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A human heartbeat comes earlier than previously thought.
This is further evidence against the popular ‘pro-choice’ belief that a foetus remains a ‘lump of cells’ for months on end.
A study finds an unborn baby’s first heartbeat occurs as early as 16 days after conception.
A research team funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at the University of Oxford says a baby’s first heartbeat is now far earlier than was previously understood, reports the Daily Mail.
The objective of the research is to help treat congenital heart disease. However, this points out how early the human foetus begins to develop.
The Daily Mail article explains that researchers (emphases mine):
have demonstrated earlier beating of the heart in mouse embryos which, if extrapolated to the human heart, suggests beating as early as 16 days after conception.
In the study, published today in the scientific journal eLife, researchers studied the developing mouse heart and found that the muscle started to contract as soon as it formed the cardiac crescent – an early stage in heart development.
In mice, this crescent forms 7.5 days after conception, which is equivalent to day 16 in the human embryo.
Previously, it was thought that the heart started to contract a stage later, when the heart appears as a linear tube.
Congenital heart disease is diagnosed in at least 1 in 180 births, which equates to around 4,000 each year or 12 babies each day, in the UK.
The researchers ultimately hope that by understanding more about how the heart forms in the womb they will one day be able to prevent heart conditions that arise as a foetus develops.
God has the development of His creatures — including mankind — planned as only He can.
We begin functioning very early. This should put a big question mark around abortion in everyone’s mind.
Abortion is the taking of human life.
The ancient Jews never practised abortion. This is why it is not mentioned in the Bible.
When the early Church began to expand into Greece and the Roman Empire, provision had to be made to condemn the practice.
This is how the document known as the Didache (‘did-uh-kay’) came to be written. Excerpts follow from my post from 2009 (emphases mine):
There appear to be no records or treatises on abortion for social reasons prior to the ancient Greek Empire in its decline.
Hippocrates — he of the oath which doctors take — made the first mention of the procedure and instructed physicians of the day not to give an expectant mother drinks or potions fatal to the child in the womb. By the time he devised the Hippocratic Oath, social abortion was becoming more commonplace among the ancient Greeks.
Social abortion continued when the Roman Empire was in its decline. They were the first to legalise against it. The Romans ordered the mother into exile. Those involved with procuring or administering the necessary potion were exiled to an island if they were from the upper classes or sentenced to work in metal mines if they were from lower social classes.
The early fathers of the Christian Church wrote the Didache which dealt not only with abortion but also other sins, e.g. witchcraft, which were unknown to the Jews.
Author and lecturer Dr Paul L Williams explains the early opprobrium regarding abortion and how it became infused into Roman society:
‘You shall not kill an unborn child or murder a newborn infant.’ This equation of abortion with homicide was upheld by Tertullian, the father of Latin theology. In his treatise ‘On the Veiling of Virgins’ (206 A.D.), this Church father railed against women who ‘conceal their sinful failures’ by committing ‘homicide’ by means of procured abortions. In 250 A.D., St. Cyprian maintained that abortion represented a crime far worse than ‘parricide’.
A century later, the Church in Spain declared abortion a sin of ‘double damnation’ when it was the result of fornication (pre-marital sex) or adultery. The guilty woman was forbidden from taking Holy Communion for the rest of her life, including on her deathbed.
Later penalties included those for murderers. Eventually, any society which had converted to Christianity, like the Visigoths, prohibited abortion.
But, these days, it’s a legal ‘right’. Some ‘progressive’ thinkers would like to extend that ‘right’ to infancy.
Very wrong. Very wrong.
Since the 2005 Billy Bush/Donald Trump tape was leaked last Friday, timed with the Wikileaks drop of the Democrats’, including Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Deplorables have resolved to fight on — with or without the GOPe.
WARNING: This post has Clinton-related content and some links with language unsuitable for children. I apologise in advance, but the truth must come out, no matter how distasteful.
The Deplorables’ situation
It is essential to understand what the Deplorables experience in American life.
Many worry how they will get by. Tax increases are a huge issue.
One Pittsburgh resident — an ex-Hillary supporter — describes what he and his family members experience. Excerpts and a summary follow. I have edited spelling and grammar.
How is it there is not enough tax to make sure homeless veterans are taken care of, yet the United States can afford to send countless mobile phones to Africa? There are more sanctuary cities for notional refugees, yet there is not enough tax revenue to finance Social Security for older Americans.
Taxes continue to increase, but (emphases mine):
Burden is shared. I have no say … Where does that money go? Same thing with the lottery; where is that cash? Tax tax tax … My school dropped German and French. My dad gets 1700 a month social security. He has no 401k. He had six kids all of whom pay lots of taxes. He always paid his taxes. My mom became a nurse once dad [left]. She has some money but how many people know it was under Clinton that food was excluded from COLA? I said from the beginning Obamacare was about privatizing Social Security. Demand you pay for health care, we can demand you pay for retirement. Think of the money. Trillions to be made: what choice would you have? You might support a homophobic misogynist regime like Saudi Arabia every hour you worked and paid a tax as Supreme Court ruled Obamacare went through; why not retirement?
Then, there is the elite’s perception of these Americans, from 2008 to the present. The main author of The Crawdad Hole — ex-Clinton supporters for the most part — has a Twitter description which sums it up perfectly:
Obama called me a bitter clinger. Hillary called me deplorable. Terrorists call me an infidel. Trump calls me an American.
I do not know how many of my readers have seen the following tee shirt, which originated with Infowars, but a lot of anti-Hillary voters are wearing it:
After the Billy Bush/Donald Trump tape was released, the GOP elite denounced Trump.
Trump was supposed to appear in Wisconsin last Saturday, October 8, but a sanctimonious Paul Ryan — Speaker of the House — rescinded his invitation to the state’s annual GOP fundraiser.
Attendees paid $30 apiece to get in. They expected to see Trump.
ELKHORN, Wisconsin — In a jarring illustration of the chaos now engulfing the Republican Party, supporters of Donald Trump clashed bitterly with GOP leaders at a rally here Saturday — booing elected officials, heckling Paul Ryan, and angrily demanding greater establishment support for their beleaguered presidential nominee …
When, early in the event’s program, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel tried to address the recently leaked video that has sent Trump’s campaign into a tailspin, the crowd erupted in angry protest.
“Get over it!” one heckler yelled.
“Trump! Trump! Trump!” others chanted.
Appearing taken aback by the reaction, Schimel made a brief nod toward support for the nominee — “Donald Trump will appoint judges that will defend our Constitution” — and then quickly changed the subject.
Other elected officials became more combative with the audience. When Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner talked about how voters had been coming to the Fall Fest for years to support Ryan and other local Republicans, hecklers shouted, “Not anymore!” and, “I’m for Donald Trump!”
“Why don’t you listen to what I have to say instead of interrupting me?” Sensenbrenner snapped. Soon, the 73-year-old congressman was in a shouting match with the Trump supporters in the crowd. “Listen to me, please,” he kept repeating, before ordering the audience to “clean up your act.”
