Posts Tagged ‘Sandra Day O’connor

14
Nov
13

11.14.13 … bourbon pecan pie …

 

 

The Hil, Serenbe, Bourbon Pecan Pie, Garden and Gun:  last week I went to the Hil and my meal was delightful.  Of course, less than a week later I spot this.  Why did I not  have dessert? 

Garden & Gun Magazine

Holiday recipes: From bourbon pecan pie to cornbread oyster dressing to the perfect Blood Mary, we’ve pulled together our favorite recipes to amp up your holiday spread. http://bit.ly/1aAAyTg

It’s hard to beat a fresh pecan pie, unless you add a little bourbon

The only tree nut indigenous to the South, the pecan has been used in the region’s cooking since the earliest colonists met Native Americans. But the rise of pecan pie—sometimes called Karo pie—came centuries later, commonly traced to a product-based recipe printed on jars of Karo corn syrup, circa 1930.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” says Hilary White, chef and co-owner of the Hil in Serenbe, a 1,000-acre sustainable community located in Georgia’s Chattahoochee Hill Country. “There was a day when family favorites were a mix of recipes clipped from the Sunday newspaper and Ladies Auxiliary books. Others came straight off the flour sack.”

While pecans grow throughout the South, Georgia has been the nation’s largest producer since the late 1800s. The state’s growers even donated enough pecan trees to create wood handles for more than ten thousand torches carried during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. With peak harvesting months October to December, it makes sense that pecan pie became a traditional Southern holiday dessert, and the rich, nutty flavor matches the aromatic spices used in savory Thanksgiving recipes. “Every year my father’s parents would drive from Florida to Ohio, where my family lived at the time, stopping in Georgia to buy pecans,” White says. “I remember it was dark outside and we’d sit in the eat-in kitchen, picking them. My grandfather would use the nutcracker, and my grandmother and I would use the nut picks. It was delicate work because you didn’t want to crush the pecans but keep them perfect halves for the pie.”

White’s maternal grandmother contributed the piecrust, and like most inherited family recipes, it has a few “miracle” ingredients. The flaky tenderness comes from fresh white lard, testament to the recipe’s age. And the acidity in the vinegar enhances the workability of the dough, keeping it so pliable you don’t even have to rest it.

“Pie making is sort of a lost art,” White says, “and this is a good old recipe.” Though she did add one other miracle ingredient to her grandparents’ version: bourbon. “It has the same flavor nuances of the dark corn syrup and makes the pie even more Southern.”

via Bourbon Pecan Pie | Garden and Gun.

ice cream premium brands, Talenti, High-concept flavors and ingredient combinations, Sea Salt Caramel, Blood Orange and Sicilian Pistachio, BOGO:  I love Talenti, but it is so expensive I only buy it when it is BOGO.  

Talenti’s clear plastic pint package with a screw-on lid is more upscale than the traditional cardboard pint. And with flavors like Sea Salt Caramel, Blood Orange and Sicilian Pistachio, gelato commands a price roughly 25% to 50% higher than premium ice creams.

After all, the mark of a top-selling gelato, says Talenti founder Josh Hochschuler, is “something you want to eat a ton of.”

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Jill Telesnicki (6)

High-concept flavors and ingredient combinations that once were considered niches—like vodka-flavored Limoncello and Montebianco, based on the Italian dessert made with roasted chestnuts and whipped cream—are going mainstream, as sellers of premium-priced gelato, sorbetto and ice cream cater to adult tastes and look to increase flat sales.

“We’ve seen an increasing level of interest in some of our more complex ice-cream flavors like rum raisin, bourbon praline pecan and peppermint bark,” says Cady Behles, brand manager of Häagen-Dazs, a Nestlé SA unit. Last month, Ben & Jerry’s, a unit of Unilever PLC, added “Ron Burgundy’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch” butterscotch ice cream, timed to the release next month of “Anchorman 2.”

via Premium Brands Hope Foodie Flavors Can Lift the $11.2 Billion Frozen Treat Industry – WSJ.com.

bikeshare programs, travel, adventure, Macs Adventure,  bikes, touring, Intelligent Travel:  I love touring by bike!

Macs Adventure

‘I don’t bike for biking’s sake. I bike because biking’s the best way to see a place. It’s more fun than public transit, quicker than walking and cheaper than taxis or renting a car – not to mention better for the environment.’

