Monday, October 22, 2018

A New Film About King Robert the Bruce

Florence Pugh as Elizabeth de Burgh and Chris Pine as Robert Bruce in Outlaw King
Chris Pine as The Outlaw King
A film I have been waiting for all my life. It had better be good. Judging from the trailer, it looks historically accurate. From Entertainment Weekly:
As 14th-century Gaelic nobleman Robert the Bruce, the sunny Los Angeles native manages to look surprisingly right in chain mail, hiding his California jawline beneath a tangled beard and adopting a convincing-enough Scottish burr. He’ll need at least some of that wooly gravitas to inspire his countrymen to rise up against King Edward I (a great, casually imperious Stephen Dillane) and take back their land and pride from the English.

Bruce finds his loyal tribe, including Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s fiercely endearing Lord of Douglas and a lovely, independent-minded bride (Lady Macbeth‘s Florence Pugh). He also has a mortal enemy in Edward (Billy Howle of Dunkirk and On Chesil Beach), a mad-eyed prince with a bowl cut to match his psychopathic tendencies. (William Wallace also appears briefly as secondary character, though he’s made of something much darker and more feral than Mel Gibson’s imagining).
Mackenzie falls a little too in love with his battle scenes; by the fourth clash of blood and swords it all starts to feel like déjà vu, with different horses. At nearly two and a half hours, there’s clearly room to trim (though one chaotic escape scene near the end may be the best river nightmare since Revenant). But he also films it beautifully in the natural light of candles, torches, and overcast skies, and there’s a solidness to the old-fashioned conventions of his storytelling. Unlike Bruce’s scrappy band of rebels, Outlaw never really has the element of surprise: It just comes in blazing, like a king. (Read more.)
Trailer, HERE. Scottish reaction on film, HERE. Another review, HERE. Share

The Kelvin Cochran Religious Liberty Case

From The National Review:
A good man’s legal ordeal is at an end. Yesterday, my friends and former colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom announced that former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran had reached a $1.2 million settlement, ending a case he brought after the city fired him for writing — and distributing to a select few city employees — a self-published book that articulated an entirely orthodox Christian view of sex and marriage.

The facts of the case were egregious from the beginning. Cochran was a pioneer — born in Confederate Memorial Hospital in Shreveport, La., he grew up to become one of the first black firefighters hired by his hometown fire department. He ultimately became the first black fire chief of Shreveport. He continued to ascend the ranks of firefighters, becoming Atlanta’s fire chief, and then, in 2009, Barack Obama appointed him to run the Fire Administration, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

After Cochran left Atlanta, the fire department struggled. So Atlanta’s mayor recruited him back, and Cochran turned the department around so thoroughly that it for the first time received the nation’s highest fire-protection rating. The cornerstone of his effort to transform the department’s morale was a “participatory management structure” that solicited input from “every rank, race, shift, and gender.” He consciously included LGBT employees, granting — in his words — “every group a voice.” (Read more.)

Searching for Joseph in Egypt

An interesting article from 2014. From The Times of Israel:
Prof Manfred Bietak has been digging at Tell el-Dab’a in Egypt for over 40 years. He has identified it as “Avaris”, the ancient Hyksos capital. Avaris is smack dab in the middle of the area the Bible calls “Goshen” i.e., the area that the Israelites lived in prior to the Exodus. The word “Avaris” means nothing in Egyptian. But, in the Torah, Joseph is repeatedly called a “Hebrew”; “Ivri” in the Hebrew language. He is also repeatedly and curiously called “Ha Ish”; “The Man”. In other words, the word “Avaris” may very well be related to Joseph, the “Ish Ivri”, or the “Hebrew Man” (Genesis 39:14). All this is lost in translation when Joseph is simply called a “Hebrew”. Put differently, the so-called Hyksos capital seems to be named after Joseph the “Ish Ivri” i.e., Avar-Ish.

