History Heroes: Margaret Thatcher, Champion of Freedom

Dinner Topics for Thursday

 History Heroes—

Margaret Thatcher, Champion of Freedom

From Wikipedia

margaretthatcherkeyWhere there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS, née Roberts (born 13 October 1925) is a British politician, the longest-serving (1979-1990) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century, and the only woman ever to have held the post. A Soviet journalist nicknamed her the “Iron Lady“, which became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented Conservative policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.

Originally a research chemist before becoming a barrister, Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 government. In 1975 Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election and became Leader of the Opposition, as well as the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. She became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election.

After entering 10 Downing Street, Thatcher introduced a series of political and economic initiatives to reverse what she perceived to be Britain’s precipitous national decline.[nb 1] Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Thatcher’s popularity during her first years in office waned amid recession and high unemployment, until economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her re-election in 1983.

Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but her Community Charge (popularly referred to as “poll tax”) was widely unpopular and her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership. Thatcher holds a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitles her to sit in the House of Lords.

Early political career

In the 1950 and 1951 general elections she was the Conservative candidate for the safe Labour seat of Dartford, where she attracted media attention as the youngest and the only female candidate.[23][24] She lost both times to Norman Dodds, but reduced the Labour majority by 6,000, and then a further 1,000.[23] (By an odd coincidence, Edward Heath was elected for the first time in the neighbouring constituency in 1950.) During the campaigns, she was supported by her parents and by Denis Thatcher, whom she married in December 1951.[23][25] Denis funded his wife’s studies for the bar;[26] she qualified as a barrister in 1953 and specialised in taxation.[27] That same year her twins, Carol and Mark, were born.[28]

Education Secretary (1970-1974)

The Conservative party under Edward Heath won the 1970 general election, and Thatcher was subsequently appointed Secretary of State for Education and Science. During her first months in office she attracted public attention as a result of the administration’s attempts to cut spending. She gave priority to academic needs in schools,[43] and imposed public expenditure cuts on the state education system, resulting in the abolition of free milk for schoolchildren aged seven to eleven.[44] She held that few children would suffer if schools were charged for milk, but she agreed to provide younger children with a third of a pint daily, for nutritional purposes.[44] Her decision provoked a storm of protest from the Labour party and the press,[45] leading to the moniker “Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher”.[44] Thatcher wrote in her autobiography: “I learned a valuable lesson [from the experience]. I had incurred the maximum of political odium for the minimum of political benefit.”[45][46]

Thatcher’s term of office was marked by proposals for more local education authorities to close grammar schools and to adopt comprehensive secondary education. Although she was committed to a tiered secondary modern-grammar school system of education, and determined to preserve grammar schools,[43] during her tenure as Education Secretary she turned down only 326 of 3,612 proposals for schools to become comprehensives; the proportion of pupils attending comprehensive schools consequently rose from 32 per cent to 62 per cent.[47]

Prime Minister (1979-1990)

Thatcher became Prime Minister on 4 May 1979. Arriving at 10 Downing Street, she said, in a paraphrase of the “Prayer of Saint Francis“:

Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

Privatisation

The policy of privatisation has been called “a crucial ingredient of Thatcherism”.[110] After the 1983 election the sale of state utilities accelerated;[111] more than £29 billion was raised from the sale of nationalised industries, and another £18 billion from the sale of council houses.[112]

The process of privatisation, especially the preparation of nationalised industries for privatisation, was associated with marked improvements in performance, particularly in terms of labour productivity.[113] Some of the privatised industries, including gas, water, and electricity, were natural monopolies for which privatisation involved little increase in competition. The privatised industries that demonstrated improvement often did so while still under state ownership. British Steel, for instance, made great gains in profitability while still a nationalised industry under the government-appointed chairmanship of Ian MacGregor, who faced down trade-union opposition to close plants and reduce the workforce by half.[114] Regulation was also significantly expanded to compensate for the loss of direct government control, with the foundation of regulatory bodies like Ofgas, Oftel and the National Rivers Authority.[115] There was no clear pattern to the degree of competition, regulation, and performance among the privatised industries;[113] in most cases privatisation benefitted consumers in terms of lower prices and improved efficiency, but the results overall were “mixed”.[116]

The privatisation of public assets was combined with financial deregulation in an attempt to fuel economic growth. Geoffrey Howe abolished Britain’s exchange controls in 1979, allowing more capital to be invested in foreign markets, and the Big Bang of 1986 removed many restrictions on the London Stock Exchange. The Thatcher government encouraged growth in the finance and service sectors to compensate for Britain’s ailing manufacturing industry.

