The Waltering Hole, Monday, June18th, 2012: Bannerman Castle, Revisited

I don’t often read the local “Southern Dutchess Focus” of the Poughkeepsie Journal newspaper, but this past Saturday’s cover caught my eye. The color photo dominating the page was headlined: “Concerts, tours set on island”; in the photo, a couple of tables full of people are dining near a hedge in the forefront, with part of a castle ruin looming beyond the hedge. I immediately thought of Bannerman Castle, about which our own WaltTheMan had once written, and a quick glance at the caption under the photo confirmed that it was, indeed, Bannerman Castle.

Bannerman Castle on Bannerman Island (officially “Pollopel Island”)

The historic castle, built in 1901 by military supplies dealer Frank Bannerman, was severely damaged over the decades by explosion, fire, and, eventually, neglect. In 2011, fundraising and lobbying efforts were begun by the Bannerman Island Trust. According to a February, 2011 article in Private Island News (always part of my daily reading, how ’bout you?):

The castle on Bannerman Island – also known as Pollepel Island – is under the domain of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The primary public action group is the Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of the castle’s plight and stabilizing the structure itself – which has decayed more and more with every winter on the stormy Hudson. It will take a lot of work to bring the castle back to its former glory – but at this point, the Trust would be happy with just keeping its hollow remains standing…
Picturesque boat tours around the island are becoming popular, and the Trust offers “hard-hat” tours of the ruins with all proceeds going towards restoration.”

According to the Poughkeepsie Journal‘s article, this year the Bannerman Castle Trust’s goal is to collect at least $150,000 in donations:

“This summer will be an important one for the Bannerman Castle Trust. By Sept. 12, the group needs to raise $150,000 to secure a matching $150,000 grant from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund…To attract more visitors to Bannerman Island this summer, a new touring experience has been created allowing people to take a self-guided tour; afterward they can enjoy a boxed lunch from a local restaurant, and hear live music. The “boxed lunch” tours will be on the third Sunday of every month through October.”

WaltTheMan had made me aware of an historical landmark in my area of which I had been previously ignorant. I think that the least I can do to thank Walt would be to help the Bannerman Castle Trust reach its fundraising goal. By doing so, I’d feel that I was, in a very small way, making Walt proud.

This is our daily open thread — comment on anything you want!

144 thoughts on “The Waltering Hole, Monday, June18th, 2012: Bannerman Castle, Revisited

  1. Not meaning to hijack a post but, significant automotive history was achieved yesterday at the Le Man 24 hour race.

    The winning car was an Audi…
    Ummm so what you may say.

    It was won by a diesel.
    Ummm okay that’s an accomplishment.

    That’s only half of it.
    It was won by a diesel hybrid.

    Yep, that’s right yesterdays 24 hour Le Man was won by a diesel hybrid.
    This is no small feat.
    It is a major milestone automotive history and yet, there seems to little attention paid to this by the media.

    Yes, you read that correctly. The 24 hour Le Man was won by a diesel hybrid.

    • Back in 1981, we bought a new car, an Audi. Diesel. It was an absolute and total piece of shit car, stem to stern.

      Sounds like they may have improved it some. But I still wouldn’t touch one with a ten foot pole.

      • This was our experience as well. Great car to drive when it was running, but the only vehicle we ever owned that required us to travel with a complete kit of tools and a can of freeze spray.

    • A freind of mine is a Coptic Christian from Egypt. The cultural animosity – hatred – is palpable between christians and muslims there — I don’t see a good outcome here no matter how it ends — because I don’t think it will end.
      My friend is absolutely unreasonable in this matter and I suspect the opposition is as unreasonable. She wants Obama to do something! What?!

      • Like get together all the bored, yet warlike second and third sons of the corporatocracy, arm them to the teeth and stick ’em on the first boat to the Levant to reclaim the Holy Land from the Infidel Musselman?

        We tried that already – didn’t end well.

