Sunday, July 22, 2018

Isabel and Her Daughters

Queen Isabel of Castile was a conscientious and vigilant mother. To quote:
Isabel was highly preoccupied with her daughters’ moral and religious education and, if her library is a guide, they would have spent time studying the lives of saints and other devotional works. The Carro de las donas, by the Franciscan monk Francesc Eiximenis, was one of a number of “how to raise your daughters” manuals that sat on the royal bookshelf…

In Isabel’s fastidious court, men and women stayed apart. Catherine slept in Isabel’s chamber, along with her sisters. Doctors and other men were not allowed into the quarters until all of them, and the ladies-in-waiting who also slept there, were up and dressed. The women also ate apart in the intimacy of Isabel’s chambers. The infantas and their mother emerged from this feminine bunker only to eat with others when there were important visitors, in which case the full spectacle of the public court went into action…

Segregation did not mean that there was no fun to be had at her mother’s side. Tales of chivalry were told or sung after dinner with Isabel herself sighing at the tragic bits. Among other things, Catherine would have heard the retelling of old battles from the war in Granada. She must also have heard the famous romantic legends of the land she was destined to travel to. Arthur, the Round Table, the Holy Grail, Lancelot and Merlin were all characters in the rich chivalrous imagination of the Spanish court. They were there in Isabel’s books and on her tapestries too…

Board games, chess, word games and cards were played. There was music too, at the table. This may have been devoted to chivalry or courtly love when Isabel was there… Musicians were always on hand. They were, indeed, among the best-paid people at court. Spain already boasted a long tradition of troubadours and popular songs coming especially from north-west Galicia and the Moslem territories of al-Andalus. (Read more.)

Update on ICE

From Townhall:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency many Democrats want to abolish, recently conducted a raid in Newark, New Jersey and arrested dozens of illegal aliens. The overwhelming majority have serious criminal records. ICE targeted Illegal aliens who had been incarcerated in the Middlesex County Jail and released into the community by local law enforcement without notice to federal immigration officials. The aliens arrested had ICE detainers that were not honored. Newark is a "sanctuary city."

"Of those arrested, 16 subjects had been previously released by MCJ without honoring the ICE detainer and 78% had prior criminal convictions or pending criminal charges. The individuals arrested as part of the operation were nationals of Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, and Turkey," ICE released Friday. "These individuals range from 21 to 68 years old and all were previously arrested or convicted of a variety of offenses. Some of the arrests and convictions included: aggravated criminal sexual contact, aggravated assault, DUI, hindering apprehension, endangering the welfare of a child, battery, theft, burglary, possession of a weapon, forgery, domestic violence assault, disorderly conduct, and illegal entry." ICE also provided additional details on the individuals released by Middlesex County Jail. Here are a few (bolding is mine):
A 32-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested by the New Brunswick Police Department on August 12, 2016, in Middlesex County for Aggravated Sexual Assault- Helpless Victim, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact, Sexual Assault-Force/Coercion, and Criminal Sexual Contact and booked into the Middlesex County Jail. On August 16, 2016, ICE issued a detainer. On May 18, 2018, he was convicted of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact and sentenced to 644 days’ time served, parole supervision for life and registration under Megan’s Law. On May 21, 2018, Middlesex County Jail refused to honor the detainer and he was released.

A 68-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested by the Perth Amboy Police Department on January 23, 2009, in Middlesex County for the crimes of murder–purposely and hinder prosecution-false info and was booked into the Middlesex County Jail. On June 14, 2011, he was convicted of aggravated manslaughter and hinder own prosecution-false info and was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in state prison. On May 5, 2015, the subject was transferred from state prison back to the custody of the Middlesex County Jail as he appealed his convictions. On May 5, 2015, ICE issued a detainer to Middlesex County Jail. On May 22, 2018, the original charge was overturned and he was found guilty of a single felony charge of hindering-oneself-give false information and sentenced to time served.  Even though an ICE detainer was previously issued he was released.

A 27-year-old citizen of the Dominican Republic was arrested by the Perth Amboy Police Department on January 25, 2018, in Middlesex County for aggravated assault - significant bodily injury to a victim of domestic violence, criminal restraint – hold victim, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and booked into the Middlesex County Jail. On January 30, 2018, ICE issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored and he was released.
(Read more.)

The Origins of Money

From Intellectual Takeout:
Money has been around for most of human history. From Mesopotamia (or even earlier), all civilizations have employed some kind of medium of exchange to facilitate transactions regardless of their geographical locations, legal and economic systems, religious beliefs or political structures. Have you ever wondered why? In a brief essay entitled "On the Origins of Money," the nineteenth-century Austrian economist Carl Menger provides an answer to this question. Menger argues that money emerged spontaneously in different times and places to overcome the disadvantages of barter and facilitate the expansion of trade. Which disadvantages?

Imagine Sandy, a farmer in the Midwest, produces wheat, which she expects to exchange for barley. Two problems arise at this point. First, she needs to find a barley producer with whom to barter her products. This problem can be easily overcome if Sandy goes to a market where another farmer (let’s call him Billy) sells barley. Since both proucts are harvested during the same time of the year, the exchange would easily take place.

But what if we are dealing with products with different life cycles? In this case, Sandy and Billy could only agree on exchanging their products if Sandy accepted the deferral of the payment until Billy’s products have been harvested. This is what economists call deferred barter. Even though deferred barter solves some problems, it has an important limitation: it can only take place within small communities based on mutual trust due to the risks involved for one of the parties. What if Billy decides not to deliver the promised barley? Thus, the use of deferred barter as a system of exchange prevents the expansion of trade beyond the limits of one’s community.

Barter has a second problem. Billy could refuse to trade barley for wheat. He might prefer exchanging his barley for any other commodity or good that better satisfies his needs. This represents another obstacle for the expansion of trade. How did societies overcome these problems?

They did so by using certain commodities as generally-accepted media of exchange, and more specifically precious metals. But why precious metals and not other commodities? According to Menger, gold or silver possess a high degree of saleableness, which he defined as “the greater or less facility with which they may be disposed of at prices corresponding to the general economic situation”. Today we call this property liquidity.