Thatcher’s antipathy towards European integration became more pronounced during her premiership, particularly after her third election victory in 1987. During a 1988 speech in Bruges she outlined her opposition to proposals from the European Community (EC), forerunner of the European Union, for a federal structure and increased centralisation of decision making.[147] Thatcher and her party had supported British membership of the EC in the 1975 national referendum,[148] but she believed that the role of the organisation should be limited to ensuring free trade and effective competition, and feared that the EC’s approach was at odds with her views on smaller government and deregulation;[149] in 1988, she remarked, “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels”.[149] Thatcher was firmly opposed to the UK’s membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, a precursor to European monetary union, believing that it would constrain the British economy,[150] despite the urging of her Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson and Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe,[151] but she was persuaded by John Major to join in October 1990, at what proved to be too high a rate.[152]

On 4 July 2011, Thatcher was to attend a ceremony for the unveiling of a 10-foot statue to former American President Ronald Reagan, outside the American Embassy but was unable to attend due to frail health.[216] On 31 July 2011 it was announced that her office in the House of Lords had been closed down.[217] Earlier in July 2011, Thatcher had been named the most competent British Prime Minister of the past 30 years in an Ipsos MORI poll.[218]

Honours

In the Falklands, Margaret Thatcher Day has been marked every 10 January since 1992,[246] commemorating her visit in 1983.[247][248] Thatcher Drive in Stanley is named for her, as is Thatcher Peninsula in South Georgia, where the task force troops first set foot on the Falklands.[246]

Thatcher has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour awarded by the US.[249] She is a patron of The Heritage Foundation,[250] which established the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom in 2005.[251] Speaking of Heritage president Ed Feulner, at the first Clare Booth Luce lecture in September 1993, Thatcher said: “You didn’t just advise President Reagan on what he should do; you told him how he could do it. And as a practising politician I can testify that that is the only advice worth having.”[252]

Continued in Wikipedia

 

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Comic Relief: Mini AOC is back! Parody Videos about Climate Change Hoax

Comic Relief:

Mini AOC is back! Parody Videos about Climate Change Hoax

The child actor who starred in a series of parody videos as “Mini AOC” is back, after having been bullied off the internet with death threats in July.

This brave, cute little gal gives welcome comic relief in this insane world. Click on the CC in lower right hand corner for close captions so you don’t miss a word!

 

Mini AOC is back with ‘climate apocalypse in 12 years’ parody video

By Thomas Lifson

The child actor who starred in a series of parody videos as “Mini AOC” is back, after having been bullied off the internet with death threats in July, as Fox News reported back then.

FOX:

The 8-year-old child actor who went viral for impersonating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, is no longer going to make videos due to death threats and harassment she and her family have received.

Earlier this year, Ava Martinez, known as “Mini AOC,” brought joy to her fans with several videos poking fun at the socialist darling, collecting millions of views on social media.

However, the fun came to a screeching halt on Wednesday when Martinez’s family announced that she would no longer be impersonating Ocasio-Cortez and that all the videos created would be removed.

Since children in political videos are now such a hot topic, or maybe “inspired” by Greta Thunberg’s P.R. blitz, or maybe because the death threat thugs have been apprehended, Mini AOC is back.  And her comeback video is better than ever.  Eat your heart out, Greta!

Mini AOC is back with ‘climate apocalypse in 12 years’ parody video

Political Cartoon: Left Wing Radicals Lie about Trump Impeachment

Political Cartoon:

Left Wing Radicals Lie about Trump Impeachment

cartoon-dem impeachment no crimeThe Left has planned to impeach President Trump since before he was elected. It is impeachment in search of a crime. Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2019.

More A.F. Branco Cartoons at The Daily Torch.

Founding Principles of America 22: Rule of Law protects Constitutional Freedoms

Founding Principles of America 22: Rule of Law protects Constitutional Freedoms

Constitution Series 22

5000leapFounding Principles of America: 28 Great Ideas that changed the world

The practical application of this book review of Skousen educated wisdom is to leverage “We, The People’s” knowledge to  expose ignorance, anarchy and tyranny, and hold the government accountable.

