Day: July 13, 2019

Rose Tattoo – Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw (1978)


Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England: Part II.

European Royal History

After Jane was proclaimed Queen she refused to name her husband Dudley as king, because that would require an Act of Parliament. She would agree only to make him Duke of Clarence. This was all to the chagrin of her father-in-law, the Duke of Northumberlan, who desired to be the power behind the throne.

The Duke of Northumberland faced a number of key tasks to consolidate his power after Edward VI’s death. Most importantly, he had to isolate and, ideally, capture Mary Tudor, the rightful heir, to prevent her from gathering support. As soon as Mary was sure of King Edward’s demise, she left her residence at Hunsdon and set out to East Anglia, where she began to rally her supporters. Northumberland set out from London with troops on July 14 with the intent to capture Mary. The Privy Council switched their allegiance and proclaimed Mary queen in London, on…

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Israeli Political Mergers and Acquisitions

Ottomans and Zionists

As Israel’s do-over election approaches and political alliances form and reshape, parties on both the right and the left have some big decisions to make. With Ehud Barak’s formal reentry to politics, Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett’s decisions whether to try their luck again or sit this cycle out, new party chiefs for Labor and Meretz, and the Arab parties’ efforts to reconstitute the electorally successful but politically fractious Joint List, there are lots of machinations taking place. Here are two of the biggest ones to look out for in the slightly more than two months that remain until Israelis vote on September 17.

Where does Barak fit in on the left?

Ehud Barak made a temporary splash with his return to Israeli politics through a new vehicle that he has named the Israel Democratic Party, rather than attempting to rejoin Labor or link up with his fellow former chiefs…

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Tarring Steve Pinker and others with Jeffrey Epstein

Why Evolution Is True

Several times this week I’ve seen people of low character go after Steve Pinker because of his supposed association with accused sexual predator and child-sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. (Note: my own view is that there’s overwhelming evidence that Epstein is guilty and, after a fair trial, deserves to go to jail for decades.)

But that’s not enough. I see articles where, on no evidence at all, scientists and atheists are tarred because they either knew Epstein or associated with him. This innuendo is meant to imply that those people knew about Epstein’s crimes and either ignored them or, perhaps, even participated in them. In other words, they’re complicit. I could reproduce several examples, but I suspect readers have already seen them, and I’m not going to highlight and send traffic to miscreants involved in slander or character assassination.

But this kind of stuff disturbed me so much—since Pinker is a…

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On this date in History: February 13, 1542 Execution of Catherine Howard, 5th wife of King Henry VIII of England and Ireland.

European Royal History

On this date in History: February 13, 1542 Execution of Catherine Howard, 5th wife of King Henry VIII of England and Ireland.

Catherine Howard (c. 1523 – February 13, 1542) was Queen of England from 1540 until 1541, as the fifth wife of Henry VIII. She (then 16 or 17) married him (then 49) on July 28, 1540, at Oatlands Palace, in Surrey, almost immediately after the annulment of his marriage to Anne of Cleves was arranged.


Catherine’s uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, found her a place at Court in the household of the King’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. As a young and attractive lady-in-waiting, Catherine quickly caught Henry’s eye. The King had displayed little interest in Anne from the beginning, but on Cromwell’s failure to find a new match for Henry, Norfolk saw an opportunity. The Howards may have sought to recreate the influence gained during Queen Anne’s reign…

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Catherine of Aragon: the bride of two brothers.

European Royal History

I missed this the other day. June 11th is the date my wife and I were married and it is also the date that Catherine of Aragon married King Henry VIII of England in 1509.

This portrait is either Catherine of Aragon, Mary Tudor (sister of Henry VIII) or an unknown English noble woman.

Henry VII planned to marry Arthur to a daughter of the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella I of Castile and Fernando II of Aragon, in order to forge an Anglo-Spanish alliance against France. It was suggested that the choice of marrying Arthur to Fernando and Isabella’s youngest daughter, Catherine (b. 1485), would be appropriate and suitable. The Treaty of Medina del Campo (March 27, 1489) provided that Arthur and Catherine would be married as soon as they reached canonical age. Since Arthur, not yet 14, was below the age of consent, a papal dispensation (i.e., waiver) allowing the…

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When volcanoes erupted with meaning

Voltaire Foundation

When the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in April 2010 it threw up a huge, glass-rich ash plume nine kilometres into the sky, penetrating the jet stream which then swept the volcanic debris south-eastwards over most of Europe. European air space was closed down, stranding approximately ten million passengers over six days at a cost of £130 million per day to the aviation industry. It disrupted the funeral of the Polish president and general election campaigning in Scotland, and brought blissful quiet to residents around Heathrow and other major European hubs. Ironically, the noxious gas-spewing volcano actually reduced air pollution by grounding planes for nearly a week. Among both witnesses to the eruption and those marooned by its billowing ash-clouds, it also produced a lot of stories (as well as a plotline for a 2013 French comedy).

Image of Eyjafjallajökull during its eruptions in 2010. (“14.05.10 | Eyjafjallajökull”…

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Study: Solar And Wind Generation Makes Electricity More Expensive


By Paul Homewood

h/t Dennis Ambler

Well we knew it all the time, but now it has been confirmed by a team of economists from the University of Chicago:


Solar panels and wind turbines are making electricity significantly more expensive, a major new study by a team of economists from the University of Chicago finds.

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) “significantly increase average retail electricity prices, with prices increasing by 11% (1.3 cents per kWh) seven years after the policy’s passage into law and 17% (2 cents per kWh) twelve years afterward,” the economists write.

The study, which has yet to go through peer-review, was done by Michael Greenstone, Richard McDowell, and Ishan Nath. It compared states with and without an RPS. It did so using what the economists say is “the most comprehensive state-level dataset ever compiled” which covered 1990 to 2015.

The cost to consumers has been staggeringly…

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Extinction Rebellion prosecutions ‘beggar belief’, says lawyer

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Oxford Circus climate demo [image credit: London Evening Standard]
So does the manufactured climate alarm due to a minor trace gas in the atmosphere, but this is the world we find ourselves in.

A lawyer representing hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters said it “beggars belief” so many of them are being prosecuted, reports the Evening Standard. 

It comes as two courtrooms are being set aside for a day each week at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for 19 weeks, to deal with Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested in mass demonstrations across the capital.

Around 35 protesters are due to appear at City of London magistrates’ court on Friday, while it is thought more than 50 will be summonsed every Friday in August.

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