The Pink Flamingo Life is tacky. Deal with it! Thu, 24 May 2018 15:53:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Pink Flamingo 32 32 Excusing the Barbarians Thu, 24 May 2018 10:33:59 +0000 Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.47.45 PMFirst published on January 15, 2016.

NOTE:  I consider myself to be a fairly well educated expert on the history of fashion in the Western world.  Along with working on a book that contains about 2100 historic photos which have never been published, I have several hundred books on fashion and the history of fashion.  There is almost nothing in them about Islamic ‘fashion’.  It does not exist.  The dress codes required today basically are something entirely new.  Yes, there were traditional costumes, but they were localized almost tribal.  Many of the things which were worn as ‘tribal’ evolved from items worn by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and localized fashions.  There is absolutely no such thing as Islamic fashion.

Have you ever seen a photo of a woman who looks happy when wearing the repressive fashions of radical Islam?  Please show me one.  Do you know the difference between a head scarf worn as a symbol of religious oppression and one that is a symbol of high fashion?

Did you know, in Afghanistan, in the 1950s and 1960s, women had the option of wearing the traditional burka (which is not like what they wear today) or dress like modern women of the world.  In 1963 Duke Ellington played Kabul.  Ike made a visit in the late 1950s.  Afghan women were becoming modern.  Once upon a time, before hard-line Islam took over, women in Afghanistan were among the most progressive of the region.  They had opportunities.  They could travel abroad, were educated, and could even go to concerts.  They wore mini-skirts and did not wear burkas, or head-scarves.  Today, the world is different.

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 3.19.10 PMThe worst part of it is that feminists in the US and in Europe think we must be culturally sensitive and respect the hijab and burka.  Afghan women were allowed to legally vote a year before women in the US were.  Then, thanks to the rise of the Taliban, and the fact that President Bill Clinton did nothing about it, never saying a word about what they were doing to women, forget it.  In 2011 women in Afghanistan were considered the most endangered in the world.  This is due to the rise of hard-line Islam.  Yet, if you listen to someone on the left, we are to respect that religion and that culture.

“…’As a girl, I remember my mother wearing miniskirts and taking us to the cinema. My aunt went to university in Kabul.'” Horia

We are repeatedly told to respect the woman who chooses to be ‘covered’ due to her religious devotion.  Yet, this demand for women to be covered, to be completely cloaked, not just to hide the fact that she is a woman, but to demand she limit her activities is fairly recent.  It has nothing to do with cultural sensitivity, and everything to do with ruining her life as a woman.  Today’s Islamic woman who demands she be allowed to be ‘covered’ is not a feminist, and is bowing to the demands of a repressive society.

Amnesty International
Amnesty International

“...Until the conflict of the 1970s, the 20th Century had seen relatively steady progression for women’s rights in the country. Afghan women were first eligible to vote in 1919 – only a year after women in the UK were given voting rights, and a year before the women in the United States were allowed to vote. In the 1950s purdah (gendered separation) was abolished; in the 1960s a new constitution brought equality to many areas of life, including political participation….”

The Atlantic
The Atlantic
Women Attending a Duke Wellington Concert in Kabul
Women Attending a Duke Wellington Concert in Kabul
Afghan Women 1960s
Afghan Women 1960s

Liberal women are, today, bending over backwards to be culturally sensitive and respect the burka and hijab.  Some are going to far as to wear them to show how much they respect the women who have the courage to wear a hijab.  It isn’t courage.  It is fear.  The story of the hijab is that women began wearing them, in Africa, in the 1980s, when they started working in cities.

Nigerian Women - 1970s.
Nigerian Women – 1970s.

There are those who say that the hijab is basically a way for a person to prove how religious they are. No one was wearing it, until the 1970s, when the ultra religious scholars began enforcing traditional Islamic values, as they saw them.  It is about modesty, and protecting the woman from a man’s lustful glare and attention.  A perfect example of what has happened to women is in Sudan.

“…The supposedly “Islamic” nature of the strictures on women is highly controversial. It is argued by progressive Muslims that the Prophet Mohamed was responsible for advancing the status of women at a time when unwanted girl children were disposed of by being buried alive. However, the male clerical interpretation of Islamic law afterScreen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.44.27 PM his death, with its emphasis on the letter of the law rather than its spirit, halted or petrified the process. In this way the Quranic injunction that both men and women should dress and behave modestly became a mechanistic requirement for women to cover their bodies. Similarly, the Prophet’s admonition of a midwife about to circumcise a young girl, that she might “reduce, but not destroy”, which amounted to criticism of the already established practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), has been treated in reactionary circles as an endorsement rather than a condemnation of the practice. The National Islamic Front’s claims that Islam is incompatible with female economic activity outside the home is equally unwarranted. These attitudes have more to do with tradition, nationality and class than with religion.

The 1990s began with alarming developments in the treatment of women, including imprisonment, torture, intimidation and harassment; and interference with the rights of movement, association, employment and dress. In the name of protecting morality, the energies of law enforcement bodies have been directed towards the persecution of women in public. Young women, particularly, are primary targets for quasi-religious propaganda in the name of chastity, obedience and domesticity, voiced repeatedly through government-controlled media. Persistently made to feel ashamed of their bodies, they may be stopped on the street at the whim of any member of the police and security organisations. Reasons given for this include being inadequately covered, not having an escort, being seen with a man not properly accredited as an escort, or simply walking in a “provocative” manner.

While women in government offices were immediately forced to adhere to the dress code, the response of the majority of women has been a mixture of defiance, passive resistance and practicality. For some young women in the 1980s, the “hijab” combination of headscarf and long-sleeved blouse was more practical – and much cheaper – than the unwieldy “tobe” traditionally worn outside the home by northern Sudanese. It became fashionable outside the narrow circles of the NIF who introduced it. However, the attempt to impose an Iranian-style “chador”, after one merchant imported the garment in bulk, was unsuccessful…”

Suppressed Histories
Suppressed Histories

Christian women were once required to cover their hair, and then be modest.  This is rather fascinating since Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.43.01 PMin early Christianity, women did not dress like ‘Christians’ but wore traditional Roman attire.  Everyone covered their head, primarily as a way to protect against sun and dust, and keep the head clean.  It had NOTHING to do with modesty.  Today’s version of Christian modesty is hurting women.   Today’s ‘godly’ religions leaders like to point to the second and third century demands for modesty, ignoring the fact that the men who wrote the ‘book’ on ‘modesty’, truly disliked women, considering them horrible creatures.  Gone was the love Christ had for women.  It was replaced by pure hatred and terror of women.

Today’s so-called ‘godly’ scholar likes to point to the fashions of the latter part of the Roman Empire, and the Fall or Rome, or as I like to refer to it, La Morte d’Arthur.  They completely forget or are abjectly ignorant of the fact that some sort of global catastrophe made the climate far colder than it was during the time of Christ.  Add to it the rantings and ravings of Tertullian of Carthage, who was basically a heretic and we have a perfect storm of ignorance.

The reason Christian women adopted more modest clothing was quite simple.  IT WAS COLD!  The climate Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.04.06 AMchanged.  During the time of Christ, the average temperature of the ‘classical’ world was a good two degrees warmer than it is now.  It did not get cold.  People wore sandals for a reason.  They did not need shoes.  If it turned cold, briefly, they threw a cape or shawl over their near naked bodies and waited for it to warm up during the day.   Something happened around 535AD or so, that changed the way the world lived.  David Keys theorizes that it was a major volcanic eruption.  Due to the collapse of society in Arabia, Islam was born, and no, it was not a divine revelation from God, rather a disparate attempt for people to understand the fact that their world was falling apart.

“…The book’s thesis is that a global climatic catastrophe in AD 535 to 536 –– a massive volcanic eruption sundering Java from Sumatra –– was the decisive factor that transformed the Ancient World into the Medieval Era . Ancient chroniclers recorded a disaster in that year that blotted out the Sun for months (possibly years) causing famine, droughts, floods, storms and an epidemic of bubonic plague. Keys uses tree-ring samples, analysis of lake deposits and ice cores, as well as contemporaneous documents to bolster his speculative thesis. In his scenario, the ensuing disasters precipitated the disintegration of the Byzantine Empire, beset by Avar, Slav, Mongol, and Persian invaders propelled from their disrupted homelands. The 6th-century collapse of Arabian civilization under pressure from floods and crop failure created a religiously apocalyptic atmosphere which set the stage for the emergence of Islam. In Mexico, the cataclysm supposedly triggered the collapse of Teotihuacán, while in China the ensuing half-century of political and social chaos led to a reunified nation…”


The hijab and extreme coverings required by early Islamic teachings and by he-man-woman-hating post-Roman Christian writers was NOT about modesty.  It was a coping mechanism designed to protect the wearer from the extremes of climate change the likes of which the ‘modern’ world had never seen and has yet to experience.  Unfortunately, today, we are entering into what will be remembered as the Age of Extremism. It has superseded the Age of Enlightenment when educated men and women prided themselves on knowledge.  Today, the opposite appears to be true.  People almost tend to pride themselves on their various forms of ignorance.

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.42.12 PMThe demands placed on women by the ignorant within Islam and by the ignorant within the progressive world are barbaric.  Try playing around with the theme on Twitter.  See what happens.  It is brutal.  I’ve been referred to as a bigot.  I am culturally insensitive.  I am ignorant. I don’t respect other cultures.  It’s true, I don’t respect cultures where women are treated like dirt.  I don’t respect modern women who pretend to be feminists and allow it.

I guess what truly bothers me is that the apologists for the way women are treated don’t quite understand the history of fashion.  The head scarf was once a staple of fashion.  There are some who say it’s on the way back, not because of modesty or the hijab, but because it protects the hair from the ravages of the weather, moisture, and fog. Anyone who looks at this photo and says it is about modesty is a fool.  There is NOTHING modest or submissive about the woman wearing it.  (FYI:  I have the same scarf!)

We don’t excuse barbarian cultures. There is nothing wrong with respecting a culture, and trying to be Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.45.33 PMrespectful of it – when possible.  But, when that culture is doing things like mutilating the genitals of young woman, stoning women to death, or mass rape of women who are modern, that is barbaric.  I don’t excuse it.

There is a difference between wearing a head scarf for fashion, and wearing a hijab.  If you can’t figure it out, then you have a problem.

There is a difference between wearing a head scarf for fashion and wearing one due to oppression.

“...The governor of Luxor province where the incident occurred called the teacher’s actions “shameful” and said she had been transferred to another school. But rights groups say that some Islamic conservatives have been emboldened by the success of groups like Muslim Brotherhood and the ultraconservative Salafi trend in parliamentary and presidential elections and have been increasingly brazen about forcing their standards on other Egyptians.

The incident follows a surge in legal cases against Egyptians, mostly Christians, who allegedly showed contempt for religion. The trial of one, Alber Saber, opened Wednesday but was postponed.

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.11.36 AMIt also comes amid a fierce debate over how the role of religion will be defined in the country’s new constitution. The preponderance of Islamists on the panel drafting the document has alarmed liberals and religious minorities.

In the village of Qurna in Luxor province, 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Cairo, father Berbesh Khairi El-Rawi said the teacher forced the two girls to stand with their hands above their heads for two hours and then cut their hair in their school.

He told The Associated Press that he filed a complaint after the Oct. 10 incident with the prosecutor’s office in Luxor. He had no further comment.

The prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the case. Provincial governor Ezzat Saad confirmed the teacher had been transferred for a “shameful” act but did not otherwise comment.

The teacher, Eman Abu Bakar, could not be reached. She told the Egyptian semi-official newspaper al-Ahram that the amount of hair she cut off of the girls’ heads “did not exceed two centimeters” (one inch).

Abu Bakar was quoted as saying she only resorted to cutting her students’ hair after warning them repeatedly to cover their heads. After these repeated warnings, a student handed her a scissors from his bag, and that he and other students asked her to “implement” her threats….”

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.09.29 AM

There is a difference between oppression and freedom.

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.23.35 AM



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The Lasting Power of Hollywood Wed, 23 May 2018 10:30:39 +0000 Screen shot 2015-01-18 at 10.45.01 AMLet’s get one thing perfectly clear.  It doesn’t matter what one’s nationality or patriotic leanings are, the most stirring moment for any national anthem, any place is in Casablanca.  Period.  The terror attacks in France have brought this back, time and again.  I was watching something on the news, Sunday morning, about the spontaneous outbursts of La Marseillaise this week, in France.  I am a fan of old movies.  I think, when I heard about the terror attacks, one of the first things I thought of was that scene from Casablanca.  Funny thing, evidently I’m not the only one.

