Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Poetry of Giverny

From Victoria:
With a painter’s eye, French impressionist painter Claude Monet often combined flowers of like colors and allowed them to grow without constraint across the sprawling grounds of his home in Giverny, France. The water garden, inspired by the Japanese prints Monet collected, forms a mystical aquatic environment ensconced among weeping willows, wisteria, and thickets of bamboo. Originally, a local craftsman constructed the green bridge, a familiar feature in several of his celebrated paintings. As much a gardener as he was an artist, Monet landscaped the elaborate vignettes of flowers, water, and trees surrounding his iconic Normandy farmhouse, pictured above, with the passionate intent of capturing them on canvas. (Read more.)

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An Orwellian History of Obamacare

From The American Spectator:
It’s an article of faith among progressives that they are intellectually and morally superior to conservatives and pretty much everyone else. In fact, the need to see themselves as a cut above mere mortals is far more important to them than any ideology, policy position, or set of objective facts. This is why Barack Obama was able, after being elected President, to reverse his position on the inclusion of an individual mandate in health care “reform” without losing a single supporter. And it is why Paul Krugman maintains a huge progressive readership despite his penchant for treating them like fools.

He has thus garnered the applause of progressives everywhere by rebuking Senate Republicans for proceeding with Obamacare “repeal and replace” without following the open process that he claims characterized the passage of the “Affordable Care Act.” In a recent blog post, for example, he accused the GOP of plotting to pass the bill in secret: “And they’ll try to do it by dead of night, of course.” The term “Orwellian” has regrettably become rather hackneyed, but no other word adequately describes this sentence. It is exactly how Obamacare was passed. As the Wall Street Journal reminds its readers:
On Dec. 19, 2009, a Saturday, then Majority Leader Harry Reid tossed the 2,100-page bill the Senate had spent that fall debating and offered a new bill drafted in an invitation-only back room. Democrats didn’t even pretend to care what was in it while passing it in the dead of night on Dec. 24, amid a snowstorm, in the first Christmas Eve vote since 1895.
None of this is news. It is, in fact, one of the reasons Obamacare has been reviled for so long by the voters. Indeed, an argument can be made that this single piece of legislation — and how it was passed — is largely responsible for the decimation of the Democratic Party that began with its loss of the House, continued with its loss of the Senate, and culminated with the defeat of Hillary Clinton. If Krugman’s progressive readers were the intellectual heavyweights they imagine themselves, they would consider his claims about the fictive transparency of Obamacare’s passage an insult to their collective intelligence. (Read more.)
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Marx's Flight from Reality

From The Foundation for Economic Education:
From his student days in Berlin, two German philosophers left their imprint upon Marx: George Hegel (1770-1831) and Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872). From Hegel, Marx learned the theory of “dialectics” and the idea of historical progress to universal improvement. From Feuerbach, Marx accepted the idea of man “perfected.” Feuerbach had argued that rather than worshiping a non-existing supernatural being – God – man should worship himself. The “true” religion of the future should, therefore, be the Worship of Mankind, and that man “perfected” would be changed from a being focused on and guided by his own self-interest to one who was totally altruistic, that is, concerned only with the betterment of and service to Mankind as a whole, rather than only himself. 
  
Marx took Feuerbach’s notion of man “perfected” and developed what he considered to be the essential characteristics of such a developed human nature. There were three elements to such a perfected human being, Marx argued:

First, the Potential for “Autonomous Action.” This is action undertaken by a man only out of desire or enjoyment, not out of necessity. If a man works at a blacksmith’s forge out of a desire to creatively exercise his faculties in molding metal into some artistic form, this is free or “autonomous action.” If a man works at the forge because he will starve unless he makes a plow to plant a crop, he is acting under a “compulsion” or a “constraint.” (Read more.)
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sunrise, Sunset

Benvenuto Benvenuti (Italian, 1881-1959), Heading Home, c.1920.
Golden Evening, Southwest Texas - Julian Onderdonk
 A collection of art from East of the Sun, West of the Moon. More HERE.

Sunset time at the Faroe Islands - Sigmund Petersen , 1955
Danish, 1904–1975
Alfred Wahlberg (1834 - 1906)
The sun setting over fishing boats
Albert Goodwin
Sunset
Rick Stevens Art
Dennis Sheehan - Sunrise
Rick Stevens Art
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Religious Tests for Public Office

From Crisis:
On our own side of the pond, a hearing for a mid-level Cabinet nominee received more than the usual amount of attention when Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont sharply questioned Russell Vought, the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, over a blog post he had written last year for the website The Resurgent. Commenting on a theological controversy involving a professor at his alma mater, Vought, an evangelical Christian, wrote, “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

Sen. Sanders accused Mr. Vought of religious bigotry, asking “Are you suggesting that all of those people stand condemned? What about Jews? They stand condemned, too?” Mr. Vought responded, “Senator, I wrote a post based on being a Christian and attending a Christian school that has a statement of faith that speaks clearly with regard to the centrality of Jesus Christ in salvation.” Sen. Sanders called the post “indefensible and hateful,” with a spokesman from his office later releasing a statement saying, “In a democratic society, founded on the principle of religious freedom, we can all disagree over issues, but racism and bigotry—condemning an entire group of people because of their faith—cannot be part of any public policy.”

The statements from Sen. Sanders and his office have an admixture of truth and error, affirming some valid principles but also mistakenly identifying certain things with one another. While indeed anyone would agree that racism and bigotry “cannot be part of any public policy,” this statement asserts without demonstrating its two key claims. First, where did Mr. Vought state that he desired to make his belief regarding the soteriological status of Muslims into public policy? He made no such claim. Rather, the spokesman is insinuating that any person who holds such views has no place in making public policy. Surely such a demand would be a violation of Article VI of the Constitution, which expressly forbids any religious test for candidates for public office? And to be consistent, would Sen. Sanders question a Muslim candidate on his or her beliefs regarding the moral status of those who have not converted to Islam? (Read more.)
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Marxists Are Not on the "Right Side of History"

From the Foundation for Economic Education:
One of the most common phrases to be heard from “the left” is the assertion that someone or some public policy is or is not on “the right side of history.” It has almost become a mantra by those who disagree with, hate, or are fearful of ideas and policies proposed by those generally characterized as being politically on “the right.” The notion behind it is that “history” moves in a particular direction, toward some set of specific goals and societal forms, with each step in the historical process representing a “higher” and “better” stage or level than the preceding ones at which “society” has been operating.

