"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Big Bill Taft made a splash in Beverly when he summered there between 1909 and 1912. The photo above shows City Hall decked out for a GAR parade attended by the president.
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What have presidents thought of other presidents? Harry Truman said LBJ had "no guts." Coolidge called Herbert Hoover the "wonduh boy." And TR called Taft a "puzzlewit" and Wilson a "Byzantine logothete." I do like that last one.
Harrison Gray Otis, the Urbane Federalist, as biographer Samuel Eliot Morison called him, served Boston as congressman, senator and mayor, and helped develop Beacon Hill. One of three homes designed for him by Charles Bulfinch serves today as headquarters of the preservation society Historic New England, which has traced the history of the Otis House over the years.
"Only since the Bay State became Democratic has she become famous for political corruption," historian Morison writes in his Otis biography, which on its re-release in 1969 was noted by a reviewer to bestow "enlarged praise" on New England Federalism.
"Reading this volume tempts one to succumb, as Morison may have, to Otis' yearning for a nation ruled by merchant princes and country squires," Paul C. Nagel wrote in the Journal of American History. "Morison contends that this combination brought America leadership that was honest, efficient, and genuinely concerned with reform."
John Quincy Adams, alternately a Federalist, a Democratic-Republican, and a Whig, was the first son to succeed his father in the White House (W being the second). He was the only president to go on to serve in the House of Representatives after leaving the White House, and died in 1848 after collapsing from a stroke on the floor of Congress.
John Quincy Adams was arguably the most intelligent man to occupy the White House. As a boy, he hobnobbed with Jefferson, Lafayette, and his own extremely intelligent father, and lived in France, Holland, and Russia, as well as America. He had been Boylston Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard. He wrote competent poetry, and had a passionate amateur interest in astronomy. In a four-way race in 1824, he managed to squeak to victory, but in 1828 he went head-to-head with Andrew Jackson, a frontier general and politician who had never been abroad or written a book. (Adams privately called him a "barbarian.") Old Hickory cleaned his clock.
When Andrew Jackson was awarded an honorary degree by Harvard in 1833, Adams refused to attend.
Mr. Jackson was regarded as a boor by the Brahmins of Boston, who were apoplectic when Harvard bestowed an honorary degree on him. John Quincy Adams, an overseer of the school, wrote that it was a disgrace to confer honors upon "a barbarian who could not write a sentence of grammar and hardly could spell his own name."
It's interesting to note the president regarded as a founder of the modern Democratic Party was the one the Cambridge crowd of his day considered a boob.
"Party refuses to cede the religious vote," reads the headline on this Globepiece. The accompanying image: a Muslim woman in a head scarf. A telling portrayal of the Dems' religious appeal?
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Giving tonight's benediction at John Kerry's invitation is the pastor from the Paulist Center.
The Weekly Standard's Jonathan V. Last paid a visit to Sen. Kerry's "preferred place of worship…where people who hate the Church go to church."
There are no kneelers in the church and the atmosphere is decidedly casual. (Of the hundred or so people at Mass on Sunday morning, only two men wore coat and tie.) At times the Mass departs from the Catholic text. During the Nicene Creed, for example, the sections on believing in only "one Lord" ("We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God . . .") and only "one holy Catholic and apostolic Church" are excised from the prayer.
On the back of the Sunday bulletin, the Paulist Center carries ads, like all Catholic churches do. Where most Churches have ads from local florists, funeral homes, hotels, and restaurants, the Paulist Center carries ads for the Animal Rescue League and "Yoga of the Future." The biggest block of ads is from psychotherapists. More than a fifth of the ads in the Paulist Center bulletin are from "Jungian psychoanalysts" who offer counseling, "body psychotherapy," and even "dream interpretation."
THE JUNGIAN PSYCHOTHERAPISTS may be fishing in the right pond…
Andrew Sullivan at TNR fisks La Fuzzy Wuzzy, who local radio commentators say appeared the other night to be on some kind of medication:
She is called "opinionated" because she is, and because she is an unelected private citizen who believes that her marriage entitles her to lecture the rest of us. Why else, after all, is she at the convention? She is there as a spouse. Period. In that sense, she is not advancing feminism. She is helping to hold it back. And then, for good measure, she addresses the applauding crowd and says, "Merci." Why? Are they French? Or is she just off on some Francophile digression? Who knows? Whatever the explanation, she comes across as ever-so-slightly nutty.
TNR's Michael Crowley watches the Edwards speech from a Boston bar:
Edwards's speech met with a rather blunter response from a local in a Red Sox jersey at the end of the bar. Half-drunk and furious that the Democratic convention caused trash barrels to be removed from around the city, he repeatedly shouted at the television, "I want my trash cans back! Give me my trash cans back!" (Later he added a more high-minded twist: "And free health care!") Then he began demanding to watch SportsCenter, because "there's a pennant race going on." After several exceedingly pleasant days in Boston, I was reminded why I'd so gladly moved away from it a few years ago.
After the Sox fan left, however, the bartender offered a more sympathetic version of the same grievance. "People here are really bitter about this thing," he said, gesturing to the FleetCenter footage on the television. "The street"--Newbury street, in the heart of a key shopping and dining district"--"has been really dead. And our taxes are paying for all this stuff." Hardly John Edwards's fault, of course. But from where I sat, none of the karma around his speech was particularly good.
Henry Cabot Lodge the Younger tends to be remembered for losing his Senate seat to JFK in '52, but he deserves to be recalled as well for giving up his seat during the Second World War, when he became the first United States senator since the Civil War to resign for active military service, as a tank commander in North Africa.
