Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Fête for the Fourth

From Victoria:
Whether cheering hometown heroes as they parade down Main Street or watching with rapt attention as fireworks illuminate the night sky, celebrate Independence Day to the fullest with friends, neighbors, and a feast of summertime favorites.  Pats of butter draw the eye to Brined, Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob, an easy-to-make must-have for patriotic festivities. (Read more.)
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Amnesty and the Blue Wave

From The American Thinker:
Amnesty for illegal aliens has never been a winning issue for Democrats.  Barack Obama seemed to operate with this knowledge.  But his successors obviously don't share his political cunning. 
Obama, you see, always played his cards close to the vest when it came to the politics of this issue.  He paid lip service, at least, to constitutional protocol: "I'm not a king," he told many audiences who desired that he unilaterally cease deportations for criminal trespassers. 
Deportations had to happen by law, he asserted.  But beneath the table, he was undermining the laws of the people as only the shiftiest despot might. 
Take what's commonly become known as his "catch and release" policy, more formally known as his administration's "prosecutorial discretion" guidelines.  Under these guidelines, ICE data from 2013 reveal, "hundreds of thousands [of illegal aliens] who were identified in the interior of the country were released instead of removed."  In that year, only 25% of criminal trespassers in America were charged with their crime.  To make matters worse, a large number of those released were criminals, even beyond their having committed the crime of entering this country illegally.  In fact, 68,000 (or 35% of the illegal aliens encountered by officers) had "criminal convictions," and they were released into the population "without formal notice to law enforcement agencies and victims." For the record, more than 80% of Americans disagree with this "catch and release" policy to this day. (Read more.)
 Anne Coulter's commentary, HERE. Share

9 Things Successful Women Do Before 9AM

The first thing I try to do is lift up my heart and mind to God. Some other good ideas are offered by The Every Girl:
If you find yourself hitting snooze approximately 10 times before finally rolling out of bed, frantically digging through your closet to find an outfit and then doing your makeup/eating breakfast during your drive to work, your mornings may need an overhaul. After all, your morning routine sets the tone for your entire day. To be more successful at #life, try these tried-and-true tricks. Here, nine things successful women do before 9am....This doesn’t necessarily have to be a workout. Even just some light yoga or going for a walk can help you get your blood flowing, reduce stress and boost your mood. (Although, you definitely get bonus points for knocking out a spin class or 5-mile run at the crack of dawn.) (Read more.)
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Friday, June 29, 2018

Summer Magic

From Southern Lady:
Capture the childhood magic of chasing fireflies with an old-fashioned outdoor repast amid the gentle flicker of candlelight. Grab the glimmer and glow of summer! Surrounded by a medley of rustic seating and cloaked in the vibrant hues of high summer, an alfresco table beckons guests to gather beneath the trees. Rich turquoise and bottle green mingle in a casual array of dishware, tumblers, and footed goblets, all anchored by crisp linens in green and white. (Read more.)
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As The Mueller Investigation Drags On....

Let's review the background of the Trump-Russia probe. From Real Clear Investigations:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation formally opened its Trump investigation after Western intelligence assets and Clinton-affiliated political operatives repeatedly approached the Trump campaign and tried but failed to damage it through associations with Russia, a growing body of evidence suggests.

Before the FBI began investigating the Trump campaign in an operation code-named “Crossfire Hurricane,” there were at least seven different instances when campaign advisers were approached with Russia-related offers. Most of those contacts — including Donald Trump Jr.’s much-publicized meeting with a Russian lawyer and others in June 2016 — offered the prospect of information damaging to Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Two of these approaches were made by one U.S. government informant already publicly identified as such, Stefan Halper. Another was made by a man who swore in court that he had worked as an FBI informant. Two others were made by figures associated with Western intelligence agencies. Another two approaches included political operatives, one foreign, with ties to the Clintons. President Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has asserted that dispatching Halper to follow the Trump campaign "protected" it from the Russians.

But Mark Wauck, a former FBI agent with experience in such tactics, sees an effort at entrapment. “What appear to have been repeated attempts to implicate the Trump campaign, in some sort of quid pro quo arrangement with Russians who claimed to have ‘dirt’ on Hillary,” Wauck told RealClearInvestigations, “look like efforts to manufacture evidence against members of the Trump campaign or create pretexts to investigate it.”

At the same time, in early spring, the Clinton campaign commissioned, through its law firm, the Washington, D.C.-based communications firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. The result was the infamous 35-page dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.(Read more.)

From The American Thinker:
The Mueller special counsel investigation purportedly was instigated to discover possible illicit Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election but now is backing away from the only indictments aimed at Russian entities, leaving only alleged process crimes (such as General Flynn's alleged false statement to the FBI) and alleged crimes that occurred long before the Trump candidacy (such as Paul Manafort's Ukrainian connection). (Read more.)

 From Sara A. Carter:
House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members grilled embattled, anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok behind closed doors on Capitol Hill Wednesday, as he attempted to explain his vehement bias against President Donald Trump, his senior role in the alleged Trump-Russia collusion investigation, and the exoneration of Hillary Clinton for her use of a private server while she was Secretary of State.

Strzok, who evaded a subpoena from House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), voluntarily appeared at the hearing. Thousands of Strzok’s anti-Trump text messages, which he exchanged with former FBI lawyer and his paramour, Lisa Page, sparked anger from Republicans (and criticism from some Democrats) who contend that senior members of the FBI utilized their power and political leanings to target Trump both before and after the 2016 election. (Read more.)

From Townhall:
Still, other committee members were impatient for Wray and Rosenstein to hurry up and provide whatever evidence they may have that can once and for all conclude the investigation. "We've seen the bias," Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said. "We need the evidence."

"Whatever you got, finish it the hell up, because this country is being torn apart," he added.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) grilled Rosenstein about keeping information from Congress and for directing Strzok to keep quiet during their meetings.

"We have caught you hiding information," Jordan alleged.

Rosenstein said he "disagreed" with the congressman and suggested that he "not rely on what the press said."

"You have seven days to get your act together," Jordan said. (Read more.)
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Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror

From Historical Britain Blog:
In 1066, Duke William acted with the surety of someone who believed in what he was doing. To take such a big risk, he must have had good reason. William did not have a drop of royal blood in him, and his relationship to King Edward was a bit convoluted; Queen Emma, Edward’s mother, was his great-aunt.  There were closer blood-ties to the English throne than his. So his claim must have relied on Edward’s alleged promise. Interestingly, this claim comes almost exclusively from the Norman chroniclers; the English chroniclers are silent on the subject. That in itself is enough to raise some eyebrows. Or is it?