 It is also captured in the popular labeling of those, again, on the political left as being “progressives” in their outlook and proposals for social reform and change. On the other hand, opponents are declared to be “reactionary,” “conservative,” or “deniers” of some facet of reality. Under the latter heading would be those who deny or challenge or question whether “climate change” is singularly or primarily or significantly man-made, or whether America still is or is becoming a more racist, misogynist, or generally anti-“social justice” hateful society.

This attitude and language has been exacerbated by the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, but it has been an ideological and linguistic conception of the political divisions in America and other places in the world for a very long time. As with many things on the political left, it dates from the nineteenth century and the “scientific socialism” of Karl Marx (1818-1883).

Many of the socialists who preceded or who were contemporaries of Marx believed that mankind could be transformed into a new and better socialist arrangement of human association through reason, willpower and conscious institution change. Marx rejected these people, labeling them as “utopian socialists.” They were “utopian,” that is, unrealistic fantasy believers, not because they wanted a bright and beautiful socialist future for humanity, but because they thought that it was in the ability of human beings to “will it” into existence. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Liselotte

The Princess Palatine Elisabeth-Charlotte of Bavaria, Duchesse d'Orléans, was Marie-Antoinette's great-grandmother. Called "Liselotte" she was the second wife of Philippe d'Orléans, brother of the Sun King Louis XIV. The first wife of Philippe was Henrietta Anne of Great Britain, who was the great great grandmother of Louis XVI. Thus both Louis and Antoinette were direct descendants of Philippe. Share

No "Nazis" in the Confederacy

People apply the word "Nazi" to any group of people they judge as being racist, especially Southerners, although the North certainly had its share of racists. Unfortunately, it is a fact of history that even learned men like Lincoln had views which would now be considered hateful and totally unacceptable. Nevertheless, Professor Wilson explains why analogies between Nazis and Confederates are inaccurate. To quote:
Anyone who has been paying attention has heard many times the assertion that the flag of the Southern Confederacy is equivalent to the banner of the Nazi German Reich.  That this idea should gain any credit at all is a sign of how debased American public discourse has become by ignorance, deceit, and hatred.

To make an obvious point:  The Confederacy fought a defensive war against invasion.    It had no design to rule others or exploit their resources—only wished to be let alone.  Nazi Germany was a militarist state, dedicated to a boastful, bullying, brutal conquest of other peoples.  Rather like the U.S. Army in 1861—1865.

Another obvious point.  Nazi Germany was a regimented totalitarian state.   On the other hand, a number of observers have suggested that the Southern people were too loosely governed and individualistic to accept the strong central authority that was needed to win their war against a larger aggressive state organized for conquest.  In this respect the Confederacy was the last Jeffersonian regime in America.

The Nazi analogy rests on the idea that both the Confederacy and Germany were “racist” states.  The term “racist” has become so elastic and pejorative that it is no longer used by honest writers.  History and ordinary observation indicate a vast variety and gradation of the “racist” ideas that the various races of mankind have had about each other, many of them involving notions of significant differences and superiority/inferiority.

If  “racist” means in this  connection that the Confederacy  generally assumed an attitude of “white supremacy,” it is true.  This tells us very little.  In the sense intended the overwhelming majority of white Europeans and Americans were white supremacists from the first contacts with Africa in the 16th century until well into the 20th century.  Abraham Lincoln expressed this idea several times.  Many of his supporters did so frequently and firmly. (Read more.)
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Marx's Legacy Is Anti-Intellectualism

We can see the Marxist legacy in those who prefer to call names rather than engage in rational debate. From the Foundation for Economic Education:
You get the idea. Accusation is a convenient substitute for thought....As Ludwig von Mises put it in Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis regarding Marxian interpretations of history and intellectual processes, “The enemy is not refuted: enough to unmask him as a bourgeois.” Mises devotes large chunks of an entire short volume – titled Marxism Unmasked – to the discussion and dissection of Marxian methods, argument, and analysis. Confront one who disagrees. Slander him as a bourgeois or as a mere defender of bourgeois class interests. Use this as a pretext for rejecting his ideas wholesale. Move on to the next step in the revolution, contradicting theory and evidence be damned. (Read more.)
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Louis XVI in Royal Regalia

From a tapestry. Share

Meddling in Foreign Elections

From  The American Spectator:
While the media obsess over an alleged Russian conspiracy to collude with Donald Trump to affect America’s 2016 presidential election, what about Obama’s interference in the elections of other countries? Most Americans have no idea that President Obama meddled in elections all over the world. And apparently, the media decided there’s no reason for Americans to know about this illegal activity.

Indeed, in 2016, the Los Angeles Times did a story on how America has interfered with other nation’s elections in the past, but they stopped short of mentioning the various foreign elections Obama tried to influence. But the same article reports that Obama “slapped Russia with new penalties for meddling in the U.S. Presidential election… by hacking into Democratic and Republican computer networks and selectively releasing emails.” Hypocrisy check, anyone?

Since that article appeared last December, it has essentially become fake news. The Republican National Committee was never successfully hacked into and evidence is mounting that the DNC was not hacked by Russia. Not only has Wiki Leaks itself insisted Russia was not the source, but a number of cyber security experts, including McAfee antivirus developer John McAfee, disputes this. McAfee says the hack on the DNC “used a piece of malware a year and half old” and was “not an organized hack and certainly not a nation-state that did this.” Moreover, the DNC has never allowed the FBI or any government agency to analyze the computers in question.

Nevertheless, Obama, operating on unconfirmed evidence, abruptly imposed new sanctions on Russia. Many observers believe he did so in order to set the stage for the left to initiate its phony Russian-Trump collusion narrative to be used to remove Trump from office or to defeat him in 2020. (Read more.)
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Prisoners of Clutter

From The Boston Globe:
Tell me about it. That sums up Boston parents’ reaction to new research by UCLA-affiliated social scientists concluding that American families are overwhelmed by clutter, too busy to go in their own backyards, rarely eat dinner together even though they claim family meals as a goal, and can’t park their cars in the garage because they’re crammed with non-vehicular stuff.

The team of anthropologists and archeologists spent four years studying 32 middle-class Los Angeles families in their natural habitat — their toy-littered homes — and came to conclusions so grim that the lead researcher used the word “disheartening” to describe the situation we have gotten ourselves in­to.

