Peru-Bolivia Beauty Contest Dispute Irks Diplomats, May go to International Court


Why Bother With the Costume?

Why Bother With the Costume?

I prefer Karen in the Swimsuit

I prefer Karen in the Swimsuit

The South American mountain countries of Bolivia and Peru have had numerous diplomatic disputes over the years.  According to the Wall Street Journal,  The level of animosity is such that diplomats have taken their pettiness to the dance floor.  Donald Trump’s Miss Universe contest is coming up and contestants are showing off their wares early.  Karen Schwarz doesn’ t have a name that one might associate with Peru, but she nonetheless is the contestant from that country.  She decided to show off an ornate dress and accessories with a multi-colored, horned headpiece.  It’s supposed to be a part of traditional dance associated with her country.  But, not so fast.  The Bolivian Foreign Minister has protested loudly, saying that the devil-looking costume and dance belongs to Bolivia!   A Peruvian Congressman said that the Bolivians were disoriented as he had traced the roots of the dress and dance to Peru in 1583.

The Bolivian president is chums with Venezualan President Hugo Chavez.  A story in the Chicago Tribune on the subject says that the Bolivian president  calls the Peruvian president “fatty” and says both he and former US president George W. Bush are the worst presidents in world history.  The Bolivian president accuses the Peruvians of theivery.  The Peruvian Congress has issued a strong denial.  And now Bolivia is threatening to take the dispute to an international court in The Hague.  For her part, Ms. Schwarz is calling for peace, saying that the two cultures are linked in brotherhood and that no one can claim the get up and dance as their own.  While Ms. Schwarz might be digging the publicity she’s getting, she may at some point wish that someone else would claim the outfit because the headpiece she has to lug around weighs over 35 pounds.    Believe it or not, but Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe competition has been silent.  I’m sure that won’t last.  But, isn’t it odd that his USA pageant got all sorts of publicity from the comments of Miss California and now this one has gained international attention from this?  You don’t suppose the Donald has a little PT Barnum in him, do you?

Don't Be Fooled! The Lady's A Spy!

Don't Be Fooled! The Lady's A Spy!

On This Date in History:   One of the most alluring hostesses in Washington DC during the late 1850’s and early 1860’s was Rose Greenhow.  I don’t think that one could really call her a madame, but at the height of her activity, she directed some 50 people, 48 of them women.  She lived a pretty short distance from the White House.  So close the Confederate General P.G.T Beauregard said she was within rifle range of the presidential mansion.  See, Rose wasn’t just a “hostess” but instead a spy for the Confederacy.  The First Battle of Bull Run was a disaster for the Union but might not have been so had it not been for Rose.  It might be interesting to find out how she obtained the information, but she had learned that the Union Army was to march on Richmond.  So, on July 9 1861, Rose  put a ciphered message in the tresses of one of her “couriers” who combed her hair for Rebel officers.  Out popped the message.  She did it a second time and provided the Union Army marching orders as well as the exact strength of the army.  Pretty specific stuff.  I betcha a young officer must have literally been caught with his pants down.    In fact, there were a bunch of officers and political officials who became pretty nervous on this date in 1861 when Rose Greenhow was arrested for espionage by ace-detective Allen Pinkerton.  But, even in jail she was still pretty good as she still managed to get secret information out the government of Jefferson Davis.  She must have gotten out of prison because, somehow, she tried to run a blockade off the North Carolina coast and died in the attempt in 1864 and with her died all of the secrets of who was saying what when and with whom.  Would have made a great tell all book.

Weather Bottom Line:  An early fall-like pattern has set up for a few days.  It will be dry with cool nights and afternoons somewhat warm but still below seasonal averages.  Probably low 80’s is all we will muster for at least the first few days of the week.

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