One movie fan wrote what I think may be one of the best commentaries of the La Marseillaise scene.  Watching the movie, even nearly 75 years later, this is one of the most stunning and moving scenes in movie history.  If you had a father like mine, a World War II vet, who joined the Merchant Marines after seeing Bogey in Action on the North Atlantic, you understand the meaning of the moment.  The film was made in real time, during the part of World War II where the good guys were getting hammered.  When it was released, in 1942 then in wide release in January of 1943,  people in this country did not know if we were going to win the war or not.  At that point, we were losing, badly.  The tears in the eyes of the actors, during the scene were genuine.  It was not acting.  Many of the individuals who were uncredited actors in the film were refugees from Nazi Germany.  Those tears were real.  Today, we can’t even grasp what they were feeling.  I realize how how privileged I was to watch the film, with my father, a number of times.  He was not given outward displays of emotion or affection. This scene, though had a way of moving him.  He lived through it, graduating from high school in 1942, wanting to go to college, but realizing that he was going nowhere until he served his country, which he did.

“…So, the scene opens with Rick arguing with Laszlo, who is a Czech Resistance fighter fleeing from Screen shot 2015-01-18 at 10.17.40 AMthe Nazis (if you’re wondering what they’re arguing about: Rick has illegal transit papers which would allow Laszlo and his wife, Ilsa, to escape to America, so he could continue raising support against the Germans. Rick refuses to sell because he’s in love with Laszlo’s wife). They’re interrupted by that cadre of German officers singing Die Wacht am Rhein: a German patriotic hymn which was adopted with great verve by the Nazi regime, and which is particularly steeped in anti-French history. This depresses the hell out of everybody at the club, and infuriates Laszlo, who storms downstairs and orders the house band to play La Marseillaise: the national anthem of France.

Wait, but when I say “it’s the national anthem of France,” I don’t want you to think of your national anthem, okay? Wherever you’re from. Because France’s anthem isn’t talking about some glorious long-ago battle, or France’s beautiful hills and countrysides. La Marseillaise is FUCKING BRUTAL. Here’s a translation of what they’re singing:

Arise, children of the Fatherland! The day of glory has arrived! Against us, tyranny raises its bloody banner. Do you hear, in the countryside, the roar of those ferocious soldiers? They’re coming to your land to cut the throats of your women and children!

To arms, citizens! Form your battalions! Let’s march, let’s march! Let their impure blood water our fields!

Tablet Magazine
Tablet Magazine

BRUTAL, like I said. DEFIANT, in these circumstances. And the entire cafe stands up and sings it passionately, drowning out the Germans. The Germans who are, in 1941, still terrifyingly ascendant, and seemingly invincible.

“Vive la France! Vive la France!” the crowd cries when it’s over. France has already been defeated, the German war machine roars on, and the people still refuse to give up hope.

But here’s the real kicker, for me: Casablanca came out in 1942. None of this was ‘history’ to the people who first saw it. Real refugees from the Nazis, afraid for their lives, watched this movie and took heart. These were current events when this aired. Victory over Germany was still far from certain. The hope it gave to people then was as desperately needed as it has been at any time in history…”


“…Rick (Humphrey Bogart) is upstairs chatting with Laszlo, notorious resistance leader and husband to Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman). Some German patrons begin to annoy the other customers by rudely singing “Die Wacht am Rhein” (loose translation: “Stab the French with Our Rock-Hard German Penises”). To this point, Rick had stayed pretty neutral on the whole “Nazi” issue. But in this pivotal scene, Rick lends a single nod of support Laszlo’s way. Laszlo and the other bar patrons find the courage to drown out the Nazis with their own patriotic verse of “La Marseillaise” (loose translation: “The Marseillaise”), and the Nazis, thoroughly out-Glee-ed, leave in a huff.

The patrons celebrate their small victory, some clearly moved to tears. The thing is, nothing in the script actually called for crying. Unlike most of the entries on this list, this one has less to do with a sociopathic director and more to do with the time and place the film was made….

It’s easy to forget that part, now that hundreds of movies (and seemingly thousands of video games) have been based on the war in the decades since it ended. Casablanca was shot in 1941 during the German occupation of France, at a point where many questioned whether or not the United States would ever step in to help, and when nobody knew how the whole thing was going to turn out.

And the scene included actors who, in real life, had a lot at stake. To shoot Casablanca as a believable port town, producers brought together one of the most ethnically diverse casts in film history, and a lot of these extras turned out to be Europeans who had fled to America to escape the Nazis — that is, they were basically real-life refugees. They had left homes, friends and families behind, and at this point really didn’t know if things could ever return to normal. Which makes us wonder if the director didn’t stage the whole war just to get that scene…

DC Public Library
DC Public Library

It is ripe with meaning, haunting.  When you think about the attacks on the Kosher grocery, one thing about Casablanca stands out, not as trivia, but as a way that refugees were trying to score one for the good guys.

Tablet Magazine
Tablet Magazine

“...The people in the Grand Synagogue are proud to be French, and they want the prime minister of Israel to see and understand their pride in their country, just as they want France to live up to the inspiring words of La Marseillaise.

What has changed for the Jewish people over the past 75 years isn’t that we have ceased to love the countries where we live. It is that we are no longer compelled to bet—with our lives—that our love will be requited…”

There are some moments in time when film not only reflects culture and history, but provides a commentary for who we are, putting the world into perspective.  I don’t now any other movie more appropriate for this moment in time – in so many different ways.

This is a cautionary tale.  Even today, as we look back, and see the power of hate and the rise of the extreme right nationalism in Europe, and even in this country, our nation is taking the side of the bad guys, in Ukraine.  We are openly backing a regime which is for all intents and purposes a throw-back to the days of Nazi Europe.

“…As the winter progressed, the protests grew more violent. Neo-Nazi and other extremist elements from Lviv and western Ukrainian cities began arriving in well-organized brigades or “sotins” of 100 trained street fighters. Police were attacked with firebombs and other weapons as the violent protesters began seizing government buildings and unfurling Nazi banners and even a Confederate flag.

Though Yanukovych continued to order his police to show restraint, he was still depicted in the major U.S. news media as a brutal thug who was callously murdering his own people. The chaos reached a climax on Feb. 20 when mysterious snipers opened fire on police and some protesters, killing scores. As police retreated, the militants advanced brandishing firearms and other weapons. The confrontation led to significant loss of life, pushing the death toll to around 80 including more than a dozen police….

The mainstream U.S. media also sought to discredit anyone who observed the obvious fact that an unconstitutional coup had just occurred. A new theme emerged that portrayed Yanukovych as simply deciding to abandon his government because of the moral pressure from the noble and peaceful Maidan protests.

Any reference to a “coup” was dismissed as “Russian propaganda.” There was a parallel determination in the U.S. media to discredit or ignore evidence that neo-Nazi militias had played an important role in ousting Yanukovych and in the subsequent suppression of anti-coup resistance in eastern and southern Ukraine. That opposition among ethnic-Russian Ukrainians simply became “Russian aggression.”

This refusal to notice what was actually a remarkable story – the willful unleashing of Nazi storm troopers on a European population for the first time since World War II – reached absurd levels as the New York Times and the Washington Post buried references to the neo-Nazis at the end of stories, almost as afterthoughts.

The Washington Post went to the extreme of rationalizing Swastikas and other Nazi symbols by quoting one militia commander as calling them “romantic” gestures by impressionable young men. [See’s “Ukraine’s ‘Romantic’ Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers.”]…”

Consortium News
Consortium News

What is wrong with this country?  We’re going to be sending even more money to these neo-Nazi leaning thugs in the Ukraine, while turning Putin and Russia into monsters.  When did we start consorting with the really bad guys?

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Bloody Little Psychopaths Tue, 22 May 2018 10:30:20 +0000 To say our society has a problem with school shootings is an understatement.  It may also be an overstatement.  While it is a matter of the wrong people getting guns, the situation is far more critical.  It is also a situation people do not wish to face or to even attempt to remedy.  The cure will be traumatic, cruel, and require cold-blooded logic.  Everyone keeps wondering why this is a situation that has supposedly arisen during the past twenty years or so. In many ways the explanation is quite simple.  It may be the only simple part of the equation.

The kid who did the shooting in Texas is a psychopath.  The one in Broward County is a psychopath.  The monster in Vegas is was a psychopath.  The shooter at Sandy Hook was not only a psychopath, but he was seriously mentally ill. The Charleston shooter is a psychopath.  Do you see a pattern here?  Ted Bundy was a psychopath.  So is the BTK Killer, Green River Killer, and so forth and so on.  Every serial killer is a psychopath.  Perhaps the real question should be what turned the kids into spree killers and not serial killers.

First, I will bet my toy poodle on the Las Vegas shooter having killed before this.  His brother is a pedophile.  There is a question if he was, also. He fits the pattern.  We know that there are several dozen serial killers active, at all times.  It is basically something law enforcement doesn’t want to admit, primarily because it would cause a panic.  What would cause more of a panic is the fact that there could be as many as nineteen long-haul truckers who are not only serial killers, but are known to one another, actively helping to clean-up one another’s ‘mess’.

I once read that legendary FBI profiler, John Douglas stated the reason society was not doing more to find and ‘rescue’ abducted children was the lack of will, and the fact that the reason behind many of the abductions was so horrific, even some in law enforcement refused to face it.  Fortunately, I think we are starting to delve into the horrors behind what may be going on with these abductions.  Society isn’t going to want to face the reasons for it, if the revelations continue.

For many years, in parts of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia young women were disappearing or being murdered.  The looked much the same.  Around 1989 or so, while I was operating my gallery, in Seneca, SC, I asked the county sheriff about the serial killer. He was shocked that I knew it was a serial killer.  A young woman had recently been abducted in the region.  That specific serial killer had been working the region for at least twenty years.  But, law enforcement never bothered releasing that information.

There was also a regional problem where, periodically, a young black girl, usually a tween, on a bicycle, would disappear never to be found.There are boys in bicycles missing all through the mid-west.  They were abducted by predators.  The current crop of school shooters are predators.  But – they are too disorganized to ever become serial killers.  They have the same personality traits as psychopaths.


Perhaps we should be asking why kids who obviously are psychopaths, and would have morphed into serial killers, become spree killers instead.  Is this a societal change?  Is it a sign that some of the kids of the past twenty years or so are so disorganized, immature, and incapable of adult behavior?  They don’t have the seeds of maturity to evolve into serial killers, the go out in one single ‘blaze of glory’?

Ages ago, in the UK, there was a move to identify potential psychopaths while they were still young.  Of course there was a tremendous uproar over the proposal.  I think it is something that should be considered -here.  If you go back and study the behavioral patterns of these teen killers, it is obvious they have behavioral problems.  It also requires we accept the fact that a certain portion of our society are psychopaths.  Unfortunately, there is no real will to even comprehend there is a good chance that talented surgeon who saved the life of someone you loved is a psychopath.  There is a need to identify men and women who are in law enforcement and are psychopaths.

The top career choices for psychopaths are, in order are CEOs, lawyers, media, salesperson, surgeon, journalist, law enforcement, and clergy.  It could be the real problem educators are unable to even comprehend or recognize the fact that the little darling in their class is a potential monster is the fact that the bottom rung of career choices for psychopaths are care aids, nurses, therapists, craftsperson, beautician, charity worker, teacher, artist, doctor, sociologist, accountant.  Quite obviously, the practitioners of more than a few on this list are those who make up the broader educational system: teachers, therapists, sociologists nurses, even charity workers, artists, and those who are into crafts.  Is that the real problem?  Is it possible the lack of duplicity within those who make up the educational system are the real ’cause’ because they are highly empathetic individuals who might be incapable of thinking badly of the little darlings they teach?

I have been going back and forth on FB with a very decent man who was once a school principal and administrator. His wife is not only a good friend, but a retired teacher and one of the most compassionate individuals I have ever encountered in my life.  They are good people.  They are also good liberals.  I’m a good conservative.  At times my friend and I clash a little, but it makes for very interesting conversations.  We are diametrically opposite on the gun issue.  That’s okay.  Good people with good ideas should be able to compromise.  That’s the problem with our society, neither side wants to bother compromising.  My friend’s husband and I don’t agree when it comes to guns and schools.  It is quite obvious to me, as a former educator, he is in agony over what is going on today.  About an hour or so ago I was reading about the Texas killer.  It is quite obvious the boy is a psychopath.

Is it possible one of the reasons these nasty little sh*ts are not being, for want of a better term, tagged by society is because the average educator is like my friends. They are good, decent, kind, loving people who only want/wanted the best for their students.  Their hearts and minds are so far removed from who and what a psychopath is, if they are capable of recognizing a psychopath (and by far the vast majority of people in this country cannot do so) is because they are so good? You really don’t even think about psychopaths until you’ve run into one of them, and they have worked their ruinous magic on your life or that of someone you know.  That’s the secret of a good psychopath, they can hide who they are.