Before entering politics, he was a reporter for the Boston Evening Transcript and a drinking buddy of H. L. Mencken, alongside whom he covered the 1932 Democratic Convention and took in the Chicago speakeasy scene:
"At the end of the room was a piano and a species of male singer, in vogue at the time, known as a crooner. Mencken and I ordered drinks and, as we stood drinking, the crooner's voice became more and more objectionable. Finally, Mencken said to the young lady behind the bar, 'I'd like to shoot that son of a bitch.' The young lady did not bat an eye or change her supercilious expression. She reached under the counter, pulled out a Thompson submachine gun, laid it on the counter, and with a condescending fluttering of her eyelids said, indifferently, 'Go ahead.' "
Named for his grandfather who famously killed US involvement in the League of Nations, Lodge was an internationalist who would serve as ambassador to the UN.
Campaigning for the vice-presidency on the GOP ticket in 1960, Lodge is said to have chagrined his staff by donning pajamas for a daily nap. Four years later he won the New Hampshire primary without even showing up, on a write-in candidacy while he was on the other side of world as ambassador to Saigon.
So what's the latest at today's Mass. GOP website, the one topped by the slogan "All Politics Begins at Home," as the rival Democrats converge on Boston this week to nominate Massachusetts' junior senator for president? Well, there's that Reagan tribute, from June. But the News & Events section hasn't been updated since the end of October. If this isn't the cyber-equivalent of an elephant's graveyard, it's close.
While on the topic of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it should be noted Roald Dahl's original book is far better than the movie. Would the roomful of tapping squirrels who toss bad nuts down the hole be busy on Causeway Street this week?
This is Henry Cabot Lodge as painted by John Singer Sargent in 1890. More recent is a striking photo portrait of two of his great-great-great granddaughters.
Massachusetts' political history actually has plenty of non-Democrats, among them Federalists, Whigs and Republicans, and if the somnolent Mass. GOP isn't going to remind people this week, I will.
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"I'm not a liberal at all…I'm not comfortable with those people."
The original JFK who campaigned in his first congressional race as a "fighting conservative" was a centrist who'd have little in common with many in Boston this week who claim to embrace his mantle, a useful piece in The New Republic notes.
True, his domestic politics owed much to the New Deal. But he was also a fiscal conservative, and in the realm of foreign policy he considered himself a staunch cold warrior.
[His] legacy includes a commitment to fiscal responsibility, to a strong military, and to the central place of morality in foreign affairs. Those were the positions that helped transform him into a popular figure among all Americans. And they are the reason that Kennedy's spirit could propel the Democrats to victory again--if they are able to remember him as he was.
Every time I walk down the gum-stained sidewalks of lower Boylston Street, as I did Sunday morning, I can't help but recall the night about a dozen years ago when I saw John F. Kerry in a hand-groping lip-lock with a woman probably half his age.
I had stumbled into a crowded bar called Marais late one Friday for last call. I left with an impression I'll never really shake. Kerry, an unmarried senator, was in a front booth putting on a widely watched show. If he and the woman were any more public and proximate, they would have needed an adult entertainment license from City Hall.
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In light of the last anecdote, this photo of Kerry takes on even more Woody Allen piquance.
Bill Weld handicaps the upcoming presidential race for Newsweek.
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Jonathan V. Last:A NUMBER OF SMART, important speakers followed--Glenn Close, Barbara Mikulski, a children's choir singing "This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land"--but the real excitement is in the box behind me when Michael Moore emerges, clad in a black shirt and blue jeans, with a green baseball cap. It's pandemonium. The nearest delegation is made up of folks representing Democrats Abroad. Their reaction is similar to what you would expect from a pack of 19-year-old boys if Britney Spears wandered, drunk, into their frat house. People vault over railings and push and shove their way up the short stairway to the balcony where Moore is holding court. Ever the gentleman, Moore smiles shyly and shakes hands and signs autographs. Dozens of expatriates can now die happy.
Ann Coulter:Looking at the line-up of speakers at the Convention, I have developed the 7-11 challenge: I will quit making fun of, for example, Dennis Kucinich, if he can prove he can run a 7-11 properly for 8 hours. We'll even let him have an hour or so of preparation before we open up. Within 8 hours, the money will be gone, the store will be empty, and he'll be explaining how three 11-year olds came in and asked for the money and he gave it to them. (Via Power Line
Jonah Goldberg:Everyone from the patchouli-soaked activists with open-toed shoes and closed minds to the button-down blue dogs are holding hands and singing kumbaya for one reason: They hate George W. Bush. Not only is this is an odd motivation for a party that demands that "hatred" be literally outlawed (though hate crimes aimed at Republicans aren't really hate crimes — that's merely "speaking truth to power" or some such). Such unity is particularly shocking because nobody likes Kerry.
In your face, Yanks: The Sox have some fight left in them yet, and as Dan Shaughnessy writes, their campaign has been given a boost.
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To judge from last night's first pitch, John Kerry needs to strengthen his right wing. Sox owner John Henry was on a local sports radio show this morning and was asked about Kerry's bouncing toss: Henry said Kerry told him he had been practicing for the throw, but eased off because the National Guard vet behind the plate appeared nervous. In other words, it was the catcher.
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The Dems plan to showcase their talent on the opening night of the convention tonight with remarks by Jimmy Carter, Hillary and Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Word is the Republicans planned to follow suit at the opening of their upcoming convention, but Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Richard Nixon were unavailable.
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A Sunday Globepiece on delegates descending on the Hub introduces in the fifth paragraph an activist from Maine:
"I've never been involved with politics, but I've just had it, so in February I threw myself out of the house and went to the caucuses," said Carla Bryson, 57, a Verizon service representative from Portland, Maine, who campaigned hard for her delegate seat. "I put out a flier -- I took the money out of my retirement savings and did a mailing -- and I said why being a delegate was so important to me."
Well, that's nice, though you'd think a detail that later surfaces in paragraph 22 about the plucky Verizon service representative-political neophyte from Down East might have been noted at the outset – that she's Al Franken's sister-in-law. She also takes a rather cavalier attitude toward the threat terrorism poses to the national security.