At first glance, the just-published, 171-page “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” looks like a coffee table book. But it contains very real-life photos of pantries, offices, and backyards, and details a generally Zen-free existence. Architectural Digest or Real Simple this is not. Among the findings detailed within:

PPU The rise of Costco and similar stores has prompted so much stockpiling — you never know when you’ll need 600 Dixie cups or a 50-pound bag of sugar — that three out of four garages are too full to hold cars. (Read more.)
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Silhouette of the Duchesse d’Angoulême

The silhouette of the Duchesse d’Angoulême, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette; detail from a larger silhouette illustration. [credit: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie]

Marie-Thérèse, Duchesse d’Angoulême with CharlesX and Louis-Antoine, Duc d’Angoulême
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Sanctions

It is a shame that European nations cannot protect themselves from de facto invasion without being sanctioned by the EU. From France 24:
BRUSSELS (AFP) - The EU launched legal action Tuesday against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in their share of refugees under a controversial solidarity plan. The move shows the frustration in Brussels over the slow response to the scheme, which aimed to relocate 160,000 migrants from frontline migrant crisis states Italy and Greece but which has so far seen only 20,000 moved. "I regret to say that despite our repeated calls, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have not yet taken the necessary action," EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a news conference.

"For this reason the (European) Commission has decided to launch infringement procedures against these three member states," he said at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Brussels last month set a June deadline for Warsaw and Budapest to start accepting migrants under the plan to ease the burden on Italy and Greece, or risk sanctions. Prague also came under pressure after effectively dropping out. (Read more.)
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Gentlemanly Behavior

We could use such behaviors now. From English Historical Fiction Authors:
So then, what did this ‘gentlemanly behavior’ (sometimes referred to as ‘good breeding’) entail? Through the centuries, numerous writers attempted to describe it. Philosopher John Locke (1693) suggested a young man of good breeding:

was decent and graceful in his looks, voice, words, gestures and general demeanor.
was pleasing in company, taking care not to offend others or demonstrating “sheepish bashfulness”
showed no excess of ceremony; did not flatter or dissimulate; was not mean.
In conversation displayed respect, esteem, good manners and goodwill to everyone.

In the mid-1700’s Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield wrote to his illegitimate son on the issue of that which would make a man “welcome and agreeable in conversation and common life.” (Chesterfield, 1984) His advice echoed Locke’s including:

“One of the most important points in life is decency; which is to do what is proper and where it is proper.”  (Chesterfield, 1984) Do not be ashamed of doing what is right.
Do not be distracted, rude or thoughtless during a conversation.
You should always endeavor to procure all the conveniences you can to the people you are with.” (Chesterfield, 1984) (In other words, think of others first and make them comfortable when they are with you.

Mason (1982) helps to sum up the overall English notion of a gentleman suggesting that the true English gentleman was a combination of both good birth and a sterling character. In addition to coming from a good family:

A gentleman knew his place in society and the world
While it was convenient for the gentleman to have money, he should never be one to be seen to count pennies
A gentleman was a man of principle, careful of his reputation, fulfilling his obligations, and behaving with integrity and honor in every situation
Gentlemen weren’t awkwardly bashful or formal; they didn’t put themselves forward in social settings, but rather stylish and elegant and considerate of others
Gentlemen show consideration for women and would never insult those below them be they servant or beggar.  (Read more.)
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Saturday, June 17, 2017

"Your Virtues and Your Kindness"

Our Lady and Marie-Antoinette hold the Gospels for Louis XVI as he makes his coronation oath. The picture is accompanied by the following verse:
The hands of Divinity
Louis, sends you the crown
The scepter, the sword, the law gives to you
But it is your virtues and your kindness
Which assures you the throne in our hearts.
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Camille Paglia on Trump, Democrats, Transgenderism, and Islamist Terror

I certainly do not agree with Dr. Paglia on everything; certainly her comparison of Hillary Clinton to Marie-Antoinette is totally off-base. She makes some interesting points, though. From The Weekly Standard:
All of which brings us to the issue of Trump's performance to date. The initial conundrum was: could he shift from being the slashing, caustic ex-reality show star of the campaign to a more measured, presidential persona? Perhaps to the dismay of his diehard critics, Trump did indeed make that transition at the Capitol on inauguration morning, when he appeared grave and focused, palpably conveying a sense of the awesome burdens of the highest office. As for his particular actions as president, I am no fan of executive orders, which usurp congressional prerogatives and which I was already denouncing when Obama was constantly signing them (with very little protest, one might add, from the mainstream media).

Trump's "travel ban" executive order in late January was obviously bungled—issued way too fast and with woefully insufficient research (pertaining, for example, to green-card holders, who should have been exempted from the start). The administration bears full responsibility for fanning the flames of an already aroused "Resistance." However, I fail to see the "chaos" in the White House that the mainstream media (as well as conservative Never Trumpers) keep harping on—or rather, I see no more chaos than was abundantly present during the first six months of both the Clinton and Obama administrations. Trump seems to be methodically trying to fulfill his campaign promises, notably regarding the economy and deregulation—the approaches to which will always be contested in our two-party system. His progress has thus far been in stops and starts, partly because of the passivity, and sometimes petulance, of the mundane GOP leadership.

There seems to be a huge conceptual gap between Trump and his most implacable critics on the left. Many highly educated, upper-middle-class Democrats regard themselves as exemplars of "compassion" (which they have elevated into a supreme political principle) and yet they routinely assail Trump voters as ignorant, callous hate-mongers. These elite Democrats occupy an amorphous meta-realm of subjective emotion, theoretical abstractions, and refined language. But Trump is by trade a builder who deals in the tangible, obdurate, objective world of physical materials, geometry, and construction projects, where communication often reverts to the brusque, coarse, high-impact level of pre-modern working-class life, whose daily locus was the barnyard. It's no accident that bourgeois Victorians of the industrial era tried to purge "barnyard language" out of English. (Read more.)
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Wordsworth, Poetry and Mental Disorder

From the Wordsworth Trust:
Wordsworth was certainly not alone in his attraction to the subject of mental and behavioural abnormality. During the 1790s (the decade in which Lyrical Ballads was first published), verse narratives of the mad, melancholic, and wild were all the rage in England’s newspapers. Readers craving “extraordinary incident” (Wordsworth’s expression) relished sensational tales about people made mad by incredible circumstances, while the more refined were invited to weep over the young and broken-hearted whose love brought them to the brink. Meanwhile, writers often ascribed to “lunatics” and “idiots” (both medical terms at the time) a unique form of wisdom or grace: there was holiness in the fool, just as there was often a kind of truth available in the obscure language and behaviour of “melancholics” and “maniacs.” The mad were often depicted in literature as solitary beings, traversing high cliffs or living in the wilderness, reflecting popular beliefs about their God-like or “natural” state of existence.

