Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mueller Indictments

From Lifezette:
Conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan said Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the charges leveled against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe are “going to be something of a letdown” to Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans. Buchanan, former communications director to President Ronald Reagan and two-time presidential candidate, noted that the charges President Donald Trump’s two former campaign officials fielded don’t provide the “smoking gun” evidence tying Trump’s campaign to Russia’s 2016 U.S. election interference for which many anti-Trump Americans had hope. "I thought the investigation was supposed to be about collusion between Trump and [Russian President] Putin. And what they have done is they have taken a campaign manager who was with Trump for three months and apparently gone back all the way to 2012 or 2010, 2011 and indicted him for income tax evasion and things like that," Buchanan said.

"So what it tells me is that after a year of investigation, or more than that by the FBI, and many, many months by Mr. Mueller, they haven't got it. They have not found the smoking gun ... on the collusion between Trump and Vladimir Putin," he added. "And so I think that, you know, I think this is going to be something of a letdown to these folks.” (Read more.)

A Revolution to Always Remember but Never Celebrate

From the Foundation for Economic Education:
The propaganda of the old Soviet Union referred to it for decades as the “Great October Socialist Revolution,” the momentous event that brought Vladimir Lenin to power and gave birth to seventy-four years of Communist Party rule. We are presently on the eve of its centennial. It is not an anniversary that anyone should celebrate.

For decent people everywhere, nothing about the Russian tragedy of 1917 is worth commemorating. Everything about it, however, is worth remembering—and learning important lessons from. The carnage wrought by the ideology that ascended to power a century ago may forever stand as an evil unsurpassed in the annals of human depravity. If you’re not sure just what that ideology was, or what to call it, perhaps this article will help.

I first became an activist for liberty 49 years ago, in response to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. So in part for personal reasons, I could not let this centennial milestone pass without noting it in some way.

The victims of the Soviet regime and the other tyrannies it spawned in the 20th Century approach 100 million in number, but can any article, book, or voluminous collection of both ever adequately do justice to the stories of their agony and sacrifice? Of course not. So with that limitation in mind, I choose to note the occasion by telling you a little about just two of those 100 million. Their names are Gareth Jones and Boris Kornfeld. (Read more.)

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Language of Design

From Victoria:
A careful and skilled design plan requires a lot of heavy lifting at the beginning, where we are collaborating and creating the vision. It is crucial to develop a scaled design plan with elevations and space allocations in order to paint the picture of my vision for a client. It’s definitely a process, but worth the extra time and effort to get the proportions of furniture correct the first time. I always tell my clients: “People notice what’s wrong before they notice what’s right.” From there, we source the right furnishings and build products that combine form and function, specifically for their lifestyle. Then the ordering process begins. I remind them that we are in their circle of support so they can get back to doing what they do best—their 9-to-5 and spending time with family. (Read more.)

The Politicization of Motherhood

From The Wall Street Journal:
The premise of Ms. Komisar’s book—backed by research in psychology, neuroscience and epigenetics—is that “mothers are biologically necessary for babies,” and not only for the obvious reasons of pregnancy and birth. “Babies are much more neurologically fragile than we’ve ever understood,” Ms. Komisar says. She cites the view of one neuroscientist, Nim Tottenham of Columbia University, “that babies are born without a central nervous system” and “mothers are the central nervous system to babies,” especially for the first nine months after birth.

What does that mean? “Every time a mother comforts a baby in distress, she’s actually regulating that baby’s emotions from the outside in. After three years, the baby internalizes that ability to regulate their emotions, but not until then.” For that reason, mothers “need to be there as much as possible, both physically and emotionally, for children in the first 1,000 days.” (Read more.)

Witch Hazel: The Old Standby

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
Witch hazel is one of the oldest beauty ingredients in existence and remains a household standby with multiple uses. Native to North America, the bark, twigs and leaves of the plant were used by the Indians to make medicine. It is a binding ingredient in both of my creams; I also recommend it as a astringent and toner after cleansing the skin. The brand I prefer is Thayers Witch Hazel with aloe vera and rose oil, although other people have their own favorites. (Read more.)
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Sunday, October 29, 2017


From USA Today:
Back in 1862, there were no proper places where ladies could go to socialize. The Parisian cafés of that era functioned more like pick-up joints. So well-heeled, high-born womenfolk of the city had just plain nowhere public to go when they wanted to enjoy each other's company. Enter Ladurée, the city's first tea salon and a haven for well-heeled women. This is how Ladurée first became established, at the original location on Rue Royale, just near Paris' Madeleine Church. In the century and a half since, it has become a Parisian establishment. It was these pastries, too, that were chosen to be featured in the film "Marie Antoinette" in all their pink icing perfection. So, since lunch, tea or brunch is a must while you are in Paris, the only real question that must be made is at which Ladurée location will you indulge? All are beautiful, but there is something both cozy and ultimately chic about the St. Germain-des-Prés Ladurée, the one nestled just on the corner of Rue Bonaparte and Rue Jacob, in the heart of timeless St. Germain-des-Prés. (Read more.)

Is Math Racist?

I hated math and would have loved an excuse not to learn it. But this is ridiculous. Some of the greatest mathematicians were Arabs, for heaven's sake. From the Daily Caller:
A University of Illinois math professor believes that algebra and geometry perpetuate “white privilege” because Greek terms give Caucasians unearned credit for the subject. But that isn’t the professor’s only complaint. She also believes that evaluations for math proficiency perpetuates discrimination against minority students, if they do worse than their white counterparts. Rochelle Gutierrez argues in a newly published math education book for teachers that they must be aware of the identity politics surrounding the subject of mathematics.

“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness,” she argues with complete sincerity, according to Campus Reform. “Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White.” (Read more.)

The Oldest Leather Shoe

From Vintage News:
The life span of high-quality leather shoes can be increased if one takes proper care of the material. But, we must ask, increased by how much? Maybe by up to 50 years? A Century? A Millennium? How about 5,500 years? Yes, you read that correctly, because the world’s oldest leather shoe is 5,500 years old. It predates Stonehenge, is much older than the Egyptian pyramids and the shoe found on Ötzi the Iceman.

To say that this leather shoe is well preserved might not be sufficient to describe its condition, as it looks astonishingly good. In fact, it was in such good condition that the archaeologists who discovered it thought that the shoe could not be more than 700 years old. They initially thought that the shoe probably dated back to a later civilization, most likely the Mongol period, who used caves in the 14th century.

