April 30, 2015


Susan Herman, President of the ACLU...asleep at the wheel???

In my previous post, I responded to a comment from our dear friend Jody who, quite understandably being from New Zealand via London, wondered why some American women recoil from the term "Feminist" since Feminism is about "women's rights and equality" with my counterpoint that a number of Feminists too often use the Orwellian Animal Farm angle that "some women are more equal than others".  I told Jody that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is a far better example of an organization that consistently stands for it's principles regardless of the people involved by citing their famous case of fighting for an American Nazi group's right to march through the Chicago suburb of Skokie, home to a large Jewish population and quite a few Holocaust survivors. By fighting for people they personally despised, they demonstrated how committed to the principles of Civil Liberties they actually are.

Jane Addams: Legendary Chicagoan, ACLU Co-Founder, America's First Female Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Women's Suffragist whose Feminism went a bit beyond earnest cocktail party chatter. This Jane's Addiction was for the welfare of children, public health, and world peace.

During the Bush Administration, the ACLU was quite predictably fiercely opposed to Guantanamo Bay, enhanced interrogation (waterboarding), the treatment of detainees of Abu Graib, just to name a few.  They have always been a stalwart for keeping our government's feet close to the fire regarding basic rights. Seconds after pecking out my response to Jody on my phone, I realized that the ACLU has recently gone soft on their own principles and are due a trip to The Den's woodshed.  The ACLU response to The Obama Administration practice of executing Americans without due process of law has been quite muted and almost all those people who were apoplectic at the Bush Administration over waterboarding, Abu Graib, Guantanamo Bay, etc. are nowhere to be found. While the Obama White House has freely acknowledged executing 2 Americans via Drone strike and citing rather dubious legal authority they also admitted over the weekend to killing 2 more Americans back in January while also killing 2 hostages: an American and an Italian. The Obama White House says the 2 American ISIS members killed this time were not specifically targeted like the previous Americans they executed without due process.

Jane Addams' Hull House on Chicago's Near West Side.

So tell me Ms Susan Herman, ACLU, and all those people who were foaming at the mouth angry over waterboarding, Guantanamo, and Abu Graib, etc: are you to remain true to your principles and vigilantly fight for the rights of ALL Americans or people, regardless of ideology and hold the US Government to the highest standards regarding Civil Liberties or are we going to just keep basically sitting this one out and issue a terse memo here and there?

US President Barack Obama accepting Nobel Peace Prize. Among Nobel Peace Laureates, President Obama holds a commanding lead in the category of: most countries bombed with seven. Jane Addams and the other 102 Peace Laureates
 are deadlocked in second place with zero.  According to recent news reports, Obama has boasted to aides of being
really good at killing people.
pic from The Wall Street Journal

What would Jane say?

April 26, 2015

Dear Bruce....

Bruce Jenner's name has been in the news of late...

Dear Bruce,

I missed your interview with Diane Sawyer the other night but just want you to know I also agree that what you did was brave: declare yourself a Lady in Waiting (for the operating table) who is a REPUBLICAN!!!! My goodness, you have a long, lonely road ahead should you decide to ever venture into politics or journalism.  You don't even have to be a Republican or Right Leaning to lose favor with your new sisters; merely not being in perpetual lockstep with the Liberal/Progressive Agenda is enough to have Women's Groups abandon you.  Early this morning, a parcel was left on my doorstep wrapped in brown paper addressed to me with URGENT scrolled across the front. I opened the package and inside was a newish book titled The Protocols of the Elders of Feminism. Now GSL is far too clever and crafty to be taken in like some all day sucker the way Dan Rather or Rolling Stone were. We'll thoroughly vet the document for authenticity and triple check all sources before standing behind it on publication but it did have a few tantalizing bits that warrant further investigation that I think you should be aware of.
Tough cookie Jill Abramson was fired for being what any man is expected to be: tough, demanding, and occasionally ruffling feathers.  Feminist's were noticeably silent apparently due to her recent interviews condemning the Obama
Administration for 7 criminal investigations of journalists.