In many ways, Wordsworth’s poetry is part and parcel with this cultural moment: Lyrical Ballads is peopled with the mad, hysterical, and wild, figures which both fascinated and repulsed the popular imagination at this time. But Wordsworth’s poetry also dispenses with many of the common clichés about mental disorder, in its association with lost love, the supernatural, and other sensational affairs. Some of Wordsworth’s distracted figures, like the elderly father in Old Man Travelling, and the mothers in The Mad Mother and The Thorn, carry a trauma brought about by familial loss or separation. Other poems, like The Old Cumberland Beggar and Resolution and Independence, tell stories about the relationship between mental health and labour. The Ruined Cottage, The Female Vagrant and Anecdote for Fathers further reflect Wordsworth’s ideas about the social dimensions of mental health by confronting the relationship between poverty and mind disorders. (Read more.)
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Friday, June 16, 2017

A Father's Day Barbecue

When my father was alive I never fully appreciated how hard he worked to support us. I wish he would come back for one moment so I could tell him. From Southern Lady:
This Father’s Day, pay tribute to the man who has filled so many roles through the years—provider, protector, pal, and more. Our dads work hard for us all year long, so use this day to show them just how much we appreciate them and all they do. There’s no better way to spend this special June Sunday than with a time of feasting and fellowship reveling in the early-summer air. Fire up the grill, and treat dad to a gussied-up backyard barbecue that takes full advantage of the season’s vibrant colors and flavors. Start with our Grilled Vegetable Crudité with Smoky Parmesan Dip, which gives the traditional veggie platter a robust spin sure to please the heartiest of appetites. Soft-boiled eggs, green beans, and fresh pesto are flavorful additions to classic potato salad, and, along with a colorful slaw, they make the perfect complement to marinated skirt steak. Keep the grill going for dessert—a delicious honey-drizzled fruit pizza puts a final sweet touch on this special day. (Read more.)
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Creating a Climate of Hate

I have never experienced such a level of rage, vitriol and pure hatred as I have lately, aimed not only at President Trump and his family, but even at myself for being a Trump supporter. Where are the much-vaunted open minds of the Left? How many times have I been told by such people that everybody should be allowed to do what they want, that there are no hard and fast rules? Suddenly, the Lefties have discovered righteous indignation, and over what? What has Trump actually done to take away anyone's rights to do anything? Women are still allowed to contracept, and abort their babies if the contraception proves ineffective. Men can dress up like women, and women can dress like men. Gays can pretend to be "married." Not a single nation which sponsors terrorism has been placed on an immigration moratorium. Their revolution is over nothing; their resistance is over nothing. They have proved nothing except that they have found more creative uses for the f-word than ever before imagined. And that they are willing to resort to violence if they do not get their way. From The American Spectator:
Last week, a known leftist terrorist was made the star of a parade. The week before, a comedienne pretended to cut off the head of the President. This week, a theater company pretended the President was Caesar and stabbed him. Then there’s ANTIFA, the ironically named Anti-Fascists who use fascistic techniques to suppress the speech and free activities of those with whom they disagree. Don’t forget Black Lives Matter where an armed gunman systematically executed police officers. He was just resisting oppression. And murdering. But mostly resisting.

For years, the Left has lectured about civility — right up and until the election where Donald Trump was challenged about whether he’d accept the election results. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton opined this at a Manchester rally, “He became the first person, Republican or Democrat, who refused to say that he would respect the results of this election. Now, that is a direct threat to our democracy.”
Since Hillary lost, she’s blamed everyone but herself and has championed Resistance. She’s become a direct threat to our democracy. In fact, she’s persisted in resisting.

The two hashtags #Neverthelessshepersisted and #Resist has been the cri de coeur for the Left and the media, most notably, CNN. Remember the crosshairs on Sarah Palin’s website? The symbols were blamed for a crazy person shooting Gabby Giffords. It was insane. The media’s behavior was irresponsible and salacious.

Now, when an actual radicalized political Bernie Bro stooge hears the message loud and clear, gets a gun, and seeks out Republican Congress people (and their children) to murder, motives are hazier. The media can’t quite figure out why someone would do such a thing.

Really? When the Mayor of Berkeley refuses to allow the police to stop masked leftist terrorists from looting, burning, robbing, and general violence against Trump supporters, does anyone see a clear message from authorities that it’s open season on the political opposition? Is it a stretch that a political volunteer would take the message to heart? Violence is not only passively allowed, as in Berkeley, but it’s condoned and encouraged from the least activist all the way up to Hillary Clinton herself.

How does that manifest? Shooting baseball playing Congressmen or maybe running them off the road or maybe sending death threats to kill the wife of the elected official. All of these things happened in the last few weeks, by the way. (Read more.)
The hatred of the Left is ultimately aimed at the millions of ordinary Americans who voted for Trump. In the eyes of such elites we are all just a bunch of ignorant rednecks. From The American Thinker:
This war on Americans and their fairly elected representatives is not new.  The daily calls for impeachment, the constant undermining of the legitimacy of this democratically elected president, and violent rhetoric from celebrities have been going on since day one of the current administration.  The people Hillary Clinton called deplorable have been vilified along with a president dedicated to taking on the elite establishment.  The elite internationalists have more respect for the U.N. than for rural Pennsylvania and more respect for NAFTA and climate change accords than for the voice of conservative American people. This hate and disdain for everything this president and his supporters represent shows a division in what a brighter future for America looks like. The leftists believe that our borders should be open and that illegal aliens should not be sent home.  They believe that multiculturalism is always good and that America has a lot to apologize for.  The left and its antifa, Black Lives Matter, and stooges in the mainstream media would like to drown out the opinions of the rest of America.
Despite the intimidation, condescension, and occasional violence from the left, patriots should continue to elect representatives who stand for this country's values.  We should stand with the president in supporting his travel ban, a wall with Mexico, and our troops.

What happened yesterday was tragic.  The very values of this republic were under attack.  This domestic terrorist sought to inflict damage on the agenda of the president and the Republican Party.  Our elected officials should not let him win; they should continue to pursue the agenda they were sent to Washington to pursue.  By doing this, we can really together and live out the slogan of this president's campaign: "Make America Great Again." (Read more.)

