Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Conversion of Scrooge

Stephanie Mann quotes Chesterton:
Scrooge is not really inhuman at the beginning any more than he is at the end. There is a heartiness in his inhospitable sentiments that is akin to humour and therefore to humanity; he is only a crusty old bachelor, and had (I strongly suspect) given away turkeys secretly all his life. The beauty and the real blessing of the story do not lie in the mechanical plot of it, the repentance of Scrooge, probable or improbable; they lie in the great furnace of real happiness that glows through Scrooge and everything around him; that great furnace, the heart of Dickens. Whether the Christmas visions would or would not convert Scrooge, they convert us. Whether or no the visions were evoked by real Spirits of the Past, Present, and Future, they were evoked by that truly exalted order of angels who are correctly called High Spirits. They are impelled and sustained by a quality which our contemporary artists ignore or almost deny, but which in a life decently lived is as normal and attainable as sleep, positive, passionate, conscious joy. The story sings from end to end like a happy man going home; and, like a happy and good man, when it cannot sing it yells. It is lyric and exclamatory, from the first exclamatory words of it. It is strictly a Christmas carol. (Read more.)
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France and the Decline of the West

From The Federalist:
While protests and car-burnings are actually common in France, what’s happening now is much worse than usual and will not go away anytime soon. What observers should know is that this is not about fuel prices or Macron’s incompetence; this is about the fall of the West. People have long complained of France losing its soul by becoming a secularized, progressive, socialist welfare state shortly after two miserable losses in the two world wars. After being known for its fine arts, beautiful landscapes, rich Catholic tradition, genius philosophers and scientists, and famous monuments, people now see France as a stagnant irrelevant pool of decadence (this descent is captured well in Thomas Merton’s description of the country in Seven Storey Mountain). It is the land of nasty writers like Celine and Michel Houellebecq, nasty singers like Serge Gainsbourg, and nasty architecture like the Musee de Pompidou. All the same, most Frenchmen didn’t seem to mind this decline as long as they could have shorter workweeks and socialized health care. (Read more.)

From Brigitte Gabriel at Townhall:
As world leaders recently gathered in France to celebrate the centurion anniversary of the ending to World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron took it upon himself to attack President Trump, warning about the dangers of so-called “nationalism.” The arrogance of a Western world leader using such a unifying event to attack the elected leader of one of his nation’s closest allies aside, Macron would’ve done well to keep his own house in order before lending advice.

Just weeks later, Paris was ablaze with violent mobs attacking police and vandalizing some of France’s most precious historical sites. The world-famous Arc de Triomphe was laced with graffiti by a generation poisoned and brainwashed with socialist ideology, never satisfied with what their government could give them.

France spent decades pushing the same anti-nationalist ideology on its citizens, glorifying the European Union and heavily taxing the wealthy to give to the poor. Combine this with France’s decades of open borders, reluctance to celebrate their own rich culture, Western values and contributions to the world, and you get an angry, self-loathing and even violent citizenry. Suddenly there’s no more wealth to tax, no more jobs to hand out and no more national identity.

Socialism has never worked in any part of the world in the entire history of civilization. Its consistent destruction of wealth, freedom and democracy has proven to be a recipe for national suicide. Combined with the open border policies that France embraced, you won’t just get poverty and civil unrest, but terrorism as well.

When I was a little girl, Beirut was dubbed “Paris of the Middle East.” Today, Paris is the Middle East of Europe and the “city of love,” has turned into the “city of chaos.” Decades of un-fettered immigration from the Middle East and North Africa has birthed sharia-ridden “no-go zones” and horrific terrorist attacks from the Charlie Hebdo massacre to the Paris bombings of 2015. (Read more.)

From Royal Central:
The ongoing “Yellow Vest” protests in Paris have increasing royalist support. Several groups from different fractions of the French monarchist movement have demonstrated against the current government. During the early demonstrations, a royalist flag was spotted, and many called out for the restoration of the French monarchy. French media and the International Monarchist Conference reported that a fraction of 200 royalists attended the protests early in December, and the number has increased over the last weeks. In addition, several Catholic groups have attended the demonstrations. Through the last weeks of demonstrations, more and more royalist symbols have been spotted in the demonstrations, mostly the flag with the Fleur-de-lis. The Fleur-de-lis was the symbol of the French monarchy during the reign until the Bonaparte dynasty. (Read more.)

From The New York Post:
French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday would not rule out imposing a state of emergency as nationwide economic protests turned violent in the capital, Paris. Macron was forced to fly home from the G-20 summit in Argentina for an emergency huddle with advisers on how to quell the worst civil unrest to grip the City of Light in a decade. Thousands have taken to the streets, with some torching cars and scrawling anti-government graffiti on cultural icons such as the Arc de Triomphe.
Macron, 40, was greeted with boos and chants of “Macron resign” as he surveyed damage on the 2-century-old monument to France’s war dead Sunday. Inside the monument, the “La Marseillaise” statue by François Rude commemorating the French Revolution was defaced by protesters, who smashed a likeness of the Revolution’s allegorical icon, Marianne. Police have responded to the unrest in kind — unleashing batons and tear gas on the rock-hurling protesters. On Saturday alone, 412 people were arrested in the capital, where at least 133 injuries have been reported, including to 23 security force members. Protesters set fire to six buildings and nearly 190 blazes had to be put out across Paris, according to the French Interior Ministry. (Read more.)
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Why Monks and Nuns Make So Many Beloved Foods

From Atlas Obscura:
In Madrid, Spain, the arrival of December means a proliferation of markets and ferias. There is the main Christmas market on Plaza Mayor, an artisans’ market on Plaza España, and mercadillos, small ferias, throughout the city. But my bullet journal usually bears only one reminder: Expoclausura, Madrid’s annual fair for monastery- and convent-made foods. With a wide selection of marzipan, turrón, polvorones, jam, and other holiday treats, Expoclausura is the place to go to for these celebrated Spanish delicacies. Made by monks and nuns from all over the country, they are known for their simple recipes, high quality, and focus on tradition.