However, examining the material in the two radiocarbon laboratories in Oxford and California produced surprising results and proved that the primary assumptions made by the archaeologists were not even close to what the laboratories showed. It was stated that it was 5,637 to 5,387 years old and archaeologists who worked on the site in Armenia simply couldn’t believe that a shoe could be so ancient. (Read more.)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A New Film About Mary Queen of Scots

There is a new film being made about Mary Queen of Scots based upon the excellent biography by John Guy and starring Irish actress Saoirse Ronan. From Deadline Hollywood:
Crowned the queen of Scotland before she was a year old, Mary added to that pedigree when her first husband became France’s king and she became queen consort in 1559. Despite that auspicious start, things didn’t go well form there. She later married her first cousin, Lord Darnley, a bad match that ended with his murder. When she quickly married Bothwell, who was suspected of orchestrating the killing, an uprising against the couple resulted in her being imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. Forced to abdicate her throne to her year-old son, she failed in an attempt to wrest back the throne and fled for the protection of her cousin, England’s Queen Elizabeth I. Mary had once claimed to be the rightful Queen of England, a view embraced by Catholics. Perceived as a threat by her cousin, she was confined and ultimately executed for complicity in a plot to assassinate Elizabeth. (Read more.)

Liberalism: A Dying Faith

From PJB:
On Oct. 7, scores of thousands of Poles lined up along the country’s entire 2,000-mile border — to pray the rosary. It was the centennial of the Virgin Mary’s last apparition at Fatima in Portugal in 1917, and the day in 1571 the Holy League sank the Muslim fleet at Lepanto to save Europe. G. K. Chesterton’s poem, “Lepanto,” was once required reading in Catholic schools. Each of these traditionalist-nationalist movements is unique, but all have a common cause. In the hearts of Europe’s indigenous peoples is embedded an ancient fear: loss of the homeland to Islamic invaders. Europe is rejecting, resisting, recoiling from “diversity,” the multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual future that, say U.S. elites, is America’s preordained mission to bring about for all mankind.

Indeed, increasingly, the indigenous peoples of Europe seem to view as the death of their nations and continent, what U.S. liberal elites see as the Brave New World to come. To traditionalist Europeans, our heaven looks like their hell. Thus Poles fall on their knees to pray to the Virgin Mary to spare them from threats of an Islamic future, as their ancestors prayed at the time of Lepanto, and of Vienna in 1683, when the Polish King John Sobieski marched to halt the last Muslim drive into the heart of Europe. European peoples and parties are today using democratic means to achieve “illiberal” ends. And it is hard to see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive right. (Read more.)

Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s FBI File

From Catholic News Agency:
1. Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who was outspoken about the evils of his time including Nazism and Communism, gave an address in 1943 which “strongly indicted the present German Government in such a way as to make many Nazi sympathizers in this country boil with rage.” The FBI got in touch with him afterwards, because they thought they might identify Nazi supporters by who reacted most negatively to his talk.

2. Monsignor Sheen gave a talk at a Communion breakfast, and for whatever reason, the FBI found it notable how impressed he was with the looks of his audience. “Msgn. Sheen stated that he has addressed thousands of Communion Breakfasts and that this was the finest looking group that he had ever spoken to at an affair of this nature. He also made this same remark to me personally, and it was apparent that he was deeply impressed with the clean-cut look and wholesome appearance of those in attendance.” – letter to the director of the FBI. (Read more.)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Apple Time

 From Victoria:
From iconic Red Delicious—mellow and best enjoyed fresh out of hand—to Granny Smith—the tart and juicy baking favorite—these treasures of the orchard offer myriad culinary possibilities. For a simple yet refined dessert presentation, clouds of Apple-Brandy Sabayon cushion luscious Caramel-Braised Apples. Simmered in a sugary syrup enhanced with butter, heavy cream, and Calvados, Granny Smith apple halves cook until gloriously ambrosial. Whether savored with a cup of coffee in the quiet, early morning or served at the end of a lively family dinner, Apple-Pecan Sticky Bread offers melt-in-your-mouth comfort that suits any occasion. Apple Butter flavors the twisted dough, while a jelly glaze gives the decadent pastry its lustrous sheen. (Read more.)

The Still-Acceptable Prejudice

From Charlotte Allen at First Things:
The Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Barrett’s nomination last month was a textbook case of the precise kind of anti-Catholicism that is permissible and even encouraged among Democrats. The committee’s ranking minority member, Dianne Feinstein, who isn’t even the most liberal of the Senate liberals (she’s being challenged on her party’s left in her upcoming reelection race), became notorious for her on-the-floor accusation that Barrett had absorbed too much Catholic “dogma” to be able to apply the law in the cases in front of her:
Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that—you know, dogma and law are two different things. . . . And I think in your case, Professor, 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 years in this country.
At issue—at least theoretically—was a 1998 article in the Marquette Law Review, “Catholic Judges in Capital Cases,” which Barrett, fresh out of law school and clerking for Silberman, had co-authored with one of her Notre Dame professors, John H. Garvey, who is now the president of the Catholic University of America. Garvey and Barrett asserted that Catholic judges should not be automatically “disqualified” from ruling in death-penalty cases just because Catholic teaching generally opposes the death penalty. Nonetheless, the two argued, Catholic judges have an obligation to “conform their own behavior to the Church’s standard” and voluntarily recuse themselves from cases that involve “enforcing the death penalty,” as by directly sentencing someone to death. (Read more.)

Millennials and Travel

From Forbes:
In fact, instead of offering clarity or perspective, travel was just a distraction from the more pressing, albeit less fun, necessities of living a well-rounded life such as learning a trade, gaining key life skills, and developing an acceptance of delayed gratification. In other words, “adulting” became an unfamiliar territory.

I suggest millennials not feed into the existing stereotype of our generation and avoid being a living example of the Stanford marshmallow experiment. Instead, millennials should build their nest before they fly because otherwise, they are merely seeking reward without having put in the work thus returning home to an unstable foundation.

Earning an income while reaping the benefits of exotic locales appears to be the best of both worlds, but as a result, millennials are building less equity in not only financial investment but also social capital. While millennials save 36% more of their annual income than their generational counterparts, 63% admit they utilize their savings for travel, dining, and fitness rather than retirement or planning for the future as noted in Merrill Edge’s 2017 report.

In addition, millennials are not putting down roots but preferring a no-strings-attached, nomadic lifestyle, which can impede networking abilities and the curation of future job prospects. (Read more.)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ode to the Victorian Trifle

 From Victoria:
Whether presented as a grand centerpiece or individual delights, these desserts boast tantalizing layers of spirit-soaked confections, succulent fruits, and clouds of silken filling in traditional English style. Deliciously decadent, Espresso-Chocolate Trifles balance the intensity of mocha-flavored cake and chocolate mousse with a smooth and creamy counterpoint of white chocolate truffle. Showcased in glass, each indulgence offers a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. (Read more.)


