Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Woodstock Illusion

From TFP:
The myth of Woodstock claimed the event was all about a new age of freedom, love and peace. Without the restraints of Christian morals and social structures, people could “imagine” a perfect world and live together in harmony without property, authority and God. However, as in all utopic fantasies, reality crashes through the illusions. A Woodstock world is a nightmare. Indeed, without courtesy and propriety, society becomes full of friction and discord. When all is spontaneous and undefined, there can be no certainties and convictions. Where there is no restraint, the tyranny of unbridled passions rules.

Woodstock represented what America would eventually become—a broken and dysfunctional society. It shows what happens when “you do your own thing” without self-restraint. Thus, the logic of Woodstock makes the cancelation of its anniversary predictable. Woodstock 50 failed because a Woodstock society cannot function in the real world. The festival could not imagine itself into existence. In a do-your-own-thing world, Woodstock 50 suffered from the difficulty of generating interest beyond those things that absorb the individual lives of people. (Read more.)
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No Parish for Real Men

From Crisis:
Two years after the USCCB convocation and one year after the homosexual sex abuse scandal, the Church is doubling down on feminization. Cardinal Reinhard Marx of the nearly defunct German Catholic Church wonders if lay people should be allowed to preach at Mass – a practice already allowed in some German parishes, albeit improperly. The Amazon Synod is being led by prelates (principally Germans) who are proponents of female deacons, if not women-priests. 
Recently, the Jesuit review America published an article bemoaning the fact that lay women aren’t allowed to preach at Mass. The article was written by a woman who was, at one time, allowed to deliver homilies in her parish on a regular basis. The article’s author admitted: “Of the 13 lay preachers in our parish, 12 were women.” Feminization anyone? The article also notes that Archbishop Rembert Weakland readily allowed lay women and lay men to deliver sermons during Mass, somehow omitting the fact that Rembert was disowned by his own diocese for his notorious homosexual affairs. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Afternoon Tea at The Franklin

From Country Life:
For those lucky enough to have tickets to the Victoria & Albert museum’s Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition, there’s another treat in store, waiting just around the corner at The Franklin. This boutique hotel has launched a Dior-inspired afternoon tea, to be enjoyed immediately before or after the exhibition — or just for its own sake. 
Monsieur Dior himself would surely have approved of The Franklin’s discreet and elegant townhouse setting, monochrome Anouska Hempel-designed interiors and contrasting, beautiful floral displays, brought in especially for the experience. He was, after all, particularly fond of flowers and garden design. 
Just like the blooms, the set menu is unashamedly feminine and French-inspired. The brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Alfredo Russo, you’ll start with delicate finger sandwiches, savoury éclairs and, our favourite, a choux pastry profiterole, stuffed with foie gras and strawberry jam. It’s been named ‘the train to Montecatini’, a reference to Dior’s rumoured last meal of an entire foie gras. 
The nostalgia continues into the sweet course — a selection of beautifully curated, sugary treats that look almost too good to eat. Almost. 
The hotel brought in luxury event planners La Fête to help with the staging; petits four sit pretty in an empty make-up palette; a concoction of peanut sponge and chocolate cream is served with vaporised Calvados, housed in a replica J’Adore perfume bottle; lemon pink macaroons preside over the whole thing from miniature Louis French chairs. (Read more.)
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The Middle East is Losing More and More Christians

From FSSPX News:
“The Middle East is being emptied of its Christians,” lamented the Maronite bishops gathered in a meeting from June 10-15, 2019 at the patriarchal headquarters in Bkerke, northeast of Beirut, Lebanon. With the exception of Lebanon, the other countries in the region are experiencing a “hemorrhaging” of Christians. (Read more.)

From The Christian Post:
Brunson is the evangelical Presbyterian missionary to Turkey, who spent two years in a Turkish prison. He was falsely accused of being part of a failed coup attempt against that country’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The charges against Brunson resulting in his unjust imprisonment triggered a war of words and diplomatic struggles between Turkey and the U.S. Government. 
North Carolina U.S. Senator Thom Tillis visited Brunson in prison and diligently worked and advocated for the missionary’s release from prison. Since Brunson was not only an American citizen, but a North Carolinian, the Christian Action League initiated and lobbied for a resolution from the North Carolina House and a Senatorial statement from the state Senate, calling on Turkish officials to free Brunson. The House passed the resolution unanimously, and 48 out of 50 Senate members signed the Senatorial statement. (Currently, the North Carolina Senate does not adopt resolutions, but only Senatorial statements.) 
Brunson made his remarks about the coming of persecution for American Christians during an interview at the Western Conservative Summit, held every year by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. (Read more.) 
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The Technology of Kindness

From Scientific American:
Yet technology, and the Internet in particular, are not inherently antisocial. They can sap our empathy, but used differently, they could become a world-sized magnifying glass for our better angels. Many corners of the Internet already allow people to broaden their empathy and share collective goodwill. Researchers are pinpointing the ingredients of positive technology. If they become the norm, the future of life online will be kinder than its past. Internet platforms must heed this evidence, and their users must demand them to do so. 
People’s ability to connect is the glue that holds our culture together. By thinning out our interactions and splintering our media landscape, the Internet has taken away the common ground we need to understand one another. Each of us is becoming more confident about our own world just as it drifts farther from the worlds of others. Empathy requires us to understand that even people who disagree with us have a lived experience as deep as our own. But in the fractured landscape of social media, we have little choice but to see the other side as obtuse, dishonest or both. Unless we reverse this trend and revive empathy, we have little chance of mending the tears in our social fabric. (Read more.)
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Monday, August 19, 2019

Sunflowers in Art

Sunflowers by Monet
Sunflowers by Van Gogh
From Victorian Trading Company Blog:
Arguably best known for his sunflowers, there was one Vincent van Gogh thought better. That painter was Claude Monet. In a letter to his brother, van Gogh wrote: “[Paul] Gauguin was telling me the other day that he had seen a picture by Claude Monet of sunflowers in a large Japanese vase, very fine, but – he likes mine better. I don’t agree.” Will you? For many Victorian artists captured the blooms to canvas and each is as unique as the flowers themselves. (Read more.)
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Not Just Epstein


From The Conservative Review:
 Sex trafficking, especially of children, is a diabolical scourge that still affects the modern world, but the depth and scope of this evil are worse than you probably imagine, South African filmmaker and anti-trafficking activist Jaco Booyens told LevinTV host Mark Levin on Sunday night’s episode of Life, Liberty & Levin on Fox News.

Booyens recalled how his sister became a victim of sex trafficking when they were growing up in South Africa, which made the issue very personal for him. “I didn’t jump on a bandwagon by reading a book or a movement that I felt led to,” the filmmaker explained. “It was dire.”

Booyens’ sister — now Ilonka Deaton — was trafficked through corporate South Africa over the course of six years, he explained. He added that while his sister eventually came home, “It was a long, very painful journey that seldom has that outcome.”

“What is the typical outcome?” Levin asked.

“Death. The average lifespan of a child that’s trafficked is seven years. Because with it comes addiction, physical abuse, emotional abuse; suicide rate is through the ceiling, because how do you get out?” Booyens explained.

Shockingly, the United States leads the world with the lowest average age of trafficking victims: 12, Booyens says. He also says notes that an child trafficking victim in the United States will bring a pimp $200,000 to $250,000 per year tax-free: “Now you have a real problem — a real problem. Because now, like I say, the demons come out. Because there’s so many takers.”