By the time it was Ryan’s turn to speak, the mood had grown indisputably hostile. He took the stage to scattered boos, and shouts of, “What about Donald Trump?” and, “Shame on you!” …
Trump supporters are now unlikely to vote down ticket for Republicans who have shunned their candidate.
This is audience reaction to Ryan’s speech:
One young man wore a RAPE shirt with Bill Clinton’s image on it — another popular Infowars product.
Alex Jones is giving between $1,000 and $5,000 to anyone who can get captured on camera with it at a rally. More money is given to those who can stay on camera for several seconds and mention Infowars.
Alex is looking forward to hearing from this man who turned up at Clinton’s October 11 rally in Detroit. Not only will he receive $5,000, but he will be invited for an interview on the Infowars show:
How he was able to get one of the privileged places on the podium will make for an interesting story.
Townhall has a really clear close up.
Amazingly, the woman with the slogan ‘Stronger Together’ and who is a self-described tireless advocate of minorities had this reaction:
Hillary Clinton sarcastically laughed as the man was shoved down the stairs and she told people outside the event to “follow him” and “stage an intervention.”
Wow! I hope the man stayed safe.
I bet Big Media will ignore that story.
At an Obama rally for Clinton, a man and a woman paraded beneath the stage in Greensboro on Tuesday, October 11. Each wore homemade ‘Bill Clinton Rapist’ tee shirts (8 seconds in).
An American Lookout article says that Obama was interrupted again by other protesters:
The second and third times by people yelling about Bill Clinton and rape.
The article continues (emphases in the original):
These protesters are everywhere!
Will the mainstream media finally do some reporting on what these people are saying? On what they’re willing to get arrested for to say? …
It’s become counter-cultural to be Conservative. Conservatives are now the rock stars. The punk rockers of politics.
And these are courageous citizens! They’re standing up against Obama, the Clintons and the Mainstream Media to shout the truth!
At the weekend in Bakersfield, the city’s local Business Conference took place.
Hundreds of people showed up to hear conservative commentator Laura Ingraham (LifeZette) speak in support of Trump.
Gateway Pundit has a brief excerpt of the crowd cheering:
THIS IS AN AMAZING VIDEO–
Thousands of voters at the Bakersfield Business Conference tell the GOP to stand by Donald Trump and FIGHT!
The same day that Trump supporters booed Wisconsin GOPe types, Nevada Rep. Joe Heck disavowed the candidate. The audience booed him:
Breitbart reports that Heck has fallen prey to the George Soros funded Common Defense PAC, notionally comprised of military veterans, and a MoveOn.org petition hidden within (emphases mine):
Common Defense PAC has a simple mission statement: “As veterans, we swore to protect the rights of every American. We continue to fulfill this promise by standing against Donald Trump.” Its “leadership team” page on its website lists sixteen military veterans with no contact information for them.
On its Facebook page, the PAC features a video from a different super PAC in which a mainstream reporter asks Nevada congressman Joe Heck if he trusts Trump having the nuclear codes.
“Watch this. Share it. Then sign the petition to tell Congressman Heck to disavow Donald Trump,” says Common Defense PAC, with the link to the petition: fornevadasfuture.com/heck.
But the petition is actually a MoveOn.org petition called “Joe Heck: Disavow Donald Trump.”
One can be pretty sure that Heck and the rest of the GOPe don’t know the men behind the PAC:
Common Defense PAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission at a P.O. Box in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The group’s treasurer is Jonathan Matthew Smucker, a Berkeley doctoral student, activist, and radical writer who did not return a request for comment for this report.
The PAC’s July quarterly filing report with the FEC only lists one donor: a Baltimore IT consultant named Marjorie Roswell who gave $20,000 on June 30.
Perry O’Brien is the group’s director. O’Brien is a longtime left-wing activist.
O’Brien was a medic in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne and received a discharge in 2004 for being a conscientious objector.
Perry O’Brien personally started a MoveOn.org petition called “Tell GOP leaders to disavow Trump and his attacks on veterans.” The petition, which has 121,242 signatures as of this writing, is “To be delivered to Sen. John McCain, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Paul Ryan, and all GOP leaders.”
Well, there you go. It worked. Don’t Republicans investigate these things? It took me a simple Internet search.
What Deplorables will remember
On Tuesday, October 11, Laura Ingraham analysed the disparity between GOPe and their core voters:
The vast majority of Republicans want Donald Trump to be president … they have come together in an effort to save the country from Hillary Clinton.
A small minority of Republicans do not want Donald Trump to be president. They prefer Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately for most of the Republican Party, this small group of angry dissenters includes many of the people at the top of the party — officeholders, major donors, “strategists,” and “conservative” pundits. These people have been able to leverage their connections with the mainstream press to repeatedly attack Trump — even though they refuse to say anything nice about Hillary.
… instead of having an honest discussion as to whether the GOP should be a globalist party or a nationalist party, everything dissolves into personal attacks.
When this election is over, the vast majority of Republicans are going to remember that their supposed leaders — the same officeholders, millionaires, and pundits who told them that they had to “come together” and support John McCain and Mitt Romney — refused to do the same for Donald Trump. They will know that what they have long suspected is true — the Republican Party is led by people who have more in common with the Clintons than with the GOP base. And that knowledge will affect the future of the GOP for years to come.
The biggest irony in all this is that, as one pro-Trump Rep. Steve King of Iowa said, quoting a fellow congressman:
“He said, ‘If you are so worried about a sexual deviant in the White House, helping Hillary Clinton will put Bill Clinton in the White House,’” King paraphrased.
Very true, indeed.
I am aghast to read Clinton’s Correct The Record people write in comment sections that Bill Clinton’s rape victims are conspiracy theory material.
These people were either not yet born or were not yet toilet trained during his administration.
Bill’s women were all over mainstream media in the 1990s, from the time he and his co-president Hillary entered the White House until the time they left.
I could read and see all about it in all the British press and on television, too. Even my apolitical colleagues became experts on the stories.
This is an adults-only post. It has sordid, sad and painful content — all because of Bill Clinton.
On Sunday, October 9, Juanita Broaddrick, one of Bubba’s alleged victims, gave an exclusive interview to Breitbart‘s Aaron Klein. It is clear that she still remembers what happened and how it felt as painfully now as when her ordeal took place in 1978.
For those who would prefer not to watch the video, Klein wrote a helpful article summarising the interview and what took place all those years ago. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:
Trembling, Broaddrick explained that she is still afraid of Bill Clinton and asserted that she is frightened by the prospect of Hillary Clinton winning the election. She described the alleged rape in vivid detail, providing the most extensive window yet into the singular event that she says left her traumatized until today.
In one dramatic scene, a sobbing Broaddrick was embraced and consoled by another alleged Clinton sexual assault victim, Kathleen Willey, who was present for the filming.
Willey tells the crying Broaddrick: “It’s not your fault. Okay. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do anything wrong. Okay. Okay?”
Broaddrick and Willey were in our nation’s capital last week to discuss how their lives were devastated by their respective experiences with the Clintons. They also emphatically warned about what a Hillary Clinton presidency could mean for women in general—and the Clintons’ perceived enemies in particular.
