ordination, she refused. A contingent of the Boston police were assigned to her consecration.”

Harris even incited an Anglican schism: the Episcopal Synod of America,  “opposed to women’s ordination.” The breakoff denomination was led by Clarence Pope, who later joined the Roman Catholic church, then returned to the Episcopal church before returning to the Catholic church for the third time. Now THAT is a short Wikipedia article.

June 2 primary: Vote early and often, pandemic version

It’s that time again.

Tuesday is the presidential primary for seven states and the District of Columbia:

Moar protests and moar women

Erika Shields, Atlanta

As the George Floyd protest continues, you know the drill: “where are the women”.

Peter Newsham, the police chief of DC, whose mayor Muriel Bowser is currently the subject of a Twitter vendetta by Trump, has a lovely article, with four sections, and no less than 31 refs. According to Wikipedia it was on his watch that both the Trump inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington the next day took place, so I really can’t fault him for anything personally. His latest interview snippet about George Floyd doesn’t seem to be in the article:

“When I watched the full-length video, the only word that comes to mind is sickening,” Newsham said. “We played that video in our command briefing Thursday so that all my command officials and I could discuss how appalled we were by that behavior, by those officers….”My sense, from watching that video,” Newsham said, “that is nothing less than murder.”

Atlanta’s chief of police is Erika Shields, who, being female, has about the kind of article you might expect: cursory and with a huge whiny template at the top that was placed 3 years ago. Shields actually went into the crowd and talked to demonstrators.

Bowser’s article looks fine, but the article for Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, also has a huge banner, this one whining about COI.  But really, do we need to know she has endorsed Biden?  Surely she has done something else in her career as mayor. Whoever did Bowser ought to get to work on it.

What else?

Chiara deBlasio, the 25-year-old daughter of NY mayor was taken into custody at a protest, and according to the Guardian, her address posted on Twitter by the NY police union.  Do you feel safer yet?

Other peripheral women:

The wife of Derek Chauvin, the officer arrested in connection with George Lloyd’s death, has filed for divorce.  She’s Hmong, it’s her second marriage, she had children by the first marriage. Nah, not gonna put her name here. It might be interesting to see how any assets change hands though.

Liz Collin of WCCO, wife of MAGA Bob Kroll

The wife of Bob Kroll (red link), [see the newly minted Bob Kroll (police officer)] the president of the Minneapolis police union, who is said to hang out at a neo-Nazi biker’s bar is a different story. Kroll is married to WCCO news anchor Liz Collin (red link), as published in a 2019 profile of him by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Is there a conflict of interest?

“Collin has interviewed Kroll for the station (see picture above) and the station does not disclose the fact that the two are married to one another.

“Kroll’s relationship with Collin has been public (or semi-public) knowledge for some time, but some are wondering why Collin has continued to cover police and public safety without so much as a disclosure of the marriage.

“Kroll, meanwhile, is a frequent subject for the TV station, including his recent appearance at Donald Trump’s downtown Minneapolis rally.”

Were these articles really all that significant?  Oh dear.

“The list of stories that Collin has reported is unnerving, given her relationship to one of the most powerful and public police officers in the state.

“In June of 2017, Collin reported on the legal team of Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony Police Officer who was acquitted of his manslaughter charges in the death of Philando Castile. Collin described how a legal defense fund from the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association was paying for Yanez’s lawyers. The MPPOA is separate from Kroll and Yanez’s union, but two Minneapolis police officers sit on its board of directors. Kroll later defended a Minneapolis police officer in the media in a similar case to Yanez’s.

“In perhaps a more flagrant conflict of interest story, Collin reported a “look back” on Janee Harteau’s five-year stay as the chief of Minneapolis police. Harteau had been requested to resign by Mayor Hodges, who one year earlier, called out Kroll for “jackass remarks.” Kroll even started selling “#jackass” t-shirts. Somehow, despite this complex web of connections, WCCO allowed Collin to give the recap on what Harteau’s tenure was like.

“None of these articles contain any notices about conflicts of interest, yet they were on TV and have sat online since.”

Liz Collin also seems to have come to the attention of some blogger with a boot fetish…it is Minnesnowta, after all.  I can’t say I’m impressed, even if they are stiletto heels. There is no one who can top Lila for the ability to walk in unusual shoes.

Here is Bob Kroll at CCO being interviewed about the police killing of Thurman Blevins Jr.

“Investigators later recovered a silver 9mm handgun from the scene, though some witnesses said they never saw Blevins with the gun.

“Asked off-air how he could confirm that Blevins had raised the gun, Kroll said he had spoken to the officers’ attorney.

“’I have not seen the video, I haven’t looked at all the compiled statements, I didn’t sit in with the officers, but what I’ve gathered, from talking with their attorney, is that it’s going to be a justifiable officer-involved shooting and the individual posed a threat to the officers,’ he said.”

Plus ça change.

Section 230, gender, and oppression

The fat cats may think they are being singled out for outrageous oppression, first in Twitter fact-checking one of Trumps tweets about election fraud, then in saying his “looting and shooting” comment was in violation of their rules.

