Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Traditions of Silver

From Southern Lady:
The year was 1975, and Atlanta mom Beverly Bremer was in need of a way to provide for her three children. Looking to sell her set of Reed & Barton Francis I silver, she headed to a local pawnshop, where they didn’t recognize the pattern and said they would pay for the metal’s melted-down value. “That’s crazy,” Beverly told them. “That’s a very popular pattern. I know people who would love it.” The shop owners suggested she go find those people instead, and that’s exactly what she did. Her venture evolved into Beverly Bremer Silver Shop, an internationally acclaimed boutique that has made a name for itself as the place to find all things sterling. The shop touts an abundance of discontinued classics as well as a steady stream of rare acquisitions. “If you’ve inherited something, chances are we have more of it,” says Mimi Bremer Woodruff, Beverly’s daughter, who now runs the shop. (Read more.)
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Dangerous London

I guess after reading Dickens and British crime novels and watching Prime Suspect, I have seen London as being at least as dangerous as any other big city. It turns out that it now surpasses New York City in danger. From the October 2017 edition of The Telegraph:
London is now more crime ridden and dangerous than New York City, with rape, robbery and violent offences far higher on this side of the Atlantic.The latest statistics, published earlier this week, revealed that crime across the UK was up by 13 per cent, with a surge in violence in the capital blamed for much of the increase. Seizing on the figures, US President, Donald Trump, claimed the rise could be linked to the “spread of radical Islam”, adding that it demonstrated the need to “keep America safe”.

[...]

Criminal justice experts insisted rising crime in the UK, and particularly London, was more to do with the way the city was policed and blamed the reduction in neighbourhood patrols across the capital. While both London and New York have populations of around 8 million, figures suggest you are almost six times more likely to be burgled in the British capital than in the US city, and one and a half times more likely to fall victim to a robbery. London has almost three times the number of reported rapes and while the murder rate in New York remains higher, the gap is narrowing dramatically.

The change in fortunes of the two global cities has been put down largely to the difference in tactics adopted by the two police forces. Both Scotland Yard and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) have just over 30,000 officers each and budgets of around £3 billion a year. But in the mid-1990s spiralling crime rates in New York - sparked by the crack cocaine epidemic - resulted in radical a new approach being adopted by the city's police department. Under the leadership of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and police commissioner, Bill Bratton, the NYPD introduced a zero tolerance approach to low level crime and flooded problem areas with patrols. The force also put a huge amount of emphasis on community policing in order to build bridges between the police and members of the public. As a result the murder plummeted from a high in 1990 of over 2,000 to a record low of 335 last year. That figure is expected to fall even lower this year, and is currently in line to dip below 240.

But the last decade has seen the Metropolitan Police move away from the neighbourhood policing model and low level in favour of pursuing more serious offences. Last week it emerged that Scotland Yard would not even bother investigating a large number of low level offences as part of a major cost cutting drive. In addition a huge amount of police resources have been poured into high profile and politically sensitive cases, such as a the flawed VIP child abuse inquiry and the phone hacking inquiry. At the same time crime rates in London have been creeping up and the latest statistics are likely to increase pressure of Met bosses to reassess their policing priorities. Last year there were almost 70,000 burglaries in Greater London with more than 43,000 taking place in people's homes. Robberies have also increased in London dramatically, largely as a result of people having mobile phones stolen. (Read more.)
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Children Banned from Churches

The Catholic Herald:
Since China’s new regulations for religious affairs took effect on February 1, minors have been banned from entering places of worship in several regions. A priest in Hebei province who asked to remain anonymous told ucanews.com that authorities had asked clergymen in some parts of the province to post signs prohibiting minors from entering religious venues, prayer houses and other church premises. “They also threaten churches that they cannot be used if they refuse to post the signs,” he said.

A blogger wrote that “religious venues are the third premises, following clubs and internet bars, where minors are prohibited from entering by authorities.” Peter, a Catholic in central China, said he had seen such signs posted in churches in Xinjiang. He told ucanews.com there are no legal grounds for officials prohibiting minors from entering religious venues, and he accused officials of violating China’s constitution. “When minors enter internet bars, the government and police turn a blind eye. However, they are becoming very strict in prohibiting minors from entering religious venues. It is ridiculous,” he said. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ennis Franciscan Friary

From Monastic Ireland: 
Ennis Franciscan friary was built on an island at a point where the river Fergus divides. This island is now incorporated into the streetscape of the modern town but remnants of the medieval settlement are evident. Apart from the friary, traces of the O’Brien medieval residence and late medieval houses are scattered throughout the town and it is clear that the friary was deliberately located at a crossing over the river into the settlement. It also benefited from river fisheries. The original O’Brien founder of the friary is unknown – it may have been Donnchadh O’Brien, king of Thomond (d. 1242) but no records survive. The friary appears to have been endowed and re-constructed in the late thirteenth century by a later king, Toirdhealbhach O’Brien (d. 1306) and it was used as the burial place of the O’Briens and the MacNamaras (Mac Conmara), the other powerful lords of the region. Much of Ennis friary survives intact including its very fine stone carvings, now exhibited in the recently refurbished nave of the church.

Ennis friary was one of a series of Franciscan friaries that benefitted from O’Brien patronage between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. The fourteenth-century heroic tale Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh ‘The Triumphs of Toirdhealbhach’ tells how Toirdhealbhach Ó Briain, king of Thomond supplied the friary with sweet bells, holy crucifixes, a good library, embroidery, glass windows of blue glass, veils and cowls. Under O’Brien patronage the friary flourished as a school for novices (studium) and also as a foundation that attracted accomplished sculptors. In 1375 two friars from Ennis were sent to study in the Franciscan studium in Strasbourg and an Irish lector in theology was appointed in 1441. The late fifteenth century was a particularly active period of building at Ennis. A bell tower was inserted and the south transept was added to the church. (Read more.)

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Helping Boys Become Men

From Life Site:
I think, for example, that everyone would agree that there is a generation of young men in our society who are disillusioned, angry, and frustrated. Suicide, for example, is pandemic among young white men. Many of them are unemployed, most of them are hooked on pornography, and as a result their relationships are often toxic or dysfunctional. Nobody really seems to care, either—books like Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men even carry a hint of triumphalism. To even talk about “men’s issues” is to incur the rage of a thousand feminists.

But Jordan Peterson is a man who is brought to tears when discussing the plight of young men, and he desperately wants to change their lives for the better. They are flocking to him in their hundreds of thousands, seeking advice and the tools to change their lives. Thousands of them are now crediting Peterson with transforming them from angry and dysfunctional to ambitious and “getting it together.” He is swiftly becoming a father figure to a generation of men who often grew up without one.