"I'm not really worried about terrorism -- I could have a car accident, you know," said Bryson, the Maine delegate, who is the sister-in-law of Al Franken, the former "Saturday Night Live" cast member who now hosts a liberal talk show on Air America Radio. "The pickets are more of a concern. If they picket the hotel, where am I going to stay?"
Ladies and gentlemen, your Democratic Party…
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The WSJ on the Anybody But Bush Democrats * Interesting piece by Michael Barone on Massachusetts' political tradition * John Fund writes on political bloggers * An urban planner considers the New Boston, home to, among other things, a gleaming new $800-million convention center that isn't being used for the Democratic convention.
I must say this cartoonist has gone beyond the Alfred E. Neuman prototype in his Bush portrayal to really capture the grand 19th-century tradition of the Monkey Man once brought to bear on caricatures of the Irish and Blacks. Not sure whether W in this picture should have an upside-down clay pipe in his mouth or a piece of watermelon as he scampers about his gruff Controller, Dick Cheney. "It would be funny if it weren't true...," comments Democratic activist blogger Cate Read, who has been accredited to blog from the Democratic convention, her Portraying-the-President-as-a-Trained-Macaque credentials having been deemed in order.
Alas, I am a Yankee fan. Still, I was rooting for the Red Sox. In part, because they deserve so much pity. But more importantly, because the people of Boston have truly made baseball worthy of its designation as America's pastime.
Which is ridiculous when you think about it. It's not like I'm huddled in a yurt on the Mongolian steppe, dreaming of the Citgo sign and Long Wharf. I live in New York City. 4 hours away from Boston.
Oh well. I'm Irish. We love nostalgia.
Father-to-be Steve of the Llama Butchers weighs in on the lyric little bandbox in the Fens:
The whole "Yankees Suck!" culture that pervades the place: I hate to say it, but the Red Sox nation are perilously in danger of becoming the French of American professional sports: haughty, arrogant, tied to an antiquated facility, not having won since 1815, and continually beaten upon by their ancient and mortal enemies. I'm not going so far as to draw a Rudy Guliani/Winston Churchill parallel here, nor am I saying that Nomar and deGaulle would have been buds, but I mean it's gotten far out of hand.
I love Fenway---but to me it's the Fenway of Yaz and Fisk, Lynn and Rice, the Fenway where you could have an aging Johnny Pesky standing behind you in the concession line, not the place that it has become.
The surly attitude remarked upon in the Hub of the Universe toward the New York American League Baseball Club is captured in these t-shirts that dispense with New England reserve on the question of where the Pinstripes can put their 26 rings. (No doubt our own Steve M. is getting out his credit card as we speak!)
"When a man weighs anchor in a little ship or a large one he does a jolly thing!" Hilaire Belloc writes On Weighing Anchor:
The sea drives truth into a man like salt. A coward cannot long pretend to be brave at sea, nor a fool to be wise, nor a prig to be a good companion, and any venture connected with the sea is full of venture and can pretend to be nothing more. Nevertheless there is a certain pride in keeping a course through different weathers, in making the best of a tide, in using cats' paws in a dull race, and, generally, in knowing how to handle the thing you steer and to judge the water and the wind. Just because men have to tell the truth once they get into tide water, what little is due to themselves in their success thereon they are proud of and acknowledge.
This Taos Pueblo church, photographed just after Mass sometime between 1915 and 1925, is the picture of simplicity. If only the "simple" churches of today were so evocative. (Via American Memory)
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Here's to this South Carolina church for saying to liturgical renovators: If you're going to put a baptismal font front and center, why not a proper one? It doesn't have to be a Jacuzzi! (Via Pontifications)
I think that ritual is probably what most men want. They don't want to come to church to hold hands and cry with each other. They want to experience something ordered and serious. They're ready for asceticism and reward. Putting on a cassock and surplice for the first time was akin to putting on a baseball uniform for the first time, or receiving my Eagle Scout medal. You realize that you have enveloped yourself into something grand and mysterious. The rules change. A sense of duty and honor fills your soul.
Enjoy the 19th-century anthropomorphic bears of William Holbrook Beard above and here. (Wonder what the Google Search will make of that?)
Bears were a pop culture phenomenon during the TR era. Perfessor Bill Edwards offers a playing of the early 1900s dance hit "Grizzly Bear" along with some fine sheet music cover art, if you scroll down a bit.
One of my favorite things about C.S. Lewis's "Surprised By Joy" is the way he describes how, before he knew the Lord, he gained a taste of divine joy through worldly things—like Norse myths or, if memory serves, a picture on a cookie tin.
I've experienced such a taste through my children. Random Penseur describes this phenomenon more eloquently than I.
Hence Samuel Johnson's prayer touches a chord: "I have now spent fifty-five years in resolving; having, from the earliest time almost that I can remember, been forming schemes of a better life. I have done nothing. The need of doing, therefore, is pressing, since the time of doing is short. O GOD, grant me to resolve aright, and to keep my resolutions, for JESUS CHRIST'S sake. Amen." (Via Derbyshire and TSO)
Perhaps the Euros see themselves as wise and sophisticated in the ways of the world in a way the cowboy Americans are not. But is it also possible the Euros act out of a now-permanent adolescent irresponsibility, shorn of a sense of consequences, now that the US is the world's one and only superpower, required, as they are not, to "feel the balance of things in its hands"?
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Previously when I thought "pants" I thought Fred Mertz, but now I'll think SandyBerger.
Fr. Rutler recalls a similar mishap involving the Book of Kells:To my surprise, I later found several major illuminated pages in my socks.
TNR Editor-in-Chief Martin Peretz weighs in on Berger, Joe Wilson &c.