We couldn’t agree more. Biking allows you to access sides of places you wouldn’t otherwise see.

via Facebook.

Ten or 15 years ago, whenever I arrived in a new place, I’d ask where I could find the subway, a central plaza, or a DIY T-shirt shop. Nowadays — whether I’m in Ontario’s wine country or hopping off the train for a day in Denver – my first question has become “where can I get a bike?”

I don’t bike for biking’s sake. I bike because biking’s the best way to see a place. It’s more fun than public transit, quicker than walking (or horse cart, as I learned in Bagan), and cheaper than taxis or renting a car – not to mention better for the environment. What’s more, biking allows you to access sides of cities you wouldn’t otherwise see.

I had lived in New York City a decade before I took a bike up the Hudson River Park Bikeway. I saw things I didn’t know existed, like out-of-view softball fields, riverside anglers, and a little red lighthouse tucked below George Washington Bridge. What’s more, I was reminded, after years lost in Midtown skyscraper canyons, that New York down deep is a river city.

via Are Bikes the New Tour Bus? – Intelligent Travel.

 American Girl Dolls, kith/kin, history, parenting: My daughter forwarded this to me.  she is a current college student majoring in history and believes that the AG Dolls fostered her  love of history.  Very sad. 

 

You grow up with your dolls and through your dolls (or action figures, or stuffed animals, or whatever is your drug of choice). You use them to navigate miniature worlds. Limiting the range of their canonical adventures to the present-day, first-world problems of these little girls who are Just Like You is a big mistake. Sure, maybe you picked your first American Girl doll because she resembled you – actually a lot has been written on this – but the whole point was to give you an entry point to history. Felicity or Samantha or Addy reminded you that, during the Civil War and the Revolutionary War and all the fascinating important times of history, there were Girls Almost But Not Quite Like You. You could see yourself in history! You could engage with the biggest moments of the past!

Dolls Just Like Us. Is this really what we want? The image is embarrassing — privileged, comfortable, with idiotic-sounding names and few problems that a bake sale wouldn’t solve. Life comes to them in manageable, small bites, pre-chewed. No big adventures. No high stakes. All the rough edges are sanded off and the Real Dangers excluded. It’s about as much fun as walking around in a life vest.

Yes, I know there are plenty worse toys out there. Still, it pangs. These dolls were once a stand-out.

Of course, that’s history. We’ve moved past that.

via Even more terrible things are happening to the American Girl doll brand than you thought.

Providence and Queens Harris Teeter, grand openings, shame on you:  I am sorry, HT but your beautiful store is way out of scale for the neighborhood.  You ought to be ashamed.  

Harris Teeter plans to open its new, expanded grocery store at Queens and Providence Roads on Nov. 20, two years after the company first announced plans to demolish and replace the old Harris Teeter Express at that location.

The two-story, 42,000-square-foot Harris Teeter will be one of the larger grocery stores in the area. Its design mirrors many of the houses and buildings in the neighborhood nearby. As one of the company’s architects put it in a statement, “The building reflects the sophistication of the neighborhood fused with the excitement of shopping in a dynamic environment featuring food.”

The building features a Starbucks, an outdoor patio and expanded prepared food and produce sections. Building permits show Harris Teeter spent more than $9.1 million on the new store.

via What’s In Store: Providence and Queens Harris Teeter to open Nov. 20.

Mexican Coke  taste test, The Billfold:  I saw Mexican Coke in my local HT recently.  I think I will get some and have the kids do a blind taste test over Thanksgiving.  🙂

It really might be the experience of drinking the soda from a glass, at least according to Mexican Coke lovers. A commenter from the story argues:

Most of the “better taste” factor with MexiCoke comes from it being in glass bottles instead of cans or plastic. Bring back glass!

I have to admit that I too have always thought that the cane sugar in Mexican Coke made it taste better than the high-fructose Coca-Cola Classic bottled in the plastic in the U.S. The sweetness of American Coke is cloying, I’ve thought, perhaps, incorrectly. A grocery store near me sells both versions. Perhaps I’ll have to do a side-by-side taste test to find out for sure.

via Does Mexican Coke Really Taste Different From Coke Produced in the U.S.? | The Billfold.

4. ”If you want to hide a secret, you must also keep it from yourself,” wrote George Orwell in the novel 1984. That is coincidentally the year that Coca-Cola made the switch to high fructose corn syrup, rolled out New Coke (conspiracy theorists insist it was a diversion), began their denial of the flavor disparity, and started hiding miniature video cameras in their bottle caps.

