Thursday, December 12, 2019

Orchard House

If any Alcott ghosts linger, they play docile host as you pass through the house, first to the kitchen where May carved Raphael’s face on the back of a cutting board with a hot poker, and then to the parlor with Elizabeth’s chickering piano, where the sisters kept their audience for dining room plays—hanging fabric in the doorway to act as a stage curtain, running to the stairs for costume changes—and where, later on, Anna would get married. It’s also home to the couch on which Louisa’s so-called mood pillow still sits, flipped on its side to alert the family of a bad temper or a writing “vortex,” as she called fits of inspiration when she wanted to be left alone. All these things happen in the book, and sometimes the tour’s distinction between the real girls and the fictional ones grows foggy. (Read more.)

Here is a review of the 2019 version of Little Women. It seems heavy on the feminism, although pleasing to watch. I do not know why they make Beth the youngest; Amy was the youngest. From ScreenRant:
Based on the 1868 novel written by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is a story that has endured for more than a century and a half, with adaptations being done for the stage, film and TV over the years. Telling the story of four sisters who come of age in the years after the American Civil War, Little Women deals in themes of family, marriage and how girls find their way in life. The coming of age narrative has resonated with women and girls of all ages for generations and seems poised to do so for many to come. The latest iteration of Little Women features an ensemble cast of both established and up-and-coming performers who breathe new life into Alcott's classic tale. Greta Gerwig's Little Women weaves a stunningly heartfelt and achingly honest coming of age story with excellent performances from its entire cast.
Little Women follows the four March sisters - Meg (Emma Watson), Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Amy (Florence Pugh) and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) - who live with their mother Marmee (Laura Dern) and spend a great deal of time with their neighbor and friend Laurie (Timothée Chalamet). The outspoken Jo dreams of becoming a writer and never settling down to get married, while both Meg and Amy set their sights on marrying good men. Beth, the youngest, is a skilled piano player with a kind heart. As the four sisters and Laurie grow up, though, they all must confront how much things can change as they deal with love, loss, marriage and heartbreak. Spanning two time periods seven years apart, Little Women showcases the March sisters when they're teenagers and pre-teens and later when they're grown women. (Read more.) 
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When Children Suffer

From Life Site:
Over the years, I’ve talked with many children and teens in counseling sessions. What they have expressed about their situations confirm that my childhood experiences were not unique. When adults pursue transgender fantasies, children suffer. Some children mask their pain by addictive behaviors that lead to further destruction in their lives. Many look for a father figure elsewhere to fill that gaping hole in their lives, but all admit they needed time to grieve. I wonder if Jenner has considered Khloe’s loss of a father figure, a role he once filled in her life.

The holiday season is particularly difficult for families of transgenders. The father or mother on whom a child depended no longer exists. The child grieves for the parent who is still alive but denies his or her genuine self, created by the hand of God. Similarly, spouses grieve for their missing mate, and parents of a transgender grieve for the child who used to attend family gatherings and participate in holiday traditions. Often, these family members suffer silently during the holidays. They try to hold back the tears as they plaster fake smiles on their faces and pretend nothing has changed when, in reality, the tsunami of transgenderism has devastated their lives.

Like Jenner, many transgenders place themselves in the position of the offended, misunderstood family member. They seek sympathy but may refuse to extend it to their family members. If nothing else, Jenner and other transgenders need to demonstrate compassion for family members and attempt to understand their heartache. Instead of lamenting Khloe’s “issues” in public, perhaps Jenner could take a step toward reconciliation by first recognizing the loss in Khloe’s life and the pain he has caused, and then respectfully offering her space for healing and love without conditions. (Read more.)
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Nazi Wives

Beyond morbid. It's hard to believe that two of the Mitford sisters were part of Hitler's social circle. From The Daily Mail:
Was she from good Aryan stock? After completing a thorough investigation, Martin Bormann was able to confirm that Eva Braun did not possess a single drop of Jewish blood. From then on, Hitler regularly dropped in on her at the studio, taking her out to dinner or a film. He probably started sleeping with her in early 1932. In some respects, Eva didn’t fit the mould of Nazi womanhood: she smoked, followed the latest American dance crazes, read fashion magazines and wore make-up. Yet in other ways, she embodied Hitler’s ideal: she was athletic and sporty, a true blonde and had almost no interest in politics. Best of all, she was emotionally immature and easy to manipulate. 
After allowing Hitler to seduce her, however, Eva became distraught, imagining herself abandoned because she hardly ever saw him. One day, in despair, she scribbled a farewell note and shot herself. The bullet lodged in her neck, just missing the artery. Bleeding profusely, she managed to call a doctor, who had her carted off to hospital. Hitler was shocked, vowing to see her more often. And he did for a few years. 
Then, in 1935, for weeks on end, he failed to call. When Eva finally got to see him for two hours, he returned to Berlin without saying goodbye. For the next two months, her moods fluctuated wildly, reaching a near-hysterical peak that May — when she took an overdose of sleeping pills. Her younger sister found her in time. At this point, Hitler realised it was time to bring Eva out into the open. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Edith Tolkien

Image source
Edith Bratt Tolkien
I finally saw the Tolkien film and enjoyed it, although it took a few liberties with the facts. It made me want to do my own research on Tolkien's Lúthien, Edith Mary. From The Council of Elrond:
Edith was born in Gloucester on the 21st January 1889, the illegitimate daughter of Frances Bratt. Her mother had never married, and never named the father on the birth certificate though she did keep a photograph of him, and his identity was known to the Bratt family. It is not known whether Edith ever knew her father’s name. Frances brought her daughter up in Handsworth, Birmingham, and Edith had a relatively happy childhood, surrounded by both her mother and her cousin, Jennie Grove. She grew to be remarkably pretty, small and slim, with grey eyes and short dark hair.She quickly showed a talent for music, and played the piano very well.
When Frances died, Edith was sent to Dresden House School in Evesham, a girls’ boarding school that specialised in music. There she met Mabel Sheaf, who continued to be a close friend throughout Edith’s life. By the time she left, Edith was expected to be able to make a career as a piano teacher, or maybe even a concert pianist. However, her guardian, the family solicitor, didn’t really know what to do with the girl. He found her a room at Mrs Faulkner’s, supposing that her landlady’s fondness for music would provide a sympathetic atmosphere and a piano for practice. However, Mrs Faulkner only wanted Edith to play and accompany soloists at her soirees, and would not give her the time to practice. To add slightly to the problem, there was no urgency for Edith to seek employment as she had inherited a small amount of land in various parts of Birmingham, and the rent from these provided her with just enough income to live on.