Apollonian or Dionysian? This is the key distinction. The Massachusetts state of mind is modeled on Apollo, the sun god and far-darting bowman, as in Shelley's "Hymn of Apollo":
I am the eye with which the Universe
Beholds itself and knows itself divine;
All harmony of instrument or verse,
All prophecy, all medicine is mine...
Ted Williams, more like a god than a man, was Apollo in a Red Sox uniform. Bill Russell of the immortal Celtics drew an uncrossable Apollonian line against Wilt Chamberlain and the Lakers. John F. Kennedy was bewitchingly cool Apollonian rationality and restraint in a Massachusetts politician. Barney Frank and the late Tip O'Neill (in the "Sodom and Begorrah" congressional delegation) are Dionysian exceptions that prove the Apollonian rule. Dionysus was the "jolly god," the god of earth and wine and animal spirits, promoter of civilization and lover of peace. But the distinctive heroes of Massachusetts mythology, from Emily Dickinson to Pedro Martinez, reenact the Apollonian drama of the mind in triumph over nature.
Re religion, Lydon writes:
Catholic or Protestant? Massachusetts has always felt to me like a Protestant place, probably because the dominant Catholics here of the Irish persuasion have so much Calvinist Puritanism bred into them (us!). It's another instance where the best statistics tell you very little.
Interesting stuff, from a thought-provoking publication: See also their American political map, Beyond Red & Blue.
While we're sending you to sites that require free registration: Do see the recent Spectator and Telegraph reviews of Loose Canon, a new book on the late Brian Brindley, a flamboyant former Anglo-Catholic vicar who died in the middle of a seven-course banquet on his 70th birthday, breathing his last between the dressed crab and the boeuf en daube.
Damian Thompson, who was at Brindley's last supper, reviews the new book for The Spectator:
[He] was always a man who liked to have his cake (with lashings of extra double cream to make it 'less rich') and eat it. He was piously Christian yet naughtily and flagrantly homosexual; he dressed like a cross between a pantomime dame and an 18th- century Roman monsignor and yet wondered why people tittered so; he elevated frivolity to an art form while yet proving himself one of the General Synod's most able administrators; he outraged many of his fellow Anglicans, especially Evangelicals, with his outspokenness and theatricality, yet still imagined that one day he would be granted his bishopric.
Brindley dressed like an 18th-century monsignor, in red heels (which he sweetly painted himself) and a soutane with 39 red buttons, "one for each of the Articles I don't believe in". He thought the Tridentine Rite was "a Mass for peasants" and turned his unremarkable Reading church into a scented, gilded, shimmering, gorgeous monument to the Highest end of Anglo-Catholicism, and the highest end of camp. At his silver jubilee mass in 1988, says Damian Thompson, "the Bishop of Oxford presided from a throne fit for a Borgia pope" - and that was the least of it.
A wondrous self-creation, Brindley knowingly turned himself into something of a caricature, part pantomime dame, part Liberace - except that his bravery made him less comical than the former, and his taste exempted him from serious comparison with the latter - "I have a perfect sense of colour," he once said, and, says Thompson, he did. He was a genuine eccentric, and unaware of the fact. Once, in Hackney in 1977, he turned up at a friend's ordination so extravagantly attired that he was mistaken for a visiting woman priest from America. He was perfectly indignant when told.
He also liked young men, for which he was very modernly punished by the News of the World in the late 1980s. The resulting exposé led to his sacking: he lost his job, his house and his seat on the General Synod. He moved to Brighton, where he created another extraordinarily flamboyant home for himself, and converted to Catholicism after the C of E's decision to ordain women priests (about as ordainable as donkeys, he said). In his final years, he wrote a column for the Catholic Herald.
The colourful clerical gourmet Brian Brindley (6 August 2002) gave up his Anglican priesthood because of his objection to women priests and, when going over to Rome, took the confirmation name of Leo in honour of the Pope who had condemned Anglican orders as null and void.
Generally speaking, religious people deal in absolute truths, while politics is about the art of dealmaking and compromise. The religion reporter will know what his journalist colleagues probably don't: that to the truly religious person, some things are not up for negotiation, because to the believer, they aren't a matter of an opinion about reality, they are reality.
At Dartmouth, a voice of sanity: an economics professor asks "why Dartmouth resources are being squandered in promoting the personal political activism of some of its faculty members."
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A reader e-mails:
I just got back from Barnes & Noble where they are selling – giving away is more like it – "scholarly classics" under their own imprint. For an average of $7.95 per: "The Rough Riders" and "Hunting the Grisly [sic]" were two that caught my eye. Memoirs of US Grant (more expensive, but about 3" thick) was another. This is a worthy effort, especially the TR stuff.
While Washington, D. C., awaits the Expos (would they just move them already?), the Washington Post is running a feature, Bringing Back the Senators, a day-by-day retrospective of the 1924 championship season.
One of them bespeaks a happier time in Franco-American relations as does a smashing book. A Fraternity of Arms: American and France in the Great War. The book describes a very Bostonian event at which Marshall Joffre is greeted with wild enthusiasm at Faneuil Hall (James Michael Curley officiating), making a droll reference that only a few weeks earlier at the same venue, the news that German U-boats were sinking British shipping at a brisk pace was cheered as well, albeit with somewhat less enthusiasm.
You might also enjoy a book about the ambulance drivers, entitled Gentlemen Volunteers: The Story of American Ambulance Drivers in the Great War by Arlen Hansen as well as some of the many memoirs/recruiting tools penned by many of these drivers. By the way, here is a link to a memoir of one such driver. When I was younger, I always thought that had I been a young lad in 1915-1916, I would have volunteered for such service. Interesting to note that, like Rockwell, many of the drivers went over because they thought we owed France something for our independence.