From The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

A Free People Should be Governed by Law and Not by the Whims of Men

US Constitution Series 22

keyWe have become a nation governed by executive orders (dictatorial decrees). The following principle teaches us how America was founded and should remain. ~C.D.

tyranny4-jefferson-obamaTo be governed by the whims of men is to be subject to the ever-changing capriciousness of those in power. This is ruler’s law at its worst. In such a society nothing is dependable. No rights are secure. Things established in the present are in a constant state of flux. Nothing becomes fixed and predictable for the future.

Law as a “Rule of Action”

The American Founders and their Anglo-Saxon forebears had an entirely different point of view. They defined law as a “rule of action” which was intended to be as binding on the ruler as it was upon the people. It was designed to give society a stable frame of reference so the people could feel secure in making plans for the future. (Skousen, 243)

Responsibility of Society to Establish Fixed Laws

johnlockeJohn Locke

John Locke pointed out that unless a society can provide a person with a code of fixed and enforceable laws, he might as well have stayed in the jungle.

Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to everyone of that society, and made by the legislative power erected in it.

Under established law every person’s rights and duties are defined. Anglo-Saxon common law provided a framework of relative security and a sense of well-being for people and things, both present and future. This is the security which is designed to provide a high degree of freedom from fear and therefore freedom to act. Such a society gives its people a sense of liberty—liberty under law. The American Founders believed that without the protection of law there can be no liberty.

John Adams

No man will contend that a nation can be free that is not governed by fixed laws. All other government than that of permanent known laws is the government of mere will and pleasure.

aristotleAristotle

Even the best of men in authority are liable to be corrupted by passion. We may conclude then that the law is reason without passion, and it is therefore preferable to any individual.

Plato Was Wrong

tyranny3We deduct from this that Aristotle had concluded that the teachings of his mentor, Plato, were wrong. Plato believed that in the ideal society the people should be governed “by the few” who would rule according to “scientific principles” and make on-the-spot decisions to force the people to do what is good for them. (Skousen, 245)

Said Plato,

The best thing of all is not that the law should rule, but that a man should rule, supposing him to have wisdom and royal power. (Spoken like a typical ideological tyrant. ~C.D.)

Law is a Positive Good in Preserving Liberty

tyranny5-jeffersonAs we have seen, the American Founding Fathers would have agreed with Aristotle rather than Plato. Part of this was due to the fact that the Founders looked upon law differently than Plato. Instead of treating law as merely a code of negative restraints and prohibitions, they considered law to be a system of positive rules by which they could be assured of enjoying their rights and the protection of themselves, their families, and their property. In other words, law was a positive good rather than a necessary evil. (Skousen, 246)

Again, from John Locke:

The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others, which cannot be where there is no law.

Law Should be Understandable and Stable

madisontyrannydefineIt will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood. ~James Madison

The Founders were sensitive to the fact that the people have confidence in the law only to the extent that they can understand it and feel that it is a rule of relative permanence which will not be continually changed. The complex codes of laws and regulations in our own day could be greatly improved through a similar housecleaning. (Skousen, 246-247)

NEXT: Founding Principles of America 23: A Free Society Cannot Survive as a Republic without a broad program of General Education

 

Founding Principles of America 21: Strong Local Government

 

 

 

Political Cartoon: Adam Schiff vs. Trump skyrockets Trump Fundraising Numbers

Political Cartoon:

Adam Schiff vs. Trump skyrockets Trump Fundraising Numbers

Schiff’s lies and attacks against President Trump continue to grow the Trump campaign funds for 2020. Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2019.

More A.F. Branco cartoons at FlagAnd Cross.com here.

Parenting: Teaching Responsibility, not Blame

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

October Parenting Value Part 1

From Richard and Linda Eyre

Self-Reliance and Potential: General Methods

momdaughterwillow1. Praise. Reinforce your children’s self-image and individuality and build their confidence — that is required for self-reliance. Like flowers under rain and sunshine, children blossom and bloom under recognition and praise. “Catch them doing something good” and when you do, give effusive praise! When they make mistakes or fall short, help them accept responsibility for it and then praise that acceptance to the point that their pride in their self-reliance outshines their concern over the shortcoming.

2. Use yourself as the model and example. Show your children that you “value this value” and that you work for it. Take every opportunity to show your children how you are trying to improve. Talk about the things you think you’re good at and working to be better at.

