Sunday, July 21, 2019

"The Last Queen Of Paris"

From the Hong Kong Tatler:
Born in 1929 into one of the last living noble families in France, Jacqueline de Ribes is often associated with the height of French glamour and society. Valentino once called her “The Last Queen of Paris,” and she’s donned multiple titles as a designer, TV producer and entrepreneur. She married her husband Édouard in 1948, and she was catapulted to international stardom in 1969 when de Ribes was photographed by Richard Avedon for a Harper’s Bazaar’s cover. Writer Truman Capote counted her as one of his famed society swans. (Read more.)
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A Brawling Businessman for America

From Godfather Politics:
President Trump has proven he is a brawling businessman for America. President Trump’s viewpoints have not changed, for the most part, in over 30 years. When he entered the Presidential race, he told the American people what he was going to do, and he has relentlessly brawled with the political establishment to keep his promises to the American people. 
For far too long, America had been run by the political establishment and influenced by the wealthy donors who sought to shape governmental policy in their favor. When President Trump ran, he knew there wasn’t anybody who could control him, the political establishment knew that as well . The political establishment fought hard to block his nomination, and ultimately, his election victory. 
Blue collar workers, white collar workers, former Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, selected Donald Trump to be their President. Our Founding Fathers created the electoral college to give all states a say in who they wanted to represent all of America, not just the highest populated sections of the country. Van Hipp, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army, made an interesting statement in his “America needs more Harry Truman Democrats” oped. Van correctly pointed out, that our elected officials used to pass laws and implement policies that were in the best interest of the American people, not what was in the best interest of the party. (Read more.)

From Real Clear Politics:
By almost every economic measure, women are flourishing in today's economy. Female unemployment is currently at a 50-year low of 3.9 percent, less than half the rate it was as recently as President Obama's second term. This summer, the female unemployment rate reached its lowest level in 65 years. When you consider how small the female labor force was back then, it's safe to say it's never been easier for a woman to find a job than it is today.

Women are also leaving the labor market sidelines to return to the workforce in droves. Prime-age female employment has increased by 1 million since November 2016. This year, the prime-age female employment rate finally returned to its pre-Great Recession level.

While male wages have stagnated in recent decades (with the exception of the past couple of years), women's have increased markedly. Women are 15 percent more likely than men to have a college degree, and that spread increases among recent graduates.

The number of women-owned businesses has grown by 114 percent over the past 20 years compared to just 44 percent overall. There are an estimated 11.6 million women-owned businesses, about 40 percent of the total businesses in the country.

Yet entrepreneurship has historically been an area where women have lagged. According to a report by the Kauffman Foundation, women are half as likely as men to start a business. This artificially depresses economic vibrancy. At the same time, the report argues that women may actually be better entrepreneurs because they are more prudent risk takers, knowing when to take advantage of opportunities, but avoiding "foolhardy risks" that often trip up their male counterparts.

Kauffman points to a major hurdle to greater female entrepreneurship: child care. It suggests that child-care burdens swamp female entrepreneurship opportunities in a way that they do not for men. It argues that if public policy could help overcome such challenges, women would "unleash a wealth of ingenuity and creativity that can spark a new era of entrepreneur-led growth in America."

Such public policy took effect this year in the form of tax cuts. A central component of the tax cuts is a doubling of the child tax credit to $2,000 per child. This is not a deduction but a direct tax bill offset, meaning a mother with two kids will save $4,000 as a result. The tax legislation also makes the first $1,400 of this credit refundable, meaning that low-income mothers actually get a payout in addition to their regular tax refund. It also creates a tax credit for non-dependent children -- think college-aged -- for the first time. (Read more.) 
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On the Banks of the Tigris River

