Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#MadameButterfly on #PBS #TheCrimsonField

"The Crimson Field" the British WWI version of MASH,  included a hospital scene where the doctor tries, unsuccessfully, to implement music therapy to calm down a patient undergoing an epileptic seizure by playing the aria from Puccini's  opera "Madame Butterfly":


Maria Callas singing same "Madame Butterfly" aria: 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Celebrating God & Guns at Cincinnati Schützenfest

In case you missed the original Swiss Schützenfest which was June 15 - July 12, 2015 2015 FEDERAL SHOOTING FESTIVAL IN VALAIS because Europeans have weird ways of writing their dates: 15.06.2015 - 12.07.2015, you can still make the Cincinnati, Ohio analogue this weekend, 17-19 July 2015, from Cincinnati Schützenfest facebook and website:

The German pronunciation sounds like a bad word in English, minor detail, which radio talk show hosts goof on:

Apparently, Cincinnati celebrates Schützenfest to commemorate the actions of a marksman who saved village children from the attack of wild animals:

The festival is hosted by the Kolping Society. In case you are like myself and have no idea who or what a Kolping is/was, he is the patron saint of families:

Festivities run all weekend and culminate on Sunday with the grand marksmanship competition:

Such firearm competition go back at least to 1427 from Lee, Kay, Marshall Lee, Kate Greenaway, and Eugène Grasset. The Illuminated Book of Days. New York: Putnam, 1979. Print. asserts that the first gun shooting competition was in Germany with an award of fifteen pairs of trousers.

As snopes confirms, gun ownership is mandatory in Switzerland: Claim:   Switzerland issues firearms to adult men and provides training in their use.  TRUE

Helena Bachmann "Time" Dec. 20, 2012 article "The Swiss Difference: A Gun Culture That Works: The country had one mass shooting in 2001, but a resulting anti-gun referendum failed to pass. The Swiss will not give up the gun. Can their system work in the U.S.?

Swiss marksmen shoot at targets over 300 m away during an
annual shooting-skills exercise near Bern

points out the Swiss version of the NRA is named in honor of William Tell:

"'We will never change our attitude about the responsible use of weapons by law-abiding citizens,' says Hermann Suter, vice president of Pro-Tell, the country’s gun lobby, named after legendary apple shooter William Tell, who used a crossbow to target enemies long before firearms were invented."
William Tell is the guy for whom Rossini composed the famous cartoon accompaniment, from  "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band:

From edgelee84 upload: Mickey Mouse and Friends - The Band Concert (1935): "The orchestra is performing the William Tell overture, but then Donald Duck (in his third appearance in a Mickey cartoon) appears selling ice-cream. Uninvited, Donald takes out his flute and distracts the band into playing Turkey in the Straw."

Ms. Helena Bachmann, presumably no relation to patriotic former Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, seems to passive aggressively slam the USA by stating citizens of Switzerland are patriotic:

"Unlike some other heavily armed nations, Switzerland’s gun ownership is deeply rooted in a sense of patriotic duty and national identity. "

After pointing out that Switzerland only trails the US, Yemen, and Serbia in guns per capita:

"Switzerland trails behind only the U.S, Yemen and Serbia in the number of guns per capita; between 2.3 million and 4.5 million military and private firearms are estimated to be in circulation in a country of only 8 million people. Yet, despite the prevalence of guns, the violent-crime rate is low: government figures show about 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010. By comparison, the U.S rate in the same year was about 5 firearm killings per 100,000 people, according to a 2011 U.N. report."

Ms. Helena seems to imply that patriotic European Swiss can be trusted to own guns vs their evil redneck American counterparts. Of course, I could be inferring more than she was implying, but I suspect she's an evil big government progressive leftist statist who doesn't respect individual civil liberties.