Between 1986 and 1988, Prof. Bietak found the remains of a monumental statue that seems to have belonged to a non-Egyptian ruler of Avaris. Although only fragments remain, the archeologists estimate the original size of the seated figure to be 2 meters high and 1.5 meters in depth i.e., about one and a half times life size. Over the statue’s right shoulder you can still see his “throw stick” i.e., the symbol of his rule. On the back – remarkably, as with the Biblical Joseph – you can still see evidence that this ruler was wearing a striped garment, made up of at least three colors: black, red and white. He was found in a tomb. The tomb was empty. This may be as a result of looting, but one can’t help but recall that the Biblical narrative explicitly tells us that when the Israelites left on the Exodus, they took Joseph’s bones with them (Exodus 13:19). In other words, in order to fit with the Biblical narrative, any tomb of Joseph in Egypt would have to be empty. (Read more.)

And HERE is a helpful guide for young people about Egyptian crowns. Share

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Chandelier Earrings

Diamond earrings of the Bourbon-Parma collection that is being auctioned by Sotheby's. Many of the pieces were not originally the Queen's but are made of jewels that belonged to the her or other members of the Habsburg and Bourbon families. The Queen did have diamond chandelier earrings but I do not know if they are the same pair. From Nancy Bilyeau at Vintage News:
In an auction being described as historic, the jewelry of the last Queen of France, unseen in public for two centuries, will go on sale next month. Before being sold, the jewels can be viewed in New York City and then London at Sotheby’s headquarters. “The romance, magic, and universality of her name is because she represents that sophistication of l’ancien regime. She is it,” Andres White Correal, Sotheby’s senior director of jewellery, told AFP.

“It is the sale of the 21st century. Because how do you top Marie Antoinette? Also because it’s so scarce. There isn’t much left.” The treasures were smuggled out of Paris in 1791 and have been privately owned by the family’s relatives ever since. The collection that includes her diamonds and pearls, held by the Italian royal House of Bourbon-Parma, is being sold by Sotheby’s auction house in Geneva on November 14th, Yahoo reported.

Sotheby’s says that the collection, “which spans centuries of European history, from the reign of Louis XVI to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, will offer a fascinating insight into the splendor of one of Europe’s most important royal dynasties.” Among the stars of the collection is a stunning diamond pendant, supporting a natural pearl of exceptional size (26 mm x 18 mm), as well as a pair of natural pearl drops and a necklace featuring 119 natural pearls. The jewelry was whisked out of France due to the courageous efforts of Count Mercy Argenteau, a retainer to the queen.* As King Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, and their family prepared their escape in March 1791, the queen placed all her diamonds, rubies, and pearls in a wooden chest, which made its way to Vienna by way of Brussels in the care of Count Argenteau.


The Bourbon-Parma sale also contains jewelry belonging to Charles X, the last monarch styled king of France, including a diamond tiara; jewels from Empress Marie Therese of Austria, Marie Antoinette’s mother; and from Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I, who died in 1916. The fleur de lys design tiara, made in 1912, contains diamonds from the collection of Charles X, Marie Antoinette’s brother-in-law, who died in 1836.** (Read more.)

Two diamond and woven hair rings, and a diamond and woven hair jewel
Ruby and diamond brooch
*Count Mercy-Argenteau was the Imperial Ambassador at the court of France.

** The granddaughter of Charles X, Louise d'Artois, married into the House of Bourbon-Parma. Her granddaughter was Zita, Empress of Austria.


Voter Fraud

From The Federalist:
In Texas, authorities are investigating criminals who are using the technique of “vote harvesting” to illegally procure votes for their candidates. “Harvesting” is the practice of illegally obtaining the signatures of valid voters in order to vote in their name without their consent for the candidate(s) the criminal supports. These are just some instances of voter fraud we know about. It would be silly to assume cases that have been discovered are the only cases of fraud. Indeed according to a Pew Charitable Trust report from February 2012, one in eight voter registrations are “significantly inaccurate or no longer valid.” Since there are 146 million Americans registered to vote, this translates to a stunning 18 million invalid voter registrations on the books. Further, “More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters, and approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.” Numbers of this scale obviously provide ripe opportunity for fraud. (Read more.)

True-Crime Drama About Abortion

From The Federalist:
“Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” tells the story of Kermit Gosnell from the early stages of the police investigation into his abortion facility through the end of his court trial. Gosnell was an American doctor convicted of murdering babies born alive after abortions, of involuntary manslaughter for the death of a mother following an abortion in his facility, and of several felony counts of late-term abortion.

