Last year, in Houston, several white liberals knelt and asked forgiveness of a group of blacks.
Tyler O’Neil, at PJM, has the best outrageous Leftism story of the week.
[P]arents in Dallas just got a wake-up call. The local Black Lives Matter group Dallas Justice Now launched a new campaign, urging white parents in wealthy Highland Park to sign a pledge to keep their children from applying to America’s top colleges — in the name of “equity.” The organization’s letter to parents lays the guilt on thick.
“We are writing to you because we understand you are white and live within the Highland Park Independent School District and thus benefit from the enormous privileges taken at the expense of communities of color,” Dallas Justice Now writes to parents in the area. “You live in the whitest and wealthiest neighborhood in Dallas. Whether you know it or not, you earned or inherited your money through oppressing people of color.”
“However, it is also our understanding that you are a Democrat and supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement which makes you one of our white allies and puts you in a position to help correct these cruel injustices,” the letter continues. “We need you to step up and back up your words with action and truly sacrifice to make our segregated city more just.”…
“We are asking you to pledge that your children will not apply or attend any Ivy League School or US News & World Report Top 50 School. If you do not have children under 18 then we ask you to pledge to hold your white privileged friends, family, and neighbors with children to this standard,” the letter demands. “These schools have afforded white families privilege for generations. Having your children attend these schools takes away spaces from students of color who really need the job opportunities, education and influence that these schools provide.”
“We know that this sounds like a tough commitment to make. But it is truly disheartening to see wealthy white folks sending charitable donations, posting #BlackLivesMatter on social media, or putting up yard signs as if to say that minimal effort is all they are prepared to do in the fight for racial justice,” the letter adds.
The pledge reads as follows:
As a white person with privilege both from my whiteness and my neighborhood I recognize the need to make sacrifices for the purpose of correcting hundreds of years of murder, slavery, discrimination, and lack of educational and economic opportunities perpetrated upon people of color. I understand that access to top schools is a key component in economic and social advancement. Therefore, I commit that my children will not apply to or attend any Ivy League School or US News & World Report Top 50 School so that position at that school is available for people of color to help correct historical wrongs. If I do not have children under 18 then I will commit to encouraging my white privileged friends, neighbors, and family members with children to sign the pledge and holding them accountable until they do so.
The same Dick’s Sporting Goods that announced in 2019 that it would stop selling guns and actually sanctimoniously destroyed $5 million worth of ‘military-style” weapons celebrated the current Tokyo Olympics with the above video featuring a long succession of nearly all unattractive female athletes, all representing sacred politically correct categories: the aged, the mannish, the handicapped, the just plain homely, and lots of representatives of racial minorities, as Johnny Desmond’s “Here she comes, Miss America! Here she comes, your ideal!” plays loudly in the background.
Face it: those of us living in today’s America get bombarded constantly with more shameless arm-twisting propaganda than the citizens of 1930s Germany did.
Maserati actually quit building motorcycles in 1960, but Czech designer Tomáš Klečka came up nonetheless with a suggested hyper-modern design for a Maserati electric motorcycle allegedly inspired by the frightful critter that menaced Sigourney Weaver in the 1979 film “Alien.”
There is no evidence that any of this is actually going to happen, but that’s a pity, because this is one helluva design. I don’t even ride motorcycles and I want one.
Lost in London’s fog in 1909, William D. Boyce was aided by an unknown Boy Scout doing his daily good turn. Impressed by the Scout’s devotion to principle, Boyce founded the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910.
Mark Pulliam wrote a grim, and just slightly in-advance of the complete end, obituary for the Boy Scouts of America, once a widely popular boyhood rite of passage, imported a little over a century ago from Britain.
Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the hero of the Siege of Mafeking, dismayed at the lack of idealism, physical weakness, and unfamiliarity with the Out-of-Doors of Boer War recruits drawn from British industrialized cities, created an organization for boys specifically designed to inculcate manliness, virtue, and outdoor skills. Boys were encouraged to model themselves on the experienced and skilled frontiersman able to guide and reconnoiter for military forces in the Wild, on super-human figures like Frederick Russell Burnham, on the Scout. Boys should additionally be developed into patriots and Christian gentlemen of spotless honor, making a point of doing a good deed every day.