 She met the Tolkien brothers at Mrs Faulkner’s and found them very pleasant, particularly John Ronald. Edith and Tolkien soon became allies against “The Old Lady” and took to frequenting Birmingham tea-shops together. They particularly liked a tea-shop with a balcony overlooking the pavement from which they could throw sugar lumps into the hats of passers-by. Romance was almost inevitable. Both Edith and Tolkien were orphans in need of affection, and they found that they could give it to each other. In the summer of 1904, they decided that they were in love.
In 1909, towards the end of the autumn term, Tolkien and Edith arranged to go for a secret ride in the countryside. But Fr Francis found out, and was deeply shaken by the romance. The priest considered himself a father figure to Tolkien, and demanded that the love affair should stop for both propriety’s, and Tolkien’s, sake. However, he did not specifically bid Tolkien not to see Edith, and so, with the ingenuity of youth, they decided that they could continue to meet clandestinely. One day they spent an afternoon together, taking a train out into the countryside. Another day they went to a jewellers where Edith bought Tolkien a pen for his 18th birthday, and he bought her a wrist-watch for her 21st birthday.
After some time of this secrecy, Edith decided she had to move away from the situation, and she took up an offer of lodgings in a house in Cheltenham with an elderly solicitor and his wife. Soon after that, Fr Francis heard word of their previous meetings, and he banned Tolkien from seeing Edith, only allowing him to see her once more to say good-bye. He put a ban on their communication until Tolkien was 21 – three years away. But until she left Birmingham, Tolkien looked for her everywhere he went, and they did manage a few accidental meetings. But then, as recorded in Tolkien’s diary, Fr Francis found out that they were still seeing each other: (Read more.)
More HERE.

Meanwhile, I am listening to this:

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FBI’s Russia FISA

To understand just how shoddy the FBI’s work was in securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant targeting the Trump campaign, you only need to read an obscure attachment to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report. Appendix 1 identifies the total violations by the FBI of the so-called Woods Procedures, the process by which the bureau verifies information and assures the FISA court its evidence is true. 
The Appendix identifies a total of 51 Woods procedure violations from the FISA application the FBI submitted to the court authorizing surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page starting in October 2016. A whopping nine of those violations fell into the category called: “Supporting document shows that the factual assertion is inaccurate.” 
For those who don’t speak IG parlance, it means the FBI made nine false assertions to the FISA court. In short, what the bureau said was contradicted by the evidence in its official file. To put that in perspective, former Trump aides Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos were convicted of making single false statements to the bureau. One went to jail already, and the other awaits sentencing. The FBI made nine false statements to the court. (Read more.)

From Trending Politics:
The Department of Justice's Inspector General Michael Horowitz released the FISA Application report on Monday, detailing the reasoning for the FBI's spying on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. "The Department of Justice (Department) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) undertook this review to examine certain actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department during an FBI investigation opened on July 31, 2016, known as "Crossfire Hurricane," into whether individuals associated with the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign were coordinating, wittingly or unwittingly, with the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election," the report starts. 
For reasons unknown, the inspector general claims that the start of the investigation was justified, however he also admits that their was extreme bias against then-candidate Donald Trump. This kind of lax vetting would have never been acceptable by Democrats if it was against someone like former President Barack Obama. "We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions" to open investigations into four Trump campaign aides," the report says. 
Shortly after the original report was released US Attorney John Durham released a rare statement, saying that his investigation does not coincide with the main conclusions found in the IG report. “I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” John Durham said. 
Attorney General Bill Barr also released a statement of his own, shredding the FBI for their reasoning on why they started the investigation in the first place.“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken," Barr said. (Read more.) 

From The Epoch Times:
“We identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications, and many additional errors in the Woods Procedures,” the report states, referring to the procedures guiding the verification of claims in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications. “These errors and omissions resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to OI and failing to flag important issues for discussion,” the report continues, referring to the Office of Intelligence and the National Security Division at the FBI. Horowitz concluded that the errors and other failures constitute “serious performance failures by the supervisory and non-supervisory agents.” (Read more.) 

Also from Trending Politics:
The Department of Justice's Inspector General Michael Horowitz released the FISA Application report on Monday, detailing the reasoning for the FBI's spying on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. While the report claims that the start of the investigation was justified, Inspector General Horowitz lays out seventeen “inaccuracies and omissions” that weren't shown to the Office of Intelligence before the FISA application was filed. Check out seven of the inaccuracies and omissions below relating to the first FISA application:
Omitted information from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship with Page, including that Page had been approved as an operational contact for the other agency from 2008 to 2013, and that Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application;
Included a source characterization statement asserting that Steele’s prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings,” which overstated the significance of Steele’s past reporting and was not approved by Steele’s FBI handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures; 
Omitted information relevant to the reliability of Person 1, a key Steele sub-source (who, as previously noted, was attributed with providing the information in Report 95 and some of the information in Reports 80 and 102 relied upon in the application), namely that (1) Steele himself told members of the Crossfire Hurricane team that Person 1 was a “boaster” and an “egoist” and “may engage in some embellishment” and (2) [redacted] 
Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article, based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared his election-related research with the FBI and [Fusion GPS Founder Glenn] Simpson; this premise was factually incorrect (Steele had provided direct information to Yahoo News) and also contradicted by documentation in the Woods File-Steele had told the FBI that he also gave his information to the State Department; 
Omitted Papadopoulos’s statements to an FBI CHS in September 2016 denying that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was collaborating with Russia or with outside groups like WikiLeaks in the release of emails; 
Omitted Page’s statements to an FBI CHS [Confidential Human Source] in August 2016 that Page had “literally never met” or “said one word to” Paul Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of Page’s emails; if true, those statements were in tension with claims in Steele’s Report 95 that Page was participating in a “conspiracy” with Russia by acting as an intermediary for Manafort on behalf of the Trump campaign; and 
Selectively included Page’s statements to an FBI CHS in October 2016 that the FBI believed supported its theory that Page was an agent of Russia but omitted other statements Page made, including denying having met with Sechin and Divyekin, or even knowing who Divyekin was; if true, those statements contradicted the claims in Steele’s Report 94 that Page had met secretly with Sechin and Divyekin about future cooperation with Russia and shared derogatory information about candidate Clinton. (Read more.) 
 From The Right Scoop:
MSNBC has just released an interview with AG Bill Barr where he drops some cold, hard truth about the Russia investigation that will be most uncomfortable for liberal ears, especially because it defends Trump from an egregious and baseless attack by both the FBI and the media. In this first clip, Barr explains why he believes the FBI acted inappropriately to begin their investigation of the Trump campaign and points out that there never has been any evidence of collusion, despite the hounding the Trump administration has received over the last three years: (Read more.)

