Wow.

After a two-week break which was largely free from US news, I return to find that things across the pond are as crazy as ever.

First, a reminder that fake news — then known as yellow journalism — existed a century ago:

The New York World — long since defunct — is the press organ that supposedly came up with the eponymous World Series for baseball. Ironically, Joseph Pulitzer — of the esteemed journalism prize — was the paper’s publisher. The World was a leading national ‘voice’ of the Democratic Party. Enough said.

Now onto the week’s news.

Anyone who is sensitive or easily triggered is advised to avoid some of the material in this post, particularly the first few news items. That said, this entry ends on a positive note.

White supremacy ends with white abortion

I really hope the following article is yellow journalism and nothing more but, with all the madness going on, it is difficult to be sure.

An online magazine, Medusa, has an article called ‘Beyond Pro-Choice: The Solution to White Supremacy is White Abortion’. I hope Tucker Carlson is able to get the author, Nicole Valentine, on his Fox News show.

In response, alternative media journalist and author Jack Posobiec tweeted:

Valentine says that white women are not doing enough:

White women: it is time to do your part! Your white children reinforce the white supremacist society that benefits you. If you claim to be progressive, and yet willingly birth white children by your own choice, you are a hypocrite. White women should be encouraged to abort their white children, and to use their freed-up time and resources to assist women of color who have no other choice but to raise their children. Women of color are in need of financial and humanitarian resources. As this white supremacist society continues to imprison black fathers, women of color are forced to stand alone in their plight to raise the next generation of Americans.

But why is that? It is because the welfare state has benefited single mothers since the late 1960s, discouraging traditional marriage and the family. For nearly 50 years, women have been ‘married’ to the government, not a (or the) father of their children.

Valentine continues:

How about adopting children of color who have lost their parents to the destructive white supremacist society that you have enabled and encouraged?

However, that, too, has been criticised both in the United States and the United Kingdom, especially when a white couple does so.

Valentine concludes:

Of course, the best choice is to act preventatively to ensure that white children are not at risk of being born. But in circumstances in which termination and generation are the options, it is best to take advantage of your right to choose, and abort in favor of assisting women of color.

This is her brief autobiography located beneath the comments (photo supplied):

Nicole Valentine

Worship Leader for the Progressive Women’s Christian Ministry at my college, intersectional feminist, dedicated to Jesus and the progressive movement as a whole! Also an advocate for AAPI rights as a woman of color! Jesus, women, and progress: basically my life! White men need not contact.

Not a Christian attitude.

For those wondering what intersectional feminism means, USA Today explains:

If feminism is advocating for women’s rights and equality between the sexes, intersectional feminism is the understanding of how women’s overlapping identities — including race, class, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation — impact the way they experience oppression and discrimination.

A white woman is penalized by her gender but has the advantage of race. A black woman is disadvantaged by her gender and her race. A Latina lesbian experiences discrimination because of her ethnicity, her gender and her sexual orientation.

The United States has had a plethora of laws on state and federal books, some of which date back 50+ years, that clearly prohibit racial, sexual as well as age discrimination and, in some cases, favour positive discrimination.

White professors should ‘get out the way’

An article on the American Mathematical Society blog says that whites should step aside from teaching. It should be noted that:

The opinions expressed on this blog are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the American Mathematical Society.

In May 2017, mathematician Piper Harron wrote ‘Get Out The Way’ for the AMS blog. (She wrote a follow-up in June on her own website.) She opened her AMS article with this:

If you are a white cis man (meaning you identify as male and you were assigned male at birth) you almost certainly should resign from your position of power. That’s right, please quit. Too difficult? Well, as a first step, at least get off your hiring committee, your curriculum committee, and make sure you’re replaced by a woman of color or trans person. Don’t have any in your department? HOW SHOCKING.

Remember that you live in a world where people don’t succeed in a vacuum; most success happens on the backs of others who did not consent. You have no idea how successful you would have been if you were still you, but with an additional marginalization (not white, or not male, or not cis gender, or with a disability, etc).

In other words, echoing POTUS 44: ‘You didn’t build this’.

Also:

Remember having white cis women run the world is no kind of solution.

This is because — and she supplies an accompanying chart — 63% of white males and 53% of white females support President Donald Trump.

It is highly unlikely that (m)any whites teaching in a college or university support Donald Trump. Not long ago, I met with a group of professors (white and Hispanic, male and female). None of them supports Trump.

Next?

More calls for president’s assassination — one arrest

As we know, the calls for President Trump to be assassinated have been incessant.

What that man and his family have to endure every day for no good reason is beyond our ken. Please continue to pray for their safety.

With a rewrite of a Shakespearean play currently running in Central Park about a Trump assassination, Kathy Griffin’s sick video of his ‘decapitation’ and the attempt on Republican congressman Steve Scalise’s and others’ lives, Johnny Depp decided to ‘joke’ at the Glastonbury music and cinema festival in the west of England.

USA Today reports:

Speaking onstage Thursday at Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England, Depp stepped into controversy with jokes aimed at President Trump that addressed presidential assassination.

“Can we bring Trump here?” Depp asked the crowd at the festival.

“I think he needs help,” Depp said, according to video posted online. “This is going to be in the press and it’ll be horrible. But I like that you’re all a part of it. When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” …

The Associated Press reported that Depp then added it’s “been a while, and maybe it’s time.”

Actor John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

Depp’s representative did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment about Depp’s jokes.

For Depp fans currently out of the loop:

The actor has been in the headlines this year following his contentious divorce from ex-wife Amber Heard and a lawsuit with his former business managers. Depp sued the Management Group in January for more than $25 million, charging fraud and negligence.