From Vintage News:
A joint German and Iraqi team of archaeologists led a rescue excavation of the palace in Iraq unearthed by drought, known as Kemune, before the palace was once again swallowed by the waters of the reservoir, according to the Smithsonian. “Despite the short field season, they were able to learn much about the palace, partially excavating eight of 10 rooms found within the complex. They discovered fired bricks used as floor slabs and 10 cuneiform tablets, which are currently being translated. One of them indicates that Kemune may be the ancient city of Zakhiku mentioned in other documents, suggesting the city must have lasted at least 400 years.” (Read more.)
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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Women's Undergarments

In the 18th century. To quote:
The hoops or paniers were also made of linen and reinforced with whalebone or cane. The biggest expression of this garment happened at the court, where even if in the fashionable dress big panniers were no longer in fashion, they kept appearing through the whole century. The hoops are a key for the century silhouette in combo with the stays: the curve-less upper body was the perfect contrast with the big bottom that had volume only on the sides of the dress. That is until the bustle became fashionable. (Read more.)


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Love for "The People"

How socialism works. From The American Spectator:
Obama loved Vladimir Putin, whispering that he had great things in store for him after his reelection. When Mitt Romney warned during the 2012 presidential debates of the dangers of Putin’s Russia, Obama mocked and sneered. Obama got along famously with Hugo Chavez. Great with the Castros. Bill Clinton hosted Yasser Arafat in his White House more than he did any other visiting leader. Love is a many-splendored thing.

It does sound so sweet. One of these days someone in a Democratic presidential debate is going to end her evening with a pledge to turn all problems around with that great secret weapon: love. And love is all around us. Bernie Sanders sees bread lines in Communist Russia, and he waxes poetic: Bread lines are “a good thing.” Kamala Harris has a wowzer of a slogan: “For the People.” Why didn’t anyone think of that earlier?

When you are for “The People,” the great faceless humanity called “The People,” one might well ask: “Uh, are all ‘The People’ the same?” So, like, which “The People” is she for?  I am a member of “The People,” dues paid through 2020. Is Kamala for me? No? So for which “The People” is she for? The “The People” in her state who are homeless in tents on the sidewalks, living in urine and feces amid typhus? Or the “The People” trying to clean up those streets, get them mental care and addiction treatment, and restore the streets to the First World? Which “The People”?
On its face, socialism sounds so fair, especially in its latest iteration, the “Green New Deal”: To each according to his or her need — and why not? Equality of results. Equality of incomes. Equality of The People. Medicare for all. A guaranteed wage to everyone, even if they do not work. For the People. And it will come from a mighty economy that operates on the principle “From each according to his ability.”

It never works. It cannot work. Only a small number of intense idealists will work to the hardest and best of their abilities for thirty, forty years even though not specially rewarded. Most people — normal people, that is people along the norm — will work, but not to their best conceivable output, if they are not rewarded extra for giving extra. And a great many people will not work at all, feigning illness, assorted maladies, and just-plain pleading: “I am working as hard as I can.” (Read more.)
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The Senses in Anglo-Saxon England

