Sunday, November 29, 2020

‎Château de Borneau


 From My Journal:

Erin and Jean quickly realized that they could afford a much better lifestyle for themselves in France, and had considered purchasing a property they could renovate together. It became clear that this might be the perfect new opportunity for them. The couple both shared a unique interest and appreciation for historic buildings, and soon began looking into purchasing a heritage home that they could invest in, likely one that would need a bit of extra work. They figured that they could let out part of their property to holiday-goers as a way of making extra income. Erin still feared that her French wouldn’t improve enough to land a job. As it turned out, she needn’t have worried. They perused the property market, looking at manoirs (manor houses) in the countryside. They soon realized that with the right property, they could turn their new house into full-time employment for both of them!

[...]

They were unsure, but the property he sent them was only a 45-minute drive from where they were staying. They figured it was worth a look, and that maybe luck would strike. And strike it did! The property was absolutely breath-taking, and they described their first visit as a coup de foudre - love at first sight. The stunning estate was nestled in Vendée, Pays de Loire, a region in western France. On the edge of a forest near the small village of Bourneau, the building looked like something out of a fairytale. The couple knew that they had found their new home within the grounds of the Château de Bourneau. (Read more.)




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Showdown in Gettysburg

 From American Greatness:

“Everything is at stake in this election cycle, the republic is at stake,” State Senator Doug Mastriano said during a forceful opening statement Wednesday afternoon. “We’ve got a lot of problems . . . it opened the door to a lot of the shenanigans and abuses and folly that we’re dealing with in this state.” (Mastriano is a retired U.S. Army colonel with a doctorate in history and four masters degrees.) The first-term state legislator said the committee had heard from “tens of thousands” of Pennsylvanians demanding action.

Several witnesses told the senate majority policy committee about widespread malfeasance including unsecure counting facilities, secret pre-canvassing of votes, massive and sudden vote dumps for Joe Biden, ballots scanned more than once, and “armloads of ballots” arriving out of nowhere without a chain-of-custody paper trail. Poll watchers were harassed, called racists, and kept far away from the vote-counting process; one longtime processing facility in Delaware County was moved from a courthouse to a parking lot near a loading dock with open access. 

“There was no cooperation, complete resistance from election night and every day after,” Leah Hoops, a Republican poll watcher, told the committee.

After an injunction forced county election officials to permit observers into the facility, they were only allowed in for five minutes every two hours and kept “20 feet away from any physical ballot,” Hoops testified. “We have been intimidated, threatened, bullied, spent countless hours away from our families, friends and jobs. We have signed affidavits under penalty of perjury.”

Another poll watcher, a data scientist working with Hoops, testified that voters who were supposed to receive provisional ballots instead received regular ballots and that approximately 70,000 mail-in ballots were abandoned and untabulated. (Read more.)

 

From The Epoch Times:

Republican state lawmakers in Pennsylvania on Friday announced a resolution they will soon be introducing to dispute the results of the 2020 election.

The text of the resolution, released in a memo on Nov. 27, states that the executive and judicial branches of the Keystone State’s government usurped the legislature’s constitutional power to set the rules of the election.

The resolution “declares that the selection of presidential electors and other statewide electoral contest results in this commonwealth is in dispute” and “urges the secretary of the commonwealth and the governor to withdraw or vacate the certification of presidential electors and to delay certification of results in other statewide electoral contests voted on at the 2020 general election.”

It also “urges the United States Congress to declare the selection of presidential electors in this Commonwealth to be in dispute.”

Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly said in a statement, “A number of compromises of Pennsylvania’s election laws took place during the 2020 General Election. The documented irregularities and improprieties associated with mail-in balloting, pre-canvassing, and canvassing have undermined our elector process and as a result we cannot accept certification of the results in statewide races.”

They added, “We believe this moment is pivotal and important enough that the General Assembly needs to take extraordinary measures to answer these extraordinary questions. We also believe our representative oversight duty as Pennsylvania’s legislative branch of government demands us to re-assume our constitutional authority and take immediate action.”

The proposed text lists three steps taken by the judicial and executive branches to change the rule of the election.

First, on Sept. 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court “unlawfully and unilaterally” extended the deadline by which mail ballots could be received, mandated that ballots without a postmark would be treated as timely, and allowed for ballots without a verified voted signature to be accepted, the resolution says.

Second, on Oct. 23, upon a petition from the secretary of the commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that signatures on mail-in ballots need not be authenticated.

And third, on Nov. 2, the secretary of the commonwealth “encouraged certain counties to notify party and candidate representatives of mail-in voters whose ballots contained defects,” the resolution says.

All of the changes are contrary to the Pennsylvania Election Code, which requires mail-in ballots to be received at 8 p.m. on Election Day, mandates that signatures on the mail-in ballots be authenticated, and forbids the counting of defective mail-in ballots.

The resolution also lists a variety of election irregularities and potential fraud, including the issues brought up by witnesses during the hearing before the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee on Nov. 25.

“On November 24, 2020, the Secretary of the Commonwealth unilaterally and prematurely certified results of the November 3, 2020 election regarding presidential electors despite ongoing litigation,” the resolution states.

“The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has the duty to ensure that no citizen of this Commonwealth is disenfranchised, to insist that all elections are conducted according to the law, and to satisfy the general public that every legal vote is counted accurately.”

Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, said Friday that the GOP-controlled state legislature will make a bid to reclaim its power to appoint the state’s electors to the Electoral College, saying they could start the process on Nov. 30. (Read more.)


Also from The Epoch Times:

In Pennsylvania, a judge ruling may clear a narrow path for a Trump victory in the Keystone state.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Judge Patricia McCullough wrote in an opinion (pdf) on Friday that the Republican argument that the mail-in voting conducted in the recent general election was unconstitutional may win the case, according to Act 77. She wrote to explain her rationale for her injunction blocking the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results.

