Friday, June 30, 2017

Medal of Louis XVIII

From Vive la Reine: "A bronze model depicting Louis XVIII in profile on one side, and the transfer of the remains of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to St. Denis on the other. Circa 1815."


Germany's Atonement?

A fascinating article on Merkel, with a reference to my cousin John Laughland. From American Thinker:
In the mainstream media, the policies of the German prime minister, Angela Merkel, are often portrayed as a form of atonement for Germany’s past sins of imperialism and genocide. Letting in a million refugees is supposedly the absolute negation of the Holocaust, and pressing for further European cooperation is seen as the opposite of Germany’s old attempts to violently bring the rest of Europe under its control. And for these very reasons, progressive politicians and intellectuals around the world are now looking up to Merkel as the defender of pluralistic Western values.

At first sight, this praise for Merkel doesn’t seem so far-fetched, even for conservatives who fundamentally oppose her policies. After all, she is acting out of genuine goodwill and charity towards the downtrodden of the Middle East, isn’t she? And we may disagree about the feasibility and consequences of further European integration, but given Europe’s bloody past it seems perfectly understandable that Germany’s prime minister is calling for more harmony among European nations.

Nonetheless, it is important to point out that the popular image both of Angela Merkel and of modern Germany is deeply flawed. Because far from representing a negation -- or a misguided attempt at negation -- of past German policies and attitudes, the modern German mentality is in many ways a mutation or an update of the same mentality that has guided Germany since the eighteenth century, and especially since the unification of the country in 1870.
Let us begin with the more obvious parallel: German support for further European integration. Despite all the German talk about subordinating narrow national interests to the European project, careful observers must have noticed the coincidence that the Germans always see themselves as the leaders of this disinterested project, and that the measures deemed to be necessary for further European cooperation always seem to be German-made.

Are the Germans really such idealistic supporters of the European project? It is more probable that in reality they see the European Union as an ideal instrument to control the rest of Europe. Indeed, in 1997 the British author John Laughland wrote a book about this subject, The Tainted Source: the Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea, which is still worth reading for anyone who wants understand what kind of organization the EU actually is. According to Laughland, the Germans are such big supporters of the European ideal because they know that all important decisions in a confederation of states can ultimately only be taken by or with the approval of the most important state -- in this case, Germany. (Read more.)

Diets of the Romantic Poets

From The Wordsworth Trust:
Perhaps it’s telling that the most influential Romanticist was also the least concerned with food. Wordsworth paid scant attention to gustatory matters, celebrating at his table, as in his work, simple country provisions such as fresh bread and milk, cheese, and “hasty pudding,” a gruel of oatmeal boiled in brine. He did, however, accept edible gifts from admirers, and was once given an entire calf’s head.

 In contrast, William Blake loved to eat and his wife Catherine was an excellent cook. She also had a habit of serving him up with empty plates as a reminder that he needed to start bringing home some money. Habitually broke, Blake maintained temperate appetites, eating cold mutton and drinking pints of porter from the local pub. (He was particularly offended by wine glasses, which he considered an absurd affectation.) Blake also accepted gifts from admirers, and having once been given a bottle of walnut oil that he didn’t know what to do with, decided to drink it all in one go. (Read more.)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Footman’s Guide

From Geri Walton:
When announcing visitor’s names, it was to be done in an audible voice. Proper pronunciation was also important. Footmen were told that “if you do not rightly understand it [the name], ask a second time rather than make a blunder in giving … a wrong one.”

When the master or mistress rang the bell to escort a visitor out, the footman was to let the visitor out by opening the street door wide. The footman was not to shut the door until the visitor had completely withdrawn from the door because to “shut the door whilst they are still in the front of it, is disrespectful and a breach of good manners.”

If a double knock occurred at night and the family was not expecting company, the footman was never to open the door wide. Rather he was advised to use the safety chain and open the door only wide enough to see who was knocking. This was because thieves, known as rushers, sometimes knocked on the doors of London’s great houses when families were out of town, and when the door was opened by the staff, rushers rushed in and robbed the house and its occupants by force. However, if company was expected, whether it was day or night, the door was to opened as wide as possible so that visitors had plenty of room to enter without being hindered.

Footmen were also advised to always have paper and pencil or pen on hand in case a visitor wanted to leave a written message. Moreover, footmen were warned:
“[N]ever suffer any lady or gentleman (who may come with a double knock), if you do not know them, to be left alone, or to go into any of the rooms under any pretence whatever, unless you stop the whole time with them.”
Another warning given footmen involved visitors who gave a double knock and pretended to know the family or a single lady. This was because single ladies, and even families, were sometimes robbed or ill-treated by people pretending to know them. Such a situation sometimes occurred when a single lady’s relatives were abroad and someone learned of their absence and pretended to know the family’s situation. The warning given was this:
“If it is a person you do not know, and your lady is at home, you can do no less than show him into the room where she sees her company: if she is in the room when you announce his name, you can judge whether she knows him or not, by her manner of receiving him; if you cannot, wait at the outside of the door till you hear whether they begin to converse together as if they were acquainted; if they do, of course you will go away directly; but if not, wait at the door till the stranger departs. You can let your lady know that you are near the door by coughing, if she has not given you directions how to act on such occasions.”
(Read more.)

Not a Neutral Act

From Catholic Vote:
Some Roman emperors didn’t like Christians. To flush them out, Roman authorities would often force people suspected of being Christian to do a public act that no Christian could in good conscience perform, such as offering incense on the altar of a pagan god or before an image of the emperor himself. Because, in either case, the Christian would be publicly treating that god or emperor as divine (something a Christian – who accepted the One, True God of the Gospel – simply could not do). If they refused to do the act, his or her identity as a Christian would be exposed and the consequences would follow. Often, these consequences were torture and death….

Today, something similar, I suggest, is being tried with the “rainbow flag” of the LGBT movement. Waving the flag, identifying with it, and participating in the public parades staged by gay activists all convey an agreement with an agenda that, at its heart, contradicts and denies, among other things, the teachings of Christ and His Church about the nature and destiny of the human person.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, the rainbow flag is not a neutral flag — it conveys that the flag and the agenda behind it is more important to one than the Christian faith and more important than the teachings of Christ handed down by his apostles, priests, bishops, doctors, martyrs, and popes. Catholics who refuse to wave the rainbow flag, literally or figuratively, especially if they work in industries like entertainment, risk being mocked, passed over, or their having character denigrated. (Read more.)

