Turkish Coup

Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square in Istanbul

Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square as people wave with Turkish flags in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

The Turkish authorities on Saturday halted all American-led strike missions against the Islamic State that had been flying from the Incirlik air.  The potential loss of Incirlik as a staging area and major base comes at a challenging time for the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. Local security forces in Iraq and militias in Syria, both supported by the United States, had finally started to gain significant momentum in their air and ground fights against the militants, aided largely by the access to Incirlik.


In a televised speech Saturday night, Turkish President Erdogan called on the U.S. to extradite 75-year-old Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania and is blamed by Turkey’s government for orchestrating Friday night’s attempted coup.  Erdogan said Turkey had never turned down any extradition request for “terrorists” by the U.S.


Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that the Obama administration would consider a Turkish extradition request for extradition of Gulen, but Kerry said Turkey’s government would first have to prove – with legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny – Gulen’s role in the failed effort.


Erdogan said Turkey had never turned down any extradition request for “terrorists” by the U.S.


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For only the second time in 42 years, the famed Iditarod Sled Dog Race has been forced to shift its route due to lack of snow, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. The start of the race, which begins March 7, has been moved from its traditional location in Willow to Fairbanks; this happened once before, in 2003.

As of Monday, February 8th, 2016 Anchorage, Alaska was experiencing the second lowest snowfall total on record for a winter season, the National Weather Service said, with only 19.4 inches of snow.  By comparison in Baltimore, Maryland snow totals reached 22-35 inches west, north, and northwest of the Beltway, 18-24 inches inside the Beltway, and 10-20 inches south and southeast of the Beltway as a result of the Snowzilla of January 22nd – 23rd 2016.








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Baltimore Baseball





The Baltimore Elite Giants were a professional baseball team that played in the Negro leagues from 1920 to 1950. The team and its fans pronounced the word “Elite” as “ee-light”.  This is the same way that the name of the local Elite Tavern (owned by my father, “Bill” Glass) was pronounced, despite the fact that the slogan printed on the tavern’s matchbooks – “Where the elite meet to eat” – suggests the usual pronunciation of “ee-leet”.


Lead-Off Bird (1954-62) THE FIRST ORIOLES


Baltimore had a gritty taste of baseball in the late 19th century with a team of hard-nosed Orioles who hit with their fists as often as they did with bats. The team read like a “Who’s Who” of 19th century stars, including Wee Willie Keeler, Wilbert Robinson, Hughie Jennings, John McGraw and Ned Hanlon. These Orioles joined the new American League as a charter franchise in 1901.


But behind the scenes, American League President Ban Johnson believed for his fledgling league to succeed he needed a team in New York City. With the help of two businessmen he maneuvered the Orioles out of Baltimore and into New York, where they eventually became the Yankees. The city of Baltimore would go another half-century without a major league team.



Meanwhile, about 800 miles to the west, the future Orioles were born when St. Louis joined the American League in 1902 with a team transplanted from Milwaukee (the original Milwaukee Brewers had been an American League charter franchise in 1901 but finished dead last). The team was christened the Browns in honor of the St. Louis Brown Stockings, an American Association team which had won four consecutive pennants in the 1880’s.


An executive with a flair for promotion named Bill Veeck bought the team in the early 1950’s, but his imagination could not hide reality – the team was in dire straits with minimal attendance and no money to attract or retain talent.


Veeck sold the team to a Baltimore conglomerate after the Browns played their final game on September 27, 1953, losing 2-1 to the Chicago White Sox.




The Baltimore Orioles picked up where the Browns left off, losing their inaugural game to Detroit, 3-0 on April 13, 1954. They would lose ninety-nine more games that season and finished 57½ games behind Cleveland (which set the American League record at the time of 111 wins).


Overall, since moving to Baltimore, the Orioles have had considerably more success than their St. Louis forefathers, winning eight division titles, six American League pennants and three world championships.






Featured Image: Oriole Park after 1944 fire, St. John’s Huntingdon Steeple – my family parish – in background

Logo of the Baltimore Elite Giants baseball team.

St. Louis Brown’s logo 1952 – 1953

The Baltimore Orioles “New” Cartoon Bird (2012 – present)


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Christmas in the Levant 2015

Christmas in  the Levant 2015

The Land of Jesus Birth

 Santa in PalestineSaint Nicholas receives an unexpected welcome in Palestine

 Christmas crucifixion by ISISIn Syria Bashar Al-Assad is stepping up crucifixions of Christians in preparation for the coming Holiday

 Isis Christmas Crucifixion2many  Syrian refugees are Christian.



