Monday, April 30, 2018

Modern and Marie-Antoinette Inspired

 From Maison Global:
No matter the room, Ms. Bikoff loves mixing modern and antique pieces. Her bedroom is no exception. “This is one of my favorite rooms as it reminds me of a more modern Marie Antoinette-inspired space,” she said. “A few amazing pieces live in my bedroom, like the chrome bench covered in Marc Jacobs ruffled velvet fabric and a Chinese black rug from the 1920s. The bedside table is a special piece because I added the floating glass top myself. It makes that space on either side of my bed feel more contemporary, due to the glossy surface atop the velvet cheetah-printed Italian side tables. When turned on, the Victorian heart lamp radiates the most beautiful pink hue and adds a romantic yet charming feel to the whole room.” The 18th century vanity, sourced at a Paris flea market, is a treasured piece, one that Ms. Bikoff thinks every woman should have. “I put the amethyst crystal knobs on and then I did the chair with the Hermès scarf stool,” she said. “I love that this vanity is such a throwback. I love things that make you feel nostalgic, and when you sit there and do your makeup, you feel so glamorous, like Marie Antoinette or Marilyn Monroe.” (Read more.)
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Lynching in America, Past and Present

We need more such monuments around the country. From MSN News:
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Visitors to the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice first glimpse them, eerily, in the distance: Brown rectangular slabs, 800 in all, inscribed with the names of more than 4,000 souls who lost their lives in lynchings between 1877 and 1950. Each pillar is 6 feet (2 meters) tall, the height of a person, and made of steel that weathers to different shades of brown. Viewers enter at eye level with the monuments, allowing a view of victims' names and the date and place of their slaying. As visitors descend downward on a slanted wooden plank floor, the slabs seemingly rise above them, suspended in the air in long corridors, evoking the image of rows of hanging brown bodies. (Read more.)
Some things never change, except the methods of destruction. From The American Thinker:
It would have been nice if Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, one of the gods of totalitarian tech, had been sitting next to iconic conservative bloggers Diamond and Silk as they testified on Zuckerberg's censoring of their Facebook page and heard the opinions the dynamic duo expressed there.  But the internet gatekeeper would have had to leave his safe space of corporate and even congressional sycophancy.
As it was, Zuckerberg could sit back and watch Democrats engage at Thursday's House Judiciary Committee hearings in the character assassination they level at any blacks who express conservative opinions or otherwise stray off the Democratic plantation, just as they have done from Clarence Thomas to Kanye West.
Ignoring the censorship of conservative news and viewpoints by the social media giants, those who smiled sweetly as the likes of James Comey and Andrew McCabe lied through their teeth accused Diamond and Silk (AKA Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson) of being paid Trump staffers and then lying about it, the issue being FEC records showing they were paid for "field consulting" during the 2016 campaign.  The Democrats, rope in hand, headed for the nearest tree:
The chaos continued when Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee asked Hardaway whether the duo had ever been paid by the Trump campaign, something Hardaway denied[.] ...Rep. Hakeem Jeffries brought the topic back up, arguing that Hardaway and Richardson could be subject to perjury charges. "I'm just trying to figure out who is lying here," Jeffries said.  "Is it the Trump campaign, or is someone not telling the truth?" (Read more.)
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Human Sacrifice in Peru

Human sacrifice is part of many pagan belief systems. From CNN:
The skeletal remains of more than 140 children and 200 baby llamas were found on the country's northern coast. It may be evidence of the largest child sacrifice in history, according to an exclusive report by National Geographic, released Thursday on its website. The remains of a man and two women were also found. The sacrifices are believed to have taken place 550 years ago in the pre-Columbian Chimú Empire, in a sacrificial site formerly known as Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, close to a UNESCO World Heritage site of Chan Chan, in the modern town of Trujillo. This April 22, 2011, photo provided by National Geographic shows more than a dozen bodies preserved in dry sand for more than 500 years, at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas site near Trujillo, Peru. The children ranged in age from 5 to 14, according to the report. The baby llamas were less than 18 months old. "Skeletal remains of both children and animals show evidence of cuts to the sternum as well as rib dislocations," the report says. (Read more.)
The ritual murders were the work of the ancient Chimú civilization, which predated the Incas. From the National Geographic:
The Chimú succumbed to the Inca only decades after the sacrifices at Las Llamas. Haagen Klaus, a professor of anthropology at George Mason University, has excavated some of the earliest evidence for child sacrifice in the region, at the 10th- to 12th-century site of Cerro Cerillos in the Lambayeque Valley, north of Huanchaco. The bioarchaeologist, who is not a member of the Las Llamas project, suggests that societies along the northern Peruvian coast may have turned to the sacrifice of children when the sacrifice of adults wasn't enough to fend off the repeated disruptions wrought by El Niño. (Read more.)
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Sunday, April 29, 2018

French Road Trip

From Architectural Digest:
France offers myriad pleasures for travelers, and a road trip is the perfect way to see them. The country has a long history of helping travelers find the best places to eat and sleep, thanks in part to the Michelin Guide, started by the tire company as a way to encourage drivers to venture off the beaten path in search of excellent meals. Likewise, the Relais & Châteaux association was founded in 1954 to help travelers find independently run hotels that uphold a standard of excellence. It all started with just eight properties making up a “route du bonheur,” and though Relais & Châteaux now has more than 550 members around the world, you’ll still find the richest selection in France, where it all began. Here’s how to create your own route du bonheur, starting and ending in Paris and looping through three of France’s most picturesque wine regions. (Read more.)
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Death Penalty for Rape of Children

From NBC News:
India's government on Saturday approved of the death penalty for people convicted of raping children under 12, responding to widespread outrage over the recent rape and killing of a young girl and other attacks on children. An order was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet and was being sent to the president for his approval, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. It will require the approval of Parliament within six months to become law. But in the meantime, suspects can be prosecuted under the order. The move follows widespread outrage over the recent rape and killing of an 8-year-old girl in India's Jammu-Kashmir state, the alleged rape of a girl by a ruling party lawmaker in Uttar Pradesh state and several other rape cases involving girls in the country. (Read more.)
 Trump has been working to rescue child trafficking victims. From the Artsci Blog:
My highest, most-pressing goals are to address and prevent rape, child rape, child sex trafficking and human trafficking-and-to address and fight corruption. How about you? As far as I can tell, Democrats refuse to deal with these epidemics, other than to create occasional hashtags or to defend and protect the pedophiles and rapists in their orbit. Bill Clinton has raped women. Harvey Weinstein has raped many women. Anthony Weiner is in jail for pedophilia, Jeff Epstein was in jail for rape/pedophilia/registered sex offender, Hillary Clinton attacks women who accuse her husband of rape. In her life as a lawyer, has defended a violent pedophile, but never a female rape victim or a child rape victim-not even once.