McCullough suggested that because having the legislature to appoint the electors—an “untenable” option “if the majority of voters who did not vote by mail entered their votes in accord with a constitutionally recognized method”—was not the only “equitable remedy” for the state to uphold “a most basic constitutional right of the people to a fair and free election,” she would grant to injunction.

But her ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, which is the appeal court in the state, on Saturday. The case is now very likely to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Another possible path for Trump’s reelection goes through the state legislature.

The GOP state lawmakers in Pennsylvania announced on the same day that they will introduce a resolution to request the United States Congress to declare that the results of the 2020 election in the Commonwealth are in dispute, The Epoch Times reported.

State senator Doug Mastriano, a Republican, told Steve Bannon’s War Room on Friday that the GOP-controlled state legislature was going to make a bid to reclaim its power to appoint the state’s electors to the Electoral College.

The Pennsylvania Republicans took those actions after a public hearing organized by the Senate Republicans on Nov. 25. Giuliani, several poll watchers, and experts testified during the hearing.

Similar hearings have been scheduled in Arizona for Monday and in Michigan on Dec. 1.

Trump on Saturday praised state lawmakers for defending the U.S. Constitution.

“So much credit to all of the brave men and women in state houses who are defending our great Constitution. Thank you!” the president wrote in a Twitter post. (Read more.)

 

From Revolver:

A thorough and damning new analysis just published calls the legitimacy of this critical period into question and shows just how completely ridiculous and far-fetched the core of Joe Biden’s comeback really was in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia. It flags four individual vote dumps critical to Joe Biden’s “victory” in these states and shows, convincingly, that their ratios of Biden votes to Trump votes were profoundly anomalous when compared to other dumps in those states and virtually every other vote dump across the country.

The report is written in dry and academic language, filled with graphs, footnotes, and various hedges, but its implications could not be more obvious. Indeed, if the authors were less tepid, they might have fairly titled it:

Joe Biden’s Victory Was Not Legitimate. And Now We Can Prove it.

Because that’s exactly what the report does.  It looks at election data and shows what many would expect: the states and cities that had the most suspicious circumstances on election night and into the next day are precisely where the analysis flags extreme anomalies.

Summary and Background of the Report

It starts out with the background on Michigan and Wisconsin — the famous “vote spikes” that were plainly ridiculous and fundamentally changed both the electoral reality and the narrative. The report reminds us of the infamous vote spikes in Michigan and Wisconsin. (Read more.)

 

From Big League Politics:

Michigan whistleblowers who have signed sworn affidavits attesting to grotesque electoral fraud by Democrats are demanding to be heard in a legislative hearing similar to what took place in Pennsylvania earlier this week.

“Media says they see no evidence of fraud. Legislative leadership says, “We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.” Hundreds of poll challengers who witnessed fraud such as myself beg to differ. We believe that the truth about election needs to finally be heard without a media censorship filter,” former state senator Patrick Colbeck said in a press release.

“The people of Michigan deserve fair, open, transparent elections, and this year, for the first time in decades, their trust in our elections was shattered. If lawmakers fail in this most basic duty to hear the testimony of dozens of not hundreds of eyewitnesses, Michiganders at large will lose faith not only in their electoral process but in their Legislature as well,” said poll worker Adam de Angeli of Milan. (Read more.)

 

 From UncoverDC:

Earlier this evening, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a brief, three-page order dismissing an election lawsuit brought by Sean Parnell and several other qualified Pennsylvania voters challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s recently-enacted state law governing mail-in voting. In doing so, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court also vacated a lower court judge’s preliminary injunction preventing the Pennsylvania Secretary of State from certifying the results of the 2020 General Election pending resolution of the lawsuit.

In dismissing the lawsuit, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did so on the narrowest of grounds: that Parnell and the other voters waited too long to file it. By styling their decision thus, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court avoided having to decide the case on the actual merits: Is the Pennsylvania mail-in voting law unconstitutional under the Pennsylvania state constitution? As we shall see below, the answer is most likely “yes.”

The Pennsylvania constitution allows absentee voting under five situations: (1) work; (2) illness; (3) physical disability; (4) the election occurring on a religious holiday; or (5) a person’s election-day duties themselves preventing the person from voting in person. No other justifications are allowed for absentee voting under the Pennsylvania constitution.

Towards the end of 2019, a majority of both houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the relevant mail-in voting legislation at issue here. As I discussed in my previous two articles, this legislation expanded voting by mail beyond the above-five situations under the Pennsylvania constitution to include any situation. In other words, the law purported to allow voting by mail for any reason whatsoever.

But while the General Assembly passed the legislation, this was not, in and of itself, sufficient to amend the Pennsylvania constitution and expand voting by mail beyond the above-five circumstances. To amount to a constitutional amendment, the Pennsylvania constitution requires that the law be passed a second time by a majority vote of both houses of the General Assembly in the next legislative assembly. Once that is done, a majority of Pennsylvania voters then have to approve the mail-in voting legislation in a statewide election.

The above process has not taken place. Indeed, the Pennsylvania General Assembly itself appears to have recognized that such an expansion of mail-in voting would have to come about via a constitutional amendment, as the law itself was originally presented as a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution. (Read more.)


More HERE.

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Patriotism Isn’t Fascism

People forget that patriotism is a virtue. From Intellectual Takeout:

Evidence for this ignorance is more than anecdotal. For years the vast majority of our students have flunked national tests on American history, with less than a quarter of the test takers winning the grade of “proficient.” Many students don’t understand, for example, why we fought the British in our Revolution, or what year the Constitution was ratified.