Broaddrick was a nursing home administrator and a volunteer for Bill’s gubernatorial campaign in Arkansas that year. She says that he singled her out during a campaign stop to the nursing home where she worked. The alleged rape took place at a Little Rock hotel.
The partial transcript has the details of the incident, which you can read for yourselves, however, some excerpts follow, including the fear she still feels — not only about Bill but also Hillary:
And he grabbed me again, very forcefully. And started biting on my top lip. And this was extremely painful. I thought he was going to bite my lip off. And that’s when he pushed me back onto the bed.
KLEIN: He bit you at the top of your lip. He pushed you onto the bed. And then what happened?
BROADDRICK: It’s been so long and it is just so hard to go into. I need to stop.
BROADDRICK: You, know, why? Why is it still so painful?
KLEIN: What is going through your mind right now?
BROADDRICK: That I am afraid of him.
KLEIN: You are still afraid of him?
BROADDRICK: Yes. That I am still afraid. Especially if she becomes president. And I know it’s looking that way. So it’s frightening, Aaron. It’s frightening.
In a second exclusive video for Breitbart, Broaddrick explains why she fears Hillary. A summary and excerpts follow:
Like other rape victims, Broaddrick blamed herself. And, as is true for other rape victims, she was still in a state of shock several weeks later:
She said she attended a private Clinton fundraiser at the home of a local dentist, where she had an encounter with the Clintons and was directly approached by Hillary.
Broaddrick had to be there because she had cheques from donors for Bill’s campaign:
She says she went to the fundraiser about thirty minutes early in an attempt to avoid the Clintons.
Instead, she says, Bill and Hillary Clinton arrived early, as well.
And they come in early from the kitchen area. And just before they do, a gentleman who had driven them from the airport comes straight over to me. He was supporting Clinton but he didn’t know what had happened to me even though he was a friend. And he said the topic of the conversation all the way from the airport was about you.
And that startled me. And I knew I had to get out of there. Well, just as he moved here comes Hillary straight for me. And she gets to me and she starts saying, ‘I just want to thank you for everything you are doing for Bill’s campaign. And it’s so nice to meet you.’ And all of these things.
So I just nodded and I told my friend, ‘Let’s go.’ And I thought somebody from behind had grabbed a hold of my arm. But it was her. She grabbed a hold of my arm and my hand and she pulls me into her. And she says with this very angry look on her face, which had been so pleasant seconds before. And in a low voice, says, ‘Do you understand? Everything that you do.’ And that frightened me.
She thinks that Hillary already knew what happened:
“That he raped you?” I asked.
“Yes,” Broaddrick stated. “And that she was telling me to keep quiet.”
“To keep quiet about her husband’s rape?” I questioned.
“Yeah,” she stated.
Hillary is not a nice person. She puts on a show for the public and is very different privately.
More to follow next week.
During the first presidential debate on September 26, Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of sexism and came out with several of his most outrageous anti-women quotes.
One of them concerned the 1996 Miss Universe, Venezuela’s Alicia Machado. Trump was less than flattering about her subsequent weight gain.
Hillary made a big deal about this, and she would have had a point were it not for two reasons.
1996 Miss Universe
Machado, who became a US citizen this year, sailed close to the wind with the law in 1998 in her native country. She was not indicted because of lack of evidence. The Daily Mail reports:
… two Associated Press reports from 1998 have revealed the Machado was accused of aiding attempted murder and threats to kill in Venezuela.
DailyMail.com has asked the Clinton campaign whether they knew about the accusations, which do not appear to have ended in conviction, before the candidate spoke about her at the debate.
The campaign also organized a conference call for reporters on Tuesday with the now 39-year-old actress, in which she spoke almost exclusively in Spanish to continue the attacks on Trump.
The Mail has the full story.
The article also says that, during her time as Miss Universe, Machado gained 35 pounds. Trump owned the Miss Universe pageant at the time.
Beauty pageant winners have to comply with certain terms and conditions during their tenure, weight gain being one of them.
Here is a CNN interview of Trump with Machado and her trainer in 1997. A CNN article that appeared at the same time explained she had gained 60 pounds during her reign. She was losing weight to appear in that year’s contest to crown the new winner. If there is a reference to Miss Piggy the Muppets star (all the rage at the time), I missed it. There is also no animosity between Machado and Trump:
On September 28, another Mail article appeared about her career in porn and relationship with a drug lord. The Conservative Treehouse also has a set of links. Gateway Pundit has a Florida Declaration of Domicile for her daughter who was born in Miami.
Hillary portrays herself as a champion of women’s rights, but, as I wrote earlier this month, in 1975 she successfully defended a middle-aged man who raped a 12-year-old girl in Arkansas. She even laughed about it. The audio recordings are available to the public at the University of Arkansas. Also:
Clinton’s defense strategy also included aggressive claims about the victim’s character, including allegations that the 12-year-old “sought out older men” and was “emotionally unstable,” according to court documents first reported by Newsday in 2008.
Two decades later, she was in the White House and the ‘bimbo eruption’ took place.
If you find that term offensive, you should know that an advisor to Bill Clinton — a woman and feminist — coined it. Betsey Ross Wright came up with the words:
to describe rumors alleging extramarital affairs by Clinton.
Wright met Bill and Hillary — unmarried, but an item — in 1972. In August 2016, The Daily Beast posted an excellent article by Professor Gil Troy who teaches History at McGill University and wrote The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s. Excerpts follow:
… these three new friends relished the possibilities they were starting to envision, a more open, liberal, egalitarian, and female-friendly world.
“It was a nascent feminist movement then,” Wright would tell Bill Clinton’s biographer David Maraniss. Wright believed “that women were the ethical and pure force that American politics needed.” And Wright, a big, bold, bawdy powerhouse, recalled being “less interested in Bill’s political future than Hillary’s. I was obsessed with how far Hillary might go, with her mixture of brilliance, ambition, and self-assuredness.”
Bill’s presidential campaign rolled around 20 years later with (emphases mine):
Hillary Clinton and Betsey Wright determined not to let Bill Clinton’s promiscuity harm his White House bid. Wright, who monitored each piece of gossip – and frequently bullied Bill’s “exes” – coined the crude phrase “bimbo eruptions.” The term mocked the accusers and the reporters who believed them. Just a few years ago, Americans were more censorious about affairs but more forgiving about such sexist dismissals of victimized women.
Gil Troy explains that ‘bimbo’ comes from bambino and originally denoted stupid men. By the 1920s, it began being used to describe women. A song of that decade was called My Little Bimbo Down on the Bamboo Isle. In the 1930s, ‘blonde’ prefaced the word. I knew a man in the 1980s who often referred to a group of women out for a night on the town as ‘the bimbo squad’, but I digress.