Hillary’s brother played ball for Joe Paterno at Penn State, and her father has a scholarship in his name there-while Jerry Sandusky was raping boys and getting access to vulnerable children through Second Mile Foundation. Bill Clinton’s White House Counsel was retained by Penn State at the time. Bill Clinton used his office to free a convicted child trafficker in jail in Haiti, Laura Silsby. Laura Silsby is now Laura Gayler and works at Alert Sense, which makes Amber Alerts. Would a convicted child trafficker who did jail time for kidnapping and trafficking children work for Amber Alerts without the Clinton’s intervention? Bill Clinton was even disbarred for lying about womanizing Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office.

Hillary Clinton presided over a child sex scandal as her State Department overlooked Diplomats raping child “prostitutes” while on duty-in America and abroad. A recent article has Sec of State Clinton refusing to fire a sexual harasser, keeping him in power, over the protests of his victims, women who worked for Hillary. Hillary Clinton’s campaign was warned not to work with Harvey Weinstein because he’s a rapist, which they ignored. De Blasio administration employee, Jacob Schwartz, was arrested with over 3,000 images of child porn, specifically infant porn, which is specifically-men raping 6 month old infants….He’s close friends with Robby Mook- Clinton’s head campaign strategist, and John Podesta, her campaign manager who is also accused of being a pedophile.

I have never seen a single attempt by the Clinton’s to address (other than as an aside or to answer a direct question they can’t avoid) any kind of rape, child rape, child trafficking, or pedophilia, nor have I seen them enact any form of action on this topic. In fact in 2015, US Soldiers were told to ignore all child sex rape and sex abuse, including that of a young boy who was reportedly chained to a bed and kept as a sex slave. As far as I can see, The Clinton’s are fine with womanizing, rape, pedophilia, sexual harassment, child trafficking and slandering Bill’s female victims.

I personally, researched child trafficking arrests in 2017, versus 2012–2016. Within the first 3–4 months of Trump’s Presidency, arrests for child sex trafficking and pedophilia surpassed the Obama last term. Hear me: I stopped tallying when the total arrests in the first 3 months of 2017, surpassed ALL of Obama’s last term. There are, in fact, so many write ups about this online, that liberal media, incapable of dealing with this fact-simply calls it a “conspiracy theory” rather than actually take the time to look at the numbers.

Why anyone would want to dismiss huge amounts of pedophile sex rings being taken down, and child-trafficking arrests, is beyond my understanding. I want to address and end rape, child rape, human trafficking/sex trafficking and any kind of child abuse, full stop. Further, I am compelled to support anyone and anything that does. (Read more.)
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Justice: A Forgotten Virtue

In the life of St. Catherine of Siena. From Nobility:
Catherine could scarcely perform any public exercise of piety, without exciting a calumny, and drawing upon herself the persecutions of those same individuals who ought to have defended and encouraged her; and let us not be astonished: Religious who have not perfectly overcome their self-love, allow their jealousy to carry them farther than persons in the world. As the Sisters of Penance saw Catharine, yet so young, surpassing all the others by the austerity of her life, the severity of morals, and the fervor of her prayer and a sublime contemplation, some among them were seduced by Satan, and began through envy to censure her conduct, and denounce her to some religious of the Order. If some extolled her virtue, and proved it by things evident to all, others, maintained that she was instigated by an evil spirit. Those females, genuine descendants of Eve, acted so adroitly that they seduced Adam himself, that is to say, the Superiors of the Convent of St Dominic, who would not receive her, refused her Holy Communion, and even went so far as to deprive her of her Confessor. She supported the whole with patience and without murmuring, as though she were not the injured one, and no one ever heard her utter the smallest complaint. (Read more.)
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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Finest Parisian Jewelers

From The Robb Report:
Paris is home to many of the world’s most renowned jewelers—esteemed maisons that have dressed the wealthy and the powerful since the days of Marie Antoinette and Empress Joséphine. However, a modern generation of talented jewelry designers have also risen up in the City of Light. From the heart of Place Vendôme, the spiritual home of all jewelers, to chic ateliers all over the capital, here is our pick of Paris’s finest on-the-rise independent jewelers. (Read more.)
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A Nobel Prize for Trump?

If Trump does not receive it, then no one should. From New York Magazine:
Senator Lindsey Graham, not one of Trump’s biggest fans in the upper chamber, agrees. “It’s the biggest change since the end of the hostilities,” Graham said on Fox News Friday. “What happened? Donald Trump convinced North Korea and China he was serious about bringing about change.”

“We’re not there yet, but if this happens, President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize,” he said.
Some of Trump’s biggest boosters have removed the caveat. They’re ready to give him the Nobel now. “Unlike Obama, he actually deserves the Nobel Peace Prize,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted. Carl Higbie, a former Trump administration official..., is ready for the Nobel committee to act now. And Bill Mitchell is eager to find out if the heads of liberals will “explode” when Trump gets the award. (Read more.)
All that Trump has done for human rights should win him the prize as well. From the Artsci Blog:
 So, while the liberal media keep repeating the same “bash Trump” programming relentlessly to their base, people like me have moved on and have been researching what he’s actually doing, I can guarantee you, no Democrat has even read this far. But look at me. I’m a liberal, and this ^ is what I’m working with.

