Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Why You Shouldn’t Sleep With Your Boyfriend

From Regina:
For 2000 years, the Church has regarded marriage as a sacrament, an outward sign of God’s grace. This is in contrast to most religions, where marriage is a contract, which can be terminated when one or the other partner is unhappy. Marriage was instituted – like all other sacraments – as a way to help you get to heaven. A Catholic husband knows what his job is: to help his wife and children get to heaven. That’s his Prime Directive: He needs to do whatever needs to be done to help his wife and children be holy. Why? Because he loves them, and he wants eternal life for them and himself.

This is why he works hard to earn a living. Not so he can have all the latest toys. That is called selfishness – just the same as you blowing all your money shopping.  This is why he insists on practicing your Faith. Not because he’s weird. Because he knows that is the way to grow closer and stay in the state of grace. This is why he helps you whenever he can. Not because he’s a fair-minded feminist. Because he knows you need help, and he wants to make your life better. Why? Because that will help you be holier—and get you to heaven. This is why he avoids pornography, excessive drinking, gambling, drugs and womanizing. Not because he’s boring. Because he knows all of that is ‘sin’ — the road to deep unhappiness for you, for him and for your future children.

So, does your boyfriend know all this? Do you think he is capable of committing himself to this goal, for the rest of his life? (Read more.)

Meanwhile, the hook-up culture is making people miserable. From Evie:
Oxytocin, commonly referred to as the “love hormone,” is one of the chemicals your body releases during sex. It encourages bonding behavior in us, and also inclines us toward trust, empathy, and relaxation. This same hormone is released in women during childbirth and breastfeeding as well, and considering how strong we know the bonds are between mothers and their children, it should give you an idea of how powerful this chemical can be. Oxytocin has been cited as one of the biological mechanisms promoting monogamy in humans, which incidentally, puts our bodies in direct odds with the concept of casual sex. 
Feelings of emptiness and unhappiness that people report after casual hook-ups aren’t a sign that they just need to “get over it” or that they’re “too clingy.” They’re a completely natural response to pair-bonding with someone who won’t actually be sticking around for the close relationship your brain has now conditioned you for. And what’s even more distressing is that some people may think that yet another hook-up is exactly what’s needed to cure that hollowness. In reality though, engaging in more sex that lacks the accompanying emotional intimacy will likely only exacerbate the feelings of emotional vulnerability, not heal them. (Read more.) 
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The Hidden Nightmare

From The New York Times:
On America’s southern border, migrant women and girls are the victims of sexual assaults that most often go unreported, uninvestigated and unprosecuted. Even as women around the world are speaking out against sexual misconduct, migrant women on the border live in the shadows of the #MeToo movement. The stories are many, and yet all too similar. Undocumented women making their way into American border towns have been beaten for disobeying smugglers, impregnated by strangers, coerced into prostitution, shackled to beds and trees and — in at least a handful of cases — bound with duct tape, rope or handcuffs.

The New York Times found dozens of documented cases through interviews with law enforcement officials, prosecutors, federal judges and immigrant advocates around the country, and a review of police reports and court records in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The review showed more than 100 documented reports of sexual assault of undocumented women along the border in the past two decades, a number that most likely only skims the surface, law enforcement officials and advocates say. In addition, interviews with migrant women and those working with them along the border point to large numbers of cases that are either unreported or unexamined, suggesting that sexual violence has become an inescapable part of the collective migrant journey. (Read more.)
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Everyday Beauty

From The Spectator:
Our need for belonging is part of what we are and it is the true foundation of aesthetic judgment. Lose sight of it and we risk building an environment in which function triumphs over all other values, the aesthetic included. It is not that there is a war of styles — any style can prove acceptable if it generates a real settlement, and the point is recognised by a great range of contemporary architects, and not only by those committed to some traditional grammar. The issue is no longer about style wars but about a growing recognition of the deep truth that we build in order to belong. Many committed modernists begin from this truth — for example, Alain de Botton in The Architecture of Happiness and Rowan Moore in Why We Build. Among the new settlements that are proving popular there are as many built in polite modernist styles as there are in some kind of traditional vernacular. The important point is that all of us, the homeless and the disadvantaged as much as those who have invested their savings in a property, wish for a house that is also a home. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"New information!"

From an Audible customer on Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars:
This book had tons of new tidbits I previously didn’t know about Marie Antoinette as well as corrections to facts I THOUGHT I knew. As it turns out much of the “common knowledge” about this remarkable woman lacks context or according to this author is flat out false. It was really very interesting and the whole book just flew by. The narrator was smooth and unobtrusive, had a very pleasant cultured voice, and did a fantastic job with a LOT of French to pronounce. I’m easy bumped by narrators that mispronounce words or try accents they can’t pull off - not a problem with this book and narrator. Definitely worth the credit.

And another:
By now, most savvy audiobook and physical book buyers know you must discern who wrote a biography or history and what is their ideological and methodological slant. I've read almost all of the biographies of Marie Antoinette and as a professional historian, I know that Elena Maria Vidal got it right with "Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars." Instead of the prevalent views portrayed in recent fluff-piece movies and popular books, Vidal has captured her essential qualities and authoritative historiography in an accessible, entertaining, and what is essentially a Christian view of a devout Catholic queen. Readers of any religious confession can be informed and edified by this much-needed correction of the "let them eat cake" myths that surround this martyr of the French Revolution. One small example is Vidal's clearing up what the French word dissipation actually means —love of distraction, not the love of fast living — which only a scholar of all things French would understand to be faux amis. The secularists have taken it and run with it!

This biography is of great interest to Catholic readers who'd appreciate the devotional quality of this historical - not ahistorical - view of the Queen's life and French history which is greatly tainted by modern prejudices and secular blather.
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Socialism’s Bloody History

Socialism and communism both involve ceding to the state control over the distribution of goods and services for the masses. This involves giving up individual rights, and giving the state a good measure of control over our personal lives. This road always leads to tyranny, no matter what you pave it with, and no matter what you name it. 
Socialism requires a power clique—or, as Lenin put it, an elite “vanguard”—in order to pretend to function. This means going heavy on executive power and rubber-stamp light on the legislative. Socialism demands that we place blind trust in whoever takes the reins of power to distribute society’s goods and services. This tiny elite, by the way, typically enjoys enormous privileges and a much higher standard of living than the hoi polloi, simply by being a part of the elite “nomenklatura.” (Read more.)
  
