Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Fleet is all at Sea.

UPDATED. Boxing Day in Oz has a tradition which has the most tenuous connection with the Christ of Christmas, in that he once walked on water. Here on the 26th of December the sailing boats mass for a race from Sydney to Hobart.

The Hobart which is near the Tavern.  In fact I can see the finishing line if I stand on the roof. But I don't usually as my old legs are too shaky for the ridge.

This year sees the 69th race, which is also the age of my legs, and 94 boats are taking part. Indeed there are more boats taking part this year than the Oz Navy has, even when you count in the skiffs that Naval Captains like to sail on their days-off.

And what fantastic boats they are. They come from all over the world, for this is one of the Top races, if not The Top one. Only the Fastnet comes close. Many of the boats are valued in the several tens of Millions of dollars.

They range in size from over 100 ft down to a more modest 30 ft. The Super-Maxis can weigh as much as 33 tonnes when loaded with provisions, crew, spare bits and bobs and camera crews.  The latter are jettisoned within an hour or so of the start due to them being needed for the evening quiz games.

It is quite a palaver and some fun seeing them leaping from the back of fast sailing boats into deep troughs and high swells, cameras grasped in their hands, to be picked up by chase-boats. Then the boats go like bats out of hell.

Woman overboard. Camera-Gal leaps off the back.

The Sydney to Hobart is a long distance race covering some 1100 kms of ocean. That is 630 nautical miles to sailors or 725 miles to older English car drivers. And the seas get rough.

Today is starting off quite well with a light and variable wind of about 15 knots but tomorrow it promises to become a gale with 7 metre waves. That's even before the boats reach the treacherous Bass Strait which is pretty well guaranteed to take some of them to an early end, a winch ride and an expensive bill.

Usually the remnants of the fleet limp into Hobart a few days later and I shall be there to see the winner (if it arrives at a Gentleman's hour). Stragglers can follow over several more days.


THE Sydney to Hobart fleet has survived a tumultuous first night with no retirements but a shakeup among the leaders.  
Early this morning Anthony Bell's 100-footer Perpetual LOYAL was leading defending line honours champion Wild Oats as the fleet sailed down the Nsw far south coast. 
"Great night sailing," LOYAL navigator Stan Honey told News Limited this morning. 
"Not our ideal conditions but boat is going well. No dramas at all."
The fleet, in light winds this morning, was spread between Eden and Wollongong just after 5.30am with Black Adder the tailender as day began to break.
"We have a bit of catching up to do," Wild Oats navigator Tom Addis said. 
The New Zealand 70-footer Giacomo was third, her Queensland sistership Black Jack fourth and Syd Fischer 's 100-footer Ragamuffin fifth, but those standings are likely to shuffle this morning with the fleet spread out and some yachts setting themselves up for a small loss now so they can claim a major gain later. 
The 69th edition of the race is shaping up as a thriller with the line honours battle still wide open. 
The majority of the fleet was also enjoying nice sailing conditions down the coast . 
Ahead of the frontrunners is a tricky Bass Strait Crossing with light flukey winds later today. 
Addis said the infamous stretch of water was full of "land mines" - areas that could cruel the hopes of his yacht claiming a seventh line honours win. 