And those takers come from all walks of life. While Booyens said that he’s glad that the high-profile arrest of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein put attention on the issue of sex trafficking, he has a big problem with the what he sees as a widespread assumption that supporting the sex slave market is only a problem among the ultra-wealthy. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, Epstein has died. From The Daily Wire:
"Six days on a suicide watch, prison officials reportedly removed it. Prison officials, guided by who? What self-respecting psychiatrist would say, 'okay, he's no longer suicidal,'" Siegel concluded. "There was evidence on July 23rd that he may have done something to his neck, or someone did ... suddenly six days later he waves his hand, says he's fine, and he's put in an area where ultimately he's unobserved — because as you know, people fall asleep and they falsify records reportedly." (Read more.)
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A Secret History of Royal Palaces

As usual, what they say about Marie-Antoinette is not true. The Queen bathed not once a month but several times a week. She was known for her meticulous cleanliness and she made Louis bathe frequently, too. From History:
A 1675 report offered this assessment of the Louvre Palace in Paris: “On the grand staircases” and “behind the doors and almost everywhere one sees there a mass of excrement, one smells a thousand unbearable stenches caused by calls of nature which everyone goes to do there every day.” 
According to historian Alison Weir, author of Henry VIII: The King and his Court, the fastidious Henry VIII “waged a constant battle against the dirt, dust, and smells that were unavoidable when so many people lived in one establishment,” which was fairly unusual for the time. The king slept on a bed surrounded by furs to keep small creatures and vermin away, and visitors were warned not to “wipe or rub their hands upon none arras [tapestries] of the King’s whereby they might be hurted.” (Read more.)
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Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Art of Ilya Repin

From Apollo:
Sofia Alexeyevna ruled Russia as regent with iron hand from 1682 to 1689. After Peter I came of age to take the throne, she withdrew to the Novodevichy Convent; ten years later, when the tsar was absent from the country, members of the Russian military attempted to reinstate her. This historical portrait by Repin depicts the would-be tsarina a year after this rebellion had been crushed, with the corpse of an insurgent suspended in front of Sophia’s window. (Read more.)
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Motherhood: The Most Stress-Ridden Career

Sometimes it seems like the whole world has conspired to make it harder for mothers. From Intellectual Takeout:
Not only is the unrealistic expectation to facilitate totally risk-free childhoods wearing mothers out and making them an easy target for spectators. Children are going mad being pent up indoors, enclosed in small backyards, plugged into technology and buckled up in seatbelts. This could even be contributing to the rise in ADHD.

It’s a vicious cycle. When we deny our children “the luxury of being unnoticed, of being left alone,” we surely are heightening the risks of things like childhood obesity, anxiety, screen addictions, depression and loneliness. Creating a restricted, censored and cottonwool-wrapped climate for our children is far more likely to give rise to these things than if we allow a little risk-taking.

Here in Australia, it is illegal across every state to leave a child unattended in a car for any length of time. In Victoria, my home state, penalties range from fines of $3,690 to up to six months jail time. By law, a parent is committing a crime each time he or she leaves their children in the car in order to do something so simple as pay for fuel.

What if it might be the safer option to leave the kids in the car sometimes? Perhaps there’s a busy road to cross to reach the bakery, or the car park’s full of reversing vehicles to navigate small children through. The situation of leaving a child in a car has been catastrophised to such an extreme that responsible mothers making sensible decisions are in danger of being incarcerated.

And we wonder why so many mums flock back to work soon after having a baby. Or why post-natal depression is on the rise. Why should they take on the doomed-to-failure social prescription for their role, and risk being made into social pariahs at every turn? Especially when their monumental efforts in child-raising otherwise goes largely unrecognised? (Read more.)

From Return to Order:
 The Marxists believe this family vision is an illusion. The family is a source of oppression. Thus, Lewis’ deconstruction of the private family turns it into a den for molestation, abuse, depression, humiliation and loneliness. The family is guilty of social crimes that include gender-straitjacketing, racial programming and instilling bourgeois values.

Indeed, Lewis insists upon The Communist Manifesto and its demand for the “abolition of the family.” She believes that pregnant women become “instruments of production” for men, and children become their property. What makes this exploitation possible is the mother-child bond that creates the illusion that children belong to parents. Lewis’ solution is to turn mothers into “gestators.” Surrogate gestation will create collective responsibility for children and dissolve all into a classless society of equality.

People like Lewis understand the true role of the mother and family in an ordered Christian society. They also understand why destroying maternal and familial bonds is so important to further the aims of today’s post-Marxist revolution. (Read more.)
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The Walsingham Conspiracy and its Martyrs

Yesterday I posted some information about the Walsingham Conspiracy in 1537, when Cromwell's men came to suppress the priory of Walsingham, a house of Augustinian Canons and to close down the shrine (from British History Online: 'Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Walsingham', in A History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2, ed. William Page (London, 1906), pp. 394-401.) 
The priory of Walsingham had a special hold on Norfolk, even in places far remote from the town. The concourse of pilgrims from all parts of England, as well as from over the seas, kept Our Lady of Walsingham vividly in mind. . . . (Read more.)
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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Amazon's 'Lord of the Rings'

From Engadget:
Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings show will stick closely to the canon and history established by Tolkien, a consultant working on the project has revealed. "The Tolkien estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered," Tolkien scholar and series supervisor Tom Shippey told the German Tolkien Society. During this period, Sauron tries to reform Middle-earth for the better but falls into evil, becoming a powerful and oppressive ruler. "Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same." 
Shippey points out that although the broad strokes of the history of the Second Age are established, there are plenty of unanswered questions about the events of the period, such as what Sauron did after the fall of Morgoth. Amazon can take creative license to create its own story within this history, as long as it doesn't contradict Tolkien's writings. 
The Tolkien estate maintains power of veto over any content in the show, Shippey says, and is willing to nix anything that doesn't fit with Tolkien's vision. The First Age and the Third Age of Middle-earth (in which the books are set) are both "off-limits" to the TV show, so don't expect to see hobbits, Gondorians or many familiar faces in the new adaptation. (Read more.)
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Not Invited

From Fox News:
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's friends have "stopped inviting" the couple to dinner parties because they "frown upon their PDAs," insiders have claimed. According to the Mail on Sunday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex make a point of sitting together at events — even if their host has seated them separately. The paper reports that Duchess Meghan purposefully wants to break long-standing party etiquette as she considers it too "exclusive" and "traditional." Along with ignoring the seating plans, insiders have also claimed that the Duchess is openly affectionate with her husband on these occasions which causes Prince Harry's friends to "roll their eyes" at her "American ways." What's more, Harry's inner circle has "stopped inviting her to dinner" over the "frowned upon" PDAs (public displays of affection) at the dinner table. (Read more.)
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Armin Wegner