Show pleasure in things you do well. Also, be obvious about taking the blame for mistakes you make. Say, “You know, that was my fault. Here’s what I could have done differently. . . .”

Let your children see that you can accept responsibility and blame and let them see that you take pride in who you are and that you are working to be better.

Sample Method for Preschoolers: Praise Creativity and Emphasize Individuality and Originality

Help your children to like their own unique selves. Just as small children need to hear the sound of letters over and over and over again before they learn to read, so also they need to hear their own unique abilities praised time after time before they actually believe in themselves and increase how much they like who they are. Simple as it sounds, the key “connection” of this chapter is that children who like themselves become capable of relying on themselves, of accepting responsibility, and of reaching for their full potential. Praise every effort you see them making — from drawing a picture to trying to tie their shoe. Look constantly for new things they learn to do or for any sort of aptitude at which they seem particularly good.

Help a child see that he is unique by making up an “I Am Special” book with a front cover tracing his silhouette, and with his height, weight, eye color, favorite food, funnest activity, best skills, and so on written inside. Help him understand that there is no one, anywhere, who is exactly like him.

Help children to learn to say, when they face something they can’t do, “I can’t do ___________, but I can do _____________.” This will help them later on to accept their weak points with their strengths.

Sample Method for Elementary Age: Consult Rather Than Manage

Put yourself in a role that maximizes your children’s development of self-reliance and self-knowledge. Try not to take initiative away from your child. Suggest rather than command wherever possible. Ask if he needs help rather than forcing it on him. Try to notice what he likes and where his natural gifts and abilities lie rather than trying to decide what he will do and what he should be good at.

When he asks you to do his homework, say no. But tell him you’ll check it after he’s done and tell him if it’s right and help him on the parts he’s tried to do but still doesn’t understand.

As children are old enough to understand the terms, tell them that you want to be their consultant and not their manager. Explain that they are the ones who have to decide what they will do and how well they will do it and that you want to help but not force. (Be sure they can separate this consulting help and guidance that relate to their choices from the laws and absolutes that govern their behavior.)

motherdaughterSample Method for Adolescent Age: Avoid Over-protectiveness

Build your adolescent’s self-respect, self-confidence, and self-reliance. Have clear rules (curfew, etc.) but within these, trust your adolescents and make a point of telling them that you not only trust them but have confidence in their ability to handle themselves and the situations they find themselves in.

This principle applies to smaller children also. Too many well-meaning parents may prevent a skinned knee or even a broken arm by being overly protective physically, but in the process they may exert undue influence and diminish the feelings of self-reliance and self-control.

 

Heritage Foundation Report: Crisis in Education from Ignorance of History

Heritage Foundation Report:

Crisis in Education from Ignorance of History

The Consequences of Historical Ignorance

Jarrett Stepman

Heritage Foundation

Therefore my people are gone into acaptivity, because they have no bknowledge. ~ Isaiah 5:13

 

America is suffering through a crisis in education, especially when it comes to history.

Many were horrified when a poll, released in April, showed that two-thirds of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz is, despite the fact that it was the most notorious Nazi death camp in World War II.

That was hardly the only worrisome poll of late.

Americans should be outraged that our schools have failed to teach even the most basic historical facts to the younger generations. Worse, the education they receive has often only turned into a justification for superficial social activism, lacking in depth and veracity.

David Hogg, the teen survivor of the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, who became a gun-control activist, exemplifies this worsening problem. He recently tweeted:

Throughout history violence and war only creates more of itself for example WWI->WWII->Cold War ->Korean War->Vietnam and up to today. While nonviolent moments like Gandhi’s, the suffrage movement or Civil Rights movement lead to peace and long lasting change. Ours will too.

This is little more than bumper sticker history, demonstrative of Hogg’s historical illiteracy.

For one thing, it’s unlikely that Gandhi’s pacifism would have been of much use against the Nazi war machine. People willing to put other humans in ovens are unlikely to be moved by passionate pleas for peace.

It should be noted, too, that Hogg’s two examples of nonviolent movements succeeding—Gandhi’s Indian independence movement and the U.S. civil rights movement—were not exactly nonviolent.

The Partition of India was incredibly violent, and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of people. And the civil rights movement certainly wasn’t an entirely nonviolent affair, either. The rights of many black Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were secured almost entirely by gun ownership.