The average psychopath is no more a murderous monster than you and I.  They just have a need for a little more excitement in their lives.  As a writer, there is nothing more exciting – to me – than waiting to the last minute to get an article to the publisher.  It gets the literary adrenaline flowing.  While my chosen career has a propensity to attract psychopaths, I am not one.  But, I do know them when I encounter them.  They tend to be glib and charming.  I am neither.  I’m basically a bitch.  A good psychopath is the life of the party, then they stiff you with the bill.  Picture a used car salesman or that sleazy lawyer you recently encountered.  They’re not evil, just annoying.   Another trait of a psychopath is they are incapable of keeping their lives together for very long.  They fall apart.

Then there are the evil ones.  The average person in jail/prison is a psychopath or a sociopath.  There is a difference between a psychopath, who is born that way, and a sociopath, who becomes one due to events in their lives like a head injury, abuse, or trauma.  If you follow the Hannibal Lector tale to the bitter end, you discover he is not a psychopath, but a sociopath, having morphed into what he became due to the unspeakable abuse he experienced as a child.  It is also one reason child victims of horrific abuse need therapy as quickly as possible.  If there is a chance of them developing into something evil, it is possible to help them.

There is no help for a psychopath.  Their brains do not function like those of normal people.  They are born with something wrong inside their brains.  They aren’t wired the same way normal people are.  And, yes, they do exist.  Oddly enough, very few of them are politicians, which may be their only saving grace.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a few out there, trust me, but politics is not their career of choice.

Educators need to have a way, a willingness, and societal permission to ascertain if a child could be a psychopath.  It is a horrific label.  But, if we’re dealing with children who have other problems in their lives, additional mental illness, and parents who are not fully engaged, well – we have a disaster. Oddly, these kids have always been there.  Psychopaths have always been a certain percentage of our population.  The ones who kill will never be stopped.  The great tragedy is the ones who kill in school, were they prevented, would go on to kill elsewhere.  They aren’t going to be stopped.  Keeping them away from guns will help, but, if they are determined to kill, enjoy it, if they have no feeling for humanity, and think they are better than everyone else, not having access to a firearm will not stop their carnage.  They will simply go about it, differently.

School shooters are predators.  Serial killers are predators.  They are basically one in the same, only in different places on the evolutionary ladder.  A school shooter would have become a serial killer had they not done it all at one time.  There is a spark of evil in the child who will do this.  The object is to recognize the fact that kids can be evil  Families need to understand they may have a potential monster, and need to learn how to deal with it.

We also need to recognize the fact that something is going on within the development of children these past twenty years to cause them to change, behaviorally.  Why do they become school shooters, instead of developing into serial killers?  Can they be stopped?

That’s the real tragedy here.  They are never going to be stopped.  We can talk a good game.  We can deny, and should deny, guns to anyone who is mentally ill.  I personally think anyone who has taken specific psych meds should have all firearms confiscated for a specific amount of time. There is a behavioral connection to psych meds and violence. Parents of kids like this, who kill, should be held criminally responsible for not being engaged in their little darling’s life enough to realize little Johnny is a psycho and needs help.

Something else is at play here.  Educators and school systems need to have some sort of lawsuit protection so that they can deal with kids who are a problem, and not fear little Johnny’s parents are going to file a multi-million buck lawsuit against them, the school, and district because they had the unmitigated gall to state that little Johnny is another Ted Bundy and keep him the hell away form guns.

There is a bottom line here, yet no one wants to cross it.  What is wrong with admitting a parent is responsible for the behavior of their child?  Have a good prosecutor send several of them to prison, for manslaughter, and it would solve the school shooting problem – immediately.



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Melanoma Need Not Be a Killer Mon, 21 May 2018 10:35:44 +0000 Melanoma is one of the deadliest cancers out there.  If caught early, it is one of the easiest to cure – or rather to stop in its tracks.  The secret is to catch it early, do a wide excision, do a double path to make sure the melanoma has been properly classified (this is what killed Diana Ashby, wife of shuttle pilot, Jeff Ashby), then get on with your life, if you are that fortunate.

Once you are on your way, start removing any possible nevis that could be melanoma.  The average person who has one primary will, within a few years have a 2nd primary like John McCain did.  The best way to solve that little problem is to start removing moles and having a path done on them.  According to my Derm, he just doesn’t see where an additional primary could occure because I’ve had just about every potential problem removed. (That was his report – today).

You need to know what a bad nevis and melanoma looks like. Then go from there.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.00.58 AM

Melanoma is deadly. If you have a mole you suspect, and you do not have it treated, properly – YOU WILL DIE.  It’s that simple.  Melanoma, untreated, is always fatal.  It may be genetic, it is usually caused by a severe sunburn.  And – if you do a 6 months derm. visit for a full body check, you will literally be saving your life.

“…What Is Melanoma?
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. It begins in skin cells called melanocytes.
Melanocytes are the cells that make melanin, which gives skin its color. Melanin also protects the deeper layers of the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
When people spend time in the sunlight, the melanocytes make more melanin and cause the skin to tan. This also happens when skin is exposed to other forms of ultraviolet light (such as in a tanning booth). If the skin receives too much ultraviolet light, the melanocytes may begin to grow abnormally and become cancerous. This condition is called melanoma.
How and where does melanoma appear?
The first sign of melanoma is often a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole. But melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole.
In men, melanoma most often shows up:
on the upper body, between the shoulders and hips
on the head and neck
In women, melanoma often develops on the lower legs.
In dark-skinned people, melanoma often appears:
under the fingernails or toenails
on the palms of the hands
on the soles of the feet
Although these are the most common places on the body for melanomas to appear, they can appear anywhere on the skin. That’s why it is important to always examine your skin to check for new moles or changes in moles.
With early diagnosis and treatment, the chances of recovery are very good.
The chance of getting melanoma increases as you get older, but people of any age can get melanoma. In fact, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults. Each year, more than 50,000 people in the U.S. learn that they have melanoma.
Melanoma is a serious and sometimes life-threatening cancer. If melanoma is found and treated in its early stages, the chances of recovery are very good. If it is not found early, melanoma can grow deeper into the skin and spread to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.
Once melanoma has spread to other parts of the body beyond the skin, it is difficult to treat….”

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Sunday Morning Opera: A Wedding & A Funeral Sun, 20 May 2018 10:30:54 +0000 In time for the Royal Wedding, there are weddings in opera.  Very few have happy endings, obviously. There are many marriages in opera. Instead of hitting the actual wedding, I’m just taking the good stuff from a few of those operas. Then, it dawned on me, why bother. It’s time to deal with the obvious. Unfortunately, this leads to the ultimate question: Sills or Sutherland? Bubbles always wins!

Beverly Sills, Carlo Bergonzi, Piero Cappuccilli

Roberta PETERS, Loretta Di Franco, Dano Raffanti, Robert Nagy, Brian Schexnayder, Julien Robbins

Sherrill Milnes, Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland

Natalie Dessay, Joseph Calleja, Matthew Plenk, Ludovic Tézier, Kwangchul Yuon

Maria Callas

Enrico Caruso, Amelita Galli-Curci, Marcel Journet, Minnie Egener, Guiseppe di Luca, and Angelo Bada. Recorded on January 25, 1917

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Women Composers: Anne Boleyn Sat, 19 May 2018 10:32:23 +0000

“…Viscount Chateaubriant writes in his 1522 memoirs that “Anne Boleyn, singing like a syren [and] accompanying herself on the lute …harped better than King David and handled cleverly both flute and rebec [fiddle]”….”

Four hundred and eighty-two years ago today, Anne Boleyn was executed. Legend has it she wrote this the day before she was beheaded by her spouse, Henry VIII, who was fooling around with her short-lived successor Jane Seymour. She had one surviving child, Elizabeth. Her husband was disgusted because he wanted a son. He felt a daughter would not be a proper successor and would be powerless as a monarch. She showed him!

“…Henry VIII had Anne investigated for high treason in April 1536. On 2 May she was arrested and sent to the Tower of London, where she was tried before a jury of peers – which included Henry Percy, her former betrothed, and her own uncle, Thomas Howard – and found guilty on 15 May. She was beheaded four days later. Modern historians view the charges against her, which included adultery, incest and plotting to kill the king, as unconvincing. Some say that Anne was accused of witchcraft but the indictments make no mention of this charge. After the coronation of her daughter, Elizabeth, Anne was venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation, particularly through the works of John Foxe. Over the centuries, she has inspired, or been mentioned, in many artistic and cultural works and thereby retained her hold on the popular imagination. She has been called “the most influential and important queen consort England has ever had”,[ as she provided the occasion for Henry VIII to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and declare the English church’s independence from Rome…”

Legend is, she wrote this the night before she was beheaded.  To date, no additional compositions have been discovered, yet it is known she was a patron of the arts, and even put together a songbook, of the music she liked.

She was either a patron of, or admirer of Josquin des Prez, a Flemish composer of the day.  This piece was in her songbook.

There is also Jean Mouton’s ‘Tota pulchra es

This was the music she liked the most. It tells us something about the woman, her tastes, and maybe the fact that she had quite a bit of depth within her soul. This is not shallow music. It is very inspirational.

No discussion about music and Anne Boleyn could be complete without a discussion of the song written for her by Henry VIII. It may be one of the most famous songs in history.

Greensleeves has been used as the score for another piece of music. I am using the Welsh language recording of a certain by Bryn Terfel. After all, he is Welsh, and the Tudors were Welsh.

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The Politically Correct Destruction of Good People Thu, 17 May 2018 10:30:09 +0000 Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 5.50.35 AMFirst published on May 3, 2016.

Our politically correct culture is now so unforgiving, if a person who lived a thousand years ago, with  one exception, does not live up to modern sensibilities, they must be completely destroyed.  We live in an unforgiving world, were the little Snowflakes who can’t handle being offended, have begun to change who and what is acceptable.  Case in point, in California, John Wayne Day was vetoed because the man was not perfect.  If it isn’t bad enough to be forced to watch the statues and memorials to Confederate soldiers being destroyed, now John Wayne, who is iconic as in John Wayne, Apple Pie, & Baseball, is now evil.

Malcolm Jones, writing in The Daily Beast, has an article about Rudyard Kipling, who has also been damned as a racist.  I don’t know about you, but Kipling never went out of vogue with me.  His poem, If, is one of the mantras of my life. I think it is one of the greatest poems ever written.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

By damning people like Kipling, the idiots have turned their back on the wisdom of the ages.  What is truly disgusting is that the same liberal geniuses who damn people like John Wayne, condemning him for being a horribly evil racist, have no problem with the barbarism of Mohammad.  The barbarism of Islam must be pandered too, so much, that, in order for liberals to appease them they are now damning the Jews.  Case in point is what is going on in Europe.

“...In his long career, Mr Corbyn has shared a platform with – among many other such – Sheikh Raed Saleh, who (elsewhere) repeated the “blood libel” against the Jews, and called them “monkeys” and “bacteria”; with representatives of the British Muslim Initiative, which plays the anti-Semitic card of comparing Jews with Nazis with its “Stop the Holocaust in Gaza” placards; and with what he calls his “friends” from Hamas. Hamas’ Charter refers to “the Jews’ Nazism” and quotes approvingly the saying of the Prophet that when Jews hide from Moslems behind stones and trees, “The stones and trees will say: ‘O Moslems…, there is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him’….It is in this context that one must place Ken Livingstone and his Zionists = Hitler outburst and Naz Shah’s suggestion (which Mr Livingstone was excusing) that the entire population of Israel should be deported to the United States….”

In this country, contrary to the complaints of rabid Islamophobia and racism, the vast majority of hate crimes are not committed against Muslims or people of color.  The vast majority of hate crimes are committed against Jews. Fact is, they are committed by the very groups liberals like to protect. But – liberals must have their way, rewrite history, and try and damn Western Civilization as racist and evil. I guess I just love the ignorance of the left.

According to politically correct culture, there is something inherently evil about people like John Wayne and what they represent.  No, they did not look at the world and at race the way we do today.  They were products of their age and culture.  I don’t dare even repeat things I heard men of his generation state.  No, they weren’t racist. They weren’t haters.  They were raised in a different time with different sensibilities.  Yet – like so many men of his generation, there was something inherently fair and while some might look at it as racism, they weren’t racist.  They were expressing the opinion of their age.  None of them opposed desegregation.  You never saw any of them embracing hate.  They fought to prevent the hatred of the Nazis and what they did with the Holocaust.  Ironically those on the left, the ones who are damning people like John Wayne as racists are the very same individuals who have no problem pandering to the hatred of Islam.