Speaking of Acadia, this year marks the 400th anniversary of the French settlement in St. Croix in present day New Brunswick. So, for about three years, things were going well in North America--France on one end, Spain on the other. Then--Bam!--1607 and the English show up and spoil everything. Anyway, here are a few links related to this anniversary: Champlain Anniversary * Ste. Croix 2004 * Champlain Society
He adds a PS:
With the apparent purpose of raising money for a charity related to French soldiers and their families, a book entitled "For France" was published in 1917. It is a collection of essays, poems, drawings (cover art by N.C. Wyeth), paintings contributed by prominent artists of the day and some American volunteers with the French Army. It is fascinating how it reveals the ardent desire of so many Americans to help France and their firm belief that the United States--especially the government--was shirking its duty.
"I don't know a single one of the boys who didn't have a deep-seated desire to help France." Edwin Parsons, Lafayette Escadrille
The published memoirs of Lafayette Escadrille veteran James McConnell include the image above of the squadron's lion mascot Whiskey and a fine picture of ace Raoul Lufbery in his Indian-head Nieuport.
Here is Kiffin Rockwell, of Asheville, N.C., killed in an air duel over Verdun. "Kiffin was imbued with the spirit of the cause for which he fought. He said: 'I pay my part for Lafayette and Rochambeau.'" A blogger named for him has set up a tribute page.
A page translated from French has more on the American squadron and its celebrated mascot:
The Squadron was named after La Fayette, with the head of a Sioux as its emblem and a baby lion as mascot.
This baby lion, named Whiskey, was purchased from 500 francs from a Brazilian dentist who has recently come from Africa and placed an ad in the New York Herald Tribune to sell this lion. The pilot Thaw took it upon himself to bring the animal to the Squadron. Thaw arrived at Gare de l'Est with "this big dog" on a leash, bought a special ticket for the "dog, " and boarded the train. Up to that time he had no difficulty. But then came the train conductor who looked over this unusual passenger with suspicion. "What is that beast ?" he asked. "It is a dog from Africa," answered Thaw. At this very moment Whiskey as if resenting such a disgraceful introduction roared in fury and showed his claws.
"But this is a lion!" screamed the conductor. Some women having caressed the animal while admiring his sweetness ran out of the compartment screaming.
In order to join the Squadron, Whiskey has to travel in a luggage train. Later a young female lion named Soda joined Whiskey. Their preferred food was a soup made of meat and bread. Soda was always more wild than Whiskey: a mystery of the feminine soul!
(Note: The swastika on the Indian-head logo was commonly used as a good-luck sign in the days before the Nazis adopted the symbol.)
Here are members of the Lafayette Escadrille posed with lion and Alsatian, and squadron survivors in soup and fish at a postwar reunion.
The webmaster of this site writes of the squadron originally called the Escadrille Americaine: [T]his group is perhaps as well remembered for their actions in the officer's club, as their success in the skies…
The Americans were provided the finest accommodations by the French at Bar-le-Duc. The equipment and aircraft supplied to the LE squadron were the best available. This plus the fact that the squadron was positioned away from the front lines at Verdun, may contribute to the mistaken notion that the base had a country club atmosphere, fueled by countless dice and poker games. Also, the acquisition of two lion cubs named "Whiskey" and "Soda" as squadron mascots added to the unit's celebratory reputation. According to some sources, the early days at Bar-le-Duc field was like a real life re-enactment of an epic adventure movie, in that the war itself was perceived to be little else than a great escapade. Of course, this is a glorified interpretation of early WW1 history. The everyday grind of war was soon to become serious business, and for some... deadly serious.
A common reality shared between all of the WW1 squadrons on both sides of the front was a high casualty rate. The outlook for long term survival as a WW1 fighter pilot was bleak…One can only imagine the courage required to engage in aerial combat with machines that were certainly frail by modern standards.
Also envision that there were no parachutes to cushion one's fall from the sky. Pity the unfortunate pilot who made the reluctant exit from a flaming aircraft made of wood and canvas…
The fate of ace Sgt. Lufbery is a reminder that chivalrous dash came at a price.
A good bit of July 14 here was spent, appropriately enough, in a courthouse, on jury duty. The informational video for jurors opened with an Ode to Our Representative System of Democracy by, of all people, SJC Chief Justice Margaret Marshall. Nice Jacobinical touch, that.
Django was born into the open air, rambling lifestyle of his gypsy parents. At the age of eight, his mother's tribe settled near the belt of fortifications that surrounded the old Paris, near the Choisy gate. He never wore a suit or lived in a real house until he was twenty years old. These French Gypsies or Manouches were a world unto themselves, medieval in their beliefs, and distrustful of modern science. Django grew up in this world of contradictions, one foot in the bustling big city of Paris and the other in the age-old life of the nomadic gypsy. Though born into poverty Django had the soul of a nobleman and this natural elegance of bearing and attitude expressed itself in his music.
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My French Acadian forbears in Prince Edward Island are said to have hid in the woods to escape the mass deportation by the English recalled in the poem Evangeline. My Uncle Aubin was the first Acadian to head the government of a Canadian province when he served as premier of PEI from 1917-19, and it was my privilege to meet him when I was very young and he was very old. I can say that my children are related, on my side, to a PEI premier and Supreme Court justice, and on their mother's side, to two US presidents.
The Homies at Free Republic have picked up on the Episcopal Hip Hop Mass.
This spammer has a name after my own heart: Flail L. Attempting.
And a reader e-mails with an anecdote about President Taft when he was a professor at Yale Law before being named to the Supreme Court:
My grandfather was Yale '20…My grandfather and his roommates used to recall with glee how when passing President Taft on his morning walk they would greet him with, "Good Morning Mr. President." Taft always smiled and raised his top hat in return.
I've been working on an article on President Taft, whose Summer White House on Massachusetts' North Shore from 1909-12 is recalled at a Beverly Historical Society website of interest (though you'll want to mute the music and be ready to click the infernal Tripod windows).
Meantime, three items down at this Parlor Songs page is a quite lovely waltz, "Our Good & Honest Taft," used as a campaign song in 1908. The cover art is rather nice, too.
