Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Christmas Cocktails

 Lots of recipes from Country Living:
Hot cocoa—the sweetest winter treat of them all—gets a serious upgrade in this fun recipe. Cinnamon sticks add a spicy kick, bourbon adds fun, and dulce de leche adds a creamy consistency. (Read more.)

Mark Levin on Impeachment: "You Are Witnessing Tyranny"

You're witnessing tyranny in the House of Representatives, in the Intelligence Committee that doesn't do intelligence work anymore. This is an outrageous violation of the Constitution. How often is the Constitution read during these hearings? Never, never, and it's never going to be, because they're destroying the Constitution of the United States. 
They're undermining your franchise they're trying to influence the 2020 election. And by they, I not only mean the Democrats on this committee, I mean the media. To listen to the media analysis of what's taking place in these hearings is absurd, it's disgraceful. They talk about Russia, they sound like the Russian media. 
The Democrat Party and the media are like this, that's why I wrote the book. They're like this. So the President's never going to get a break from the media, so he tweets. So due process, even though it's not a criminal case, even though it's not a civil case, due process - Western civilization believes in due process 
Due process even before the Bill of Rights does not apply to the President, because Congress can do whatever it wants. Is that what the Constitution says? Is that what that says? No that's not what that says. President's not allowed to tweet to defend himself. Well then he can't defend himself, you name one newsroom in this country really that's calling it straight here. None of them, none of them - not picking on anyone, I'm saying none of them. 
President's tweet today - not a single newsroom that I watched put the tweet up there in full - in full. Here's what the President tweeted America, everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then - and that's pretty much what he said. No it's not, according to Adam Schiff it is. 
"Then fast-forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President's absolute right to appoint ambassadors." This woman is intimidated by this? We're told 33 years in the State Department where they have the most brutal bureaucrats on the face of the earth. She was facing down dictators. She was in somewhat - she was on - oh, my god, this tweet intimidated her. 
Now how could the tweet intimidate her, as I posted early on and everybody repeat it. She'd didn't even know about the tweet until commissar Adam Schiff read the tweet and he'd even read the full tweet. He read part of the tweet. Now let's talk about what's going on here. Here's an article for the 50th time. POLITICO, January 2017, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire. Now other news outlets, this is conspiracy theory written in left-wing POLITICO, repeated in left-wing "New York Times." It's not conspiracy theory it's fact. Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. It goes on in incredible detail. This ambassador wasn't all that familiar with it. Did she do anything about it? No. 
They have this great leader over there that everybody loves in Ukraine was trashing the President on social media, did she call him? No, no, it's - that's OK. But you know the poor thing was smeared by Rudy Giuliani. Let me tell you what a smear is. A smear is when you go after somebody's returns, a smear is when you go after somebody's bank records, a smear is when you go over somebody's children, a smear is when you try and dig up dirt about their past personal lives, a smear is this clown show. 
I mean it was fractious to hear them, "oh, I'm sorry poor madam ambassador that you were smeared and that Rudy Giuliani - I'm sorry, while they're smearing the President of United States, while they're undermining these values that we believe in Western civilization and in our United States Constitution. (Read more.)

 From Cheryl Chumley at The Washington Times:
True, this impeachment inquiry is not being held in a court of law. Different scenario, different standards. But shouldn’t the same spirit of America justice guide and prevail, just the same? Yes. Indeed. Indubitably. Not in Pelosi’s world, though.

“If the president has something that is exculpatory — Mr. President, that means you have anything that shows your innocence — then he should make that known and that’s part of the inquiry,” Pelosi said, as The Week noted. “And so far, we haven’t seen that. But we welcome it.” Pelosi then went on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday and told host Margaret Brennan that if Trump had “information that is exculpatory — that means ex, taking away, culpable, blame — then we look forward to seeing it.”

This is a flip of American justice. It’s just not how we do things in a free U.S. society. Democrats, leftists, socialists and President Donald Trump haters of all political walks may cheer this nonsense. But they’re blinded by hate. And nobody with any affinity for America at all would — should — applaud such a call.

It’s the way of the dictators, it’s the stuff of secret police and Gestapo types and tyrannical rulers throughout history. It’s the line of logic that goes, “Well, if you have nothing to hide, then what’s the big deal?” And it can be used for everything from pulling over a citizen on a sidewalk to frisk through pockets and purse, to hauling a political enemy into court on less-than-factual charges in order to slam, slander and shame — which is kind of where we’re at in the impeachment inquiry, by the way. (Read more.)

Fake witnesses in a fake trial. From The Washington Post:
Every day in America, true victims of crime face blood-sworn and violent enemies and accuse them — face-to-face — of terrible crimes. Each of these good citizens faces actual intimidation and real retribution in a very real world. Long after they have stood up for justice in a courtroom and confronted the violent criminal, they are tormented by fear of reprisal. From inside jails, drug lords order hits against good citizens who dared to stand up to make their neighborhood a safer place. Even decades later, ordinary citizens who testify against murderers and rapists are reminded again and again that the person condemned for destroying their life will soon be let out of prison. And do they have an opinion about this?

But that is not how things work in Washington. If you are a “witness” willing to smear President Trump from inside the federal bureaucracy, then you are treated like some kind of precious, swaddled savior, one who must be protected at all costs from any whiff of fairness or justice or due process. It does not matter how many times removed the testimony of the “witness” is from actual firsthand information. And it does not matter how jaundiced or opinionated the testimony is. So long as it smears President Trump, then it can be tossed like a wet log onto the bonfire to burn President Trump at the stake.

Take the precious “whistleblower” who sparked the impeachment furor. This partisan bureaucrat has no actual firsthand information to offer. His testimony would, literally, not be allowed in court. A judge would punish a prosecutor for even mentioning the existence of such a witness and admonish the jury to erase any hint of his testimony from their minds. Yet this “witness” is protected and coddled. Democrats on the House intelligence committee raise all sorts of crazy alarms about how people are somehow threatening the life of this revered bureaucrat if his name is uttered — never mind that virtually everybody in Washington thinks they already know exactly who it is and have gotten in on the game of not uttering his name.