Sad.

Meanwhile, an Edwardsville, Illinois, man was arrested and charged with threatening to kill President Trump. The Belleville News-Democrat reports:

Joseph Lynn Pickett was charged with threatening the president of the United States on June 15.

U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Vincent Pescitelli said Pickett threatened to “take the life of, to kidnap, and to inflict bodily harm” against Trump on Facebook, according to a criminal complaint filed with the charges. The complaint included screenshots of Pickett’s Facebook posts.

Breaking 911 says:

A judge has ordered Pickett be held without bail.

Both articles have his Facebook comments. Fortunately — perhaps, ‘finally’ — the Secret Service reacted.

Like Depp, Pickett also had his personal problems. The Belleville News-Democrat tells us (emphases mine below):

Until about six to eight months ago, Pickett had been working at Lowe’s in Granite City until he was fired for making threats to a coworker, according to the complaint.

Two Lowe’s employees contacted the St. Louis chapter of the U.S. Secret Service and told them that Pickett had threatening posts on his Facebook page. They also said he had bragged about having weapons.

A financial affadavit submitted to the court says Pickett has not been employed since February. He got by with food stamps and financial support from his father.

Pickett will be detained until his trial, according to court documents. A judge ruled that Pickett should be detained because the court couldn’t ensure the safety of other people in the community and because of “mental instability.”

Good on the Lowe’s employees.

Would the Secret Service had done anything otherwise?

One wonders if the Secret Service would have paid Depp a visit if he still lived in the US.

Trump remembers Scalise at Congressional Picnic

On Thursday, June 22, the Trumps hosted their first Congressional Picnic at the White House, which included Ivanka ‘Vanilla’ (see here and here) Trump and her daughter:

The video below is of President Trump’s remarks:

In his short speech, Trump remembered Steve Scalise, in hospital for the foreseeable future, after the shooting on Wednesday, June 14:

On June 22, the Free Beacon reported that 30 Republican congressmen have been threatened or attacked since the beginning of May. There is no excuse for that. Few arrests have been made.

These are the latest two attacks (language alert, emphases in purple mine):

June 22: An Ohio man was arrested for leaving a voicemail threatening the life and family of Rep. Steve Stivers (Ohio).

“We’re coming to get every goddamn one of you and your families. Maybe the next one taken down will be your daughter. Huh? Or your wife. Or even you,” the man said.

The same day, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz played a threatening voicemail he had received on “Fox & Friends.”

“I suggest you prepare for the battle motherf**ker, and the apocalypse,” the caller yelled. “Because we are going to hunt your ass down, wrap a rope around your neck, and hang you from a lamppost.”

Jeffrey Epstein update

On June 22, federal prosecutors broke their decade-long silence regarding the soft treatment billionaire Jeffrey Epstein — a close friend of Billary Clinton — received after his intimate involvement with teenage girls.

The Palm Beach Post reports (emphases mine):

Contrary to claims by attorneys representing two of Epstein’s victims in a lawsuit against the federal government, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafana said she and her superiors were trying to help the traumatized young women when they agreed to let Epstein plead guilty to state prostitution charges.

The now-64-year-old money manager, who spends most of his time on his estate in the Virgin Islands, served 13 months of an 18-month sentence in the Palm Beach County Stockade. He was allowed to leave each day to go to work.

Hoping to persuade U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra to throw out the lawsuit that accuses the government of violating the federal Crime Victims Rights Act, Villafana said she tried to keep Epstein’s victims informed about the investigation and the eventual plea deal. But, she said, negotiations were sensitive and neither Epstein, his victims nor their attorneys made it easy.

For instance, she said, most of the young women were extremely reluctant — or simply refused — to testify against Epstein, who had paid them to give him sexually-charged massages at his mansion …

Jane Doe 1, who is also suing the government, agreed to testify. But Villafana said one victim wouldn’t have been enough to convict Epstein.

Rather than let Epstein use his considerable influence to evade prosecution, she and top officials at the U.S. Justice Department crafted the plea deal.

In exchange for pleading guilty to charges of solicitation of prostitution and soliciting minors to engage in prostitution in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Epstein was not charged with any federal counts.

The article says that Epstein’s legal team will file a response at the end of July.

New US ambassador to the UK

In more neutral news, President Trump has appointed a new ambassador to the UK who succeeds Matthew Barzun, an Obama bundler and National Finance Chair for his 2012 presidential campaign.

It would have been nice if Trump had promoted a career diplomat to this plum position, however, the president chose to go down the same route of selecting a big campaign donor.

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is the new man in London:

Bloomberg reports that, in 2016:

Johnson backed Trump when Bush dropped out of the race. He gave $349,000 to Trump Victory, which split donations between Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and state Republican parties. The committee reported receiving the bulk of the money ($249,000) on Nov. 10, 2016, two days after Trump’s election, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Perhaps Trump thinks that Johnson will be a true ally who can help smooth over the cracks in the US/UK relationship which no one can call ‘special’ right now:

Johnson will step into challenges that have arisen in the six months since Trump took office, notably how to stabilize the U.S.-U.K. relationship in the post-Brexit world and how to win over Britons who have shown open hostility toward the U.S. president.

A planned state visit to the U.K. by Trump still hasn’t been formally scheduled, and no reference to it was made by Queen Elizabeth II during her speech to parliament this week — an omission observers noted as a departure from tradition in advance of state visits.

I hope my fellow Britons will be nice to him. I wish him all the best in his assignment.

I also hope that Mr Johnson enjoys lamb, because its frequency at many British dinners deeply disappointed Mr Barzun, who clearly prefers beef.