  2. I just thought of a new word: Vorp. It comes from the acronym for Vaginas Opposed to Conservative Pricks.

    All the anti-women laws republiscums have enacted are thus vorporal punishment to the female gender.

  3. UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, who is briefly quoted in TPM’s article about Justice Antonin Scalia’s reversal on the Constitution ahead of the ‘Obamacare’ ruling, explains in further detail why he believes the flip-flop is revealing.

    Specifically, Winkler argues, the only thing that has changed since Scalia’s 2005 embrace of the New Deal-era ruling that underlies the basis for the constitutionality of the individual mandate is the “political implications.”

    He writes in an email to TPM:

    This is typical Scalia. He respects precedents when they fit his conservative ideology and disregards them when they don’t. He claims that history should guide judges. But nothing about the history of the commerce clause has changed. What’s changed is the political implications of the commerce clause. When its being invoked for law and order conservatives, he favors Wickard. When invoked by liberals to support healthcare reform, he thinks Wickard is bad law. Once again, we see that Scalia’s originalism is a charade.

    No surprises here. Move along…

    • NPR had an article about the upcoming hearing on Citizens United and the growing dissatisfaction over the obvious hypocrisy of Roberts’ activist SCOTUS. Even Gramps McCain is ‘disappointed’. CU will be overturned by a ‘less conservative court someday’ – I doubt it, no one who has not sold out to the corporations will ever be elected again after 2012.

  4. “Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde (R) says he is sick and tired of reading sad stories about people struggling in the recession. Instead, he wants to see the media focus more on the debt and the larger problems afflicting the country.”

    Yep, people struggling in the recession is old news. Let’s all move on, shall we? Like focusing on whether the President was born in America or the fact that Michelle wants Americans to slim down by moving more and eating less crap.
    And Give me a break. Republicans NEVER talk about the debt or deficit when another Republican is in office.

  5. Fox is running this as their lead story today; how a private firm is bilking the government. But private is always better, right?

    (And where was Fox on all the Iraq war bilking by private firms?)

    Government spending millions on contract to assign numbers to contractors | Fox News

    The Dun & Bradstreet contract now is worth up to $154 million, for a three-year period with the option of five additional years. 

    Washington is currently trying to figure out how to bring costs back under control — namely by switching to a “government-owned numbering system.” 

    However, doing so could come with “prohibitively high” costs for switching over, GAO warned. The office suggested GSA continue to use the so-called DUNS system for the short-term while phasing in a government-owned system — and said GSA was considering it. 

    • Silly Wabbit. In Fox world, of course private is better except when it can embarrass the President and keep him from getting re-elected.. like this, or Solyndra….

  6. The mandate reveals flip-flopping by an entire political party.

    Why Republicans Oppose the Individual Health-Care Mandate : The New Yorker

    This shift—Democrats lining up behind the Republican-crafted mandate, and Republicans declaring it not just inappropriate policy but contrary to the wishes of the Founders—shocked Wyden. “I would characterize the Washington, D.C., relationship with the individual mandate as truly schizophrenic,” he said.

    • The article goes on to suggest that humans are prone to group-think (it was a survival skill from long ago):

      The students were shown two articles: one was a generic news story; the other described a proposed welfare policy. The first article was a decoy; it was the students’ reactions to the second that interested Cohen. He was actually testing whether party identifications influence voters when they evaluate new policies. To find out, he produced multiple versions of the welfare article. Some students read about a program that was extremely generous—more generous, in fact, than any welfare policy that has ever existed in the United States—while others were presented with a very stingy proposal. But there was a twist: some versions of the article about the generous proposal portrayed it as being endorsed by Republican Party leaders; and some versions of the article about the meagre program described it as having Democratic support. The results showed that, “for both liberal and conservative participants, the effect of reference group information overrode that of policy content. If their party endorsed it, liberals supported even a harsh welfare program, and conservatives supported even a lavish one.”

