Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fr. Gassner and Marie-Antoinette

Here is an article on the priest, exorcist, and miracle-worker whom the Empress Maria Theresa called in before she sent her youngest daughter Marie-Antoinette to France to be married. When Fr. Gassner saw the fourteen-year-old Archduchess,  his expression became serious and he said: "There are crosses for all shoulders."


A Medieval Remedy for Modernity’s Ills

From Crisis:
By 1109, at the age of nineteen, St. Bernard possesses certainty that God is calling him to the priesthood as a Cistercian monk. He enters the monastery at Citeaux in France. It was not long that his superiors recognize the superlative qualities of sanctity and intellectual prowess and send him to establish another foundation at Claire Vallee, which finally was abbreviated to the familiar, Clairvaux.

The twelfth century was no stranger to heresy, and St. Bernard’s love of the Cistercian silence was never an obstacle to heeding the call of the Church to do battle with it. With his quicksilver intellect he engaged hard-bitten heretics like Peter Abelard and the Cathars with impressive success. The Saint of Clairvaux full well knew that right Catholic living was intimately bound to right Doctrine. Doctrine is the flesh and bones of Christ himself. Thinking it unimportant is settling for an ad hoc Christ, designed according to the whims of the self, or the passing enthusiasm of the age. Admiration followed Bernard everywhere. Not only did popes, bishops and kings seek his counsel, but the saints’ humility prompted him to remonstrate those very notables when he observed them failing the duties of their high office. Well did the Saint make his own the words of St. Gregory the Great in his Pastoral Guide:

Pastors who lack foresight hesitate to say openly what is right because they fear losing the favor of men… The Lord reproach’s them through the prophet: ‘They are dumb dogs that cannot bark’… To advance against the foe involves a bold resistance to the powers of this world in defense of the flock. To stand fast in battle on the day of the Lord means to oppose the wicked enemy out of love for what is right.

(Read more.)

The Making of the Modern American Recipe

From Smithsonian:
Americans went nuts for the 567-page volume, buying The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book in numbers the publishing industry had never seen—around 360,000 copies by the time author Fannie Farmer died in 1915. Home cooks in the United States loved the tastiness and inventiveness of Farmer's recipes. They also appreciated her methodical approach to cooking, which spoke to the unique conditions they faced. Farmer's recipes were gratifyingly precise, and unprecedentedly replicable, perfect for Americans with newfangled gadgets like standardized cup and spoon measures, who worked in relative isolation from the friends and family who had passed along cooking knowledge in generations past. Farmer's book popularized the modern recipe format, and it was a fitting guide to food and home life in a modernizing country.

Recipes today serve many purposes, from documenting cooking techniques, to showing off a creator's skills, to serving up leisure reading for the food-obsessed. But their most important goal is replicability. A good recipe imparts enough information to let a cook reproduce a dish, in more or less the same form, in the future.

The earliest surviving recipes, which give instructions for a series of meaty stews, are inscribed on cuneiform tablets from ancient Mesopotamia. Recipes also survive from ancient Egypt, Greece, China, and Persia. For millennia, however, most people weren't literate and never wrote down cooking instructions. New cooks picked up knowledge by watching more experienced friends and family at work, in the kitchen or around the fire, through looking, listening, and tasting. (Read more.)

Friday, September 29, 2017


From Jewish News Online:
Hartwell House has a remarkable history: its most famous resident was Louis XVIII, exiled King of France, for five years from 1809.  And once a property hosts royalty, standards are set. Hartwell House has 30 bedrooms and suites on three floors.  All of the ‘boudoirs’ (Louis XVIII’s term) on the first floor, where we were accommodated, have been named after members of the Bourbon family. Many of the rooms have four-poster beds and all are decorated in a style reflecting the character of the house. We stayed in the Duchesse d’Angouleme room, named after the daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who resided there with her uncle for five years. I hope she was as comfortable as we were.  After settling in, the sunshine called and  we set off to explore the 94 acres of parkland, landscaped by a contemporary of Capability Brown. (Read more.)


The Stigmatization of Pope Francis

From Unveiling the Apocalypse:
On Sept 23rd this year, an event took place which is unprecedented in Church history. A sitting pope has been accused of teaching heresy as part of his authentic magisterium in a "Filial Correction" signed by some 60 Catholic theologians, priests and bishops - which has subsequently risen to 146 as of the time of writing. This accusation has been railed against an Apostolic Exhortation no less - a document which has one of the highest teaching authorities in a papal magisterium. This accusation of heresy took place on the exact day that the much vaunted Rev 12 sign appeared in the skies on the centenary year of Our Lady of Fatima, 33 days after the occurrence of the Great American Solar Eclipse, which marked the start of a forty day countdown to Yom Kippur, coinciding with St. Michael's Lent. (Read more.)

Five Royal Residences in London

From Londontopia for Londonphiles:
Kensington Palace has been a Royal residence since the 17th Century, it was built by Sir George Coppin and became the home of King William III and Queen Mary II after becoming joint monarchs in 1689.  After their deaths, it became the residence of Queen Anne and was later the birthplace of Queen Victoria, though Victoria would come to prefer another home on this list.  King George II would become the last monarch to live in the palace, and from the time of King George III-onward, it would be a home for other members of the Royal Family.  Presently, it is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, as well as the Gloucesters and Prince Harry.  What’s more, being a Historic Royal Palace, it’s also a major tourist attraction, though the residences aren’t typically available to tour. (Read more.)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Arrival of Marie-Antoinette

The fourteen-year-old Marie-Antoinette crosses the border into France in May, 1770, clothed in a golden dress. In the background can be seen the pavilion where the new Dauphine surrendered all of her Austrian clothes and possessions and was dressed in French garb.


Where Are the Feminists?

From LifeNews:
Yesterday I stumbled across the trailer for a documentary called It’s A Girl. The 3-minute preview stopped me in my tracks – particularly the part in which an Indian woman matter-of-factly describes how she strangled her newborn daughters. Eight of them. In America, a mother who did this to her children would be condemned as a psychopath and imprisoned. In India, this mother walks free, one of many who acted on culturally acceptable impulses.

In parts of Asia – especially India and China – baby girls are undesirable, even unacceptable. In China, a ”one-child” policy, enforced by the state with forced sterilizations and abortions, exacerbates gendercide, leading some parents to take matters into their own hands. If you’re allowed only two children, and you already have one girl…well, in a culture where males are valued much more highly than females, it’s not hard to imagine what follows. Baby girls are stuck in sacks and thrown in rivers and down wells, even dumped upside-down in buckets of water.

