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GrandCruDeBordeaux2016aGrandCrusDeBordeaux2016Just hours after a record setting blizzard pummeled the East coast of the U.S., some of the world’s leading, and most intrepid, wine producers made their way to Mid-town Manhattan, from Bordeaux, via Montreal to present their 2013 wines.

In Bordeaux, 2013 was a challenging year for reds, better for whites. Many of the producers in the room made excellent wines in a difficult year. We especially liked the Chateau Beychevelle, Rouge; Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Blanc; Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne, Sauternes.

NewYear2016

TELTEL2“Arabs could be swung on an idea as on a cord; for the unpledged allegiance of their minds made them obedient servants. None of them would escape the bond till success had come, and with it responsibility and duty and engagements. Then the idea was gone and the work ended in ruins.” T.E. Lawrence, Revolt in the Desert (Doran, 1927)

A trove of T.E. Lawrence materials will be part of the Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts sale at Christie’s NY, 12/8.

KoreanProtestSouth Korean protesters, for and against the Park Chung-hee government, squared-off Friday evening outside the Korean Consul General’s office in NYC.

RBSS2The CPJ 2015 International Press Freedom Awards included Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) a collective of citizen journalists reporting on IS and Syrian government activities in Raqqa, the Islamic State capital in Syria.

On the day that saw a Russian aircraft shot down over Syria, for a minor Turkish airspace violation, President Obama said “every country has a right to defend its territory and airspace” — which leads one to wonder why Syria should be denied the same right, with only two countries supporting her (Russia & Iran), according to Obama. The humanitarian crisis in Syria was created by plunderers posing as moderates, humanitarian interventionists and even journalists.

In his remarks, one of the RBSS members said “the evil which began in Syria will not stop there.” Actually the evil that is slaughtering Syria today began in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US (via Turkey)—and contrary to RBSS dreams won’t be producing “a free, democratic and united country.” One-half of Syria is already dominated by Islamic State.

It should be remembered that the Syrian uprising was fueled, in early 2011, by “Gay Girl in Damascus” — the deceit of a male American grad-student. Healthy change can’t be built on lies.

NYU-France2015Washington Square Park in NYC — November 14, 2015

The problem for the French and American people is their leaders, on the left and right, who support malevolent interventions (“Assad must go”) — that predictably produce spoils for some and humanitarian disaster for all.

DaughtersOfMotherIndiaDaughtersOfModernIndia3Asia Society and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women presented a discussion, 11/10, on women’s empowerment followed by a documentary on violence against women and girls in India.

Filmaker Vibha Bakshi was on hand, along with Rachel Vogelstein, senior fellow and director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, DC; Noa Meyer, global head of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program; and Leigh Gallagher, Assistant Managing Editor at Fortune magazine.

Ms. Bakshi’s film was made in the aftermath of the rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi in December 2012, and the nationwide demonstrations that followed. She hopes to raise consciousness about gender violence, and affect change, especially among law enforcement in India.

At the heart of the matter is the collision of pre-modern and post-modern Indian culture — lacking a shared view (old or new) for how to be healthy persons in society. American feminist interventions will likely make the situation worse, because their mindsets and programs tend to divide women from men.

The men are not the only ones committing violence against women and girls in India. Ms. Bakshi said Indian mothers typically abort their pregnancies when they learn that the fetus is a girl.

MaybellineNYCIn recent years feminists, like Hillary Clinton, have advocated for empowering women (with preferential treatment—scholarships, loans, etc.) for the sake of lifting/bettering society.

However, when said women are not rooted in truth and goodness the opposite happens, as we see today in American society and foreign policy. It was the U.S. State Department, under Secretary of State Clinton in 2011 (with help from Susan Rice and Samantha Power) that incited the uprising and criminal rebel action against the Assad government—leading to the hell that exists there today.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

SakeSaltTsukinoiSakeTsukinoiHandCreamThe recent Japanese Food and Beverage Expo in NYC featured plenty of excellent Sakes, but also products made with Sake, including salt and hand cream.

Tsukinoi hand cream is a new hand treatment — in the same league as Estee Lauder’s La Mer, perhaps even better.

Poland-PresidentDuda1The new president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, arriving at the Polish Consulate in NYC on Tuesday.

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