From The Irish Times:
What fascinated me about Wegner was not that he was witness to the attempted destruction of an entire race, or that he wanted to photograph such unspeakable horror, but that he had the bravery to do so. I wondered how many of us would have risked our lives to speak out as he had. Wegner continued to advocate for Armenians after the war, and at the Paris Peace Conference he lobbied Woodrow Wilson to create a sovereign Armenian state. The Independent Republic of Armenia was formed by the Treaty of Sèvres in 1918 but lasted only two years before being conquered by the Soviet Red Army. It would be another 71 years before it gained independence again. Wegner also testified at the trial of Soghomon Tehlirian, an Armenian accused of killing Talat Pasha, one of the instigators of the genocide. Partly due to Wegner’s evidence, Tehlirian was found not guilty on grounds of temporary insanity. 
That day in Taney Church, what came as a surprise was the familiarity the non-Armenians had with the circumstances of the genocide. It is hardly surprising that the invited guests would have thoroughly researched the topic, but it was a new experience for me. Last year I published Anyush, a novel set against the backdrop of the Armenian Genocide, and of all the readers’ comments I received, by far the most common was: “I never knew about this”. 
Most people of my generation will remember the genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. More recently we’ve watched the Syrian tragedy unfold. Thanks to Armin Wegner, people of his generation knew about the Armenian Genocide. Because of his photographs and the accounts written by American ambassador Henry Morgenthau, news of the Medz Yeghern or Great Crime spread without the help of mobile phones, communication satellites or the internet. Donations flooded in to help Armenian refugees in the camps at Deir al Zor in the Syrian desert, but to little effect. Of the 45,000 Armenians who made it to Deir al Zor, only 40 remained alive at the end of the war. (Read more.)
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Friday, August 16, 2019

Llanthony Secunda Manor

 

An old manor house is for sale. From Bristol Live:
With spiral stone staircases, flagstone floors, crafted wooden doors and ornate arched windows, you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd either gone back in time or wandered onto the set of a Harry Potter film if you walked into Llanthony Secunda Manor. With a great dining hall as a well as a library, it's a historic building made modern without losing any of its ancient charm or character, and it's on the market for £875,000. The former grange farm was built more than 700 years ago, in around 1205, and is believed to have been owned by Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536-41. (Read more.)

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Not an Outrage

From Townhall:
Earlier this week, ICE conducted a sweep of illegal immigrants in Mississippi, arresting nearly 700 individuals. This development has been covered as a tragic, outrageous, anguish-causing, "secretive" affront by many in the press -- with images of tearful children, who were temporarily separated from their parents, driving much of the coverage. This appeal to emotion sidesteps any serious discussion of whether the "textbook" raid was appropriate or not. Some thoughts: 
(1) I believe that interior immigration enforcement should (and generally does) prioritize detaining and removing illegal immigrants who have also committed violent crimes, and those who have been deported previously. I also believe that ICE and CPB should (and generally do) attempt to execute their duties with an eye toward compassion and humanity, particularly when children are affected. Nobody likes seeing frightened kids crying. That being said, enforcing the law against people whose "only" crime involves breaking our immigration statutes is not out-of-bounds. Adults who knowingly violate US sovereignty do not get a free pass to live and work openly in America, entirely without fear of deportation. The federal government must -- at least occasionally -- signal that yes, they will enforce the laws on the books. This includes enforcement against people who are "merely" living and working illegally in the United States. To cease this type of enforcement altogether would be irresponsible, and would serve as yet another incentive for increased illegal immigration (in addition to radical Democratic proposals). This, in turn, would encourage more people to put themselves, and often children, at risk in order to make the extremely treacherous journey to America. How is that humane? (Read more.)

From Aleteia:
At the 137th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, which concluded August 8 in Minneapolis, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced new initiatives and gave updates on the hundreds of projects the Knights are involved in, both nationally and internationally. 
One initiative he announced is the Knights’ plan to support refugees at the US-Mexico border. “As Catholic men and family men, we are all deeply concerned for the plight of the refugees who have fled their homelands into ours. Their need is great — but the compassion of our Brother Knights is greater still,” Anderson said. While recognizing that individual councils close to the border have already responded with food, water, clothing and other needs, Anderson said that the organization as a whole will begin supporting these efforts. 
“We are prepared to commit at least $250,000 immediately in humanitarian aid for refugees to the Southern Border,” he said. “We are prepared to expand it, with additional resources, to help those in refugee camps in every border state — including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.” (Read more.)
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Character in Acting

From Chronicles:
This brings us to Benjamin Franklin, the subject under review. Two new studies, both inspired at least in part by Yale's monumental edition-in-progress of Franklin's papers, have recently appeared. One is the work of a seasoned English student of 18th-century America, Esmond Wright, who has undertaken the first comprehensive biography of Franklin since Carl Van Doren's appeared in 1938. The other is the work of a gifted amateur, Williard Randall, who has focused upon Franklin's strange relationship with his bastard son, William. Wright's study is judicious and informed, although he has overlooked some of the best Franklin scholarship of the past several decades. Randall's is slanted and riddled with errors—yet it is a gripping tale in which William Franklin, as the last royal governor of New Jersey, emerges as a sympathetic and tragic-heroic figure. 
Wright virtually ignores William, which is easy enough to do; except for a brief but impressive fling at soldiering, William's only permitted character until he was in his early 30's was that of the dutiful son. In that capacity, as Randall demonstrates, he was extremely helpful to a father who rarely gave him due recognition for what he did. (It was the son, for instance, not the father, who discovered that lightning moves from the earth to the heavens instead of the other way around, but Benjamin took credit for the discovery.) Then in 1762 William obtained, through his own connections, the appointment as governor of New Jersey. His character was now that of faithful servant to the King, and he played the role with great courage when the movement for independence came—suffering privation and imprisonment as a consequence, as well as never being forgiven by his father. 
Both authors attempt to cope with the central and unavoidable problem in studying Benjamin Franklin: On the basis of the record as well as the judgments of contemporaries, Franklin appears to have been not one character but a multiplicity of them. His first important role is that of Poor Richard, the apostle of such bourgeois virtues as thrift, frugality, industry, honesty, independence, and the pursuit of wealth. 
Then comes the rationalist, inventor, and man of science, who demonstrates that lightning is electricity, invents the stove that bears his name, and advances sophisticated observations and theories about the movement of storms and the course and effects of the Gulf Stream. Next he has considerable success as a politician, gaining power as a demagogic champion of the people against the privileged few, while simultaneously becoming wealthy as a sycophantic placeman. (William indicated how far his character had departed from his father's when he remarked a few years later that "it is a most infallible symptom of the dangerous state of liberty when the chief men of a free country show a greater regard to popularity than to their own judgment.") (Read more.)
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Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Affair of the Necklace

The diamond necklace was commissioned by Louis XV for his mistress, Madame du Barry, from the crown jewellers, Boehmer and Bassenge. With the death of the King, the necklace was not paid for, almost bankrupting the jewellers and leading to various unsuccessful schemes to secure a sale to Queen Marie-Antoinette.

On August 15, 1785, the "Affair of the Necklace" broke upon France, just as Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were about to assist at the Mass of the Assumption, the patronal solemnity of the realm. Cardinal Louis de Rohan, who was supposed to offer the Mass, was publicly arrested in his pontifical robes for his part in the debacle. The Diamond Necklace scandal was one of the events which precipitated the French Revolution of 1789 and the fall of the monarchy. After perusing the internet I think it becomes necessary to affirm once again that Marie-Antoinette, according to several major biographers, was an innocent victim in one of the most sordid intrigues in history. She never sought to possess the necklace. For one thing, the necklace was not to her liking; she preferred light, aerial creations. A few scholars even doubt that Madame du Barry, whom the jewelers had in mind when they originally designed the huge, garish necklace, would have cared for it, her taste being not quite so grotesque as is generally assumed. Also, by 1785 Marie-Antoinette had cultivated simpler tastes; she was very much under the influence of Madame de Polignac, who never wore diamonds. It is known that when Boehmer tried to sell her the necklace, she remarked that France needed ships, not diamonds.