Elizabeth de Burgh, the Captive Queen of Scots

From Sharon Bennett Connolly:
Elizabeth de Burgh was born around 1289. The daughter of Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster and Connaught, and his wife, Margaret, she was a god-daughter of England’s king, Edward I. At the age of 13 Elizabeth was married to Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick, in 1302; probably at his manor of Writtle, near Chelmsford in Essex. It is possible the marriage was arranged by Edward; he certainly encouraged it, as a way of keeping his young Scottish noble loyal to his cause.

However, events in Scotland would soon push the Bruce away from his English alliances; his murder of his greatest rival for the throne, John Comyn, in the Chapel of the Greyfriars in Dumfries. Aware that he would be excommunicated for his actions, Bruce raced to Scone to be crowned before a papal bull could be issued. 6 weeks later, on March 25th 1306, the Bruce was crowned King Robert I of Scotland, with Elizabeth by his side, by the Bishop of St Andrews, William Lamberton. They were crowned in a second ceremony the next day by Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan, who had arrived too late to play her part in the ceremony on the 25th. As daughter of the Earl of Fife, Isabella claimed the hereditary right of the Clan MacDuff, to crown the King of Scots. Unfortunately the coronation was not the end of trouble for the Bruces. If anything, things were about to get much worse.

An ailing Edward I sent his loyal lieutenant, Aymer de Valence, north and he met and defeated Robert’s army at Methven in June of the same year. Robert sent his brother Neil and the Earl of Atholl to escort his wife to safety. They took the Queen, Princess Marjorie (Robert the Bruce’s daughter by his first marriage), sisters Mary and Christian and the countess of Buchan, north towards Orkney.

However, the English caught up with them at Kildrummy Castle and laid siege to it. The garrison was betrayed from within, the barns set alight and the Bruce women had barely time to escape with the Earl of Atholl before the castle was taken. Sir Neil Bruce and the entire garrison were executed; Neil was hung, drawn and quartered at Berwick in September 1306.

Queen Elizabeth and her companions made for Tain, in Easter Ross, possibly in the hope of finding a boat to take them onwards. However, they were captured by the Earl of Ross (a former adherent of the deposed King John Balliol), who took them from sanctuary at St Duthac and handed them over to the English. They were sent south, To Edward I at Lanercost Priory.

Elizabeth’s capture would have been a hard blow for Robert the Bruce. The new King of Scotland still lacked a male heir, and had no chance of getting one while his wife was in English hands. This made his hold on the throne even more precarious than it already was.

Edward I’s admirer, Sir Maurice Powicke said Edward treated his captives with a ‘peculiar ferocity’. He ordered that 24-year-old Mary Bruce and Isabella, the Countess of Buchan who performed Robert the Bruce’s coronation, should be imprisoned in specially constructed iron cages and suspended from the outside walls of castles; Mary at Roxburgh and Isabella at Berwick. Although it is more likely that the cages were in rooms within the castles, rather than exposed to the elements, they would be held in that way for 4 years, until Edward I’s successor, Edward II, ordered their removal to convents in 1310. (Read more.)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Toile de Jouy, circa 1760

From The Irish Times:
The popularity of Toile de Jouy has endured for more than 250 years. Literally it means cloth from the town of Jouy near Versailles in France where it originated, but it has come to mean a single-colour print usually of a historic pastoral scene on a white background. With cotton now taken so much for granted, the history of the development of this delicately decorative fabric is worth noting. When cotton arrived in France from India in the 17th century, it prompted panic at government level, with fears the new light and versatile fabric that could be used for clothing and home furnishings would seriously damage the indigenous silk and wool industries. So it was banned for nearly 100 years – although it was imported clandestinely. 
When the ban was lifted in 1759, pent-up demand resulted in several factories springing up. The Oberkampf factory in Jouy-en-Josas produced simple printed fabrics, typically with geometric or basic floral designs using woodblock printing, which tended to produce crude, rather small-scale repeated patterns. Copper-plate fabric printing which was already being used in Ireland – where it was invented in the 1750s by Francis Nixon – crossed the channel and it facilitated large-scale, highly detailed patterns at Jouy with themes ranging from bucolic country scenes to allegorical images. It also allowed for a more sophisticated approach to colour as it permitted a more subtle approach to light and shade.

Marie-Antoinette – who visited the factory in 1781 – and Empress Josephine adored it and it soon became highly fashionable for aristocratic interiors. A toile-de-jouy bedroom with walls and bed covered in the printed design became a popular choice – and to get a cosy and classy look particularly in old houses it still is. Famous artists including Fragonard were commissioned to create designs and thousands of different ones were produced at the Jouy factory. By 1805, the Oberkampf factory employed more than 1,300 people and the factory closed in the 1840s. Without the protection of copyright, the designs were widely copied and applied to everything from wallpaper to plates. (Read more.)

The Price Tag on Slavery

From Media Diversified:
Many of us as Black Britons are not looking for any formal financial compensation. What we want is honest and open debate about the horrors and consequences of enslavement and acknowledgement of how it has shaped modern Britain.

The trauma of enslavement is still ever present within the subconscious of both black and white people 400 years later. It is reinforced by everyday racism and the consequences of government policy and globalisation. It would be of great benefit to have a Royal Commission similar to that which was established by David Cameron in February 2014 to examine the impact of the Holocaust.  Such a body would report to Parliament and look at the legacy of enslavement in society today across a number of policy areas.

Opening the family ‘Pandora’s Box’ might cause the skeletons of the past to come haunt us. Perhaps for the majority of us it is easier to mythologise our African and Caribbean identities and not to explore, in detail, our personal family histories. White families who benefitted from the slave trade may prefer not to know, or disguise or hide where their wealth has come from. (Read more.)

The Incomparable Orinda

A seventeenth century poetess, whose pen name was Orinda. From the Poetry Foundation:
As James Philips's wife, Katherine Philips lived from 1648 until her death in 1664 at his family home, Cardigan Priory. Cardigan is in the southwestern corner of Cardiganshire and thus only a short distance from Pembrokeshire, where many of her friends and relatives lived. Knowing that she also maintained many of her London friends throughout her adult life, one might speculate that Philips often, or at least sometimes, accompanied her husband when he went to London for meetings of Parliament. Certainly she was in London in the spring of 1655, for her only son, Hector, who died in infancy, was buried there in Saint Syth's Church. And from the title of the poem Philips wrote to mourn the death of her twelve-year-old stepdaughter, Frances Philips, we know that the girl died in 1660 in Acton—a London suburb where Katherine Philips's mother (by then married to a fourth husband, Maj. Philip Skippon) resided. Katherine and James Philips's only daughter (also a Katherine), born in Cardigan in April 1656, would live to marry Lewis Wogan of Boulston, Pembrokeshire, and to bear fifteen children—fourteen of whom lie buried with their parents in Boulston Church.

