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The New Face of America…


Getty Photo

“I’m also honored to have the greatest temperament that anybody has.”

 —Donald Trump (November 3, 2016)


Mika Brzenski believes that by issuing alt-facts, the administration is undermining the role of the media and furthering the extent to which peoples opinion can be manipulated. This is, of course, the definition of ‘propaganda’. When an administration and the press are at the extreme ends of interpretations, the ‘truth’ can be seen by the observations of consequences of actions.

My hope is that at some point, these consequences will be obvious to all and an accurate assessment of our political and moral position as a country can be made.


The Houses of Williamstown : a series … The original teaser from October 2009

Intro top
This article continues below the fold. Read more


Trump to NATO and the G7 …

… NATO, Germany, and what may become the G6.  The bottom falls out of the nadir for the Covfeve-in-Chief!





The Houses of Williamstown: Zeta Psi … ( A Re-issue)

(This is the 15th in a series of 16 posts) This series ran in 2009 … click Comment for complete text.
Zetes Top copy


Read more


What am I wearing ? …


 … Sorry, we need more time together on the back-channel.




Making Friends and Influencing People by Sharing …

… Trump continues the bands’ breakthrough with Russia!



Marko Remac ’80: Work in Rome at the invitation of Pope Francis.

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Marko Remec is a conceptual sculptor living and working in New York City with his wife and two children. Born in 1958, Remec graduated with degrees in Studio Art and Chemistry from Williams College and earned his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

In his works, Remec visualizes the oft-invisible aspects of the global political machine—threat, negotiation, and compromise. Having spent twenty-five years as a Mergers & Acquisitions specialist at two of the leading financial institutions on Wall Street (Morgan Stanley and Lazard), he is well versed in “corporate warfare” and the inextricable link between economic and actualized conflict. Warping function and re-contextualizing form, Remec distorts traditional expectations of usage and scale to incisively examine systems of power and the ways in which they affect our perceptions and realities.

Remec’s most recent work is his ongoing Totem Series, in which he uses flag and utility poles, both regular fixtures of the urban and suburban landscape. Adhering readymade objects to the poles, such as safety mirrors, bicycles, mops, brooms, and rearview mirrors, he transforms them into contemporary totems.

The Huffington Post March 21, 2013

The totem is displayed with The Ship of Tolerance, a floating conceptual work 0f Ilya and Emilia Kabakov.







The installation in Zug, CH.




Help Wanted …

… special investigator! Start immediately!  Must have no connection to Rogaine or Russia.


…or Nixon.





The Dance of Death …

V0042018 The dance of death: time and death. Coloured aquatint by T. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images The dance of death: time and death. Coloured aquatint by T. Rowlandson, 1816. 1816 By: Thomas RowlandsonPublished:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

HR Republicans pass repeal, celebrate on White House lawn. MedicAid as the step to tax cuts.

What will be on the Senate’s dance card?



(Phew!) Bipartisan Bill Increases Funding for NEA and NEH


Good news to this ancient Art History major and true believer in the purpose and conduct of art.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign a bipartisan agreement reached by Congress on Sunday that will fund the government through September and increase funds allotted to the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities by $1.9 million, Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev of Bloomberg report.

The bill, which will be the first major bipartisan measure advanced by Congress during Trump’s presidency, does not reflect Trump’s spending priorities. It boosts funding for the NEA and the NEH, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Park Service—all agencies the president declared would receive less funding—and does not include money for the Mexican border wall, one of the driving forces of his campaign.

… from the ARTFORUM site 2 May, 2017

The CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcast) will receive $445 million, the same as this year.


It was worth fighting for then. Have the times changed? If so, how? Is Free Speech still a workable liberty?


from The Four Freedoms Norman Rockwell, 1943

NYT article  containing student opinions from affected campuses.

One hour. Use as many blue books as you need. Sign the Honor Statement.


100 Days : Walls are going up …

… certainly between people. Walls of separation and isolation from realities as palpable as any built from steel or stone or cement.

Actual walls can be beautifully decorated with murals and enjoyed. These are bearing and supportive walls for structures. Walls built to divide and contain are not beautiful. And decor applied to them is more likely graffiti.



Berlin Wall with Keith Haring 330 ft graffiti 1986. Soon both were gone.


Fun with Stereotypes!

Stereo type analysis

A recent comment by frequent visitor JCD using a racial stereotype in describing a former student leads me to post this analysis of the use of stereotypes in the classroom and their results both socially in the context and particular to the person to whom applied.

Christine Reyna   Lazy, Dumb, or Industrious: When Stereotypes Convey Attribution Information in the Classroom Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2000

A larger version may be seen here.

There seems to be a lot of this going around.


Needs a job! Ephblog should act now!


US citizen. English is first language. Has skills!