 Pray for them

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Shrovetide is the Anglican word for what the rest of the world calls Carnival.  Shrovetide begins with Septuagesima Sunday (about 70 days before Easter) and ends with Shrove Tuesday which is called Fat Tuesday by people who call Shrovetide Carnival.  Anglicans as a group definitely do not keep Carnival.  It’s too gaudy.  The most fun Anglicans are allowed to have on Shrove Tuesday are pancake suppers.  Football (soccer) games, and pancake races are allowed, but are limited mostly to England, and the former have largely disappeared.

Shrove Tuesday4

Non-Anglican Carnival

Pancake Supper

Anglican Pancake Supper

Cwmbran Pancake Race 1964

Cwmbran Pancake Race 1964

It’s not difficult to figure out which group will be able to make  it to Church with a clear head for Ash Wednesday.

The Fight Between Carnival and Lent

In 1559 Pieter Bruegel the Elder completed his painting “The Fight Between Carnival and Lent.  It is so rich in detail you might prefer viewing it at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/Pieter_Bruegel_d._%C3%84._066.jpg .  I personally can look at it for hours.  I believe that I have found the 21st century counterpart to Bruegel’s painting in the image below:

Drag Queen & Street Preacher

Drag Queen & Street Preacher

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Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day

Love Birds

Love Birds

Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day,

All in the morning betime,

And I a maid at your window,

To be your Valentine.

Then up he rose, and donned his clothes,

And dupped the chamber door.

Let in the maid that out a maid

Never departed more.

Hamlet → Act 4, Scene 5, Page 3

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The Princes in the Tower

"The Princes in the Tower" by Alison Weir

“The Princes in the Tower” by Alison Weir

I’ve just finished reading Alison Weir’s; “The Princes in the Tower” which I received as a Christmas gift from my youngest niece.  The princes referred to are; of course, Edward V of England; and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York. The two brothers were the only sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville surviving at the time of their father’s death. Then 12 and 9 years old, they were lodged in the Tower of London by the man appointed to look after them, their uncle, the Lord Protector: Richard, Duke of Gloucester. This was supposed to be in preparation for Edward’s coronation as king. However in the statute of 1484, “Titulus Regius”, the English Parliament confirmed that the marriage of Edward IV of England to Elizabeth Woodville had been invalid, and consequently their children, including Edward, Richard Duke of York, and Elizabeth, were illegitimate and, therefore, debarred from the throne. Thus Richard III was proclaimed the rightful king.  The boys disappear from history.

There is no direct evidence that the princes were murdered, and no reliable, well-informed, independent or impartial sources for the associated events.  It is well to remember that the Tower was a very secure royal palace and not the dungeon prison we think of today.  It was traditional for a King of England to spend time there prior to his coronation, and the two boys were frequently seen playing in its garden.  So there is nothing necessarily sinister about the boys being kept in the tower.

There are three main candidates for the murder of the princes; if they were indeed murdered: (1) their uncle Richard III; (2) their uncle’s best friend Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham who turned traitor and thought to gain the throne for himself, but later supported Henry Tudor; and (3) the first Tudor King Henry VII for whom the princes were an obstacle to the throne who was; however, living in France.

Richard III Movie Poster

Richard III Movie Poster

I became interested in Richard III when I learned of the recent discovery of his body in Leicester, England.  I watched the Laurence Olivier portrayal of Richard in which he is wonderfully shown as being the incarnation of evil.  I then was loaned the book “Daughter of Time” which is a novel based on the subject of the princes and includes a fair amount of history.  The author, Josephine Tey, is a solid defender of Richard.  I then watched “The Trial of Richard III” on YouTube http://youtu.be/6-kQoKt2Kf4 , a 1984 BBC production of a modern trial of Richard , and introduced by His Royal Highness, Prince Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester.  The jury found him not guilty.  I also watched “Richard III The New Evidence” http://youtu.be/fDHDvnnK4nI, which I highly recommend for discovering a body double for Richard, fitting him with amour, and showing him quite able as a warrior, which Richard was. Then I read Paul Murray Kendall’s book “Richard the Third” which is most informative.  Kendall defends Richard. Alison Weir in “The Princes in the Tower” is convinced of his guilt.

"Richard the Third" by Paul Murray Kendall

“Richard the Third” by Paul Murray Kendall

The truth is we don’t know if the princes were murdered.  If they were murdered we have no way of knowing by whom.  My opinion is that they were murdered by Buckingham with the backing of Henry VII, but my opinion proves nothing.

I have enjoyed learning about Richard III.  I find him a very likable character that lived in terribly complex times.  I will undoubtedly continue to feed this new interest.  His re-interment at Leicester Cathedral will be on March 26, 2015.

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