Where is the harm in that? Don’t the snarky liberal columnists deriding Peterson and the audience he is seeking to help think that it’s a good thing that young men are finding inspiration in someone who is telling them to get off the couch, get a job, become useful, and treat people well? Isn’t the fact that Jordan Peterson is reducing the risk of suicide in many young men a good thing for us all? What these angry progressive hatchet-men flailing at Peterson’s accomplishments don’t realize is that to his audience, it rather looks like they don’t care about the fate of hundreds of thousands of young men as much as they care about winning an argument on transgender pronouns.

Taking it a step further, consider the proliferation of the #metoo movement across North America. At the root of the issue is the fact that many men, from the entertainment industries to politics, have been acting predatory, crude, disrespectful—and sometimes worse. Enter Jordan Peterson, who has been urging young men to harness their sexual instincts, to treat women with respect, and to delay sex until marriage. He’s even addressed pornography, which many believe is partially to blame for our toxic sexual culture—and many men have already decided to kick pornography and all of its ugly objectification and sexual violence out of their lives—simply because Peterson advised them to. Don’t Peterson’s attackers find that to be a positive development? (Read more.)
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Dirt and Antibiotics

From the BBC:
Soil is teeming with millions of different micro-organisms that produce lots of potentially therapeutic compounds, including new antibiotics. Dr Sean Brady's team at New York's Rockefeller University has been busy unearthing them. They used a gene sequencing technique to analyse more than 1,000 soil samples taken from across the US. When they discovered malacidins in many of the samples, they had a hunch it was an important find. They tested the compound on rats that they had given MRSA and it eliminated the infection in skin wounds. The researchers are now working to improve the drug's effectiveness in the hope that it can be developed into a real treatment for people.

Dr Brady said: "It is impossible to say when, or even if, an early stage antibiotic discovery like the malacidins will proceed to the clinic. "It is a long, arduous road from the initial discovery of an antibiotic to a clinically used entity." (Read more.)
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Monday, February 26, 2018

Young Karl Marx (2018)

There is a new movie about Marx and Engels whose writings provided the intellectual foundation for the revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Unfortunately, their way of thinking has almost become mainstream today. However, they would never have gained a foothold if factory workers had been treated in a humane manner. From the New York Times:
The history of the world may be the history of class struggle, but the history of class struggle — at least the decisive chapter chronicled in “The Young Karl Marx” — turns out to be a buddy movie. Marx (August Diehl), a scruffy journalist, and his sidekick Friedrich Engels (Stefan Konarske), a renegade rich kid, meet in Cologne, Germany, in 1844 and overcome some initial wariness by bonding over their shared contempt for the Young Hegelians. (Man, those guys are lame.) They set out to write a “Critique of Critical Criticism,” and when it’s published (as “The Holy Family”), it’s something of a hit. By the time the revolutions of 1848 are ready to happen, Marx and Engels are the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the European left, rock stars for an age of revolution.

Scrupulously faithful to the biographical record, “The Young Karl Marx,” directed by Raoul Peck (from a script he wrote with Pascal Bonitzer), is both intellectually serious and engagingly free-spirited. The founders of Communism, full of intensity and ambition and sporting contrasting beards, look and act like pioneers of brocialism. They spend some drunken evenings hashing out the labor theory of value — Engels holds his liquor better than Marx — and many hours, together and separately, in furious paroxysms of thought. (Read more.)
 And a summary from the National Review:
 Films about writers face a big obstacle from the start: No one wants to watch a movie about a nerd scratching away at his desk. But Marx was a bit more than just a writer. Unlike the usual fight-the-power types, he actually did fight the power — and was forced out of three countries for it. Today’s radicals never even make good on their promises to move to Toronto.

Beginning in Cologne in 1843, Peck finds a grouchy 25-year-old Marx (the appropriately dour August Diehl) working for a febrile newspaper that is troubled by Prussian authorities, but not enough for Marx’s taste. Even among agitators, he’s an agitator. “Enough fighting with pins,” he declares. “I want a sledgehammer.” Karl does a lot of declaring in this movie.

As, no doubt, he did in life. And this is part of the problem with Young Karl Marx. He may have dreamed up a party, but he wasn’t exactly the life of it. Quoting the kinds of things Marx actually said is going to put the audience in a state of enjoyment approximating winter in Leningrad. Some movies feel like homework; others are more like punishment. When Marx goes to Paris and meets his soulmate Friedrich Engels (Stefan Kenarske), who has been riling up the workers in Manchester, England, at one of his father’s 13 mills, the two discover they can practically finish each other’s sentences, like Jake and Elwood — just call them the Reds Brothers.

Engels — limousine liberal before limousines — has been betraying his class amid much declaration of his own. “I hate and despise gentlemen,” he says. “They are the swine who grow fat on the sweat of laborers.” Sweat is fattening? Never mind. Catching the eye of Mary (Hannah Steele), a Norma Rae–like Irish worker who has been sacked from his father’s mill for demanding better safety conditions (or, really, any safety conditions), he consorts with the lower orders while gathering material for his 1845 book The Condition of the Working Class in England.

Marx’s marriage, meanwhile, is its own opposites-attract story: His bride is the aristocrat Jenny von Westphalen-Marx (Vicky Krieps, who was enchanting as a dress designer’s muse in the recent film Phantom Thread but isn’t especially remarkable this time). (Read more.)
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Socialism in America

From American Thinker:
Liberalism is an idealistic political philosophy born after the defeat of Napoleon, a philosophy of freedom, which epitomized individual liberty, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and free elections. Socialism, on the other hand, is a political philosophy and economic system that promotes egalitarianism -- a theory of economic equality. Modern socialism originated in the eighteenth century as a working-class economic and political movement that opposed private property and criticized the effects of industrialization on society. It is usually defined as “common ownership of the means of production.”

