Friday, September 20, 2019

Why The Constitution Is Still Important

From Andrew Klavan:
It's interesting to remember, for instance, that the Constitution was the Founders’ attempt to replace the Articles of Confederation, the 1781 document that reflected the determination of the original states to preserve their sovereignty and independence. The problem was [that] the Articles of Confederation — the "AOC," as it was called before that became an insulting term for a bobble-headed dingbat — did not give Congress enough power to hold the states together as a single nation.

So the Founders went back to the drawing board and brought out the Constitution. The states were so wary of giving the federal government even more power that a long debate ensued in which both sides argued for and against the new document. That was how we got The Federalist Papers, which gathered the arguments for the Constitution as made by John Jay and James Madison ... and Alexander Hamilton, before he embarked on his legendary career as a rapper. (Read more.)

To Really Live You Must Nearly Die

From TFP:
Marcia Fraleigh described the first time she met Sgt. Canley in a telephone interview with the author. It was an emotional moment as she approached the giant, six-foot-two Marine with the gentle brown eyes. “I began to say thank you,” she said, “then burst into tears.” He also wept and then walked away as if not wanting to relive a day, which could have turned out much differently. This reaction is understandable, considering her profound gratitude to the man who saved the life of her future husband. However, the impact of this remarkable man extends beyond grateful wives. Gen. Ray Smith, who earned a Silver Star during the Battle for Hue and the Navy Cross during the 1972 Easter Offensive, described Sgt. Maj. Canley as someone “totally, completely and absolutely without fear.” Choked by tears, he added, “All of us literally worship the ground he walks on. He is a very, very special human being.” (Read more.)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Marie Antoinette’s Bridal Journey

The new Dauphine enters Strasbourg
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.
The Dauphine Marie-Antoinette
From Royal Central:
The procession had its afore-planned route, which had been worked out well in advance, to meet the necessary needs of both the practical and the ceremonial. Horses had to be ready at their posts to be changed when the procession met them en route. En route stops meant fireworks, music, triumphal arches, receptions, theatrical performances. In short, it was a justly apt preparation in more ways than one, for the court of Versailles, from where Marie Antoinette would write a mere two months after her arrival, “I put on my rouge… in front of all the whole world.”

Bells rang when the procession entered; canons were fired. Invariably for such a huge retinue, it was necessary to find places to stop overnight, which could accommodate the Dauphine as well as her suite, ladies-in-waiting and attendants. Often, monasteries and castles appear to have been chosen, as they represented places equal in size as well as importance which could be deemed worthy of receiving en route both an Austrian Archduchess as well as a future French Queen. As such, the roads had to be made passable, streets improved and food and fine cutlery sourced in enough quantity as would be needed.

Marie Antoinette’s journey would cross much of the Holy Roman Empire, of which her father had been Emperor in his lifetime, her mother being Holy Roman Empress also, albeit by marriage. Crucially, she would then be handed over formally to France as its future Dauphine, but this time in order to ‘become’ fully French, thereafter entering Strasbourg and then her father’s former duchy of Lorraine. Many of the cities and towns through which she passed would count the passing of her procession through them as a high point in their cultural history. (Read more.)


Slavery Today

From The Stream:
Today, an estimated 529,000 to 869,000 black men, women, and children are still slaves. They are bought, owned, sold, and traded by Arab and Muslim masters in five African countries. This statistic estimates those enslaved in Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and Sudan. It excludes Nigeria, for which there are no tangible estimates. Western human rights organizations and the mainstream media are practically and painfully silent on this matter. It does not fit with their focus on Western white sin. Here is a brief survey of this quasi-taboo topic.

In Sudan, slavery remains a painful vestige of the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983–2005). That’s when the Arab Muslim government in the north of the country declared a jihad upon the black, largely Christian south. They killed perhaps 2.5 million people and enslaved as many as 200,000. Slaves rescued by grassroots abolitionists tell horrific stories. Abduction. Beatings. Forced conversion to Islam. Grueling labor. Female genital mutilation. Malnutrition. Rape. (Read more.)

Devastation and Denial: Cambodia and the Academic Left

From Quillette:
The new regime tried to eliminate every vestige of the old government—and every vestige of society they considered a threat, including people who had committed no crime besides wearing reading glasses. The population was forced to wear a national uniform of all black, and absolute conformity with Khmer Rouge ideology was imposed on the people. According to the leaders of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia had long been led astray by the Western world, its money, its profits, and its professionals. Now that the cities had been evacuated and emptied into the countryside, Cambodia would take a different path—an agrarian brotherhood dedicated to working the land. Cambodia was to return to ‘Year Zero,’ and recover its former glory, removed from the modern world and the unnecessary corruption of its influences. In order to facilitate the eradication of capitalism, the National Bank was blown apart and all forms of money were banned. Marriages were now arranged by the state, children were taught to obey the government instead of their parents, and every last trace of individuality was expunged from human life. To seal the transformation, the country was renamed Kampuchea.

Loung and her family were forced, along with the rest of the population, into communal agrarian labour camps, which also served as centres for extreme indoctrination. Loung’s sister Keav died of food poisoning. One day, two soldiers arrived at Loung’s hut and asked her father to assist them in getting a wagon unstuck. She never saw him again. Disturbed by the disappearance of her husband and the sounds of screaming at night, Loung’s mother ordered Loung and her surviving siblings to separate and pretend to be orphans. She feared the Khmer Rouge would eventually kill them too, just as they were killing the families of other executed ‘traitors.’ (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Straight From Normandy

From The Gloss:
In a heavy-based saucepan with a lid, heat the olive oil with half the butter. Add the chopped onion and the chicken pieces, browning them all over. Pour in the Calvados, if using, stir well, rubbing at the hardening cooking juices stuck on the pan to deglaze. If you like, ignite the alcohol to flambé the dish – and be careful you don’t inadvertently flamber your eyebrows if you are working on a gas flame. If that all sounds too scary, or if you don’t have any Calvados, leaving out this step won’t spoil the dish. Add the cider, again scratching around the bottom of the pan to get all the flavoursome caramelised bits. Bring to a slow simmer and cook for around 30 minutes. Add the cream, the mushrooms and cook for a further few minutes. Season to taste. An appropriately Norman accompaniment would be pommes en l’air (apples peeled, cut in slices or quarters, and gently fried in butter).(Read more.)