For Americans, the right to speak freely and protest was only secured because young men, mostly teenagers, were willing to take up arms—arms that Hogg and others have so relentlessly crusaded against—and risk their lives to fight for their God-given liberties against the British Crown.

At one time, every American would have known this and would have acknowledged the blood and suffering of the Revolution that secured our freedom and independence.

War is a terrible thing, but it is often just and necessary, and it has certainly served to stop tremendous evil in this world.

To deny that is absurd.

Not content to simply insult his parents’ generation, he then followed up in a later interview claiming that those who were against him were on the wrong side of history—a history that his generation would presumably be writing.

“Regardless of what your opinions are or where you come from, you need to realize we are the future of America,” Hogg said in an NPR interview. “And if you choose not to stand with us, that’s OK, because you’ll be on the wrong side of the history textbooks that we write.”

If that’s so, then future history textbooks will look more ideological and baseless than accurate portrayals of the historical record. But perhaps that’s because many current textbooks are, too.

Nevertheless, we have only ourselves to blame if we are not doing more to fix the increasingly deplorable state of American schools.

We must admit that the public school education model is failing our youths, despite how much money we’ve pumped into the system.

Historical ignorance and cultural disintegration are only going to become more pronounced until we find a way to expand the net of education that works for the youngest generation.

School choice can no longer be treated as a back-burner issue.

Our future and our freedom depend on it.

 

The Consequences of Historical Ignorance

YouTube Video: Classical Music and Verdi

Dinner Topics for Friday

The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. ~Isaiah 11:9

Triumphal March from “Aida”

From Wikipedia

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. Musically, he was part of European Romanticism, and was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture – such as “La donna è mobile” from Rigoletto, “Va, pensiero” (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the “Grand March” from Aida.

Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves

Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard opera repertoire a century and a half after their composition.

Early life

Verdi was born the son of Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto, then in the Département Taro which was a part of the First French Empire after the annexation of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza. The baptismal register, on 11 October lists him as being “born yesterday”, but since days were often considered to begin at sunset, this could have meant either 9 or 10 October. The next day, he was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church in Latin as Joseph Fortuninus Franciscus. The day after that (Tuesday), Verdi’s father took his newborn the three miles to Busseto, where the baby was recorded as Joseph Fortunin François; the clerk wrote in French. “So it happened that for the civil and temporal world Verdi was born a Frenchman.”[1]

When he was still a child, Verdi’s parents moved from Piacenza to Busseto, where the future composer’s education was greatly facilitated by visits to the large library belonging to the local Jesuit school. Also in Busseto, Verdi was given his first lessons in composition.

Verdi went to Milan when he was twenty to continue his studies. He took private lessons in counterpoint while attending operatic performances, as well as concerts of, specifically, German music. Milan’s beaumonde association convinced him that he should pursue a career as a theatre composer. During the mid 1830s, he attended the Salotto Maffei salons in Milan, hosted by Clara Maffei.

Returning to Busseto, he became the town music master and, with the support of Antonio Barezzi, a local merchant and music lover who had long supported Verdi’s musical ambitions in Milan, Verdi gave his first public performance at Barezzi’s home in 1830.

Because he loved Verdi’s music, Barezzi invited Verdi to be his daughter Margherita’s music teacher, and the two soon fell deeply in love. They were married on 4 May 1836 and Margherita gave birth to two children, Virginia Maria Luigia (26 March 1837 – 12 August 1838) and Icilio Romano (11 July 1838 – 22 October 1839). Both died in infancy while Verdi was working on his first opera and, shortly afterwards, Margherita died of encephalitis[2][3] on 18 June 1840, aged only 26.[4] Verdi adored his wife and children, and he was devastated by their untimely deaths.

Middle years

Sometime in the mid-1840s, after the death of Margherita Barezzi, Verdi began an affair with Giuseppina Strepponi, a soprano in the twilight of her career.[7] Their cohabitation before marriage was regarded as scandalous in some of the places they lived, but Verdi and Giuseppina married on 29 August 1859 at Collonges-sous-Salève, near Geneva.[8] While living in Busseto with Strepponi, Verdi bought an estate two miles from the town in 1848. Initially, his parents lived there, but, after his mother’s death in 1851, he made the Villa Verdi at Sant’Agata in Villanova sull’Arda his home until his death.