The Human Stain

From The Weekly Standard:
Hollywood is full of connoisseurs like Weinstein, men whose erotic imaginations are fueled primarily by humiliation, who glut their sensibilities with the most exquisite refinements of shame. A journalist once told me about visiting another very famous Hollywood producer—you’d know the name—who exhibited for my friend his collection of photographs of famous female actresses—you’d know their names, too—performing sexual acts for his private viewing. As with Weinstein, this man’s chief thrill was humiliation, and the more famous the target the more roundly it was savored: Even her, a big star—these people will do anything to land a role; they’re so awful, they’ll even do it for me. (Read more.)
From Matt Walsh:
We started with the death of Hugh Hefner, an elderly pimp with an affinity for bathrobes who spent six decades sexually exploiting young, desperate women. A couple of weeks later we saw the professional death of Harvey Weinstein, a slightly younger pimp with an affinity for bathrobes who spent three decades sexually exploiting young, desperate women. But, as I'm sure you've noticed, the reaction to these two men has been drastically different.

For just one illustration, take a look at how The Daily Beast has reported on the physical and professional demise of Hefner and Weinstein, respectively. They've published many blaring headlines rightfully calling Weinstein a "predator" whose "reign of terror" left countless victims in its wake. As for Hefner, they lauded his "civil rights legacy" and credited him with "bringing sex out of the shadows." The fact that he "brought sex out of the shadows" by objectifying thousands of women, while keeping a harem of teenage girls who performed sexual acts on his elderly, decrepit body because they thought it was the best way to advance their softcore porn careers, is apparently irrelevant. (Read more.)

Inside the Chaumet Archive

From The Telegraph:
Chaumet’s founder Marie-Etienne Nitot trained under the jeweller to Marie Antoinette, and after the Revolution quickly gained favour with Napoleon Bonaparte, becoming his official jeweller in 1805. Numerous commissions followed including royal ceremonial jewels for the Emperor himself, gifts for Empress Joséphine, and later for his second wife Marie-Louise of Habsburg-Lorraine.

Today, Chaumet is the only jeweller still in existence on display in the Louvre, while many original order forms relating to the Emperor are of such historical significance that they’re housed at the National Archives in Paris.

Back at the Parisian flagship on Place Vendôme, I’m ushered upstairs through jaw-dropping 18th-century salons, one of which has walls lined with nickel silver maquettes of tiaras, perfect replicas of the adornments that would become a house signature.

Joseph Chaumet (who took over in 1889 and after whom the company is named) had the foresight to keep these beautiful prototypes, along with every document relating to jewellery creation and sale from 1780 when the company was first founded. In 1890 he decided to start taking photographs of every piece made, and created a laboratory in his home for this purpose, providing evidence of which pieces made it from sketch to reality. Amazingly, these photographic documents have survived; many other jewellery houses who did the same threw this evidence away when they ran out of space to keep it. (Read more.)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Travels of Princesse de Lamballe

From Geri Walton:
The Princesse de Lamballe enjoyed traveling and went numerous places in and around France. Sometimes she traveled with the King and Queen’s court, her sister-in-law (Louise Marie Adelaide), or her adopted daughter (Madame de Lâge]. Sometimes these trips were for relaxation and sometimes they were targeted to help the princess’s health as she suffered from convulsive vapors and was said to faint at the slightest thing. For instance, numerous observers reported that she fainted from the smell of violets, at the sight of a lobster (even in a painting), or after hearing the famous castratro, Gaspare Pacchierotti.

The first anecdote is about a trip to the Fontainebleau Palace, which is located southeast of Paris some 43 miles away. It was a spot that King Louis XVI and his court traveled to annually, and during one of these annual trips in 1775, the Queen and the Princesse de Lamballe decided to relax by sailing on what the Queen called her Gondolas on a lake near the palace.

“[A] gondola window fell and hit the Queen, bruising her arm. The event so frightened the princess that she fainted, and when she awoke, she found the Queen solicitous for her welfare while everyone else tended to the Queen.”[1] (Read more.)

When Bush Bashes Trump

From Town Hall:
Where to even start? First of all, to portray recent immigration patterns as anywhere similar to the waves of the past is more than disingenuous. It's a pernicious lie. Although the government does a good job of hiding exactly how many illegal immigrants are arrested every year, we do know that 25 percent of Federal prisons are filled with them. The nation's illegal immigrant population contributes 12 percent of all murders, 20 percent of all kidnappings, 16 percent of all drug trafficking, and almost 14 percent of EVERY sentenced criminal. Never mind the tremendous burden on American taxpayers, to the tune of almost $20,000 for every low-skilled immigrant household. If Mr. Bush wants to call that "dynamism" he can, as long as he's got Secret Service protection and lives in a gated community mansion. Bush, as is typical of globalist “free traders,” represents Trump's trade positions as if they aren't in favor of friendly trade with other nations. Free trade is good, Trump insists, as long as it is fair. When it's not, it is ordinary American workers who suffer the awful price of stagnant wages and closed factories. Does anyone with half a brain truly think Trump would have won the Rust Belt echoing Bush's RAND Corporation trade policy? (Read more.)

The True Origins of Halloween

From The Crossroads Initiative:
We’ve all heard the allegations. Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids that escaped Church suppression. Even today modern pagans and witches continue to celebrate this ancient festival. If you let your kids go trick-or-treating, they will be worshiping the devil and pagan gods.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety.

It’s true that the ancient Celts of Ireland and Britain celebrated a minor festival on Oct. 31 — as they did on the last day of most other months of the year. However, Halloween falls on the last day of October because the Feast of All Saints or “All Hallows” falls on Nov. 1. The feast in honor of all the saints in heaven used to be celebrated on May 13, but Pope Gregory III (d. 741) moved it to Nov. 1, the dedication day of All Saints Chapel in St. Peter’s at Rome. Later, in the 840s, Pope Gregory IV commanded that All Saints be observed everywhere. And so the holy day spread to Ireland. The day before was the feast’s evening vigil, “All Hallows Even” or “Hallowe’en.” In those days, Halloween didn’t have any special significance for Christians or for long-dead Celtic pagans. (Read more.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Power Plays

Henri IV en famille
At the Louvre. From Blouin Art Info:
Louvre Museum, Paris presents “Power Plays,” a group exhibition that focuses on the connection between art and political power. Art, in the hands of patrons, is rendered as a propaganda tool. But it can also transform into a vehicle for protest and subverting the established order. Spanning the period from antiquity up to the present, 40 works from the Musée du Louvre, the Musée National du Château de Pau, the Château de Versailles, and the Musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris illustrate the evolution of the codes behind the representation of political power.

