Maternal Affection by Hugues Merle

 Posted by on 12 May 2013 at 10:00 am  Art, Children, Painting, Parenting
May 122013

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hugues Merle (French painter) 1823 – 1881
Maternal Affection, 1867
oil on canvas
39 3/4 x 32 in. (100.9 x 81.2 cm.)
signed Hugues Merle and dated 1867 (upper right)
private collection

Catalogue Note

After studying with Léon Cogniet, Hugues Merle became a regular contributor to the Salon between 1847 and 1880, up until the last year of his life, receiving medals for his entries in 1861 and 1863. His themes of maternal love found a ready audience with newly affluent art patrons in America. In fact, by 1878-9, in his Art Treasures of America, Edward Strahan could cite as many as 52 works by Merle in American collections. His reputation was equally great at home in France, where he enjoyed the patronage of the Duc de Morny and also enjoyed the support of Adolphe Goupil, the most prestigious art dealer in Paris whose other leading artists included William Bouguereau and Jean-Léon Gèrôme.

Merle was most often associated with his friend and rival, Bouguereau, not only because they depicted similar subjects but also employed a high finish and naturalistic technique. Merle was just two years older than Bouguereau, and their thematic and artistic similarities begged comparison from critics and collectors alike.

Apr 182013

Chris Mortensen — the director of the excellent documentary Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged — is raising money for a new documentary on the disaster of government schooling today and what can be done to fix it.

Check out the project on KickStarter… and contribute sometime in the next 57 days if you want it to happen!

Here’s the teaser video from the KickStarter page… which looks awesome. (After watching the video, I contributed!)

I hope to have more on this new project later. But for now, I wanted to post a quick announcement.

Also, if you’ve not yet seen Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged, check out the documentary on NetFlix (streaming and DVD) and Amazon (streaming and DVD). Also, the book of full interviews is available in paperback and kindle.

As you might recall, I interviewed Chris about Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged back in February on Philosophy in Action Radio. It was a great interview — and such a delight for me! So if you’ve not yet heard it, you can listen to or download the podcast here:

For more details, check out the episode’s archive page.

Cavebaby Cora Eats Ribs

 Posted by on 6 April 2013 at 10:00 am  Children, Food
Apr 062013


Cora puts everything in her mouth… and she looks so delighted to discover something tasty. (I’m such a proud honorary auntie!)

Mar 012013

Forbes published my latest OpEd, “Freedom, Not Fertility, Is The Key To A Thriving Economy” (2/27/2013).

I respond to some conservatives fretting about America’s low birth rate, and discuss why it’s not the government’s job to promote any specific lifestyle (e.g., single vs married or childless vs. multiple-child marriage).

Metal Music x Kids Music = Awesome

 Posted by on 18 February 2013 at 2:00 pm  Children, Funny, Music
Feb 182013

I’m not a fan of metal music. I’m not a fan of kids music. But holy hell, bring on the metal music for kids!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 Posted by on 14 February 2013 at 2:00 pm  Children, Funny, Parenting
Feb 142013

Via 22 Words:

Stay classy, kiddo.

Child Beaten by Dollar Store Employee

 Posted by on 11 February 2013 at 10:00 am  Children, Crime, Parenting, Rights
Feb 112013

This news story is just flabbergasting:

A Dollar General employee arrested in Wrightsville [Georgia] last week for hitting a child with a belt has now been charged with two felonies, aggravated assault and cruelty to children. The charges were upgraded from simple battery because according to the police chief, store video shows the woman hitting the 8 year old at least 25 times.

… Wrightsville Police Chief Paul Sterling said [the child] Logan was running around in the store and got into a confrontation with [the employee] Bell, 39. Bell told investigators that Logan threw a cookie at her and that’s when she removed her belt, chased the boy down and spanked him behind the counter.

It’s bad enough for a parent to spank his own children, let alone to beat a child with a belt 25 times. (I discussed why on Philosophy in Action Radio in this June 2012 segment: Corporal Punishment of Kids.) It’s sheer insanity for a stranger to do that, and I’m glad that it’s being prosecuted as a serious crime.

The incident reminds me of an exchange that I had with an older check-out lady at Wal-Mart a few years ago. I was buying a really thick and heavy wooden spoon. (I needed it down in the barn to prepare food for the horses.) On scanning the item, the woman fondly remarked that she used to beat her children with such a spoon in order to “teach them respect.”

I was floored. My shock wasn’t so much due to the fact that she’d done that, as I certainly know that many parents still beat their children as punishment. I was shocked because she saw fit to gloat about it to a perfect stranger. She was completely unaware that anyone might be morally opposed to beating children, let alone doing so with a heavy wooden spoon that could only cause severe pain.

I replied that I didn’t think that parents needed to beat their children to teach them respect. I wish that I’d said more. Perhaps I should have even spoken to the manager. But at the time, all that I wanted to do was take my wooden spoon and leave!

Baby’s First Steps Versus Naughty Dog

 Posted by on 7 February 2013 at 2:00 pm  Animals, Children, Dogs, Funny
Feb 072013

This video is undoubtedly the best of “precious moment ruined by dog” videos ever.

When I got to the last bit, I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe… or tell Paul what the heck was so funny.

Trust Fall Fail

 Posted by on 21 January 2013 at 3:00 pm  Children, Funny
Jan 212013

I expected this trust fall fail to fail… but not that way!

Lesson: Children often need different instructions than our own assumptions dictate!

Forced Apologies

 Posted by on 20 December 2012 at 3:00 pm  Children, Ethics, Forgiveness, Honesty, Parenting
Dec 202012

I hate the practice of forcing children to apologize. The wrongdoing child is required to lie by apologizing when he’s not sorry. Plus, the wronged child is required to pretend to believe that usually-obvious lie.

Yet such dishonesty is not the only problem with forced apologies. Children forced to apologize don’t have the opportunity to work out their problems for themselves — and to learn the consequences of doing so well or poorly.

So, I have to admire little Liam, who stuck to his guns and refused to offer a false apology.

(Via 22 Words)

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha