Monday, February 18, 2019

The Postmodern Family

From Return to Order:
A recent study conducted by a British organization called OnePoll finds that one-third of Americans cannot even name all four of their grandparents. If this is accurate, far fewer know where their grandparents were born, the nature of the work that they did, or the things that they found interesting. Reflecting on this poll brings to mind the Fourth Commandment: “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thou mayest be long-lived upon the land which the Lord thy God will give thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

What does it mean to honor your father and mother in the “postmodern” world? During the sixties, the family was redefined as a “nuclear” social unit composed of individuals not necessarily married. This was one of the ill effects of the sexual revolution. The roots of this redefinition go back to the Industrial Revolution. Before large-scale migration, farm villages and small towns were really networks of relatives. Aunts, uncles, and cousins of various degrees of kinship were also friends, neighbors, and the members of the parish church. The admonition to honor one’s parents was easily extended to all of the elders in the community. Once people traveled to industrial centers in search of jobs, that sense of family disintegrated. When a man left his village, he took his wife and his children with him. In the new place, everyone was a stranger. By the mid-twentieth century, such movements happened every generation – maybe several times during a single generation. (Read more.)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Porcelain Bust of Marie-Antoinette

A nineteenth century bust of the Queen, via East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Share

Pelosi's Warning

From Tom Piatak at Chronicles:
Nancy Pelosi is warning that, if Trump declares an emergency over the border, a future Democratic President could declare an emergency over gun violence. This argument is intended to frighten Republicans from taking action to prevent millions more potential Democrats streaming from Latin America into the United States.

Republicans should not let themselves be frightened. A future Democratic President could declare an emergency over gun violence, regardless of what Trump does. Indeed, dozens of national emergencies have been declared by prior Presidents. It's not as if Democrats are in the habit of waiting for Republicans before seeking to expand government power.

And Trump will not be arguing that, because he has declared an emergency, he can now do whatever he wants. He will argue that, because he has declared an emergency, specific statutes previously enacted by Congress give him the authority, by their terms, of undertaking construction without any additional authorization from Congress. This is a question of statutory construction, not a question of the Constitutional limits of presidential power. (Read more.)

From The Federalist:
 The concept of universal injunctions would shock most Americans. Such injunctions permit a single one of the more than 600 federal district judges overseeing the case of a single party to block the executive branch from enforcing or implementing a law, regulation, executive order, or policy for every American across the country over the typically many years the case is litigated. Stated simply: Universal injunctions give an unelected judge power over the president, shunting aside the considered judgment of the people’s representatives in Congress and the presidency. (Read more.)

From Townhall:
 Speaking from the Rose Garden Friday morning, President Donald Trump made his case for declaring a national emergency and blasted the media for failing to cover Americans killed by illegal aliens. "We're going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border—and we're going to do it one way or the other," Trump said. "We have removed thousands of MS-13 gang monsters. We take them out by the thousands and they are monsters."

President Trump also appeared to suggest death as a penalty for drug dealers. "We want to stop drugs from coming into our country. We want to stop criminals and gangs...we have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country," Trump said. "Unfortunately we have new Angel Moms...the press doesn't want to cover them." (Read more.)

The West is Stirring

From First Things:
The failure of the “European project” has therefore also been a cultural, artistic, and philosophical failure. Michel Houellebecq aside, Europe in the era of what is called “the European Union” has had no great cultural iconographers capable of summoning up its spirit and essences, and Houellebecq does not flatter it. It is arguable that there never was a united art or literature of Europe, and that only Christianity served to create the impression that there was.

The late French philosopher Jean Baudrillard once observed that, although each part of the American continent feels different from every other part, there is also a pervasive American essence. Europe is not like that. What became “The European Union” was never articulate about itself in cultural terms, but instead resorted to a language and logic of materialism and secular democracy, which writers and artists failed to plumb, bypass, or otherwise negotiate.

The bureaucratic nature of the E.U. has led it to treat culture as irrelevant and non-essential, soul as some residual anachronism, identity as a problem, and faith as something to be “tolerated” at best. In the absence of a cultural and spiritual vision, economics became everything and, inevitably, nothing. In its headlong dash to fulfill its aims in that idiom, the E.U. destroyed the European peoples’ hopes and finally demanded that they lie down and die. (Read more.)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

San Marco in Florence

From Aleteia:
In 1436, when Fra Angelico moved to the newly constructed convent of San Marco in Florence, he was commissioned by the convent’s patron, the rich and powerful Cosimo de’ Medici (who had his own cell as a personal retreat), to decorate the new place of worship and living space for the friars. His famous and often reproduced works, the San Marco altarpieceand The Annunciation, which grace the convent’s public rooms, were much admired and earned him commissions from the Vatican. 
Some of his most beautiful works of art, however, were never meant to be seen by the public. Fra Angelico painted frescoes in the cells of the convent, for his fellow friars who, in their seclusion, used them as aids to prayer and meditation. Art historians have discovered his hand in at least 20 cells in the convent frescoes, including the particularly notable depictions of the Resurrection, the Coronation of the Virgin, and the Annunciation. (Read more.)

Suicide Pact

From PJB at Chronicles:
After reading an especially radical platform agreed upon by the British Labor Party, one Tory wag described it as "the longest suicide note in history." The phrase comes to mind on reading of the resolution calling for a Green New Deal, advanced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and endorsed by at least five of the major Democratic candidates for president. The Green New Deal is designed to recall the halcyon days of the 1930s, when, so the story goes, FDR came to Washington to enact the historic reforms that rescued America from the Great Depression. Only that story is more than a small myth. 
The unemployment rate when FDR took the oath in 1933 was 25 percent. It never fell below 14 percent through the 1930s. In June 1938, despite huge Democratic majorities in Congress, FDR was presiding over a nation where unemployment was back up to 19 percent. World War II and the conscription of 16 million young men gave us "full employment." And the war's end and demobilization saw the return of real prosperity in 1946, after FDR was dead. 
Yet this Green New Deal is nothing if not ambitious. (Read more.)

Death of a Stalinist Spy

From The Spectator:
Morton Sobell, whose obituary noting his 101 years appeared this week in the New York Times, spied for Stalinist Russia about 70 years ago. His life’s real misdeed came about a decade ago, when he admitted that, contrary to his earlier insistence and that of his many champions in academia and the media, he did, indeed, commit espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union. 
“Now I know it was an illusion,” Sobell then reflected of his belief in Communism. “I was taken in.” 
Sydney Gurewitz Clemens lashed out at him in 2008 for how his admission “complicated history and the personal histories of the many millions of people, all over the world, who gave time, energy, money and heart to the struggle to support his claims of innocence.” The fact that he served the greater part of a 30-year sentence, and refused to turn on his former confederates, did not seem to mitigate this grievous sin against the narrative. 
Sydney Gurewitz Clemens, Sobell’s step-daughter, illustrated how in this case the ties that bind often referred to ideological rather than familial ones. David Greenglass, the brother of Sobell co-defendant Ethel Rosenberg, testified against his sister and brother-in-law. The Rosenbergs, despite questions about the level of Ethel’s involvement (Sobell confirmed her involvement in the spy ring), stuck to their line at the expense of orphaning their children. And for decades, progressives who championed the executed couple stuck to it, too.

Sobell, who suspiciously fled to Mexico where he used an alias (he characterized the trip as a family vacation) in the wake of the authorities closing in on the conspirators’ activities, played a massive role in perpetuating this mythology, particularly after his release from prison in the late 1960s after almost 18 years served. 
Sobell maintained his innocence in his memoir On Doing Time, and in 1978 PBS aired the WETA-produced Rosenberg-Sobell Revisited, which argued for the trio’s innocence. As late as 2001, Sobell lamented in the Nation that authors “take for granted that the National Security Agency has published a true decryption of the Soviet cables” in writing about the Venona intercepts clearly affirming Julius Rosenberg’s espionage. He adds, “Strangely, I, a bona fide convicted spy, could not be found anywhere among the hundreds of identified spies, but this was not for lack of their trying.” (Read more.)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Bradgate House

From The Tudor Travel Guide:
Bradgate Park was one of two parks belonging to the Manor of Groby. Its history can be traced back to at least the eleventh century, when an area of land encompassing what is now Bradgate Park was given to a loyal compatriot of William the Conquerer, Hugh de Grentmesnil, who fought with William at the Battle of Hastings. 
Our story, though, really begins in the mid-fifteenth century, when the owners of the estate, the Ferrers family, did a spectacular bit of fortuitous social climbing. This began when the younger son of Reginald Grey, 3rd Baron Grey de Ruthyn, married the heiress, Elizabeth Ferrers, in 1427. It was their son, John Grey, who made the spectacular match with Elizabeth Woodville of Grafton in Northamptonshire. Of course, the family’s fortunes were transformed by Elizabeth’s later marriage to King Edward IV. It would be her eldest son from her first marriage to John Grey, Thomas, who would establish a new house at Bradgate, the power-base of the Grey family during the first half of the sixteenth century. (Read more.)

Day of Mourning for Abortion

On February 23, 2019 we will wear black in mourning for the victims of abortion and as a sign of repentance. From The Activist Mommy:
We are calling for a National Day of Mourning and repentance. We are in desperate need for God to move upon the hearts of young and old in our nation. If our hearts do not break over the killing of these little image bearers of God in the womb, we are dead inside! Join us February 23rd for “A National Day of Mourning.”
(Read more.)

Angels of Death. From Chronicles:
 The state of the Union is divided, as we were reminded not only after but during the President’s speech of February 5.  Republicans chanted “USA! USA!” several times in response to lines delivered to elicit the same; Democrats (upon whom the camera lovingly lingered) competed for the honor of “best sour expression/sneer by an elected official,” and the Emmy goes to Kamala Harris.
Most noticeable, also by design, were the color-coordinated white outfits worn by Democratic congresspersons, who sat stone-faced even during benign applause lines.  They were briefly roused—and oh, was it the favorite moment of the entire CNN panel!—when Trump took credit for placing “the greatest number of women in the workplace,” whereupon the handmaidens leapt off their tails and applauded wildly.  It was a “joke’s on you” moment, or at least that’s what the congresswomen intended by their puerile stunt, since Trump’s misogyny is supposedly to blame for their electoral victories.  But then again, if that explanation is correct, they were celebrating the fact that they were elected only because they are women, and they proved it by wearing clothes that match.  Solidarity, sister!  Women are no different from men, except in every way.
What was truly disturbing, however, was the rationale behind the matching pantsuits and blouses.  The memo went forth from the House Democratic Women’s Working Group the week before the State of the Union Address, urging white as an expression of solidarity with the Suffragettes.  In concrete terms, this means exhibiting a commitment to “reproductive rights,” that misnomer which has nothing to do with the right of reproducing and everything to do with infanticide, an issue that came to the fore twice in the first weeks of 2019. (Read more.)

Angel of Bordeaux

From War History Online:
Above everything else, Sousa was a very religious man. He sincerely believed in the might of good deeds. He had a Christian conscience that never allowed him to turn his back on the moral and human principles his religion preached. More importantly, his faith was not based on words only. He knew that he could practice his faith only through his deeds. Because of his beliefs, Sousa put his entire career, and even his life and the lives of his entire family, at stake. 
Now it was mid-June 1940. Germans were everywhere and France was on the verge of defeat. Refugees were running south, many of them through Bordeaux. One night Rabbi Haim Kruger, a Polish refugee, asked Sousa to issue visas to thousands of Jews who had gathered in the city. At first, Sousa only agreed to give visas to Kruger and his family, but the rabbi rejected the offer. It was all of them, or no one, he said. 
After wrestling with his conscience for two days and nights, Sousa decided that he would issue visas to all who needed them. He knew that as a true Christian he could not turn his back to people who desperately needed help. 
The problem was that doing so was in complete opposition to the orders he had received from his government. Even though Portugal remained neutral during the entire war, Prime Minister Antonio de Oliveira Salazar was openly sympathetic toward Nazis and especially Hitler. In order to please Hitler, Salazar issued the notorious “Circular 14” forbidding all Jews, Soviets, dissidents, and stateless persons to enter Portugal. Sousa also received a Circular. Completely aware of all the repercussions, he decided to go with his conscience. (Read more.)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Première rose de l'année à la Chapelle expiatoire

The first rose of the year blooms at the Expiatory Chapel in Paris, the chapel dedicated to the memory of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. From La Chapelle expiatoire:  "First Rose of the year at the expiatory chapel. It is said that the roses of the expiatory chapel bloom every 21 January. In fact, the conditions of exposure (the roses are sheltered in the inner garden) and the variety...'Iceberg'...favours a flowering all year long, even in winter!" Share

More Anti-semitism from the Left

From The National Review:
Representative Ilhan Omar, who represents Minnesota’s fifth congressional district, has chosen an ugly and reprehensible bandwagon to climb aboard. Representative Omar insists that American Jews are paying members of Congress to take a pro-Israel stance in what the ever-gentle Matthew Yglesias of Vox with characteristic boldness describes as some “moderately ill-advised tweets.” Representative Omar specifically cites the actions of AIPAC and, quoting from the noted political philosopher Puff Daddy, insists that it’s “about the Benjamins, baby,” those apparently being Franklin and Netanyahu. 
This is not Representative Omar’s first foray into anti-Semitic tropes; earlier, she accused Jews of “hypnotizing” the world on Israel’s behalf, a statement for which she later apologized after sustained public criticism. Her colleague Representative Rashida Tlaib of Henry Ford’s home state has joined Representative Omar in this anti-Semitic smear campaign, having accused Jewish Americans of having dual loyalties, calling to mind another ancient Jew-hating line of argument. 
The Jewish state divides the Democratic party: The majority of the American public is pro-Israel — but that average includes the 87 percent of Republicans who are pro-Israel and the 59 percent of independents who share that view, which is a minority position among Democrats, fewer than half of whom take a friendly view of the Jewish state. The Left more broadly is increasingly hostile not only to the government of the state of Israel but to Jews per se, and increasingly tolerant of overt anti-Semitism, as in the case of the organizers of the Women’s March and their embrace of the aforementioned Louis Farrakhan, whom even Barack Obama felt obliged to court, albeit shamefacedly. (Read more.)

"I Will Defend"

From Michael Knowles:
On Saturday, the U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Michael Monsoor, a Zumwalt-class destroyer and the most technologically advanced ship in our nation’s fleet. The sublime vessel offers a fitting tribute to its namesake, the late Navy SEAL who gave his life to protect teammates and Iraqi soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006. The ship’s crest depicts a sword held in the winged hand and arm of St. Michael the Archangel, patron of warriors, after whom the devoutly Catholic Michael Monsoor was named. The ship’s motto reads, “I will defend.”

Throughout his brief and distinguished career, Monsoor did just that. On May 9, 2006, Petty Officer Monsoor leapt to the aid of a fellow SEAL who had been wounded in action and exposed to machine gun fire on the streets of Ramadi, Iraq. With no regard for his own life, Monsoor dragged his wounded comrade to safety while simultaneously carrying a 100-pound rucksack and firing a heavy machine gun to fend off their attackers. This act of gallantry and intrepidity in action earned him the Silver Star. (Read more.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard: Painter of Mesdames Tantes

The years leading up to the French Revolution saw a flourishing of women portrait painters. From The Conversation:
In 1783, after intervention from Queen Marie-Antoinette, Adélaïde was finally admitted into the Académie Royale, at the same session as another brilliant, younger woman, Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun (born 1755). They were two of only a dozen women admitted since 1648. Over the next six years the two of them would become wealthy, sought-after painters of the royal family and members of its court at Versailles. Labille-Guiard experimented with using matt backgrounds to her exquisite portraits, often eschewing the common practice of surrounding sitters with symbols of their status. The two women were receiving fees of tens of thousands of livres for each portrait at a time when most priests, for example, were paid about one thousand annually. Vigée-Le Brun was the Queen’s favorite, painting her 30 times; instead Labille-Guiard painted King Louis XVI’s aunts, but her best portraits were of an unknown woman, her friend Vincent, and a self-portrait with her prize pupil and close friend Marie Capet. (Read more.)
Madame Adélaïde de France
Madame Victoire de France

Read more about the Aunts and the artists in my book Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars. Share

Owens vs Clinton

From The Federalist Papers:
Black conservative commentator Candace Owens got into a heated fight with former first daughter Chelsea Clinton on Twitter this weekend. “I actually don’t have any problems at all with the word ‘nationalism.’ I think that it gets, the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don’t want,” Owens said at the conference. “So when you think about, whenever we say ‘nationalism,’ the first thing people thing about, at least in America, is Hitler,” she said. “You know, he was a national socialist, but if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, okay fine.” 
“The problem is … he had dreams outside of Germany,” she said. “He wanted to globalize. He wanted everybody to be German. Everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way. … To me that’s not nationalism.” Clinton started the battle by speaking about what Owens said about Hitler at a Talking Points USA conference. (Read more.)

“This is my Body”

From The Cordial Catholic:
As a Catholic, I believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharistic elements. That is to say, I believe that through a genuine miracle, which happens at every Mass, the bread and the wine become Jesus’s real flesh and blood—while still appearing to be bread and wine (and that’s part of the miracle). Does this sound crazy? As a Protestant, I believed that the Lord’s Supper—Communion—was a memorial feast. It was a commemorative ceremony we celebrated as a church or small group of believers to remember Jesus’s once-and-for-all sacrifice. I also believed that when Jesus said, “This is my body,” he was speaking metaphorically and instead meant, “This represents my body.” But I changed my mind; I’ve come to believe differently. Jesus wasn’t instituting a mere memorial feast, He was giving us His real flesh and blood. Jesus wasn’t simply asking us to do something, once in a while, in memory of Him. He was giving us a gift. I went from believing that the bread and wine were symbols of Jesus’s sacrifice, to believing that the bread and wine were Jesus. When Jesus stood in front of his followers and said, “This is my body,” I’ve come to believe he meant it. (Read more.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Newsletter, February 2019

From yesterday:
Dear Friends and Family, 
Happy St. Valentine's Day! St. Valentine was an early Roman martyr who risked his life to unite young couples in holy matrimony.  
Today, February 11, is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Aside from being the site of the famous apparitions of 1858, Lourdes has an interesting history, surprisingly turbulent at times for a place that is truly in the middle of nowhere. Most of the events were focused on the Château-Fort de Lourdes, the old castle which was at one time a Moorish stronghold, although its origins go back to antiquity. When I first visited Lourdes in April 1994 the castle intrigued me almost as much as did the shrines. I had never heard of it until arriving there, and when our guide took us up inside, the view of the Pyrenees was breathtaking. There are all kinds of legends and mysteries associated with the castle, including the caves which lie underneath the edifice. I decided to make it the setting for a novel about the Cathars, since for a time it had been a Cathar fortress. 
In spite of heresy and turmoil, it is a spot favored by the Mother of God. In the Roman rite there are many beautiful votive Masses in honor of Our Lady. One of them is "Mother of Fairest Love." I once heard it celebrated around the feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, and in the homily the priest quoted St. John of the Cross saying that if one wants to have a great love, all one must do is desire a great love, in order to possess it. As Scripture says: "I am the Mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue." Ecclesiasticus 24: 24-25 

Please do visit our Trianon Health and Beauty Blog, where we are having a sale on all products. 
Visit me on FacebookTwitterTumblr and my Amazon Author's Page!
Have a blessed Mardi Gras and Shrovetide!
With love and prayers,
Elena at "East of the Sun and West of the Moon"
(Read more.)