Of course, the BBC echoes leftist American sentiments, from Emma Jane Kirby 11 February 2013 BBC article Switzerland guns: Living with firearms the Swiss way point out how USA has twice per capita number of firearms as second leading country:

Mixing metaphors, citing the Swiss example might be a double edged sword for US advocates of gun rights  because gun ownership is only only tolerated under the aegis of citizens supporting a state militia versus protecting each citizen's individual liberty:

"All healthy Swiss men aged between 18 and 34 are obliged to do military service and all are issued with assault rifles or pistols which they are supposed to keep at home.
Twenty years ago the Swiss militia was a sizeable force of around 600,000 soldiers. Today it is only a third of that size but until recently most former soldiers used to keep their guns after they had completed their military duties, leading to lots of weapons being stored in the attics or cupboards of private Swiss households."
I was aware there was a statue, but was unaware there was an entire Minute Man National Park:

"The decade-long political feud between the British government and the American colonists, determined to retain their rights as British subjects, came to a devastating climax as British regulars clashed with colonial militia and minute men on April 19, 1775 at Lexington, Concord's North Bridge and on the long, bloody road back to Boston. The fighting that began that day soon grew into a war for independence that lasted more than eight years."
So, if Americans only did what our national government told us to do, we'd all be speaking English instead of American today. Hugh Laurie: the British slang vs the American on Ellen

The most amusing youtube comment that may or may not be real was a person pointing out Ellen sounds like Dory in Finding Nemo:

Of course, as the NRA reminds us, Obama hates the 2nd Amendment and pretty much the rest of the US Constitution, and all uppity citizens who wish to protect their God given rights enshrined therein:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

#Fortnight4Freedom 2015 #trcot #ReligiousLiberty #1A

Fortnight For Freedom is scheduled to run from June 21 - Jul 4

And concludes with a televised mass on Saturday July 4, 2015

The start date coincided with the eve of both Saint Thomas More and John Fisher Feast Days i.e. the day they were executed. It seems US Council of Catholic Bishops hedged its bets with a possibly unorthodox Christian humanist philosopher inspired by the even bigger unorthodox Erasmus by celebrating both More and Fisher, the latter clearly a Catholic martyr.

It looks like Thomas More

might be Dudley Moore's long lost cousin, since there appears a distinct family resemblance:

and they both appear to have had run ins with the law. Father Jerabek's Blog April 22, 2014 post "St. Thomas More: His Cell and His Tomb" includes photos of Thomas More's Tower of London prison cell:

And Dudley had his mug shot snapped by the Los Angeles Police:

Harriet Lessy wrote a  breathtakingly unPC March 23, 1994  article with the most horrible pun in poor taste title "DUDLEY MOORE STARS IN HIT DRAMA" in which she downplays Moore's domestic violence arrest:

No laughs coming from the home of Brit comic/actor Dudley Moore.
Moore, 58, who was taken into custody Monday night by L.A. police, was booked on suspicion of domestic violence. He walked after posting $50,000 bail.
The fuzz apparently heard from the actor first. The star of "10," ''Arthur" and "Foul Play" (no kidding) called to report a domestic dispute at his home in the burbs.
Then the cops heard from his girlfriend, who told them the pint-sized actor ''had just battered her."
LAPD sped to the scene and found the unidentified woman suffering "visible trauma to the neck area." Moore was invited to take a ride to L.A.'s version of the Roundhouse.
Now Moore, who also lists "Best Defense" in his film credits, may need a defense lawyer. He faces a possible cohabitational abuse charge. If that charge sticks, the 1981 Academy Award nominee will be looking at a potential sentence of four years in the slammer and up to $6,000 in fines.

It seems Ms. Lessy is a gay rights advocate from Michael Alan Goldberg "Philadelphia Weekly" Apr. 27, 2011 article: "Boy Scouts Panel at Equality Forum: Gay-rights activist Harriet Lessy discusses the decision to allow the Boy Scouts to retain the use of city property"

So, Ms Lessy supports gay men's rights, but not the rights of straight women not to be physically assaulted by men. Guess Ms Lessy is a femalephobe.

However, if there is thespian connection, it appears that Thomas More was the Bette Davis of Tudor England, since the poor fellow, or at least his character in "A Man For All Seasons" experienced a similar fate to Bette Davis' Margo Channing in "All About Eve"

"An ingenue [ Eve Harrington ] insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends."

Further off topic, allegedly Claudette Colbert instead of Davis was supposed to play the lead role, which would've been a different movie altogether, from "Stardust: The Bette Davis Story":


Thomas More's Eve Harrington was the character named Richard Rich, and it always annoyed me that the Rich character wasn't held accountable during his lifetime for his treacherous treatment of More.