Much of the argument is based on whether Duke William crossed the Channel and visited King Edward while the Godwine clan was in exile. Florence of Worcester, writing a half century later, states that he did. Modern historians seem to conclude that this was unlikely, as William was still probably fighting to secure his own throne. Of course, this visit or non-visit would determine whether William’s claim was first-hand or second-hand. Did Edward personally declare William his heir, or did the announcement come through Archbishop Robert of Jumièges?

There is a reference that a grateful Edward, still in exile, promised William the crown in their younger days. I think we can safely discard this one, since Edward was about 25 years older than William. It has been suggested that Edward was throwing around promises of succession (kind of like Elizabeth I and promises of marriages). If Duke William did visit England in 1052, it is possible that Edward, cocky after having rid himself of the troublesome Godwines, was asserting his will. Maybe he meant it, maybe he didn’t. Surely Edward knew he didn’t have the right to give away his crown; that decision was made by the Witan. (Read more.)
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Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Magic Combination

Beauty expert and blogger Gemma Wyld sent me some amazing articles on olive oil and coconut oil and their health and beauty benefits. Each article is loaded with tips and practical information which I will make use of and I hope everyone else does, too. It is why the Trianon Beauty Creams combine both coconut oil and olive oil. (Read more.)

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Confessions from the Border

From Love What Matters:
At the centers where these children were housed they cried aloud. Why wouldn’t they? Most had been on a journey that no human should ever go through. Most have never been able to trust a single soul their entire lives, even their parents. They were afraid of the future. But what these professionals did at the centers was phenomenal work. They fed these kids. They immunized these kids. They LOVE these kids. They have counselors on hand to help with these children. Some of these kids are put into the foster care system which, while not the greatest it could be, is almost certainly better than where they came from and the abuse they have suffered at the hand of cutthroats and drug cartels.

The people that are actually working this crisis are good people. In fact, they are better than most people. They put their lives on hold to help children that they don’t even know while spending months at a time without seeing their own families. These people probably save more lives than anyone else in the US right now. So I encourage you all to look at all sides of this situation. There are no winners but please don’t take up an opinion that comes from a media source that only has one agenda in mind: to discredit the current president.

Personally I could care less what you think of President Trump but where I draw the line is when we start taking down innocent people and painting them as villains in an effort to destroy someone else. These GOOD POEPLE working on this crisis have done so for the past 15 years without one word from anyone else until just recently. (Read more.)
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The Dangers of Distracted Parenting

From The Atlantic:
Yes, parents now have more face time with their children than did almost any parents in history. Despite a dramatic increase in the percentage of women in the workforce, mothers today astoundingly spend more time caring for their children than mothers did in the 1960s. But the engagement between parent and child is increasingly low-quality, even ersatz. Parents are constantly present in their children’s lives physically, but they are less emotionally attuned. To be clear, I’m not unsympathetic to parents in this predicament. My own adult children like to joke that they wouldn’t have survived infancy if I’d had a smartphone in my clutches 25 years ago. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sappho Rising

Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018)
It is the case with the LGBT movement that all artistic media have been and are being used to promote an agenda. The agenda is to facilitate the mainstreaming and normalization of homosexuality on every possible occasion, by every possible means. Theater and film have long been agents of social change, for good or ill. Movies, even those that are poorly done, can change public opinion by manipulating the thoughts and emotions of the viewers with words and imagery. Not that every film or show which feature homosexuality are necessarily manipulative. But recently I came across three films which stood out for me as ham-fisted in the emphasis on same sex romantic relationships. What offended me was not the LGBT theme in itself but the fact that in each film same sex attraction was spotlighted to the exclusion of other human emotions and tendencies. Not everything is about homosexuality and sometimes dwelling on it overmuch can give a skewed interpretation of life experiences.

The 2018 Amazon remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock features outstanding performances from Natalie Dormer and several young actresses who no doubt are at the beginning of stellar careers. The sets and costumes are exceptionally fine as well. Taking place in the Australian bush in the year 1900, several young ladies and teachers from an elegant boarding school set out to have a St. Valentine's Day picnic at a volcanic rock formation. Three of the girls and one of the teachers wander off and disappear. Two of the girls return with only sketchy memories of what happened. The boarding school begins to unravel over the search for the missing girls and teacher and the implications of their disappearance. Unfortunately, the insistence upon several LGBT subplots detract from the original simple but haunting tale. Based upon Joan Lindsay's 1967 novel of the same name, there also was a 1975 film by Peter Weir which was a masterpiece of both film-making and storytelling, being subtle and restrained in all the ways the new drama is not. According to The Muse:
It is extremely gutsy to take on an adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s novel Picnic at Hanging Rock when there is already Peter Weir’s perfect 1975 film. But not long into Amazon’s 2018 revamp of the Gothic classic does it become clear that the show’s intention isn’t to simply bring this story of four schoolgirls who seemingly vanish into Australia’s “Hanging Rock” one day in 1900 to the small screen, but to create something new entirely. And what was once a sort of minimalist, quiet horror story turns into an unfortunately cluttered, trippy mystery....Rather than let viewers come to their own conclusions about the meaning of the rock, and the girls’ intentions for climbing it, the new Picnic At Hanging Rock lays it on too thick. Everything is amplified to the extreme: the sensuality, the violence, the suffocating symbolism of all those corsets and stockings. One character even dodges a sexual assault in the first episode. And while Dormer might give a fantastic performance as Appleyard, the focus on her twisted backstory and her heightened abuse turns her into a lead villain who feels larger than the entire production. You get the sense that the new adaptation was reworked to respond to a contemporary demand for “strong female characters” (you know the kind—they’re always described as “badass”) rather than letting the quiet, creepy Hanging Rock work its strange magic on a group of vulnerable girls. (Read more.) 
In the original story, Victorian starchiness and propriety collide with primitive passions and preternatural forces symbolized by the volcanic rock, once the site of tribal worship and initiation rites. However, one has the impression from the 2018 version of Picnic that almost everyone in the Australian bush was wrestling with strong homosexual tendencies that were just waiting for a crack in the veneer of Christianity to come oozing out. The two young men who are searching for the girls are more interested with flirting with each other than in finding the missing damsels. The characters that are not secretly gay or lesbian, that is the heterosexual characters, are either cruel and abusive or hypocritical and coldly indifferent or even incestuous or, as in Dora Lumley's case, all of the above. One of the only decent and humane characters is the French teacher, named Dianne de Poitiers (not kidding). The Natalie Dormer character "Mrs. Hester Appleyard" was sold as a child by nuns to a pimp, which explains a great deal of her sadistic behaviors. Yes, Hester is one of the non-gay characters. Almost all of the characters, except for the strong-willed Amanda and the clumsy Edith, appear to lack a loving and supportive family; the most troubled of the girls are either motherless or have an indifferent mother. One wonders if there lies the root of the psychological turbulence, rather than suppressed or repressed sexual inclinations.
The Girl King (2015)
Queen Christina of Sweden is one of the most fascinating converts to Catholicism ever. The only child and heir of the great Gustavus Adolphus, Protestant champion of the Thirty Years War, Christina was brought up as a boy, at her father's orders. Becoming "King" of Sweden when she six, she continued to have the education and training usually given only to princes, all the while dealing with a morbidly hysterical mother who openly disliked her. It is no wonder that as an adolescent she had a crush on one of her ladies-in-waiting, Ebba Sparre, probably seeking the feminine affection and affirmation that her mother denied her. At the age of twenty-seven, Christina shocked Europe by abdicating her throne in order to become a Catholic. She left Sweden and settled in Rome. Although she may have been in love with Cardinal Azzolino, by most reliable accounts Christina lived a celibate life, which was nevertheless a full and exciting one. According to The Mad Monarchist:
In the many works concerning her written long after her life she has been portrayed as a lesbian, a bisexual or owing to her occasions of wearing masculine attire as a transgender person. However, there is absolutely no factual basis for any of these accusations. As a matter of fact there is not one shred of hard evidence of her ever having a sexual affair with anyone. The most that can be presented are letters to female friends, none of which actually suggest anything more than strong personal friendship and her letters to her friend Cardinal Decio Azzolino, none of which, again, convey anything but strong friendship and one would have to do some extremely stretched reading between the lines to make anything more of them and in such cases one is usually able to find whatever one wishes, seeing things that are not there and twisting words so far out of proportion as to be totally unrelated to the original work.