Here are the steps from socialism to societal breakdown:
Step 1. Massive Government Spending. Socialist states have government at the center of their economies and feature enormous spending programs. In early 1990s Sweden often cited as a socialist state, government spending exceeded 70 percent of its economy.  Under President Jefferson, government spending was approximately 2 to 3 percent of the economy. Today, we are at 36 percent. Sweden, now walking away from socialism, has reduced its spending share to just over 50 percent. Government education, retirement, and medical care -- nearly cradle to grave spending -- are three cornerstones of future socialist states. Obama once said you can create a governing majority of those dependent on government. Elizabeth Warren is now promoting “universal child care,” which would extend that dependence.

Step 2. Massive Tax Systems that Reduce Incentives. Increased tax burdens go hand-in-hand with spending.  Throughout history, tax systems start out simple and wind up complex and burdensome.
By the end of Rome’s socialism under Diocletian, according to the historian Will Durant, taxation “rose to such heights that men lost the incentive to work or earn, and an erosive context began between lawyers finding devices to evade taxes and lawyers formulating laws to prevent evasion,” which led Romans to flee, seeking “refuge among the barbarians.” We have a tax code so complicated and long that few can do their own taxes. Not satisfied, politicians threaten massive income tax hikes, wealth tax confiscation and penalties for those who want to leave the country.

 Step 3.  Reduced Growth Leading to Economic Stagnation. Over the last 20 years, the European Union, which featured socialist and semi-socialist states, had almost zero economic growth.  Over the last 60 years, while our governments grew to 36 percent of the economy and imposed trillions in regulation, our growth slipped from an average of 4 percent to 2 percent.

Step 4. Deficits. In semi-socialist Greece, once on the brink of being a failed state, government debt, as a percentage of the economy, is nearly 180 percent. That would be like you having credit card debt nearly double your income.  In the U.S., that debt ratio has exploded in the last decade, rising to nearly 106 percent.

Step 5. Governments Print Money. Undeterred by deficits or debt, governments print money to pay for programs. Inflation is the result of governments increasing the money supply beyond the needs of economic growth. In socialist Venezuela, inflation is expected to be at least one million percent in 2019. In other words, its money isn’t worth the paper on which it’s printed.

Step 6. Government Fixes Prices and Declares When Goods Can be Sold. Diocletian set wage and price controls for socialist Rome.  In Venezuela, people can only shop on certain days and shopping malls can only be open two days a week. Free of that today, in the 1970s, we had gas rationing and double-digit inflation. (Read more.)

From The American Spectator:
You will never find grace with the left. You will never find forgiveness with the left. Only endless guilt, recriminations, acts of penance, indulgences, and repressed self-loathing. There’s one place left in the world where you can find mercy. It’s called the Christian church. (Make sure you inquire at a traditional or biblical church — not the mainline kind where they’ve traded their freedom for slavery to cultural fashion.) All your life you’ve been told that traditional Christians are scolds and hypocrites, dispensing scarlet letters left and right and pointing bony fingers at sinners. In fact, we’re the last refuge of mercy in today’s world. We don’t care what you used to be — the worse you used to be, the more we’ll celebrate your changed life. Redemption is what we’re all about. That accounts, by the way, for the fact, which leftists find incomprehensible, that we can appreciate the good things the current president does without obsessing on his past sins. Leftists don’t see how we can forgive, being incapable of forgiveness themselves. (Read more.)
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Da Vinci Deluge

From William Newton:
Since 2019 has been declared the “Year of Leonardo Da Vinci”, on account of this being the 500th year since his death, there is a deluge of Leonardo-related projects currently in the works: books, documentaries, exhibitions, you name it. There are at least two films about the artist currently in development, one slated to star Leonardo DiCaprio and based on Walter Isaacson’s recent biography, although whether we’ll see those on the screen this year or not who knows. The really big event, if you happen to find yourself in Paris later this year, is going to be the upcoming Leonardo retrospective at the Louvre, which will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime event for fans of Da Vinci’s work. There are certainly plenty of interesting Leonardo-related stories swirling around the Louvre at the moment, even long before the retrospective opens. (Read more.)
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Monday, March 18, 2019

The Sordid Plot to Overthrow Mary Queen of Scots

The Murder of David Rizzio
In spite of the gossip about Rizzio, Darnley was the father of James I, as anyone can see by comparing portraits of James I with Darnley's father, the Earl of Lennox. Also James' eldest son Henry, Prince of Wales, looked exactly like Darnley. The gist of the matter is that the Lords used Darnley's conflicted and jealous feelings about Rizzio to persuade him to join their plot to kill the Italian secretary. The main reason they wanted Rizzio dead was that he was a Catholic with possible connections to the Vatican. From Vintage News:
The two became bitter foes, and his suspicion towards Rizzio grew, as the young courtier became more and more close to the Queen. Add to the mixture that Mary Stuart was carrying a child at the time, and that many of the courtiers pointed their fingers at David Rizzio to be the father, although no evidence for such claims existed. Darnley was furious. Together with his father, Matthew Stuart, 4th Earl of Lennox, and a number of other influential figures of the court, he devised a plot which would end in using David Rizzio as a scapegoat for his own coup against Mary. 
On the night of 9th of March 1566, the conspirators decided to act. A group of 80 men barged into the Queen’s dining room, where she was having dinner with Rizzio and other confidants. Rudely interrupted, Mary Stuart quickly became aware of the gravity of the situation. One of the main conspirators, Lord Ruthven, initiated the previously orchestrated brawl while wearing battle armor. He accused Rizzio of having an affair with the Queen, emphasizing their assault as a matter of honor which needed to be settled. (Read more.)
Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, father of Henry, Lord Darnley
James I, son of Henry, Lord Darnley
Henry, Lord Darnley
Henry, Prince of Wales, son of James I, grandson of Darnley
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Medieval Diseases in California

From The Atlantic:
The diseases have flared as the nation’s homeless population has grown in the past two years: About 553,000 people were homeless at the end of 2018, and nearly one-quarter of homeless people live in California. The diseases spread quickly and widely among people living outside or in shelters, helped along by sidewalks contaminated with human feces, crowded living conditions, weakened immune systems, and limited access to health care. 
“The hygiene situation is just horrendous” for people living on the streets, says Glenn Lopez, a physician with St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, who treats homeless patients in Los Angeles County. “It becomes just like a Third World environment, where their human feces contaminate the areas where they are eating and sleeping.” 
Those infectious diseases are not limited to homeless populations, Lopez warns: “Even someone who believes they are protected from these infections [is] not.” At least one Los Angeles city staffer said she contracted typhus in City Hall last fall. And San Diego County officials warned in 2017 that diners at a well-known restaurant were at risk of hepatitis A. There were 167 cases of typhus from January 1, 2018, through February 1 of this year, up from 125 in 2013 and 13 in 2008, according to the California Public Health Department. (Read more.)
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“Why Are You Still Catholic?”