You mean to tell me we are going to impeach a president and remove him from office based entirely on the whistle blown by a partisan bureaucrat who can never be named? That is seriously the state of “journalism” in America today? What will the history books say? Then along comes former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, publicly testifying on national television about all of her opinions of President Trump and his policies in Ukraine. OK, we get it. State Department loyalists don’t like Mr. Trump or his foreign policy. Great. Go run for office. Until then, shut up. (Read more.)

From The New York Post:
The scariest aspect of Vindman’s testimony is his insistence that US foreign policy should be made by unelected bureaucrats like himself. He says he and his colleagues have formulated “the best, most informed judgment” about Ukraine, and it was not “appropriate for government officials” like Trump’s ambassadors to act “counter” to it. What arrogance.

Vindman drafted talking points for Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky and grew “concerned” when the commander in chief “strayed” from them, according to pages 18, 42 and 93 of his testimony. Is this guy for real? Similarly, Vindman was outraged over Trump’s recall of Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch. But Trump had solid reasons. Zelensky said he disliked her and mistrusted her. She had sided with his rival during the election, as page 324 of Vindman’s testimony reveals. It’s smart to ­appoint an ambassador who can get along with a country’s leader. (Read more.)

More HERE. And HERE. Share

The Last of the Siberian Unicorns

From Ancient Origins:
Elasmotherium, also known as the Giant Rhinoceros or the Giant Siberian Unicorn, is an extinct species of rhino that lived in the Eurasian area in the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene eras. They have been documented from 2.6 million years ago, but the most recent fossils come from around 29,000 years ago. The best known of this species, the E. sibiricum , was the size of a mammoth, covered in hair, and is thought to have had a large horn protruding from its forehead, hence the title “Siberian Unicorn”. According to early estimated descriptions, the beast stood around 2 meters (6.56 ft.) tall, 4.5 meters (14.76 ft.) long, and weighted an impressive 4 tonnes. 
The species, Elasmotherium, was first named in 1808 by Johan Fischer von Waldheim, the Dirécteur Perpétuel of the Natural History Museum at Moscow University. All he produced to argue his case was the lower jaw, donated to the museum by Yekaterina Romanovna Vorontsova-Dashkova. But from this, the species was named and studied further.... 
Legends of the unicorn, or a beast with a single horn, have been around for millennia in China and Eastern Europe. The Chinese “K’i-lin”, referring to some sort of beast, was translated into Turkish and Mongolic languages and lore. While the writers in all these languages did not know how to describe the beast, one common theme was the single horn, along with their vast stature. 
A bronze vessel from the Warring States period shows an animal very much like one depicted in cave paintings that are said to be Elasmotherium: head down for grazing, horn protruding from the forehead, and head and shoulders slumped. In 1866, Vasily Radlov found a legend among the Yakuts of Siberia of a “huge black bull” killed by a single spear. The beast was said to have a single horn so large that it had to be transported by sled. Other legends circulate in this region, usually concerning a large white or blue woolly bull with one large horn coming from its forehead. 
From medieval Northern Russia comes a collection of ballads, called “Golubinaia kniga” or “The Book of the Dove,” coming from Zoroastrianism, but with Christian overtones. These ballads show a righteous unicorn battling a lion, representing lies. The unicorn of these tales lived in a Holy mountain, and it was believed to be the mother and father of all animals. This creature saved the world from drought by digging springs of pure and clean water with its horn. At night, it wandered the plains and forged a path with that very same horn. 
This same creature appears in other religious texts, however, it is typically seen more as a symbolic creature rather than a real entity. The Arabo-Persian word for unicorn actually conflates unicorn and rhinoceros, looking to the rhinoceros as a bringer of truth and good in the world. In Christianity, the single horn is seen as a symbol of monotheism. (Read more.)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

S. A. R. Madame, Duchesse d'Angoulême

A portrait made from life of Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Angoulême, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. From a print made for her uncle, Louis XVIII. Share

Barr's Federalist Society Speech

One of the best political speeches ever. From PJ Media:
The most significant part of the speech, to me, was when Barr slammed the political left for their endless attacks on Trump, and their bogus narrative that Trump is subverting the Constitution.
One of the ironies of today is that those who oppose this President constantly accuse this Administration of “shredding” constitutional norms and waging a war on the rule of law. When I ask my friends on the other side, what exactly are you referring to? I get vacuous stares, followed by sputtering about the Travel Ban or some such thing. While the President has certainly thrown out the traditional Beltway playbook, he was upfront about that beforehand, and the people voted for him. What I am talking about today are fundamental constitutional precepts. The fact is that this Administration’s policy initiatives and proposed rules, including the Travel Ban, have transgressed neither constitutional, nor traditional, norms, and have been amply supported by the law and patiently litigated through the Court system to vindication.

Indeed, measures undertaken by this Administration seem a bit tame when compared to some of the unprecedented steps taken by the Obama Administration’s aggressive exercises of executive power – such as, under its DACA program, refusing to enforce broad swathes of immigration law.
Barr also specifically called out the resistance.
The fact of the matter is that, in waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of “Resistance” against this Administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law. This highlights a basic disadvantage that conservatives have always had in contesting the political issues of the day. It was adverted to by the old, curmudgeonly Federalist, Fisher Ames, in an essay during the early years of the Republic.
Oh, but he wasn't done there:
In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion. Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the state to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection. Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end. They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implications. They never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides.
I strongly encourage you to watch (or read) the whole thing. After eight years of having partisan radicals running the show and turning the Department of Justice into a political weapon for Barack Obama, it's refreshing to see we have an advocate for the Constitution and the rule of law again. (Read more.)


Young and Black and Conservative

I am so proud of our American young people who are overcoming racial barriers. From Fox News:
Chants of ‘We love Trump, U-S-A!’ echoed across the East Room of the White House before, during, and after President Donald Trump’s address to hundreds of young black conservatives. The President’s address was part of the Young Black Leaders Summit (YBLS), a four-day conference focused on millennial-aged, conservative black Americans. The student-activist group, Turning Point USA, is hosting the event. Brandon Tatum is Director of Urban Engagement at Turning Point USA, and he told Fox News that the YBLS is symbolic for black voters. “YBLS is important because it gives an example to this country that black voters are not monoliths and think for ourselves,” said Tatum. (Read more.)

Atlantean Treasures?