The relative high degree of saleableness of precious metals in relation to other commodities is fundamentally linked to their durability, divisibility, low transport and storing costs as well as the traditional demand for these goods in most places throughout history. The fact that precious metals are more saleable than other commodities implies that it is easier to exchange them for other goods: even though Sandy doesn’t need gold (she wants barley), she will accept it as payment because she knows she won’t have any problem to trade it for barley.

That’s why most civilizations adopted precious metals as money. Since then, money has gone through many changes, some of them spontaneous (e.g. the emergence of paper money) and some induced by the State (e.g. the replacement of commodity standards for central-bank fiat money). (Read more.)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

One Hundred Years Later

From left to right: Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Anastasia, Empress Alexandra, Tsarevitch Alexis, Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Maria
The Russian Orthodox Church commemorates the murder of the Russian Imperial Family on July 17, 1918. From Metropolitan Hilarion:
The 20th century was a difficult time for Orthodox Christians on the territory of the Russian Empire, which became the USSR after the Great War, the October Revolution and Civil War. But the more the Church endured persecution, the brighter the lanterns of faith and piety shone in the Russian land. From the Tsar and the members of the Royal Family close to him in spirit, from archpastors and simple monastics, priests, deacons to laypersons came forth a powerful spiritual army of the Church Militant. By 1918, the Russian Church showed two sorts of podvig—that of martyrdom and that of confession. Thank God, today we see how the blood of many millions of the host of Martyrs and Confessors who turned the Russian land red became the seeds of salvation for the spiritual rebirth of our people, in the Fatherland and in the diaspora. (Read more.)
A eulogy in honor of the Tsar from Archpriest Andrei Tkachev:
The sovereign emperor has more power today than one hundred years ago. A hundred years ago, propaganda efforts turned him into a monster, personifying the state system, earmarked for ruthless annihilation. Cruelty, indifference, luxury, and debauchery were attributed to the regime. All of this was automatically transferred to the image of the reigning house, and so successfully that yesterday’s “loyalists” silently partook of the murder of the head of state and the whole household.

And today? Today we have been sobered by the events of the previous century. After all, we know that the luxury of the oligarchs exceeds that of the tsars at times, although wholly devoid of any moral justification. The debauchery of today’s global Sodom makes us look at many sinners of former times as at kindergarten students. And the indifference of people to one another in a world where money is the main value is unmatched. As for cruelty, the twentieth century surpassed all. The tongue goes numb here and fingers refuse to type.

The Tsar rises above the age-old lies, appearing before our contemporaries in his human greatness and martyric crown. The question is not in the restoration of the monarchy, but first in the awareness of our past and the improvement of the present. Now, love for the last Tsar is easier and more explainable than at the beginning of the previous century during the treason of some, the indifference of others, and the demonic hatred of others. If at that time he was surrounded by “betrayal, cowardice, and deception,”1 then today, in the world into which he entered with his family, he is surrounded by the fellowship of the saints; more precisely—the triumphant synaxis and the Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect (Heb. 12:23). Today he truly has much more power and personal freedom.

Death clarifies many things. This is one of its functions. Thus, behind the apparent timidity of Sts. Boris and Gleb was hidden their willing sacrifice and refusal to commit fratricide. Not weakness, but strength of a special kind was soon seen in their deaths. As for the ability to fight, Sts. Boris and Gleb have manifested it from the other world—upon enemies, not upon their brothers.

Something similar has already partially happened and continues to happen with the person of the murdered Nicholas Alexandrovich and his assessment in the historical Russian consciousness. But the question does not concern only the identity of the emperor. There’s a whole range of burning questions involved in the discussion: the guilt of the people, the global deep state, the treason of the elites… Inevitability or accident? The head spins.

The Tsar was alone. Between him and the people was a dense, impenetrable layer of bureaucracy and various local authorities acting on behalf of the Tsar, but, obviously not always for the common good. “The Tsar is good, but the boyars are wolves.” This phrase can also be meaningfully said without a monarchy. (Read more.)

Reflections about the sin of regicide, HERE. Pictures of the last Imperial Family, HERE.A Russian liturgy in Ekaterinburg in honor of the family, HERE. Share

The Results Are What Matter

A must-read. From The Spectator:
Every American President has complained about the cheating and imbalance — the NATO penny-pinching-cheapness, the tariff and trade imbalances. In more recent years, the various Bushes complained about it. Even Obama complained about it. But they all did it so gently, so diplomatically. They would deliver the sermon, just as the pastor predictably tells the church-goers on Sunday morning that he is against sin, and the Europeans would sit quietly and nod their heads — nodding from sleeping, not from agreeing — and then they would go back out and sin some more. Another four years of America being suckered and snookered. All they had to do was give Obama a Nobel Peace Prize his ninth month in office and let Kerry ride his bike around Paris.

So Trump did what any effective negotiator would do: he took note of past approaches to NATO and their failures, and correctly determined that the only way to get these penny-pinching-cheap baseborn prigs to pay their freight would be to bulldoze right into their faces, stare them right in their glazed eyes with cameras rolling, and tell them point-blank the equivalent of: “You are the cheapest penny-pinching, miserly, stingy, tightwadded skinflints ever. And it is going to stop on my watch. Whatever it takes from my end, you selfish, curmudgeonly cheap prigs, you are going to pay your fair share. I am not being diplomatic. I am being All-Business: either you start to pay or, wow, are you in for some surprises! And you know what you read in the Fake News: I am crazy! I am out of control! So, lemme see. I know: We will go to trade war! How do you like that? Maybe we even will pull all our troops out of Europe. Hmmm. Yeah, maybe. Why not? Sounds good. Well, let’s see.”

So Trump stuffed it into their quiche-and-schnitzel ingesting faces. And he convinced them — thanks to America’s Seedier Media who are the real secret to the “Legend That is Trump” — that he just might be crazy enough to go to trade war and to pull American boys home. They knew that Clinton and Bush x 2 and Kerry and Hillary and Nobel Laureate Obama never would do it. But they also know that Trump just might. And if they think they are going to find comfort and moderating in his new advisers, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, alongside him….(Read more.)
Meanwhile, every American should be alarmed by certain text messages in the Russian probe. From The Hill:
Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the reported FBI lovebirds, are the poster children for the next “Don’t Text and Investigate” public service ads airing soon at an FBI office near you. Their extraordinary texting affair on their government phones has given the FBI a black eye, laying bare a raw political bias brought into the workplace that agents are supposed to check at the door when they strap on their guns and badges.