Gil Troy concludes:
The ironies abound. Betsey Wright the feminist boosting a sexist slander. Hillary Clinton, the betrayed wife, not just standing by her man but trashing his accusers – no matter how true their story. Wright’s odd contribution to history, then, is sharpening the Clinton conundrum: how can a couple so committed to doing good behave so badly so often? Wright’s tale highlights the moral blind spot of the Clintons and their enablers. Their idealism, their liberalism, their faith in the good they hope to do, makes them excuse all kinds of lapses, from libeling innocent women to following their own rules regarding emails and government secrecy …
The investigation into the Whitewater scandal, which ran deep once Kenneth Starr was in charge, brought out more details about philandering which dogged Bill’s presidency. Then there was the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In 1998, Hillary appeared on Today — NBC’s breakfast show — and said this:
I think we’re going to find some other things. And I think that when all of this is put into context, and we really look at the people involved here, look at their motivations and look at their backgrounds, look at their past behavior, some folks are going to have a lot to answer for.
The following year, the New York Post featured this quote:
I don’t know who created the graphic, by the way.
Last year, a book called The Clintons’ War on Women was published. The Political Insider summarised the detailed work done by authors Roger Stone, a Republican strategist and Trump insider, and Robert Morrow.
I strongly urge everyone to read The Political Insider article, most of which I cannot quote here because of the adult content. Here are two excerpts:
For 41 years, Hillary Clinton has worked tirelessly to discredit and destroy women like that. Since 1982, she has been hiring private detectives to look into their lives and find anything that could embarrass them …
Juanita Broaddrick was alleged raped so severely that he nearly tore off her upper lip, then raped her a 2nd time …
Donald Trump must make it calmly crystal clear at the next debate that Hillary Clinton is no women’s advocate. Whilst he should not discuss Miss Universe, he can mention other topics. For a start, Europe’s mass immigration problem has brought with it a large increase in sexual attacks on women. Yet, Hillary wants to up migrant intake from the same countries in the Middle East. American women will be at risk.
The rest of us can spread the word about her misogyny in the remaining weeks before the presidential election.
It is essential that younger voters be aware of the Clintons’ past. Sexual crimes are only one part of it. As one of my readers says, it would take a lifetime to chronicle all their evil. More to come tomorrow.
When pantsuits first became a craze in the late 1960s and early 1970s, most women shied away from them.
They knew that pantsuits require a certain figure. Marlene Dietrich was the first to wear one in 1930 in the film Morocco. Katharine Hepburn also wore elegant trouser co-ordinates from that decade onward.
What characterised those women was a slim, stately figure.
The late Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) came up with le smoking paired with trousers in the 1960s. Clearly, this ensemble was made for those with models’ physiques, women such as Melania Trump, rather than her husband’s opponent:
Look how happy Melania Trump is with her femininity. She treasures it.
Today, generations of women think that pantsuits hide their less attractive physical attributes. What they do not realise is that it would be preferable for them to show heavy ankles and calves in a skirt rather than cover them up and reveal more even more with trousers: large thighs and matronly hips. Even the jackets do not fit properly.
YSL’s creation, much imitated by many other top designers and mainstream design houses, was meant for a statuesque figure. The jacket and trousers were intended to create an elegant unity, a straight line from shoulder to ankle.
Instead, this is what we have today, best exemplified by Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel:
Women cannot hide their less attractive physical attributes in pantsuits. It would be preferable for these ladies to wear a flattering skirt paired with a chic Chanel-style jacket or a boxy sweater instead.
In 2008 Clinton’s supporters were referred to as the ‘sisterhood of travelling pantsuits’. They were paying a certain homage to her.
Instead of trying to conform to what makes a man a man, why not celebrate the fact that, yes, I am a woman, and because of that, I bring unique qualities and talents and perspectives to the job, that make me equally and uniquely qualified to do it.
Leading a country means serving a country. It is a gift of self. Of inspiring and empowering the people.
A position that should be held by the most capable person for the job – man or woman.
Am I endorsing Hillary. No. There’s a lot more that goes into choosing a President that goes much deeper than a person’s gender. There’s … well … politics. The parties’ views on the US and our future are very different. And that is up to you to decide which issues top the list and sway your vote.
I would love to see a woman President. And think it is amazing that a woman is holding the nomination for a major party.
And I hope that the first woman president, whenever she’s elected, can confidently be sworn in wearing something other than a pantsuit. Because she’s not hiding her femininity, but celebrating her feminine genius, and embracing all the unique talents and qualities that she possesses in her very nature that make her equally qualified and able to do the job.
Just so. It would be great if all women, not just those in politics, could bear that in mind.
Even our statuesque Prime Minister, Theresa May, looks better in skirts or dresses than in trousers.
It has been just under four weeks since the UK voted to leave the EU.
Theresa May has been our PM for one week.
She has done quite a lot of housecleaning in that time with many new appointments to the Cabinet, making it her own, and has created a department for Brexit.
It is unfortunate that the Nice attack took away our initial enjoyment of May’s premiership. I have much to write on her appointment and the lady herself.
For now, a few brief observations follow.
The Conservative Party — best for women
The Conservative Party is the best political party for women in Britain.
Within 26 years, they have given us two female Prime Ministers, redoubtable women both.
By contrast, the right-on, progressive Labour Party has never had a female leader.
Around the time May was entering Downing Street last week, Angela Eagle — a contender for Labour leadership — said that it was high time they had a woman at the top. What Ms Eagle misses is that the Conservatives chose Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May not because of their gender but because of their competence.
I remember watching Andrew Neil’s Sunday Politics (BBC) in 2015 prior to the general election. Several Labour women MPs told Neil week after week that the Conservatives should have more women in Cabinet.
Ho hum. Which party has two female Prime Ministers? The Conservative Party. Which party just happened to have an all-women shortlist for party leadership with Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom just ten days ago? The Conservative Party.
First PMQs an absolute blinder
On Wednesday, July 20, Theresa May held her first Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.
She played an absolute blinder; she was confident, competent and concise. She answered every question with historical data and/or departmental updates. She took questions on housing, Brexit, ‘honour’ killings and the NHS, to mention a few.
Afterwards, I watched Daily Politics (BBC2) with Jo Coburn and her panel, most of whom, like Coburn herself, are very much left-of-centre. All said that May did very well indeed. Veteran reporter John Pienaar said she was much better than Margaret Thatcher in her early days of PMQs.
May will be travelling to Berlin on July 20 to meet with Angela Merkel over a working dinner. (I will have an update in a subsequent post.)
Brexit is likely to dominate the dinner discussions. Terrorism and the recent attempted Turkish coup are also probable topics.
This is an historic occasion, as both Britain and Germany have female leaders at the same time.
The two seem similar in several respects: both their fathers were clergymen, neither has children, both have a penchant for improving society and they have strong personalities.
Expect mutual respect and honest discussions. It will be interesting to see if, once she meets May, Merkel is willing to engage in some sort of negotiations prior to our invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of Rome.
May will be meeting with France’s François Hollande on July 21. Calais and terrorism are sure to be on the agenda along with Brexit.
On July 19, May held her first Cabinet meeting.
She reiterated her commitment to Brexit and will personally oversee that new department as well as those for the economy and social reform.
May has wisely appointed three Leavers to key positions involving Britain’s future outside the EU. Longtime MP David Davis is in charge of the Brexit unit as the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Boris Johnson, MP and former two-term Mayor of London, is Secretary of State for Foreign and International Affairs. Liam Fox is the Secretary of State for International Trade.
