Category Archives: Children

Catholic Cat Choir

The boys’ choir wasn’t making things up. They were singing an actual composition, which is usually misidentified as Rossini’s cat duet.

The composition is “Duetto buffo di due gatti” (Humorous duet for two cats), a popular performance piece for two sopranos which is often performed as a concert encore. The “lyrics” consist entirely of the repeated word “miau” or “meow”. Sometimes it is also performed by a soprano and a tenor, or a soprano and a bass.

The piece is usually and mistakenly attributed to the great Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868). But the composer of “cat duet” is said to be Robert Lucas de Pearsall, using the pseudonym G. Berthold, who wrote the piece in 1825, drawing principally from Rossini’s 1816 opera, Otello

H/t FOTM’s silent reader CSM

~Éowyn

Weather Underground bomber unmasked — as city schoolteacher

The Weather Underground's work...

The Weather Underground’s work…

NY Post: The “bomb guru” for the terrorist group the Weather Underground never served a day in jail — but he did spend decades teaching in New York City classrooms, a new book reveals.

Ronald Fliegelman built explosives for the Weather Underground, a far-left group that launched a domestic bombing campaign in the 1960s and ’70s, including one explosion inside NYPD headquarters.

Bomb builder and school teacher Fliegelman

Bomb builder and school teacher Fliegelman

But when the group dissolved, Fliegelman managed to safely fade away into the square life. For 25 years, he worked as a public special-education teacher, retiring to a quiet life in Park Slope, Brooklyn, according to “Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence” (Penguin Press).

And he’s unapologetic about his past, according to author Bryan Burrough. “Ron is proud of what he did,” he told The Post.

The Weather Underground first organized in 1969 as a splinter of the Revolutionary Youth Movement within the ’60s protest group Students for a Democratic Society. Their members were mostly white and middle class, advocating the complete overthrow of the US government.

Obama buddy Bill Ayers

Obama buddy Bill Ayers

Under the leadership of co-founder Bill Ayers — who went on to become a University of Illinois professor whose political relationship with then-candidate Barack Obama was scrutinized during the 2008 presidential campaign — the group also pushed for a sexual revolution. Their slogan? “Smash monogamy.”

To achieve their goals, the militant group — popularly known as the Weathermen, derived from the Bob Dylan lyric, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” — embarked on a years-long bombing campaign, targeting places it considered pillars of US imperialism, capitalism, racism and anything contrary to their “ism” of choice: communism.

To protest the US invasion of Laos, for example, they bombed the Capitol Building in 1971. That same year, they targeted the headquarters of the state Department of Corrections in Albany for the deaths of 29 inmates during the Attica prison riot. They even busted LSD guru Dr. Timothy Leary out of a California jail and helped smuggle him to Algeria in 1970 — the same year they issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the United States.

“We believed Third World countries would rise up and cause crises that would bring down the industrialized West, and we believed it was going to happen tomorrow, or maybe the day after tomorrow,” a former Weatherman tells Burrough.

“The myth, and this is always Bill Ayers’ line, is that Weather never set out to kill people, and it’s not true — we did,” group member Howie Machtinger tells Burrough. “You know, policemen were fair game.”

Despite the tough talk, the group was already in crisis not long after its formation. On March 6, 1970, a bomb exploded prematurely inside a town house at 18 W. 11th St. in Greenwich Village. Three Weathermen were killed — the two building the bomb, Terry Robbins and Diana Oughton, and another, Ted Gold, who was entering the building.

If the Weathermen were going to wage a war, they needed to do so without killing their own members, Burrough notes. “No one knew what to do. I gave a thought to giving up, and I had a gun pulled on me and was told I was not leaving,” recalls Fliegelman.

The son of a Philadelphia doctor, Fliegelman got his start with Students for a Democratic Society, where he gained a reputation for being a technically proficient workaholic, once manually printing hundreds of leaflets when the mechanical printer broke down. “Fliegelman was the one person who knew how to strip down and reassemble guns, motorcycles and radios, who knew how to weld, who could fix almost anything,” writes Burrough.

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“Everyone was afraid of the stuff, for good reason,” Fliegelman says. “What we were dealing with was a group of intellectuals who didn’t know how to do anything with their hands. I did. I wasn’t afraid of it, I knew it could be handled.”

After the Village town-house explosion, Weather Underground founding member Jeff Jones summoned Fliegelman to a meeting in Central Park. “You either know how to build something or you don’t,” Fliegelman says. “[Jones] said, ‘Well, what do we do?’ And I said, ‘This can never happen again. I’ll take care of it.’ And I did.”