Photos of the Last Romanovs

From Orthodox Christianity:
A collection of rare photographs of the Royal Martyrs was discovered recently by workers repairing the roof at the Federal Treasury building in Essentuki in the Stavropol Krai in Russia, reports Pobeda and the Ministry of Tourism and Health Resorts of the Stavropol Krai. The pictures were found in an envelope under an old I-beam. Most of the photos show a high Cossack among colleagues with Tsar Nicholas II and the Royal Family. None of the photos have been published before. The news agency Rublev reports that 7 photos and 2 postcards were found. 

The postcards even bear the signatures of the royal children. The Grand Duchesses signed their joint portrait, and the Tsarevich wrote a dedicatory inscription on the back of his photo: “To Anatoly Semenovich. Tsarskoe Selo. April 7, 1917.” Local historian Roman Nutrikhin found out that the photographs belonged to Anatoly Fedyushkin, a Terek Cossack who joined the special forces responsible for the protection of the Royal Family in 1909. As the Deputy Head of the Regional Department of the Treasury Vera Samarina notes, Anatoly Fedyushkin is often mentioned in the diaries and letters of the Grand Duchesses and Empress Alexandra under the name “Yuzik,” which the children called him in honor of his favorite literary hero. (Read more.)

On the Brink of Socialism?

From The National Review:
Has the socialist moment finally arrived in the United States? Increasingly, the Democratic party seems to think so. Capitalism has had a nice run for the past couple hundred years, but now it is time to let the technocrats take control of . . . pretty much everything — from health care to education to energy to banking. 
This kind of view has long had a space in the Democratic party — recall Huey Long’s slogan, “Every man a king” — but it seems to be going mainstream. The wacky ideas of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not limited to the lefty fringe of the House backbench but instead are being endorsed by major presidential candidates. And why not? Winning the Democratic nomination is going to require somebody to forge a coalition between minority voters and upscale white progressives, and the latter can’t get enough of AOC’s statist utopia. But does this make for good politics? National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar — one of my favorite political analysts — is dubious. In a typically sober analysis, he argues:

What’s so remarkable about this rapid leftward shift is that it’s working against the party’s best interests — both for the individual candidates and their chances of defeating Trump next year. So many candidates are trying to fill the most progressive lane of the party that they’re splitting that share of the vote evenly. At the same time, there’s plenty of evidence that many rank-and-file Democrats are looking for a pragmatist who can actually win the presidency. Far be it from me to doubt somebody with as solid a track record as Kraushaar’s. And I certainly hope he is correct. But as Allahpundit likes to say, “Dude, I’m worried.” (Read more.)

Escaping the Noise of Modern Life

From The Guardian:
Jack Pepper, Britain’s youngest commissioned composer, will also be joining Scala. The 19-year-old said: “Classical music is surrounded by the misconception that it’s irrelevant, sterile and inaccessible. What many people don’t realise is there is an authentic modern-day narrative to accompany classical music which is really connecting with people.”

Citing the appeal of soundtracks for video games as well as for primetime TV dramas and the cinema that “make your heart race”, Pepper said that even the greats of the conventional repertoire still had something to say. “Even the classical masters have shocking, entertaining, humorous and sometimes tragic life stories. A classical composer is a normal human being with the same ups and downs we can all relate to.”

The growing popularity of classical music among young people follows recent survey results highlighting young people’s use of art galleries and museums as sanctuaries and figures released last week showing rising sales of poetry among younger readers. (Read more.)

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Battle for the Bed Chamber

From The History Jar:
Henrietta Maria has undoubtedly had a bad press in English History – in the past she has either been fitted into the pattern of she-wolf or interfering wife. And yet prior to arrival in England in 1625 and in the weeks afterwards she was praised for her youth and her beauty.  Her arrival was, after all, the beginning of an Anglo-French partnership. Not that every was wildly happy about a French Catholic becoming queen.

The power of a consort was very indirect so far as most Stuart kings of England are concerned.  Henrietta is the best known of the Stuart wives and she undoubtedly arrived with an agenda.  Pope Urban VIII had made her a member of the order of the Golden Rose prior to her departure for England. She wrote to her brother, Louis XVIII, saying that she would improve the lot of Catholics in England.  She made no secret of the fact that she was a good Catholic princess.  Her pilgrimage to Marble Arch and Tyburn where Catholics had been executed caused consternation amongst her Protestant subjects.  Yet, she was also supposed to engineer a firm Anglo-French alliance.  She was fifteen and it was a very tall order. (Read more.)

Retaliation from Cartels

From The Washington Examiner:
Border residents in New Mexico say they are hesitant to report suspicious immigration activity to local and federal law enforcement because they fear the Mexican cartels moving drugs or people into the U.S. will retaliate against them. 
Seven residents who live 30 to 50 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border told the Washington Examiner that picking up the phone to call for help if they have been burglarized or found someone sleeping in their barn can lead to nasty consequences. Billy Darnell, a cattle rancher in Hidalgo County who has lived in the region more than 70 years, said he calls in every incident but has paid the price for informing Border Patrol and the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department. 
“I turned in 700 pounds [of marijuana] up here ... I called it in [to Border Patrol]. They went and got it. That night, they [smugglers] came back. They ... broke off all the floats off my troughs — chopped 'em up, drained all of it," Darnell said, adding groups of 12 men carry heavy packs filled with marijuana through the region. (Read more.)

Stanislawa Leszczyńska

From Aleteia:
Stanislawa Leszczyńska was born in 1896 in Lodz, a city in the center of Poland. She was a wife, mother, and midwife. When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, Leszczyńska decided she and her family had to help out by joining in the Polish resistance to help provide false documents and food for those in Jewish ghettos. The family’s efforts were discovered by the gestapo and a few years later, Leszczyńska and her daughter — a medical student — were sent to Auschwitz while her sons were sent to other camps to endure hard labor. Her husband and eldest son escaped, but Leszczyńska never saw her husband again; he was killed fighting the Nazis in the Warsaw Uprising a year later in 1944.