The Media Is Losing the People's Trust

From The Daily Wire:
A new study of the public's confidence in the media found that nearly all Americans — over 95% — are troubled about the current state of the media. While many likely wouldn't go so far as to label the media the "enemy of the peope," a majority were indeed very concerned about the prevalance of "fake news," the reporting of "gossip" rather than fact, "Left-wing" and "Right-wing" agendas steering reports, outright "hit pieces" and "gotcha journalism," and the prevalence of "celebrity opinons" and "lying spokespeople."

Boutique PR firm Bospar released its Ethics in Media study this week ahead of a panel the firm is hosting in San Francisco next week. The study, conducted with Propeller Insights, surveyed 1,010 American adults. The results were eye-opening. Over 95% of the respondents said they were "troubled by the current state of media." (Read more.)

Medieval Tiles

From April Munday:
When I saw Van Lemmen’s book in the English Heritage shop at Stokesay Castle, there was never any doubt that I was going to buy it. There are only 40 pages, but those pages are glorious. Since most of the pages are full of colour photographs and drawings of medieval tiles, there is not much room for scholarly text. The photographs in this post are not from the book, they’re mine. The ones in the book are much better. Such text as there is is very informative, although I would love to know more about how tiles were made. There is a wonderful drawing of a fourteenth century kiln, which highlights what a hit and miss affair tilemaking could be. An imperceptible flaw could destroy a tile and it would be several days before this would be known. It took about six days to load, fire and unload the kiln. A medieval kiln looked like an earthwork. Given the number of days it took to fire a tile, there was no point in making them small. It was sensible to make as many tiles as you could.

 Until I read the book, I wasn’t aware that mosaics were made in fourteenth century England. There are some lovely examples in the book from Rievaulx and Byland Abbeys. I can’t share the exact photos with you, but those links are to other photos of the mosaics in question. It is the pictures which make the book worth buying. They include many examples of medieval tiles from all over England. My favourite photograph is one showing Diana Hall’s modern replacements of damaged tiles in Winchester Cathedral. Her tiles have the colour and vibrancy that all medieval tiles must have had when first laid. Making tiles was incredibly labour intensive and here are two videos showing how much time it could take just to get the clay into the moulds. The first is from Guédelon, where a castle is being built in Burgundy using thirteenth century techniques. The second is a  documentary about Diana Hall and her life as a tilemaker. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A Newly-Designed Orangery

From The Gloss:
When Dublin-based architecture and interior design practice LyonsKelly recommended to their clients that they “do as little as possible” to their newly acquired 19th-century redbrick home, it chimed with the owners’ view that actually their house was pretty perfect and probably would not be enhanced by an oversized glass box or indeed an extension of any kind. So LyonsKelly delivered a series of gentle amendments, transforming the interior by moving the kitchen, amalgamating smaller service rooms into it and beautifying and modernising throughout. The refurbishments had the desired effect, but the requirement for additional space remained. 
Suggesting this challenge could be met by creating a separate structure in the garden, architect John Kelly set about working on a scheme that could serve as a guest apartment, an entertaining space with a kitchen for caterers to use, a sitting room for the kids and their friends and their computer games. Taking inspiration for the exterior from Sir John Soane’s Dulwich Picture Gallery and The Royal Hospital Chelsea – both of which combine neoclassical brickwork, arches and soft symmetry – Kelly designed an orangery to occupy the southfacing garden wall and enhance the view from the house, rather than compete with it. He explains his decision to choose this particular type of pavilion: “An orangery is a specific architectural term, a structure designed to keep plants warm over winter with a solid roof and its own heating and water system – it’s not a glorified conservatory. It’s actually a structure that can support living, leisure and work.”

The aim was to make the orangery look like it had always been there: elegant and highly detailed, ornate brickwork was chosen to match the main house, and light from large expanses of glass maximised with the use of steel-frame windows. While the footprint is modest – just 50 sq metres – inside, proportions are generous (the ceiling is almost 4m high). The layout of the main living space includes one full wall of joinery concealing dishwasher, hob, oven, TV and even drawers of file storage so living arrangements are complete. “As our practice integrates architecture and interior design, we are reminded every day that design works best when considered from all the angles – both should get equal billing but so often, one dominates at the expense of the other,” says Kelly. (Read more.)

The Essential Truths We Have Forgotten

From Andrew Klavan:
Here are some of the things we learned on 9/11 that we've forgotten. Multiculturalism is crap. There are better cultures, bad cultures, and even worse cultures. Ours is better not because we're better people, but because we've inherited better ideas like individual freedom and equality before the law. Those are better ideas than government by Allah, and dressing up women like the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come so they can't fully participate in life. Better ideas make better cultures, and better cultures must be defended by both wisdom and force of arms — or worse cultures will conquer and destroy them. 
On 9/11, we also remembered briefly that men must be men. The policemen and firemen who charged into the burning buildings to try to save people were essential men, necessary men — men worthy of our honor and respect because they lived up to the responsibility of their manhood, which reminds us of another inescapable truth. There is only one necessary task of human life, and that is to make and nurture more human life. This is a task that nature has assigned to women. It is in order to protect and preserve that task, and the women who do it, that men must be men. Brave, protective, supportive, and dispassionately wise. (Read more.)

Songs of Ancient Egypt

From Ancient History Encyclopedia:
The best-known harper’s song from the Middle Kingdom is The Lay of the Harper which originally appeared in the tomb-chapel of a king named Intef (though which Intef this was is unknown since a number of kings from the period took that same throne name) and expresses a novel skepticism of the traditional view of the afterlife in ancient Egypt. The Lay of the Harper explores a carpe diem theme, encouraging people to enjoy life while they can because what comes afterwards is unknown, and focuses on present pleasures. 
This theme is refuted in the New Kingdom (c. 1570 - c. 1069 BCE) by the best-known harper’s song of that period, A Harper’s Song from the Tomb of Neferhotep, which dismisses the skepticism as nonsense. This piece questions what good can come from doubting eternal life in The Field of Reeds and directs an audience to rejoice and have hope in the traditional view of the afterlife. The New Kingdom is the last period in which harper’s songs were composed. 
Although the harper’s songs have routinely been interpreted as reflecting the eras they were composed in, this claim has, and should, been challenged. A far more certain interpretation is that they reflect the age-old divide between religious faith and skepticism which expresses itself in the modern day in very much the same way as in ancient Egypt or in any culture from any period. (Read more.)