And finally …

The notional White House Anon who surfaced briefly on 4chan/pol/ made a second — and, perhaps, final — appearance on June 22 to say:

I’m here to let you know that sometime between right now as I type this, or no later than around 2 pm tomorrow, you will either read about, listen to, or watch a news story. You will probably see it first on Twitter from a few well known conservative (right wing) people. It will break on cable news shortly after. I cannot go in to specifics. I know most of you all support President Trump, so have no worries on the matter. This information will completely shift the narrative away from him and any of his staff. You will all be very happy and excited about this as many of us have and will too. Look forward to many happenings next week. Things are about to shift in a direction Democrats are going to hate. It will be lovely. Big happenings, not just silly things like “Russia” hoax or “Yet another terrorist attack has happened”. Most of you all have been waiting for a happening like this for a year or more, and people will be talking about this for years to come. Stay thirsty my friends. Promises made, promises kept.

I really hope Anon is legit. With only two appearances, it was hard to tell. Even FBI Anon was considered suspect after several lengthy postings, even though it seems he was right on the money.

In closing, The_Donald‘s contributors remind us that June 23 is Britain’s first anniversary of Brexit! Thanks, chaps!

Although we associate Cannes with film stars and opulence, the small city has a longstanding religious history thanks to the nearby islands of St Honorat and Ste Marguerite.

The two islands are known as the Îles de Lérins, or Lérins Islands.

Our hotel had copies of an excellent book called Cannes: Jewel of the Mediterranean, parts of which are summarised below with additional sources.

The Ligurian-Celtic connection

Before the Romans began building their vast empire of exploration followed by trade, a more ancient people who were part Ligurian (from the northern Italian Riviera) and part Celtic had explored and colonised parts of the European Mediterranean coastline.

On the two islands near Cannes, they erected a shrine to their goddess Lerina. Nothing more is known about this deity, and the Ligurian-Celtic people disappeared centuries before the Romans arrived.

The Ligurian-Celtic people also gave the city of Cannes its name. In their language, it was Kan, denoting a summit. Many centuries later, when the Provençal language was spoken, this summit was called Le Suquet, where the old part of the city remains today. However, Kan stuck and later became Cannes.

When the Romans arrived, they called the islands Lero (Ste Marguerite) and Lerina (St Honorat), for the Ligurian-Celtic deity.

St Honorat

Germanic tribes invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, and by 476, it came to an end when Romulus Augustulus abdicated to the warlord Odoacer.

Around a century earlier, a man named Honoratus from northern Gaul — present-day Germany — had converted to Christianity. Honoratus was thought to have been born around 350 AD to a Roman consular family. His parents provided him with an excellent education and he became a highly learned young man.

Around 368, he and his brother Venantius — also a convert — decided to tour the Holy Land, Egypt and Syria. Their guide Caprasius was a pious Christian and took other observant believers along with them.

Venantius died suddenly along the way in what is now Greece, and the group decided to return to Gaul. Honoratus stopped off in Rome then made his way to Provence. He happened to meet Leontius, the Bishop of Fréjus — originally ‘Forum Julii’ — who encouraged the young man to sail to the Lérins and pursue a life of holiness.

Vgeant26.jpgLegend has it that the Lérins were full of snakes at that period in time. Regardless, Honoratus was able to attract faithful Christian men to help him erect a monastery on the island that bears his name today. By the early 5th century, it was built and was the primary achievement of Leontius’s episcopacy. Leontius was later canonised. His name is Léonce in French, and his feast day is December 1.

Many men who were later canonised became disciples of Honoratus, including Hilary of Arles and Patrick, who studied there before he became Ireland’s principal evangelist.

The woodcut at left, courtesy of Wikipedia, depicts the cover of a book by Raymond Féraud about Honoratus’s life written in Provençal around 1300. Near the end of his life, Honoratus was made Bishop of Arles, hence the book title. Hilary of Arles succeeded him and is thought to have been a relative of his.

After Honoratus died, many pilgrims sailed to St Honorat to visit the monastery. The aforementioned book, written centuries later, confirms that his place in Church history was lasting and significant.

It should be noted that the monastery in its present form developed over the centuries.

Ste Marguerite

Legend has it that Honoratus had a sister, Marguerite. According to the story, she became a nun and settled the neighbouring island, building a convent there.

She did so to be close to her beloved brother. However, Honoratus told her he would only visit her when a particular tree was in blossom once a year in March. The legend has it that Marguerite prayed fervently that the tree would flower more often, enabling her to see Honoratus more than once a year.

Her prayers were answered, and the legend says that Honoratus sailed to visit her twelve times a year.

In reality, this story probably came from the aforementioned Provençal book by Raymond Féraud.

It is more likely that crusaders settled the island and built a chapel dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch.

Millennial fear — 1000 AD

At the time of the first Millennium, there was not much to speak of in Cannes at that time. Only a few hundred people lived there then.

Historically, Cannes and the Lérins suffered from foreign invasions, mostly by the Saracens.

The general sentiment as the year 1000 approached was that a terrible apocalyptic fate would befall the area in the form of another foreign invasion.

I put that bit in bold because there are many who think that people were too ignorant to anticipate apocalyptic events around that time. Yet, history tells us otherwise.

Cannes: Jewel of the Mediterranean says that a local count owned the land at that time: Cannes and the Lérins. One of his sons, who became a monk and lived in community on St Honorat, inherited the two islands after his father’s death. He duly gave this land to the monastery so that it would be independent.

The book says that the count had fortified Cannes with a tower and château on Le Suquet — the summit. Other accounts say that the monks built those.

