Patterico's Pontifications

11/30/2021

Pence 2024? See Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Yesterday Dana posted about Donald Trump’s requirements for a 2024 running mate. Unsurprisingly, they are all about who has shown undying loyalty to him (with some other qualifications thrown in to make it look like there’s more to it, although there isn’t). The Atlantic has a piece titled Pence 2024? that suggests Pence may seek the whole enchilada on his own:

Mike Pence spent much of his vice presidency quietly catering to the whims of President Donald Trump. But on January 6, he broke with Trump by refusing to overturn the 2020 election results. And now, Pence is eyeing a presidential run of his own, even though his old boss hasn’t ruled out a 2024 campaign. Pence wouldn’t necessarily stay out of the race even if Trump jumps in.

“If you know the Pences, you know they’ll always try to discern where they’re being called to serve,” Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, told me. “And I don’t think that is dependent on who else is in or not in the race.”

I agree with the basic thesis of the article, which is: “A 2024 Pence campaign looks futile no matter the scenario.” In answer to a headline reading “Pence 2024?” I suggest the reader consult Betteridge’s law of headlines, which states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

If you’re a Trump fan, Pence is a traitor who single-handedly deprived the Glorious Leader of his rightful ability to overturn a supposedly stolen election:

If you’re a Trump critic, the way Pence enabled and toadied up to Trump is troubling and likely disqualifying.

(If you’re indifferent about Trump, check yourself for a pulse.)

Either way, no sale.

I think Pence’s actions on January 6 were heroic. He resisted leaving the Senate, and after being whisked to an underground loading dock, refused to enter the limousine waiting for him — knowing that if he got inside, they would drive him away, which was an image he did not want the world to see. He wanted to stay and finish the job, and do it in a way that honored the Constitution . . . even though it flew in the face of the wishes of the man he had refused to contradict for four years. On some level, Pence had to know that refusing to monkey with the process would torpedo his political career and his presidential ambitions with it.

All of that makes up for a lot.

But not enough. The answer is “no.”

11/29/2021

2024: Trump’s Litmus Test For Selecting A Running Mate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:57 am



[guest post by Dana]

We’ve talked about what 2024 might look like if Donald Trump runs for president. At this point in time, the former president remains popular with Republican voters, according to November polling data:

However, the survey found that a majority of Republicans favored the former president making a run for a second term. Sixty percent of Republicans surveyed said they felt he should run while 40 percent of Republicans surveyed said they did not want to see him on the ballot. In turn, 73 percent of independents who responded to the survey said they felt he should not run, and 26 percent said they wanted to see Trump on the ticket.

A new report discusses Trump’s strategy in looking for in a running mate. Rather than increasing his base and focusing on what might pull in moderate Republicans and Democrats, or Independents, the former president has his own unique litmus test of vice-presidential worthiness:

According to conversations with a dozen Trump advisers and close associates, the former president doesn’t feel bound by geographic or ideological considerations — or any standard political rules at all.

Those familiar with his thinking say his selection will be determined by two factors that rate highest in Trump’s estimation: unquestioned loyalty and an embrace of the former president’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

To be clear: The former president of the United States is looking for a running mate whose ultimate loyalty will be to him, not the U.S. Constitution. And said running mate must also be a true believer or at least be someone who is willing to lie and with eyes wide open, agree with the Big Lie that the 2020 election was rigged and stolen. Expectedly, integrity, foundational beliefs, and a functioning moral compass are not near the top of the qualification list. Clearly, Trump is laying the groundwork in case of an election loss. He wants to make sure that his running mate understands that, in case the unthinkable happens, they are expected to reject the results even though a vice-president does not have the necessary authority to make that decision. (I think that Trump views the 12th Amendment as little more than an unwelcome irritant, which in turn evidences how little he understands or values the Constitution.)

One of Trump’s campaign pollsters summed up the Trump and the Republican party thusly:

A lot of times, a presidential candidate will pick a running mate to balance out wings of the party. But with Trump, that’s not the issue. He is the party, basically. It’s so united behind him. So his choice, if he runs, will come down to what he wants. It would be a much more personal decision this time.