While liberal media thinks Trump saying “shit-hole” is newsworthy, I’m sitting here wondering how they missed an actual DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN THE UNITED STATES enacted to deal with corruption, crimes such as rape ⇨which was specifically named⇦ and human trafficking, including a monumentally sweeping law which allows the United States Treasury, empowered by President Donald Trump, to revoke the property and profits of anyone, anywhere involved in trafficking and corruption. (Read more.)
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Just Like Nazis

Little Alfie is now with the angels. We pray for forgiveness for those who refused to let his parents take him to the hospital in Rome for further treatment. We forget that Hitler had his admirers among some of the English upper classes. It seems that a particular attitude still prevails. But it's nothing new. So many stood by while the Irish starved to death, too. From Life Site:
A leading German pediatrician is saying that the way the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is dealing with disabled toddler Alfie Evans and his parents would never happen in his country given its history with the Nazi regime. “We have learned in Germany because of our history, that there are things that you do not do with severely disabled patients,” Professor Nikolaus Haas, head of the Child Cardiology and Pediatric Intensive Medicine Unit at Munich University Hospital, told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper in an April 26 article.

“Our ethical understanding in Germany is different, I mean - thank God. The [hospital’s] logic that it is better for the child to die than that someone else looks at it, and even to sue [for that] in court, this is an unimaginable behavior for me,” he said. Professor Haas may have been referring to the euthanasia program of Nazi-ruled Germany in which, between 1939 and 1945, thousands of children with mental or physical disabilities were exterminated. (Read more.)
Meanwhile, a young working class father makes a heroic stand for his little son, in spite of the mockery of elites. From Regina:
 A teenager when he learned of his girlfriend's pregnancy, Tom did not send her to an abortion clinic. Instead, he stood by her, and when their 8 month old Alfie fell ill, he did what every good dad would do — he stood by his son. Now, Tom is a working class guy in an England where the ‘Labour' Party once championed the rights of the working classes. It was Labour, after all, which brought in the National Health Service in the 1940's as the crown jewel in their working class victory; after losing their sons to two pitiless world wars, England's working men and women would have their government-paid health care.  Today, Tom's baby son has been targeted by a new kind of Labour Party — and their Conservative counterparts — who want him to sit down and shut up, and accept the ‘reality' that Alfie has to die in the dubious care of the NHS their grandfathers fought for.
Tom, Christ-like, has been made a public spectacle. For pleading for basic care for his son, he's been threatened by lawyers, vilified in the national press, clucked over by the nation's chattering classes and abandoned by the high priests.‘Poor Tom‘, the professional chatterers say, and the unspoken is palpable: ‘Just a chav who won't accept his lot in life.‘ For days, they all have been smugly waiting for Alfie to die. Except, he won't. Against all ‘expert' opinion which stated he wouldn't live three minutes off the ventilator, Alfie continues to breathe on his own.
Now, photos are circulating on social media that reveal the horrendous hygiene that Alfie has been subjected to in the NHS hospital Alder Hey:  left to lie in his own urine, given moldy tubes to breathe through. Clearly, Tom's pleas have been ignored by hospital staff.  So, he filed lawsuits for murder against three Alder Hey doctors. (“This is a desperate man,” is the reaction we get from the court records, clucking over poor, clueless Tom.) Meanwhile, Alfie continues to breathe on his own.

Undaunted, Tom set off to speak to the Pope — and miracle of miracles, he got Francis's support.  (After the Vatican's notorious silence on Charlie Gard, this is a wonder in itself.) Italian citizenship for Alfie quickly followed, with an air ambulance still at the ready to whisk Alfie away. But within days the Archbishop of Liverpool ran scurrying to the Vatican to explain why Alfie must die, and why he would not allow any Catholic priests to minister to the family. (Which, in a stunning display of craven churchmanship he has quickly denied ever saying, blaming his auxiliary instead.) Meanwhile, Alfie continues to breathe on his own. (Read more.)
As for anti-Catholicism, it is still alive and well. From Church Militant:
 The Daily Mirror's Susie Boniface went further, slamming Christians in general — and Catholics in particular — while veering into outright blasphemy. On Wednesday, Boniface lashed out at Alfie's backers, calling them "bandwagon bandits who have leapt on his tragedy to push religious fundamentalism down our throats."

Mocking Christ, she wrote that "while many strange powers are attributed to Jesus and those who have faith in him, no one made a note of [H]is 'Miracle of the Regrowing Brain.'"

"But hey, the pope wants to help," Boniface continued. "A man who is the earthly representative of the deity who is theologically responsible for robbing a tiny baby of all higher cognitive function. Tell me this: if [serial killer] Fred West's mate offered to babysit, would you say yes?" The columnist — who describes herself as "often sarcastic, occasionally right" — went on to imply that Christians should support destroying human life to save human life, lashing out at them for "arguing against the sort of embryonic research that may one day cure babies with the same condition as Alfie."

"If there is any such thing as evil incarnate, it is not inside Alder Hey," she wrote, instead, "It lies in the narrow minds of ignorant zealots who want to 'protect' Alfie while doing everything they can to ensure children like him suffer more."

"If that's what your God wants," Boniface added, "best you keep him to yourself." (Read more.)
From The American Thinker:
The British government, eager to prove its merit as a proper socialist state, has made a cottage industry of delineating the conditions of collective ownership of the individual in the starkest terms.  Last year, their poster child for the principle of the individual as dispensable cell of the socialist collective was named Charlie Gard.  This year, he is known as Baby Alfie.  In both cases, the parents are outright denied the freedom to seek further treatment for a child the State has decided is not worth trying to save.  In both cases, the further treatment in question would not cost the British government, in the form of the National Health Service, a penny.  In both cases, the Catholic Church has offered to treat the baby in Rome for free.  In both cases, the child's parents – in Alfie's case, Tom Evans and Kate James – have fought long sickening court battles against their owners, the British Government, only to be denied every time in favor of "the best interests of the child," i.e. premature death by starvation. (Read more.)
 Gingrich weighs in:
The secular system has asserted its right to define what lives are worth living and is determined to prevent its authority from being questioned. Alfie Evans’ life – like Charlie Gard’s before him – has been determined to be limited by the standards of the secular state, and therefore without value. These tragic government-imposed death sentences for innocent infants should frighten all of us about increasing secularism in society and the steady shift towards a totalitarian willingness to control our lives – down to and including ending them – on the government’s terms. (Read more.) 
I am as thrilled by the royal baby as anyone but the way the Left has turned on a working class baby shows that they really have no use for the poor except when votes are needed. From Breitbart: 
The three mainstream U.S. television networks have heaped attention on the new little British prince while silencing the heartbreaking story of little Alfie Evans who is fighting for his life against attempts by the British state to euthanize him.