Keeping a close eye on Brexit, the economy and social reform ties together May’s overall agenda for her administration:
we will not allow the country to be defined by Brexit; but instead build the education, skills, and social mobility to allow everyone to prosper from the opportunities of leaving the EU.
I hope she continues to make progress in these areas. I’m beginning to like her a lot.
After months of news coverage and reader commentary from the more informed on both sides, the EU Referendum is now registering with previously less connected minds.
Attacks on women
In a frank interview published on Saturday, June 4, 2016, our primary Leave campaigner, UKIP (UK Independence Party) leader Nigel Farage told The Telegraph:
“The nuclear bomb this time would be about Cologne,” he told the Telegraph. Women may be at a particular risk from the “cultural” differences between British society and migrants, after gangs of migrant men allegedly launched a mass sexual attack against hundreds of women in Germany last New Year’s Eve, he said.
“There are some very big cultural issues,” he said. Asked whether mass sex attacks on the scale of Cologne could happen in Britain, Mr Farage replied: “It depends if they get EU passports. It depends if we vote for Brexit or not. It is an issue.”
On Tuesday, June 7, Farage’s comments boomeranged. The Commons Home Affairs Committee, led by outspoken Labour MP Keith Vaz, met to discuss immigration. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Revd Justin Welby, was invited to participate. Vaz asked the Archbishop if he agreed that Farage’s remarks were ‘racist’. Welby replied (see 15:36 entry):
I would agree with you.
I think that is an inexcusable pandering to people’s worries and prejudices.
That’s giving legitimisation to racism, which I’ve seen in parishes in which I’ve served and has led to attacks on people in those parishes. And we cannot legitimise that.
Fear is a pastoral issue, you deal with it by recognising it, by standing alongside and providing answers to it.
What that is is accentuating fear for political gain and that is absolutely inexcusable.
It would have been interesting to have had the two of them discussing England’s grooming gangs two years ago. Why make a bad situation potentially worse by Remaining? Has the Archbishop seen the figures from Sweden and Germany showing a jump in attacks on women over the past year?
That evening, a ‘debate’ took place on ITV. Farage had the first half hour to answer questions from the audience. Prime Minister David Cameron had the other. These are not debates in the classic sense of the word, because the PM refuses to participate in one.
A few women accused Farage of racism for suggesting that women could be at risk if we Remain.
I am still trying to process the cognitive disconnect of women criticising a man for warning them about possible danger to themselves or other women.
That danger is sexual assault and rape.
Farage saw that coming, however. He replied and moved on quickly:
I’m used to being demonised …
I’m not going to stand and attack the archbishop of Canterbury but he would have done better to read what I actually said … It is a tiddly issue in this campaign. I knew the Remainers would come to me and conflate what I said.
Voting deadline extended
For months now, we have had various announcements encouraging UK citizens to register to vote this year. In England, we had local or county elections in May. Some areas had council elections, while others voted for their Police Commissioner, depending on where one lived.
The EU Referendum has been in the media for months now. The voter registration deadline was 23:59 on Tuesday, June 7.
After the aforementioned ITV programme ended that evening at 10:00 p.m., approximately 50,000 Britons went online to register to vote.
The voter registration site crashed.
I have no sympathy for them. My parents told me time and time again never to wait until the last minute to do anything.
If I were PM, I would have said, ‘Tough.’ But the Electoral Commission and the Government agreed to extend the deadline by a further 48 hours for a two-hour crash. Conservative MP Matt Hancock tweeted early on June 8:
Delighted at huge voter registration levels. Due to technical problems with the website yesterday we’ll extend deadline to midnight tomorrow
That means 23:59 on Thursday, June 9.
Like me, my better half and millions of other voters, columnist and author Brendan O’Neill thought this was beyond the pale. He addressed the issue in The Spectator (emphases mine):
The more people we have engaged in democracy, the better. But a deadline is a deadline, no? If you turn up at a polling booth at 10pm, when voting time is over, then you can’t vote — we all know that. The swarm of youngish voters registering at the last minute for the EU referendum are the virtual equivalent of being late to the ballot box. Why are allowances being made? Why have another two days been added? It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that it’s because these kind of voters are useful for the establishment view that we must Remain.
The satirical news site Newsthump summed up the madness well with its headline: ‘Three months wasn’t long enough, claims man who couldn’t register to vote at 11.50pm.’ Look, I’m a little torn on this. When it comes to democracy, I’m positively Chartist: the more clout the people have, the better. But I can’t help feeling that today’s rewriting of the rules, and the law, to allow late voters to take part in this ‘great festival of democracy’ — as David Cameron referred to the EU referendum today — is because it is suspected that these late voters will be beneficial to Remain. Accidentally, this might give rise to a larger, more populous act of democracy on 23 June; but the motivation seems a pretty low one to me, being more about using generations to gerrymander the outcome than genuinely throwing open politics to the people. Is this about enfranchising more of the ‘right people’ in order to counter all those wrong’uns already registered?
I put the Newsthump quote in purple, even if it is satirical, because my better half and I were making similar quips.
Seriously, if people cannot get their act in gear by June 9, they deserve to sit this referendum out. And if they cannot manage to register to vote in time for future elections, then, frankly, voting does not mean that much to them.
All this is more pandering to the Special Snowflake crowd.
I would not be surprised to find thousands of Special Snowflakes queuing up outside polling stations at 9:50 p.m. expecting to cast a vote before 10:00 p.m. on June 23. It will be the story of the month: ‘Waaah! The government wouldn’t let me vote! They denied me a voice!’
Project Fear ripped apart
Journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil has an incredible command of facts and figures on any number of news topics. He is also in the traditional mould and does not express his own opinion. I haven’t a clue where he personally stands on the EU Referendum, nor do I wish to know. It often appears as if he is supporting or opposing something when he is probably only doing a forensic examination of a politician’s position and trying to draw out the facts.
On June 8, Neil interviewed George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and big Remain supporter, for The Spectator. Wow, what a take down of Project Fear’s talking points. The transcript is available to read in full. I highly recommend it.
The exchange about Airbus — only one of the topics discussed — follows. Neil’s statements are in bold, Osborne’s in normal type:
We make the wings, where would Airbus go to buy the wings if not Britain? In or out the EU? Who else makes these wings?
By the way, the Chief Executive of Airbus has themselves said it would threaten their investment in the United Kingdom and the point about this, this isn’t an Airbus factory, this is a small manufacturing business in West Yorkshire supplying the wings. This is the reality of the single market.
This is another scare story. Airbus would come to Britain to buy its wings and its Rolls Royce engines whether we are in or out of the EU.
That is not what the Chief Executive says, the Chief Executive says that investment in the UK …
So where would they go?
They have got factories in Toulouse, they have got factories in Germany …
They don’t make wings in Germany.
The whole point about Airbus is that it is an integrated supply chain. We import things from Germany, we sell them to France and if there are tariffs, a tax on those exports, then why would the business happen in the UK? We’d be out of the single market, that’s the reality. Britain would be quitting – quitting the single market, quitting the prosperity, quitting the source of jobs. The people who pay the price are not you or me, Andrew, it’s that person working on the assembly line in Keighley.