From Ancient Origins:
By now many of you will be tapping your fingers briskly, thinking to yourselves “so where are the artifacts from the lost continent of Atlantis?” This ancient advanced island-dwelling civilization was first mentioned in 355 BC by the Greek philosopher Plato in his book ‘ Timaeus,’ in which a character named Kritias gives an account of “Atlantis” existing more than “9,000 years before his time” and located beyond the Pillars of Hercules. This story, claimed Kritias, was told in his family for many generations since it was first received by his ancestor, Solon, from a priest during a visit to Egypt. 
However, according to Atlantipedia, many archaeologists support The Minoan Hypothesis, including K.T. Frost, a professor of history at Queen's University in Belfast; archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos, and seismologist A.G. Galanopoulos. Essentially, this theory points towards the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea as the inspiration for Atlantis, which around 1500 BC saw the collapse of the Minoan Empire , right at the same time this newly discovered settlement was fully functional. 
The Minoan Hypothesis is not without its criticism, for example, how did Plato get the location and time so wrong - 10 times wrong? Scholar A.G. Galanopoulos suggested a translation mistake from Egyptian to Greek caused an extra zero to be added, meaning “900 years ago” became 9000 years ago. What’s more, the distance from Egypt to Atlantis became 250 miles (402.34 km) from Plato's 2,500 miles (4023.36 km). Therefore, if this theory stands up, the new discoveries made in Crete could be called “Atlantean.” 
While not everyone accepts the Minoan Crete theory of the story of Atlantis, a convincing case is made by National Geographic in an article discussing the collapse of the Minoan civilization in the late 15th century BC. One popular theory is that the volcano on Thera (modern-day Santorini) exploded around the 16th century BC “killing thousands” and burying cities, leading to the collapse of Crete. (Read more.)

Monday, November 18, 2019

Women in Ancient Egypt

From Grunge:
While women may have been equal to their husbands, the job of taking care of the house still fell to them. Rich women might have servants or slaves, and many women also had jobs outside the home, but how well their house was kept was still on their heads. According to Ancient History Encyclopedia, while men helped out with housework from time to time, women had a lot to do.

In a time before alarm clocks, a woman had to wake her whole family up so they could go to work or school. Then she had to take care of the family altar. Every house had one, and keeping the gods happy was the woman's job. Then she had to cook breakfast, do the dishes, haul the daily water from the well, do all the childcare, and take care of any elderly relatives. And of course, she had to feed, water, and generally take care of any animals the family owned. Plus, she had to make lunch, do some weaving and sewing, do laundry, bake bread, brew beer, make dinner, serve dinner, clean up dinner, put everyone to bed, and do it all again the next day. And this was before there were any appliances to make her life a tiny bit easier. (Read more.)

When Soldiers are Assaulted

Yes, it does happen. From The New York Times:
SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY is a problem widely recognized but poorly understood. Elected officials and Pentagon leaders have tended to focus on the thousands of women who have been preyed upon while in uniform. But over the years, more of the victims have been men.
On average, about 10,000 men are sexually assaulted in the American military each year, according to Pentagon statistics. Overwhelmingly, the victims are young and low-ranking. Many struggle afterward, are kicked out of the military and have trouble finding their footing in civilian life. For decades, the fallout from the vast majority of male sexual assaults in uniform was silence: Silence of victims too humiliated to report the crime, silence of authorities unequipped to pursue it, silence of commands that believed no problem existed, and silence of families too ashamed to protest.
Women face a much higher rate of sexual assault in the military — about seven times that of men. But there are so many more men than women in the ranks that the total numbers of male and female victims in recent years have been roughly similar, according to Pentagon statistics — about 10,000 a year. And before women were fully integrated into the armed services, the bulk of the victims were men.
For generations, the military wasn’t looking for male sexual assault victims, so it failed to see them, according to Nathan W. Galbreath, deputy director of the Defense Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. Only in 2006, after the office began surveying service members, he said, did the military learn that at least as many men as women were being assaulted.
“That was surprising to senior leadership,” Mr. Galbreath said. “Everyone was so sure the problem was a women’s issue.”
A report published in May indicates that while the share of male victims who come forward has been rising recently, an estimated four out of five still do not report the attack. For tens of thousands of veterans who were assaulted in the past, the progress made in recent years offers little comfort. The damage has already been done. Many have seen their lives buckle under the weight of loathing and bitterness, and have seen decades pass before what happened to them was acknowledged by anyone — including themselves.
Here are the stories of six of those men. The Department of Veterans Affairs has reviewed each man’s case and formally recognized him as a victim of service-connected sexual assault. The military branches in which each man served were asked to comment for this article, but declined to discuss specific cases. (Read more.)


Fashion and technology. Weird but interesting. From Ssense:
After my last class I went to visit the artist Pamela Liou, a former jewelry designer who build her own open source jacquard loom using IC3 chips and a 3D printer. Fun fact: IC3 chips were first used in guided missiles. A closed loop–from weaponry back to clothing looms. When I asked her about her world of fashion and programming, she crystallized a lot of what compelled me to take classes at all: 
“I feel like the fashion world and women at large could benefit from the lessons of open source, the idea that we're greater the more we share with each other. I wanted to do the loom because I was really frustrated with my own lack of access to something that I wanted. And it made me think about craft differently. The jacquard loom is sort of the symbol of displacement of craftspeople, but I see it as an opportunity to upchange craft. Machines can be idiosyncratic, they can have personalities, it can be tooled for one specific weird thing and it doesn't have to be the lowest common denominator appliance. It can be meditative for your own state of mind, rather than eking out every ounce of productivity from you. Having an intimate relationship with tools can and should be part of the craft. Many people want more clinical perspectives but this loom is the opposite: it embraces materiality, chaos and eccentricity.” (Read more.)