On April 23, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, gave birth to her third child with Prince William, an event that electrified American news channels. The three major networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—devoted a combined total of more than 28 minutes to the royal news, while completely omitting mention of another baby who languished in a UK hospital after officials removed his life support against his parents’ wishes. (Read more.) 
 And it keeps getting more horrendous. From The Federalist:
A British doctor treating Alfie Evans told reporters off the record his parents won’t be allowed to take their child out of the hospital, even to die at home, unless there is a “sea change” in their attitude. Alfie’s parents are battling the hospital and the government of the United Kingdom to continue caring for their little boy, who is suffering from an undiagnosed condition that British doctors say has rendered him terminally ill. Although he was taken off life support Monday night, Alfie has continued to live with the help of an oxygen tank. The courts have ruled his parents cannot take him out of the country, and have allowed the hospital to keep Alfie in their “care” by force. (Read more.)

 Death. From Life Site:
Alfie James Evans was a baptized Catholic, like his father. His mother belongs to the Reformed tradition. If a baptized child before the age of reason dies, he goes straight to heaven, according to Catholic teaching. “Baptized and under ‘the age of reason’, he does not need our prayers,” tweeted Dr Joseph Shaw, a Catholic ethicist at Oxford University. “His family, and everyone else involved, do.”
In a statement issued on its website, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, said: “We wish to express our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Alfie’s family at this extremely distressing time. All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them. This has been a devastating journey for them and we would ask that their privacy and the privacy of staff at Alder Hey is respected.” On Monday, Alfie’s father Thomas Evans posted a video on Facebook saying that when the hospital staff removed Alfie’s ventilator at 9:17 p.m., he was able to breathe on his own. The toddler lived for more than four days without the machine. (Read more.)

Rejoice with the angels, dear little one! Share

Friday, April 27, 2018

State Dinner at the White House, April 2018





There is a fleur-de-lys on the menu!
From Good Housekeeping:
For the china, Melania chose a gold set from the Clinton White House, which created a regal, yet sophisticated ambiance. The White House chef, Cristeta Comerford, served an American menu with French influences, which included rack of spring lamb, Carolina gold rice jambalaya, and nectarine tarts for dessert. Fresh herbs from the South Lawn included. (Read more.)
From CNN:
Even the wine selection was chosen with the French-American relationship in mind. The Domaine Serene Chardonnay "Evenstad Reserve" 2015 was grown from French plants from Dijon "that thrive in the volcanic Oregon soil." The Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir "Laurène" 2014 "uses the motto 'French soul--Oregon soil.'" Following a less formal dinner with the Macrons at Mount Vernon on Monday evening, the first lady hopped off the Marine One helicopter and did one final late-night run-through, personally inspecting each detail, including the white lilac centerpieces, the dripless candles and the entry to the evening, a grand hallway decked out in soft light and pink florals. (Read more.)



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A Historic Meeting at the Border

I wonder how many Americans realize what a huge breakthrough has happened...and Trump did it. From The Guardian:
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Alfie Evans and the Crossroads of History

Once again, a little child is at the center of the battle between light and darkness. From First Things:
Certain studies can be cited in support of what the physician desires, and studies pointing in a different direction can be ignored. Directive, emotive, and exaggerated language can be used to manipulate, especially when the likely outcomes of various options are under discussion. Numbers can be used in a similar way: Should a consult focus on the two-thirds of patients who have poor outcomes—or on the one-third who have good ones?

These forms of manipulation are a persistent concern in clinical ethics, and they present themselves in dramatic fashion when medical teams discuss disability. Sometimes the desire of a physician to achieve the outcome he wants is so strong that he will engage in deceptive practices called “slow coding” or “show coding.” The physician agrees with the parents that everything possible will be done for their child (“full code”)—but in reality the physician and medical team will not engage in aggressive treatment. This practice is defended by some ethicists today, and is often justified by the physician’s personal judgment that the life of a particular child is not worth saving.

Most often it is done on the down-low. Physicians are good at avoiding public scrutiny of their actions generally, and in these kinds of cases in particular. Decisions to refuse to treat a child because of a disability are distorted by euphemistic references to “mercifully” removing or foregoing “burdensome” or “extraordinary” treatments.

To be clear: The distinctions between life-sustaining treatment that is morally required and that which may be foregone—pioneered by the Catholic moral theology in the late Middle Ages and early Modern period—are essential in these cases. Personally, I take a wide view of what kinds of things might make life-sustaining treatments extraordinary, even arguing that Catholic social teaching requires expense to be one of the factors considered. 

But the principle of never aiming at the death of an innocent person—whether by action or omission—must remain absolutely exceptionless. This is what the dignity of the person requires, especially if one wishes to protect vulnerable populations who are at risk of being marginalized by those who find them inconvenient. And given the checkered history of Western medicine when it comes to the value of the disabled, we must take care to be certain that this principle is enforced in the clinic. Enter the current row over Alfie Evans. At first glance, it may seem that this case has much in common with last year’s debate over Charlie Gard. And indeed, there are important similarities. (Read more.)
From The Catholic Herald:
 These two cases (and there may well be many other we do not know about) provide some context to help us understand why Alfie Evans has been granted Italian citizenship and offered a hospital place in Rome. Essentially, Pope Francis asked the Italian government to act, and they did, just as they had acceded to previous papal requests.

So what can we conclude? First of all, that the Papacy has an eye to, as well as a deep commitment to, human rights, which, as we should all know, transcend national boundaries. So too does the Italian government, whether it be one of the right (as Berlusconi) or the left (like Renzi’s). This leads to a difficult and distressing question. If the Pope and the Italian government (and others too) see the Alfie Evans case in this way – that is a case of human rights – why can’t our own government and courts see it in the same way? The parents are only asking to take their child abroad for treatment; it is devastating that they are not allowed to do so. The intransigence of the British courts and a large swathe of British opinion on this matter makes Britain look as intolerant, in certain lights, as Sudan and Afghanistan. (Read more.)
 