With the passage of time, liberalism evolved into a broader vision of an ideal society, a brilliant future that also included economic equality. After the American liberals crossed the threshold of economic equality, which is incompatible with individual liberty, there was no longer a principal difference between the two ideological vistas. Indeed, it was the point of no return; and like a fall that cannot be stopped halfway, it signified the evolution of the fruitful coexistence of liberalism and socialism in this country into an inevitable merger of the two ideologies. (Read more.)
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On Drawing Stars

From artist Daniel Mitsui:
I have been attempting to express in my art a new interest in the night sky. Although I have long used stars as part of my ornament, these have been perfunctory: basically regular five-pointed shapes and little circles, all of similar size and color. This hardly did justice to what almighty God created for signs and for seasons, to shine in the firmament of heaven and to give light upon the earth! I now try to use astronomical forms symbolically; developing the patristic association of the Old Testament with the moon and the New Testament with the sun, I give the patriarchs and prophets lunar haloes. These are crescents, except on those who encountered Jesus Christ (the Sun of Justice) face to face. (For an example, see my drawing of the Tree of Jesse.) I hope eventually to present the planets and stars also as symbols - as St. Zeno of Verona did in his homily that interpreted the zodiac as a baptismal allegory, or as Dante Alighieri did when associating the planets with different degrees of beatitude in his Paradiso - but reconciled to the observational knowledge of the present age. (Read more.)
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Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Excommunication of Elizabeth I

The "Mary" referred to is Mary I of England, Elizabeth's sister, not her cousin Mary Stuart, the Queen of Scots. From the bull of Pope St. Pius V, “Regnans in Excelsis, via Nobility:
He Who reigns on high, to whom is given all poser in heaven and on earth, has entrusted his holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which there is no salvation, to one person alone on earth namely to Peter the prince of the Apostles, and to Peter’s successor, the Roman Pontiff, to be governed by him with plenitude of power. Him alone he appointed prince over all nations and kingdoms, to root up, pull down, waste, destroy, plant and build, so that he might preserve his faithful people linked together by the bond of mutual charity in the unity of the Spirit, and might present them, saved and blameless, to their Savior.

In the fulfillment of this office, we, called by the goodness of God to the government of the aforesaid Church, spare no labor, striving with all zeal to preserve intact that unity and Catholic religion which its author has allowed to be disturbed with such great tribulations for the proving of his people’s faith and for our correction. But the number of the ungodly has grown so strong in power, that no place is left in the world which they have not tried to corrupt with their abominable doctrines; among others assisting in this work is the servant of vice, Elizabeth, pretended Queen of England, with whom, as in a place of sanctuary, the most nefarious wretches have found refuge. This same woman, having acquiring the Kingdom and outrageously usurped for herself the place of supreme head of the Church in all England and its chief authority and jurisdiction, has again plunged that same kingdom back into a wretchedly unhappy condition, after it had so recently been reclaimed for the Catholic Faith and prosperity. (Read more.)
The Pelican Portrait of Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard
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Are We Free to Discuss America’s Real Problems?

From Amy Wax at Imprimis:
There is a lot of abstract talk these days on American college campuses about free speech and the values of free inquiry, with plenty of lip service being paid to expansive notions of free expression and the marketplace of ideas. What I’ve learned through my recent experience of writing a controversial op-ed is that most of this talk is not worth much. It is only when people are confronted with speech they don’t like that we see whether these abstractions are real to them. 

The op-ed, which I co-authored with Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego Law School, appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on August 9 under the title, “Paying the Price for the Breakdown of the Country’s Bourgeois Culture.” It began by listing some of the ills afflicting American society:
Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries. 
(Read more.)
Another version of this article HERE. Share

Life in the Time of Margaret Beaufort

From author Judith Arnopp at Myths, Legends, Books, and Coffee Pots:
Even for the era she was born into, Margaret’s upbringing was remarkable. During her infancy, her father, John Beaufort, Earl and later Duke, of Somerset, took his own life while awaiting the pleasure of the increasingly unstable/inefficient King Henry VI. Margaret became the ward of one of the most powerful men of his day, William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk (later Marquis and Duke) but she was allowed to remain in the home of her mother, Margaret Beauchamp, at least for the first decade of her life. She was just eight years old when Suffolk, taking advantage of Margaret’s wealth and status, married her to his young son, John, but since neither had yet reached their teens, the marriage remained unconsummated. Suffolk’s subsequent disgrace with the king and his ignoble death saw the marriage hastily annulled and Margaret’s future placed in the hands of the king, Henry VI.
Margaret’s early years were spent learning the graces required of an heiress of high status. We know she was well educated, more than one historian noting that her French was ‘first rate’ but it is unlikely she would have mastered many of the required skills by the time of her second marriage at approximately eleven years of age. It is my feeling that her education continued long after she left the schoolroom at Bletsoe. Margaret set great store on knowledge and in later life endowed many places of learning. After she was married to the half-brother of the king, Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond she accompanied him to a wild and unstable Wales. She would have needed to learn hard and fast, with lessons in politics and survival taking precedence over languages. (Read more.)
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Saturday, February 24, 2018

The New Winter Queen

Elizabeth Stuart
A whisky is named for the granddaughter of Mary Queen of Scots. From The Edinburgh Reporter:
Fusion Whisky Director Graham Langley said: “Elizabeth’s story is a superb one, and certainly deserving of a wider audience. Our Winter Queen whisky serves to honour this forgotten Scottish princess and to bring greater awareness to her remarkable life and influence.”

Dr Nadine Akkerman of Leiden University is the leading authority on Elizabeth Stuart. She said: “More politically cunning than her grandmother, Mary, Queen of Scots, and more belligerent than her godmother, Elizabeth I, she never relinquished the title Queen of Bohemia, even though she spent upwards of forty years in exile in The Hague after but a year in Prague.” Dr Akkerman said that the thousands of letters Elizabeth wrote to statesmen and stateswomen, generals, lieutenants, ambassadors and other diplomats, showed the complex, witty and influential character of Elizabeth, whom history has largely overlooked.

The Winter Queen is the third character-led blend of international whisky launched by the company who work in collaboration with Adelphi. (Read more.)
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Colorado and Legalized Pot

From The Oklahoman:
Visitors to Colorado remark about a new agricultural smell, the wafting odor of pot as they drive near warehouse grow operations along Denver freeways. Residential neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs reek of marijuana, as producers fill rental homes with plants.

Five years of retail pot coincide with five years of a homelessness growth rate that ranks among the highest rates in the country. Directors of homeless shelters, and people who live on the streets, tell us homeless substance abusers migrate here for easy access to pot. Five years of Big Marijuana ushered in a doubling in the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana, based on research by the pro-legalization Denver Post.

