Search Results for 'paint it black'


02 Oct 2011 11:38 am

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Our Banner in the Sky, painted by Frederick Church during the Civil War.

The Aurora Borealis shone down upon both the armies of the North and South at the Battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War, a very rare occurrence in the latitude of Virginia. On Sunday, Dec. 14, 1862, a bitterly cold night, the Union Army had just suffered one of its worst defeats.

Shelby Foote, in his Civil War Trilogy, wrote of the spectacle:

“A mysterious refulgence, shot with fanwise shafts of varicolored light, predominantly reds and blues—first a glimmer, then a spreading glow, as if all the countryside between Fredericksburg and Washington were afire—filled a wide arc of the horizon beyond the Federal right…to one Southerner it seemed ‘that the heavens were hanging out banners and streamers and setting off fireworks in honor of our great victory.’”

In 1905 Elizabeth Lyle Saxon wrote in A Southern Woman’s War Time Reminiscenses ” It was near this time that the wonderful spectacle of the Aurora Borealis was seen in the Gulf States. The whole sky was a ruddy glow as if from an enormous conflagration, but marked by the darting rays peculiar to the Northern light. It caused much surprise, and aroused the fears even of those far from superstitious. I remember an intelligent old Scotch lady said to me, “Oh, child, it is a terrible omen; such lights never burn, save for kings’ and heroes’ deaths.”

It was not to be a victory for the South but a great tragedy for our nation in the loss of life; nearly 620,000 lives and over a million casualties. But out of the death and destruction came freedom for the slaves, and a victory for human worth and dignity. There would be, in time, a great reunification of all of the states but, no longer, would people consider their own state, as General Robert E. Lee once did, “their country.”

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God’s Windows had opened for a time on the night of December 14th, 1862 and human beings, being creatures of emotion, misinterpreted the meaning. The metaphysical meanderings of time have always intertwined great human events with cosmic and natural eruptions. Great men and women have emerged in dark times, when all of civilization seemed lost.

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Abraham Lincoln would have seemed an unlikely choice as the leader of the strife filled United States of America had he emerged in the days of Hollywood casting. He was born poor, had very little education and was from what we now call flyover country and yet he was elected President of the United States in 1860. Abraham Lincoln guided our country through the most devastating experience in its history. He was never to see the flowering of the spring of the reunion of the states; the conciliatory plans he had in mind for reconciliation with the South were cast away just six days after the surrender by Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Boothe in Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.

Throughout Lincoln’s presidency there was little peace to be found inside or outside of the White House. There was the death of his son, Willie, the anguish of his wife, Mary, the constant attacks of friends and foes and the failures of his generals.

Throughout his life he also believed in dreams and other enigmatic signs and portents. As he grew older, and especially after he became president and faced the soul-troubling responsibilities of the Civil War, he developed a profound religious sense, and he increasingly personified necessity as God. He came to look upon himself quite humbly as an “instrument of Providence” and to view all history as God’s enterprise. “In the present civil war,” he wrote in 1862, “it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party—and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose.”

Lincoln seemed to understand his place in the great stream of time. Just days before his death he spoke of foreboding dreams. Abraham Lincoln never graduated from high school, college, Harvard or Yale, (although those colleges did exist during his lifetime) but he is considered by most historians to be the greatest of all American Presidents.

“In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity.”
–Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862

This exceptional nation produced exceptional men - and women who walked through hard and bitter times, not stopping when events seemed to present no victory, no solution, no relief. Abraham Lincoln, and the Founders before him saw the glorious light through the darkness that John Adams described in a letter to his wife, Abigail:

“The day is passed. The Fourth of July, 1776, will be a memorable epoch n the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever. You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this declaration and support and defend these States; yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means, and that posterity will triumph, although you and I may rue, which I hope we shall not.’’

In this present time of darkness and gloom in which the American people are steeping like a teabag too long in a cup of now tepid water, the economy and culture rests on the edge of a cliff and the 2012 Presidential Election approaches, like a distant candle seen through a fog. There are now nine Republican candidates competing for the GOP nomination, and some Eastern Elite nervous Nelly Establishment types are urging one more Republican politician to enter the race to unseat Barack Obama.

Since 2009 we have watched our Liberty rapidly decline due to the passage of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. The EPA and the NLRB have declared war on business, spending is out of control and Obama has hinted that he is tempted to bypass Congress altogether.

Enemies, foreign and domestic, are working day and night to weaken our nation while Obama prances about the country blaming its very citizens for its problems. He claims that America has lost its greatness because America is soft.

Soft?

It will take a Republican with incredible courage and backbone to unite the party and the independents behind him (or her) and withstand the barrage of attacks Obama and the media will gleefully inflict upon him. (or her) There will never be another Ronald Reagan but there are candidates who may possibly possess the remarkable personality traits and conservative principles that Reagan will forever be known for. Our Republican nominee will also need to understand (and become an expert on) the times of Abraham Lincoln. We are at a great divide in our nation. Lincoln more than understood that fact in his time and he counted the cost and led the Union without the assistance of pollsters. The United States of America is now on the line. We may never know it again as it once existed if it continues to be led by Barack Obama.