As the “galley years” were drawing to a close, Verdi created one of his greatest masterpieces, Rigoletto, which premiered in Venice in 1851. Based on a play by Victor Hugo (Le roi s’amuse), the libretto had to undergo substantial revisions in order to satisfy the epoch’s censorship, and the composer was on the verge of giving it all up a number of times. The opera quickly became a great success.

With Rigoletto, Verdi sets up his original idea of musical drama as a cocktail of heterogeneous elements, embodying social and cultural complexity, and beginning from a distinctive mixture of comedy and tragedy. Rigoletto’s musical range includes band-music such as the first scene or the song La donna è mobile, Italian melody such as the famous quartet “Bella figlia dell’amore”, chamber music such as the duet between Rigoletto and Sparafucile and powerful and concise declamatos often based on key-notes like the C and C# notes in Rigoletto and Monterone’s upper register.

There followed the second and third of the three major operas of Verdi’s “middle period”: in 1853 Il Trovatore was produced in Rome and La traviata in Venice. The latter was based on Alexandre Dumas, fils‘ play The Lady of the Camellias, and became the most popular of all Verdi’s operas, placing first in the Operabase list of most performed operas worldwide.[9]

Later compositions

VerdiBetween 1855 and 1867, an outpouring of great Verdi operas followed, among them such repertory staples as Un ballo in maschera (1859), La forza del destino (commissioned by the Imperial Theatre of Saint Petersburg for 1861 but not performed until 1862), and a revised version of Macbeth (1865). Other somewhat less often performed include Les vêpres siciliennes (1855) and Don Carlos (1867), both commissioned by the Paris Opera and initially given in French. Today, these latter two operas are most often performed in their revised Italian versions. Simon Boccanegra followed in 1857. Verdi’s grand opera, Aida, is sometimes thought to have been commissioned for the celebration of the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, but, according to one major critic,[10] Verdi turned down the Khedive’s invitation to write an “ode” for the new opera house he was planning to inaugurate as part of the canal opening festivities. The opera house actually opened with a production of Rigoletto. Later in 1869/70, the organizers again approached Verdi (this time with the idea of writing an opera), but he again turned them down. When they warned him that they would ask Charles Gounod instead and then threatened to engage Richard Wagner‘s services, Verdi began to show considerable interest, and agreements were signed in June 1870.

Verdi and Wagner, who were the leaders of their respective schools of music, seemed to resent each other greatly. They never met. Verdi’s comments on Wagner and his music are few and hardly benevolent (“He invariably chooses, unnecessarily, the untrodden path, attempting to fly where a rational person would walk with better results”), but at least one of them is kind: upon learning of Wagner’s death, Verdi lamented, “Sad, sad, sad! … a name that will leave a most powerful impression on the history of art.”[11] Of Wagner’s comments on Verdi, only one is well-known. After listening to Verdi’s Requiem, the German, prolific and eloquent in his comments on some other composers, stated, “It would be best not to say anything.”

Final years and death

Otello, based on William Shakespeare‘s play, with a libretto written by the younger composer of Mefistofele, Arrigo Boito, premiered in Milan in 1887. Its music is “continuous” and cannot easily be divided into separate “numbers” to be performed in concert. Some[who?] feel that although masterfully orchestrated, it lacks the melodic lustre so characteristic of Verdi’s earlier, great, operas, while many critics consider it Verdi’s greatest tragic opera, containing some of his most beautiful, expressive music and some of his richest characterizations. In addition, it lacks a prelude, something Verdi listeners are not accustomed to. Arturo Toscanini performed as cellist in the orchestra at the world premiere and began his friendship with Verdi (a composer he revered as highly as Beethoven).

Verdi’s statue in the Piazza G. Verdi, Busseto

Verdi’s last opera, Falstaff, whose libretto was also by Boito, was based on Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor and Victor Hugo‘s subsequent translation. It was an international success and is one of the supreme comic operas which shows Verdi’s genius as a contrapuntist.