According to Miguel Ángel del Puerto, the founder of Expoclausura, there are a little over 1,000 cloistered monasteries and convents in Spain, and close to 30 percent of them make a traditional food product. But Spanish monks and nuns aren’t unique—their brethren worldwide also veer towards the traditional when it comes to food production. In Germany and Belgium, many monasteries brew beer. In Russia, convents often bake bread and pirozhki, savory and sweet Russian pies. In Greece, monasteries make olive oil, honey, and walnut paste. In France, convents and monasteries produce cheese and wine.

In the competitive world of food and drink, one might expect monks and nuns to struggle. But that doesn’t seem to be the case—at least at the Expoclausura. Most of its stock sells out within the first few days. When I discovered the fair after moving to Madrid, I noticed a jam made by the monks of the Monasterio de Santa Maria de Huerta. Curious about what a mixture of lemon and apple would taste like, I purchased a jar. The next year, when I returned—only one week into the fair—they had already sold almost all of their jams. I made a note in my journal: “November: find out the opening day for Expoclausura and go ON THAT DAY.” (Read more.)
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Monday, December 17, 2018

Christmas Sale!

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog. All products 40% off. Read the reviews, HERE. Share

Francis

Francis
Francis is our cat. He is boss of the whole house. He takes his duties very seriously. He is constantly patrolling the house. Francis had another cat to play with but she died. He has dealt with it by keeping himself busy watching the birds and the squirrels, and monitoring the doings of the humans in his life. Cats need jobs. They usually find what it is they are good at doing, even if it is just keeping a cushion warm.
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New Jersey Declares War

From Zero Hedge:
A New Jersey law that makes it a felony to possess a gun magazine capable of holding over 10 rounds of ammunition is now active. This wildly unconstitutional law instantly criminalizes hundreds of thousands of New Jersey citizens who legally acquired normal capacity firearms magazines - which include 17-round pistol magazines and 30-round rifle magazines - as tools of self-defense against the very same violent criminals that are protected by the Democrats who passed the gun magazine ban. 
Now, the New Jersey State Police have told Breitbart News they won’t rule out “house-to-house enforcement” of the new magazine ban, meaning they plan to conduct house-to-house arrests and gun magazine confiscations. These Nazi-style anti-gun operations will, of course, be carried out at gunpoint, further underscoring the entire purpose of the Second Amendment and the need for citizens to arm themselves with 30-round magazines to defend against government tyranny. Breitbart News contacted New Jersey State Police on Monday to ask how they planned to enforce the newly enacted ban, reports Breitbart.com.

“The NJ State Police refused to rule out house-to-house checks. Rather, they responded: ‘We do not discuss enforcement strategies.'” The very reason citizens need 30-round magazines is because the government wants to use coercion and the threat of violence to take away their legally-acquired firearms and magazines. If citizens surrender 30-round magazines, the next step will be New Jersey banning all magazines, followed by the banning of all semi-automatic firearms. Almost overnight, citizens of New Jersey will find themselves living under an authoritarian regime of pure tyranny and lawlessness… with no means to defend themselves against the state, which will then have a monopoly on effective firearms. 
This is a repeat of Nazi Germany, which disarmed the Jews before mass murdering six million of them. It’s so much easier to murder people, after all, when the government disarms them first. And anyone going along with the disarmament is signing their own death warrant. (Read more.)
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Sodom and Gomorrah Revisited

A group of archaeologists and other scientists say they have discovered strong evidence that the region of the “Middle Ghor,” where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are believed to have existed, were in fact destroyed by a meteor that exploded in the sky above, raining down superheated matter and raising temperatures to thousands of degrees, a theory that matches the account of the cities’ destruction contained in the Old Testament Book of Genesis. 
According to the theory, the meteor exploded at low altitude with the force of a ten megaton atomic bomb at an altitude of about one kilometer over the northeast corner of the Dead Sea, and obliterated all of civilization in the 25-kilometer-wide circular plain that constitutes the “Middle Ghor.” 
The researchers presented preliminary findings on the subject at this year’s annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in November, and have been developing the theory since at least 2015. They state that the evidence from radiocarbon dating indicates that a group of civilizations flourished in the area for over two millennia, until approximately 1700 BC, when the mud-brick walls of the buildings in the region simultaneously disappeared and only the stone foundations remained. 
At the same time, the pottery in the settlements was heated into glass in the space of milliseconds, according to the results of an analysis of the Zircon crystals formed in the process, indicating that they were briefly exposed to temperatures of approximately 4000 to 12000 degrees Celsius, comparable to the temperature of the surface of the sun. The explosion rained down platinum as well as molten lava on the region, according to two of the archaeologists, and this further confirms that a meteor was the source, given that platinum is found in higher concentrations in meteors than on earth. (Read more.)
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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christmas in the Time of Richard III

From Myths, Legends, Books and Coffee Pots:
King Richard III spent such a brief time on the throne that it can be difficult to separate out his reign from those of the kings before and after him. In terms of typical celebrations in the 1480s, this ‘Christmas in the time of ....’ could be as much about festivities under his predecessor Edward IV or Henry VII. However, some details about the way Richard himself kept the Christmas season have come down to us through the centuries. This is particularly the case with his final Christmas, that of 1484, owing to the waspish words of a chronicler, who was likely writing some time after Richard’s defeat at Bosworth ... and taking the opportunity to view that time in hindsight and make the dead king’s actions blameworthy for what would come later. (Read more.)
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