It is no longer in dispute that they held animus for Donald Trump, who was a subject of their Russia probe, or that they openly discussed using the powers of their office to “stop” Trump from becoming president. The only question is whether any official acts they took in the Russia collusion probe were driven by those sentiments. The Justice Department’s inspector general is endeavoring to answer that question. For any American who wants an answer sooner, there are just five words, among the thousands of suggestive texts Page and Strzok exchanged, that you should read. That passage was transmitted on May 19, 2017. “There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

The date of the text long has intrigued investigators: It is two days after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump and the Russia campaign. Since the text was turned over to Congress, investigators wondered whether it referred to the evidence against the Trump campaign. This month, they finally got the chance to ask. Strzok declined to say — but Page, during a closed-door interview with lawmakers, confirmed in the most pained and contorted way that the message in fact referred to the quality of the Russia case, according to multiple eyewitnesses. (Read more.)
From The Daily Caller:
The frenzied furor and fomented outrage over President Donald Trump’s reluctance to express blind trust for our “intelligence community” defy reason and reality. In their choreographed cries of contempt for Mr. Trump, the “left’s” increasingly shrill proclamations of political apocalypse make “Chicken Little” look rational. At least we’ve moved on from the impending annihilation from the nuclear war with North Korea.

Power is the only thing leftists worship, and they are unraveling in front of our eyes without it. They can’t control Mr. Trump. That alone drives them insane. They have no policies that work. Cities and states they control are criminal sanctuaries and bankrupt cesspools. Check out San Francisco, Portland and Chicago.

Each of the president’s remarkable accomplishments — from unprecedented high employment, our booming economy and the tax cuts to his historic summit with Kim Jong-un — highlights their abject failures and serves to prick their narcissistic egos. The country is doing better without them every day. Even worse, they are desperate to keep their countless crimes and abuses covered up. We know that there are many honorable, dedicated and legitimate members of our multiple intelligence and law enforcement agencies who strive to protect us the right way every day. So, why might any of us not just declare blind trust for our “intelligence community” writ large? Let me count the ways. (Read more.)
A eulogy of a scandal. From Zero Hedge:
From the latest joke-indictment by Robert Mueller to the hysterical press-coverage of the Trump-Putin summit, the way establishment media has been acting over the past week has been apoplectic. One might imagine, given their response, that the end was nigh and Putin personally commandeered the four horsemen of the apocalypse or something equally Biblical.

However, the certifiable insanity characterizing the media’s reaction to these events is not the focus of this article. Instead, we ask, how is it that the Russiagate issue is still being discussed in the first place? How did we get here, to the verge of a neo-McCarthyist second-coming, despite all aspects of this issue being repeatedly dismissed in the light of evidence? When we part the curtain of staged madness, designed to provoke fear in the gullible and outrage in the skeptical, what do we actually glimpse?

The reality is that Russiagate, the neoliberal war-cry, is only spurred on by a constant shift in narrative focus. Yesterday we saw farcical indictments; today we are consumed by a summit. If the pattern holds, then tomorrow we will be delivered a new take on Mifsud, tailored to deceive and mislead once again.

In a recent Memorandum to the President penned by Bill Binney and Ray McGovern, they noted: “We now have forensic evidence that shows the data provided by Guccifer 2.0 had been manipulated and is a fabrication.” The memo, published with Consortium News, continued: “If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny. It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.”

First, as mentioned by McGovern and Binney, we have the thoroughly debunked Guccifer 2.0 hacking narrative. But wait, we also have the collusion narrative spawned by the dossier produced by Christopher Steele, likewise discredited. Time to focus on a mutated and contradictory version of the Guccifer 2.0 narrative! Before anyone can notice the holes, we are spun back to a new incarnation of the Trump-Russian collusion scandal, Mifsud the most mysterious and magical scholar of them all! Do we sound like a street hawker yet?

In Mifsud, we saw a narrative built to replace the collusion allegations first based on the debunked, laughable Steele dossier. The corruption involved in framing Mifsud as a Russian intelligence asset also became painfully evident, in light of his close ties with UK and Western intelligence figures, and his long-standing history at campuses where these same intelligence agencies – including the CIA and FBI, conducted training programs. This statement brings us to the crux of this piece: what do the unfolding chapters of the Russiagate fairytale have in common?

Each of them has a critical lack of evidence supporting their thesis and has been countered by credible evidence that would require a book to recount in full. Each of these branches has been shoved into the fore of press attention when convenient, for a brief moment becoming the singular focus of the establishment media’s echo-chamber. When their credibility quickly fails in the light of credible countering evidence, they are whipped from view, to be replaced by a freshly fabricated aspect of a different arm of the scandal. Focus shifts like eyes at a tennis match, between the Russian hacking narrative and the Trump-Russia collusion fantasy. (Read more.)

Justice Department Reopens Emmett Till Murder Investigation

It should have been reopened decades ago. What a travesty. From NPR:
Nearly 63 years after the brutal, racist killing of Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old from Chicago who was visiting family in Mississippi, the Justice Department has reopened the investigation into the killing. The department says it has received "new information" in the case but cannot provide any details about the reactivated investigation. The reopening was announced in an annual report to Congress in March and widely reported on Thursday. Last year, a new book on the killing, The Blood of Emmett Till, combined archival research with new interviews; members of Till's family had hoped the book would lead to the case being reopened. Till's death in August 1955 was followed by an open-casket funeral, which famously laid bare the savagery of his killers. (Read more.)

Friday, July 20, 2018

Creating a Gracious Home

I love the toile. From Victoria:
When lending her talents to a project, Marsha recognizes that the dwelling must suit its dwellers. “A space that is not livable serves no purpose, no matter how beautiful it is,” she says. The designer considers carefully how each room will function—factoring in clients’ stage of life and way of life—to satisfy unique priorities. In her own quarters, where hospitality is prized, slipcovers give a polished appearance to Chippendale chairs but allow for easy cleaning. She recommends carrying out this idea in washable fabrics with dressmaker details, such as covered-button closures. (Read more.)