Yesterday, the pre-race prediction of Perpetual LOYAL skipper and owner Anthony Bell that navigators would play an important part in the race appeared spot on. 
After an incident-filled start on Sydney Harbour, Wild Oats XI was hounded by a group of rivals as she sailed down the NSW south coast before surrendering her lead. 
In a boost for Wild Oats XI, Bell and his team on Perpetual LOYAL revealed they had lowered their protest flag over an incident just after the start. 
This means there is no protest against Wild Oats, which could impact on her race result. 
"We've had a meeting and decided not to proceed with the protest,'' Bell said
"At first we thought we had been fouled, but in a sense we had not.'' 
The early leading pack included the four supermaxis Perpetual LOYAL, Wild Oats XI, Ragamuffin 100 and Wild Thing; new 80-foot boat Beau Geste and the Volvo 70s Giacomo and Black Jack. 
But the news was not all good in the early afternoon, with the fleet reduced to 92 following the retirement of Audi Sunshine Coast (mast damage) and Dodo (torn mainsail). 
The fleet was making slow work of the 628 nautical mile race because of headwinds but sailors were optimistic their journey south would speed up overnight when more favourable nor'easterlies hit the fleet. 
Skipper Eric Holden, aboard the clipper round the world race leader Henri Lloyd, reported that conditions at sea were pleasant after a hectic start. 
"It was organised chaos as usual,'' said the Canadian who is skippering one of the 12 70-footers using the Sydney to Hobart as a leg of their round the world event. 
"The conditions are fine and no one has any problems. We are chugging along quite nicely.'' 
The protest, retirements, and the thrilling early duel between Wild Oats XI and Perpetual LOYAL combined to make it the most eventful and exciting start of recent times. 
Cloudy skies gave way to a spectacular and sunny start to the 69th edition of the race, with Wild Oats winning the honour of leading the fleet up Sydney Harbour and out to sea. 
Rival supermaxi and race debutante Perpetual LOYAL looked to have the inside running on Wild Oats XI approaching the first mark. 
Perpetual LOYAL seemed to hesitate, with some commentators suggesting she might have been confused over which marking buoy to round.

They have company though as the finish line is also the finish line of two other simultaneous races: from Port Philip (Melbourne) - a fleet of the modest sized boats sails across the Bass too and down the west coast of Tasmania and arrives from around the south at the same time as the Sydney boats; and another fleet of even more modest sizes mingle with the Sydneyers from a departure point in the North of Tasmania in the Tamar River. They come down the East coast.

The most beautiful estuary in the world (as declared by Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux) is chokka with sail for days. It is a magnificent spectacle. I hope James Higham is here one year soon to revel in it.

The result is that no-one really gives a toss who wins (apart from those who stand a good chance) but a party to end all parties erupts in the Harbour in Hobart that lasts for days. That too coincides with a huge feast harbourside that continues until fireworks on New Years eve.

Then this pristine backwater of the civilised world goes back to sleep.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cherie's Choices.

Rising to a challenge is stock for some of my customers. Heroes and Heroines look to the task and come through, just as CherryPie did with her program of song for Christmas.

I set a small task and threw open the Music Room. "What are your Christmas favourites?".

Cherie brought hers for our enjoyment.

"It is difficult to choose from my favourite Christmas Carols and songs.    And when narrowed down there are also many good YouTube versions… it is difficult to choose a favourite and some of my favourites are not available on YouTube.  But I got there in the end.
My choices are all ones that I sung regularly when I was in a choir, but I have chosen a variety of styles rather than choosing full choir versions in every case."

And what delights too.

 Once in Royal David’s City.
Taken from 'Carols from King's' 2004.
The 'Cathedral Choirs' are a jewel in the English Tradition. And what can match them?
I have to admit a soft spot for this little girl. Her voice and youthful purity is captivating. It reminds me.

Jackie Evancho - Silent Night
There is a special space in my heart in which my own little blond girl should be.  It is waiting for her to come back to it.
But from small things, big ones grow and sometimes they go away.

The Little Drummer Boy Performed by the Albright Angels and Mane

And now some healthy big girls without male accompaniment. What a fine harmony.

All Angels sing "The Angel Gabriel"


The boys get a turn too. And what boys they are !

"This one is not part of my Christmas choices (or something I have sung) but I came across it whilst I was browsing around on YouTube.  The voice is phenomenal.  I thought you might enjoy it "

 Vienna Boys Choir - Ave Maria


I hope you enjoy them
I enjoyed them all, mdear. Your glass is full and waiting.
And finally a Taverner's Turn.
Another little girl, Rhema Marvanne, going places and singing praises.

O Holy Night

A satisfying evening. God Bless, Cherie.

But there is only so much an old Knight's heart can hold before it overflows and I need to hurry off and wring out my towel.

Perhaps my other customers could just go over to Cherie's Place while I tidy m'self up a bit.

 I shall be down in the Crypt with this one. Not simply Christmassy, but out of the depths.

Canto Gregoriano
Schola Gregoriana

Pax Dei.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Trying to be Good

I keep saying: This tavern is for sinners on the road away from perdition. Me included. My customers speak of many things that are 'wrong' with our society and some that are divine.

There are Good people - not all that many, 'tis true - and a lot of otherwise good people who, but for accretions of dust from the road, would be good but seem not to know how.