Ann Coulter weighs in how the so-called "resistance" is the real threat to our republic due to its use of violent rhetoric and violence in general. To quote:
 Then Trump won, and these very same hysterics refused to accept the results of the election. Recently, Hillary announced her steadfast opposition to the winning candidate using a military term, saying she'd joined the "Resistance."  Imagine if Trump lost and then announced that he'd joined the "RESISTANCE." He'd be accused of trying to activate right-wing militias. Every dyspeptic glance at an immigrant would be reported as fascistic violence. But the media seem blithely unaware that the anti-Trump "Resistance" has been accompanied by nonstop militaristic violence from liberals. When Trump ripped up our Constitution and jumped all over it by failing to concede the election three weeks in advance, CNN ran a segment on a single tweet from a random Trump supporter that mentioned the Second Amendment. Carol Costello: "Still to come in the 'Newsroom,' some Trump supporters say they will refuse to accept a loss on Election Day, with one offering a threat of violence. We'll talk about that next." In CNN's most fevered dreams about a violent uprising of Trump supporters, they never could have conceived of the level of actual violence being perpetrated by Americans who refuse to accept Trump's win. (See Hate Map.)

It began with Trump's inauguration, when a leftist group plotted to pump a debilitating gas into one Trump inaugural ball, military families were assaulted upon leaving the Veterans' Inaugural Ball, and attendees of other balls had water thrown on them. Since then, masked, armed liberals around the country have formed military-style organizations to beat up conservatives. In liberal towns, the police are regularly ordered to stand down to allow the assaults to proceed unimpeded. The media only declared a crisis when conservatives fought back, smashing the black-clad beta males. ("Battle for Berkeley!") There is more media coverage for conservatives' "microaggressions" toward powerful minorities -– such as using the wrong pronoun -- than there is for liberals' physical attacks on conservatives, including macings, concussions and hospitalizations. And now some nut Bernie Sanders-supporter confirms that it's Republicans standing on a baseball field, before opening fire. (Read more.)
Finally, from Peggy Noonan at the WSJ:
What we are living through in America is not only a division but a great estrangement. It is between those who support Donald Trump and those who despise him, between left and right, between the two parties, and even to some degree between the bases of those parties and their leaders in Washington. It is between the religious and those who laugh at Your Make Believe Friend, between cultural progressives and those who wish not to have progressive ways imposed upon them. It is between the coasts and the center, between those in flyover country and those who decide what flyover will watch on television next season. It is between “I accept the court’s decision” and “Bake my cake.” We look down on each other, fear each other, increasingly hate each other. Oh, to have a unifying figure, program or party. But we don’t, nor is there any immediate prospect. So, as Ben Franklin said, we’ll have to hang together or we’ll surely hang separately. To hang together—to continue as a country—at the very least we have to lower the political temperature. It’s on all of us more than ever to assume good faith, put our views forward with respect, even charity, and refuse to incite.

We’ve been failing. Here is a reason the failure is so dangerous.

In the early 1990s Roger Ailes had a talk show on the America’s Talking network and invited me to talk about a concern I’d been writing about, which was old-fashioned even then: violence on TV and in the movies. Grim and graphic images, repeated depictions of murder and beatings, are bad for our kids and our culture, I argued. Depictions of violence unknowingly encourage it.

But look, Roger said, there’s comedy all over TV and I don’t see people running through the streets breaking into laughter. True, I said, but the problem is that, for a confluence of reasons, our country is increasingly populated by the not fully stable. They aren’t excited by wit, they’re excited by violence—especially unstable young men. They don’t have the built-in barriers and prohibitions that those more firmly planted in the world do. That’s what makes violent images dangerous and destructive. Art is art and censorship is an admission of defeat. Good judgment and a sense of responsibility are the answer.

That’s what we’re doing now, exciting the unstable—not only with images but with words, and on every platform. It’s all too hot and revved up. This week we had a tragedy. If we don’t cool things down, we’ll have more. (Read more.)
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Stories Which Teach Safety

From Experiencing Parenthood:
Snow White was seemingly befriended by a helpless older woman, who wasn’t what she appeared to be. True to her trusting ways, Snow White accepted a seemingly harmless apple from the old woman. The apple, of course, was poisoned. Stranger danger is the ideal topic with Snow White. Bad people don’t wear black cloaks and look harmful, some look like sweet friends. Use Snow White to illustrate to kids how important it is that they do not ever accept food from or talk to strangers alone. They always need to talk to mom or dad before accepting any gift or treat. (Read more.)
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Medieval Feast for Modern Man

From Modern Medievalism:
At the height of the Middle Ages in the west, adoration of the Eucharistic Lord--not the reception of Communion--was the climax of the liturgy for the average layperson. The faithful, called to attention by the ringing of the Sanctus bells, would jostle each other for a glimpse of the Host raised up by the priest over his head at the elevations. As told by Eamon Duffy in The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580, zealous parishioners might not leave until they had satisfactorily gazed upon the Lord, shouting across the nave, "raise it higher, sir priest! Raise it higher!" 

No one did more to foster a devotion to Christ's real presence in these crucial centuries than Saint Norbert of Xanten: founder of the Praemonstratensian Order. Four hundred years before the Protestant Reformation, a wandering preacher known as Tanchelm had caused many people in the city of Antwerp to deny the saving power of the Eucharist and the authority of the bishop. St Norbert was invited by Bishop Burchard of Cambrai to take a few trusted disciples with him into the city and bring it back to the orthodox faith: a feat he accomplished with both gentleness of heart and zeal in preaching. He said to the people, 
“Brothers, do not be surprised and do not be afraid. Unwittingly you have pursued falsehood thinking it to be the truth. If you had been taught the truth first you would have been found effortlessly tending toward salvation, just as you now effortlessly lean toward perdition.”
Focusing on Christ's discourse on the "bread of life" in John 6, Norbert reconciled the city to the Church and was thereafter known as the Apostle of Antwerp. For teaching clergy and laity alike to reverently care for the altar cloths and handling of the Sacred Species wherever he went, even bringing the Blessed Sacrament away from the church to the battlefield, making Christ the instrument of peace between warring clans, Norbert became known as the Apostle of the Eucharist. 
A young woman soon picked up where Norbert left off to take the medieval Church's Eucharistic devotion to its apex. Saint Juliana of Liège, a Norbertine canoness, reported having a vision of a full moon, shining brightly but marred by a dark line across its surface. She understood the moon to represent the Church on earth, reflecting the light of Christ's glory. The dark line was a void in the Church's myriad cycle of celebrations: a lack of a day dedicated to the Lord's real presence in the Eucharist. Until then, Maundy Thursday was the only day to commemorate the institution of the Eucharist (at the Last Supper), but it was inevitably shadowed by the gloom of Good Friday. St Juliana petitioned her bishop to declare a feast for the Body and Blood of Christ within the diocese--which he did, though he died before he could act on it. (Read more.)
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Islam, Slavery, and Non-consensual Sex