11. If you get a Mexican Coke in Mexico, where they call it ”non-American Coke”, you won’t see any nutritional information sticker — those get slapped on when the bottles make their way up here. Maybe they should think about it, though: they recently surpassed us as the most obese country in the West!

via Mexican Coke Facts – Pure Cane Sugar Coke – Thrillist Nation.

 10.21.13 … supposedly they sell the real thing, Mexican Coke (aka non-American Coke) at some WalMarts in Atlanta, a a premium … Life doesn’t get much better than low country shrimp and grits … Perfect! … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

11.5.13 … “Remember, remember the fifth of November when gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!” … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

 

Banksy, followup: A few things to think about … 

On the side of the old brick building that houses a thriving optical business, there are now two geishas, one with an umbrella, strolling over a “bridge” formed by one of the basement window arches. At the bottom of the arch is a spreading tree. It is beautiful.  But whether we like it or not, my sisters, father, and I have suddenly found ourselves in the position of being responsible for this notable piece of public art.

Should we preserve it immediately? Do we have a public duty to do so? How does one preserve a piece of art like this? How do we control the crowds with gawkers and fans of the elusive artist, many of them foreign tourists, who were suddenly standing outside the building? Will it make us money?

The advice came fast and furious. “Don’t tell people who you are,” a neighbor told me on the street. “They’ll try and kill you.”  “Put up plexiglass,” another told me.

via I’m the Accidental Owner of a Banksy — Daily Intelligencer.

 

Banksy did at least one admirable thing during his monthlong New York City residency: He bought a $50 landscape painting from a Housing Works thrift store, added a Nazi, and returned it to the organization as the now very valuable The Banality of the Banality of Evil. On Halloween, Housing Works, which uses donations to fight homelessness and AIDS, auctioned off the piece for a reported $615,000. Like Banksy, the buyer’s identity was a something of a mystery — he went by the screen name “gorpetri” on the auction website he used to make the winning bid. And, (arguably) like Banksy, he did not live up to the hype. Today, the New York Times and Talking Points Memo report that gorpetri “immediately shirked” on his pledge, leaving Housing Works to scramble to find another buyer.

The charity contacted the auction’s other high bidders and found another anonymous person to take it off their hands for an undisclosed amount on Wednesday. As for the gorpetri? “We are still looking into why he defaulted, and we reserve the right to sort of see what we’re going to do with it,” Housing Works COO Matthew Bernardo told TPM on Friday night. But, he told the Times, “We were happy with the [second] sale. We were happy with the process which we closed with, and it’s at a very good home.”

via Original Buyer of Banksy’s Nazi Painting Bailed — Daily Intelligencer.

 

 

Guggenheim Museum, UBS MAP Global Art Initiative:  Interesting … 

 

 

The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative fosters cross-cultural interaction between artists, curators, and audiences via educational programs, online activities, and collection building. It focuses on three regions—South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.

via Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative.

Las Vegas NV, Lemon Drop Martini, “I’ll have what she’s having”:  I met a friend for drinks in LV.  I did a “I’ll have what she’s having” and I think this is what we had.  It was very good.  🙂

Jenny McCarthy’s Lemon Drop Martini

Makes 1

Juice of 3 lemons, plus a lemon wheel for garnish

2 tbsp. sugar (use 1 tbsp. for a more tart cocktail)

2 shots (1.5 oz.) vodka

1 sugar-rimmed martini glass

Mix lemon juice, sugar and vodka in a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake well and pour into sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

via Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy: ‘Watch What Happens Live’ Cocktails.

The drinks

Wonderfully handcrafted cocktails are served, all with seasonal fruit, house-made mixers and freshly squeezed juices. We enjoyed two delicious examples: my friend had a Sunset Sangria ($15) with Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Absolut Tune, rhubarb and strawberry shrub. I went for a refreshing London Cooler ($15) with Oxley gin, fresh lemon, Mr. Q Cumber and fresh cucumber.

There’s a “Social Hour” from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day featuring draft beer and half-price martinis. There’s also a “Night Cap Hour” from 10:00 p.m. to midnight with half-price coffee cocktails. PRESS also features Lavazza espressos with some serious baristas behind the counter and organic, fresh-squeezed juices. The wine list is deep and they are currently featuring wines from women winemakers.

via PRESS at Four Seasons Las Vegas – a Delicious Oasis – Yahoo Voices – voices.yahoo.com.