In any event, the area stayed safe during the time immediately before and after the first Millennium. The townspeople of Cannes believed the faith of the monks had kept them and the islands safe from harm. Therefore, they decided to place themselves under the protection of the monastery. This meant that the monks collected certain taxes from them during the year and imposed hefty fines for any infractions, such as unauthorised tours of the islands.

This dependence on the monks lasted until 1530 when Cannes became independent.

Later invasions and government intervention

The islands were not meant to be peaceful for long.

Their strategic positioning attracted other invaders centuries later, including the Spanish in 1635.

Ste Marguerite

At the time the Spanish invaded, Ste Marguerite no longer belonged to the monastery. The Duke of Chevreuse had purchased it in 1612 for strategic reasons. He built a fort — Fort Royal — on the island. France recaptured Ste Marguerite in 1637, and the government expanded the island’s development, building a barracks and state prison there.

In the 18th century, a small village developed on Ste Marguerite, which served the soldiers stationed there.

The prison closed in the 20th century and is best known for housing the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask, whose identity has never been verified.

St Honorat

When the Spanish invaded in 1635, they expelled the monks from St Honorat. The monks went into exile in Vallauris, not far from Cannes, and returned once France had liberated the Lérins.

Once reclaimed, the monastery suffered from later Spanish attacks. The Genoese also attacked the island.

In the 18th century, revolutionary fervour replaced religious faith on St Honorat. By the time the French Revolution took place, only four monks were left on the island. In 1787, the revolutionary government disestablished the monastery, took over ownership of the island and soon sold it to an actress, Mademoiselle de Sainval, who lived there for 20 years.

Fortunately, in 1859, the Bishop of Fréjus purchased the land so that a monastery could be re-established. A community of Cistercian monks settled there in 1869 and that religious order has remained there ever since.

In terms of religious discipline, St Honorat went from a monastic rule of Honoratus to a Benedictine one to the present day Cistercian rule, which also borrows from St Benedict.

Today

Cannes and the Lérins have changed much over the centuries. Frequent ferries from the centre of town link the city to the islands.

St Honorat

Visitors interested not only in Christianity but also wine and food produced at the monastery will enjoy visiting St Honorat.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some services and Masses are open to the public. Those seeking solitude and prayer can spend a quiet day surrounded by nature.

Those seeking more secular pursuits can take advantage of a tasting of the seven monastery wines, eat at the restaurant or bring their own picnic hamper.

Guided tours are provided free of charge.

Ste Marguerite

Ste Marguerite is a mixture of public and private land.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The village still exists, and the owner of the Force India Formula 1 team owns a huge plot of land on the island.

That said, most of Ste Marguerite is known as a nature reserve and a destination for those who enjoy water-oriented sporting pursuits.

One can also tour the old prison, which now has a Museum of the Sea and a youth hostel.

Cannes

The Promenade de la CroisetteCannes remained a small fishing village until the 1830s.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1834 — some say 1835 — Henry Brougham, the 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, was touring the Côte d’Azur in an attempt to find a place where his daughter Eleonora could find relief from her bronchial ailment. By chance, they stopped in Cannes, where the local hospitality they received was so cordial that they decided to stay.

The fresh air and sea breezes helped Eleonora recover, and he built a residence for her in town.

Lord Brougham told all his friends how splendid Cannes was. It was not long before they arrived in town and, like him, built their own residences either along the seafront or in the neighbouring hills.

By 1870, the town had been transformed into an English home away from home. Cannes’s development preceded Nice’s. It was thanks to Brougham that Nice’s main seafront thoroughfare became known as the Promenade des Anglais.

Brougham lived to see much of Cannes’s transformation from town to city, which probably gave him some cheer in his later years. He outlived his wife and two daughters, which must not have been easy. He died in the city in 1868 and is buried in the local Cimetière du Grand Jas.

European royalty and nobility flocked to Cannes during the middle of the 19th century. An important Russian community of that group also took root.

One French author who knew the area when it was a humble fishing village was appalled by the number, style and size of the foreign-owned villas. However, the English and other Europeans invited him to their parties. He was soon swept up into the new Cannes social swirl and never looked back. Those people became his best friends.

By the end of the 19th century, trains were stopping at Cannes and the city built a tramway to facilitate local transport.

From there, the city grew and grew. It became known as a playground for the wealthy and for film stars. The 70th Cannes Film Festival took place in May 2017.

Many years ago, Cannes erected a statue of Lord Brougham in its city centre. Brougham stands facing a fountain overlooking the sea. It’s a splendid reminder of a remarkable history.

I cannot think of a place on earth that has more to offer in every respect than Cannes. Put it on your bucket list. You won’t be sorry, as long as you visit at the right time.

Cannes is as lovely as ever.

Some of my readers cannot see the attraction, but it all depends on when one sees this jewel of the Mediterranean.

There is a brief window between the end of the annual film festival in May and the beginning of the Cannes Lions advertising festival in June when one can experience the city in near normality. Of course, smaller conferences and another international festival — namely the music industry’s MIDEM — take place at that time, but these do not normally impinge as much on city life as the others do.

I’ll have more to write in the coming days, so this is a summary of impressions that my better half SpouseMouse and I noted this year.

Weather

The weather was perfect from start to finish. It was too hot for SpouseMouse during the second week, but we had wall-to-wall sunshine and warm temps.

By contrast, in 2015, we had some rollicking thunderstorms, including one around 6:30 a.m., which brought everyone in our hotel down to breakfast by 7:00 a.m.

Italians

We were surprised at the number of Italian visitors, given that most French people go to Italy for an inexpensive weekend break or holiday.

Femininity and masculinity maintained

Speaking of Italians, they and the French are firmly maintaining male and female roles. Women are feminine and men are masculine.