From Catholic Exchange:
When I say that I love God, I mean that love is messy.  Love is messy because it is tested in conflict.  Everyone can feel love in the best of situations.  How about the worst?  That’s why Christ is so emphatic in the parables about having a good foundation. We need a solid and rich foundation upon which that love can not only rest but be nurtured and grow.  Therefore, when the storms hit, we aren’t swept away.

We should also remember that love is messy in that we stick with those who we love, even when nothing makes sense. Even when we might be angry with them. Find me someone who has not expressed outrage towards God because of this crisis, and I will show you someone who isn’t being real about their love. Find me someone who thinks all of this makes sense, and I will show you a stoic, not a Christian. Love doesn’t say we have all the answers. Love doesn’t even say we’re happy at that moment. Love says we give somebody a chance.  If God is who He is, and I love God, I’m going to give him a chance. I might be surprised.

When I say God has given me something, I mean it in a different sense than “he gives us the Eucharist.”  Even before He gives us the Eucharist, He gives us something greater. Through our baptism, God makes us a co-heir.  The Apostles Paul tells us:
It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.  (Romans 8:17-18)
(Read more.)
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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Dancing at the Crossroads

From Irish Central:
The testimony reveals a family and a community of staunch republicans some of whom would later participate actively in Dublin’s Easter Rising. Two of the dancers also participated in Ireland’s first ever official camogie match. Retired CIE worker Manus O’Brien, who passed away earlier this year, divulged the identities of over half the figures in the picture while conversing with his relations Jim O’Malley and Richard Pardi, both of whom are retired schoolteachers. The Cork man pointed out his own mother Abina, (Gobnait) as a young girl in the photograph. 
Manus confirmed that the photo was taken at his birthplace, Knockmonlea, midway between Youghal and Killeagh in east Cork. The landscape remains almost unchanged to this day, though in truth it is more of a junction than a standard crossroads. Manus’s information enabled his relatives, assisted by Knockmonlea resident Billy McCarthy, to align several of the dancers with nationalist organisations and active roles in the Easter Rising. Two of them also played in Ireland’s first official camogie match. 
The photograph was taken by the renowned Horgan brothers of Youghal, pioneers of film and photography at the time the photo was taken, circa 1910. Peg Barry, (nee Foley) another relative and a sprightly nonagenarian, recalls Knockmonlea as a bustling community with a forge and other small businesses in the early 1900’s. “Dances were held at the crossroads on Sunday afternoons during summertime”, she recalls.
Although Manus didn’t say as much, Jim considers the scene to have been “deliberately posed, given the absence of a wooden platform as would be prerequisite for a real dance.” More assuredly he says “the hawthorn in bloom depicts summertime, while the lengthening shadows suggest late afternoon.” (Read more.)
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Irish and Celtic Symbols

From Ancient Origins:
The Irish harp, also known as the Gaelic harp, Celtic harp, or Clarsach, is a lesser-known traditional symbol of Ireland. It is believed to represent royalty and the immortality of the soul. In ancient times, bards and musicians used to play the harp for their chieftains and the tradition continued for later kings. The harp on a green background symbolizing Ireland first appeared in July 1642, furthering the link between the instrument and Irish people. And that connection was cemented in the 1798 rebellion, when the Society of United Irishmen used a seal of an elaborate harp with two mottoes: “It is now strung and shall be heard” and “Equality." Even today, the harp remains among the most popular Celtic instruments. It also appears on coins, uniforms, and on the Guinness beer logo. (Read more.)

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An Army of One

Trump fights on alone and does not give up. From The American Thinker:
Then along came Donald Trump, previously a member of each political party at different times in his life when such party affiliation served his interests. The truth was he was never a Democrat or a Republican, at least as they are defined today. Instead he is a problem solver, beholden to no one and not part of the political establishment. His loyalty is only to America and those who voted for him, not to the donor classes and globalist elites. 
Seeking the presidency, he understood the folly of running as a third-party candidate, at least officially, although in reality he was very much a third-party candidate, joining the GOP as the lessor of two evils. He was not part of either party’s ruling cabal, having never held elective office or political appointment. He did not campaign or arrive at the White House with an entourage of advisors and staff, from previous stints as a governor or senator. Trump was an army of one.
His past confidants from the Trump Tower days were his family and assorted lawyers and other fixer types, used as necessary when swimming through the shark-infested waters of New York City real estate development. President Trump entered the White House thin on trusted political aides and advisors. Few are still in his administration while most are long gone, some quietly and at least outwardly supportive of Trump, while others departed noisily, making trouble for Trump in exchange for book deals or appearances on CNN. Very few were solidly part of Trump’s army. 
Now in the second half of his first term in office, he remains the king of a nonexistent political party, at least in Washington, DC. His actual party is “Yuuge” with a political base that elected and likely will reelect him in 2020. Trump hovers around 50 percent in the polls with 90 plus-percent support among Republicans. 
Those few Republicans, like John Kasich, making noise about a primary challenge are chihuahuas nipping at the hooves of a massive Budweiser Clydesdale. The “son of a mailman” had his lunch handed to him by candidate Trump. Facing President Trump in 2020, he will be irrelevant. 
Yet Trump is largely alone. Where are Republican members of Congress? Where are the pundits? Defenders are as scarce as moderate Democrats. Nancy Pelosi is on television more in one week than Paul Ryan was in two years. 
Trump’s army is small, with only a few Congressional allies such as Mark Meadows and Lindsey Graham. Just a handful of media figures support President Trump while the rest call him a Nazi, a racist, a terrorist, or just a dolt. The remainder of the Republican Party is waiting patiently to stick a knife into Trump’s back when the situation allows. (Read more.)