In the two poems Philips wrote on the death of her young son, she uses Judeo-Christian numerology to express the intense pain of a bereaved mother who, after seven years of marriage, bore a son who was "in less than six weeks, dead" ("Epitaph on Hector Philips"). She also uses the number forty, which is associated with periods of privation and pain—periods (such as the Israelites' forty years of wandering) followed by relief and joy. Moreover, forty is the number of days after childbirth when a mother is "churched," and Philips begins her poem "On the death of my first and dearest childe" with the stanza "Twice Forty moneths in wedlock I did stay, / Then had my vows crown'd with a lovely boy. / And yet in forty days he dropt away; / O! swift vicissitude of humane Joy!" Instead, then, of returning to the church to offer a monetary gift and prayers of thanksgiving for her son's birth, this mother can offer only poetry: "An Off'ring too for thy sad Tomb I have / Too just a tribute to thy early Herse, / Receive these gasping numbers to thy grave; / The last of thy unhappy Mothers Verse." As she puns on the word numbers in that poem, so Philips puns on the word mourning in the epitaph: "So the Sun, if it arise / Half so Glorious as his Ey's, / Like this Infant, takes a shroud, / Bury'd in a morning Cloud."

Among Philips's poems are many elegies and epitaphs, at least four of which were actually carved on church monuments. The only one known to survive is inscribed on John Lloyd's monument in Cilgerron Church, a few miles southeast of Cardigan. The others are the epitaph for young Hector Philips, who was buried in a church that a few years later burned in London's Great Fire of 1666, and two commemorating John Collier (described in John Fowler's will as his "servant and cozen") and Collier's daughter Regina, who were buried in Beddington, Surrey, in January 1650 and September 1649, respectively. Other poems occasioned by deaths of friends and relatives include verses in memory of Mrs. Mary Lloyd of Bodidrist in Denbighshire; a poem memorializing "the most Justly honour'd Mrs Owen of Orielton"; an epitaph on James Philips's mother; a poem on the death of Sir Walter Lloyd; and an Publius written in memory of her stepfather Philip Skippon. Philips also wrote two poems addressed to women who had lost their husbands—"To my dearest friend, on her greatest loss" and "To Mrs. Wogan ... On theDeath of her husband"—and she wrote two elegies on members of the royal family—"On the death of the Duke of Gloucester" and "On the Death of the Queen of Bohemia." (Read more.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Last Diary Entry of Alexandra Feodorovna

The last diary entry of Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia. A few hours after penning those lines, the Empress was shot with the Tsar and their five children.
Her last entry:
Yekaterinburg 3/16 July
[Niece] Irina’s 23d birthday.
Gray morning, later lovely sunshine. Baby [Alexei] has a slight cold. All went out  1/2-hour in the morning. Olga and I arrange our medicines [code word for jewellery and other valuables being hidden from the guards]. Tatiana read spiritual readings.
They went out. Tatiana stayed with me and we read: The Book of the prophet Amos and prophet Obadiah.
Every morning the commandant comes to our rooms: at last after a week brought eggs again for Baby.
8: Supper.
Suddenly Lenka Sednev [the kitchen boy] was fetched to go and see his uncle and flew off -wonder whether it’s true and we shall see the boy back again! Played bezique [a card game] with N.
10:30 to bed. 15 degrees.

How Communism Came Into Vogue

From The Epoch Times:
Communism was not popularized in the West under the direct banner of communism. Instead, it came largely under the banner of postmodernism, and aimed to transform the values and beliefs of our societies through its Marxist idea that knowledge and truth are social constructs. Under it, a new wave of skepticism and distrust was applied to philosophy, culture, history, and all beliefs and institutions at the foundations of Western society.

The postmodern philosophy “came into vogue” in the 1970s, according to Jordan Peterson, Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, “after classic Marxism, especially of the economic type, had been so thoroughly discredited that no one but an absolute reprobate could support it publicly.” Peterson said it’s not possible to understand our current society without considering the role postmodernism plays within it, “because postmodernism, in many ways—especially as it’s played out politically—is the new skin that the old Marxism now inhabits.”

“Even the French intellectuals had to admit that communism was a bad deal by the end of the 1960s,” he said. From there, the communists played a “sleight of hand game, in some sense,” and rebranded their ideology “under a postmodern guise.”

“That’s where identity politics came from,” he said. And from there, it “spread like wildfire” from France, to the United States through the English department at Yale University, “and then everywhere.”Marxism preached that the natural and economic landscape is a battle between the so-called proletariat and the bourgeois. It claimed that economic systems were going to enslave people and keep them down, Peterson said. In practice, however, communism repeatedly showed it made things worse. It was put into place in many parts of the world throughout the 20th century “with absolutely murderous results,” Peterson said. “It was the most destructive economic and political doctrine I think that has ever been invented by mankind,” surpassing even the terror seen under Adolf Hitler, with its system of murder that would kill over 100 million people in less than a century.

Peterson said the “full breadth of that catastrophe” of communism is something students rarely learn in school. “The students I teach usually know nothing at all about what happened in the Soviet Union under Stalin and Lenin between 1919 and 1959. They have no idea that millions, tens of millions, of people were killed and far more tortured and brutalized by that particular regime—to say nothing of Mao.”

By the end of the 1960s, he said, even French intellectuals like Jean-Paul Sartre had to admit that the communist experiment—whether under Marxism, Stalinism, Maoism, or any other variant—was “an absolute, catastrophic failure.” (Read more.)

Helicopter Parents

It is certainly a challenge for parents to resist the urge to be overprotective. From The Huffington Post:
Helicopter parents don't want their kids to get hurt. They want to soften every blow and cushion every fall. The problem is that these over-protected kids never learn how to deal with loss, failure or disappointment -- inevitable aspects of everyone's life. Over-protection makes it nearly impossible for these young people to develop frustration tolerance. Without this important psychological attribute, young people enter the workforce at a great disadvantage.