 

 

The Women of the Supreme Court,  the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C. ,  female justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sandra Day O’Connor

The women of the Supreme Court are the subjects of a new painting unveiled at the Smithsonian\’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

The portrait features the high court’s current female justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, as well as Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired from the bench in 2005. O\’Connor made history in 1981 when she became the first woman ever named to the Supreme Court.

via The Women Of The Supreme Court Now Have The Badass Portrait They Deserve.

 

 

 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Usonian Home’,  74 Years Ahead Of Its Time, architecture

The work of Frank Lloyd Wright needs no identification. Unless, it\’s one of the hundreds of structures the legendary architect designed that never saw the light of day.

If you aren’t familiar with Wright’s work, you could head to the famous Guggenheim museum in NYC, or check out photos of the legendary Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Or, you could take a stroll through the campus of Florida Southern College, which boasts 18 Wright structures, the most Wright-designed projects in a single site. That’s where the latest Wright design has come to pass — a single-story house that Wright designed 74 years ago.

Designed in 1939 as part of his middle class-friendly Usonian House series, the house features a flat roof, small kitchen, overlarge living area, and airy, plain-jane, aesthetic, as Curbed describes it.

According to design site Dezeen, the house is one of 60 created for in the Usonian style, “a kind of family residence that is free from ornamentation, intended to represent a national style whilst remaining affordable for the average family.”

Inside the house, which makes up part of the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, furnishings also keep Wright’s vision alive with its reproduction furniture designed by Wright specifically for use in his Usonian homes.

via Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Usonian Home’ Was 74 Years Ahead Of Its Time (PHOTOS).

Daylight Saving Time, helpful info, fyi, TIME Explains | TIME.com:   Very helpful info … watch the video, too!

Daylight Saving Time is one of the universe’s great mysteries, like the afterlife, or who really killed JFK. It was one of the things you assumed you’d never understand. But it’s time for TIME to break down Daylight Saving Time.

First of all, it’s this weekend (Saturday night going into Sunday, to be exact). And since we spring forward and fall back, we’ll all be setting our clocks back Sunday fall morning to get an extra hour of sleep.

Daylight Saving Time dates back to the good ole’ days when we did everything based on when we had sunlight. It got more serious when Benjamin Franklin decided to be “that guy,” suggesting we all get up earlier to save money on candles. Thanks, Benji. It was a major blow to all the unhappy, unhealthy, and unwise people who love to snooze.

The practice wasn’t formally implemented until World War I, when countries at war started setting their clocks back to save on coal. Daylight Saving was repealed during peacetime, and then revived again during World War II. More than 70 countries currently practice Daylight Saving Time, because they think it saves money on electricity (in the U.S., Arizona and Hawaii have opted out).

But studies show that Daylight Saving Time actually results in a one percent overall increase in residential electricity. And that it messes with sleeping patterns. Oh, and also it may cause heart attacks, according to the American Journal of Cardiology. So it’s no surprise that more and more countries are reevaluating whether to hold on to this relic from the past.

But like all great mysteries, the answers only beget more questions: Does your iPhone automatically update for Daylight Saving Time?

Actually, yes, it does.

via Daylight Saving Time: TIME Explains | TIME.com.

I-85 HOT lane toll, record, http://www.ajc.com, Peach Pass

The cost to drive the 16-mile stretch of “HOT” express lane on I-85 southbound in Gwinnett and DeKalb County soared to a record $8.50 Tuesday morning, eclipsing the old mark by 50 cents.

The High Occupancy Toll lane’s cost is set on a sliding scale depending on the level of congestion on I-85 and in the HOT lane.

According to the State Road and Tollway Authority website, “when HOT lanes become too congested, the price increases and this in turn reduces the number of cars entering the lane.”

The website says the authority’s goal is to keep traffic in the HOT lane moving at an average speed of greater than 45 mph during peak hours.

The maximum toll has been gradually climbing since the lanes opened on I-85 northbound and southbound 25 months ago.

Mark Arum in the AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB Traffic Center said the cost to drive the entire 16 miles hit $7 for the first time on June 26, and first hit $8 on Sept. 10.

via I-85 HOT lane toll hits record $8.50 | www.ajc.com.