At Auschwitz, Leszczyńska reported for duty as a midwife. Although many pregnant women were normally executed on the spot, others continued their pregnancy until delivery. The midwife was sent to work in the maternity ward, which reports was a “set of filthy barracks that was less a place to care for pregnant women than a place to usher them into death.” The women who managed the ward, “Sister” Klara and “Sister” Pfani, had the duty of declaring newborns as stillborn on delivery, before drowning them in buckets in front of the new mothers. As unqualified nurses they could not assist in the deliveries themselves.

When Leszczyńska was told of her duty to ensure the babies were murdered, she categorically refused. She was beaten by Klara but still she did her best to keep the babies and their mothers alive. Before each delivery she would make the sign of the cross and pray. She also provided moments of calm for the mothers with prayers and song — all done very quietly.

Despite her efforts, many babies were killed after their first few hours of life, and some mothers later died due to the abominable sanitary conditions inside the ward. In her two years at Auschwitz, alongside her daughter, Leszczyńska delivered 3,000 babies. She even stood up to the infamous “Angel of Death,” Josef Mengele, when he ordered her to murder the infants. (Read more.)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Where the Crawdads Sing

I think that Delia Owens' Where the Crawdads Sing is an exceptional novel. Reese Witherspoon has wonderful taste. I do not have time to review it but here is a review from Rhapsody in Books:
Catherine Danielle Clark, known as Kya to her family, and as “The Marsh Girl” to the people of Barkley Cove, North Carolina, is abandoned by her family as a very young girl. She is able to survive with very little assistance from the adult world because of her remarkable resourcefulness. She ”finances” her relatively primitive life style primarily by collecting and selling mussels and smoked fish to the local version of a convenience store. Yet, she remains extremely shy, avoiding contact with other humans as much as possible, not even attending school despite the (half-hearted) efforts of local truant officer.

Just before reaching puberty, she meets Tate, a young man who has seen her fishing and collecting mussels. Tate teaches Kya how to read, and she turns into a voracious seeker of knowledge. Kya’s and Tate’s relationship turns romantic, though not sexual, but Tate abandons her to attend the University of North Carolina. The early chapters of the book alternate between Kya’s youth in the 1950s and early 60s and the investigation of the mysterious death of Chase Andrews, a local former high school football star, in 1970. We later learn that Kya met Chase and became his lover on the rebound after Tate abandoned her. The local sheriff develops a rather far-fetched theory of how Kya might have killed Chase, and the final chapters deal with the presumption of guilt about Kya. This presumption is buttressed by the town’s prejudice against the “Marsh Girl.” I can’t tell you how that ends, but the denouement is exciting and satisfying. (Read more.)

Green is the New Red

Michael Knowles explains the Green New Deal.

From The Federalist:
While some of the specifics need to be ironed out, the plan’s authors assure us that this “massive transformation of our society” needs some “clear goals and a timeline.” The timeline is ten years. Here are some of the goals:
  • Ban affordable energy. GND calls for the elimination of all fossil fuel energy production, the lifeblood of American industry and life, which includes not only all oil but also natural gas — one of the cheapest sources of American energy, and one of the reasons the United States has been able to lead the world in carbon-emissions reduction.
  • Eliminate nuclear energy. The GND also calls for eliminating all nuclear power, one of the only productive and somewhat affordable “clean” energy sources available to us, in 11 years. This move would purge around 20 percent of American energy generation so you can rely on intermittent wind for your energy needs.
  • Eliminate 99 percent of cars. To be fair, under the GND, everyone will need to retrofit their cars with Flintstones-style foot holes or pedals for cycling. The authors state that the GND would like to replace every “combustion-engine vehicle” — trucks, airplanes, boats, and 99 percent of cars — within ten years. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.
  • Gut and rebuild every building in America. Markey and Cortez want to “retrofit every building in America” with “state of the art energy efficiency.” I repeat, “every building in America.” That includes every home, factory, and apartment building, which will all need, for starters, to have their entire working heating and cooling systems ripped out and replaced with…well, with whatever technology Democrats are going invent in their committee hearings, I guess.
  • Eliminate air travel. GND calls for building out “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Good luck Hawaii! California’s high-speed boondoggle is already in $100 billion dollars of debt, and looks to be one of the state’s biggest fiscal disasters ever. Amtrak runs billions of dollars in the red (though, as we’ll see, trains that run on fossil fuels will also be phased out). Imagine growing that business model out to every state in America?
  • A government-guaranteed job. The bill promises the United States government will provide every single American with a job that includes a “family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and a pension.” You can imagine that those left in the private sector would be funding these through some unspecified “massive” taxation. On the bright side, when you’re foraging for food, your savings will be worthless.
  • Free education for life. GND promises free college or trade schools for every American.
  • A salubrious diet. The GND promises the government will provide “healthy food” to every American (because there are no beans or lettuce in your local supermarket, I guess).
  • A house. The GND promises that the government will provide, “safe, affordable, adequate housing” for every American citizen. I call dibs on an affordable Adams Morgan townhouse. Thank you, Ocasio-Cortez.
  • Free money. The GND aims to provide, and I am not making this up, “economic security” for all who are “unable or unwilling” to work. Just to reiterate: if you’re unwilling to work, the rest of us will have your back.
  • Bonus insanity: Ban meat. Ocasio-Cortez admits that we can’t get zero emissions in 10 years “because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.” The only way to get rid of farting cows is to get rid of beef.
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From American Greatness:
Donald Trump’s greatest achievement may be the total annihilation of the Democratic Party in its present mutated and degraded form. The Democrats have been allowed to slither to their present state of moral degradation with the witless and spineless collaboration of look-alike Republicans who are easy to defeat, like McCain and Romney, or can be survived, like Reagan and the Bushes, or destroyed, like Nixon.

Faced with a Trump they could not defeat and cannot destroy, Democrats appear to be entering a frenzy of primal extremism. If the Democrats go to the voters next year as the party of infanticide, open borders, a 70 percent top personal income tax rate, and the practical abolition of private health care, they will vanish more quickly, and with less distinction, than the Whigs, who at least had serious leaders like Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln before their party imploded. This thronging riff-raff of Democratic presidential aspirants couldn’t lead the country across Washington’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, and won’t get an invitation to try. (Read more.)