Some of the explosive revelations contained in the Protocols we are investigating:

~The NOW (National Organization for Women) goes by NOWWL (National Organization for Women We Like) for internal correspondence. A few memos contained a directive to not make so much as a whimper as one of their former champions Jill Abramson Editor of the NY Times was fired because of this. Sharyl Atkisson was similarly abandoned when essentially forced out at CBS News for hard hitting pieces on the Obama Administration. CBS News President David Rhodes is a brother of Obama Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes. She had a 21 year career at CBS and did several hard hitting pieces on the Bush Administration when Feminists sang her praises.
21 Year CBS News Veteran who had written hard-hitting pieces on the Bush Administration fell out of favor for her accurate and thoroughly researched reporting regarding Fast and Furious and Benghazi and raised hell when a damaging
segment of a 60 Minutes Obama Interview was edited out during the heat of the Presidential Campaign.
CBS News President David Rhodes' brother is Ben Rhodes, Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor

~The Protocols emphasizes how much The Elders hate language they view as sexist however it's permissible and even encouraged to take down women whose political leanings are not in sync with The Elders or just happen to get in their way. The Protocols imply there was much mirth made of the Sarah Palin "slutty flight attendant look" quip by David Letterman and similar treatment elsewhere.  Several Elders joined hands and sang "Ding dong the witch is dead" when Margaret Thatcher's death was announced. Those same women are warning journalists not to use these offensive words to describe Hillary Clinton...which are remarkably similar to the words Maureen Dowd reports Hillary Clinton told White House staffers and friends to use when describing Monica Lewinsky to the press.
The Iron Lady would have been livid if she heard supporters were circulating a list of words not to use to describe her.

~The Elders are sponsoring symposiums featuring linguistic yoga instructors to train aspiring Feminists on college campuses to simultaneously cry foul over a perceived double-standard while also insisting on one when convenient.

While The Protocols may not be an authentic document, it does pose some interesting perspectives.

Bruce, best of luck with this new chapter in your life. The Den is pulling for you.



Back to Bruce. His situation does have a Chicago precedent and I have a connection. About 15 years ago, my Estella often frequented a very posh East Coast Spa and she became good friends with a man she knew only as 'Jim' who cross-dressed as a woman and they'd often go shopping or lunch with him in drag. She found the whole situation fascinating as did I and she of course respected his privacy even though he never insisted on any. Over time he spoke freely of his life in Chicago and a staffer told her one day he was a billionaire. Once I heard this, that narrowed the possibilities considerably. Even more unusual was the fact that this cross-dresser was a big military buff which immediately helped me solve the riddle although I never told a soul to respect his privacy and didn't want to betray Estella although she was under no oath of silence.  Then one day in August 2013, the most bizarre press statement I have ever seen was released..

Multi-Billionaire  (family worth approx. $30 Billion) Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) James Pritzker Founder of Pritzker Military Museum in Chicago.

About 15+ years ago my Estella would go shopping and have lunch with a charming and worldly cross dressing man from Chicago named Jim.
She enjoyed his company and found him delightful in every way.
His actual name was Jim Pritzker who now goes by Jennifer Pritzker,

April 25, 2015

ANZAC Day at The Red Lion Pub

Today, Saturday, April 25th 2015, is the 100th Anniversary of Australian and New Zealand soldiers landing at Gallipoli to help British Forces try to take Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) from the Ottoman Turks who fought on the German side of what eventually became known as World War I...often referred to as The Great War. The Aussies and Kiwis fought heroically as you'd probably guess and what soon became known as the ANZAC Legend was born. Every April 25th the hardships and sacrifices made by the Aussie/NZ men and women in uniform from the Great War and the other armed conflicts that followed are honored and remembered. The Den wants to honor them too.