The fault of the King and Queen was in attempting to be too above board in the handling of the proceedings. Instead of trying to settle the disaster quietly, there was a public trial of the Cardinal, for whom Marie-Antoinette harbored resentments. Not only had Cardinal de Rohan rudely infiltrated one of her garden parties, but he had told ribald jokes about Marie-Antoinette's mother. He had many mistresses (including Bonnie Prince Charlie's daughter). He symbolized the worst decadence of the French nobility and the corrupt higher clergy. He was grand almoner of Versailles due to his ancestral prerogatives, but neither the king nor the queen had any use for him. The scandal rid them of him, but at a very high price. They could never have known at the onset the cast of bizarre characters with whom the Cardinal was involved, who were brought into the light of day. The Queen's name was dragged through the mud by being associated with such people in the gazettes, people who were complete strangers to her. Biographer Maxime de la Rocheterie believed that even if the king and queen had tried to suppress the scandal, the results would have been disastrous nevertheless.

How did it all come about? Through a woman who lied. Each lie told by Madame de la Motte was more outrageous than the last, yet individuals motivated by lust or ambition or greed believed her tales. She told people that she was an intimate friend of the Queen, who had never even heard of her. The swindle was tragic for all involved, especially for the innocent Marie-Antoinette, for it confirmed in the popular imagination all the salacious gossip which portrayed her as a loose, extravagant woman.

For details of the Diamond Necklace Scandal, read my book Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars.
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They Will Still Hate You

So do not give in. From Townhall:
Remember, everything the mainstream media tells you at the behest of the liberal elite is a lie and a scam designed to increase their power and wealth by diminishing your power and wealth. Global warming? It’s such a crisis that they need to fly their private jets to fabulous resorts to discuss how you must trade in your Ford Expedition for a Schwinn and how millions of people like you who support their families in the petroleum industry better learn to code. And now the crisis of two left-friendly mutants out of 335 million people means you need to be disarmed. Oh, and you’re also racists so you should be disenfranchised too. 
Weird how the liberal solution to every problem is always to make you less free. 
One of their tactics is exhaustion - to exhaust the weak among us and get them to say, “Gosh, if we just give in we can put this unpleasantness behind us.” But you can’t put anything behind you with these people, because there is nothing to put behind you. It’s all a lie. You are not a racist. Your guns won’t hurt anyone but criminals and aspiring tyrants. And the leftists know it. They know they are spewing skeevy slanders, and if you give in on this one - handing over your AR-15 and hanging your head over prejudices you don’t possess - the libs and their newsprint lackeys will just club you with another set of grievances that you can only atone for through further submission. (Read more.)

From The Daily Wire:
President Trump’s historic speech against the mass shooting epidemics lays the first collective brick on the pathway of a national preventing violent extremism program. Addressing the nation on Monday August 5th, 2019, President Trump declared that “these sinister ideologies must be defeated.” 
The sinister ideologies (white supremacism, Neo-Nazi supremacists, Antifa, Islamist extremism) in many ways mirror the frameworks of cults and gangs. While the latter has often been confined to specific demographics or otherwise contained in a pipeline, ideological extremism bleeds through and recruits every vulnerable mind through either recruitment or self-radicalization. The president’s defining speech sets the stage for a national bipartisan conversation on extremism, arriving with urgency at the heels of another shooting spree over the weekend. 
On Saturday, August 3rd, a gunman opened fire in a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, killing at least 20 people including the parents of a two-month whose parents used their bodies to shield their newborn. The El Paso gunman posted a manifesto online shortly before the attack, not unlike the New Zealand Christchurch shooter who walked into a mosque and destroyed the lives of peaceful worships, all while live steaming the attack in some disjointed reality in which he imagined himself a hero. The second attack took place in Dayton, Ohio, which killed at least 9 people. Both attacks come within a week of a shooting spree at a garlic festival in Northern California that took the lives of three people, including a six-year-old boy. 
Ideological drivers behind the attacks are complex but both pushed the theory of acceleration, which looks to force society toward the brink of destruction in what can be classified as the war of extremes. Yet, outright ideological extremists launching domestic terror attacks aren’t alone in that drive toward annihilation. (Read more.) 

From Hugh Hewitt in the Washington Post:
The aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, mass murders, both rooted in the malaise and bigotry of our online age on both the fringe left and right, did not summon forth a Kennedy. Every single Democrat missed his or her opportunity to step up, as RFK did, and instead stepped in it, as I noted in Friday’s Post “Pundit Power Rankings."

Indeed, almost all of the Democrats chose in this week following a weekend of horrors to pivot their main message of the campaign trail from “Trump and Russia” to “Trump and racism.” At least five of the Democratic candidates went so far as to brand President Trump as a white supremacist. This is repulsive rhetoric — the sort of speech intended to marginalize and exile. It is “basket of deplorable” on steroids, and it says to every Trump supporter: “You, too, are a white supremacist.” I discussed the actual number of “white supremacists” with Hillary Clinton on my radio show in November 2017.

“Of the 62.9 million people who voted for President Trump, do you have a number in your mind that you think are actually white nationalist racists of that 62.9 million, a real number?” I asked. “I don’t think there are 100,000 in any given state. I don’t think there are a half million in the United States. Do you disagree with me? Do you think there are more than a half million, you know, honest-to-God white nationalists running around the United States?”

“Probably not, no,” Clinton responded. “But I think there are people who are unfortunately kind of reverting back to rather virulent attitudes about race in part because I think that it’s become ‘politically acceptable,’ no longer politically correct to try to overcome our own feelings that often block us from seeing each other as fellow human beings. So no, the hardcore people, I agree with you, I don’t think that is a very large number.” Clinton was right. (Read more.)
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The Nature of Marital Happiness in “Pride & Prejudice”

From The Imaginative Conservative:
Elizabeth is pursued by three men. The handsome Wickham flirts with her, drawing her in to a false image of himself. Slowly, she apprehends his true character and is revolted by him. Elizabeth’s superficial youngest sister, Lydia, with visions of red-coated officers dancing in her head, falls for the glistering Wickham, bringing near ruin to her family. 
The unctuous Mr. Collins makes Elizabeth an offer of marriage that is so completely focused on his reasons for desiring marriage and why he has chosen her. For him, it is simply a matter of what he deserves, without consideration of her deserts or desires. Him, she flatly refuses. But Charlotte, in keeping with her beliefs about marriage, put herself in the way of this wife-seeking buffoon, fulfilling the silver casket’s inscription, getting as much as they each deserve. 
Charlotte’s own reflections on her situation may excuse her self-inflicted life sentence. “Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want. This preservative she had now obtained; and at the age of twenty-seven, without having ever been handsome, she felt all the good luck of it.” 
Elizabeth’s third contestant in the game of love is the misunderstood and brooding Mr. Darcy. It is only through the gradual unveiling of his character that she comes to see that he, who at first seemed lackluster lead, is the one willing to “give and hazard all he hath” for her love and thus he wins her heart—and hand. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Neutral Tones And Dynamic Patterns

From Haute Residence:
Once their sons were old enough to leave home to launch their respective college years and careers, these empty nesters were ready to make a move as well. Their previous home and all of its furnishings had served the family well, but it was time for a fresh start. First acquisitions for the two-story, 4,178-square-foot home, were a pair of one-of-kind Louis-XVI, stainless steel chairs with tempered glass seats, that were prominently placed in the formal living room. This set the mood for this vintage-meets-modern inspired home. Hand-scraped walnut wood floors are featured throughout the home. Dark wood shutters, curved archways, and walls accented with pillars are among the touches that tie-in with family home back in Columbia. 
Fusing traditional components with plans for future, commissioned contemporary artworks, presents challenges, but introducing hand-selected, high-quality lighting, furnishings and accessories, contributes to a cohesiveness that helps blend the two worlds together, the old and the new. (Read more.)