And according to Trump, there is no shortage of wanna-be veeps who are visiting him at Mar-a-Lago, and auditioning for the role:

“They’re all begging me. They all come here,” Trump boasted to one adviser…

Insiders say that the former president has whittled down the categories from which he is likely to draw a running mate:

Those familiar with Trump’s thinking say his prospective vice president selection would likely draw from three general lanes of candidates: women, conservatives of color or a trusted adviser — or a “consigliere,” as one adviser described it.

Not so different from Democrats, and not so different from then-nominee Joe Biden either.

So, in light of Patterico’s post this morning, the Republican Party must be reformed (or a new third party be formed), otherwise, it will remain on its downward trajectory and will continue to be known as the ReTrumplican Party.

–Dana

“Lincoln” Project: “We Must Destroy the Republican Party”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



I put it in quotes because it’s . . . a verbatim quote:

“We must destroy the Republican Party” sounds a lot like something Lincoln’s *opponents* would have said.

It also sounds like a fairly conventional position of Democrats.

I am distressed by the direction the Republican party has taken. But absent any almost certainly doomed third party scenario (and I have endorsed the idea of forming one, more as a thought experiment than a Serious Proposal), the party needs to be reformed. I’m not sure how “destroying” it is a good idea unless the idea is to install single-party rule by Democrats. Who, you might have noticed, are not particularly sensible themselves these days.

11/27/2021

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:30 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

White House responds to new variant:

This morning I was briefed by my chief medical advisor, Dr. Tony Fauci, and the members of our COVID response team, about the Omicron variant, which is spreading through Southern Africa. As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries. These new restrictions will take effect on November 29. As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by what the science and my medical team advises.

Besides South Africa, the other countries impacted include Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi. The variant, identified this week, was found in Bostwana, Hong Kong, and South Africa. Why it’s of such great concern for the world has to do with a rapid increase in test positivity rates:

In South Africa it has been detected in Guateng province – positivity rates in Tshwane (part of Guateng) have increased massively in the last 3 weeks from less than 1% to over 30%.

Here is an informative thread about this latest variant.

Related: According to the Africa CDC, just 6% of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated.

Yes, certain letters were specifically avoided when naming the Omicron variant:

South Africa responds to the travel restrictions:

The South African Government has noted the announcements by several countries to institute temporary travel restrictions on South Africa and other countries in our region.

This follows the detection of the new Omicron variant.

South Africa aligns itself with the World Health Organisation’s position on the latest travel bans.

The World Health Organisation has pleaded with world leaders not to engage in knee-jerk reactions and has cautioned against the imposition of travel restrictions.

Dr Michael Ryan (WHO Head of Emergencies) has stressed the importance of waiting to see what the data will show.

“We’ve seen in the past, the minute there’s any kind of mention of any kind of variation and everyone is closing borders and restricting travel. It’s really important that we remain open, and stay focused,” Ryan said.

We also note that new variants have been detected in other countries. Each of those cases have had no recent links with Southern Africa. It’s worth noting that the reaction to those countries is starkly different to cases in Southern Africa.

Second news item

Just say no:

Activists are calling on 82 major apparel and retail companies around the world to commit to sourcing cotton outside of China. In a letter to “apparel industry leaders,” the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region cited a study that ties international cotton sales to accusations of brutal treatment of China’s Muslim minority…

In 2020, the United States banned the import of certain Xinjiang products, including cotton, over concerns about forced labor in the region…

Insider reached out to all 82 companies who received the letter on November 22. The brands that received the letter included retail and e-commerce giants like Amazon, Carrefour, Costco, Home Depot, Ikea, Jo Ann Stores, Kmart, Kohl’s, L.L. Bean, Macy’s, Patagonia, Sears, Target, Walmart, and Wayfair. Most of the recipients were apparel brands, including American Eagle Outfitters, Brooks Brothers, Chico’s, Duluth Trading, Eddie Bauer, Forever 21, Gap Inc., Guess, Hanes, Hugo Boss, Land’s End, Levi Strauss, Lilly Pulitzer, Lucky Brand, Madewell, Marco Polo, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Uniqlo, and Vineyard Vines.