Five years of commercial pot have been five years of more marijuana in schools than teachers and administrators ever feared. "An investigation by Education News Colorado, Solutions and the I-News Network shows drug violations reported by Colorado's K-12 schools have increased 45 percent in the past four years, even as the combined number of all other violations has fallen," explains an expose on escalating pot use in schools by Rocky Mountain PBS in late 2016. (Read more.)
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Fatherlessness and Violence

From PJ Media:
Yet, despite the growing number of experts, pundits and commentators drawing attention to the impact of fatherlessness on school and community safety, the post-attack discussion inevitably reverts back to gun control. Instead of spending so much as fifteen minutes on fatherlessness we are forced to endure the same salacious headlines, the same provocative tweets, the same tired old memes about the evils of guns as if somehow a cold piece of metal convinced yet another boy to become a mass-murderer. We ignore the lack of adequate mental health services, the failure of law enforcement to effectively intercede, and the sickening impact fatherlessness has on each one of these tragic cases. Why? Because it is easier to ban a hunk of metal than it is to right systemic cultural wrongs. (Read more.)
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Friday, February 23, 2018

More French Beauty Secrets

Madame de Polignac
From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
The second French beauty tip I noticed after moving to France was  that Parisian woman are not thoroughly put together like some of us  Americans. Save for the rather aristocratic ladies who wear matching  designer suits, scarves, bags and shoes, most French women mix and match  to achieve an effortless look. This advice, ironically enough, comes  straight from Chanel herself. She once said, "Before you leave the  house, take one accessory off your body." This is a fine line. Simplistic elegance is the key – but so is accessorizing:
  • For those of you who never put on a necklace or a belt, or have  worn the same studs in your ears everyday for the last few years, think  about introducing a long strand of pearls with a navy blazer, tee and  jeans.
  • For those of you who align yourselves more with Elizabeth Taylor, try focusing on one main eye-attracting accessory at a time.
  • If you've got gorgeous earrings, leave the necklace at home.
  • If you have a busy patterned dress, forgo other accessories except for perhaps a few bangles.
  • Less is more. (Read more.)
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When Will the Shooting Stop?

From Return to Order:
The gun control debate has reignited with the recent Florida shooting. Despite the passionate commentaries on all sides, no one seems to be able to answer the question of when the shootings will stop. As much as liberal media want to blame guns, police or government, this is a moral problem. It involves the acts of an individual who committed monstrous crimes for which he is responsible. As much as others might wish to blame a decadent culture, the nihilistic nature of these dark crimes signal a much deeper problem that strikes at the foundation of modern society. The liberal order that has long dominated American society is falling apart. As it crumbles, it is creating monsters. The appearance of these shooter-monsters is an ominous harbinger of this disintegration. (Read more.)
From The Federalist:
 The correlation between public school environments and the deteriorating mental health of children has been intensifying for decades. We ought to consider how these settings serve as incubators for the social alienation that can fuel such horrors. First, consider how common it is for a public high school today to house thousands of teenagers for most of their waking hours for four solid years. (More than 3,000 students attend the Florida school where the most recent shooting took place.) During their time in that maze, kids learn to “socialize,” basically by finding their place in a school’s hierarchy of cliques. This sort of pecking order dynamic tends to breed resentment, status anxiety, and social dysfunction. Combine that with the toxic effects of social media and family breakdown, and you’ve got a deadly brew. Public schooling is increasingly unhealthy for kids’ emotional stability. Let us count the ways. (Read more.)
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Amateur Astronomers

From Atlas Obscura:
Last week, an amateur astronomer named Scott Tilley made headlines after finding a NASA satellite that had been lost for over a decade. The IMAGE satellite, which was meant to study the magnetosphere, was launched in 2000, and lost contact with Earth back in 2005. Tilley, who uses radio equipment to track objects whose orbits are undisclosed, rediscovered it on January 20, while looking for something completely different.

By finding IMAGE, Tilley has returned an important instrument to NASA’s interstellar toolbox. But he’s also added himself to a long-standing pantheon. Ever since the first satellites were launched, amateur astronomers have played a vital role in keeping tabs on them. In fact, when the Soviet satellite Sputnik I took the United States by surprise in October of 1957, legions of practiced volunteers were ready to track it, armed only with enthusiasm, low-power telescopes, and a good sense of timing.

These volunteers were part of Operation Moonwatch, a massive citizen science project started by Fred Whipple, then the director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Whipple dreamed up the project to coincide with the 1957-1958 International Geophysical Year (IGY), during which scientists around the globe worked with and against each other to learn more about how our planet is composed. As part of the IGY, the United States and the Soviet Union both planned to launch the world’s first artificial satellites. (Read more.)
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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Blessed Pius IX and Canonization

From Aleteia:
Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) died 140 years ago, at the end of the longest pontificate in the history of the Church with the exception of St. Peter: 32 years. (Peter was likely martyred in the year 64 or 67, meaning his pontificate lasted 34 or 37 years. John Paul II, with 26 years on Peter’s Throne, is the third longest-reigning pope.) Reigning at the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, in 1854, and during the rise of devotion to the Sacred Heart, Pius IX, as the 255th pope, was also the last sovereign of the Papal States, which disappeared in 1870 — except for the tiny Vatican State, established in 1929. His pontificate, inaugurated in 1846, was also the occasion of a new missionary impulse, recalled Bishop Liberati: 133 episcopal seats and 50 apostolic vicariates were created as mission territories.

Pius IX also convened the First Vatican Council, which defined papal infallibility. Rather liberal at the beginning of his pontificate, Pius IX is also known for his condemnation of 80 modern errors in the Syllabus, in 1864, which rejects rationalism, socialism, and also the idea that all religions are equal. According to Bishop Liberati, Freemasons opposed his canonization because the pontiff had also condemned the participation of Catholics in Masonic lodges, with the apostolic exhortation Multiplices Inter in 1865. (Read more.)
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Gender is Biological

From Life Site:
Research revealed in the Infant and Child Development Journal concluded that gender preferences in children are not so much the result of their environment and upbringing as they are intrinsic within the child. These findings contradict prevailing LGBTQQICAPF2K+ belief that gender is both externally directed and fluid.

The sexual orientation/gender acronym, LGBTQQICAPF2K+, stands for “Lesbian,” “Gay,” “Bisexual,” “Transgender,” “Queer,” “Questioning,” “Intersex,” “Curious,” “Asexual,” “Agender,” “Ally,” “Pansexual,” “Polysexual,” “Friends and family,” “Two-spirit” and “Kink.” Sixteen studies composed of 787 boys and 813 girls were documented. Researchers found that consistently “boys played with male-typed toys more than girls did, and girls played with female-typed toys more than boys did.”

This finding won’t surprise most parents, but it defies prevailing transgender theories that say gender differences are simply a “social construct.” The same innate gender preferences were observed in a variety of contexts. “No significant effect of presence of an adult, study context, geographical location of the study, publication date, child’s age, or the inclusion of gender-neutral toys” made a difference, the data showed. (Read more.)
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The Destructive Feminist Legacy

From Front Page Mag:
How bizarre it is to have to argue the obvious; to have to prove over and over again what is self-evident so let me be as offensive as I possibly can: Men are men and women are women. They are essentially different and designed for a natural division of labor. Period.
I get a kick out of the feminists’ love affair with the word “empowerment.” They have clever formulas for ensnaring hapless souls into their deceits. One of their slicker moves is to create a vocabulary designed to get around long-held beliefs, mores, taboos or fears. “Pro-choice” is their Newspeak euphemism for the casual murder of an human being; “Dreamers” means illegal immigrants; “Progressives” denotes a group dragging us back to the cave; “Sanctuary City” means a place where no actual US citizen is safe. This “empowerment” thing makes me especially crazy.