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The Suicide of the West

From The Federalist:
With the destruction of the family, the church, and the community, the reasons people have traditionally had for their very existence are in danger of receding into the past. And the outcome is predictable: isolation, depression, anxiety, despondency, drug abuse, and death. 
When we talk about gun violence, just about no one talks about these root causes. It is not as if we haven’t had large numbers of powerful semi-automatic weapons in this country for many decades. In fact, when I was in high school, my classmates regularly kept rifles in their truck gun racks in the school parking lot. 
In light of these facts, the only sensible question to ask is, what has changed? Instead, politicians and pundits ask all the wrong questions. Do we have too many guns? (We always have.) Are video games and movies too violent? (They always have been.) Do we need more laws? (We have more than we can keep track of.) (Read more.)
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Captive Nuns in Anglo-Saxon England

From Casting Light Upon the Shadow:
A noble and pious occupation. These were wealthy women, and no doubt lived comfortably. But safely? Not always. These women belonged to prestigious royal houses, and there are a few instances which prove that being an abbess, or nun, or merely a noblewoman living in an abbey, was to be vulnerable. Yes, such places were raided by invaders, but sometimes the perpetrators came from a little closer... 
I've been looking into this subject in preparation for my new book - details much later - so I'll save any analysis for that. But here, in case you don't know the stories, are three examples of high profile abduction of nuns: 
The first of these cases involved the family of Alfred the Great. When Alfred succeeded his elder brother to the throne, that brother had left a - presumably very young - son, Æthelwold. With hindsight, it was probably a good job that Alfred took the throne, and even though the 'Viking' wars were still raging when Alfred died, he left the kingdom of Wessex in the very safe hands of his son, Edward the Elder. 
By this stage, Æthelwold was a grown man, and decided to make his own bid for the throne, with the aid of the Northumbrian 'Vikings'. Initially, though, Æthelwold took his forces to Wimborne, and holed up there with a nun whom he had kidnapped, stating that he would live there or die. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the woman had been taken 'without the king's permission and contrary to the bishops' orders - for she had been consecrated a nun.' (Read more.)
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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

10 Amazing Medieval Buildings

From The Travel:
During its history of around 800 years, La Conciergerie has had many purposes. At one point or another, it has served as a royal residence, a courthouse, and even a prison. During the French Revolution, the former palace was primarily used as a place of detention, and it was here that Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned. While touring the building today, you can see the chapel that exists on the site of Marie-Antoinette’s cell. You’ll also discover the original kitchens built under King John the Good, as well as the Guards Room and Hall of Soldiers. (Read more.)
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Americans Have Become Fratricidal

From Chad Pecknold at The Catholic Herald:
Augustine criticized everything about Rome, and he never gave any policy proposals to the Senate. He criticized Roman fertility cults which emasculated men, prostituted and debased women, and generally tended to cut people off from the source of life itself — both in natural and supernatural terms. Like Philip Dick’s insight into the human soul in “The Minority Report,” Augustine sees the impulse towards murder as fundamental to Rome’s malaise. Behind all of Rome’s spiraling moral decline, Augustine concludes, stands a primordial murder. Rome was built on a fratricide — Remus and Romulus, the twin brothers who founded Rome, argued over the founding of the city, and Romulus killed his twin brother, and named the city for his own glory (Roma). 
Rome didn’t have a gun problem, but they had the same problem we have in America: we are fratricidal. And that is not owing simply to something in the founding of Rome or America, but a fratricide prior to every nation, namely Cain and Abel whom Augustine calls “archetypes” for the city whose walls are “dripping with a brother’s blood.” (Read more.)

Castro's doxxing is an example of the hate that has taken over. From The Federalist:
On Tuesday, Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, who chairs the presidential campaign of his twin brother Julian, tweeted the names and employers of more than 40 San Antonians who maxed out their donations to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Mind you, the federal maximum is $2,800 per individual, so we’re not talking about nefarious millionaires and billionaires or political activists or public figures. The congressman doxed a bunch of retirees and business owners whose only sin was displeasing Castro.

The congressman claims he is targeting voters who “are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’” First of all, if Castro disagrees with his fellow Texans on whether illegal immigrants are “invaders,” he is free to try to change their minds. Instead he decided to sic every unhinged progressive activist in Texas on these businesses, which, one imagines, employ and serve plenty of people in his community that don’t even care about politics. 
Then again, Castro has no clue if those he singled out support Trump’s rhetoric on immigration or even if they support his position on the borders. Maybe some of his victims maxed out because they’re happy with the unemployment rate or like GOP’s tax policy. Or maybe they see the election as a binary choice and prefer a demagogic president to a leftist congressman who feels comfortable doxing his own constituents? Who knows? Not that it really matters, of course. I may believe that Castro is a lightweight authoritarian, it still doesn’t mean I should post his family’s business addresses on Twitter. 
Democrats like Castro have adopted a political zealotry that rationalizes virtually any tactic they deem is necessary to fight Trump. This, I guess, now includes intimidation. The purpose of tweeting these names wasn’t merely to bully those who have already donated to Trump’s reelection, but to warn anyone in his district thinking about contributing to consider potential retaliatory public attacks on their businesses (or worse.)

Leftist groups have become quite adept at destroying the lives of those who back causes they dislike. Most notably there is the case of former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who had the audacity to dissent from prevailing opinions in California. While Eich can weather such an event, I wonder what the Texans on Castro’s list will do if their businesses go under? All for the sin of expressing a political opinion. It is true, as some readers will no doubt point out, that anyone could look up these names, as they are a matter of public record. That’s a problem, indeed. For one thing, campaign finance laws are meant to keep politicians honest, not to be used as Enemies Lists by politicians. But Castro, who has a far bigger megaphone than most, makes a strong case for expanding anonymity in political speech. (Read more.) 