Why would the business happen in the UK? Because that is where the wing assembly takes place. As Neil rightly notes, they are not made in Germany.
Osborne sounds the Fear alarm about quitting, quitting, quitting! Then he asks us to consider the assembly line person in Keighley.
Dollars to donuts — Pounds to pies? — the Keighley person probably intends to vote Leave. Where else can his wings be produced for the foreseeable future? Tariffs aren’t going to come in overnight, either.
All this takes time, possibly two years.
It seems to me that only younger voters will be persuaded by Project Fear.
Another televised ‘debate’ takes place tonight on ITV and will have ended by the time this post appears.
I hope it rains on June 23.
May the UK be guided wisely in the referendum vote.
Democratic Party voters should know about Hillary Clinton’s career.
It dumbfounds millions that this woman can even countenance running for the presidency. However, as one of the videos below explains, this has been the plan since 1986, when Bill was the governor of Arkansas.
It is interesting that Hillary considers Donald Trump her opponent in the general election. A few days ago, her campaign launched an ad against the billionaire attacking his ‘extreme makeover’ recently announced by convention manager Paul Manafort to the GOPe in Hollywood, Florida. Meanwhile, Trump is unsure whether he will even be the Republican nominee without Manafort and his team going on a PR offensive with delegates.
In other Hillary news, one of her supporters, David Brock, is heading a new Super PAC called Correct The Record (CTR), which will employ online trolls at the cost of $1m to ‘correct’ Bernie Sanders’s supporters in social media comments. Obama’s 2008 campaign team were the first to use this bullying technique. Oh, my. Who can forget how down and dirty they were?
Clinton voters point to Bill’s stellar presidency and how wonderful it was having a first lady who was a lawyer. Millions of other Americans did not share their enthusiasm, but having Bob Dole as the lacklustre Republican candidate in 1996 effectively swept Bill into office for a second term.
After they left office — and ‘they’ is no mistake — warm, fuzzy memories lived on in voters’ minds. So, when Hillary became a New York senator, her fans cheered. However, when she lost to Obama in 2008, they fractured. Some went to Obama, but the rest broke off to support either John McCain (and, later, Mitt Romney) or the Green Party. As they left the Democratic Party and became unaffiliated, they started researching their former heroine’s background. What they discovered wasn’t pretty.
A Bernie Sanders supporter has an interesting site called Won’t Vote Hillary which lists a number of reasons — greater and lesser — as to why not.
Unless I missed it, one hasn’t made the list: her smoothing over New York mayor Bill de Blasio’s racist joke at an event on April 10. The New York Daily News reported:
Their big moment became a big blunder when a tasteless joke — built off the stereotype that black people are chronically late — fell flat.
“Thanks for the endorsement. Took you long enough,” Clinton deadpanned.
“Sorry, Hillary. I was running on C.P. Time,” de Blasio replied, riffing on the phrase “colored people time,” meaning always late.
When the event’s compère, black actor Leslie Odom Jr, objected, Clinton said:
“’Cautious Politician Time.’ I’ve been there.”
The New York Post has the video clip with subtitles.
Can you imagine if Donald Trump had been involved in a tasteless skit like that? The media would still be talking about it.
There are serious questions Hillary’s current supporters need to ask themselves about her candidacy. Why have questionable ethics been at the forefront throughout her career? What is her end game?
The compelling videos below provide those questions — and answers — against Hillary.
White House questions
The ‘Anonymous’ video below is 25 minutes long. In a simple and straightforward manner, it covers the many Clinton scandals from Bill’s time in the White House to Hillary’s time as Obama’s Secretary of State through to the present day. Benghazi (‘What does it matter?’) starts at the 16:00 mark:
Hillary’s 2016 campaign and the Clinton Foundation are also discussed. This is well worth watching, because seeing all these scandals and unethical activity bundled together makes the case against Hillary all the more powerful.
Two other videos raise ethical and criminal issues concerning the Clintons from their Arkansas days through to the campaign for the presidency in 1992.
Both feature interviews with a one-time Clinton insider, Larry Nichols, who eventually disassociated himself from the couple.
The Clinton Chronicles is nearly 90 minutes long and explores the couple’s shaky ethics at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock and later when Bill was Arkansas governor:
It’s shocking and, as the notice says at the beginning of the film, is intended for mature audiences only.
The next film is 33 minutes long and was made last year. In it, Nichols discusses the past and present. He says that, 30 years ago, the Clintons devised their 1986 Plan, which ultimately involves Bill becoming the Secretary General of the United Nations. If he achieved that power and if Hillary were President of the United States at the same time, they would accomplish their goal of being the most powerful couple in the world:
Nichols cautions against voters being taken in by Hillary’s attempt to position herself as the underdog in her campaign. She is anything but. He also says that the New York Times — knowingly or unknowingly — serves as a PR machine for her.
Nichols, who is battling cancer, thinks there is a very real possibility that the 2016 election could be the last one that Americans recognise. He says that if Hillary Clinton wins, the nation may be irrevocably changed — and not for the better.
He said that Hillary has always been the power behind the throne. It was she who directed Bill’s career. He explained that Bill is much more laid back, but Hillary’s mind is focussed on power.
Nichols sees only one viable option for reversing America’s travails and restoring the Great Republic: Donald Trump in the White House.
Queen Elizabeth turns 90 on Thursday, April 21.
Millions of people, not just in the UK but around the world, will wish her a very happy birthday and many happy returns.
Britons are blessed to have her as their head of state. She is the glue that holds us together.
What has made her so successful and well respected?
On October 31, 2015, Channel 4 broadcast How to Be Queen: 63 Years and Counting which revealed the ‘secrets’ of the woman who is more popular than ever.
Below is a countdown of the Queen’s ten secrets to No. 1 — the most important. The subheads below come directly from the programme and the text summarises its content.
10/ Stay out of politics
The film The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, explores this principle in depth, especially in the depictions of her conversations with then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The Queen does not say anything about politics outside of her family circle, however, to politicians like Blair, she makes her thoughts known through a look or a brief remark that can cut one down to size in an instant.
By contrast, Prince Charles, whose opinions are well known on a variety of subjects, has little of his mother’s near-universal appeal. Perhaps it is time he took a leaf out of his mother’s notebook.
9/ Say nothing
Unlike Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, the Queen does not give interviews.
Discretion is the better part of valour.
The only exception was in 1992 when the Queen noted in her Christmas Day message to the nation how awful that year had been, but used a Latin expression. She pronounced it an ‘Annus Horribilis‘. A number of Royal scandals broke that year. Windsor Castle also caught fire and was seriously damaged.
8/ Do your duty
The Queen was brought up to do her duty to the nation. She has never wavered from serving her people.
She is the opposite of two of her ancestors. When Queen Victoria’s son Edward VII ascended to the throne in January 1901, he continued his previous playboy lifestyle, even though he was married to Princess Alexandra.