As for Queen Christina dressing like a man and having male mannerisms, it must be remembered that she was purposely raised as a boy, encouraged to act like a king rather than a queen and many of her hobbies like horseback riding necessitated wearing something more practical than feminine attire. We should also keep in mind that by modern standards most of the men in her day dressed in a way we would consider feminine with long, flowing hair, earrings and lacey collars and cuffs. She also enjoyed study, learning and other things which were, at the time, considered the domain of men and her attire may have been no different from women today who are in big business that wear pantsuits to fit in better with their male counterparts and keep from drawing undo attention to their gender. As to the transgender issue itself, the body of the Queen was examined in our own time and no evidence of any sexual abnormalities were found. All in all the adoption of Queen Christina by the gay, lesbian or transgender communities as some sort of icon really represents nothing more than people grasping at straws in an effort to write themselves into the history books by claiming figures long gone as their own. (Read more.)
In the 2015 film The Girl King, Christina's relationship with Ebba Sparre is portrayed as a sexual affair and the cause behind her eventual abdication from the throne. The actual reason of the abdication was that Christina had fallen in love with the Catholic Faith, which she found more compatible with the rich intellectual life she craved. She had Jesuits brought to Sweden to instruct her. She could not be a Catholic ruler of a Protestant country so she abdicated in favor of her cousin. In the movie a Jesuit is shown killing Descartes, Christina's teacher, with a poisoned Host at Mass, which is an infantile slap at the Faith which Christina gave up her crown in order to follow. It is a pity since the film is beautifully acted. Young Swedish actress makes a bold yet vulnerable Christina, speaking in a monotone like a seventeenth-century Lizbeth Salander. One again, the potential to tell a powerful story of emotional and spiritual transformation was sacrificed on the altar of same sex idolization.





Carol (2015)
Any film based upon a novel by Patricia Highsmith is almost bound to be good if faithful to the spirit of the original work. Highsmith's suspenseful, complex and multilayered stories are filled with tormented characters, usually based upon herself and her various friends and lovers. While she identified as a lesbian, Highsmith, an avowed atheist, was in and out of relationships with both sexes her entire life while struggling with severe depression. Films inspired by her novels include Strangers on a Train, The Two Faces of January, and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Carol (2015) is taken from the Highsmith novel The Price of Salt about a lesbian socialite and a shop-girl, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. From the point of view of lighting, acting and set design, the movie is regarded by many as a masterpiece. It is hailed even more for being about a sexual affair between two women, leading to their "liberation" from 1950's norms. The Mara character Therese reminded me of Maggie McNamara in The Moon is Blue (1954) but more subdued and less annoying. The Blanchett role of Carol Aird depicts a charming but manipulative woman from a wealthy background who has long lived a double life, that of elegant wife to the alcoholic Harge Aird and mother of his child, and that of a secret lesbian with a string of affairs.

Carol meets Therese in a the toy department of a New York department store where Therese is selling dolls. Carol is looking for a Christmas gift for her live doll at home, her little daughter Rindy, who looks like a diminutive version of Therese. In fact, it is clear from a childhood picture of Therese that the resemblance between the two is uncanny. Carol is going through a divorce; her husband is threatening to divide her from Rindy. It is then that Carol and Therese run away together and begin their affair. Far from being a romance, the  relationship is one of deft control, in which Carol has found another doll to take the place of Rindy, except with sexual benefits. Carol, being the stronger personality and the one with all the money, psychologically and amorously consumes Therese, who is in a state of nirvana until Carol dumps her. Carol is given the option of returning to the dreadful Harge and being Rindy's full-time mother, or leaving her child in Harge's custody. She chooses the latter, and seeks to be reunited with Therese. In the film, everything looks rosy but according to the real life of Patricia Highsmith, upon which the story is based, there is no happy ending. While Carol is acclaimed by most critics as an ethereal tale of gay love, I was struck by how many other human sorrows, passions and longings are included in the drama. But as in the films discussed above, it is part of the current trend not only to focus on but to exult homosexual behavior to the exclusion of anything else that may matter. Share

Lies vs Truth

From The Hill:
President Trump’s half hour, impromptu interview on "Fox & Friends" last Friday sent the media’s fact checkers into overdrive this weekend. Everyone from PolitiFact to The New York Times to virtually all the Sunday morning national talk shows piled on, calling Trump a liar. But the media can’t stop lying about what the president says. Sometimes it can’t distinguish a legitimate point of disagreement from a lie. It is no wonder that people have tuned out much of the constant attacks on Trump.

 Just take the hyperbole on Sunday’s Meet the Press. Before playing a compilation of clips from Trump’s interview, moderator Chuck Todd exclaimed: “Let me put together this list of just outright misstatements, lies.” After showing the clips, Todd felt it necessary to emphasize yet again that everyone knew the statements were false: “Every single one of those things is absolutely not true.”