    • I just finished reading that… very interesting.

      “At the Washington Monthly, Steve Benen kept track of the placement that the Times and the Washington Post (where I work) gave to stories about court rulings on the health-care law. When judges ruled against the law, they got long front-page stories. When they ruled for it, they got shorter stories, inside the paper. Indeed, none of the cases upholding the law got front-page coverage, but every rejection of it did, and usually in both papers.”

  7. Almost none of the people in this part of deepest red America have heard of what the ACA could do for them:

    “It was hard to find visitors to the clinic who would not benefit directly from the law. Barbara Hickey, 54, is a diabetic who lost her insurance five years ago when her husband was injured at his job making fiberglass pipes. She gets discounted diabetic medication from a charity, but came to the clinic to ask a doctor about blood in her urine.

    Under the law, she would qualify for Medicaid. Her eyebrows shot up as the law was described to her. “If they put that law into effect, a lot of people won’t need disability,” she said. “A lot of people go onto disability because they can’t afford health insurance.”

    Tom Boughan, 58, came to the clinic for glasses and dental work, with a sci-fi novel to pass the time. He’s been without coverage since being laid off from his industrial painting job last year, which means he’s paying $400 every few months for blood work for a thyroid problem.”

    This piece was supposed to run on the front page of the Washington Post. They turned it down on the grounds that it was too supportive of Obamacare. This issue affects people’s lives in personal way imaginable. It becomes the difference between living with chronic illnesses, or being healthy. It can be the difference between a short life and a long one.

        • Heh. I don’t carry a big purse, so ipad won’t fit, problem is, sometimes I put my ipad down on a counter and have forgotten it temporarily, if I could sling it over my shoulder, that would be grand!
          Ooh, and if you could leave a slot for attachment of earphones through the bag…


          • Yep, I have just the thing. It will have room enough for an iPad, and a little extra for your phone, charger cord, or whatever. Are you still interested in Asian style fabrics? I have some lovely stuff.

            • Not crazy about many patterned fabrics, don’t know why. I do like the solid blue ipad cover with the floral print but never got around to ordering it…


            • I’m out of both of those fabrics, and can’t get more of the floral, but I can get something figured out. 🙂

              You like the medium blue? And don’t mind a floral lining? I’m open to ideas, since I have to purchase the fabric anyway. You could browse here for ideas:

              Each box is a different designer house, and clicking on it takes you to lots of options. Not all colors available are shown on this site, but it’s a good place to start.

    • I like the blue fabric on the tote with the swirly lines…. Not much for floral prints unless they are minimal, and a floral liner would be fine. The tote with the polka dots that you made from a sheet was nice and I like the purple batik tea purse. I guess the prints that l like are more free-form in general and l like blues and purples. Medium blues are better than pastels. I do like the blue camo too.
      On the website that you linked to, I like “plum leaf dance,” “plum checks,” Disney’s “fairy dust,” “multistars,” and “Sky grain”

      • Ohhh, I like your choices! The plum leaf dance and checks are gorgeous.

        I’ll be at the fabric store in a couple days, and can check on the batiks if you like. They’re best to see in person.

        Not sure I can still get the blue swirly fabric, but I’ll check.

        Give it some thought, you might settle on a couple of the fabrics you found, and we can re-visit this after I’ve been to the fabric store.

  8. QOTD:

    “If the individual mandate, requiring the purchase of insurance or the payment of a penalty, if that is unconstitutional, must the entire act fall? Or, may the mandate be chopped, like a head of broccoli, from the rest of the act?” – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg.

  9. This is a big F—ing deal! The Latina Oprah, Cristina Saralegui, puts her invaluable stamp of approval on the president.

    • If Reichwhiners were able to comprehend irony or hypocrisy they would burst into flames.