Among the campaign songs performed by singer-songwriter Oscar Brand in this C-Span interview is "Get on a Raft with Taft" ("a chancy move," in the words of the Weekly Standard's Matt Labash, "considering he weighed as much as a small manatee").
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Catching up elsewhere…
One suspected the New York Sun would give good play to the re-staging of the Burr-Hamilton duel, and sure enough, there it was, above the fold.
It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in,--glittering like the morningstar, full of life, and splendour, and joy. Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour, and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever.
To read Burke's Reflections is to be struck by his prescience. Here he could be describing post-modern relativism: On the scheme of this barbarous philosophy, which is the offspring of cold hearts and muddy understandings, and which is as void of solid wisdom as it is destitute of all taste and elegance, laws are to be supported only by their own terrors, and by the concern which each individual may find in them from his own private interests. In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.
Elsewhere, a new biography of Napoleon is considered at the Claremont Review, just out with its summer issue.
And Random Penseur, at his new address, observes today's anniversary of the bathtub murder of Marat, which he notes is not the only reason to recall July 13.
Thurston & Ginger: Dale Price's nickname for the new Democratic ticket. That's Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy in the right foreground.
Elsewhere: Penn fraternity brothers vote Bush the candidate they'd most trust to assist on a keg stand * Lileks appraises the loathsome Michael Moore and rips brown paper from a Stagworld gem. (Via ELC)
Favorite line of the week: Evelyn Waugh famously observed that ever since the Church stopped defrocking priests for sodomy, it has been difficult to find good proofreaders. (Roger Kimball at Armavirumque commenting on grammatical errors in the Clinton memoir)
Poets' Corner offers a fine online sampling of Hilaire Belloc, including several selections from Bad Child's Book of Beasts and Cautionary Tales * You can now win a Pulitzer for jazz. Nat Hentoff comments * A museum of contemporary art has sparked a revival in North Adams, Mass., but what will it ultimately mean for the locals?
From TNR: Is Pakistan being pressured by the Bush Administration to deliver Osama by election time?
1. Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly?
2. The Great Gatsby or The Sun Also Rises?
3. Count Basie or Duke Ellington?
4. Cats or dogs?
5. Matisse or Picasso?
6. Yeats or Eliot?
7. Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin?
8. Flannery O’Connor or John Updike?
9. To Have and Have Not or Casablanca?
10. Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning?
11. The Who or the Stones?
12. Philip Larkin or Sylvia Plath?
13. Trollope or Dickens?
14. Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald?
15. Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy?
16. The Moviegoer or The End of the Affair?
17. George Balanchine or Martha Graham?
18. Hot dogs or hamburgers?
19. Letterman or Leno?
20. Wilco or Cat Power?
21. Verdi or Wagner?
22. Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe?
23. Bill Monroe or Johnny Cash?
24. Kingsley or Martin Amis?
25. Robert Mitchum or Marlon Brando?
26. Mark Morris or Twyla Tharp?
27. Vermeer or Rembrandt?
28. Tchaikovsky or Chopin?
29. Red wine or white?
30. Noël Coward or Oscar Wilde?
31. Grosse Pointe Blank or High Fidelity?
32. Shostakovich or Prokofiev?
33. Mikhail Baryshnikov or Rudolf Nureyev?
34. Constable or Turner?
35. The Searchers or Rio Bravo?
36. Comedy or tragedy?
37. Fall or spring?
38. Manet or Monet?
39. The Sopranos or The Simpsons?
40. Rodgers and Hart or Gershwin and Gershwin?
41. Joseph Conrad or Henry James?
42. Sunset or sunrise?
43. Johnny Mercer or Cole Porter?
44. Mac or PC?
45. New York or Los Angeles?
46. Partisan Review or Horizon?
47. Stax or Motown?
48. Van Gogh or Gauguin?
49. Steely Dan or Elvis Costello?
50. Reading a blog or reading a magazine?
51. John Gielgud or Laurence Olivier?
52. Only the Lonely or Songs for Swingin’ Lovers?
53. Chinatown or Bonnie and Clyde?
54. Ghost World or Election?
55. Minimalism or conceptual art?
56. Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny?
57. Modernism or postmodernism?
58. Batman or Spider-Man?
59. Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams?
60. Johnson or Boswell?
61. Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf?
62. The Honeymooners or The Dick Van Dyke Show?
63. An Eames chair or a Noguchi table?
64. Out of the Past or Double Indemnity?
65. The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni?
66. Blue or green?
67. A Midsummer Night’s Dream or As You Like It?
68. Ballet or opera?
69. Film or live theater?
70. Acoustic or electric?
71. North by Northwest or Vertigo?
72. Sargent or Whistler?
73. V.S. Naipaul or Milan Kundera?
74. The Music Man or Oklahoma?
75. Sushi, yes or no?
76. The New Yorker under Ross or Shawn?
77. Tennessee Williams or Edward Albee?
78. The Portrait of a Lady or The Wings of the Dove?
79. Paul Taylor or Merce Cunningham?
80. Frank Lloyd Wright or Mies van der Rohe?
81. Diana Krall or Norah Jones?
82. Watercolor or pastel?
83. Bus or subway?
84. Stravinsky or Schoenberg?
85. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
86. Willa Cather or Theodore Dreiser?
87. Schubert or Mozart?
88. The Fifties or the Twenties?
89. Huckleberry Finn or Moby-Dick?
90. Thomas Mann or James Joyce?
91. Lester Young or Coleman Hawkins?
92. Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman?
93. Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill?
94. Liz Phair or Aimee Mann?
95. Italian or French cooking?
96. Bach on piano or harpsichord?
97. Anchovies, yes or no?
98. Short novels or long ones?
99. Swing or bebop?
100. "The Last Judgment" or "The Last Supper"?
I concurred with Terry Teachout on 37 of the 58 I answered, for a rate of 64 percent. That's a lot of blanks: either my cultural education has been sorely neglected, or I need to get out more. Probably both.
A recent biography of the late U.S. Rep. Millicent Fenwick (R-N.J.) is the first, remarkably, on the dowager congresswoman celebrated for her feisty independence and trademark pipe.
Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, who lost to her in a GOP congressional primary, writes in a foreword:
She was an aristocrat of the kind Katharine Hepburn used to play in movies like The Philadelphia Story. Yet she had a particular affinity for the downtrodden, the poor, and the underprivileged. A liberal in her approach to most issues, she maintained a lifelong devotion to the Republican Party…
She was smart politically and not above a trick or two to achieve her ends. Once, when we were debating, she finished her comments and sat down. I rose to reply. About three minutes in, I had the sense nobody in the audience was paying attention. I looked over at Millicent. She had taken out her pipe and was slowly filling it with tobacco. The entire audience was watching, waiting to see if she was actually going to light it. They weren't paying attention to anything I was saying. Millicent won that debate.
She was the only really ambitious seventy-year-old I've ever met…
Above all things, she hated hypocrisy and those who abused the public trust. Stubborn to a fault, she never betrayed her ideals or paid much attention to the polls. In the end, that was probably why she lost her last election, but the example she set and the way she conducted her life continue to stand as a model for all those who might want to pursue public life.
Another independent-minded Republican woman of the Congress was Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine), who was noted for her 1950 "Declaration of Conscience" speech against McCarthyism, and who delivered a second speech of that title 20 years later in reaction to campus disruptions and antiwar protests.
The website of the library dedicated to her in Skowhegan, Maine, carries this representative quote:
"My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned but not bought."
* * *
Random Penseur's posts on the Disappearing Political Moderate got me thinking about civility and compromise in public debate and the reasons for their seeming decline, which, in my opinion, include, in no particular order:
* The rise of identity politics, in which an attack on a person's argument is taken as an attack on that person himself;
* The attendant rise of P.C. on college campuses, where ideas are meant to be debated but too often aren't, lest anyone's feelings be hurt; where dissent from prevailing wisdom is too often quashed, and where grievance and entitlement are too often stressed over reason, logic or courtesy;
* The post-modernist dismissal of truth as a subjective construct, something therefore to be imposed, ultimately by force;
* The 24-7 media phenomenon, which relies on instant analyses and opinions and favors the sound-bite over the thoughtful deliberation;
* A popular culture geared less and less to the grownup;
* Judicial activism that has taken away the possibility of legislative compromise on vexing social questions: the Roe v Wade decision on abortion and the recent Massachusetts SJC ruling on same-sex marriage, for example, didn't settle the issues but consigned them to polarization, judicial fiat having denying elected legislators the ability to reach common ground amenable to the great middle;
* The domination of the presidential primary process by special interests and activist groups that force candidates Left or Right and away from the Center; the old "smoke-filled rooms" may have been less democratic, but actually may have done a better job producing party candidates attractive to the majority of rank-and-file voters.
Many of the problems I've listed might be seen as the wages of progress: The civil rights movement was a noble and good and necessary thing, but the Courts fighting "the good fight," as it were, can also lead to great mischief. Tolerance is to be commended, yet the professional "tolerance" crowd is intolerant as can be of dissent. Democracy is, as Churchill said, the worst form of government except for all the others. And the Internet and the cable-TV clicker, while indispensable, are not necessarily conducive to reflection. The world isn't perfect.
As the lone conservative in a large and very liberal family whose gatherings tend to be contentious and exhausting when the knives are out, I can say it's possible to love someone and disagree on politics. It's possible – or should be – to argue a point and remain friends.
A larger point: Civility requires a belief in standards, which rests on a belief in higher truths. After all, if right and wrong are subjective, if we make them up as we go along, we can treat others as we wish, and impose our will on others, and no one can say any different. Indeed, truth becomes a function of power. Who's to say we should treat others with respect? Without appeal to higher law outside of oneself, force – not moral suasion – becomes all.
Following one's conscience is paramount: Eileen McNamara, with whom I rarely agree these days, raises a very good point re Sen. Kerry on this front.
It has been noted that proposing is not the same as imposing: Arguments need to be made, cases need to be put, and allowed to rise and fall on their merits.
Fight hard, I say, but with civility, which means advancing your cause passionately without smearing your opponent, and treating your rival fairly and with respect even as you engage and defeat his argument.
Someone like Michael Moore represents the opposite. As Jonah Goldberg writes:
If the new Moore-standard says you can be a force for good even if you argue through half-truths, guilt-by-association and innuendo, then the case against Joe McCarthy evaporates entirely. He did, after all, have the larger truths on his side.
The torch has been passed to a new generation of Young Fogeys and appears in good hands with Andrew Cusack, whose visually appealing website is oojah-cum-spiff, and whose University of St. Andrews paper, The Mitre, by its own accord, "brings anachronism to life!" How many student papers feature a laudatory blurb from the regional superior of the FSSP ("Its frenetic tone is amusing in a relentless, unpitying way that reminds me of 'Vile Bodies,'" says the Rev. John Emerson) or feature headlines such as "University to Recruit from Crème of Old Empire"?
Apart from the Olympic stadium, only the Masters in Augusta has resisted the modern commercial pressures. The setting is spectacular, the blazers a testament to the quality of English tailoring even though they do their best to conceal the transition from ectomorphic rower to mesomorphic insurance broker. "Ah, you know the reason for that, it's because we're all amateurs", said Christopher Davidge, past chairman of Henley, and who is two years' shy of 60 years' service on and off that famous stretch of the Thames.
The idea of the gifted amateur is a deeply attractive one. The idol who could play the game for the sake of the game, make his century at Lord's and then go back to teach Greek or make a House of Commons speech (not what passes for one now) with his wind-blown hair restored to its Corinthian perfection, was the very model of Edwardian excellence.