From The National Review:
Schoenfeld only fuels the popular perception of The Bulwark Never Trumpers as an angry, coastal elite who are anguished that their warnings about Trump were ignored by both hoi polloi and their conservative “grifters and trolls.” In careerist fury, he now damns others for his own self-immolation — as if the country must suffer for the sins of not listening to his own genius, which would probably have given the country a 16-year Obama-Clinton regnum. 
That Never Trumpers at The Bulwark were wrong about the Trump nomination, the general election, and the first two years of the Trump administration seems only to have fueled their spitefulness. If Schoenfeld is representative of this rump movement, then they are engaging in projection. 
How strange to suggest that writing a book about why Trump got elected and why he has done well is proof of one’s careerist effort to gain favor with a politician or perhaps find employment in his administration. This is a charge against those who have never worked in a campaign or sought administration employment, leveled by those who most certainly have done one or both in the past and no doubt will in the future — at least if they can pull off yet another careerist contortion in 2024. 
The bitter hostility of Schoenfeld reflects the Trump-assassination theme pushed by celebrities. Just as Madonna, Kathy Griffin, and Johnny Depp vie to see who can most grotesquely envision Trump’s death, so too Never Trumpers seek ever-more-creative ways to gnash their teeth at Trump and his supporters. Instead of trying to smear those with whom they disagree, they might have at least offered a coherent defense of their own creed, such as it is. (Read more.) 

From Charlie Kirk:
In the end, they all forsook him and fled.

It is very important to remember that all of this has come to a head over the past five months because the President did not place his own Party in the position of having to shut the government down while they controlled both Houses of Congress.  For two years the President had a majority in the House and in the Senate and tried to rely on them to cooperate in getting our border secured.

They did what is in their nature to do.  They did nothing.
It is worth presenting a roll call of those GOP Senators who voted against the President.  To borrow from the all-time movie classic, Casablanca, let’s round up the usual suspects:
Mitt Romney (UT), Susan Collins (ME), Marco Rubio (FL), Pat Toomey (PA), Roger Wicker (MS), Lamar Alexander (TN), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Roy Blount (MO), Jerry Moran (KS), Mike Lee (UT), Rob Portman (OH)…
…and Rand Paul (KY) whose libertarian ideals I generally but with whom I simply cannot agree in this case.
The reasons for their turning their back on the President run along the expected lines.  Some fear that the use of Emergency Powers will encourage future Presidents to do the same.  Others say outright that it is unconstitutional.  Roy Blunt actually said that he worried this would allow a Democratic President to use an Emergency Declaration to pass gun control. Is anybody ready to join me in giving up?
Fortunately, the President isn’t giving up.  He is going to veto this non-sensical Bill and let the fight turn to the courts where Republicans along with Democrats will try to stop him.  This is with complete disregard of the wishes of the American people. The polls on the border and the building of a wall can be confusing when looked at as independent parts of a whole because depending upon how the question is asked, journalists and pundits can cite scripture for their purpose and draw differing conclusions.  That said, back in January, The Daily Caller ran a piece that did a good job in synthesizing the results of various polls.  The conclusion?  Americans feel border security is a really big problem and they are willing to spend money to address it. (Read more.)
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The True Story of an Exorcism

An article about the case upon which the novel The Exorcist was based. From Return to Order:
While the vivid scenes of the movie showed the horror and repugnance of demonic possession, it left out the most important part of the true story of this possessed Maryland boy. He was freed from the devil’s clutches through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima and the power of Saint Michael.

The central figure in the story was a teenager known by the pseudonyms “Robbie Mannheim” or “Roland Doe.” While Robbie’s true identity and that of his relatives remains a secret the details of the extraordinary events of this 1949 exorcism were meticulously recorded in the book Possessed by Thomas Allen.

Robbie grew up in Mount Rainier, Maryland. As the only child of Karl and Phyllis Mannheim, (also pseudonyms) he would often play games with adults. One such person was his Aunt Harriet, a spiritualist, who lived St. Louis, Missouri and frequently visited the Mannheims. During a visit in January of 1949, she taught her thirteen-year old nephew how to use a Ouija board. (Read more.)
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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Colcannon

A staple in my novel The Paradise Tree. From Irish Central:
Colcannon with its unique and simple recipe has become popular around the world. It normally includes chopped kale or green cabbage mixed with hot, floury mashed potatoes. This simple recipe is an ideal one to make with the kids. The word colcannon is from the Gaelic "cal ceannann," which literally means "white-headed cabbage."
In the past, charms were mixed in with the colcannon. Depending on what charm you found it was seen as a portent for the future. A button meant you would remain a bachelor and a thimble meant you would remain a spinster for the coming year. A ring meant you would get married and a coin meant you would come into wealth. Others filled their socks with colcannon and hung them from the handle of the front door in the belief that the first man through the door would be their future husband. (Read more.)
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Jexodus

Many Jews are leaving the DNC. From The Western Journal:
Coming on the heels of the broader #WalkAway movement of people leaving the Democratic Party, which spurred more specific sub-movements such as “Blexit” and “Lexit” — black exit and Latino exit, respectively — is this new movement devoted to Jews who no longer feel welcomed in the party that a plurality has long called a political home. The website of the upstart Jexodus movement states, “We are proud Jewish Millennials tired of living in bondage to leftist politics. We reject the hypocrisy, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism of the rising far-left.” (Read more.)

A rise in bigotry from the Left. From The National Review:
This is campus activism come to Congress. Did you wonder why campus incidents so often seem to elevate the most radical voices? The same dynamic applies. Activists who possess the proper identity then speak with absolute authority, and the only acceptable woke response is to ally with their demands. 
On the one hand, there is an element of intersectionality that simply comports with common sense — after all, people from different identity groups do experience the world differently, and any diverse society values diverse voices. But identity isn’t a substitute for credibility or authority or morality. We respect people enough to treat them as adults and weigh their ideas on their own merits. 
By that standard, there is no merit to Omar’s noxious thoughts. Accusations of Israeli hypnotism, purchased loyalty, and dual allegiance don’t represent thoughtful critiques of Israeli policy. Omar’s challenging childhood isn’t the fault of the Israeli government, and it doesn’t relieve her of the obligation to shun the vicious anti-Semitism that plagues the extreme Left. (Read more.) 