Most did not immediately reply. JCPenney declined to comment.

Related:

What’s the holdup, Nancy?:

Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi to stop delaying a House vote on legislation dealing with Beijing’s genocide of Uyghurs and crimes against humanity targeting other minority groups in a letter today:

We urge you to stop delaying floor consideration of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). As you know, the House bill passed the Foreign Affairs Committee on April 21, and the Senate bill was received in the House on July 16. Both passed without any opposition….

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would impose a near-ban on certain products coming from the Xinjiang region, under the presumption that they were produced using forced labor. While the bill would not by any means convince the Chinese Communist Party to end its campaign to destroy Uyghurs and other Turkic minority peoples, it would help prevent Americans from being complicit in the abuses.

Third news item

Challenges to come if Trump runs again:

DEADLINE: If Trump runs again, what do you think reporters should keep in mind in covering him just given what happened on January 6?

JONATHAN KARL: I think it’ll be one of the greatest, maybe the greatest challenge ever facing campaign reporters. How do you cover a candidate who is effectively anti-democratic? How do you cover a candidate who is running both against whoever the Democratic candidate is but also running against the very democratic system that makes all of this possible? I think it’s tremendously challenging, because you know that — especially now, more than ever — that he is just saying things that are not true, that are designed to misinform, that are designed to erode credibility and belief in our electoral system. And it’s actually dangerous. So how do you cover a debate? How do you cover a speech? How do you sit down for long live interviews with him as a candidate? I think these are really difficult questions because he is obviously not a typical candidate. He’s never been a typical candidate, but now he has been demonstrated to be a candidate that is trying to destroy the very system that makes this election possible. And yet we cover campaigns. That’s what we do. It is a very difficult, precarious situation, and I don’t know how it is going to play out, to be honest.

Fourth news item

Ah:

Among the most important tools in a politician’s toolbox is the ability to dodge an unflattering question. In an interview segment released Monday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) offered a textbook case study in how not to do it.

In the interview, Axios’s Jonathan Swan pressed Tlaib on the BREATHE Act, a bill authored by the social-justice coalition Movement for Black Lives and backed by Tlaib and fellow “Squad” member Ayanna Pressley, among others. Swan noted that the proposal would empty federal prisons—home to about 12 percent of prisoners nationwide—within a decade of passage.

Tlaib denied this (“Everyone’s like, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to just release everybody’”), but the bill’s text clearly instructs the federal Bureau of Prisons to cut the prison population in half within five years and attain “complete decarceration” within 10, in addition to “physically closing all federal prisons.” Pressed further, Tlaib hemmed and hawed, insisting that the real problem was providing mental health and drug addiction care, while never quite coming out against freeing thousands of drug traffickers, weapons offenders, and other serious criminals in federal detention.

Make sure to read the report in its entirety at the link above.

Fifth news item

‘Refund’ the police:

On this issue, Mr. Monk – a Black man from one of America’s most liberal cities – agrees with his white Republican governor. In October, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced $150 million to “refund the police.” Around two-thirds of the money would go to police aid and salary. Another one-third would fund accountability programs, neighborhood safety, and victim services.

The plan almost certainly won’t pass the state’s heavily Democratic General Assembly. But, oddly enough, it communicates some consensus. A year after widespread calls to defund or abolish the police, those options are increasingly unpopular. In Maryland, the legislature, governor, and citizens in high-crime areas like Baltimore mostly agree that law enforcement can be reformed, and needs to be.

That’s true across the country, says University of Nebraska Omaha Professor Emeritus Sam Walker. Police reform and police spending aren’t part of a zero-sum game.

“If Governor Hogan is talking about refunding police, then money becomes the leverage for doing things differently, and I think that’s an important strategic lever to change things,” says Dr. Walker. “I don’t think you have to go through the defund part to say that we want to create a modern and progressive police department that’s going to handle routine problems in a better way.”