Back to St. Thomas More .... "America Needs Fatima" JUNE 22, 2013 blog post "St. Thomas More – He Confronted the Mandate" goes into rather gruesome detail about the final disposition of poor St. More's remains. More was beheaded:

"The head, after being parboiled, was exposed on London Bridge for a month when [ Thomas More's daughter] Margaret Roper bribed the man, whose business it was to throw it into the river, to give it to her instead. The final fate of the relic is somewhat uncertain, but in 1824 a leaden box was found in the Roper vault at St. Dunstan’s, Canterbury, which on being opened was found to contain a head presumed to be More’s."

However, from THE CENTER FOR THOMAS MORE STUDIES Thomas More's body was buried at the Tower of London:

There still seems to be a raging literary controversy as to whether More's magnum opus, "Utopia", was a serious proposition blueprint for society in the vein of Karl Marx "Das Kapital", or simply a satirical commentary in the style of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal." The controversy might explain why it took More so long to become saint (but not as long as poor Bede tho):

And a Thomas More quote possibly pertinent to Obama:

Mark Levin dislikes big state authoritarianism described in  More's "Utopia", and works along the premise that More was sincere vs satirical in his fictional writing:

From Dick Morris on February 8, 2012 "Book Review Of Ameritopia By Mark Levin"

"Broadly, [Mark Levin] divides them into two camps: Utopians and Libertarians. He explains how utopians laid the basis for modern socialism, leftism, and Obamaism and how the libertarian (he calls it Americanism) enlightenment philosophers set the stage for modern conservatism and free market economics.
His most important intellectual contribution is to identify the search for utopia — the perfect world — with the politics of the left. From Plato’s Republic through Sir Thomas Moore’s Utopia and Hobbes’ Leviathan and Marx’ Communist manifesto the storyline is the same: A super-lawgiver brings about a transformation of our flawed society into a perfect world. To Plato the superhero is the philosopher-king. To Moore it is King Utopus. To Hobbes it is the super dictator/strong man. To Marx it is the working class dictatorship. But the formulations are all the same – a big strong man saves the world. No democracy needed here. All we need is the right man in charge."

Allegedly More liked bunnies in "Masterpiece Theater" "Wolf Hall" film:

The hasenpfeffer reference was a h/t in a 6 degrees of separation kind of way to Henry VIII. "Hasenpfeffer" is a frequent exclamation in the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Shishkabugs" in a mashup with  Men Without Hats' "Safety Dance":

and the original unedited cartoon:

The fat spoiled king in the Bugs Bunny cartoon was based on Charles Laughton's portrayal in "The Private Life of Henry VIII":

I suspect Henry VIII, the abusive narcissist  who murdered his wives, is misogynist Harriet Lessy's favorite monarch.

A Protestant, but non Anglican -- so still an outsider, Faraday, admired More:

More's "Utopia" promoted learning and scholarship, which bookbinder cum scientist Faraday would appreciate:

"Even the Syphogrants, though excused by the law, yet do not excuse themselves, but work, that by their examples they may excite the industry of the rest of the people; the like exemption is allowed to those who, being recommended to the people by the priests, are, by the secret suffrages of the Syphogrants, privileged from labour, that they may apply themselves wholly to study; and if any of these fall short of those hopes that they seemed at first to give, they are obliged to return to work; and sometimes a mechanic that so employs his leisure hours as to make a considerable advancement in learning is eased from being a tradesman and ranked among their learned men.  Out of these they choose their ambassadors, their priests, their Tranibors, and the Prince himself, anciently called their Barzenes, but is called of late their Ademus."

Hence, I believe he and his Utopian hosts would turn a jaundiced eye to overdue library books, especially since they originally only wrote on tree bark before More's character introduced them to printing presses:

"The minds of the Utopians, when fenced with a love for learning, are very ingenious in discovering all such arts as are necessary to carry it to perfection.  Two things they owe to us, the manufacture of paper and the art of printing; yet they are not so entirely indebted to us for these discoveries but that a great part of the invention was their own.  We showed them some books printed by Aldus, we explained to them the way of making paper and the mystery of printing; but, as we had never practised these arts, we described them in a crude and superficial manner.  They seized the hints we gave them; and though at first they could not arrive at perfection, yet by making many essays they at last found out and corrected all their errors and conquered every difficulty.  Before this they only wrote on parchment, on reeds, or on the barks of trees; but now they have established the manufactures of paper and set up printing presses"

Not certain More's philosophy on police, but according to Cliff Notes, More's Utopia had no police, which is prescient of poor More considering the coppers threw him in the clink:

"The extraordinary efficiency of the entire business structure is explained in part by superior management, as has been said, but also partly because they have eliminated several costly and time-consuming activities, freeing the citizens for more productive work. There is no army, no navy, no police force; there are no lawyers, bankers, or salesmen."