The Anglo-Saxon period covers more than half a millennium and by the end of the period many folk were living in towns rather than small hamlets, but it has been estimated that in early modern England, sounds above 60 decibels were rare; it is safe to assume, therefore, that this applies equally to the early medieval period. 
The loudest natural sound was probably thunder, followed by animal noises. Of man made noises, in the earlier period, musical sounds would have been produced from lyres and wooden flutes. Louder sounds would be made by timber construction, the metallic clanging emanating from the smithy, and explosions. Not gunpowder, but the ignition of flour dust in mills. 
As Kevin Leahy, author of Anglo-Saxon Crafts, explained to me, when I was looking for a plausible way for one of my novel’s characters to make murderous mischief: “The suspension of fine flour in air is a highly explosive mixture which could be set off by a candle or a bearing of [a] wheel running hot. I suppose an Anglo-Saxon water powered mill is less likely to run away than a wind-mill (supposedly introduced during the Crusades) but in any event the explosive mixture would have been present.” 
As mentioned above, there were no windmills, but the sound of the water mill wheels would have been familiar to most - a man was considered to be a wealthy thegn if he had a water mill of his own and a fine example of a water mill has been excavated at Tamworth. 
With the absence of modern background noise, the sound of birdsong would have been prominent and the sounds of domestic animals, the bark of a dog, the sound of cattle or sheep, would have been identifiable, not just to the owners, but to all those who lived nearby. 
As for the sense of touch, no doubt wood and metal felt the same 1000 years ago as they do now. The Anglo-Saxons would also have been familiar with the texture of enamel, which they worked into their jewellery, Cloisonne-style, and coloured pot and glass beads. 
We know that they combed their hair with combs made from antler bone, which must have felt a little different from our plastic ones. 
As for clothing, a well-known author once said to me that she assumed that the Anglo-Saxons just wore sacks tied round the middle. Well yes, let it be said that their costumes were not as elaborate as those of later periods. The simplest weave they produced was a plain, or ‘tabby’ weave which varied in quality from coarse (yes, that’s the sacking!) to very fine fabrics including not just wool, but linen too: at Sutton Hoo, the remains of a fine linen pillowcase were found. (Read more.)
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Friday, July 19, 2019

Elizabeth I and Cleopatra

 Elizabeth I is here portrayed among the goddesses
I think Cleopatra had more similarities with Mary Stuart than Elizabeth Tudor, but the article makes some interesting points. From the University College of London:
Perhaps second only to Tutankhamun in the who’s-who of Ancient Egypt Cleopatra VII is colloquially known as the Last Queen of Egypt. This is a very debatable epithet, whilst she is the last pharaoh of Egypt, she is also the last of Ptolemaic dynasty, a Greek family who ruled Egypt following Alexander’s conquest in 332 BC. Her death, 12th August 30 BC, is chronicled by Plutarch, mentioned by Virgil and exonerated by Horace[1],  she is so renowned her death is sometimes used to denote the end of the Hellenistic era.

Queen Elizabeth, who died 3 years prior to this play’s performance, is quite a similar character. With a slightly dubious claim to the throne, her death in 1603 heralded the end of the Tudor rule.  Following the establishment of the Church of England in the 1530’s and the sweeping massacres of Catholics and Protestants alike England had a Catholic Scottish King, James I. For years England had been at war with both Scots and Catholics, and now had that exact ilk on their throne.

Cleopatra faced similar regency problems;  she may have been an originally Greek Queen, but she was barring the advancing Roman Empire from Romanising her country and herself. Here the Queens differ, Elizabeth went on the offence, striking out at Catholic enemies, such as Spain with her famous victory in 1588. Cleopatra had nowhere near the allies nor resources to defeat her foe (indeed she lost her major naval incursion at Actium), so she had to make them [allies].

Allying herself to Caesar and then Mark Anthony she coerced armies and treaties out of them to protect her beloved Egypt. Plutarch, writing in the 1st century AD, describes Mark and Cleopatra’s first encounter as:
“Venus was come to revel with Bacchus for the good of Asia” (Lives III.XXVI.3)
Cleopatra is represented as the Roman goddess of love and founder of Rome, great praise for an Egyptian Queen who defied them. (Read more.)
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Why Are the Democrats So Crazy?

From The American Spectator:
Perhaps the primary unintended consequence of the Democrat’s hard-left turn is a huge increase in clarity. That’s definitely not going to help the Democrats. Their inability to deal with Trump has caused them to reveal more than ever before who they really are. They have always managed to hide their true nature from voters in the past. That’s over. 
An ancient proverb says, “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.” In this context “mad” has two meanings: angry and insane. It could also be said that whom the gods would destroy they first make hate. Hate is not a formula for winning friends and influencing people or, more importantly, increasing your voter base. Democrats’ visceral hatred for Trump generates much of their ugly behavior. They perceive reality through a prism of contempt for him.

Amazingly, Trump does not return their hatred. He is not fazed or distracted. He maintains his happy warrior attitude, and that frustrates the hell out of his opponents. He’s the energizer president. It is a sight to behold.
Democrats despise any Trump accomplishments, such as robust economic growth, simply because the person they hate accomplished them. They cannot allow themselves to enjoy anything positive happening to the country if Trump is in any way associated with it. What a sad state of affairs. Trump supporters are having the times of their lives while his opponents are miserable.
One of Donald Trump’s good fortunes is the opponents he’s been blessed with, both in regard to quality and quantity. A dilemma for the Democrats is the sheer number of their presidential candidates. Trump is the first president in history who has two dozen challengers (if they can be described as such). The Democratic Party has what you might call an embarrassment of riches — emphasis on embarrassment. The Democrats have the largest number of strange people ever assembled in a single party.

A handicap for the Democrats and the media is their lack of self-awareness. That prevents them from learning from their mistakes. They seem totally unaware and unconcerned about how silly they’re making themselves look. (Read more.)
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Socialism Simplified

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation. (Read more.)
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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Remembering the Past in Restoration France: An Expiatory Chapel for Marie-Antoinette

The recreated prison cell of the Queen
The actual prison cell of the Queen
 From Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide:
After its restoration, the Conciergerie in Paris w­­­­­as reopened to the public in 1989, the year of the "Bicentenaire" celebrating the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.[1] The new historical museum of the Conciergerie, formerly the most famous prison in France, offers visitors an almost authentic look at the conditions of living—or rather dying—during the revolutionary Terreur, the period of violence and mass executions that started in September 1793 and ended in July 1794 with the "Thermidorian Reaction." Visiting the Conciergerie today, one enters the gloomy atmosphere of 18th-century crime, grim with punishment and death, reminiscent of Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors. Visitors are faced with life-sized figures of incarcerated men in small dark cells recalling some well-known and, in addition, thousands of nameless victims of the Terror. The representation of one of the most famous inmates of the Conciergerie is especially striking. Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France, spent the final two months of her life in this prison, before her execution on October 16th, 1793. Her figure, which can only be seen from behind, is shown sitting in a cell at a small wooden desk, guarded by a member of the National Guard (fig. 1). Contrary to its appearance, this scene is not set in the cell in which the queen was actually imprisoned, but is only meant to be an accurate reconstruction.[2] The cell in which Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned still exists, but not as a cell. In 1816, during the French Restoration era, it was transformed into a chapelle expiatoire—expiatory chapel (fig. 2). Unchanged during the Conciergerie's restoration before its reopening in 1989, it can still be visited within the prison complex. This small chapel that the newly restored Bourbon monarchy built in honor of Marie-Antoinette confronts the visitor with a staging of history that differs considerably from that of the reconstructed cell. Marie-Antoinette's chapelle expiatoire is in fact a true chapel. It consists of a very small room painted entirely in dark blue, a colored glass window reminding one of ordinary church windows, a cenotaph on one side of the room, and an altar on the other. Here we see the queen again, this time not "in person," but appearing on three paintings representing memorable events of her last days.

In the Conciergerie, the fate of Marie-Antoinette is therefore recalled in two very different ways. On the one hand, we are confronted with a setting that seems to be authentic when in fact it is not; on the other hand, the original queen's cell has been so radically changed that it no longer appears as an authentic historical site. The commemoration of the queen within the prison complex of the Conciergerie is hence somewhat contradictory: the lines between authenticity and historical falsity, between fact and fiction are not as clear as they seem to be at first glance. This deliberate delusion especially draws one's attention to the queen's expiatory chapel of 1816, which is the main subject of this article. This slightly kitsch memorial raises questions that not only concern the construction, political context, and iconography of the chapel, but also consider the notion of authenticity and the ways in which history has been staged and commemorated throughout the ages. Therefore, the focus of my article is twofold: first, I will put the queen's expiatory chapel in the political and cultural context of its creation and discuss its iconography and propaganda content. In doing so, I will also consider some other expiatory monuments of the Restoration era. Then, I will focus on the queen's chapel as a memorial and historical site. I will especially raise the question as to whether notions of authenticity had been accounted for by the authorities and artists who were involved in the chapel's construction. With this twofold approach I particularly want to broaden the art-history research perspective which until now has been focused on the iconography and political relevance of the Restoration's expiatory monuments.[3] (Read more.)
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An Epidemic of Ungrateful Americans