But deep inside they do. And deep inside they are.

Some 'critics' say that Old Amfortas often bangs on about Good Men on Men’s Rights forums. I do. Just as here. It has a purpose; to alert members to themselves, more often than not.

You see, inside even the grottiest of ordinary people lurks a small 'good' person covered over and weighed down by shyte. No-one starts off 'bad'. The Good has to be brought out. Sometimes it takes him pulling himself up by the bootstraps. That is rare. Sometimes someone has to reach down into the pit, grab his hair and pull him out. It is dangerous work. The bold and the bald have a problem!

Sometimes it is just a simple act by another man (or woman) that simply 'touches' the right button.

It is the same with women. Inside every nasty Feminist harpy is a small ‘good girl’ weighed down and covered in shyte.

Secret Santa Saves a Man's Life and Soul
"Have you had enough now?"

We all need Love.

We all need Grace.

We go through life like travellers on foot with a rucksack. We pick up things we think are useful. Or fun. Some glitter. They distract. Very often it is someone else who slips something in our back-pack like a smuggler in an airport. We are the innocents who get caught by Customs.

It is astonishing to find just how much stuff in your head isn't yours.

"Have you had enough now?"

The back-pack gets heavy. We can barely walk straight. We have to put it down.

The end of a year is a good time to examine all that you have accumulated. Open that back-pack. Chuck a lot of 'stuff' out. Lighten your load. Much of it was no good at all. Fools Gold.

Take a drink of Grace.

Pax Dei Vobiscum.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Don't Have a Miserable Christmas. Please

It is that time of year which some people - quite a few it seems - don't quite get into the Christmas Spirit. One wishes they could. The Taverner especially. But those people are likely to take the good wishes as 'sanctimonious' and 'troll' me about it ,so I add 'Please' to the title line.

For some others it will be a torrid time. Others, a lonely one. It is a testing time ! A glass of cheer awaits all in this Tavern, and some good advices often can be found between the customers.

The nearest City to the Tavern is Hobart. Apart from the Christmas Carols in the park - hailed as the 'best in Oz' by the locals who will claim anything here as 'best', including Slut-Walks and marches for abortion, gay rights and 'equal marriage' for perverts - the dismalness of our Christmas decorations are a scandal. I know we are 15000 kms from the North Pole but the combined efforts of the Feminists, Socialists and Greens here stymie even a Christmas Tree. No such public display has graced our little town for years.

At least a token affirmation can be found at the Midnight Mass at the Catholic Cathedral which is overflowing every year.

We have some nice people dropping by adding to the conversations and the comments, even being as kind as one can be to the occasional troll who tries to pee on the carpets. After only six months since I took over and installed the Grail in the Crypt, fitted new pumps, opened the restaurant and music room and establishing rooms for our overseas visitors, we have attracted several fine people from the 'Manosphere' and several more from an Obscure source of Nourishment who comment frequently. And one or two trolls. You know the place is on the map when the trolls appear. We pray for them.

What a sanctimonious Taverner !!! Hahahaha. How dare we pray. !

Carolyn and Michael from Mercatornet scattered some useful spirit around the Tavern like fairy dust today. And 'Polly' gave some sweet yet practical talking-to to a frustrated would-be escapee from his mum's idea of Christmas.

As many people understand, the barman says little usually, leaving the customers' conversations, often in full, to raise points and issue. I do add my view from time to time. The views, points and issues raised below are amongst them.

So we will start with 'Polly' the agony aunt. A chap wrote to her.....

"She's a sweet woman, but every time the holidays creep near, she starts in as the Cruise Director of a massive guilt trip. Why don't I (and my partner) stay with them for Christmas? "We have plenty of room! I'd love to see MY ONLY SON this Christmas. We can have Christmas Morning Together!!!" (Not exactly appealing. I'm coming into my late thirties and don't have children of my own.) This is a double squeeze as my birthday falls a mere two days after Our Good Lord Baby Jesus's (with whom she has a very, very close personal relationship).

