Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Anniversary of the Murder of the Romanovs

 It is 101 years since the night of July 16-17, 1918 when Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsarevitch Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and three of their retainers were shot by the Bolsheviks in a cellar in Ekaterinburg. More HERE. Share

"Marie-Antoinette, métamorphoses d’une image"

The Conciergerie, Marie-Antoinette's last prison, is the site of an exhibition about the Queen and the changes she experienced during the course of her life. The exhibition lasts from October 16, 1919 to Jenuary 26, 2020.


The Sheer Scale of Injustice

From The National Review:
This new motion comes after a wave of cases across the country that have invalidated and reversed the results of campus kangaroo courts — and these rulings are coming from judges across the political/judicial spectrum. In California, progressive state-court judges issued rulings that effectively halted proceedings in 75 campus sexual-misconduct cases, while California universities reworked their processes. Earlier this month, Amy Coney Barrett and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals joined dozens of other courts in ruling that university processes should face exacting legal scrutiny.
In fact, it’s hard to think of a modern legal policy more thoroughly repudiated than the Obama administration’s 2011 “Dear colleague” letter , which required every single public and private college that received federal funds (except for the few religious colleges that had opted out of Title IX) to adjudicate sexual-misconduct complaints under streamlined procedures that mandated lower burdens of proof, implemented a form of double jeopardy, and discouraged basic elements of due process, such as cross-examination.
Acting under intense internal and external pressure — and empowered by a #BelieveWomen ideology that dogmatically asserted that it is extremely rare for women to file false sexual-assault claims — universities encouraged women to report and prosecute cases under a system that was built from the ground up in defiance of generations of jurisprudence defining appropriate due process and in defiance of clear legal standards that prevent both anti-male and anti-female discrimination. Much of the critique of university processes has focused on the plight of falsely accused students, and many of the cases contain facts so bizarre and extreme that it’s hard to believe that any fact-finder anywhere could have imposed punishment. (Read more.)

Anglo-Saxon Attitudes

From Casting Light Upon the Shadow:
It might be that the popular image of the Anglo-Saxons is that they dressed in plain, homespun garments. This is probably true of the majority, but there are a few instances where high fashion was paraded, whilst simultaneously being frowned upon. Chaste nuns and virgins were advised that: If they dressed themselves sumptuously and went out in public so as to attract notice, & if they riveted the eyes of young men & drew the sighs of adolescents and nourished the fires of sexual anticipation…they couldn’t be excused as if they were of a chaste and modest mind. (Aldhelm)

A Church council also banned clerics from wearing ostentatious clothing. One commentator has pointed out that if this was how priests, nuns and monks dressed, one can only wonder what the rest of the population looked like! Unfortunately we don’t have much in the way of surviving garments so we have to go on illustrations (like the one above) which are not always easy to interpret. 
Heads could also be turned by fashions from abroad. There’s a delightful letter in which a brother (we’re not sure if this is a sibling, or a monk) receives a telling off and is rebuked for insulting his race and his ancestors by dressing in the Danish fashion ‘with bared necks and blinded eyes’. I don’t think that means wearing sunglasses, but you get the idea that the young man thinks the new fashion is rather ‘cool’!! (Read more.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Scenes of Versailles

The Queen's library
From Le Boudoir de Marie-Antoinette.

The King and Queen dined in public
Madame de Pompadour's room


The NeverTrump-Left Alliance Crumbles

From American Greatness:
This collection of failed magazine editors, Iraq War propagandists, washed-up columnists, Russian collusion pimps, and losing campaign consultants have dogged Donald Trump and his supporters for three years. While some anti-Trump “conservatives” who contributed to National Review’s infamous “Against Trump” issue in early 2016 have become supporters of the president, others cannot let go—but their obstinance is less about principle and more about grift: Acting as the useful conservative idiot for the Washington Post or MSNBC has breathed new life into once stale careers and burned reputations.

Despite making repeated threats and floating the names of several potential candidates, they have failed to produce a legitimate primary challenger to Trump. (Bill Kristol, the de facto head of NeverTrump Inc., last year claimed he was building a “war machine” to take on Trump in 2020, making this yet another war Kristol waged from the sidelines and lost.) NeverTrumpers also failed to help Democrats run Trump out of the Oval Office, whether it was by promoting the egregious special counsel investigation into imaginary Russian collusion or supporting any and all empty calls for impeachment. They have not produced a detailed policy agenda to offer an alternative to Trumpism, only bromides about vague “principles.” (Read more.)

The Plan To Redistribute Wealth By Race

From The Federalist:
U.S. senators and 2020 presidential rivals Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) both announced new plans over the weekend for government to redistribute private wealth differently according to recipients’ race. Both announced these plans at a cultural and music festival hosted by Essence Magazine, a monthly magazine for African-American women. The festival attracted several high-profile speakers, including former first lady Michelle Obama and six 2020 White House hopefuls: Harris, Warren, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX.), and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Harris and Warren took the opportunity to showcase new proposals aimed at government picking economic winners and losers according to race and sex. (Read more.)

How Jane Austen Found the Space to Write

From Women Writers:
The truth is I have written on the fly— in cafés and restrooms, on trains and planes, sometimes using improvised materials such as the backs of envelopes, theater programs, and once, when I got back to the car from a hike and realized I didn’t have the key or a piece of paper in my pocket, on a leaf. I will hasten to add, though, that while these moments have been fun and piquant, routine is my bread and butter. I like to write in the morning because that’s when my brain cells work best, at my desk with its view of trees and birds, wordless classical music on the radio, in a composition book, with a good fountain pen.