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Thursday, April 26, 2018

A French Obsession

From Jeeves at "Tweedland" the Gentlemen's Club:
A fresh vision and a love for French culture inspired Lillian and Ted Williams, classicists and home restorers, to return an abandoned folie in Normandy, France, to the condition that made the structure a "jewel in a wheat field" during the halcyon days before the French Revolution. The Chateau de Morson, built in 1750 for the Marquis de Morson, is one of the few remaining folies in France. The gentlemen’s getaways were frequently a target for revolutionaries seeking to destroy any lingering symbols of the aristocracy. The folies not ruined by political action have been ravaged by the elements, Lillian Williams notes: "This house was not built to survive 200 years, it was built as a whim." The Chateau de Morson is unusual not only for its survival in the face of adversity, but also for its location in the Normandy countryside–most folies were found on the outskirts of Paris and Bordeaux, perfect locations for city-dwelling gentlemen to escape for an afternoon’s dangerous liaison.

When the Williamses entered the abandoned dwelling in Normandy for the first time, they saw a dramatic parlor with 14-foot ceilings and graceful glass doors overlooking fields of wheat. Struck by the beauty, they instantly decided to purchase the nobleman’s playhouse. "It took us 20 seconds to buy and 10 years to restore it. If we hadn’t bought it, it would have fallen down," Lillian says.

As Americans in France, the Williamses join the ranks of legendary interior designer Elsie de Wolfe and novelist Edith Wharton as Francophile owners of folies. What is taken for granted as a French ruin by many natives is rediscovered as a treasure with the fresh, appreciative eyes of Americans, Lillian observes. "I think the Americans have made their impact," she says. In the American style, the couple also brings the do-it-yourself ethic to the Continent. "We used more of our imagination and less of others’," Lillian explains. The walls are hand-painted and fabrics are selected based on her studies of ceramics and extensive knowledge of 18th-century art and textiles, which she uses to design fabric and wallpaper for the likes of Manuel Canovas. A large amount of the repair and refurbishment work on the manor was completed by Ted Williams. (Read more.)
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Hospitals and Parental Authority

From New York Post:
Texas law gives life-and-death power to hospitals, never mind what families want. In most states, including New York, families are likely to win if they go to court to stop a hospital from pulling the plug. Unfortunately, they don’t know that and get steamrolled by hospital staff. Later, they may regret they didn’t hold out for more time with their child or a rare, unexpected improvement....In 2005, a court gave a Houston hospital the go-ahead to turn off the ventilator keeping baby Sun Hudson alive, over the mother’s objections. In 2017, again with a court’s OK, another Texas hospital cut off life support from 46-year-old Chris Dunn, who was awake and communicative, but descending into organ failure because of pancreatic cancer. His mother pleaded with the judges that the hospital was “trying to play God.” But Texas law gives hospitals that power. (Read more.)
From the Conservative Review:
 “Who do you think loves that baby the most?” Levin continued. “Who do you think wants to care for that baby the most? Judges? The doctors? No, the parents.” Levin concluded that this is exactly the kind of thing that happens when people give the government control over their health care, and by extension, their liberty and their lives: “In the end, it’s a disaster.” (Read more.)
From Lew Rockwell:
 This evening, a reader sent the following text to me, which comes from the website “Alfie’sArmyOfficial,” the Facebook page of Alfie’s supporters.,I cannot confirm or deny the allegation it makes. But since we are now at “one minute before midnight,” we are in an emergency situation which seems to require some action from some new actor, and the allegation made, if even partially true, may spark such action. It is in this hope that I post the following: “The reason the Government and hospital want this child to die is that if he reaches his second birthday, then he is entitled to compensation for his vaccine injury. Not only will this cost money, but it will make the reality of vaccine injury very, very public. The pharmaceutical/medical mafia is behind this case for sure. Why do you think the hospital won’t let him transfer to another country? Why do you think they care so much? There is a big reason. Wake up and smell the agenda.” Alfie was born on May 9, 2016. If he lives, he will turn 2 years old on May 9, 2018. That is 14 days away. (Read more.)
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The Cross Wins in Bavaria

From the BBC:
Premier Markus Söder said crosses should not be seen as religious symbols but as a "clear avowal of our Bavarian identity and Christian values" But opponents said the ruling Christian Social Union (CSU) was trying to score points ahead of October's election amid fears of a rise of the far right. Crosses are compulsory in public school classrooms and courtrooms. The decree, which comes into effect on 1 June, will not affect municipal and federal government buildings in the predominantly Roman Catholic southern state.

"The cross is a fundamental symbol of our Bavarian identity and way of life," Mr Söder said in a statement (in German). "It stands for elemental values ​​such as charity, human dignity and tolerance." He denied the measure violated constitutional rules about religious neutrality and, on Twitter, said he had placed a cross in the lobby of the state chancellery in Munich. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Robin's Egg Blue

Also known as "Marie-Antoinette Blue." (Via The Relished Roost.)




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Imposing Polygamy

From The Syrian Observer:
Most Arab countries allow polygamy for men up to four wives, in accordance with Islamic Sharia, which Germany has banned and considers a punishable crime. Mahmoud Afara, who works in a legal advisory office for refugees in Germany, told Enab Baladi that the punishments for marrying more than one woman could include withdrawing the right to asylum or raising the tax limit on normal citizens. The German public prosecutor is studying this month the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the regional administration that exempted two cases, after receiving 30 requests to sue the local administration on the charge of encouraging polygamy. The state justified its acceptance of the family reunification on the grounds that its decisions “do not comprise a general rule and did not support polygamy, and it falls outside its legal capacity to impact marriage rights in other countries.” According to the state’s spokesman Oliver Carstens, the matter is firstly one of the “wellbeing and status of the children.” Afara said that these exceptions are barely noticeable compared with the wave of refugees, and they do not serve as legal permission for more than one wife, but is merely the state “turning a blind eye.” (Read more.)
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Too Many Men?