Baden-Powell invented the Scouting Movement specifically to oppose the negative influences of Modernity: moral relativism, effeminacy, cynicism, sloth, weakness, and self-indulgence. A bit over a century later, the BSA’s corporate leadership proved itself to be exactly like the rest of America’s national establishment: a pack of spineless, air-headed sheep ready to surrender quickly to the Sodomy and the Left’s Gramscian Long March Through the Institutions. It’s very, very sad.
While overall membership peaked in the early 1970s, the participation rate—the percentage of age-eligible boys who were members of the BSA—began to decline a decade (or more) earlier. The effect of this decline was disguised by increases in the U.S. population and expansion of the traditional scouting program. The heyday of the BSA coincided with the demographic bubble of post-WWII births—the Boomer generation. As this cohort grew up, the attention of American youths was distracted by other cultural influences: greater affluence, competing recreational activities, the proliferation of organized youth sports, the ubiquity of suburbia and its rich array of creature comforts, growing demographic diversity, and—in the past decade—the advent of computer games that now consume the interest of many boys.
The Boy Scout Law—with its embrace of religious faith (“reverence”) and heterosexuality (“morally straight”)—faced hostile headwinds in an increasingly secular and “tolerant” society. And, to be honest, in a youth culture increasingly sensitive to what is fashionable—a norm rigidly and relentlessly enforced by social media through the omnipresent smartphone—the Boy Scouts in recent decades was regarded as unacceptably “uncool.” In the 1950s and 1960s, peer pressure went in the opposite direction, reinforcing the attractiveness of scouting. Norman Rockwell’s cover illustration for the February 1965 issue of Boys’ Life depicts two parents proudly watching as their clean-cut son—standing at attention in a crisply-pressed uniform—receives his Eagle medal. Alas, times change. As the BSA’s membership began to decline, the national organization tried to remain “relevant,” adapting to America’s abrupt cultural and demographic shifts with responses that were sometimes clumsy and even counter-productive.
After decades of litigation brought by atheists and homosexuals regarding the BSA’s exclusionary membership requirements—which were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) as the exercise of the BSA’s First Amendment rights—the BSA reversed itself by allowing gay youths full participation in 2014 and allowing openly gay adults as leaders in 2015. Instead of stemming BSA’s membership decline, the national leadership’s acquiescence to atheists and homosexuals—some believe due to pressure from major corporations whose financial patronage had become indispensable to the organization’s operation—only accelerated it.
With recent moves more closely resembling the actions of a Fortune 500 HR department, the BSA now has a Chief Diversity Officer, boasts a Diversity and Inclusion Statement, and in 2020 even proposed an Eagle-required merit badge requiring mastery of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to achieve scouting’s highest rank. This last innovation was apparently too much for traditionalists to swallow, and the proposed merit badge has been put on hold pending further study.
In the corporate jargon of the BSA’s national leadership, “The introduction of the proposed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge is being delayed to allow for the careful consideration and evaluation of feedback received from a wide variety of commenters on the draft requirements.” The New York Times reported that “The nonprofit also joined a growing number of organizations announcing public support for racial equality and the Black Lives Matter movement.” Earlier this year, the BSA’s century-old official publication, Boys’ Life, was renamed Scout Life in order to be gender-neutral.
Back in 2004, a guy named Brian Binnie flew this rocket-powered Space Ship, basically built in Burt Rutan’s garage, into space. No computer controls, not even hydraulics…the controls were connected to the joystick by cables and pulleys, just like a WWI biplane. THIS was the first privately built aircraft to fly to space, and it did it twice within two weeks winning the US$10,000,000 Ansari X Prize.
We’ve heard a lot recently about Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos taking private aircraft into space, but this was the real beginning of private space flight.
Historic Elmer Keith’s “OLD NUMBER 5 COLT REVOLVER”, Well-Documented Engraved and Inscribed Custom Croft/Sedgley No. 5 Colt Flattop Target Style Single Action Revolver with Relief Carved Grip, Tooled Holster, and Documentation.