But do I need all that? Wouldn’t I still manage to write if I didn’t have the nice desk and the morning set aside? Wouldn’t it somehow magically get done? Over the years I’ve had to defend my working time from family, friends and co-workers who will one moment marvel at my productivity and the next look puzzled or hurt when I’m not free in the mornings or available for extra assignments. Isn’t writing something I can “just fit in”? What does a writer really need to write? 
Which brings me to Jane Austen. The famous picture of Jane Austen is of her craftily sneaking her writing time, scribbling in the corner of the parlor, hiding her pages when interrupted, and never shirking her housework. After her death, when the secret of her authorship was revealed to the world, her nephew James-Edward Austen-Leigh wrote in his memoir of his aunt, “She was careful that her occupation should not be suspected by servants, or visitors, or any persons beyond her own family party. 
She wrote upon small sheets of paper that could easily be put away, or covered with a piece of blotting paper. There was, between the front door and the offices, a swing door which creaked when it was opened; but she objected to having this little inconvenience remedied, because it gave her notice when anyone was coming” (Worsley 316). 
What a card, that Aunt Jane! Notice the elaborate explanation for a piece of household duty going undone. Certainly, she wouldn’t have neglected any other household chore for the sake of getting some writing done, only to keep strangers from knowing she was engaged in such an unladylike pastime. On her death, her brother James eulogized her with a little poem that ended: “They saw her ready still to share/The labours of domestic care” (Worsley 403). 
The picture that emerges is of a woman who wrote in the margins of life, the message being that writing is something that can be fitted into the corners and somehow done while simultaneously cross-stitching a sampler and baking the daily bread. In fact, the tiny table Jane wrote on is literally in a corner. This is a particularly damaging message for women writers: Surely if Jane Austen could write six masterpieces of English literature while stewing a posset, you can write your novel in between commuting to work and putting your six-year-old to bed. (Read more.)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Perfectly Imperfect

From Victoria:
By the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries, English potters had perfected their own processes for producing stoneware that mimicked costly blue-and-white Chinese porcelain. It was known as transferware due to the printing method in which tissue paper was laid atop engraved copper plates covered with a film of cobalt oxide. The paper was then applied to crockery, transferring the illustration. (Read more.)

Transgender Competition Violates Teen Girls’ Title IX Rights

From a month ago in the New York Daily News:
A civil rights complaint filed on behalf of three female high school track stars alleges that allowing transgender girls to compete against them violates their Title IX rights. The complaint was filed Monday with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. It requests an investigation of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), a non-profit organization that serves as the governing body for high school athletics in the state. Backing the high school athletes from Connecticut is Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a nonprofit legal organization whose other causes include defunding Planned Parenthood. Founded by 30 Christian Right leaders, the ADF is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Read more.)

Then They Came For... Betsy Ross? Jefferson? July 4th? America?

From Zero Hedge:
The eye-catching sentence is: “Democrats continue to lag far behind Republicans in expressing extreme pride in the U.S.” The actual percentages expressing themselves “extremely proud to be American” are: Republicans 76, Democrats 22. That’s a heck of a gap: 54 percentage points. In 2001 it was ten points, 64 to 54. Here’s my question for Democrats. The biggest issue in our politics right now arises from the fact that millions - tens of millions, likely hundred of millions - of foreigners want to come settle in America, with or without proper permission. Isn’t that an occasion for…”pride”? Apparently not. This last week, we have seen a couple of major strides toward the abolition of Independence Day: .
The logic on this one was hard to follow. Is it the thirteen stars, representing the original thirteen colonies, in all of which (I think) slavery was legal at the time Ms. Ross offered her flag design? If it was, then the thirteen stripes must be equally offensive. That could be…what’s the cant word here?…oh yes: problematic, that could be problematic to a great many not-yet-fully-woke Americans, as our present national flag retains those same thirteen stripes. The issue got further confused when diehard counter-revolutionary subversives noted that the Betsy Ross flag was prominently displayed at Barack Obama’s second inaugural bash. (Read more.)

The Tide Is Turning for the Arts

From The Epoch Times:
Since the close of the 20th century, the tide of postmodernism has turned somewhat in art and poetry. In regard to painting, here is but one example: Based on a true story, the movie “Local Color” tells of a Russian painter mentoring a young American art student. This film caused a ruckus in the art world for its defense of representational painting. Employing what might euphemistically be called colorful language, the painter Nikolai Serov is an ardent proponent of artistic form who despises abstractionism and postmodernism.

In poetry, too, a shift back toward tradition and form is taking place. Here in The Epoch Times, we have looked at William Baer and his fine collection of verse, “Formal Salutations,” which contains all manner of forms, rhythms, and rhyme. Baer’s work is particularly important for his portrayal of gritty characters, men and women who have seen better days, and for his love poems, one of which, “The Swimming Pool Float,” will remain with me to the end of my days. (Read more.)

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Understanding Marie-Antoinette

Marie-Antoinette approaching the tumbril, on the day of her execution
I have always believed that the only way to fully understand Marie-Antoinette is to understand her in the light of the faith to which she adhered. In his first public speech in 1929 Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira eloquently describes how Marie-Antoinette's religion dictated her behavior, in marriage, during the fiascoes of the Revolution and at the hour of death. It is a superb article although I venture to mention two points on which I disagree. The article refers to Louis XVI as weak. I just wish to add  that early in his reign, Louis XVI often displayed confidence and resolution in his decisions, especially in legislating reforms for his people, in the matter of Bavaria and in the War for American Independence. However, the time of his oldest son's death in June 1789 coincided with the Estates-General and the outbreak of the Revolution. Louis sank into what I think can be considered clinical depression which, combined with the tuberculosis that he had become infected with as a child, left him in a very bad state. I also do not believe that their was an "absence of love" between Louis and Antoinette. They did come to love each other deeply, as I explain in detail in the book Daughter of the Caesars.

As for Madame de Polignac, she is not someone I would necessarily characterize as "frivolous" as the article says. For one thing, she was much older than Marie-Antoinette. In spite of her annoying, ever-present in-laws,  Madame de Polignac was not a bad soul. She preferred simple attire and actually encouraged the Queen in that direction. She was a good mother which was why Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI wanted her to be the Governess of the royal children. When Madame de Tourzel became governess after Madame de Polignac's departure in 1789, she found that the royal children knew their lessons, which means they received careful training under Madame de Polignac's watch.

The following are some excerpts from Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira's magnificent homage to Marie-Antoinette:
Amid the collapsing social and political edifice of the Bourbon monarchy, when everyone feels the ground crumbling beneath their feet, the joyful Archduchess of Austria and youthful Queen of France, whose elegant bearing resembles a statuette of Sevres porcelain and whose laughter conveys the charms of cloudless happiness, drinks with admirable Christian resignation, aplomb and dignity, from the bitter yet immense cup of gall with which Divine Providence decides to glorify her....