From PJ Media:
I'm not Jewish, and I don't pretend to know what it's like to be Jewish. What I do know is that anti-Semitism is a litmus test to decide whether a person is capable of acting in good faith. If you genuinely believe that Jews have hypnotized the world, that anybody who disagrees has been bought off with Jewish money, and that Americans who criticize such rhetoric are more loyal to Israel than their own country -- all of which are things Ilhan Omar has said -- then there's just no reasoning with you. You are an insane bigot. I don't care if you're wearing a hijab or a MAGA hat, an anti-Semite is an anti-Semite. 
But the Democrats in Congress disagree. Yesterday they had a chance to condemn Omar's anti-Semitism, and instead they decided to make her a victim. Here's an excerpt from House Resolution 183, which was supposed to be a response to her remarks but ended up being a lot of nonsense like this: 
Whereas white supremacists in the United States have exploited and continue to exploit bigotry and weaponize hate for political gain, targeting traditionally persecuted peoples, including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others with verbal attacks, incitement, and violence...Yes, exactly, white supremacists made Ilhan Omar say all that stuff. And didn't you know that lots of other people have been hurt as well? What's so special about the Jews? #AllFeelingsMatter. (Read more.) 

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Misconceptions About the Middle Ages

From Aleteia:
One claim we often hear is that medieval people believed the world to be flat, and that it was only in the period of the Enlightenment and the Age of Discovery that the likes of Columbus and Magellan proved that the earth was in fact round. This supposedly demonstrates the medieval opposition to science and rational investigation of the world, that if only they had bothered to try, they would have discovered this very basic fact.

Yet, far from being ignorant of the earth’s roundness, the medievals were well aware of this fact, and actually held it as something easily known. In the very first article of his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas discusses how different branches of science can reach the same conclusions through different means. The example he uses? The roundness of the earth. “For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer by means of mathematics (i.e. abstracting from matter), but the physicist by means of matter itself.” (ST I, a. 1, q. 1, ad. 2)

The scientific method developed in the Enlightenment period did not spring out of nowhere. It was a refinement of the practices of the medieval “natural philosophers,” people like St. Albert the Great and Robert Grosseteste, who were exploring the world around them in a systematic way so as to better understand God’s creation. Far from being “anti-science,” the medievals were deeply curious people. (Read more.)
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Friday, March 15, 2019

The Book of Kells is Now Digitized

From Open Culture:
If you know nothing else about medieval European illuminated manuscripts, you surely know the Book of Kells. “One of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures” comments Medievalists.net, “it is set apart from other manuscripts of the same period by the quality of its artwork and the sheer number of illustrations that run throughout the 680 pages of the book.” The work not only attracts scholars, but almost a million visitors to Dublin every year. “You simply can’t travel to the capital of Ireland,” writes Book Riot’s Erika Harlitz-Kern, “without the Book of Kells being mentioned. And rightfully so.” 
The ancient masterpiece is a stunning example of Hiberno-Saxon style, thought to have been composed on the Scottish island of Iona in 806, then transferred to the monastery of Kells in County Meath after a Viking raid (a story told in the marvelous animated film The Secret of Kells). Consisting mainly of copies of the four gospels, as well as indexes called “canon tables,” the manuscript is believed to have been made primarily for display, not reading aloud, which is why “the images are elaborate and detailed while the text is carelessly copied with entire words missing or long passages being repeated.” (Read more.)
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Global Warming Hoax

From Breitbart:
Greenpeace co-founder and former president of Greenpeace Canada Patrick Moore described the cynical and corrupt machinations fueling the narrative of anthropocentric global warming and “climate change” in a Wednesday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak. Moore explained how fear and guilt are leveraged by proponents of climate change:
Fear has been used all through history to gain control of people’s minds and wallets and all else, and the climate catastrophe is strictly a fear campaign — well, fear and guilt — you’re afraid you’re killing your children because you’re driving them in your SUV and emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and you feel guilty for doing that. There’s no stronger motivation than those two.
(Read more.)
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Fasting Like a 17th-century Monk

From Aleteia:
In the 1600s, the Paulaner Monks of Southern Italy relocated to the Cloister Neudeck ob der Au, in Bavaria. The strict order required the brothers to refrain from all solid foods for the entire 40 days of Lent, which naturally brought about questions of how the order would maintain proper nutrition throughout the season. Turning to what they knew, they concluded that beer, or “liquid bread” as they called it, could sustain them. 
The Paulaners brewed a special, unusually strong beer that would provide high levels carbohydrates and nutrients to fight off malnutrition. This early doppelbock-style beer eventually became the original product of Paulaner brewery, founded in 1634, under the name “Salvator,” named after “Sankt Vater,” which CNA reports can be roughly translated as “Holy Father beer.” 
Vine Pair explains that the monks, proud of their work, became worried that the brew was too delicious to count as a Lenten sacrifice. Hoping for a conclusive ruling, the Paulaner monks sought guidance from Rome and shipped a barrel of their best to the pope, who could determine if the beer was appropriate fasting fare.
In a bit of a twist, during the long trip from Bavaria to Rome, the beer spoiled. When the pope tasted it, he deemed it so foul that consuming it was considered a “sacrifice unto itself.” He gave the monks the go-ahead and they enjoyed their liquid Lent with clear consciences.

Today, Paulaner currently serves 70 countries and is one of the chief breweries featured at Munich’s Octoberfest. The “Salvator” is distributed and enjoyed all over the world, but many do not know of its penitential origins.

In 2011, J. Wilson, a Christian working as an editor for a county newspaper in Iowa, heard this story and became intent on recreating the monk’s fast. He partnered with a local brewery that created a beer similar to the “Salvator,” which he consumed exclusively for the entire 46 days of Lent and Holy Week. (Read more.)
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

I Was Anastasia

Every once in a blue moon I come across a book of such power, beauty and cleverness that I wish I could have written it myself. One such book is I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon. Since it is on Audible, I took every opportunity to sneak away and listen. The topic is of particular interest to me since as a young person I spent a great deal of time in university libraries researching the enigma of Anna Anderson. I have been interested in the assassination of the Russian Imperial family since college and graduate school when I took several classes in Russian history, focusing on Soviet ways and methods. As a senior at Hood College I was nominated to present a paper on Soviet Russia at the 1984 Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference in Annapolis, MD. In grad school, I concentrated more on the Romanovs and the mystery of "Anna Anderson" which is when I discovered Peter Kurth's witty and informative book about the most famous of all claimants, Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna Anderson. I have since tried to remain informed about the ongoing developments in the cases of missing and found Romanovs. Since then the gods of science have spoken, declaring "Anna Anderson" to be none other than Franziska Schanzkowska, a Kashubian peasant

Personally, I feel that the scientists and scholars who pinned the identity of "Anna Anderson" upon Franziska Schanzkowska should apologize to the Kashubian peasants of the world. "Anna," whose legal name became Anastasia Manahan, or "Mrs. Manahan" as she preferred to be called, not only had a borderline personality but she did not even know how to bury a dead cat. Or a dead dog, for that matter. Every house she ever owned was condemned as a public health hazard because of the animal mess, inside and out, not to mention the way she allowed her gardens to become overgrown. Not only was she formally rejected by the Romanov clan but most of the Schanzkowski clan wanted nothing to do with her either. Furthermore, Mrs. Manahan was evicted from the country club in Charlottesville, Virginia, which in some people's minds is a greater shame than not being a Romanov. In the end, she married the one person in the world as thoroughly pixillated herself, Professor John Manahan of Charlottesville, the scion of several old and respected Virginia families. In spite of his connections, John was asked to leave the country club, too.