We need only go back to Eden in Genesis where God commanded Adam not to eat a certain apple. Eve demanded he eat it. Adam obeyed Eve against the will of God Himself. That’s not power? It only proves that man will do anything to please woman even if it means going against the wishes of his Almighty Creator. The point of the story is not that woman is evil but that woman is all-powerful and definitely runs the show. Woman sets the boundaries. Man is lost if he is surrounded by bad women. Mae West’s famous double entendre is so appropriate:  “When women go wrong men go right after them.” The Genesis admonition to women is to be careful of your influence over others because you already, innately, wield great power... actually, if we believe The Bible, all the power.

Having had that power, feminists were so greedy for more that they destroyed our society in order to prove they were exactly like men. In doing so they have destroyed the American family and our children which has resulted in the demolition of society. We are now in a world where Satanism is on the rise, where judges are removing the Ten Commandments from city squares, where abortion is a mere trifle. We allowed [the late atheist activist] Madalyn Murray O’Hair to remove prayer from the classroom and Kate Millett to remove mommy from the home. Deadly combo!

My thesis is this: when men ran the world and women ran society we had a chance to conduct our lives in some semblance of balance, but women have abdicated their running of society and thus, it has collapsed dramatically. Women forced their way into the running-the-world deal and now we have a world gone mad. And the beautiful society which we Western women built is in tatters. Moms decided they were the same as men so they deserted the home and babies to grab their briefcases and rush out to run the world.
When women ran society power emanated from the home.  Men labored to keep their families sheltered, warm, clad and fed while women mostly stayed in the home to run the children and the community. Mother oversaw the household and carefully watched the children’s behavior. Most of the neighborhood women knew each other and had informal meetings in their living rooms and kitchens, called “coffee klatches.”

It was here that the community developed ground rules on how to manage children and husbands. Any mother was free to chastise anyone else’s child should they misbehave. It was pretty unheard of for someone to say, “How dare you correct my child!”  They would agree amongst themselves what was desired behavior. Good manners were required and trained. Neighbors backed each other up. It was expected.

The essential rules that Moms formed in their infants and homes radiated outwardly into streets, schools, offices, boardrooms, departments, factories and agencies to form the framework of Western ethics. The communities, churches and schools all echoed the same values because most people went to Church or Temple and so, the foundation of our mores being Judeo/Christian, Mom’s rules were designed by the Ten Commandments. Many towns didn’t lock their doors, even at night. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pall Embroidered by Marie-Antoinette

From Sotheby's: "A silk chalice cover [pall] embroidered with gold and silver thread and beads; according to tradition it was embroidered by Marie Antoinette." The Sacred Heart of Jesus is shown with the Christogram IHS, symbolizing the Holy Name of Jesus. The color signifies it may have been used in the Mass of Laetare Sunday, or Rose Sunday,  that is, the 4th Sunday of Lent. Share

Violence in Nigeria

From The Christian Post:
U.S. President Donald Trump and his counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, have been told that at least 16,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since June 2015, many of them victims of radical Islamic violence. The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law submitted a petition to Buhari last week, where the civil society organization urged the president to "wake up from [his] slumber" and protect the millions of endangered Christians in Nigeria. The "Christians at Crossroads in Nigeria" letter, shared online by Elombah.com, said that 16,000 people, mostly Christians, have been killed since Buhari took office in 2015, including the 5,800 victims of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, based on Intersociety's investigation. Intersociety, which sent a copy of the letter to Trump and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres, said that the 30 million or so Christians in Northern Nigeria have for decades suffered discrimination and violent attacks at the hands of radical terror groups. (Read more.)
From The Express:
 Christian persecution is a major problem in Nigeria which has been exacerbated by the spread of radical Islamic teaching and practice. The shocked witness said Christians needed more protection from the country’s leader or lives would continue to be lost. They said: “Despite several calls to the governor and his deputy, and other security apparatus, the government remained silent as the atrocities continued.

“The Fulani were able to carry out their deadly attack. They stayed for hours in the vicinity, moving at will, unchallenged.”

Details of the attack, which took place in north-eastern state of Adamawa earlier this year, have only just emerged. In the central state of Nasarawa, 25 villages have been destroyed since January 15. Again, the predominately Christian victims said they had been abandoned by leaders. A spokesman for the Concerned Indigenous Tiv People group said: “Since the outbreak of the crisis on January 15 this year, due to the Fulani /herdsmen attack on our villages, leading to the displacement of Tiv in their ancestral homes, the Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Almakura, has done very little to bring the situation under control.” (Read more.)
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"Now, The Reckoning Comes"

From Zero Hedge:
Half the country wants to know why the press won’t cover the growing scandal now implicating the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice, and threatening to reach the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and perhaps even the Obama White House. After all, the release last week of a less-redacted version of Sens. Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham’s January 4 letter showed that the FBI secured a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to search the communications of a Trump campaign adviser based on a piece of opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Fourth Amendment rights of an American citizen were violated to allow one political party to spy on another. (Read more.)

From Paul Craig Roberts:
Robert Mueller discredited himself and his orchestrated Russiagate investigation today (Friday, February 16, 2018) with his charges that 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies plotted to use social media to influence the 2016 election. Their intent, Mueller says, was to “sow discord in the US political system.” https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trump-russia-indictment/u-s-charges-russians-with-2016-u-s-election-tampering-to-boost-trump-idUKKCN1G023G What pathetic results to come from a 9 month investigation!

Note that the hyped Russian hacking of Hillary’s emails that we have heard about every day is no where to be found in Mueller’s charges. In its place there is “use of social media to sow discord.” I mean, really! Even if the charge were correct, considering the massive discord present in the last presidential election, with the Democrats calling Trump voters racist, sexist, homophobic white trash deplorables, how much discord could a measly 13 Russians add via social media?

Note also that the Trump/Putin conspiracy is also not present in Mueller’s charges. Mueller’s charges say that the Russians’ plan to sow discord began in 2014, before there was any notion that Trump would run for president in 2017. The link of the plot to Putin is reduced to the allegation that the plot was financed by a St. Petersburg restaurateur whose connection to Putin is that his business once catered official dinners between Russian officials and foreign dignitaries. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trump-russia-indictment/u-s-charges-russians-with-2016-u-s-election-tampering-to-boost-trump-idUKKCN1G023G

Finally, note that Mueller’s release of his charges in the face of dead news weekend means that Mueller knows that he has nothing to justify the massive propaganda onslaught against Trump for conspiring with Putin with which the presstitutes have regaled us. If the charges amounted to anything, they would have been released on Monday morning, and the presstitutes would have been handed by the FBI and CIA the news stories to file with their papers.