 The United Nations estimates that about 200 million girls are missing from the world due to this rampant genocide – now commonly called “gendercide.” The effects of these heinous practices, as time goes on, could be devastating in parts of Asia, as men look around and realize that all their potential wives do not exist. (Read more.)

In Defense of Christendom

From TFP:
Many believe that Christendom was a rigid and brutal order. In medieval times, we are told that tyranny ruled, and the Church and the nascent State were constant rivals in the pursuit of dominance. So many modern historians have cynically reduced this period when Christianity prevailed to a time of cultural darkness and violent power struggles. Such people fail to understand the Christian order since they equate it with tyranny. They judge Christendom from the premises of our present disorders, in which people only seek their self-interest. That is why it is refreshing to find a modern scholar who can refute this utterly distorted narrative of the Christian order. Historian Dr. Andrew Willard Jones manages to break through the misconceptions and presents a fascinating look at the medieval order in his new book titled, Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in the Sacramental Kingdom of St. Louis IX. (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Portrait of Louis XII from His Book of Hours

Louis XII is considered to be one of the greatest Kings of France; Louis XVI was compared to him upon his ascent to the throne. Louis XII is shown at the age of thirty-four on his knees in prayer, accompanied by Saint Michael, Saint Charlemagne, Saint Louis and Saint Denis. Before the French Revolution, Charlemagne was listed among the saints, at least in France.Via D'Azur et d'or. Share

The Political Abuse of Science

From The American Thinker:
The great successes achieved by scientists have unfortunately given science a prestige and an authority beyond its unquestionable utility. That so many lean on science for their take on just about everything should bother us all since it promotes a confidence in a way of thinking and a way of acting that continually shuts more doors than it opens – a fact recognized by science professionals who fully appreciate their craft and its connection to reality and accept its limitations.  It is important to see that the reduction of human reality to bits of data stuffed in mathematical packets – aping scientific practice – forms a line to lunacy. (Read more.)

Vegetarians and Depression

From Mercola:
Your diet plays an intricate role in your mood. While excess sugar has been linked to depression, certain foods, like dark leafy greens, mushrooms and turmeric, are linked to positive emotions. In the longer term, what you eat, or don't eat, may also affect your mood by altering your body's levels of certain vitamins, minerals and fatty acids involved in brain health and mood.

While many people choose to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet for health reasons, this is an important factor to consider, as research suggests doing so may be associated with depression.
In fact, in a study of 9,700 vegetarians (including a small number of vegan) men, vegetarians were nearly twice as likely to suffer from depression as meat eaters, even after adjusting for variables like job status, family history and number of children.1 The study couldn't show causation, but it did have a number of theories for why the association may exist. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Healing Properties of Oil of Frankincense

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
Frankincense is an ancient aromatic resin that comes from the Boswellia tree. In Christian tradition it is associated with Epiphany and is one of the three mystic gifts brought to the Child Jesus. Among its many uses has been as liturgical incense. I decided to add frankincense essential oil to the Midnight Bouquet Night Cream when I heard that it helps to fade age spots.(Read more.)

From Trotsky to Buckley

A view from the far Left. From The Jacobin:
When James Burnham published his best-selling The Managerial Revolution: What is Happening in the World in 1941, he had already ditched the far left but was still generally regarded as a radical, even a neo-Marxist. By the time he wrote The Struggle for the World six years later, he was flirting with obsessive anticommunism.

Too often, however, people rush to apply a version of black swan theory to Burnham’s shocking political conversion. With the benefit of hindsight, a complex evolution appears as an easily explicable U-turn.

For the Left, Burnham epitomized the petit-bourgeois weakling who cravenly succumbed to the pressures of alien class forces — a Marxist version of “filthy lucre.” For the Right, he heroically completed a pilgrim’s progress from the darkness of totalitarianism to the enlightenment of tradition. The center’s view has been most influential: Burnham proves the batty affinity between far left and far right.

Twinning these so-called extremes has become especially popular today among centrist pundits like Michael Bloomberg, who argue that the symmetrical “populisms” — Sanders and Corbyn on the left, Trump and Le Pen on the right — are destabilizing the West. Similarly, in his lively 1975 book Up From Communism: Conservative Odysseys in American Intellectual History, John P. Diggins concludes that Burnham went “from the revolutionary Left to the militant Right without so much as pausing in the ‘Vital Center.’”

A more patient reading of the record shows that Burnham inhabited — albeit uncomfortably — the anticommunist center-left for a bit longer than he was a Communist and Trotskyist. Streamlining Burnham’s life to bolster an argument for the ideological kinship between revolution and reaction — including New Republic editor Jeet Heer’s claim that “Burnham took Trotsky’s idea of a world revolution and inverted it” — obscures more than it reveals. (Read more.)

Cultivating Curiosity in Your Children

From Walking By the Way:
If your child is bored or in the doldrums, tempt him with miscellaneous items — a tub of magnets & metal pieces, a math balance, an owl pellet, watercolor pencils & paper, a new game, an insect display box, or a blank notebook & fancy pen. Simply leave items for your student in a familiar place. You might be surprised how much he enjoys finding, examining, and exploring! Occasionally, I will even give one of these items as an unexpected gift making it a little more mysterious and fun. (Read more.)

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Return of Mules

Or perhaps they never really went out of style. From Oye! Times:
Those who disagree might be surprised that modern-day mules actually find their origins in the boudoir. In fact, before Marie Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour wore them in the French court, the slipper-inspired style was associated with prostitution. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, Hollywood pinups like Marilyn Monroe brought the mule renewed glamour, with voluptuous, spike-heeled versions, before a chunkier version emerged in the ‘90s, alongside its ugly step-sister, the slide.

Now, the style is so pervasive that it seems quaint that in 2015, Maryam Nassir Zadeh — who can be credited with turning monochrome peep-toed mules into a fashion-girl favorite — accused Mansur Gavriel of ripping off the design. That same year, Alessandro Michele introduced his signature fur-lined loafer slide in his first collection for Gucci, sparking a wave of what are basically soled slippers. (Read more.)

The Tyranny of Immorality

From Matt Walsh:
This particular case, Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, will be decided by the Supreme Court soon enough. I’m not optimistic. Justice Kennedy will be the deciding vote, and there’s no telling if he’ll discover a Right to Pastries just as he discovered a Right to Gay Marriage and just as his forebears discovered a Right to Abortion. Maybe they’re all in the same mysterious amendment, written in invisible ink that can only be seen through a special decoder lens that liberal judges pass down through the generations like a family heirloom.

Some issues are so complex and nuanced that reasonable people can make intelligent arguments on either side of them. This is not one of those issues. In a free country, if we are to be a free country, you cannot compel someone to play any kind of role whatsoever in a private event that he objects to as a matter of conscience or religion. If you can, then I guess white supremacists can conscript Jewish caterers to serve them lunch at their next meeting. You may take exception to that analogy and point out that a white supremacist meeting is repugnant while a gay wedding is a wonderful celebration of love and happiness. That’s your opinion, yes. But it’s only your opinion. You cannot force me to agree with it or act upon it.

Speaking of force, it strikes me that those who desire only to raise their families and run their businesses according to their personal belief systems are the ones so often accused of “forcing their morality” on the world. When I was discussing this case on Twitter (an admittedly terrible forum to discuss this subject or any other subject known to man), I was admonished numerous times for committing the crime of morality-forcing. And that was just for saying that I think businesses should be allowed to refrain from serving gay weddings. (Read more.)

Silence About Sin

From ChurchPop:
There’s a whole lot of sin all around us in our world today. As Christians, we are certainly called to refuse to participate in sin and instead to pursue holiness. But is that enough? Is a private pursuit of holiness with the grace of God all that Christians are called to do? Of course not. The primary mission of the Church is evangelical. That is to say, we are all called to share with others the Gospel of grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Included in that by necessity is the truth about sin, because that’s what Jesus saves us from. Sin, the transgression of God’s laws, is deadly serious. It’s exactly the thing that sends a person to hell for eternity. Which means that if we love other people, we have to warn them about sin. In fact, this responsibility is enshrined as one of the 7 spiritual works of mercy: admonish sinners. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Most Influential Female Artists of All Time

From Arts and Collections:
Vigée Le Brun is credited with painting approximately 660 portraits and 200 landscapes. She broke boundaries with her success; despite being initially denied a formal education in art, King Louis XVI ensured her acceptance into the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture and she went on to become a portraitist of the French court. She produced dozens of works of Marie Antoinette and royal family.

She shocked the art world when she exhibited a self-portrait in which she is smiling open-mouthed. Her portrait of Marie Antoinette was withdrawn because people didn’t like how informal it was. It depicted the queen in a simple white dress and straw hat. Although the artist was exiled during the French Revolution for her association with the monarchy, some 30 of her paintings of the queen still survive today, giving her the title of Marie Antoinette’s official painter. (Read more.)

The American Burke

From Chronicles:
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) was the most substantial intellectual to reach high political office in the United States since Woodrow Wilson.  Thus his life, writings, policy deliberations, and political efforts, and the effects of these, deserve the most careful and respectful attention.  If the apocalyptic era of European history began with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, it is arguable that the American time of troubles reached critical mass in 1965—just 50 years ago—when Moynihan’s report to President Lyndon Johnson on the precipitous decline of the African-American family became public knowledge.  Moynihan’s worries about the decline of the American family—white, black, and otherwise—have proved to be prophetic.  As the sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia put it in 2010, “Non-marital child-bearing among [all] women with high-school degrees more than tripled in the last three decades—from 13 percent in 1982 to 44 percent in 2006-8.”

Greg Weiner, a political scientist, has written an excellent short book on Moynihan, rightly comparing his thought and career with those of Edmund Burke.  Weiner’s book joins several other important volumes on Moynihan, including Godfrey Hodgson’s excellent The Gentleman From New York: Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Biography (2000), and the indispensable recent anthology edited by Steven R. Weisman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of An American Visionary (2010).  Moynihan’s service to presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon and his ambassadorships to the United Nations and India predated his long and distinguished service as U.S. senator from New York from 1977 until 2001, not long before his death in 2003.  It is true, though not the highest of compliments that Moynihan deserves, to say that his honor, honesty, intelligence, articulateness, and devotion to the common good make most of our presidents and legislators since World War II look like pathetically small figures indeed: the Kennedys, Nixon, and the Clintons hardly commend the quality of modern American political leadership.  Opposing the radical wing of the Democratic Party in 1980, Moynihan charged it with holding that “government should be strong and America should be weak.”

Weiner’s comparison of Moynihan with Burke is particularly apt, since Burke came at the beginning of a sociopolitical tradition on which Moynihan clearly drew and helped to develop and apply—the tradition of Tocqueville, Catholic social thought, and sociology as practiced by Robert Nisbet and Peter L. Berger.  This way of approaching politics enjoins respect for family, church, neighborhood, voluntary associations, tradition, federalism, decentralization—even for ethnicity and class.  Its great spokesmen dreaded two extremes to which modern history has been prone since the French Revolution: atomistic individualism and statism.  Atomistic individualism gives us radical, rootless, anxious or transgressive self-obsession, the Nietzschean consciousness, now so widespread, with its underlying belief, implicit or explicit, that there exists nothing authoritative that is anterior, exterior, or superior to the self.  This atheistic, anomic, alienated, “liberated” condition entails what Nisbet called “the twilight of authority,” and the “emancipated” individual drawn to the competing claims of the omnicompetent state.  European history since 1914 is that of the oscillations between these extremes, while American history since about 1965 displays a similar pattern, with no promising end in sight.  Like Reinhold Niebuhr, Moynihan wrote, Nisbet “holds that the civilization that begins by creating this autonomous individual ends by destroying him” through statist conformity or collectivism.  “A society suffused with the alienation of many of its members is a society that courts—if not totalitarianism, at least statism,” he continued.  “The state thrives, prospers and grows in an atmosphere of alienation, for it is the only alternative to the purposeful, private, communal activity that decays in the presence of alienation.” (Read more.)

The Stafford Shoe Trade and the Irish

From Divergent Paths:
Andrew Brew was one of many Irish shoemakers who came to Stafford during the nineteenth century. Between 1841 and 1901 almost one in ten of the town’s adult Irish workforce was in the footwear industry, and many of the children of Irish families entered the trade when they grew up.[iii] This body of workers was a classic example of how emigration and settlement were fuelled by the shift in economic power between Irish and British capitalism. Ireland suffered ‘deindustrialisation’ in the nineteenth century, and Stafford’s shoe trade illustrates how industrialisation and deindustrialisation were complementary forces.[iv]

Traditionally shoes were bespoke products made by cobblers selling directly to their customers, but in Britain the growth of London and the industrial cities created a profitable market for mass-produced ‘ready-mades’. This was exploited most profitably when entrepreneurs could use economies of scale, division of labour and cheaper road and rail transport. The trade increasingly concentrated in specialised shoe towns and villages of which Stafford was one.[v] Here the development was mainly due to William Horton (1750-1832), the first ‘manufacturer’ to orchestrate production on a large-scale, although most of the work was still done in workers’ houses. (Read more.)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Now is the Hour

Today is the day of the great sign. According to Patrick Archbold, about two years:
 On November 20, 2016, Jupiter (the King planet) enters into the body (womb) of the constellation Virgo (the virgin).   Jupiter, due its retrograde motion, will spend the next 9 ½ months within the womb of Virgo. This length of time corresponds with gestation period of a normal late-term baby.