This was noticeably less common with visitors from northern Europe and North America.

New restaurants

There were a number of new restaurants that opened near the Marché Gambetta near the railway station. I will write about these in future posts.

These are convenient for people staying (and living) in that area. It also means that diners can readily avoid the street hawkers and musicians who panhandle at night near the bigger seafood restaurants along Rue Félix Faure in the centre of town.

Food prices

Restaurant menu prices haven’t gone up much, if at all, since our last visit in 2015, which is good news.

However, the prices of French food and vegetables at Marché Forville in Le Suquet have increased markedly. I can appreciate French talk radio listeners who ring up RMC to say that they do without home-grown produce, buy less of it or plump for Spanish fruit and vegetables which are much less expensive.

French produce is definitely cheaper at the supermarket than at the market stall.

Meat, whether at a butcher’s or the supermarket, is incredibly expensive, probably 50% higher than in the UK.

Shopping

Clothing prices are about the same as in 2015.

One can still find terrific bargains in natural fabrics for men and women at Monoprix and in Rue Meynadier, both of which attract Cannes residents as well as tourists.

Fun Mod’ in Rue Meynadier still has durable, traditional espadrilles in all adult sizes and colours for €6 a pair. You can’t get a better bargain.

Service

Service continues to improve in restaurants, both in terms of getting plates to the table and communication. We can speak French reasonably well, but many wait staff spoke in English initially to be helpful.

Cleanliness

Cannes is a smooth running ship in terms of hygiene.

We did not see any litter. (There are fines of €180 if the authorities see someone littering.)

I saw only one small bit of graffiti — in the upmarket Rue d’Antibes.

The dustmen went around at least daily — twice a day on Tuesdays and Fridays — to collect trash and recycling. There was a man who rode a machine that swept and cleansed the sidewalks of Rue d’Antibes every afternoon.

The majority of dog owners — of which there were plenty — were very serious about cleaning up after their pets, so there was very little canine detritus.

Conclusion

We had a lovely time. For once, we were able to stay for two weeks. The hotel was perfect. We had a room with a sea view and a spacious terrace. The hotel beach was great and the sea water soothing.

I am four to five shades darker than when I left Blighty, for which I am grateful.

More to come now and then over the next week or two. I have much to say.

In several countries, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. In 2017, it took place on June 18.

Father’s Day history

This special day for dads started in the United States, however, contrary to what we might think, it was not a greeting cards company invention. The Sun reports:

There are a few stories with regards to the beginning of Father’s Day.

According to one tale, it first began because of a woman named Grace Golden Clayton from Fairmount, West Virginia.

An orphan, Grace lobbied her local Methodist ministers for a church service to honour fathers in 1908.

The story goes that she was inspired to do this after a mining disaster killed 362 local men.

Their deaths orphaned more than 1,000 children and Grace wanted to pay tribute to the children’s dead fathers – as well as her own.

Another story involves the daughter of a civil war veteran, Sonora Smart Dodd, from Arkansas.

While listening to a sermon for Mother’s Day, Sonora became convinced of the need to celebrate dads too.

She then campaigned to her religious leaders for a special service dedicated to fathers.

In 1966, President Johnson designated that the third Sunday in June should be Father’s Day.

Six years later, the Father’s Day was made a permanent national holiday in the US, when, in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed it into law.

It is great to know that the origins were connected with women churchgoers who lobbied their clergymen for recognition of paters familias.

Even in the notionally patriarchal 19th and 20th centuries, fathers were not considered as worthy as mothers of having their own special day.

President Trump

President Donald Trump and his family spent Father’s Day at Camp David, their first stay at this presidential retreat near Washington, DC.

Although the First Family were low-key in their tweets about the President — see here and here — a Trump supporter found two photos perfect for his Father’s Day:

Vice President Pence

Vice President Mike Pence and his family spent part of last week in their home state of Indiana.

New pets

Whilst there, they bought two new pets, a kitten:

and a puppy. The latter was a present to the Vice President:

Hazel and Harley join the other Pence pets, including the popular rabbit, Marlon Bundo:

I say ‘popular’, because BOTUS, as the media have dubbed Bundo, overshadowed both Ivanka Trump and HR McMaster on May 9, when the Pences welcomed military families at the Vice President’s office. Webgrio has a great set of photographs and an accompanying article, excerpts of which follow:

Ivanka Trump had some competition for attention at the White House Tuesday – and they matched in white with black spots.

The first daughter, wearing a polka dotted dress, spoke to a group of military families for an event marking National Military Appreciation Month, hosted by Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen.

Upstaging Ivanka in the audience of small children was the Pence family pet: the white bunny with black spots, Marlon Bundo …

Karen Pence tweeted a photo of herself about to enter an event with military families at the White House – and she brought a special guest, the BOTUS, Marlon Bundo …

White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster spoke at the event after Ivanka Trump saying, ”OK, that’s the toughest act to follow.’ But then the rabbit appeared …

The article says that even Pence couldn’t hold the children’s interest after his wife left with BOTUS in her arms.

BOTUS Bundo trended heavily on Twitter that week:

BOTUS is the subject of a colouring book which made its way as far as the Asia-Pacific:

Let’s hope the Pence menagerie can make friends with the bees at the Vice President’s residence:

A time to remember

For the Pences, Father’s Day was a time to remember.

Karen Pence tweeted an old family photo:

The Vice President honoured his late father:

A Pence supporter chose to remember the Scalise family, who spent Father’s Day in the hospital. Congressman Steve Scalise was the primary victim of a crazed man from Illinois who, on Wednesday, June 14, fired a gun at Republicans practising for the annual Congressional baseball game, a charity event. Scalise is expected to be in hospital for weeks as he recovers from a damaging bullet to the pelvis.