A more shocking example, however, was that of Edward VIII who reigned for 326 days in 1936 before abdicating to lead his own life. After abdication, he took his ladyfriend, American divorcée Wallis Simpson, whom he later married, on a trip to Nazi Germany. Understandably, public opinion was so hostile to him that he spent most of the rest of his life in France. His successor (brother) George VI — Queen Elizabeth’s father — and his mother Queen Mary threatened to cut off his allowance if he returned to the UK uninvited. It is no wonder that Britons over the age of 50 consider him to be one of our worst ever monarchs.
7/ Don’t fluff your lines
The Queen has always delivered her addresses in a clear, professional way.
The Queen Mother no doubt had a role to play in that. Her husband George VI had a stammer which marred his radio addresses to the nation. His speech therapy was the subject of the film The King’s Speech. The film builds up to the King’s wartime broadcast of 1939, which had to be delivered flawlessly to have the necessary gravitas. A nation held its breath. Fortunately, all went well. The Queen’s father occasionally stammered after that, but much less so than previously. The British public considered him all the more human for it.
6/ Protect the brand
The Queen has always been conscious of the Royal Family’s status as a brand.
The Queen Mother instilled that in her from childhood, but it actually originated with George V during the Great War. He and Kaiser Wilhelm were first cousins. The British public were understandably unhappy during a time when anti-German sentiment was rampant. George V changed the family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor, after the castle.
In 1917, the King faced another difficulty, this time involving another cousin, Tsar Nicholas. He wanted very much to bring the tsar and his family in Russia to safety in the UK but decided against it. He feared that bringing the Russian royals to Britain would also foment a revolt in Britain, similar to the Russian Revolution.
Unfortunately, not all of the Queen’s children share her desire to protect the brand. Some royals appeared in the television programme It’s a Royal Knockout in 1987. Rather than boost their popularity, it did the opposite. Lesson learned.
Ironically, it is the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, who makes the most gaffes, too numerous to mention here. Reading them is painful, but people who have met him and heard them find them rather amusing. Hmm.
5/ Don’t mix with the staff
When it comes to confiding in her staff, the Queen appears to abide by the maxim ‘Trust no one’. Her record is blemish-free.
This has not always been the case with previous monarchs. After Prince Albert’s death, Queen Victoria spent a lot of time with Mr Brown and then Abdul Karim. These associations with palace attendants scandalised the royal household and the courtiers.
More recently, Princess Diana confided in her butler Paul Burrell, which generated much publicity for him after her death and some difficulty for the Royal Family as a result.
4/ Earn your keep
The Queen was brought up to be a hard worker.
She understands that if one is going to live at the taxpayer’s expense, one had better earn one’s keep.
She, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne are the most dedicated of the Royals. Much of the charity work that Princess Anne does goes unnoticed by the media, and that is the way she likes it.
The Queen is careful to work hard and maintain a sober, low-profile private life.
Her responsible approach contrasts with Edward VII’s partying and cavorting more than a century ago. In our time, Prince Andrew rightly came under public criticism for his affair with Koo Stark in the 1980s and, in recent years, for his profligate air travel.
3/ Keep a stiff upper lip
The Queen always controls her emotions.
She was brought up to practise emotional reserve and displayed little physical affection for her children.
Her grandfather George V was also very reserved, even towards his wife, Queen Mary. With regard to his children, the Channel 4 programme said he was ‘cold’.
Does this mean there was no love? Hardly. In fact, many Britons would point to the old dictum ‘Still waters run deep’.
The Queen’s children have taken a different approach to parenting. Prince Charles, in particular, was careful to show his sons much affection in their childhood.
One of the few times one could see a scintilla of deep emotion in the Queen was when the royal yacht Britannia was decommissioned. Television news footage captured the monarch, her lips quivering ever so slightly as she blinked rapidly.
2/ Find true love
The Queen is deeply in love with Prince Philip and always has been.
The feeling is mutual. The couple have been married for nearly 70 years.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton) share that same sort of love.
The film The Young Victoria depicted Queen Victoria’s profound love for Prince Albert in the 19th century. Her diaries record that he used to help her dress in the morning and would put her stockings on for her.
1/ Listen to the people
The Queen has only had one crisis during her reign and she mitigated that by listening to the people.
Another thing that helped was not to react instantly but rather wait and see what way the wind is blowing.
This troublesome period was the week following the death of Princess Diana at the end of August 1997. The Queen and the Royal Family were on summer holiday at Balmoral in Scotland at the time. The Queen decided they should leave for London four days later.
Meanwhile, public emotions were at fever pitch. I know. I worked in London at the time and saw a few of my female colleagues rail against the Queen, calling for her death. A lot of women laying flowers at Kensington Palace felt the same way. Television reporters interviewed a number of them for news broadcasts every day. The newspapers were filled with anti-Royal sentiment.
Once in London, the Queen went on a walkabout in front of Kensington Palace to see the queues of people ready to lay flowers in front of the late princess’s residence. The Queen has a scene which actually took place that day, later shown on the news. Queen Elizabeth spoke to a little girl holding a posy. She said something to the girl about the flowers being for Princess Diana. The little girl said, ‘These are for you’, and handed her the bouquet. That moment reversed the Queen’s dismal week because it signalled the turning of the tide away from animosity.
Later that day, the Queen gave a televised address to the nation with regard to Princess Diana’s death. It was her first public statement on the subject. Admittedly, then-Prime Minister Tony Blair had been advising the Queen on the hostile mood in London, but she does not say anything she does not mean.
In the address, she displayed no sign of regret but she delivered two messages in a muted fashion: continuing authority — ‘As your Queen’ — and true sentiment — ‘something I say from the heart’.
On the day of the funeral, Queen Elizabeth did something unusual. When Princess Diana’s coffin passed by, she bowed her head as a mark of respect. She might have done that as a nod to public opinion.
The Queen carefully averted what could have easily turned into a crisis. The following week saw a calmer atmosphere in the capital and a gradual return to normality.
How to Be Queen: 63 Years and Counting concluded that if the next generation of Royals can master Queen Elizabeth’s ten secrets, our monarchy’s future is secure.
Many of us will pray, particularly today, that it is.
On Easter Sunday — March 27, 2016 — Mother Mary Angelica, foundress of EWTN, breathed her last. She was in excruciating pain on Good Friday.
Her soul is now with the Lord. She is at peace after coping with a stroke in late 2001 and subsequent illnesses that kept her out of the limelight since then.
Traditional Catholics are grateful for her legacy, that of the EWTN television channel, which she founded in 1981.
Mother Mary Angelica’s early life will surprise many who think that nuns were ‘born that way’.
Born on April 20, 1923, in Canton, Ohio, Rita Antoinette Rizzo was the only child of John and Mae Helen Rizzo (née Gianfrancesco). Industry in Canton at that time was booming. Consequently, the small city attracted many Italian immigrants.
Rizzo’s father worked as a tailor and left the family home when his daughter was very young. He and Mrs Rizzo divorced in 1929. Mother Mary Angelica later recalled that she and her mother lived:
like a pair of refugees. We were poor, hungry, and barely surviving on odd jobs before Mother learned the dry cleaning business as an apprentice to a Jewish tailor in our area. Even then, we pinched pennies just to keep food on the table.