And the accusation of "racism" has become overused. From The Hill:
When I was Manhattan Borough president and president of the New York City Council, I asked him numerous times to help black or Hispanic groups, and he always came through, many times without publicity. When a hurricane ravished Puerto Rico in the mid 1980s, I asked many big companies to give various forms of assistance — but the problem was how to get all of this aid down to Puerto Rico. I called Donald Trump, and he provided us with a 727 jet to take all of the donated material down to the island, and he didn’t ask for any publicity for that generous act. 
My friend, Rev. Floyd Flake, the minister of the largest black church in Queens, asked for some help for his senior center. Again, I called Donald Trump and he wrote a big check. One day I met an African American woman on the street with her two adorable young kids. She was homeless, and I gave her some money — and then asked Donald to get her into some low-income housing in Queens. He came through, and did so without any fanfare. 
When President Trump recently attacked Congressman Elijah Cummings(D-Md.), he was not doing so because Rep. Cummings is black but because the president is a counter-puncher. And he is right that Cummings has been a congressman for 22 years and that Baltimore, part of which is in his congressional district, is a mess. The city has gotten worse during his tenure: more poverty, more drugs and more crime. The president is honest and doesn’t parse his words, like most politicians, and that drives the media crazy. But his honesty is refreshing, and he is usually right, if not always diplomatic. 
African American and Hispanic unemployment under his presidency is the lowest it has been in 60 years. The president pushed through criminal justice reform and has created empowerment zones that help economically distressed communities — and their poorer residents — through tax incentives and grants. In short, he has done more for minorities in three years than President Obama did in eight, and he deserves credit instead of rebuke. (Read more.)
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Marie Borroff, RIP

From Stephanie Mann:
The penultimate work on our Christendom Academy reading list is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Since I still have my two volume Norton anthology of English literature, I am reading the Marie Borroff translation. J.R.R. Tolkien also translated this poem from its Middle English Midlands dialect. The British Library has the only manuscript that survives (as far as we know now), which also includes three other poems: Patience, Pearl, and Cleanness. Simon Armitage, another recent translator, describes the provenance of this manuscript in the British Library collection:
We know next to nothing about the author of the poem which has come to be called Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It was probably written around 1400. In the early 17th century the manuscript was recorded as belonging to a Yorkshireman, Henry Saville of Bank. It was later acquired by Sir Robert Cotton, whose collection also included the Lindisfarne Gospels and the only surviving manuscript of Beowulf . The poem then lay dormant for over 200 years, not coming to light until Queen Victoria was on the throne, thus leapfrogging the attentions of some of our greatest writers and critics. The manuscript, a small, unprepossessing thing, would fit comfortably into an average-size hand, were anyone actually allowed to touch it. Now referred to as Cotton Nero A X, it is considered not only a most brilliant example of Middle English poetry but also as one of the jewels in the crown of English Literature; it now sits in the British Library under conditions of high security and controlled humidity.
(Read more.)
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Monday, August 12, 2019

The Orléans Collection

 The Regent, Philippe II, duc d’Orléans
The fabled artistic collection assembled by Philippe, the second Duke of Orléans (1674-1723), exemplifies the distinction between celebrity and significance. Consisting of around 500 paintings by Italian masters and, to a lesser extent, Flemish and Dutch artists, it came to be renowned throughout 18th-century Europe as the largest and most impressive ever created by a family that was not a ruling monarchy. When a subsequent family head decided to sell it, to pay off pressing creditors and fund his political ambitions, the interest was huge. The great-grandson of the second duke, Louis-Philippe-Joseph d’Orléans (1747-93), provided a sharp contrast to his forebears. Better known to history as Philippe Égalité, he embraced the cause of the French Revolution and even opposed his cousin, Louis XVI (1774-93), although this did not prevent his own execution during the Reign of Terror. 
By then, arrangements had been set in motion. The sale took place in London in two stages, the first in 1793 and the second five years later. The Orléans collection’s vast scale, together with the economic downturn that resulted from the beginning of war between Revolutionary France and the conservative powers in 1792-93, made conventional auction sales impossible. Instead, a new device, pioneered in London in 1786, was adopted: the private contract sale. On both occasions the Orléans paintings were displayed over an extended period, and stiff admission prices were charged for those wishing to view, creating additional income for the sellers. The attraction of this new system was that it gave potential purchasers more time, and it ensured that the collection was largely sold off. 
The resulting dispersal of the paintings far and wide, and subsequent diaspora through resale, makes this volume particularly important. Intended to accompany a tercentenary exhibition last year at the Museum of Art in New Orleans—the city was named after the duke of Orléans who was regent when it was founded in 1718 in what was then French Louisiana—it provides a permanent guide to the collection and a general reference book.
Most essays adopt a conventional art-historical approach, highlighting the unusually high proportion (around a quarter) of 17th-century Italian paintings, the calculation that a fifth of the entire collection was Venetian, and the high number but relatively modest quality of works by Titian. 
While this clarifies the celebrity rightly enjoyed by the Orléans collection, it does not fully reveal its importance or the significance of the context within which it was assembled. An extended and authoritative essay by Françoise Mardrus on the duke as collector rightly emphasises Orléans’s own artistic interests. An amateur painter, he befriended the well-known painter Antoine Coypel, from whom he subsequently sought advice. Along with other contributors, Mardrus is inclined to attribute the collection’s creation to these personal interests together with the cultural patronage expected of any elite family. 
Occasionally, however, hints of deeper motives can be detected. Here, the issue of chronology—never fully confronted—is crucial. The second duke succeeded his father in 1701. Unlike many aristocratic families, the dynasty had no obvious shortage of money; on the contrary, the Orléans canal provided a secure and large-scale income. Yet the duke’s artistic and architectural activities seem to have remained relatively modest in scale until 1715, at least compared to what followed. (Read more.)
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Nazism, Fascism, and Socialism Are All Rooted in Communism

From The Epoch Times:
Socialism was described in Marx’s theory of the five stages of civilization. After he helped frame the concept of “capitalism” as a society in which people are able to trade freely, he proposed that after capitalism would come the stage of “socialism,” followed by “communism." Socialism was the stage that Vladimir Lenin described as the “state-capitalist monopoly,” in which a dictatorship has seized control of all means of production. The idea was that a communist regime would use the absolute power of the socialist “dictatorship of the proletariat” to destroy all values, all religion, all institutions, and all traditions—which would theoretically lead to the communist “utopia.” (Read more.)
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The Second Sleep

From Willow and Thatch:
During the late Middle Ages, a young priest, Christopher Fairfax, arrives in England’s remote Exmoor village to conduct the funeral of his predecessor. The land around is strewn with ancient artifacts – coins, fragments of glass, human bones – which the old parson used to collect. Did his obsession with the past lead to his death? Has the new priest discovered something kept secret for centuries?

Fairfax becomes determined to discover the truth. Everything he believes – about himself, his faith, and the history of his world – will be tested to destruction.

Publisher Penguin Random House calls the medieval era tale chilling, saying that it is “unlike anything Robert Harris has done before.” Imprint Hutchinson adds that the story is “a genre-bending thriller that explores the devastating potential of misused and oppressive doctrine, whilst challenging our notions of liberty and history. With Harris’ characteristic mastery of suspense and intrigue, the series will paint a world that is both familiar and yet strangely alien, asking what price one must pay to uncover the truth.” (Read more.)
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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Where Marie Antoinette Was Born

 From Royal Central:
What of the room of her birth? Maria Theresia’s rooms at the Hofburg Palace were located in the so-called Leopoldnischer Trakt (Leopoldine Wing) which was built in the 1660s during the reign of Emperor Leopold I after whom the wing takes its name, although the dynasty had occupied the vast complex since the thirteenth century. Today, these rooms are part of the Austrian Chancellery of the Federal President and are therefore not open to the public, with the exception of Nationalfeiertag, on 26 October each year. The Leopoldine Wing connects the much older Swiss Wing – with its famous Swiss Gate – to the Amalienburg and directly faces the Imperial Chancellery. Originally constructed under the Swiss-Italian architect Filberto Lucchese, it was later enlarged by Giovanni Pietro Tencala.