How did the 13 Russians go about sowing discord? Are you ready for this? They held political rallies posing as Americans and they paid one person (unidentified) to build a cage aboard a flatbed pickup truck and another person to wear a costume portraying Hillary in prison clothes.
How much money was lavished on this plot. A monthly budget of $1.2 million, a sum far too small to be seen in the $2.65 billion spent by Hillary and Trump and the $6.8 billion spent by all candidates for federal elective offices in the last election. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/election-2016s-price-tag-6-8-billion/

Mueller claims to have emails from some of the 13 Russians. If the emails are authentic, they sound like a few kids pretending to friends that they are doing big things. One of the emails brags that the FBI got after them so they got busy covering up their tracks. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Almsgiving of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette

Louis XVI visits a poor family

During Lent we recall the duties of every Christian to apply themselves more fervently to almsgiving. In pre-revolutionary France it was for the King and the Queen to give an example to everyone else in this regard. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette took this duty seriously and throughout their reign did what they could to help the needy.

At the fireworks celebrating the marriage of the young prince and princess in May 1774, there was a stampede in which many people were killed. Louis and Antoinette gave all of their private spending money for a year to relieve the suffering of the victims and their families. They became very popular with the common people as a result, which was reflected in the adulation with which they were received when the Dauphin took his wife to Paris on her first "official" visit in June 1773. Marie-Antoinette's reputation for sweetness and mercy became even more entrenched in 1774, when as the new Queen she asked that the people be relieved of a tax called "The Queen's belt," customary at the beginning of each reign. "Belts are no longer worn," she said. It was only the onslaught of revolutionary propaganda that would eventually destroy her reputation.

Louis XVI often visited the poor in their homes and villages, distributing alms from his own purse. During the difficult winter of 1776, the King oversaw the distribution of firewood among the peasants. Louis was responsible for many humanitarian reforms. He went incognito to hospitals, prisons, and factories so as to gain first-hand knowledge of the conditions in which the people lived and worked.

The King and Queen were patrons of the Maison Philanthropique, a society founded by Louis XVI which helped the aged, blind and widows. The Queen taught her daughter Madame Royale to wait upon peasant children, to sacrifice her Christmas gifts so as to buy fuel and blankets for the destitute, and to bring baskets of food to the sick. Marie-Antoinette took her children with her on her charitable visits. According to Maxime de la Rocheterie:
Sometimes they went to the Gobelins; and the president of the district coming on one occasion to compliment her, she said, "Monsieur you have many destitute but the moments which we spend in relieving them are very precious to us." Sometimes she went to the free Maternity Society which she had founded, where she had authorized the Sisters to distribute sixteen hundred livres for food and fuel every month and twelve hundred for blankets and clothing, without counting the baby outfits which were given to three hundred mothers. At other times she went to the School of Design also founded by her to which she sent one day twelve hundred livres saved with great effort that the rewards might not be diminished nor the dear scholars suffer through her own distress. Again she placed in the house of Mademoiselle O'Kennedy four daughters of disabled soldiers, orphans, for whom she said, "I made the endowment."
The Queen adopted three poor children to be raised with her own, as well overseeing the upbringing of several needy children, whose education she paid for, while caring for their families. She established a home for unwed mothers, the "Maternity Society," mentioned above. She brought several peasant families to live on her farm at Trianon, building cottages for them. There was food for the hungry distributed every day at Versailles, at the King's command. During the famine of 1787-88, the royal family sold much of their flatware to buy grain for the people, and themselves ate the cheap barley bread in order to be able to give more to the hungry.

Madame de la Tour du Pin, a lady-in-waiting of Marie-Antoinette, recorded in her spirited Memoirs the daily activities at Versailles, including the rumors and the gossip. Her pen does not spare Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, which is why I find the following account to be of interest. Every Sunday, Marie-Antoinette would personally take up a collection for the poor, which the courtiers resented since they preferred to have the money on hand for gambling. The queen supported several impoverished families from her own purse. As Madame de la Tour du Pin describes:
We had to be there before seven, for the Queen entered before the chiming of the clock. Beside her door would be one of the two Curés of Versailles. He would hand her a purse and she would go around to everyone, taking up a collection and saying: "For the poor, if you please." Each lady had her 'écu' of six francs ready in her hand and the men had their 'louis.' The Curé would follow the Queen as she collected this small tax for her poor people, a levy which often totaled as much as much as one hundred 'louis' and never less than fifty. I often heard some of the younger people, including the most spendthrift, complaining inordinately of this almsgiving being forced upon them, yet they would not have thought twice of hazarding a sum one hundred times as large in a game of chance, a sum much larger than that levied by the Queen. (Memoirs of Madame de la Tour du Pin: Laughing and Dancing Our Way to the Precipice, p. 74)



Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette contributed a great deal throughout their reign to the care of orphans and foundlings. They patronized foundling hospitals, which the Queen often visited with her children. Above is a picture of an occasion in February, 1790, after their removal to Paris, when the king, the queen and their children toured such a facility, where the nuns cared for abandoned babies and little children. As is reported by Maxime de la Rocheterie, the young Dauphin, soon to be an orphan himself, was particularly drawn to the foundlings and gave all of his small savings to aid them.

The king and queen did not see helping the poor as anything extraordinary, but as a basic Christian duty. The royal couple's almsgiving stopped only with their incarceration in the Temple in August 1792, for then they had nothing left to give but their lives.

(Sources: Memoirs of Madame de la Tour du Pin, Marguerite Jallut's and Philippe Huisman's Marie-Antoinette, Vincent Cronin's Louis and Antoinette, Antonia Fraser's The Journey, Madame Campan's Memoirs, Mémoires de madame la Duchesse de Tourzel, Maxime de la Rocheterie's The Life of Marie-Antoinette)

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Uncomfortable Truths About Iran

From Ambassador Nikki Haley at the New York Times:
Last week, the United Nations published a report with news a lot of people don’t want to hear. A panel of experts found that Iran is violating a United Nations weapons embargo — specifically, that missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels into Saudi Arabia last year were made in Iran.

The mullahs in Iran don’t want to hear this news, because it proves Iran is violating its international agreement. Die-hard defenders of the Iran nuclear deal don’t want to hear it because it proves, once again, that the Iranian regime can’t be trusted. And some members of the United Nations don’t want to hear it because it is further proof that Iran is defying Security Council resolutions, and the pressure will be on the U.N. to do something about it.