It's not like I'm leaving her in a lonesome empty nest. Her husband has three grown children, all of whom have families of their own (my how the ChristFolk take that 'fruitful and multiply' line to heart). Most of them live close by, and she's surrounded with scores of kids and grandkids. The dinner is the long table of adults with two card tables full of rugrats, huge turkey with all the trimmings, massive tree, choir music; it's a dozens of prayers and invocations kind of holiday. It's a postcard Christmas, and I'm grateful that she has it. It's what she likes, and what she wants."
Sometimes an agony aunt can be understanding, but her skill lies in 'tough love'. 

What you do at Christmas is definitely your personal choice. I understand why your mom's Norman Rockwell charade feels like a living nightmare for you and your partner. I can also understand not wanting to be pressured about marriage and kids, not wanting to pray and revel in the joy of Jesus's birthday. I get that it's asinine that you and your long-term lady would be consigned to different bedrooms. I understand the guilt and the defensiveness and anger that arise from this yearly showdown. 
And yes, there's something depressing about being asked to assume this compliant, child-like role, to become one of a mob of Christians at a big table, nodding and yes-yesing and passing the gravy with a lot of people you don't care about and can barely even tolerate. 

But if you can ....
simply step back  
....and accept that you're two different people, with different quirks and beliefs and stubborn notions, if you can swallow her ridiculous rules and tolerate her tribe's idiotic lectures without feeling like your psyche is being violated and injured, if you can grasp that she wants a SYMBOLIC CHILD of hers to be there for the whole routine, for every prayer and invocation and celebratory breakfast and chaotic present-unwrapping, to demonstrate that she is loved and appreciated as a mother by at least one of her kids, then you should rise to the occasion and give your mother what she wants. 
You should do it because your mother isn't battling you over your choices, day after day. She's not telling you, day after day, that you're doing it wrong. She wants you to get married and have kids, which makes her exactly like 99% of the mothers out there. Her wanting that doesn't make her particularly awful. If parenting brought her immense happiness, she naturally wants the same thing for you, as repetitive and closed minded as that might be. 

Your mother doesn't fight with you all the time. Her primary battleground is Christmas. She wants this one thing from you. She wants it to an irrational extent. It makes her weepy and enraged. She wants you and your partner there, pretending that you fit right in. She wants you to pretend that you are a good Christian son. She knows that you aren't, but for 48 to 72 hours she wants you to pretend that you are. 
Now, some people will tell you, "It's enough that you go and make an appearance." But that isn't the same thing. She wants you to stay under her roof, for emotional reasons. Do you know how it must feel, to be cooking and cleaning for your husband's kids and grandkids, when only one of your kids will even hang out at all, and he's only around for a few hours before he disappears? I'm not trying to give you shit, I'm just trying to make you see how lonely this holiday spectacular actually feels for her. You say you're grateful that she gets her postcard Christmas. But she doesn't really get that. It's only a postcard Christmas if her own kids are there, trust me.
I know this is about Mums at Christmas but don't forget Dad.

Don't forget that Dad has to live with Battleground Mum all year.
Personally, I think you should give your mother exactly what she wants. Arrive on the night of the 23rd and stay until the evening of the 25th, then flee to a hotel room. I would push to stay in the same room as your partner, but I wouldn't make a stink about it if she refuses.

Nicely said. The 'Sacrifice' is small. The rewards great. But the opportunity for a pleasant and loving time is all too often thwarted by enmities saved up all year.

You can read more of Polly's sound advice at.....

You might even find some references to Fathers.

Even husbands.

Whoops, she did refer to dad, tangentially. You had to look out for it. He was there, out of sight when she said... "She's not telling you, day after day, that you're doing it wrong". Yep. That's his lot !

Now we have  Carolyn and Michael :
 Earlier this week the Huffington Post published a piece entitled "Top 10 Tips for Surviving and Thriving Over the Holidays Without Relatives or a Partner".  
They range from getting together with other waifs and strays or volunteering at a soup kitchen, to spring cleaning your home, having a private movie marathon or going away on vacation. Then there's the ultimate holiday filler - just keep on working, let others take their holidays, earn some money, and if they don't actually want you at work, do something to add to your CV at home!