From that day on, Fliegelman spent hundreds of hours studying explosives. “When you’re young and you’re confident, you can do anything. So, yeah, you play with it, and try to build something. The timer is the whole thing, right? It’s just electricity going into the blasting cap,” he says.

“Eventually, I came up with a thing where I inserted a lightbulb, and when the bulb lit, the circuit was complete, and we were able to test things that way. If the light came on, it worked. The rest of it is simple.”

Members recognized his contribution. One member described him as possessing “a Santa Claus twinkle in his eye that inspired confidence.” “Without him,” former Weatherman Brian Flanagan tells Burrough, “there would be no Weather Underground.” From then on, Fliegelman says, he built most of the group’s bombs, even jetting off to the San Francisco Bay Area to help members there. “Maybe they did two or three things without me,” he tells Burrough. “But I doubt it.”

Weather Underground also bombed the Pentagon

Weather Underground also bombed the Pentagon

His first attack, in 1970, was the most nerve-racking. And why not? They were going inside NYPD headquarters. “That first one was the scariest,” Fliegelman recalls. “Going into a public building, there was security, and you had to get past it. We had people who did the casings. We needed people who wouldn’t be noticed, so they went in dressed like lawyers. Still, I was scared. Very scared. We knew if we did this, they would come after us.”

But things went smoothly. “It wasn’t like they had metal detectors back then. There was just a guy at the desk, and we walked right past him,” Fliegelman tells Burrough.

The bomb — created in an apartment on quaint Amity Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn — had a simple design: 15 sticks of dynamite attached to a Westclox alarm clock bought at a RadioShack. The device, hidden in a hollowed-out law book, was placed above a ceiling tile in a second-floor bathroom at the Centre Street building, about 125 feet from Commissioner Howard Leary’s office.

At 6:40 p.m. on June 9, a warning was called in, and 17 minutes later, the bomb exploded, destroying two walls and blasting a 20-by-40-foot hole in the floor.

Mayor John Lindsay promised a “relentless” investigation, but that didn’t slow down Fliegelman, who built the bomb that blasted a toilet in the Corrections offices in Albany, Burrough writes.

“Tonight we attacked the head offices of the New York State Department of Corrections,” the group boasted afterwards. “We must continue to make the Rockefellers, Oswalds, Reagans and Nixons pay for their crimes. We only wish we could do more to show the courageous prisoners at Attica, San Quentin and the other 20th-century slave ships that they are not alone in their fight for the right to live.”

Fliegelman’s memory gets hazy when asked about the Capitol bombing of 1971. He says he “believes” he built the device placed in the first-floor men’s room near the Senate, which caused about $300,000 in damage, according to Burrough. And he says he can’t remember whether he built the bomb that went off in a fourth-floor rest room at the Pentagon in 1972 in retaliation for US raids in Hanoi.

Burrough says Ayers, in his memoir, “Fugitive Days,” refers to Fliegelman’s involvement in the Pentagon caper, calling him by the pseudonym “Aaron.”

“Aaron was the backbone of the group — entirely committed and trustworthy, hardworking and dependable . . . A guy we all believed could easily survive in the Australian Outback or the Siberian wilderness for weeks with nothing but a pocket knife . . . The model middle cadre,” Ayers writes.

The group began to dissolve after a peace accord was signed to end the Vietnam War in 1973, and four years later, it was defunct. By then, Fliegelman was living with fellow Weatherman Cathy Wilkerson, a bomb-maker in her own right.

The two had a daughter and split up. Fliegelman, meanwhile, simply returned to his parents’ home in Philadelphia, working at a school for troubled children, abandoning his bomb-making ways as easily as a snake sheds its skin. “For me, it was really seamless,” he tells Burrough. “No one — the FBI, no one — ever came looking for me.”

Fliegelman was among 13 Weathermen indicted on charges of conspiring to commit bombings and assassinations, but the indictment was dropped in 1973 by the Justice Department in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that barred the use of electronic surveillance without a court order. Fliegelman was underground at the time and never arrested, Burrough notes.

There’s a five-year statute of limitations on most federal crimes except for murder, so by the time he began working for the city in 1983, Fliegelman didn’t have to look over his shoulder.

He started as a special-education teacher at PS 54 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and later taught at PS 305, also in Bed-Stuy, according to the Department of Education. He retired in 2006. Now 70 years old, Fliegelman collected $40,035 in pension last year, according to public records.