One reason for this decline has to do with sheer neglect. The once commonplace memorization of historic dates, events, and names has in many classrooms gone by the wayside.

Moreover, many history textbooks and teachers focus these days on social justice issues: racism, sexism, transphobia, the evils of capitalism, and the past sins of America. Certainly, our students should leave the classroom aware of the imperfections of their country’s past, but the pendulum has swung too far. We are not only failing to educate our young people, but we are also teaching them to despise their country. (Read more.)


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Saturday, November 28, 2020

House in Locust Valley

 From House Beautiful:

While buying the house was an easy decision, actually furnishing it was a more complicated process. One by one, she updated each room—out went the ’70s shag carpeting and heavy window treatments, in went decorative molding and French doors—filling them with a mix of custom pieces (like a blue velvet sectional that pulls out into a queen bed for visiting cousins), antiques from her shops (she has a special affinity for Louis XVI furniture), and personal art (the antique map collection in the family room includes Washington, D.C., where she grew up, and her husband’s home state of California). “It took time, but it was worth it,” says Pash. “A house needs layers and memories to feel like a home.” (Read more.)


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Evidence of Vote Fraud Enough to Flip States

 

 From The Epoch Times. More HERE.


An interview with Lin Wood. From DJHJ Media:
Attorney Lin Wood has been vocal about his pursuit of justice for what he feels is extreme corruption at a the government level and that he feels stole an election from President Donald J. Trump, and he claims that the Government has been hiding the truth about elections for many years.

From an explosive interview with Pirro on Friday Pirro, who took a call about the German servers, said:

“Every time the president asked someone to do something, it ends up in the newspaper and they say the president is, you know, illegally requesting that people on his staff do things they shouldn’t do.

Christopher Wray, I don’t have any faith in that guy. I didn’t like the guy from the first time he testified at a hearing, saying, yeah, he’d tried to get the records that the Congressional Oversight Committee had a right to — had a right to demand. He said he tried to get it to them. He still hasn’t gotten it to them. So, you know, that swamp is deep, deep, deep...But, yeah, those machines were seized. We don’t know who took the machines."

[...]

“I’ve met with Sidney Powell….I’ve seen the evidence with respect to the Dominion machines and the software they used and how they ran it through Barcelona in Spain where they manipulated the votes. They’ve done this in prior elections. This time they got caught,” he said.

“Trust the President of the United States. He knows what he’s doing. I guarantee you the real vote was an overwhelming landslide for Donald Trump. The servers that were seized in Frankfurt a few days ago, from a company called Scytl. Those servers show the real vote. Trump won this election with 410 Electoral votes,” Wood said. (Read more.)
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The Great Conjunction

The last such alignment was in 1226, the year St. Louis IX of France began his  reign. From SciTechDaily:

Just after sunset on the evening of December 21, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer together in Earth’s night sky than they have been since the Middle Ages, offering people the world over a celestial treat to ring in the winter solstice.

“Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to one another,” said Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan. “You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.”

Jupiter and Saturn have been approaching one another in Earth’s sky since the summer. From December 16-25, the two will be separated by less than the diameter of a full moon. (Read more.)

 

From EarthSky:

Astronomers use the word conjunction to describe meetings of planets and other objects on our sky’s dome. They use the term great conjunction to describe meetings of the two biggest worlds in our solar system, mighty Jupiter and the glorious ringed planet Saturn. The next great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be December 21, 2020. That date is, coincidentally, the date of the December solstice. It’ll be the first Jupiter-Saturn conjunction since the year 2000, and the closest Jupiter-Saturn conjunction since 1623, only 14 years after Galileo made his first telescope. At their closest, Jupiter and Saturn will be only 0.1 degree apart. That’s just 1/5 of a full moon diameter. (Read more.)

More HERE. And HERE.


Meanwhile, there is a full moon eclipse on November 30. From LiveScience:

Skywatchers admiring November's full moon will also get to see another treat: a penumbral eclipse, when the moon passes through Earth's outer shadow, on Monday, Nov. 30, according to NASA.

The moon will be at its fullest for only a moment — on Monday, that happens at 4:30 a.m. EST (9:30 UTC) — but the moon will appear full for three days: from Saturday night through Tuesday morning (Nov. 28 to Dec. 1).  

Meanwhile, sky gazers need to remember three times to catch the penumbral eclipse: It starts before the full moon at 2:32 a.m. EST (7:32 UTC); reaches its maximum at 4:42 a.m. EST (9:42 UTC), when 83% of the moon will be covered with Earth's faint shadow; and ends at 6:53 a.m. EST (11:53 UTC) Monday morning, according to timeanddate.com(Read more.)


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Friday, November 27, 2020

Black Friday 2020

I wish everyone a safe and blessed Thanksgiving weekend. And with Advent coming, let us remember that books make wonderful gifts!

  Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars: Her Life, Her Times, Her Legacy


Here is a quote from a letter I received from a reader in Belgium: "I immediately began to read, and I really love your style. I love the way you tell us stories about Marie Antoinette and how you put yourself in these stories. This way of writing deeply touch me because it is very personal and it's like...comfortably sitting by the fire and listening." 