The message is that it's not such a bad thing to be alone, or relatively so, when most people are enjoying family and fellowship. You can be happy doing your own thing. 
Christmas is prime family time and a Pew survey out yesterday suggests that  
86 percent of Americans intend to get together with family or friends on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, just as 91 percent did in their childhood.  
The same proportion will also give presents and almost as many will put up a Christmas tree. In other words, people are clinging to the tradition of togetherness, even if a Christmas tree is as far as many will get towards embracing the reason for the season. 
So, while it's true that more and more people are living alone - and not just elderly folks - it's a deep human instinct to want to celebrate a high day or holy day with loved ones at least once a year, and we should do our utmost to keep that custom alive. If our family is strong we will be able to invite the socially isolated to join us for the feast.  
Let them feel the love!
They also make some fine recommendations for Christmas Stories.
Christmas stocking: 10 great stories of the season. A selection of tales to inspire, charm and amuse. Michael Cook and Carolyn Moynihan - See more at: 
The Gift of the Magi (1905) O. Henry   
A poor, young, working-class couple who pay eight dollars of their $20-a-week income on rent for a run-down flat want to give each other the best Christmas present their money won’t buy. Each hits on a way to do it that involves the sacrifice of their most treasured possession, but they do it joyfully. O. Henry compares their gifts to those of the Wise Men, who, in bringing their greatest treasures to the newborn Christ, “invented the art of giving Christmas presents”. A twist in the story makes the young couple’s wisdom look like foolishness, but the author begs to differ. A short but touching parable about true love.

Papa Panov’s Special Christmas
Leo Tolstoy
A Russian village on a freezing Christmas Eve, a lonely old man with nothing but his coffee pot and Bible to console him, a dream, a promise, a day of kindness to strangers and a wonderful reward – these are the familiar elements of a classic children’s story which is no less effective for being completely predictable. It is thought to have been written by a Frenchman, Ruben Saillens (1855 to 1942) - or he may have been recording a folk tale. Tolstoy translated the story from French to Russian and reshaped it considerably. It seems the perfect story for a parent or older sibling to read to a younger child at Christmas

The Holy Night
Selma Lagerlof (1858-1940)  
This short story by Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf (the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature) is set outside Bethlehem on the night of the Nativity. A man goes from hut to hut on the plain looking for live coals to kindle a fire for his wife and newborn child, and finally comes across a shepherd sitting by a fire. The shepherd is a hard-hearted fellow but a series of strange events attending the visitor make him afraid to deny his request. He then follows him back to the cave where the mother and child have the barest shelter – and his heart begins to soften… Something for children, and all those who are children at heart. –

You can follow the link for the other seven yourselves. I have drinks to pour.

Pax Dei Vobiscum

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Quantitively Easing into Christmas.

'Tis the time of the year when Traditionally we spend vast amounts of money we don't have on toys for boys and girls of all ages that are quickly obsolete.

Time to take stock of Home and Nation.

Deck the Halls with Macro Follies

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

Midnight Mass might be worthwhile this year, especially for Trolls. If we do not get 'Stable' we might just end up where Christmas started.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Things to Come

The Tavern takes a punt on the next week or so.  We held auditions in the Music Room. A lot of talented 'hopefuls'.

The Choir of Clare College - O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Or if you prefer an EPIC arrangement.... This took a bit of fitting in I can tell you!
O Come O Come Emmanuel - Full choir and orchestra with children's  choir too boot!


Fortunately they were followed by someone a little less full-on. 


Silent Night by St Joseph Catholic Church Choir
Just to be going on with.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dirty Jobs - Real Education.

It is the privilege of the Tavern Keeper that he can overhear the most fascinating discussions. As I did today between two articulate men who see past the Bromides.

Not that I serve bromide here. On the contrary; some think my produce is too strong and induces testosterone fits. That is also not true. But there is a lot of bromide being foisted on folk outside.

We had Mike Rowe sitting at the bar with Nick Gillespie from Reason TV.

Mike did a TV series that saw him trying out a huge number of dirty jobs for the entertainment and education of Reality TV viewers. It is one of those programs that really does show reality; no script; no 'writers'; no artificially constructed events. Just men at work.

Yes, mostly men.

The subject of their chat was the usefulness and cost of higher education. A TRILLION bucks is owed by a large population of young people in America who are unlikely ever to pay it back. The Law of Diminishing Returns has been entirely overlooked.

That economic 'Law' has been superceded by 'equality of outcomes' which sees an increasing majority of Degrees being awarded to
young women who will pass on their debts to young men doing dirty jobs.