Louis XVI...was known for his austere conduct and for the piety, kindness and honesty that adorned his character. His bitterest opponents were able to raise only three charges against him: being apathetic, a glutton and a highly skilled locksmith. In the new princely family, formed without deep bonds of affection, the Christian spirit that imbued the spouses more than compensated for the absence of love. Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were always exemplary spouses who built the undeniable happiness of their family life on the solid foundations of mutual respect and absolute morality....

Not for an instant did the dethroned sovereign cease to be Queen. Greater in suffering than in glory, confronting unarmed with her son in her arms the furious mob of drunkards that invaded the royal palace, she showed herself to be from a race that fears no danger, particularly when embodying a just cause. With royalty dragged into the Paris mud and Louis XVI’s weak personality bent low under the weight of misfortune, Marie Antoinette became the sole bastion of resistance. Turning her misfortune into a dazzling throne for her personality, armed in the face of suffering only with the sublime breastplate of faith and Christian resignation, she fearlessly confronted the tidal wave about to overwhelm France....

That sovereign sought to save her throne until the last moment, not out of personal interest but for love of the monarchical principle. And she did it without hesitation, encouraging everyone and never despairing even as the mob dragged her out of the Tuileries, where she had been imprisoned, and took her with cries and jeers into the deadly and grim shadows of the Temple prison; and even as she saw, struck with horror and remorse, at the tip of a rod between the window bars of her dungeon, the severed head of the courageous Princess of Lamballe, eyes gouged out, wig sprinkled with blood, and lips completely livid – attesting to her best friend’s bitter and unmerited death. Behold, gentlemen, the torture of your Queen. It was complete, nothing was lacking; and she endured everything with calmness and resignation, prying, from time to time, cries of admiration from her own adversaries.

As a wife, Marie Antoinette suffered the greatest of martyrdoms. After being the target of most cruel insults, her husband, to whom she devoted all the feelings of an exemplary Catholic wife, was eventually dragged to a death regarded as glorious by posterity but which at that moment seemed utterly depressing....

Yet, gentlemen, it was as a mother that Marie Antoinette suffered her most horrific torture. When the Convention tried to separate her from her son, she covered the innocent prince with her own body, fighting for two hours against the brutal Simon, the shoemaker, and his cohorts. She only let go when her strength failed her. There followed long months of separation. Left alone, terribly alone, locked up with armed guards in a cell in the horrific Temple prison, the unfortunate woman had prayer as her sole, albeit powerful, consolation. To this day, France keeps her daily Missal upon which there surely fell the bitter tears of that mother who, at the height of misfortune and abandonment, always thanked God for the helplessness in which she found herself.

Finally, she was judged by the “Committee of Public Safety” for betraying her country, being a new Catherine de Medici, a bad wife and mother, and especially for the less admissible reason that she opposed the heretical goals of a certain secret charitable association which is not entirely unknown.

During the proceedings, her suffering attains an apex. Brutalized by alcohol, her son had been turned into a little animal, constantly trembling with fear....

 Death finally came. In His immense goodness, God had prepared a worthy place in heaven for her who had suffered so much and loved Him more when He sent her trials than in the fullness of pleasure. October 16, 1793 saw the end of her long martyrdom as the guillotine blade, at the same time criminal and charitable, cut off the thread of her extraordinary life. (Read entire article.)


Bastille Day and Other Convenient Myths

From Fr. George Rutler at Crisis:
While the adage obtains that those who do not know their history are condemned to repeat it, those who do not know their history can also be fooled. “Bastille Day” is the celebration of an inflated myth. Propagandists—and later romanticizers like Alexandre Dumas with his Man in the Iron Mask and the amiably pathetic Doctor Manette of Charles Dickens—made the storming of the prison the first thrust of the liberators.  The Bastille was far from a fetid torture chamber. It had a storied history. While at times it must not have been a congenial hospice, the number of prisoners dwindled under benign Louis XVI, making it the equivalent of an American “white collar” place of custody, with tapestries, paintings, a library, and at least one personal chef.

On July 14, 1789, there were only seven inmates, a couple of them mental patients. Ten days earlier, the Marquis de Sade, not a paragon of virtue, ran along the rampart of the prison shouting lies about inmates being murdered. This was too much for the congenial warden, the Marquis René Jourdan de Launay, to handle, and so the aristocratic patron of sadism was remaindered to a lunatic asylum in Charenton, founded by the Catholic Brothers of Charity, who were pioneers in psychotherapy.  The Marquis de Sade left behind his unfinished 1785 magnum opus, The 120 Days of Sodom, in the Bastille.

Yet the myth of the dank dungeon persists, and the one-pound-three-ounce key to the Bastille now hangs in Mount Vernon, the proud gift of the Marquis de Lafayette, sent in the summer of 1790 via Thomas Paine to New York where it was displayed as a relic at a presidential levee, and then through Philadelphia to Virginia. As for the Bastille, its remnant prisoners were an afterthought since the revolutionaries had pulled down its gates to get hold of 250 barrels of gunpowder. Indeed the confused inmates seemed reluctant to leave. The kindly, if dour, Marquis de Launay was dragged out and brutally stabbed, and then a butcher named Matthieu Jouve Jourdon sawed his head off. The prison was soon torn down, but bits and pieces are preserved as relics. (Read more.)

A Migration Crisis

From Townhall:
Until recently, African migrants headed northward to the Mediterranean, embarking on a treacherous sea-crossing to Europe. But the European Union has slammed the door on migrants, cutting the number entering from 180,000 in 2016 to a mere 880 in the first four months of 2019.

Now, African migrants who head to Europe face indefinite detention in facilities on the north coast of Libya. According to the U.N., these detention centers are "an outrage to the conscience of humanity." Toilet facilities are nonexistent, food is crawling with maggots, many adults succumb to severe malnutrition, and rape and torture are commonplace.

That's why many African migrants are heading to the U.S. They're cobbling together airfare to Ecuador (which has a no-visa policy) and then trekking through Panama, north through Central America to the U.S. border. The African migration is indicative of how much larger the humanitarian crisis at the southern border could get -- unless Congress acts.