From Dr. Sebastian Gorka:
Right now, two of the biggest controversies in America are tied to two of the most prominent women in our society today, and the backlash they have rightfully earned. Representative Ilhan Omar, ever since being elected to Congress last year, has done nothing but preach about how America is an “evil,” “racist,” or “oppressive” society. She shreds our history and traditions so as to portray our country as the boogeyman that she believes it to be, even if this flies in the face of reality. 
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has called her out for the most obvious sin she has committed with this attitude: Ungratefulness. As an immigrant from an impoverished nation, rife with real oppression and injustice, Omar came to America and was blessed with all the privileges and happiness that this country has to offer, even being elevated to the United States House of Representatives. Yet she still continues to decry America as racist, oppressive, and unjust, despite all of the good fortune she has received from this nation. 
The same can be said of the now-infamous co-captain of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, Megan Rapinoe. She too was able to rise to such fame and wealth because of the opportunity that the United States of America offers to all its citizens. Yet she has used her newfound prominence as a soapbox from which to trash America, disrespect the National Anthem, and even drop our flag to the ground and step on it moments after winning the World Cup. 
Yet the FakeNews Industrial Complex would have us believe that such figures as Omar and Rapinoe are fighters for a “just cause,” and that backlash to their anti-Americanism is simply bigotry, racism, or sexism. But it’s none of these things. At the end of the day, it’s as simple as calling out any other whining, ungrateful child who simply has no idea how privileged and blessed they really are, that they have the right to criticize the very country that gave them everything. (Read more.)
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Teaching Your Son to Become a Father

From The Christian Post:
One of my favorite meal scenes in all of Scripture occurs on the banks of the Sea of Galilee after the resurrection of Jesus. It’s recorded in John 21. After a futile night of fishing, the disciples encounter Jesus, who calls out to them from the shore. Acting impulsively, as always, Peter dives into the water fully clothed in an effort to get to Jesus. As he emerges from the sea, dripping wet, he moves toward Jesus, who has made a fire on the beach. And at that moment he smells a hauntingly familiar smell. The word that John the storyteller uses to describe the fire that Jesus made is a word that occurs in only one other place in Scripture—earlier in his own story (John 18:18). There the word used is of the fire where Peter and the others warmed themselves on the night of Jesus’s arrest and trial. The charcoal fire of John 18:18 was the place of Peter’s denial. For Peter, shame had a smell—that of burning charcoal. But the charcoal fire of John 21 is the place of Peter’s restoration. The simple invitation of Jesus to his friend is, “Come and have breakfast” (21:12). (Read more.)
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Anniversary of the Murder of the Romanovs


 It is 101 years since the night of July 16-17, 1918 when Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsarevitch Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and three of their retainers were shot by the Bolsheviks in a cellar in Ekaterinburg. More HERE. Share

"Marie-Antoinette, métamorphoses d’une image"


The Conciergerie, Marie-Antoinette's last prison, is the site of an exhibition about the Queen and the changes she experienced during the course of her life. The exhibition lasts from October 16, 1919 to Jenuary 26, 2020.