His life now appears to have taken on all the trappings of the leisure class. On Thursday, he was seen walking a small white dog in idyllic Park Slope before climbing into a Subaru Forester SUV.

Approached by The Post, Fliegelman, who wears a neat ponytail, said: “What happened 40 years ago is different from what’s going on today. War was a big thing. It was on TV every night. You don’t know that with the Iraqi war, the Afghanistan war. There was the draft, as well.”

Asked whether he considered himself a terrorist, he said: “Did you ever notice how many people were hurt by our bombs? People were not hurt by our bombs.”

DCG

A lovely bedtime story: My ‘Sister Is a Happy Ghost!’

Bet there's no pictures of these "ghosts" in this book...

Bet there’s no pictures of these “ghosts” in this book…

Newsbusters: A three-year-old named Lee defends the abortion of his sister in a new children’s book – by an author with her own “ghost sister.” 

Sister Apple, Sister Pig” by Mary Walling Blackburn focuses on an adult topic: abortion. The story follows Lee as he (or “she,” as the author stressed) searches for his sister – who might be an apple, a pig, or somewhere in a tree. Lee later decides “Sister is a happy ghost!” and explicitly says he’s glad Sister isn’t around to inconvenience his parents.

The free e-book is available on art publishing platform e-flux, The Blaze reported. The author, Walling Blackburn, is assistant professor of art at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts and founder of The Anhoek School.

“Lee is Papa and Mama’s only child for now, although there once was a sister,” the book began. “Where does Sister live now?”

At one point, Lee explained to his Papa, “Well, she used to live in Mama and doesn’t anymore.” After Papa agreed, Lee reiterated, “She lived before me, but Mama couldn’t keep her. Mama says she is a ghost.” 

When Lee’s Papa asked, “[D]oes that make you sad or scared?” Lee changed his tune. “I’m not sad that my sister is a ghost! If you kept my sister, you would be tired, and sad, and mad!” When his father questioned why, Lee continued:

Because we would be wild and loud and sometimes we would fight. Mama might be scared that she could not buy enough food for us. Mama might not have enough time to read to me, to paint with me, to play with me, to talk with me…. 

Papa also noted “good reasons” Lee doesn’t have a sister “right here right now.” “Maybe you will have another sister when there is more time, and there is more money,” Papa said.

But even during story time, Lee couldn’t forget about his lost sibling. He whispered the “secret” to his uncle: “The secret is that she’s…she’s a ghost!” Lee – and his Uncle – pretend she’s still there. “The ghost girl can sit beside me,” his uncle offered.

Later, Lee told his uncle, “Mama had an abortion before she had me,” but “reassures” him that “Sister is a happy ghost!” 

Even the uncle’s friend, Jess, “wonders where the ghost sister is.” Lee replied, “Ghost sister has her own things to do!” but that “[s]he returns when I call her…if I need her.” 

sister apple2

And he did, as the last page read, “Mama, Papa, Lee, (and sister) are about to head into the late afternoon… towards home.”

In the acknowledgements, Walling Blackburn thanked her own “ghost sister” and warned “Masochists, look elsewhere,” because, “between these pages you will not find the ‘luxury of grief,’ culpability’s sharp sting or salty guilt.” 

Mary Walling Blackburn

Mary Walling Blackburn

In a footnote, Walling Blackburn explained:

Lee, Sister Apple, Sister Pig’s protagonist, allays the possibility of repressed psychic distress by the active formation of an ally born of that anxiety and Lee does this without lingering in the interstitial space between pleasure and pain. Is there a political stratagem here…when sorrow and fear become light and active?

While Artforum’s Abraham Adams announced Walling Blackburn’s work as a “pro-choice children’s book” he argued, “It is a provocation for adults” or a “concept performing form in what the artist has referred to as a kind of drag.”

In her own words, Walling Blackburn described the book as “‘Playing chicken’ with the anti-choice people,” The Blaze’s Mike Opelka reported.

Earlier this year at one of her art shows, an “Anti-Fertility Garden” at San Antonio’s Sala Diaz, Walling Blackburn read from “Sister Apple, Sister Pig.” The exhibition included, “a fetus-size casket covered in chocolate frosting beneath an abortion-commemorating date painting that lashes On Kawara.”

DCG

NY State Assembly approves bill to inject poison into hearts of babies in the womb

For years, the New York state legislature has been embroiled in a battle over a package of bills called the Women’s Equality Act (WEA) that supposedly promotes the interests of women. The 10-point WEA is held up in part because the legislature has resisted the 10th point — a late-term abortion measure, AB 6221, which allows abortionists killing the unborn by shooting poison into their little beating hearts.