Sixth news item

Pushing back in California:

A shareholder advocacy organization filed a lawsuit this week challenging a state law that mandates public corporations headquartered in California to appoint people of color or LGBTQ leaders to their boards of directors. The National Center for Public Policy Research filed the complaint on Tuesday, claiming “the diversity quotas injure Plaintiff’s right to vote for the candidate of its choice, free of a government-imposed race, sex, and sexual orientation quotas,” according to the lawsuit filed in the District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Daniel Ortner, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, said he aims for the courts to declare both diversity laws unconstitutional. “The state of California is intruding into corporate affairs to impose quotas based on race and sex and they don’t have a good justification for doing so,” he said. “Companies are already diversifying, without the need of the state of California forcing the matter. And doing so through a quota, in particular, is discriminatory and unlawful.”


Seventh news item

Dutch government apologizes:

The Dutch government made a public apology Saturday for a now discredited and scrapped law that required transgender people to undergo surgery and sterilization if they wanted to change their gender on their birth certificate.

“Nobody should have experienced what you have experienced. I am truly sorry that it happened,” said Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven in an emotional speech at a ceremony in the historic Knights Hall in the Dutch parliamentary complex.

The law was in place for nearly 30 years until being scrapped in 2014.

“For decades, people underwent medical procedures that they did not want at all. But they knew they had no other choice,” Van Engelshoven said. “Others have waited because of this law; they were forced to postpone becoming themselves for years.”

She said that “standards about what a body should look like do not belong in a law and a law should never force people to undergo an operation. And today I make our deeply sincere apologies for this on behalf of the full Cabinet.”

Eighth news item

Eh, charm and good looks are almost always a winning hand:

Matthew McConaughey would defeat either incumbent GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott or Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in a head-on race if he ran for governor in 2022, a new poll suggests.

In the scenario of a one-on-one showdown, the Oscar-winning actor was preferred by voters over both Abbott and O’Rourke, according to results from a new poll by the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas Tyler.

However, in a three-way race, Abbott edges out the other two.

Ninth news item

Neither one of these is the best and the brightest, and both are inclined to show their bigoted underpants. As you recall, Rep. Ilhan Omar has made her share of anti-Semitic slurs – and then been compelled (by Pelosi) to apologize. This slur by Rep. Lauren Boebert is a direct and personal attack on Rep. Omar, as well as smearing the Muslim community at large:

She later tweeted a non-apology (at which politicians excel):

P.S. I am reading that Boebert was joking when she made the comment. Sure… Just like Omar was joking about the Benjamins… They both play to the cheap seats of their narrow-minded, bigoted bases. I want nothing to do with either of them or their fans.

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

11/26/2021

Is This Self-Defense?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:40 pm



Even putting the self-defense issues aside for a moment, this is a mess:

The widow of a Lubbock father who died in a fatal shooting in South Lubbock earlier this month is seeking custody of her step-children to keep them away from the shooter, who is also in a relationship with their mother.

Jennifer Read, through her attorney, Matthew Harris, also released video of the shooting that she recorded.

No charges or arrests have been made yet in the Nov. 5 shooting death of 54-year-old Chad Read at a home in the 2100 block of 90th Street.

Meanwhile, investigators have turned over their files to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, who is handling any potential prosecution in the case after the Lubbock County District Attorney Sunshine Stanek recused her office from the case, citing that the suspect in the shooting was related to a local elected official who could be called as a witness.

Background details are available here. The local elected official is a judge who is the ex-wife of the shooter, Kyle Carruth, who is the boyfriend of Christina Read, the ex-wife of the decedent, Chad Read. Standing outside taking video is Jennifer Read, the wife (at the time of the shooting; now widow) of Chad Read, the decedent. Got that? It’s OK if you have to read it a few times to process it.

So Chad Read showed up at the home of his ex-wife Christina Read to pick up his son (their son) at a court-ordered time. The son was not available.

During the argument, Christina could be heard saying the child was not home and that she was going to fetch him. She also said that she didn’t abide by the court ordered deadline because she wanted to see their son.

“I don’t care if you wanted to see him or not,” Chad Read said. “I get him at 3:15 p.m. If you want to see him, you see him up until 3:15. You keep trying to keep my son from me.”

Chad Read started yelling about how he was going to subpoena everyone in creation, including Judge Anne-Marie Carruth. Kyle Carruth told Chad Read to leave the property; he did not. Then Kyle Carruth emerged with a rifle.