Maria Theresia used these rooms in the Leopoldine Wing primarily during the winter, with the court spending summer at the imperial residences of Schönbrunn and Laxenburg, the former of which she had enlarged considerably under the direction of the Austro-Italian court architect Nicolo Pacassi. The old Favorita – today’s Theresianum – the aptly-named favourite residence of her father Emperor Charles VI, ceased to be used by the Imperial Family following the Emperor’s death. Laxenburg was essentially an imperial holiday home, which Marie Antoinette adored and would forever associate with her Austrian youth.

The Leopoldine Wing is entered by means of the Adlerstiege (Eagle’s Staircase) up to the first rooms of Maria Theresia’s suite, the Bellariazimmer. These contain portraits of the Imperial Family, including Emperor Leopold I – the Emperor of the eponymous Wing – and paintings of Emperor Leopold I’s first wife, Margarita Teresa of Spain and of the future Emperor Charles VI, Marie Antoinette’s maternal grandfather and son of Leopold I by his third wife, Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg.

The second Bellariazimmer bears the strong imprint of Maria Theresia’s family and personality. Again there are portraits of the formidable Empress, her co-regent and eventual successor Joseph II, her husband, Francis Stephen – Holy Roman Emperor Francis I. Stephen since 1745 – and a further portrait of her mother, Empress Elisabeth Christine – together with two pastels by the Swiss-French painter Jean-Etienne Liotard, whose work she enthusiastically patronised. The Rosenzimmer (Rose Room) is so named after the supraporten – the oval oil paintings above the doors – which contain images of flowers. The Pietra Dura Room leads into the magnificent Spiegelsaal, or Mirror Room – which was where the courtiers gathered to await the news of the outcome of Maria Theresia’s labour with this, her fifteenth child. It was into this room that Francis Stephen emerged after the birth to announce the news of the birth of his baby daughter. (Read more.)
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What Comes After

I once would have not believed this but now I know it is true. From TFP:
The Sexual Revolution must be understood as a process, or else it becomes incomprehensible. Those who promote it will never be satisfied with its present phase. They will always be pushing the envelope to the next new aberration. Few people ask, however, what the next new sexual frontier will be. No one should be shocked at what will come next. Nothing should be ruled out. The only exception to this rule is a return to chastity and modesty. Such moral practices are deemed impossible to practice—even though they were observed for centuries during the times of Christian civilization.

Two things are certain. There will be new behavior, and its introduction will be gradual. This revolution always progresses only to the extent that it finds acceptance by society. It thrives by wearing down the resistance of moral structures, habits and practices. It finally seeks to give each new phase the protection of the law. When one aberration is accepted, everyone thinks there will be no further developments. However, this lie is soon unmasked when the next phase is proposed. (Read more.)
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Solid Evidence for the Armenian Genocide

From EurekAlert:
Letters referring to a decision to "annihilate" all Armenians are the authentic work of Bahaettin Shakir, one of the architects of the Armenian Genocide, according to signature analysis carried out by a leading Turkish historian, published in the Journal of Genocide Research. Prof. Taner Akçam of Clark University, Massachusetts, who has studied the genocide for decades, says the signatures on the two letters, dated 3 March and 7 April 1915, match those of Shakir on other documents. Prof. Akçam also says he has unearthed new documents from the Ottoman Archives which show initial decisions to exterminate groups of Armenians were taken by a local branch of para-military organization Tekilat-Mahsusa (Special Organization) led by provincial governors in 1st December 1914.

The Armenian Genocide, the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, was carried out during and after World War I. While present day Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during the war, it continues to contest the 1.5 million figure and denies that the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute a genocide. This denial - which continues despite the UN demanding in a recent Joint Allegation Letter that the Turkish government investigate the treatment of Armenians from 1915 to 1923, establish the truth and make reparations - has hinged on the patchy archival record.

The first letter studied by Prof. Akçam states that the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) "has decided to annihilate all of Armenians living within Turkey, not to allow a single one to remain, and has given the government broad authority in this regard". The second letter reiterates this message. Previously, the letters' authenticity was questioned but, according to Prof. Akçam, signature comparison indicates they were authored by Shakir who, as head of the para-military Special Organization, helped to plan and carry out the genocide.

"These letters indicate there was an actual, conscious decision taken to annihilate the empire's Armenian population and that it was taken before 3 March 1915," says Prof. Akçam. "Moreover, there were other related decisions which preceded this final one, as a series of documents we discovered in the Ottoman Archives shows."

These documents suggest that initial decisions to eliminate groups of Armenians were not taken by the Central Committee of the CUP and/or by central government, but by governors in the provinces of Van and Bitlis. (Read more.)
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Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Fall of the French Monarchy, August 10, 1792