NY State AB 6221

Since 2013, abortion advocates have been holding the Women’s Equality Act hostage to this single AB 6221, refusing to break the 10-point bill up. The legislature resisted passing AB 6221 despite strenuous support from the supposedly Catholic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The position of the Catholic Church is and consistently has been that abortion is an “intrinsic evil,” which means it is not subject to negotiation. Being an intrinsic evil, abortion also takes precedence before any of the Church’s other concerns, including the darling of the Left — “social justice.”

On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, in a vote of 94-49 the New York State Assembly approved passage of AB 6221, which will expand third-trimester abortions and allow non-doctors to perform abortions.

Third-trimester abortion is also called late-term abortion — the deliberate murder of babies who are 7 to 9 months old, who feel pain, and who are viable if allowed to live outside their mothers’ wombs.

New York State law currently allows for late-term abortion, i.e., abortion in the third trimester, only when the mother’s life is in danger. AB 6221, sponsored by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, will instead allow abortion on-demand throughout all nine months, i.e., up until the 9th month. The law would be changed to allow abortion for any reason deemed “relevant to the well-being of the patient” including physical, emotional, psychological, and familial factors, and the mother’s age.

Lori Kehoe, New York State Right to Life executive director, said:

“Expanding cruel and brutal third-trimester abortions has long been a goal of the anti-life lobby who never met an abortion they didn’t like. With no regard for the fully developed unborn baby who is violently dismembered, or otherwise killed, the New York State Assembly once again put the abortion lobby above New York State women and their children. We now look once again to the Senate to hold the line in defense of the children which happens to also be in accordance with the will of the rest of the people. It is ridiculous that in 2015, with all the technology at our disposal, we are still arguing whether or not an eight month old baby in the womb deserves protection. It is doubtful that our descendants will look kindly upon this period in our history, when we fought for the right to dismember babies weeks, days and even minutes before birth.

New York State Right to Life will be discussing this and other attacks on members of the human family at their free-to-the-public Lobby for Life Day on April 29 at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

NY Assemblywoman Deborah Glick

New York State Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick represents District 66 in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Her official bio says “Deborah is the first openly lesbian or gay member of the New York State legislature” and that “As an elected official, she has focused on civil rights, reproductive freedom, health care, lesbian and gay rights, the environment, housing, higher education, social justice, animal rights and funding for the arts.”

Clearly, for Glick, “animal rights” do not include the rights of the human unborn, even up to 9 months old.

For her contact information, click here.

H/t LifeNews and FOTM’s CSM.

JesusHoldingBabyClose

See also:

~Éowyn

‘Queering Your Campus’ workshop calls pro-life movement ‘clinic terrorists’

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Campus Reform: Young feminists who recently attended the 11th annual National Young Feminist Leadership Conference (NYFLC) will return to their college campuses with a new rallying cry to combat pro-life “clinic terrorists.”

During the conference, hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation, attendees could participate in a crash course on campus activism titled “Queering Your Campus.” According to NYFLC’s description of the workshop, students were taught how to organize on campus for gender-neutral restrooms and housing and foster “intersectional feminist activism.”

A flyer passed out during the workshop, and later obtained by Campus Reform, encouraged the young activists to “kick off [their] group meetings and amp up [their] next rally” using a variety of short chants including, but not limited to:

“Pro-life, that’s a lie/ You don’t care if women die!”

“Two, four, six, eight/ Separate church and state!”

“77 cents is not okay/We demand equal pay!”

drama

One of the proposed chants described individuals who oppose abortion as “clinic terrorists” and urged young women facing unexpected pregnancies to let young feminists on their campus know:

“Hey, hey! Ho, ho!/ Clinic terrorists have got to go!

“Whatever we wear, Wherever we go, Yes means yes, no means no! Pro-life men have got to go. When you get pregnant, let me know!”

Hey ho, what do you know - a pregnant man!

Hey ho, what do you know – a pregnant man!

In addition to the list of chants, conference-goers could take home stickers proclaiming “I [love] my local abortion provider” and purchase miniature finger puppets of historical female figures including Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, and Sojourner Truth.

Other workshops offered to attendees included “Reinventing Rosie: Reframing the Workforce for Women,” “Sex-positivity: Educate, Empower, Self-Define,” and “Keep Your Religion Off Our Bodies.” Climate change was also addressed with one breakout session titled “Ecofeminism: Activism to Create Climate Justice.”