I’m sorry, but I’m just not putting up with this stuff any longer.   Frankly, I can’t think of any group of individuals as racist and bigoted as the young people who are damning the rest of us as bigots.

Why I Love America
John Mitchum, 1973
(Poem recited by John Wayne)

You ask me Why I Love Her?
Well, give me time. I’ll explain.
Have you seen a Kansas sunset
Or an Arizona rain?
Have you drifted on a bayou
Down Louisiana way?
Have you watched a cold fog drifting
Over San Francisco Bay?
Have you heard a bobwhite calling
In the Carolina pines,
Or heard the bellow of a diesel
At the Appalachia mines?
Does the call of Niagara thrill you
When you hear her waters roar?
Do you look with awe and wonder
At her Massachusetts shore…
Where men who braved a hard new world
First stepped on Plymouth’s rock?
And, do you think of them when you stroll
Along a New York City dock?
Have you seen a snowflake drifting
In the Rockies, way up high?
Have you seen the sun come blazing down
From a bright Nevada sky?
Do you hail to the Columbia
As she rushes to the sea?
Or bow your head at Gettysburg
At our struggle to be free?
Have you seen the mighty Tetons?
Have you watched an eagle soar?
Have you seen the Mississippi
Roll along Missouri’s shore?
Have you felt a chill at Michigan
When on a winter’s day
Her waters rage along the shore
In thunderous display?
Does the word “Aloha” make you warm?
Do you stare in disbelief
When you see the surf
Come roaring in at Waimea Reef?
From Alaska’s cold to the Everglades,
From the Rio Grande to Maine,
My heart cries out, my pulse runs fast
At the might of her domain!
You ask me why I love her?
I’ve a million reasons why —
My Beautiful America,
Beneath God’s wide, wide sky.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of not being allowed to love my country, and to express that love.  There is nothing evil about wanting to put our nation first, or looking out for number one.  If we were dealing with the psychology of individuals, anyone who isn’t willing to put themselves first, or look after themselves before others is considered to be suffering from a psychological problems.  Instead, we are told there is something wrong with people who think that we should think of our country before others.  Sorry, but those who think we should not are the ones who have the problem.

]]> 0 Shoeless Joe Jackson on Shoeless Joe Jackson Wed, 16 May 2018 10:26:46 +0000 Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 6.43.23 PMFirst published on July 16, 2013.

I found this the other day.  It is an interview of Shoeless Joe Jackson by the late, great sportswriter, Furman Bischer.  It appeared in Sport Magazine in the October 1949 issue.  It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.  My father’s late business partner, Grady Ables was friends with Shoeless Joe.  I never knew about it, until it was too late to even ask Mr. Ables about him.

If you know anything about the textile mills in South Carolina and the indentured nature of the work people did from about 1900 to the 1930s, you will understand Shoeless Joe’s story, and why he was absolutely innocent.

This is an amazing article.  It will bring tears to your eyes.  It is about a man who had everything stripped from him, unjustly, and what he did with the rest of his life.

It’s about baseball.

“…Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come….”

by Shoeless Joe Jackson
As told to Furman Bischer

Just 30 years ago this month, the infamous World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds took place. The leading figure in the great scandal that followed, the famous White Sox slugger of 1919, tells in his own words his side of the story.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Almost any day of the week, if you drive down East Wilborn Street on the South side of Greenville, South Carolina, you’ll find an aging man with sparse white hair sitting in the shade of a sapling oak at No. 119. He will be Joe Jackson – Shoeless Joe Jackson, sometimes known as the greatest natural hitter in baseball history. But you’ll never find Joe’s name in the record books, because he was black-listed for life after the great baseball scandal broke in 1920. Jackson has never raised his voice in protest, though he has stoutly maintained his innocence. In his South Carolina textile country, where he lives comfortably, he is revered as an idol and as a persecuted man. They will always believe Joe innocent. Here, for the first time in national print, is Joe Jackson’s own story, just as he tells it himself.

 Jackson, one of the game’s most brillant batters, hit over .400 during the 1911 season.

     WHEN I walked out of Judge Dever’s courtroom in Chicago in 1921, I turned my back completely on the World Series  of 1919, the Chicago White Sox, and the major leagues. I had been acquitted by a twelve-man jury in a civil court of all charges and I was an innocent man in the records. I have never made any request to be reinstated in baseball, and I have never made any campaign to have my name cleared in the baseball records. This is not a plea of any kind. This is just my story. I’m telling it simply because it seems that 30 years after that World Series, the world may want to hear what I have to say.

     If I had been the kind of fellow who brooded when things went wrong, I probably would have gone out of my mind when  Judge Landis ruled me out of baseball. I would have lived in regret. I would have been bitter and resentful because I felt I had  been wronged.

     But I haven’t been resentful at all. I thought when my trial was over that Judge Landis might have restored me to good  standing. But he never did. And until he died I had never gone before him, sent a representative before him, or placed before him any written matter pleading my case. I gave baseball my best and if the game didn’t care enough to see me get a square deal, then I wouldn’t go out of my way to get back in it.

     Baseball failed to keep faith with me. When I got notice of my suspension three days before the 1920 season ended — it came on a rained-out day — it read that if found innocent of any wrongdoing, I would be reinstated. If found guilty, I would be banned for life. I was found innocent, and I was still banned for life.

     It was never explained to me officially, but I was told that Judge Landis had said I was banned because of the company I  kept. I roomed with Claude Williams, the pitcher, one of the ringleaders, they told me, and one of the eight White Sox players  banned. But I had to take whoever they assigned to room with me on the road. I had no power over that.

    Sure I’d heard talk that there was something going on. I even had a fellow come to me one day and proposition me. It was on the 16th floor of a hotel and there were four other people there, two men and their wives. I told him: “Why you cheap so-and-so! Either me or you –one of us is going out that window.”

     I started for him, but he ran out the door and I never saw him again. Those four people offered their testimony at my trial. Oh, there was so much talk those days, but I didn’t know anything was going on.

     When the talk got so bad just before the World Series with Cincinnati, I went to Mr. Charles Comiskey’s room the night  before the Series started and asked him to keep me out of the line-up. Mr Comiskey was the owner of the White Sox. He  refused, and I begged him: “Tell the newspapers you just suspended me for being drunk, or anything, but leave me out of the  Series and then there can be no question.”

     Hugh Fullerton, the oldtime New York sportswriter who’s dead now, was in the room and heard the whole thing. He offered to testify for me at my trial later, and he came all the way out to Chicago to do it.

     I went out and played my heart out against Cincinnati. I set a record that stills stands for the most hits in a Series, though it has been tied, I think. I made 13 hits, but after all the trouble came out they took one away from me. Maurice Rath went over in the hole and knocked down a hot grounder, but he couldn’t make a throw on it. They scored it a hit then, but changed it later.

     I led both teams in hitting with .375. I hit the only home run of the Series, off Hod Eller in the last game. I came all the way  home from first on a single and scored the winning run in that 5-4 game. I handled 30 balls in the outfield and never made an  error or allowed a man to take an extra base. I threw out five men at home and could have had three others, if bad cutoffs hadn’t been made. One of them was in the second game Eddie Cicotte lost, when he made two errors in one inning. One of the errors was on a throw I made trying to cut off a run. He deflected the ball to the grandstand and the run came in.

     That’s my record in the Series, and I was responsible only for Joe Jackson. I positively can’t say that I recall anything out of  the way in the Series. I mean, anything that might have turned the tide. There was just one thing that doesn’t seem quite right, now that I think back over it. Cicotte seemed to let up on a pitch to Pat Duncan, and Pat hit it over my head. Duncan didn’t have enough power to hit the ball that far, particularly if Cicotte had been bearing down.

     Williams was a great control pitcher and they made a lot of fuss over him walking a few men. Swede Risberg missed the bag on a double-play ball at second and they made a lot out of that. But those are things that might happen to anybody. You just can’t say out and out that that was shady baseball.

     There were supposed to have been a lot of big gamblers and boxers and shady characters mixed up in it. Well, I wouldn’t  have recognized Abe Attell if he’d been sitting next to me. Or Arnold Rothstein, either. Rothstein told them on the witness stand that he might know me if he saw me in a baseball uniform, but not in street clothes.

     I guess the biggest joke of all was that story that got out about “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Charley Owens of the Chicago Daily  News was responsible for that, but there wasn’t a bit of truth in it. It was supposed to have happened the day I was arrested in  September of 1920, when I came out of the courtroom.

     There weren’t any words passed between anybody except me and a deputy sheriff. When I came out of the building this  deputy asked me where I was going, and I told him to the Southside. He asked me for a ride and we got in the car together and left. There was a big crowd hanging around the front of the building, but nobody else said anything to me. It just didn’t happen, that’s all. Charley Owens just made up a good story and wrote it. Oh, I would have said it ain’t so, all right, just like I’m saying it now.

     They write a lot about what a great team the White Sox had that year. It was a good team. I won’t take that away from them. But it wasn’t the same kind of team Mr. Connie Mack had at Philadelphia from 1910 to 1914. I think that was the greatest team of all time. Our team didn’t have but two hitters high in the .300’s, Mr Eddie Collins, as fine a man as there ever was in baseball, and me. It wasn’t a hard-hitting team, not the kind they make out it was.

     It was sort of a strange ball club, split up into two gangs, Collins and Chick Gandil were the two leaders. They played side by side at second and first, but they hadn’t spoken to each other off the field in two seasons. Bill Gleason was the manager, but  Collins ran the team out on the field. Cicotte was the best pitcher in the league, next to Walter Johnson, I guess.

     They called Williams the biggest and the littlest man in baseball. He had a great big neck and shoulders, but a small body. He had only been up two or three years when he was kicked out. Looked like he would have been a real fine pitcher. They hadn’t thought much about Dickie Kerr in the World Series, at least not for the sort of pitching he did. Red Faber was the relief  man mostly. We had Swede Risberg at short and Buck Weaver at third, me and Hap Felsch and Nemo Liebold in the outfield, and one of the smartest catchers ever, Ray Schalk. It was a good ball club, but not like Mr. Mack’s.

     I’ll tell you the story behind the whole thing. The trouble was in the front office. Ban Johnson, the president of the American League, had sworn he’d get even with Mr. Comiskey a few years before, and that was how he did it. It was all over some fish Mr. Comiskey had sent to Mr. Johnson from hisWisconsin hunting lodge back about 1917.   Mr. Comiskey had caught two big trout and they were such beauties he sent them to Johnson. He packed the fish in ice and expressed them, but by the time they got to Chicago the ice had melted and the fish had spoiled. They smelled awful and Mr. Johnson always thought Mr. Comiskey had deliberately pulled a joke on him. He never would believe it any other way.

     That fish incident was the cause of it all. When Mr. Johnson got a chance to get even with Mr. Comiskey, he did it. He was  the man who ruled us ineligible. He was the man who caused the thing to go into the courts. he did everything he could against  Mr. Comiskey.

     I’ll show you how much he had it in for him. I sued Mr. Comiskey for the salary I had coming to me under the five year  contract I had with the White Sox. When I won the verdict –I got only a little out of it –the first one I heard from was Mr.  Johnson. He wired me congratulations on beating Mr. Comiskey and his son, Louis.

     I have heard the story that Mr. Comiskey went to Mr. Johnson on his deathbed, held out his had and asked that they let  bygones be bygones. They say Mr. Johnson turned his head away and refused to speak to him.

     I doubt if I’d have gone back into baseball, anyway, even if Judge Landis had reinstated me after the trial. I had a good valet  business in Savannah, Georgia with 22 people working for me, and I had to look after it. I was away from it about a year waiting for the trial. They served papers on me which ordered me not to leave Illinois. I finally opened up a little place of business at 55th and Woodlawn, across from the University of Chicago. It was a sort of pool room and sports center and I got a lot of business from the University students.

     I made my home in Chicago, but I didn’t follow orders completely. I sneaked out of Illinois now and then to play with  semi-pro teams in Indiana and Wisconsin. I always asked my lawyer, Mr. Benedictine Short, first and he told me to go if I could get that kind of money.

     They kept delaying the trial until I personally went to the State Supreme Court judge, after which he ordered that the case be heard. They tried me and Buck Weaver together, and it took seven weeks. They used three weeks trying to get a jury, and I was on the witness stand one day and a half. After it was all over, Katie, my wife, and I went on back to Savannah, settled down there, and lived there until we came back to Greenville to bury my mother in 1935.