The bleeding-heart Democrats running for president are clueless about where the migrants are coming from and what their impact will be on our country. Front-runner Joe Biden says the remedy is to send "immediately billions of dollars worth of help" to Central America to "address the root causes that push people to flee." What about the rest of the world, Joe? (Read more.)

From The Washington Times:
 Since October 2018, when the fiscal year began, more than 593,000 illegal aliens have been apprehended at the border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In May, 132,887 illegals were apprehended. Because of the Democrats’ mau-mauing over “family separations,” the Border Patrol is encountering a surge of “family units,” many comprising non-relatives, including kidnapped children.

Some 332,981 of the nearly 600,000 illegals consist of “family units.” Because they can neither separate them nor keep them in custody long enough for asylum hearings, the Border Patrol has to release them. Most of them scatter around the country, never to return for their hearings. Under current rates of entry, the United States will be inundated over the course of 12 months by nearly 1 million illegal aliens by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. And you thought the caravans with a few thousand illegals were shocking a couple of years ago? This is a well-executed and mysteriously funded invasion.

Again, this is the Democrats’ playbook: Replace American citizens with illegal immigrants in order to turn the nation into a one-party state like California, which has automatic voter registration and millions of illegal residents. Another tactic is sheer bribery. Want the student vote? Promise to forgive all student loans and stick the taxpayers with the bill. Same for “free” college tuition, “free” child care and “free” health care. Want to juice up the black vote while aggravating racial resentment? Call for taxpayer-funded reparations for slavery. (Read more.)

The Unfinished Sagrada Familia

From The Vintage News:
For 137 years, construction has continued at Barcelona’s world-famous Sagrada Familia –and now it turns out that it has been done so illegally the entire time. That changed on June 7, 2019, when the Roman Catholic Church at last received the building permit for work on one of the city’s leading tourist attractions. It turns out that the building’s designer, Catalan modernist Antoni Gaudí, had asked for a permit in 1882 from the city council of Sant Martí de Provençals, which is one of Barcelona’s neighborhoods, but he never received an answer. His request was accompanied by a blueprint of the ground plans that he signed himself. He started work anyway, and never stopped. (Read more.)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Czeslawa Kwoka

From All That's Interesting:
Czeslawa Kwoka was one of the 116,000 Poles deported from their tiny villages in the wake of the German invasion in 1939. These villagers, mainly Catholic farmers, were ripped from their homes to make room for the Germans that the Nazis imagined would soon come to populate the area. Very little is known about Kwoka’s life before this moment. We do know that she was born in the small village of Wolka Zlojecka in southeastern Poland on Aug. 15, 1928 and that she and her mother were deported from Zamosc, Poland to Auschwitz on Dec. 13, 1942. (Read more.)

The New World of Transgender Policy

This is a sad case that has happened in my town. One family's psychiatric problem is imposed on the entire county as teenage boys are forced to pretend that a young girl is really a boy. I feel sorry for the mother, who instead of getting the help her daughter needs, is feeding the illness. It is pathetic how many deluded people are willing to go along with such madness. Most pathetic of all is the young girl, who is being used to push an agenda on everyone else's children. From The Talbot Spy:
It is relatively easy to have a conversation in the abstract about transgender identity in such fields as health, religion, or government policy, but it’s an entirely different matter when it comes to the everyday challenges of navigating the rights of individuals with accommodations such as restrooms and locker rooms.

And it’s also a very different story when it’s your child needing to be accommodated. That was the case with Lynn Brennan and her family when a daughter became a son between the seventh and eighth grade in the Talbot County Public School district a few years ago. At a time when state and local governments had not developed guidelines for transgender students, Lynn’s family was the first locally to enter into this new and complex terrain for public schools, teachers, and students. (Read more.)

Another sad case HERE.

'Odd' Richard III Portrait

From the BBC:
A portrait of Richard III, designed to make him look "odd", is to go on show in the city where his bones were found. It is part of the National Portrait Gallery's Coming Home programme which takes portraits to places with which they are linked. The monarch's skeleton was found by archaeologists beneath a Leicester car park in 2012. Experts say the painting, hosted by the city's New Walk Museum, was subtle propaganda to undermine his character. Richard was the last king from the house of Plantagenet and died fighting Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII, at Bosworth in 1485. (Read more.)

Friday, July 12, 2019

Marie-Antoinette's Chinese Pavilion

Once at Petit Trianon. Maxime de Rocheterie says of it:
In 1776, at a short distance from the palace, the Chinese pavilion was built, and beneath the pavilion a roundabout, which was moved by invisible mechanism hidden beneath the ground, and whose riders sat astride of dragons and peacocks, carved by Bocciardi.
According to Pierre de Nolhac:
Among the diversions of Trianon, mention must be made of the game of 'the Kings,' which had been set up by the Queen's directions on the lawn, sheltered by a Chinese pavilion, also billiards and loto; these Louis XVI. particularly liked. But everybody's chief pleasure was walking in that well-cared-for, widely-varied garden, whose beauties were analysed by Prince de Ligne with the skill of a connoisseur, and which suggested the poetic descriptions of the Chevalier Bertin in the 'Almanach des Muses.' The number of exotic trees, the 'surprises' in landscape effects to be met at every turn, the refinement of this contest with nature made foreigners who were admitted to see it understand the young Queen's love for her little domain, which she had so greatly embellished.

The Stupidest Generation

From the American Thinker:
Time Magazine acknowledged Hitler's magnificent socialist achievements by honoring him as its 1938 Man of the Year. His more Hegelian approach had him blending a state-controlled capitalism with tyrannical dictatorship. Hitler never did like the dull, gray masses produced by Lenin's more Marxist rendition. He did, however, like Lenin's death camps and stole the idea.

It amazes me that almost none of our best voices points out the very real danger — at least not with any frequency or clarity. We're so focused on getting justice for the crimes committed by the Deep State that we've lost sight of the gigantic socialist apparatus that ties all of this together. From Clinton, Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, and Baker to Obama, Brennan, Clapper, Ohr, Preistap, Yates, Rice, and Lynch (and far beyond), this has been a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the will of the people.

But why? Dictatorship.

Socialists have murdered well more than 100,000,000 innocent folks in the past 102 years, often in ghastly ways. This same form of socialism is alive and well in American politics. It is lying below the surface — and all they allow us to see are its brightly colored deceits.

