Sunday Show Round Up

White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer said that the Obama administration hopes economic pressures will force the Russians to vacate Ukraine posthaste.

“The Russian economy, the Russian stock market, and the ruble are at 5-year lows. Russia is isolated in the world, you saw that at the UN Security Counsel yesterday, and the more they escalate, the longer this goes, the greater those costs will be,” Pfeiffer said.

A Dissident’s Journey

It is perhaps only appropriate that a copy of Roger Scruton’s new novel, Notes from Underground, found this reviewer after an anonymous writer sent an “unofficial” advance copy on a complex trip across an ocean, to the family of a mutual friend. From there it came to Brno, Czech Republic in a suitcase traveling from Germany—a rather samizdat voyage.

Scruton’s sixth novel tells the tale of Honza Reichl, a young, dissident-ish Czech living in Prague trying to make sense of a world in turmoil. “Love at first sight sometimes occurs in the world of normal people; in the underground, love exists in no other form,” Honza says. Sure enough, love at first sight comes in the form of Betka, an urbane, and slightly older, woman.

Churchill and the Afghans

On the second of July, 1897, the Duchess of Devonshire threw a fancy dress ball at her Piccadilly house in honor of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The costumed elite in attendance would control Britain—and, indeed, much of the globe—for just a few decades longer. Among them was Jennie Churchill, dressed as a Byzantine courtesan-turned-empress, still attractive in her early forties and a recent widow. Her late husband, Lord Randolph Churchill, had briefly been Chancellor of the Exchequer before falling victim first to political machinations and, shortly thereafter, to syphilis. Jennie was widely rumored to be rotating through a repertory company of lovers numbering in the low three-figures: impressive even by our own standards.