The exhibition is divided into four sections. The first room, Princely Roles, presents the king’s functions as portrayed through different artistic media. Notable examples are Philippe de Champaigne’s “Louis XIII,” Léonard Limosin’s enamel “Crucifixion Altarpiece,” and the “Triad of Osorkon II” from ancient Egypt. The second room, Legitimacy through Persuasion, focuses on the emblematic figure of Henri IV. It features sculptures by Barthélémy Prieur and François-Joseph Bosio, and paintings by Frans Pourbus the Younger, Ingres, and others. The theme of the third room, The Antique Model, is the equestrian statue, among them the Barberini Ivory leaf, a bronze of Charles the Bald, and François Girardon’s “Louis XIV.” In the fourth room, The Insignia of Power, majestic portraits of monarchs, including Antoine-François Callet’s “Louis XVI,” François Gérard’s “Napoleon I,” and Franz-Xaver Winterhalter’s “Louis Philippe,” are accompanied by the regalia used during the coronation of the kings of France. This final section also highlights the dramatic historical and representational changes that followed the French Revolution. (Read more.)

On the West Porch with Hillary

From the Library of Law and Liberty:
I’m far from the first reviewer of What Happened to take due note of the thoroughly inauthentic, self-pitying, and self-serving tone that pervades its every page. One blog commenter made a list of over 40 different people and entities that Clinton blames for her defeat. At the top: the Electoral College (“gave disproportionate power to less populated states,” “profoundly undemocratic”), the Russians (“we’ve got to get to the bottom of what really happened”), former FBI director James Comey (“I felt I’d been shivved”), primaries rival Bernie Sanders (“routinely portrayed me as a corrupt corporatist”), the 62,984,825 people who voted for her GOP opponent (still mostly “deplorable”—see page 413), and, of course, Satan McDevil himself (“My skin crawled” when Trump stood behind her during the second campaign debate).

There’s an entire chapter titled “Those Damn Emails.” That would be the classified ones on her hack-vulnerable home server that she’d used for State Department business while serving as President Obama’s Secretary of State, also the ones that turned up on the laptop of her top aide Huma Abedin’s sex-felonious husband just before the election (the final “shiv” from Comey), and the 30,000 that she deleted from her server in 2014 contrary to State Department orders on grounds that they were “personal.”

The email chapter provokes Clinton to list yet another villain in the perfidy of her electoral defeat: the press, with Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza’s 50 e-mail-related stories about her as the most egregious crime: “Coverage of my emails crowded out virtually everything else my campaign said or did.”

The Russians and their supposed pro-Trump election-skewing merit their own super-long chapter of 50 pages (“If all this sounds unbelievable, I know how you feel”)—even though not much substantive has turned up either before or after Clinton finished writing her book in July. Even the liberal press has mostly lost interest in the Russian connection, preferring to focus on newer alleged Trump depravities: insulting take-a-knee NFL players, calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man” at the United Nations, whatever.

(And speaking of shivs, Clinton pokes a teensy but catty one into Green Party rival Jill Stein, who she says “wouldn’t be worth mentioning” if Stein with her tens of thousands of votes hadn’t pulled the victory rug out from under the Democratic candidate’s feet in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.)

Not surprisingly, even some on the Left have characterized What Happened as a “soaringly, malignantly useless” waste of Clinton’s reported $20 million advance for writing it. In the words of the Huffington Post’s Sam Kriss: “Everything she writes feels metallic in the mouth.” (Read more.)
And what about Hillary's Russian connection? From Frontpage Mag:
Hillary is demanding to know the truth about Trump and Russia. The truth is that every accusation about Russian ties that Hillary and her associates have hurled at President Trump is really true of the Clintons. In ’14, Hillary Clinton made headlines by comparing Russia’s Vladimir Putin to Hitler. But if the Russian strongman really was ‘Hitler’, what did that make stooges like Hillary, Bill and Barack Obama?

Five years earlier, Hillary had been posing with a ‘Reset Button” with one of Putin’s henchmen. But Hillary was bringing a lot more to the meeting than a mislabeled button pilfered from a swimming pool. The ‘Reset’ had the same pattern as other Clinton scandal: a shadowy foreign financial pal with an agenda, the Clinton Foundation being used to launder money and a government cover-up. Officially, the ‘Reset’ was pushing Obama’s nuclear arms reduction plan and a joint effort to address Iran’s nuclear program. But the nuclear materials that truly interested Hillary Clinton weren’t in Russian missiles or in Iranian reactors, but in the ground in Kazakhstan. By the time Hillary showed off the ‘Reset Button’, the Clintons had been enjoying a long relationship with Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining mogul. Giustra had moved tens of millions into Clintonworld and Bill built up his profile in Kazakhstan. But by ’09, the Clintons had a lot more to trade on than a Senate seat and ex-presidential prestige. When Secretary of State Clinton unveiled the ‘Reset’, the unspoken truths outnumbered the spoken platitudes. Some of the unspoken truths were obvious. Hillary Clinton and Obama would break with Bush’s criticisms of human rights in Russia. From now on, they would have nothing to say about it. The man who allegedly agreed to that dirty deal was Michael McFaul who is currently bashing President Trump for being “soft” on Putin.

But the bigger unspoken truth was that Giustra’s company had been bought by Uranium One. And the Russians were sniffing around Kazakhstan. Either the Russians would get Uranium One. Or they would expose the dubious ways that Uranium One had gotten its Kazakhstan mining rights. But if Rosatom, a Russian government corporation, bought into Uranium One, it would need approval from State because such a deal would provide Russia with control over more than 20% of America’s Uranium supply.

Good thing, Uranium One and Putin had a friend in Hillary Clinton. And not just Hillary. Uranium One and Rosatom didn’t just need the State Department. They also needed the Justice Department to turn a blind eye. And they got that too from Attorney General Eric Holder. (Read more.)

Genocide in America

From Counting Stars:
The far-left today alleges that Spain set out to annihilate the Indians, an absurd claim. Remember that in 1512, when the first news of mistreatment of the Indians, King Fernando II signed the Laws of Burgos that considered Indians “free men” and the obligation to pay them a fair wage for their work. In 1542 the Emperor Carlos V dictated the New Laws, which expressly prohibited the submission of Indians to slavery and forced labor. To this we must add that between the Spanish population and the Indians there was a great miscegenation, even among the nobles. On the contrary, in British North America, the miscegenation between colonists and Indians was almost non-existent, and the Indians were robbed of their lands and confined to reservations, which did not occur in Spanish America. (Read more.)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Le Grand Mazarin

The famous pink diamond from the French Crown jewels. From Christie's:
The stone, which will be offered on 14 November in the Magnificent Jewels sale at Christie’s in Geneva, takes its name from Cardinal Mazarin, who became France’s Chief Minister in 1642. Toward the end of his life, Mazarin assembled a collection of 18 exceptional gems. Purchased from the royal families of Europe or sourced from the jeweller Lescot, they were the most beautiful jewels on the Continent.