Selling Out to Russia

From Front Page Mag:
Oddly enough the media had no problem with Obama running on a reset with Russia. The reset blamed the bad relationship on Bush and the Iraq War. That wasn't treason.
And here's what happened when Obama met with Putin.
“I’m aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people ... as president, but in your current role as prime minister,” Obama said during a breakfast meeting at Putin’s country home on the outskirts of Moscow. “We think there’s an excellent opportunity to put U.S.-Russian relations on a much stronger footing.”
Where were the same media trolls shrieking now about praising dictators? Or a failure to defend America?
Obama met with Medvedev at the Kremlin, while Putin received him at Novo-Ogaryovo, where a sumptuous breakfast with caviar was laid out. Trying to make conversation, Obama began by asking rhetorically, “How did we get into this mess [in U.S.-Russian relations]?” In response, Putin gave him an hourlong lecture as to how precisely it had happened. Obama listened without interrupting.
What did Putin get from Obama?
1. A free hand in Georgia
2. A free hand in Syria
3. The betrayal of Poland vis a vis the missile shield
4. The betrayal of Ukraine by refusing to provide its governor with useful weapons
5. A whole bunch of our uranium via Uranium One
6. A deal allowing Russia's Iranian allies to go nuclear
7. Failure to do anything about the same Russian actions that the media is now blaming Trump for. Instead his administration actually issued a stand down order.

What has Trump given to Putin? Nothing. He's come to the defense of Poland and Ukraine when Obama wouldn't. (Read more.)

George IV and the Marine Pavilion

From Regency History:
Henry Holland was the architect that George chose to redesign the pavilion. Holland had already completed the transformation of Carlton House into a Neo-classical masterpiece and it was the same Neo-classical inspiration that influenced his designs for the pavilion.
He built a rotunda over the grand saloon to the north of the existing building and then added an extra wing beyond that to balance the original farmhouse, thereby creating a symmetrical building. The old wing contained the prince’s private apartments whilst the new wing provided space for an eating room and a library. The rooms to the north and the south of the rotunda were bounded by a corridor to the west which enabled easier access.
Holland’s design incorporated bow windows and iron balconies which have become indicative of regency style, with French windows along the whole of the Steyne front. He used cream-glazed Hampshire tiles to cover the walls of both old and new buildings to create a uniform whole.
During 1787-8, £21,454 was spent on redecorating the villa and fitting it out with expensive French furniture. (Read more.)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Madame de Staël in London

From All Things Georgian:
14th July 1817 saw the demise of the Swiss author, woman of letters and political thinker, aged 51, Madame Germaine de Staël.  She was regarded as a witty socialite and always wore the most fashionable if daring clothing. Living through the French Revolution and opposed to Napoleon, she spent much of the time in exile. In late June 1813, she arrived in London, with her daughter and was seen at all the fashionable places and social events, proving herself to be exceptionally popular and invited to all the best society parties. The newspapers were full of details of her attendance at events – everyone wanted to meet her. (Read more.)

MS-13 is a “Ticking Time Bomb”

From Judicial Watch:
A violent street gang energized by the steady flow of illegal immigrant minors is terrorizing a public middle school less than 10 miles from the nation’s capital while administrators cover up the problem and the feds ignore the crisis. Teachers are afraid, drugs are sold, gang graffiti litters the area surrounding the campus and gang-related fights are a daily occurrence, according to a lengthy mainstream newspaper report published this week. Most of the dozens of teachers, parents and students interviewed for the story refused to be identified for fear of losing their jobs or being targeted by the gangbangers that have taken over at William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale, Maryland. Wirt is part of the Prince George’s County Public School system, which has more than 130,000 students. “The school is a ticking time bomb,” according to one educator quoted in the article.

The culprits belong to the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a feared street gang of mostly Central American illegal immigrants that has spread throughout the U.S. and is renowned for drug distribution, murder, rape, robbery, home invasions, kidnappings, vandalism and other violent crimes. The Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) says criminal street gangs like the MS-13 are responsible for the majority of violent crimes in the U.S. and are the primary distributors of most illicit drugs. Judicial Watch has reported extensively on how Barack Obama’s open border policies helped criminal enterprises like the MS-13. When the barrage of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) began four years ago, Homeland Security sources told Judicial Watch that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including MS-13 and the 18th Street gang—were actively recruiting new members at U.S. shelters housing the minors. (Read more.)

How to Accept a Compliment With Class

From The Art of Manliness:
Sociolinguists have found that Americans respond to compliments with a deflecting response a whopping two-thirds of the time. While this kind of response may be popular, it’s not very smart or even polite. This is an area where you should definitely try to break the mold of the mainstream. Here’s why.

Denial and deflection insults the giver. When someone offers you a compliment, they’re saying that they’ve observed and assessed a praiseworthy quality in you. When you deflect or deny that praise, you’re basically contradicting them; you’re saying that they don’t have good judgment, discernment, or taste, or that they’re insincere – that they don’t know what they’re talking about. You’re returning their kind words with an insult.

Denial and deflection make the giver feel uncomfortable. When we dismiss a compliment because it makes us uncomfortable, we simply transfer that discomfort to the giver. Not only do you insult them, but as Paterson puts it, rejecting a compliment often makes the giver feel “awkward, uncomfortable, stupid, or frustrated.” Where do they go from there? They’re now stuck with the tiresome task of offering reassurance of their sincerity…”No I really do think so…” (Read more.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Letter from Louis XVI on July 13, 1789