Ariel Lawhon's riveting novel begins with "Anna" and John in Charlottesville in the 1970's, awaiting the outcome of her forty-year lawsuit in which she claimed the identity of the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia. The narrative then begins to move backwards, years and months at a time. Woven into Anna's story are flashbacks to the life of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, told in first person narrative, beginning with the abdication of Tsar Nicholas in March 1917. With horror, grief and rage, the teenage Anastasia witnesses the humiliation of her parents and siblings, the separation from their home and friends, and the descent into exile, imprisonment and degradation. As Anna's tale moves back in time, Anastasia's moves forward; both stories spiral inexorably towards the fateful summer of 1918.

From Book Page:
 Ariel Lawhon’s two previous historical novels delved into the Jazz Age in New York City (The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress) and the final flight of the Hindenburg in 1937 (Flight of Dreams). In her latest, she imagines the last months of Russia’s royal Romanov family—Czar Nicholas II; his wife, Empress Alexandra; their four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia; and their son, Alexey—following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Lawhon focuses on Anastasia, the youngest daughter, illuminating those harrowing months in late 1917 and 1918, beginning when the imperial palace is taken over by the revolutionary army. The family is put under house arrest, limited to the few rooms not occupied by soldiers, and their activities are closely monitored. Lawhon recounts their haunting journey east into Siberia by train, when the girls, including Anastasia, are raped. The family is housed in an abandoned army barracks in the “godforsaken outpost” of Tobolsk. Their lives become even more unbearable when the Red Guard takes command, their mission to cruelly punish the family for their former excessive lifestyle. From Tobolsk they are sent further east to the town of Ekaterinburg, where, in July 1918, the whole family is executed by firing squad.

Or—did Anastasia somehow miraculously escape the massacre? Threaded in and out of the chapters recounting the last days of Anastasia and her family is the story of a young woman who, two years later, is pulled from a canal in Berlin and claims to be Anastasia Romanov. She has scars that could be from bullet wounds, and she bears a remarkable resemblance to the young Romanov duchess. Those who refuse to believe her story give her the name Anna Anderson and see her merely as a fortune seeker. Lawhon’s extensive research traces Anna’s steps backward from 1970, when a Hamburg court determines that her claim is “not proven.” In the years leading up to this moment, she is institutionalized, interviewed by Anastasia’s family and contemporaries, and romanticized in plays and movies. (Read more.)
Lawhon left out many crucial parts of the real Anna's story, such as her friendship with Harriet von Rathlef, the testimony of the court handwriting experts, the recognition of Felix Dassel, who was the body guard of the younger Grand Duchesses. The recognitions by the some Romanov family members, such as Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich, and of former Romanov family retainers, such as Lili Dehn, are also omitted. This is not meant to be a criticism of the novel, just an observation. The novel flows so smoothly and the author surely had to make some hard decisions to make it work as magnificently as it does. I just want to make the point that it was not mere wishful thinking that made a case for Anna; there were valid reasons, which the DNA evidence has since rendered null and void.  Nevertheless, it remains a fact that Mrs. Manahan was recognized as being the long lost Grand Duchess by several Romanov relatives, retainers and family friends. There was also some forensic evidence in support of her claim, such as having the same congenital foot defect (hallux valgus) as the Grand Duchess, as well as anthropological studies and the testimony of handwriting experts.  

Gleb Botkin, the son of Dr. Botkin, who was murdered with the Imperial family in 1918, is a major character in both the narratives. Gleb was friends with the Grand Duchess and with the woman who claimed to be her. It makes for a genuinely fascinating conundrum. The ending is inescapably tragic; we know it as we rush towards it, all the while hoping that somehow Anastasia will escape. The author brilliantly leads us to that moment of hope, before making it all clear.

More HERE, HERE and HERE.
 
Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna

Anastasia Tchaikovsky Manahan, alias Anna Anderson

The real Grand Duchess Anastasia and "Anna"
More pictures, HERE.


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The Continued Resilience of Quiet America

From American Greatness:
Yet a wounded United States did not just survive 1969, but reached new heights of scientific, technological and cultural achievement. For the first time in history, a national economy produced more than $1 trillion worth of goods and services in a single year, as American nominal GDP for 1969 exceeded that level. America also put the first humans on the moon in 1969—and did it twice the same year, with the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 lunar missions.

Boeing’s 747 jumbo jet made its first successful test flight in 1969. The 400-passenger airliner was so well designed and ahead of its time that it continues in service today, a half-century after its rollout. It took some 35 years for a European company to introduce a competitor to the 747, the Airbus A380. Yet the latter jet has been something of a white elephant. Many airlines have stopped using the A380, and Airbus has announced that it will stop producing the jets in 2021. American computer scientists first used a precursor to the internet in 1969, when computers at UCLA and Stanford managed to share an electronic network, known as ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network).