Yemen is the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis today. After three years of brutal civil war, 75 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. The government has virtually ceased to exist. Terrorist groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are exploiting that lawlessness to pursue their barbaric agendas. (Read more.)
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The Parkland Massacre and the Air We Breathe

From Peggy Noonan at the WSJ:
A way to look at the question is: What has happened the past 40 years or so to produce a society so ill at ease with itself, so prone to violence? We know. We all say it privately, but it’s so obvious it’s hardly worth saying. We have been swept by social, technological and cultural revolution. The family blew up—divorce, unwed childbearing. Fatherless sons. Fatherless daughters, too. Poor children with no one to love them. The internet flourished. Porn proliferated. Drugs, legal and illegal. Violent videogames, in which nameless people are eliminated and spattered all over the screen. (The Columbine shooters loved and might have been addicted to “Doom.”) The abortion regime settled in, with its fierce, endless yet somehow casual talk about the right to end a life. An increasingly violent entertainment culture—low, hypersexualized, full of anomie and weirdness, allergic to meaning and depth. The old longing for integration gave way to a culture of accusation—you are a supremacist, a misogynist, you are guilty of privilege and defined by your color and class, we don’t let your sort speak here.

So much change, so much of it un-gentle. Throughout, was anyone looking to children and what they need? That wasn’t really a salient aim or feature of all the revolutions, was it? The adults were seeing to what they believed were their rights. Kids were a side thought.

At this moment we are in the middle of a reckoning about how disturbed our sexual landscape has become. This past week we turned to violence within marriages. We recently looked at the international sex trade, a phrase that sounds so 18th-century but refers to a real and profitable business.
 
All this change, compressed into 40 years, has produced some good things, even miraculous ones. But it does not feel accidental that America is experiencing what appears to be a mental-health crisis, especially among the young. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported as many as 20% of children 3 to 17 have, in any given year, a mental or emotional illness. There is research indicating depression among teenagers is worsening. National Public Radio recently quoted a 2005 report asserting the percentage of prison inmates with serious mental illness rose from less than 1% in 1880 to 21% in 2005. Deinstitutionalization swept health care and the psychiatric profession starting in the 1960s, and has continued since. The sick now go to the emergency room or stay among us untreated. In the society we have created the past 40 years, you know we are not making fewer emotionally ill young people, but more.

And here, to me, is the problem. A nation has an atmosphere. It has air it breathes in each day. China has a famous pollution problem: You can see the dirt in the air. America’s air looks clean but there are toxins in it, and they’re making the least defended and protected of us sick. Here is one breath of the air:

Two weeks ago the U.S. Senate blocked a bill that would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks. Exceptions were made—the life of the mother, incest and rape. Twenty weeks—right up to the start of the sixth month—seemed reasonable. But Democrats said it was an assault on women’s rights. So as far as the Senate is concerned, you can end the life of a 6- to 9-month-old baby that can live outside the womb, that is not only human but recognizably and obviously human.

And even if you are 100% for full-term abortion—even if you think this right must be protected lest we go on a slippery slope and next thing you know they’ll outlaw contraceptives—your own language might have alerted you along the way to your radicalism.

Imagine you are pregnant, in the last trimester, and suddenly feel movement in your belly, a shift from here to there. You say, “Oh my God, feel,” and you take the hand of the father, or of another intimate, and you place it on your stomach. You don’t say, “The fetus lurched,” or “A conglomeration of cells is making itself manifest.” You say, “The baby moved. The baby’s moving.” You say this because it is a baby, and you know it. You say it because in your wonder at it, and at life, you tell the truth.

I should add who used that example with me. A great liberal journalist who sees right through his party’s dishonesty on this issue.

The failure to ban late-term abortion is one of those central things we rarely talk about. And I’ll tell you what I think a teenager absorbs about it, unconsciously, in America. He sees a headline online, he passes a television in an airport, he hears the quick story and he thinks: “If the baby we don’t let live is unimportant, then I guess I am unimportant. And you’re unimportant too.” They don’t even know they’re breathing that in. But it’s there, in the atmosphere, and they’re breathing it in. And it doesn’t make you healthier.

The National Rifle Association too fears their slippery slope, and their fear means nothing common-sensical can be done regarding gun law. Concede anything and it will mean they’re coming for your hunting rifle.

Congress has been talking, at least recently and to some extent, of a trade on immigration. New protections for Dreamers on one hand versus increased border security on the other. This would be a good deal. Dreamers are integrated into American life, and a good many work in education and health care. And America is a great sovereign nation with not only a right but a responsibility to control its own borders.

Compromise is often good.

On gun law, Republicans oppose banning assault weapons such as the AR-15, the one the Parkland shooter used, because of the numbers, power and contributions of gun owners and the NRA. Democrats oppose banning late-term abortion because of the numbers, power and contributions of the rising left, feminists and Planned Parenthood. The idea: Trade banning assault weapons for banning late-term abortion. Make illegal a killing machine and a killing procedure. In both cases the lives of children would be saved. (Read more.)
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Monday, February 19, 2018

Lent at Versailles


Versailles is not usually associated with Lenten penance, but fasting and abstinence, as well as some mortifications, were observed there by many during the old regime. For one thing, there would be no plays or operas performed; all the public theaters were closed in France during Lent. The daughters of Louis XV were known for their scrupulous observance of fasting and abstinence, although Madame Victoire found such penance especially trying. According to Madame Campan:
Without quitting Versailles, without sacrificing her easy chair, she [Madame Victoire] fulfilled the duties of religion with punctuality, gave to the poor all she possessed, and strictly observed Lent and the fasts. The table of Mesdames acquired a reputation for dishes of abstinence....Madame Victoire was not indifferent to good living, but she had the most religious scruples respecting dishes of which it was allowable to partake at penitential times....The abstinence which so much occupied the attention of Madame Victoire was so disagreeable to her, that she listened with impatience for the midnight hour of Holy Saturday; and then she was immediately supplied with a good dish of fowl and rice, and sundry other succulent viands.
Their nephew Louis XVI was also known for his fastidious observance of Lent, as recorded once again by the faithful Madame Campan:
Austere and rigid with regard to himself alone, the King observed the laws of the Church with scrupulous exactness. He fasted and abstained throughout the whole of Lent. He thought it right that the queen should not observe these customs with the same strictness. Though sincerely pious, the spirit of the age had disposed his mind to toleration.
Some of the King's tolerant behavior included the permitting of certain games at court during Lent. During the Lent of 1780, the Austrian ambassador Count Mercy-Argenteau was shocked to discover Louis XVI playing blind man's bluff with Marie-Antoinette and some members of the Court. Count Mercy described the scandalous scene to the Empress Maria Theresa:
Amusements have been introduced of such noisy and puerile character that they are little suited to Lenten meditations, and still less to the dignity of the august personages who take part in them. They are games resembling blind man's bluff, that first lead to the giving of forfeits, and then to their redemption by some bizarre penance ; the commotion is kept up sometimes until late into the night. The number of persons who take part in these games, both of the Court and the town, makes them still more unsuitable ; every one is surprised to see that the King plays them with great zest, and that he can give himself up wholly to such frivolities in such a serious condition of State affairs as obtains at present.
Given the long hours that Louis XVI devoted to affairs of state and the fact that people often complained that he was too serious and reserved, it seems that Mercy should have been pleased to see the King come out of his shell a little and take some recreation. But then, Mercy often tried to cast Louis in an unfavorable light. As far as the Empress was concerned, however, Lent was not the time for any games. Louis' devotion was sincere all the same; he was constant in prayer and good works, observing the fasts of the Church for Lent and the Ember days even throughout his imprisonment.