"Daughter of the Caesars succeeds in dispelling many of the most persistent myths and misconceptions about Marie Antoinette. It is an engaging, conversational read that clears away the pervasive pop culture image of Marie Antoinette and instead places the maligned queen back into the context of her life as an 18th century consort. A must-read for anyone with an interest in Marie Antoinette or her times."--Anna Gibson of Vive la Reine

"Are you looking for an interesting biography of Marie-Antoinette? This one is just perfect. Based on extensive documentation and providing relevant analysis, this book puts the Queen of France back in her family and political context."-- Autour de Marie-Antoinette

"Elena Maria Vidal is a fantastic writer and researcher. She paints a realistic portrait of Marie-Antoinette with facts to back all of it up. It's very exciting. This book is spiritual, adventurous, and sweet." --Sarah Patten at Her Storyline

"Marie Antoinette is one of history's most controversial queens. In this Catholic biography of Marie Antoinette, Mrs. Vidal states that by killing both Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the revolutionaries were killing the Catholic kingdom that they represented. This is because the goal of the French Revolution was to get rid of the Catholic church. The reason for this is because many Catholics were killed, especially those who were unwilling to convert. She also argues the popular misconceptions of Marie Antoinette that have been passed down for centuries and have been reinforced in Hollywood primarily the Marie Antoinette film starring Kirsten Dunst." --History from a Woman's Perspective
  
 Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars is available internationally from Amazon.com.

 
 The Paradise Tree: A Novel
 
 “With this marvelous immigrant saga, Elena Maria Vidal reminds us why our forebears left the Old World for the New: for Faith, family, and freedom! Through three generations of an Irish clan in Canada, she invites us into their home for struggle and triumph, celebrations of joy and sorrow, music, feasting, and dancing. The Paradise Tree makes ‘the past and present mingle and become one’ for the reader’s great delight.” ~Stephanie A. Mann, author of Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation

“Elena Maria Vidal’s latest book, The Paradise Tree, is the fictionalized true story of the author’s devoutly Catholic ancestors who immigrated to Canada from Ireland. It is filled with rich detailed history recounting the hardships and joys of the 19th century O’Connor Family. Beautifully written with great attention to historical, geographical and religious accuracy, this fascinating and moving family saga is a treasure that I highly recommend!” ~Ellen Gable Hrkach, award-winning author of In Name Only and four other novels

"An Irish immigrant builds a new life in Canada, the decades marked by marriage, children and the odd otherworldly encounter....An imaginative, meticulously told history that will especially appeal to those with Irish roots." ~ from Kirkus Reviews

"This is a stunningly lovely book, the perfect thing to get lost in for an afternoon." ~from the San Francisco Book Review (starred review)

"...Historical fiction at its best" ~D.Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

The Paradise Tree does what good novels should. It tells us a story, it shows us what it means to be human—replete with the triumphs, sadness, and conflicts entailed in being human—while whisking us away to another world that is not our own. For 232 pages we are extracted from our lives and into the lives of the O’Connor family. We root for them. We feel their hardships. We feel their connection and disconnection as a family while we are shown a distant time and place, filled with potentially unfamiliar folkways. In the end we are pleasantly reminded that the O’Connors’ story is just as much ours as we traverse the familiar territory of faith, family, and love, and how we still find ourselves dancing in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.~ The Portland Book Review

"Vidal does an excellent job of demonstrating the lifeline that the Catholic faith becomes for the O'Connor family and how it binds them together in the toughest of circumstances." ~Savvy Verse and Wit

"Weaving fact with fiction...realistic and stirring. An emotional tale of hardship, struggle to survive...with vivid descriptions of life in that place and time period. This book will appeal to those that like a good historical fiction story with depth and new beginnings." ~Just One More Chapter

"Vidal was able to write about devout Catholicism in a way that Protestants and other non-Catholics could follow." ~West Metro Mommy Reads

"The Paradise Tree by Elena Maria Vidal is a sweeping tale of an Irish-Canadian family that I happily dare to mention in the same breath as Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind" ~ from Back Porchervations

"As we journey through the years of the O'Connor family the author brings alive the joys, triumphs, struggles, and sorrows in such a vivid way that often you feel as though you are experiencing them yourself." ~Peeking Between the Pages

"Despite the sadness of many of the scenes, there is great charm in the lively portrayal of a family filled with love of learning and poetry. The hope of eternal life sustains Daniel, his wife and children through many tragedies.  Joy continually mingles with sorrow." ~Cross of Laeken

"The Paradise Tree is one of those books that made me feel happy and secure while reading even though some really terrible things happened to the family. I always had the sense that they would persevere and thrive. The Paradise Tree is a sweeping family saga that I will be suggesting to my friends and family. It was such an enjoyable book."~A Book Geek

"The people in the story felt so real to me and almost like they could have also been my ancestors."~Book Drunkard

"I loved the historical perspective that Elena Maria Vidal presented in The Paradise Tree: A Novel. It was interesting and informative to learn about the Irish. Vidal's writing was engaging and the story was filled with heart, soul, family loyalty, history, and unexpected twists and turns. I enjoyed this beautiful story and recommend it." ~Book Nerd

"Whoever you are, wherever your people came from, and whatever you enjoy doing with your free time, I don’t hesitate for a moment to recommend purchasing Elena Maria Vidal’s latest historical fiction novel The Paradise Tree." ~Lear, Kent, Fool

"A good historical fiction novel takes you back in time and presents the good, the bad and the ugly in a manner that informs and clarifies. A great historical fiction novel goes beyond that to lift up your soul as the heroes and heroines overcome obstacles both man made and natural. The result is the reader is left open jawed amazed and transformed. This book is a great historical fiction novel. I wept with them, I laughed at them but most importantly, I felt privileged to be invited to gaze inside their paradise tree." ~Stephen's review of The Paradise Tree on Goodreads

 
 Purchase The Paradise Tree HERE.  