At the age of 16, Rizzo helped her mother change jobs, which brought some financial relief.
Rizzo attended Canton McKinley High School, where she was one of the school’s first drum majorettes.
During her teenage years, she was stricken with an abdominal ailment which was not cured until shortly before her 20th birthday. Although she had been receiving extensive medical treatment, nothing worked. On the morning of January 18, 1943, she awoke to find she had no more pain. She attributed the cure to a healing ‘miracle’ performed by a Catholic faith healer. Deeply moved, she became a devout Catholic from that moment.
Called to the convent
In 1944, months after her cure, Rizzo went to a church to pray. As she prayed, she felt a calling to become a nun.
She spoke to a local Catholic priest who advised her to visit different convents to help her make a more informed decision about which order to join. She travelled some distance to Buffalo, New York, where she visited the Sisters of St Joseph. The sisters decided that Rizzo was better suited to the contemplative life.
On August 15, 1944, Rizzo, aged 21, entered the contemplative cloistered community of Saint Paul’s Shrine of Perpetual Adoration in Cleveland, part of the Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration order. (Note in the photo below the small monstrance they wear.) She had felt at home on her visit there and accepted the sisters’ invitation to be a postulant.
Rizzo’s mother was most unhappy at this turn of events.
A year later, Rizzo was vested as a Poor Clare. The congregation gave her a new name, Mary Angelica of the Annunciation. A short time later, the Poor Clares opened a new monastery in Canton, and she was able to return to her home town.
In 1946, Sister Angelica had an accident with an industrial waxing machine. She fell, injuring her spine, which required her to wear leg braces for many years.
Feisty and innovative
She made her final vows as a Poor Clare on January 2, 1953. At that time, the civil rights movement was in its infancy; nonetheless, it captured Sister Angelica’s imagination. If she were cured of her chronic pain following the waxing machine accident, she silently vowed to open a new monastery. Her prayers were answered and she duly asked for her superior’s permission to establish a new monastery in Alabama in the hope that a community of religious could help to convert Protestant blacks to Roman Catholicism.
Permission granted, Sister Angelica began writing to various dioceses in the South to explain her project and request consent for building a new monastery. In 1957, the Archbishop of Mobile, the Most Revd Thomas Toolen, encouraged her to open a Franciscan one in Birmingham, Alabama. The Poor Clares are an order of Franciscan nuns.
The photo on the right, courtesy of Encyclopedia of Alabama, shows Sister Angelica, Archbishop Toolen and another Poor Clare discussing the project.
Amazingly, Sister Angelica and four other interested Poor Clares began making and selling fishing lures to pay for the monastery. The funding initiative, called St. Peter’s Fishing Lures, began in 1959. It was so successful that, by 1961, the nuns had made $13,000, which they used to purchase a two-bedroom house and 15 acres of land in the town of Irondale, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham and, later, the location of the book Fried Green Tomatoes.
From there, financial contributions from individual donors and companies began rolling in.
Archbishop Toolen formally dedicated Our Lady of the Angels Monastery on May 20, 1962.
In 1999, the monastery relocated several miles away to Hanceville, to a new site, the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In 1962, at Our Lady of the Angels, the now-Mother Angelica gave parlour talks on Catholicism to the general public. Those who attended remembered a gifted communicator and down-to-earth teacher.
Local Catholics thought her message deserved a wider audience. She began recording and selling 45-rpm records which contained lessons on Christian living. She also wrote booklets and later sold audio cassettes.
In the early 1970s, Bishop Joseph Vath of Birmingham urged Mother Angelica to begin lecturing outside the cloister. She started recording tapes of her teaching which were then broadcast on local radio. The Sunday morning broadcast was called Journey into Scripture.
Whilst it is unclear how many black Alabamians converted to Catholicism because of her efforts, with existing Catholics, Mother Angelica was a runaway success.
A local television station gave her a half-hour of airtime. By the end of the 1970s, Pat Robertson was airing her show on his satellite Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
Birth of EWTN
At the turn of the next decade, Mother Angelica visited a Chicago television studio and learned about its capabilities.
In 1981, she founded the non-profit Eternal Word Television Network, which initially broadcast out of a converted garage at the monastery.
Until 2002, Mother Angelica was Chairman and CEO of the corporation. She also had her own programme, Mother Angelica Live.
EWTN gradually grew to attract a global audience. It is unlikely that any adult Catholics today have not heard either of her or her network.
Raymond Arroyo, EWTN News’s Managing Editor and Mother Angelica’s biographer, said on Easter Sunday, following her death:
she was the only woman in television history to found and lead a cable network for 20 years.
The Vatican has long approved of EWTN and network executives say that they try to adhere to Vatican teachings.
However, that did not always mean Mother Angelica agreed with what was happening in the Catholic Church. She was not a fan of certain innovations during the 1980s and 1990s:
Mother Angelica’s outspokenness on church issues — her pet peeves were gender-neutral language in the liturgy and a change allowing girls to become altar servers — made her both friends and enemies among the Catholic faithful.
Battling the bishops
Mother Angelica’s traditionalist stances brought her into conflict with some American bishops.
In 1993, she strongly objected to a woman playing the role of Jesus in a Passion play during the World Youth Days that year. She deemed it ‘blasphemous’ and added:
I am so tired of you, liberal church in America. I resent you pushing your anti-Catholic, ungodly ways upon the masses of this country.
The controversial, ‘progressive’ Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee deemed her words ‘anti-Christian’ and ‘divisive’. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops took action, requesting that that particular segment of her programme not be rebroadcast. Mother Angelica flat out refused.
I’m afraid my obedience in that diocese would be absolutely zero. And I hope everybody else’s in that diocese is zero.
The cardinal accused her of disobedience and requested not only an apology but also a retraction.
Although Mother Angelica gave him a grudging apology, she overlaid that with a long televised explanation of her objections to his proposal.
The cardinal asked the Vatican to start looking into her teachings and EWTN programmes. They did. No disciplinary action was taken.
Meanwhile, EWTN’s audience further increased, as did donations from traditionalist Catholics. In 1994, The National Catholic Reporter estimated her annual donations were $25 million.
In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI awarded her the Cross of Honor for distinguished service:
It is the highest award a pope can give to a member of the laity, the term by which the church defines everyone except ordained priests.
I would think that Mother Angelica will eventually be canonised.
What she went through from Good Friday to Easter indicates that she was a very holy and godly woman. That she died on Easter further reinforces her specialness to our Lord.
Women in the Church
It is so discouraging to know that many men, especially American conservative Christians, say that there is no place for women in positions of leadership in the Church.
Mother Angelica’s life and example proves them wrong.
I hope that young women, whether Catholic or Protestant, see her as a role model for leadership in and faithfulness to the Church.
Whether they agree with her theologically has no bearing on how her example can be used to teach and accomplish the impossible. Who would have thought that making and selling fishing lures would have led to a multi-million dollar non-profit Christian broadcasting empire?
The Church belongs to women, too. Ladies, use your God-given talents and faith to make a difference to your fellow Christians.