UPDATE from DDF: Don’t criticize my friend Swart for not making an Eph-related post! Bill O’Reilly is, of course, famous for seeking sex (sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully) from women when the power relationships involved were quite imbalanced. The relevant Eph comparison is with Williams professors who seek sex from students, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. At least two Williams professors were so successful in this regard that they eventually married their students. And one is still on the Williams faculty! If you object to O’Reilly, do you also object to this behavior?


Rechtal’s note still reverberates …

I posted this letter from my old roommate on 11 April, 2008. It is  pertinent today

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 2.34.10 PM

“Civility was, I believe, very directly related to wearing a coat and tie at dinner.”

… Rechtal Turgidley Jr

The yellowed envelope the postman delivered on Tuesday  with the printed address ‘Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Beane,  40 Pine Street, New York 4, New York” crossed out smacked of a frugality honed for a lifetime. As did the corner of a block of 3 cent Lewis and Clark stamps making up the necessary postage, obviously licked and placed on the letter with care.

A glance at the ‘Quark Island ME’ postmark and my name written with the distinctive strokes of a Parker 51 and in his trademark peacock blue Parker Quink. confirmed it was another letter from my old roommate, Rechtal Turgidley Jr.


Swart (he begins) ,

I am quite worried about you. And, NO, not for the usual reasons of your incipient alcoholism, the smoking of quantities of an unidentified vegetation, or even your strange predilection for Baroque opera.

I am worried because I see you appearing  much too frequently in the, granted, ephemeral columns of that peculiar ‘blog’ purportedly written ‘about’, ‘over’, ‘under’ and all the other prepositions, Williams.

Since you pointed me in the direction of this supposed diversion several months ago, I have been following it and, indeed, have written you before with my thoughts (and I was amazed to see that you had forwarded that note to a ‘DKane; , what ever that may be). I objected to anonymity among gentlemen, the use of a first name appellation in referring to the President of the College, and some of the nature of the writings that appeared that would have roused my father Rechtal Turgidley ‘28 to a fury. But enough of these aforementioned items.

 It is my analysis of recent daily editions that raise my concerns for you as a too-frequent participant in them.

 I shall go on.

As to DKane, he does, indeed, know how to rouse the fish to intemperate biting on his carefully tied lures. If one doesn’t work, he will flail the water with others. He seems to know how to ‘match the hatch’ with great skill. If the dry thorax is not working, he will switch to a terrestrial and may end up with a midge. The question is, does he truly believe in each and every offering cast out or is he simply looking for some bites to keep the pond jumping.  If he doesn’t believe all that he offers, all well and good. If, on the other hand he does, then the comments of many of the respondents o his lures need to be carefully weighed by the local police.

As to topics and response. Is this ‘blog’ an extension of the management of the College and vested with some powers for change? For it would appear that many of the postings and comments have to do with what the Trustees, the President, the faculty, and even the students themselves should do. Whining seems to be the hallmark of much of the correspondence. As Grandfather Turgidley ‘06 used to remark “I can’t abide whining dogs or whining Williams men”.

And there is such a lack of civility and humor in the verbiage! I did notice, Swart, your attempts to change the subject several times. While I was not interested in DIY -The Romance of Drains, or Cooking with Clarified Butter, I was hopeful that All About Stamps might catch on. I am happy to discuss at the drop of a hat, my 1922 6 cent Garfield’s by that wonderful team of Eissler and Hall. But no matter.

Civility was, I believe, very directly related to wearing a coat and tie at dinner. Has civility gone by the boards, replaced with diversity?  “O brave new world that hath such people in it”.

Thus my concern for your over-participation in this activity. In the jargon of some past psychobabble I am doing an ‘intervention’.

Pack your bag. Say ‘Ave et Vale’ to your virtual pals. You are coming with me. We will be concentrating on these three ‘g’s’ –  Gehry’s Guggenheim, Gaudy, and the modern architect hated by Ian Fleming, Erno Goldfinger.

    In the Bonds,







Chuck Barris: Today’s need for The Gong Show …

… would that Jamey Farr could just strike the gong and the DC comedians would get the hook.

Chuck Barris … “A bad review means a show will run forever”.


The EPA and climate change …


I wonder what the new definitions will mean for programs like Blue Sky? I’m one of the 112,268 Oregon volunteer participants in this very active program of Pacific Power. I know that living in the blue-state Pacific Northwest may be different than other sections of the country.


Thomas Krens ’69, pioneer of Guggenheim Bilbao, criticizes planned expansion to Abu Dhabi …


Former Director of the Guggenheim Foundation Criticizes Plans for Abu Dhabi Branch

I understand his concerns. I add my own thought on this design: Gehry’s style has gone Mannerist!

For comparison:

See below first para for my meaning of mannerist/ism:


“I’m President and you’re not” …


… quote from TIME magazine interview March 22, 2017.