Is the Dutch government returning slaves to their captors? From The Geller Report:
Sex slavery is sanctioned under Islam. At the risk of repeating myself for the umpteenth time, sex slavery and rape of the infidel is sanctioned and rewarded under Islam. Muslim clerics all over the world confirm the right to have sex slaves. It is in the Qur’an — the word of Allah. Politicians keep turning a blind eye, law enforcement keep ignoring it, so this pox on our communities will continue to get worse. The history of sex slavery under Islam — look at this. Sex slavery and rape is in accordance with Quran chapter and verse. Sex slaves are war booty. Following a victory, Muhammad would usually distribute the captives, both male and female, as slaves to his soldiers. And Muhammad is the “perfect example for Muslims.” According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general. The Qur’an says that a man may have sex with his wives and with these slave girls: “The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame.” (Qur’an 23:1-6) (Read more.)
Furthermore, a liberal institution of higher learning is trying to justify both slavery and non-consensual sex, HERE. Share

Fake Silk

From Undark:
There could have been no more knowledgeable or better-placed recipient of such an urgent appeal. Alice Hamilton was a leading U.S. authority on the toxicity of carbon disulfide, the compound that appeared to be causing the rayon illnesses. Back in 1915, as a medical expert working with the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, she had studied its use in the rubber industry — though even then it was falling out of favor, in part because of its well-recognized dangers.

Hamilton had inspected nine rubber factories for the bureau. Of 16 cases of mental illness she tallied, one worker had been briefly committed to an insane asylum and several others had experienced other nervous system complaints. One man had worked for only a month before he began to show signs of derangement: “He was Hungarian and spoke no English, and the foreman did not recognize his condition until he became very much excited and unmanageable. He was sent home, and his wife reported that he acted so strangely and was so uncontrollable that she took him to a doctor. When the latter asked him about his work he told a rambling tale of lumbering down a river, and could not be convinced that he had ever worked in a rubber factory.”

Carbon disulfide was not the only toxic substance Hamilton encountered. Aniline, a compound added to rubber to accelerate the manufacturing process called vulcanization, was of special concern because it poisons the blood, giving it a bluish tinge and causing acute oxygen deprivation. In one rubber plant in Akron, Ohio, the problem was so endemic that its workers were called the “blue boys.”

Then there was thiocarbanilide, a vulcanizing accelerant produced by combining aniline with carbon disulfide in a kind of toxic perfect storm. In 1919, during a visit to a major producer of the compound in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, Hamilton noted symptoms that suggested both aniline and carbon disulfide poisoning: “They have had a man suffer from intense headache and nervousness so that he could not sleep.”

Now, in 1933, carbon disulfide seemed to be wreaking havoc among workers in the relatively new industry that was transforming plant fiber into the wildly popular artificial silk called viscose rayon. And while rubber making could use other chemicals in the vulcanization process, viscose rayon absolutely depended on carbon disulfide. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Roman Catacombs

From Catholic Exchange:
First published in 1877 and republished this year by Sophia Institute Press, Fr Northcote’s book reminds us of the lives and often heroic deaths of our Christian forefathers in Rome many centuries ago. He mentions that there at least 40 or 50 catacombs in the hills around Rome. Originally built by designated Christian “fossors” (diggers) to bury their dead, their use lasted for 300 years, until the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion. By AD 410, burials had ceased for good.
It seems that the Roman government did not interfere with the catacombs before the middle of the third century and not even then as places of burial: only when they came to be used as places of worship and assembly for their outlawed religion did they attract the severity of the pagan administration. For instance, the Emperor Numerian, learning that Christian families were secretly assembling for Mass in a catacomb on the Via Salara, deliberately had the entrance blocked off by a huge mound of rubble, thus burying the worshippers alive. The sacred vessels for Mass and the skeletons of men, women and children were only rediscovered during the pontificate of Pope Damasus in AD 370.

Fr Northcote’s book includes illustrations and descriptions of the famous symbols found in the catacombs, such as the Good Shepherd, the anchor, the dove and the fish. The fish symbol in particular was “in universal use throughout the Church during its first 300 years…it became as it were a part of the very catechism – every baptised Christian seems to have been familiar with it.” (Read more.)

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Are We Nearing Civil War?

From PJB:
We are approaching something of a civil war where the capital city seeks the overthrow of the sovereign and its own restoration. Thus far, it is a nonviolent struggle, though street clashes between pro- and anti-Trump forces are increasingly marked by fistfights and brawls. Police are having difficulty keeping people apart. A few have been arrested carrying concealed weapons. That the objective of this city is to bring Trump down via a deep state-media coup is no secret. Few deny it.
Last week, fired Director of the FBI James Comey, a successor to J. Edgar Hoover, admitted under oath that he used a cutout to leak to The New York Times an Oval Office conversation with the president. Goal: have the Times story trigger the appointment of a special prosecutor to bring down the president. Comey wanted a special prosecutor to target Trump, despite his knowledge, from his own FBI investigation, that Trump was innocent of the pervasive charge that he colluded with the Kremlin in the hacking of the DNC.

Comey’s deceit was designed to enlist the police powers of the state to bring down his president. And it worked. For the special counsel named, with broad powers to pursue Trump, is Comey’s friend and predecessor at the FBI, Robert Mueller. As Newt Gingrich said Sunday: “Look at who Mueller’s starting to hire. … (T)hese are people that … look to me like they’re … setting up to go after Trump … including people, by the way, who have been reprimanded for hiding from the defense information into major cases. …

“This is going to be a witch hunt.” (Read more.)

Meanwhile, it is emerging more and more that the real obstruction of justice occurred in the previous administration. From John Solomon and Sara A. Carter at Circa:
Comey told lawmakers in the close door session that he raised his concern with the attorney general that she had created a conflict of interest by meeting with Clinton’s husband, the former President Bill Clinton, on an airport tarmac while the investigation was ongoing. During the conversation, Comey told lawmakers he confronted Lynch with a highly sensitive piece of evidence, a communication between two political figures that suggested Lynch had agreed to put the kibosh on any prosecution of Clinton.