Trianon: A Novel of Royal France

 

"What distinguishes this short and readable book from others is Vidal's examining their lives in light of their Catholic faith in a country that, until the Revolution, was the 'eldest daughter of the Church.'" ~Mike May, Pittsburgh Magazine

 "Exhaustively researched and yet completely accessible for those who wish to understand the events from a very personal perspective." ~Genevieve Kineke, Canticle Magazine

"Through the tragedy and the violence, the genocide and the thousand petty cruelties, Trianon remains, resolutely, a novel of hope." --Gareth Russell, author of Popular and The Emperors

"It's very refreshing to see fiction that strays away from the popular view of Marie Antoinette. Vidal has done extensive research on the royal family and it truly shows." ~Anna Gibson at Reading Treasure

"For me, reading Trianon was like the Heavens opening up and hearing the angels sing.  It's the 'be all and end all' of all things Antoinette." ~Book Drunkard

"A master of storytelling, the author makes you laugh and cry, right along with the characters. A true masterpiece, I rank this book along with the great Classics." ~Wilsonville Public Library Blog

"Be prepared to learn history as it should have been told. You will experience their life, their love, their faith, for you have never known them as you will after reading this book...Be prepared to be moved beyond belief." ~Enchanted by Josephine 

"Elegantly written, it is, quite simply, a heart-wrenching account of the trials and martyrdom of the king and queen of France, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette." ~Christine Niles, radio host of Forward Boldly

 
 

Purchase Trianon HERE.


Madame Royale: A Novel

 

 


"An unforgettable portrait of a royal life... Madame Royale is a fantastic tribute to one of Europe's most tragic, but courageous princesses." ~Gareth Russell, author of Popular and The Emperors

"The...backdrop of this heartrending story is that none of us can choose the circumstances into which we are born, and yet those...circumstances are the very proving ground of virtue, our own gymnasium of charity." ~Genevieve Kineke, Canticle Magazine

"Vidal gives us a gripping portrait of a woman whose personal destiny is enmeshed with the convulsions of the French Revolution and European history." ~Catherine Delors, author of For the King and Mistress of the Revolution

"In Trianon, faith gives the King and Queen the courage to face death; in Madame Royale, faith gives their daughter the courage to face life. Marie-Thérèse's story is truly one of bloodless martyrdom." ~Cross of Laeken

 

Purchase Madame Royale HERE.


The Night's Dark Shade: A Novel of the Cathars

 
 
"From the first page, Vidal draws the reader into a vibrant world of action and emotion. Raphaelle de Miramande is an engaging young heroine, bravely facing physical and moral dangers and dilemmas in search of truth and love. Vidal's novel captures the spirit of the Middle Ages." ~Stephanie A. Mann, author of Supremacy and Survival

"A harrowing and engrossing journey." ~Catherine Delors, author of Mistress of the Revolution and For the King

"The novel illustrates how easily and insidiously the abhorrent becomes desirable, the selfish honorable when individuals seek nothing beyond the fulfillment of their own desires, a message perhaps even more relevant today than it was centuries ago." ~Julianne Douglas, Writing the Renaissance 

"Elena Maria Vidal has been gifted with an eye for historical detail, an energetic imagination, an elegant writing style, and a keen and informed faith, all of which blend attractively together in this her latest work." ~Christine Niles, radio host of Forward Boldly

"In the first chapter the setting, plot, and all the main characters are all well-established....The novel moves on, mixing history and drama, at a good pace. Raphaelle is caught up in several major dilemmas; we can truly sympathize with what she is going through." ~Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller, blogger


Image source

 Purchase The Night's Dark Shade HERE.

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Explosive Testimony

From Townhall:

Gregory Stenstrom, a Navy veteran and forensic computer scientist, testified Wednesday before the State Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, about an election process in Delaware County he described as being “forensically destructive.” 

“In all cases the chain of custody was broken,” the GOP poll watcher said. “It was broken for the mail in ballots, the drop box ballots, the election day USB card flash drives."

Not one procedure defined by the Delaware County Board of Elections and Election Process Review was followed, he added.

Stenstrom said he, along with Democratic poll watchers, witnessed a person described as “not a part of the process” come in with bags of USB cards, uploading them into machines.

"I personally observed USB cards being uploaded to voting machines by the voting machine warehouse supervisor on multiple occasions. I saw this personally. I brought it to the attention of the deputy sheriff who was there stationed, who was a senior law enforcement officer, and I brought to the attention of the clerk of elections," he said. 

"I brought it to their attention. I objected, and I said this person is not being observed," he continued. "He’s not part of the process that I can see, and he’s walking in with baggies — which we have pictures of and it was submitted in our affidavits — and he was sticking these USBs into the machines.

"So I personally witnessed that happen over 24 times. We have multiple other witnesses who saw it, including Democrat poll watchers." (Read more.)


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The Hidden King

 From Fr. Paul Scalia at The Catholic Thing:

Now, the story of a hidden king has always delighted us. There is something in the tale of an obscure, humble man whose veins run with royal blood that inspires and gives hope. We see this figure perhaps first in King David, who is the least in his family and yet divinely chosen, anointed, and elevated to the throne of Israel. There is Arthur, the unknown king who alone can draw the sword from the stone. Tolkien’s Aragorn hides his royal lineage until the time for him to reclaim the crown of Gondor. And so on.

But these are just faint hints and echoes of the real hidden King. Jesus comes into the world possessing all might but wielding none of it. At His birth, His own people fail to recognize His Kingship; magi from the east have to bring the news. Even when Jesus begins His public life, the Baptist announces Him cryptically as “one among you whom you do not recognize.” (Jn 1:26)

Unlike the others, however, this King’s humble state is not a fiction or a setback. He truly becomes one with us, His subjects – sharing our humble joys and deep sorrows, being like us in all things but sin. He veils His divine authority under our frail humanity as both King and kin. (Read more.)

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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving in the Midst of the Fall

 From Beyond These Stone Walls:

Ten years ago this week, I wrote a post that was to become one of the most read and cited from behind these stone walls. It was the story of the real unsung hero behind the account of the first Thanksgiving that you thought you knew. It is a story that was kept hidden in plain sight for centuries while the story of the bravery and resourcefulness of the Mayflower Pilgrims of 1620 prevailed. Don't miss, "The True Story of Thanksgiving: Squanto, the Pi1grims, and the Pope."