This incredible revolver was one of Elmer Keith’s (1899-1984) favorite revolvers and was custom built for him while he was still a young man early in his famous career as an expert marksman. Keith owned and shot a great many revolvers, including others sold by Rock Island Auction, but none is as unique or as famous as this one. The revolver is chambered for .44 S&W Russian or .44 Special. The latter was one of Keith’s favorites, and his experimentation with the .44 Special led to the popular .44 Magnum. The revolver is pictured on page 103 of Keith’s popular book “Sixguns” and listed as “No. 5 S.A. Colt, converted by Sedgley to author and Harold Croft’s design flat-top target” and also on page 169 being worn by Keith in the included holster with the caption: “Keith wearing George Lawrence belt and holster designed by Keith. S.A. Colt number 5.” A picture of Croft and Keith in Durkee, Oregon, in August 1928 is on page 126 and shows Croft showing Keith one of his custom revolvers. Keith’s revolver is also pictured in the included copy of “Gun & Ammo” from December 1967 in the article “Seein’ Sixgun Sights” by Keith. The most significant documentation for the revolver is the article “The Last Word” by Elmer Keith in the April 1929 issue of “The American Rifleman.” He notes, “My good friend, S. H. Croft, put in a lot of time, thought and money improving the S. A. Colt. Mr. Croft has designed the changes necessary to convert an ordinary S. A. Colt into the finest trigger single-action imaginable, either in the Featherweight model, or, at my suggestion, in a heavy, all-around 6-gun.” He notes that Croft used the Bisley back strap bent to the same angle as the regular S.A.A. and paired it with a S.A.A. guard and front strap. Keith states, “after playing with Croft’s guns a while I decided to have one of my S.A.A. guns worked over to incorporate some of Croft’s improvements, with a few ideas of my own thrown in.” The full details are worthy reading in the article. Keith indicates that Croft supervised the overall job and he and Neal K. Houchins of Philadelphia made the sights and the latter also fitted the barrel close to the cylinder. Keith wanted “a cross pin put through the front-sight band, and a set screw put in the rear of the flat-top frame and bearing against the rear-sight base, to lock the sight against a possible blow.” R.F. Sedgley modified the frame with a flat top that extend back over the top of the hammer, fit the new base pin and catch, made the No. 3 type grip frame, welded the base onto the S.A.A. hammer to fill the longer cut in the top of the Bisley back strap, manufactured the wide trigger, and made and fitted the new mainspring. On the latter, Keith wrote: “The Croft-Sedgley spring is without a double the fastest in action of any S.A.A. spring, and should improve the S.A. greatly for target shooting. . .” The hammer had already previously been fitted with a Bisley style spur by J. D. O’Meara for Keith “by dovetailing and brazing in the Bisley thumb piece.” Keith states, “We decided to call this gun model No. 5.” It was tuned to an approximately 3 1/2 pound trigger pull. “To my notion this is the finest and best Colt in existence. I know there are many with inlay work and finer finish, but they lack Croft’s many improvements, which are to me worth far more than all the inlay work, as they are a real help landing a bullet where I wish it to go. For general excellence of grip, balance, sights, trigger and hammer, I do not think this gun can be improved upon. Last spring I killed with this gun over 59 magpies, around two dozen crows and hawks, six horned owls, and a bobcat, to say nothing of over a hundred blacktail jack rabbits and a few woodchucks.” He later indicates he even shot this revolver at animals hundreds of yards away. He indicates the grips were replaced by him after the custom work and notes that the carving serves to fill the palm of the hand. The exact age of the frame on this fabulously customized and engraved revolver is not clear. In place of the usual serial number on the frame, this revolver is marked “M5.” The revolver a barrel turned down and fitted with an adjustable target front sight, an interesting cylinder pin release switch and pin with large grasping finial, a flat top frame with an adjustable notch rear sight, a Bisley style hammer, modified grip frame, and different mainspring. It is engraved with extensive floral engraving with serrated backgrounds. The top strap has the Masonic square and compass. The barrel has “RUSSIAN AND/S&W SPECIAL 44” in a panel and the one-line Hartford address on top. The left side of the frame has the two-line patent marking and circled Rampant Colt trademark. The back strap is inscribed “ELMER KEITH” down the back and “DURKEE, OREGON” on the butt. Includes a George Lawrence Co. 5 1/2 russet leather holster tooled with floral patterns. Provenance: Elmer Keith Estate Collection, Private Collection.