Here is a letter written by Louis XVI to Maréchal de Castries, asking him most politely to come to Versailles. It is written by the King's own hand, not by a secretary. Notice his small, neat and orderly script, except for his large signature. The letter shows that Louis was concerned about a potential uprising and wanted to have his best officers and advisors at hand. Perhaps the errors betray his agitation; he was obviously aware a crisis was escalating. In French it says:
Vous savez M. le Maréchal le cas que j’ai toujours fait de vos services et de vos talents. Vous n’ignorez pas les circonstances qui m’ont déterminé à changer le Ministère. J’ai mis le [Maréchal] de Broglie à la [tête] de l’armée et M. Foullon sous lui pour les détails, en supprimant le Conseil de la Guerre. J’ai rappelé le Bon de Breteuil au conseil en lui donnant la place de Chef du Conseil des Finances comme l’avait eu M. de Vergennes et j’ai donné les Affaires Étrangères à M. de la Vauguillon. Vos n’ignorez pas non plus [monsieur le Maréchal] l’état de fermentation et de désordre où sont les [têtes]. C’est dans ces moments-là que j’ai besoin de personnes qui me sont vraiment attachées auxquelles je puisse prendre confiance et qui jouissent de l’estime publique. Il y a longtemps que je songeais à vous mais tant que M. Necker était ici, comme vous étiez son ami mais d’avis différents, je n’ai pas voulu vous en parler de peur de vous mettre dans l’embarras vis-à-vis de lui. M. de la Luzerne m’a aussi donné la démission de sa place. Je désirerais [monsieur le Maréchal] que vous reprissiez votre place au Conseil et le département que vous avez géré avec distinction pendant 7 ans, ce serait un vrai service que vous me rendriez et j’aurais le plus grand plaisir à vous voir ici, mandez-moi quelles sont vos vues.
A translation:
You know, M. le Maréchal, the case I have always made of your services and your talents. You are aware of the circumstances that led me to change the Ministry. I put [Marshal] de Broglie at the [head] of the army, and M. Foullon under him for the details, by suppressing the War Council. I recalled the Baron de Breteuil to the council, giving him the place of Chief of the Council of Finances, as had M. de Vergennes, and I gave Foreign Affairs to M. de la Vauguillon. Do not ignore either the state of fermentation and disorder where the leaders are. It is in these moments that I need people who are really attached to me to whom I can gain confidence and who enjoy public esteem. I've been thinking about you for a long time, but as long as Mr. Necker was here, as you were his friend but with different opinions, I did not want to talk about it for fear of embarrassing you or him. M. de la Luzerne also gave me the resignation of his place. I would like you to take your place on the Council and the department you have managed with distinction for 7 years, it would be a real service to me and I would have the greatest pleasure to see you here, and ask you about your views.

Trump's Enemies

From Townhall:
How did Trump luck out by getting such hopeless geebos for opponents? It can’t just be chance. At every turn, these dummies choose to lock themselves into the most implausible and indefensible positions imaginable, then push all their chips into the center of the table. It’s almost supernatural – maybe Trump won the intervention of some ancient demon by heading over to the offices of the Weekly Standard and snatching away one of its Never Trump scribblers to use as a virgin sacrifice.
Look, I was not a Trump fan at the beginning – I was anti-Trump but never Never Trump, both because I was Never Hillary and because I wasn’t a Beltway squishboy who would take his white paper and go home when my guy Ted Cruz lost. I just had no idea what to make of Trump at first because he didn’t look like any mainstream Republican I had seen in the last few decades. But then, I soon realized that he didn’t look like any mainstream Republican I had seen in the last few decades because he wasn’t a hapless loser. He was the anti-Jeb!.

I recount my conversion (hilariously, according to such blurb writers as Nick Searcy and David Limbaugh) from being anti-Trump to Trump-curious to pro-Trump in my upcoming book Militant Normals: How Regular Americans Are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim Our Democracy, except I give a lot more detail and use a lot more swears in there. Suffice it to say that my conversion (and that of many others) was based on the undeniable fact that Trump kept his promises and sided with America in a way we haven’t seen from a Republican since Reagan was owning the libs back in the eighties. (Read more.)
From The Federalist:
How can someone know so little about a topic yet be so passionate about it? That’s what I kept asking myself while re-watching a clip of media darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discussing Gaza and Israel. After dramatically defeating Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, there was a rush to proclaim the young, dynamic socialist Ocasio-Cortez the future of the Democratic Party. Well, if she portends the future, then it’s worth taking her words seriously. Even if we overlook the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s self-identified ideology has led to more suffering and death than any other in history, her propensity to embrace positions she knows absolutely nothing about is, well, curious. (Read more.)
More on the Helsinki Summit from PJ Media:
Barack Obama -- although the New York Times would burn down its own building rather than admit it -- did an abysmal job with Putin and was indeed the one who was truly "owned" by the Russian.  And it wasn't just the silly reset button and the embarrassing video of Barack whispering into Medvedev's ear to tell Vlad he -- Barack -- would be more flexible on missiles after the election.  (What a toady!)  Even worse, in his Chamberlainesque ardor to make a deal with Iran's mullahs, Obama let Putin play him in Syria, agreeing not to honor his redline against Assad's use of chemical weapons in order not to endanger the  deal.  Trump never did anything nearly that pathetic.  Actually, he stands up strong.

But the David Gergens of the world yammer on that Trump is doing everything wrong.  He's certainly doing some things wrong -- we all do --  but being gracious to Putin personally while actively opposing what the Russian does in his actions, may be exactly the way to get results.  But Trump's opponents don't care about results. Overwhelmed with hate, they would prefer to see the president wounded and impeached than succeed with Putin and bring about a world safer from nuclear armageddon.  If Trump achieves this, however, it will be his finest hour.  It would be for any president. (Read more.)

Wine: At the Heart of Civilization

From The Spectator:
Wine was revered in ancient times as the work of a god. Its subsequent place at the heart of our civilisation justifies that attitude. Wine has been, for us, a glowing threshold through which we pass from work to play, from business to friendship, and from means to ends. In due course wine became an essential part of the sacrament that defines the Christian religion, singled out by Christ himself as the right way to honour him, to be taken at communion in remembrance of his sacrificial death. Through all our art and literature wine displays its distinctive light, offering shared moments of joy, and shining a light of forgiveness on our everyday misconduct.

As a writer and philosopher I owe much to wine. Those long days before a blank page, attempting to capture the thoughts that hover just out of reach like captious flies, have almost always been crowned by some small success when, at 7.30, I pour myself a glass of white Burgundy. However badly the day has gone, the words will then begin to gather into sentences. Life never appears so rosy, Napoleon said, as when viewed through a glass of Chambertin. I would add that, for me, words never assemble so obediently, as at the bottom of a glass of Montagny. (Of course, they would assemble even better at the bottom of a glass of Montrachet, but my budget is more limited than Napoleon’s.)