After 9 ½ months, Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo. Upon Jupiter’s exit (birth), on September 23, 2017, we see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). At the feet of Virgo, we find the moon. And upon her head we find a crown of twelve stars, formed by the usual nine stars of the constellation Leo with the addition of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

That is a truly remarkable and, as far as I can determine, unique series of event with a startling degree of concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12. So what does it mean, if anything? The obvious and truthful answer is that we simply do not know. That said, we are not entirely without possible context.

It just so happens that these events transpire during the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of “the woman clothed in the sun,” Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. The culmination of these astronomical events occurs just 3 weeks before the 100th anniversary of the great miracle of Fatima, in which the sun “danced” (another heavenly sign), an event that was witnessed by many thousands.

In the almost century that has followed that great event, we have seen Our Lady’s warnings come true with startling precision. People did not cease offending God and we have seen terrible wars, nations annihilated, and Russia spread her errors throughout the world and, if we are honest, even into the Church itself. And yet, we still await the fulfillment of her promises, the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, and a period of peace to be granted to the world. (Read more.)
Now is the time to pray harder than ever. From Unveiling the Apocalypse:
The world is now standing on a precipice, being threatened with the fire which issues forth from the flaming sword held by the angel of the Third Secret. We can now only be spared through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fact that the angel with the flaming sword is seen calling out three times for the repentance of humanity in the midst of these trials of the Church appears to symbolise three separate periods in which the world would be spared from nuclear destruction to allow for a period of conversion and penance. We already know that the world was brought back from the brink of nuclear self-annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and Sr. Lucia herself said that the world was spared a nuclear war that would have broken out in 1985 by the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 (leading to the downfall of the Soviet Union). As Cardinal Ratzinger famously stated in his theological commentary in The Message of Fatima:

The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword. The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance.
We must now fervently pray that the Mother of God will intercede for us in a last act of salvation to stay the hand of the angel with the flaming sword, in order to allow for a period of conversion and penance before we undergo the trial of the Antichrist. (Read more.)


From The American Spectator:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir rests on an astonishingly audacious lie: that the very FBI director who made her campaign possible by improperly sparing her from an indictment doomed it. A normal pol who had mishandled classified information as egregiously as Hillary would have felt eternal gratitude to Comey. Only an entitled ingrate like Hillary would have the gall to cast her savior as the chief thorn in her side.

Nor does Hillary acknowledge another in-kind contribution to her campaign from Comey: his willingness to serve as a cog in Obama’s campaign of political espionage against Trump. Obama’s team of Hillary partisans, which included among others John Brennan, Susan Rice, and Loretta Lynch, wanted Comey to snoop on Trumpworld and he duly did.

It was reported this week that the FBI had until as recently as earlier this year been intercepting the communications of Paul Manafort, one of Trump’s campaign chairmen. This means that Comey, contrary to his lawyerly denial of Trump’s wiretapping claim, had the means to eavesdrop on any communications between Manafort and Trump.

Even at this late date, quibbling partisans in the media say that is insufficient proof of Trump’s claim. But could anyone imagine the Maggie Habermans bothering with such pedantry if George Bush’s FBI director had been snooping on David Axelrod? The same generation of reporters who watched All the President’s Men breathlessly now shill for the propriety of political espionage. They rush to offer what they consider high-minded reasons for wiretaps of Trump campaign officials. But those reasons, at least as this point, amount to nothing more than the haziest gossip. One of the supposed reasons for the wiretaps, rich in irony given Hillary’s complaint that foreigners interfered in the election, is that an ex-Brit spy, probably on Comey’s payroll (the FBI still won’t address this matter) and certainly on the payroll of pro-Hillary partisans, told U.S. government officials that Manafort was colluding with the Russians.


The scandal at the center of the 2016 election was not that Trump colluded with Russians to win but that the media and the Obama administration colluded with Hillary to defeat him. The loudest cries of “foreign influence over the election” came from Hillary partisans who sought it, whether it was John Brennan running off to England and Estonia to collect dirt on Trump from their spies or deep-state clowns at the FBI who wanted to turn Christopher Steele into an asset. The villain, in this sorry fable, turned out to be the victim. (Read more.)

Interesting Times: A Twentieth-Century Life

The formation of a Marxist historian. From The Wire:
Seventy years after his mother died, Eric Hobsbawm recalled the last time he had seen her. The year was 1931, a lovely, sun-drenched summer was settling over Vienna’s magnificent public gardens, and Nelly Grun Hobsbawm had just been transferred to a sanatorium in Purkersdorf, west of the city, as it became clear that the end was close. The son remembered how emaciated his mother looked. Not knowing what to say or do, the 14-year-old Hobsbawm “glanced out of the window and saw a hawfinch, a small bird with a beak strong enough to crack cherry stones that I had never seen before and for which I had been on the lookout. So my last memory of her is not one of grief but of ornithological pleasure.”

A sense of wonder, of a joie de vivre that blends with and tempers grief, exploring new lives, new horizons all the time, underpins Hobsbawm’s autobiography, Interesting Times. No doubt the book tells the story of a life lived largely in the shadow of mephitic clouds that hung over what Hobsbawm himself memorably called ‘the age of extremes’. His childhood and early youth found Hobsbawm in the eye of the storm that was raging across Austria and Germany in the inter-war years. A Jew, to boot a young communist activist, he heard of Hitler’s anointment as the German chancellor while on his way home from school, along with his younger sister, one bleak January afternoon in 1933 Berlin when it snowed endlessly in a spell of unusually cold winter weather. (Read more.)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Olive Oil: A Most Ancient Health and Beauty Remedy

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
Olive oil is as ancient as civilization itself. It can be used as an astringent, as a hair tonic, and for so many other health and beauty matters. It is a primary ingredient in my beauty creams for its restorative properties. (Read more.)