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Tragedy of Lady Jane Grey

Both of Lady Jane's parents were descended from Elizabeth Woodville. From Nancy Bilyeau:
The Greys’ fate intertwined with that of England’s royal family at several fateful junctures. The first grey owner was Edward Grey, whose son John married Elizabeth Woodville. After John’s death in battle in the war of the roses, his beautiful widow married the king her husband had opposed, Edward IV. Their children included Elizabeth of York, who would become the mother of Henry VIII. 
The Grey family, though not royal, was close to power, being related to the Yorks and Tudors. One of Elizabeth’s sons by her first marriage was Sir Thomas Grey, the 1st Marquess of Dorset. “Sometime after 1490 Sir Thomas prepared the land to build an impressive house in the former medieval deer park,” according to Britain Express. “He intended his new house to replace the old Grey house at Groby. Unfortunately, he died in 1501 before the project could begin and it was left to his son Thomas Grey, the 2nd Marquess, to build Bradgate House. The house was finished sometime around 1520.” 
It was built in red brick, now a common building material but in the early Tudor period red brick was an expensive material and rarely used. “The fact that Bradgate House was built in brick is a clear sign that Grey was trying to make a statement of his wealth and prestige,” said Britain Express. “It is also one of the earliest unfortified manor houses in England, a testament to the relatively peaceful interlude following the end of the Wars of the Roses.” (Read more.)

We Should Be The Heroes Of Our Own World

From Andrew Klavan at The Daily Wire:
I was at the Hollywood Bowl — had a wonderful time, I thank Josh Kerr for bringing us and letting us share seats — and they did a tribute to John Williams, who conducts the L.A. Philharmonic and who wrote so many great soundtracks. He wrote Star Wars, that's the big one — Star Wars. I think he also did E.T., and so everybody shows up with these lightsabers, and you know it was really an interesting experience because on the one hand, it was delightful. It's delightful to have people in L.A. come together — it's a big city. It's nice that they come together to appreciate music, and it's nice that they come together to appreciate the Philharmonic, which it does as a whole — you know all through the summer, The Hollywood Bowl does all these different things which include Beethoven and ... movie themes and all this.

But at the same time, every time I see the devotion that Star Wars fans have — and this is not, believe me, this is not an attack on Star Wars fans at all. I am touched by the fact that I know that Star Wars started out as a sort of tribute to the old Flash Gordon films. George Lucas loved these Flash Gordon films, they all started — I think [it] was the Emperor Ming, when he's taking over the universe and Flash Gordon was always going to fight them. And they always started with that scroll that you're probably familiar with from Star Wars, where the story unfolds and kind of scrolls into the background just like it does in Star Wars — that's an imitation of that. (Read more.)

Women Who Emotionally Abuse Men

From Intellectual Takeout:
It’s called emotional abuse. It’s well-documented when men inflict it on female victims. Less well known is when women do it to men. While the emotional abuse of women is discussed on Oprah, in bestsellers, and everywhere in pop culture and in academia, there are virtually no resources for men who have been emotionally abused. Google searches turn up very few resources. Books on the subject are mostly broadsides that have not been properly researched and substitute academic rigor for attacks on feminism. 
And yet every person I know—and I’m betting everyone reading these words—knows a man who has been victimized by emotional abuse. All you have to do is ask around. I did just that recently when I was researching the epidemic of men and suicide, and what I found was disturbing. One man, a friend from childhood, told a story that seemed like a kind of slow emotional torture. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

An Idyllic Sylvan Sanctuary

From Victoria:
The verdant forests and sky-high peaks of Vermont have long drawn those who yearn for unspoiled vistas and a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. And although pitching a tent under the stars has a certain appeal, wouldn’t it be lovely to commune with the great outdoors and indulge in amenities offered at five-star hotels? In the quaint town of Barnard, Twin Farms resort offers just such an experience. The estate that once belonged to Nobel Prize–winning author Sinclair Lewis and his journalist wife, Dorothy Thompson, stretches over three hundred breathtaking acres—part hardwood forest, part wildflower-strewn meadowland. The pastoral location lends itself to a variety of summer activities, from croquet on the lawn and canoeing on Copper Pond to hiking the myriad trails traversing the property. (Read more.)

Current Elitist Threats to Our Republic

From The Epoch Times:
Just as the machinations of Comey show the dangers of “the deep state,” so do the candid remarks of another powerful, unelected wannabe kingmaker: William Dudley, the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In an amazingly brazen opinion column on on Aug. 27, Dudley floated the notion that the Fed might be justified in adopting policies designed to prevent the reelection of President Donald Trump.

The chairman of the Federal Reserve system is already regarded in many circles as the second-most powerful person in the country. That’s already a troubling anomaly in a country based on a democratically accountable representative government. To suggest that the Fed act to tilt the election of the most powerful person in the country—the president—toward the candidate of its preference is an egregious affront to our system of government.

All Americans need to be alert to what is going on around us, even though much of the actual plotting is taking place behind closed doors. Partisan and ideological zealots seek to ride roughshod over the constitution and laws that have kept Americans free for over 200 years. I’m not asserting that these are evil people. They simply are in the thrall of the three meta-errors that pervade progressivism: an unjustified faith in government competence, an exaggerated confidence in what human willpower can accomplish, and the self-delusions of good intentions. (Read more.)

The Popes on Socialism

From TFP:
SAINT PIUS X (1903-1914):
The dream of re-shaping society will bring socialism.
“But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ … What are they going to produce? … A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.” (Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique [“Our Apostolic Mandate”] to the French Bishops, August 25, 1910, condemning the movement Le Sillon) (Read more.)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Jackie Kennedy and Ann Lowe

My thought, after all I have read about Jacqueline Kennedy and her upbringing, is that she came from such a rarefied existence that not giving Mrs. Lowe's name to the press was (from her point of view) an attempt to protect Mrs. Lowe from what Jackie thought of as cheap publicity. Mrs Lowe, on her own admission, only catered to an exclusive clientele. It probably did not occur to Jackie that Mrs Lowe might value the publicity as a businesswoman. Jackie may have thought she was protecting Mrs. Lowe from nouvelles-riches brides from north Jersey. No doubt all Jackie's high society friends knew who her designer was. The fact that Jackie later helped Mrs Lowe financially shows her high regard for her. From The Lily:
Ann Lowe was born and raised in Clayton, Ala. Her great-grandmother, an enslaved woman, had given birth to a child fathered by her white plantation owner. Her mother and grandmother were both seamstresses to wealthy Alabama elites and as a child, she amused herself by shaping cloth flowers out of the scraps leftover in their work, she told Ebony in 1966. 
Her mother died when Lowe was only 16, leaving four ball gowns for the first lady of Alabama unfinished. Lowe completed the order. At 18, she shocked administrators at a New York fashion school when she showed up for class; they hadn’t realized they had admitted a black woman until that moment. She was segregated from her classmates; but still she excelled and graduated early. (Read more.)

