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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 22,747

Journal Archives

Liberal Redneck - Mama Missiles and Baby Dictators

Re-run of April the Giraffe's birthing!

Charging Bull sculptor says Fearless Girl distorts his art. Hes fighting back.

Source: Washington Post

With hopes of dispensing the “perfect antidote” to the stock market crash of 1987, Italian-born sculptor Arturo Di Modica spent two years welding a 7,000 pound bronze bull statue designed to capture the resilience of the American people.

Under the cover of night and without a permit, he installed his massive “Charging Bull” directly before the New York Stock Exchange, a gift New Yorkers loved but New York City initially hated. Authorities removed it, but later reinstalled it under pressure at a small public park in the financial district.


Then last month, on International Women’s Day, a new statue of a symbolically brave “Fearless Girl” stole its spotlight — and, Di Modica says, fundamentally corrupted the artistic integrity of his “Charging Bull.”


The artist will hold a news conference Wednesday with attorney Norman Siegel, the former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, to explain his plans to challenge the city officials who let “Fearless Girl” happen without asking his permission.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/12/charging-bull-sculptor-says-fearless-girl-distorts-his-art-hes-fighting-back/

A little historical context:
Charging Bull
Construction and installation

The bull was cast by the Bedi-Makky Art Foundry in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Di Modica spent some $360,000 to create, cast, and install the sculpture following the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of the "strength and power of the American people". The sculpture was the artist's idea, not the city's. In an act of guerrilla art, Bedi Makky Art Foundry, along with Di Modica, trucked it to Lower Manhattan and on December 15, 1989, installed it beneath a 60-foot (18 m) Christmas tree in the middle of Broad Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a Christmas gift to the people of New York. That day, crowds came to look at the bull, with hundreds stopping to admire and analyze the gift as Di Modica handed out copies of a flier about his artwork.

The police seized the sculpture and placed it into an impound lot. The ensuing public outcry led the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to re-install it two blocks south of the Exchange in the plaza at Bowling Green with a ceremony on December 21, 1989. It faces up towards Broadway.

The Charging Bull was installed on Wall Street without permission, was impounded for a while before being relocated. It has been at its present location with a technically temporary permit since 1989. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charging_Bull#Ownership)

The Fearless Girl was installed with permission: "The sculpture's installation is temporary; it was initially expected to stay in place at least several weeks, given a New York City Hall permit for one week that was later extended to 30 days. On March 27, it was announced that the statue would remain in place through February, 2018." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fearless_Girl#History

Frankly in my opinion, the Fearless Girl gives the Charging Bull even more relevance for today. While the Bull stands for American Power, the Girl stands for the power of the individual in American society, no matter how small they are, standing up to the most powerful forces in the land.

If Di Modica does not like the juxtaposition of the Fearless Girl to his statue, he is perfectly within his rights to remove the Charging Bull and to reinstall it wherever he likes. I'm sure people would be happy to give him some suggestions.

Ancestors your family may not have wanted to recognize...

My husband has been scanning photos from his family. He came on one labeled "Clara Ward, Princess de Chimay" - a name that he could not find in his family tree. Well, after checking out her Wikipedia entry it turns out dear Clara was the Kim Kardashian of the 1890s!

Clara Ward, Princesse de Caraman-Chimay
Clara Ward (17 June 1873 – 9 December 1916) was a wealthy American socialite who married a prince from Belgium.

The story of Clara Ward, who commonly used one or another version of the title "Princesse de Caraman-Chimay", is poorly known today, but for some years in the early 1890s she was the toast of the United States. During the late 1890s and the Edwardian years, she spent much time in both the society and gossip columns of two continents. She was widely known, envied and admired, desired, loathed and reviled.

First marriage
She came to the public's attention in 1889 or early 1890, when it was announced that a distinguished Belgian visitor to the United States, the Prince of Caraman-Chimay, a member of the Belgian Chamber of Deputies, had proposed marriage to the very young, very attractive daughter of a very wealthy family.


Second marriage
After a series of secret meetings, Ward and Rigó Jancsi {a Gypsy musician} eloped in December 1896. To her family's consternation, the Ludington Record of 24 December 1896 carried a news service dispatch about the elopement with a woodcut illustration of Ward and the headline "Gone With a Gypsy".

Her main talents were being beautiful by the standards of the time, and being famous. She combined the two by posing on various stages, including at least the Folies Bergère and probably also the Moulin Rouge, while wearing skin-tight costumes. She called her art-form her poses plastiques. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec made a scarce lithograph of her and Rigó in 1897, "Idylle Princière". She was often photographed, and featured on many postcards during the Edwardian period, sometimes in a pose plastique and sometimes in more or less conventional dress. Kaiser Wilhelm II is said to have forbidden the publication or display of her photograph in the German Empire because he thought her beauty "disturbing".


Clara went on to marry Peppino Ricciardo, a Spaniard, or maybe Italian, who was a waiter on a train. Her last marriage was to Signor Cassalota who was the station agent for the tourist train at Mount Vesuvius.