The show had on two liberal and two conservative panelists, but it wasn’t real balance as the conservatives were both “never Trumpers.” The guests debated whether Trump was simply lying or whether he lacked the "mental capacity" to know that he was spewing falsehoods. So let’s review the first three statements that Todd claims are false. Then we'll look at the one that he says is the “most ridiculous” of all.

Trump: “Well, no, there is no trade war.”

Whatever one thinks of tariffs or Trump’s negotiating strategy, the president’s tariff threats are more of a tiny skirmish than a full-blown “trade war.” In 2017, the US imported goods worth about $3.9 trillion. Only about $29 billion of those imports were in steel, and the aluminum imports that will face tariffs were $14 billion. This amounts to $43 billion in imports of these two goods. $18 billion (41 percent) of that total came from China.

Friday’s announcement of $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese electronics is more significant, but still a tiny fraction of our overall goods trade. These tariffs don't affect 98 percent of all imports. Eighty-seven percent of imports from China are unaffected. The average tariff rate on all imported goods will rise from 1.4 percent to just over 2 percent. The U.S. has among the lowest tariff rates in the world, and this will hold true even if the threatened increases go into effect. (Read more.)
From The American Thinker:
Economists Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer wrote in The Wall Street Journal Friday that President Donald Trump deserves credit for the economy’s improvement, not former President Barack Obama. Moore, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and Laffer, the chairman of Laffer Associates, write that “Mr. Obama might be justified in taking credit for today’s economy if his successor had adopted and carried on his policies. Instead, Mr. Trump has reversed nearly every Obama rule, edict and law that he can legally overturn. At its core, the Trump economic strategy wasn’t complicated: systematically repeal Mr. Obama’s ‘accomplishments’ -- the tax increases, the regulatory blitz on business, the welfare expansions, the war on American fossil fuels, and so on. As a result, the economy would pop like a cork pulled from a shaken champagne bottle.”
Trump didn’t need a “stimulus.” All he needed was to remove the shackles from America’s entrepreneurs and let nature take its course. He let entrepreneurs know that they could take risks without fear of being punished for their success. Winners and losers would be determined by the talents of the participants and not bureaucrats who wasted billions on “shovel-ready” jobs that didn’t exist. It was Trump who let the economic dogs out. (Read more.)
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Our Homeless Veterans

From Lifezette:
There were about 40,000 homeless veterans on any given night, according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2016; they comprise 11 percent of the country's homeless population, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Plus, of those 40,000, about 25,000 are able to stay in a homeless shelter — but about 15,000 of them have no shelter at all on a nightly basis, according to the Military Times. Consider some of the reasons former military personnel wind up homeless — especially after they've undergone traumatic experiences. One out of every 10 veterans who served in this country's war on terror suffers from substance abuse once back home, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Good-bye, Laura!

Laura Ingalls Wilder with her fans
Laura Ingalls Wilder as a young lady
Young Laura
I have no words. From Fox News:
Laura Ingalls Wilder's name is set to be removed from a major children's book award after concerns were raised about the "Little House on the Prairie" author's depiction of certain races in the early-to-mid 20th century. The Association of Library Service to Children's (ALSC) board voted unanimously on Saturday to rename the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award" as the "Children’s Literature Legacy Award."

The association, which took the vote at its board meeting in New Orleans, said the vote "was greeted by a standing ovation by the audience in attendance." Wilder is best known for her "Little House on the Prairie" novels, which the ALSC has stated "includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC's core values" based on Wilder's portrayal of black people and Native Americans. The first award was given to Wilder in 1954. The ALSC, which is based in Chicago, says her work continues to be published and read but her "legacy is complex" and "not universally embraced." (Read more.)
From The Guardian:
 Wilder was born in 1867 and died in 1957. She is best known for her eight Little House on the Prairie novels, about pioneer life in the American West, which were published between 1932 and 1943. In 2010, the British broadcaster Samira Ahmed wrote for the Guardian: “Wilder has a special status in American culture despite posthumous allegations of racism. The Osage nation, according to biographer Pamela Smith Hill, still condemns her work, which was based on their eviction.

“The novels are full of phrases that are unacceptable today. Even in her own lifetime Wilder apologised for her thoughtlessness and amended a line in Little House on the Prairie that said Kansas had ‘no people, only Indians’. It now reads, ‘no settlers, only Indians’.” (Read more.)
 More HERE and HERE. Share

The American Inquisition

From the Aspen Times:
"We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently and lawfully to become immigrants in this country."

So said Sen. Barack Obama in 2005.

For the past 30 years, candidates have campaigned with statements such as this, but now that we have a president who is actually walking the talk that got him elected, all that people writing in and to this paper know how to do is brand him as the new Hitler, Kirstjen Nielsen as the new Himmler, ICE as the new Gestapo, and Melania as the new Marie Antoinette. People like me, of course, constitute a "cult."

Surely some of us are smarter than this. Columnist Alison Margo, for example, regularly writes insightful, self-effacing, and wickedly funny commentary. But then periodically she slips a gear and slides into Trump-is-Hitler mode, claiming that motherhood and her Jewish heritage compel her to this conclusion — history and logic be damned.

Does she not recognize that if there's a new Kristallnacht underway, it's being conducted by throngs who cheer Robert DeNiro and condone Peter Fonda (for whom kidnapping and casting Barron Trump into a pit of pedophiles is the proper response to separating parents from children at the border), who want to see "pigs in a blanket, frying like bacon," who harass Republican officials outside of their homes and restaurants, where owners refuse to serve them?

Do not she and other exemplars of Godwin's Law (concerning the probability that a given discourse will compare someone to Hitler) recognize that Americans are polling as being more upbeat about "the way things are going" than at any time since 2005, when Sen. Obama made the above statement?