The King's sister, Madame Elisabeth, also steadfastly kept the discipline of Lent in both good times and bad. In the Temple prison, the jailers mocked the princess' attempts to keep Lent as best she could. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette's daughter, Madame Royale, who shared her aunt's imprisonment, recorded it thus:
Having no fish, she asked for eggs or other dishes on fast-days. They refused them, saying that in equality there was no difference of days; there were no weeks, only decades. They brought us a new almanac, but we did not look at it. Another time, when my aunt again asked for fast-day food they answered: "Why, citoyenne, don't you know what has taken place? none but fools believe all that." She made no further requests.
As for Marie-Antoinette herself, she did not fast and abstain through every day of Lent as Louis did; her health did not permit it. However, after baby Madame Sophie died in 1787, it was noted that the Queen became more fervent in her devotions, especially during Lent. Jean Chalon in Chère Marie-Antoinette (p.235) notes that in 1788 she gave orders that her table strictly comply with all the regulations of the Church. Even the Swedish ambassador remarked: "The queen seems to have turned devout."

(Photo: http://www.cyrilalmeras.com/)

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Young Black Conservative Women

From The Western Journal:
These women want to bring home a message of empowerment, not only to black women across the country, but also to the black community at large. Women such as Antonia Okafor, the founder of gun rights advocacy organization EmPOWERed, Ayshia Connors, a senior policy adviser to a Pennsylvania congressman and president of the Black Republican Congressional Staff Association and Candace Owens, the director of Urban Engagement for Turning Point USA, all work tirelessly in advocating for their community and to make black conservative voices heard.

“Essentially, I believe in this day and age, for whatever reason, there is a largely ignored, growing group of voices which is essentially black conservatives. We’ve been largely dismissed and de-legitimized in the media as something that is not allowed to exist,” Owens, who labels herself an independent thinker, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Owens is currently working on creating the first black leadership summit for Turning Point USA with the intent to bring young black conservatives from across the country to hear from other black leaders on how to become trailblazers and entrepreneurs within their community. Owens especially wants these young black conservatives to hear from fellow black leaders who don’t carry with them the same message the mainstream media does. Okafor and Connors are also trying to make big strides within the conservative movement. (Read more.)
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When Societies Fall

From Tremr:
Published in a highly underrated 1934 book called "Sex and Culture," the anthropologist J.D. Unwin found a universal correlation between monogamy and a civilization's "expansive energy." His aim in the book was to test the Freudian thesis that advanced civilizations were founded upon repression of sexual desire, and a re-channeling of this energy through a defense mechanism Freud called "sublimation." 

A non-Christian, and as relativistic as any modern anthropologist, he insisted that he offered "no opinion about rightness or wrongness" concerning sexual norms. Nevertheless, among the 86 different societies he studied, he not only found monogamy to be correlated with a society's strength, but came to the sobering conclusion that "In human records there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial continence." (Read more.)
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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Recipes for Late Afternoon Tea

From Victoria:
A plate of distinctively shaped sandwiches creates a hearty mix of options that will satisfy late-afternoon appetites. Clockwise from bottom right: Wrapped in thin strips of English cucumber, rectangular Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches are layered with provolone cheese and Horseradish Cream. Egg-and-Olive Salad mixed with whole-grain mustard is spread between triangles of pumpernickel bread garnished with egg slices and fresh dill. Round Smoked-Salmon Tea Sandwiches topped with fresh oregano feature stacked bread slices slathered with creamy dill spread and pancetta. (Read more.)
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Why Trump’s Right

From The Conservative Tribune:
Hilario Yanez, a native of Mexico, a man who was brought to the United States at the age of 1, and a DACA recipient, blew a hole on Saturday in the mainstream media’s narrative about President Donald Trump, telling “Fox & Friends” interviewers that Trump had shown “leadership and compassion” towards those affected by the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. What’s more, Yanez had a few choice words for those “compassionate” Democrats the media wants us to believe are out there. Yanez’s praise for Trump centered around Trump’s work to find a solution to the plethora of issues DACA recipients face in the United States, an issue Democrats claim to champion. (Read more.)
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How Leftist Intolerance is Killing Higher Education

From The Washington Examiner:
In 2015, Evergreen hired a new president. Trained as a sociologist, George Bridges did two things upon arrival. First, he hired an old friend to talk one-on-one to members of our community — faculty, staff, and students. We talked about our values and our visions for the college. But the benefit of hindsight suggests that he was looking for something else. He was mapping us, assessing our differences, our blind spots, and the social tensions that ran beneath the surface. Second, Bridges fired the provost, Michael Zimmerman. The provost, usually synonymous with the vice president for academics, is the chief academic officer at an institution of higher education. Zimmerman would have disapproved of what Bridges had in mind and would have had some power to stop it. But he was replaced by a timid (though well-liked) insider who became a pawn due to his compromised interim status and his desire not to make waves.

Having mapped the faculty and fired the provost, Bridges began reworking the college in earnest. Surprise announcements became the norm as opportunities for discussion dwindled.
The president took aim at what made Evergreen unique, such as full-time programs. He fattened the administration, creating expensive vice president positions at an unprecedented rate, while budgets tightened elsewhere due to drops in student enrollment and disappearing state dollars. He went after Evergreen’s unparalleled faculty autonomy, which was essential to the unique teaching done by the best professors.

All of this should have been alarming to a faculty in which professors have traditionally viewed administrative interference in academic matters with great suspicion. But Bridges was strategic and forged an alliance with factions known to be obsessed with race. He draped the “equity” banner around everything he did. Advocating that Evergreen embrace itself as a “College of Social Justice,” he argued that faculty autonomy unjustly puts the focus on teachers rather than students, and that the new VP for Equity and Inclusion would help us serve our underserved populations. But no discussion was allowed of students who did not meet the narrow criteria of being “underserved.” Because of the wrapping, concerns about policy changes were dismissed as “anti-equity.” What was in the nicely wrapped box turned out to be something else entirely. (Read more.)
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