Margaret Sanger, Racist and Eugenicist

The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was friends with several Nazis, including those who had actually inspired Hitler in his eugenicist plans. From The Stream:
It’s a pro-life commonplace that The American Birth Control League, founded by Margaret Sanger 100 years ago and later rechristened Planned Parenthood, had ties to eugenicists and racists. This is not quite right. It’s like saying that the NBA has ties to professional sports. The birth control movement and the eugenics movement were the same movement — to the point where Margaret Sanger twice tried to merge her organization with major eugenics groups.

One eugenics expert, Eugen Fischer, whom Sanger featured as a speaker at a population conference she organized, had already run a concentration camp — in German-ruled Southwest Africa, before World War I, where he murdered, starved and experimented on helpless native Africans. It was Fischer’s book on eugenics, which Hitler had read in prison, that convinced Hitler of its central importance. Another longtime official of Planned Parenthood, Garrett Hardin, had a decades-long track record of serving in eugenics organizations, and as late as the 1980s was calling for mass forced sterilization of Americans as a necessary solution to the “population problem.”

The same people served on the boards of the American Eugenics Society and Sanger’s organizations for decades, and they worked closely together on countless projects — ranging from researching the birth control pill as a means of diminishing the African-American birth rate (they tested the early, hazardous versions of the Pill on impoverished rural women in Puerto Rico), to passing forced sterilization or castration laws in more than a dozen states that targeted blacks and other poor people accused of “feeble mindedness” or “shiftlessness” and diagnosed as “unfit” parents. Today, Planned Parenthood sets up its centers in America’s poorest neighborhoods, and continues to target the same populations via abortion. (Read more.)

Paul VI’s Response to Margaret Sanger’s Sexual Revolution

From Crisis:
Sanger referred to birth control as her “religion” and devised her own Credo of Woman’s Rights. These included: “The right to be lazy. The right to be an unmarried mother. The right to create. The right to destroy. The right to love; and the right to live.” And by love Sanger meant frequent sexual encounters with her extensive stable of partners, although sadly her right to live did not include the unborn. In fact, Sanger so zealously advocated for abortion that one sexual partner, Havelock Ellis, warned her to tone down her rhetoric and focus instead on the woman’s right “to create or not create new life.” 
After marrying into wealth, Sanger became deeply involved in eugenics, a movement to limit what she termed “human weeds,” i.e., non-white races, the poor in general, and various ethnic minorities who seemingly threatened her permissive upper class lifestyle. Like Hitler, she supported the forced sterilization of “inferior types” hoping to limit their abilities to propagate. However, after Hitler’s atrocities discredited eugenics, Sanger’s American Birth Control League adopted a more egalitarian name, the familiar Planned Parenthood brand. However benign the new name sounded, its impact on marriage and family was devastating, especially in minority communities. In fact, her Credo of Woman’s Rights became a blueprint for modern day social dysfunction, glaringly manifested in a sinister welfare system that encourages millions of poor women to embrace “the right to be unmarried mothers,” leading to a vicious cycle of poverty and dependency for their children. 
For Sanger, sex was never delimited by marriage. Even at 18 (around 1897), she engaged in “trial marriages” before marrying William Sanger in 1902. Always searching for new and more effective methods of avoiding pregnancy, her Planned Parenthood organization contributed heavily to the development of the Pill. Thanks to the Pill, sex morphed into an entitlement available to one and all, thus fulfilling Sanger’s life-long dream. By 1968, shortly after her death, an obscure conflict at Columbia University’s Barnard College over a coed cohabitating with her boyfriend in a school dorm confirmed just how deeply Sanger’s sexual revolt had infiltrated American society. (Read more.)

Friday, September 13, 2019

Extroversion Is Not the Only Way

The first weeks of college can be very lonely for students who are shy. From Washington Square News:
No matter their school or origin, almost every college student will learn about isolation at the beginning of their college career. Starting college is hard for introverts, and extroverts can also flounder when not constantly surrounded by people. The new city screams at us to socialize at any cost. But as confusing as our first year is supposed to be, this start of a new chapter shouldn’t need to be painful. Perhaps the most important lesson a first-year can learn is to appreciate their own company, and that solitude can be valuable.

We often seek the comforting presence of a friendly face. The school I attended from seventh to ninth grade forbade students from staying indoors during recess. Sitting alone in the high school cafeteria is the textbook definition of an ostracized loner. I desperately clung to my friend group formed from the convenience of seeing each other daily, even though we all had only one thing in common. Companionship was worth more than anything else in the world. 

But constant company is not always attainable, and there will be plenty of times in our lives where we are alone. We can review our goals and aspirations, refocus in the present and breathe. Being alone can be helpful, productive and calming, and we should shake off the conditioning that constantly reminds us that we need to have a best friend right here right now, when the first week has barely passed.

Welcome Week is the perfect environment to examine the social conditioning that exclaims that a functioning human must be extroverted and sociable to survive and for some of us, it can be exhausting. I packed my schedule full, trying to squeeze in as many performances and socials as possible, then took a step back. What was I so desperate for? We meet a stranger, make small talk for five minutes, then forget all about each other. (Read more.)