Fostering a Culture of Life

Children with Down syndrome are different from other children in significant ways. I don’t know that parenting them is more difficult, but the challenges are different. Pia has had cancer twice, and that means she’s spent almost a full year living in hospitals. Max has a lot of difficult sensory issues. But they’re amazing kids, and they have a lot in common with typical kids — they have the ordinary range of human emotions, the same social desires, the same desire to be loved, to be secure, to learn, to play. And they know every single word of Frozen. They’ll perform the whole movie for you as a duet, any time. 
We have learned a lot about weakness and love from them. We’ve learned to accept our own weaknesses. And we’ve learned from them how to ask for help without shame. Most especially, we’ve learned that, as a father, God rejoices when we turn to him in weakness and ask for his help. That’s been a great joy. 
It’s also been a great grace to be surrounded by a community, including our own son, who love and accept the kids just as they are — their cousins and the children of our friends know intuitively how to adapt games so our kids can play, and they so often model a very beautiful kind of patience. 
Finally, it has been a great joy to work with two different Catholic schools to build inclusive special-education programs. Our kids go to our parish school, they spend the day in the regular classroom, learning the same things as their peers. It takes a lot of work from school and home to make that happen, and we’ve been grateful to have had school communities willing to partner with us. It’s also a costly endeavor –we’re always fundraising for inclusive special education! (Read more.)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

"What I Shall Never Forget"

 Marie-Antoinette Being Taken to Her Execution by André Castaigne,1901.
Via Anna Gibson. "This is what I saw; this is what I would I had never seen; this is what I shall never forget as long as I live." --from Louis Larivière's recollections of Marie-Antoinette's final weeks in the Conciergerie.


The Children of Venezuela

From The Daily Mail:
Pity the children. Starving to death, dying of curable diseases, sold to sexual predators or simply abandoned, youngsters are paying a terrible price for Venezuela's failed socialist experiment. More than one in seven children are currently suffering from malnutrition as their hard-working parents' salaries no longer cover the soaring cost of everyday living. Common curable diseases – measles, diphtheria, and rotavirus diarrhea – which had been almost eradicated from the oil-rich state are now killing children in huge numbers. Pneumonia is picking off those too weak to fight. Desperate mothers are selling their daughters' young bodies for sex to buy food. Other poverty-stricken parents abandoned their children in the street to fight for themselves.

 'Venezuela was once the richest country in Latin America,' Dr Huniades Urbina, a director of Caracas' main children's hospital, told MailOnline.'Patients would come to Caracas because we could provide the best care in the region. Now we can't even feed the patients.' (Read more.)

People That Eat Cheese Live Longer

From Rare:
Researchers from McMaster University in Canada looked at the dietary habits of over 130,000 people from 21 different countries between the ages of 35 and 70. After analyzing their data, the researchers placed the people into two distinct groups: reduced-fat dairy and full-fat dairy. The study concluded that eating more than two servings of cheese per day was in line with seeing a major decrease in the risk of a stroke and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. They also saw that dairy products itself played a part in the study, noting that milk of yogurt would be beneficial to your health as well. And that’s not where the health benefits end. Take a look at these other benefits cheese is said to have as well. (Read more.)

Friday, February 8, 2019

Cleopatra's Beauty Secrets

A guest post from author Helen R. Davis on the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
Cleopatra VII, famed queen of the Nile, is best known for her legendary life. Her snakes, her lovers, her perfumes, her wiles... But most of what we think we 'know' about Cleopatra has been written down by her enemies, who, in conquering her kingdom, blackened her reputation. Another thing is she lived more than 2000 years ago. So—how can we know anything meaningful about her? Unlike Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth I, or Isabella, she is lost forever- right? Again, not so. This post will focus on her beauty routine. Elizabeth I was famous for makeup that probably killed her. Cleopatra's makeup, just as legendary, was both a form of protection and likely enhanced her looks. We will probably never know what she looked like. But we do know some of her formulas, including her daily beauty routine that has been passed down. Cleopatra VII bathed in donkey's milk daily, and often scented it with lavender and rose, both available in the Marie Antoinette Midnight Bouquet. Lavender is a sort of 'Swiss Army Knife' scent for aromatherapy, helping with anything from sleep to cuts. Rose is an aphrodisiac, and Cleopatra once gave a banquet to Marc Antony in rose petals one foot deep. Rose's other uses help with calming jealousy and rage and in keeping skin youthful. (Read more.)

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Women in White

From The National Review:
Clothing is powerful. That’s why I was disturbed by the decision of Democratic congresswomen to wear white to the State of the Union address. Wearing white was the style code for the event, decided by Florida congresswoman Lois Frankel, who said that when Donald Trump looked out into the House Chamber during the address, he would “see a sea of Suffragette white, sending the message loud and clear…” 
For me, their message was indeed loud and clear. 
I will, as million of women do, wear white on my (eventual) wedding day. I’ll wear white on Easter Sunday. White represents purity and life, and is often reserved for special occasions. In Syria as elsewhere, the color of clothing holds a very significant role in the culture, especially during mourning. And having been raised around the Syrian tradition, I was especially crestfallen to see white worn by these specific women, especially during a time where millions of Americans, including myself, are mourning the recent New York abortion legislation and Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s barbaric remarks on “post-birth abortion.” 
In Syria, it’s a tradition for women to wear black for several months (or, in older times, even years) following the death of a family member. Widows will wear black for the rest of their lives after their husband’s death — my grandmother has worn black nearly everyday since the passing of my uncle (her son) in 2006. Black is so symbolic to Syrians, that when I was a child, I still remember my mother telling me that it was “haram” for me to wear all black clothing. Black clothing symbolizes death, impurity, and loss. (Read more.)