Mayor Pete and his daddy love the socialist Antonio Gramsci, who said, "Socialism is precisely the religion which must overwhelm Christianity[.] ... In the new order, socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society." They could not beat us from without, but they are quietly succeeding from within. We are one fraudulent major Democrat election win away from having real justice slip away. Hannity likes to say "we'll lose the country as we know it" — but what does that even mean?

The reality is that we are in grave danger. For the socialist left, power makes principles, morality, ethics, the law, and even our constitution irrelevant. When they get that power back, folks are going to pay. Consider that there are at least two major factors in play here: they lust for absolute power, and they wish to bury very real felonies...forever. (Read more.)

The liberal war on you. From Townhall:
We are witnessing the death of the liberal political machine that the elite has operated since the end of World War II, and everything that it is doing to conservatives right now – the censorship, the threats, the intimidation, the violence – is proof that it is dying. These are not the acts of an ideology in ascendance but rather of a scurrilous political paradigm in precipitous decline. And it’s only going to get worse as those losing their grip on political and cultural power desperately try to hold onto it in the face of our populist revolt.

Be prepared. It’s going to get uglier. Our would-be masters see the stakes – their power, prestige and position – and that’s why there is nothing they won’t do, no alleged principle they won’t upend, no bogus value they won’t abandon, to put off the reckoning that their greed and incompetence have brought upon them. It’s not just happening here in America. It’s happening all over the world – in places like Australia, Hungary, the UK, Brazil, and Italy, uppity citizens have proclaimed that enough is enough, that they want to have a say in their own future. That they have had enough of multiculturalism, globalism and scorn. They want their countries back.

Let’s review the situation here. Silicon Valley’s tech moguls, who advocated a free and open internet when it was to their advantage, have found, to their horror, that Normal people could use it to make themselves heard about the utter failure of our betters at home and abroad. That’s why we have seen the elite’s 180-degree pivot toward censorship and thought control on the web. The progressives never believed in free speech except to the precise extent it was useful to them; the tech titans’ alleged libertarianism extended only as far as them not being held accountable to the people through the people’s government, and no further. Now that they are in power, well, free speech is suddenly very, very bad. People are saying things the elite dislikes. That’s not supposed to happen. (Read more.)

The Absurd Attack on Alexander Acosta

From The American Thinker:
Consider that the ideology that wishes to erase criminal records attacked Brett Kavanaugh for an alleged juvenile offense, for which he was never charged; personally attacked Norm Pattis, attorney for Alex Jones, by association; forced the resignation of Harvard professor Ron Sullivan solely because he represented Harvey Weinstein (who has not yet been tried); and now calls for Alexander Acosta's resignation because he was a prosecutor in a case that (years later) the media have in hindsight "judged" was too lenient in sentencing.

John Adams encountered blowback when he represented the British soldiers who had fired upon colonists in the Boston Massacre. The case was vitally important for our nation, not only because it sparked a patriotic revolt through Paul Revere's masterful employment of propaganda, but because it demonstrated to the British people that Americans were not a barbarian mob run amok. (Read more.)

Storytelling Makes Us Human

From Cryssa Bazos:
Writers spin stories out of a void, creating characters and worlds that exist on paper and flourish in our minds. We share stories to understand our world and one another. It is no surprise, then, that myths and legends have been passed down through the generations. These stories have taught us courage, empathy, and helped make sense of a baffling world.

It is a uniquely human quality to imagine what lies beyond our immediate perceptions and postulate theories for may be out there—or imagine ravenous zombies rising from the earth and spawning an apocalypse. Chimps have somehow missed out on that magical 1% and they are unable to imagine an alternative reality where they rule the world and humans entertain them in zoos.

Unfortunately in this insanely busy world, where we are driven to increase our productivity, the first thing that suffers is our creative expression. We may as well be ants with a singleminded goal to keep the supply chain intact. The creative brain needs time to percolate, to lose itself in a daydream before it can do its thing. (Read more.)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Wine and Hamburgers

There's a wine for everything. From Food and Wine:
What wines goes best with a burger? The internet trolls will gleefully pile on with “wine sucks; drink a beer” comments, but hey, who wants advice from a troll? Let’s suppose you simply love burgers and love wine: That’s about a bazillion of us right there. Let’s suppose you also want your wine and your burger to taste mind-blowingly great together, instead of just really, really good. See? Now even the trolls are thinking, “yum.” 
However, not all burgers are created equal. The crucial thing to consider when it comes to pairing them with wine, even more than flavor, is fat. The mouth-coating lusciousness of a Pat LaFrieda ground chuck–brisket–short rib burger—with its 17 grams of fat—asks for a very different wine than a vegan Boca Burger and its abstemious 1/2 gram. Both may go great with a red, but a burger like LaFrieda’s—rich and beefy—wants some oomph: big flavors, powerful tannins, structure (French Malbecs, Italian Aglianicos, Bordeaux-style blends). The Boca prefers lighter, more delicate wines: Pinot, Barbera, and so on. So with that in mind, here’s a by-the-richness guide to some perfect burger pairings. (Read more.)

Acts of Contempt

From The Federalist:
Colin Kaepernick has made a fantastic living out of protesting the America flag. That’s fine. No political speech should be inhibited, not even pseudo-intellectual historical revisionism. But let’s stop pretending that kneeling during the national anthem at sporting events is really about “respecting the flag” or criminal justice reform or any fixable policy problem. Whatever the underlying causes for Kaepernick’s popularity—some of them certainly legitimate—these protests are acts of contempt toward an irredeemable nation created in sin. This view of our founding is an increasingly popular position on the left. And if it ever takes hold in mainstream American life, we’re in real trouble. (Read more.)