At a certain stage, when the left-wing press was united behind the great project of forbidding the joys of Old England, the New Statesman took what I assumed to be a suicidal step in inviting me to write a wine column. Our new rulers were keen to target the things that they disliked — hunting, shooting, smoking, the Christian curriculum, the old idea of marriage and anything else that might be tainted with the vestiges of our rooted way of life. And who knows if they might not one day set their sights on wine? (Read more.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Anniversary of the Murder of the Romanovs

 It is 100 years since the night of July 16-17, 1918 when Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsarevitch Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and three of their retainers were shot by the Bolsheviks in a cellar in Ekaterinburg. More HERE. Share

More on the New Book about Marie-Antoinette at Petit Trianon

Sections of Dr. Denise Maior-Barron's book on Marie-Antoinette are available online. Here is one of the sections in which she mentions my work. The novel she refers to is Trianon.

More on Dr. Maior-Barron's work, HERE. Her book is available for purchase, HERE.


Rand Paul on the Trump-Putin Summit

Some common sense at last. A diplomatic meeting is not the time to publicly confront our most powerful enemy about its spying. They spy on us and we spy on them. It's been going on for half a century or more. Any political party or large business or government entity that does not have adequate cyber-security to protect itself from hackers, either international or domestic, is asking for trouble. From Townhall:
Sen. Rand Paul (R- KY.) said that Monday’s Trump-Putin Summit is not about Russian accountability for cyber-hacking and election interference. "I think really we mistake our response if we think it's about accountability from the Russians," said Sen. Paul when he appeared on CNN's State of the Union reported CNS News.
“They are another country. They are going to spy on us. The do spy on us. They are going to interfere in our elections. We also do the same. Doug Levin at Carnegie Mellon studied this over about a 50-year period in the last century and found 81 times that the U.S. interfered in other country's elections. So we all do it.

What we need to do is make sure our electoral process is protected. And I think because this has gotten partisan and it's all about partisan politics, we've forgotten that really the most important thing is the integrity of our election,” Paul told Tapper.
Jake Tapper, host of CNN’s State of the Union asked Sen. Paul if President Trump should ask Putin to extradite the 12 Russian military who were indicted on Friday on suspicions of attacking the DNC as well as other Democratic organizations. Other indictments included going after Hilary Clinton’s emails and attempting to break into state election boards. (Read more.)
More HERE. Share

Asperger's Children

A new book on the origins of autism in Nazi Vienna. To quote:
Hans Asperger, the pioneer of autism and Asperger syndrome in Nazi Vienna, has been celebrated for his compassionate defense of children with disabilities. But in this groundbreaking book, prize-winning historian Edith Sheffer exposes that Asperger was not only involved in the racial policies of Hitler’s Third Reich, he was complicit in the murder of children. As the Nazi regime slaughtered millions across Europe during WWII, it sorted people according to race, religion, behavior, and physical condition for either treatment or elimination. Nazi psychiatrists targeted children with different kinds of minds―especially those thought to lack social skills―claiming the Reich had no place for them. Asperger and his colleagues endeavored to mold certain “autistic” children into productive citizens, while transferring others they deemed untreatable to Spiegelgrund, one of the Reich’s deadliest child-killing centers. In the first comprehensive history of the links between autism and Nazism, Sheffer uncovers how a diagnosis common today emerged from the atrocities of the Third Reich. With vivid storytelling and wide-ranging research, Asperger’s Children will move readers to rethink how societies assess, label, and treat those diagnosed with disabilities. (Read more.)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Madame Royale, l'orpheline de la Révolution

Here is a French documentary about Madame Royale, with authentic sets and costumes, and beautiful scenery.


The President I Didn’t Want

From USA Today:
First, he picked Mike Pence as his running mate. As I’ve written before, I’ve known Pence for over 20 years and he has the conservative bona fides. So, of course, I supported this decision. Then, after taking office, Trump began to reverse President Barack Obama's executive orders and burdensome regulations on businesses. He approved the Keystone XL pipeline. He cut taxes and the economy picked up steam. Again, I supported these decisions. Sure, he failed to repeal Obamacare, but its individual mandate was repealed in the tax-cut bill. 

As a Christian, I have been accused of hypocrisy and my faith has been questioned for not condemning Trump's past extramarital affairs, his language and treatment of women. Look, I know he is a deeply flawed man. So am I. The Bible says we all are. But evangelicals believe in grace and forgiveness and are commanded to pray for our leaders. So I support him in prayer.

Trump has proven to be pro-religious liberty, pro-life and pro-Israel. He moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and began negotiations to denuclearize North Korea. I support all of these policies. There have been a few hiccups. Trump signed a budget bill that increased the national debt, which is now over $21 trillion. The Russia probe is still a cloud over his administration, and I don't like trade wars. 

But here’s the dominating reason I’ve changed my mind about Trump's ability to lead: judges. I support his picks of Justice Neil Gorsuch, his new U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the host of conservative federal judges that Trump has gotten confirmed. I shudder to think of the activist judges that a President Hillary Clinton would have picked.

In my opinion, Trump has had the most successful 18 months as president than any other I've ever drawn. So yes, I support his presidency. I admit that I was wrong about Trump. He's not a clown. He's a businessman, entertainer, and now the president that I didn't want but now think we need. (Read more.)
Pictures of President and Mrs. Trump in the UK, HERE and HERE. Share

The Man Behind Pears’ Soap

From All Things Georgian:
The development of cosmetics and perfumes have been part of life since time immemorial, but did you know that the original Pears’ soap was a product of the Georgian era? A bar of soap that is still used today by many, had it origins in 18th century London. Andrew Pears was born on 4th April 1768 the elder son of William, a farmer and Elizabeth Pears at St Ewe, near Mevagissey, Cornwall. He and his two siblings, Edward and Maria appear to have been raised by their father, their mother died when he was around 7 years old. At the age of 21, Andrew moved to London to serve an apprenticeship as a barber; eventually owning his own business. (Read more.)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bastille Day and the French Revolution Were Not Caused by Marie Antoinette

From The New American:
July 14 marks another anniversary of Bastille Day, the day the Paris mob rioted and stormed the Bastille, a prison fortress in the city. The popular image of the incident is that of the French Revolution itself, which is that the liberty-loving French folk in Paris spontaneously rose up against a tyrannical king and his arrogant wife, and heroically stormed the symbol of the Old Regime — liberating hundreds of political prisoners. This led to an abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a government dedicated to liberty for all the people of France.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Almost everyone has heard that Queen Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake,” in haughty response to the plea of the poor starving masses of France: “We have no bread.”