Verdi was initially buried in Milan’s Cimitero Monumentale. A month later, his body was moved to the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, a rest home for retired musicians that Verdi had established. In October 1894, the French government awarded him the Grand-Croix de la Legion d’honneur.[citation needed] He was the first musician to receive the Grand-Croix.[citation needed]

He was an agnostic. Toscanini, in a taped interview, described him as “an atheist”, but “agnostic” is probably the most accurate description. His second wife, Giuseppina Strepponi, described him as “a man of little faith”. [15]

Complete article

History Facts: Climate Change Theory History Timeline

History Facts:

Climate Change Theory History Timeline

Conflicting Views on Climate Change: Fire and Ice

This isn’t a question of science. It’s a question of whether Americans can trust what the media tell them about science. Most scientists do agree that the earth has warmed a little more than a degree in the last 100 years. That doesn’t mean that scientists concur mankind is to blame.

Journalists have warned of climate change for 100 years, but can’t decide whether we face an ice age or warming

By R. Warren Anderson and Dan Gainor

Global Research Editor’s Note

This article first published in May 2006 provides an interesting review of the debate on Climate Change.

It was five years before the turn of the century and major media were warning of disastrous climate change. Page six of The New York Times was headlined with the serious concerns of “geologists.” Only the president at the time wasn’t Bill Clinton; it was Grover Cleveland. And the Times wasn’t warning about global warming – it was telling readers the looming dangers of a new ice age.

The year was 1895, and it was just one of four different time periods in the last 100 years when major print media predicted an impending climate crisis. Each prediction carried its own elements of doom, saying Canada could be “wiped out” or lower crop yields would mean “billions will die.”

Just as the weather has changed over time, so has the reporting – blowing hot or cold with short-term changes in temperature.

Following the ice age threats from the late 1800s, fears of an imminent and icy catastrophe were compounded in the 1920s by Arctic explorer Donald MacMillan and an obsession with the news of his polar expedition. As the Times put it on Feb. 24, 1895, “Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again.”

Those concerns lasted well into the late 1920s. But when the earth’s surface warmed less than half a degree, newspapers and magazines responded with stories about the new threat. Once again the Times was out in front, cautioning “the earth is steadily growing warmer.”

Global Cooling: 1895-1932

Fear spread through the print media over the next three decades. A few months after the sinking of the Titanic, on Oct. 7, 1912, page one of the Times reported, “Prof. Schmidt Warns Us of an Encroaching Ice Age.”

Scientists knew of four ice ages in the past, leading Professor Nathaniel Schmidt of Cornell University to conclude that one day we will need scientific knowledge “to combat the perils” of the next one.

The same day the Los Angeles Times ran an article about Schmidt as well, entitled “Fifth ice age is on the way.” It was subtitled “Human race will have to fight for its existence against cold.”

That end-of-the-world tone wasn’t unusual. “Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada,” declared a front-page Chicago Tribune headline on Aug. 9, 1923. “Professor Gregory” of Yale University stated that “another world ice-epoch is due.” He was the American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress and warned that North America would disappear as far south as the Great Lakes, and huge parts of Asia and Europe would be “wiped out.”

Then on Sept. 18, 1924, The New York Times declared the threat was real, saying “MacMillan Reports Signs of New Ice Age.”

Global Warming: 1929-1969

Today’s global warming advocates probably don’t even realize their claims aren’t original. Before the cooling worries of the ’70s, America went through global warming fever for several decades around World War II.

The nation entered the “longest warm spell since 1776,” according to a March 27, 1933, New York Times headline. Shifting climate gears from ice to heat, the Associated Press article began “That next ice age, if one is coming … is still a long way off.”

One year earlier, the paper reported that “the earth is steadily growing warmer” in its May 15 edition. The Washington Post felt the heat as well and titled an article simply “Hot weather” on August 2, 1930.

That article, reminiscent of a stand-up comedy routine, told readers that the heat was so bad, people were going to be saying, “Ah, do you remember that torrid summer of 1930. It was so hot that * * *.”

The Los Angeles Times beat both papers to the heat with the headline: “Is another ice age coming?” on March 11, 1929. Its answer to that question: “Most geologists think the world is growing warmer, and that it will continue to get warmer.”

Global Cooling: 1954-1976

The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear era, but I have no fear
’Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

— The Clash “London Calling,” released in 1979

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, amidst hysteria about the dangers of a new ice age. The media had been spreading warnings of a cooling period since the 1950s, but those alarms grew louder in the 1970s.

Three months before, on January 11, The Washington Post told readers to “get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters – the worst may be yet to come,” in an article titled “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age.” The article quoted climatologist Reid Bryson, who said “there’s no relief in sight” about the cooling trend.