More was presciently ahead of his time:

From short bio in Whiting, Bartlett Jere, Fred Millett, Alexander Witherspoon, Odell Shepard, Arthur Hudson, Edward Wagenknecht, and Louis Untermeyer. The College Survey of English Literature. Shorter ed. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1942. Print. More considered becoming monk, but instead entered secular public political world and ended up a martyr and a saint:

Unlike Levin's critique of More's supposed ideology, Whiting et al attack More's aesthetics: "although attempts have been made, especially by R.W. Chambers, to establish More as the first modern prose stylist, most readers find his prose formless and undisciplined and his controversial manners the equal of Milton's worst." Since my writing resembles that remark, I'm going to give More the benefit of the doubt.

Conversely, St. Francis Assisi, whose parents wanted him to become a soldier and a statesman, disappointed his family when he opted to become an impoverished monk. I wonder if Francis and Thomas had chosen the proverbial Robert Frost path less trodden opposite professions whether either would have been beatified. According to article on St. Francis, he successfully survived his stint in the slammer, unlike poor Thomas More:

"After fighting in a battle between Assisi and Perugia, Francis was captured and imprisoned for ransom. He spent nearly a year in prison—awaiting his father's payment—and, according to legend, began receiving visions from God. "

Whiting et al don't settle the dispute as to whether More was serious or not, but point out "there is certainly no psychological incongruity between the regimented society of Utopia and More's severe, ascetic practices."

A more sympathetic portrait of More as a laid back Christian humanist is limned in Burns, Edward McNall, Robert E. Lerner, and Standish Meacham. Western Civilizations: Their History and Their Culture. 10th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1984. Print. with coffee mug stained cover:

Burns et al paint More and his Christian humanist mentor Erasmus as laid back "basically conciliatory in their temperaments [who] preferred to express themselves by mean of wry understatements" in distinct contrast to how poor More was portrayed by the PBS "Wolf Hall"

Tappan, E. (1905). A Short History of England's Literature. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. is also sympathetic to More and describes More and Tyndale as "two of the three or four best writers of English prose that during [Henry VIII's] reign"

I quoted from Tappan to counter the mean anti - More (must be an Anglican) snarkiness:

Woods, G., Watt, H., Anderson, G., and; Holznecht, K. (1958). The Literature of England: An Anthology and a History (Fourth ed., Vol. One). Chicago, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company challenges Tappan's assertion and questions whether More really did write "The History of Edward V and Richard III".  Woods also disabuses readers of Tappan's implication that the creator of freethinking Utopians was simpatico with Tyndale by pointing out More wrote tracts critical of the translator of the English Bible.

More's reputation is defended by, of all sources, the British leftist "Guardian" newspaper in Jonathan Jones' 29 January 2015  article "'Wolf Hall' is wrong: Thomas More was a funny, feminist Renaissance man"
"Why does 'Wolf Hall' demonise one of the most brilliant and forward-looking of all Renaissance people? Its caricature of Thomas More as a charmless prig, a humourless alienating nasty piece of work, is incredibly unfair...He was a literary wit, a family man ... and a proto-feminist."

And, in conclusion, Fr. Robert Barron discusses the rapprochement between Pope Benedict XVI and the Anglican Church over St. Thomas More:

With a quick screen save summary:

Conversely, a youtube commenter pointed out another reason that might have held up More's canonization, he allegedly tortured people:

More might curmudgeonly counter Mossy McSharry from his 1534 "A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation"