Why Everything Is Being Politicized

From Return to Order:
The old phase of this war was defined by a set of rules inside the framework of the classical liberal order. It is based on an individualism centered on the pursuit of material happiness without restraint. In this arrangement, God and His moral law were relegated to the private sphere.

Both sides of the debate are represented by this order. Liberals on the left tend to favor a model of technological advancement that rejects a moral order since it restricts progress. Conservatives inside this liberal model desire to maintain some private remnants of Christian order as a framework for combating the chaos of misdirected progress.

Moral conservatives have long fought a stubborn and slow rearguard action inside the context of this liberal order. Unfortunately, some disregarded the sage advice of Jesuit Fr. Bernard Dempsey, who commented that “Only a very foolish general accepts battle on terrain of his adversary’s choice.”

However, inside this liberal framework, many Americans did manage to find some meaning and identity in their private lives. They did this by clinging to what little remains of family, church, and other social structures of Christian order. Meanwhile, the cultural left has lived off the social capital of Christian order, while slowly pushing a corrupting agenda ever further toward complete unrestraint. This symbiotic arrangement formed a precarious consensus that not even the disruptive sixties managed to destroy completely. (Read more.)

Sister Miriam

From Aleteia:
Sister Miriam (December 24, 1913 – June 17, 2002) was an Adrian Dominican and a professor of chemistry at Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan. Her obituary notes:
“Her early success in chemistry, working on early research examining cells, led to an invitation to lecture at the Sorbonne in Paris. She was the second woman to lecture there; the first was Marie Curie. She later received international recognition for her early work with the spectroscope, a tool used for analyzing chemicals, and wrote manuals for using the instrument.”
Beyond that, Sister Miriam worked on wound-healing hormones, helping to create Preparation H. She established a research laboratory at Siena Heights in 1939, where she researched cancer for more than 30 years. Known at Siena as “M2,”Sister Miriam introduced undergraduate research and an addiction counseling program. Arguably, her most significant contribution in cancer research was her solution that unlocked the shape of DNA nucleobases. Jun Tsuji’s book The Soul of DNA records:
“For lack of knowledge of the DNA double helix, scientists were unable to understand the genetic roots of cancer, and subsequently they were unable to develop effective methods of treatment. In the early 1950s, scientists were on the verge of discovering the DNA double helix and unveiling cancer as a genetic disease. Stumped by the uncertainty regarding the shape of the DNA bases, the structural and functional “soul” of DNA, the male-dominated scientific establishment – from James Watson and Francis Crick to Linus Pauling – proposed models of DNA that were, in effect, inside out. In contrast, a woman, Sister Miriam Michael Stimson, OP, an Adrian Dominican sister and chemist, dared to imagine a solution to the DNA base problem. Using potassium bromide (KBr) to prepare the DNA bases for analysis by infrared spectroscopy, Sister Miriam Michael successfully developed a chemical method that affirmed the structure of the DNA bases and of the double helix itself.”
(Read more.)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rochambeau and Washington

There would have been no America without the help of Louis XVI. From The Daily Beast:
The Franco-American alliance was more than two years old, in July 1780, when the Rochambeau-led Expédition Particulière arrived in Rhode Island with 5,500 troops, some long-range cannon, and a relatively small fleet. The alliance had already had two large military disasters, at Newport in 1778 and at Savannah in 1779. Rochambeau wasn’t sure what he could accomplish either, having been forced to leave behind a good chunk of his army and ships, and being burdened with a set of instructions from Louis XVI, dictated by Lafayette, that in unequivocal language put him under the command of General Washington and made the French troops and ships no more than auxiliaries of the Americans.

 Washington had dreamed of this moment, and of having naval superiority over Great Britain. He had long believed that the only way to end the war was to capture a significant British stronghold and army, and for several years he had been fixated on New York as the most likely target for such an attack. Now, with the French fleet, it could be achieved! But to Rochambeau, an attack on New York seemed difficult and dangerous, as likely to end in the capture of his and Washington’s armies as in the capture of British commander Henry Clinton’s. In Rochambeau’s view, he didn’t have enough ships and men to assure himself and Washington of victory.

Washington and Rochambeau first met in Hartford on Sept. 20, 1780, at the home of Washington’s former commissary general and longtime supporter, Jeremiah Wadsworth. To this conference, Washington brought an eight-page plan for the attack on New York. Rochambeau came with a neatly written series of 10 questions, with space on the sheets to record Washington’s answers. The French queries were an elegant, Socratic trap. By answering the first one honestly, Washington would be led, inexorably and through his own logic, to the only possible conclusion, the one chosen ahead of time by Rochambeau.

So Washington was asked whether naval superiority was essential to a big victory over a target defended by the British Navy. When he responded truthfully, “There can be no decisive enterprise against the maritime establishments of the English in this country, without a constant naval superiority,” his fate was sealed because the French fleet was not yet strong enough. After the 10 questions had been answered, Rochambeau insisted that there would be no attack on New York in 1780, and none until Louis XVI dispatched more troops and a larger fleet to America. And he was able to induce Washington to co-sign a letter to the king to that effect. It was the only real product of the conference. (Read more.)

No Starbucks at Church, Please

From FaithIt:
My husband endured cycle after cycle of chemo. He was separated from his children many nights. He was hooked up to chemo for 24 hours at a time. He listened to the doctors tell him bad news after bad news. He was left paralyzed and unable to get out of bed. And he never said how much he wished our church would incorporate coffee bars like many others were. Never once did he say he wished the lighting in our sanctuary resembled the lighting he saw other churches boasting of on social media. He never told me how cool it was that churches were putting couches on the platform. He didn’t boast of the graphics and props on the platform that some churches were incorporating. He talked about Jesus. He quoted scriptures. He reminded me of sermons we had heard. And in the middle of the night he sang songs of praise and worship to God and he spent his time praying. Because nothing a church does to strategize to bring in members helps you in the time of the storm. It is only Jesus.

On February 13th, I had to do the most difficult task of telling my children their dad was not going to make it, and the next day at 7:24 the doctors declared him dead.  And as I lay next to my children at night listening to my daughter sob uncontrollably because she misses her dad so much, I am not thinking about the trendiness of a church. I am thinking that my strength comes solely from God.