A huge library of as many as 84,000 scrolls was found sealed up in a wall 60 metres long and 10 metres high at Sakya Monastery in 2003. It is expected that most of them will prove to be Buddhist scriptures, although they may well also include works of literature, history, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics and art. They are thought to have remained untouched for hundreds of years.
David Lehman, in the American Scholar, delivers an admiring tribute to Bogart’s cinematic image and style.
Not until he was 41 did Bogart become a leading man. In Walsh’s High Sierra, (1941), Bogart plays Roy Earle, nicknamed “Mad Dog,” an ex-con on the lam after a heist goes wrong. Roy dies on a mountaintop, but not before winning the love of Marie (Ida Lupino). Even Bosley Crowther, the film critic for The New York Times, with his astonishingly low batting average, had good words for Lupino and Bogart: she was “impressive as the adoring moll,” and he displays “a perfection of hard-boiled vitality.” Then to confirm that, these concessions aside, Crowther was his usual self, he added, “As gangster pictures go—if they do—it’s a perfect epilogue.” The right word would have been prologue, as what followed was a whole new genre of crime and noir movies.
The role of Sam Spade, the hard-boiled private eye in The Maltese Falcon (1941)—Dashiell Hammett’s novel adapted by John Huston in his directorial debut—made Bogart’s reputation and accounts for the image many of us have of him today. The tough guy who won’t let Mary Astor play him for a sap and outwits the wonderful Warner Brothers trio of Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Elisha Cook, Jr., is, as he points out, not “as crooked as I’m supposed to be,” even as he joins in the hunt for the legendary priceless black bird, which turns out to be a fake.
A wide-brimmed fedora and belted trench coat are as vital to Bogart as top hat, white tie, and tails are to Fred Astaire. A lighted cigarette dangles from Bogey’s lips. He is quick with a quip, and when this is pointed out to him as if it were a fault, he replies, “What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?” His voice conveys an aggressive world-weariness. It is difficult to impress him. He incorporates skepticism in the sound of his words. As he says in The Maltese Falcon, “The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”
Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca (1942) proved decisive for Bogart. Beneath the veneer of cynicism lurked the romantic, capable of heroic self-sacrifice. Casablanca has its song (“As Time Goes By,” sung by Dooley Wilson), its famous dialogue (“We’ll always have Paris”), its war of the anthems (with “La Marseillaise” victorious), its virtuous resistance leader (Paul Henreid), its opportunistic Vichy inspector (Claude Rains), and its broken-hearted gin-joint owner in a white dinner jacket (Bogart). Enduring personal defeat for a worthy cause, Bogart is noble after all. He knows how to lose. Imagine having to give up Ingrid Bergman twice.
With his matchless ability to leer, wince, flash a fiendish grin, and blow his top, Bogart excelled as a paranoid or psychopath, whether cast as a homicidal painter married to Barbara Stanwyck (The Two Mrs. Carrolls, 1947) or a prospector in Mexico (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948). In Nicholas Ray’s noir classic In a Lonely Place (1950), Bogey plays an embittered Hollywood screenwriter, who may love Gloria Grahame but will, in a certain situation, tighten his wrists around her neck in a choke hold. In The Caine Mutiny (1954), Bogart is Captain Queeg of the U.S. Navy during World War II, who obsesses over strawberries and plays with marbles while metaphorically losing his own.
But it is Bogart as the detective hero, stripped of his illusions, equipped with a derisive wit, and handy with a gun, that defines his place in cinema history. He is especially attractive when paired with Lauren Bacall, whom he met on the set of To Have and Have Not (1944) and quickly married.
Ari T. Hart fly reel, 1990, Museum of Modern Art, New York.
I have yet to find a published obituary but it was reported that Ari T. Hart, the renowned Dutch designer of modernist fly reels and fly tying vises, passed away July 16th.
I’ve owned several of his reels and, despite my normally reactionary tastes, admired his work. His reels were strikingly modern and original in form, beautiful, and effective in operation. There is no one like him. He will be missed.