Comey said “the attorney general looked at the document then looked up with a steely silence that lasted for some time, then asked him if he had any other business with her and if not that he should leave her office,” said one source who was briefed.

Comey “took that interaction and the fact she had met with Bill Clinton as enough reason to decide he would not allow the Justice Department to decide the fate of the case and instead would go public” with his own assessment that the FBI could not prove Mrs. Clinton intended to violate the law when she transmitted classified information through her private email and therefore should not be criminally charged. Another source said the "tarmac meeting was the public excuse for not going to Lynch when all along there was other evidence that was more concerning to Comey."  (Read more.)
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Global Warming on Mars

And it is not our fault. From The Washington Times:
Newly published evidence suggests Mars is experiencing global warming as it emerges from an ice age. The red planet, which moved closer to the Earth on Monday than at any other time since 2005, has retreated from a glacial period that would have covered large areas in white before the thaw about 370,000 years ago, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science. The research was conducted using an instrument on board the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that allowed an unprecedented examination of “the most recent Martian ice age recorded in the planet’s north polar ice cap,” according to a NASA press release. Research was led by planetary scientist Isaac B. Smith at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “We found an accelerated accumulation rate of ice in the uppermost 100 to 300 meters of the polar cap,” Mr. Smith said in a statement on the SRI website. “The volume and thickness of ice matches model predictions from the early. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Desmond Doss

The hero behind the fabulous film Hacksaw Ridge. From Vintage News:
 During the Battle of Okinawa, the fighting took place on the Maeda Escarpment in April 1945. The battlefield was located on top of a sheer 400-foot steep cliff which was nicknamed Hacksaw Ridge. The battalion had to climb on the top of the cliff and face a deadly network of Japanese machine guns and traps. After a horrifying battle, the battalion was ordered to retreat and Doss was the only one who stayed behind because he didn’t want to leave his fallen friends to suffer. Alone, he carried his wounded comrades to the edge of the cliff and one by one he lowered them down to safety. Singlehandedly, he saved the lives of 75 soldiers. Doss was evacuated from Okinawa on May 21, 1945, aboard the USS Mercy. (Read more.)
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Mueller and Comey

From Gregg Jarrett:
As I pointed out three weeks ago, the relationship between Mueller and Comey is not a casual one. They are well known to be good friends and former colleagues who worked side-by-side at the FBI and Department of Justice handling together several important cases. Agents quipped they were joined at the hip.

In one memorable case, they stood in solidarity, both threatening to resign over the warrantless wiretapping fiasco involving then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004. But the Comey-Mueller duo are best known for “badly bungling the biggest case they ever handled” together –the 2001 anthrax letters attacks that killed 5 people and infected 17 others in Washington in 2001. The story is well told by Carl M. Cannon, executive editor and Washington bureau chief of RealClearPolitics. It appears that Mueller, Comey and others misinterpreted the evidence and botched the case by fingering an innocent man, Steven Hatfill. It ended up costing taxpayers roughly $ 5 million in a legal settlement.

Here is the interesting part that few people recall. Hatfill’s successful lawsuit accused the FBI and DOJ of leaking information about him to the press in violation of the federal Privacy Act.  Sound familiar? That’s right, a leak. Very much like Comey’s premeditated leak to the media of his now infamous memo reciting his alleged conversation with President Trump. Perhaps, old habits are hard to break.

As York points out, the Washington Post published a story the day Mueller was appointed special counsel entitled, “Brothers In Arms: The Long Friendship Between Mueller And Comey.”  But nowhere in the article does it venture toward the obvious –that their relationship presents a glaring and disqualifying conflict of interest.  So much for journalistic curiosity.  

Perhaps most revealing is a lengthy Washingtonian story four years ago, describing in detail a deep friendship that stretches back over a decade. Mueller and Comey became “close partners and close allies”.  So close, “there was only one person in government whom Comey could confide in and trust: Bob Mueller.”

Against this backdrop, the inevitable conflict of interest comes into full view.  If the special counsel is investigating whether the president tried to obstruct justice, the case becomes a test of “he said…he said.” Which man will Mueller believe? His good friend or the man who fired his good friend? How can Mueller fairly and impartially assess Comey’s credibility versus Trump’s? He cannot. 
Equally important, how can the public be assured that Mueller’s decision is free of partiality, if not animus, driven by his personal affection for Comey? It is reasonable to assume that Mueller was not pleased to see his good friend fired by Trump. Might the special counsel be tempted to exact retribution by conjuring criminality where none may exist? This is precisely why there are legal and ethical rules which demand recusal based on prior relationships. (Read more.)
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ISIS Crucifixion

From t2gospel:
The media run away from Christian martyrs because they are a powerful witness to the Christian faith.  When random concert-goers fall prey to terror, in the wrong place at the wrong time, it makes the rest of us feel sad but lucky.  But when Christians die because they refuse to renounce their faith, it speaks to the power and the freedom ordinary people discover in Christ.  No sane person willingly dies for something he knows is a lie. Historically, seeing the deaths of Christian martyrs has inspired others to follow the Savior as well.  The secular media wants no part of anything like that!  So a vague headline about people dying in a bus attack manages to cover the bad news without accentuating the Good News.

Christians in America turn their backs as well because stories about martyrs in other lands reflect poorly on the quality our faith here in the West.  In persecution lands, believers risk their lives and the safety of their children to attend worship services and even public prayer times. They worship Christ in the open, fully aware that churches and Christian gatherings are soft targets. But in the Land of the Free, we casually skip worship on Sundays to take our kids to soccer practice or recover from a mild headache.  Just imagine, if youth sports leagues existed in Minya, Egypt, those unfortunate children could have saved their lives by skipping church and going to play soccer instead!

In America, churches report that “regular worship attendance” is now defined as twice a month.  Think about it: when worshipers in Egypt and China become as committed to Christ as we are, the rate of martyrdom could be slashed by half!