The Wikipedia article has a few pictures of her. It also includes a note that her parents were "Captain Eber Brock Ward (1811–1875) and his second wife, Catherine Lyon, a niece of Senator Benjamin Wade." Catherine Lyon was a half sister to my husband's 2nd great grandmother and his 3rd great aunt.

Benjamin Wade "was one of the most radical politicians in America at that time, supporting women's suffrage, trade union rights, and equality for African-Americans. He was also critical of how certain aspects of capitalism were practiced in the 19th century." If Andrew Johnson had been impeached, Benjamin Wade would have become President since he was President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate. "Although most senators believed that Johnson was guilty of the charges, they did not want the extremely radical Wade to become acting president. One newspaper wrote, "Andrew Johnson is innocent because Ben Wade is guilty of being his successor." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Wade#Impeachment_of_Johnson)

The photograph my husband found was taken in 1886 before Clara began all her adventures - when she was a young ingenue from a wealthy Michigan family.

April the giraffe STILL has not had her baby! 18 days after live stream started and counting.

Animal Adventure Park began live streaming from April's stall on February 23, about the time they expected April to have her baby.

On March 1 when she had not given birth, the park posted April the Giraffe: The World On Edge, a video discussing April's health, her living conditions, and when she might actually be due. The video included the information that perhaps April had gotten pregnant later than thought - and might be due 17 days later.

Well, now it is 18 days after the first live stream of April began and April still does not have her baby. Even Oliver, her companion and the father of her baby, seems to be impatient.

The official live stream of April is from Animal Adventure Park - any others are unauthorized rip offs.

Can I make upside down mini-trifles and freeze them?

Strawberries are on sale and so are angel food cakes. So trifles came to mind and I found this recipe that sounds good:
Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

Servings 24


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed
4 tablespoons sugar
1 angel food cake, torn into bite-size pieces
2 quarts fresh strawberries, thinly sliced


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy; add sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and the almond extract; set aside.
Fold the cool whip into the cream cheese mixture.
Gently stir in cake pieces; set aside.
Combine strawberries and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Layer in a large glass bowl, starting with 1/4 of the strawberries, then adding 1/3 of the cake mixture.
Continue layering; finish with strawberries.
Cover with plastic wrap; and chill several hours.


The first problem is the Cool Whip - I think I will omit that and replace with real whipped cream.

The biggest problem is how much this makes - 24 servings! There are only two of us and we can't eat this much!

Since most of the reviews indicate that unless it is made the day it is served the cake gets soggy, I am thinking of changing things around.

First, I will not mix the cake with the cream cheese mixture - I will mix the strawberries with it. Then I will put measured amounts of the cream cheese/strawberry mixture into storage containers and put a slice of angel food cake on top of each. Then I will freeze each container.

The containers I have will hold about two servings of this combo. When we want strawberries, I can thaw one, turn it upside down, cut it in half and we can have strawberry trifle, two servings at a time.

Does this sound as though it would work?

Former Secretary George Schultz at the Commonwealth Club on NPR

I only caught the last half of his talk, mostly the question and answer portion, but I found his comments on climate change and nuclear weapons very interesting. I wish there was a transcript so I could quote that part, but the audio is available at this site:

The Honorable George Shultz: Lessons from Government, Business and Life
Tue, Feb 21 2017 - 6:30pm

George P. Shultz, Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institution; Former U.S. Secretary of State, Labor, and Treasury; Author, Learning From Experience
In conversation with Dr. Gloria Duffy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club

His stance on climate change is that it is real - but even if you don't believe that it is, steps to prevent it are a form of insurance to protect you and the future (my words, not his). He put it in the context of the steps he took to protect the ozone layer back in the 1980s - Reagan was not convinced depletion of the ozone layer was real but he agree that protecting it was a wise move.

It was an interesting talk, at least the part I heard.

When family history informs us about American History

I've been scanning my Dad's letters home during World War II. The letters begin in 1942 when he was at the Michigan School of Mining and Technology (now known as Michigan Tech). He'd signed up for the US Naval Reserve, volunteered for active duty but was sent back to college until he was called up.

The sequence is not clear to me and I haven't correlated the letters with his service record, which I have already scanned but he was eventually called up. He spent a while in Washington DC as a draftsman. He then attended midshipsman school at Columbia University in New York, submarine school at New London, Connecticut, and was assigned to a brand new submarine before it was commissioned at Mare Island, Vallejo, California.

While at Mare Island, on July 19, 1944, he wrote home:
Dear Folks,
We had quite a big blow out here the other night. Port Chicago is only 15 miles away and we really felt the thing here. Concussion broke about have the plate glass in town. There was no noise but a rapid pressure rise for a few seconds./div]

The event was the Port Chicago Disaster on July 17, 1944:
Port Chicago disaster

An ammunition ship explodes while being loaded in Port Chicago, California, killing 332 people on this day in 1944. The United States’ World War II military campaign in the Pacific was in full swing at the time. Poor procedures and lack of training led to the disaster.