"And would God that those that drown themselves in the desire of this world's wretched wealth, were not yet more fools than he! But alas, their folly as far surpasseth the foolishness of that silly fellow as there is difference between the height of heaven and the very depth of hell. For our Saviour saith, "Woe may you be that laugh now, for you shall wail and weep." And "There is a time of weeping," saith the scripture, "and there is a time of laughing." But, as you see, he setteth the weeping time before, for that is the time of this wretched world, and the laughing time shall come after in heaven. There is also a time of sowing and a time of reaping, too. Now must we in this world sow, that we may in the other world reap. And in this short sowing time of this weeping world, must we water our seed with the showers of our tears. And then shall we have in heaven a merry laughing harvest forever. "They went forth and sowed their seeds weeping," saith the prophet. But what, saith he, shall follow thereof? "They shall come again more than laughing, with great joy and exultation, with their handfuls of corn in their hands." Lo, they that in their going home towards heaven sow their seeds with weeping, shall at the day of judgment come to their bodies again with everlasting plentiful laughing. And to prove that this life is no laughing time, but rather the time of weeping, we find that our Saviour himself wept twice or thrice, but never find we that he laughed so much as once. I will not swear that he never did, but at least he left us no example of it. But on the other hand, he left us example of weeping.
Of weeping have we matter enough, both for our own sins and for other folk's, too. For surely so should we do—bewail their wretched sins, and not be glad to detract them nor envy them either. Alas, poor souls, what cause is there to envy them who are ever wealthy in this world, and ever out of tribulation? Of them Job saith, "They lead all their days in wealth, and in a moment of an hour descend into their graves and are painfully buried in hell." St. Paul saith unto the Hebrews that those whom God loveth he chastiseth, "And he scourgeth every son of his that he receiveth." St. Paul saith also, "By many tribulations must we go into the kingdom of God." And no marvel, for our Saviour Christ said of himself unto his two disciples that were going into the village of Emaus, "Know you not that Christ must suffer and so go into his kingdom?" And would we who are servants look for more privilege in our master's house than our master himself?"

FYI, More was paraphrasing Psalm 126:6 in his treatise:

"Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them." 

Which reminds me of Don McLean's  "Babylon"

which is based on English Standard Version translation of Psalm 137:1:

"By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion."
which, of course, if More had completely succeeded over Tyndale, neither the English Bible nor McLean's song would exist...but I'll give More the last word:

Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Saint Peter's Day June 29 #Fortnight4Freedom #trcot

From Lee, Kay, Marshall Lee, Kate Greenaway, and Eugène Grasset. The Illuminated Book of Days. New York: Putnam, 1979. Print. June 29 is Feast Day for St. Peter

According to St. Peter's Fiesta wesbite, it looks like folks in Gloucester, Massachusetts still host both secular and profane activities on the first pope's feast day, carting his statue all over the place, in a "Where's Waldo" fashion:

From "A.D. The Bible Continues", Peter reminds Cornelius that he's just a simple fisherman:


Father Daniel Lord in his children's picture book biography of saints reminds us that Peter was called by Jesus to also be a fisher of men as well as a fisher of fish from  Lord, Daniel A. Miniature Stories of the Saints. Vol. One. New York: W.J. Hirten, 1943. Print.

Reminding followers that Saint Peter started out as a lowly proletarian fisherman goes back at least to Medieval Ages:

It seems Fr. Lord changed the iconography of St. Peter from a Cleves green and white New York Jets fan (from Heritage Uniforms and Jerseys blog)

to a burgundy and gold Washington Redskins fan (again from Heritage Uniforms and Jerseys) :

An article on the travails of tilapia Biblical fisherman  from  Alexander, Pat, and David Alexander. Zondervan Handbook to the Bible. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan House, 1999. Print.

A point of Catholic trivia I never heard of before regarding the number of prayers in the rosary 153 equaling the number of fish Peter caught from John 21:11

"So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn."

Here's a screen save of the tweet since the embed function is working right now for me:

And, snarky snark snark, it would be great if one of those fishes had some drachmas in their mouth to help me pay my taxes :-)

Messianic Rabbi Kirt Schneider quotes 1 Peter 5:8 in his  "Self Deliverance, Unforgiveness, Woundedness, Trauma" sermon:

In case the link breaks, the pertinent quote from 1 Peter 5:8

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."


 Zondervan includes a mosaic of Peter's warning about hungry lions wishing to devour us:

St. Peter bio from explains where all the key business comes from:

"Christ responded by saying: '... you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.... He added: 'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven'"
Which is Matthew 16:18-19

"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

From "Catholic Activity: June 29: Feast of Saint Peter" is, of course, to eat some flounder for the sometimes floundering fisher of men.

The Vatican includes a cautionary mosaic by Giovanni Lanfranco on the subject of Peter sinking into the sea after taking his eyes off Jesus, from "Altar of the Navicella" post from website:

Again, Rabbi Schneider reminds us that keeping your eyes on Jesus to prevent being swamped and overwhelmed by the turmoil of the world is good advice for us, today, just as it was for Peter back in Biblical times: