Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Think of Me"

Emmy Rossum sings "Think of Me" from the 2004 film Phantom of the Opera, with jewels and gown compliments of Elisabeth, Empress of Austria. Share

Rescuing Heirloom Roses

From Victoria:
Botanist, horticulturist, and landscape professional G. Michael Shoup once considered roses to be fussy flowers. When he happened upon antique roses that can grow for decades without the benefit of human hands, it forever changed how he regards roses. In 1984, Shoup joined the ranks of the Texas Rose Rustlers, an organized group of gardeners dedicated to rescuing abandoned roses. “Dortmund” roses adorn a Texas ranch house that serves as the Antique Rose Emporium’s gift shop and office. (Read more.)
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Mockingbird

From Smithsonian:
Monroeville styles itself “the Literary Capital of Alabama.” Though the town had once been segregated, with the usual suspicions and misunderstandings that arise from such forced separation, I found it to be a place of sunny streets and friendly people, and also—helpful to a visiting writer—a repository of long memories. The town boasts that it has produced two celebrated writers, who grew up as neighbors and friends, Truman Capote and Harper Lee. Their homes no longer stand, but other landmarks persist, those of Maycomb, the fictional setting of To Kill A Mockingbird. Still one of the novels most frequently taught in American high schools, Lee’s creation has sold more than 40 million copies and been translated into 40 languages.

Among the pamphlets and souvenirs sold at the grandly domed Old Courthouse Museum is Monroeville, The Search for Harper Lee’s Maycomb, an illustrated booklet that includes local history as well as images of the topography and architecture of the town that correspond to certain details in the novel. Harper Lee’s work, published when she was 34, is a mélange of personal reminiscence, fictional flourishes and verifiable events. The book contains two contrasting plots, one a children’s story, the tomboy Scout, her older brother Jem and their friend Dill, disturbed in their larks and pranks by an obscure house-bound neighbor, Boo Radley; and in the more portentous story line, Scout’s father’s combative involvement in the defense of Tom Robinson, the decent black man, who has been accused of rape.

What I remembered of my long-ago reading of the novel was the gusto of the children and their outdoor world, and the indoor narrative, the courtroom drama of a trumped-up charge of rape, a hideous miscarriage of justice and a racial murder. Rereading the novel recently, I realized I had forgotten how odd the book is, the wobbly construction, the arch language and shifting point of view, how atonal and forced it is at times, a youthful directness and clarity in some of the writing mingled with adult perceptions and arcane language. For example, Scout is in a classroom with a new teacher from North Alabama. “The class murmured apprehensively,” Scout tells us, “should she prove to harbor her share of the peculiarities indigenous to that region.” This is a tangled way for a 6-year-old to perceive a stranger, and this verbosity pervades the book.

I am now inclined to Flannery O’Connor’s view of it as “a child’s book,” but she meant it dismissively, while I tend to think that its appeal to youngsters (like that of Treasure Island and Tom Sawyer) may be its strength. A young reader easily identifies with the boisterous Scout and sees Atticus as the embodiment of paternal virtue. In spite of the lapses in narration, the book’s basic simplicity and moral certainties are perhaps the reason it has endured for more than 50 years as the tale of an injustice in a small Southern town. That it appeared, like a revelation, at the very moment the civil rights movement was becoming news for a nation wishing to understand, was also part of its success.

Monroeville had known a similar event, the 1934 trial of a black man, Walter Lett, accused of raping a white woman. The case was shaky, the woman unreliable, no hard evidence; yet Walter Lett was convicted and sentenced to death. Before he was electrocuted, calls for clemency proved successful; but by then Lett had been languishing on Death Row too long, within earshot of the screams of doomed men down the hall, and he was driven mad. He died in an Alabama hospital in 1937, when Harper Lee was old enough to be aware of it. Atticus Finch, an idealized version of A.C. Lee, Harper’s attorney father, defends the wrongly accused Tom Robinson, who is a tidier version of Walter Lett.

Never mind the contradictions and inconsistencies: Novels can hallow a place, cast a glow upon it and inspire bookish pilgrims—and there are always visitors, who’d read the book or seen the movie. Following the free guidebook Walk Monroeville, they stroll in the downtown historic district, admiring the Old Courthouse, the Old Jail, searching for Maycomb, the locations associated with the novel’s mythology, though they search in vain for locations of the movie, which was made in Hollywood. It is a testament to the spell cast by the novel, and perhaps to the popular film, that the monument at the center of town is not to a Monroeville citizen of great heart and noble achievement, nor a local hero or an iconic Confederate soldier, but to a fictional character, Atticus Finch. (Read more.)
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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Table Manners

Time for a refresher from Southern Lady:
Q: Cloth napkins add lovely touches to dining. What are the rules for napkin use during and after the meal?