This story became a Thanksgiving tradition for our readers over the last decade. It is a remarkable story of human crisis and redemption told in the odyssey of Squanto, a Native American who, like our friend, Pornchai, was stolen from his home, taken to a foreign land, rescued from slavery by a Catholic priest, and then, in the end, restored to his homeland only to find it nearly devastated from a global pandemic. He arrived just before the Mayflower pilgrims did 400 years ago this week. Squanto became one of history's great emissaries of Divine Mercy.

My version of the story has appeared in numerous sources including a pair of history books. One of them is 1620: The True Story of Thanksgiving by Rick Gregory (2015) and an essay, "A Eucharistic Thanksgiving" by Adam N. Crawford.

I hope you will read and share that story anew to mark Thanksgiving 400 years later as the Pilgrims did, in uncertain times and surrounded in darkness. And please pray for us as we do for you. There is cause for Thanksgiving here! (Read more.)


About Squanto. From the Cape Cod Times:

His is such a seminal backstory to Plimoth Colony that the lack of historical reference to it is conspicuous. While Squanto avoided the Great Dying — an epidemic from 1616 to 1619 that wiped out tens of thousands of Natives from Maine to Cape Cod — his life was nonetheless tragic. 

As a young man he was among 20 unfortunate men of Patuxet lured aboard the ship of Thomas Hunt in 1614 to be sold into slavery in Spain. He spent at least six weeks in the dank, dark belly of a ship, chained to his brothers, given just enough fresh water, raw fish and stale bread to keep them alive. 

In Malaga, Spain, Hunt attempted to unload his cargo of stunned and bewildered Wampanoag men in the slave market with little success, due to uninterested brokers and the intervention of a religious order of friars. Squanto ultimately made his way to London, where he found himself living with John Slaney, a man who had great potential to afford him passage home. He likely did all he could to appease Slaney, who was a merchant and shipbuilder and also a grantee of the land patent issued to the Newfoundland Company. Squanto bided his time, charming his host and earning celebrity as a novelty. The presence of a Native man fascinated Londoners. Not only were Native men set apart by their bronze skin, chiseled features and dark eyes, but they were virtual giants to the small-statured Englishmen. Squanto’s faithfulness paid off. Slaney allowed Squanto to travel as a guide to Newfoundland, where he met Thomas Dermer, an English explorer who brought him home in 1619.

Very few personal details of Squanto’s life are known, not even his age or if he had a wife or children, and with the exception of a brief remark in Dermer’s notes, nothing is said about his homecoming. However, as news of the Great Dying had reached England, he almost certainly had been forewarned. But could Squanto have possibly been prepared for the stark stillness to the hum of life overtaken by weeds, windswept by neglect, abandoned but for the bones and rotting flesh of the dead, his loved ones, left as they clung to their last breath in gruesome repose? This defining moment was described by Dermer in remarkably few words: “We arrived at my savage's native country (finding all dead).” 

If the reality of Patuxet was mortifying — and despite the lack of descriptive text on the occasion, there is little doubt of that — the welcome home, or lack thereof, must have been a crushing anticlimax after Squanto’s five-year absence. (Read more.)


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The Kraken

 Meanwhile, while you were sleeping...From Just the News:

Prominent defense attorney Sidney Powell sued Georgia's top officials late Wednesday, alleging in federal court that the GOP-run state government permitted a massive voter fraud scheme that rigged the Nov. 3 election in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on behalf of several Georgia residents, electors and Republican Party officials and named Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and state election board members as defendants.

The 104-page complaint asked the court to issue an injunction "prohibiting the Governor and Secretary of State from transmitting the currently certified results to the Electoral College based on the overwhelming evidence of election tampering." (Read more.)

 

 From The Gateway Pundit:

The Kraken came down to Georgia on this Thanksgiving Eve in the form of a 104 pg BOMBSHELL complaint exposing the massive fraud that overwhelmed the 2020 Georgia Elections. Georgia, you are most certainly on our minds. Link to filing to come, stay tuned! (Read more.)


(UPDATE.) From The Epoch Times:

Attorney Sidney Powell filed a federal lawsuit late Wednesday alleging “massive election fraud” and multiple violations of the Constitution and Georgia’s state laws in the 2020 general election, as well as issues pertaining to Dominion Voting Systems.

The civil action alleges that the purpose of the scheme was for “illegally and fraudulently manipulating the vote count to make certain the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States.” A similar separate suit was filed in Michigan.

The Georgia suit (pdf) was filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and other election officials.

The suit seeks to compel the court to invalidate the election results in Georgia. It was filed on behalf of plaintiffs including Republican Party nominees for the electoral college, the chairman of the Cobb County Republican Party Jason Shepherd, and the Assistant Secretary of the Georgia Republican Party, Brian Jay Van Gundy.

The 104-page complaint argues that “incontrovertible evidence Board of Elections records demonstrates that at least 96,600 absentee ballots were requested and counted but were never recorded as being returned to county election boards by the voter. Thus, at a minimum, 96,600 votes must be disregarded.”

According to the suit, fraud was also allegedly “executed by many means” but the “most troubling, insidious, and egregious” way was the “systemic adaptation of old-fashioned ‘ballot-stuffing.'” It alleges computerized ballot-stuffing and manipulation by software created and run by domestic and foreign actors. The complaint cited affidavits from multiple witnesses, documentation, as well as expert testimony that raised “sheer mathematical impossibilities” in the election results supporting the claims.

“Especially egregious conduct arose in Forsyth, Paulding, Cherokee, Hall, and Barrow County,” the complaint read. “This scheme and artifice to defraud affected tens of thousands of votes in Georgia alone and ‘rigged’ the election in Georgia for Joe Biden.”