 Proportionally similar quanta can be shown in many western countries. meanwhile someone has to clean the drains and build the roads and bridges.

SO MUCH clear thinking and 'follow-through' of concepts were evident in their chat that I must have refilled their goblets half a dozen times - and mine too.

So, as the discussion went on and captured my attention to such a degree that I failed to take notes, I will let you listen for yourselves.

Dirty Jobs' Mike Rowe on the High Cost of College.

Now you might have a few things to say on the subject too.

Let it rip.

And have a drink too.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Gender-War's Unlikely Allies.

UPDATE: See at end.

Most men and women in the Tavern get along well, which is not at all like the world outside the hedge down in Hilary's Village.  You know the village: its the one that takes all of them to raise a child instead of leaving it to the parents. Out there the war rages and harridans hold forth.

But Toronto recently saw the harridans taken on by a heavyweight woman - and I ain't referring to her size. This is one seriously intellectual woman.

Her first major best-seller - 'Sexual Personae' -even saw her being hailed as a feminist icon, as the harridans rushed to claim her as their 'sista'.

Camille Paglia soon put a spiked heel in that scheme.

The event pitched Camille and Caitlin Moran against the awful Radical Feminists Maureen Dowd (who still looks quite tasty, by the way) and Hannah Rosin (who, lets face it, never did manage to master lipstick).

“Be it Resolved: Men are Obsolete.”

The Lord Harry help any man who would dare to put on a public event of that nature and Title but talking of women. It would have been closed down before it started by rioting feminists screaming, breaking things and taking their clothes off.

But that was the topic of the recent Toronto debate The opening salvos from Camille blew the opposition out of the water. Even in the adjoining rooms voices were heard to say:

If women were so much better than men as these harpies claim they would achieve succeed within the free society we have today, instead of moaning and asking for quotas, they would be business leaders in numbers far greater than they are currently. It’s a free world. You are not oppressed. Quit whining and go out and do something productive for the world you claim to care so much more about.

 But, enough of the hecklers.... Camille's friend Christina Hoff Sommers dropped in to tell us about it:

Maureen Dowd and Hanna Rosin defended the resolution. Camille Paglia and Caitlin Moran were opposed.   
Much of the commentary was tongue-in-cheek. Dowd noted, for example, that men have played so recklessly with the globe “they nearly broke it.” So, she said, we are going in a new direction. “Heck, men wouldn’t even ask for directions.”  
But it was Camille Paglia’s electrifying opening statement that stole the show:

          "If men are obsolete, then women will soon be extinct—unless we rush down that ominous Brave New World path where females will clone themselves by parthenogenesis, as famously do Komodo dragons, hammerhead sharks, and pit vipers. 
A peevish, grudging rancor against men has been one of the most unpalatable and unjust features of second- and third-wave feminism.  Men’s faults, failings and foibles have been seized on and magnified into gruesome bills of indictment.  Ideologue professors at our leading universities indoctrinate impressionable undergraduates with carelessly fact-free theories alleging that gender is an arbitrary, oppressive fiction with no basis in biology. 
Paglia not only defended men, she had a rare good word for free market capitalism and its benefits to the fair sex. In her words:

         " History must be seen clearly and fairly: obstructive traditions arose not from men’s hatred or enslavement of women but from the natural division of labor that had developed over thousands of years during the agrarian period and that once immensely benefited and protected women, permitting them to remain at the hearth to care for helpless infants and children.  Over the past century, it was labor-saving appliances, invented by men and spread by capitalism, that liberated women from daily drudgery." 

According to the “males-are-in decline” crowd, the future belongs to communicative, consensus-building, emotionally intelligent women. 