Whatever. Now we see Jimmy Fallon apologizing all over himself for having once mussed Donald Trump's hair and made him look human — lest Fallon find himself part of the first auto-da-fe'. Other heretics may not slip the noose or pyre so easily. See you at the Place de la Concorde. (Read more.)
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Making Oscar Wilde

During Oscar Wilde's 1882 American tour, he encountered prejudice...for being Irish. From The Guardian:
In January 1882, Oscar Wilde, an ambitious and highly educated young man with one terrible book of poems and a pretty much unstageable tragedy to his name, landed in America for a 50-date lecture tour. Sponsored by Richard D’Oyly Carte, whose production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera Patience was shortly to embark on a similarly long journey across the US, it would take in not only the smartest universities, but the midwest and the deep south, too: Americans everywhere would have the chance to see a real-life fop ahead of the production’s spirited send-up of the species (the opera ridiculed the cult of aestheticism with which Wilde was strongly associated). “Anything is better than virtuous obscurity,” Wilde noted on accepting this unlikely gig. Anything? It wouldn’t be long before he had cause to regret these words, their aphoristic pith now a good deal less comforting than the bulky sealskin coat that was his constant companion on the road. (Read more.)
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Monday, June 25, 2018

Holocaust by Bullets

Mass grave of 11,000 Jews in Ukraine
Holocaust by Bullets by Father Patrick Desbois is the odyssey of a French Roman Catholic priest who felt called by God to search for the lost graves of Holocaust victims in Eastern Europe. While the Nazi atrocities in Western Europe are well-documented, until the collapse of the former Soviet Union, there was little recorded about the murder of 1.5 million Jews in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe. Fr. Desbois' book is not for the faint of heart. Father and his companions found and questioned peasants who witnessed the mass murders of their friends and neighbors. Those who saw the horrors were, of course, traumatized for life, especially when they had been forced to assist in the executions.

Stripping the victims naked even in the harshest weather was always a part of the dehumanization process. Young women and girls were routinely brutalized; the numbers of Jewish women who were violated during the Holocaust has never been adequately assessed. The victims were lined up and shot so that they fell into a pit, only to have another layer of victims thrown upon them. Witnesses repeatedly claim that the earth "moved" and "groaned" for days following the massacres, meaning large numbers had been buried alive. Such abominations occurred over and over again throughout the entire region.

Father Desbois uncovered many mass graves in his travels, giving the victims the most basic courtesy of prayers and a marker. He says he always found the local orthodox clergy to be helpful in his searches for mass graves and in his desire to honor the memory of the slain. His simple account brings home to me more than ever the extent of the horrors of the Holocaust. Reading the testimonies in which faces and names are given to the victims places the murders at a personal level which the mind can barely process. Only Sacred Scripture can adequately express the inexpressible.
Weeping, she hath wept in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: there is none to comfort her among all them that were dear to her: all her friends have despised her, and are become her enemies.

 Ghimel. Juda hath removed her dwelling place, because of her affliction, and the greatness of her bondage; she hath dwelt among the nations, and she hath found no rest; all her persecutors have taken her in the midst of straits.

 Daleth. The ways of Sion mourn, because there are none that come to the solemn feast: all her gates are broken down; her priests sigh; her virgins are in affliction; and she is oppressed with bitterness.
...
O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow. ~Lamentations 1: 2-4, 12
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"War between the Cross and the Crescent"

From The Rebel Media:
Radicalised asylum seekers have murdered or injured more than 1,000 people in terror attacks in Europe since 2014, a new report has revealed. In the past four years, 32 Islamist plots have involved those who had sought sanctuary – or 16 per cent. Three of the potential atrocities were in the UK, including Parson Green tube bomber Ahmed Hassan. An analysis by academics found 44 refugees had either carried out atrocities or been thwarted before they could bring bloodshed to the streets. The findings echo warnings by law enforcement chiefs that some so-called Islamic State fanatics who are bent on murder posed as refugees fleeing war and persecution. It was claimed they exploited the migrant crisis by pretending to be asylum seekers to sneak into Europe and cause carnage. (Read more.)
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Tolkien vs Hitler

From Open Culture:
As you'd expect from a man who had to create, in painstaking detail, all the races that populate Middle-Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien had little time for simple racism. He had especially little time for the highest-profile simple racism of his day, the wave of anti-Jewish sentiment on which Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party rode straight into the Second World War. His first novel The Hobbit, predecessor to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, first appeared in 1937, a time when the situation in Europe had turned ominous indeed, and would get far uglier still. It didn't take long after the book's initial success for Berlin publisher Rütten & Loening to express their interest in putting out a German edition, but first — in observance, no doubt, of the Third Reich's dictates — they asked for proof of Tolkien's "Aryan descent." The author drafted two replies, the less civil of which reads as follows:
25 July 1938
20 Northmoor Road, Oxford

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for your letter. I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject — which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.

Your enquiry is doubtless made in order to comply with the laws of your own country, but that this should be held to apply to the subjects of another state would be improper, even if it had (as it has not) any bearing whatsoever on the merits of my work or its sustainability for publication, of which you appear to have satisfied yourselves without reference to my Abstammung.

I trust you will find this reply satisfactory, and

remain yours faithfully,

J. R. R. Tolkien
(Read more.)
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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Age Spots

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
Oil of Frankincense, lavender essential oil and rose geranium essential oil  are all helpful for fading age spots if used regularly. My night cream  has the oils of frankincense and lavender and the day cream has the rose  geranium oil and the lavender as well. The coconut oil in the creams acts as a carrier oil to render the oils more effective. (Read more.)
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When the ACLU Sued the Obama Administration

The ACLU sued the Obama administration over the treatment of migrants and their children. From The Washington Post:
Unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border during a historic wave of migration earlier this decade were repeatedly beaten, sexually abused, and deprived of food and medical care by federal border agents, according to an American Civil Liberties Union report released Wednesday.

About 30,000 pages of documents obtained by the ACLU through an open-records lawsuit depict a gantlet of alleged mistreatment for the tens of thousands of children who arrived mainly from Central America between 2009 and 2014, during the Obama administration. Many were seeking asylum in the United States after fleeing death threats and violence in their homelands.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents allegedly used stun guns on the minors for amusement or punishment, kicked them and threatened to either rape or kill them. The ACLU report — which is based on emails, complaint forms and investigative reports — says agents routinely kept minors in detention cells with frigid temperatures, forcing them to sleep on concrete floors. (Read more.)
Visit the ACLU's report on their own website, HERE.
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Perfect Fish and Chips

Now I know where to eat when in Shetland. From The Spectator:
I was in Shetland on my summer holiday and one extraordinary day it stopped raining and the sun came out. We went swimming in 4mm wetsuits in the loch in the morning and then went to the Agricultural Show at Voe where we saw sheep with curly wurly horns and Shetland ponies in competition. We also bought shortbread and marvelled at giant onions which had won a first prize red rosette.

After viewing all the fun and hoopla, and taking pictures of three people dressed up as Vikings in the car park, we drove a little further to Brae, to visit Frankie’s, Britain’s best and most northerly fish and chip shop. Frankie’s was voted the country’s Best Takeaway at the National Fish and Chips Awards in 2015. It’s walls are decorated with many other accolades. It is an establishment dedicated to spanking fresh quality and sustainability. The shop runs a fish course for school children to teach them about fish stocks, species and seasonalities and is involved with several local charities. This summer Frankie’s owner, Valerie Johnson, was awarded the MBE for services to the food and drink industry in the Queens Birthday Honours List.