Fifty years later, what are the lessons of the chaotic year 1969 for our similarly schizophrenic age of polarization, civil disunity, and unprecedented wealth and scientific advancement? America is such a huge and diverse country, and so abundantly endowed with natural and human resources, that it is capable of achieving unprecedented scientific, economic and technological breakthroughs even as its social fabric is tearing apart. Or, put another way, while the media highlights crime, protests, grievances, and civil disorder, a majority of Americans still go to work unbothered each day. (Read more.)
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Season of Humiliation

The season of humiliation, which precedes Easter, lasts for forty days, in memory of our Lord’s long fast in the wilderness. . . .We fast by way of penitence, and in order to subdue the flesh. Our Saviour had no need of fasting for either purpose. His fasting was unlike ours, as in its intensity, so in its object. And yet when we begin to fast, His pattern is set before us; and we continue the time of fasting till, in number of days, we have equaled His. 
There is a reason for this; in truth, we must do nothing except with Him in our eye. As He it is, through whom alone we have the power to do any good thing, so unless we do it for Him it is not good. From Him our obedience comes, towards Him it must look. He says, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” [John xv. 5.] No work is good without grace and without love. 
St. Paul gave up all things “to be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness which is of the law, but the righteousness which is from God upon faith.” [Phil. iii. 9.] Then only are our righteousnesses acceptable when they are done, not in a legal way, but in Christ through faith. Vain were all the deeds of the Law, because they were not attended by the power of the Spirit. They were the mere attempts of unaided nature to fulfill what it ought indeed, but was not able to fulfill. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Horse Sense

From Jude Knight:
From the two lines came the warm bloods, direct ancestors of today’s thoroughbreds. Indeed, the thoroughbred stud book was founded in the late eighteenth century (for horses intended for racing) and records all English Thoroughbred breeding even today. A thoroughbred was a horse whose birth and lineage was recorded in the book. Other horses with the same breeding not intended for racing were known simply as ‘bloods’.

If you wanted to sell, or to buy, a horse, you might go to a local horse fair. Or, if you lived in London, you’d drop down to Tattersall’s on Hyde Park Corner. It had been founded in 1766 by a former groom of the Duke of Kingston, and held auctions every Monday and on Thursdays during the Season. Tatersall’s charged a small commission on each sale, but also charged both buyers and sellers for stabling. (Read more.)
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Key People in the Russia Hoax

Those who need to be investigated. From The Federalist:
The following all played a part in the stunning and successful effort by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to infect the executive branch of the federal government with Trump-Russia conspiracy theories. Various writings—either authored by a Brit with ties to the Kremlin who was indirectly paid by Clinton’s campaign, or directly written by Hillary Clinton cronies—were funneled into the federal government through multiple avenues.

Partisan Democrats in the Obama administration were all too willing to believe the allegations, and use them as an excuse for bad behavior whether they believed them or not. The documents have been called “dossiers,” but that really just attaches a fancy term to a Word document full of unverified mumbo jumbo that alleged Trump-Russia collusion. Those Word documents were then used to spy on the opposing political party’s presidential campaign, and to plant stories in the media right before the election insinuating that Trump had nefarious ties with Russia. Here are 36 people who should be interviewed under oath, if they have not been interviewed already, some of whom should be subjected to criminal prosecution. (Read more.)
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Investing in Black Communities

From David Harris, Jr:
Although those things are certainly very important, the mainstream media continues to conveniently overlook or downplay some really great things that have taken place, and we know from experience that they seem to care about things that will paint the Trump administration in a bad light rather than to report the news about the good things on which he’s put his signature of approval. One such item that certainly deserves more attention is the Opportunity and Revitalization Council, a $100 billion initiative to deliver growth in urban communities. President Trump put his signature on the order back in December, but we’ve heard very little about it....

We can easily point to historic unemployment lows across the board, 400% growth of black-owned businesses, the formation of BLEXIT and Jexodus, and most recently, the huge gathering of blacks at the White House celebrating African American History Month as evidence to the contrary. Donald Trump is the most pro-American president we’ve seen for decades, especially if you take a good hard look at what has gone on behind the scenes and under the radar. He is completely color blind and giving Americans a reason to be proud to be a citizen of this country again. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Toluidine Blue: A Novel

Toluidine Blue is a medical mystery which challenges us in our comfort zones about the nature of sexual assault and while shedding light on the people who tend the victims. For all the simulated violence in the movies, which make our young people jaded about the sufferings of others, few "civilians" really understand the physical and emotional impact of violent sexual assault. The novel is genuinely unnerving in parts, but then it is meant to be. We are plunged into the mystery of suffering in a way that is daunting and definitely not sugar-coated. I came away with more awe than ever for our first responders and medical professionals. The witness of the two young nurses in the story is uplifting for their heroism and mercy in the face of evil. We are shown evil but we are also shown good. I found the scene in the cathedral to be particularly moving, as the young trauma nurse lights a candle for all the victims she has cared for. I hope Toluidine Blue inspires young people to consider nursing as a vocation.

From the press release:
Hard Tack Editions announces the publication ofToluidine Blue: A Novel by Evelyne Keating andRoxanne Shoenfeld. To quote from the back cover:"Adeline Donovan thought she had her life planned out and was soon to marry. When her plans took an abrupt turn, she was devastated but also willing to accept the opportunity to follow a bigger dream, that of becoming a Forensic Nurse Examiner. Her dream becomes her reality, while living in historic Fell's Point in Baltimore, with her best friend, Rachel. TOLUIDINE (tol-u-deen) BLUE encompasses the collaborative efforts between law enforcement and Forensic Nurse Examiners. Forensic nurses bridge the gap between the criminal element to the criminal justice system by collecting valuable evidence that is easily lost when the victim is the crime scene."  
The events in Toluidine Blue are based on the authors’ combined 44 years of nursing experience in emergency, trauma, forensic nursing and death investigation. Even though names and crime scene locations are fictional, all of the forensic information is accurate. One of the authors also worked over 10 years as a death investigator. 
Praise for Toluidine Blue: 
“Imbedded within the fictional drama, an interesting and detailed perspective concerning medical forensic examinations relating to criminal acts and the importance to preserve and protect evidence for the judicial process."  —Milt Laughland - Retired, FBI Analyst 
"I would highly recommend it for those who enjoy medical mysteries, true crime stories and suspense novels.” —Ellen Gable, award-winning author novelist
(Read more.)
From Kirkus Reviews:
A debut novel follows two Baltimore forensic nurse examiners who search for evidence in cases of sexual assault and domestic violence. Trauma nurse Addie Donovan’s long hours evidently become too much for her fiance, who suddenly breaks off their engagement. She packs her things and moves in with her friend Rachel Tristin, a nurse and death investigator. Though she’s upset, Addie uses the opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming a forensic nurse examiner. It’s a demanding job that requires, for instance, a rigorous examination of a gay man whom two attackers brutally assaulted and sexually tortured. But Addie has a passion for helping people, and Rachel, seemingly inspired by her friend, becomes an FNE as well (“She wanted to help living victims of horrific crimes get through the worst day of their life”). Both women find time for potential romance with men they’ve met in the course of their work. Addie frequently confers with ruggedly handsome Detective Frank Knight on cases, and Rachel is immediately smitten with firefighter David, though he doesn’t call her after their first date. Meanwhile, there’s a possibility that a serial rapist is stalking and attacking women in Baltimore, ultimately resulting in one of the two friends being in peril....The authors’ extensive medical backgrounds produce meticulous descriptions and an unflinching but enlightening look at what constitutes sexual assault forensic exams....An engrossing and educational look at forensic nurse examiners. (Read more.)