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Art

St Elizabeth of Hungary Spinning for the Poor by Marianne Stokes (1855–1927)
The Devout Childhood Of Saint Elizabeth Of Hungary, 1852 by Charles Alston Collins
Elizabeth and her husband Ludwig shown with St Francis of Assisi – The German text reads : Founding of the Third Order – It is thought that Elizabeth did not meet with Francis, however, he sent her a personal message of blessing shortly before his death in 1226.
From Franciscan Seculars:
Saint Elizabeth [1207 -1231] is one of the two Patron Saints of the OFS [the other is King Louis XI of France]. We celebrate her feast day on 17th November. Born to wealth and royalty she married at a young age and was widowed by the time she was 20. She felt a great conflict between her royal status and the living standards of the poor. During 1223 she met some Franciscan Friars and embraced what St Francis had to say and turned her life-style more towards his. She assumed control of the royal household, distributing alms, giving away state garments and selling ornaments from her castle to help the poor. She arranged and paid for a hospital to be built for the poor and would make daily visits. 
In paintings and iconography Saint Elizabeth is often shown with loaves of bread or beautiful red and white roses in her apron – this event of often referred to as the Miracle of the Roses – Elizabeth had gathered together some food including meats and bread and whilst taking them secretly to the poor she met her husband “who, in order to quell suspicions of the gentry that she was stealing treasure from the castle, asked her to reveal what was hidden under her cloak. In that moment, her cloak fell open and a vision of white and red roses could be seen, which proved to Ludwig that God’s protecting hand was at work.” (Read more.)
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary by Théophile Lybaert
The Childhood of St. Elizabeth by Albrecht de Vriendt (1872)


Hit Piece on John Solomon

From The American Spectator:
You know you’ve scored when the New York Times runs a lengthy, front-page hit piece on you. Ace journalist John Solomon has scored big time — and the left-wing Times has had enough of the “all the news that’s fit to print” coming from Solomon. Here are samples from the Times hit piece. Allow me to translate. The headline:
The Man Trump Trusts for News on Ukraine
Translation: If this particular president of the United States trusts John Solomon, that means Solomon
  1. Is not to be trusted
  2. Has specious credentials as a journalist
  3. Needs to be stopped because he is extremely effective at uncovering the truth
And, most importantly, John Solomon has been a leader on Sean Hannity’s “ensemble team” of journalists who have been relentlessly investigating the attempted coup d’état against the legitimately elected president of the United States. An investigation that has unearthed one fact after another after another in thoroughly documented fashion. This is totally unacceptable. Next the Times says,
Mr. Solomon has been a surprisingly central figure in the impeachment proceedings so far. But the glare has not been so kind.
Translation: My God, Solomon is getting the truth! He has to be smeared — and stopped. Next is this:
So who exactly is John Solomon? A Washington-based reporter and Fox News personality who had until recently been working at the politics outlet The Hill, Mr. Solomon, 52, is not well known outside conservative media. But, according to interviews and testimony, his writing and commentary helped trigger the chain of events that are now the subject of the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump.
(Read more.)

Ode to the Seine, River of Romance

From Literary Hub:
The Seine’s romantic power is rooted in her human scale. Compared with the Nile, the Amazon, or even the Hudson, she feels accessible, narrow enough to track the comings and goings on either side. Her banks are flat, her bridges densely packed and so low to the ground that you can almost touch the water. 
Then there is her grandeur. The architectural treasures that line her banks allow her to project power beyond her physical dimensions. The interplay between intimacy and power casts a spell. Painters, poets, filmmakers, photographers, historians, novelists, composers, lovers, and, these days, virtual- reality designers have fallen hopelessly in love with her. 
Monet painted from a studio boat on the Seine, Matisse and Marquet while gazing down at the river from their Paris apartments. Zola, Flaubert, and Bizet lived in houses along the Seine. Jazz great Django Reinhardt rented a place nearby. Dumas could see the river from his Château de Monte-Cristo. 
The Seine, of course, is a woman. She is called la Seine, not le Seine. Poets and songwriters refer to her as female. She takes her name and her identity from the ancient goddess Sequana, who healed ailing pilgrims at her temple at the river’s source. 
According to the French rules of geography and grammar, a river that flows into the sea, as the Seine does, should be given the masculine appellation le fleuve; many people who live and work on the Seine insist that it is feminine: la rivière, which is supposed to refer only to inland waterways. “The old word rivière is always used by the people of the water, from bargemen to bureaucrats,” wrote Francois Beaudouin, the founder of a museum on barge life in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, in his book Paris/Seine. “Fleuve,” he continued, is a word that “geographers imposed on the general public in the 19th century and that goes against the femininity of Sequana.” (Read more.)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Life of Saint Margaret in Art

From Sharon Bennett Connolly:
Margaret of Wessex is a remarkable character to study. Her piety and devotion to the church saw her canonised as St Margaret just 150 years after her death; and named as Patroness of Scotland in the seventeenth century. Margaret had an impeccable Saxon pedigree – she was the daughter of Edward the Exile and his wife, Agatha. Edward was the son of Edmund II, usually known as Ironside, King of England in 1016; Edward’s grandfather was, therefore, Æthelred II (the Unready) and his uncle was Edward the Confessor, England’s king from 1042 until 1066. Such valuable royal blood meant she would never be allowed to pursue a life of seclusion in a convent.

When his father, Edmund II, was murdered in 1016, Edward and his younger brother Edmund were sent into exile on the Continent by England’s new king, Cnut. It is thought that Cnut intended that they would be killed once they had left English soil, but the boys were protected by Olof, King of Sweden, and sent on to safety in Kiev, where his daughter Ingegerd was wife of the ruling prince, Jaroslav the Wise. Edmund died sometime between 1046 and 1054, having married the unnamed daughter of a Hungarian king. Edward was also married, in c.1043, to Agatha, whose origins are uncertain: she may have been a daughter of Jaroslav; however, it is possible she was the daughter of Luidolf, Margrave of West Friesland and therefore a relative of Emperor Heinrich III.

Margaret, the eldest of three children, was born in either 1045 or 1046; her sister, Christina, was born around 1050 and her brother Edgar, the Ætheling, was born sometime between 1052 and 1056. The family might have spent their whole lives in European exile, were it not for Edward the Confessor lacking an heir to the English throne; although Edward was married to Edith Godwinson, the couple remained childless. Sometime in 1054 King Edward sent an embassy to Edward the Exile, to bring him back to England as ætheling, the heir to the throne. The family did not travel immediately, possibly because Agatha was pregnant with Edgar, and it was not until 1057 that they finally arrived in England, having journeyed in a ship  provided by Emperor Heinrich III. (Read more.)