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Will God’s Windows open again? Will they be misinterpreted? Time is short. If we keep gazing up at the stars we could easily go to sleep. We are so close to the edge of the cliff if we begin to dream we might fall off. How far is the fall? Have we already fallen?

18 Aug 2011 01:00 am

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The most transparent president ever traveled through the midwest this week on a tricked out rock star black bus. It reminded me of the Rolling Stones hit, Paint it Black, a source of nightmares for me when I was a kid. (I don’t know why the song gave me nightmares but it did)

I’ve written about it before here.

Obama’s trip around the three midwestern states he needs to shore up for votes may be a magical misery tour but that is all he has in common with my beloved Beatles.

Of course he stayed up north where things are a might bit friendlier for him.

So on to Martha’s Vineyard Obama goes for a ten day vacation. As far as I am concerned Obama does have a great plan to fix the economy as long as he stays there permanently and does nothing but golf and talk and golf and talk and golf and talk……………

18 Aug 2009 05:02 pm

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When I was in junior high I discovered the magic of mascara. Just mascara. That’s all my mother would allow me to wear. No other makeup, no eyeliner, no shadow, and no face powder was allowed. Because my sister and I were singers and I played the guitar to accompany us, my mother allowed me to wear the mascara for our performances but it wasn’t long until I was applying the Maybelline everyday. I thought it was the secret charm that gave me power over boys. I learned to apply the mascara perfectly so that it seemed natural. My friends of course, were allowed to wear much more makeup but I knew I couldn’t push the envelope in our family so I made the most of the mascara.

I was really into music, especially the Beatles but there was something about The Rolling Stones that really creeped me out. I didn’t see what other shrieking females saw in Mick Jagger. He seemed like an effeminate screamer with a very unattractive mouth. The Stones’ song, Paint It, Black really bothered me. One night I had a dream that the Soviet Union conquered the United States and shut down all capitalistic enterprises. I was not allowed to have mascara. It was a nightmarish dream, accompanied by the song, Paint It, Black.

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Julie Christie had beautiful eyelashes.

This was my first revelation about capitalism. I childishly began to comprehend that Americans had the freedom to buy and sell, thanks to our founders and system of government. I could blithely save my money and go to the store and purchase my beloved mascara because we lived in a free country.

It wasn’t long before the movie, Dr. Zhivago appeared in the movie theaters. I was captivated by it and began to study history. I learned that the novel the movie was based on had been banned in the Soviet Union as well as the movie. Indeed, it was not until 1994 that the film was allowed to be seen in Russia.

As my sister and I began to prosper with our music I began to draw charcoal portraits of my friends at school - for pay. I bought more history books and historical novels and added to my own education.

I paid my own way through college (with a little help from my parents) and was able to resist the liberal onslaught from several of my college professors.

I married my West Point sweetheart and spent thirty years moving and traveling throughout this country, Europe and Panama. I learned first-hand about the inefficiencies of the military healthcare system. In fact, my recent surgeries are a result of the inadequacies of medical procedures, resources and physicians when we were stationed in Germany from 1999 to 2001.

Our American capitalist system has promoted most of the breakthroughs in medicine throughout the past two centuries. The Obama administration has taken over the banking industry, the auto industry and it now seeks to make health care a governmental concern.

I recall the scene in Dr. Zhivago when Yuri returns home to Moscow after the war to discover that his family home has been divided into tenements by the Soviets. If Americans don’t fight to defeat the Democrats’ dream of government provided health care we will be divided into tenements of rationed health care with little freedom to protest.

We must do it now. Losing our free-market choice to health care is the least of this, our freedom is already at risk. Obama is willing to proceed with the ensnarement of Americans into the “public option” no matter the cost. If that is allowed to happen we may as well paint it all black.

14 Mar 2009 01:38 pm

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We almost lost the yellow house with the bad perspective a week ago last Thursday.

I was out, and had an art substitute who was teaching for me in the “new” artroom which is inside the school. The elementary school has been undergoing a big renovation in the past two years. Many new classrooms, new offices and a lovely new cafeteria with a large stage have been added. The old auditorium has been divided into two parts and I have the largest part and the music teacher will have the part with the stage.

The reason why I was not at school a week ago last Thursday is because my daughter-in-law and son were experiencing the birth of their first daughter, (and my husband and my first granddaughter) Marlee Michelle, who weighed in at 8lbs, 1oz.

It was a joyful and most wonderful day.

Not so at my dear elementary school, which is the school that I went to as a child and the school I love and want to help. When I went to school there as a little girl there was no integration. The school was all white. There were no art, music or P.E. teachers. The classroom teachers taught everything. There was no air conditioning, we had windows around every room. We had prayer in school, a Jewish boy read the story of Luke when we performed the Christmas program. We were allowed to walk home for lunch and walk back to school afterwards. If we were in trouble with our teacher we were in trouble with our parents. My teachers encouraged me to write, draw, and create scenery for plays which we performed ofen. We ran track and were always the number one school in town for track meets.