I don’t have my best friend with me anymore. And even though I take comfort in knowing he is in heaven, I can’t talk to my husband. I can’t text him during the day. I can’t share with him my frustrations. I can’t hold his hand. I can’t hug him. I can’t kiss him. He is not here. And as I drive to church during the week, I am not thinking that I wish the leadership at my church would read “how to grow your church” books and adopt cool sermon series. I am thinking how desperately I need Jesus.
As I look at two young children who now have to grow up without their amazing dad by their side, I am not thinking of how cool it is that ministers are relating the message to a Hollywood film. I am thinking of how much I need Jesus. (Read more.)

Father Sampson

From Aleteia:
Among those soldiers who landed behind German lines in Normandy on June 6, 1944 was the legendary chaplain of the unit, Fr. Francis L. Sampson (1912-1996). It was he (and not the character played by Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan), who days later was ordered by military authorities to find Fritz Niland, the real-life “Private Ryan,” who had lost his three brothers on D-Day.

Father Sampson – better known as “Father Sam” – arrived in Normandy by parachute. The first thing he did when he landed was desperately look for his Mass kit, which he had lost during his landing. It was hard for him to locate in the dark, under heavy enemy fire, among the explosions, but he did. (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
In the 70's and 80's we were told to avoid coconut oil because it caused cellulite. However, since then, a great deal of research has been done. Coconut oil has been proven to do wonders for the skin and hair. I fell in love with coconut oil during my trip to the Philippines. I found out that my great grandmother used it in her famously beautiful hair. When I created my face creams I made coconut oil a main ingredient. (Read more.)

Cardinal Sarah Supports Young Traditionalists

From The Catholic Herald:
Cardinal Robert Sarah has praised young Catholics who prefer the older form of the Roman Rite, saying he can “personally testify to the sincerity and devotion of these young men and women”. In a speech to the Fifth Roman Colloquium on Summorum Pontificum, held at the Pontifical University of St Thomas (Angelicum), the cardinal added that other Catholics should “open your hearts and minds” to these young people and the “good they do”.

“They are neither nostalgic nor embittered nor encumbered by the ecclesiastical battles of recent decades,” he said. “They are full of the joy of living the life of Christ amidst the challenges of the modern world.”

In turn, he called on Catholics who prefer the Old Rite to leave the “traditionalist ghetto” and mix with other Catholics as “many will benefit” from their faithful witness.

“Almighty God calls you to do this. No one will rob you of the usus antiquior of the Roman rite. But many will benefit, in this life and the next, from your faithful Christian witness which will have so much to offer given the profound formation in the faith that the ancient rites and the associated spiritual and doctrinal ambience has given you.” (Read more.)

Also from The Catholic Herald about young Catholics:
At the end of the day, it’s hard enough to be a young Catholic today, that I think most of us recognise that can’t let “liturgy wars” bring us down. Do you feel closest to God while wearing a veil and chanting Latin? Great. Is the Novus Order Mass in English, with the promise of coffee and donuts afterwards, the only way to get your butt into a pew on Sunday? More power to you. We’re just happy you’re here, because we want you to meet Jesus. (Read more.)

Church Suicide

From Matt Walsh:
Of course, this dissertation on the theological significance of Buzz Lightyear was pretty standard fare. The message preached from most pulpits in America is just like this: superficial, childish, empty, and seemingly designed to insult the intelligence of anyone who hears it. Christianity is dull and lifeless in this country because that’s what the church and its leaders have done to it. They’ve made it into something so bland, generic and inoffensive that it no longer bears any resemblance to the faith of our Christian ancestors. Even the church buildings themselves reflect this trend. Most of them look like shopping malls or government buildings. Sleek, gray, ugly, secular. But inoffensive. Inoffensive in the same way that the DMV is inoffensive.

Indeed, the primary goal of the modern church is to avoid offense, at whatever cost. And this is precisely why they’re dying. The problem is not merely that they’re boring people. After all, there are those who are bored watching anything that doesn’t involve explosions and car chases. The problem more specifically is that they’re starving people. There is no substance, no meat, in the message being preached. The congregants sit there and slowly starve to death.

Your flocks are starving, churches. You are starving them. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Wall Is Actually Just Renovation of Old Fences

He's right. The fences have been there for awhile. I do not know why everyone acts like barriers on the border are some grandiose innovation. From Breitbart:
The president confirmed the fears of many supporters who worry that his campaign promise of a single “great wall” of “hardened concrete” and “rebar and steel” would go unfulfilled. The promised wall was a feature of Trump’s agenda, as he mocked current border infrastructure. After his inauguration, Trump described current border walls as “little toy walls” in an interview with Sean Hannity in January, vowing to replace them with something new. “I’m talking about a real wall. I’m talking about a wall that’s got to be, like, serious,” Trump said. Trump’s national security officials, including Gen. John Kelly, have argued that a solid concrete wall on the Southern border is not necessary, touting strategic fencing and border infrastructure. Democrats have vowed not to fund Trump’s wall winning an early concession from the administration in May. At the time, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer argued that funding for bollard fencing was an effective way to secure the border, but stopped short of saying that it was the wall that the president had promised. (Read more.)

The Death of Reading

From The Washington Post:
Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows” analyzes the phenomenon, and its subtitle says it all: “What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” Carr spells out that most Americans, and young people especially, are showing a precipitous decline in the amount of time spent reading. He says, “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” A 2016 Nielsen report calculates that the average American devotes more than 10 hours per day to consuming media—including radio, TV, and all electronic devices. That constitutes 65 percent of waking hours, leaving little time for the much harder work of focused concentration on reading.

In “The Gutenberg Elegies,” Sven Birkerts laments the loss of “deep reading,” which requires intense concentration, a conscious lowering of the gates of perception, and a slower pace. His book hit me with the force of conviction. I keep putting off Charles Taylor’s “A Secular Age,” and look at my shelf full of Jürgen Multmann’s theology books with a feeling of nostalgia—why am I not reading books like that now? (Read more.)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Marie-Antoinette and Motherhood

Here is a podcast on Marie-Antoinette and her children. Her children were her life and she wanted to bring them up herself. She went through a lot to bring children into the world. We will discuss each of her four children and her adopted children as well. Share

Ben Shapiro at UC Berkeley

From Life News:
Popular conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro continued to impress his audience Thursday at UC Berkeley when he rapidly refuted a young man’s abortion arguments.
Shapiro’s speech at the liberal California university drew massive media attention because of the violent protests that have broken out on campus during past conservative speakers’ talks. The university and local police increased security, and several people were arrested Thursday.

Inside the sold-out auditorium, Shapiro received a huge applause when he quickly destroyed a young man’s arguments in favor of first-trimester abortions. A video of the exchange received a lot of attention Friday, and some described Shapiro’s argument as an “epic takedown” of abortion. During the question and answer period Thursday, a young man asked Shapiro why he believes abortion is wrong.