From Anthony Esolen at Crisis:
“There is little need to underline the fact that the Church in our day is facing many and difficult problems of every sort,” writes Fr. George L. Kane. “Persecution has never been more intense or diabolical. Secularism is taking its toll of the attitudes and the ways of living of many of her members. Neo-paganism is ever devising new methods of breaking God’s commandments. Ignorance of religion is so widespread that it has been estimated that more than 90 percent of our people are insufficiently instructed in the Faith. The decline in Christian family life is almost everywhere evident.” 
Fr. Kane is no doomsayer. The problems he lists are not insoluble. But they require that a different problem be addressed first—namely, “the acute shortage of priests, Brothers and Sisters.” You can’t run schools and hospitals without laborers, he says, and the soil in that field is growing thin. Hence he collects some of the best articles he can find on this topic in one volume: Meeting the Vocation Crisis. His hope is that “vocation directors and others charged with the responsibility of fostering vocations will find this compilation of some value.” 
The book was published in 1956. (Read more.)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Day of the Siege: September 11, 1683 (2012)

King Jan Sobieski and his Hussars present themselves at the Imperial Court

Polish poster
An Italian-Polish production, Day of the Siege: September 11, 1683 dramatizes the months leading up to the fateful Battle of Vienna, when the Ottoman Turks were defeated by the leadership and courage of the Polish King, Jan Sobieski. While much of the story is told from the point of view of the Ottoman vizier Kara Mustafa, commander of the Turkish forces, the main character is indubitably Blessed Marco d'Aviano, portrayed with fire and gentleness by F. Murray Abraham. Father Marco, whom most people may not have heard of, was truly the spiritual adviser of Emperor Leopold I, as shown in the film. The Capuchin friar did in actuality play a part in the defense of Vienna by rallying the Christian forces and encouraging them to unite against the Ottomans. The Turks, who threatened to conquer Rome and all of Europe if once the Empire fell into their hands, vastly outnumbered the armies of the Holy League. Europe would have fallen had it not been for the unflinching faith and tactical skill of Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, whose hussars carried the image of the Black Madonna into battle. 

 The King is magnificently played by Polish actor who fills the screen and dominates every scene that he is in, leaving no doubt about the greatness of the character who is being brought to life. I wish he could have been given more screen time. I also wanted to see more of Emperor Leopold and his family, especially his sister Eleanor of Austria, whose husband Charles of Lorraine figures prominently in the battle. I did not care for the subplot about the renegade Turk who betrays his Christian wife; it seemed to take away from the genuine historical characters. That and other strange twists in the plot keep it from being the great epic film it might have been in better directorial hands. But seeing the Polish cavalry charge down the mountain definitely makes Day of the Siege worth a watch.

F. Murray Abraham as Blessed Marco d'Aviano
Watch entire film, HERE. Share

Media Smears

Here is an article from Ross Douthat that makes many pertinent points. I do disagree about Trump being a race-baiter. Obama was the race-baiter who stirred up racial tensions in America that most of us thought were long gone. And in my personal experience, I have known more racists who were liberals, not conservatives.  The New York Times:
At the same time, the American right in the Trump era faces a liberalism that’s eager to discover and condemn racism where it does not actually exist. Positions that any de-Trumpified conservatism would necessarily hold are conflated with white nationalism, figures who opposed Donald Trump are hammered as enablers of racism, and progressives indulge a political fantasy in which the racist infiltration of the mainstream right is an opportunity to delegitimize conservatism entirely.
The coexistence of these two realities was usefully illustrated in the last two weeks. If you want evidence that bigotry on the right is a bottom-up problem as well as a feature of the president’s birtherism and Twitter wars, just read last week’s SplinterNews exposé on the email group where a cluster of youthful and not-so-youthful right-wingers gathered to play at white nationalism while holding down normal jobs for conservative publications and institutions. What was reported in the piece I can confirm anecdotally: Every extended conversation I have with 20-something conservatives includes a discussion of how to deal with racist flirtations in their peer group. But if you want evidence that unjust delegimitization is happening as well, consider that in the very same period that the email exposé appeared, a succession of mainstream media outlets served up bogus accusations of racism against prominent and not-so-prominent conservatives. (Read more.)

From The Federalist:
 A senior official in the U.S. Department of Labor who resigned last week after being wrongfully accused of anti-Semitism by Bloomberg News was reinstated Wednesday following criticism from both liberals and conservatives.  The Labor Department’s acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella “personally made this decision after carefully reviewing all the facts and circumstances,” according to a senior agency official who spoke with the Daily Caller. Leif Olson had resigned after Bloomberg asked the department to comment on a series of Facebook posts that Bloomberg labeled anti-Semitic, when the posts were clearly sarcastic. (Read more.)

The Four Founders of Fairy Tales

From the Victorian Trading Company blog:
Charles Perrault
From: France, late 17th century
History: Born to a wealthy family, Perrault studied law and had a career in the French government. He was involved in the development of art and literature during his lifetime.
Writings: Perrault spent much of his career publishing essays on art, literature, and even the development of opera. In 1686, he wrote an epic poem about the Christian saint, Paulinus of Nola. Then at the age of 67, Perrault published a collection of fairy tales, Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals, subtitled Tales of Mother Goose. Later would come to publish a French translation of 100 Fables from the Latin poet, Gabriele Faerno.
Inspiration: Perrault drew mostly from the tales that were handed down orally for generations.
Most Famous For: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, and Sleeping Beauty.
Legacy: Perrault is considered by many to be the founder of the modern fairy tale genre, even though it had existed previously. (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Costumes and Dress Codes

I have only just discovered a most wonderful blog! It belongs to the Countess of Carnarvon. From Lady Carnarvon:
I grew up and went to school in London. During weekends my sisters and I explored (sometimes under duress) the various museums that London has to offer. The one that I never needed to be persuaded to go to was the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. I would head straight towards any exhibition of fashion and costumes – they have an extraordinary collection depicting what we wore that spans at least four centuries. You could stare for ages at the tiny waists, beautiful, delicate lace, the velvets, dresses with enormous hoops, the shoes and the wonderful hats. Admittedly most of it belongs to women of a certain economic status since those were the garments that were most valuable and therefore carefully preserved.

However, they depict an extraordinarily different and much more constricted way of life from ours today, from running up and down stairs, to biking round the park and hurrying to yet another meeting. (The top photo is the 5th Countess’s Coronation robes from 1911, whilst below are staff liveries and uniforms from the same period.) (Read more.)

Civics and Civility

From Justice Neil Gorsuch at Townhall:
Some of this is pretty self-evident. You need to know about politicians, their views, and how they compare with others in order to elect representatives who will speak for you. You need to know, as well, about your rights in order to enforce them. You’re more likely to speak your mind freely if you know that the First Amendment protects freedom of speech. You’re more likely to protest the police rifling through your papers if you know the government cannot con- duct unreasonable searches. You’re more likely to worship as you choose if you know your prayers are protected against government interference. 
But if we are to be a self-governing people, we need to know not just our rights but the structures that protect them. Our government is one of limited and separated powers, a design deliberately chosen to secure the promise of self-rule and our liberties and to prevent the accumulation of power in too few hands. Yet, according to Annenberg, today it seems only about a quarter of Americans can name the three branches of government. Approximately a third cannot name any branch. Many do not know why the founders established this separation of powers or how it protects their liberties. Civic education is no longer a central part of the curriculum in many of our public schools. (Read more.)