The demographics at my old school have changed radically but the school is still beloved to me. The students are still the same at heart. They are like I was, with the same hopes and dreams and I am there to help them succeed at them. That is my personal goal for my school and so many of my fellow teachers feel the same way. I’ve heard my principal say often that our school has the hardest working teachers in our school district and I agree. I see them in action and I know that to be true. No one can count public education out when you walk through the school where I teach art.

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I taught in this sunny mobile art room for the last three years.

Our grand Open House is coming up soon and everyone has been scrambling to get moved into their new classrooms. The moment the classroom teacher moved out of her temporary digs which was the half of the old auditorium into her new classroom I asked the principal for permission to move into the school from my mobile classroom outside. It was a wonderful place to teach for three years but truth be told, much too small and always worrisome when the children needed to go to the bathroom. I had to stand at the door to watch them go into the school and send another child along with my key to get inside the door to the school and hope the child didn’t drop it along the way, especially in the bathroom.

But I had lots of art in the room and I hung the yellow house chalk drawing along one wall and had glorious art prints along all the other walls and I made art history bulletin boards featuring wonderful artists who helped to make our world a more creative place to live. All around the room were the names of the great artists that I wanted the students to remember done in good calligraphy.

I am a neat-freak so I always had things where I wanted and that worked out well in such a small room. I only had one small bookshelf so I had to keep my books moving on a revolving basis and when the principal gave me permission to start to move in the big auditorium half the first thing I took with me were my personal artbooks. (too bad I wasn’t able to move the bookshelf)

Since most of the first grade, second grade and kindergarten teachers were also moving their rooms with only the help of the two school custodians I knew I was more or less on my own so during every school break I was heading back and forth to the old room, grabbing art supplies and paper, some art prints and miscellaneous.

All that had been left in the old auditorium was a tiny old oak desk, five small rectangular tables, and chairs. I had talked the principal into giving me the old teacher mail boxes since we now had a new office and it included a new mail center so when he said yes, I could have it, I was elated. It works well as a place to keep all my classes work and has cabinets below I can use for storage which is a good thing, considering what happened on that fateful Thursday a week ago.

While I was out rejoicing over the birth of my granddaughter, a big truck pulled up behind the school, and stopped in front of my old art room. In to it walked a bunch of men who began to carry out my art cabinet, desk, file cabinet, (full of art history videos) and everything else in the room. Our school custodian saw what was happening and asked them if they had been in contact with the principal and the head man said no, but he had been ordered by the official in charge of buildings and grounds to get the mobile building ready to be moved away so the school would be ready for the Open House on March 15th.

Our custodian informed them that the teacher hadn’t completely moved out of the room and needed the items so they needed to stop and leave the room alone until it could be emptied. But they didn’t stop. The custodian started to move things that he knew I would need such as the rolling art text book cabinet out of the room. One of the fifth grade teachers also saw what was happening and organized her students to get in the room and save the art prints, the art supplies, the white board, the yellow house chalk drawing, The Mona Lisa wall hanging, and many other important art items. The students hand carried all of the art text books (2nd grade - 6th grade) from the old art mobile building into the new room.

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A lot of happy art happened in this room.

All this chaos was happening while the art substitute was teaching the students. She told the fifth graders where to put the saved items and luckily there was plenty of room for them at the end of the very large room. My computer was saved. That was a lucky thing as I had just recently gotten it and hadn’t even been able to install it yet. After five years as an art teacher I had been able to finally scrounge up a used computer and almost lost it.

The next morning, a Friday morning, as I was pulling into the parking lot, I noticed that the mobile building no longer had it’s steps. As I got out of the car and walked towards the school, I saw that the doors were open and the building looked empty. My heart started beating harder as I walked over to the building and looked inside. It was completely empty.

As I walked into my art class inside the building I saw a pile of items inside the room. I sighed a breath of relief when I saw my big black art cabinet sitting in the middle of the room. I looked for my desk and file cabinet and book shelf and art cart and other items but they weren’t there. They had been carried off and stored in a warehouse. Will I get them back? I have been told that I will. I won’t hold my breath.

I returned to the pile and began sorting through. On the table at the end of the room was the Yellow House chalk drawing folded neatly (it’s just made from butcher paper) and it had no damage done to it. I found the Mona Lisa wall hanging and my computer later on that day on the stage in the music room.

I know I can count myself very fortunate to have finally found myself included (along with my fellow music teacher) in a school which honors its art and music. We have a place now, not in closets, not on carts but in rooms of our own. We are also blessed with a fifth grade teacher who has always honored our efforts at our school (along with many other teachers) and in my opinion she elevated her students and taught them what a good deed really is. They did a lot of hard work by saving all the Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, and O’Keeffe prints (and many others) oil pastels, water colors, paper.

In a very small way the fifth grade students were re-enacting a race that took place during World War ll when the Nazis were destroying and stealing the great art in Europe. No, there were no stormtroopers rampaging through the parking lot at our school but the entire contents of the artroom would have been taken had the men not been stopped. At the very least, the students, their teacher and the custodian stopped a bureaucrat’s wasteful destruction.