From PJ Media:
The flag of Betsy Ross – who as a Facebook friend noted should be re-branded as an empowered woman business leader and cutting-edge designer of her era – represents much more than Kaepernick’s tunnel-vision misunderstanding of history. 
The American Revolution took place in the context of an age of revolutions against monarchy and hereditary government. It set in motion a series of events that turned the average person into a citizen rather than a subject. This was a deeply profound paradigm shift in the human mind and condition, we can scarcely understand how profound today. 
Slavery vexed America’s founders. They wrestled with how to deal with what was a ghastly legal and economic reality, mostly located in one region of the fledgling country, while attempting to build a federation of weak, thinly populated and war-weary states in the New World. They made their long-term intentions quite clear in the opening to the Declaration of Independence signed July 4, 1776, in the phrase “all men are created equal.” “Men,” here, meaning “human,” not a gender-specific identifier. They added that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.” 
All of this language was profoundly radical in its time. Kings and queens still strode most of the world, and the “divine right of kings” to rule as they pleased was a weakening but still serious idea. The American Revolution carried a deeply anti-authoritarian, pro-humanitarian character in its DNA. If our rights do not come from government or an occupant of a throne, if they are inalienable as the Declaration asserts, if we are all created equal, we the people are truly greater than our government. We do not serve it. It serves us. We vote it in. We vote it out. And as the Declaration states, we can end a government that no longer serves the people. This language flips the world’s existing power order on its head. And the founders were just getting started. (Read more.) 

Britain's Pompeii

From Ancient Origins:
He also discussed the “uncontaminated simplicity of the settlement record – built, occupied, burnt down” and how that has helped the researchers reconstruct what life was like circa 850 BC. As Knight mentions, there are numerous finds that have been made at Must Farm since the first discoveries of a rapier and sword there in 1969. Ancient Origins has also reported on previous finds such as vitrified food found in jars , household and personal items such as textiles and jewelry , and a wooden wheel
Combined with other discoveries, the archaeologists at Must Farm have an almost unrivalled peek into what Knight calls “daily practice, architecture and the consumption of material culture” when people lived in the stilted roundhouse dwellings elevated over a river so long ago. (Read more.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Marie-Antoinette and Gluck

The Queen receives her former music teacher at Versailles. Share

Losing Enthusiasm for LGBT Indoctrination

Any glimmer of sympathy I might once have momentarily harbored for the LGBT cause has long been extinguished due to the ever-increasing onslaught of the most repulsive and objectionable leftist propaganda and indoctrination. My entire being tends to revolt whenever I am told what I am supposed to think and feel about a given topic. I know many people who react similarly, especially young people. From LifeSite:
Maybe that’s the problem. Young Americans have seen all this and are not impressed. I speak on the “LGBT” agenda in classes of public school seniors several times a year, and here’s what I think is going on. 
1. Kids have learned about bullies and see “LGBTQ” tyranny for what it is: hypocrisy. These folks talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Their identities must be affirmed, but there’s no sympathy for girls who don’t want strange males in their bathrooms or boys who are taunted by mean “gay” guys. Young people are tired of being called bigots if they want privacy or want to be treated with respect for their own preferences and moral objections. 
2. Today’s youths hate phonies. And let’s face it: those involved in homosexual behavior and those pretending to be the opposite sex are huge pretenders. An example is “LGBT history” propaganda. Many of today’s 21-year-olds were subjected to this mythology in high school, with speculation that Abraham Lincoln, the Apostle Paul, Eleanor Roosevelt, and others were closeted “gays.” And that we should consider pederast Harvey Milk and Bruce Jenner heroes and worthy role models. They are not buying it and don’t want their children subjected to this nonsense. 
3. Mean behavior is getting a pushback. I’ve heard from many parents over the years who relate their kids’ mistreatment by empowered groups of homosexual students and teachers in their schools. Even the slightest disagreement with their agenda often results in mocking, scoffing, rumor-spreading, and harassment. The more influence in schools the “LGBTQ” crowd gets, the fewer boundaries of decency and civility they honor. And in college, this vicious treatment goes on steroids. Many are fed up with being treated like second-class citizens or watching others treated in this way. 
4. The ugliness is front and center. Let’s face it: effeminate teen boys and butch teen girls are not appealing to the mainstream student. They are, again, inauthentic and a physically compromised version of the best that young person could be. Something has altered such a person’s perceptions and mannerisms, and it usually doesn’t come off attractively. And it’s so sad, because these kids could have a whole different adolescent experience, but instead of getting truth-based counseling, they are being deceived by manipulative adults. 
The gender-confused person is even more of a caricature. Most heterosexual kids want to avoid the female-to-male gender rebel and all “drag queens.” They find this disordered behavior repulsive. (Read more.)

From First Things:
The problem, however, is that as our society has become less racially divided, less judgmental about sexual orientation, and more enthusiastic about career women, the political potency of the promise of inclusion has diminished. This sets up powerful incentives for the liberal establishment to deny progress, citing the enduring—even intensifying—problems of “exclusion.” 
In short, liberal power requires racism and other forms of bigotry. The loyalty of high-minded whites and minority voters needs to be renewed. The spike in articles about racism is therefore entirely predictable. White supremacy must be ferreted out and lifted up again and again in the media. When it can’t be found, it has to be invented—as in the case of Jussie Smollett, whose wanton lies were treated as necessary truths by the mainstream media. 
There is another dimension to this power dynamic. Keeping racism, homophobia, and other charges of bigotry prominent in the public square suppresses dissent from liberal dominance. The same is true for charges of fascism or “far right” extremism. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, in California pastors are being forced to choose. Share

When the Vandals Invaded

From Ancient Origins:
The diets and geographic origins of people living in Portus, the main maritime port of Imperial Rome, have been determined through analysis of human, plant and animal remains, revealing that after the Vandals sacked Rome in AD 455 a quick change in food resources caused widespread nutritional depletion. 
Portus was a vast artificial harbor established by Roman Emperor Claudius in the first century AD and it’s estimated to measure a whopping 3.5km sq. This ancient center of Roman trade and commerce is situated on the north mouth of the Tiber, on the Tyrrhenian coast and served as Rome’s chief gateway to the Mediterranean. 
For 500 years the docks at Portus received incalculable tonnages of imported wild animals, rare foods and drinks, exotic building materials and luxury goods, sustaining the grandeur and glory of Roman presence in the Mediterranean and keeping the masses in work. However, for all the millions of people who were born, raised, worked and died in Portus, virtually nothing is known of who they were and where they came from - until now that is. 
A new study published today in Antiquity by an international team of researchers, co-authored by Dr Tamsin O’Connell of the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, presents their analysis of “plant, animal and human remains” and a reconstruction of “both the diets and geographic origins of the Portus inhabitants.” (Read more.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Louis XIV: The Glory and the Misery

