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Celebrating George Eliot’s birthday in Germany — and at home

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:54 pm - November 22, 2005.
Filed under: Literature & Ideas,Politics abroad

Germans are celebrating George Eliot’s birthday by electing a pro-British (and pro-American for that matter) woman as Chancellor. Today, Angela Merkel became the “first ever elected female head of government” of the Federal Republic. Perennial Bush-basher and Chirac chum Gerhard Schröder seems to have permanently sidelined.

It is fitting that a strong woman would come to power on George Eliot’s birthday as that great lady was fluent in German, traveled there frequently and translated Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity and Strauss’ Life of Jesus from German into English.

On such a day honoring strong European women, I am delighted that Penguin also recognizes a strong American one as they are releasing my Athena‘s latest — John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father.

So, continue the celebration of George Eliot’s birthday by cheering Chancellor Merkel’s election and buying Peggy’s book!

Iran’s Ayatollah Supports Murtha Plan For Iraq

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 3:04 pm - November 22, 2005.
Filed under: War On Terror

Iran Calls for US Exit From Iraq – BBC News

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has urged the visiting Iraqi president to push for a speedy pullout of foreign troops from his country.

The ayatollah also told Jalal Talabani that the US was mainly responsible for widespread violence in Iraq.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran holds the American government responsible for the suffering of the Iraqi people and all the crimes and assassinations now being committed in Iraq,” he said.

Wow. I heard all these same exact words from the Democrats on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, except they were spoken in English not Arabic.

Dan (GayPatriotWest) and I have a novel idea… how about a TERRORIST withdrawal from Iraq before any talk of a US/coalition withdrawal? Think of that!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Quote of the Day, Part Three

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:27 pm - November 22, 2005.
Filed under: Liberals

Maybe Mal and I have invented a new game… Quote Add-On.

“I go in the woods early in the morning and imitate a sexy hen.”

— Jimmy Carter, from “The Tonight Show,” on hunting turkey (from The Hotline, sub. only)

“Takes one to know one.”

— The Malcontent

“Not surprising given he imitated a President from 1977-1981.”

— Gay Patriot.

Charity? Thy Color is Red (State)

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:18 pm - November 22, 2005.
Filed under: Liberals

This is quite amusing, yet registered no surprise with me whatsoever. In fact, PatriotPartner and I discussed this topic in the weeks after Katrina. We speculated that Red Staters were more generous in their giving, and less selfish, than the more affluent and more liberal Blue States (especially California and New York).

Well, well, well….

The 2005 Generosity Index is out from the Catalogue for Philanthropy (h/t – Polipundit)

Turns out the states with the least amount to give are the ones that give the most. Topping the list are three of our poorest states in “having” but richest in “giving.”

Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee

You have to get to #22 in the Generosity Index to find your first Blue State — New York.. all the way down at # 26.

Where are our the most affluent (and Blue-est) states of the USA in the Generosity Index?

Connecticut – 45th, New Jersey – 48th, Massachusetts – 49th, Maryland – 32nd, and New York – 26th.

When you ask me what I mean by “limosine liberals”…. this is what I mean. The same people that want to keep their private beaches to themselves and their ocean views without windmills for energy conservation. Do as I say, not as I do.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from GPW): Not only are people in “red” states more generous, it seems that kids in California’s “red” counties are healthier. According to fellow Bear Flag blogger Craig DeLuz, a recent Golden State physical fitness report card found counties with the healthiest students are the most conservative politically.” Check it out here!

Happy Birthday, George Eliot!

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:09 am - November 22, 2005.
Filed under: Literature & Ideas

There are holidays we all celebrate. In a couple of days, most Americans will join their families for a festive Thanksgiving meal. And there are some holidays sacred to our religions — or our region. And then there are the personal days, the anniversary of a wedding, the day we first met our beloved, the birthday of a friend, special relative or favorite writer. Today, November 22 is one of those days for me. Not only does it mark the anniversary of the birth of a very dear great Aunt, my Aunt Ruth, who would have been 109 today, it is also the 186th anniversary of birth of the greatest English novelist, George Eliot. Last year, I honored her with this post.

Born Mary Ann Evans in South Arbury, England on November 22, 1819, she was particularly close to her brother Isaac as a child. She describes that sweet relationship in her novel The Mill on the Floss. In her early adulthood, she wrote countless essays and translated several works German into English. She, however, did not become the great novelist we know today until after she met George Henry Lewes in 1851. Like her, he wasn’t particularly physically attractive, but like her was charming in person. When people met Miss Evans, they soon forget her looks, more entranced were they by her conversation, her intelligence and her insight, her wisdom.

Even though Lewes never divorced his wife, he and Evans lived together as husband and wife until his death in 1878. While their love produced no children, it did help her “give birth” to many great ideas which she turned into some of the greatest novels, including the greatest novel, in the English language. She did not publish her novels under her own name, taking the name George from Lewes, the great love of her life.

Her greatest books include the aforementioned Mill on the Floss, Adam Bede, Felix Holt, Romola, the touching Silas Marner and Middlemarch the greatest novel in the English language. There is much, so much, I could say about this great woman such that I would take up our blog’s entire home page. She had a keen sense of values, understood human psychology, could peer into the human heart and show the positive sides of her villains. Indeed, none of her characters were completely evil and none purely good. Yet, they all performed acts of kindness, cruelty and/or stupidity.

The selfish Bulstrode in the end shows some kindness to his nephew Fred Vincy. And that well-meaning Fred had previously gambled away a loan that Caleb Garth, the father of Mary, his one true love, had guaranteed for him, draining that good man’s family of money they had saved to pay for their son’s education.

She spoke of compassion, of the importance of finding that one person who could “be all” to her heroines. She had lived so long alone, well understand the value and promise of romance and how true love sustains those of us who recognize its power and are willing to work hard to keep it alive. And she exhorted us to understand our fellow man and showing sensitivity to his difficulties: “More helpful,” she wrote in The Mill on the Floss, “than all wisdom is one draught of simple human pity that will not forsake us.” “Fellow-feeling” was one of her treasured experessions.

To honor her birthday, I offer a few more quotes from the writings of this great lady so that you will may celebrate her life with nuggets of her wisdom. Then, as Glenn Reynolds might say, go read the “whole thing” — her collected works! Happy Birthday, Mary Ann Evans, George Eliot. And thank you, thank you for the compassionate, the insightful, the profound, the wise work you left behind.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

The quotations are all below: (more…)