A: The use of the napkin seems a simple thing, but opinions vary. After consulting several etiquette books, we find there are common guidelines for all to follow.

Place the napkin in your lap after you are seated. (If a blessing or prayer precedes the meal, place the napkin in your lap afterward.) A napkin is used for blotting your mouth, not wiping, and should never be used as a substitute handkerchief.

Should you need to leave the table during the meal, simply place the napkin in the seat of your chair until you return. Do not put the napkin on the table during the meal. After the meal, place the napkin loosely on the left side of the plate. It should never be placed on the plate or refolded.

Q: After the fork, knife, or spoon has been used during the meal, is it ever placed on the table?

A: The flatware should never return to the table after it is used. A fork should rest on the dinner plate during the meal. The dinner knife should be placed across the top of the dinner plate once it has been used. The salad fork, spoon, dessert fork, and butter knife should rest on their respective plates.

At the end of the meal, the knife and the fork are placed diagonally across the middle of the plate. Never leave a piece of flatware in a cup, glass, or bowl. Always return it to the service plate. (Read more.)
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Sculpting Fruit

From Victoria:
About ten years ago, after Eva was injured in a car accident, the physical demands of conducting building inspections became too difficult. Turning to art to fill her time, she took a ceramics course, fell in love with the medium, and began sculpting fruit, vegetable, and flower pieces for which she has become known. At an art-gallery show, her work caused an immediate stir; one offering brought $3,600 at a children’s-hospital auction. (Read more.)
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Becoming a Southern Lady

An essay. To quote:
Born and raised in the South, I have naturally known Southern ladies all my life, starting with my momma, her friends, and my aunts; moving on to my schoolteachers, Sunday school teachers, and the mothers of my friends. As a child, I simply assumed all women were like these wonderful ladies who, each in her own way, strongly, gently, and often unintentionally shaped who I grew up to be.

Somehow I managed to hold onto this assumption until, as a young married woman, I came to know Jeanne Prescott, the wife of my husband’s boss. To me, Jeanne was the epitome of a Southern lady. She had done a fine job of raising a good boy and a sweet girl. Her style of dress was always tasteful, appropriate, and pretty. She could be counted on to be kind, thoughtful, and genuinely interested in you. And to my delight, beneath her calm and reserved manner lurked a wicked wit that would leap out unexpectedly and send me into fits of laughter.

So when Jeanne shared her story with me, I was surprised. She was actually born and raised in Danville, Illinois, coming to live in the South after she married Jim, a small-town Georgia boy. As a newlywed, she found herself plunged into a culture foreign to her. She felt like an outsider who didn’t fit in with Southern ladies—that is until, after studying us, she finally figured us out. “All you have to do,” she told me, “is say two things: ‘How’s yo’ momma?’ and ‘Love yo’ hair’.”

Who knew? Since then, I pay more attention to what we say—and we do have our ways. Maybe I’ve had one of the worst days of my life: The dog ran away; the school called to tell me that my child got sick and needs to come home; my mother called to tell me she fell and might need me to take her to the hospital for X-rays; my husband, unable to get through, left a message on my cell phone that he’s bringing two friends home for supper; there are no groceries to speak of in the house, and as Southern humorist Lewis Grizzard put it, “Elvis is dead and I don’t feel so good myself.” Yet on this very day, if I run into a Southern lady friend at the grocery store, I know our exact conversation: “Well, hi, how are you?” she’ll ask. And smiling, I will answer, “Just fine, thank you, how are you?”

Yes ma’am. Our mommas taught us to be polite. (Read more.)
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Friday, July 31, 2015

Chamber of the Dauphine

Where Marie-Antoinette first lived when she came to Versailles. Share

Planned Parenthood: The New Nazis

I wish that people understood that Planned Parenthood, originally called the Birth Control League and founded by Margaret Sanger, was part of the eugenics movement of the 1920's and 30's, the same eugenics movements that top Nazis were involved in. The experimentation upon prisoners in the concentration camps was a direct result of the eugenics movement which strove to root their ideas about race superiority and inferiority in scientific experiments upon live humans. That Planned Parenthood would continue to harvest human beings for more experimentation should not come as a big surprise to us. It is what the Nazis did to the Jews and other persons they thought to be inferior.