The film about rescued art of WWII, The Rape of Europa, tells the story in documentary form about the heroic acts of individuals to save the art of our past, our art lineage, from defilement and destruction by the Nazis. I am going to try to find this film to view it. I hope it is being shown in high schools. For some reason, I am not extremely optimistic that it is, although it ought to be.

“The Rape of Europa” (based on the eponymous book by Lynn Nicholas) is a film that needs to be seen by every high school student, college student, history teacher, history buff, art teacher and museumgoer worldwide. It is not about the famous allegorical painting by Titian (1487-1576); it’s a riveting documentary about the theft, destruction and miraculous survival of many of Europe’s artistic and architectural treasures during World War II. “Europa,” by Richard Berge, Bonnie Cohen and Nicole Newham, elicits a visceral weeping for what could have become a total holocaust for Europe’s art and for its national treasures. The film details the race against the Nazi-programmed destruction and theft — mitigated by acts of heroism, sacrifice and determination — that underscores one of the film’s truisms:
“Art is what makes us human.”

04 Feb 2009 10:01 pm

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Love can teach you so much, especially when it’s as well reciprocated as it has always been with my Dad. I have always written about my hero worship of him, how I followed him around and watched him draw and paint and sing and play fast pitch soft ball and be a role model for my brothers, my sister and me.

Daddy turned eighty one years old the other day, on Ground Hogs Day actually, and he saw his shadow, a very long shadow indeed, and we, his children, walk in his shadow.

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I remember when I was learning multiplication in school. One day when we were out for a ride in Daddy’s black 48 Chevy, Daddy taught me my nines times tables just by explaining the patterns the digits made if you started from either end and added or took away from the ones or tens places and switched the digits.

For example……

1 × 9 = 09 -Daddy said, do the switcheroo. take one away from the ones place and put it in the tens place. Then we’ll have the answer to 2×9.

2 × 9 = 18 -He said, try it on this one too. Take one from the 8 and you will have 7. Add that one to the 1 in the tens place and you will have 2. Hence, 27. It works all the way down to 90.

3 × 9 = 27

4 × 9 = 36

5 × 9 = 45

6 × 9 = 54

7 × 9 = 63

8 × 9 = 72

9 × 9 = 81

10 × 9 = 90

He explained all of this to me while he was driving the car around town.

It’s not that my parents were the pushy kind of parents who insisted on their kids making straight A’s and stomped down to the principal’s office at the first hint of a B+. Not at all. Sometimes our lives were so busy and interesting that our doing our homework was the last thing on our parent’s minds but our conversations with our parents were always interesting, engaging and naturally educational. When Daddy taught me that interesting trick with the nines table it opened my eyes to patterns in numbers and made math much more interesting to me, which was something, unfortunately, none of my elementary teachers did.

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Daddy has always been an excellent artist. I find that I am just a pale immitation when I compare myself to him.

Watching Daddy’s kindness to people who were down and out was not an unusual occurrence to my brothers, my sister and I when we were growing up. Both of our parents were of one mind when it came to taking care of our neighbors, our friends and family who were in need. Daddy has a deep faith in God which should come as no surprise. I remember some calm words of faith that he offered me when I was leaving home for the first time to go to college. He didn’t have to tell me to be careful either. All he said was, “All my ships are leaving the harbor.”

When you watch your own father pray it makes it easier to believe.

Here’s to many more Ground Hogs Day Shadow Making Birthdays for my Dad. The love will just keep on multiplying.

05 Nov 2008 10:41 pm

“The longest wet kiss in American history.”

That’s how Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour described the media’s coverage of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign yesterday on Fox News. About a year into the two year long presidential campaign it became apparent that one time media favorite, Hillary Clinton had lost her annointment with the press. The media had a new crush and the dropping of Hillary by the media became a slow motion divorce.

I remembered Barbour’s words late last night as I watched the pundits literally jumping with joy over Obama’s victory.

I’ve been going through the national and individual state vote data and have discovered something interesting. Contrary to what some are asserting, although John McCain lost almost seven million voters from 2004 he didn’t lose them in the southern states he won.

The remnant states of the Old South resisted Obama and the state of Arkansas grew redder in yesterday’s election.

John McCain beat Barack Obama 59% to 38% yesterday in Arkansas.

In 2004 President Bush defeated John Kerry 54% to 45%.

A record number of Arkansans voted in yesterday’s election, up some 22,585 from 2004.

Checking out the map of the counties in my own state of Arkansas was interesting. My own county, Sebastian, voted for McCain 66% to 31% for Obama. Just north of Sebastian County, Crawford County voted for McCain 72% to 25% for Obama.

Obama’s stronghold, if you can call it that, was in Pulaski County and it includes Little Rock where he beat John McCain 55% to 43%. Phillips County, which borders Mississippi in Southeastern, Arkansas brought Obama his highest percentage of the vote in all of Arkansas’s counties, 64% to 34%. Phillips County borders Tunica County, Mississippi on the East, home to casinos but Phillips County itself is one of the poorest counties in Arkansas.