Student Health Advisers, student stress, The Davidsonian, Davidson College, kith/kin: Nice article, PB!

Stress is such a given part of our lives that it doesn’t even seem like a problem. Too happy to be prisoners to our planners (or our procrastination), we constantly find ourselves working into the wee hours of the morning, anxious, worried, strung out on Union coffee, the glare of a computer screen burning our eyes. To make things worse, often we survive the week only to spend the weekend doing more work or lying about in a hung-over daze, perpetuating the cycle of sleep deprivation.

And yet Davidson is by no means a mill of torture and toil; a walk through Davidson also reveals students practicing on sports fields, reading out in the sun, laughing over meals and engaging each other in meaningful conversation. Still, it is important to remember the importance of breaking the repetitiousness of our weekly routines.

So what can we do? People suggest yoga, encourage us to get more sleep or manage our time more effectively, but in the end the result is often the same: less sleep than we would like, more work than we would like, erratic sleep cycles, embattled immune systems, quick tempers and naps that replace classes––none of which are good for our health.

Breaking the routine, even if it is writing a page in a journal, playing a game of FIFA, going for a run on the (fabulous) cross country trails, building a nap into your routine, getting off campus for an afternoon or a weekend, doing that one thing you love that you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have time for, is crucial to staying sane and keeping stress at bay.

For those who drink, it is easy to forget that drinking is not the only way to relieve stress; in fact, drinking excessively often creates more stress and leads to less sleep. It’s also time to think seriously about expanding the health center into a space dedicated to student wellness, with more space for programming (blenders? a zen garden? acupuncture?) or simply space to wind down and relax. A more regular bus to Charlotte would also be a helpful step, allowing students to change their environment more readily and easily.

Telling students to get more sleep is like telling a gambler to step away from the baccarat table: we would if it were that easy. We should all remember that Davidson is a community with plenty of helpful resources: walking into Georgia Ringle’s office and contacting a health advisor are great ways to discover different resources and opportunities.

There is no need to sacrifice our standard of academic excellence on the altar of complaint; but neither is there reason to sacrifice our well-being.

via Health advisers focus on strategies to reduce student stress – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

14
Aug
11

‎8.14.2011 … getting organized … and caught up on my “service” …

Olmsted, environmentalist:  I have a friend driving the BRP for the first time.  I wonder if he knows that Olmsted played a role by preserving the Pisgah Nation Forest.

Best known for crafting urban spaces – New York’s Central Park, Boston’s Emerald Necklace – Olmsted was also deeply involved in saving wild places.

Helping preserve Yosemite is one of his greatest accomplishments. Beginning in 1864 – at a time when only a few hundred non-Native Americans had ever set foot in the valley – Olmsted made a series of visits. He was awestruck by the epic scenery, but also recognized how easily the place could be spoiled.

In 1865, Schuyler Colfax, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, embarked on a cross-country journey with a visit to Yosemite slated as the highlight. Speaker Colfax was accompanied by a number of journalists. As it happens, Olmsted saw a mention in a paper about Colfax’s planned Yosemite visit. He arranged to meet up with the party to act as a guide. Olmsted also drafted an 8,000-word treatise about Yosemite.

In 1906, Yosemite became a national park, thanks to the tireless efforts of naturalist John Muir. But Olmsted gets credit for being one of the first people to call for the valley’s preservation. Olmsted, the pioneering environmentalist, also helped preserve Niagara Falls and the vast Pisgah forest in North Carolina.

via Olmsted, The Environmentalist.

pop-ups, H&M, WaterAid:  Still haven’t visited a really creative pop-up!

H&M has already appeared on our virtual pages once before for its innovative partnership with fashion blogger Elin Kling, but recently we found cause to cover the Swedish clothing retailer again. The topic this time? A pop-up store H&M recently ran in the Netherlands to benefit global charity WaterAid.

H&M has been collaborating with WaterAid since 2002, including an initiative every summer whereby the retailer sells an exclusive bikini or — this year — a whole beachwear collection dedicated to the effort, with 10 percent of proceeds donated toward providing safe water and sanitation to developing countries. This year, however, H&M took its support a step further by opening a pop-up beach store for two days in The Hague’s popular Scheveningen seaside resort. A variety of essentials for men, women and kids from H&M’s “Beachwear in Shades of Blue” line were available at the shipping container-style shop on the beach, and a full 25 percent of the sales proceeds went directly to WaterAid, according to a report on the Superfuture blog.