I will have more soon on the man who attempted to take the life of Congressman Scalise.

Interestingly, the Illinois man’s family will have no more Father’s Days as law enforcement officers intervened and — rightly — fatally shot him.

Life is precious and God-given. Therefore, let’s make every day a time to honour and remember our parents. We never know what tomorrow will bring.

Hello, readers!

This brief post is to let you know that comments are now on for all posts for the month of June 2017.

I had turned the facility off two weeks ago, for reasons I will explain later this week.

Hint: I was in a locale where women are still women and men are still men.

More to follow soon.

In closing, a hearty welcome — and thank you — to my newest subscribers!

The head of the US Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is the man making school lunches great again.

He is also making farming great again. For too long, American farmers have been looked down upon. That’s all changing. Perdue — not related to the chicken processing Perdues — worked on his family’s farm, has a Ph.D in veterinary science, owns three small agriculture-related businesses and was the governor of the state of Georgia.

His Twitter feed — @SecretarySonny — is not only educational but will brighten the darkest of days.

This is one of my favourites:

He enjoys touring USDA facilities around the country just to pop in for a chat:

He recently went to see the flood damage in Arkansas. The USDA will do what it can to help:

He enjoys visiting farms:

He’s visited grain barges:

He’s delighted that China is once again importing US beef, for the first time since the Bush II administration:

And here he is with his lovely wife Mary:

How many people know what’s going on in the USDA? Follow Sonny Perdue and find out what Big Media aren’t reporting.

Holy Communion stained glassCorpus Christi Sunday is celebrated this year on June 18.

It is most widely known in the Catholic Church, but some traditionalist Anglicans and Lutherans also celebrate this important feast day, which may include a procession of the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance (pictured at right).Monstrance stisidore-yubacityorg

Corpus Christi means ‘Body of Christ’ in Latin. The feast dates back to the Middle Ages and became a mandatory feast in 1312. It parallels the Last Supper on Maundy (Holy) Thursday, but is a more joyous celebration and one of thanksgiving, as Christ’s prophecies of His death, resurrection and ascension into Heaven have been fulfilled. He also sent the Holy Spirit to His disciples and the Holy Trinity was revealed to mankind — all as He promised.

You can read more about the feast of Corpus Christi in my 2010 post, which also includes the Scripture reference from St John’s Gospel.

Forbidden Bible Verses will return next week.

Big Media have been making up so many accusations about President Donald Trump and his administration that Americans have now equated them with fake news.

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, The Hill reported the fake news element of the Harvard survey that shows most coverage of Trump was negative in the extreme. I wrote about the survey’s findings with regard to the negativity the other day.

The Hill reported (emphases mine):

According to data from the latest Harvard-Harris poll, which was provided exclusively to The Hill, 65 percent of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media.

That number includes 80 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats. Eighty-four percent of voters said it is hard to know what news to believe online.

Even 53% of Democrats think Big Media report fake news.

Once again, President Trump is proven correct.

Unfortunately, the survey noted that the consistent onslaught of fake news from Big Media have prevented him from rising in popularity polls. This is exactly what media outlets want.

Hmm. Most Americans think Big Media are peddling fake news, yet they still believe it. They still trust media more than Trump. An interesting situation.

You really couldn’t make up what’s been happening in Trump’s Twitter world.

Let typos stand

On Tuesday, May 30, 2017 President Trump tweeted:

Despite the constant negative press covfefe

He meant ‘coverage’, but it wasn’t long before someone started #covfefe. The Hill has more on the hashtag, which was the top Twitter trend that night.

Six hours later, Trump followed up:

Alternative media’s Jack Posobiec pointed out:

Until then, the major preoccupation besides Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was the danger of the president giving out his mobile phone number to world leaders:

From the AP article we discover that Emmanuel Macron gave Trump his mobile number in return and that Justin Trudeau rang Trump on his mobile.

Obama never went anywhere without his mobile. No one ever questioned who had his mobile phone number. His phone was never hacked, although Angela Merkel’s was.

Now that Trump is trying to make friends with the Europeans by inviting them to call him at any time, his mobile phone is suddenly a major ‘security issue’.

Trump Twitter troll suspended

For several months, President Trump had a Twitter troll who was often the first to respond to his tweets, not once, not twice but many times in succession.

Not only were the trolling tweets annoying to read, they prevented Trump supporters’ responses from being at the top.

It was unclear whether the person responsible was able to make his Twitter account into a sort of bot that would automatically respond to Trump’s tweets.

Then, on May 29, news emerged from AnimeRight that the troll’s Twitter account had been suspended.

AnimeRight reported that the account holder allegedly worked for David Brock’s team at Media Matters. His account was hacked and his phone number posted on Twitter from his own account. The offending tweet was likely to have been a hack job, not from the account owner himself. Afterwards, the account was suspended.

Heat Street has more on the account holder who was:

a rising young star entrepeneur in Silicon Valley. He got a hundred thousand dollars from Trump savant Peter Th[ie]l to drop out of college and start a business which he apparently squandered on a failed anti-bullying Instagram clone.

Anti-bullying. Oh, the irony. I hope Thiel regrets that loan.

Strangely, the former troll’s:

main revenue generator is a tacky liberal t-shirt shop, selling clothes that say “Keep Calm and Impeach Trump.”

Then, for whatever reason, he had a go at 4chan, a site with a diverse group of forum posters who are also gamers and computer geniuses. The article rightly points out that the troll:

broke one of the internet’s earliest and most basic rule, don’t [mess] with 4chan. He wrote some kind of haiku of a tweet saying he owned 4chan. Within a few days, LeGate’s account was hacked — tweeting out his personal phone number — then completely deleted off the internet.