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection for his great cartoon

Journalists took the threat of another ice age seriously. Fortune magazine actually won a “Science Writing Award” from the American Institute of Physics for its own analysis of the danger. “As for the present cooling trend a number of leading climatologists have concluded that it is very bad news indeed,” Fortune announced in February 1974.

The New York Times noted that in 1972 the “mantle of polar ice increased by 12 percent” and had not returned to “normal” size.

Was the ice melting at record levels, as the headline stated, or at a level seen decades ago, as the first line mentioned?

On Sept. 14, 2005, the Times reported the recession of glaciers “seen from Peru to Tibet to Greenland” could accelerate and become abrupt.

This, in turn, could increase the rise of the sea level and block the Gulf Stream. Hence “a modern counterpart of the 18,000-year-old global-warming event could trigger a new ice age.”

Government Comes to the Rescue

Mankind managed to survive three phases of fear about global warming and cooling without massive bureaucracy and government intervention, but aggressive lobbying by environmental groups finally changed that reality.

The Kyoto treaty, new emissions standards and foreign regulations are but a few examples.

Global Warming: 1981-Present and Beyond

The media have bombarded Americans almost daily with the most recent version of the climate apocalypse.

Global warming has replaced the media’s ice age claims, but the results somehow have stayed the same – the deaths of millions or even billions of people, widespread devastation and starvation.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times wrote a column that lamented the lack of federal spending on global warming.

2005— New Term: “Climate Change”

“We spend about $500 billion a year on a military budget, yet we don’t want to spend peanuts to protect against climate change,” he said in a Sept. 27, 2005, piece.

Kristof’s words were noteworthy, not for his argument about spending, but for his obvious use of the term “climate change.” While his column was filled with references to “global warming,” it also reflected the latest trend as the coverage has morphed once again.

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but can mean something entirely different.

The latest threat has little to do with global warming and has everything to do with … everything.

The latest predictions claim that warming might well trigger another ice age.

Conclusion

What can one conclude from 110 years of conflicting climate coverage except that the weather changes and the media are just as capricious?

Certainly, their record speaks for itself. Four separate and distinct climate theories targeted at a public taught to believe the news. Only all four versions of the truth can’t possibly be accurate.

For ordinary Americans to judge the media’s version of current events about global warming, it is necessary to admit that journalists have misrepresented the story three other times.

Yet no one in the media is owning up to that fact. Newspapers that pride themselves on correction policies for the smallest errors now find themselves facing a historical record that is enormous and unforgiving.

It is time for the news media to admit a consistent failure to report this issue fairly or accurately, with due skepticism of scientific claims.

Recommendations

It would be difficult for the media to do a worse job with climate change coverage. Perhaps the most important suggestion would be to remember the basic rules about journalism and set aside biases — a simple suggestion, but far from easy given the overwhelming extent of the problem.

Three of the guidelines from the Society of Professional Journalists are especially appropriate:

“Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”

“Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.”

“Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.”

Some other important points include:

Don’t Stifle Debate:

Most scientists do agree that the earth has warmed a little more than a degree in the last 100 years. That doesn’t mean that scientists concur mankind is to blame. Even if that were the case, the impact of warming is unclear.

People in northern climes might enjoy improved weather and longer growing seasons.

Don’t Ignore the Cost:

Global warming solutions pushed by environmental groups are notoriously expensive. Just signing on to the Kyoto treaty would have cost the United States several hundred billion dollars each year, according to estimates from the U.S. government generated during President Bill Clinton’s term.

Every story that talks about new regulations or forced cutbacks on emissions should discuss the cost of those proposals.

Report Accurately on Statistics:

Accurate temperature records have been kept only since the end of the 19th Century, shortly after the world left the Little Ice Age. So while recorded temperatures are increasing, they are not the warmest ever. A 2003 study by Harvard and the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “20th Century Climate Not So Hot,” “determined that the 20th century is neither the warmest century nor the century with the most extreme weather of the past 1,000 years.

Bibliography

For sources click here

To read the rest of this excellent article, please visit:

Conflicting Views on Climate Change: Fire and Ice

Remember the fable of “Chicken Little?” See this related post for an amusing view of today’s hysterical journalists.

Science Facts, Global Warming Hoax, and a Fable with a Moral

Learn more about the forgotten Scientific Method Here