There’s no shortage of seasonal opportunities for pop-up retail, and H&M’s charitable focus makes the deal even sweeter. Other retailers around the globe: how can you make the most of summer to demonstrate your own corporate generosity?

via Pop-up beach store benefits global water charity | Springwise.

Statue of Livberty, NYC, LIFE:  I am really enjoying the LIFE photo galleries. American Classic: Lady Liberty – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Constitution, States Rights: 

I know states’ rights advocates revere the 10th Amendment. But when the word “states” appears in the Constitution, it typically is part of a compound word, “United States,” or refers to how the states and their people will be represented in the national government. We learned it in elementary school: The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation to create a stronger federal government, not a weak confederate government. Perry’s view was rejected in 1787 and again in 1865.

We praise our Founders annually for revolting against royal rule and for creating an exceptionally durable system of self-government. We can wreck that system if we forget our Founders’ purpose of creating a representative form of national authority robust enough to secure the public good. It is still perfectly capable of doing that. But if we pretend we are living in Boston in 1773, we will draw all the wrong conclusions and make some remarkably foolish choices.

via What our Declaration really said – The Washington Post.

Toulouse-Lautrec, Jane Avril, Moulin Rouge, Paris, muses:  I really learned a great deal on my Paris Walks tour of Montmartre … and so enjoyed this article yesterday in the WSJ.

[lautrec]

After the Moulin Rouge hired Avril in 1889, Lautrec painted her constantly. Some of his angular and unconventional depictions were used on posters to promote her performances.The Avril posters “made Lautrec famous as well,” Ms. Ireson says. “They were advertising the performance, but they were also advertising the artist himself.”

Unlike many artist-muse relationships, theirs is not thought to have escalated into romance, though that might have been to Lautrec’s chagrin. He was known to be positively giddy whenever she was around. His late biographer, Thadée Natanson, who knew both Lautrec and Avril, once described the artist as something of an “amorous alcoholic” in her presence.

via Jane Avril and Toulouse-Lautrec at the Courtauld – WSJ.com.

politics, millennials:  Thanks, Joni, for this great article.  I am not sure I want to turn over power to the Harry potter Generation … but I do have great hope in our children.

 

She continues, “We respond not as traditional issue-driven constituencies, but look for the nuances that reflect our own complex life experiences. We accept as fact that since people are different, not everyone will or should make the same choice when faced with an important life decision. Strident political alternatives come across as unrealistic and out of touch.”

Another young professional in Washington says she and her friends also shy away from absolutist thinking. “Women shouldn’t wait until the third trimester to have an abortion,” she says emphatically, “but should we have a law banning it? No. Should every medical provider be obligated to perform abortions? Also, no.”

In 2007 William A. Galston, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, asked 20-somethings what they considered the top qualities necessary to be an adult. Four out of five rated becoming less self-oriented, and developing greater consideration for others, among the top four of 16 possible answers.

Will they be as generous in the future if the economy continues to decline? Will the level-headed among them become inspired to run for public office and, once there, offer fresh ideas on how to govern in a collaborative manner? We must hope so.

via End political gridlock: Put a Millennial in charge – CNN.com.

2012 Presidential Election, Michelle Bachmann, Francis Schaeffer, “How Should We Then Live?,” Westminster:  Wow … this story scares me.  One interesting note – at my high school, we were requred to watch the Schaeffer series referenced for a senior Christian ethics class.  I have re-read the book in recently years beause the 5 part series has haunted my take on ethics … I plan to re-read it again.

The transformation of Michele Bachmann from Tea Party insurgent and cable-news Pasionaria to serious Republican contender in the 2012 Presidential race was nearly complete by late June, when she boarded a Dassault Falcon 900, in Dulles, Virginia, and headed toward the caucus grounds of Iowa. The leased, fourteen-seat corporate jet was to serve as Bachmann’s campaign hub for the next few days, and, before the plane took off, her press secretary, Alice Stewart, announced to the six travelling chroniclers that there was one important rule. “I know everything is on the record these days,” Stewart said, “but please just don’t broadcast images of her in her casual clothes.”

Later that year, they experienced a second life-altering event: they watched a series of films by the evangelist and theologian Francis Schaeffer called “How Should We Then Live?”