The troll also became a target of Photoshopping and rumours.

Now, thankfully, he is silent.

This hashtag, which has more on the story, was every bit as popular as #covfefe. Amazingly, the two trended concurrently.

Militant social media

For years the Democrats and their fellow left-wing travellers have conducted attacks on well-meaning conservatives.

Now the tide is turning. Driving the aforementioned troll off Twitter is but one recent and powerful example of what 4chan readers and contributors have done.

Someone on The_Donald wrote that the tide has now turned in favour of Trump supporters. It should be noted that many of them were also left-wing at an earlier point in their lives, so they understand how this game works (emphases mine):

If you understand politics and the crafty takeover of the media, Hollywood, academia, and social media platforms by the left to use Saul Alinsky style tactics to attack people and ideas on the right, you should be in awe of what 4 Chan is doing. As funny as #NippleLeGate is, it’s actually incredible and inspiring looking at how quickly they took him down. The same can be said for Shia LaBeouf, Bike Lock Professor, and on and on and on.

Not to drudge up history, but the left has done this to any person on the right that they find a threat. And they are very successful at it. Now we have their “Rules for Radicals” playbook and we’re giving it back. As Trump would say, were hitting back 10X harder.

We’re going to be the community that breaks the Seth Rich story, I can feel it. During the midterms and 2020, I guarantee you that it’s going to be 4 Chan and The_Donald that finds and weaponizes the dirt on the Dems. We’re going to be the difference.

I’m here to serve in this company of heroes until we force every leftist faculty member of academia to retire, until we bring to light the corruption and sickly pedophilia of every member of congress Republican or Democrat, until we rightfully take down every MSM organization and make them report actual news again. Until every radical Islamic organization is wiped from the face of the earth whether be from bombs or the embarrassment we’ll lob on the “losers”.

I’ll be right here fighting the entire way, because you bet … the left is trying to do the same to us and even worse.

The 2016 election was really just the beginning. The left hasn’t seen what we’re capable of yet. And when they do, we’ll take them down so fast they won’t know what hit them. The revolution is afoot and we’re at the front lines. Let’s go!!

The energy, the skill and the determination that young Trump supporters have is splendid to see in action.

Are we tired of winning? Never. Bring it on. MAGA!

More Americans are walking away from Big Media, whether its mainstream news or printed periodicals.

Those Americans are going online and reading or viewing alternative media, which, at least, seem to be doing a good job of investigation.

This is one small example of why traditional media outlets are losing their grip:

Now a Harvard study of media outlets covering President Donald Trump has proven Americans are correct in their perceptions of bias.

The study, ‘News Coverage of Donald Trump’s First 100 Days’, shows the extent of anti-Trump coverage.

American coverage

This chart gives us a summary of the findings from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy:

It is also worth remembering the 2016 campaign and the many journalists who were in the tank for Hillary Clinton. The Democrats held a few get-togethers for them, which the Podesta WikiLeaks revealed:

European media

Three European media sources were also included: Britain’s Financial Times (FT) and the BBC as well as Germany’s ARD.

Of the European sources, ARD was the worst offender, giving Trump astoundingly negative coverage 98% of the time.

The FT came next with 84% negative coverage. The BBC’s output was negative 74% of the time.

Basic findings

A summary of and excerpts from the study follow. Emphases mine below.

Trump was the star of the news during his first 100 days.

In the United States:

Trump was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the usual amount.[15] It was also the case that Trump did most of the talking (see Figure 1). He was the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of his coverage. Members of the administration, including his press secretary, accounted for 11 percent of the sound bites. Other Republicans, including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, accounted for 4 percent. Altogether, Republicans, inside and outside the administration, accounted for 80 percent of what newsmakers said about the Trump presidency.

Trump supporters were unhappy about the lack of coverage given to violent leftist protests against the president. The Left accused them of being cry babies. However, was Trump’s base right or wrong? They were right. With regard to news coverage:

Participants in anti-Trump protests and demonstrations accounted for … 3 percent.

On the other hand, television coverage did not give the Russian hacking scandal as much time as many of us might have thought:

Immigration was the most heavily covered topic, accounting for 17 percent of Trump’s coverage.[19] Health care ranked second (12 percent), followed by the terrorism threat (9 percent), and Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election (6 percent). Presidential appointments, global trade, Trump’s family and personal life, and the economy were the other topics that received 4 percent or more of the coverage.

Even though they loathe the president, cable news channels know he’s good for their ratings:

News ratings were slumping until Trump entered the arena.  Said one network executive, “[Trump] may not be good for America, but [he’s] damn good for [us].”[18]

In Europe, media coverage focussed on international issues but not on Russia:

Although, like their American counterparts, immigration was at the top of the agenda, they gave relatively more space to international trade, military, and foreign policy issues, a reflection of the extent to which Europe is affected by U.S. policies in these areas. On the other hand, Russia’s interference in the U.S. election received considerably less attention in the European media than in the U.S. media.[1]

The three European outlets also discussed Trump’s fitness for office much more than their American counterparts did:

Only 3 percent of Trump’s U.S. coverage explicitly explored the issue of Trump’s fitness for office. European journalists were less restrained with the exception of BBC journalists, who are governed by impartiality rules that prohibit such reporting.[21] Journalists at ARD, Germany’s main public broadcasting outlet, are not governed by the same rules, and Trump’s suitability for the presidency was ARD’s leading topic in January, accounting for a full fifth (20 percent) of its Trump coverage. ARD stayed on the issue in its February coverage, when it consumed 18 percent of its Trump coverage. In March and April, Trump’s fitness for office got less attention from ARD, but it nonetheless accounted for about 10 percent of ARD’s coverage. Even that reduced amount exceeded the level of any of our seven U.S. outlets in any month. And ARD’s journalists were unequivocal in their judgment—98 percent of their evaluations of Trump’s fitness for office were negative, only 2 percent were positive.