From The Washington Post:

The gender imbalance could prompt a “crisis of masculinity” as traditional roles are upended and males embrace socially regressive stances to prove their manhood, said Prem Chowdhry, a researcher and social scientist in New Delhi. “People devalue their masculinity. If they remain single, they will be declared not men at all. The basic function of a man in rural society is to have a family and look after that family.” (Read more.)
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Greatest Showman

A wonderful family film. From Aleteia:
Now, if you are looking for an accurate biography of P.T. Barnum, the great circus promoter, businessman and politician, The Greatest Showman may not be your source. But if you are interested in a beautiful yarn, this musical delivers. In the film, P.T. Barnum was the son of a poor tailor who finds himself falling in love with the daughter of one of his father’s wealthy benefactors. Barnum was of a lower class than his love interest, but what he lacked in wealth he made up for in passion and imagination. The two would wed (to the great disappointment of her father) and Barnum would be haunted by a sense of ashamed inferiority for the rest of his life.

In short order, Barnum was married with two young daughters and out of work. He was enamored with exotic animals, daring feats and human oddities. As a result, he would take out a loan, hire a motley crue of medical misfits, animal handlers, trapeze artists and start up a circus. With astounding costumes, remarkable acrobatics, and the glee that can only come with the wonders of a circus, Barnum’s dreams come true. And with it comes a subtle sense of dignity for a fiercely outcast group of “freaks” now paid and lauded for their aberrations. But as his success would grow, Barnum would find himself torn in many unforgiving directions: a need for financial success to secure his family, a desire to outdo himself with bigger and better acts, and perhaps most unfortunately, a craving for respect from a higher class that Barnum felt couldn’t help looking down their noses at him. It’s as if his fervent desires become almost embodied in one of the peak songs from the opera singer, Never Enough. Ultimately, however, in the maelstrom of Barnum’s feverish desires, tragedy strikes. His family feels abandoned, his employees feel betrayed, his plan for acceptability falters and his circus is burned to the ground. This is where I saw the true magic of The Greatest Showman. (Read more.)
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Casting Out Demons

From Church Militant:
In Rome, exorcists-in-training are being primed for Muslim requests for the rite. At a Regina Apostolorum University conference on exorcism this week, veterans of the rite have instructed students to be ready for Muslims asking for spiritual help.           

Several speakers testified to their own experiences. Albanian Cdl. Ernest Simoni told attendees that over the course of his decades-long ministry, many Muslims have sought him out for help battling the diabolical. He said he honors these requests, noting that "Jesus came for everyone." (Read more.)
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The “Great Troublemaker”

From TFP:
In this twilight of mud and opprobrium, the whole world, sleepy and ashamed, is allowing itself to slide down the successive abysses of a gradual acceptance of Communism. However, in this panorama of general devastation, Cardinal Mindszenty has risen as the great nonconformist, the international troublemaker whose unbreakable refusal saves the honor of the Church and the human race. With the prestige of the Roman purple intact on his shoulders, this brave and selfless shepherd has shown Catholics that it is not licit for them to follow the crowds now bending their knees before Belial.

Thus, the admiring gaze of TFP members and volunteers and those in their sister organizations in the Americas and Europe turns to the illustrious cardinal, enthralled by his holy and intrepid attitude. The presidents of these entities have sent the former Archbishop of Esztergom (whose name, from the day he was removed and thus martyred, will share the same glory as that of Esztergom until the end of the world) a joint message that I am transcribing below. I am certain that countless readers would like to have signed it, many with their own blood or tears, the blood of their souls. (Read more.)
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Monday, April 23, 2018

St. George and the Dragon

But the knight, turning him about, bade her remain where she was, and went out to meet the dragon.
When it observed him approach, the beast was struck with amazement, and, having paused for but a moment, it ran toward the knight with a great swiftness, and beating its dark wings upon the ground as it ran.

When it drew near to him, it puffed out from its nostrils a smoke so dense that the knight was enveloped in it as in a cloud; and darted hot flames from its eyes. Rearing its horrid body, it beat against the knight, dealing him fearful blows; but he, bending, thrust his spear against it, and caught the blows upon his shield. 
~ Legend of St. George and the Dragon

The legend of St. George and the dragon was one of the most popular stories in the Middle Ages. St. George is generally believed to have lived in Asia Minor and to have suffered under the Emperor Diocletian. Ascalon, the sword of St. George, was celebrated by knights who took the martyred warrior as the patron of chivalry. While his name became the battle-cry of Merry Old England, St. George  was universally venerated in both the East and the West; in the Roman Church he was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

While we know there was indeed a martyr named George, how true is the account of his battle with the dragon? According to New Advent:
This episode of the dragon is in fact a very late development, which cannot be traced further back than the twelfth or thirteenth century. It is found in the Golden Legend (Historia Lombardic of James de Voragine and to this circumstance it probably owes its wide diffusion. It may have been derived from an allegorization of the tyrant Diocletian or Dadianus, who is sometimes called a dragon (ho bythios drakon) in the older text, but despite the researches of Vetter (Reinbot von Durne, pp.lxxv-cix) the origin of the dragon story remains very obscure. In any case the late occurrence of this development refutes the attempts made to derive it from pagan sources....

The best known form of the legend of St. George and the Dragon is that made popular by the "Legenda Aurea", and translated into English by Caxton. According to this, a terrible dragon had ravaged all the country round a city of Libya, called Selena, making its lair in a marshy swamp. Its breath caused pestilence whenever it approached the town, so the people gave the monster two sheep every day to satisfy its hunger, but, when the sheep failed, a human victim was necessary and lots were drawn to determine the victim. On one occasion the lot fell to the king's little daughter. The king offered all his wealth to purchase a substitute, but the people had pledged themselves that no substitutes should be allowed, and so the maiden, dressed as a bride, was led to the marsh. There St. George chanced to ride by, and asked the maiden what she did, but she bade him leave her lest he also might perish. The good knight stayed, however, and, when the dragon appeared, St. George, making the sign of the cross, bravely attacked it and transfixed it with his lance. Then asking the maiden for her girdle (an incident in the story which may possibly have something to do with St. George's selection as patron of the Order of the Garter), he bound it round the neck of the monster, and thereupon the princess was able to lead it like a lamb. They then returned to the city, where St. George bade the people have no fear but only be baptized, after which he cut off the dragon's head and the townsfolk were all converted. The king would have given George half his kingdom, but the saint replied that he must ride on, bidding the king meanwhile take good care of God's churches, honour the clergy, and have pity on the poor. The earliest reference to any such episode in art is probably to be found in an old Roman tombstone at Conisborough in Yorkshire, considered to belong to the first half of the twelfth century. Here the princess is depicted as already in thedragon's clutches, while an abbot stands by and blesses the rescuer.
The key to the legend of St. George is that it epitomizes the spiritual combat in which all Christians are engaged, on one level or another. As Fr. Blake explains:
I love saints like St George, whose true story is lost in myth. In both stories George becomes a Christian "everyman". The first legend reminds us that despite every attempt to overcome him by God's grace George endures and survives all, and even in death is victorious.
The second story draws on apocalyptic imagery, the dragon is the symbol of evil, the power of sin, but here it is to be contrasted with the pure virgin. I am reminded of St Athanasius' struggle for twenty years in the tomb against demons. In all of us there is the pure virgin and the dragon. George, here takes on the attributes of St Michael (Michael means "Who is like God"), in his struggle he overcomes evil which then becomes subject to purity.

