James Uhart: Sous le Lampadaire

James Uhart: piano
Justin Purtill: double bass
Julien Augier: drums

1. Sous le lampadaire (6:12)
2. Couperin (5:00)
3. Fin de course (4:05)
4. Un pour la route (2:42)
5. Une histoire à vivire (4:56)
6. Rather sorry than safe (4:02)
7. Le mur du son (5:00)
8. Yadeu (4:33)

The U.S. Supreme Court protects our right to be idiots.

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

While the groups are no longer subject to the 10- and 25-person occupancy restrictions, the ruling signals a shift in the now-conservative majority court.
The court earlier this year declined to lift pandemic restrictions in California and Nevada when the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was on the court.
What they’re saying: “Not only is there no evidence that the applicants have contributed to the spread of COVID–19 but there are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk to those attending religious services,” the court’s majority said in an unsigned opinion.

For the record: Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts dissented the latest decision, along with the court’s three liberal members.

“The governor might reinstate the restrictions, but he also might not,” Roberts wrote.
“And it is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety in the midst of a deadly pandemic. If the governor does reinstate the numerical restrictions the applicants can return to this court, and we could act quickly on their renewed applications.”

Of note: COVID-19 cases are surging across the U.S., including in New York, where Cuomo announced plans Wednesday to reopen a temporary field hospital on Staten Island next week to help cope with the rise in virus hospitalizations.

— by Rebecca Falconer, axios.com

The SCOTUS “scientifically illiterate” decision will only help increase the coronavirus death toll. Nice going fellas…

André Campra: Le Carnaval de Venise

“…At the dawn of a new century when André Campra was busy writing his Carnaval de Venise (1699), was the composer aware that he would be passing onto the Académie Royale de Musique a fabulous and legendary work that would remain without successors? And whilst the court of the ageing Louis XIV was endeavouring to conserve the spirit of the Grand Siècle at Versailles, Paris was already humming with the new ideas of the Age of Enlightenment. With its prologue and three festive acts, with its exotic dances and its virtuosic arias in Italian, Le Carnaval de Venise is one of the most original experiences to be had in musical drama from the time, one which was to earn Campra the reputation as the new maestro of French opera, as well as of being the musical eulogist for the Regency. In a magisterial act of conflation, this composer blends the styles of Lully, Lalande, Monteverdi and Cavalli and manages also to foreshadow Handel and Rameau. He dreams up a multi-hued score, capable unquestionably of recapturing in Paris both the carnival spirit in general and that of the legendary Venice in particular…”

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The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read

Someone on the question-and-answer website Quora asked “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response:

“A few things spring to mind.
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
• Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
• You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.
This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
‘My God… what… have… I… created?
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.”