In particular, the suit took issue with election software and hardware from Dominion Voting Systems, which it noted was recently purchased and “rushed into use” by Kemp, Raffensperger, and the Georgia Board of Elections. (Read more.)


Rudy Giuliani before the PA legislature, HERE. More good news, HERE.


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Shocking History of Dominion Voting

 From Science Defies Politics:

The voting software developers can easily insert code, changing numbers in favor of or against one candidate. No hacking is necessary. The malicious code can be designed to pass tests and to be triggered only at the time of a real election, automatically or manually. Both case are possible even the the machine is disconnected from the internet and has no ordinary I/O devices. The malicious code can be activated manually in real time by inserting a ballot or another paper with a pre-defined QR or image code. An audit of the source code is necessary, but not sufficient. Dominion software runs on Windows, and the malicious code can be hidden in any part of the operating system. Malicious code can be hidden in the firmware, too.

If a state wants to take risks and to rely on testing and the source code audit, they should be conducted with the participation of technically competent representatives of both parties. If the system passes testing and auditing, the machine image must be securely stored. All supplied machines must have exactly the same hardware and the software as the audited system.

As far as I know, thorough tests and source code audits are conducted very rarely, if at all. Further, the vendors are not required to use only the audited image, and are allowed to update the software almost at will. That means that election commissions are forced to blindly trust the vendors. Blind trust is always wrong and invites abuse. But even “trust but verify” is applicable only to trustworthy vendors. Dominion Voting is the opposite of trustworthy.

The only real solution to the vulnerability of EVS is not to use them at all. Manual ballot counting has no software vulnerabilities, and is much cheaper. Virginia appears to be the only state that decided to use only manual ballots. (Read more.)

 

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Stop Staring at Light Bulbs

 From The Missive:

We all know how frustrating things can get with the varied degrees of shortcomings displayed by the human element of the Church. Temptations to question the veracity of the Church may begin to slowly foment in the hearts and minds of those trying to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life.

Prudentially, while there is some responsibility to keep ourselves reasonably informed about what may or may not be going on, there are limits to this, and especially if we find the news upsetting our inner peace and adversely affecting the performance of the duties of our states in life, one of the four principal means to salvation (something perhaps for a later post). Keeping a cool head in times of trial and stress is important, and a contributing component to that is to keep an objectivity about things. (Read more.)


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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Queen Henrietta Maria As Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Henrietta Maria as St. Catherine by Van Dyck

 It is St. Catherine's Day, the birthday of Henrietta of France, Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland. From Academia:

Another example is the painting of Queen Henrietta Maria, the French wife of the English King Charles I, by Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Figure 20). A Catholic queen who attempted to convert her Protestant husband, she is portrayed by Van Dyck as St. Catherine. She wears a simple, but elegant red dress and a green overcoat, pearls and crown on top of her reddish-blonde curls. To solidify the imagery, she holds the wheel of torture. This portrait is an outlier from the rest of the paintings surveyed for this paper (it was painted in 1639), but it illuminates the interesting notion that the royalty themselves desire to be seen with this parallel to a saint. Queen Henrietta Maria herself probably wanted to be portrayed as St. Catherine because the image it would evoke concerning herself and her beliefs would benefit her personal goals. (Read more.)

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The “Kraken Will Be Unleashed”

 From The Lutchman Report:

Former President Trump’s attorney Sidney Powell spoke with Fox News’ Lou Dobbs on Tuesday, promising a “kraken will be unleashed” and that a “massive lawsuit” will be filed in Georgia tomorrow, before filing in other states.

Earlier this week, Trump’s lawyers announced that Powell is not a part of the team and is working independently as the president’s lawyer, to which the latter acknowledged but said that doesn’t mean she will not expose alleged voter fraud across the country that she has been claiming since the November 3 election.

“You promised a kraken will be unleashed. We were expecting perhaps, your suit will be filed yesterday or today, when shall we expect your lawsuit?” Dobbs asked.

“Well I think, in another later than tomorrow… ah it’s just gonna be a, it’s a massive document… and it’s gonna have a lot of exhibits,” Powell answered.

“And who will be the defendant or defendants?” Dobbs followed up.

“The defendants are going to be folks in Georgia who were responsible for supposedly making sure the elections in Georgia are done properly, and there are just countless incidents of voter fraud and election fraud at large in Georgia,” she explained.

The anchor asked if she is planning to have lawsuits beyond Georgia, which she replied with, “Yes we are. We are rolling them out as fast as we possibly can because it has affected the entire country actually.” (Read more.)

 

From The Marshall Report:

So don’t let spin doctors and fake media tell you lies about the woman who is bringing down the giants in the swamp! And there are a great number of them, more than anyone could have imagined!

Powell stated that the ‘New World Order’ has ‘OVERTHROWN The Republican Party’ and that the Republican Party sold its soul to the “New World Order” in return for large cash payments in the form of “enormous bribes.” Sidney Powell  warned the GOP risks being “neutered like a bitch” by “the Great Reset” in 2021 if President Trump’s second term is stolen from him by “children of darkness.” (Read more.)

 

From LifeSite:

As relayed by General Michael Flynn’s son on Parler, Powell wrote:

STATEMENT FROM SIDNEY POWELL TO “WE THE PEOPLE”

I agree with the campaign’s statement that I am not part of the campaign’s legal team. I never signed a retainer agreement or sent the President or the campaign a bill for my expenses or fees.

My intent has always been to expose all the fraud I could find and let the chips fall where they may —whether it be upon Republicans or Democrats.