… may not be the best mantra for governance, particularly with Left-wing/Right-wing lawmakers fracturing his own party.


A Thriller Rauschenberg show at WCMA …


This the first show done as a collaborative project with students in an Art History/Museum class.
(see story below)

Robert Rauschenberg: Autobiography brings together 26 original works of art with 56 archival objects primarily on loan from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and centers on the artist’s monumental print, Autobiography, 1968. The exhibition will be on view at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) from March 17 through August 20, 2017.


Rauschenberg created Autobiography with Broadside Art Inc., founded by arts patron Marion Javits and graphic designer Milton Glaser Read more


Re: ‘Argument’ as ‘Sport’ …


Ephblog as Weston Field.

See ‘comments’ in Richard Spencer post (below).

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 4.14.52 PM… from the Williams Rugby Club website

JCD jostled by all and sundry …







Funny, but it sounds more real when sung by Piaf …

… than Sean and the Drumph.


NB  I would have put the following below the fold but couldn’t figure out the app specific. Read more


On St Patrick’s Day, additional historical notes …

… older readers from the days of required Chapel may recall visits to St Pat’s.



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A “President” in “Air Quotes” …

… not to be taken “literally”. Other words for “Air Quotes” … “Impeachment”, “25th Amendment”, “What hath God wrought”.


Stonewall the Wall: March 10 is Boycott Day for Architects.



As the Department of Homeland Security prepares to officially launch the RFP for Trump’s proposed border wall on March 6, the Architecture Lobby is calling on all architects and engineers across the U.S. to participate in a national day of action to boycott the project on Friday, March 10 — the same day that the first round of submissions in the RFP are due.

The Trump Mexican Border Wall may be the 11th wonder of the world of walls. If it gets built. Several large construction companies capable of building such a wall have not answered the RFP (Bechtel, Boeing, CH2M).

 Architects of famous walls  seem to be unknown … many were military engineers. Here are the ten walls awaiting the arrival of McTrumps Golden Arches:

… and a haiku:

A thirty foot wall

stretching 1900 miles .

Keep those in, those out.,





Trump: Get Smart …

lower the cone of silence


Steel Yourself for This …



Keystone pipeline exempt from “Buy American”.

Didn’t THE SPEECH have an applause line set-up for the assurance of “Buy American”?



At least his tie was better …

UPDATE from DDF: Dan Drezner ’90 tells a story about buying American:

Economists are just now beginning to appreciate the power of narrative in explaining how people believe the economy actually works. These narratives are not always the truth, and certainly not always the whole truth. But a compelling narrative can profoundly influence how people think the economy functions. Robert Shiller, the new president of the American Economics Association, pointed this out in his recent presidential address: “President-elect Donald J. Trump is a master of narratives.”

So sit right back and let me tell you a story about one of the hidden costs of Donald Trump’s economic motto: Buy American and Hire American.

Read the whole thing. My main takeaway is that there is a lot of fat to be cut from the US budget!


About the above addition to my post by Dave:

Constant Readers of Ephblog know that my posts are rarely done for intellectual discussion and/or an in-depth look at a stance or belief. They are done simply as head turners, as head-turners about the particular issue.

This is the case on “Steel Yourself”. I am pointing out the chicanery of the speech itself with its set-up applause lines.

I must add that while I have no problem with Dave’s reference to Drezner’s article, I have trouble from an editing point-of-view with adding an extension to a post obviously done for brevity. His addition is what “comments” are for.


CPAC Conclave: “Seems like old times …”

Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 8.42.29 AM


Hmmmm … Canadians, eh?


Struggle to Fill Jobs When Total Loyalty Is a Must ? A Proven Answer!

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — During President Trump’s transition to power, his team reached out to Elliott Abrams for help building a new administration. Mr. Abrams, a seasoned Republican foreign policy official, sent lists of possible candidates for national security jobs.

One by one, the answer from the Trump team came back no. The reason was consistent: This one had said disparaging things about Mr. Trump during the campaign; that one had signed a letter opposing him. Finally, the White House asked Mr. Abrams himself to meet with the president about becoming deputy secretary of state, only to have the same thing happen — vetoed because of past criticism.

   … The New York Times, February 18, 2017

A proven answer:

Donald Trump

Oath of loyalty for Public Officials:

“I swear: I shall be loyal and obedient to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, respect the laws, and fulfill my official duties conscientiously, so help me God.” (as of August 20. 1934).





To Arms! To Arms! The News Reporters are coming!

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 6.27.02 PM

I’m glad I have my Second Amendment Rights. I see an Armed Ephblog as our first line of defense.


(“The media is are not my enemy, it is they are the enemy of the American People”. Team names and other collective nouns may be used as singular or plural (esp UK) … ‘media’ is the neuter plural of ‘medium’.)




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