Pulaski County, Arkansas, home to the state capital, Little Rock was virtually surrounded by counties that grew much redder in 2008 in comparison to the presidential election of 2004. Lonoke County, on the eastern border on Pulaski County went for McCain to the tune of, 73% to Obama’s 25%. White County, just north of Lonoke County voted for McCain 72% to Obama 24%.

Traditionally, the Northwest region of Arkansas has been a Republican stronghold. While McCain won all of the Northwest region with sixty percentage points or more, seventy percent or more of the vote went to John McCain in the central counties of Arkansas. This was a big rejection of Barack Obama. President Bush did not garner as much support in the central counties of Arkansas in 2004. As a result of the election yesterday, Arkansas is much redder.

Could race have been an influence in the vote? Possibly but more likely it was the result of the rejection of Hillary Clinton by Barack Obama. People have a collective memory here.

The citizens of Arkansas are a traditional, church going, flag saluting people and even the Democrats here are more conservative than many Northeastern Republicans, which explains why most people supported Mark Pryor’s re-election to the Senate. It’s sad to note that there are now no Republicans representing New England in the House of Representatives.

It’s difficult to discern what is wrong with the people of John Murtha’s district. He can insult them, call them racists, rednecks, ignoramuses, etc, and like battered women they will still vote him back into Congress.

They don’t seem to mind the insults as long as they keep getting the checks.

Sad.

That’s just not the way things are done down here.

It seems that Haley Barbour got it right. The media throughout the presidential campaign did give Obama a big smacker and more. They turned their heads away every time news broke that didn’t paint Obama in a good light.

The Southern states, while more rural and with smaller state budgets, have already gone through a Civil War, and have a collective memory handed down from their ancestors of the carpetbaggers from the North promising forty acres and a mule to the freed slaves and then breaking that promise as the Reconstructionists forced their punitive government on the blacks and the whites.

We’ve been there and done that. We know damn yankees when we see em.

The story that is not being told in this election is of how the South made a stand last night, resisting Senator Government’s sweep through the country.

That Florida, North Carolina and Virginia wouldn’t stand with the the rest of the South is not surprising as the states’ demographics have become more East Coastal than southern.

The South still respects heroes and there can be no more authentic American hero than Senator John McCain.

Obama seems to be more of an invention of the media, a hollow man with a slogan.

We’ll see how he will govern but we don’t have much confidence that we will see an Obama administration that is centrist.

Or even left of center.

Or even left of left.

Or left of left of left.

07 Sep 2008 03:20 pm

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No crooked leg, no bleared eye,
No part deformed out of kind,
Nor yet so ugly half can be
As is the inward suspicious mind
.

Today is the birthday of Elizabeth the First, born September 7th, 1533, the daughter of Henry VIII of England and his second wife, Anne Boleyn in Greenwich Palace. I learned about Queen Elizabeth early on in my elementary years and from that time on, wished that my birthday had been on the seventh instead of the sixth of September. I missed it by about thirty minutes. But, never-the-less, I am a student of the Elizabethan Age, so named because of the captivating rule of Great Britains’ Elizabeth the First.

Happy Birthday Good Queen Bess!

My loving people, we have been persuaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects. And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honor and my blood, even the dust. I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonor should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble and worthy subject; not doubting by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and by your valor in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.

Elizabeth I of England - 1588

In this day of shock and awe that a woman has been selected by John McCain as his vice presidential choice it is useful to remember another great woman, Elizabeth the 1st of England. In her early years Elizabeth was called bastard, illegitimate, and only a woman, but when at age 25 and the young Elizabeth ascended the throne of England she prided herself on being ‘mere English’.

The nicknames, Good Queen Bess, Gloriana and the Virgin Queen would come much later, after Elizabeth had avoided the ensnarements of various political intrigues during the years her half-brother Edward and half-sister, Mary reigned on the throne of England.

Katharine Parr, Elizabeth’s stepmother arranged for 10 year old Elizabeth to have the most distinguished tutors in England, foremost among them Roger Ascham. As a result, Elizabeth was educated as well as any legitimate prince, and she displayed a genuine love and aptitude for her studies. Her mind has no womanly weakness, Ascham would write approvingly, her perseverance is equal to that of a man. And later, She readeth more Greek every day, than some Prebendaries of this Church do in a whole week. And so she did; Elizabeth’s love of scholarship never faltered and, in an age when women were considered inferior to men, she was a glorious exception.

Her mind has no womanly weakness, wrote Roger Ascham, Elizabeth’s tutor. But her 44 year reign on the throne of England, called by many the greatest epoch in England’s history put away any thoughts of womanly weakness.

Interestingly, Elizabeth became Queen at the age of 25, after the death of her half-sister, Mary. She was helped in her accession by a man by the name of Heath which, coincidentally, also happens to be the maiden name of Sarah Palin.