King Malcolm welcomes St. Margaret
Wedding of Saint Margaret
The Family of King Malcolm and Queen St. Margaret


There’s No ‘Parental Right’ to Chemically Castrate a Child

From Crisis:
The medical and moral objections to subjecting pre-pubescent children to irreversible sex-change procedures have been treated thoroughly elsewhere. The vast majority of children who struggle with their biological sex eventually come to embrace it, to the tune of over 90 percent. But if sex-change hormones or other procedures like surgeries take place, children—at least 90 percent of whom would eventually come to love their biological sex—are rendered sexually stunted or even infertile. Medical professionals from pediatricians to psychologists, ranging from conservative Catholics to pro-gay rights progressives, have expressed serious concerns with the rapidly increasing practice of affirming gender dysphoria among young children. All of this is well documented by many experts. 
However, this situation has a challenging nuance, as it involves the issue of parental rights. For Catholics, a proper understanding of parental authority, responsibility, and the rights that derive from that responsibility is necessary to sustain civilization. In a situation like this, what authority do parents truly have over their children, and how ought the civil government mediate when there is a disagreement between two parents about how to raise a child? (Read more.)

Food That Helps Battle Depression

From the Wall Street Journal:
Now recent studies show that a healthy diet may not only prevent depression, but could effectively treat it once it’s started. Researchers, led by epidemiologist Felice Jacka of Australia’s Deakin University, looked at whether improving the diets of people with major depression would help improve their mood. They chose 67 people with depression for the study, some of whom were already being treated with antidepressants, some with psychotherapy, and some with both. Half of these people were given nutritional counseling from a dietitian, who helped them eat healthier. Half were given one-on-one social support—they were paired with someone to chat or play cards with—which is known to help people with depression.

 After 12 weeks, the people who improved their diets showed significantly happier moods than those who received social support. And the people who improved their diets the most improved the most. The study was published in January 2017 in BMC Medicine. A second, larger study drew similar conclusions and showed that the boost in mood lasted six months. It was led by researchers at the University of South Australia and published in December 2017 in Nutritional Neuroscience.

And later this month in Los Angeles at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting, researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago will present results from their research that shows that elderly adults who eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains are less likely to develop depression over time.

The findings are spurring the rise of a new field: nutritional psychiatry. Dr. Jacka helped to found the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research in 2013. It held its first conference last summer. She’s also launched Deakin University’s Food & Mood Centre, which is dedicated to researching and developing nutrition-based strategies for brain disorders.

The annual American Psychiatric Association conference has started including presentations on nutrition and psychiatry, including one last year by chef David Bouley on foods that support the peripheral nervous system. And some medical schools, including Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, are starting to teach psychiatry residents about the importance of diet on mental health.

Depression has many causes—it may be genetic, triggered by a specific event or situation, such as loneliness, or brought on by lifestyle choices. But it’s really about an unhealthy brain, and too often people forget this. “When we think of cardiac health, we think of strengthening an organ, the heart,” says Drew Ramsey, a psychiatrist in New York, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia and author of “Eat Complete.” “We need to start thinking of strengthening another organ, the brain, when we think of mental health.”

A bad diet makes depression worse, failing to provide the brain with the variety of nutrients it needs, Dr. Ramsey says. And processed or deep-fried foods often contain trans fats that promote inflammation, believed to be a cause of depression. To give people evidenced-based information, Dr. Ramsey created an e-course called “Eat to Beat Depression.” (Read more.)

Friday, November 15, 2019

Dangerous to Be an Heir

Margaret Clifford, another red-headed Tudor heiress
Everyone knows about Frances Brandon and her daughters the Grey sisters, but how many know about Eleanor Brandon and her daughter Margaret Clifford. From Stephanie Mann:
Margaret Stanley, Countess of Derby, who died on September 28, 1596, is another example of an heir to Elizabeth I who found out how dangerous that position was. Like the Grey sisters, Catherine and Mary (and Jane before them), she was an heir because her grandmother (on her mother's side) was Mary Tudor, former Queen of France, wife of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and Henry VIII's younger sister. Her father was Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland and her mother Lady Eleanor Brandon, the Brandon's second daughter.

Because she was a possible successor, whom she would marry was an important decision. John Dudley, the 1st Duke of Northumberland suggested in 1552 that she should marry his son Guildford, but Edward VI was opposed to that alliance (thus Dudley had that son available to marry Lady Jane Grey); then Dudley's brother Andrew was mentioned. Finally, when Mary I came to the throne, Margaret Clifford married Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby. As this blog explains her situation:
She was the great granddaughter of Henry VII and according to Henry VIII’s will if anything happened to Elizabeth she would become queen of England. She therefore became Elizabeth’s heir presumptive. It was not a good place to be.

Before then she’d managed to avoid becoming a pawn in the game of crowns through her father’s forethought and then through her own lack of popularity. In 1553 the Duke of Northumberland had proposed to marry her to either his son, Guildford, or his brother, Sir Andrew Dudley, but Cumberland refused the match on his daughter’s behalf and took no part in the attempt to make Lady Jane Grey queen (sensible man).

Instead, Margaret was married with Queen Mary’s blessing in Westminster Abbey in February 1555 to Henry Stanley, Lord Strange. He was descended from the Woodvilles, Howards, Nevilles and a certain Thomas Stanley who happened to be married to Margaret Beaufort and who sat around on hillsides during key battles of the Wars of the Roses waiting to see how it would all pan out – landing the title Earl of Derby for his pains.