Honoring the Code Talkers

From White Wolf Pack:
By definition, a “code talker” refers to a Native American who served during a foreign conflict and transmitted a secret coded message in their traditional tribal language for military operations during World War I and World War II. In 2000, Navajo Code Talkers were honored with Congressional Gold Medals for their services in developing and implementing their traditional Dine’ language as a secretive code of communication on the battle fields in both WWI and WWII.

“However, many Americans do not know that members of nearly 32 other Indian tribes served as codetalkers in World War I and World War II and have never been formally recognized for their service to our country,” said Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado at the Senate Hearing on Code Talkers

During this hearing on the “Contributions of Native American Code Talkers in American Military History, Senator Campbell lists 32 other tribes to serve as code talkers during both the Pacific and European campaigns as; Comanche, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Osage, Lakota, Dakota, Chippewa, Oneida, Sac and Fox, Meskwaki, Hopi, Assiniboine, Kiowa, Pawnee, Akwesasne, Menominee, Creek, Cree Seminole Tribes and Other unlisted tribes... 
Clarence Wolf Guts, last surviving Lakota code talker who passed away in 2010, testified at the 2004 Senate Hearing, “I am a full-blood Indian, and we do whatever we can to protect the United States because we love America… I was sitting there in the foxhole with a radio, trying to give the orders that were given to us to pass on to the chief-of-staff… We used our own code and we did whatever we could to protect our country… When I see young children playing without supervision, I realize why we’re over there.” (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Hair of Marie Antoinette?

There is also some question as to how close Marie-Antoinette really was with the Duchess of Devonshire. I think they were friendly but Georgiana was never part of the Queen's circle of intimate friends. From Royal Central:
In the British Museum, there is a locket containing hair traditionally said to be that of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Navarre. Donated to the museum as part of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere, Charlotte; Rudoe, Judy; Tait, Hugh; Wilson, The Art of the Jeweller, A Catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift to the British Museum, Vol 1-2, London, BMP, 1984), the locket was formerly held at the Victoria and Albert Museum and is not on display. Given the fact that the object is popularly believed to contain her hair, it is interesting that such a locket exists in London, a city which holds other items that claim an undisputed important connection with her, such as the Jean-Henri Riesener corner cupboard – from Marie Antoinette’s private study at Versailles, made by her favourite cabinet-maker – at the Wallace Collection and Madame Tussauds in London, which contains the “gruesome” relics of the French Revolution in what was once Tussauds Baker Street Bazaar, Tussaud having been forced on her release from prison to make death masks of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. So, is there anything that might support this hair belonging to her?
The heart-shaped, filigree-set locket with a padlock and matching key on a chain is late 18thC to early 19thC, but there is no evidence to support the fact that the hair was presented in this locket, though it is contemporary to the period. The piece of paper in the back of the locket could have been added at any point prior to the date when the locket was given by Lady Napier in 1853.
As the British Museum rightly states, there is nothing that directly supports the slip of paper referring to the hair, as it could have been added later at any time, into a locket which contained the hair of someone else. The provenance which the locket claims, is described in the slip, namely as a “lock of hair of Marie Antoinette Queen of France, given by her to Lady Abercorn, by whom it was given to her sister Lady Julia Lockwood, whose daughter Lady Napier gave it to W.S, 1853”. In other words, even if the lock of hair should belong to Marie Antoinette, there is nothing on the slip of paper to suggest that the hair was given in this locket. (Read more.)

The Strange Decline of Catholic Hymns

The most beautiful music ever composed was composed for the sacred liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. But do Catholics ever get to hear it at Mass? Hardly ever. We are lucky if the hymns are even Catholic. And what about replacing the Introit or "Entrance Antiphon" with a generic hymn that may or may not have anything to do with the mystery of the day. The "Entrance Antiphon" is supposed to be recited or chanted, but instead it has disappeared.  From Dr. Esolen at The Catholic Herald:
When Pope Honorius crowned the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) by proclaiming the new feast of Corpus Christi – a triduum of joy from the Thursday following Trinity Sunday to echo the triduum of Holy Week and Easter – the Catholic world responded with a burst of artistic creativity unmatched since the days of Ancient Greece. Drama came alive again, in a folk tradition which, when it merged with the learning of the Renaissance, would culminate in the plays of somebody called Shakespeare.
When the Council of Trent closed in 1563, the Catholic world again responded with a burst of artistic creativity. What the neo-classical tea-tasters of the 18th century disparagingly called the “Baroque” was born; Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Shakespeare again, Milton, Racine, Bernini, Bach; and that quintessentially Baroque invention, with its magniloquence and its passionate action – the opera. But when the Second Vatican Council ended in 1965 – what?

I used to wonder whether Catholics outside of the Anglophone world did a better job preserving their art, their music and their prayers, even if they were not in a good cultural position to create new works. We speakers of English have put up with doggerel and “I Feel Holy” jingles and the butchering of old hymns. Were speakers of other languages not so cursed with innovation? If I were to judge by the part of French Canada where we live in the summer, I’d say the destruction was universal.

I’m looking at a copy of Paroissien Romain (1956), which I found stuffed in the closet of the choir loft of our local church, Notre-Dame de L’Assomption. It is a beautiful book, 2,000 pages cloth-bound and red-edged. The wear on the tassels for keeping your place, and some pencil marks here and there, show that the books were indeed used. Paroissien Romain contains the prayers, readings and chants for Mass and for the Divine Office for every Sunday and every feast day throughout the year, and a great deal more, along with careful instructions on how to pronounce Latin, and how to perform Gregorian chant (printed in standard G-clef notation). The prayers for the feast of the Assumption are glorious. (They aren’t heard here any more, because the feast is not a holy day in Canada.)

I’m often struck by how powerful it can be merely to place a verse from Scripture in the context of a feast. For the Gradual of the Assumption, we have a tremendous verse from Psalm 45, the great marriage psalm, in Latin: Audi, filia, et vide, etc. I will translate: “Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear: and the king shall desire thy beauty. The daughter of the king walks forth in glory, her robe is fringed with gold, Alleluia. Mary has been assumed into heaven: the host of Angels rejoice.” I count 433 notes to chant the 32 Latin words, once. The chant is extraordinary in its tapestry, its delicate melody opening out like a rose, petal upon petal, as if you could never have enough of praise, as if you could meditate joyfully upon a single word forever.