Here is a tape about harvesting the parts of a baby boy. (WARNING: This could be disturbing to expectant mothers.)

Here is commentary from LifeNews:
New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Vice President and Medical Director, Dr. Savita Ginde, negotiating a fetal body parts deal, agreeing multiple times to illicit pricing per body part harvested, and suggesting ways to avoid legal consequences.

In the video, actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company meet with Ginde at the abortion-clinic headquarters of PPRM in Denver to discuss a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs. When the actors request intact fetal specimens, Ginde reveals that in PPRM’s abortion practice, “Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact.”

“We’d have to do a little bit of training with the providers or something to make sure that they don’t crush” fetal organs during 2nd trimester abortions, says Ginde, brainstorming ways to ensure the abortion doctors at PPRM provide usable fetal organs.

When the buyers ask Ginde if “compensation could be specific to the specimen?” Ginde agrees, “Okay.” Later on in the abortion clinic’s pathological laboratory, standing over an aborted fetus, Ginde responds to the buyer’s suggestion of paying per body part harvested, rather than a standard flat fee for the entire case: “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

Ginde also suggests ways for Planned Parenthood to cover-up its criminal and public relations liability for the sale of aborted body parts. “Putting it under ‘research’ gives us a little bit of an overhang over the whole thing,” Ginde remarks. “If you have someone in a really anti state who’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.”

Ginde implies that PPRM’s lawyer, Kevin Paul, is helping the affiliate skirt the fetal tissue law: “He’s got it figured out that he knows that even if, because we talked to him in the beginning, you know, we were like, ‘We don’t want to get called on,’ you know, ‘selling fetal parts across states.’” The buyers ask, “And you feel confident that they’re building those layers?” to which Ginde replies, “I’m confident that our Legal will make sure we’re not put in that situation.”

As the buyers and Planned Parenthood workers identify body parts from last fetus in the path lab, a Planned Parenthood medical assistant announces: “Another boy!” (Read more.)
 Kathryn Jean Lopez on the call to prayer over this infamy.

The reaction of Planned Parenthood.

On the lack of merits of the lawsuit.

A temporary restraining order has been issued against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) which prohibits the group from releasing any future videos which include leaders of StemExpress, the biotech company that receives fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood; however additional videos have been turned over to the Texas Attorney General’s office in conjunction with their investigation of Planned Parenthood.

According to The Blaze, the pro-life group is prohibited from releasing any video shot during a luncheon discussion in May which shows a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing the procurement and sale of fetal body parts until after an August 19 hearing.
The ruling is very narrow and applies only to footage shot during the luncheon; it is not yet clear what impact this will have on the release of future tapes.
The CMP issued the following response to the court order:
“StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a “financial benefit” to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public. They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond.
“The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.”
However, more tapes have been released by the CMP to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who says they are “consistent” with those that have been released thus far.
During testimony in the Texas State House, Paxton gave a grisly description of what he saw during a tour of a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic.
The following are excerpts from his testimony:
“Our investigators are working across Texas to gather information and evidence relevant to the case. Last week, after a meeting at a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic, officials there invited our team to take a look around, including a stop at what they call the ‘POC Room.’ POC stands for ‘Products of Conception.’ There, lab technicians receive the remains of aborted children – also known as ‘the products’ – which are washed, examined, bagged, refrigerated, accumulated and every week taken away by a contractor that burns their bodies as medical waste.
“As my staffers watched, a technician took an aborted child from a jar, rinsed it in a colander, and placed the body parts in a tray. Fingers and toes, exceptionally tiny but fully-formed, were clearly visible. The remains were eventually deposited in a red plastic bag, about the size of an average grocery sack. According to the people at the facility, they average at least 260 pounds of “medical waste” a week, every week. . . .
“Even if their body parts are never sold, or never used for research, for the babies who are killed in abortion clinics – more than 54,000 last year in Texas and more than 57 million in the United States since 1973 – their fate is a plastic bag in a refrigerator, and anonymous disposal in an incinerator somewhere.
“For us, when we pass on, our bodies will be treated with reverence and respect, even those of us who choose to donate our remains to science. Even the remains of our most vicious criminals are treated with respect. For the children who never had a chance at life, however, they become so-called medical waste, or – alternatively – a commodity to be bargained for. Neither fate is an appropriate end for any human being.
“At a minimum, the people involved project a cold, calculating, almost inhuman indifference to the lives they treat as a product they’re attempting to sell. At worst, they may represent a violation of state and federal laws. My office will continue to investigate these issues, and – if necessary – we will seek to bring any Texans that might be involved to justice.”
- See more at: http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=41967#sthash.yhQSApuO.IuwUEBop.dpuf
A temporary restraining order has been issued against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) which prohibits the group from releasing any future videos which include leaders of StemExpress, the biotech company that receives fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood; however additional videos have been turned over to the Texas Attorney General’s office in conjunction with their investigation of Planned Parenthood.