Port Chicago, about 30 miles north of San Francisco, was developed into a munitions facility when the Naval Ammunition Depot at Mare Island, California, could not fully supply the war effort. By the summer of 1944, expansion of the Port Chicago facility allowed for loading two ships at once around the clock. The Navy units assigned to the dangerous loading operations were generally segregated African-American units. For the most part, these men had not been trained in handling munitions. Additionally, safety standards were forgotten in the rush to keep up frenetic loading schedules.

On the evening of July 17, the SS Quinault Victory and SS E.A. Bryan, two merchant ships, were being loaded. The holds were being packed with 4,600 tons of explosives–bombs, depth charges and ammunition. Another 400 tons of explosives were nearby on rail cars. Approximately 320 workers were on or near the pier when, at 10:18 p.m., a series of massive explosions over several seconds destroyed everything and everyone in the vicinity. The blasts were felt as far away as Nevada and the resulting damage extended as far as San Francisco. Every building in Port Chicago was damaged and people were literally knocked off their feet. Smoke and fire extended nearly two miles into the air. The pilot of a plane flying at 9,000 feet in the area claimed that metal chunks from the explosion flew past him.

Nearly two-thirds of the people killed at Port Chicago were African-American enlisted men in the Navy – 15 percent of all African-Americans killed during World War II. The surviving men in these units, who helped put out the fires and saw the horrors firsthand, were quickly reassigned to Mare Island. Less than a month later, when ordered to load more munitions, but still having received no training, 258 African-American sailors refused to carry out the orders. Two hundred and eight of them were then sentenced to bad conduct discharges and pay forfeiture. The remaining 50 men were put on trial for general court martial. They were sentenced to between eight and 15 years of hard labor, though two years later all were given clemency. A 1994 review of the trials revealed race played a large factor in the harsh sentences. In December 1999, President Clinton pardoned Freddie Meeks, one of only three of the 50 convicted sailors known to be alive at the time.

I'd never heard of the Port Chicago disaster and certainly not the horrendous loss of life for African-American enlisted men in an American port. That the survivors were expected to repeat the same actions that caused so many deaths was callous to the extreme. What an absurd loss of life and ridiculous response to real worries about the methods used to load munitions!

Saving the House of the Furies

December 9, 2015
Saving the House of the Furies
By: Jenna Sauber

When Robert Pohl and his wife moved into their home in the Washington, DC neighborhood of Capitol Hill in 2004, Pohl conducted a Google search to find out if there was anything special about the house. He immediately came across a page from a local LGBT organization called the Rainbow History Project that named his “new” house as the operational center and main residence for a small lesbian feminist collective in the early 1970s called The Furies.


“I wanted a project to keep me semi-coherent intellectually, and the Furies was a great hook,” he says. That research rabbit-hole ultimately led to Pohl transitioning from his career as a computer programmer to a tour guide, historian, and writer.

Now, Pohl’s research is playing a role in a nomination to make the house at 219 11th Street Southeast a historic landmark, with the help of Rainbow Heritage Network co-founder Mark Meinke.


While there were three sites in DC that the Furies lived and worked at, the 11th Street house had the biggest basement, which the women used to host meetings and create their newspaper, called The Furies: Lesbian/Feminist Monthly. The ten issues of the paper included a mix of poetry, political analyses, and ideological essays, all with the goal of expressing the Furies’ commitment, according to the first issue, to “the growing movement to destroy sexism” and to “building an ideology which is the basis of action.”


The Furies Collective

The Furies Collective, 219 11th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C. The Furies Collective, 219 11th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C.

Photographer: Patsy Lynch

Quick Facts
219 11th Street SE
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The Furies Collective house is directly connected with the early expression of the character, role, and ideology of the lesbian community as a social and political community in the 1970s. The house became the operational center of the“Furies,” a lesbian feminist separatist collective, which between 1971 and 1973 created and led the debate over lesbians’ place in society. The 12 women in the collective published a lesbian feminist edition of motive magazine, a youth magazine of the United Methodist Church, and a tabloid-size newspaper titled The Furies, which over a period of two years addressed major questions of women’s identity and women’s relationships with other women, with men, and with society at large. Together, The Furies and motive set the issues and agenda of lesbian and feminist discussion for many years to come.

National Register of Historic Places information:

Property Name: The Furies Collective
Reference Number: 16000211
State: District of Columbia
County: District of Columbia
Town: Washington
Street Address: 219 11th St., SE
Multiple Property Submission Name: N/A
Status: Listed 05/02/2016
Areas of Significance: Social History

Things you find while looking up other things...

Someting you don't see very often

Cosplayers Go Snowboarding

Originally found at: http://www.neatorama.com/2017/03/04/Cosplayers-Go-Snowboarding/
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