Frankie’s is a little bit perfect. Family-run, founded in 2008, open seven days a week. Inside an unprepossessing industrial unit exterior, the restaurant is clean and modern and efficiently designed. There is a takeaway counter in front of an open kitchen and a separate café area. An LCD screen displays the specials; often deep fried crab claws, sometimes cullen skink or lemon sole panko breaded goujons. Almost all of their fish comes from local waters. Their salad greens are homegrown, the coleslaw and Marie Rose sauce are homemade, there are ‘Bairn’s Boxes’ like Happy Meals, and crayons and paper place mats for kids. There is a whole menu and separate fryer for gluten-free deep frying. (Read more.)
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Saturday, June 23, 2018

La Reine Morte (2009)

as the King of Portugal with as his daughter-in-law, Inês de Castro
The Murder of Inês de Castro
Prime Video offers many foreign dramas including La Reine Morte (2009), based upon the play by Henry de Montherlant about the doomed marriage of the future Pedro I of Portugal with Inês de Castro. As heir to the throne of Portugal, Prince Pedro must marry for reasons of state, but has already secretly married his lover Inês, a Spanish lady of illegitimate birth. When Pedro's father the King discovers his son's disobedience, his long-standing grudge against the young man is enflamed, and he becomes obsessed with destroying the couple. As the pair try to live in the present, relishing their time together, they know at any moment they might be separated; Inês prepares to give her life. Meanwhile, even though the King struggles with his conscience he gives in to evil advisors and decides to have Inês assassinated.

The fourteenth century Portuguese court is recreated thanks to authentic sets and costumes and gifted actors. Although the story-line veers from historical fact into fiction and legend, the film nevertheless does a masterful job at encapsulating the poignance and calamity of the union of Pedro and Inês. The lovers' joy in each other provokes jealousy, enmity and bitterness which in the film are shown as being motives behind the murder as well as the alleged political expediency. The final scene, in which Pedro, after becoming King, orders Inês' corpse to be exhumed and enthroned before the nobles, is breathtaking even as the heart breaks.

The real story is no less tragic. According to the Algarve History Association:
It is rare in Portugal to find a Castilian held in high historical regard, but so it is with Inês Peres de Castro e Valadares. In fact she was descended from noble Portuguese and Galician lines as well as illegitimately from the Castilian royal house. Every Portuguese schoolchild knows her story, and every visitor to the monastery at Alcobaça must have visited her magnificently carved tomb opposite the nearly identical tomb of her royal lover Don Pedro I, placed so that when they arise at the day of judgment, they may see each other first of all.

Inês de Castro arrived in Portugal in 1339 as a lady in waiting to Infanta Constanza of Castile, bride of Don Pedro, heir to the throne of Portugal. The Infanta Constanza bore three children, one of whom was Don Fernando, future king of Portugal. Dona Constanza died in November 1345, shortly after the birth of Don Fernando.

When Dona Inês arrived in Portugal, she was only 15 years old, and Don Pedro was immediately struck by a coup de foudre. What a situation, to be married to Constanza, and to be head-over-heels in love with one of her ladies in waiting. The solution was to carry on a secret adulterous love affair with Inês which became open after the death of Constanza. His father, Don Afonso IV King of Portugal, became alarmed at the behaviour of his son and heir, not because of the affair, but because Don Pedro began friendly relations with the brothers of Inês, who were also of course Castilian. Don Afonso feared for the independence of his country after his own death, and warned Don Pedro time and again to break off these relationships, but without success.

In 1344, Don Afonso ordered that Inês be incarcerated in the castle of Albuquerque on the Castilian frontier. Absence, they say, makes the heart grow fonder, and so it proved in this case. After the death of Constanza, Don Pedro recalled Inês against the will of his father the King, which led to a major disagreement between them. Don Pedro rejected a plan for another marriage to another Castilian princess, saying that he mourned for his dead wife. In the meantime, Inês bore four of his children, including two boys. Rumours began to circulate that the Castro family planned to disinherit Don Fernando the true heir to the throne in favour of the children of Inês. Amid rumours that Don Pedro and Inês had secretly married, and were living in the Convento de Stª Clara-a-Velha in Coimbra, Portuguese nobles pressed the king to resolve the issue. One morning in January, 1355 while Don Pedro was out hunting, the king and three assassins visited the Convento, and performed the dastardly deed. She was 29 years old.

The devastated Don Pedro began a civil war against his father, and upon ascending the throne in 1357, declared that he and Inês had been married in Bragança (on a date which he did not remember) so legitimising Inês´ children. Two of the assassins were executed by having their hearts torn out in front of the king. The third escaped. There is a legend that when he became king in 1357, Don Pedro exhumed the corpse of Inês and forced all of his court to kiss her hand as though she were a living queen. (Read more.)
Whether the enthronement story is true or not, King Pedro loved Inês until he died. On his tomb he had the following words inscribed: Até o fim do mundo...("Until the end of the world..."). And so, even now, they await the final resurrection together.
The Murder of Inês de Castro
The Enthronement of Inês de Castro
Pedro and Inês: "Until the end of the world..."

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Trump’s Critics Desecrate the Holocaust

Trump's critics obscenely invoke the Nazis every time there is anything they do not like. It is dishonoring the victims of the Nazis to do so. Such stupidity is almost criminal. What is described in the article is only the tip of the iceberg of heinous ways that the Nazis killed millions of people. From The Wall Street Journal:
Almost everyone, including President Trump, agrees that separating alien children from their parents and housing them in detention centers was an untenable policy that needed to be changed. Some have said, not without justification, that the images were reminiscent of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

But another comparison is indefensible. “Other governments have separated mothers and children,” tweeted Michael Hayden, who directed the Central Intelligence Agency under George W. Bush —with a photo of railroad tracks leading into the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. “Children are being marched away to showers,” said MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, “just like the Nazis said that they were taking people to the showers and then they never came back.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said in a television interview: “This is the United States of America. It isn’t Nazi Germany, and there’s a difference.”

Mrs. Feinstein is right. There is no comparison.

Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe were rounded up and packed into cattle cars, with little air or light, no food and virtually no water, for a harrowing two- to three-day trip to Auschwitz. They rode in terror and anticipation, having no idea what was in store for them at the destination. Exhausted and scared, they frequently had to stand for the entire trip. Mothers clutched sons; daughters held on to fathers; children gripped both parents’ hands; grandparents and the infirm struggled to stay alive. Many didn’t survive the journey.