According to The Blaze, the pro-life group is prohibited from releasing any video shot during a luncheon discussion in May which shows a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing the procurement and sale of fetal body parts until after an August 19 hearing.
The ruling is very narrow and applies only to footage shot during the luncheon; it is not yet clear what impact this will have on the release of future tapes.
The CMP issued the following response to the court order:
“StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a “financial benefit” to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public. They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond.
“The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.”
However, more tapes have been released by the CMP to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who says they are “consistent” with those that have been released thus far.
During testimony in the Texas State House, Paxton gave a grisly description of what he saw during a tour of a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic.
The following are excerpts from his testimony:
“Our investigators are working across Texas to gather information and evidence relevant to the case. Last week, after a meeting at a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic, officials there invited our team to take a look around, including a stop at what they call the ‘POC Room.’ POC stands for ‘Products of Conception.’ There, lab technicians receive the remains of aborted children – also known as ‘the products’ – which are washed, examined, bagged, refrigerated, accumulated and every week taken away by a contractor that burns their bodies as medical waste.
“As my staffers watched, a technician took an aborted child from a jar, rinsed it in a colander, and placed the body parts in a tray. Fingers and toes, exceptionally tiny but fully-formed, were clearly visible. The remains were eventually deposited in a red plastic bag, about the size of an average grocery sack. According to the people at the facility, they average at least 260 pounds of “medical waste” a week, every week. . . .
“Even if their body parts are never sold, or never used for research, for the babies who are killed in abortion clinics – more than 54,000 last year in Texas and more than 57 million in the United States since 1973 – their fate is a plastic bag in a refrigerator, and anonymous disposal in an incinerator somewhere.
“For us, when we pass on, our bodies will be treated with reverence and respect, even those of us who choose to donate our remains to science. Even the remains of our most vicious criminals are treated with respect. For the children who never had a chance at life, however, they become so-called medical waste, or – alternatively – a commodity to be bargained for. Neither fate is an appropriate end for any human being.
“At a minimum, the people involved project a cold, calculating, almost inhuman indifference to the lives they treat as a product they’re attempting to sell. At worst, they may represent a violation of state and federal laws. My office will continue to investigate these issues, and – if necessary – we will seek to bring any Texans that might be involved to justice.”
- See more at: http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=41967#sthash.yhQSApuO.IuwUEBop.dpuf
Thirteen quotes from Margaret Sanger:
8) She believed that large families were detrimental to society.
“The most serious evil of our times is that of encouraging the bringing into the world of large families. The most immoral practice of the day is breeding too many children,” she wrote.
“The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,” she continued. Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Chapter 5: The Wickedness of Creating Large Families

9) She argued that motherhood must be “efficient.”
“Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives,” Sanger wrote. Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Chapter 18: The Goal

10) Population control, she wrote, would bring about the “materials of a new race.”
“If we are to develop in America a new race with a racial soul, we must keep the birth rate within the scope of our ability to understand as well as to educate. We must not encourage reproduction beyond our capacity to assimilate our numbers so as to make the coming generation into such physically fit, mentally capable, socially alert individuals as are the ideal of a democracy,” Sanger wrote. Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Chapter 3: The Materials of the New Race

11) Sanger wrote that an excess in population must be reduced.
“War, famine, poverty and oppression of the workers will continue while woman makes life cheap,” she wrote.
Mothers, “at whatever cost, she must emerge from her ignorance and assume her responsibility.” —Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Chapter 1: Woman’s Error and Her Debt

12) “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” Sanger wrote. —Letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble on Dec., 10, 1939

13) In an interview with Mike Wallace in 1957, Sanger said, “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world, that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically.”

“Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin—that people can—can commit,” she said. (Read more.)


 
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