Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A Royal Bride Who Changed England Forever

From Royal Central:
By the time she reappears, in 1420, she is a beautiful princess of unimpeachable character and for the only time in her life, the centre of attention.  Henry IV’s son, Henry V, had been waging war in France almost from the start of his reign in 1413 but by 1420 he had the upper hand and the Treaty of Troyes, signed that year, cemented his position.  It made him the heir to King Charles VI of France and included a clause for a royal marriage between Henry, the hero king, and pretty Kate, the forgotten princess.  On June 2nd 1420, they married at Troyes Cathedral in France and Queen Catherine was crowned at Westminster Abbey on February 24th 1421 having been carried to her coronation through streets draped in cloth of gold.

These two beautiful people were seen as the start of a new phase in European politics.  Together they would form a dynasty that would rule England and France, uniting old enemies under a common crown.  Henry and Kate were the celebrity couple of their day with chroniclers praising their beauty and the few contemporary portraits of them showing them in the most fashionable clothes around.  The once invisible princess now enjoyed a comfortable life and made well-received public appearances with her husband.  By the time Henry returned to France in late 1421, he and Catherine had sent the whole country into a state of celebration by announcing a royal pregnancy.  Queen Catherine gave birth to a prince called Henry on December 6th 1421. The promise of Troyes had been fulfilled in a baby born to rule England and France.

But Catherine’s luck was about to run out.  In one letter written by her to her husband in 1422, she tells of how she ‘earnestly longed to behold him once more’.  In May of that year, she travelled to France to see him and her father.  But by now, Henry was a shadow of the handsome hero who had left his lovely bride and jubilant subjects the year before.  He was exhausted by his French campaigns, and on August 31st 1422 he died of dysentery at the age of 36.  His widow led his funeral cortege home only to discover, weeks after arriving back in England, that her father had also died.  Her baby son was now King Henry of England and of France.  And suddenly, the young queen went from superstar to shadow once more. (Read more.)

Bolsheviks on the Brazos

From Townhall:
My friend and colleague Dennis Prager often warns his national radio audience, “Everything the Left touches it destroys.” There is no clearer evidence of Prager’s wisdom than the Bolshevik gulag now being constructed on the former site of one of America’s most respected institutions of higher learning located on the Brazos River in Waco, Texas: Baylor University. 
Prager, of course, is probably the wrong guy to cite since he actually built a thriving, intellectually-honest, albeit online university ( Meanwhile, someone named Linda Livingstone, PhD, is currently presiding over the intellectual destruction of one chartered in 1845. Livingstone, Baylor’s 15th president, is billed in her official bio as “a strong voice for the role of faith based institutions in American education.” Which—call me crazy—seems at odds with a racially-divisive Baylor video she just posted titled, A Conversation on Race, Peacemaking and Conciliation. 
In the video, Livingstone recounts how “At Baylor, we value our faculty, staff, students and friends of color. Black lives absolutely matter at Baylor.” So far, so good. But then she and selected faculty members careen wildly off course…delivering over an hour of parroting what the left has been shoving down our throats over these exhausting past few weeks. (Read more.)

 From The Federalist:
A Vermont school principal was placed on administrative leave for writing on Facebook, “I firmly believe that Black Lives Matter, but I DO NOT agree with the coercive measures taken to get to this point across; some of which are falsified in an attempt to prove a point.” Tim Gordon, a Catholic high school theology teacher, was fired for comparing Black Lives Matter to a terrorist organization. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology Catholic chaplain was forced to resign after sending an email in which he said Floyd had “not lived a virtuous life.” (Read more.)

Rare Mayan Murals

From Smithsonian:
Through interviews with the Chajul Ixil community, the researchers were able to identify specific murals as depictions of known dances from the colonial era. One mural shows tall, bearded conquistadors playing drums as they encounter a dancer dressed in a traditional feathered costume. This scene may illustrate the Dance of the Conquest, which details Spain’s invasion and attempts to convert the Maya to Christianity. Another mural may show the Dance of the Moors and the Christians. Introduced by the Spaniards, this performance tells the story of Spain’s seizure of lands occupied by Muslim kingdoms, according to Express. The researchers note that the wall art may also feature dances now lost to history. Many were forgotten when the government prohibited the performance of indigenous dances in the 19th and 20th centuries. (Read more.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Lost Art of English Joinery

From Country Life:
Architectural joinery is often used to cover joints between plasterwork and timber, as well as to protect the fabric of a building from everyday use. Skirting, for example, forms a bridge between the floor and a dado rail — or chair rail — protects the plaster from wear and tear. Panelling also creates extremely effective insulation. In rooms such as kitchens, libraries, boot rooms, gun rooms and sculleries, joinery has a transformative effect, not just on a room, but also on the daily lives of the owners. 
For centuries, crafted timber has offered an opportunity to express the owner’s wealth, style and sophistication. In the 1700s, travellers would return from a grand tour with records of classical styles. London was, from Roman times, a very influential place — a melting pot of different disciplines, crafts and design ideas from around the world. 
The purest interpretation of the classical styles of Georgian detailing, for example, are therefore more likely to be found in an abode in Mayfair than in a country house. However, a wealthy squire may have been inspired by a fashionable London style and returned to his seat with pattern books and sketches. These would then be interpreted by the local joiner, resulting often in a loose interpretation of the original pattern. (Read more.)