Historical perspective

The Harvard study provides history about news coverage of American presidents.

Until the early 1960s, television news gave equal time to stories about Congress and the president.

In 1963, television news expanded to half-hour broadcasts on each of the three networks (CBS, ABC and NBC). This new type of news programme facilitated the hiring of the correspondents and camera crews needed to produce picture-driven news.

This resulted in an increased coverage of the president:

who, in any case, was easier than Congress to capture on camera. Newspapers followed suit and, ever since, the president has received more coverage in the national press than all 535 members of Congress combined.[12] The White House’s dominance has been such that, on national television, the president typically accounts for roughly one-eighth of all news coverage.[13]

The study points out that the president is not only the focus of media but also their target:

Although journalists are accused of having a liberal bias, their real bias is a preference for the negative.[22] News reporting turned sour during the Vietnam and Watergate era and has stayed that way.[23] Journalists’ incentives, everything from getting their stories on the air to acquiring a reputation as a hard-hitting reporter, encourage journalists to focus on what’s wrong with politicians rather than what’s right.[24]

Furthermore, the traditional honeymoon period no longer exists:

That era is now decades in the past. Today’s presidents can expect rough treatment at the hands of the press, and Donald Trump is no exception (see Figure 4). Of the past four presidents, only Barack Obama received favorable coverage during his first 100 days, after which the press reverted to form. During his second 100 days, Obama’s coverage was 57 percent negative to 43 percent positive.[26]

Even so, television news coverage of Trump hit a new low in negativity:

Of news reports with a clear tone, negative reports outpaced positive ones by 80 percent to 20 percent. Trump’s coverage was unsparing. In no week did the coverage drop below 70 percent negative and it reached 90 percent negative at its peakThe best period for Trump was week 12 of his presidency, when he ordered a cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for the Assad regime’s use of nerve gas on civilians. That week, his coverage divided 70 percent negative to 30 percent positive. Trump’s worst periods were weeks 3 and 4 (a combined 87 percent negative) when federal judges struck down his first executive order banning Muslim immigrants, and weeks 9 and 10 (a combined 88 percent negative) when the House of Representatives was struggling without success to muster the votes to pass a “repeal and replace” health care bill.

No wonder Trump is unhappy with the media

When Trump rails against the media, he has fact on his side:

Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days was not merely negative in overall terms. It was unfavorable on every dimension. There was not a single major topic where Trump’s coverage was more positive than negative

Trump haters have been spending too much time watching and reading Big Media. Wake up, folks! The Harvard study has news for you:

Research has found that familiarity with a claim increases the likelihood people will believe it, whether it’s true or not. The more they hear of something, the more likely they are to believe it.[34]

Here is the Harvard breakdown of print and television media negativity:

Trump’s attacks on the press have been aimed at what he calls the “mainstream media.” Six of the seven U.S. outlets in our study—CBS, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Postare among those he’s attacked by name. All six portrayed Trump’s first 100 days in highly unfavorable termsCNN and NBC’s coverage was the most unrelenting—negative stories about Trump outpaced positive ones by 13-to-1 on the two networks. Trump’s coverage on CBS also exceeded the 90 percent mark. Trump’s coverage exceeded the 80 percent level in The New York Times (87 percent negative) and The Washington Post (83 percent negative). The Wall Street Journal came in below that level (70 percent negative), a difference largely attributable to the Journal’s more frequent and more favorable economic coverage.

There was no relief.

Looking at this another way:

Studies of earlier presidents found nothing comparable to the level of unfavorable coverage afforded Trump. Should it continue, it would exceed even that received by Bill Clinton. There was not a single quarter during any year of Clinton’s presidency where his positive coverage exceeded his negative coverage, a dubious record no president before or since has matched.[29] Trump can’t top that string of bad news but he could take it to a new level. During his first 100 days, Clinton’s coverage was 3-to-2 negative over positive.[30] Trump’s first 100 days were 4-to-1 negative over positive.

Interestingly:

Media failing the American people

Although this was not its only conclusion, the study said that the media need to step up and report more about Americans:

Journalists would also do well to spend less time in Washington and more time in places where policy intersects with people’s lives. If they had done so during the presidential campaign, they would not have missed the story that keyed Trump’s victory—the fading of the American Dream for millions of ordinary people. Nor do all such narratives have to be a tale of woe. America at the moment is a divided society in some respects, but it’s not a broken society and the divisions in Washington are deeper than those beyond the Beltway.

True. This is what a Michigan supporter had to say on Friday, May 19. He doesn’t mention the media, but he has a positive message for the president and his fellow supporters:

The man interviewed said that he supported Donald Trump from the beginning. He canvassed door-to-door for him. He got verbally attacked by … family and friends. People on whose doors he knocked sometimes physically assaulted him.

Big Media bear much of the blame for that gentleman’s abuse.

They don’t care about that man. They don’t care about Americans. They do not care one iota about you.

This is what lies ahead, less than a month from now:

The media will fuel the flames then not report on it, just as they ignored the riots earlier this year.

Tune out. Cancel the newspaper subscription. You can read the obituaries online.

If you want to know what’s really happening at the White House, follow the Twitter feed.

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? If you wish to borrow, 1) please use the link from the post, 2) give credit to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 3) copy only selected paragraphs from the post -- not all of it.
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