From Breitbart:
During a portion of an interview with NBC’s Pete Williams that aired on Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Attorney General William Barr said the FBI ignored exculpatory evidence when obtaining FISA warrants in the investigation of any possible Trump campaign ties with Russia. Barr said, “From day one — remember, they said, okay, we’re not going to talk to the campaign. We’re going to put people in there, rile them up and have conversations with people involved in the campaign because that way, we’ll get the truth. From the very first day of this investigation, which is July 31st, 2016, all the way to its end, September 2017, there was not one incriminatory bit of evidence to come in. It was all exculpatory. The people with the tapings denied it with Russia, denied the specific facts that the FBI was relying on. So what happens? The FBI ignores it, presses ahead, withholds that information from the court, withholds critical exculpatory information from the court while it gets an electronic surveillance warrant. It also withholds from the court clear cut evidence that the dossier that they ultimately relied on to get the FISA warrant was a complete sham.” (Read more.)
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An Historic Manuscript

From the BBC:
It was while searching in the library for translations of Tacitus that Dr John-Mark Philo found the mysterious 42-page manuscript. He established it was written on a very specific kind of paper, which had "gained special prominence" in the Tudor Court in the 1590s. "There was, however, only one translator at the Tudor court to whom a translation of Tacitus was ascribed by a contemporary, and who was using the same paper in her translations and private correspondence - the queen herself," added Dr Philo.

A further clue was the presence of three watermarks - a rampant lion and the initials G.B with a crossbow countermark - which are also found on the paper Elizabeth I used in her personal correspondence. But the clinching argument was the handwriting. The translation was copied by one of her secretaries but it is covered in corrections and additions which match the queen's highly distinctive, indeed rather messy, hand. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Common Sense Advice for Eating in Company

From author Mimi Matthews:
With the holiday season well under way, it seems an appropriate time to review a few of the many Victorian era rules for dining in company. The etiquette of the table hasn’t changed a great deal over the years. Some rules are merely a matter of basic common sense. Nevertheless, we could all do with a refresher now and then. To that end, I’ve gathered ten tips from various Victorian era etiquette books and articles addressing the basics of dining etiquette. I present them to you below.

1) Remove Your Gloves
“At the time of taking refreshment, of course, they must be taken off. No well-educated person would eat in gloves.”
Etiquette for Ladies, 1843.
2) Don’t Eat Too Much or Too Little
“Be careful to avoid the extremes of gluttony or over daintiness at table. To eat enormously is disgusting; but if you eat too sparingly, your host may think that you despise his fare.”
The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, 1874.
3) Eat and Drink Quietly
“It is decidedly vulgar to make a noise, either in taking the food into the mouth, in its mastication, or in swallowing.”
Good Housekeeping, 1893.
4) Don’t Chew with Your Mouth Open
“Do not fill your mouth so full that you cannot answer if you are addressed; nor open your mouth so wide during the process of chewing that your opposite neighbor may see the semi-chewed viands, which, if she be a delicate lady, might destroy her appetite altogether.”
The Golden Rule and Oddfellows Family Companion, 1847.
5) Don’t Abstain from Taking the Last Piece
“Avoid also, that most vulgar habit which prevails among half-bred country people, of abstaining from taking the last piece on a dish. It amounts almost to an insult toward your host, to do any thing which shows that you fear that the vacancy cannot be supplied and that there is likely to be a scarcity.”
                                                                                                      Etiquette for Gentlemen, 1847
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The Real Reason the Dems Want Trump Gone

From Townhall:
The calls to remove Donald Trump from office began before Donald Trump assumed office. They’ve wanted him gone from pre-day one and remain determined to run him off Pennsylvania Avenue by hook, crook, or any other means necessary. If not for firing James Comey, then go to Michael Flynn. If that peters out there’s Stormy and Avenatti. No traction? Russian collusion. Didn’t get him? Ukraine’s up next. The effort to oust Trump has been nonstop for three years and shows no signs of slowing.

Why? Why is the inside-the-beltway permanent political class so determined to send Trump packing? Because he’s not a member of “The Club.” Yes Trump is ruff, gruff, combative, and bombastic, but there’s lots of Club members who are all of those things, yet they’ve been around Washington for decades. Truth is that The Club has been effectively insulating itself from the American people, enriching itself and its family members by burying self-pay schemes in the largess of government, and Trump is a threat. There are dark corners inside The Club’s clubhouse, lots of them, and Trump is wandering around with a flashlight.

Upon her private email server being subpoenaed by a congressional investigative committee, Hillary Clinton sent the computer to be professionally wiped clean of all files and then turned it over. Yet, the same people who expressed no interest in pursuing that clear obstruction of justice have been calling secondhand witnesses to a phone call, whose transcript has already been made public! (Read more.)

Andrew Klavan on the painful American truth at The Daily Wire:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter once said her mother would “cut your head off and you won’t even know you’re bleeding.” But at her Thursday press conference, Pelosi looked instead like someone who had been cut off at the knees and could not stump her way out of the mess she was in. Pelosi’s pitifully transparent lie that her party’s attempts to impeach President Trump had “absolutely nothing to do with politics” and her embarrassing rant that her Catholic upbringing had taught her a “heart full of love and to always pray for the president,” were not — despite the left’s desperate #don’tmesswithNancy spin — signs of strength but of panic and weakness. Her party’s ascendant left flank has maneuvered her into a position that is both morally and politically unfeasible, and she knows it. Unless moderate Blue Dogs somehow manage to thwart the vote, Pelosi will be forced to “lead” her party into precisely the partisan and ill-prepared impeachment she warned against for so long.