When the trains arrived at Auschwitz, it was a scene of chaos, confusion and horror. After days trapped in darkened cattle cars, squinting into bright floodlights lining the tracks was almost unbearable. So was the stench, like nothing the captives had ever smelled before. They didn’t know it at the time, but it was the odor of burning human flesh and hair.

Outside, they heard all kinds of noises: German shepherds and Doberman pinschers barking loudly, and commands in German most of them couldn’t understand. When they stumbled out of the cattle cars, disoriented and anxious, timidly asking questions, the German shouted back, “Raus, raus, raus!” (“Out, out, out!”). In the distance, the prisoners saw a skyline of chimneys, with bright orange plumes of flame shooting into the clouds. They didn’t know that most of them would be ash within hours.

The SS separated the healthy males, slating them for work details while everyone else was taken to the gas chambers. Invariably, mothers wanted to stay with their children. The SS would say, “good, good, stay with child.” Under a rain of baton blows, women, children and old men were marched into “changing rooms” and told to undress. The Germans told the prisoners that they were going to be “disinfected.” Then they tightly wedged some 2,000 people at a time into the chambers, where they saw what looked like shower heads.

The massive airtight doors were locked with an iron bolt. It was dark. Zyklon B was released, and the screaming began. The prisoners huddled together, screamed together, gasped for air together. While children violently hugged their parents, hundreds of people tried to push their way to the door, trampling children in the process. In the dark, skulls were crushed and hundreds of people were battered beyond recognition. The bloodcurdling screams turned into a death rattle, then a gasp. Within 20 minutes, the job was done.

The bodies lay in heaps, every one of them dead—as many people as were cut down in Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg; two-thirds of the 9/11 death toll. The bodies were then burned, the ashes used as filler for German roads and walking paths. Within hours, the Nazis would repeat the process, extinguishing another 2,000 human lives.

As for the prisoners who were selected to work in the camps, the Germans stripped them of their identities, referring to them instead by numbers tattooed on their forearms. Prisoners were forced to stand half-naked, doused with buckets of ice-cold water, or lashed 50 times with a whip. They were awakened at 4 a.m., forced to do backbreaking work for 12 hours with virtually no rest or food. They slept almost naked, with no blankets in temperatures often below freezing in the winter. Most died within weeks of arriving at the camp. Between the gas chamber and the work detail, more than a million people were murdered this way at Auschwitz. (Read more.)
Meanwhile, the press manipulates the emotions of the populace, HERE. Share

The Secret to Longevity

From McGill:
You are what you eat. Or so the saying goes. Science now tells us that we are what the bacteria living in our intestinal tract eat and this could have an influence on how well we age. Building on this, McGill University scientists fed fruit flies with a combination of probiotics and an herbal supplement called Triphala that was able to prolong the flies’ longevity by 60 % and protect them against chronic diseases associated with aging.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, adds to a growing body of evidence of the influence that gut bacteria can have on health. The researchers incorporated a symbiotic – made of probiotics with a polyphenol-rich supplement – into the diet of fruit flies. The flies fed with the synbiotic lived up to 66 days old – 26 days more than the ones without the supplement. They also showed reduced traits of aging, such as mounting insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress. 

“Probiotics dramatically change the architecture of the gut microbiota, not only in its composition but also in respect to how the foods that we eat are metabolized,” says Satya Prakash, professor of biomedical engineering in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and senior author of the study. “This allows a single probiotic formulation to simultaneously act on several biochemical signaling pathways to elicit broad beneficial physiological effects, and explains why the single formulation we present in this paper has such a dramatic effect on so many different markers”. The fruit fly is remarkably similar to mammals with about 70 % similarity in terms of their biochemical pathways, making it a good indicator of what would happen in humans, adds Prakash. (Read more.)
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Friday, June 22, 2018

Katherine of Aragon's Speech Before the Legatine Court

Queen Katherine pleads with her husband. To quote:
Sir, I beseech you for all the love that hath been between us, and for the love of God, let me have justice. Take of me some pity and compassion, for I am a poor woman, and a stranger born out of your dominion. I have here no assured friends, and much less impartial counsel…
Alas! Sir, wherein have I offended you, or what occasion of displeasure have I deserved?… I have been to you a true, humble and obedient wife, ever comfortable to your will and pleasure, that never said or did any thing to the contrary thereof, being always well pleased and contented with all things wherein you had any delight or dalliance, whether it were in little or much. I never grudged in word or countenance, or showed a visage or spark of discontent. I loved all those whom ye loved, only for your sake, whether I had cause or no, and whether they were my friends or enemies. This twenty years or more I have been your true wife and by me ye have had divers children, although it hath pleased God to call them out of this world, which hath been no default in me…
When ye had me at first, I take God to my judge, I was a true maid, without touch of man. And whether it be true or no, I put it to your conscience. If there be any just cause by the law that ye can allege against me either of dishonesty or any other impediment to banish and put me from you, I am well content to depart to my great shame and dishonour. And if there be none, then here, I most lowly beseech you, let me remain in my former estate… Therefore, I most humbly require you, in the way of charity and for the love of God – who is the just judge – to spare me the extremity of this new court, until I may be advised what way and order my friends in Spain will advise me to take. And if ye will not extend to me so much impartial favour, your pleasure then be fulfilled, and to God I commit my cause! (Read more.)
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Meanwhile, in Bulgaria....

From Balkan Insight:
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, whose country holds the EU presidency, has intervened in the acrimonious debate on migration by saying the EU must "close its borders" to those who do not use authorised checkpoints. Borissov made the call to the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union, COSAC – a joint conference of MEPS and MPs from the EU parliaments – on Monday in Sofia. “Bulgaria made it through [the refugee crisis]; without much talking, without much complaining, we secured our border with Turkey with fences and additional police and coastguards. This is why I will recommend a compromise to the European Council – prevention, including the shutdown of all EU borders,” he said.

As Sofia’s stint as head of the EU Council of Ministers enters its last days, the Bulgarian leader notably toughened his stance on migration and border issues. “Everybody who wants to enter [the EU] should make it through a border checkpoint. This is something that is done in the US, in Canada, anywhere! Why should Europe be a 'yard without a fence?'" Borissov said on Tuesday, using a Bulgarian expression for someone who cannnot control who enters and exits their land.