Of the 18, eight were ‘square cut’ diamonds; the largest of these was known as the Grand Mazarin. These stones became part of the French crown jewels and would remain the favourites of the French royal family for more than 200 years, having first passed from Mazarin to King Louis XIV — The Sun King — in 1661, when the French ruler was only 23 years old.

Louis’ wife, Maria Theresa of Austria, is likely to have been the first person to wear the Grand Mazarin. After Maria Theresa’s death, Louis XIV added the Grand Mazarin to his chain of diamonds, set in descending size order, on which it remained for many years. The Sun King’s 72-year reign would leave its indelible mark on French history — the Château of Versailles, whose construction he  supervised, has left to posterity the image of a king enamoured by grandeur.(Read more.)
More from The Star. Share

Trump is Right

From Michael Reagan:
President Trump was right when he used Twitter this past week to expose Comcast’s network NBC for its outrageous bias against him. Trump tweeted: “People are just now starting to find out how dishonest and disgusting (FakeNews) @NBCNews is. Viewers beware. May be worse than even @CNN!” Comcast, one the nation’s largest media companies, owns NBC and the Xfinity cable system as well the very liberal MSNBC cable channel.

No media company opposes the president and his agenda more than Comcast. In fact, the media venom I see coming from Comcast against President Trump exceeds even what my dad faced in the 1980s — and that was pretty ugly. Don’t forget that Comcast also owns the TV show “Access Hollywood.” Remember its “leaked” tape of Trump and Billy Bush? Well, it is widely known that Comcast leaked that tape weeks before the election in a clear bid to destroy Trump and elect Hillary Clinton.

I have been in media for almost my entire life. Both my dad and mom, Jane Wyman, were famous actors. Everyone “in the biz” knows the rule: What you say “off air” — even if the microphone or cameras are rolling — is strictly off the record. My guess is that half the reporters in America would have to resign if their “off air” comments were leaked. To make matters worse, Comcast’s MSNBC has a daily drumbeat of stories: Trump should be impeached… Trump is crazy… Trump is a white supremacist. You know the drill. Forgive me, but during the whole Obama administration, I never saw Fox News ever treat him badly to that degree. (Read more.)

How to Read a Dress

From NPR:
Clothing is communication; it's a language we unconsciously absorb. And as with any language, the finer points bring the vocabulary together. When Janelle Monae walked the red carpet at the Oscars, we recognized the 18th-century influence in her dress. But that's not just for geometric effect. Wide French panniers indicated aristocracy; the neck ruff was an Elizabethan signal of leisure; the embroidered net suggests Empire gowns that ditched dress architecture in favor of gauzy embellishments. Through this lens, Monae's gown becomes a statement of luxury and celebration that deliberately reclaims and challenges a predominantly-white historical narrative and draws on three centuries of fashion history. It's just the sort of garment How to Read a Dress would love.

There are endless resources for costume historians, including Janet Arnold's exhaustively detailed Patterns of Fashion and Ingrid Mida and Alexandra Kim's The Dress Detective, which outlines academic methods for interpreting clothing as artifact. But those can be overwhelming to a novice — perhaps someone who has turned the TV to a period piece and seen something hilariously out of place, and just wants to know why it doesn't belong. For a knowledgeable introduction that has plenty of eye candy alongside its scholarship, Lydia Edwards' How to Read a Dress hits the spot.

A key word there is "introduction." Given that it covers nearly five centuries, the book makes quick work of some complex sartorial times. Edwards keeps a narrow focus on Western European styles and extant garments, and the overviews at the head of individual chapters — which cover anywhere from a decade to a century at a time — are brisk and brief. You'll likely be tempted to fill in the blanks with more research, such as when Edwards notes the significant shift from the relatively forgiving dresses of the 1830s to restrictive bodices and corsets in the 1840s, with only hints of what may have spurred such a dramatic change. (Maybe we're meant to end up dress detectives after all.)
(Read more.)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Lavender Essential Oil

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
I discovered lavender essential oil when I was in the south of France one summer. A farmer was selling it from his cart and the fragrance helped me get through a period of insomnia. I include lavender oil in each of the creams, although there is more added to the night cream, as an aid to relaxation. (Read more.)

#MeToo Is Bound To Fail Without Standards

From Ben Shapiro:
Let’s address these problems one by one. First, the standard of wrongdoing. The same Leftist culture that suggests that Vice President Mike Pence is wrong to avoid dinner with women who are not his wife, the same culture that mocks men who shy away from touching women casually at the office as prudish and awkward, the same culture that laughs off former Vice President Joe Biden getting handsy with every woman in a thirty-mile radius — that culture has a rough time drawing lines. Our standard on sexual harassment worthy of comment seems to change over time, with the nature of the harasser. It’s not a bright line; it’s Justice Potter Stewart’s description of pornography: “I know it when I see it.”

That description should lead us to a simple rule: no touching of women without their explicit consent. That’s the rule by which I abide. But that’s not the rule society has established. And we all know that without such a bright line rule, that’s not how human relationships work. How many people are married to people they met at a job? How many people have coupled with people they met at the office? Did those people all ask permission before moving in for a kiss or a hug? How many romantic movies involve the male lead asking the female lead for a kiss, or whether he can hold her hand? Do any? Context matters in every situation, and that means it’s difficult for some men to tell where the lines are. (Read more.)
More HERE from Matt Walsh. Share

Audrey Hepburn and Ballet

From Verily:
Audrey Hepburn began learning classical ballet when she was only 5 years old. Sadly, Ballet Rambert, a London-based dance school that Hepburn attended on a scholarship, determined that her height and malnourished constitution from the hardships her family faced during WWII would make it impossible for her to attain the status of prima ballerina. But Hepburn used her dance background to audition for her American musical debut, Funny Face, where she showcased her talent with Fred Astaire.

Today, real ballet school for adults is making our ballerina dreams come true. And it isn't just benefitting our bodies; it can also do wonders for your mind and spirit. Apart from channeling your inner Audrey, here are all the reasons why you should consider taking ballet to keep you on your toes. (Read more.)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fall Baking 2017

From Victoria:
Victoria Classics’ Fall Baking issue is a culinary tour de force and a kitchen companion that will guide you through a season of entertaining. With a focus on cakes, pies, and breads, we present the most mouthwatering offerings on a spectrum from sweet to savory, with the fruits of the orchard, where lemons, apples, and muscadines keep company with pears and figs; the ambrosial combination of chocolate and caramel, which combine to create a truly divine nectar; and a rich bounty that harnesses the flavors of the harvest, where coconut meets pumpkin, gingerbread embraces citrus, and those perennial enticements—pumpkin and squash—reach new heights of taste. (Read more.)