Political Correctness: No Statute of Limitations

From The National Review:
The American university is the place where political correctness flourishes more than any other. Diversity is currently one of the leading goals of the contemporary university, except in the realm of opinion and point of view. Speakers with heterodox views, should these views even faintly smell of the politically incorrect, are there shouted down by students confident they have right on their side, and are rarely censured by their professors for doing so. In the university anything outside the realm of the politically correct is held to be dangerous, unsafe, and the First Amendment exists in theory only. The university in its homogeneity of outlook has become the utopia dreamt of by political correctness made flesh. 
Political correctness itself originated in the generation of student revolutionaries of the mid 1960s. Thinking themselves victims, they honored the victim above all and made victimhood a form of secular sainthood. The chief victims were African Americans, Hispanics, gays and lesbians — later, Islamics. Among other minorities, Asian Americans and Jews, not so much. 
Many of these ’60s students remained in the university as professors, and by the 1980s and ’90s were in positions of power there. The contemporary university is where bad ideas find a second life — a second and, thanks to tenure, lengthy life. Where else in but in English and History departments in American universities will one still find Marxists? Where but there are so many subjects politicized? Fortunately no way has been found to teach feminist physics or Hispanic chemistry or gay engineering, or the university would be an entirely worthless enterprise. 
In going along with the program of political correctness, the university has greatly helped spread its doctrines beyond its politically correct confines. I recently complained to a friend still teaching at Northwestern University, where I taught for thirty years, about the waste entailed in hiring an associate provost for diversity, at a salary I take to be around $200,000 a year. My friend, more knowledgeable than I about these matters, replied that without an associate provost for diversity on the staff the university might not qualify for federal funds for science projects. One wonders where would the federal bureaucrats would get such ideas, but then remembers that they, too, attended university. Politicians, when it serves their purposes, of course readily avail themselves of all the politically correct gambits. Thus do the tentacles of political correctness reach out beyond the university itself. 
Rare is the university professor of the current day who is ready to speak out against political correctness. My own experience of this conformity bred of want of courage was when, in the middle 1990s, I was fired owing to political correctness from the job of editor of Phi Beta Kappa’s quarterly magazine The American Scholar. With the exception of the historian Eugen Weber, the vote to fire me among the all-academic senator of Phi Beta Kappa was, I am told, unanimous. As for the reason for my being fired, it had nothing to do with politics, since I made it a point to clear the journal’s pages of all contemporary political content, but to do with my not running any articles in the journal on the subjects of feminism or African-American Studies — in other words, political correctness. I didn’t do so because I received no articles on these subjects that seemed of any genuine interest. I sought such articles from a few members of the Phi Beta Kappa Senate itself, with the proviso that I wasn’t interested in the clichés on the subject and hoped for work that went beyond standard victimology. None were forthcoming. I was, then, replaced as editor, given, in the best slow-motion academic fashion, two years to clean out my desk. 
Political correctness rears up everywhere in the business of the university. To find a commencement ceremony of a major university that does not provide honorary degrees for a few women and African-Americans would not be an easy task. The grandson of a friend of mine, a brilliant student who has mastered Chinese, showed up for a Rhodes Scholarship interview to discover that a dozen women were also being interviewed for the same scholarship and knew his goose was cooked. (Read more.)

The Secrets of the Creative Brain

From The Atlantic:
I have spent much of my career focusing on the neuroscience of mental illness, but in recent decades I’ve also focused on what we might call the science of genius, trying to discern what combination of elements tends to produce particularly creative brains. What, in short, is the essence of creativity? Over the course of my life, I’ve kept coming back to two more-specific questions: What differences in nature and nurture can explain why some people suffer from mental illness and some do not? And why are so many of the world’s most creative minds among the most afflicted? My latest study, for which I’ve been scanning the brains of some of today’s most illustrious scientists, mathematicians, artists, and writers, has come closer to answering this second question than any other research to date. (Read more.)

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Life of Saint Margaret

From Sharon Bennett Connolly:
Margaret of Wessex is a remarkable character to study. Her piety and devotion to the church saw her canonised as St Margaret just 150 years after her death; and named as Patroness of Scotland in the seventeenth century. Margaret had an impeccable Saxon pedigree – she was the daughter of Edward the Exile and his wife, Agatha. Edward was the son of Edmund II, usually known as Ironside, King of England in 1016; Edward’s grandfather was, therefore, Æthelred II (the Unready) and his uncle was Edward the Confessor, England’s king from 1042 until 1066. Such valuable royal blood meant she would never be allowed to pursue a life of seclusion in a convent.

When his father, Edmund II, was murdered in 1016, Edward and his younger brother Edmund were sent into exile on the Continent by England’s new king, Cnut. It is thought that Cnut intended that they would be killed once they had left English soil, but the boys were protected by Olof, King of Sweden, and sent on to safety in Kiev, where his daughter Ingegerd was wife of the ruling prince, Jaroslav the Wise. Edmund died sometime between 1046 and 1054, having married the unnamed daughter of a Hungarian king. Edward was also married, in c.1043, to Agatha, whose origins are uncertain: she may have been a daughter of Jaroslav; however, it is possible she was the daughter of Luidolf, Margrave of West Friesland and therefore a relative of Emperor Heinrich III.

Margaret, the eldest of three children, was born in either 1045 or 1046; her sister, Christina, was born around 1050 and her brother Edgar, the Ætheling, was born sometime between 1052 and 1056. The family might have spent their whole lives in European exile, were it not for Edward the Confessor lacking an heir to the English throne; although Edward was married to Edith Godwinson, the couple remained childless. Sometime in 1054 King Edward sent an embassy to Edward the Exile, to bring him back to England as ætheling, the heir to the throne. The family did not travel immediately, possibly because Agatha was pregnant with Edgar, and it was not until 1057 that they finally arrived in England, having journeyed in a ship  provided by Emperor Heinrich III. (Read more.)

King Malcolm welcomes St. Margaret
Wedding of Saint Margaret
The Family of King Malcolm and Queen St. Margaret


"America Will Never be a Socialist Country"

Michael Knowles analyzes the State of the Union address.

From Frontpage Mag:
 “America will never be a socialist country,” President Trump boldly told a room of socialists dressed in their Klan whites. The State of the Union began with a living history lesson. It ended with a call to greatness. The American past, present and future appeared before a weary nation, from the soldiers who braved the beaches of Normandy, racing under the shadow of bullets and shells, to Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two men to walk on the moon, to the police officers and ICE agents fighting terrorism and illegal alien crime today, to the children defying disease and bullying who will define our tomorrows. And President Trump asked the members of a Democrat House majority and a watching nation catching a glimpse of the truth past the blurry filters of the mainstream media, whether they wanted more.

Obama often told Americans who they were. Tonight, President Trump actually showed us.