More HERE.
 

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Your Culture is Toast

From The Maven:

Maybe it's time to start focus on teaching what happened in the past instead of Howard Zinn social activist history? I had just finished showing my history students the short, moving documentary Auschwitz: If You Cried, You Died that chronicles the return of two survivors, David Mandel and Mike Vogel, to the land of the dead, when I saw this story from the Washington Post:

Two-thirds of American millennials surveyed in a recent poll cannot identify what Auschwitz is, according to a study released on Holocaust Remembrance Day that found that knowledge of the genocide that killed 6 million Jews during World War II is not robust among American adults.
Twenty-two percent of millennials in the poll said they haven’t heard of the Holocaust or are not sure whether they’ve heard of it — twice the percentage of U.S. adults as a whole who said the same.
Asked to identify what Auschwitz is, 41 percent of respondents and 66 percent of millennials could not come up with a correct response identifying it as a concentration camp or extermination camp.
It makes me sick to my stomach to read that – not just because of my job as a history teacher, but more as a citizen who understands the truism that those who forget the injustices of the past are doomed to repeat them.I’m certainly conscious of the fact that not everyone gets into history and loves to read about and study it. I recognize that there is so much in the era of iPads and YouTube and social media to distract even the most well-intentioned among us. And I know that there is a great deal of misinformation that abounds in these “lessons from history.” (Read more.)
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A Lost Burial Site

From Royal Central:
The site of Christchurch Greyfriars, is a strange, haunting place, redolent of history. It is now a ruined, public garden and a popular place for Londoners to take their sandwiches for lunch. Long gone is the atmosphere of bells and prayer from the Middle Ages; although in an odd parallel to its previous use as a church, it manages to be a place of peace in the noise of the City and nearby Stock Exchange.

Greyfriars was historically unfortunate in suffering twice as a church both times that London burned; the first medieval, monastic church – which became a parish church following the Dissolution of the Monasteries – was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, the second, Wren church, erected on the old medieval foundations, fell victim to bomb damage during the Blitz. It is close to Wren’s magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, in which the architect himself is eulogized by his own powerful tomb inscription: “Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you”.

Greyfriars was one of approximately fifty London churches which Wren did rebuild, whilst creating other splendid examples of his own, such as the great St. James’s Church in Piccadilly. History made circles, however, for on the night that Christchurch Greyfriars burned during the Blitz, eight other Wren churches were destroyed. One of the few objects that were recovered from the burning Christchurch Greyfriars was the lid of a wooden font, retrieved by an unnamed postman who ran in to save it. Fittingly, the ruins of Christchurch Greyfriars are near Postman’s Park. (Read more.)
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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Heart of Gold

Queen Anne with her patron saints
Of Anne of Brittany. From The Telegraph:
After Anne’s death in 1514, she was buried, as custom dictated, alongside other French royals in the Basilica of Saint Denis outside Paris. But to show that her heart belonged to Brittany, it was placed in her parents’ tomb at the chapel of the Carmelite friars in Nantes, in accordance with her wishes. As queen she defended the autonomy of Brittany, then a duchy linked by treaty to France and often referred to as “Little Britain”.

Reputed to be the richest woman in Europe, her hand was eagerly sought by many kings. In 1483, her father arranged for her to marry the Prince of Wales, Edward, but the young prince disappeared, presumed to have been killed by his uncle Richard III. She married Charles VIII of France in 1491, ascending the throne as queen consort at the age of 12. As he died without an heir in 1498, she married Louis XII a year later and became the only woman to be crowned queen of France twice. (Read more.)
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"If You Don't Agree With Me, You're a Racist"

From Townhall:
Yes, racism plays a central role in American history. Yes, there are still racists in America. But slandering white America in general for the crimes of a few bad apples is no better than slandering black America for the crimes of a few. If Yancy wants to deal with racist death threats, he could start by recognizing that we're all in this together -- and that we side with him against those who threaten him -- rather than pre-emptively characterizing us as the types of people who would write such vitriolic and evil screeds. (Read more.)
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In Jesus’ Time

From Aleteia:
In order for people to survive and flourish in the desert, they need water. Until the invention of the aqueduct, perfected by the Romans, but first used Minoans in ancient Crete as early as the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C., people had to live in near rivers and streams or in small groups close to wells and spring. An aqueduct uses the earth’s gravity to move water along a channel from its source to distant people, allowing for the growth of cities and the cultivation of agricultural lands.

It was no mean technological feat for the Assyrians in 691 B.C. to bring water to Nineveh – two millions blocks of stone were used to build a 30-foot high and 900-foot long channel. In 2015, archaeologists discovered a 2,000-year-old 13-mile long aqueduct in Jerusalem. It was built by kings in the Hasmonean dynasty, who ruled Judea and its surrounding regions from about 140 B.C. to 37 B.C., and was still in use until only 100 years ago. The Roman Empire wouldn’t have been possible without the technological advances in water management it invented. Throughout the city of Rome, and running from Germany to Africa, elaborate, highly sophisticated Roman aqueducts that involved underground plumbing supplied water to millions of people. (Read more.)
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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Lakeside Splendor



From Southern Lady:
When the Anderson family stumbled upon this 1970s cottage on North Carolina’s scenic Lake Norman, about an hour from their Wilkesboro home, there was an instant connection. “The view is absolutely priceless,” homeowner and designer Erin Anderson says. The Andersons went years without changing a thing, but eventually decided on a remodel to gain space to entertain. They doubled the footprint of the kitchen and converted a screened porch into a bunkroom for their three daughters, freeing up bedrooms for visitors. Since it was a vacation home, Erin chose bright, whimsical patterns and fresh colors that blend with with chinoiserie accents as well as distinctive artwork—all by Southern female artists. “Filling our spaces with art we love is always a priority,” she says. (Read more.)
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Winning

From The Washington Times:
President Donald Trump rode into office on the wings, in part, of a promise to clean up the Deep State, drain the swamp and boot from places of influence those who’ve worked behind the scenes to undo America’s greatness, one unconstitutional usurpation at a time.