Checks and Balances

From The Federalist:
When President Barack Obama was governing through executive fiat for more than six years, there was precious little anxiety from our elite publications regarding precedents of abuse or the constitutional overreach. Not so today. Take today’s post from Monkey Cage at The Washington Post: “Candidate Trump attacked Obama’s executive orders. President Trump loves executive orders.” Trump might love them, but the content of these executive orders is more important than the number.

Whenever people criticized Obama’s overreach, the reaction was to demand that we contrast the number of executive orders signed by the president’s Republican predecessors (in those heady days “whataboutism” was not only tolerated but favored). This is an exceptionally silly, or perhaps just an exceptionally dishonest, way to compare presidential records. Bean-counting the sum total of executive orders tells us nothing useful about the effects of those orders; one action could be more consequential than 15 or 50. Most of Trump’s executive orders to this point have been either statements of intent, administrative moves, or reviews of Obama-era orders.

There’s nothing improper about executive orders or actions meant to implement law or derived from the Constitution. (Trump’s order promoting free speech and religious freedom, for example, didn’t go nearly far enough.) But there’s plenty wrong with executive orders and actions meant to circumvent those things. Not only did the last administration habitually craft what was in essence sweeping legislation from the ether, it often framed these abuses as good governance. “Congress won’t act; we have to do something” was the central argument of Obama’s second term. Every issue was a moral imperative worthy of the president’s pen. (Read more.)

Brain Starvation

From Homeschool Your Boys:
I recently had the privilege of attending several seminars by Dianne Craft, who is a special education teacher and a nutritionist. Dianne shared some information with us that I had never heard before. She told us that sixty percent of our brains are made of fat. Thirty percent of that fat is in the forebrain, which is made of DHA, an essential fatty acid. The only sources of DHA are fish oil and mother’s milk.

Diane told us that we all need healthy fats in our diets to make our brains function properly. The corpus collosum, which is the bundle of nerves that connects the right and left hemispheres, is made of fat. The myelin sheath which coats the nervous system is also made of fat.


Our modern diets are deficient in good fats. We are told to eat margarine instead of butter, egg beaters instead of eggs, skim milk instead of whole milk, and to stay away from nuts because they are high in fat. A lack of essential fatty acids causes our bodies to become deficient in serotonin.
Serotonin has the following beneficial mental effects:
  • Creates a natural, antidepressant release in the body
  • Relaxes the mind
  • Instills a sense of well-being
  • Helps us handle stress
  • Keeps our mind focused
  • Promotes good sleep patterns
  • Helps us to have a positive outlook on life
  • Helps us control our impulses
Our society is becoming more and more deficient in serotonin. There are more people on anti-depressants than ever before. Children are being put on Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs at an alarming rate. Dianne informed us that Ritalin works by releasing serotonin in the body. If parents knew that they could help to positively affect their child’s body chemistry in a more natural way, do you think they would elect to put their child on drugs which may have harmful side effects? I think not. (Read more.)

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Real Mata Hari

From The Guardian:
She was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle into a prosperous family in the capital of Friesland, Holland, in 1876. Despite her father’s relative wealth as the owner of a millinery shop, his speculation in oil shares ended in financial disaster and, penniless, he departed for the Hague. Her mother died when Gretha was only 15 and she was sent to live with relatives, away from her twin brothers. At 18, she responded to a lonely hearts ad in a newspaper and, four months later, was married to Rudolph “John” MacLeod, who was almost twice her age and a hard-drinking officer in the East Indies army. According to a relative, “she passed from the hands of a caddish father into the hands of a caddish husband”. (Read more.)

How Socialism Ruined Venezuela

From the Mises Institute:
In order to understand the disaster that is unfolding in Venezuela, we need to journey through the most recent century of our history and look at how our institutions have changed over time. What we will find is that Venezuela once enjoyed relatively high levels of economic freedom, although this occurred under dictatorial regimes. But, when Venezuela finally embraced democracy, we began to kill economic freedom. This was not all at once, of course. It was a gradual process. But it happened at the expense of the welfare of millions of people. And, ultimately, the lesson we learned is that socialism never, ever works, no matter what Paul Krugman, or Joseph Stiglitz, or guys in Spain like Pablo Iglesias say.

It was very common during the years we suffered under Hugo Chávez to hear these pundits and economists on TV saying that this time, socialism is being done right. This time, the Venezuelans figured it out. They were, and are wrong.

On the other hand, there was a time when this country was quite prosperous and wealthy, and for a time Venezuela was even referred to as an “economic miracle” in many books and articles. However, during those years, out of the five presidents we had, four were dictators and generals of the army. Our civil and political rights were restricted. We didn’t have freedom of the press, for example; we didn’t have universal suffrage. But, while we lived under a dictatorship, we could at least enjoy high levels of economic freedom. (Read more.)

The Perfect Mom?

From Making Her Mama:
People do judge us, though not usually as harshly as we judge ourselves.  In today’s culture, we are obsessed with perfection and it holds us to a level that isn’t realistic; with our bodies, in our homes, for our children.  We want to be the perfect mom, but this goal can be really overwhelming and isolating. And then you add in all the mom bashing that happens online, behind closed doors, and even face to face. It’s easy to feel like everyone is just doing better;  that others have it all figured out….and maybe there are some moms that do.

But, I’m not one of them.  I am not a perfect mom.

In my teen years, many people called me a baby whisperer.  I could calm any crying child and put kids to sleep without even blinking an eye.  And then I had my own children. Without strings attached, anyone can walk in and do something effortlessly for several minutes or even hours.  It’s a lot harder to do it day in and day out; especially when you aren’t sleeping well (or at all)!

If I’ve ever looked at your circumstances and thought to myself that I could do it better, I’m sorry.

I have run a daycare in my home and cared for multiple children on a daily basis.  I LOVED this job, it was busy, fun, crazy and great for my kids.  It made me want to fill up my house with little feet all belonging to me.

But, until I had 2 children of my own close together in age, I didn’t understand the demands on a mother of having little ones all the time.