The State of the Union was a celebration of ordinary heroism, from the police officer dashing under fire to stop a Neo-Nazi killer massacring Jews in a Pittsburgh house of worship to the Holocaust survivor helping the American G.I. who liberated his concentration camp back into his seat. It honored three generations, the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of a loving couple murdered by an illegal alien in Reno and an immigrant fighting sex trafficking with the ICE.

And it was also a call to champion the policies that honor their heroism, from resisting the modern Nazis of Iran, who like the Hitlerian hordes plot the mass murder of millions of Jews, to building a wall that ends the abuse of Americans through an endless traffic in illegal aliens, and in crime and violence.

And the Democrats met these calls to courage and decency with stone faces and folded hands. There were smirks, boos and paper shuffling. Once again, new lows of unemployment for African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans were met with sullen silence. The Democrats even boycotted the call to choose national greatness because they don’t believe that America is or should be great. And yet the State of the Union was a celebration of the legacy of that greatness. And a call for more. But it was also a warning not to take that greatness for granted.

“The Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our Government, protect our homeland, and secure our southern border,” President Trump warned. Everyone knows are that the odds are it won’t. President Trump made an extensive and compelling case for immigration enforcement and the border wall. He used the First Step Act, a measure that helps criminals and is popular with Democrats, as a build up to a call to cooperate on immigration security. But there were no takers. Debra Bissell, and Heather and Madison, three generations of American women traumatized by a horrifying illegal alien crime had been invited as guests of the First Family only to be met with blank stares and cold denial.

The same Democrats who wore white to celebrate feminism remained silent in the face of these strong women who are still dealing with the aftermath of the horrifying murder of Gerald and Sharon David.

Trump showed the damage that illegal migration does to American families, to working class wages, to the Americans who become addicted and die of the illegal drugs being smuggled across the border, to the chronic crime wave caused by MS-13 and its ruthless members. But the Democrats still have no interest whatsoever in securing the border with a wall or doing anything to stop illegal migration. (Read more.)

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Banning Infanticide

From The National Review:
It is worth examining why Sasse’s legislation, which now has 42 Republican cosponsors, is neither redundant nor unnecessary. Most important, there is no existing federal law that prohibits the denial of medical care to infants born alive in the context of abortion, which is what this bill would do. 
In 2002, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) passed Congress by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President George W. Bush, establishing that the terms “person,” “human being,” “child,” and “individual” in federal law include every infant born alive, even after an abortion. But that’s all it did — it instituted no penalties for physicians who neglected to care for such infants. 
That’s what Sasse’s bill is for, enacting an explicit requirement that newborns be afforded “the same degree” of care that “any other child born alive at the same gestational age” would receive. As of 2014, only 26 states had some kind of statute mandating care for infants born alive after an attempted abortion, and as of 2016, only six states required even reporting such births at all. What’s more, those state laws can be changed to remove existing protections. 
New York’s Reproductive Health Act, for example, explicitly repealed section 4164 of the state’s public-health law, which had stated that children born alive during an abortion received all the protections of state law. A proposed bill in Virginia would downgrade the requirement that physicians care for born-alive infants from a “must” to a “shall” standard, a legally significant distinction. And, of course, it was that same bill that prompted the comments of Virginia governor Ralph Northam, who appeared to suggest that infants could be allowed to die in some circumstances — the remarks that spurred Sasse to call for unanimous consent on his legislation. (Read more.)

Leadership is Love

From The Catholic Gentleman:
Leadership is love because both love and leadership require sacrifices. A sacrifice is the unconditional gift of a good or service rightly belonging to the one who freely gives for the sake of others. Sacrifices cost something of value for the sake of something even more valuable. Love is a sacrifice, since it wills the good of others for their sake, not for one’s own. Leadership is a sacrifice, since it costs time, effort, and energy, among other tangible and intangible things, to pursue the good of others for their sake, not for one’s own.

The efficient cause of leadership and love transact as a sacrifice. Leadership is a sacrificial service rendered out of love. Simply put, leadership is love. Look no further for evidence than to the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, who died on the cross out of love to lead us back into himself. Christ tells us there is no greater act of love than for one to lay down his life for his friends. I know this from firsthand experience. Army service is known for exemplary leadership, which in turn is a sacrifice. If my time-honored profession has taught me any good lesson worth sharing, it is to deem honorable the men and women who offered the fullest measure of devotion to love by sacrificing their lives for their friends. Their love leads others to follow.

Yet, it may be argued that some sacrifices are done for sake of duty. Is it not the Christian’s ultimate duty to love? Christ commanded that we must love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Sacrifices made for the sake of duty are made for the sake of love. If leadership is a sacrifice made of duty, than essentially it is made of love. Put simply, leadership is love. (Read more.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Cult of Reason

The Feast of  Reason at Notre Dame on November 10, 1793
From Nobility:
As you know, the Jacobins were a kind of communists of their time. “On another float they carried a dove with which he was said to have played in prison and which gave him one of his last joys. A band of Jacobins and unspeakably low level women continuously shouted: Down with the aristocrats! Long live the republic! Long live the guillotine!” One sees how well they understand the connections between things. They hold a party in which at the same time they profane hosts, break statues and shout “down with aristocracy!” and “long live the guillotine!” All this to adore the new god. Yet when you talk to many Catholics about aristocracy, they say, “Oh, I don’t know what this has to do with religion.” The revolutionaries know. The devil knows. The bandit knows; the Catholic does not. This is how miserable things are. 
“Then came the profaners of churches with the insignia of the Bacchae and barbarism of demons, drinking and getting drunk using the sacred vessels and chalices. They also brought in a donkey with a bishop’s miter on his head, a rain cover on his back, and a crucifix and a copy of the Old and New Testament hanging from his neck. The donkey also wore a stole. Behind the donkey came three representatives of the Convention: Fouché, Colot d’Herbois and Laporte (taking on devout airs ‘to stimulate laughter’) under a canopy like the one used in the procession of the Blessed Sacrament. A military escort closed the procession, which went through many streets all the way to Terror square.
There they had erected, on a platform, a new altar on which the bust of the new god Chalier was respectfully placed to be worshiped. They formed a circle around the altar, from which came, one after another, each of the Commission representatives. [One by one] they bent their knees and said a prayer in the new religion of the murdered one. This prayer [by Colot d’Herbois, one of the main bandits of the French Revolution] said: “god and savior, look at the nation prostrated at thy feet, asking thee forgiveness for the impious crime that ended the life of one of the most virtuous of men. Thou wilt be avenged! We swear thee by the republic!” (Read more.)