Flags of New Zealand (red stars) and Australia (white stars)

The Den's favorite watering hole and where we got our name is The Red Lion Pub (RLP) in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Click on the link in the sidebar for a more detailed backstory.  It was founded by a member of the Royal Air Force (WWII) prominently featured in the classic Steve McQueen movie The Great Escape. His son, Colin Cordwell, is the proprietor. The RLP has numerous military artifacts and books on history among the several thousand packing the spruce bookshelves. The front room is known as The Great War Room to honor Colin's grandfather who was wounded (bayoneted) at Gallipoli as a member of the British Army.

Recruiting poster to join Australian Imperial Force.

Royal Australian Air Force recruiting poster.

The Den is donating a book to be on permanent display in the Red Lion's Great War Room and we have started an Honor Roll to remember some of those great ANZAC soldiers who served with such high distinction amid horrors we couldn't begin to comprehend.  We read this past week about the exploits and sad fates of several of Faux Fuchsia's ancestors whose war records she only recently discovered. We were moved by the sacrifices they made and how she still felt such a strong connection and heartache over their hardships. Faux Fuchsia's Great Uncles will be the first to have names inscribed and pictures enclosed in the book below.

Book published by the Australian War Memorial
The Aussies fought in Egypt
Private Herbert Mabin from Townsville, Queensland
41st Battalion AIF
Died from wounds suffered on Western Front in Belgium on December 10, 1917


Leading Airman Cedric Neville Jones
RAAF 1941-1943
Died during a training mission in Queensland in 1943

Leonard George Michael McGuire from Toowoomba, Queensland
42nd Battalion AIF
Fought on Western Front 1916-1917
Wounded at Battle of Broomseinde on October 4, 1917.
Leg amputated on October 24, 1917 in Davenport, England.
Family reports he kept flask of whisky in wooden leg.
George Morrison Mabin from Townsville, Queensland
4th Pioneers AIF
Western Front 1917-1919

Pics to enclose in book.
Pics are identified with details of their service.
They are inscribed in the ANZAC book. We'll encourage Red Lion visitors from Down Under
to add the names of other brave ANZAC men and women.

The Red Lion has it's own Great War Honor Roll well represented with the following pics adorning the walls of The Great War Room:

On the left is RLP proprietor Colin Cordwell's grandfather Private Robert Thomas Cordwell and his brother
 Private James Cordwell
They were both in the 10th London Regiment out of Hackney
Colin's grandfather Private Robert Cordwell was wounded at Gallipoli receiving 3 gunshot wounds
and was bayoneted and was later wounded again in Mesopotamia. Private Cordwell's assessment
 of the enemy Ottoman Turks was "Johnny Turk was a good soldier"

Private James Cordwell (Colin's Uncle)

The 10th London Regiment. Far right is Private Robert Cordwell.

When I walked in, Colin informed me we had 4 friendly blokes in from Sydney having just come from Anzac Day festivities jointly hosted by the Australian Consulate with guests from the New Zealand and Turkish Consulates also attending along with the general public.

GSL's new drinking buddies from Sydney stopped in for ANZAC Day cocktails.
The older fellow 2nd from left was awarded the Military Cross (MC)
 for his exploits in Viet Nam.
My buddy Dutch, Colin, and I raised several glasses in honor of those brave soldiers from Australia and New Zealand that were wounded or fell in battle.

April 15, 2015

Just Dandy

Lord Ribblesdale by Sargent. Originally known as The Ancestor, a nickname
Edward VII gave his friend for being what he considered the archetype of
the English Aristocrat. 

While GSL's appreciation and interest in women's fashion is known far and wide, we thought a statement regarding men's attire was in order to give young men guidance. Unlike other male species in the animal kingdom, male homo-sapiens are the less physically attractive gender with nature not endowing bright plumage to attract a mate so they must use money...or guile.