While I confess the vengeful Little Rascal that dwells within my breast hopes that this pack of Democrat fools is walking straight into Cocaine Mitch’s House of Horrors — a long drawn-out Senate trial that will include subpoenas for Hunter and Joe Biden and perhaps the phone records of McCarthyite bad guy Adam Schiff — it may be that cooler rascals will prevail. As they did during the vicious attempt to smear Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and his crew may simply choose to let the public judge for themselves between the left’s hysterical abuse of the system and the right’s fair and balanced adherence to procedure. Donald Trump may suffer from occasional lack of impulse control, but it’s pretty clear which side has utterly lost it now.

What’s sad to me about all this noise, is that it drowns out the quieter voices discussing the things that really matter: why the wiser people in this country elected Donald Trump in the first place, and what his election tells us about the nation’s pain. The left’s ferocious defense of the power of its unconstitutional and unconscionable deep state, and the Never Trump right’s continued eye-rolling about the president’s attempts to give some semblance of fairness and sanity to our international political and trade relations both ignore what, to me, is the most important fact about our current political moment. (Read more.)

From Mark Levin on Fox News:
Alan Dershowitz: It would be unconstitutional for President Trump to be impeached on the current record. It would be an utter abuse of the power of Congress. The Constitution sets out four criteria for impeaching a president. Treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Unless one of those criteria is met, Congress does not have the authority to impeach, and if they do, their impeachment would be void. Alexander Hamilton said any act of Congress that is inconsistent with the Constitution is void. Now, Congress maybe can get away with impeaching because there won't be judicial review. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't be violating their oath of office. They would be abusing their power if they impeached President Trump on this record. (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

Why Neanderthals Went Extinct

From Vintage News:
Any parent can tell you that babies get ear infections; sometimes they get them often. That’s because a baby’s Eustachian tubes are at an angle that is relatively flat. As a result of the angle, otitis media bacteria tends to linger in them, rather than draining, and can cause infections. As human babies grow, and their heads get larger, their Eustachian tubes also grow, which changes the angle of their position and improves drainage. For humans, by the time a child starts school, the incidence of ear infections has reduced significantly.

For Neanderthals, the relatively flat angle of their Eustachian tubes remained unchanged into adulthood, meaning that they never lost the higher potential for ear infections. Furthermore, ear infections can easily lead to developing other complications, such as meningitis, respiratory infections, hearing loss, or even pneumonia. Unlike in the modern era, when such ailments can be easily addressed with antibiotics, for the Neanderthals, the potential for such infections and the complications that can come with them would be both lifelong and impossible to effectively treat.
 
Besides making it more likely that the sufferer may die of an infection, there would have been other, lifelong implications. People who are ill aren’t functioning at their best capacity, which impairs their ability to do the things they need to do to survive. Shortness of breath would be a serious barrier to being an effective hunter. The inability to hear a dangerous animal or enemy coming at you until it was nearby would significantly decrease your chances of making an effective defense or escape. Such indirect consequences would generally make it harder to effectively compete for resources against your rivals, including Homo sapiens.

Looked at from that perspective, it’s not that surprising that Homo sapiens won the contest. There are a couple of things that made this study so unique. One of them is that it gave researchers a totally unexpected insight into something that science has been puzzled by for a very long time. Another thing that’s fascinating is that something on such an enormous scale, the extinction of an entire species, could have been caused by something so small and unexpected. (Read more.)
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Monday, December 9, 2019

Coins from Imperial Russia

Found in Moscow. From Express:
A chest containing 60 coins believed to have been in circulation in the 19th and 20th centuries was discovered in the basement of a dilapidated building, Russia’s state news agency TASS reports. The find is estimated to be worth up to 1 million rubles, or £2,200. The discovery in the downtown area of Moscow marks one of the most valuable archaeological finding in the city this year. Tsar Nicholas II, the country’s last emperor, from November 1894 until March 1917 when he was forced to abdicate. Nicholas and his family – Tsarina Alexandra, Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Maria, Grand Duchess Anastasia and Tsarevich Alexei – were brutally executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. (Read more.)
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Bo Snerdley's New Journey PAC

I love Mr. Snerdley. From WND:
To Rush Limbaugh listeners, he's the man behind the man behind the golden microphone. But James Golden -- professionally known as Rush producer “Bo Snerdley” -- is stepping forward as the 2020 presidential election looms near with a new medium and new mission. He’s co-founded a political action committee -- the New Journey PAC -- aimed at building conservative support among black Americans. That’s a voting group which has been key to Democratic election strategy for decades, but Golden and his partners are aiming to change that. And they’re going to use the reality of Donald Trump’s presidency to do it.

“For 80 years, the Democratic Party has taken the black vote for granted. Under the leadership of President Trump, Black-Americans enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded. The Trump approach has produced an economy that works for all Americans, yet Democrats are promising more of the same -- votes for crumbs. It is simply not enough to stand on the sidelines and hope for the best,” Golden and conservative activist Autry Pruitt say in PAC’s mission statement, according to The Washington Times. There’s no doubt Trump has built an economic record to be proud of, particularly as it relates to record-low unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics. (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

The Last Wolves of Ireland

From Ancient Origins:
When the last ice age ended, Ireland’s landscape was the perfect environment for wolves to thrive. There were mountains and forests and regions of tundra to roam, and which provided a wide variety of animals for the wolves to prey upon such as deer, wild boar and, for a time, the Giant Elk. It is estimated that the first people arrived in Ireland around 8000 BC, although there is more recent evidence of a possible settlement dating back another 5,000 years. For these people the wolves must have been a constant danger as well as competitor for food.

Indeed, up until the middle ages Ireland was often referred to as Wolfland because of how many wolves there were. This would also be part of the reason for the many barricaded ring forts which acted as a defence against the wolves who would roam the country in large packs. Ireland’s wolves were so well known in the middle ages that even William Shakespeare, in his play As You Like It , had a character remark, “Pray you, no more of this; ‘Tis like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon.” (Read more.)
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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Christmas at the White House, 2019

Our beautiful First Lady Melania Trump has once again overseen the most amazing and elegant decorations for Christmas. From the New York Post:
Melania Trump has decked the halls of the White House — with all things patriotic. The First Lady unveiled this year’s elaborate White House Christmas decorations in a video posted to Twitter late Sunday. “‘The Spirit of America’ is shining in the @WhiteHouse!” she wrote. “I am delighted to share this beautiful exhibit of patriotism for all to see, and excited for everyone to experience the beauty of the #Christmas season!”