By 1557 Margaret was recorded as saying that Lady Jane Grey’s treason had excluded her sisters, Catherine and Mary Grey, from the succession, thus making Margaret, Queen Mary’s heiress presumptive…yes I know there was Elizabeth to take into consideration but Mary’s relationship with her sister was fraught by 1557. Mary was fond of stating that Elizabeth had the look of lute player Mark Smeaton. There was also the fact that Elizabeth was notably not Catholic whereas Margaret was. . . .
But Mary I was more obedient to the wishes of her father and the decisions of Parliament to interfere with the line of succession. Her great hope was to have a son to displace Elizabeth, not contravene the settled succession. Nevertheless, Margaret's troubles continued apace as she speculated on her opportunity to succeed Elizabeth I during her reign:
Lady Strange developed a dangerous interest in alchemy, to which she had been introduced by her father. An interest in the occult, although widespread among Elizabethans, could be a dangerous hobby; an interest in fortune-telling especially so for one in Margaret's position on the periphery of the succession dispute. From 1572, Margaret was countess of Derby. She consulted with wizards "with a vain credulity, and out of I know not what ambitious hope”, according to William Camden, and lost the Queen’s favor. In 1578 she was accused of employing a "magician", actually a well-known physician named Dr. Randall, to cast spells to discover how long Queen Elizabeth would live. According to one source, Randall was hanged and Margaret was banished from court and spent the rest of her life, eighteen years, in the custody of her kinsman, Thomas Seckford (d.1587), Master of Requests, to whom she was related through his mother, Margaret (d. 1557), the daughter of Sir John Wingfield (d. 1509) of Letheringham, and aunt of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Later she had a series of keepers, although she was allowed to live in her own house at Isleworth. (Read more.)

Trump Derangement Syndrome On Steroids

From David Limbaugh at The Daily Wire:
What’s exhausting is the ceaseless leftist noise machine railing against Trump. Leftists need to remove the smudges from their mirrors and see that they are projecting. They are the ones who have been vicious and hateful toward Trump from the beginning. They have wrongly accused him — and his supporters (half of Americans) — of racism and cruelty. They have contempt for all his supporters. Yet has Trump called them Nazis? Racists?

If you don’t believe me, read Waldman’s elaboration: “For many the mere fact that Trump could win in 2016 (even if he got three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton) was reason enough to lose faith in their country in a fundamental way. Eight years before they had convinced themselves that Barack Obama’s election meant America could be the place they wanted it to be: inclusive, tolerant, progressive, hopeful. Trump came along and told them that America was not that place.”

What? Precisely the opposite is true. Progressives are the antithesis of inclusion, tolerance and hope. They are intolerant of opposing viewpoints, and they readily use the power of government and social media giants to suppress conservative speech and religious liberty. They bully conservatives out of restaurants and college campuses. They are anything but hopeful. Former President Obama’s team told us the days of 3% growth were over. President Trump rejected the naysaying and gave us an economic boom, fulfilling his campaign promises and restoring hope. (Read more.)

Child-Sacrifice Graveyard

More on paganism in South America. From PJ Media:
Every Columbus Day, liberals insist that the story of European colonization is a simple narrative of good versus evil: horrible Europeans came upon innocent Native Americans, introducing slavery, exploitation, and oppression. A massive archaeological discovery blows one of many gaping holes in this narrative. While Europeans did indeed do horrible things, the natives weren't exactly innocent. 
Two hundred and fifty skeletons of children between the ages of 4 and 14 have been unearthed at Huanchaco, Peru, in what experts say is likely the world's largest child-sacrifice site. Huanchaco is a site of the Chimú culture (1200-1400), a predecessor to the mighty Inca Empire, which also carried out child sacrifices. "This is the biggest site where the remains of sacrificed children have been found," the excavation’s chief archaeologist, Feren Castillo, told AFP in August. "There isn’t another like it anywhere else in the world." (Read more.)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Louis XIV with His Mother and Brother

Painting by Philippe de Champaigne (1602–1674) depicting the Child Jesus with His Mother handing the crown of France to young Louis XIV, shown with his mother Anne of Austria and his brother Philippe. Share

Trump Impeachment: Blueprint to Overthrow Government From Within

From The Hill:
The Democrats do not even pretend that their impeachment game is fair or actually about fact finding. This is simply about using a grant of power in the Constitution arbitrarily and politically, outside the bounds of due process and the purpose of that authority. Although the House does have the “sole power” of impeachment, that is a grant of jurisdiction, not a license to proceed on purely partisan motivation. Article 1 must work coordinately and not inconsistently with Article 2, which provides the legal basis upon which a sitting president may be impeached. 
Second, Schiff demonstrates this is all about media play in the court of public opinion. Voters have no power or responsibility in an impeachment proceeding. The drafters of the Constitution intended the impeachment and removal process to be exercised only when there was sufficient evidence that the subject of the impeachment had committed a legally qualifying offense. This is not about whether impeachment is popular in the polls or whether a majority of Americans prefer it. Transparency in the context of this quasi judicial process is to provide fundamental fairness and due process for the president. Why are the Democrats so hellbent on blatantly refusing to allow Republican subpoenas and witnesses? 
It is because it is a sham. Yet the Democrats are openly admitting that their goal is to try this in the media and attempt to dishonestly convince us that somehow we too should hate Donald Trump. They are hoping to convince us not to vote for him. That is not a legitimate or constitutional purpose of an impeachment. It is rather ironic that they claim his “crime” is an alleged quid pro quo to gain political advantage, while they are manipulating the power of impeachment for their political advantage. It is Schiff and other Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who should be impeached. There is an actual constitutional basis for that. 
Third, Schiff is proving beyond doubt that this entire impeachment is merely a coordinated partisan attack against President Trump and, even more importantly, against the government of the United States. There was a bipartisan effort was against impeachment, with two Democrats and all Republicans in the House voting against the inquiry. The Democrats are abusing the power of impeachment and, if they are allowed to move forward, they are not only setting a terrible precedent that impeachment can be wielded as a political weapon that it was never intended to be, but also attacking the Constitution and undermining the rule of law. (Read more.)

The Ukrainian Famine

From History:
At the height of the 1932-33 Ukrainian famine under Joseph Stalin, starving people roamed the countryside, desperate for something, anything to eat. In the village of Stavyshche, a young peasant boy watched as the wanderers dug into empty gardens with their bare hands. Many were so emaciated, he recalled, that their bodies began to swell and stink from the extreme lack of nutrients. 
"You could see them walking about, just walking and walking, and one would drop, and then another, and so on it went," he said many years later, in a case history collected in the late 1980s by a Congressional commission. In the cemetery outside the village hospital, overwhelmed doctors carried the bodies on stretchers and tossed them into an enormous pit. 
The Ukrainian famine—known as the Holodomor, a combination of the Ukrainian words for “starvation” and “to inflict death”—by one estimate claimed the lives of 3.9 million people, about 13 percent of the population. And, unlike other famines in history caused by blight or drought, this was caused when a dictator wanted both to replace Ukraine’s small farms with state-run collectives and punish independence-minded Ukrainians who posed a threat to his totalitarian authority. 
“The Ukrainian famine was a clear case of a man-made famine,” explains Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University and author of the 2018 book, Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine. He describes it as “a hybrid…of a famine caused by calamitous social-economic policies and one aimed at a particular population for repression or punishment.” (Read more.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Young Louis XIV Meets His Aunt, Queen Henrietta Maria