The evidence I’m compiling is overwhelming that this software tool was used to shift millions of votes from President [Donald] Trump and other Republican candidates to Biden and other Democrat candidates.  We are proceeding to prepare our lawsuit and plan to file it this week.  It will be epic.

We will not allow this great Republic to be stolen by communists from without and within or our votes altered or manipulated by foreign actors in Hong Kong, Iran, Venezuela, or Serbia, for example, who have neither regard for human life nor the people who are the engine of this exceptional country. (Read more.)

 

From The Gateway Pundit:

This election is not close to being over. The President has the US Constitution on his back and this will carry him on to victory. This won’t be in our time but it will happen soon. The President’s team believes it has a great case in Michigan related to the tremendous amount of voter and election fraud in this year’s election. You can’t steal votes and make up votes according to the Constitution. Elections must be free and without fraud. (Read more.)

 

From The Epoch Times:

Thousands of people registered and voted in Georgia using addresses of postal facilities or businesses, but making it look like they were residential addresses, according to a former Trump campaign official whose team analyzed the states’ voter data.

The addresses listed on the voter rolls included information that didn’t make sense for the actual locations, but on paper made the addresses look like residential ones, according to information published by Matt Braynard, former data and strategy director for President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

“Georgia: We have identified over a thousand early/abs votes cast by individuals whose registered addresses are in fact at post offices, UPS, and FedEx locations, wilfully disguising the box numbers as ‘Apt,’ ‘Unit,’ etc.,” he said in a Nov. 22 tweet.

He published a sample of 15 such address entries in a Nov. 24 tweet.

“With just a partial review of the state,” he said, the team also discovered “a thousand votes cast by those registered in non-residential, purely commercial addresses also disguised with ‘Apt,’ etc.”

He added that these were “the residential addresses, not mailing addresses” that the voters have listed. (Read more.)

 

From Newt Gingrich:

Stealing the 2020 election was a mammoth undertaking, involving widespread lawlessness and illicit partnerships between private actors and public officials. They’ve been working to cover their tracks since Election Day, but they didn’t work fast enough. Now, the courts need to stop them from destroying any more evidence so that the people of Pennsylvania—and the rest of the country—can accurately assess the ramifications of their wrongdoing.

Explosive new litigation filed in federal district court on Nov. 21 details and documents a wide variety of illegal practices that were used to inflate the number of votes received by Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, including disparate treatment of voters based on where they live and outright manipulation of Pennsylvania’s voter registration system by partisan activists.

An unprecedented number of mail-in and absentee ballots were cast this year, and practically everyone expected that this would result in a higher-than-usual rate of ballots being rejected for various flaws, such as lacking a secrecy envelope or missing information. In Pennsylvania, tens or hundreds of thousands of ballots were likely to be rejected, based on historical patterns. Instead, a mere 0.03 percent of mail-in ballots were ultimately rejected—somewhere in the neighborhood of about 1,000 votes.

Considering that a significant majority of mail-in votes were cast for Biden, the Democrat candidate benefited handsomely from this discrepancy. But how did this anomaly happen?

It turns out that election officials in Democrat strongholds such as Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Philadelphia County, and Philadelphia’s collar counties—particularly Delaware County—exceeded their authority in order to give voters preferential treatment that wasn’t afforded to voters in Republican-leaning areas of the state.

Specifically, election workers illegally “pre-canvassed” mail-in ballots to determine whether they were missing a secrecy envelope or failed to include necessary information. When ballots were found to be flawed, voters were given an opportunity to correct, or “cure,” their ballots to make sure they counted. In at least some cases, Democrat Party officials were even given lists of voters to contact about curing their ballots.

Election officials in Republican-leaning counties rightly interpreted this as a violation of Pennsylvania’s election code, but Democrat Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar issued guidance authorizing the illegal practices despite lacking the statutory authority to do so.

That’s not the only way Democrats broke the law to give their candidate an unfair advantage, though. Extensive on-the-ground investigations conducted over the past year and a half by attorneys and investigators with the Amistad Project of the nonpartisan Thomas More Society have uncovered another element of the plot that involved even more egregious behavior.

Boockvar also exceeded her authority by granting private, partisan organizations—including the notoriously pro-Democrat group “Rock the Vote”—access to the Commonwealth’s Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE).

“Rock the Vote’s web tool was connected to our system, making the process of registering voters through their online programs, and those of their partners, seamless for voters across Pennsylvania,” the lawsuit quotes Boockvar as saying. (Read more.)

 

Links and stories on election fraud. From Sharyl Attkisson:

It is easy to find one side of the story when it comes to allegations of 2020 election fraud, but not so easy to get details regarding the other side of the story.

Below, you will find a variety of links to stories and information that is not being widely reported in some press circles. Too often, reporters and analysts are making incorrect claims and conclusions in their reporting, and are weighing in as if advocates rather than presenting factual information and differing views.

As you peruse the links below, it's left to you, as always, to assess the information and decide for yourself what to think. The goal here is simply to make accessible material that powerful interests are trying to censor.

Please note that depending on when you read this, some of the news links or material may be outdated so be sure and continue searching for your own information to stay current. (Read more.)


Also check out War Room, HERE.

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Ex-satanist Discusses Religion and Politicians in 2020

From Padre Peregrino in October 2020:

 A former satanic high-wizard of the World Satanic Church converted and became a Traditional Latin Mass Catholic who now works for the end of abortion. Zachary King speaks about his conversion via the Miraculous Medal and we then walk back through Zachary's life including his youth, entrance into Satan’s World Church, induction as High Wizard, B*hemian Grove, abortions and curses for the Bild*rb*rg Group and the involvement with Gates at 1:00:00. We end with what Zachary is doing for the end of abortion (after committing so many himself.) This is an exceptional account of the love of Divine Mercy and an unlikely recruitment into "Mary’s Army" as he describes his new vocation.

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