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Eliminating Motherhood

From The Federalist:
The language we use to define our relationships is what gives us the context to understand their relevance to our lives. When we use the term mother, we invoke a shared perspective on what that word means, what it represents, what it looks like. Whether our mother was brilliant or rotten, loving or cruel, we can envision a shared ideal of a mother precisely because we have a shared history of the concept of mother.

If we don’t have the word for mother, will the concept still exist? If so, for how long? If the word for mother falls out of fashion or is pushed out of language entirely, will our thoughts still be able to form the idea of mother without the word? Will the mother-adjacent words that we’ve created take the place of the thought of mother as well as the word? Do the words we use to describe relationships matter? Can we have the thought of mother without a word to express it?

The question of whether thoughts can exist outside of language is not a new one, but our era continually polices our language and thoughts to make sure they conform to fabricated, egalitarian notions of fairness. It is under this guise that the word for mother is being questioned. The fear in continuing to use the word is that it will make some people feel bad. But how much worse will we feel when we have no mothers at all? (Read more.)

Infanticide is the hallmark of a pagan culture. From The Federalist:
Abortion and infanticide have historically been common practices. In the first century AD, infanticide was a common and culturally accepted practice across the world. The murder of infants was a regular occurrence in Europe into the Middle Ages and beyond, despite being condemned by both church and state. 
The practice was not confined to the desperate, illiterate, impoverished masses, as if “enlightened” thinkers knew better. The Twelve Tables of Roman Law, admired by Cicero, contains the command that, “A dreadfully deformed child shall be quickly killed.” 
Likewise, the wealthy first century Roman philosopher Seneca once wrote, “We doom scabby sheep to the knife, lest they should infect our flocks. We destroy monstrous births, and we also drown our children if they are born weakly or unnaturally formed; to separate what is useless from what is sound is an act, not of anger, but of reason.” This from a Stoic, who supposedly believed virtue to be the highest good. Notably, Seneca was Nero’s tutor.

Infanticide was an acknowledged option for any child who was deformed, sickly, of uncertain paternity, the wrong sex, or simply unnecessary to the household. Aristotle, revered by many a university professor, wrote that, “As to exposing or rearing the children born, let there be a law that no deformed child shall be reared,” and “if any people have a child as a result of intercourse in contravention of these regulations, abortion must be practiced on it before it has developed sensation and life.” (Read more.) 
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Iron Age Chariot

From Vintage News:
As of early October 2018, archaeologists are working to fully excavate the find. Media reports say that not only a chariot but also horse and human remains were discovered. Simon Usher, managing director at Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: “We can confirm that a significant archaeological discovery, featuring an Iron Age horse-drawn chariot, has been made at our development, The Mile in Pocklington. Careful excavation is ongoing by our archaeologists and a thorough investigation is in the process to date and detail the find.” (Read more.)
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Monday, March 11, 2019

“Still Life with Mackerel”

From the Star Telegram:
The Kimbell Art Museum announced Thursday that it has acquired Anne Vallayer-Coster’s 1787 painting “Still Life with Mackerel.” Vallayer-Coster was one of the great still-life painters of 18th century France. According to the Kimbell, Vallayer-Coster was known for her fluid brushwork and ability to imitate nature. She achieved fame at 26 when she was one of only four women admitted to the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. She was later named painter to Queen Marie Antoinette. The painting is a gift from Sid R. Bass in honor of Kay and Ben Fortson, long-time leaders of the Kimbell Art Foundation’s board of directors. (Read more.)
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The Perils of Woke Governance

From Quillette:
All governments eventually become enmeshed in some kind of scandal, of course. But Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are unlike their predecessors in one crucial respect: They have created the first national government anywhere that has explicitly presented itself as a political vessel of ultra-progressive social-justice mantras such as intersectionality and #MeToo. And there is evidence to suggest that this scandal has been all the more damaging to the Liberals precisely because their grubby treatment of a principled Indigenous woman is so obviously at odds with the pious social-justice posturing that, until just a few weeks ago, often made the Liberals sound more like an activist organization or undergraduate student society than a G7 government.

Trudeau’s woke identity is something he brought into office from day one. He banned anyone with pro-life views from his caucus, then tried to force recipients of a Canadian summer-jobs fund (including Bible camps) to declare support for pro-choice dogma. When asked why he insisted on creating Ottawa’s first gender-balanced cabinet, Trudeau declared, “because it’s 2015”—as if to suggest that anyone who didn’t support affirmative action was a misogynist (causing feminist website Jezebel to gush that “the sexiest thing about Justin Trudeau is his cabinet’s gender parity”). Under the Trudeau government’s bill C-16, pronoun misusage could become actionable under Canadian human-rights law. His government has introduced new environmental impact assessments that require project managers to impute “the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors” in their environmental analysis. And he has promised transgender offenders the right to be imprisoned in jails that align with their gender expression.

On the question of “male toxicity,” in particular, Trudeau often has seemed like a social-justice Twitter account on two legs. He told Marie Claire magazine that he was raising his sons in a way that would allow them “to escape the pressure to be a particular kind of masculine that is so damaging to men and to the people around them. I want them to be comfortable being themselves, and being feminists—who stand up for what’s right, and who can look themselves in the eye with pride.” Trudeau also talked about the need for “gender budgeting” when it came to “big infrastructure projects” such as oil pipelines, since “gender impacts when you bring construction workers into a rural area…because they’re mostly male construction workers.” And of course, Trudeau has spent a good deal of his time as Prime Minister talking about “reconciliation” with Indigenous people—which has mostly involved leading a maudlin exercise in national self-flagellation. Fittingly, when asked by reporters on Thursday whether he would be apologizing for anything to do with the Wilson-Raybould scandal, he said no—but then added that he would be apologizing to Canada’s Inuit later in the day (for Ottawa’s handling of a tuberculosis outbreak that took place more than 50 years ago). (Read more.)
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