     I have read now and then that I am one of the most tragic figures in baseball. Well, maybe that’s the way some people look at it, but I don’t quite see it that way myself. I guess on of the reasons I never fought my suspension any harder than I did was that I thought I had spent a pretty full life in the big leagues. I was 32 years old at the time, and I had been in the majors 13 years; I had a life time batting average of .356; I held the all-time throwing record for distance; and I had made pretty good salaries for those days. There wasn’t much left for me in the big leagues.

     All the big sportswriters seemed to enjoy writing about me as an ignorant cotton-mill boy with nothing but lint where my brains ought to be. That was all right with me. I was able to fool a lot of pitchers and managers and club owners I wouldn’t have been able to fool if they’d thought I was smarter.

     I guess right here is a good place for me to get the record straight on how I go to be “Shoeless Joe.” I’ve read and heard  every kind of yarn imaginable about how I got the name, but this is how it really happened: When I was with Greenville back in 1908, we only had 12 men on the roster. I was first off a pitcher, but when I wasn’t pitching I played the outfield. I played in a new pair of shoes one day and they wore big blisters on my feet. The next day we came up short of players, a couple of men hurt and one missing. Tommy Stouch –he was a sportswriter in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the last I heard of him –was the manager, and he told me I’d just have to play, blisters or not.

     I tried it with my old shoes on and just couldn’t make it. He told me I’d have to play anyway, so I threw away the shoes and  went to the outfield in my stockinged feet. I hadn’t put out much until along about the seventh inning I hit a long triple and I turned it on. That was in Anderson, and the bleachers were close to the baselines there. As I pulled into third, some big guy stood up and hollered: “You shoeless sonofagun, you!”

     They picked it up and started calling me Shoeless Joe all around the league, and it stuck. I never played the outfield barefoot, and that was the only day I ever played in my stockinged feet, but it stuck with me.

     When I started out in the majors a fellow named Hyder Barr and me reported to the Athletics in the middle of the season. We got in right close to game time one day, so we checked our bags at the station and went straight to the park. They were playing the Yankees, and I hit the first pitch Jack Warhop threw me for a double. I got a single later and had two for three.

    But I didn’t stick around Philadelphia long then. I went back to the station to get my bag that night, and while I was waiting for it I heard the station announcer call out: “Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Danville, Greensboro, Charlotte, Spartanburg, Greenville, Anderson” and so on. I couldn’t stand it. I went up to the window and bought a ticket to Greenville and caught that train.

     Sam Kennedy came after me on the next train. He found out I’d gone from Barr. I was supposed to get Barr’s bag, too. He was quite a ladies man and he’d taken up with some girl while I went for the bags. When I didn’t come back, he came after me and found out I’d gone. That was just the first time. I went back with Sam Kennedy, after he offered me more money. But I came home three other times before the season was over. It wasn’t anything I had against Mr. Mack or the ball club. Mr Mack was a mighty fine man, and he taught me more baseball than any other manager I had. I just didn’t like Philadelphia. I was traded to Cleveland later on and I liked it there. Charley Somers, who owned the Indians, was the most generous club owner I have ever seen. We couldn’t play Sunday ball in Washington then, and when we were playing the Senators over a weekend, we’d make a jump back to Cleveland for a Sunday game, then back to Washington Sunday night. There never was a time we made that jump that Charley Somers didn’t come down the aisle of the train and give all the players $20 gold pieces.

     He was a generous man when it came to contracts, too. The first year I came up to Cleveland, in 1910, I led the league  unofficially in hitting. When I went to talk contract with him for 1911, I told him I wanted $10,000. He wasn’t figuring on giving  me more than $6,000, and he wouldn’t listen to me.

     “I’ll make a deal with you,” I told him. “If I hit .400 you give me $10,000. If I don’t, you don’t give me a cent.”

     It was a deal, I signed the contract, and I hit .408. But I still didn’t win the American League batting title. That was the year Ty Cobb hit .420. I was hitting .420 about three weeks before the season was over and Mr. Somers called me in to pay off, told me I could sit it out the rest of the season. I told him to wait until the season was ended and I wasn’t quitting. I wrote my own contract the rest of the time I was in Cleveland.

     Babe Ruth used to say that he copied my batting stance, and I felt right complimented. I was a left-handed hitter, and I did  have an unusual stance. I used to draw a line three inches out from the plate every time I went to bat. I drew a right-angle line at  the end next to the catcher and put my left foot on it exactly three inches from the plate. I kept both feet together, then took a  long stride into the ball.

     They say I was the greatest natural hitter of all time. Well that’s saying a lot with hitters like Wagner, Cobb, Speaker and Ruth around. I had good eyes and I guess that was the reason I hit as well as I did. I still don’t use glasses today.

     I have been pretty lucky since I left the big leagues. No man who has done the things they accuse me of doing could have  been as successful. Everything I touched seemed to turn to money, and I’ve made my share down through the years. I’ve been  blessed with a good banker, too — my wife. Handing the money to her was just like putting it in the bank. We were married in  1908 when I was just 19 and she was 15, and she has stood by me through everything. We never had any children of our own,  but we raised one of my brother’s boys from babyhood.

     He never was interested in baseball, but they used to tell me he would have been a fine football player. He didn’t get to go to college. The war came along and he went into the Navy as a flier. He was killed accidentally a couple of years ago when a gun he was cleaning went off. Katie and me felt like we’d lost our own boy.

     I hadn’t been able to do much work for a year until last Summer because of liver trouble. A good doctor in Greenville took  my case when I thought my time was about here, and he brought me back to good health. I went back to my liquor store last July and I’m running the business now myself, I had leased it out while I was sick. I’ve been doing about $50,000 to $100,000 a year business.

     Some people might think it’s odd, but I still have a connection in baseball, sort of a judicial connection, I guess you’d call it. I  am chairman of the protest board of the Western Carolina Semi-Pro League. I think that is an indication of how I stand with my  own people. They have stood by me all these years, the folks from my mill country, and I love them for their loyalty.

     None of the other banned White Sox have had it quite as good as I have, I understand, unless it is Williams. He is a big  Christian Science Church worker out on the West Coast. Last I heard Cicotte was working in the automobile industry in Detroit. Felsch was a bartender in Milwaukee. Risberg was working in the fruit business out in California. Buck Weaver was still in Chicago, tinkering with softball, I think. Gandil is down in Louisiana and Fred McMullin is out on the West Coast. I don’t know what they’re doing.

     I’m 61 years old now, living quietly and happily out on my little street close to Brandon Mill. I weighed186 and stood six feet, one inch tall in my playing days. I’m still about the same size.

     There never were any other ballplayers in my family that went to the big leagues. I had five brothers, but only one, Jerry,  played pro ball long. He was a pretty good minor-league pitcher, they tell me. Jerry’s 48 years old now and he’s one of my  umpires in the Western Carolina League.

     Well, that’s my story. I repeat what I said when I started out — that I have no axe to grind, that I’m not asking anybody for  anything. It’s all water over the dam as far as I am concerned. I can say that my conscience is clear and that I’ll stand on my  record in that World Series. I’m not what you call a good Christian, but I believe in the Good Book, particularly where it says  “what you sow, so shall you reap.” I have asked the Lord for guidance before, and I am sure He gave it to me. I’m willing to let  the Lord be my judge.”

It’s about baseball.

It’s also about a man who had everything stripped from him – a man who did nothing wrong, and deserves to have his records reinstated and be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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The Ignorant Racism of Liberals Tue, 15 May 2018 10:30:31 +0000 There is a fascinating article that further exposes the abject racism of liberals. Evidently, as a voting block, they view Hispanic as a specific race for voting demographics. Placido Domingo is Hispanic. He is from Spain. His family is from Spain. I have a friend who is ‘Hispanic’ who is as ‘white ‘as I am. Geraldo Is from Puerto Rico. How can anyone who is rational link everyone who comes from a location where Spanish is spoken be lumped in as a single DNA? Being from Spain is no different than being from France or Italy. Are they considered a different race? Granted the French are the lowest version of humanity when one considers them from the standpoint of being of British DNA, but they’re still Caucasian. I am having a difficult time grasping the racism of liberals.

We need to also mention the fact that liberals like to use the term ‘white’ because it has racist overtones, with the attempt to condemn anyone who is ‘white’ as a total bigot if they consider themselves ‘white.  If they were not being racist, they would use the proper description of Caucasian.

Case in point.  I have a friend who is from Mexico.  She is an American citizen and a die-hard Republican.  Her father immigrated from Germany.  Her mother’s family come from Spain.  Yet, according to liberals, she is ‘Hispanic’, in an attempt to create a false racial profile.

I have a dear friend who considers herself ‘brown’.  Her family has been in New Mexico forever.  Her husband’s family are direct descendants from the Conquistadors.  My friend has family in Mexico.  I suspect, if she did her DNA, she would discover she is very much First Nations with a heck of a lot of Comanche in the mix.  Numerous individuals I know who basically hail from the same are have a heck of a lot of Comanche in them.  He husband, while being ‘Hispanic’, has a completely different DNA profile.

Once again, we are dealing with liberals who are so terribly ignorant.  My friend Tom is ‘Hispanic’.  He is a percentage Caucasian, New Mexico Hispanic (which should be recognized as completely different from Miami Hispanic) and half Navajo.  He has a Navajo last name.  Breaking down, farther, his body type is not typical Atabascan Navajo, but Pueblo Navajo.  Why is he considered ‘Hispanic’ when he is well over half First Nations?

If we were to break down the ‘Hispanic’ DNA the left would have a real problem.  People who come from Cuba, who are considered ‘Hispanic’ have a completely different DNA profile from people who come from New Mexico.  They have a different DNA profile from people who are from Texas but are ‘Hispanic’.

Does the left grasp that the genetic profile of so-called ‘Hispanic’ immigrants from various parts of South America is ‘Hispanic’ only because of their use of Spanish as a first language? Are they THAT stupid?  Do they not grasp the interesting DNA mix of the group of people they want to consider a ‘race’?  The only common denominator is a language, and possibly the Catholic faith.  The cultural difference are more national and regional than ‘racial’.

This brings us to the Native American component.  I suspect liberals want to ignore that part of it.  I also suspect a heck of a lot of conservatives do, too.

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Jimmy Carter’s Cancer Mon, 14 May 2018 10:34:12 +0000 First published on August 22, 2015. It should be noted that Jimmy Carter is still alive!  For someone who has spent the past 20 years dealing with the specter of melanoma, this is incredibly exciting!

No one should die from melanoma.

Diana Ashby should not have died from melanoma.  Unfortunately, her melanoma was improperly staged.  According to her husband, former shuttle pilot Jeff Ashby, trusting her physician is what basically killed her.  Not long after I was diagnosed, Jeff called, talked to me for about an hour, telling me what I needed to do, and telling me his wife’s story.  Her death was still quite raw to him.  It made such an impression on me, that it has become one of the most important causes of my life.  Of all the major cancers, if  you catch melanoma early, it is 100% curable. Frankly, I’m furious about what is going on with Jimmy Carter.  This should never had happened.

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 7.31.09 AM

President Carter has melanoma which has mets to the brain. It is the end stage of melanoma, and most likely is the result of a melanoma nevis which went undetected. There is a physician in ABQ who is taking what is basically a cure for late-stage mel brain lesions to the FDA for approval. I think he’s already been through the clinical trials. Obviously, President Carter’s physicians are so behind the curve that they don’t realize one phone call could basically get the treatment which will, at his stage, almost provide a cure.

Of all the deadly cancers, melanoma is the most easily caught and cured at an early stage. Mine was caught, in 1997, insitu. The second primary was caught right before that stage. Where there is one primary, another will appear, years later. I am currently watching a spot on my right arm. Thanks to living in New Mexico (and our out of control insurance rates), and the ACA, I can’t afford to have the nevis removed. I still have time with this nevis, I think.

What completely frustrates me about attempts to discuss melanoma is the general ignorance about this specific cancer. It behaves differently. There is also an inherent bias which states that blacks don’t get melanoma. Consequently, if you are black, you are more likely to die of the disease or have it caught at a late stage, because most doctors are abjectly ignorant about how to look for it.  Black women have the highest mortality rate.   The profile is for very fair skin, blue or green eyes, blond or red hair, and don’t tan. That’s me. But, blacks do get it, and need to be aware of it, because their physician won’t be.

ABCs of Melanoma
ABCs of Melanoma

This with President Carter makes me almost physically ill. I’ve been crossing my fingers for the day when a cure is available. It’s basically there. I now know I probably won’t die from the disease. President Carter’s life could be saved, if he had a more informed medical team.  I’m hearing they’re doing the new immune therapy chemo and radiation.  There are 4 mets to the brain.  He’s Stage 4.  I also am well aware there is a ‘cure’ out there for Stage 4 melanoma.  I have known about it since 2004. I knew about the clinical trials, and the people who were undergoing the trials.  The results were dramatic.