The film debuts across America Oct. 12, 2018, and chronicles the prosecution and police forces who worked to end Gosnell’s macabre abuses of women and children in Philadelphia. The true-crime film is based on a best-selling book written by a husband and wife team, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinny, with a desire to tell the stories of all of the people hurt by the practices in Gosnell’s facility. (Read more.)

From The Christian Post:
You need to go see the new movie "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer," starring actor Dean Cain in the leading role. It's in theaters nationwide this Friday. And while you're at it, take several friends with you. But if you've never heard about this film, I can't say I blame you. You're not alone.

Not only should you go see it if you care about the plight of unborn children and their mothers, but a purchase of this particular movie ticket is a rebuke to the disgraceful behavior of the American mainstream press a few years ago. Maybe I'm already starting to sound too much like President Trump railing against fake news, but it sure chaps me that much of the general public still does not know about this story. What is worse, the media's appalling conduct about this continues to this day.

For those who remain unfamiliar with what happened, the trial of Kermit Gosnell — a Philadelphia abortionist who was convicted in May 2013 of first-degree murder in the deaths of a few newborns and involuntary manslaughter in the death of one of his patients — was almost completely ignored in national news outlets when the proceedings began. Although it ought to have been a front-page, above-the-fold crime story, the national news media was only forced to cover it after weeks of intense outcry and pressure from independent citizen journalists, pro-life activists and some Republican legislators.

Gosnell's undoing all began in 2011 when police raided his clinic in a sketchy Philadelphia neighborhood as part of a narcotics bust. But what they found inside was a house of horrors straight out of "Silence of the Lambs." The remains of human fetuses stored in refrigerators. Forty-seven dead babies found in the basement. Feral cats scampering around the facility. The severed feet of dead babies preserved in small jars. Rusty, unsterilized medical instruments and worn out equipment. An overwhelmingly foul stench. Staff administering medication and facilitating medical services for which they had no formal training. The movie shines a light on all of this very effectively. (Read more.)

 More HERE, HERE and HERE. Share

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Civilizing The West

From Southern Lady:
It is often said that women were the key to civilizing the West—representations of family and comfort, stability and order. Through my research, it became evident that the two most powerful tools used to civilize the West were the Bible and Godey’s Lady’s Book. Both were wielded with exacting skill by women for the purpose of creating a better world for all.

The average woman who went west left behind the comforts of home. She had heard the horror stories of sickness, wild animals, and unfriendly natives, not to mention the lack of mercantiles that could provide the essentials of daily living. She was often required to leave behind her lovely wedding gifts and precious family heirlooms—so God help the man who suggested there was no room for her Godey’s.

Godey’s Lady’s Book was the thread that connected many a pioneer woman to the civilization she’d left behind. The magazine provided stories and poetry along with how-to articles in sewing, cooking, arts and crafts, and medical needs. A woman sitting in her dirt floor soddy in Kansas could flip through the pages to learn how to make her house a home, she could teach her daughters how to style their hair in the latest fashion or how to make the perfect apple butter. (Read more.)

To Protect and Defend

From Live Action News:
In recognition of October as Down Syndrome Awareness Month, President Donald Trump released a statement affirming the right to life of people with Down syndrome. He said the month was a time for “celebrating the lives of the more than 250,000 Americans with Down syndrome and those around the world with this condition.”

In the statement, Trump stressed the need for “deepening our understanding of Down syndrome and learning more about how we can ensure the beautiful people with Down syndrome are able to fully participate in society.” He acknowledged that advancements in therapies and interventions have contributed to more children with Down’s being “able to live fulfilling, independent, and productive lives.” He stressed there is a need for ongoing education and acceptance to counter the “persistent myths and stigmas” surrounding the condition.

Trump affirmed his administration’s commitment to honoring the sanctity of life of people with Down syndrome at every stage. In the United States and other developed nations, prenatal screening and testing have resulted in significantly more prenatal diagnoses of Trisomy 21. These prenatal diagnoses lead many parents to end the lives of their children through abortion. In some countries, the percentage of parents with this prenatal diagnosis opting for abortion is approaching 100 percent. Preborn babies are marked for death simply because of a disability, which many rightly recognize as a form of lethal discrimination. (Read more.)