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The Sheer Scale of Injustice

From The National Review:
This new motion comes after a wave of cases across the country that have invalidated and reversed the results of campus kangaroo courts — and these rulings are coming from judges across the political/judicial spectrum. In California, progressive state-court judges issued rulings that effectively halted proceedings in 75 campus sexual-misconduct cases, while California universities reworked their processes. Earlier this month, Amy Coney Barrett and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals joined dozens of other courts in ruling that university processes should face exacting legal scrutiny.
In fact, it’s hard to think of a modern legal policy more thoroughly repudiated than the Obama administration’s 2011 “Dear colleague” letter , which required every single public and private college that received federal funds (except for the few religious colleges that had opted out of Title IX) to adjudicate sexual-misconduct complaints under streamlined procedures that mandated lower burdens of proof, implemented a form of double jeopardy, and discouraged basic elements of due process, such as cross-examination.
Acting under intense internal and external pressure — and empowered by a #BelieveWomen ideology that dogmatically asserted that it is extremely rare for women to file false sexual-assault claims — universities encouraged women to report and prosecute cases under a system that was built from the ground up in defiance of generations of jurisprudence defining appropriate due process and in defiance of clear legal standards that prevent both anti-male and anti-female discrimination. Much of the critique of university processes has focused on the plight of falsely accused students, and many of the cases contain facts so bizarre and extreme that it’s hard to believe that any fact-finder anywhere could have imposed punishment. (Read more.)
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Anglo-Saxon Attitudes

From Casting Light Upon the Shadow:
It might be that the popular image of the Anglo-Saxons is that they dressed in plain, homespun garments. This is probably true of the majority, but there are a few instances where high fashion was paraded, whilst simultaneously being frowned upon. Chaste nuns and virgins were advised that: If they dressed themselves sumptuously and went out in public so as to attract notice, & if they riveted the eyes of young men & drew the sighs of adolescents and nourished the fires of sexual anticipation…they couldn’t be excused as if they were of a chaste and modest mind. (Aldhelm)

A Church council also banned clerics from wearing ostentatious clothing. One commentator has pointed out that if this was how priests, nuns and monks dressed, one can only wonder what the rest of the population looked like! Unfortunately we don’t have much in the way of surviving garments so we have to go on illustrations (like the one above) which are not always easy to interpret. 
Heads could also be turned by fashions from abroad. There’s a delightful letter in which a brother (we’re not sure if this is a sibling, or a monk) receives a telling off and is rebuked for insulting his race and his ancestors by dressing in the Danish fashion ‘with bared necks and blinded eyes’. I don’t think that means wearing sunglasses, but you get the idea that the young man thinks the new fashion is rather ‘cool’!! (Read more.)
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Scenes of Versailles

The Queen's library
From Le Boudoir de Marie-Antoinette.

The King and Queen dined in public
Madame de Pompadour's room

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The NeverTrump-Left Alliance Crumbles

From American Greatness:
This collection of failed magazine editors, Iraq War propagandists, washed-up columnists, Russian collusion pimps, and losing campaign consultants have dogged Donald Trump and his supporters for three years. While some anti-Trump “conservatives” who contributed to National Review’s infamous “Against Trump” issue in early 2016 have become supporters of the president, others cannot let go—but their obstinance is less about principle and more about grift: Acting as the useful conservative idiot for the Washington Post or MSNBC has breathed new life into once stale careers and burned reputations.

Despite making repeated threats and floating the names of several potential candidates, they have failed to produce a legitimate primary challenger to Trump. (Bill Kristol, the de facto head of NeverTrump Inc., last year claimed he was building a “war machine” to take on Trump in 2020, making this yet another war Kristol waged from the sidelines and lost.) NeverTrumpers also failed to help Democrats run Trump out of the Oval Office, whether it was by promoting the egregious special counsel investigation into imaginary Russian collusion or supporting any and all empty calls for impeachment. They have not produced a detailed policy agenda to offer an alternative to Trumpism, only bromides about vague “principles.” (Read more.)
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The Plan To Redistribute Wealth By Race

From The Federalist:
U.S. senators and 2020 presidential rivals Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) both announced new plans over the weekend for government to redistribute private wealth differently according to recipients’ race. Both announced these plans at a cultural and music festival hosted by Essence Magazine, a monthly magazine for African-American women. The festival attracted several high-profile speakers, including former first lady Michelle Obama and six 2020 White House hopefuls: Harris, Warren, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX.), and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Harris and Warren took the opportunity to showcase new proposals aimed at government picking economic winners and losers according to race and sex. (Read more.)
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How Jane Austen Found the Space to Write