Schaeffer, who ran a mission in the Swiss Alps known as L’Abri (“the shelter”), opposed liberal trends in theology. One of the most influential evangelical thinkers of the nineteen-seventies and early eighties, he has been credited with getting a generation of Christians involved in politics. Schaeffer’s film series consists of ten episodes tracing the influence of Christianity on Western art and culture, from ancient Rome to Roe v. Wade. In the films, Schaeffer—who has a white goatee and is dressed in a shearling coat and mountain climber’s knickers—condemns the influence of the Italian Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Darwin, secular humanism, and postmodernism. He repeatedly reminds viewers of the “inerrancy” of the Bible and the necessity of a Biblical world view. “There is only one real solution, and that’s right back where the early church was,” Schaeffer tells his audience. “The early church believed that only the Bible was the final authority. What these people really believed and what gave them their whole strength was in the truth of the Bible as the absolute infallible word of God.”

The first five installments of the series are something of an art-history and philosophy course. The iconic image from the early episodes is Schaeffer standing on a raised platform next to Michelangelo’s “David” and explaining why, for all its beauty, Renaissance art represented a dangerous turn away from a God-centered world and toward a blasphemous, human-centered world. But the film shifts in the second half. In the sixth episode, a mysterious man in a fake mustache drives around in a white van and furtively pours chemicals into a city’s water supply, while Schaeffer speculates about the possibility that the U.S. government is controlling its citizens by means of psychotropic drugs. The final two episodes of the series deal with abortion and the perils of genetic engineering.

Schaeffer died in 1984. I asked his son Frank, who directed the movies—and who has since left the evangelical movement and become a novelist—about the change in tone. He told me that it all had to do with Roe v. Wade, which was decided by the Supreme Court while the film was being made. “Those first episodes are what Francis Schaeffer is doing while he was sitting in Switzerland having nice discussions with people who came through to find Jesus and talk about culture and art,” he said. But then the Roe decision came, and “it wasn’t a theory anymore. Now ‘they’ are killing babies. Then everything started getting unhinged. It wasn’t just that we disagreed with the Supreme Court; it’s that they’re evil. It isn’t just that the federal government may be taking too much power; now they are abusing it. We had been warning that humanism followed to its logical conclusion without Biblical absolutes is going to go into terrible places, and, look, it’s happening right before our very eyes. Once that happens, everything becomes a kind of holy war, and if not an actual conspiracy then conspiracy-like.”

Francis Schaeffer instructed his followers and students at L’Abri that the Bible was not just a book but “the total truth.” He was a major contributor to the school of thought now known as Dominionism, which relies on Genesis 1:26, where man is urged to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Sara Diamond, who has written several books about evangelical movements in America, has succinctly defined the philosophy that resulted from Schaeffer’s interpretation: “Christians, and Christians alone, are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns.”

In 1981, three years before he died, Schaeffer published “A Christian Manifesto,” a guide for Christian activism, in which he argues for the violent overthrow of the government if Roe v. Wade isn’t reversed. In his movie, Schaeffer warned that America’s descent into tyranny would not look like Hitler’s or Stalin’s; it would probably be guided stealthily, by “a manipulative, authoritarian élite.”

Today, one of the leading proponents of Schaeffer’s version of Dominionism is Nancy Pearcey, a former student of his and a prominent creationist. Her 2004 book, “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity,” teaches readers how to implement Schaeffer’s idea that a Biblical world view should suffuse every aspect of one’s life. She tells her readers to be extremely cautious with ideas from non-Christians. There may “be occasions when Christians are mistaken on some point while nonbelievers get it right,” she writes in “Total Truth.” “Nevertheless, the overall systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will be false—for if the system is not built on Biblical truth, then it will be built on some other ultimate principle. Even individual truths will be seen through the distorting lens of a false world view.”

via The Transformation of Michele Bachmann : The New Yorker.

slutwalks, society, culture:  In theory, the “sluts” are right … but tell that to the woman or adolescent who is raped and it could have been avoided.

Jarvis, along with crowds of protesters, had taken to the streets to march in what was dubbed a SlutWalk. The march, organized by Jarvis and Sonya Barnett, was spurred by the comments of Toronto constable Michael Sanguinetti, who told a group of students in a safety class that women “should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” In response to the constable’s remark — and the implication that women’s actions, not the actions of rapists, lead to sexual assault — SlutWalk was born.

via Will SlutWalks Change the Meaning of the Word ‘Slut’? – TIME.