Borissov added that migrants who are open to integration should be integrated, while the others should be sent back to their home countries. If this does not happen, the EU risks more internal divisions, he warned. His words will echo with a recent statement of the head of the government of the next country that will take over the presidency of the EU. (Read more.)
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The Great Stink

From Number One London:
The Great Stink actually took place in 1858, but of course London had been stinking for centuries prior. In the first half of the 19th Century, London’s population was 2.5 million, all of whom ultimately discharged their waste directly onto the streets or into the Thames.  Besides people, there were hundreds of thousands of horses, cows, dogs, cats, sheep, etc. adding their daily contributions to the waste problem. John Cadbury, social reformer and candy company founder, wrote:  “Foul odors emanated from more than 200,000 cesspools across London, in alleyways, yards, even the basements of houses. It was not a smell that could be easily washed away.”

Most homes and businesses were built above cesspits, designed to drain to the street by means of a crudely built culvert to a partially open sewer trench in the center of the street. The design was faulty, to say the least. Cesspits often overflowed and waste soaked foundations, walls and floors of living quarters. Culverts typically became blocked and caused sewage to spread under buildings and contaminate shallow wells, cisterns and water ways from which drinking water was drawn. In October 1660, Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary: “Going down to my cellar…I put my feet into a great heap of turds, by which I find that Mr. Turner’s house of office is full and comes into my cellar.

While causing disgust in Pepys and thousands of other Londoners, cesspits gave work to a portion of the population who included night soil men and saltpetre men. Saltpetre is another name for potassium nitrate, an essential ingredient in the manufacture of gunpowder. It was typically generated by collecting vegetable and animal waste into heaps and mixing it with limestone, mortar, earth and ashes. These heaps were kept moist from time to time with urine or other waste from stables. Digging for ingredients in outbuildings such as dovecotes and stables provided adequate supplies of gunpowder for the navy. Beginning during the reign of Elizabeth I, official saltpetre men were given powers to requisition any suitable deposits they came across. In 1621 James I appointed Lords of the Admiralty as Commissioners for Saltpetre and Gunpowder. They divided the country into districts for collection, and specialised saltpetre men were appointed and given weekly quotas to meet. They were also awarded powers with the right to enter premises to dig for nitrogenous earth. (Read more.)
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Solstice

The longest day has arrived. Here are some pictures of sunsets and sunrises.


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Trump and the Invasion of the West

As the Trump administration tries to fix a mess created by bad laws passed during previous administrations, we remember that maintaining a border is the right of every country, along with the duty to protect its citizens. It is a matter of the rule of law. My mother and grandmother are Hispanic; three of my grandparents and both of my parents were legal immigrants. They made sacrifices in order to obey the law and become citizens through the proper channels.

The migrant crisis is fraught with complications which add to the suffering of the innocent. What about all the children who arrived without parents? From Big League Politics:
 Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen revealed Monday that 10,000 of the 12,000 children detained at the border came to the border without parents with him, smacking down the mainstream media narrative that the Trump administration is tearing many families apart out of callous disregard for illegal immigrants. The illegal immigrant child-detention program that was criticized during the Obama administration is a policy that President Donald Trump is trying to end, pressuring Democrats to get on board with an immigration bill that funds his Wall and creates merit-based immigration among other policy planks. (Read more.)
The border patrol agents, whom the liberal media are comparing to Nazis, are trying to protect the children from human trafficking:
San Diego’s chief Border Patrol agent Rodney Scott said Monday that the Border Patrol separates children from the adults they are with if there are concerns that the kids are being human-trafficked. Scott revealed that oftentimes traffickers “recycle” children in order to get illegal alien grown-ups over the Southern border into the United States. “OOPS! A media outlet slipped & printed the truth today!,” Ann Coulter declared, showing people that the media is not being forthright and truthful when reporting on the supposed border separation program. (Read more.)
And from ICE:
The Washington Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), in collaboration with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Operation Predator, participated in Operation Broken Heart from March 1 through May 31. The operation identified individuals using peer-to-peer networks to share child pornography. During the operation, the Washington ICAC Task Force conducted 51 investigations involving peer-to-peer networks and made 47 arrests. HSI, as part of the task force, conducted 11 search and seizure warrants; made six federal arrests, four state arrests, and one state arrest pending military charges; and identified/rescued one minor victim. The Washington ICAC Task Force also made 67 presentations to educate the public about child exploitation investigations, reaching nearly 4,000 people. (Read more.)
Although President Trump is resolved to keep families together, the isssues at the border remain formidable. From Breitbart:
President Donald Trump reminded critics of his tough immigration policy on Monday that criminals were using children to cross the Southern border. “Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country,” Trump wrote on Twitter. (Read more.)
 Also from Breitbart:
Border Patrol agents rescued a woman traveling with three children not her own after they became stranded in the middle of the Rio Grande River border with Mexico. Officials told Breitbart Texas the children traveling with the woman were unaccompanied minors. The woman was also crossing with another and her two children. Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents battled strong currents and high water to rescue seven illegal immigrants left stranded in the middle of the Rio Grande River, Breitbart Texas reported. Agents assigned to the Eagle Pass Border Patrol station came across a group of illegal immigrants on June 12 who were abandoned on a small island in the middle of the Rio Grande River border with Mexico. They found two adults and five juveniles who became stranded, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Border Patrol officials indicated the two women put the minors in dangerous conditions while attempting to cross the border illegally. “The individuals were trying to cross and make their way into the United States,” officials said in a written statement. “However, unusually swift and strong currents proved too much for the group.” Officials did not say if the group was traveling with a human smuggler at the time. (Read more.)
From The Hill:
 As House Republicans prepare to meet Thursday to discuss various options on immigration reform, they should remember one of the things that makes America such an attractive place for immigrants from all over the world, which is our dedication to the rule of law, and the shared commitment to the belief that what makes the rule of law work is our determination to apply the law equally, without fear or favor. Seen in that light, it is odd, to say the least, that some Republicans in Congress would “solve” the “immigration problem” by advocating for “solutions” that take our current failure to enforce the laws on the books and, instead of reversing course and enforcing them, find ways to change the law to legalize breaking of the law. (Read more.)
From PJB:
Consider. Since 2016, some 110,000 children have entered the U.S. illegally and been released, along with 200,000 Central American families caught sneaking across the border. Reflecting its frustration, the White House press office declared: "We can't deport them, we can't separate them, we can't detain them, we can't prosecute them. What (the Democrats) want is a radical open-border policy that lets everyone out into the interior of this country with virtually no documentation whatsoever." Where many Americans see illegal intruders, Democrats see future voters. And with 11,000 kids of illegal immigrants in custody and 250 more arriving every day, we could have 30,000 in custody by summer's end. (Read more.)
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