August 10, 1792 , the Feast of St. Laurence the Martyr, saw the fall of the French monarchy, the massacre of the Swiss Guards and the beginning of the Reign of Terror. Madame Royale gave a detailed account in her Memoirs of the royal family's flight from the Tuileries to the National Assembly, of the long, agonizing hours trapped in the stenographer's box, and the imprisonment in the Temple prison. Here follows the account of the teenage daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette:
Massacre at the Tuileries; Dethronement of my Father.
The Days from the 10th to the 13th of August, 1792.
After the fatal epoch of June 20, my family no longer enjoyed any tranquillity; every day there were fresh alarms, and rumours that the faubourgs Saint Antoine and Saint Marceau [together with those wretches who were called the Marseillais] were marching against the château. Sometimes they sounded the tocsin and beat the générale; sometimes, under pretext of a dinner of confraternity, they invited [and worked upon] the sections of opposite opinions to demand the dethronement of the king, which Danton, Robespierre, and their party wanted at all costs. After these many preludes, we heard with certainty on the 9th of August that the populace, armed, was assembling to attack the [Page 237] Tuileries; it was already evening. The troops who remained faithful to my father were therefore hastily collected, among them the Swiss Guard; and a great number of the nobles who were [still] in Paris arrived [in haste]. Imagine the situation of my unhappy parents during that horrible night; they remained together [expecting only carnage and death], and my mother had ordered my brother and me to go to bed.
Pétion arrived about eleven o'clock, exclaiming loudly against this new tumult. My father treated him as he deserved and sent him away; nevertheless, malignant people spread the news that Pétion was kept prisoner in the Tuileries; [on which] minds grew [embittered and] inflamed even to fury, and at midnight the signal was given to begin the dreadful massacre. The first shot fired killed M. Clermont-Tonnerre, a member of the First Assembly. For a part of the night the tumult went on outside the Tuileries, where fresh reinforcements of the National Guard were successively arriving; unfortunately, [far] too many came, for most of them were already seduced and treacherously inclined.
At six in the morning it was suggested to my father to visit all the posts and encourage the troops to defend him; but only a few cries of Vive le Roi! were heard in the courtyards, and what was worse, when he wished to enter the garden, the artillery-men, most wicked of all, dared to turn their cannon against their king; a thing not believable if I did not declare that I saw it with my own eyes.
My father, having thus indubitably recognized the bad disposition of the National Guard, saw but too well that no faithful subjects remained about him, except a few nobles who had come to us, a part of the servants of the château, and the Swiss Guard; they all armed themselves. M. Mandat, commandant of the National Guard in the Tuileries [a man of little enterprise but faithful], was summoned by [Page 238] the mayor to the Hôtel de Ville; there he was murdered by order of the municipality, who immediately appointed Santerre to replace him. Towards seven in the morning Roederer, head of the department, arrived. He asked to speak alone with the king; there, he threw himself at his feet and conjured him to save himself; he represented to him that furious brigands were arriving in masses, that he had too few persons to defend him, that he had no course left but to go, he and his family, and take refuge in the National Assembly. My father rejected the idea for a long time, but Roederer insisting, and the peril becoming urgent and inevitable, he at last resolved to go to the Assembly with his family, Mme. de Lamballe, and Mme. de Tourzel. He left all the rest of his people in the château, not doubting that as soon as it was known that he had gone, the tumult would cease and there would be no longer any danger for those he left there. 1
We crossed the garden of the Tuileries in the midst of a few National guards, who still remained faithful. On the way we were told that the Assembly would not receive my father. The terrace of the Feuillants, along which we had to pass, was full of wretches, who assailed us with insults; one of them cried out: "No women, or we will kill them all!" My mother was not frightened at the threat and continued her way. At last we entered the passage to the Assembly. Before being admitted [to the hall] we had to wait more than half an hour, a number of deputies still [Page 239] opposing our entrance. We were thus kept in a narrow corridor, so dark that we could see nothing, and hear nothing but the shouts of the furious mob. My father, my mother, and my brother were in front with Mme. de Tourzel; my aunt was with me, on the other side. I was held by a man whom I did not know. I have never thought myself so near death, not doubting that the decision was made to murder us all. In the darkness I could not see my parents, and I feared everything for them. We were left to this mortal agony more than half an hour.
At last we were allowed to enter the hall of the Assembly, and my father on entering said [in a loud voice] that he came to take refuge with his family in the bosom of the Assembly, to prevent the French nation from committing a great crime. We were placed at the bar, and they then discussed whether it was proper that my father should be present at their deliberations. They said, as to that, that it was impossible to let him stay at the bar without infringing on the inviolability of the sovereign people; and they declaimed speeches thereon which were full of horrors. After this they took us into the box of a journalist.
We had hardly entered this species of cage when we heard cannon, musket-shots, and the cries of those who were murdering in the Tuileries; but we were ignorant at the time of what was happening. We heard later how the massacre began. My father had hardly left the château before a party of wretches [already in the courtyards] began to attack with armes blanches [sabres and pikes] the Swiss Guard, who fired in self-defense. Nothing more was needed to push their fury to the highest point; those who were outside hearing the Swiss fire first, and taking them for the aggressors, spread the rumour that my father had ordered them to fire on the people. Soon, not only the courtyard gates but those [Page 240] of the château were forced, and these madmen rushed in, massacring all whom they found, especially the Swiss. [Then and there perished an immensity of faithful servitors of all ranks and classes. Among the victims were MM. de Clermont d'Amboise and de Castéja, de Viomesnil and d'Hervilly; the Maréchal de Mailly, MM. de Maillardoz and de Bachmann died later. All the old officers of the Guard called "constitutional," the two battalions of the Filles-St.-Thomas and the Petits-Pères distinguished themselves by an unbounded devotion, though, unhappily, fruitless. What could they do against a multitude maddened with drink and blood and fury?] The Tuileries then became a spectacle of horror; blood ran everywhere, especially in the apartments of the king and queen. Nevertheless, in the midst of these abominations some traits of humanity were shown; among these monsters were some who saved several persons, taking them by the arm and making them pass for their friends or relatives . The carnage lasted all that day on one side or the other; the number of brigands who perished was considerable, for those wretches killed each other in their blind fury. At night, the château took fire; fortunately, the flames lasted but a little while, and so ended those awful and too memorable scenes.
Meantime our terrors increased as these dreadful noises went on; but it was even worse when we heard the same sort of cries close to the Assembly. The members themselves were frightened, and in their fear they tore out the iron railing of the box where we were and forced my father into the midst of them; but this tumult was soon appeased. It was occasioned by the approach of a number of the Swiss Guard who had escaped from the Tuileries and were trying to come to the support of the king; they had almost forced the door of the Assembly when an officer said to them: [Page 241] "What are you doing? The king is in the midst of assassins; they will murder him if you advance." This reflection held them back and they surrendered; it was thus that these brave foreigners [ever faithful], to the number of about one hundred, escaped the massacre. As for those of their compatriots who did not perish in the Tuileries, they were taken to the Hôtel-de-Ville and there massacred with their principal officers. A forged order from the king was sent to summon the Swiss Guard from the barracks at Courbevoie; on their arrival in Paris they met the same fate.
Still kept on the box at the Assembly, we witnessed the horrors of all kinds which there took place. Sometimes they assailed my father and all his family with [the basest and most atrocious] insults, triumphing over him with cruel joy; sometimes they brought in gentlemen dying of their wounds; sometimes they brought my father's own servants, who, with the utmost impudence, gave false testimony against him; while others boasted of what they had done. At last, to complete the revolting scene, they brought in the Host and flung the sacred wafers on the ground. It was in the midst of these abominations that our entire day, from eight in the morning until midnight, passed [as one may say] through all gradations of whatever was most terrible, most awful.
The session ended by [a decree full of insults to my father, declaring the king suspended from his functions and ordering the convocation of a National Convention. They next wished to take up the fate of my brother; they proposed to appoint his governor, and even to make him king; but the latter motion was rejected, and that of giving him a governor was adjourned until the Convention should declare whether the Nation desired to still have a king]. At last they permitted us, about one at night to retire to one of the little rooms near-by, in the convent of the Feuillants; there we [Page 242] were left alone [without the slightest defense against the sanguinary rage of these wretches]. The next day, several persons belonging to my father's service came to us. We were forced to return again to the Assembly and spend the whole day there while they discussed what should be done with the king, and where he should be kept. The Place Vendôme, in which is the Chancellerie, was proposed for this purpose, on which Manuel, public prosecutor for the Commune of Paris, demanded, in the name of his constituents, to be intrusted with the responsibility of keeping my father and his family; and this being granted, he proposed the château of the Temple for our residence, which was decreed.
That day and the next were passed like the preceding day; we were forced to listen in the hall of the Assembly to the prowess of those who had distinguished themselves by their barbarities. At night we returned to our rooms, [where we were not allowed to enjoy in peace the hours consecrated to rest], a deputy of the Assembly coming an hour after midnight to search and see if we had men hidden there; none were found, for my father had been obliged to send away those who had come to him. On the 12th it was determined that we should be transferred to the Temple on the following day.
On the 13th we did not go to the Assembly. Towards three in the afternoon Pétion and Manuel came to take my father, and they made us all get into a carriage with eight seats, into which they got themselves [with their hats on their heads and shouting, Vive la Nation! ]. We drove through the streets leading to the Temple in great peril and loaded with insults; our conductors themselves feared the people so much that they would not let the carriage stop for a moment; and yet it took two hours before we could reach the Temple through that immense throng. On the [Page 243] way they had the cruelty to point out to my parents things that would distress them,–the statues of the Kings of France thrown down, even that of Henri IV., before which the populace compelled us to stop, to make us look at him on the ground. We did not observe on our way any feeling souls touched by our condition, such terror was now inspired in those who still thought rightly. And yet, in the midst of so many sights which might well break down the strongest soul, my father and my mother preserved the tranquillity and courage that a good conscience can alone inspire.
~ Memoirs of Madame Royale
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