From The Spectator:
Louis XIV came to the throne in 1638 at the age of four with the monarchy ‘on a knife edge’ and died 72 years later with his country virtually bankrupt; but in the decades between he left a mark on France and Europe that no French king can match. As an infant his ‘voracious’ appetite took him through eight bruised and exhausted wet nurses, and whether it was women or work, his army or his pleasures, his benevolence or brutality, the same insatiable appetite would mark his whole life.
‘The neighbours of France should beware such precocious rapacity,’ the Swedish diplomat Grotius prophetically remarked of the new dauphin, but it would be some while before France and Europe found out just what they had got. On his deathbed Louis XIII had appointed his wife, Anne of Austria, regent for their infant son, and for the first years of his reign — years marked by a deep hatred of the king’s first minister, Cardinal Mazarin, rising taxes, simmering rebellion, the court’s nocturnal flight from Paris, and the spreading anarchy of the Fronde — only his youth saved Louis from the resentment that engulfed the regency. ‘Paris is in uproar,’ Mansel writes:
Princes and provinces rebel. Cities shut their gates in the king’s face. The countryside is devastated. Frenchmen claim that their kings have a duty to their subjects, as well as subjects to kings, and that obedience to kings is conditional on their observance of the law.
It was increasingly apparent, though, that as the king grew up the greatest asset that the court party had was Louis himself.  It is always difficult with Louis to penetrate the layers of sycophancy that invariably obscure the man, but what is clear is that the child who burst into tears at his first address to the Paris parlement, had developed into a paragon of youthful royalty, ‘a young Apollo’, in John Evelyn’s words, ‘of sweet yet grave countenance’, ‘affable, informal and Parisian’ when he wanted to be, and with ‘une mine fière et hautaine’ when he needed it. ‘Such is his goodness and facility of humour,’ his confessor recorded on his entry into Rouen, ‘joined to the grace of his body and the sweetness of his glance, that I know no more powerful philtre to enchain hearts. All Normandy could not tire of the sight of him.’ (Read more.)

Archduke Karl von Habsburg Proposed as President of the European Commission

From Royal Central:
The Monarchist Party of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia has sent a formal request to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic to promote Archduke Karl von Habsburg as the next President of the European Commission. Radim Spacek, Chairman of The Bohemian Crown Monarchist Party, told Royal Central: “Currently we are trying to convince our Prime Minister to foster Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen as a chairman of the European Commission, since His Royal Highness definitely is a person very well acquainted with the European agenda and having an excellent knowledge of the problems concerning Central Europe, including countries of the Visegrad.”


Jupiter's Moon Europa

From Space:
The huge ocean sloshing beneath the ice shell of the Jupiter moon Europa may be intriguingly similar to the seas of Earth, a new study suggests. Scientists have generally thought that sulfate salts dominate Europa's subsurface ocean, which harbors about twice as much water as all of Earth's seas put together. But the Hubble Space Telescope has detected the likely presence of sodium chloride (NaCl) on Europa's frigid surface, the study reports.

The NaCl — the same stuff that makes up plain old table salt — is probably coming from the ocean, study team members said. And that's pretty exciting, given that the saltiness of Earth's oceans comes primarily from NaCl.  "We do need to revisit our understanding of Europa's surface composition, as well as its internal geochemistry," lead author Samantha Trumbo, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, told  "If this sodium chloride is really reflective of the internal composition, then [Europa's ocean] might be more Earth-like than we used to think," she added. (Read more.)

Monday, July 8, 2019

Made in Constantinople

From Vintage News:
One of the only two Byzantine crowns to survive, the first being the Holy Crown of Hungary, is the Monomachus Crown. It is made of seven golden plates which are engraved with pictures of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachus; his wife and his sister, Zoe and Theodora; two female dancers; and two allegorical figures. The crown was discovered by a farmer in 1860 in Ivanka pri Nitre in Slovakia while he was plowing and it was given to a local landowner who sold it to the Hungarian National Museum in 1861.
The crown was probably made in Constantinople in 1402 and it is believed that it was a female crown, a gift to Queen Anastasia of Kiev from the Hungarian King Andrew I. According to legend, it was some version of the Holy Crown of Hungary, but there are elements on the crown which are not that old. It is said that King Andrew I was crowned in February 1047 when he traveled from Hungary to Constantinople and brought the crown with him back to Hungary. (Read more.)

The Queen's Solemn Oath

From The Conservative Woman:
I would like courteously to challenge Prince William as a Christian pastor. The Biblical teaching on homosexuality is unequivocal. What the prince has just stated in effect is that he will support his children if they choose to defy God’s moral law and providence, either by embracing the homosexual lifestyle, or by seeking to change the gender which God has assigned to them. He is therefore dismissing as invalid the views of those who hold the Bible to be the word of God. It should be added that the Duke is also publicly rejecting as a meaningless archaism his grandmother’s solemn promise in 1953 as our head of state ‘to the utmost of her power to maintain the laws of God’.

I therefore respectfully submit that the Duke’s recent comments represent nothing less than a public repudiation of the Christian Scriptures and of the God-ordained family unit, and are accordingly deeply to be regretted. And lest anyone should be in any doubt, I uphold God’s moral law in respect of homosexuality precisely because I love my homosexual neighbour and seek the best for him. (Read more.)

Restoration of Versailles’ Royal Chapel

The Royal Chapel at the Palace of Versailles, the final great building work undertaken in the reign of Louis XIV, is undergoing a painstaking restoration that is expected to be finished within 18 months. The intricate work to clean and restore its extraordinary windows, statues and other features is being carried out under the strictest security measures to avoid any repeat of the fire that severely damaged Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in April. 
The chapel was completed in 1710 after over a decade of work during the final years of the reign of Louis XIV, the so-called Sun King who ruled for 72 years and was famed for the splendor of his court. The restoration includes the roof timbers, decorative lead work, the statues and stained glass windows.
Workers restore the stone sculptures in the walls using photographs to ensure complete fidelity to the original. The restoration is literally under wraps, with the chapel surrounded by a protective canvas that conceals the restoration work from visitors standing in long queues to enter the palace. 
The canvas, which evokes the majestic structure's interior, covers a web of scaffolding with the statues of holy figures peeping out of the metalwork. Restoration of the chapel was "one of the urgent priorities" when Catherine Pegard, a former journalist, became head of the palace complex in 2011, she said. 
The restoration is only the second major such work on the building in its history, with the last taking place from 1875 to 1878, when France was weakened by war with Prussia and not able to devote a lot of resources to the work. "Today we are doing this as Versailles deserves it," said Frederic Didier, the architect overseeing the restoration. The work is taking part under the strictest conditions, especially after the fire that broke out in Notre-Dame on April 15, when the great Paris cathedral was itself undergoing restoration. (Read more.)