A Gold Star Family Tree — adorned with golden stars and patriotic ribbons in honor of those who lost an immediate family member serving in the armed forces — greets visitors to the East Wing. The official White House Christmas tree, towering more than 18 feet tall, is decorated with handmade paper flowers representing the floral emblems of each state and territory. A close-up of one of the trees, shown in the video, reveals an ornament with the words “Be Best” spelled out in Scrabble tiles — referring to Melania’s anti-bullying initiative. (Read more.)

More pictures from USA Today:




Nativity Scene
More HERE and HERE. Share

Watch Out for China

From The Daily Wire:
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) China is slated to be the world’s number one importer of natural gas, with its insatiable demand rising 60 percent to 376 billion cubic meters from 2017 to 2023. This presents them with a vulnerability … the likes of which so concerned Imperial Japan in the 1930s and which was the catalyst for their ruthless aggression into the oil fields of Indochina. China will soon surpass Japan as the leading importer of both piped and liquefied natural gas. Their LNG imports could more than double to 111 million tonnes by 2025 from last year, at an average annual growth of 10.9 per cent, according to a Morgan Stanley forecast. Reuters reported that China, Japan and South Korea will buy 48 per cent of the 505 bcm of LNG sold in 2023. “When all of Asia is taken into account, LNG sales there will rise to 75 per cent of all LNG sold globally from 72 per cent [in 2017].” 
Conversely the United States is both energy independent due to the shale revolution over the past decade, and now the third largest exporter of LNG, soon to be the largest if trends continue. This has presented a strategic conundrum to the Chinese, who view the U.S. through an adversarial lens. It is not happenstance that among their retaliatory tariffs was a 25% punitive duty on LNG from the U.S. The impact has been biting. Prior to the slowdown, China was on track to import 141.6 billion cubic feet (bcf) of U.S. LNG in 2018, up from 103.4 bcf in 2017 and 17.2 bcf in 2016. (It imported no U.S. LNG in 2015.) In total, however, China bought just 93.9 bcf of U.S. LNG in 2018. The U.S. last year accounted for just 4 per cent of China’s LNG imports, compared to Australia’s 43.7 per cent and Qatar’s 17 per cent. (Read more.)
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History’s Answer to Modern Despair

From Archbishop Chaput in Crisis:
George Weigel has given us a perfect tool to do that with his latest book, The Irony of Modern Catholic History (Basic Books). His argument is simple: When Pope Pius IX lost Rome and the Papal States to anticlerical revolutionaries in 1870, it seemed

that the Catholic Church was finished as a consequential player in history. That turned out to be exactly wrong. For in the 21st century, the Catholic Church is more vital and more consequential… Rather than killing Catholicism, the encounter with modernity has helped the Catholic Church rediscover some basic truths about [herself]. Even more ironically, the Church’s rediscovery of those truths might, just might, put Catholicism in a position to help secular modernity save itself from its own increasing incoherence.

A gifted writer and speaker, biographer of St. John Paul II, and the author of more than two dozen books, Weigel ranks among the leading Christian public intellectuals of the past four decades. Stylistically, The Irony of Modern Catholic History is a pleasure to read. But the easy style disguises the fact that it’s also an exercise in superb historical scholarship, from the reactionary Pope Gregory XVI in the mid-19th century, through the Modernist crisis and Vatican II, to the present.

His treatment of Pope Leo XIII and the “Leonine Revolution” in Catholic thought that rippled through the 20th century, helps us to make sense of “the development of Catholic social doctrine that would result in the late 20th-century Catholic human rights revolution.” It was a process—unimaginable to 19th century American Know Nothing anti-Catholics—“in which religious freedom would be celebrated as the first of civil rights,” and the Church would become “a global proponent of democracy—not by surrendering to modernity, but by retrieving and renewing elements of [her] own intellectual patrimony.”

Weigel also does thorough and deeply satisfying work in handling the legacy of Pius XII, a pope much-criticized (too often unjustly), but extraordinary in his contributions to Catholic life and thought. (Read more.)
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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Miniature of the Royal Family circa 1789

Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette with Madame Royale and the Dauphin Louis-Charles. Share

Of Course They Want to Impeach Him

From Scott Jennings at CNN:
When the liberal law professors are neglecting their Thanksgiving turkeys to read congressional transcripts and snarking about Trump's 13-year old son, Trump is winning. When the politicians are mad — so mad that they have shut down all policymaking to impeach the President of the United States on what constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called "wafer thin" evidence —Trump is winning. 
You have to remember: Donald Trump wasn't elected to fit in with these people — the political, intellectual class -- to make them happy, or to become one of them. He was elected to break them. And that's apparently what he's done. After Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee hearing featuring three liberal law professors and Thursday's announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that her conference is moving forward with impeachment, the die is cast -- Donald Trump will be the third president in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
And honestly, that's just fine with Trump's supporters. What better evidence is there that you've shaken Washington to its core when the minders of a system you've come to despise are leveling the gravest punishment the system permits against the very President who is doing the shaking up? We can lawyer this to death, but for many Americans this comes down to a simple observation -- Trump said he was going to rattle their cages, and by golly they seem rattled. 
Trump's supporters have known since election night that this day would eventually come. After all, his sworn enemies have been openly promising it since before he was sworn into office! They've used words like "resistance," "coup," "insurance policy," and "impeachment" so often that, now that they are actually doing it, the American people — and Republicans especially — are offering a collective yawn. 
Rueful analysts stare into television cameras, lamenting and wondering why Republicans aren't fleeing from the President over the impeachment hearings (he stands at 90% approval among his party in the latest Gallup poll). But there won't be massive convulsions in public opinion because everyone has known for three years what was going to happen. (Read more.)

From Trending Politics:
A big claim made in the ongoing impeachment inquiry involving Rudy Giuliani is now in doubt according to a recent report. Earlier this week, Rep. Adam Schiff claimed that President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was in contact with the United States Office of Management and Budget who were responsible for holding back the $400 million in aid to Ukraine. “House Democrats earlier this week released records asserting that Rudy Giuliani was in contact with a phone number associated with the White House budget office, where $400 million in aid to Ukraine was temporarily put on hold this summer,” The Wall Street Journal said. “That assertion, however, is now in doubt. The previously undisclosed phone number cited by the House Intelligence Committee in its impeachment inquiry report, which The Wall Street Journal has identified, isn’t directly linked to the Office of Management and Budget. It could instead reflect phone calls from other parts of the White House, according to people familiar with the matter.”According to a Democrat in the House, the phone number Rep. Adam Schiff provided may not be accurate: “We don’t definitively know who the call was to because the White House has ignored our subpoena.” 
"The Journal noted that OMB officials stated that Giuliani did not speak with on one their staff and that a White House official previously stated White House call logs do not match up with phone records of acting chief of staff and budget office director Mick Mulvaney," the Daily Wire added. (Read more.
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A Brief History of Desserts and Puddings

In the Middle Ages rich people ate desserts like preserved fruits, jelly and wafers made from batter. Furthermore the Italians have been eating panettone since at least the 15th century but its origins are lost in legend.The Romans knew that eggs could be used for binding. However custard, as we know it was invented in the Middle Ages.