Men, with their brawniness, risk-taking and general penchant for mayhem have overstayed their welcome. Dowd wondered if they would finally become extinct, taking “video games, Game of Thrones on a continuous loop and cold pizza in the morning with them.”  
Paglia politely but firmly reminded her sister debaters  that today’s busy, multi-tasking, alpha-females may be joining men in running the world, but they are hardly replacing them. And their brilliant careers are made possible by legions of hard-working, risk-taking, innovative men. To quote Paglia again:

           "Indeed, men are absolutely indispensable right now, invisible as it is to most feminists, who seem blind to the infrastructure that makes their own work lives possible
It is overwhelmingly men who do the dirty, dangerous work  
of building roads, pouring concrete, laying bricks, tarring roofs, hanging electric wires, excavating natural gas and sewage lines, cutting and clearing trees, and bulldozing the landscape for housing developments.   
It is men who heft and weld the giant steel beams that frame our office buildings, and it is men who do the hair-raising work of insetting and sealing the finely tempered plate-glass windows of skyscrapers 50 stories tall.  Every day along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, one can watch the passage of vast oil tankers and towering cargo ships arriving from all over the world.  These stately colossi are loaded, steered, and off-loaded by men.  
The modern economy, with its vast production and distribution network, is a male epic, in which women have found a productive role–but women were not its author.  Surely, modern women are strong enough now to give credit where credit is due!"
Despite several decades of girl power, women show little or no inclination to enter many traditional male fields.  
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 90% of the nation’s construction workers, electricians, roofers, aviation mechanics, refuse collectors, crane operators, firefighters, pest controllers, plumbers, pipe-fitters, heating and refrigeration installers, telecommunication line repairers, and electrical engineers  
are men.
It is still men who file more than 90% of patents.
In the early 1980′s the cartoonist Nicole Hollander, creator of Sylvia, ran a strip in which someone asks Sylvia what the world would be like without men. Sylvia’s reply: “No crime and lots of happy fat women.”

Paglia’s prediction of extinction may be more like it.  Her statement is worth reading in full. 
You can see it all at:



A round of drinks from the Cornucopia sit on the bar for Christina, Camille and Caitlin.

Update: Thanks to Iron John: The debate audio.

Pax Dei Ladies.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Front Line

Battle-hardened soldiers are not the only ones on the Front Line in the great war that our civilisation is fighting. There are many weapons in play and many fine, heroic souls wielding them.

The Tavern Walls are decked with pieces of armour and pictures of Heroes, but unsung, ordinary people are there too.

Salena Zito stopped by for a cool drink and told us about some.

Little Change in Small-Town Life

When the family of seven sitting near the front of Connie's Corner restaurant discreetly held hands and bowed their heads in prayer before their meal, no one in the bustling diner seemed surprised.
At the same moment, 400 miles east at Sotheby's auction house in New York City, "Saying Grace" sold for $46 million. The painting by Norman Rockwell vividly depicts a crowded restaurant (not so unlike Connie's Corner) where a grandmother and her grandson pray at a table as truck drivers watch.
In the 62 years since Rockwell brought a family in prayer to life on canvas, some aspects of how Americans conduct their lives have remained the same - such as a family praying before dinner in this northern panhandle town.
Yes, we join them in Prayer, here in the Tavern.

In a western world beset with middle-eastern and eastern pressures; with 'insider' destructive forces from Socialism and Feminism, homosexuality, lewdness; and anti-Christian hatreds of all sorts, there are ordinary people giving Thanks for the great joys that we can have and for the Protection from those Forces of Darkness.
"I love that about Chester and small-town American cities," said Scott Paulsen about the family giving thanks for their food. The 54-year-old WDVE morning radio host in Pittsburgh spent his childhood here, exploring the nearby woods and finding adventure along the train tracks.
Connie's Corner was Allison's Restaurant when Paulsen moved here from Baltimore as a seventh-grader. Connie Hissam was a waitress then; today she owns the restaurant. "What a great American success story," Paulsen said of her rise from employee to employer.

When Paulsen's family moved to Chester for his father's management job in the steel industry, a red-and-white building in the shape of a teapot sat across the street from their new home; attached to a pottery outlet, it was used to sell trinkets and hot dogs to travelers. Today, after the town rallied to save the 1930s roadside relic, it sits proudly on a corner of the Lincoln Highway, a beacon to locals and visitors.
In the beginning, Chester's prosperity depended on the very soil upon which it rested and the river that curved around it; the clay and the water were ideal for making pottery. The town rose and fell with both the pottery and steel industries.
Not for these people the whining and demanding; no calls for 'Rights' and 'Empowerment'; not even a false, mendacious cry for 'Hope and Change'.
"We do fine here," said Hissam, who has owned the restaurant for nearly 10 years. The Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort and the Homer Laughlin factory are the area's biggest local employers, she said.n her diner, brightly colored Fiestaware dishes and platters made a mile away at the Homer Laughlin factory are filled with eggs and bacon, turkey and stuffing, meatloaf and mashed potatoes. 