Helicopter parents do too much for their kids, so their kids grow up lacking a healthy work ethic, as well as basic skills. Without this work ethic and these necessary skills, the young person won't be able to accomplish many of the workplace tasks expected of them. Helicopter parents over-protect their kids and deprive them of any meaningful consequences for their actions. As a result, they miss out on the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons from the mistakes they make; life-lessons that would contribute to their emotional intelligence. Helicopter parents protect their kids from any conflicts they might have with their peers. When these kids grow up, they don't know how to resolve difficulties between themselves and a colleague or supervisor. (Read more.)

Monday, June 26, 2017

French Road Trip

From The Guardian:
Perpignan is the most Spanish of French cities. With its ginger-pink facades, lines of palm trees and packed fiesta calendar, it’s an attractive, passionate city, ideal for a beach holiday or to visit the caves and castles of ancient Roussillon. Spend a day exploring the Palace of the Kings of Majorca, visit the Hotel Pams and the Gothic La Loge de Mer. Heading south towards Alénya, the Domaine Mas Bazan is a great place to stay, set among vineyards, orchards and a pool (doubles from €48 B&B), where there are also gites and chalets to rent. (Read more.)

Cardinal Sarah and His Critics

From The Catholic Herald:
It is indeed remarkable that Sarah has suffered this hail of abuse with such grace. In his newly published book The Power of Silence, we hear his stifled cry of anguish:
I painfully experienced assassination by gossip, slander and public humiliation, and I learned that when a person has decided to destroy you, he has no lack of words, spite and hypocrisy; falsehood has an immense capacity for constructing arguments, proofs and truths out of sand. When this is the behaviour of men of the Church, and in particular of bishops, the pain is still deeper. But … we must remain calm and silent, asking for the grace never to give in to rancour, hatred and feelings of worthlessness. Let us stand firm in our love for God and for his Church, in humility.
Despite it all, Sarah is a man unbowed. His book reiterates his call for Mass ad orientem and the rest of the “reform of the reform”: “God willing, when he wills and as he wills, the reform of the reform will take place in the liturgy. Despite the gnashing of teeth, it will happen, for the future of the Church is at stake.”
If Sarah has refused to make himself pleasing to those who run Rome, he is not about to serve any other party either. In this wonderfully individual book, he tells old Islamic folktales, dotes on the suffering and weak, and decries military intervention: “How can we not be scandalised and horrified by the action of American and Western governments in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria?” Sarah views these as idolatrous outpourings of blood “in the name of the goddess Democracy” and “in the name of Liberty, another Western goddess”. He opposes the effort to build “a religion without borders and a new global ethics”. (Read more.)

The Ancient History of Salt

From Vintage News:
Salt was of high value to the Hebrews, Greeks, the Chinese, Hittites and other peoples of antiquity. Aside from being a contributing factor in the development of civilization, salt was also used in the military practice of salting the earth by various peoples, beginning with the Assyrians. In the early years of the Roman Republic, with the growth of the city of Rome, roads were built to make transportation of salt to the capital city easier. An example was the Via Salaria (originally a Sabine trail), leading from Rome to the Adriatic Sea. The Adriatic, having a higher salinity due to its shallow depth, had more productive solar ponds compared with those of the Tyrrhenian Sea, much closer to Rome. (Read more.)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Monogram of the Queen

A plate with Marie-Antoinette's monogram. Share

A Trisomy Baby Story

From Life Site:
Alexander had Trisomy 18, a condition where there are three copies of chromosome 18 instead of the normal two. The condition often disrupts the baby’s normal pattern of development, often causing life-threatening problems including defects in the heart, lungs, kidneys as well as other developmental problems. A large majority of babies with this condition die within the first year.

As she sat now in the Des Moines hospital room listening to the doctor, Katie was having trouble taking it all in. Words became jumbled. It was all too surreal. She asked the doctor to wait until her husband arrived to finish what he had to say. 

When Ryan arrived, he found his wife totally distraught. Katie pleaded with him to go with the doctor into another room to discuss Alexander’s condition. When Ryan asked the doctor if he could record what he was about to hear so that his wife could listen to it once she had calmed down, the doctor consented.  (Read more.)

"No" Is A Complete Sentence

From Momeo Magazine:
There is no need for anything else. You don’t owe the asker anything more than that as a response. Just say, “No” and leave it at that! If you must, you can try the more polite version, “No, I’m sorry” or “Unfortunately, I have to say no” or whatever your grandmother taught you was the right way to politely refuse. But nothing more than that is necessary. And definitely nothing that implies you wish you could.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to justify your reasons for saying, “No.” As the title says, no is a complete sentence. If you don’t have the time, don’t want to do it, or don’t think it’s a good fit, just say, “No.” You have the right to refuse for no other reason than it’s Thursday. Rambling on and on in an attempt to justify yourself only gives the other person an opportunity to negotiate a “Yes” by finding ways around your objections. If you mean no, just say it and be done with it.

Enforce your boundaries by making it impossible for others to work around them by simply being unavailable. Turn off your cell phone (or even better, don’t give it out to people who you don’t want to have 24/7 access to you), and stop checking email and social media threads during your downtime. That being said, do manage expectations by giving people fair warning so they won’t be disappointed at not reaching you.

And STOP making exceptions to your own rules. If you say you don’t do last-minute projects or rush requests, then don’t do them…EVER. It’s hard for people to learn to respect your rules when you never stick to them yourself. As much as we say these are our boundaries, they are what we make them through action. Even the small things, like answering email or responding to voicemails over the weekend, teaches others our expectations. (Read more.)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Knotting Shuttles in Art

Madame Adélaïde de France
Marie-Antoinette de Lorraine d'Autriche

From Anna Gibson:
Knotting was done through the use of a knotting shuttle, which allowed the user to wind thread which could be gradually turned into long strings of decorative knots. Most women would keep drawstring bags on their wrists so that the strings could be pushed inside as they knotted. After they were finished, the knotted strings were then couched or sewn onto dresses, linen, chair backings, and other types of fabric material. Knotting shuttles for upper class women were typically made from high end materials, including porcelain, ivory, tortoiseshell, or even gold, while shuttles for lower classes were more often made of bone.

The easy nature of knotting made it something women, once well-practiced, could keep themselves occupied with while barely needing to look at their hands. Knotting could be done during long coach rides, while sitting in drawing rooms and salons, while sitting in the theater, and any number of occasions. The practice was so popular with Queen Mary of England during her downtime that that Sir Charles Sedley made a ditty of it: ‘For here’s a Queen now thanks to God!/Who when she rides in coach abroad/Is always knotting threads.’ (Read more.)