Sandra Day O’connor, iCivics:  SDO’C is one of myheroes.  I continue tpo be impressed with her commitment to our society.

Mario and Luigi save princesses. Lara Croft raids tombs. And then there’s Chuck Freepress, a computer-game constitutional lawyer—created by retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor—who scores courtroom victories and boasts a heroic knowledge of the First Amendment.

O’Connor’s unlikely venture into the videogame world may not have produced a Resident Evil–level blockbuster, but so far it has hooked kids in 12,000 classrooms across the U.S. on a selection of civics-themed games—now played more than 2 million times. The goal: revive the teaching of civics in American schools to help prepare the next generation of kids to participate as citizens in a democracy.

As O’Connor points out, America’s public schools were founded in part to prepare kids for citizenship, not just college and career. “That was the theory, and schools followed it until recently,” she told NEWSWEEK. “Now our schools aren’t supporting it anymore. And I think that’s dangerous.”

Indeed, fewer than half of Americans can list all three branches of government, yet three in four can name all of the Three Stooges. High-school seniors today know less about the country than their peers did five years ago, according to the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress’s civics report card. And only 29 states require high-school students to take a civics or government course.

via Sandra Day O’Connor on Her American Civics Videogame – Newsweek.

Less than half of the public can name a single Supreme Court justice. But more than 80 percent of Americans know Michael Jackson sang “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.”

Thankfully, the Internet can be leveraged to update civics education in the digital age. At its best, the web is much more than just a source of information—it can be a powerful platform for students to exchange and debate ideas about what’s going on in their communities. And it is a vital vehicle for organizing political activities and finding government assistance.

A number of organizations are leading the way to producing the next generation of civics instruction. iCivics, founded by Justice O’Connor, offers web-based education projects and an array of interactive games and activities that students can use in class or at home. Students can assume the role of a Supreme Court justice and help decide a school dress-code case. Or they might learn how a new immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen by guiding them through the naturalization process. iCivics also provides outlets for students to engage in real-world civics efforts and support community projects founded by their peers from across the country.

Students continue to need opportunities to learn and experience civics in their offline communities as well. When Education Secretary Arne Duncan was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, he worked closely with the Mikva Challenge, which seeks to move beyond your grandmother’s civics to what it calls “action civics.”

via iCivics: Sandra Day O’Connor and Arne Duncan on Civics Education Online – The Daily Beast.

Grove Park Inn, culture, pets:  I guess the Grove Park is going after the European jet set … or the European jet set wannabees. 🙂

The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa announced last week it’s opening its doors to four-legged guests, with a new section of pet-friendly rooms and even doggie room service with dishes like Meat Woof and Chicken Pup Pie.

Rooms open to pets have been set aside in the inn’s Vanderbilt Wing, and there’s a pet walking area nearby. Meanwhile, the resort says it has a variety of trails and walking routes for exercising.

via Grove Park Inn opens doors to 4-legged guests  | Pets.

wine, Rosé, food – drink:  i enjoyed Rosé in Paris and my guide Donna Morris (Best Friend in Paris France – great guide if you need one) explained to me that this is what the French drink in summer.  I felt great being in the know … and the WSJ agrees.

Rosé has long been the summer beverage of choice for fashionable diners in Cannes and Saint-Tropez, but Americans have yet to fully embrace it.

One of the reasons for the dubious reputation of rosé may be that many drinkers remember the sweet blush wines and so-called White Zinfandels which were so popular in the 1970s and ’80s. Remember Sutter Home White Zinfandel? Technically it was a rosé and it was kind of sickly sweet, unlike the pink wines of southern France.

Nearby on the North Fork of Long Island, Paula and Michael Croteaux operate Croteaux Vineyards, which may be the only vineyard in the U.S. devoted entirely to rosé, creating some six different cuvées from different clones of Merlot. The Manhattan refugees bought their 18th-century farm in Southold, N.Y., in the early 1990s. “We’d have people coming by our place and saying, ‘I feel like I’m in Provence,’ ” Mr. Croteaux says. “And when we thought about planting vines, rosé seemed like a great fit based on the lifestyle out here on the east end.”

Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to the Hamptons or Provence to experience the incomparable pleasure of a cold rosé on a hot summer day.

via Rosé Wines for Summer | Jay McInerney on Wine – WSJ.com.




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