Her smooth accession was further assured by the Lord Chancellor, Nicholas Heath. Parliament had been in session while Mary lay dying and, on 17 November, Heath announced her death to the assembled lords and commons. He then said, ‘Which hap as it is most heavy and grievous unto us, so have we no less cause another way to rejoice with praise to Almighty God for that He hath left unto us a true, lawful and right inheritrice to the crown of this realm, which is the Lady Elizabeth, of whose lawful right and title we need not to doubt. Wherefore the lords of this house have determined with your assents and consents, to pass from hence into the palace, and there to proclaim the said Lady Elizabeth Queen of this realm without further tract of time.’

There was no dissension at Heath’s words. Traditionally, Parliament dissolved upon the death of the reigning monarch - but Heath’s prompt actions ensured Elizabeth’s lawful recognition as queen before the lords and commons dispersed. And, as a leading Catholic, Heath also secured the loyalty of his religious party for the new queen.

Today the medieval men and women of the Democrat Party and media are condescendingly casting Sarah Palin as a mere woman who could not possibly govern. She has five children, they complain, she is a hockey mom, is not acquainted with the Washington elite, eats moose stew and is a Bible believing Christian.

The Queen of Daytime Television refuses to even entertain inviting Sarah Palin to visit her own crumbling domain.

Bush Derangement Syndrome has virally morphed into Palin Derangement Syndrome, why, Shock! Sarah Palin is a Cowgirl!

In every public appearance since being announced as John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin has looked elegant in her understated suits but Robin Givhan could not bother to write about her in this article. She could write about the Democrat Governor of Montana’s bolero tie but ignored Sarah’s great appearance on her night at the Republican National Convention in the black pencil skirt and shiny, silver-colored jacket.

I wonder why that is?

Fausta has a delicious take on Sarah Palin’s fashion choices. Another fashion blogger gives Sarah a perfect ten.

But is fashion that important in the politics of this day and age? Not really, but the look of Sarah Palin is definitely part of her appeal. Queen Elizabeth the First of England was, like her ancestors, the maker of manners. There have been some American women in the past who have made an impact on the fashion of our nation such as Dolly Madison, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, and Jackie Kennedy. Now even Sarah Palin’s choice of glasses is getting some attention. Still, this is only the icing on the cake for conservatives and Republicans.

Sarah Palin’s fashionably good looks is possibly the only aspect where she has been received well or at the very least, ignored by the mavens in the media.

As Hugh Hewitt writes, Chicago Machine Politics is behind many of the smears of Sarah Palin. Hewitt calls them out..

The Obama thugs that tried to intimidate Stanley Kurtz are now busy sending e-mails alleging everything about Sarah Palin except an illegal polar bear hunt, and that may be in tomorrow’s in-box. Teams of Obamians are arriving in Alaska to invent veneers for smears, even though by now the record of rebuttal is so complete that perhaps even the New York Times will hesitate before publishing another round of lies and retractions. (Then again, probably not.) Exposure as a dirt-monger doesn’t deter those without a conscience.

One wonders whether typical Americans can see the double standard the media employs when covering Barack Obama and running mate, Joseph Biden as opposed to John McCain and running mate, Sarah Palin.

Roger Kimball writes that Obama’s Higher Oleaginousness keeps questioners in the media at bay. This kid glove treatment of Obama is more evidence that those in the media do not want to know any facts about Obama that might be hurtful.

As Sarah Palin and John McCain continue to campaign I begin to wonder who is really more feeble and weak, Barack Obama or Sarah Palin? Palin has no help in the left-wing media Armada, in fact, she has been attacked continuously by them while Obama has been more of an invention of the media than anything else.

How these words must have pierced the hearts of the media elite:

‘I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion, I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.’

The above Sarah Palin quote in some way made me think of Good Queen Bess’ declaration to her countrymen when facing the Spanish Armada…

I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too;

Happy 475th Birthday Queen Elizabeth! Happy entry into American National politics, Gov. Sarah Palin!

Hopefully, one day we will be calling this time of efflorescence the Epoc of Sarah.

02 Jul 2008 11:47 pm

Iraq is blooming now but the media concentrates on the weeds in Afghanistan. Anything to avoid the words: victory and freedom.

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In March 18th, 2006 I wrote about the progress in Iraq after fifteen million Iraqis had voted in the Constitutional Referendum just five months earlier.

I wrote…..

Which brings me to the War on Terror

in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel and elsewhere.

We were told by the left that since there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq that President Bush lied. The left refused to believe that their favorite dictator, Saddam Hussein, could have a relationship with that Osama.

We have since been served up a whole passel of lies by the antique media including the New York Times.

Because of the insurgency in Iraq, the abuse at Abu Ghraib and a host of other real (and imagined) struggles to lift the Iraqis into freedom the left has jeered at every attempt by the newly elected Iraqi government to get up and running.

The bud’s been left with little water except that poured on by the true gardeners of freedom, the American military and by the careful clipping of the stalks by those of good will who would see a strong, healthy democracy grow in the Middle East.