I love them dearly and I am so grateful that I get to stay home and raise my children.  However, I apologize to you because I really didn’t understand before just how demanding and physically tiring it can be.  It’s a job that leaves all hope of being a perfect mom in the dust. (Read more.)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Harvest Bounty

I tried the Roasted Onion Soup recipe and it was delicious. From Victoria:
As the afternoon sun begins to soften—gilding every leaf over hill and dale—loved ones gather for an alfresco fête. A pastoral setting provides an idyllic escape for experiencing the delights of fall. Counter an evening chill with the warmth of Roasted Onion Soup, garnished with fried shallots. Culminate the celebration with Roasted Butternut Squash Tart, where a thick cinnamon-molasses crust is crowned with a whipped cream-cheese filling, slices of the vibrant gourd, and walnuts. (Read more.)

Hungary Hosts First Ever Government Conference for Persecuted Christians

From The National Catholic Register:
It is time for Europe to free itself from the shackles of political correctness, speak the truth, and face the facts about the violent persecution of Christians, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday. In a hard-hitting speech delivered at the opening of the first major conference ever held by a government in support of persecuted Christians, Orbán said that the “forced expulsion” of Christians from parts of the Middle East and Africa are “crimes” against the people and communities concerned that also “threaten our European values.”

“The world should understand that what is at stake today is nothing less than the future of the European way of life, and of our identity,” he told the delegates in Budapest. Over 300 participants from 30 countries, including Christian leaders and representatives from think tanks and charities, gathered for the Oct. 11-13 international consultation on Christian persecution — “Finding the Appropriate Answers to a Long Neglected Crisis.” (Read more.)

Corregidor Island

From Historical Nonfiction:
Corregidor Island, a small island at the entrance to Manila Bay. It is an important strategic point – whoever controls the island, controls Manila. And with it the Philippines. Since the Spanish first built a base on the island in 1570, Corregidor has been captured, and held, by the Dutch, the British, the Americans, the Japanese, and the Americans again. It was taken in May 1942 by Japanese forces after months of near-constant bombardment. Corregidor marked the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese Empire. When American forces retook Corregidor in February 1945, it was another marker of the long, slow, and inexorable island-hopping campaign to push the Japanese back into Japan. That 1945 battle was the last action that Corregidor saw. Today, it is an open-air museum. All across Corregidor are the ruins of the World War II military base, with bomb-ravaged buildings left as they were and many large guns still in place. (Read more.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Osterley Park

From Regency History:
Robert Child and his wife Sarah Jodrell were extremely wealthy. As well as Osterley, they had a house in Berkeley Square in London and a hunting lodge in Warwickshire. They lived in their Neo-classical show home at Osterley Park from May to November. They had one child, a daughter Sarah Anne (1764-1793).

John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, asked to marry Sarah Anne, but Robert refused. Robert wanted his heir to take the Child name and also feared that his fortune would be squandered by the Earl who was known as ‘Rapid Westmorland’ because of his gambling habit. The Earl of Westmorland took matters into his own hands and eloped with Sarah Anne. They were married on 20 May 1782 at Gretna Green.

Robert Child was so angry that he cut his daughter out of his will, leaving Osterley Park and his entire fortune to Sarah Anne’s second son or eldest daughter provided that they took the name Child. (Read more.)

Elements of Glow

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
The secret of timeless, ageless beauty is in your lifestyle and diet, as well as in what you put on your face. So when I found the card (above) I had to share it. I would also like to share some tips on maintaining one's mental health and emotional equilibrium. When a woman has many people who rely on her for their well-being, it is important for her to protect herself emotionally from those who would drag her down. It is not being selfish to have boundaries. (Read more.)

A Rat Problem

There were often terrible pest problems in the days of primitive sanitation. From Geri Walton:
In 1828, there was a tremendous problems with rats in Montfaucon. The rat problem was located in an area that neighbored the villages of Pantin and Romainville and is today located in the eastern suburbs of Paris. Part of the rat problem was attributed to a slaughter-house located in the area owned by a man named Dussaussois. Authorities conducted discussions about moving the slaughter-house because they thought moving it might eliminate or reduce the rat problem. However, residents in the immediate area argued against it. They believed moving the slaughter-house a great distance from Paris would result in dangerous consequences if the rats were suddenly deprived “of their accustomed sustenance.” (Read more.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Woman is Sacred

Wearing head-coverings in church is a practice deeply rooted in Scripture and Tradition. Many people seem to have some scruple about veiling themselves when the other women in the church are bare-headed. To me, it is important to follow one's conscience, not what the people around one are doing or not doing. I do not judge the women who choose to go bare-headed and I hope they are not judging me, but if they are, that is their affair. As for imitating those around me, if I did that, I would not be living a Catholic life. Ladies often say to me: "I wish I were brave enough to wear a mantilla." Dear Ladies, it requires courage to face death and to shed one's blood for the Gospel. It does not require courage to wear a piece of lace or a beret on one's head. For some, it may be a matter of overcoming human respect. If you are drawn to head coverings, then wear one and do not worry about what other people think.

Head-coverings for women are based on Scripture and Tradition. Head-coverings were mandated by the Apostles and by Pope St Linus and were in the Code of Canon Law until 1981. If a lady wishes to cover her head, she should be at peace knowing that she is participating in an ancient tradition that supersedes the fad of the moment. Let us remember, it is not about our personal holiness; it is about showing reverence for the holiness of God. A head-covering represents the mystery of woman as bride, a reflection of Christ's Bride, His Church. Wearing a head-covering has become second nature yet remains a tangible reminder to me that I am on holy ground when I enter a Catholic church. What we wear can influence how we behave and how we think, for it reflects an interior attitude.

Most people are familiar with the injunction of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 11: 5,6, 13 for women to wear veils in church. It is interesting, however, to reflect upon other scriptural passages in which persons or things are covered out of reverence for God, beginning in the Old Testament. In ancient times, covering oneself, and especially hiding the face, was a sign of respect and obeisance. In Genesis 24:65 Rebecca covers herself at the approach of her bridegroom. In Exodus 34:33 Moses veils himself after beholding the glory of God. Exodus 36 describes in detail the curtains which were to veil the Holy of Holies. What was sacred was generally veiled. When I was a child, the tabernacles of Catholic churches were always veiled.