More HERE.


Our New Civil War

From The Epoch Times:
Never before has a governance system done so much good for so many people. It’s not perfect, but that’s the beauty of our system, we have processes and methods to address injustices and our warts. This system has never existed before, and never will again if we allow the street chaos to intellectually shut us down, intimidate us, and force us to sit idly by while our incredible Constitution is placed by radical elements in the dustbin of history. 
The modern information age American Civil War is in progress. It is fundamentally a struggle between a Constitutionalist view of America and Globalist Elites who despise individual countries, desire to control societies and populations on a world-wide scale, and desire to dismiss our Constitution as an asterisk in history to be expediently used or dismissed as needed. The domestic branch of the Globalist Elites have no problem aligning themselves with the CCP if it means they can take the American White House. Very disturbing indeed. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, we have witch hunts, excommunication and iconoclasm that make those of the past ages seem tame. From Spiked:
What are No Platforming and cancel culture if not a modern form of excommunication? Qualified, competent professionals are hounded out of their jobs and publicly shamed just for uttering the wrong opinion, often simply for a misjudged choice of words. Even just the wrong pronouns
As often as not, their employer wants a quiet life, so he bows to activist pressure and sacks the target of the witch hunt. Cancel culture is excommunication. Today’s religions, however, are not the many sects of Christianity that once perforated Europe, but climate change, education, the NHS, gay rights, trans rights, the European Union and multiculturalism. Even coronavirus and the lockdown have become sacrosanct. 
Intellectuals of the right and left, from Polly Toynbee to Nigel Lawson, have described the NHS as Britain’s religion. It has replaced the Virgin Mary as the divine matriarch. Why this worship? I suggest it goes back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the state began to replace the church as the main provider of education, welfare and healthcare. After 1945, it was just a matter of time before the welfare state achieved altar status. (Read more.)

Not even Frederick Douglass is safe. From The Washington Times:
Frederick Douglass was not a slave owner, not a Confederate general, nor even a “white savior” abolitionist. His statue still was vandalized over the weekend. A Douglass statue in Rochester, New York — the site of his famous July 4 address — was damaged and removed over the Independence Day weekend, according to news reports backed by social-media pictures from the site. The statue of the famed 19th-century former slave and antebellum abolitionist had stood at Maplewood Park, Fox-2 news in St. Louis reported. According to pictures, the statue’s base was gone and bits of it were scattered around the area. (Read more.) 

We must remember that courage is a virtue. From The National Review:
It is a mistake to compare Roberts to past disappointing Republican appointees to the Court. Unlike William Brennan or John Paul Stevens, Roberts was not appointed as an obvious sop to the opposing party. Unlike David Souter, he is not a liberal who snuck on the Court without adequate vetting. Unlike Earl Warren, Warren Burger, or Sandra Day O’Connor, he is a serious legal technician, not a politician. Unlike Harry Blackmun, he is not a simpleton seduced by stronger personalities within the Court. The chief is the opposite of Anthony Kennedy, whose sin was the hubris to maximize the power of the federal courts and his own votes in nearly every case. Roberts remains what he was before his appointment, a conventional conservative legal theorist who believes in many of the doctrines and judicial philosophies one would hear at any Federalist Society gathering.
But courage is lacking. Over and over again, Roberts has failed to follow through on the rule of law. His defenders point to his big-picture vision of judicial modesty and incrementalism: that conservatives should avoid big, wrenching moves, and build small victories in doctrine today that will accumulate to larger ones tomorrow. But in law, as in politics, tomorrow never comes without courage today. Worse, Roberts has on occasion written or joined opinions in big cases that forced large changes (as in the Bostock decision on Title VII) or did violence to doctrine (as in the King v. Burwell decision on Obamacare exchanges) in order to reach results that momentarily appeased the Left. It is all too apparent that Roberts can be cowed by the Democrats’ frequent and noisy threats to pack the courts or otherwise poison their credibility and legitimacy with the public. By caving to such threats, he only invites more of them.
Worse, a movement is beginning to grow among social conservatives to give up on the entire project of stocking the courts with Federalist Society–style originalists and textualists, on the theory that they will simply fold in a tight spot. Roberts is Exhibit A. Senator Josh Hawley issued a shot across the bow a few days ago on this theme regarding Bostock. These voices on the right are arguing openly for a more results-driven jurisprudence — a project that would do violence to the things Roberts cherishes, and would also inevitably be a fight the Right could only lose. Failures of judicial courage can also dispirit conservative voters, as happened in 1992 after Casey. Why labor in the vineyards of politics to appoint judges who know the right thing to do but lack the strength of character to do it? (Read more.)