The conference took place March 21-22 in Washington, D.C. On Monday, attendees took their activism to Capitol Hill for “Congressional Visit Day.”

DCG

Time Promotes Photo Book on Summer Camp for ‘Gender-Creative Kids’

you are you

Newsbusters: Following in the footsteps of The New York Times Magazine in 2012 and Slate.com in 2013, the March 30 edition of Time is promoting the photographs of Lindsay Morris. The headline was “Happy Campers: Documenting a rural retreat for gender-creative kids.” As opposed to most children, who are apparently “gender-stodgy.”

you are you2

Morris is coming out with a book titled You Are You in which they call these children “gender-unique.” The book blurb says through “sensitive images the viewer will experience an important moment in history where the first gender-creative childhood is being openly expressed with the support of friends and family. Morris reaches beyond the confines of the camp to contribute to a dialog about the crucial role that support plays in the lives of gender unique children.”

Eliza Gray

Eliza Gray

Time’s Eliza Gray began: Raising a child who doesn’t conform to gender roles is a minefield for even the most supportive parents. How do you let your children be themselves while also protecting them from bullies? That question led a number of parents, who met through a therapy group for gender-variant children, to organize an annual four-day camp in the wilderness for their kids. Almost all the boys are “biological boys who like to wear girls’ clothing,” aged 6 to 12.

Gray elaborated: Some will grow up to be transgender, while others will become gender-conforming adults. Still more may decide to embrace a fluid concept of gender.

“Living with ambiguity can be very hard,” writes one of the parents in a reflection in the book. The beauty of the camp is that it allows the kids to live comfortably in the middle, a difficult place to occupy during the rest of the year.

Morris hopes her work will help gender-creative kids and their families realize they are not alone. Along with the photographs, she includes a list of helpful children’s books and support organizations. But the book’s greatest value may be in showing the joy of children who are allowed the simple freedom to be themselves.

See also:

DCG

Democrat Suggests Kids Should Be Drug-Tested Before They Can Inherit From Their Parents

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DailyCaller: Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez offered a baffling defense of the death tax Wednesday during a hearing examining the sometimes unbearable burden it places on family farms and businesses.

People receiving food stamps have to pass drug tests or meet work requirements to receive taxpayer dollars, Sanchez reasoned, so it’s only fair that those “lucky” enough to inherit wealth should have to do something to earn it or, in this case, pay a tax.

“What work requirements are there to inherit up to $10 million tax free?” she asked a witness, rhetorically.

Why is that [a single mother] should be drug tested, which is an unrelated requirement to receive food assistance, to make sure that her family has enough to eat,” she asked. “And people who are lucky enough to inherit millions of dollars are literally required to do nothing to get the federal tax benefit with their inheritance?” 

Sanchez acknowledged that Americans should value hard work, but bemoaned the “paradox” that occurs when they want to work hard so they can accumulate wealth to live off of in retirement and pass on to their children.  “We don’t believe in an aristocracy, or that it’s a good societal thing for dynasties to hoard their wealth and leave the rest to fight over the crumbs,” she said. “That’s just not how this country was founded.”

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“But we have a paradox here in this country, where we think you should work hard to get where you are … but by the same token, everyone wants to make enough money to where they can retire and not have to work,” she continued. “And they want to preserve increasingly larger and larger chunks of their wealth.”

Sanchez made the remarks after hearing a witness describe the heartbreak her family is going through watching her father try to find a way to pass his business along to his children without breaking it up in order to pay the death tax.

“Our whole lives we watched my dad work,” Illco, Inc. CFO Karen Madonia said. “You know, 10 to 12 hours a day … he did all of it. And we watched him struggle through all that, and to watch him figure out how he can pass it onto us and let us make our mark on it without having to dismantle part of it is really just heartbreaking.”

The government currently taxes inheritance at a rate of up to 40 percent. 

“I understand the desire to keep things running in a family business,” Sanchez said. “I get that. I get the hardships you guys encounter. But let’s not throw the entire baby out with the bathwater and say we’re going to eliminate the estate tax altogether.

Republican Rep. Kevin Brady introduced legislation last week that would repeal the death tax, which prompted the hearing Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee.

“The Death Tax is still the No. 1 reason family-owned farms and businesses in America aren’t passed down to the next generation,” Brady said in a statement announcing the bill. “It’s the wrong tax at the wrong time and hurts the wrong people.”

DCG