#amreading MONTCALM & WOLFE: The Decline and Fall of the French Empire in North America

France’s “manifold ills were summed up in the King. Since the Valois, she had had no monarch so worthless. He did not want understanding, still less the graces of person. In his youth the people called him the “Well-beloved,” but by the middle of the century they so detested him that he dared not pass through Paris, lest the mob should execrate him . . .  Louis XIII was equally unfit to govern; but he gave the reins to the Great Cardinal. Louis XV abandoned them to a frivolous mistress, content that she should rule on condition of amusing him . . . Madame de Pompadour . . .  filled the Bastille with her enemies; made and unmade ministers; appointed and removed generals. Great questions of policy were at the mercy of her caprices.

Montcalm and Wolfe, by Francis Parkman, p. 35

Sentence of the Day: The Talk of the Town, The New Yorker, Dec. 19 & 26, 2016

“. . .  after proposing, late in the campaign and apparently without irony, that her mission as First Lady would be to campaign against bullying, she (Melania) has retreated to the background, and will reportedly be staying in New York with the couple’s son, Barron, when the President-elect moves into the White House.”

#amreading: Talk of the Town, The New Yorker, December 19 & 26, 2016

. . .  congressional Republicans are feeling bullish about finally achieving a goal that they’ve sought for years: getting rid of federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides health services like cancer screening and contraception, as well as abortion. If a Trump Administration succeeds in dismantling the Affordable Care Act, or simply in eliminating the mandate that health plans include contraception coverage, many more women will lose access to health care and, especially, to more expensive, but also more effective, long-acting contraceptive methods, such as the I.U.D.


Under Jeff Sessions (new Attorney General), the Justice Department is unlikely to provide robust protection for abortion clinics.


For Labor Secretary, Trump has in mind Andrew Puzder, the C.E.O. of the company that runs Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. An opponent of raising the minimum wage and of expanding overtime pay, Puzder, referring to the company’s ads, told the magazine Entrepreneur, “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American.”

Trump won the Presidency despite a well-documented penchant for the vulgar belittlement of women, and with the help of a fan base energized by chants of “Lock Her Up.”

2017 Winners: World Press Photo Awards

Self only has a few minutes to post this, as she’s running here there and everywhere and the only reason she is still in her apartment is because she decided to work a little more on her sequel to “First Causes”: “This Is End” (dystopia, fantasy, apocalyptic, etc what else is new, lol)

Winner:  Associated Press Photographer Burhan Ozbilici, for his image of a gun-wielding off-duty Turkish policeman standing over the body of Russia’s ambassador, Dec. 19

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES

Singles

  1. Jonathan Bachman (USA), Reuters: “Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge”
  2. Vadim Ghirda (Romania), The Associated Press“Migrant Crossing”
  3. Daniel Etter (Germany): “The Libyan Migrant Trap”

Stories

  1. Amber Bracken (Canada): “Standing Rock”
  2. Lalo de Almeida (Brazil): “Victims of the Zika Virus”
  3. Peter Bauza (Germany): “Copacabana Palace”

DAILY LIFE

Singles

  1. Paula Bronstein (USA), Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting: “The Silent Victims of a Forgotten War”
  2. Tiejun Wang (China): “Sweat Makes Champions”
  3. Matthieu Paley (France), National Geographic: “China’s Wild West”

Stories

  1. Tomas Munita (Chile), The New York Times: “Cuba on the Edge of Change”
  2. Elena Asonova (Russia): “Out of the Way”
  3. Francesco Comello (Italy):  “Isle of Salvation”

GENERAL NEWS

Singles

  1. Laurent Van der Stockt (France), Getty for Le Monde: “Offensive on Mosul”
  2. Santi Palacios (Spain): “Left Alone”
  3. Noel Celis (Philippines), Agence France-Presse: “Inside the Philippines’ Most Overcrowded Jail”

Quote of the Day: Andrew Marantz

What exactly is alt-right? Other than an inflammatory hashtag?

Here’s one definition. It’s in an essay called “Trolls for Trump,” by Andrew Marantz (The New Yorker, 31 October 2016):

a loose, on-line affiliation of white nationalists, neo-monarchists, masculinists, conspiracists, belligerent nihilists, and social media trolls. The alt-right has no consistent ideology; it is a label, like “snob” or “hipster,” that is often disavowed by people who exemplify it. The term typically applies to conservatives and reactionaries who are active on the Internet and too anti-establishment to feel at home in the Republican Party.

The essay then goes on to show how the alt-right is seeding social media with misinformation.

As if any thinking person didn’t know that already?

She never presses “like” anymore unless she’s vetted the tweeter. Whereas in the old days (pre-Nov. 8), she would just blithely follow back.

Then she’d discover — days, weeks, or even months later — that the person endorses the Muslim Ban and the Muslim Registry. And it fills her with so much shame.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amreading: Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker Article on Kellyanne Conway, “Taming Trump” (17 October 2016)

Conway went to Trinity Washington University, a Catholic college in Washington, DC, and received a law degree from George Washington University. She pointed out that, while Hillary Clinton failed the D.C. bar exam in 1973, before passing in Arkansas, Conway was allowed into the D.C. bar after passing the exams in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Conway said she thought about that during the first debate: “Boy, she really can cram a lot of information into her head for one performance. How the heck did she fail the D.C. bar?”

#thatlastquestion #snark

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

2nd Quote of the Day: Kellyanne Conway

“I’ve noticed a lot of people are very bold and blustery on Twitter, because it’s easy to do that with the poison keyboard and a hundred and forty characters.”

— quoted by Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker, 17 October 2016

Quote of the Day: San Francisco Chronicle (26 January 2017)

  • “We’re still a sanctuary city.”

— Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle Editorial on Immigration Policy (“His wall won’t work”)

Quote of the Day: Vanity Fair, the Hive

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato is not sure whether this (Sean Spicer vs. the Press) is a long-term strategy or a tactic designed to divert attention from self-generated controversies.

He’s proven the ‘value of devil figures’, says Sabato. “Against all odds, he catapulted into the Presidency by skilfully using a series of devils (Obama, Clinton, Mexicans, Muslims, China). To keep his 46% together, he must continue to target a great big devil figure. The news media does nicely.”

(James Warren, Chief Media Writer, Poynter.org, writing for the Warren Report in Vanity Fair’s Hive, 23 January 2017)

Books About Eleanor Roosevelt: Reviewed in The Economist, 29 October 2016

  • Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After, 1939 – 1962, by Blanche Wiesen Cook (Viking)
  • Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady, by Susan Quinn (Penguin)

It is tempting to think that in a different era, Eleanor Roosevelt could have become president of the United States. Widely loved, the longest-serving First Lady was on the right side of history on virtually every subject including civil rights, acceptance of European refugees and the need to end Empires.


“She understood his needs, forgave his transgressions, buried her jealousies, and embarked on her own independent career . . .  FDR encouraged her independence and when he silenced her did so for reasons of state.”

Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After, by Blanche Wiesen Cook

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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