From Women Writers:
The truth is I have written on the fly— in cafés and restrooms, on trains and planes, sometimes using improvised materials such as the backs of envelopes, theater programs, and once, when I got back to the car from a hike and realized I didn’t have the key or a piece of paper in my pocket, on a leaf. I will hasten to add, though, that while these moments have been fun and piquant, routine is my bread and butter. I like to write in the morning because that’s when my brain cells work best, at my desk with its view of trees and birds, wordless classical music on the radio, in a composition book, with a good fountain pen.

But do I need all that? Wouldn’t I still manage to write if I didn’t have the nice desk and the morning set aside? Wouldn’t it somehow magically get done? Over the years I’ve had to defend my working time from family, friends and co-workers who will one moment marvel at my productivity and the next look puzzled or hurt when I’m not free in the mornings or available for extra assignments. Isn’t writing something I can “just fit in”? What does a writer really need to write? 
Which brings me to Jane Austen. The famous picture of Jane Austen is of her craftily sneaking her writing time, scribbling in the corner of the parlor, hiding her pages when interrupted, and never shirking her housework. After her death, when the secret of her authorship was revealed to the world, her nephew James-Edward Austen-Leigh wrote in his memoir of his aunt, “She was careful that her occupation should not be suspected by servants, or visitors, or any persons beyond her own family party. 
She wrote upon small sheets of paper that could easily be put away, or covered with a piece of blotting paper. There was, between the front door and the offices, a swing door which creaked when it was opened; but she objected to having this little inconvenience remedied, because it gave her notice when anyone was coming” (Worsley 316). 
What a card, that Aunt Jane! Notice the elaborate explanation for a piece of household duty going undone. Certainly, she wouldn’t have neglected any other household chore for the sake of getting some writing done, only to keep strangers from knowing she was engaged in such an unladylike pastime. On her death, her brother James eulogized her with a little poem that ended: “They saw her ready still to share/The labours of domestic care” (Worsley 403). 
The picture that emerges is of a woman who wrote in the margins of life, the message being that writing is something that can be fitted into the corners and somehow done while simultaneously cross-stitching a sampler and baking the daily bread. In fact, the tiny table Jane wrote on is literally in a corner. This is a particularly damaging message for women writers: Surely if Jane Austen could write six masterpieces of English literature while stewing a posset, you can write your novel in between commuting to work and putting your six-year-old to bed. (Read more.)
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Monday, July 15, 2019

Perfectly Imperfect

From Victoria:
By the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries, English potters had perfected their own processes for producing stoneware that mimicked costly blue-and-white Chinese porcelain. It was known as transferware due to the printing method in which tissue paper was laid atop engraved copper plates covered with a film of cobalt oxide. The paper was then applied to crockery, transferring the illustration. (Read more.)
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Transgender Competition Violates Teen Girls’ Title IX Rights

From a month ago in the New York Daily News:
A civil rights complaint filed on behalf of three female high school track stars alleges that allowing transgender girls to compete against them violates their Title IX rights. The complaint was filed Monday with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. It requests an investigation of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), a non-profit organization that serves as the governing body for high school athletics in the state. Backing the high school athletes from Connecticut is Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a nonprofit legal organization whose other causes include defunding Planned Parenthood. Founded by 30 Christian Right leaders, the ADF is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Read more.)
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Then They Came For... Betsy Ross? Jefferson? July 4th? America?