A painting by the Belgian artist Henri Decaisne (1799–1852) depicting the meeting of the exiled  Henrietta Maria, Queen of England, with her nephews Louis XIV and Philip. From Wikipedia:
Gaston de France, Duke of Orléans presents his sister widowed Queen Henrietta Maria of England to Anne of Austria, regent of France for Louis XIV. The infant Louis XIV in peach stands in front of his mother and next to his brother Philippe de France, Duke of Anjou. Queen Henrietta Maria stands between Gaston and his daughter la Grand Mademoiselle. Cardinal Mazarin is behind Queen Anne.

Socialism Isn't the Cure

From Victor Davis Hanson at Townhall:
Massive immigration is changing the demography of the United States. The number of foreign-born U.S. residents and their children has been estimated at almost 60 million, or about 1 in 5 U.S. residents. Some 27 percent of California residents were born outside of America. Many of these immigrants flee from poor areas of Latin America, Mexico, Africa and Asia that were wrecked by statism and socialism. Often, they arrive in the U.S. unaware of economic and political alternatives to state socialism. 
When they reach the U.S. -- often without marketable skills and unable to speak English -- many assume that America will simply offer a far better version of the statism from which they fled. Consequently, many take for granted that government will provide them an array of social services, and they become supportive of progressive socialism. Another culprit for the new socialist craze is the strange leftward drift of the very wealthy in Silicon Valley, in corporate America and on Wall Street. 
Some of the new progressive rich feel guilty about their unprecedented wealth. So they champion redistribution as the sort of medieval penance that alleviates guilt. Yet the influential and monied classes usually are so well off that higher taxes hardly affect them. Instead, redistributionist taxation hurts the struggling middle classes. In California, it became hip for wealthy leftists to promote socialism from their Malibu, Menlo Park or Mill Valley enclaves -- while still living as privileged capitalists. Meanwhile, it proved nearly impossible for the middle classes of Stockton and Bakersfield to cope with the reality of crushing taxes and terrible social services.
From 2008 to 2017, the now-multimillionaire Barack Obama, first as candidate and then as president, used all sorts of cool socialist slogans, from "spread the wealth around" and "now is not the time to profit" to "you didn't build that" and "at a certain point you've made enough money." Universities bear much of the blame. Their manipulation of the federal government to guarantee student loans empowered them to jack up college costs without any accountability. Liberal college administrators and faculty did not care much when graduates left campus poorly educated and unable to market their expensive degrees. More than 45 million borrowers now struggle with nearly $1.6 trillion in collective student debt, with climbing interest. That indebtedness has delayed -- or ended -- the traditional forces that encourage conservatism and traditionalism, such as getting married, having children and buying a home.

Instead, a generation of single, childless and mostly urban youth feels cheated that their high-priced degrees did not earn them competitive salaries. Millions of embittered college graduates will never be able to pay off what they owe -- and want some entity to pay off their debts. (Read more.)

The Original Hamlet: The Story of Prince Amleth

From Medievalists:
The career of Amleth is found in the second part of Book III and the first part of Book IV of Saxo Grammaticus’s Gesta Danorum, ‘Deeds of the Danes’. Written in the early 13th century and composed in Latin, this ambitious work is intended to relate the heroic, legendary history of the Danes from mythical times – very much in the same spirit of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum britanniae. 
For a very long time, Amleth’s tale has been a point of interest, for it inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet, even though Shakespeare is believed to have never gained access to the text except via translated and redacted versions. 
The first part tells about Amleth’s lineage, youth, and his famed revenge, which form the basis of Hamlet’s plot. It starts as a kind of side story branched out from the account of the rule of Rørik, king of the Danes at the time. He installed two brothers, Orvendil and Fengi, as co-governors of Jutland. Orvendil accumulated much wealth through the years by raiding and became so greatly favoured by the king that Rørik married his daughter Gerutha to Orvendil. They had a son, Amleth. (Read more.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Decollation of Sir Walter Raleigh

The History website tells us why Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded on October 29, 1618:
He was a celebrated soldier, a hero on land and sea. He was responsible for the first ever English colonies in the New World. And he wrote poetry that ranks with some of the finest in early modern England. Yet at the age of 54 Sir Walter Raleigh was executed for treason. What caused the downfall of this beloved Renaissance courtier? 
For a court favorite, Raleigh actually spent quite a bit of his life locked up in the Tower of London. The first time, in 1592, it was because he’d secretly married his lover, Elizabeth ‘Bess’ Throckmorton, a lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth I. Bess was already pregnant, which explained both the marriage and the secrecy. Enraged by their plotting behind her back, Elizabeth dismissed Bess and imprisoned both of them in the Tower. 
 Raleigh did regain the Queen's favor eventually and then explored the New World, founding the Roanoke colony in Virginia, and returning from El Dorado (Guyana) promising more gold every time he visited.
While he remained in Elizabeth’s favor until her death, James VI’s of Scotland’s accession to the English throne as James I meant that Raleigh’s fortunes plummeted. This was largely because James was attempting a diplomatic rapprochement with Spain, England’s longstanding enemy, against whom Raleigh had been a formidable foe. England’s funds were depleted by their endless struggles against Spain’s richer, mightier forces, so James decided it was time to end the rivalry. . . .
So Raleigh was tried in a sham trial--never allowed to face his accuser and question him--and imprisoned again:
But James, in his determination to get on Spain’s good side, locked up Raleigh once again in the Tower—this time for 13 years. . . .It was likely Raleigh’s promises of gold that got him released from prison before his sentence could be carried out: in 1617 he was pardoned so that he could once again travel to Guyana in search of El Dorado. But that quest would ultimately prove fatal: during the expedition a detachment of Raleigh’s men (against his orders) attacked a Spanish outpost, an action that directly contravened the conditions of his pardon.
Because Raleigh's men, led by Lawrence Keymis, had violated the 1604 Treaty of London, the Spanish Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, Count of Gondomar, demanded Raleigh's execution (Keymis having committed suicide--Raleigh's namesake eldest son had died in the attack) and James I complied. Raleigh was executed at Whitechapel in London. (Read more.)