“Why do you think a first-trimester fetus has human value?” the young man asked, explaining that he believes sentience is what makes humans valuable.

“Ok, so when you’re asleep, can I stab you?” Shapiro asked. The young man said no.

“Ok, if you are in a coma from which you may awake, can I stab you?” Shapiro continued.

Again, the young man said no. “But that’s still potential sentience!” he added.

“Do you know what else has potential sentience? Being a fetus,” Shapiro said, followed by a massive applause. (Read more.)

Independent Homeschoolers

From the Hmmmschooling Mom:
In homeschooling, we don’t have to have deadlines. We don’t have to follow schedules. We don’t have to be at a certain point at a certain time in our school year. We don’t have to get things done at a certain time. If it doesn’t get done today, we do it tomorrow. Or the next day. Or not at all! We are free and we are flexible, hear us roar! I mean, hey, new homeschooling mom, we’re not trying to do public school. But…she sorta had a point. Our independent homeschoolers can sometimes be rather dependent (or scatterbrained or uninspired) regarding tasks they don’t really want to do.

I think there is a fantasy that persists in homeschooling that once our kids get out into life and find that thing they want to do, they will automatically figure out how to manage time and stay on task and deal with less than awesome parts of the thing they love. And maybe some kids are like that. But many kids aren’t. And, just let’s just suppose…what if they need to manage time or follow through on something they really don’t love at all?

Hear me now, homeschooling mamas who crave independent homeschoolers: successful independence is made up of two other things: time management and follow-through. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Keepsakes of the Heart

From Victoria:
Often secreted in the recesses of fine antiques shops or street-side vendor stalls, Grand Tour boxes provide a fascinating link to the past. Seeking out these hidden gems and restoring their lost luster opens doors to imagining the previous owners who once held them so dear. Sometimes, it is the most diminutive thing that finds lodging in the heart. For collectors such as Rose Ann Kendrick, history-rich Grand Tour boxes offer unique insight into an aristocratic rite of passage and, perhaps, a captivating source of mystery. Who can help but wonder what treasures dear to someone’s heart were contained in such lovely cases? (Read more.)

The Secrets of Aloe Vera

From the Trianon Health and Beauty blog:
My grandmother always had a healthy, thriving aloe plant in her sunniest window sill. Whenever anyone would have a burn or a scrape, Grandma would take a piece of aloe and squeeze the juice onto the wound. Of course, I use aloe vera in the Day and Night Creams because of its healing properties and also because it helps to bind the other ingredients together. There is nothing like it in the whole world. (Read more.)


The Life of St. Robert. From Nobility:
His father was Vincenzo Bellarmino, his mother Cinthia Cervini, sister of Cardinal Marcello Cervini, afterwards Pope Marcellus II. He was brought up at the newly founded Jesuit college in his native town, and entered the Society of Jesus on 20 September, 1560, being admitted to his first vows on the following day. The next three years he spent in studying philosophy at the Roman College, after which he taught the humanities first at Florence, then at Mondovi. In 1567 he began his theology at Padua, but in 1569 was sent to finish it at Louvain, where he could obtain a fuller acquaintance with the prevailing heresies. Having been ordained there, he quickly obtained a reputation both as a professor and a preacher, in the latter capacity drawing to his pulpit both Catholics and Protestants, even from distant parts. In 1576 he was recalled to Italy, and entrusted with the chair of Controversies recently founded at the Roman College. He proved himself equal to the arduous task, and the lectures thus delivered grew into the work “De Controversiis” which, amidst so much else of excellence, forms the chief title to his greatness. This monumental work was the earliest attempt to systematize the various controversies of the time, and made an immense impression throughout Europe, the blow it dealt to Protestantism being so acutely felt in Germany and England that special chairs were founded in order to provide replies to it. Nor has it even yet been superseded as the classical book on its subject-matter, though, as was to be expected, the progress of criticism has impaired the value of some of its historical arguments. (Read more.)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Autumn Alfresco

Eat outside as long as you can. From Southern Lady:
Autumn holds such allure, with picture-perfect weather and a colorful swirl of fiery hues all across the landscape. Take advantage of this incredible season by enjoying a meal on the patio. Bring out a rustic table, and dress it up with velvet-upholstered dining chairs. A selection of glazed dinnerware in the Jars Tourron collection anchors the setting, and its rich, earthy hues pair beautifully with shiny black flatware, black horn napkin rings, and tortoiseshell-patterned glasses. Complete the setting and serve our fall salad with molasses vinaigrette and peanut butter tart.  (Read more.)

Humanae Vitae Comes Under Fire

From The National Catholic Register:
In his encyclical, Paul VI re-affirmed the Church’s prohibition of artificial contraception, approved natural family-planning methods, and upheld the Church’s teaching on conjugal love and responsible parenthood. It caused a sensation when published: In the wake of the sexual revolution — when much of the world had accepted birth control — and after a five-year study by a pontifical commission that appeared to be vying for the Church to also approve it, Paul VI’s reaffirmation that contraceptive use is “intrinsically wrong” made it one of the most controversial encyclicals in Church history. Immediately, many clerics and academics outright rejected Humanae Vitae’s teachings.

And yet many, particularly those who have devoted their lives to defending life, vigorously uphold Humanae Vitae as prophetic. They argue that the widespread acceptance of artificial birth control, revolutionized by the contraceptive pill for women, has separated the unitive and procreative purposes of sexual relations. This, in turn, has fueled the sexualization of culture and promiscuity now prevalent in the West, precipitating legalized abortion, the collapse of marriage, and inflicting deep harm on the family. (Read more.)

On Judging

We are duty-bound to judge what is right from what is wrong. From Monsignor Charles Pope:
Who am I to Judge? I am a guardian, called to protect the Church, my family, and the world from wrongdoing. St. Paul warns that Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor 15:33) and that a little leaven (i.e., evil) leavens the whole lump (Gal 5:8).

Thus, in correcting the sinner, we are concerned not only for him or her, but for the community and the common good as well. Sinful and disordered behavior is harmful to community. Not only does it bring suffering to the sinner and others affected by the sin, but it also gives scandal and may incite unhealthy responses such as vengeance or hateful anger. There are times when, after repeated correction of the sinner fails, we must purge the sinful influence for the sake of the community. St. Paul says, We instruct you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who walks in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us (2 Thess 3:6). Here, St. Paul seeks to preserve the community from disorder and heresy. He also declares, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (1 Cor 5:11)

These more severe methods are sometimes necessary to reach a hardened sinner as well as to protect the community. Once again, this requires judgment.