However in the Middle Ages most puddings were meat based. Rice pudding was known but until the 19th century it was regarded as a medicine. It was supposed to be good for digestive ailments.The Tudors were also fond of desserts (if they could afford them). The rich ate preserved fruit, gingerbread, sugared almonds and jelly. However in the 16th century sugar was very expensive so most people used honey to sweeten their food.

Marzipan was eaten in England from the Middle Ages. Marzipan is a paste made of almonds and sugar. The Tudors used marzipan to make edible sculptures of animals, castles, trees and people called subtleties. (Read more.)
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Friday, December 6, 2019

The Original Snow White

Snow White and the Witch
From Vintage News:
In “Little Snow-White,” as the original story was called, the Evil Queen asks a hunter to take Snow White into the forest to kill, as happens also in the movie. (In the original version, the child is also only 7 years old, as opposed to Disney’s 14. Neither seems old enough to consider marriage.) In the Grimm version, the Queen orders the huntsman to bring back Snow White’s internal organs, saying: “Kill her, and as proof that she is dead bring her lungs and liver back to me.” He kills a boar instead, and brings back to the Queen the boar’s lungs and liver—which the Queen thinks belongs to Snow White and so promptly eats. Ewww! “The cook had to boil them with salt, and the wicked woman ate them, supposing that she had eaten Snow-White’s lungs and liver,” as the Grimm brothers wrote.

The Queen tricks Snow White three separate times in the Grimm version. The first time, she has Snow White try on a corset, which is so tight, Snow White passes out. (The dwarfs save her by cutting the laces.) The second time, she sells Snow White a poisonous comb, which the young girl puts in her hair, causing her to pass out. (The dwarfs take it out.) The third time the Queen tricks her with the same poisonous apple we see in the Disney film.

Having fainted and presumed dead, young Snow-White is placed in a glass coffin in both book and movie. When the Prince happens by in the Grimm version, he insists on taking the deceased beauty away, even though he’s never met her. The dwarfs hesitantly agree, but as they are carrying her coffin out of their house, one of them stumbles. Jostled from her resting place in the coffin, Snow White spits out the apple lodged in her throat and is immediately revived. Without the influence of the Prince’s kiss. (Read more.)
My other posts on Snow White HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Snow White and the Huntsman

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The Unspoken Truth

From Townhall:
For those who got stuck watching the past two weeks of testimony in the circus inquiry into impeaching President Trump there is a bit of news that has been uncovered. Let's face it only about 3 percent of the American people spent time watching the proceedings. Compare that to the near 30 percent of the American people who tuned in to view the Clinton impeachment proceedings and you already understand something very important. 
After watching the Democrats attempt to displace a lawfully elected president via fake charges of collusion with Russia, the voter doesn’t seem very impressed with an effort to displace him over a phony charge of “quid pro quo. Denying due process, witnesses, or even their choice of the committee members who would be allowed to speak just added to the (****yawn****) sham and why people felt no compulsion to view the goings on. 
Now that it appears Democrats have called their final witnesses and they are preparing to recommend the formal articles of impeachment, it’s my belief that the president’s team will finally be allowed to punch back for the first time.  But before they do we need to point out a significant and vital truth (Read more.)

From The Daily Caller:
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues in the House have effectively marshaled a media circus around a 960-second phone call, a Senate trial won’t be as kind as CNN has been. The evidence bears out the following, and it ain’t good reading for House Democrats in swing districts. There was clearly no pressure placed on Zelensky nor Ukraine. The president of Ukraine and his staff all continue to reaffirm this publicly. There have been clear and frank admissions from unelected, career bureaucrats that President Trump got their goat up because he opposed their long-standing foreign policy objectives which the American public elected him to “drain” from the “swamp.” All the relevant witnesses to the impeachment inquiry either affirmed that they heard nothing illegal or impeachable, and that their conclusions about “concern” over the call were reached through presumption, hearsay, and opinion. (Read more.) 

From Trending Politics:
Trick No. 1 is the bait and switch. Dems have already laid the bait. They swear they're reluctant to drag the nation into impeachment, but their duty to defend the rule of law requires it. "Our job is to follow the facts" and "apply the law," says committee member Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. "No one is above the law," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists. Now get ready for the switch: At the hearing, Democrats and their handpicked legal experts will argue that a president can be impeached without breaking a law. Suddenly, impeachment isn't about upholding the rule of law. The grounds are broader -- wide enough to drive a truck through.

Why the switch? Because Dems don't have the goods to show Trump's committed a crime, even after three years of the Mueller investigation, followed by Schiff's televised spectacle.

Expect more deceptive claims from Nadler, including these:

No. 2: The framers wanted impeachment to apply broadly. 
Sorry, but the record is airtight on this one. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, the framers considered grounds for impeachment. On Sept. 8, George Mason suggested that bribery and treason were too narrow, and proposed adding "maladministration." But James Madison objected, explaining that "so vague a term will be equivalent to" saying the president serves at the pleasure of the Congress. The framers did not want to duplicate the British system, which made the executive dependent on Parliament. Mason's idea was dropped, and the framers instead agreed to the more specific term, "high crimes and misdemeanors," where "high" meant offenses committed while in high office, such as embezzling public funds.

The framers couldn't specify federal law violations, because there were no federal laws yet. But today, it's hard for any citizen to steer clear of the tangled web of federal laws. Still, the impeachers can't find a law Trump's broken. 
No. 3: Impeachment is political.

That's what the Democrats want you to accept, but the framers envisioned the Senate trial as a legal proceeding, with Senators under oath to be impartial.

Even so, Alexander Hamilton warned in Federalist 65 that impeachment could someday hinge more on "the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of guilt or innocence." What's happening now is Hamilton's worst nightmare.