The Guide for the Perplexed on Trump-Russia

The Russians and the Americans both try to interfere in each other's elections and have for a long time. From NewsMax:
With two congressional inquiries and an FBI probe underway over the last 6 months — not to mention dozens of voracious media organizations like The New York Times and Washington Post frequently reporting leaks of convenience — nobody has unearthed any evidence that Russians at any level worked with the Trump campaign. When President Trump responds to this madness, he's declared "crazy," "paranoid," and even "obsessed." With so many false reports and innuendo being placed in the public sphere, let's review key points the fair-minded person should consider:

1. To repeat, no one has provided any evidence the Trump campaign worked with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton. The closest they come is that the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak showed up at the Republican convention last year in Cleveland and rubbed shoulders with party big-wigs. The media reports conveniently forget to mention the Obama State Dept. organized the effort to have diplomats like Kislyak attend the convention.

2. There is no question the Russians tried to interfere in the U.S. election. 

3. This interference took place during Obama's watch. Obama did little to stop it. Putin took these actions with impunity because he viewed the Obama administration as weak. Putin saw this weakness first hand when he invaded Crimea and Obama slapped him on the wrist. It was only after Trump was elected did the Obama administration raise the temperature against the Russians over the interference.

4. The Obama administration took the unusual step of "unmasking" the identities of Americans, including people close to Trump, discovered in classified NSA and intelligence intercepts. Still, this highly questionable action found no evidence of collusion.

5. There is no evidence the Russian interference changed the election outcome or helped Trump. In fact, Russia's involvement may have actually hurt Trump. Any review of the election results shows Hillary not only won the popular vote, she actually outperformed Obama's 2012 result in many states, including Blue States like California (she won by over 4 million votes, Obama beat Romney by just 2 million) and Red States like Texas (Hillary cut Obama's loss of 16 points almost in half to 9).

6. Trump won the election fairly and squarely. He studied the rules, grasped the critical importance of the Electoral College and out-campaigned Hillary in key states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Remember, Hillary did not even campaign in Wisconsin during the general election.

7. Trump faced a brutal campaign onslaught. Liberal media savaged him with billions of free, earned media for Hillary's campaign. Additionally, Hillary and her allies raised $1.2 billion and outspent Trump by over $600 million. (Trump only raised $258 million through Joint Fundraising from the RNC, less than half of what the DNC raised for Hillary.)

8. Trump's election last November was greeted by immediate protests denying his legitimacy, and some Democrats even called for his impeachment before he took the oath of office.

9. A federal investigation that began simply as a "counter-intelligence" probe has morphed into a sprawling inquiry of Trump's advisers. Unable to find evidence of collusion, this probe is reportedly looking at the advisers' activities completely unrelated to the "collusion" claim and largely for activities after the election. For example, Gen. Michael Flynn is said to have received payments from Turkey that he did not disclose. And Trump's son-in-law had several business contacts with Russians after the election, which by itself is not improper. The FBI is said to be looking at Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort for his dealings in the Ukraine well before Trump ran for office. So what is this all about?

10. There has never been any evidence that President Trump or the White House sought to obstruct justice or close down any Congressional or federal investigation. By virtue of the investigations continuing, the president is actually cooperating with these probes.

11. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, which was his prerogative. Comey never complained during his tenure that Trump was seeking to obstruct justice. After being fired, Comey declined to tell Congress Trump had obstructed justice.

12. The FBI Director did admit that rather than bring his concerns to the attention of the Attorney General or Congress, he wrote memos-to-file of his private conversations with the president. Comey admitted to Congress he leaked at least one of these memos to The New York Times, a serious breach of presidential executive privilege and ethics. These are just some of the matters that can help guide the perplexed about the so-called Russian-Trump collusion story. (Read more.)

Europe: Choosing Suicide

From The Gatestone Institute:
After the Manchester terrorist attack, it was revealed that there are not "just" 3,000 jihadists on the loose in the UK, as the public had previously been informed, but rather a dismaying 23,000 jihadists. According to The Times:
"About 3,000 people from the total group are judged to pose a threat and are under investigation or active monitoring in 500 operations being run by police and intelligence services. The 20,000 others have featured in previous inquiries and are categorised as posing a 'residual risk"'.
Why was the public informed of this only now?

Notably, among those who apparently posed only "a residual risk" and were therefore no longer under surveillance, were Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber, and Khalid Masood, the Westminster killer. It appears that the understaffed UK police agencies and intelligence services are no match for 23,000 jihadists. Already in June 2013, Dame Stella Rimington, former head of the MI5, estimated that it would take around 50,000 full-time MI5 agents to monitor 2,000 extremists or potential terrorists 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That amounts to more than 10 times the number of people employed by MI5. In October 2015, Andrew Parker, director general of the Security Service, said that the "scale and tempo" of the danger to the UK was at a level he had not seen in his 32-year career.

British politicians appear to have consistently ignored these warnings and allowed the untenable situation in the country to fester until the "new normal" became jihadists murdering children for Allah at pop concerts. Given the prohibitive costs of monitoring 23,000 jihadists, the only realistic solution to this enormous security issue appears to be deporting jihadists, at least the foreign nationals among the 3,000 monitored, because they pose a threat. British nationals represent a separate problem, as they cannot be deported. Nevertheless, deportation has been an underused tool in the fight against Islamic terrorism: politicians worry too much about international conventions of human rights -- meaning the human rights of jihadists and convicted terrorists, rather than the human rights of their own populace. (Read more.)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Early Modern Book Illustration

From The Collation:
Before the invention of lithography in the 1790s, two basic techniques for mechanically reproducing illustrations existed: relief printing and intaglio printing. In relief printing, the lines that carry the ink stand up higher than the surrounding surface. The image is created by cutting away the parts you don’t want, inking the block, then pressing a sheet of paper onto the inked block. It takes relatively little pressure to transfer the ink to the paper, so relief prints are made using a common press, the same press used for the text of a book. 

Relief blocks and moveable type use the same press, so they can be printed at the same time, making it simple to include image and text on the same page. Most early modern relief prints are woodcuts, though metal cuts were also made. In intaglio printing, the lines that carry the ink are cut into the surrounding surface. 1 Engraved lines are cut into the metal plate by a sharp tool. Etched lines are cut into the plate by acid eating away at metal exposed by scratching through a protective layer of varnish. The image is created by incising lines on a metal plate, forcing ink into the incised lines, wiping the surrounding surface clean, then pressing a dampened sheet of paper onto the plate under such high pressure that the paper is squeezed into the incised lines, where it picks up the ink. Because of the enormous pressure needed, intaglio plates have to be printed on a rolling press. In other words, if you see an intaglio print on the same page as the letterpress text of a book, that page has gone through two printing presses: a common press for the text (with a gap left where the illustration should go), then a rolling press for the image. (Read more.)