All that is gone now. I also have before me the current French hymnal, D’une même voix (2003). It’s a third the size of Paroissien Romain. There’s no instruction on how to chant. The short section with chanted prayers gives the impression that the editors are not terribly interested. “It is not fit to chant everything,” they say. “One should strive for a balance, and a liveliness in the congregation. Sometimes you should chant less, to chant better.” Those are their last words on the matter. (Read more.)

Bill Barclay and ‘The Black Mozart’

From The Bay State Banner:
Saint-Georges was Marie Antoinette’s personal music teacher, conducted one of the most successful orchestras in Europe, and was Mozart’s roommate for three critical months after Mozart’s mother had died. “We read these stories everyday about what’s happening to immigrant culture and immigrant identity, and I suddenly realized I had a story of three immigrants on my hands,” says Barclay, referring to Marie Antoinette and Mozart, both from Austria, and Saint-Georges from Guadalupe. 
It’s the three months with Mozart that Barclay focuses on in his production. Did they get along? How did this stint impact each composer’s work? Did Saint-Georges leave his dishes in sink? These questions are lost to history, but Barclay imagines what the answers may be in a production that blends narration with actors, featuring Chukwudi Iwuji as Saint-Georges, the composer’s forgotten music, and narration by Barclay himself. (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Katyn Massacre: When The USSR Purged 22,000 Polish Men

From All That's Interesting:
And on March 5, 1940, Stalin signed an order to execute some 21,857 of these Poles:
“Members of various counter-revolutionary spy and sabotage organizations, former landowners, factory owners, former Polish Army officers, government officials, and fugitives – [are] to be considered in a special manner with the obligatory sentence of capital punishment – shooting.”
In all, some 14,700 Polish servicemen and 11,000 Polish high-ranking civilians were rounded up with the intent to be executed in one of three locations: Katyn, Tver, or the prison of Kharkiv.

The men’s hands were bound behind their backs with wire and then they were summarily shot in the back of the head. Bulldozers had to dig the mass grave for the many thousands killed in Katyn in April and May. Meanwhile, in Tver, the men were individually shot in a soundproof room and their bodies were deposited into a truck outside. The most prolific executioner, Vassily Mikhailovich Blokhin, said he killed 6,000 men in just 28 days. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, in Canada...

From LifeSite:
With the rollout of the Ford Government’s new sex-ed curriculum, it would seem that all hope of preventing Ontario’s children from being indoctrinated into the dangerous new gender ideologies wreaking such havoc across the Western world is now lost. Despite Ford’s promise to remove gender theory entirely, it remains firmly in place, and pre-teen children will still be introduced to the subject. The impact of this, as a chilling report from Barbara Kay in the National Post earlier this summer indicates, will be both awful and long-lasting. I know I’ve said this dozens of times already, but it is so essential that we understand this: This is a social experiment on children with devastating, permanent effects on them. 
As I’ve reported before, the numbers of Canadian children identifying as transgender are soaring at an alarming rate, and Canada’s institutions seem to be falling into line with the trans activist agenda, making it mandatory for all Canadians to believe—or at least act like they believe--that gender is fluid. That’s why Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv is successfully putting female beauticians out of business for refusing to wax his genitals, and that’s why a Canadian judge recently stated that a father attempting to dissuade his child from physically transitioning constituted “family violence.” (Read more.)

Tolkien in a Nutshell

The connections between The Lord of the Rings and Christianity are numerous. There is a connection symbolically between the One Ring and Original Sin and, therefore, between Mount Doom and Golgotha. The elvish word for waybread, lembas, means life-bread, or bread of life, connecting it to the Eucharist. Like the Eucharist, lembas feeds the will. The date on which the Ring is destroyed is March 25, the date of both the Annunciation and the Crucifixion, connecting the destruction of the Ring (sin) with the Incarnation, and with the life, death and resurrection of Christ. 
Although Tolkien did not write a formal allegory in which characters simply represent historical figures, it is true nonetheless that several members of the fellowship represent, albeit with subtlety, significant Christian typological figures. Frodo, as the Ring-bearer, can be seen as the cross-bearer, and therefore as both a Christ figure and a figure of the Christian who takes up his cross. Sam is, in consequence, a figure of the loyal disciple. Boromir, as the only man in the Fellowship, is the representative of humanity and is therefore an Everyman figure. Aragorn, insofar as he is the true king who descends into the kingdom of the dead, having the power to release the dead themselves from their curse, and insofar as he has, in his capacity as the true king, great and miraculous powers of healing, is clearly a Christ figure. Gandalf, in his death, resurrection and transfiguration is also a Christ figure.

Many of the seven sacraments are represented in The Lord of the Rings. As we have seen, the Eucharist is present symbolically in the depiction of the elvish life-bread or bread of life (lembas). The Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of Extreme Unction are represented in the manner of the final exchange of words between the dying Boromir and Aragorn, the latter of whom serves in persona Christi as the absolver of Boromir’s sins. The Sacrament of Marriage is depicted beautifully in the marriages of Aragorn and Arwen, Faramir and Eowyn, and, last but not least, Sam and Rosie. The priesthood is represented insofar as Aragorn acts in persona Christi. The Blessed Virgin is represented insofar as Tolkien said that he put all of his love for the Blessed Virgin into the characterization of Galadriel.

In a panoramic sense the theme of The Lord of the Rings signifies man as homo viator, i.e. journeying man or travelling man or man on a quest. This echoes the Christian understanding of the life of man as being about nothing, ultimately, other than the need to be united with God in Heaven. Failure in this life-quest makes us miserable losers! In order to achieve this quest, we need to embrace a life of love, which means sacrificing ourselves for others, for the “fellowship” of humanity. We need to become Ring-bearers, i.e. cross-bearers, bearing the burden of the evils in the world and their destructive consequences, without becoming Ring-wearers, i.e. servants of evil. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Portraits of Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVII and Madame Royale

Louis XVI
Dauphin Louis-Charles (Louis XVII)
Madame Royale
Via Oval portraits of the French Royal Family painted by a Neapolitan artist in the late 1790's after all had died but Madame Royale. There may be some connection of the paintings with the Queen of Naples, Maria-Carolina, sister of Marie-Antoinette, who had hoped that war against France would avenge her sister's murder. Share