This video shows the shooting from two angles.

As Kyle Carruth emerges with the rifle, he says: “I’m glad this is on video. I’m very glad. Leave!” Instead of leaving, Chad Read gets in Kyle Carruth’s face, and yells: “Good. You’d better fucking use it, motherfucker!” Kyle Carruth responds: “I will.” Chad Read continues: “‘Cause goddammit, I’ll fucking take it from you and use it on you!”

(I will digress for a moment to say that I have read a lot of police reports of a lot of shootings. One of the most common things said by a shooting victim right before he is shot to death is some variant of the phrase: “If you’re going to shoot, shoot!” In the annals of Famous Last Words, that is a very common set of Last Words.)

Chad Read, in Kyle Carruth’s face, demands: “Where’s my son?” Kyle Carruth responds: “I don’t have your son.” Chad Read looks down at the rifle and moves his left hand towards it as if he is about to grab it. As he is doing so, Kyl Carruth says: “Get out of my face, you” as he backs up a step and fires a shot at Chad Read’s feet. Chad Read says “think that fuckin’ scares me, bitch?” and grabs both Carruth and the weapon. Chad Read sort of pulls/pushes Kyle Carruth off the porch and Kyle Carruth steps back a couple of steps away from the house. Chad Read says again: “Think that fuckin'” — which are the last words he ever utters, as Kyle Carruth then drops Chad Read to the ground with two shots.

Everyone seems eerily calm as Chad Read lies there dead or dying. Jennifer Read says: “Call 911! I have it on video, Kyle. You did it, not him.” Kyle Carruth says: “I told all of y’all to leave.” Jennifer Read says: “We came to get his son.” Kyle Carruth response: “He’s not here. This is my place of employment. [sic] None of y’all should be here. None of y’all should be here. I asked you to leave. I did everything. I did not want to do any of this.”

The usual rules around self-defense require that one use deadly force only in response to deadly force. It will be up to prosecutors, and (if charges are filed) jurors to decide whether Chad Read’s action in trying to grab the rifle constitutes a threat of deadly force.

I remember discussing the “deadly force in response to deadly force” concept in torts class in law school. In one of the few times I ever spoke up in our larger section, I challenged the professor, who said that if you draw your weapon and someone continues to advance on you, you can’t fire at him because he has not yet threatened you with deadly force. It was my contention that continuing to advance on someone who has produced a weapon signals an intent to wrestle the weapon away and use it on the person holding the firearm. Here, Chad Read didn’t just advance on Kyle Carruth; Chad Read actually grabbed for the weapon. But that was after Kyle Carruth had already fired at Chad Read’s feet. But that was after Chad Read had threatened to take the rifle from Kyle Carruth and use it on him.

Messy. Just like the whole situation. Jennifer Read has now filed a petition to get custody of the children from Christina Read:

Through an attorney, Jennifer Read filed a petition alleging that Christina Read has endangered the well-being of two children by allowing them to be in the presence of Kyle Carruth.

“The children are aware that Kyle Carruth shot and killed their father in front of their mother, step-brother, and myself,” Read’s affidavit states. “Christina’s decision to allow either of these children to be in Kyle Carruth’s presence has caused, and continues to cause, significant impairment of their emotional well-being. The oldest child has expressed to me that he blames his mother for the shooting, and that he will run away from home if he sees Kyle there again.”

I can see a prosecutor or jury concluding that this was self-defense. But I can see a jury deciding otherwise, too. Ultimately, I think Chad Read’s threat to take the rifle and use it on Kyle Carruth is likely what will decide the case in Kyle Carruth’s favor. But you never know.

11/25/2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:47 am



[guest post by Dana]

Despite the standard rash of articles smugly instructing Americans how to talk politics with family members at the Thanksgiving dinner table and persuade them of their obviously wrong views, I tend to view the day through a simple lens: A heart full of thankfulness and love rule the day. Not much else is needed because everything else pales in comparison, including one’s political views.

With that, I tip my hat of thanks to Patterico for his great writing, and for providing a place to opine and be challenged by some incredibly thoughtful commenters. And also to JVW for his well-crafted, and frequently witty posts. What a couple of great guys!