Beau Brummell who set the standard during Regency England.
I recommend the movie Beau Brummell: This Charming Man starring a then
little known James Purefoy as the English Icon with The Smith's great
song ringing in during closing credits.
A man's strategy in personal dress should be to subtly reinforce his true general nature but far too often it is an aspirational image beyond his reach he tries to project. Shakespeare's infinite wisdom applies here: To thine own self be true. You can always tell a man dressed beyond his station as his schoolboy on Prom night air of insecurity gives him away.
James Purefoy as Beau Brummell

If you haven't yet had the good fortune of visiting the fabulous blog Chronica Domus do make a point of putting her in your rotation. Her father was a Savile Row tailor extraordinaire now retired who did a celebrated stint in the Tommy Nutter atelier. My sources reveal him to be a 1st ballot Hall-of-Famer in the annals of High Haberdashery. Tommy Nutter was a Welsh dandy whose shop virtually single-handedly brought English tailoring back from the dead during the 1960s. The charming hostess of Chromica Domus did a fabulous 3-part series honoring her father on his birthday and recent retirement and can be found here.  It's beautifully written and a fine example of a post that is personal yet educates and enchants.

My Auntie J with her father (my grandfather), JRL, or 'Pete' as everyone (including his own kids and grandkids) always referred to him.
This actually was what any businessman wore everyday and such a contrast to today's shabby sartorial standards.

Up my patrilineal line, my grandfather JRL ('Pete') was known as a snazzy dresser always hatted, suited, and waistcoated...of yuletide tartan during the season, and often in spats. He cut a fine figure. My father and uncles were outfitted from Ed Mitchell's (now known simply as Mitchell's) and were among the very first customers when that now legendary retailer began operations during the mid 1950s.
Adam Ant knew how to make it work

Growing up, once I graduated beyond kneepants, I dressed much the same way my father and uncles did. Kackis, polo shirts, madras shorts, OCBDs in white and lightblue, navy blazer, etc. Nothing interesting or imaginative and haven't veered far from that look since. It's mostly LL Bean for casual/activewear and Brooks Brothers for anything more dressy... which has become increasingly seldom. Back in 2006, I hastily threw my entire wardrobe in trash bags and then in storage for 4 1/2 years and all my woolies were ravaged by moths. I'm rebuilding the wardrobe bit by bit. Being only 5 foot 6 in height, I'll never cut the dashing figure that would provide the necessary return on investment of spending significant money on tailor made suits. However, one day I do want to acquire a wardrobe of exquisite tailoring such as CD's father created because I want that art form to endure. I'll go for subtle patterns of the basics that only upon a 2nd glance draw attention to the cut and quality.
Gary Oldman for Prada. This is how you enter a room. Knowing you're one of the
greatest living artists does wonders for a man's self-possession.

While my own dress is understated, I am a big fan of dandies who really know how to artfully put themselves together. They add an interesting dynamic to any room they enter. But it's all about how you carry it. A high self-regard is a given but Ribblesdalian Hauteur can grant you immortality.

Gary Oldman as Gary Oldman for Prada.

April 06, 2015

Madame President and The 4th Estate

Secretary Clinton as she recently entered the United Nations in front of a tapestry copy of  Picasso's Guernica. Mrs. Clinton was appearing at a press conference explaining why she kept all her email correspondence on a private server contrary to very specific White House, National Archive, and her own Dept of State guidelines during her tenure as Secretary of State. The revelations that she has since deleted 30,000 emails, wiped the server clean, and had her top staff also use the private server has raised many questions with the Associated Press suing for access and Congressional hearings being planned. Her carefully parsed  and evolving explanations remind many of  the term Clintonian Denial.

The 2016 US Presidential Campaign is starting to ramp up and everybody in the world knows Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party with nobody even close to mounting a serious challenge...but I suspect this will change.  Over the weekend, she secured the pivotal Robert DeNiro endorsement which all but assures she'd be able to hold off any rival in the always hotly contested Tribeca precinct. This is supposed to be the year a woman finally becomes President and at this moment I may even cast my ballot for a woman as Leader of the Free World. While former Secretary Clinton has a great resume, don't expect her to coast to an easy nomination. I read the New York Times everyday and know something of their inner workings; albeit from a distance and The Grey Lady (as the NYT is often referred) is not going to be hosting a coronation as they did for Candidate Obama.  The NYT has already run some very unflattering articles on the Clinton Global Initiative and Maureen Dowd is apparently not a fan.  

