Peggy Quotes

Seeger's greatest asset is her uncanny ability to dissolve the gap between artist and audience. She belongs to a long line of musicians who sunder the meat from the bone effortlessly, rendering the unpalatable visible. Listening and watching her trawl through past and present, it was easy to see where Ani di Franco, Utah Philips and Bruce Springsteen drew from the well. - Siobhan Long, Irish Times

Peggy Quotes 2

In a world where stars can fade by age 25, it is great to review an album by a lady approaching her 70th birthday who has entertained and enlightened us for half a century. I believe that the second part of that accolade is the more important in assessing this diva of folk. Her songs always entertain but by making us think she achieves her greatest hold.
- Rambles


Then & Now 3


Some Notes on the concepts of 'progress' and 'development'

IMG_1543.JPGThe idea of conservation was remote from the minds of most Victorians. Nothing must stand in the way of progress - which by definition meant increased economic activity. Northumberland House, probably the finest seventeenth-century great house left in London, was swept away at the behest of the Board of Works who wanted to put Northumberland Avenue in its place; the owners of Devonshire House, a still grander palace in Piccadilly, had not even the excuse of yielding to the irresistible force of government but sold their house to a jobbing builder for redevelopment. The stone lions from Northumberland House moved to the suburbs to grace the Northumberland family's house at Syon; the grand gates of Devonshire House were moved across Piccadilly to Green Park; otherwise not a wrack remains. The speed of change seemed to accelerate with every decade. The architecturally dotty Westminster Aquarium was only opened in 1876, yet in 1902 down it came to make way for the grandiose Methodist Central Hall.

The belief in' progress' did not go out with the Victorians. As late as 1927 a self-styled architectural historian, Mr Harold Clunn, extolled the wonders of the new London. Every recently erected block was 'splendid' and 'noteworthy' - the ' magnificent new buildings of Swan and Edgar'; every victim of the developer turned out to have been 'mean' and 'cramped'. Of the ignoble gallimaufry that replaced John Nash's splendid crescent, Clunn writes:' Nobody requires any knowledge of the architectural profession to see at a glance that the new Regent Street is in every way a worthy successor to the old' (plate 15).


But the impulse to destroy did not go entirely unchecked. William Morris founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877, and though initially most people thought him a tiresome crank, the idea that ancient buildings were worth protection gradually gathered force. The fifteenth-century Crosby Hall blocked the development of Bishopsgate, but instead of being destroyed it was painstakingly dismantled and re-erected in Chelsea. John Rennie's handsome Waterloo Bridge was condemned by the planners in the 1880s but did not finally succumb until 1934 and was then replaced by a worthy successor - a 'burning shame', Clunn considered the delay, to have postponed it further would have been to surrender to 'the clamour of a noisy minority'. Clunn would undoubtedly have applauded the new Tower Bridge (plates 16, 17). Here posterity has approved his views, the bridge became an ancient monument overnight and to remove it today would seem almost as sacrilegious as to demolish the Tower itself.

It was a noisy majority which defended the parks against the depredations of the planners and the developers. When James Forsyte, in high summer, walked across Hyde Park from Bayswater to Knightsbridge he saw 'a pasture of short, burnt grass, dotted with blackened sheep, strewn with seated couples'. That was how it had been in living memory and that was how Londoners wanted it to stay - not prettified, not tamed, above all not chopped up to make way for new roads and buildings - or for that matter, memorial gardens. A few corners were trimmed here and there to accommodate the demands of traffic, but on the whole the parks survived inviolate, as they have done to the present day.

from Britain Then & Now
Philip Ziegler, The Francis Frith Collection
(a Marks and Spencers book
pg 27-30


Go to Google. Type in POPE JOAN (a.k.a. Pope John XVIII). True or false that there was a female pope form 855-858, her sex being only discovered when she had a baby? The website gives a full discourse on Joan and popery. Truth or no, an illustration that accompanied an account by the Swedish traveller, Lawrence Banck, of the 'coronation' in 1644 of Pope Innocent X. Innocent is seated in the sedia stercoraria [a chair with an open hole, like those potties in outhouses] and having his testicales felt by a young cardinal as a way of ensuring that he is a man. If true, Benedict XVI should have looked a little happier on his confirmation day.


Bush, father and son, ON WAR

George W.H. Bush on Iraq

In his memoirs, "A World Transformed", George Bush Sr. wrote the following to explain why he didn't go after Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf War.

"Trying to eliminate Saddam ... would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq... There was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of aour principles. Furthermore, we had been consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."

George W. Bush on Iraq

January 28 2002 (Washington Post) " ... we must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof - the smoking gun - that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud... We have every reason to assume the worst, and we have an urgent duty to prevent the worst from occurring."

October 11 2003 ... "Saddam set up a massive war machine while neglecting the basic needs of his own people... "

FACT: THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE/DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY BUDGET of the United States equals the military budgets of the next 25 military powers put together.


USA Bombings, since World War II
compiled by historian William Blum:

China 1945-46
Korea 1950-53
China 1950-53
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-60
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Panama 1989
Iraq 1991 till now
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999
Afghanistan 2001-2002


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - from USA Today back in 1994

This week, Kenneth Peacock got away with murder. The 36-year-old Marylander was sentenced to a mere 18 months for shooting his wife, Sandra, in the head. The reason: A judge deemed it an understandable crime of passion. Peacock had caught his wife at home in bed with another man. After arguing and drinking for two hours, he picked up his deer rifle and killed her.

Prosecutors plea-bargained the killing down from murder to voluntary manslaughter with a sentence of three to eight years. Then sympathetic Judge Robert Cahill knocked the sentence down more. Cahill's comments stirred a protest... He said he couldn't imagine a situation that would provoke a "more uncontrollable rage than this.... I seriously wonder," he said, "how many men married five, four years would have the strength to walk away without inflicting some corporal punishment."

Such gibberish echoes that of an English court in 1707: "Adultery is the highest invasion of property... a man cannot receive a higher provocation."


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