Slave Markets on Instagram

Slavery is alive and well. From the BBC:
Posing as a couple newly arrived in Kuwait, the BBC Arabic undercover team spoke to 57 app users and visited more than a dozen people who were trying to sell them their domestic worker via a popular commodity app called 4Sale. The sellers almost all advocated confiscating the women's passports, confining them to the house, denying them any time off and giving them little or no access to a phone. The 4Sale app allowed you to filter by race, with different price brackets clearly on offer, according to category. 
"African worker, clean and smiley," said one listing. Another: "Nepalese who dares to ask for a day off." When speaking to the sellers, the undercover team frequently heard racist language. "Indians are the dirtiest," said one, describing a woman being advertised. The team were urged by app users, who acted as if they were the "owners" of these women, to deny them other basic human rights, such as giving them a "day or a minute or a second" off. One man, a policeman, looking to offload his worker said: "Trust me she's very nice, she laughs and has a smiley face. Even if you keep her up till 5am she won't complain." He told the BBC team how domestic workers were used as a commodity. "You will find someone buying a maid for 600 KD ($2,000), and selling her on for 1,000 KD ($3,300)," he said.(Read more.)

The Murder That Inspired Hardy’s ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’

From Nancy Bilyeau at Medium:
In Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles, the title character possesses the kind of beauty that draws a certain sort of attention: “A small minority, mainly strangers, would look long at her in casually passing by, and grow momentarily fascinated by her freshness, and wonder if they would ever see her again: but to almost everybody she was a fine and picturesque country girl, and nothing more.” 
But that attention leads to tragedy for Tess, who, after being abused and mistreated by the man whom she lives with, finally murders him. At the end of the novel, Tess is hanged in the “city of Wintoncester, that fine old city.” The reader is spared the details of this execution, only being told that a black flag slowly moves up the staff after the execution is finished. 
It was otherwise for Thomas Hardy, author of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, who when he was 16 years old witnessed the public hanging of a woman charged with murdering her husband. Martha Brown became the last woman to be hanged in Dorset when in 1856, aged 44, she was found guilty of murdering her violent husband after he had beaten her with a whip during an argument. (Read more.)

Monday, November 11, 2019

An Anglo-Saxon Hoard

From The Daily Mail:
A collection of Anglo-Saxon gold artefacts known as the Staffordshire hoard has been hailed as 'one of the greatest finds of British archaeology' by researchers. The 'war hoard' collection was discovered by metal detectorist Terry Herbert who was using a £2 metal detector he bought from a car boot sale to explore a field near Lichfield belonging to farmer Fred Johnson. Their find on July 5, 2009 was sold off to museums for £3.285million and the funds were split between them. The artefacts are from what is widely considered the 'holy war of the dark ages' in which Pagan leaders fought against rival Christian kingdoms. Since then, the ancient haul dating back to between AD600 and AD650 has become an international sensation. And scientists now believe the hoard belonged to one of the most most powerful Anglo-Saxon Kings of the time.  Penda was part of the Battle of Hatfield Chase where Northumbrian King Edwin was defeated.

Researchers, lead by Dr Chris Fern, have identified nearly 700 items, out of 4,6000 pieces, from a time where Anglo-Saxon kingdoms engaged in brutal battles. Dr Fern believes the items were taken from Northumbria and east England by Mercian armies from a kingdom in the centre of what is now England, The Guardian reports. The hoard, which was likely hastily buried but never recovered, includes what could be a 'battle shrine' containing a processional cross that suggests that Christian emblems were used as good-luck charms for battle. An inscription from the book of numbers, the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, is also included in the collection. It reads: 'Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate thee flee before thee,' The Times reports. (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

Triggering "The View"

From Charlie Kirk at Newsweek:
Don Jr., along with Dr. Sebastian Gorka and others, have been rightly outraged by the double standard shown by the media in protecting this person who is not entitled to legal protection. Accordingly, they shared the worst-kept-secret in Washington with the social media universe. This has caused an outpouring of self-righteous indignation from the usual gang of triggered Orwellians who call themselves "progressives." 
And now, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to The View. Huntsman, one of the show's two presumed "conservatives," who is about as conservative as Bill Kristol, shared how disturbed she was about his leaker "outing" (which, remember, wasn't an outing) because she "lived in China" and this is what governments like that one do. Sunny Hostin (who mentions her life as a former federal prosecutor about as often as Forrest Gump said his name) declared that her law degree tells her Don Jr. broke the law. Earlier in the week, Hostin told the audience that if she were still a prosecutor, she would have Paul arrested for witness tampering for suggesting the name of the leaker be released. Hostin's intolerance would make her an excellent government prosecutor in China should she ever decide to leave television. (Read more.)

How Pornography Removes Empathy

From a couple years ago but worth reading again. From The Conversation:
In short, empathy and sexual objectification are incompatible. There is evidence that when observers hone in on a woman’s physical appearance, she becomes “less human” and “more object” in the eyes of the observer. Under a sexually objectifying gaze, women’s bodies momentarily become the “property” of the observer – whether they have consented or not. 
Psychologists have also argued that pornographic scripts emphasize culturally accepted standards of beauty. They also propagate the myth that women (and men) have insatiable sexual appetites, and glamorize sexual novelty and sex outside of a romantic relationship. Such narratives tend not to involve affection, intimacy, or expressions of love in any “real” sense. 
Recent analyses of the 50 bestselling adult films also suggest that objectification and lack of empathetic concern for women’s feelings and welfare are the norm. Of 304 scenes analysed, almost half contained verbal aggression, and over 88% contained physical aggression. Most of these aggressive acts were perpetrated by men, and the most common responses by female actors were either of pleasure or neutrality. 
In essence, pornographic “reality” (an increasingly normal reality for millions of men) is a reality devoid of empathetic concern for women. It is a reality where women are routinely treated as sexual objects, and where women respond positively or neutrally to such treatment. With pornography so popular and so accessible, it is perhaps unsurprising that such relational attitudes are embedded in the male psyche. (Read more.)