On the water, Harvard beat Cambridge in the semis but lost in the finals of the Grand Challenge Cup.
Stigmatized: What the modernist World's Fair pavilion architect responsible for the sanctuary of the new Padre Piochurch, the world's second largest, ought to be.
The Saner Element was seen prevailing in the Democratic Party in the last Campaign of '04. If only that were the case today.
* * *
A chef at the Windows on the World restaurant who survived the attacks on the World Trade Center writes on Fahrenheit 9/11:
So, how do we explain Moore's film to future generations? I wonder. More than that, I wonder how I would explain this film to Nancy D., Jerome N. or Heather H. I am sure you don't know their names, but their faces haunt me day and night. How would I explain to them that a film was made accusing the president and vilifying the soldiers, the same president and soldiers who are attempting to avenge their murders and protect other citizens. Moore has not only insulted the nation, he has insulted the victims of the terrorist attacks.
During his acceptance speech at the Oscars, Moore said, "Shame on you, Mr. Bush." Well, I say, "Shame on you, Michael Moore." Shame on everyone who supports this travesty of a film. Shame on a society that allows this sham of a film.
I suspect that many readers of Kaplan's article will be struck by the underhandedness and malevolence of the hard Left. But readers with some knowledge of clandestine operations will be absolutely horrified by something else: there is no way any group of walk-in volunteers from America or Europe can be trained to be anything but cannon fodder by the short "orientation session" provided by these clowns. Those volunteers were expendable and no one, most especially the trainers, were going to let them in on that dirty little secret.
A 1993 Cigar Aficionado article, "Our Presidents and Cigars," pre-dated the Lewinsky scandal that would have given its subject a whole new spin, but serves as a useful guide to presidential tobacco preferences.
Grant is said to have smoked 20 cigars a day, Grover Cleveland chewed tobacco, and McKinley, while never allowing himself to be photographed or seen in public with a cigar, smoked them incessantly in private.
Coolidge also appreciated a good cigar, after his own fashion:
Even political philosophy was revealed in Coolidge's cigar habits. At the least, how he acquired his cigars and smoked them reflected his notorious thriftiness and conservative economic policies. According to Ike Hoover, Coolidge only "smoked the best quality of Havana cigars," but he rarely spent his own money for them. They were, "always given to him," Hoover said. And although the cigars were often as expensive as 75 cents a piece--in 1920s currency--Coolidge found it practical to always use his paper one cent cigar-holder, which he frugally saved, day to day.
For more on Silent Cal, see the tribute paid to him on his July 4 birthday by Southern Appeal, and a number of papers on the Coolidge legacy that were presented at a 1998 JFK Library symposium on the 75th anniversary of his accession to the presidency.
Dump Internet Explorer, warns Mirabilis.ca, citing security risks.
As if the proliferating garden-variety parasites and pop-ups weren't bad enough, new spyware is said to be able to exploit holes in IE and hijack your computer – and any private information therein – if you merely click on a booby-trapped page.
Having had to pull out the roots of unwanted *&@# toolbar parasites, line by coded line, after having clicked a rigged pop-up ad the wrong way, I'm going to look into the suggested Foxfire browser.
An aside: The Jesuits at America must include some high-tech geeks. If your browser is carrying a parasite, the magazine's website will tell you, which is very helpful (though the script doesn't appear to detect all the latest varieties).
A folk holiday that richly deserves revival is Straw Hat Day, which used to be observed on the second Saturday in May, and marked the day boaters were officially in-season. The 1926 photo above comes courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library's South Sound Photo Album (which this past holiday weekend recalled the Independence Day jazz babies of 1924).
The recent Seersucker Day in the Senate was marked by O. C. Hiss. And Random Penseur was wearing seersucker (and an ill-advised tie) when a shoeshine renewed his appreciation of the American dream.
Noted while surfing for skimmers and seersucker: A great deal is to be said for the Churchill Dot, as well as for the top priorities of Jos A Bank's bookman – How to Grill and How to be a Gentleman.
Instapundit offers a roundup of Edwards coverage and this aside: My own prediction, by the way, is that at an opportune moment Cheney will drop off the GOP ticket for vague medical reasons and be replaced by someone whose selection will make a splash.
Meantime, the McCain promo is playing at the Bush campaign website.
* * *
Lane Core takes his camera to a 250th-anniversary reenactment of the opening battle of the French & Indian War.
The Chronicle of Higher Ed features an essay by a junior faculty member who has experienced a marked change in quality of life since moving from the East to a small rural college in the Midwest:
There is a sense that we live in sacred time out here, that our service to students and the community has meaning beyond professional advancement.
My wife and I bought an old farm on which the previous family had raised 15 children. The day after we moved in, several neighbors stopped by to welcome us with cakes and cookies. The house is five times bigger than our old urban apartment, and we have six acres of woods and an orchard. We have a barn, a chicken coop, a windmill, a corn crib, and an outhouse with two seats, along with indoor plumbing. Last spring, I bought a tractor and a pair of overalls. Two black cats, Edgar and Oscar, have adopted us and live on our deck. There's a raccoon in our barn who looks about 30 pounds, and we've decided to let him stay. His name is Roger.
My wife -- a former college administrator -- is taking time off to be at home with our daughters, ages 3 and 2 months. Although we are concerned about obligatory gender roles, our newly traditional lifestyle does not raise eyebrows here. It works for us.
My oldest daughter and I go on nature walks almost every day now. In the fall, we pick our own apples and pears, and we're looking forward to next spring to see the tulips we planted last September. This weekend, I'll burn some leaves and hang Christmas lights on the trees around our house. We are both truly grateful for this new life. It's some kind of Norman Rockwell fantasy and oh-so banal and "offensive" to the world we used to inhabit back East…