The troops continue to fight for Iraq, weeding out the terrorists, homegrown and other and now, new developments are blooming out all over while other entities are withering on the vine.

Some are remembering those who were lost on the day that spurred all the heroic efforts to save civilization while others have been digging for the truth. And it’s busting out all over.

Still, the scarecrows in the media tell us don’t believe in that truth, it’s not important anyway.

And now, for some reason, even the weeds are tiring of themselves. They aren’t growing as much this season. Too much exposure to the light of the blogosphere?

So, although I may have been premature in my hopes for Iraq and its government I still didn’t give up on them. As the opponents of the war in the media and the Democrat party decried any success and stressed every setback even weak-kneed Republicans began to lose heart.

Urged on by Senator John McCain and others, President Bush changed course in January, 2007.

General David Petraeus was given the charge to surge troops into Iraq and that great military gardener brilliantly carried out his plan.

Still the media and the Reids and Pelosi’s continued their diabolical strategy of painting the war in Iraq a failure. With the help of the media this perception of failure became a reality to the American people. Barack Obama still clings to the Pelosi/Reid construct.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Ralph Peters wrote in May, 2008…..

DO we still have troops in Iraq? Is there still a conflict over there?

If you rely on the so-called mainstream media, you may have difficulty answering those questions these days. As Iraqi and Coalition forces pile up one success after another, Iraq has magically vanished from the headlines.

Want a real “inconvenient truth?” Progress in Iraq is powerful and accelerating.

But that fact isn’t helpful to elite media commissars and cadres determined to decide the presidential race over our heads. How dare our troops win? Even worse, Iraqi troops are winning. Daily.

The media now acknowledge that there is success in Iraq but on the other hand, failure looms.

The New York Times grudgingly accepts that security is better but questions linger.

There is a scarcity of news out of Iraq these days which leads me to believe that old saw: no news is good news. On the other hand, things have gotten weedy in Afghanistan. General Petraeus has been selected as the new Commander of the United States Central Command so I’m certain that in due time he will take a big honking garden hose to the Taliban.

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Engineer at work in Iraq

The Times Online in the UK asks:

Since the ‘warrior scholar’ David Petraeus led the American military surge in Iraq last year, the body count has plummeted. Will he go down in history as the man who won the war, or is it all too little too late?

All too little too late? Why is that? Civilization requires time, blood, sweat and many tears. A Democratic government by its very nature involves intensive work, cooperation, compromise and leadership. At least the writer in the Times piece had the audacity to mention, “won the war.”

We will not see those three words in that order in any elite media reports before November, 2008.

That is, if they write about Iraq at all.

01 Dec 2007 12:15 pm

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Two cadets at West Point in the seventies

Back when my husband, Bob was a cadet at West Point he had many ways of combating the daily drill of class, formation, constant study and walking the area. (he was an area bird)

Bob and some of his fellow cadets in Company D-2 spent some time messing with the Army officers. One such instance was wearing Russian Army uniforms and taking a “tour” of West Point. Bob was able to acquire the uniforms for a report he had to do. He and his roommate, the great painter, Andre Reynolds posed in the uniforms. Afterwards, Bob put the uniforms up for safe-keeping. While he was out of the room, Andre put on the uniform and started walking around the grounds of West Point. When Bob discovered one of the uniforms was gone he started looking for Andre. He found him talking to an Army officer, bluffing his way out of trouble by using a Russian accent. The officer actually thought Andre was a Soviet Army officer and he asked Bob if he was supposed to be escorting him. Bob said, yes but he had gotten away from him. The officer dressed Bob down, telling him to do a better job.

Another successful bluff for Andre. Bob could never prove it but he suspected that Andre was the legendary “Fly.”

Today the Army-Navy game will be played. It’s the one game I look forward to all year, not because of the power and success of each team, because both of the teams’ records in recent years have been less than satisfactory. This game represents the best in football or what I think football should be. Each cadet and midshipman does more than practice football. They have to do their military training, and make the grade in their studies. When they graduate, they won’t be going to the NFL to play football, instead, they will be training to go to war.

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This year Army is a 14 point underdog. This will just make the Army victory that much sweeter.


I love this video. Hat tip: Cassy Fiano

Army got the goat. Hat tip: Blackfive


19 May 2007 02:43 am

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I am three years old in this picture and still remember that dress. It was red. I always insisted on wearing dresses, my mother tells me. But the star of this photo is the 48′ Chevy in the background..

For as long as I can remember, my Dad had the forty-eight Chevy. Every Sunday afternoon he would load us and our black cocker spaniel, Cookie into the Chevy for a ride to the park. Many times we got ice cream.

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Every upstanding little girl must be fashionably dressed while digging worms.

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Bathrobes were a must for little girls who were posing in the front yard with their brother and dog but boys will be boys.

We had a fence too, even a gate. At night our Dad would let our horse, Scout, out of the pasture so he could roam around in our yard. Many mornings I would wake up to see Scout’s nose pressed against the window screen. (we didn’t have air conditioning back then but I rarely remember being hot. How is that?) There’s nothing like being awakened by a sneezing horse.