It must be working. How else to explain how nuts the left’s been acting of late?

Just look at James Comey and his “A Higher Loyalty” book. In it, he paints Trump as a liar, a mafia-esque leader — a man of small hands, a president who’s brought the country to “a dangerous time,” to an era “where basic facts are disputed, fundamental truth is questioned, lying is normalized and unethical behavior is ignored, excused or rewarded,” he wrote, according to published excerpts. But peer past the words into the mind of the writer and it’s obvious: Here’s a guy who’s so ticked, who’s so pissed, who’s so filled with hate that he doesn’t even bother to filter. The rhetoric is unbefitting for a man of his supposed esteem — but apparently, he can’t help himself.

The tizzy doesn’t stop there. (Read more.)
From The Washington Examiner:
Harvard law professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz argued Wednesday night that President Trump was well within his legal rights to fire former FBI Director James Comey last year, and said that move can't be used as a basis for charging Trump with obstruction of justice. Speaking on CNN, Dershowitz said it's "obvious" Trump fired Comey to put an end to the Russia investigation. But he said while that may not sit well with people, it's still a legal act. "It's not OK, I think it's not illegal," he said. (Read more.)
 From Townhall:
Eleven House Republicans have sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray officially referring Hillary Clinton, fired FBI Director James Comey, fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for criminal investigation. FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were caught sending hundreds of anti-Trump text messages during the Clinton investigation, have also been referred for criminal investigation. U.S. Attorney John Huber, who was tapped by Sessions a few weeks ago to investigate the FBI's handling of the Clinton email probe, was copied on the request.

“Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately,” lawmakers wrote.

As the letter outlines, Comey is under fire for allegedly giving false testimony to Congress last summer about the FBI's criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton's repeated mishandling of classified information. Specifically, lawmakers cite Comey's decision to draft an exoneration memo of Clinton months before FBI agents were done with their work and before Clinton and key staffers were interviewed for the probe. They're also going after him for leaking classified information to a friend, which Comey admitted to under oath.

"It would appear that former Director Comey leaked classified information when sharing these memos with Professor Richman. Accordingly, we refer James Comey to DOJ for potential violation(s) if: 18 USC 641, 18 USC 793, and 18USC 1924 (a)," the letter states. (Read more.)
 From Mike Huckabee:
 Dominating the national conversation for the next few days will no doubt be the interview between ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and fired FBI Director James Sanctimonious --- I mean Comey. This exchange of softball questions and self-serving answers, edited down to one hour (minus commercials) from five hours of conversation, was perhaps the most sickening piece of political propaganda I’ve ever seen on a major network. And that’s saying something.

It’s a mystery how Comey even functions –- his mind, I mean. He wraps himself in “truth” while misrepresenting it numerous times in this interview. He seems to be in such denial that he’s oblivious to the irony of what he’s doing: chiding others for politicizing investigations WHILE APPEARING ON AN AGENDA-DRIVEN SHOW THAT IS POLITICIZING INVESTIGATIONS. The last 15 minutes or so of the interview are as political as it gets, with Comey actually saying in response to some conveniently leading questions that the President is morally unfit for office and calling on Americans to stop him at the ballot box. (Read more.)
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Christian and Yazidi Women Still in ISIS Captivity

From the Gatestone Institute:
  • Despite losing control of Raqqa and other major strongholds in Syria and Iraq, ISIS continues to keep many of the women it kidnapped during its rise in 2014. The world seems to have forgotten about them.
  • Habib, traded four times during her captivity, witnessed many cases of Christian and Yazidi girls -- some as young as 9 years old -- sold, raped and tortured by ISIS members.
  • Currently, there are an estimated 1,500 Christian and Yazidi girls and women still in captivity, while 1,000 others are missing in Iraq and Syria. Others are believed to have been sold to sex traffickers in Turkey. It is an issue that the international community cannot ignore. (Read more.)
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Friday, April 20, 2018

Marie-Antoinette and Music


From Royal Central:
Whilst musical talent in the eighteenth century was judged to be an appropriate feminine accomplishment, Marie Antoinette’s personal relationship with music was a special one, which reached far beyond mere natural inclination. Music proved to be in many ways, perpetually present, like a main character in her life story, giving parallel to key events or lending them at least, poignant expression. Her love and patronage of the music of the composer Christoph Willibald Glück, whose works she did much to promote in France, reaches back even further than Marie Antoinette’s birth, because the composer’s official inauguration in the role of composer of “theatrical and chamber music” took place in 1755 at a court ball at the summer palace of Laxenburg, when her mother, Maria Theresia, was roughly three months pregnant with her, the Empress’s fifteenth child.

When Archduchess Maria Antonia (“Antoine”) of Austria, the future Marie Antoinette was recorded as singing a French song as early as three-years-old, for the name day of her father, the Holy Roman Emperor Franz I, in 1759. She also met the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who gave his first concert at Schönbrunn Palace, the magnificent Habsburg summer residence on the outskirts of Vienna, in 1762, in the presence of the Empress and the Imperial Family, with the boy prodigy from Salzburg performing on the harpsichord. As Austrian Archduchess, Marie Antoinette’s young love of music was expressed in the painting of her at the spinet by Franz Xaver Wagenschön, a delightful image now part of the Kunsthistorisches Museum collections. The art is arresting, showing Marie Antoinette poised to turn the pages of her music, with one hand delicately resting on the keys. She is dressed in a day dress of blue satin, trimmed with fur, possibly of sable. It is proof, in any was needed, of her early commitment to what would be, a lifelong relationship. (Read more.)

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