No. 4: Congress has a duty to impeach.

The opposite is true. The framers gave Congress discretion to do what is best for the nation. Removing corrupt federal judges comes close to an obligation; otherwise, they'd serve for life. But voters will have an opportunity to remove Trump in less than a year. Congress has more pressing duties such as passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade treaty, on which 176,000 jobs, $68 billion in GDP and the livelihoods of the nation's dairy farmers hinge.

No. 5: Trust left-wing law professors to decide what's impeachable. 
That's dangerous. The liberal legal intelligentsia spin impeachment to serve their politics. Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, one of four academics Nadler is calling to testify, has been gunning for Trump since Day One, just like many House Dems. In an April 2017 interview, Feldman already urged impeachment. The grounds? Trump's criticisms of the press.

Feldman claims, "The real purpose of impeachment at the deepest level is for Congress to express its beliefs about what the right way to be president is." (Read more.)

Here is how the Left attack a mother for defending her child. From The Daily Wire:
Leftists viciously attacked first lady Melania Trump on Wednesday after she defended her 13-year-old son, Barron Trump, from a swipe that he took from a Democrat impeachment witness during the Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing. Stanford Law School Professor Pamela Karlan, a witness for the Democrats, said while talking about the differences between kings and presidents, “So while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.” 
The remark drew widespread criticism from many who thought that it was inappropriate to drag President Donald Trump’s youngest child, who is a minor, into the highly polarizing political circus. Melania Trump wrote on Twitter: “A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.” (Read more.) 

More HERE. Share

Being a Good Mother

It's the most important job on earth. From the National Catholic Register:
“It is my belief that it is best for a child to have his mother as his primary caregiver and for her to be emotionally and physically present for as much of his first three years as possible.”
Komisar acknowledges that making such a statement is controversial and that there are very few people who want to talk about what is truly best for children. She sees the effects of maternal absence on children as a major social issue of our time. Among other things, Komisar cites evidence that a mother’s nurturing presence in a child’s early years helps brain development and offers a greater chance of being emotionally secure. “The capacity to develop in a healthy manner, to regulate stress, to balance emotions, and to feel for another human being begins with mothers,” she writes.
Of course, mere physical presence isn’t enough: mothers must be emotionally present, too. In a society addicted to multi-tasking, Komisar writes that giving a child your divided attention – talking on a cellphone, reading text messages, checking the internet – is not being emotionally present. In her experience, it’s rare to see someone pushing a stroller or baby carriage who isn’t talking on a cellphone at the same time.
Komisar acknowledges that financial concerns are a huge issue for many women when deciding whether to return to work after the birth of a child. But she encourages them to consider whether those financial resources are needed or wanted. “Your baby does not care if she has a bigger room or a Florida vacation; what she wants is you and the safety and security of being in your presence,” she writes. Committing to having children, she says, should mean committing to making sacrifices. For mothers who must work, Komisar offers suggestions on everything from how to make the most of time spent together, to how to handle saying goodbye in the morning and reuniting later, and what questions to ask potential substitute caregivers.
In her 24 years of work as a psychoanalyst, social worker and parent guidance expert, Komisar has treated both adults and children for a variety of ailments, from behavioral and developmental issues, to depression, anxiety and addictions of every kind. “From my firsthand professional observation,” she writes, “I have come to understand the connections between these symptoms and disorders and the emotional and physical absence of young children’s mothers in their day-to-day lives.” Mothers often come to her because their children are having social, behavioral and developmental issues. Komisar believes that in many cases, those symptoms are related to “the premature separation of children from their mothers.” (Read more.)
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Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Spy Who Changed the Course of British History

Prince Charles Edward Stuart
From Nancy Bilyeau:
The year: 1745. London? In a panic. The long-exiled Stuart family driven out in 1688 were threatening to retake the throne of England. Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart, commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, and his largely Scottish army of 6,000 men had made it to Derby, just over 120 miles from the capital.

Since landing at Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides on July 23, 1745, with not even a dozen men, the charismatic prince, grandson of the deposed James II, had recruited influential Highlands leaders, easily taken Edinburgh, and defeated an army led by Hanoverian supporters of the present King at the battle of Prestonpans. Then he turned south, crossing into England.

A horde of "crazed Highlands thieves" was on the move!  There was a run on the Bank of England! George II, who, like his father, had not troubled to hide the fact that he preferred living in Hanover to England, loaded up a ship with personal valuables, in case he needed to flee the vengeful Jacobites and turn the Continent into his permanent home. These were the sorts of wild rumors that swirled 'round the city.

Yet in Derby, the temporary headquarters of the invading army, the mood was far from confident. Prince Charles' advisers had taken note of the lack of English Jacobite support. Few were rallying to their cause. Neither was it at all certain that the French would show up to reinforce the Scottish invasion, a cornerstone of the Stuart strategy. Most worryingly, a well-trained army, most likely led by King George II's son the Duke of Cumberland, must surely be coming to meet them. Who knew how large it would be? (Read more.)
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Missing and Murdered Native Americans

From The Epoch Times:
Barr unveiled the Justice Department’s (DOJ) strategy called The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Initiative during a visit with tribal leaders and law enforcement officials at the Flathead Reservation in Montana on Friday, Nov. 22. The Flathead Reservation is home to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). He said the initiative will “strengthen the federal, state, and tribal law enforcement response” to high rates of violence faced by American Indian and Alaska Native people. 
“American Indian and Alaska Native people suffer from unacceptable and disproportionately high levels of violence, which can have lasting impacts on families and communities,” Barr said in a statement. “Too many of these families have experienced the loss of loved ones who went missing or were murdered.” He highlighted how Native American women face particularly high rates of violence, with at least half suffering sexual or intimate-partner violence in their lifetime. According to a 2016 study funded by the National Institute of Justice, more than 1.5 million Native American women have experienced violence in their lifetime. Meanwhile, the study also found that more than 1.4 million Native American men have experienced violence in their lifetime. 
The initiative will invest $1.5 million to place MMIP coordinators in 11 U.S. Attorney’s offices across the country to develop standard protocols and procedures for responding to reports of missing or murdered Native Americans. The states are Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Oklahoma, Michigan, Utah, Nevada, Minnesota, Oregon, New Mexico, and Washington state, the DOJ said. The Montana MMIP coordinator has already started his position. (Read more.)
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The Most Diverse Movement in History

From Christianity Today:
Centuries of Western art depicting Jesus as fair-skinned may incline some of us to forget that he was a Middle Eastern Jew who lived under oppressive Roman rule and whose followers were first called “Christians” in Antioch—the ruins of which lie in modern-day Turkey. Christianity did not come from the West. But nor was it constrained by its culture of origin. Jesus’ life and teachings scandalized his fellow Jews by tearing through their racial and cultural boundaries. For instance, the hero of the Parable of the Good Samaritan came from a hated ethnic group. Jesus commanded his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). They began at once.

