Death of Marat

July 13, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, CRIME, HISTORY, POLITICS |
Jacques-Louis David's rather heroic treatment

Jacques-Louis David's rather heroic treatment

13 July 1793: Jean-Paul Marat dies at 50 after Charlotte Corday goes all Norman Bates on him.  Although Marat thereby became seen as a hero for the sans-culottes and a martyr to the revolutionary cause, in fact he was bloodthirsty little cuss, with a legendary hatred of Girondins and a disregard for what we might nowadays call ‘due process.’  Carlyle, in his brilliant, excoriating book on the French Revolution (1888), described his assassination in the following pitiless and sneering manner, redolent of Virgil but with added acrimony: “It is yellow July evening, we say, the thirteenth of the month – eve of the Bastille…

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The “Rainbow Warrior”

July 10, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | CRIME, HISTORY, POLITICS |
Drawing of 'Rainbow Warrior 1' by Rama

Drawing of 'Rainbow Warrior 1' by Rama

10 July, 1985: Greenpeace’s protest ship is blown-up in Auckland Harbour, New Zealand by 2 bombs planted by French agents. One crew member, photographer Fernando Pereira, made an ill-timed decision to return the ship after the first blast, in order to recover his photographic equipment. He was killed by the second explosion. Justice was not fully brought to bear on the agents, or the ones who gave the order. Our fictional doggerel based on the incident can be found here.

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Fetch a Rope!

July 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian Politics, LIFE, RELIGION, Ulalume |
JohnHeith

Historical sex charges are problematic.  These types of antique sexual allegations are awfully easy to make, awfully serious, and awfully hard to refute. There always are metaphorical torches carried in the streets (in the middle of the day) for those charged. People write with relish at the thought of a show trial; they say they have always known the truth about the accused, whom, while ladled with qualifications that “X denies the charges, which are yet to be proven,” nevertheless are pinned with labels such as “paedophile” and “monster.” These witch hunts (“Gee, a high-placed religioso is charged, so let’s throw him in a pond to see…

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A Last Crusade

June 10, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, LIFE, POLITICS |
"Siege of Zadar" by Andrea Vicentino

"Siege of Zadar" by Andrea Vicentino

Memo to Christians from a fellow-traveller, an unbelieving, yet sympathetic on-looker: You’re losing. You seem to be clueless (although at least not mute at last), about the Islam-O-Nuts. “Peace to all men” is not cutting it. “Turning the other cheek” simply tears you a new scar. And as George V put it, wars can no longer be confined to the battlefield. There’s no use warning of the dangers of schism, or pooh-poohing fights over the prophet’s succession (H. G. Wells commented: “To watch this schism creeping across the brave beginnings of Islam is like watching a case of softening of the brain.”*)…

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New Australians of the Year

NewAus

The Council of The Wise has announced a new category of Australian of the Year. Those eligible for “New Australian of the Year” are those great men and women from foreign forebears or other shores, folks whose lives were the template for, and reflect, the current splendid diversity that forms the Australian nation. Nominees can be alive or dead and must embody a facet of the country’s contemporary essence. Categories were submitted to the 2020 Summit (April 2008, which was designed by Prime Minister Rudd to “help shape a long term strategy for the nation’s future.”) Since then, over the last 8 years,…

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