Murder by Decree

[2.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Another movie I'm claiming to have watched. Because I saw about a half hour of the beginning, maybe 40 minutes of the end and… I don't know, maybe 10 minutes here and there in between?

Part of the problem: the disk offered no subtitles. Really, this is a must. Especially when everyone has an English accent, ranging from plummy to downscale.

Anyway: it's a Sherlock Holmes movie, with Christopher Plummer as The Man Himself, James Mason as Dr. Watson. They are up against a formidable foe: Jack the Ripper.

Now I'm going to give you some spoiler-level details: the ladies aren't being murdered at random, as everyone assumes. They're being offed because they may know something. Something that might damage a very important personage. So it's a vast conspiracy. Involving Freemasons, I think. (This is based on an old non-fiction book setting forth this theory.)

Anyway, there's a lot of good acting, and some fighting. Donald Sutherland is in it too, but I couldn't figure out why exactly. It's directed by Bob Clark, who went on to direct less-classy movies like Porky's.

Last Modified 2022-10-16 9:49 AM EDT

URLs du Jour


  • Pun Son is more plugged into the goings-on at the University Near Here than is either one of his parents, so I was surprised to learn that one of the policies that might be put into place is some sort of draconian punishment for any student who attends a "Covid Party".

    But are such things real? Wired provides a Covid party skeptic take.

    The Covid party craze continues to sweep the nation—or, at least, the nation’s news organizations. The latest example comes from Texas, where a 30-year-old man is said to have confessed on his death bed that he had attended one. “Just before the patient died,” announced Jane Appleby, chief medical officer at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, “they looked at their nurse and said, ‘I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.’”

    What started out as local news in south Texas on Friday soon became a national story. By Sunday it had made its way into a write-up for The New York Times, which duly quoted one physician’s warning that such parties are “dangerous, irresponsible, and potentially deadly.”

    That's just the latest tale, picked up by major news organization with little apparent fact-checking done before publication.

    To see how bad this can get, Michael Brendan Dougherty at National Review notes the "professionalism" involved: 'NYT' Runs COVID Story With Unconfirmed Sources.

    It’s a morality tale, really. Don’t believe it’s a hoax! Or that you aren’t at risk because you are young! Maybe don’t live in a bad red state where they aren’t taking COVID seriously, or go to these parties. The only thing missing was a MAGA hat and a rueful dying admission, “I shouldn’t have trusted Trump or my Republican governor!”

    MBD goes on to note that the NYT story went through a number of stealth edits, each one nudging up the skepticism. Which should have been applied in the first place, but why bother when you can do the "morality tale" thing?

    Our Getty Image du Jour is something that showed up when I searched for "urban legends". It doesn't really have anything to do with urban legends, but it looked kind of neat.

  • David Harsanyi notes Joe Biden's new fan, Angela Davis.

    Last night, 76-year-old radical Angela Davis was trending on Twitter due to her endorsement of 77-year-old presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Bravely we go into the future, I guess. While no politician can control who supports them, apparently numerous pundits believe that the Davis endorsement is worthy of celebration (though most also carefully avoided noting her blessing was made on Russian propaganda television).

    “Why isn’t Angela Davis asked for commentary on major news channels?” wonders the Washington Post’s Wajahat Ali. Well, I’ve can think of a few reasons.

    1) Davis is an unrepentant champion of domestic terrorists and murderers. In the early 1970s, Davis famously bought two of the guns used in a 1970 Marin County courtroom kidnapping-shootout perpetrated by Black Panthers, in which a superior court judge and three hostages were murdered. After being charged with “aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder,” Davis went into hiding. Even after the FBI caught up to her, and even after evidence showed that she had been in correspondence with the planners and well aware of their violent disposition, she was acquitted in 1972.

    And a couple more reasons at the link. To its everlasting shame, the University Near Here invited Davis to speak for its annual MLK Day hoopla back in 2009.

  • At Reason, Matt Welch notes the departure of Bari Weiss from the NYT.

    Bari Weiss, one of the most polarizing journalists in the country, has resigned from the opinion section of The New York Times, citing a "hostile work environment" and an institutional yielding to an increasingly extreme ideological "orthodoxy."

    "The truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times," Weiss wrote in a scorching resignation letter self-published Tuesday morning. "Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm."

    The deep thinkers at Twitter have pronounced Ms. Weiss self-important, self-indulgent, narcissistic, useless, a self-ascribed martyr, trash, superficial, self-promoting, dumb, back-stabbing, … Well, I'm tired of copying-and-pasting.

    I'd like to suggest an experiment for those folks: try aiming those insults at someone on "your side". See how well you get treated.

  • At NH Journal, Michael Graham notes an important discovery: Teachers Unions Have Found A Substance That Kills COVID-19 in the Classroom. Hint: it's green.

    “The federal government must make massive federal appropriations earmarked for public schools.”

    That’s an excerpt from the National Education Association’s report: “All Hands on Deck: Initial Guidance Regarding Reopening School Buildings.” When people complain that the teachers unions don’t have a plan for reopening schools other than “give us more money,” this is the document the NEA points to.

    Its message: Give us more money — and not just for the classroom.

    When Uncle Stupid starts throwing money out of its coffers, there is no shortage of people dashing around with buckets hoping to catch "their share".

  • And we've done parts I and II, here's Daniel J. Mitchell with The State With the Greediest Politicians, Part III. After previously looking at income tax and sales tax burdens…

    What if we also measure other sources of tax revenue (property taxes, excise taxes, severance taxes, etc)?

    And what about the various fees and charges that also are imposed by state and local governments?

    To account for all these factors, we obviously need a comprehensive measure. And since the real cost of government is how much it is spending (regardless of whether the outlays are financed by taxes or borrowing), the most accurate approach is to calculate the relative spending burdens imposed by state and local governments.

    Mr. Mitchell provides "top 10" and "bottom 10" of states ranked by "Government Spending as a Share of Personal Income" and "Government Spending Per-Capita". New Hampshire shows up pretty well on the first.