Have a full-of-gratitude day with people you love and who love you back.

–Dana

11/24/2021

Three Defendants in Arbey Murder Trial All Found Guilty

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:37 am



[guest post by JVW]

Via Fox News:

Travis McMichael: Guilty of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

Greg McMichael: Guilty of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Not guilty of malice murder.

William “Roddie” Bryan: Guilty of felony murder and aggravated assault.

This can serve as an open thread for all things related to the Ahmaud Arbery murder and trial.

– JVW

11/23/2021

A Requiem For The Dancing Grannies

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:02 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Over at The Federalist, Jayme Metzgar has a very lovely essay about The Dancing Grannies, a Milwaukee-based troupe who lost three members on Sunday in the horrible attack in Waukesha. Do yourself a favor and head over there to read it, but if you need further convincing, here’s a small taste:

A friend and I were recently discussing the tension we feel between seriousness and humor, both online and in real life. Living as eternal souls in this sin-cursed world is undoubtedly serious business. I’m always bringing up weighty matters of politics or theology, because how else will we learn to live well in this life or the next? It matters.

At the same time, we must laugh. Humor is the padding that keeps life from being all sparks and sharp angles. It defuses tensions and reminds us we’re all human. After all, our very existence as angel-like souls inside animal-like bodies is tinged with comedy.

[. . .]

Dancing Grannies are the very best kind of humor: the gentle kind that laughs at oneself and at life, that laughs at the fact that somehow, while your spirit stayed young, your body turned into a septuagenarian’s while you weren’t looking. And you dance anyway.

In one horrifying moment, it was all snuffed out. [. . .]

Go to The Federalist and read the entire essay. It’s brief but at the same time heavy in religious overtones, yet given what happened on Sunday and the holiday we are celebrating on Thursday, I find the theme to be quite appropriate. May these ladies dance to their hearts’ content in Eternal Salvation.

– JVW

Occupy Democrats: Car “Plows” Into Group of Rittenhouse Protestors!!!1!!1!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:24 am



Occupy Democrats has this horrifying news:

The gruesome video is below. Hide your kids, hide your wives, and think twice before you watch it yourself. It is not for the faint of heart, and I don’t want to be responsible for your nightmares.

LOL j/k. You can go ahead and watch it.

OH THE HUMANITY!

As for the woman “fighting for her life”:

I love the part where the lying Democrats say this Major Atrocity was committed by, quote, a “Trumper ’emboldened by the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.’” Who exactly was quoted as saying the person was “emboldened by the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict” — as opposed to just annoyed, or late, or actually needing to get to their destination for important reasons? And how do we know it was a “Trumper”? I mean I realize they had time to read any bumper stickers, if there were any, on this very slow-moving car . . . so is that their evidence?

Or did they just make it up, like they made up the “plowing” and the “fighting for her life” stuff?

11/22/2021

Horrible News: David Longdon of Big Big Train Dies

Filed under: Music — Patterico @ 7:37 pm



It happened on Friday, but I just found out moments ago:

David Longdon, the frontman and multi-instrumentalist with British prog rock band Big Big Train, has died aged 56.

Longdon died in a Nottingham hospital on 20 November following an accident, the group said in a statement. No further details were shared.

The band’s bassist and founder Greg Spawton said: “It is unspeakably cruel that a quirk of fate in the early hours of yesterday morning has deprived him and his loved ones of a happy future together and all of the opportunities, both personal and musical, that awaited him next year and beyond.”

Steve Hackett, former guitarist with Genesis, paid tribute to Longdon: “He was a lovely guy and had a wonderful voice. He sounded fabulous singing on the vocal version of [Hackett’s song] Spectral Mornings.” Neal Morse of prog rock band Spock’s Beard, the group Marillion and Geoffrey Downes of Yes were also among those to pay their respects.

If you’re not familiar with Big Big Train, you owe to yourself to listen — and I would start right here. Give it 90 seconds. If you’re not hooked, it’s not your style. But if you liked early Genesis with Peter Gabriel . . . it’s your style.

RIP.

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