Abortion Kills Voters

From Matt Walsh:
In total, how drastically have Democrats reduced their own voting base through in utero execution? Nobody will ever be able to say with certainty, but surely the number is well into the millions. Yes, they have attempted to replace those lost voters by importing new ones from the third world — and in that effort they have been enormously successful — but imagine where they’d be if they had immigrant voters and their own homegrown variety. That’s what’s so astounding about all of this: the Democratic love for abortion is not only murderous but suicidal. It is not only a destructive act but a self-destructive act. Without abortion, there would be millions more black people, millions more women, millions more Democrats. Although we can’t quantify the missing in exact numbers, it is undeniable that the leftist movement and all of its key constituents are killing themselves through abortion. (Read more.)

"Shared Parenting"

From the Institute for Family Studies:
What many children of marital abandonment experience in this netherworld of hedonism and adolescent pursuits is—well, let’s just say a far cry from snuggles and Goodnight Moon.
  • It’s waking up Saturday mornings to fend for yourself until around noon when dad and his girlfriend emerge from a dark bedroom in the dumpy, dingy apartment that is now your temporary home.
  • It’s being left high and dry when mom forgets to pick you up because she’s getting it on with her boyfriend at their new place together.
  • It’s regular exposure to pornography and troubling shows like “13 Reasons Why” in the vacuum of parental supervision under a new Disney mom or Disney dad regime.
  • It’s subsisting on too-little sleep, junk food, and soda two weekends a month and coming home exhausted and grumpy to the responsible parent who suffers the consequences for days.
  • It’s the repeated and prolonged (court-ordered) exposure of a preteen girl to mom’s burly new boyfriend who vacillates between ignoring and ogling her—the very man responsible for the constant pain she is experiencing at the loss of her family.
  • It’s the tummy aches and nightmares that won’t go away.
  • It’s the teen boy with the sparkle in his eye and love for his faith who in the wake of his father’s abandonment and remarriage hates God and speaks of suicide.
  • It’s the daughter, who once contemplated religious life, who now posts half-naked photos of herself on social media, slathered in makeup as if to mask the anguish of innocence lost in the emulation of her mother’s behavior.
  • It’s feeling the guilt and sadness of knowing that church is important, but having to watch TV sitcoms every other Sunday morning instead; the knowledge that to raise the issue with daddy would bring that sickly, torn apart inside feeling to the surface again.
Where do the children above (each of whom is real) fall in the shared parenting paradigm of “post-divorce equality leads to better adjustment?” What about the responsible parents who wish to protect not only their children’s physical but moral and spiritual well-being?

These matters are not just a quandary for those who believe adultery is wrong. Children living with a parent’s new sex partner— especially when the partner is a man—are at significant risk of sexual and physical abuse. Record numbers of divorcees are cohabiting.

So, how do we have an honest discussion about where children should spend the most time after divorce without accounting for the impact of infidelity (and all its negative behavioral correlates)—and the marital abandonment and subsequent cohabitation or remarriage that so often accompanies serial infidelity—on their moral and physical well-being, in childhood and beyond? Professionals in every sphere of influence on this matter (family courts, social science, counseling) seem reluctant to acknowledge and investigate the distinction between consensual and unwanted divorce. Somehow abandoned spouses and their children are not represented in our representative studies of divorce. (Read more.)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Poetry of Giverny

From Victoria:
With a painter’s eye, French impressionist painter Claude Monet often combined flowers of like colors and allowed them to grow without constraint across the sprawling grounds of his home in Giverny, France. The water garden, inspired by the Japanese prints Monet collected, forms a mystical aquatic environment ensconced among weeping willows, wisteria, and thickets of bamboo. Originally, a local craftsman constructed the green bridge, a familiar feature in several of his celebrated paintings. As much a gardener as he was an artist, Monet landscaped the elaborate vignettes of flowers, water, and trees surrounding his iconic Normandy farmhouse, pictured above, with the passionate intent of capturing them on canvas. (Read more.)


An Orwellian History of Obamacare

From The American Spectator:
It’s an article of faith among progressives that they are intellectually and morally superior to conservatives and pretty much everyone else. In fact, the need to see themselves as a cut above mere mortals is far more important to them than any ideology, policy position, or set of objective facts. This is why Barack Obama was able, after being elected President, to reverse his position on the inclusion of an individual mandate in health care “reform” without losing a single supporter. And it is why Paul Krugman maintains a huge progressive readership despite his penchant for treating them like fools.

He has thus garnered the applause of progressives everywhere by rebuking Senate Republicans for proceeding with Obamacare “repeal and replace” without following the open process that he claims characterized the passage of the “Affordable Care Act.” In a recent blog post, for example, he accused the GOP of plotting to pass the bill in secret: “And they’ll try to do it by dead of night, of course.” The term “Orwellian” has regrettably become rather hackneyed, but no other word adequately describes this sentence. It is exactly how Obamacare was passed. As the Wall Street Journal reminds its readers:
On Dec. 19, 2009, a Saturday, then Majority Leader Harry Reid tossed the 2,100-page bill the Senate had spent that fall debating and offered a new bill drafted in an invitation-only back room. Democrats didn’t even pretend to care what was in it while passing it in the dead of night on Dec. 24, amid a snowstorm, in the first Christmas Eve vote since 1895.
None of this is news. It is, in fact, one of the reasons Obamacare has been reviled for so long by the voters. Indeed, an argument can be made that this single piece of legislation — and how it was passed — is largely responsible for the decimation of the Democratic Party that began with its loss of the House, continued with its loss of the Senate, and culminated with the defeat of Hillary Clinton. If Krugman’s progressive readers were the intellectual heavyweights they imagine themselves, they would consider his claims about the fictive transparency of Obamacare’s passage an insult to their collective intelligence. (Read more.)