Trade in Ancient Egypt

From Ancient Origins:
Along with a lust for building enigmatic and long lasting structures, trade was an important feature of Ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians traded with many lands that bordered their country, including Nubia, Libya, and the Levant. Additionally, trade in Ancient Egypt was also conducted with peoples from faraway lands, including Greece, Mesopotamia, and the mysterious Land of Punt. As a result of trade, the ancient Egyptians were able to obtain a variety of exotic goods from these foreign lands. More importantly, trade was one of the ways that allowed the ancient Egyptians to make contact with the wider world. Such contact not only facilitated the flow of goods into Egypt, but also people and ideas. Ancient Egyptian trade is attested in many forms, including archaeological remains, literary sources, and artistic representations.

Contact between Egypt and neighboring lands is seen as early as the prehistoric period. Graves from the Neolithic Badarian culture (which flourished between the 6 th and 5 th millennium BC), for instance, contain shells from the Red Sea. Additionally, copper ore from either the Eastern Desert or the Sinai have also been discovered. Although it is not entirely clear how the Badarians obtained these foreign goods, it may have been through trade in Ancient Egypt. (Read more.)

Monday, July 6, 2020

The Synagogue and the King

In 1787 Louis XVI gave full civil rights to Protestants and Jews in the Edict of Versailles. But even before the edict, the king practiced toleration. From The Times of Israel:
The monumental synagogue built from pink sandstone from Vosges and decorated with royal symbols in honor of Louis XVI’s recognition of the Jewish community, cannot be seen on the 1915 photo. In the 18th century you could not have known what was behind this street and the actual building itself would not have been identifiable as a synagogue from the outside. It was tolerated to be built on condition that gatherings were held discreetly.
Visibility is everything. They had to function in a material context in which their Jewishness was officially hidden. There was no visible public status, and, in this way, the community was almost imaginary and preserved their sense of Jewishness in secret. The permission of the king to build a synagogue allowed them to practice their religion more openly. But the non-public appearance of the building was aimed to hide the rituals and beliefs. They were only permitted to carry out the outwards forms in a secret building.
That what had disappeared by the fire, revealed a Jewish building, previously absent. So, to speak, the synagogue came out of hiding after the arson attack. The destruction created visibility and as the vanished buildings were not replaced, anyone could read the words “To the God of Israel, by permission of the King of France, the year 1786” (“Au Dieu d’Israël, par permission du Roy de France, l’an 1786”) on the front of the synagogue. Even though a light was cast on the synagogue, it was not until in recent years that the French façade text was replaced by one written in Hebrew. (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

The History of Antifa, Parts I and II

From The Gatestone Institute:
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has blamed Antifa — a militant "anti-fascist" movement — for the violence that has erupted at George Floyd protests across the United States. "The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly," he said.
Barr also said that the federal government has evidence that Antifa "hijacked" legitimate protests around the country to "engage in lawlessness, violent rioting, arson, looting of businesses, and public property assaults on law enforcement officers and innocent people, and even the murder of a federal agent." Earlier, U.S. President Donald J. Trump had instructed the U.S. Justice Department to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization.
Academics and media outlets sympathetic to Antifa have argued that the group cannot be classified as a terrorist organization because, they claim, it is a vaguely-defined protest movement that lacks a centralized structure. Mark Bray, a vocal apologist for Antifa in America and author of the book "Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook," asserts that Antifa "is not an overarching organization with a chain of command."
Empirical and anecdotal evidence shows that Antifa is, in fact, highly networked, well-funded and has a global presence. It has a flat organizational structure with dozens and possibly hundreds of local groups. Not surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Justice is currently investigating individuals linked to Antifa as a step to unmasking the broader organization. (Read more.)

Part II, also  from The Gatestone Institute:
U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced that the American government would designate Antifa — a militant "anti-fascist" movement — as a terrorist organization due to the violence that erupted at George Floyd protests across the United States. The Code of Federal Regulations (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85) defines terrorism as "the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."
American media outlets sympathetic to Antifa have jumped to its defense. They argue that the group cannot be classified as a terrorist organization because, they claim, it is a vaguely-defined protest movement that lacks a centralized structure. As the following report shows, Antifa is, in fact, highly networked, well-funded and has a clear ideological agenda: to subvert, often with extreme violence, the American political system, with the ultimate aim of replacing capitalism with communism. In the United States, Antifa's immediate aim is to remove President Trump from office.
Gatestone Institute has identified Antifa groups in all 50 U.S. states, with the possible exception of West Virginia. Some states, including California, Texas and Washington, appear to have dozens of sub-regional Antifa organizations. It is difficult precisely to determine the size of the Antifa movement in the United States. The so-called "Anti-Fascists of Reddit," the "premier anti-fascist community" on the social media platform Reddit, has approximately 60,000 members. The oldest Antifa group in America, the Portland, Oregon-based "Rose City Antifa," has more than 30,000 Twitter followers and 20,000 Facebook followers, not all of whom are necessarily supporters. "It's Going Down," a media platform for anarchists, anti-fascists and autonomous anti-capitalists, has 85,000 Twitter followers and 30,000 Facebook followers. (Read more.)