Sunday Morning Opera: Su può, si può Sun, 13 May 2018 10:30:37 +0000 Today is Mother’s Day.  My mother’s very favorite aria was Su può, si può.  This is for her. My first exposure to live opera was when the Met was on tour in Atlanta with Cav & Pag. Obviously, I was hooked.

This is the first time I’ve been able to even reference him. I still can’t listen. It hurts, too badly. I don’t have the heart to even write his name in the tag lines. I can’t even look.

The very best for last:

What is rather interesting is how many baritones have not recorded it!

Women Composers: The Seventeenth Century – Part I Sat, 12 May 2018 10:31:45 +0000 Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (27 November 1602 – ca. 1676-1678), was a Baroque music composer, singer and Benedictine nun.)

Leonora Duarte was secretly Jewish.

“…(1610 – 1678?) was a Flemish composer and musician, born in Antwerp. She belonged to a wealthy Portuguese-Jewish family who were marrano, meaning they outwardly acted as Catholics while secretly maintaining their Jewish faith and practices. She was baptized on 28 July 1610. Having been one of the six siblings, in the well known musical family of the Duartes, Leonora composed seven sinfonias which happen to be the only records of music written for viol by a woman in the 17th century.

The Duarte home was a center for music-making and had contact with many important families in the Low Countries and England, including one of the most influential Dutchman of all time in, regards to art and culture, Constantijn Huygens. Duarte wrote for violconsort. Her surviving compositions include seven fantasies for a consort of five viols.…”

Leonora Baroni (December 1611 – 6 April 1670)

“…She was the daughter of Adriana Basile, a virtuosa singer, and Mutio Baroni. Leonora Baroni was born at the Gonzaga court in Mantua. She sang alongside her mother and sister Caterina at court and across Italy, including cities such as Naples, Genoa, and Florence. She was admired not only for her skill as a musician, in which she almost overshadowed her mother, but also for her learning and refined manners. Baroni was honored by poets such as Fulvio Testi and Francesco Bracciolini, who addressed poems to her, as did some nobles, such as Annibale Bentivoglio and then-cardinal Pope Clement IX. These poems were collected and published as Applausi poetici alle glorie della Signora Leonora Baroni in 1639 and reprinted in 1641. John Milton later wrote a series of epigrams to her, entitled Ad Leonoram Romae canentem.

In 1633, Baroni moved with her mother to Rome, where she sang at many salons in the Palazzo Barberini. On 27 May 1640 Baroni married Giulio Cesare Castellani, Cardinal Francesco Barberini’s personal secretary.

In February 1644, Baroni moved to the French court of Anne of Austria briefly, but by April 1645 she was back in Rome, where she was a chambersinger. Apparently she was not admired in Paris, perhaps because her Italian style of ornamented singing was too foreign to the court there.

None of Baroni’s compositions survive, but the French traveller and viol player André Maugars mentioned her compositions while praising the musical understanding of her singing...”

Duchess Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg (1613–1676)

Francesca Campana (c. 1615–1665)

Barbara Strozzi (1619–1677)

“…Strozzi was said to be “the most prolific composer – man or woman – of printed secular vocal music in Venice in the Middle of the century.” Her output is also unique in that it only contains secular vocal music, with the exception of one volume of sacred songs. She was renowned for her poetic ability as well as her compositional talent. Her lyrics were often poetic and well-articulated.

Nearly three-quarters of her printed works were written for soprano, but she also published works for other voices. Her compositions are firmly rooted in the seconda pratica tradition. Strozzi’s music evokes the spirit of Cavalli, heir of Monteverdi. However, her style is more lyrical, and more dependent on sheer vocal sound. Many of the texts for her early pieces were written by her father Giulio. Later texts were written by her father’s colleagues, and for many compositions she may have written her own texts…”


To be continued….

Don’t Know Much About History.. Fri, 11 May 2018 10:30:06 +0000 Another rerun first published on June 4, 2009.

NOTE:  The following information is what I learned in my graduate studies in Medieval History and the origins of Islam.  It may offend some people.  It is not politically correct.  It comes from notes I took years ago in my history classes.  I majored in British Medieval History and do have a grasp on the time frame Barack Obama mentioned in his pathetically stupid speech today in Cairo.

Unfortunately the liberal world says we must learn our historical lessons a certain way.  My barbaric Norman ancestors were evil and Obama’s pure Islamic background is beautiful and enlightened.  Sorry, but I don’t hold with that view of the world.

Everything that is good about our modern world came out of the same time frame as the Golden Age of Islam.  BUT – it came out of Barbarian, dirty, stinky, plague ridden Europe.  The backbone of Western Civilization, that had been broken during the alleged fall of Rome, was starting to be rebuilt.  What we are today comes from Rome, not Islam.  We are a Republic with a Bill of Rights that came out of England and the Magna Carta.  Our Declaration of Independence came out of Scotland.

Brought down to the mud by the barbarian invasions of Europe, we pulled ourselves out of the ditches, and rebuilt civilization.  Today, the barbarians of Islam are trying to destroy that civilization and cast us back into the Dark Ages.

Sorry, but I’m not going.  Obama can pander to them, but I’m not.

It is also obvious that who ever wrote Obama’s speech for him spent a heck of a lot of time reading Wikipedia.

The real problem is that on the surface, there is truth to Obama’s diatribe about Islam’s Golden Age.  The problem is he did not truly stress the Golden Age was completely different from today’s Islamic barbarianism.

Unfortunately for my Pink Flamingo readers, you are dealing with a former Medievalist, who specialized in Post-Roman Britain. I did quite a bit of graduate work dealing with Medieval Europe, the Crusades, and Arthur.  For once I get to use it!

The truly sad aspect of today’s culture of abject ignorance is the fact that there are so many misconceptions about the origins of Islam.  At one time Mohammad was possibly a Christian.  His wife (at the right time) was Coptic and something of an odd duck.  She kept filling him full of strange stories and heresy.  At one time he was so confused with the “visions” he was seeing that he was positive they were demonic.  Naturally the current wife talked him out of it.

One of the tenets of Islam was conquest by the sword.  It was die or convert.  Most people chose conversion.

It should also be noted that Mohammed’s strange vision of the world happened at a time when everything was falling apart.  Rome had been besieged by invading barbarians from the Steppes.  The “barbarian” European tribes held in a vice grip by Rome’s power were free to go about their jobs of conquest.

It was the right story at the right time, bringing order into a disorderly world.  The “learning” that was the hallmark of the Golden Age of Islam was not because of the religion but the Borg like conquests that extended well into India where civilization was in exquisite bloom.

To attribute the learning and arts of the Golden Age to the religion is somewhat false and superficial.  People who lived in the Islamic world of that time frame were living in one of the great moments of civilization.  My unfortunate ancestors were struggling to survive wave after wave of Barbarian Germanic and Viking conquest of Britannia.  Oops – 85% of my ancestors were Norman, so I guess my barbarian Viking ancestors were the ones doing the plundering. They were rude, crude, and socially unacceptable.

The Golden Age of Islam may have produced beautiful moments of “learning” and civilization, but my rude, crude and socially unacceptable Norman ancestors who conquered England did something else.

This mandate to conquer by the sword brought about the Crusades.  My barbaric ancestors (many of whom actually survived the Crusades) brought back to England certain niceties of Islamic life:  pepper, cinnamon, perfumes, exotic spices, nutmeg, beautiful fabrics, new designs for jewelry, exotic foods, and the basics for a way of life that became Chivalry.

Yea, we were barbarians compared to Islam at that time, but look who’s barbaric today!

My ancestors are the ones who produced the following:

The Charter of Henry I
Constitutions of Clarendon
Assize of Clarendon
Inquests of Sheriffs
The Magna Carta
Conformatio Cartarum
The Declaration of Arbroath

We may not have been well educated, may have smelled bad, drank too much, belched, and scratched flees but WE invented the basics of Western Civilization and modern democracy.  The laws of the barbarian, un-enlightened Englishmen became the bases for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States as well as the Bill of Rights.

I’ll take freedom and democracy any old day of the week.

Barack Obama claims to be a student of history.  He says so in his “Speech” in Cairo.

“…As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality….”

As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.

Western Civilization does owe a debt to Islam – the Golden Age – which lasted from about 700 until maybe 1200.  During that time frame, the world was the exact opposite of what it is today.  Islam was enlightened, learning was encouraged.  Science, experimentation, knowledge was encouraged.  Christian Europe was just emerging from the “Dark Ages” where it was a time of religious over tones.

The sad part of this is today’s basic Islamic student, among the most ignorant in the world, making our high school drop-outs look like Rhodes Scholars, had no concept of the Golden Age of Islam of which Obama spoke.  I don’t think Obama even knows much about it.

“…Many medieval Muslim thinkers pursued humanistic, rational and scientific discourses in their search for knowledge, meaning and values. A wide range of Islamic writings on love, poetry, history and philosophical theology show that medieval Islamic thought was open to the humanistic ideas of individualism, occasional secularism, skepticism and liberalism…”

During the “crash of civilization” brought about by the onslaught of the barbaric nomads who basically brought down, but did not destroy the Roman Empire, learning in Europe was all but forgotten.  Only the Church preserved learning, and then it was sketchy.  Islam was LIBERAL.  It was enlightened.  It was decadent.

It was the time of the 1001 Nights, harems, scantily clad and naked women who danced and seduced their “masters”.  Women in Europe were covered from head to toe in what was the basic Catholic Nun (penguin dress) that is only now going out of style in various Holy Orders.  Christian women were basically covered by a “burka” of ignorance and repression.  Islamic women painted their nails, wore make-up, and two-piece outfits that exposed their naval, and were transparent, showing everything there was to see.  European women took maybe three baths their entire life.

Today culture has reversed itself.  The problem is the average person is so ignorant of history, they do not comprehend any of this. Neither does Barack Obama.

It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University –

The following is a list of the universities founded between 859 and 1300.  Those which are Islamic are noted.  The rest are Christian.  While Islamic scholars may have founded the university system, they were quickly over-taken by Christian monks, priests, and church scholars who adapted their basic ideas and used them to change learning forever.

Christian youth in Europe, enchanted by the romance of the crusades, had this desire to get out and see the world.  The hardship of “dark ages” life had given away to a newly Renaissance of the 12th Century in England, France and the Italy. As Europe climbed out of the “Dark Ages”, Islam began it’s descent into the barbarian darkness that is Islam today.

University of Al-Karaouine, Fes, Morocco – Founded in 859. (Islamic)
Al-Azhar University was founded in 957AD in Egypt. (Islamic)
University of Constantinople 9th Century
University of Balogna – 1000 – teaching
University of Paris – 1056
Oxford – 1096
University of Modena – 1175
Bosnian Church University – 1175
University of Vicenza – 1204
Cambridge – 1209
University of Palencia, Spain – 1212
University of Arezzo, Italy – 1215
University of Salmanca – 1218
University of Padua – 1222
University of Naples Frederico II – 1224
University of Toulouse – 1229
University of Siena – 1240
University of Piacenza – 1248
University of Villadolid, Spain – 1250
University of Seville – 1254 (Islamic)
Sorbonne – 1257
University of Northampton – 1261
University of Montpellier – 1289
University of Coimbra, Portugal – 1290
University of Lleida, Spain – 1300

that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment.

The Renaissance began in Tuscany in the 14th Century.  It was probably due to the migration of Greek scholars and classical Roman and Greek texts and literature that who fled Constantinople when it was captured by the Ottoman Turks.  The Byzantine Empire, once part of the Roman Empire, preserved the ancient classical writings of such luminaries as Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, etc.  Yes, the ancient ENLIGHTENED Islamic scholars preserved this learning, but the Renaissance was NOT a result of Islam.  Neither was the Enlightenment, which was as far from Islam as freedom is today.

It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra;

Learning in the Golden Age of Islam had more to do with geography than actual religion.  The “world” was divided into basically three political entities. Christendom included the old Western Roman Empire.  Byzantine was the Eastern Empire.  Islam conquered the Middle East and the regions along the African coast.  Basically geography allowed for Islam to lay claim to the learning of the ancients and the classical world that once occupied the lands now claimed by Islam.

Obama claims that algebra was developed by Islam.  This isn’t quite true.  Many ancient Greek texts only survived through Arabic translations.  Anyone who knows their classical history knows that the great “thinkers” in mathematics and theory in history were Greeks like  Euclid, Archimedes, Apollonius, Ptolemy, etc.  The ancient world blossomed with math, astronomy (because of astrology) and science.  When the followers of Islam conquered those lands, they were assimilated into the ancient learning.