How the Quest For Power Corrupted Elizabeth Warren

From Ben Shapiro at Townhall:
I first met Elizabeth Warren when she was a professor at Harvard Law School, in 2004. She was fresh off the publication of her bestselling book, "The Two-Income Trap." There's no doubt she was politically liberal -- our only face-to-face meeting involved a recruitment visit at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, where she immediately made some sort of disparaging remark about Rush Limbaugh -- but at the time, Warren was making waves for her iconoclastic views. She wasn't a doctrinaire leftist, spewing Big Government nostrums. She was a creative thinker. 
That creative thinking is obvious in "The Two-Income Trap," which discusses the rising number of bankruptcies among middle-class parents, particularly women with children. The book posits that women entered the workforce figuring that by doing so, they could have double household income. But so many women entered the workforce that they actually inflated prices for basic goods like housing, thus driving debt skyward and leading to bankruptcies for two-income families. The book argued that families with one income might actually be better off, since families with two incomes spent nearly the full combined income and then fell behind if one spouse lost a job. Families with one income, by contrast, spent to the limit for one income, and if a spouse was fired, the unemployed spouse would then look for work to replace that single income.
Warren's core insight was fascinating: She argued that massive expansion of the labor force had actually created more stressful living and driven down median wages. But her policy recommendations were even more fascinating. She explicitly argued against "more government regulation of the housing market," slamming "complex regulations," since they "might actually worsen the situation by diminishing the incentive to build new houses or improve older ones." Instead, she argued in favor of school choice, since pressure on housing prices came largely from families seeking to escape badly run government school districts: "A well-designed voucher program would fit the bill neatly." (Read more.)

Nuns and Religious Professions

Hence it must be stated that nuns are part of the earliest history of the Church. The first Catholic nun was Our Lady, the Blessed Mother. She leads the way, and was followed by others during the apostolic age, including St. Mary Magdalene, whom legend avers fled the Holy Land amid persecutions, arriving on the shores of France at the fishing village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer where she evangelized in the Roman port of Marseille, and finally lived as a hermit high in a cave on a mountain ridge called Sainte-Baume. 
Thus the noble vocation of professed religious sisters continues to this day. In 2017 the Filiae Laboris Mariae (Daughters of the Works of Mary) community began ad experimentum in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph with the permission of Most Rev. James Johnston. Their original home was at an old convent at the church of St. Mary in Independence, Missouri. 
The Labor Mariae sisters were founded earlier that same year by Mother Maria Regina of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, a native of Holland, who had been a religious sister for over twenty-five years. She is pictured on the left, wearing the crown of thorns on her final profession day as a member of the new community. The other sister is the newest postulant, Sr. Maria Gratia of Canada. (Read more.)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Gown from the 'Rainbow Portrait'

 From The Daily Mail:
An image on the internet showed the material at the 13th-century church of St Faith, Bacton, in 2015.  A tweaked version of the dress panel resided on the alter until 1909 when it was framed and hung in the church.  Rev Charles Brothers noted at the time that it may once have been 'worn by Queen Elizabeth'. It was sent on loan to Hampton Court Palace for analysis and its provenance was confirmed. A high-quality photographic replica now hangs in its place in the church. 

Extensive analysis found traces of Mexico-sourced red and indigo dyes which helped manufacture the material. These would have been obscenely expensive in the 17th century and would only have been available to the wealthy and the noble. What took the material to Bacton remains somewhat of a mystery but the most prominent theory is that it was given to the church either by Elizabeth herself or one of her ladies-in-waiting. It is speculated it was a gift in memory of Blanche Parry, a Bacton native, who was a close friend of Elizabeth for 57 years. Her funeral was financed by the queen and she was a regular recipient of her clothing gifts.   

Ms Lynn writes in the the journal Costume: 'There is no documentary evidence or definitive link to prove that this was one of Elizabeth's own garments, or that it belonged to Blanche. 'However, the very strong inference to be drawn is that this late 16th-century, elite, professionally embroidered court gown entered the small church of Bacton by gift of the queen in memory of Blanche Parry for use as a ceremonial textile. 

'It is a rare example of royal Tudor dress that has survived for centuries.' (Read more.)

U. S. Detention Centers and Odious Comparisons to the Nazis

My grandfather spent three years in a Japanese concentration camp and nothing makes my blood boil more than to have his near-fatal experience trivialized by the Left. From The Christian Review:
It’s now commonplace for teachers and TV talking-heads to compare our detention centers on the Southern border to the Japanese internment camps of WWII and the Nazi concentration camps.

A typical headline reads, ‘AOC was right to compare Trump’s border internment camps to concentration camps’ (NBC June 19, 2019). Was no one at NBC News embarrassed? Did no one cringe? Did not one say, ‘We can’t print that!’ Evidently not. Commenting on such an odious comparison feels like I am explaining why 1+1=2. But for those who don’t know the difference between US detention centers and both the Nazi concentration camps and Japanese internment centers, I will explain.
Point #1 – Those presently housed in border detention centers are there voluntarily: They can always go back to whatever country they came from.
Point #2 – The US is not committing genocide: 11 million persons were deliberately killed in the Nazi camps including two million-plus Catholics in addition to the Jews, gypsies, and others considered undesirable.
Point #3 – The immigrants are not being starved, subjected to forced labor, or used for medical experimentation, all a routine part of the Holocaust tragedy.
Point #4 –  Immigrants to the US are fed, clothed, housed, and given access to medical care, education, and recreation and free legal advice.
Point #5 – The unfortunate ‘caging’ of children done during the Obama administration was put to an end by the Trump administration.
Point #6 – Those who make such odious and unfounded comparisons trivialize the lives of the millions who suffered and died under the Third Reich.
Point #7 – Teachers and talking heads who make these comparisons are attempting to make Americans believe that our country is no better than Nazi Germany.
Point #8 – The media drumbeat behind these comparisons is intended to make President Trump look like Hitler and the Democrats like those soldiers who landed on Normandy Beach on D-Day.
Point #9 – The more accurate comparison to make is between how all dictators rigorously controlled news services and how mainstream media is now controlled by Alt-Left Democrats. Why else would the New York Times quickly change a headline that cast Trump in a positive light!
Point #10 – Where there is no genocide, no deliberate starvation, no torture, no medical experimentation, no forced labor it’s not possible to compare the Nazi holocaust to other types of restricted zones where people are housed temporarily. (Read more.)