Marx's Flight from Reality

From The Foundation for Economic Education:
From his student days in Berlin, two German philosophers left their imprint upon Marx: George Hegel (1770-1831) and Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872). From Hegel, Marx learned the theory of “dialectics” and the idea of historical progress to universal improvement. From Feuerbach, Marx accepted the idea of man “perfected.” Feuerbach had argued that rather than worshiping a non-existing supernatural being – God – man should worship himself. The “true” religion of the future should, therefore, be the Worship of Mankind, and that man “perfected” would be changed from a being focused on and guided by his own self-interest to one who was totally altruistic, that is, concerned only with the betterment of and service to Mankind as a whole, rather than only himself. 
Marx took Feuerbach’s notion of man “perfected” and developed what he considered to be the essential characteristics of such a developed human nature. There were three elements to such a perfected human being, Marx argued:

First, the Potential for “Autonomous Action.” This is action undertaken by a man only out of desire or enjoyment, not out of necessity. If a man works at a blacksmith’s forge out of a desire to creatively exercise his faculties in molding metal into some artistic form, this is free or “autonomous action.” If a man works at the forge because he will starve unless he makes a plow to plant a crop, he is acting under a “compulsion” or a “constraint.” (Read more.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sunrise, Sunset

Benvenuto Benvenuti (Italian, 1881-1959), Heading Home, c.1920.
Golden Evening, Southwest Texas - Julian Onderdonk
 A collection of art from East of the Sun, West of the Moon. More HERE.

Sunset time at the Faroe Islands - Sigmund Petersen , 1955
Danish, 1904–1975
Alfred Wahlberg (1834 - 1906)
The sun setting over fishing boats
Albert Goodwin
Rick Stevens Art
Dennis Sheehan - Sunrise
Rick Stevens Art

Religious Tests for Public Office

From Crisis:
On our own side of the pond, a hearing for a mid-level Cabinet nominee received more than the usual amount of attention when Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont sharply questioned Russell Vought, the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, over a blog post he had written last year for the website The Resurgent. Commenting on a theological controversy involving a professor at his alma mater, Vought, an evangelical Christian, wrote, “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

Sen. Sanders accused Mr. Vought of religious bigotry, asking “Are you suggesting that all of those people stand condemned? What about Jews? They stand condemned, too?” Mr. Vought responded, “Senator, I wrote a post based on being a Christian and attending a Christian school that has a statement of faith that speaks clearly with regard to the centrality of Jesus Christ in salvation.” Sen. Sanders called the post “indefensible and hateful,” with a spokesman from his office later releasing a statement saying, “In a democratic society, founded on the principle of religious freedom, we can all disagree over issues, but racism and bigotry—condemning an entire group of people because of their faith—cannot be part of any public policy.”

The statements from Sen. Sanders and his office have an admixture of truth and error, affirming some valid principles but also mistakenly identifying certain things with one another. While indeed anyone would agree that racism and bigotry “cannot be part of any public policy,” this statement asserts without demonstrating its two key claims. First, where did Mr. Vought state that he desired to make his belief regarding the soteriological status of Muslims into public policy? He made no such claim. Rather, the spokesman is insinuating that any person who holds such views has no place in making public policy. Surely such a demand would be a violation of Article VI of the Constitution, which expressly forbids any religious test for candidates for public office? And to be consistent, would Sen. Sanders question a Muslim candidate on his or her beliefs regarding the moral status of those who have not converted to Islam? (Read more.)

Marxists Are Not on the "Right Side of History"

From the Foundation for Economic Education:
One of the most common phrases to be heard from “the left” is the assertion that someone or some public policy is or is not on “the right side of history.” It has almost become a mantra by those who disagree with, hate, or are fearful of ideas and policies proposed by those generally characterized as being politically on “the right.” The notion behind it is that “history” moves in a particular direction, toward some set of specific goals and societal forms, with each step in the historical process representing a “higher” and “better” stage or level than the preceding ones at which “society” has been operating.

 It is also captured in the popular labeling of those, again, on the political left as being “progressives” in their outlook and proposals for social reform and change. On the other hand, opponents are declared to be “reactionary,” “conservative,” or “deniers” of some facet of reality. Under the latter heading would be those who deny or challenge or question whether “climate change” is singularly or primarily or significantly man-made, or whether America still is or is becoming a more racist, misogynist, or generally anti-“social justice” hateful society.

This attitude and language has been exacerbated by the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, but it has been an ideological and linguistic conception of the political divisions in America and other places in the world for a very long time. As with many things on the political left, it dates from the nineteenth century and the “scientific socialism” of Karl Marx (1818-1883).

Many of the socialists who preceded or who were contemporaries of Marx believed that mankind could be transformed into a new and better socialist arrangement of human association through reason, willpower and conscious institution change. Marx rejected these people, labeling them as “utopian socialists.” They were “utopian,” that is, unrealistic fantasy believers, not because they wanted a bright and beautiful socialist future for humanity, but because they thought that it was in the ability of human beings to “will it” into existence. (Read more.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


The Princess Palatine Elisabeth-Charlotte of Bavaria, Duchesse d'Orléans, was Marie-Antoinette's great-grandmother. Called "Liselotte" she was the second wife of Philippe d'Orléans, brother of the Sun King Louis XIV. The first wife of Philippe was Henrietta Anne of Great Britain, who was the great great grandmother of Louis XVI. Thus both Louis and Antoinette were direct descendants of Philippe. Share

No "Nazis" in the Confederacy

People apply the word "Nazi" to any group of people they judge as being racist, especially Southerners, although the North certainly had its share of racists. Unfortunately, it is a fact of history that even learned men like Lincoln had views which would now be considered hateful and totally unacceptable. Nevertheless, Professor Wilson explains why analogies between Nazis and Confederates are inaccurate. To quote:
Anyone who has been paying attention has heard many times the assertion that the flag of the Southern Confederacy is equivalent to the banner of the Nazi German Reich.  That this idea should gain any credit at all is a sign of how debased American public discourse has become by ignorance, deceit, and hatred.

To make an obvious point:  The Confederacy fought a defensive war against invasion.    It had no design to rule others or exploit their resources—only wished to be let alone.  Nazi Germany was a militarist state, dedicated to a boastful, bullying, brutal conquest of other peoples.  Rather like the U.S. Army in 1861—1865.

Another obvious point.  Nazi Germany was a regimented totalitarian state.   On the other hand, a number of observers have suggested that the Southern people were too loosely governed and individualistic to accept the strong central authority that was needed to win their war against a larger aggressive state organized for conquest.  In this respect the Confederacy was the last Jeffersonian regime in America.

The Nazi analogy rests on the idea that both the Confederacy and Germany were “racist” states.  The term “racist” has become so elastic and pejorative that it is no longer used by honest writers.  History and ordinary observation indicate a vast variety and gradation of the “racist” ideas that the various races of mankind have had about each other, many of them involving notions of significant differences and superiority/inferiority.