In II Kings 15:30 King David ascended the Mount of Olives weeping for his sins, barefoot like one in mourning, with his head covered so that no one could see him. In III Kings 19:13 Elias covers his face with his mantle at the manifestation of the power of God. Isaiah (6:2) describes the seraphim covering their faces with their wings before the Divine Majesty. Ezekiel 16:8 describes the spouse covering the bride with his garment. In 1 Corinthians 11: 5-13 women were to cover their heads as a sign that they have an important role in the Church, but one distinct from men. In our society, what is feminine is replaced by what is immodest and yet modesty and chastity are the greatest ornament of women. Head-coverings for women at Mass are part of an ancient tradition which the Apostle St. Paul encouraged in the new dispensation as a continuation of a sacred sign of bridal holiness and reverence. All women are to be brides at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

From Fr. Heilman:
"Sadly, some forty years ago millions of Catholics decided to put on the old man when they rejected the teaching of the Church concerning contraception. Around the same time, the ancient tradition of wearing veils or head coverings of any sort was likewise abandoned. Knowing what the veil stands for, it is difficult to not to regard that these two events — the rejection of the Church’s teaching on contraception on the one hand and the liturgical practice of wearing veils and head coverings on the other — as wholly unrelated. Indeed, many took both events as a step forward in the emancipation of women from so-called male dominance.”  -Fr. Robert Fromageot, F.S.S.P.

“And this is why the female body should be veiled because everything which is sacred calls for veiling. When Moses came down form Mount Sinai, he veiled his face. Why did he veil his face? Because he had spoken to God and at that very moment there was a sacredness that called for veiling … You see the Church recognises things so profoundly that in some way you can say she has always recognised the special dignity granted to women. You cannot be a Christian and not recognise the privilege that it is to be a woman, because the most perfect of all creatures, the only creature born without original sin, is a woman and therefore once again you understand the extraordinary privilege of being one and having this image of the Holy Virgin, who was both Virgin and Mother and the two go beautifully together.” – Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand, Secular War on the Supernatural) (Read more.)

Is Trump the Heir to Reagan?

From PJB:
Three decades ago, as communications director in the White House, I set up an interview for Bill Rusher of National Review. Among his first questions to President Reagan was to ask him to assess the political importance of Barry Goldwater. Said Reagan, “I guess you could call him the John the Baptist of our movement.”

I resisted the temptation to lean in and ask, “Sir, if Barry Goldwater is John the Baptist, who would that make you?”

What brings the moment back is Laura Ingraham’s new book: “Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump.” Thesis: Donald Trump is a conservative populist and direct descendant and rightful heir to Ronald Reagan. To never-Trumpers this is pure blasphemy. Yet the similarities are there. Both men were outsiders, and neither a career politician. Raised Democratic, Reagan had been a Hollywood actor, union leader and voice of GE, before running for governor of California. Trump is out of Queens, a builder-businessman in a Democratic city whose Republican credentials were suspect at best when he rode down that elevator at Trump Tower. Both took on the Republican establishment of their day, and humiliated it. (Read more.)

The Interview They Refuse to Print

From Church Militant:
Plenty of saints were shocking, to say nothing of our Lord, who got in a spot of trouble for His shocking claims, as you might recall. I am certainly no saint, but I don’t think “shocking” is a helpful way of approaching the question of Catholics in public life. It doesn’t settle much to say that the current Pope is shocking to many Catholics, including me. Or to note that I’m shocked by supposedly Catholic politicians who make laws in flat contradiction to the natural law, which you need no faith to grasp. In my case, do you mean it’s shocking that a Catholic like me is loudly worried about Islam, which has waged war on Holy Mother Church for more than a millennium?  Or that I say Planned Parenthood’s abortion crusade amounts to black genocide? Or that I’ve supported Pope Paul VI’s criticism of artificial contraception so strongly that Hillary Clinton attacked me for it in her presidential campaign? Frankly, what’s really shocking is that a poor sinner like me has spoken out more on contraception than 99% of our bishops, who seem too preoccupied with diversity and climate change to talk about God. (Read more.)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Music for the Last Queen

From NPR News in Milwaukee:
 Ensemble founder and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour says the language of the program is not accidental. "Although I think many Americans imagine Marie Antoinette as only being extraordinary, frivolous, or associating her with the phrase, 'Let them eat cake'...(She) was very very cultivated, and upon her arrival to the French court in 1770 she immediately became very passionate about music," he explains.

Antoinette studied several instruments such as the harpsichord, fortepiano, and harp, as well as sang and composed music. "A real music lover would know that under her reign, certain composers who remain famous today, like Gluck, were much supported by her," he says. Which is why, Vinikour says, his colleague Philippe LeRoy, co-founder and director of programming for Great Lakes Baroque, wanted to explore the great composers of this period. (Read more.)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ode to Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines...
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease....

"Ode to Autumn" by John Keats

Artwork by Ilya Ostroukov Share

The Abortion Business in Kenya

From Life News:
Nairobi News Nation reports abortion activists with Marie Stopes International visited the Archbishop Boniface Lele Secondary School Mang’elu in Kitui, Kenya on Wednesday, supposedly to give a presentation to school girls about health awareness. But, unbeknownst to parents or school administrators, the abortion business also allegedly gave long-lasting birth control to dozens of teenage students. A spokeswoman for Marie Stopes refused to discuss the claims.

According to the report, about a dozen girls between ages 14 and 17 received Norplant, a rod inserted under the skin that releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. The birth control device is supposed to last up to five years. “We are shocked that this was allowed to happen,” said Munanie Muusya, whose daughter received a Norplant. “What those people did will encourage our girls to carelessly engage in unprotected sex and that they can easily contract sexually transmitted diseases.”

Many are calling for a thorough investigation of the pro-abortion group and the school, including Sen. Enoch Wambua who represents the area. “Exposing children to contraceptive treatment of whatever nature without the consent of their parents is unacceptable,” Wambua said.
Kenyan Catholic leaders also said they are investigating the Catholic-sponsored school. “The Catholic strong stand against contraceptives is widely known,” Kitui Catholic Diocese Secretary for Education Father Julius Muthamba told the news outlet. “It’s sad that this happened inside a school that we sponsor, but more fundamentally the negative effect in spoiling the girls’ morally.” (Read more.)

Helping Boys Become Responsible Men

From Homeschool Your Boys:
1. Allow him to compete – Most boys like to compete.  This can be used to your advantage when you’re trying to get him to do his schoolwork.  Unfortunately, most children nowadays are being taught that everyone deserves a trophy… which doesn’t teach them the value of trying to do their best.  Give your son opportunities to compete against others.  Team sports, field days, contests, science fairs… any sort of competition in an area of his choice.  Even competition with siblings can be positive for boys.   Give your son a chance to compete and watch him push himself to excel!

2. Being responsible – Put your son in charge of certain tasks around the house.  Boys benefit from having to complete chores around the house.

3. Exploring their passions – Encourage them to at least give things a try.  If our boys never try anything new, they won’t find out what they’re really passionate about.  My oldest son has decided he’s interested in film directing and editing – so I found a film camp for him to participate in.  I also talked with a family member, who does videography on the side, and have asked him if he can take my son under his wing and show him the ropes from time to time. (Read more.)