Homer Laughlin employed more than 3,500 locals in its heyday in 1929, but the decline in American-made pottery already had begun when tariffs were removed from pottery imports in 1910.
This is a slice of America that has ebbed and flourished over the years. Yet, for the most part, the people who live here remain the same;

they still go to the same church on Sundays,
still walk "up the street" to pick up milk and eggs, and still go hunting with friends and family.
What they don't do is protest for higher wages outside a small business like Connie's Corner; they don't feel entitled to much of anything - other than some peace and quiet to watch a football game or a boxing match - and they find irony in President Obama speaking about economic inequality while standing on one of the wealthiest patches of real estate in the country.
Most of all, they enjoy hard work and being part of a community. Just ask a woman named Irene, who retired from Homer Laughlin after 42 years as a brusher in the decorating department; she returned to the plant less than two years later, she said, because she missed both of those things.

Rockwell's "Saying Grace,"  
played out in real life here,  
gives an observer the emotional tug of roots and continuity; it makes you feel good about yourself, your community and your relationships, and it provides a texture that is sometimes missing in our daily lives.
Our constant news cycle and the politics of Washington tend to make us believe that we live in a nation filled with self-indulgence and hatred. But most folks don't see it that way. The truth is, we are surrounded by good deeds. They are not exceptional, newsworthy moments, but they are there - and all you have to do is look up from your iPhone to see them.
 Contributing Editor Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and editorial page columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. She can be reached at

She is welcome at the Tavern.
Read more: Family Security Matters
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At the last minute the Drummer finished her 'set' and sat for a drink. She too recalled the 'old' days of pre-feminist diatribes and showed where the ordinary folk's Front Lines are today.

I held his hand in my right, his beautiful cross in my left. I have never been as nervous ever again in my lifetime, as I was at that moment. It was a moment right out of every Hallmark movie ever written, except…… I was five. So was Chris.

And what’s even more amazing, is I remember worrying that the teachers might not want us to hold hands. After all, in an auditorium of the whole grade school, (about 400 kids) we were the only two holding hands.  There were teachers all around us….watching. Did they see?  
Yes—- they did. But, they did nothing. They looked, and walked away. To them, it was simply sweet.Heidi and Pater.

Back then, teachers were actually, smart.
Back then, kids weren’t suspected of sexual harassment.  
Back then, children’s love was innocent.  
Back then, teachers were adults.   
I remember a few of them whispering and smiling. No doubt, a precious memory for them too.

And here’s the point: When adults reprimand the natural feelings of love that children have of each other, they spoil the trust and friendship that needs to be developed when they get older. They need to trust each other and that starts when they are young. The teachers of today are teaching that all touching is sex. And they don’t even know what sex is yet.
They are really screwing up love, and trust, which leads to marriage. What the hell is wrong with them?
By now, everyone knows about  
the little boy who got expelled from school for kissing some girls hand.  
And to put insanity onto it, they called it sexual harassment.

My god.
The school system is out to change all that. There is no love, only sex.
But hey, I’m not worried about the kids. There will always be that first love at five. It’s just a shame that more people don’t stand up to the idiots we are paying to NOT BRAINWASH OUR KIDS
Just because you’re screwed up with leftist feminist bull-crap, doesn’t mean you have a right to destroy our children.

And that is just what our 'Progressive' society is trying to do.


Whatever Battle-Front you find yourself on, with whatever sort of foe in front of you seeking your destruction; whatever your chosen way of responding and fighting them back, remember this.....

What does it profit you if you gain the whole world but suffer the loss of your own Soul.

 When it comes down to it, we are all on the Front Line.

The question to ask ourselves is, which way are we facing?

Who are we facing?

Are you a 'Progressive'? Even a little?

An army, even the camp-followers, marches on its stomach. Fighting people need victuals. Sustenance. Nutrition.

The Tavern supplies Grace, the God-provided nutrient for the Soul. Grace can heal even a 'Progressive'.

Drink your fill.

And give Thanks.

Pax Dei.