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Our Dad went to New Orleans while he was in Louisiana for the Fast Pitch Mens’ Regional Tournament but all my brother got was a cute little stinker teeshirt.

I find myself turning away from the news today, looking through old family pictures on our family’s internet site. My parents are holding on to all the albums of the past, treasuring them like rare jewels. When any of us manage to make off with a photo we have to promise to return it.

I’ve been thinking of our old homeplace for a while now. Like many neighborhoods, apartments were built down the block in the late sixties, nice at first but by the mid-seventies, attracting all the wrong sort. My parents bought another house the year I married but held on to the land and the little house.

This past winter they sold the land. The house had been moved out to the country several years ago.

So now, memories are all that is left of a happy childhood. (and photos) There’s no more picket fence, Scout the horse, or romping through the woods playing cowboys and Army. No more 1948 Chevy. Or bicycle races. The neighborhood has turned ugly, with slummy apartments full of neglected children and drug pushers roaming the streets.

Once we had few neighbors, only open fields, trees and a house on the end of the block with an elderly couple who befriended our parents.

I remember when our Italian neighbors, the Portas, moved into their newly constructed house. We became friends with their four children immediately. Mr. Porta was a generous man who would bring home leftovers from his restaurant to feed the cats, dogs and chickens who lived in our neighborhood. He liked to drive his car with the driver side window open so he could hang his arm out. He did it so often the paint wore off on the side, leaving an imprint of his arm.

When there was a death in our family, Mr. Porta brought over his wonderful hickory smoked beef with his delicious secret recipe barbecue sauce. The Portas were Catholics and through them, I learned about Catholic beliefs and customs. I watched Mrs. Porta pray her rosary faithfully when her son, Butch, was in Vietnam.

One day, my brother and I were invited to go visit the Porta kids’ grandmother, who was an immigrant from Italy. Being a widow, she always wore black and invariably seemed to have her rosary in her hand. Her house was very close to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. She had lace curtains in her windows. I liked to listen to her voice; it was low and husky. Grandmother Porta was the wonder behind her four amazing sons, who all had successful restaurants. The aromas in her kitchen were wonderful. It smelled of delectable Italian ingredients: tomatoes, oregano, and garlic.

Mr. Porta’s restaurant was small and people sometimes had to stand in line to get a seat. Mr. Porta had a hand written sign posted on the glass dessert case. It read: “Duncan Hines never ate here. He couldn’t find a seat.”

The neighborhood lives in my memory and it’s sad that many children will never know the fun we had pre-Sesame Street. My sister and I loved to make mud pies. We perfected our “recipe” to the point that our mud cookies looked just like Vanilla Wafers.

One day, we took real Vanilla Wafers outside and were sitting munching on them when Ellen, Mr. Porta’s daughter, came over. We knew she could never resist a cookie so when she asked for one, my sister gave her the matching mud cookie. She took one bite, threw the cookie down, burst into tears and ran home.

Thus began, the Lucy-Ellen feud, which lasted about a week. Between our house and the Porta’s house was a large ditch about the size of a moat. Mr. Porta had hired an Indian man named “Chief” to build a bridge over the ditch. On that bridge, Ellen and Lucy would leave nasty messages to each other until they got tired of it, began to miss each other and made up.

Ellen was a bridesmaid in my wedding and a dear, precious friend. When my brother joined the National Guard, Ellen’s older brother, Mark, did too.

I introduced Mark to my best friend, Janie on our front porch. They’ve been married for thirty six years and have four children.

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My cousin, Gary, practicing in our yard. Gary won a baseball scholarship to SMU and played in the minor leagues until his wife convinced him to quit. Next to him is Tommy Across the Street. My youngest brother, Guy is sitting on the ground. Try to find Santa Claus in the photo.

There were other neighborhood kids who joined our gang. One, we called Tommy Across the Street because he lived across the street and his name was Tommy. His mother was a single mom who worked hard at her job and doted on Tommy. He had been struck with cancer when he was three years old and his eye had to be removed. The doctors couldn’t replace his eye with anything because so much tissue had to be removed so he had to wear a patch over his eye. Tommy joined our neighborhood group and spent all of his time playing at our house. He was so comfortable with us he didn’t wear the patch.

When he was twenty-three years old, the cancer struck again. We lost Tommy. I was home from Germany at the time, expecting our second child and was too devastated to go to the funeral. My brothers were pallbearers. Tommy’s mother was so grief-stricken that she moved away. We never heard from her again.

The life we lived as children during the fifties and sixties can’t be replicated now. Too many restraints have been put in place. Families have fractured. Parents seem to have different expectations of their children and not enough time.

Our parents played with us, disciplined us, read to us and prayed with us. They let us run around the neighborhood as long as it was only next door or across the street. They were at every performance at school dressed to the hilt. I remember my mother going to PTA meetings in a dress with a nice necklace on. All the other mothers were dressed the same way.

Perhaps I am romanticizing our childhood but I don’t think so. The liberal culture hates the Ozzie and Harriet era but we lived it and it was good.