HRC's ardent supporters have sent out a list of 13 words they say the press must not use to describe HRC warning they will be "watching, reading, listening, and protesting coded sexism." These vile words include: secretive, disingenuous, insincere, inevitable, polarizing, ambitious... Thus far the list of forbidden words doesn't include 'monsteras uttered by then Candidate Obama's Foreign Policy Adviser, and current UN Ambassador, Samantha Power describing HRC during the Presidential primary back in 2008. Maureen Dowd has wondered in several columns how the HRC camp can play the sexism card when HRC herself once instructed White House staff and confidantes to describe Monica Lewinsky to the press with words such as stalker and mentally unstable,

Katty Kay of the BBC thinks Bill Clinton got a pass on other sexual harassment and assault allegations that were credible and should have been investigated further and thinks they should still be fair game now. Let's not forget President Clinton's potentially problematic association with the very same Jeffrey Epstein that has Prince Andrew in at least a very embarrassing if not legally troublesome situation. Todd Purdum, who is married to Bill Clinton's former Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, wrote a very unflattering piece in Vanity Fair awhile back anticipating all this Jeffery Epstein type fallout and the shady cast of characters he ran around and did deals with that are enmeshed with the Clinton Global Initiative, do side business deals with Clinton and/or Foundation staffers, and all sorts of  potentially embarrassing questions or fallout even if of no legal impropriety. The Democrats are already asking themselves if they want the circus the Clintons and their enemies always seem to summon and whether they want to put themselves or the country through it again. Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director, has wondered aloud if Clinton fatigue has already set in -at least with the press.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat from California, is highly respected by Democrats and
Republicans alike.
One of GSL's fav Democrats, she could be a fine President although many may think her
 too old as she'd be 83 when taking office.

My instincts tell me the Democrats would love to dump HRC if they could field a viable candidate and the impressive Elizabeth Warren is being heavily recruited but thus far has been sincerely adamant that she doesn't want to run. I think Senator Dianne Feinstein would make a far better President than HRC but unfortunately she'd be 83 when taking office so many may think her too old to endure the rigors of the campaign. I'd like to see her run.

Former Senator from Virginia: Democrat Jim Webb.

As a Libertarian who leans Republican, I agree with George Will in thinking that our country isn't best served by having both Houses of Congress and the President from the same political party and currently the Republicans control both the House of Representatives and the Senate. My 'Dream Ticket' would be having Democrat Jim Webb (former Senator from Virginia, Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, and a genuine War Hero who doesn't overplay that card) and Republican Carly Fiorina, a former CEO of Hewlett Packard, as his VP and run as Independents. A President Webb could effectively impose greater fiscal responsibility and trim the Defense budget with the necessary credentials to tamp down Republican and Military Brass opposition. I'd like to see Carly Fiorina succeed a President Webb and have a highly respected Democrat as her running mate.

Carly Fiorina would make a great future President. She is a former CEO of Hewlett-Packard whose tenure had it's ups and downs. Our best leaders are always the ones that endure failure, show the fortitude to persevere, the intelligence to learn and adapt, and then flourish with great examples being George Washington and Steve Jobs

April 03, 2015

Tonight I'm Yours...

I think everybody has one special song that immediately takes you back to a time and place with an early crush.  The song retains it's power if you don't hear it very often and the person you associate it with retains a favorable place in your heart. For me, it has always been Tonight I'm Yours and I vividly remember from my high school junior year in 1981 of riding with Estella (a horrible driver btw to this very day) to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1981 for reasons I can't recall although it's likely we were visiting older former classmates enrolled in University there. That song came on and she immediately reached down and turned up the volume and started shaking her head in tune... my crush suddenly became much crsuhier...

What's your song?