The most difficult question facing the American church today is not “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  We already know the answer to that question: character, faith and the purposes of God.  The harder question is this one: What is a Christian, anyway? (Read more.)
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Monday, June 12, 2017

The Smolny Institute for Daughters of the Nobility

Founded by Catherine the Great, the Smolny Institute provided a liberal arts education for young ladies for over a century until the Revolution and the Bolsheviks closed its doors. According to Russia Beyond the Headlines:
The Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens was the first women's educational institution in Russia and paved the way for women’s education in the country. The institute was founded at the urging of Ivan Betskoy and in accordance with a decree signed by Catherine the Great on May 5 (April 24 according to Julian calendar) 1764. Smolny Institute admitted the daughters of officials with a rank no lower than colonel or actual state counselor and paid for their education using funds from the state treasury. The daughters of hereditary nobles were also admitted for an annual tuition fee. The girls were prepared for life in the royal court and high society. The institute’s curriculum included lessons on classic school subjects: Russian language, mathematics, history, geography, as well as music, dance, painting, sculpting, blazonry, etiquette, various means of housekeeping, religious studies, and others. Ivan Betskoy wrote the institute’s charter, instilling in it his pedagogical views that had been influenced by Western European Enlightenment philosophy, views that Catherine the Great also shared. (Read more.)

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Remembering Fr. Ragheed and Companions

 The only true resistance is resistance to evil. The Catholic News Agency:
When Fr. Ragheed Aziz Ganni was confronted by armed men after celebrating the Eucharist at his Chaldean Catholic parish in Mosul, they asked him why he was still there and why he hadn't closed the church as they had demanded.

"How can I close the house of God?" he responded, right before they shot and killed him, alongside three friends and subdeacons at the parish: Waheed, Ghasan, and Basman. An Iraqi priest born in 1972 in a town in the Plain of Ninevah, Fr. Ganni moved to Rome in 1996 to study at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas on a scholarship from the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need.

In 2003 he decided to return to Iraq, despite the war following the American invasion, and the persecution of Christians that was taking place. He served at a parish in Mosul until the day of his death, June 3, 2007. Ten years after his death, Fr. Ganni's friend and fellow priest, Fr. Rebwar Basa, has written a book about his life and death, and about the ongoing situation of Christians in Iraq. He spoke to CNA at a presentation for A Catholic Priest in the Islamic State, published by Aid to the Church in Need. The martyrdom and testimony of Fr. Ganni, he said, “is very important for the whole Church, but especially in Iraq.”

“He is an example for all of us to resist and to testify to the Gospel in the midst of the conflict and violence that we have in Iraq. Because we need this kind of witness to reconstruct Iraq, to be able to live together in peace and unity.” (Read more.)
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Men Declining a College Educatiion

From the Denver Post:
A higher percentage of Colorado’s female high school graduates than male graduates were enrolled in college from 2009 through 2015, according to state records. In 2015, 61.2 percent of Colorado’s recent female high school graduates attended college in the fall, compared to 51.8 percent of male graduates, according to the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

A similar trend is occurring nationally. Although more people than ever are attending college, the ratio of male to female students is nearly 1:2. Compare that to 1960, when there were 1.6 males for every female graduating from a U.S. four-year college and 1.55 males for every female undergraduate, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Today, women hold almost 60 percent of all bachelor degrees, and women now account for almost half of students in law, medical and business graduate programs.

Meanwhile, over the past decade about 30 percent of male college students have dropped out during their freshman year, according to education consultant and blogger Daniel Riseman. He is among those in higher education circles that calls the declining number of college males a “silent epidemic.” “For two decades, I have helped hundreds of young men and women navigate college admissions,” Riseman said. “While none of my female students have dropped out, several male students return home without degrees and often with a sense of disappointment and despair.”

Kim Hunter Reed, new executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, says the issue of males eschewing college demands more study. “This is very concerning to me,” Hunter Reed said. Young men — like all students, she emphasized — need support from a variety of groups to thrive in higher education. “The most successful have a sense of place in college,” she said.

Stark, 28, studied computer science for a year and a half before leaving Metro State University to study on his own. Now a software engineer for a music company in Denver, Stark also DJs at some of the area’s most notable nightclubs. “What I was getting in the classroom just didn’t jibe with me. I felt I could teach myself on the Internet,” he said.

He worked a fast-food job and then took a corporate gig to support himself while he studied on his own. The alternative, he said, was to work four years to get a bachelor’s degree and then another year or two to earn a master’s degree, then “go to work for some huge company and go home at night and live my life with my family. And that just didn’t sound appealing to me at the time.” (Read more.)
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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mineral Springs in the Eighteenth Century

The daughter of Louis XVI is welcomed at Vichy
 The Duchesse d'Angoulême
 The Duchesse d'Angoulême used to frequent the waters at Vichy. From Geri Walton:
Despite critics, watering-places were prevalent across the European continent in the Georgian Era. According to one source:
“The British and Irish mineral waters noticed … exceed one hundred. Those in France are not fewer than eighty; while Germany is richer in these medicinal springs than either Britain or France. There are many in Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Sweden, Russia, and Switzerland.”
Mineral springs were also considered natural sources that arose from the bosom of the earth. Several hypotheses existed as to the formation of them, but the most general opinion in the 1830s was that they were formed in the following manner:
“[Because of] atmospheric moisture in the form of rain and dew, which, sinking through the cracks and fissures of the soil in mountainous districts, penetrates deeper in the earth in proportion to the degree of pressure of the superincumbent column of liquid, and by its action on the different strata through which it percolates becomes impregnated with mineral particles, acquiring a higher or lower degree of temperatures; which some have considered referrible to the central heat of the globe, and have endeavoured to prove that the elevation of temperatures is in a direct ratio in the depth at which a spring arises.”
The efficacy of a mineral spring was claimed to depend upon intimate combinations of such things as saline, metallic, and gaseous substances present within the water. Different watering-places also had different amounts of minerals or salts and might contain alkaline, carbonates, sulphate of lime, or carbonic acids. Moreover, some of the watering-places had turbid water or it was colored by various substances. The smell and taste of the waters was often characteristic of a particular spring, and, so, for example, “an inky, astringent taste [was] peculiar to chalybeate springs.”
Mineral springs were discovered in different ways. For example, several highly efficacious springs were claimed to have been discovered because of diseased animals. Diseased animals supposedly instinctively drank from the waters to aid in their recovery, and several specific cases of animals enjoying mineral waters were known. Animals also notified people as to when mineral springs would ready to be enjoyed. For example, according to one person:
“It is a known fact that at Vichy, in the month of April, the period when the snow melts on the mountains, when the wind has passed over the springs from the direction of Puy de Dome, and has carried the vapour to distances more or less considerable, the ruminating animals on the left bank of the Allier swim across the river to come and drink with avidity at the salutary springs of the establishment: the waters are then fit for use, and the people of the country are in the habit of saying the season has commenced, the beasts have passed across, — les bêtes ont passé.”
(Read more.)
Train station at Vichy

Fresco from the grand hall des Dômes at Vichy
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