In Acts, we see the Spirit enabling the apostles to evangelize people “from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5), including those from modern-day Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt (Acts 2:5–11). This move of the Spirit to communicate in the heart-language of those listening is one evidence among many that Christianity is a multicultural and multilingual movement. In fact, the Bible itself is multilingual!

The Old Testament is in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. But Jesus’ mother tongue was Aramaic, and the Hebrew Scriptures were mostly accessed by first-century Palestinian Jews via Aramaic translations. We see traces of Jesus’ first language in Mark, when he raises a little girl (Mark 5:41), heals a deaf man (7:34), and cries out to his Father on the cross (15:34). The criminal charge posted at the cross (“Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”) was written in three languages—Aramaic, Latin, and Greek—to cover the relevant languages of the time (John 19:20). But there is no single language of Christianity. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Elizabeth I by Steven van der Meulen

From Bonhams:
This newly discovered and hitherto unrecorded portrait is an important addition to the iconography of Elizabeth I, being a rare early depiction, dating from circa 1562, and is thus one of the first known sophisticated images of Elizabeth as Queen. The earliest images of Elizabeth as monarch were, in Sir Roy Strong's words, 'mechanical workshop productions that portray her standing facing the spectator, a stiff unattractive figure attired in black with an ermine-lined collar to her surcoat.' Examples of that image, known as the 'Northwick Park Pattern' (from the portrait which is now in the National Portrait Gallery with other versions in The Guildhall, Thetford, the National Gallery of Ireland, and recorded at Clopton House) are believed to date from the time of the Queen's accession, circa 1558 (see R. Strong, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, vol. II, figs. 186 and 187). The present portrait is one of the first pictures of the Queen made in response to the undated draft proclamation put together by William Cecil imploring the Queen to have her likeness taken, designed to counter debased images of the Queen and which set up in their place the idea that an approved portrait might be produced. (Read more.)
Via East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Share

Impeachment Is Failing

From PJ Media:
In the video, Schiff concocts scheme after impeachment scheme and they all blow up in his face. That’s what the American people are seeing in the impeachment of President Donald Trump – the Democrats have been trying to remove Trump by any means they could find since before he took office. First it was Russia! Russia! Russia!, now it’s the Ukraine phone call. There was nothing wrong with the Ukraine phone call. In Hunter Biden and his enormous monthly paycheck from Ukraine energy company Burisma while Joe Biden, his father, was vice president of the United States, there is strong evidence of a pay-to-play arrangement – even a quid pro quo, to borrow the Latin phrase the Democrats used for impeachment and then quickly discarded once it polled poorly. Democrats forgot they’ve pushed Latin out of our education system in favor of divisive social indoctrination. (Read more.)

From The Epoch Times:
The case built by Democrats running the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump currently rests entirely on secondhand evidence, assumptions, and speculation, according to a report released by House Republicans on Dec. 2. Republicans released the 123-page report (pdf) one day before House Intelligence Committee Democrats released a report of their own on Dec. 3. The Democrat report is expected to soon be presented before the House Judiciary Committee. Trump said he read the Republican report during his flight to the United Kingdom.

Republicans assess that the Democrats have so far failed to substantiate the allegation at the core of the impeachment inquiry: that Trump sought to boost his reelection chances by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential political rival. While Democrats assert that the allegation has been proven, during the past several weeks, no witness has offered firsthand evidence of Trump exerting pressure or conditioning any official act on Ukraine’s compliance with his request. “The evidence does not support the accusation that President Trump pressured President Zelensky to initiate investigations for the purpose of benefiting the President in the 2020 election,” the report stated.

“The evidence does not support the accusation that President Trump covered up the summary of his phone conversation with President Zelensky. The evidence does not support the accusation that President Trump obstructed the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.” (Read more.)
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In the Depths of the Ocean

From National Geographic:
In general, oceanic hydrothermal vents arise when seawater seeps through cracks in Earth’s crust and mingles with hot rocks beneath the surface; those buried molten rocks heat the saltwater and fuel chemical reactions that erupt in a roiling mass through vents in Earth’s crust. The continual extrusion of mineral-rich, superheated seawater provides the heat and energy needed for some organisms to thrive in these cold, dark depths, including a menagerie of vent-specific gigantic tube worms, foot-long clams, blind shrimp, and extreme microbes
For a long time, canonical wisdom had suggested that hydrothermal vent activity could only exist at the fastest spreading mid-ocean ridges—places like the East Pacific Rise, where Earth’s tectonic plates are hustling away from one another at speeds of around seven inches a year. At these bursting planetary seams, the brisk spreading of Earth’s crust means that fresh magma is always available to fuel the vents. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Giovanni Maria de Agostini

From Smithsonian:
About 50 miles east of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, Hermit Peak rises some 10,000 feet amid the pinyon-juniper woodland of the Pecos Wilderness. The hermit for which it was named was an Italian-born monk, Giovanni Maria de Agostini. For three years in the 1860s, Agostini lived high up on the mountain, foraging for food and getting water from a spring. Despite his self-imposed solitude he managed to attract a following during an era of religious fervor and experimentation in America. At the end of the 19th century, a local organization created in his honor, the Sociedad del Ermitaño, or the Society of the Hermit, counted 62 members. Their main practice was a long trek to the peak to pray and erect crosses. 
Today, the Society of the Hermit’s solemn tradition has faded almost to the vanishing point, and might be lost entirely if not for one family. “I go to Mass on Sundays and I take my kids, but I feel closer to God praying in that cave, remembering that my uncle used to be right here and my grandpa used to be right here,” said Joseph Abeyta, a 36-year-old resident of Las Vegas, New Mexico. There are a handful of other Society members still in the area, but this past September, the Abeytas were the only ones who made the trek to Hermit Peak. The photographer Gabriel Ellison-Scowcroft accompanied the family to document this unique rite of faith. (Read more.)
The book is available HERE. Share