That is also untrue.

And it is widely believed that Antoinette caused or at least was the principal cause — of the entire French Revolution.

That is ridiculous.

Whereas Louis XVI and his wife, Marie, are usually pictured in the history books and in the popular culture as tyrants of the worst sort, the truth is quite different. The real Marie Antoinette was a charitable woman, who lodged and fed 12 poor families, at her own expense, at Trianon. She founded the Society of Ladies of Maternal Charity. She even once stopped her carriage for over an hour to aid an injured person, waiting until a surgeon was located.

Historian Antonia Fraser disputed the cruel libel in her book Marie Antoinette, the Journey. “As a handy journalistic cliché, [“Let them eat cake”] it may never die,” Fraser wrote, adding “such ignorant behavior would have been quite out of character. The unfashionably philanthropic Marie Antoinette would have been far more likely to bestow her own cake impulsively upon the starving people before her.”

If the Revolution was not caused by Marie Antoinette, then just who did cause it? (Read more.)

Old and New Tyrannies

From Crisis:
Assaulting age-old truths, norms, legal and constitutional principles, political practices and structures, and even religious beliefs, and forcing people to conform for the sake of justifying sexual immorality is nothing new. Consider the Protestant Reformation in England. As one writer has stated, it happened because of King Henry VIII’s lusts. To get his divorce and to give an aura of legitimacy to his taking up with Anne Boleyn, Henry not only severed England from the Catholic Church and ushered in the long period of persecution against Catholic believers, but began a sweeping and destructive transformation of the country’s politics and law. As Professor Richard O’Sullivan wrote, at Henry’s behest, and to carry out his aims, Parliament assumed absolute power—when in fact, it was the king who had the absolute power—which went against the country’s entire previous tradition. This new governmental absolutism shredded the country’s common law tradition—and the liberty of subjects that it guaranteed—and discarded the natural law behind it.

This is why, O’Sullivan says, at St. Thomas More’s trumped up trial for treason—which at bottom, as the dramatic moment in the movie A Man for All Seasons makes clear, was because he would not accept Henry’s illicit marriage—his appealing to the common law rule that a defendant’s silence could not be used to convict him was just brushed aside. After the guilty verdict, O’Sullivan says that More castigated the law he was accused of violating, which required Henry’s subjects to take an oath acknowledging him as the head of the Church, as “contrary to the law of God, the law of reason, and the law of the land.” As O’Sullivan noted, this was a “major disruption” to the “common law thought pattern” that made all of these, in this order, the basis of English legal, political, and social life. (Read more.)

Euthanasia is a Declaration of 'No Confidence' in Medicine

From the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition:
I've been opposing assisted suicide and euthanasia for 20 years. I see it as a form of abandonment, when you have somebody who is suffering. To say to them: "Yes, the way to eliminate suffering is to eliminate the sufferer," is to confirm the person‘s worst fears that they are a burden, that they will be less worthy of being loved if they continue to survive, and it's almost a declaration of no confidence in medicine. On the one hand, the euthanasia movement is saying we can't trust doctors to make us comfortable and to alleviate our symptoms. On the other hand, we're saying we should allow those same doctors to kill us or prescribe lethal drugs so that they we can kill ourselves. It turns thousands of years of medical ethics on its head. (Read more.)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Anthem of Royal France

Here is the hymn of the French monarchy, Tchaikovsky's version, used in his ballet of Sleeping Beauty. It is also known as Vive Henri IV.
Vive Henri IV
Vive ce roi vaillant !
Vive Henri IV
Vive ce roi vaillant !
Ce diable à quatre
A le triple talent
De boire de battre
Et d'être un vers galant.
(de 1800 à 1899 : ) 
Au diable guerres, 
Rancunes et partis. 
Comme nos pères,
 Chantons en vrais amis 
Au choc des verres, 
Les roses et les lys ! 
Au choc des verres, 
Les roses et les lys ! 

(en 1774 : ) 
Chantons l'antienne 
Qu'on chantera dans mille ans, 
Que Dieu maintienne 
En paix ses descendants 
Jusqu'à ce qu'on prenne, 
La lune avec les dents. 
Jusqu'à ce qu'on prenne, 
La lune avec les dents.  
Originally from the sixteenth century, the royalist anthem Vive Henri IV was featured in  Collé's 1770 opera La partie de chasse d'Henri IV. In 1774 it was often sung to honor Louis XVI, became popular again during the Restoration in 1814, as is told in the novel Madame Royale. The lyrics celebrate the monarch who was seen by the French people as the epitome of justice, kindness, and virility. It was an attempt to identify the Bourbon dynasty with the popular first Bourbon monarch, Henri IV. Louis XVI had also been seen as sharing with the King from Navarre an easy manner with the common folk, as well as a strong sense of justice and love of the hunt. Early in their reign, the King and Queen held a costume ball where everyone came in dress from the era of le bon roi Henri, with Marie-Antoinette herself garbed as Henri's beloved mistress, Gabrielle d'Estrées. It was part of the Queen's attempt to show that she was loved by her husband, and that she was his mistress as well as his wife. During the Restoration, members of the Bourbon family, especially the daughter of Louis XVI, the Duchess of Angoulême, were frequently welcomed with the anthem. After the fall of the Bourbons in 1830, the anthem was no longer played, and soon became a relic of the past.

Another version.

And another.

And another, along with the ancient coronation hymn, Domine Salvum Fac Regem.


Assassination of Marat

From The Daily Telegraph:
Marat, born in Boudry, Switzerland in 1743, had been a well-known doctor, specialising in skin and eye conditions, in London where he published research papers in the 1770s. In 1777 he was appointed as physician to guards of the comte d’Artois, later Charles X, youngest brother of Louis XVI, and also called to consult at the Palace of Versailles. After failing to be appointed to the French Academy of Sciences, Marat quit his medical post to publish articles pleading for the drafting of a liberal constitution when the States General met in June 1789, the first since 1614.