In fact, this was the original intention behind Section 230, that platforms could set boundaries for decency without being legally liable for everything that appeared on their websites.

But what about the little people?

This stuff looks like something new.

It seems that Twitter has now embarked on a little automated potty-mouth coaching. Or is it a political statement?

They aren’t wrong.

Cuba, women, and charanga

“The concept of cute doesn’t interest me.” -Brenda Navarrete
Myrta Silva 1964

Ah, the Havana of yesteryear, and the grand orchestras of Cuba.

You can listen to a few of them here, in this 47-minute documentary video “Las Grandes Orquestas de Cuba“, in Spanish.  So what all is in this documentary?

  • There was El Mozambique de Pello,  created by Pedro Izquierdo (1933 – 2000) , known as Pello el Afrokán.  The”mozambique” was a dance rhythm related to the conga line dances that had its heyday in 1962-65.
  • There was Benny Moré…
  • Roberto Faz
  • Pacho Alonso
  • Conjunto Casino (with more of a jazz orientation, but still heavy on the brass section)
  • La Sonora Matancera (but the article for lead singer Myrta Silva  has no photo)  She is not a “BLP” (1927 – 1987), so no “fair use” concerns.
  • La Aragón – the best cha-cha-cha and charanga band of the 40s and 50s – with its violin section and flute solos played in a high register
  • Cachao (Israel López Valdés) – a Cuban dance musician popular in the U.S.
  • the conga santiaguera, a music form unique to the carnival of Santiago de Cuba, that uses brake drums as percussion, along with the corneta china.

Ah, but where are the women, you may ask.

  • Brenda Navarret, percussion (red link), in particular, batá drumming, “a hypercompetitive ritual among men, judged on speed and memory; women are widely regarded as lacking the physical stamina for the instrument. In the religion (see Santeria) , women are allowed to sing but are often prohibited from playing the batá and sometimes even prevented from standing near the instrument.”  Hmm, how about an instruction video?…The drums are played in sets of three, here she is :

The first group of women in Cuba and probably in the world who play the Bata drums professionally is Obini Bata (red link).

  • Melvis Santa (red link), 2018 Grammy nominee, and the current lead singer of Maqueque, also a member of Interactivo, a Havana-based musical collective, along with her half-sister Navarrete.
  • Yissy García (red link), drummer, member of Maqueque and fronts her own band, Bandancha. She is the daughter of Bernando García (red link), of Irakere orchestra

So what about these charanga flutes?

The most well-known player is either Jane Bunnett or it might be Sue Miller (red link) and her UK group Charanga del Norte. In her book, Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation, Miller writes about studying the technique of Richard Egües and José Fajardo.

Here she plays Egües’ El Bodeguero

And the flutes?

They might be modern flutes, or they might be 5-key French flutes.

Charanga flutists play in an extraordinarily high register, inhabiting the third and fourth octaves most of the time, seldom venturing down into the second octave. This is because charanga developed at a time before sound amplification. As the lead voice, the flute must be heard over a large ensemble that includes at least two (frequently three) percussionists. The high register cuts through the din. Unfortunately, many flutists today are not usually aware of the fingerings for notes more than a whole step into the fourth octave.”

You can buy a new wooden one for “as played by the old masters in the Orquestas Francesas, Danzon and charanga bands. Copied from a fine French original…”

Here are fingerings for the Jerome Thibouville Lamy five key, more fingerings for five and six-key, an essay in the Flutist quarterly, a short description by Sue Miller, with a transcription of a solo by Richard Egües, and another essay that promises somewhere are “transcriptions of solos by Melquiades, Richard Egües and Eduardo Rubio”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s what they look like: The bore is conical, and any unneeded keys are sometimes removed. The end plug is moved closer to the embouchure hole, for better tuning in the higher registers, and the slide is pulled out. Sometimes the embouchure hole is also made smaller, depending on the artist.  The small size of the fingering holes is retained.  These flutes are usually in the key of B-flat, and they are played an octave higher than the written music. (So with the slide pulled out, does that make it play in the key of C?) Here is what the wooden flute sounds like, here played by Jose Fajardo. I think they have a different (mellower?) tone from the modern Boehm silver ones.

Prussian group photo 1866

Any information about this photo would be appreciated.  For instance, identification of what unit it may be, if it might be a musical regiment, or the identity of any people in the photo, if someone recognizes a family member.

What is known about the photo:

It was taken in 1866 during the Austro-Prussian War. One individual in the unit lived in, and was drafted from what is now western Germany, but the location of the photo (Prussia) is eastern Germany.

Some guesses can be made about the photo.  First is that color photography was not available until the late 1900’s, so someone has paid to have the photo colored, including the famous “Prussian blue” uniforms. Here is the photo converted to gray scale:

Next is that they are in dress uniform.  You can see a keg in the front.

Some individuals are holding beer mugs or musical instruments.

The drum and the horns are obvious, but what kind of horns?