“...Indian influences were later overwhelmed by Greek mathematical and astronomical texts. It is not clear why this occurred but it may have been due to the greater availability of Greek texts in the region, the larger number of practitioners of Greek mathematics in the region, or because Islamic mathematicians favored the deductive exposition of the Greeks over the elliptic Sanskrit verse of the Indians. Regardless of the reason, Indian mathematics soon became mostly eclipsed by or merged with the “Graeco-Islamic” science founded on Hellenistic treatises…”

Islamic holy days were determined by phases of the moon, etc.  The only way to accurately deal with these was to expand the practice of astronomy and math.

our magnetic compass and tools of navigation;

Islamic navigation came out of the classical world.  Here it is important to understand that Christian Europe was basically the old Western Roman Empire.  The Romans were terrified of the sea.  They were bad sailors, whose idea of navigation was hugging the coast line.  It must be noted that the Islamic world developed in the old Middle East and Arab world where they were expert seamen.  Once again, it had little to do with the beauty of Islam and everything to do with geography.  The same thing was true of navigation.

our mastery of pens and printing;

Paper was invented by the Chinese and brought to the Islamic world after the battle of Tales.  This was during the Golden Age of Islam where knowledge and enlightenment was prized over religion. More

It should be noted that this time frame was called the “Dark Ages” in Europe.  Very few people, aside from certain members of the clergy knew how to read or write.  Kings could neither read nor write.

During this time in the Islamic world “The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of martyrs

our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed.

Medicine today owes much to the Golden Age of Islam.  Once again, because of geography and the assimilation of the ancients, Islam had a leg-up so to speak on the former Roman world.  It was that simple.

Islamic culture has given us majestic arches

Once again Obama is wrong.  The arch was used in Mesopotamia, but became an art form under the Etruscans.  Romans copied their arches from the Etruscans and went from there.  The Roman Arch is one of the great architecture wonders of history.

and soaring spires;

Those “soaring spires” Obama credits to Islam are considered “Gothic”.  They are a distinctly Norman and French creation.  Islam has nothing to do with it.

timeless poetry

Islamic classical literature of the Golden Age included the Thousand and One Nights, Scheherazade, Aladdin, and adaptions of Mesopotamian, Roman, and classical Greek literature, mythology, and tradition.

and cherished music;

Arabic musical instruments such as the lute, violin guitar, bass drum, etc. came out of Arabic.  To stress that these were “Islamic” is going to far.  Once again it is geography, not religion.

elegant calligraphy

Celtic illuminated manuscripts – I rest my case.

and places of peaceful contemplation.

The classical Islamic patios, fountains, and tiles that were in Spain have evolved into today’s patio, etc.  It should be noted that Islam did not develop this.  Such locations were known throughout the classical world.  It was called the Roman Atrium.

And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.

Islam was spread by conquest, death and murder.  Like the Borg, they assimilated culture after culture, stealing the best of those cultures.  The original Muslims were barbaric tribesmen out of Arabia who refused to live in peace with their Christian and Jewish neighbors.

It’s too bad today we have a politically correct version of the history of Islam, one which is factually lacking in accuracy. But then so is Barack Obama.

]]> 2 Dripping Hate Thu, 10 May 2018 10:30:28 +0000 I have a very real problem with Christians who can do nothing but spew hatred toward Donald Trump.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with opposing someone, politically.  There is nothing wrong with opposing an agenda.  But – when a person says they are a Christian and do nothing about drip hatred about someone who appears to be exactly what they say they are – a Christian who believes in the power of prayer – I shudder.  It isn’t about the agenda or the person, but the hate.

Who is harming whom?

For the Good of the Democratic Party Wed, 09 May 2018 10:29:42 +0000 Imagine what would happen if women who had been abused by a high ranking official within the Republican Party had been told to keep quiet for the good of the party.  According to Ronan Farrow, who broke the Eric Schneiderman story, the four women who had been abused by him were terrified to tell their story.  The now former Attorney General of the state of New York was an up and comer in the Democratic Party.  The women were also Democrats.  They were told to keep quiet – for the good of the party.

“…Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, has long been a liberal Democratic champion of women’s rights, and recently he has become an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. As New York State’s highest-ranking law-enforcement officer, Schneiderman, who is sixty-three, has used his authority to take legal action against the disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and to demand greater compensation for the victims of Weinstein’s alleged sexual crimes. Last month, when the Times and this magazine were awarded a joint Pulitzer Prize for coverage of sexual harassment, Schneiderman issued a congratulatory tweet, praising “the brave women and men who spoke up about the sexual harassment they had endured at the hands of powerful men.” Without these women, he noted, “there would not be the critical national reckoning under way.”…”

Remember this scandal?

“…In February, the news broke that Rob Porter, a top aide in the Trump White House, was resigning, amid allegations that he’d abused his two ex-wives. One of the women, Colbie Holderness, released a photograph of herself taken after he’d allegedly given her a black eye. The image resonated deeply among the women who had dated Schneiderman. Manning Barish recalls, “After Rob Porter, I was struggling about whether to come forward. I felt guilt and shame that I was encouraging other women to speak out but wasn’t doing the same. I was a hypocrite. I was in tears.” Her friends told her that she risked becoming known mainly for being Schneiderman’s victim, and she initially agreed to let the matter go. But, after thinking it over, she told them, “If he’s done this to more than one woman, I’m going to say something.”…”

The liberal press basically blamed Trump for what Rob Porter did.  Ironically, what little the MSM has covered about the Schneiderman scandal has failed to mention his political affiliation.   Imagine if this had been a Republican?

Fascist Evangelicals? Tue, 08 May 2018 10:31:16 +0000 I was involved in a FB discussion with a bunch of liberals.  It was situated around a truly insulting Huffington Post article designed to be as nasty as possible about people who identify themselves as white, Christian, and evangelical.  The author, Brandi Miller, is a social justice minister from the Northwest. You title a hit-piece White Evangelicals Are The Most Fragile Of All White People, and then say it’s isn’t bigoted or racist?  Come on, this is about insulting as many people as possible, then getting away with it because if anything is said, you start screaming racism. A person who engaged me, basically said that all white evangelicals are fascists.  I countered, asking him how many white, evangelical, fascists he personally knew.  Quite frankly, I don’t know any.

  • I’ve known plenty of evangelicals who were/are total and complete jerks.
  • I’ve known plenty of people who don’t attend any church who are total and complete jerks.
  • I’ve known ‘Christians’ of one sect – the Gutter Mennonites, who are abjectly creepy and abusive.
  • The evangelicals I currently know did not even vote for Trump.
  • I know of someone who is probably neo-Nazi.  This person is a horrific racist, does NOT support Trump & does not attend any church.
  • The most anti-Black racist I know is not evangelical and thinks Trump is a joke.
  • I encountered a group of people who are inherently racist.  They think Trump is a joke.  They do not attend church. They have nothing but contempt for anyone Hispanic.
  • The person I know of who dislikes being around Blacks is black, himself.
  • The people who attend the same church I do detest Trump.
  • Unfortunately, the people around whom I am most comfortable, the artistic crowd, have nothing but contempt for Trump.
  • I know a few evangelicals who are out of their mind when it comes to prohibiting the use of alcohol as a beverage.
  • I find most mega churches are far from conservative.
  • The so-called ‘Christians’ who have a tendency to be ‘fascist’ and racist have a tendency to be in very churches, out of the way, and not associated with any national organization.  You really don’t find fascists in churches.  Sorry about that.
  • Those who identify as ‘neo-Nazi’, if they attend church, have their own version of religion.  You will NOT find them in any mainstream church.
  • Over the years I’ve come to realize there are just as many liberals who are white supremacist as are conservative.

While we are on the subject, I think anyone who is very liberal needs to explain why the more liberal the organization, the more anti-Semitic it is.  They also need to explain why the vast majority of hate crimes committed in this country are against Jews, and those hate crimes ARE NOT being committed by normal run of the mill white evangelicals.

Just asking.

Melanoma Can Be Cured Mon, 07 May 2018 10:22:33 +0000 First published in 2010.

If you have a mole that looks like one of these, and you do not go to a board certified dermatologist and have it removed with a proper excision where the mole is CUT out, and at least a quarter of an inch of tissue is removed all around it YOU WILL DIE.

Melanoma is one of the deadliest of cancers.  It is also one of the most curable – if you catch it early – the way I did.

Do you know the ABC’s of Melanoma?

A– Asymmetry, One half unlike the other half .

B– Border Irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.

C-Color, Varied from one area to another: shades of tan and brown , black: sometimes white, red or blue.

D– Diameter, While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm in diameter(the size of an eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller.  If you notice a mole that is different from others, or which changes, itches or bleeds (even if it is small) you should see a dermatologist.

E– Evolve, If you see your mole changes in any way over a period of time contact a dermatologist.

Other Warning Signs:
• The appearance of a new bump or nodule
• Color spreads into surrounding skin
• redness or swelling beyond the mole
• pain

• tenderness
• itching
• bleeding
• oozing
• scaly appearance

On Friday, The Pink Flamingo did the six months melanoma check-up thingie.  I was diagnosed with an in-situ melanoma in 1997.  After having at least a dozen potential dangerous mole removed over the past decade, my derm says there’s not much left that could attract another melanoma primary.

The previous evening I received an email from a friend requesting prayer for her husband’s former wife.  She had been placed in hospice in the last stages of melanoma – brain cancer.

It is a horrible death.

It is also a very avoidable death.

On Friday my derm told me that, if melanoma is caught early there is a 100% – that is 100% CURE RATE!

Get it?

Most insurance plans do not pay for basic derm checkups.  Mine doesn’t.  Who knows what will happen in the future.  All I know is it is a heck of a lot easier to shell out $69 every six months and be cancer free.

How do you stop melanoma?

“…The first sign of melanoma is often a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole. But melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole.
In men, melanoma most often shows up:
on the upper body, between the shoulders and hips
on the head and neck
In women, melanoma often develops on the lower legs.
In dark-skinned people, melanoma often appears:
under the fingernails or toenails
on the palms of the hands
on the soles of the feet…”

You learn the warning signs.

You have a six months skin check-up – every six months of your life – without fail.

Are you at risk:

“…1. Has anyone in your family ever had melanoma?
2. Do you now have, or have you ever had, non-
cancerous, but unusual looking moles?
3. Have you been diagnosed with melanoma in the past?
4. Are you taking any medications that might weaken
your immune system (for example, corticosteroids)?
5. Do you have more than 50 ordinary moles?
6. Did you have one or more severe, blistering sunburns
as a child or teenager?
7. Do you have many freckles?
8. Do you have fair skin and light eyes?
9. Do you live in the Southwestern United States?
10.    Do you frequently spend time in the sun between
10 AM and 4 PM without skin protection?…”

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Sunday Morning Opera: Bing Crosby Sun, 06 May 2018 10:30:30 +0000 If you love the male voice the way I do, it is important to recognize the fact that one of the great all-time base-baritones was Bing Crosby. I know, he’s not opera, but darn it, Bing Crosby had one of the best voices this nation ever produced.  In my humble opinion, the greatest voices this nation has produced – in order:

  1. Sherrill Milnes
  2. Beverly Sills
  3. Leontyne Price
  4. Elvis
  5. Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra (tie)

Bing Crosby, ( May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) is still the best selling recording artist of all time.  When my father was younger, everyone thought he was Bob Crosby, his younger brother.  My father loved that.  Bing was his favorite vocalist.

“…Crosby was one of the first singers to exploit the intimacy of the microphone, rather than using the deep, loud “vaudeville style” associated with Al Jolson and others. He was, by his own definition, a “phraser” or a singer who placed equal emphasis on both the lyrics and the music. Crosby’s love and appreciation of jazz music helped bring the genre to a wider mainstream audience. Within the framework of the novelty-singing style of the Rhythm Boys, Crosby bent notes and added off-tune phrasing, an approach that was firmly rooted in jazz. He had already been introduced to Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith prior to his first appearance on record. Crosby and Armstrong would remain professionally friendly for decades, notably in the 1956 film High Society, where they sang the duet “Now You Has Jazz”.

During the early portion of his solo career (about 1931–1934), Crosby’s emotional, often pleading style of crooning was widely popular. But Jack Kapp (manager of Brunswick and later Decca) talked Crosby into dropping many of his jazzier mannerisms, in favor of a straight-ahead clear vocal style. Crosby credited Kapp for choosing hit songs, working with many other artists, and most importantly, diversifying his repertoire into various styles and genres. This approach’s wide appeal helped Crosby become highly successful, charting number-one hits in the genres of Christmas music, Hawaiian music and Country music, as well as top-thirty hits in Irish music, French music, Rhythm and blues, as well as Ballad songs. Crosby also elaborated on a further idea of Al Jolson‘s: phrasing, or the art of making a song’s lyric ring true. His success in doing so was influential. “I used to tell Sinatra over and over,” said Tommy Dorsey, “there’s only one singer you ought to listen to and his name is Crosby. All that matters to him is the words, and that’s the only thing that ought to for you, too.”

