Thursday, August 17, 2017

=USA : Removal of Confederate symbols

The Civil War ended 152 years ago, but roughly 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy still exist in public spaces today, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The list of controversial relics includes 718 statues and monuments, 10 major US military bases and 109 public schools that bear the names of Confederate leaders such as Gen. Robert E. Lee.

A campaign is gathering momentum in the United States to remove monuments to the pro-slavery Confederacy.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights advocacy group, there are more than 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy on public land, mostly in the South.

They include monuments, memorials, statues, public schools, highways and county and city names among others.

Here is a brief look at the three major figures in the Southern iconography and their chief symbol, the Confederate battle flag:

- Robert E. Lee -

Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870) is the most venerated of the Confederate generals and there are more than 50 public schools named after him alone, according to the SPLC.

Born in Virginia, the son of a Revolutionary War hero, Lee attended the US military academy known as West Point and spent three decades in the US Army.

In 1859, Lee, then a colonel, led a party of marines sent to the Virginia town of Harper's Ferry to put down a raid by abolitionist John Brown, who had seized the local arsenal in hopes of inspiring a slave insurrection.

Brown was captured and hanged but his raid is considered by many historians to be the catalyst for the Civil War.

In 1861, upon the outbreak of the conflict between the North and the South, President Abraham Lincoln offered Lee command of the Union forces.

Lee declined, saying he could not take up arms against "my home, my family and my native state of Virginia." In June 1862, Lee, a slaveholder, took over the Army of Northern Virginia and led it until his eventual surrender in April 1865.

Following the war, Lee became the president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, a post he held until his death.

- Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson -

Thomas Jonathan Jackson (1824-1863) is considered one of the most tactically brilliant generals of the Civil War and ranks just below Robert E. Lee in Southern adulation.

Born in Virginia, the deeply religious Jackson was a graduate of West Point and was decorated for bravery during the Mexican-American War.

He became a teacher at the Virginia Military Institute in 1851 and was commissioned as a colonel upon the outbreak of the Civil War. Jackson earned his nickname, "Stonewall," at one of first major battles of the war when another general is said to have rallied his men by saying "There stands Jackson like a stone wall."

Jackson went on to regularly outfox Union armies in the Shenandoah Valley with rapid movements which led to his "Stonewall Brigade" becoming known as "Jackson's foot cavalry."

Jackson was accidentally shot by his own men on May 2, 1863 and died eight days later, a loss that was a major military setback for the South.

- Jefferson Davis -

Jefferson Finis Davis (1808-1889) was the president of the Confederate States of America from its founding in 1861 to its defeat four years later.

Born in Kentucky but raised in Mississippi, Davis was a graduate of West Point and served in the US Army. Owner of a big cotton plantation in Mississippi, Davis was a staunch supporter of slavery and possessed scores of slaves during his lifetime.

He represented Mississippi in the US House of Representatives and the Senate and served as Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce from 1853-1857.

Davis resigned from the Senate in January 1861 after Mississippi voted to secede from the Union. He was named the provisional president of the Confederacy the following month.

Davis was captured by Union troops in Georgia in May 1865, a little over a month after the fall of the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia. Davis was imprisoned for two years awaiting trial for treason.

But he was released in May 1867 and President Andrew Johnson issued a pardon and amnesty to former Confederates on Christmas Day the following year. Davis died in New Orleans in 1889.

- Confederate battle flag -

The red, white and blue Confederate battle flag is one of the most recognizable -- and divisive -- symbols of the secessionist South. The flag has a red background and is emblazoned with a blue 'X' that features 13 white stars.

The stars stand for the 11 states that seceded from the Union plus two others -- Kentucky and Missouri -- which finally did not formally join the Confederacy.

The flag stirs up markedly different feelings among Americans.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Paris : Notre Dame cathedral

White House memes and front page covers : Anthony Scaramucci

Update Monday 7/31/17: Anthony Scaramucci is out as White House communications director after just 10 days in the job.
  • Scaramucci is the third White House communications director to leave the post that had been vacant since late May, when Mike Dubke left after about three months on the job. Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, also assumed some of the communications director role before he resigned when Scaramucci was hired July 21.
  • His departure comes days after Scaramucci unleashed a vulgar tirade against two top White House officials in a conversation with a reporter.

Anthony Scaramucci, aka "the Mooch", the new White House communications director. 
After the election, Trump asked Scaramucci to join his Administration, and Scaramucci sold his company, SkyBridge Capital, in anticipation of taking on a senior role. But Priebus didn’t want him in the White House, and successfully blocked him from being appointed to a job until last week, when Trump offered him the communications job over Priebus’s vehement objections. In response to Scaramucci’s appointment, Sean Spicer, an ally of Priebus’s, resigned his position as press secretary. And in an additional slight to Priebus, the White House’s official announcement of Scaramucci’s hiring noted that he would report directly to the President, rather than to the chief of staff.
28 July 2017

28 July 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

President Trump is guest of honor at Paris Bastille Day celebrations

Melania wears a floral frock in a fit-and-flare silhouette from Italian fashion house Valentino.


Melania Trump wears a bright red fitted skirt suit by Christian Dior.
Her choice was an homage to Dior's 70th anniversary and the “Christian Dior: Couturier du Reve” retrospective at Les Arts Decoratifs.
Her stylist, French designer Herve Pierre, also designed her gown for the inaugural ball.

Brigitte  Macron's Louis Vuitton little white dress and jacket ensemble, paired with blue suede pumps rounded out the red, white and blue color palette quite nicely.