In September 1789 he published a daily newspaper, Le Publiciste Parisian, later changing the name to L’Ami du peuple, or the people’s friend. Forced to flee to London in late 1789 because of his virulent attacks on royalty, he returned in May 1790 to condemn monarchy, government and the aristocracy in his newspaper. (Read more.)

Hungarian Fertility Rates Rise

From Breitbart:
“The country is not just experiencing a fertility spike; Hungary is winding back the clock on much of the fertility and family-structure transition that demographers have long considered inevitable,” writes the author of “Is Hungary Experiencing a Policy-Induced Baby Boom?” from the Institute for Family Studies website. “That’s unusual,” author Lyman Stone wrote, “as most countries around the world are currently experiencing stable or falling fertility, especially in Europe.”

Mr Stone suggests that fiscal implications — such as subsidies for married couples buying houses, a change in tax deductions for children, and a growing economy — likely only played a small part on their own and estimates that those factors, coupled with cultural policies, were what had brought about the rise in fertility rate.

Stone points to Hungary’s pro-family constitution adopted in 2011 which stated that “We believe that our children and grandchildren will make Hungary great again,” and which defends “the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman… and the family as the basis of the nation’s survival.” (Read more.)


From Geri Walton:
Scurvy was first noticed as a disease in the time of Hippocrates, and, during the Crusades, soldiers reported suffering from some mysterious ailment that Jean de Joinville described as a disorder that “soon increased so much in the army … barbers were forced to cut away very large pieces of flesh from the gums to enable their patients to eat.”[1]

Between 1500 and 1800 some two million sailors died from the “scourge of sailors” and it appeared to be medical mystery. One twentieth-century historian provides details of what sufferers experienced:
“After about three months with no vitamin C, the sufferer begins to feel tired and listless. Within another two months, the skins is affected, first becoming rough and dry; by around the end of the sixth month, hemorrhages in the legs appear and wounds will not heal. At seven and a half months the victim’s gums soften, swell and turn purple − historical sources add that teeth became loose as well, and that old wounds opened up again. The conditions appears to become life-threatening in the period between seven and nine and a half months.”[2]
A British naval physician, named James Lind, learned about the dangers of scurvy because of the voyages of the British Commodore George Anson, 1st Baron Anson, who circumnavigated the globe. He brought it to Lind’s attention noting that he “lost 1,855 men out of his original complement of 2,000; numerous causes of death were listed, but most of the sailors had died of scurvy.”[3] Lind’s interest was piqued. He investigated scurvy and wrote “A Treatise of the Scurvy” in 1753, which he dedicated to Anson.

Around the same Lind also learned that a British surgeon named Edward Ives had given crew members cider to prevent scurvy and no one suffered from scurvy until the cider ran out. This greatly interested Lind and he decided to set up a trial in 1747 to test the efficacy of antiscorbutics. At the time, Lind and others believed beer was the best antiscorbutic, but because it was difficult to carry on ships, Lind resorted to giving his crewmen either citrus fruit, cider, or other substances. Lind used twelve sailors suffering from scurvy for his trial. To guard against bias and confounding factors, he ensured the twelve men were as similar as possible, and he maintained a similar environment for them and had them eat the same diet. (Read more.)

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Royal Barge

For the canals of Versailles.


The original prow


A Huge Accomplishment

From The Washington Examiner:
President Trump has selected Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his “Gorsuch 2.0.” While many in Trump’s base supported Amy Coney Barrett, others say that Kavanaugh has also been a staunch and faithful defender of religious liberty and fundamental rights during his tenure on the D.C. Circuit Court and is a proven textual originalist. He will also likely be much easier than Barrett to confirm.

While rumors have been vacillating between the four most likely nominees, Trump really had all excellent choices to pick from. Varying branches of the GOP base supported one nominee over the other since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, but the bottom line is that when Kavanaugh is confirmed—which will most likely happen prior to the November 2018 midterm elections—the majority of the Supreme Court will now be conservative. President Trump said during the announcement that selecting a Supreme Court justice is a “profound responsibility of the president” and “what matters is not the judge’s political views […] but whether they can do what the law and Constitution requires.” (Read more.)
From Return to Order:
With the choice of Brett Kavanaugh as candidate for Supreme Court Justice, the confirmation hearings will soon begin with a now familiar ritual of evading Roe v. Wade. Liberals will ask the nominee to define himself on the infamous 1973 decision that liberalized abortion. He will find ways of evading the question in strictly legal terms such as admitting it is the present law of the land. With the collaboration of the media, they will then try to paint the person as a religious zealot forcing the nominee to find a Kennedyesque way of explaining how he will separate his religious beliefs from his judicial decisions.

Throughout it all, both sides will insist that Roe v. Wade must not be a litmus test that will decide who the next justice is. As much as public figures and the media try to frame the debate in other terms, the abortion question is the elephant in the room. Indeed, even those who are pro-life are encouraged not to bring the subject up. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders confirmed that the President, when meeting with candidates, did not intend to ask any of them about their views on Roe v. Wade.

Houston’s Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has pleaded that Roe v. Wade not be made the litmus test for the decision. He claims the flawed nature of the ruling makes it a bad standard for judgment that also excludes other social issues. In any case, this long-observed ritual of evading stands against Roe has served to keep abortion legal. As things become more polarized, however, this tactic is failing. (Read more.)

A Living Hell

Pray for Nigeria. From The Christian Post:
Nigerian Christians were have been displaced by the thousands due to mass slaughter in the villages surrounding Jos in Plateau state are in a "living hell" and agony, a watchdog group assisting the victims said. "The displaced Christians were in a pathetic situation," an Open Doors USA worker, identified as Kerrie, said on Tuesday. "Life has become a living hell for them. They have lost loved ones, houses, and all they labored for in the twinkling of an eye. The agony they are going through is hard to describe.

"We saw people who were still in a haze over what they have just gone through. Children were crying hysterically, perhaps because of hunger or perhaps because of hunger and the trauma."

Open Doors, which along with some indigenous churches is helping bring aid to the people in the area, estimates that at least 3,000 believers were displaced by the slaughter of over 200 people in a series of raids at the end of June. Christian leaders in Nigeria have said that as many as 6,000 people, mostly women and children, have been killed by Muslim Fulani herdsmen since the start of the year. (Read more.)