Vocal critic Henry Pleasants wrote:

[While] the octave B flat to B flat in Bing’s voice at that time [1930s] is, to my ears, one of the loveliest I have heard in forty-five years of listening to baritones, both classical and popular, it dropped conspicuously in later years. From the mid-1950s, Bing was more comfortable in a bass range while maintaining a baritone quality, with the best octave being G to G, or even F to F. In a recording he made of ‘Dardanella‘ with Louis Armstrong in 1960, he attacks lightly and easily on a low E flat. This is lower than most opera basses care to venture, and they tend to sound as if they were in the cellar when they get there...”

With me, and crooners, you are going to get a steady diet of Cole Porter.

My father loved these movies. My mother did not. She always thought Dorothy Lamour was a joke. She would tell him that, and upset it. It was quite funny.

Women Composers: Part II: Women of the 16th Century Sat, 05 May 2018 10:30:32 +0000 We finally get into some opera!  There is such beautiful music here.  The great tragedy is so much of the music composed by these women has been destroyed.

Sulpitia Cesis (1577–after 1619)

Adriana Basile (c. 1580–c. 1640)

Francesca Caccini (1587–1640?)

“…Francesca Caccini wrote some or all of the music for at least sixteen staged works. All but La liberazione di Ruggiero and some excerpts from La Tancia and Il passatempo published in the 1618 collection are believed lost. Her surviving scores reveal Caccini to have taken extraordinary care over the notation of her music, focusing special attention on the rhythmic placement of syllables and words, especially within ornaments, on phrasing as indicated by slurs, and on the precise notation of often very long, melodically fluid vocal melismas. Although her music is not especially notable for the expressive dissonances made fashionable by her contemporary Monteverdi, Caccini was a master of dramatic harmonic surprise: in her music it is harmony, more than counterpoint, that most powerfully communicates affect…”

Caterina Assandra (c. 1590–after 1618)

Way cool! We finally have some opera. Franchesca Caccini was one of the early opera composers, she was the first female composer of a complete opera.

And, to prove the ‘old stuff’ isn’t all that dull….

Alba Trissina (ca.1590 –after 1638)

“…Assandra composed a number of motets and organ pieces, written in German tablature. She studied counterpoint with Benedetto Re, or Reggio, one of the leading teachers at Pavia Cathedral, who dedicated a piece to her in 1607. Re may have been an exiled German Catholic. Assandra’s musical talents were noted by the publisher Lomazzo early in her career, in his dedication of the works of Giovanni Paolo Cima. She composed many works during the first half of the 17th century, including Promptuarium Musicum and Siren Colestis. In 1609, Assandra took vows and entered the Benedictine monastery of Saint Agata in Lomello, in the Lombard region of northern Italy. She adopted “Agata” as her religious name and continued composing, including a collection of motets in the new concertato style in Milan in 1609, an imitative eight-voice Salve Regina in 1611, and a motet, Audite verbum Dominum, for four voices in 1618. After entering the convent, Assandra published no new books of music. Caterina Assandra was the first Italian nun to have an entire collection of musical works published, following Raffaella Aleotti…”

Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana (1590–1662)

Alba Trissina (ca.1590 –after 1638

Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana (1590–1662)  A nun, she was required to retire from music due to mental instability!

“…Vizzana’s motets were published in Componimenti musicali de motetti concertati a l e più voci in 1623. They are mostly duets and solos with continuo and feature other characteristics of the stile moderno. Furthermore, many convents used motets for double choir as a way of exploiting the musical gifts of the nuns in reaction to the decree from the Council of Trent that nuns must be confined within a convent. Vizzana’s O invictissima Christi martir is an example of this. This piece along with Sonet vox tua in auribus cordis mei; Usquequo oblivisceris me in finem; O magnum mysterium; Ornaverunt faciem templi; Domine Dominus noster, quam admirabile; and Protector noster can all be found in Martha Furman Schleifer and Sylvia Glickman’s Women Composers: Music through the Ages. However, Vizzana’s music also reflects a much older practice of female spirituality stretching back to the later Middle Ages as opposed to the new post-Tridentine religious traditions for women. Most of her motets were created for feast days, reflecting many liturgical, artistic, and devotional moments in convent life. However, other motets allude to the inner strife in the convent and its decline from 1620 onward.

In 1622, an anonymous letter was sent to the Cardinal Archbishop Ludovico Ludovisi in Rome reporting many scandals and issues in the convent, especially the issue of conflict within the convent. These allegations were followed by a long investigation of the convent that caused much inner strife amongst the nuns. It was revealed that much of the inquietude and rivalries amongst the nuns resulted from the musical life of the convent. It is often believed that the stress of the turmoil lead to Vizzana’s early retirement from music and mental instability.…”

Settimia Caccini (1591–1638?)

“…a well-known Italian singer and composer during the 1600s being one of the first women to have a successful career in music. Caccini was highly regarded for her artistic and technical work with music. She came from a family of well-known composers and singers, with her father being Giulio Caccini and her sister Francesca Caccini. Caccini was less well-known because she never published any of her own music composed pieces of music. Instead she was known much more for her talent as a singer, who sang for nobility across Italy. It is thought that she did compose her own music but instead of publishing and releasing it to be performed instead she kept it for herself to perform in private. One of her pieces was eventually published posthumously. Coming from a musical family, she was able to lead herself to her own fame and success….”

Claudia Rusca (1593–1676)

“…She was a nun at the Umiliate monastery of St. Caterina in Brera. She learned music at home, before she professed her final vows at the convent. She probably wrote her Sacri concerti à 1–5 con salmi e canzoni francesi (Milan, 1630) for use in the monastery and similar female institutions. The only known copy was destroyed in a fire at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in 1943….”

Women, Islam, Rights, and Historical Perspectives of Costume Fri, 04 May 2018 11:30:14 +0000 First published on June 13,2011.  Yesterday was the national day of prayer.  I thought this might be interesting.

Have you noticed that very few women rebel against the edicts of hard-line Islam?

When they do, have you noticed that very few men bother coming to their aid, even in the western world?


This is happening, even in the Western world.


We are constantly inundated with scenes from the Islamic world, and from certain segments of the Arab world where women have no rights.  Today we are told that the demands that women be “covered” and have no rights are religious.  While they might now be religious, they were once cultural.

The Islamic tendency toward the persecution of and limitation of women’s rights did not stem from religion.  Instead, it had its beginnings in the treatment of women in ancient Greece.  With the exception of Sparta, women in ancient Greece were not allowed to be educated, go out in public, or leave the home.  The only exceptions  were prostitutes or hetaera.  Hetaera were the upper class of prostitutes, the educated women of Greece.

In the ancient Greek culture, women were basically worthless unless they could provide an heir.  That was their primary role in life.  That- and being servants, cooking, cleaning, and keeping a home where the man would drop by, do a little business, beget an heir, and then either spend his time with his hetaera or his pretty boy.

Today, because of historical and cultural ignorance, we look upon a woman being “covered” as religious, for modesty and for protection against me.  The Judeo-Christian religion has the same history in that women were required to wear headscarves and dress modestly.  There is a cultural reason for this that basically has little to do with religion, modesty, or the “protection” of women.

During ancient, Biblical times the world was a good 4-5 degrees warmer than it is now.   You want a simple answer why people in the Roman world wore sandals, well, it was HOT!  It was windy.  It was dusty.

Women went around with their heads covered for ONE single reason.  Ever been to the Southwest?  Ever been through a day where sand is blowing everywhere? Get the picture?  Both women and men wore head coverings because it protected the hair from dust.  They wore head coverings for the same reason we wear hats today – protection from the sun.

Both men and women wore very covering robes to protect themselves from the sun.

There was very little melanoma until modern man and woman began worshiping the sun during the past century.  People protected themselves from the sun.

Enough said.

Like many of the rules of behavior set out for the Hebrews, “modest” dress, covering the body, offered protection against the elements and melanoma.

It is that simple.

As the world changed and we move into the post-Roman monastic years, the Dark Ages, then the medieval period, there is this current vision of Catholic nuns as being veiled, well covered.

Once again, historical and cultural ignorance rears its ugly head.

During those years, the women who entered and took  Holy Orders, were usually very wealthy, upper class women.  They were the women who did not marry and their families needed to dump them, somewhere, and wealthy widows.  When they “withdrew” from the world, they took with them the current fashions.

During the height of the Dark Ages and medieval Europe the world was quite chilly.  The heat of the Biblical age had dropped the temperature a good 6 degrees.  There are even indications that the post-Roman – Arthurian Era in England was accompanied by a major period of global cooling brought on by either a large meteor, asteroid, or comet collision.

Those Dark Ages were the times in which Islam was born.  It was COLD!  Women adopted even more “modest” coverings in order to stay WARM.  It had nothing to do with religion, tradition, or even the role of women and everything to do with staying warm.

It is now the perfect storm.

One of the real problems with hard-line Islam is the fact that the current crop of imams are basically keeping the people within their sphere of influence abjectly ignorant.  Indeed, the religious leaders themselves are hideously ignorant when it comes to history and culture.  The Pink Flamingo thinks the same thing is happening here with the Average American.  They are woefully ignorant when it comes to cultural history and history in general.

This ignorance sets the stage for cultural disaster -which we are seeing throughout the Islamic world.

So, today women in the Arab and hard-line Islamic world are being subjected to the same treatment women were in ancient Greece.  In many ways that is where their culture stopped growing.  Lacking the historical and cultural resources to even begin to comprehend that they are woefully ignorant, women are increasingly oppressed in this world.

The politically correct culture of the so-called modern world panders to these people, thinking they are being quite sympathetic and understanding when they allow a bunch of bullies to assault, rape, and harass women the world over.

Where are the men defending these women, even in the Western world?

What has happened to the men of our society?  No longer do they feel it necessary to defend a woman.  Why?

You see women in the UK threatened if they do not wear those outlandish Islamic coverings, women who are not Islamic.  NOT one man will bother to defend them.  You see women in Saudi Arabia struggle for rights.  Their men don’t have the courage to stand with them.

Pam Geller is featuring a piece about a young Coptic girl in Egypt who was allegedly raped by a group of young Islamic men to force her conversion to Islam.  While the story sounds more like one of them wanted to force her into marriage, that’s not the point.  Evidently her family is standing up to them, and taking care of her.  You don’t see this very often.

In hard-line Islam, a woman is always guilty and the man is innocent.  I have a relative who met her death that way, several hundred years ago in Colonial Massachusetts. Her sister was my patron ancestress, Hannah Dustin.  The poor woman had the audacity to deliver a set of twins, 7 months, on a Sunday.  She said they were still-born.  Her big mistake was burying them while two old biddies watched through the window of the church during, gasp, Puritan church services.  She became the only woman ever hung in Boston Commons.

The poor married man she vilely and wantonly seduced was an ancestor of legendary actor, Alan Ladd.  He was given the full sympathetic support of the community.  He was led astray by that horrid woman, who was hung for her crimes.

That was 350 years ago.

The same thing is still happening in backward parts of the world.  Women who are raped are put to death.  Woman who dare speak up against the system are put to death.  Woman who want to drive in Saudi Arabia are put in prison.  Women in Europe are harassed, raped and threatened with death because they refuse to adopt hard-line Islamic dress.

Where are the men to stand behind them and stand up for them?

It looks like they are turning tail and running away, cowering in a dark alley with the rats, lice, and other vermin who aren’t fit to be seen in the light of day.  It looks to me like men should have a little backbone and stand up for the women in their lives.

I know, it’s a modern world and we women are told we must stand up for ourselves.  I suspect that is why so many women simply give in to irrational cultural demands.  They have no hope of anyone coming to assist, them, including other women, who are either cowed or are too politically correct to do any good.

Once upon a time, my Grandmother Reidhead, her mother, and her sisters marched for women’s rights and the right to vote there in Minneapolis.  They had to courage to stand up for what they believe.  It is a shame their battle is being betrayed by women who would rather appear to be culturally sensitive than do the right thing.

What’s a woman to do?

There’s more too it.  Today’s woman doesn’t need a knight in shining army to ride in and rescue her.  What today’s woman needs, though, are men who willing to have just a little bit of courage and stand by them, as intellectual, social, and cultural equals.

The men of the extreme Islamic world have no respect or regard for women.  The only way to counter this is for our Western men to have the courage to stand up for women as worthy of being defended.  It takes a little courage.

Do they have any?


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