Who am I to Judge? I am one who has been commanded by Jesus to do so. Jesus sayid, If your brother sins, go and point out his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won him over (Mat 18:15).

The clear mandate of the Lord to set others right. This is not possible without first judging what is right from what is wrong based on the Lord’s teaching. Then, having observed wrongdoing or error, we must seek to correct it.
The Lord expects us to correct people we know and who are in sin. We ought to do it in humility and with love, but we are to do it. This is especially true if we are in a role of leadership or prominence: a pastor, teacher, parent, or elder.

In all of these senses, who are you not to judge?

There are certain judgments that we cannot make. For example, I cannot judge that I am holier than you, or that you are more holy than I. Scripture says, Man sees the appearance, but God looks into the heart (1 Sam 16:7). I cannot tell you if someone is in Hell; only God can make that judgment. I am also forbidden the “judgment of condemnation,” wherein I am unnecessarily harsh in punishments or conclusions. In this regard, Jesus, using the poetry of couplets, says, Do not judge and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned (Luke 6:37). Indeed, the Lord further issues this warning regarding unnecessarily harsh judgments: For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you (Mat 7:2).
None of this is a mandate for silence in the face of sin or wrongdoing. We must judge between good and evil; we cannot shirk our duties to correct error and to rebuke sin in others. Who am I to judge in this regard? I am a watchman, a lover of souls, a guardian, and one who has been commanded by Christ to speak to a brother who sins. And just we are called to correct, we must also be open to correction ourselves. (Read more.)

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Wonders of Shea Butter

I have begun a new health blog. I thought I would begin with an introduction to the wonders of shea butter which is the main ingredient in Trianon Bouquet Beauty Creams. Please visit HERE. Share

Bigotry and Dogma

From Aleteia:
Just days ago, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sat before an eminently qualified law professor from the University of Notre Dame Law School, Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett, nominated for a federal judgeship on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, was answering questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee when it happened. Senator Feinstein leveled her gaze at Professor Barrett and declared,
When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you…And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.
This was an overt shot at Professor Barrett’s Catholic Faith. At issue was a 1998 Marquette Law Review article titled, Catholic Judges in Capital Cases, in which Professor Barrett clearly states that where a Catholic judge finds a conflict between her fidelity to a faith-informed Conscience and her legal responsibility to uphold the law (specifically in death penalty cases), the judge is obliged to recuse herself from the case. And yet Senator Feinstein’s pronouncement seemed to imply the judge held the opposite view. If that weren’t concerning enough, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Professor Comey if she was an “orthodox Catholic” and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) paraded his concern that the professor’s speech before the Alliance Defending Freedom (a religious liberty law firm which, along with the Becket Fund, successfully defended the right to religious Conscience for Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood Specialties at the Supreme Court) was a disqualifying event because the ADF is a “hate group”. (Read more.)

The Greatness of Churchill

From Nobility:
Allied propaganda often presented him alongside the other two – Roosevelt and Stalin – as if trying to level them. But that effort was futile and even counterproductive. Framed between the old Yankee president with common looks and an unimpressive, standard smile on one side, and on the other side the sinister Soviet dictator under whose hirsute eyebrows sparked two ignorant and threatening eyes, and under whose thick mustache were lips better suited to slander and drink than to speak, Churchill’s extremely expressive physiognomy stood out in a way that one would almost call splendid.

 Obviously, being very expressive is not enough for a person to shine. He also needs to express something worthwhile. The old English lion did so abundantly. His bald head reflected a vigorous and subtle diplomatic thought. His eyes – there would be so much to say about them! – expressed successively fascinating depths of observation, reflection, humor and aristocratic gentleness. His broad muscled cheeks lost nothing of their vigor with age. They looked like two facial buttresses, vigorously framing his highly intellectualized physiognomy. And they gave his face something that displayed an almost perpetual resoluteness and stability, an expressive symbol of the centuries-old strength of the English monarchy. His lips, thin and uncertain in their contour, seemed to accompany the movement of his eyes and thus were always ready to open up to utter an ironic saying, a slogan, to make a monumental speech … or smoke a cigar. (Read more.)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Empress Josephine’s Bedchamber at Malmaison

One must admit that the Bonaparte regime, while it espoused the ideas of the French Revolution, was as ornate, luxurious, and extravagant as anything that came during the Old Regime. Share

Brave Parents

From Conservative Woman:
It’s completely up to adults if they choose to go through a sex-change but utterly wrong to impose an adult agenda on children and then accuse them of bullying or hatred if they find it hard to accept. The Rowes are correct to note that the issues surrounding sex and gender are far too complex for young children to have to grapple with. Regardless of the wisdom of their case, the hate (coupled with a liberal helping of anti-Christian prejudice) unleashed by the media and political establishment upon this plumber and his wife for calmly stating facts, further demonstrates Orwell’s maxim: in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. (Read more.)

Pet Therapy for College Students

For thousands of years it has been known that pets bring comfort to humans. Science has confirmed the healing that a pet can bring to a traumatized person. But some of what passes for therapy is questionable, especially among college students. The question is: why do so many young people, at the most exciting time of their lives, think they need therapy? From LifeZette:
Animal-assisted therapy — in other words, sessions with dogs — is what the University of North Texas (UNT) is now offering its student body. Dog-facilitated workshops started in the spring of 2017 and are now part of the campus culture. Sponsored by UNT’s Counseling and Testing Services team, these sessions are designed to help students enhance their mood and mitigate anxiety while petting therapy dogs.

 Students can choose from among three canine workshops. The first session is called "Healing Arts with Rockstar the Dog," in which students pet Rockstar while completing an art project designed to increase self-awareness, compassion, and gratitude. The second session is entitled "Dog Breath" and allows students to hug Buddy while learning skills to relieve stress and manage anxiety. A third session will begin next month — it will show clips of the television show "The Office" and provide students with the opportunity to cuddle therapy dogs as they "learn to form healthy relationships and increase coping skills," according to a UNT advertisement.

Buddy (a poodle), Rockstar (a terrier mix), Dakota (a yellow Labrador retriever), and Willow (a chocolate Labrador retriever) make up the roster. The overall goal is for students to "learn skills that can be used to relieve stress and manage anxiety while spending time with a loveable pet," according to a campus flyer. (Read more.)