If  “racist” means in this  connection that the Confederacy  generally assumed an attitude of “white supremacy,” it is true.  This tells us very little.  In the sense intended the overwhelming majority of white Europeans and Americans were white supremacists from the first contacts with Africa in the 16th century until well into the 20th century.  Abraham Lincoln expressed this idea several times.  Many of his supporters did so frequently and firmly. (Read more.)

Marx's Legacy Is Anti-Intellectualism

We can see the Marxist legacy in those who prefer to call names rather than engage in rational debate. From the Foundation for Economic Education:
You get the idea. Accusation is a convenient substitute for thought....As Ludwig von Mises put it in Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis regarding Marxian interpretations of history and intellectual processes, “The enemy is not refuted: enough to unmask him as a bourgeois.” Mises devotes large chunks of an entire short volume – titled Marxism Unmasked – to the discussion and dissection of Marxian methods, argument, and analysis. Confront one who disagrees. Slander him as a bourgeois or as a mere defender of bourgeois class interests. Use this as a pretext for rejecting his ideas wholesale. Move on to the next step in the revolution, contradicting theory and evidence be damned. (Read more.)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Louis XVI in Royal Regalia

From a tapestry. Share

Meddling in Foreign Elections

From  The American Spectator:
While the media obsess over an alleged Russian conspiracy to collude with Donald Trump to affect America’s 2016 presidential election, what about Obama’s interference in the elections of other countries? Most Americans have no idea that President Obama meddled in elections all over the world. And apparently, the media decided there’s no reason for Americans to know about this illegal activity.

Indeed, in 2016, the Los Angeles Times did a story on how America has interfered with other nation’s elections in the past, but they stopped short of mentioning the various foreign elections Obama tried to influence. But the same article reports that Obama “slapped Russia with new penalties for meddling in the U.S. Presidential election… by hacking into Democratic and Republican computer networks and selectively releasing emails.” Hypocrisy check, anyone?

Since that article appeared last December, it has essentially become fake news. The Republican National Committee was never successfully hacked into and evidence is mounting that the DNC was not hacked by Russia. Not only has Wiki Leaks itself insisted Russia was not the source, but a number of cyber security experts, including McAfee antivirus developer John McAfee, disputes this. McAfee says the hack on the DNC “used a piece of malware a year and half old” and was “not an organized hack and certainly not a nation-state that did this.” Moreover, the DNC has never allowed the FBI or any government agency to analyze the computers in question.

Nevertheless, Obama, operating on unconfirmed evidence, abruptly imposed new sanctions on Russia. Many observers believe he did so in order to set the stage for the left to initiate its phony Russian-Trump collusion narrative to be used to remove Trump from office or to defeat him in 2020. (Read more.)

Prisoners of Clutter

From The Boston Globe:
Tell me about it. That sums up Boston parents’ reaction to new research by UCLA-affiliated social scientists concluding that American families are overwhelmed by clutter, too busy to go in their own backyards, rarely eat dinner together even though they claim family meals as a goal, and can’t park their cars in the garage because they’re crammed with non-vehicular stuff.

The team of anthropologists and archeologists spent four years studying 32 middle-class Los Angeles families in their natural habitat — their toy-littered homes — and came to conclusions so grim that the lead researcher used the word “disheartening” to describe the situation we have gotten ourselves in­to.

At first glance, the just-published, 171-page “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” looks like a coffee table book. But it contains very real-life photos of pantries, offices, and backyards, and details a generally Zen-free existence. Architectural Digest or Real Simple this is not. Among the findings detailed within:

PPU The rise of Costco and similar stores has prompted so much stockpiling — you never know when you’ll need 600 Dixie cups or a 50-pound bag of sugar — that three out of four garages are too full to hold cars. (Read more.)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Silhouette of the Duchesse d’Angoulême

The silhouette of the Duchesse d’Angoulême, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette; detail from a larger silhouette illustration. [credit: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie]

Marie-Thérèse, Duchesse d’Angoulême with CharlesX and Louis-Antoine, Duc d’Angoulême


It is a shame that European nations cannot protect themselves from de facto invasion without being sanctioned by the EU. From France 24:
BRUSSELS (AFP) - The EU launched legal action Tuesday against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in their share of refugees under a controversial solidarity plan. The move shows the frustration in Brussels over the slow response to the scheme, which aimed to relocate 160,000 migrants from frontline migrant crisis states Italy and Greece but which has so far seen only 20,000 moved. "I regret to say that despite our repeated calls, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have not yet taken the necessary action," EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a news conference.

"For this reason the (European) Commission has decided to launch infringement procedures against these three member states," he said at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Brussels last month set a June deadline for Warsaw and Budapest to start accepting migrants under the plan to ease the burden on Italy and Greece, or risk sanctions. Prague also came under pressure after effectively dropping out. (Read more.)

Gentlemanly Behavior

We could use such behaviors now. From English Historical Fiction Authors:
So then, what did this ‘gentlemanly behavior’ (sometimes referred to as ‘good breeding’) entail? Through the centuries, numerous writers attempted to describe it. Philosopher John Locke (1693) suggested a young man of good breeding:

was decent and graceful in his looks, voice, words, gestures and general demeanor.
was pleasing in company, taking care not to offend others or demonstrating “sheepish bashfulness”
showed no excess of ceremony; did not flatter or dissimulate; was not mean.
In conversation displayed respect, esteem, good manners and goodwill to everyone.

In the mid-1700’s Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield wrote to his illegitimate son on the issue of that which would make a man “welcome and agreeable in conversation and common life.” (Chesterfield, 1984) His advice echoed Locke’s including:

“One of the most important points in life is decency; which is to do what is proper and where it is proper.”  (Chesterfield, 1984) Do not be ashamed of doing what is right.
Do not be distracted, rude or thoughtless during a conversation.
You should always endeavor to procure all the conveniences you can to the people you are with.” (Chesterfield, 1984) (In other words, think of others first and make them comfortable when they are with you.

Mason (1982) helps to sum up the overall English notion of a gentleman suggesting that the true English gentleman was a combination of both good birth and a sterling character. In addition to coming from a good family:

A gentleman knew his place in society and the world
While it was convenient for the gentleman to have money, he should never be one to be seen to count pennies
A gentleman was a man of principle, careful of his reputation, fulfilling his obligations, and behaving with integrity and honor in every situation
Gentlemen weren’t awkwardly bashful or formal; they didn’t put themselves forward in social settings, but rather stylish and elegant and considerate of others
Gentlemen show consideration for women and would never insult those below them be they servant or beggar.  (Read more.)