The drum seems to be a “side drum“, a type of snare drum also known as a “Prussian drum”. See museum photo.) The brass instrument might be close to this Prussian kornett, or maybe this German trumpet with Berliner valves. There are some drawings at the end of this book. Or this book has some lists of brass instruments, along with a few silhouettes.

At first glance this looks like it might be a fife or tin whistle, and a closeup looks kind of like fingering holes.  But is that his thumb under it, and does it have a brass instrument-type mouthpiece?  Maybe it is some kind of bugel? Or is it a bottle?

Left to right: two individuals with brass instruments, someone with something that looks like a tortoise shell (maybe a canteen or a hip flask?), a clay pipe, and in the back two more brass instruments. There is a brass colored metal container in the foreground with the number “2”, perhaps for ammunition?

One is holding what looks like a clay pipe, another what looks like a cigar, and several who look like they are holding a cellphone or netbook on closer look seem to be holding playing cards, although the coloring makes it hard to see.

There are several individuals standing to either side who have spiked hats, and are holding guns with bayonets.

The commanding officer is presumed to be the individual in the center, with a darker skin tone, and gold (?) epaulets.

There are also a couple of individuals with either medals or unusual sleeve types. tw horn players on the left have some kind of white striped sleeve, one on the right has the same sleeve with an added tassel.  The one on the left also has some kind of lyre attached to the horn, like those used for holding music.


And what did they play?  According to Wikipedia, King Wilhelm III commissioned an Army March Collection in 1817. Friedrich Wilhelm III’s initial collection ( see the proceeds of Brass Scholarship in Review) consisted of 36 slow marches and 36 quick marches for infantry. Part of the collection (for the cavalry) was published by Schlesinger in Berlin beginning in 1824, then by Bote & Bock in Berlin and finally Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig.  It was superseded by a new collection in 1925. The name of the cavalry collection was “Sammlung von Marschen und Fanfaren für Trumpetenmusik zum Gebrauch der preußischen Kavallerie” (Collection of Marches and Fanfares for Trumpet-Music for the Use of the Prussian Cavalry)

The thing seems to exist on WorldCat, and also in various books which are not available, even in snippet form. The series is “Achim Hofer ; Bd. 1; IGEB Reprints und Manuskripte; Reprints; Reprints und Manuskripte / Reprints., Reprints und Manuskripte, International Society for the Promotion and Investigation of Band Music ;, 5.'”>Die “Königlich Preußische Armeemarschsammlung” 1817 – 1839″, (reprinted from the 1839 Schlesinger) published 2007 or maybe 2006 in 6 volumes.

More about Wilhelm III’s musical tastes in free e-book A Dictionary of Music and Musicians: (A.D. 1450-1880) edited by George Grove. Some of the military bands did play popular and classical music other than from the specific list.

Here is another text, from Internet Archive, published in 1882, which is supposed to contain the words to German war songs from the Seven Years War: “Preussische Kriegslieder von einem Grenadier“, by Johann Wilhelm Ludewig Gleim.

One poplar march of that time was Der Hohenfriedberger composed in 1745. [Sing along with YouTube]


So other than that, what was the Austro-Prussian War, and what was Prussia?

Prussia was basically Germany plus a part of what is now Poland, with its center in Berlin. Forget the Wikipedia article, here is Britannica. The Austro-Prussian War was a short-lived war between Germany/Prussia and Austria, ending in the summer of 1866, in which Austria lost quite quickly and quite badly, while Prussia consolidated its growing power.  We find out here that the Prussian soldiers used “breech-loading  needle rifles ( zundnadelgewehr) in 1866 at the battle of Koniggratz” and “decimated the Austrians using muzzle-loaders”, also that this led to mass production of the French Chassepot rifle, invented in 1866, and that the Prussian Dreyse rifle became “outdated”. For a unique French eye-witness account, The Prussian Terror by  Alexandre Dumas (of Three Musketeers fame), has been translated from the French, and is available online.

Other than that, is there anything good about it?

Prussian blue.

This was a blue pigment discovered by accident while a Prussian chemist was mixing up red pigment. The potash in the formulation contained impurities later traced to animal blood, and the iron in the mixture created a new and cheaper blue that was used as far as Japan, and was responsible for Picasso’s “blue period”.

And now for the pleasure and enjoyment of my devoted readers, here are a few paintings using Prussian blue:

A portrait of María de los Dolores Collado y Echagüe, duquesa de Bailén (1800-1868) in Spain’s Prado. The duchess was married to Eduardo Carondelet y Donado, the Duke of Bailén and Marquis of Portugalete. Both are red links, but their palace in Madrid, the Palacio del Marqués de Portugalete, has an article.

Gainsborough’s Blue Boy. Hokusai‘s The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Picasso’s Blue Room 1901.

Also blueprints.  And the botanical prints of Anna Atkins.

Beethoven (1770-1827) was to have written some military marches to be paid for by the king of Prussia, since they were for the royal band, but they were never written. Here are five other military marches written by Beethoven.