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Victorians on the Beach

From Mimi Matthews:
In Victorian England, it was generally believed that the sexes should be kept apart when bathing. To that end, the gentlemen’s wheeled bathing machines at the beach were often kept as much as a quarter of a mile away from the ladies’ machines. This allowed both ladies and gentlemen to enter their respective machines, change into their swimming costumes, and descend into the waves for a swim all without exposing themselves to the lascivious gazes of the opposite sex. There was only one problem—many Victorian ladies and gentlemen actually wanted to swim in company with each other. When they did so, the scandalous practice was known as promiscuous bathing. 
Though promiscuous bathing was quite popular on the continent, especially in France, in Victorian England the sight of men and women bathing together was still considered to be rather indecent. In the seaside town of Margate, this indecency was exacerbated by the fact that some gentlemen did not feel the need to put on their bathing drawers and, instead, emerged from their bathing machines in what the 2 September 1854 edition of the Leeds Times describes as an “entirely primitive state.” Once in the water, these naked gentlemen had no compunction about approaching the female bathers nearby. (Read more.)

Communion and Ecclesial Governance

From First Things:
Thompson’s actions provoked misleading responses from the press and even high-profile Catholics. Many described the story as if the archbishop had simply removed the “Catholic” label from the high school—as if the archdiocese were merely some religious corporation unhappy with the abuse of its trademark by an underperforming franchise. But the Church is more than a market of competing ecclesial brands. The controversy between the religious order and the bishop concerns fundamental notions of ecclesiology and the nature of the Church as communio. It concerns the school's connection to the true Body of Christ through its communion with the one “presiding in place of God.”

Too often, modern ecclesiology understands the Church as a kind of social club. But communion is not established merely by the self-identification of the believer. Communion is an act of God’s grace. Grace permits the believer’s union with the Body of Christ and manifests itself in the external unities of faith, of sacraments, and of ecclesial governance. The Code of Canon Law insists that the baptized are in “full communion” with the Church only when they are “joined with Christ in his visible body, through the bonds of profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical governance.”

In other words, part of our communion with God is found in our visible communion with those who govern the Church, including (and even especially) our diocesan bishop. Central to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council was the reinvigoration of the bishop’s role as teacher, prophet, and ruler in his diocese. The conciliar fathers repeated the words of St. Ignatius of Antioch, who said that being a diocesan bishop means “presiding in place of God over the flock.” The Council reminded religious orders—even those of pontifical right, like the Jesuits—of their duty to “show reverence and obedience to bishops according to the sacred canons.” Religious priests make this promise almost word-for-word when they “promise respect and obedience to the diocesan Bishop” in the rite of ordination. (Read more.)

Stories of Murder, Witchcraft, Cheese Theft

For centuries, serious offenders from the region of Cambridgeshire, England, met their judgement in court in the Isle of Ely, a historic area that was accessible only by boat until the 1600s. There, judges heard cases of theft, witchcraft, assault and murder—and now, as Alison Flood reports for the Guardian, the University of Cambridge is working to make an archive of the court’s fascinating documents more accessible to the public.
In conjunction with the Cambridgeshire Family History Society, the university is cataloguing some 270 rolls and files from the Isle of Ely’s Assizes court— a local judicial system that was held periodically and presided over by visiting judges from higher courts in London. The documents date from 1557 to 1775, and they have not been catalogued before. Most are written in Latin, and they constitute a notable collection because, according to Cambridge, “this information is not available elsewhere. There are no surviving minute books or summary records for the Assizes during this period.” 
The Ely court records offer a remarkably rich array of depositions, jury lists, inquests and examinations, which are helping experts learn more about historic crime trends and the application of justice within Ely’s court system. The collection also “enables us to hear the voices of people from all backgrounds whose names come tumbling out of the records,” says Sian Collins, an archivist at the Cambridge University Library. 
There are stories of rage, desperation, indignation—like the 1580 case of yeoman John Webbe, who was called to answer a plea of defamation after he told one Joan Tyler that her husband was “a knave, a rascall & a thief.” Also in 1580, the court documented the crime of one William Sturns, who was brought to court for swiping three cheeses. 
“Unfortunately we don’t know what type of cheese it was,” Collins tells Sabrina Imbler of Atlas Obscura. Sturns was ultimately found not guilty; juries tended to show leniency to people who stole “low value food and drink,” Collins explains, because they recognized that the perpetrators were likely driven to steal out of desperation. In fact, for all their tantalizing details, the Ely court records are often heart-breaking, testifying to the harsh realities of life in England’s past. In 1577, for example, a woman named Margaret Cotte was accused of killing the daughter of a blacksmith by “witchcraft.” She, too, was found not guilty, but the records “leave room for historians to wonder about the effects of the accusation and the acquittal on those involved and their community,” Cambridge says in a statement.(Read more.)

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Evidence of Sodom

From The Times of Israel:
A multi-disciplinary team of scientists has a new theory for why all human civilization abruptly ended on the banks of the Dead Sea some 3,700 years ago. According to analyzed archaeological evidence, the disaster of biblical proportions can be explained by a massive explosion, similar to one recorded over 100 years ago in Russia. 
In 1908, a massive blast near Siberia’s Stony Tunguska River flattened some 2,000 square kilometers of uninhabited taiga forestry. Curiously, no crater was discovered and scientists explain the strange phenomena through a meteor explosion some 5-10 km above land. 
Now an interdisciplinary team of archaeologists and scientists are using the Tunguska explosion as a model to explain the equally curious end to a thriving civilization that lived for thousands of years in a plain near the Dead Sea. (Read more.)