      BTW. The “librul” PBS Newshour is heavily funded by Koch dollars. I think that’s why they never say that Reichwhiners are demonstrably wrong much less identify them as liars. I finally had to stop watching after about 10,000 “we’ll have to leave it there” when some Reichwhiner has spent an entire segment lying through their teeth.

    • I saw a video today of Michelle Obama jumping rope Double Dutch. I imagined then that Ann Romney would claim she could do that with her dressage horse!

    • Well congrats to Eric Holder and the DoJ, I guess you’ll takje this success with you as you start to prosecute Dimon, Corzine, Paulson and the rest of the Masters of the Universe for destroying the economy?

      Not holding my breath

  10. Well, it appears Tweety is SO over Mitt Romney.

    Remember the days when he admired how handsome Mittens is, and how a 747 could land on those shoulders?

    Nope, Tweety’s done with all that now, “He’s not a candidate, he’s a speaker system.” 😆

    • Reminds me of that song: You gotta stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything. (about Mitt) Funnily enough, I was thinking that and that is just what Ed is saying now. Too funny!

    • Yeah, and over on Current, we got Joy Behar in for Spitzer, and John Fugelsang in for Jennifer. Fugelsang is going to have a spot on Current somewhere, he’s too funny to just do stints on Stephanie Miller. I wouldn’t mind if he did a Daily Show style thirty minute show on Friday and Saturday nights, when, of course, there’s no Daily Show.

  11. Things Black Presidents (and First Ladies) Aren’t Allowed to Do.

    Deliver State of the Union without being heckled
    Complete Rose Garden remarks without interruption
    Call for a joint session of Congress (the NERVE!)
    Take a vacation (LAZY!)
    Play golf (ELITIST!)
    Play basketball (GHETTO!)
    Attend Harvard (QUOTA!)
    Have a birthday party (must instead be called “hip hop barbecue”)
    Invite other black people to White House (THUGS!)
    Speak to school children
    Appoint judges
    Serve without providing long-form birth certificate to douchebag rich guy and racist Sheriff
    Serve without providing SAT scores (see #7)
    Lawfully use executive authority when Congress refuses to act
    Issue orders as Commander-in-Chief of the military
    Take a single scintilla of credit for killing the world’s biggest terrorist
    Run for re-election
    Raise funds for said run
    Go on late night TV
    Encourage healthy eating
    Have garden
    Do push-ups
    Display awesome arms
    Be larger than size 6
    And finally (for now), the big one…

    Use teleprompter

    • The White Wing is just so pissy because the President is actually very presidential. Doesn’t he know he is supposed to just shuck and jive?

      They hate the President because he is the most solid President of our generation. He isn’t always right but he gives them no openings. They hate him because he plays them so well.

      • And near as I can tell, they hate the first lady for being black. It can’t be the issues she takes up, every first lady has a signature issue she promotes with some degree of passion. Whether or not we become ardent supporters, we tend to support the rather tame agendas they promote, literacy, freedom from drug addiction, an end to child abuse, that sort of thing, until Mrs. Obama had the unmitigated gall to suggest that we feed our children better. Obviously, this is a plot by a black muslim communist to force every redblooded american family to shop at farmers’ markets and partake of Kenyan vegetables.

  12. Glenn Beck’s Web TV Network To Rebrand As TheBlaze

    One year after officially announcing his new web-TV venture GBTV, former Fox News host Glenn Beck is changing it up. Beck’s company, Mercury Radio Arts, will merge GBTV with, its news and opinion website, and, its eCommerce site, into one multimedia company, to be called TheBlaze.

    When your brand name ain’t sellin’, it’s time to change the wrapper, because changing the product is not an option here.

  13. “It’s fitting that I begin my substitute tenure here on Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday, because I feel like Ringo Starr, I’m just glad to be here.” John Fugelsang on The War Room.

    A clip of Romney’s non answer to Schieffer about immigration policy is followed by Fugelsang: “That was Mitt Romney showing , once again, his fearless fear of taking a stand, that helps make him all things, to no people.”

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