From Zero Hedge:
The eye-catching sentence is: “Democrats continue to lag far behind Republicans in expressing extreme pride in the U.S.” The actual percentages expressing themselves “extremely proud to be American” are: Republicans 76, Democrats 22. That’s a heck of a gap: 54 percentage points. In 2001 it was ten points, 64 to 54. Here’s my question for Democrats. The biggest issue in our politics right now arises from the fact that millions - tens of millions, likely hundred of millions - of foreigners want to come settle in America, with or without proper permission. Isn’t that an occasion for…”pride”? Apparently not. This last week, we have seen a couple of major strides toward the abolition of Independence Day: .
The logic on this one was hard to follow. Is it the thirteen stars, representing the original thirteen colonies, in all of which (I think) slavery was legal at the time Ms. Ross offered her flag design? If it was, then the thirteen stripes must be equally offensive. That could be…what’s the cant word here?…oh yes: problematic, that could be problematic to a great many not-yet-fully-woke Americans, as our present national flag retains those same thirteen stripes. The issue got further confused when diehard counter-revolutionary subversives noted that the Betsy Ross flag was prominently displayed at Barack Obama’s second inaugural bash. (Read more.)
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The Tide Is Turning for the Arts

From The Epoch Times:
Since the close of the 20th century, the tide of postmodernism has turned somewhat in art and poetry. In regard to painting, here is but one example: Based on a true story, the movie “Local Color” tells of a Russian painter mentoring a young American art student. This film caused a ruckus in the art world for its defense of representational painting. Employing what might euphemistically be called colorful language, the painter Nikolai Serov is an ardent proponent of artistic form who despises abstractionism and postmodernism.

In poetry, too, a shift back toward tradition and form is taking place. Here in The Epoch Times, we have looked at William Baer and his fine collection of verse, “Formal Salutations,” which contains all manner of forms, rhythms, and rhyme. Baer’s work is particularly important for his portrayal of gritty characters, men and women who have seen better days, and for his love poems, one of which, “The Swimming Pool Float,” will remain with me to the end of my days. (Read more.)
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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Understanding Marie-Antoinette

Marie-Antoinette approaching the tumbril, on the day of her execution
I have always believed that the only way to fully understand Marie-Antoinette is to understand her in the light of the faith to which she adhered. In his first public speech in 1929 Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira eloquently describes how Marie-Antoinette's religion dictated her behavior, in marriage, during the fiascoes of the Revolution and at the hour of death. It is a superb article although I venture to mention two points on which I disagree. The article refers to Louis XVI as weak. I just wish to add  that early in his reign, Louis XVI often displayed confidence and resolution in his decisions, especially in legislating reforms for his people, in the matter of Bavaria and in the War for American Independence. However, the time of his oldest son's death in June 1789 coincided with the Estates-General and the outbreak of the Revolution. Louis sank into what I think can be considered clinical depression which, combined with the tuberculosis that he had become infected with as a child, left him in a very bad state. I also do not believe that their was an "absence of love" between Louis and Antoinette. They did come to love each other deeply, as I explain in detail in the book Daughter of the Caesars.

As for Madame de Polignac, she is not someone I would necessarily characterize as "frivolous" as the article says. For one thing, she was much older than Marie-Antoinette. In spite of her annoying, ever-present in-laws,  Madame de Polignac was not a bad soul. She preferred simple attire and actually encouraged the Queen in that direction. She was a good mother which was why Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI wanted her to be the Governess of the royal children. When Madame de Tourzel became governess after Madame de Polignac's departure in 1789, she found that the royal children knew their lessons, which means they received careful training under Madame de Polignac's watch.

The following are some excerpts from Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira's magnificent homage to Marie-Antoinette:
Amid the collapsing social and political edifice of the Bourbon monarchy, when everyone feels the ground crumbling beneath their feet, the joyful Archduchess of Austria and youthful Queen of France, whose elegant bearing resembles a statuette of Sevres porcelain and whose laughter conveys the charms of cloudless happiness, drinks with admirable Christian resignation, aplomb and dignity, from the bitter yet immense cup of gall with which Divine Providence decides to glorify her....

Louis XVI...was known for his austere conduct and for the piety, kindness and honesty that adorned his character. His bitterest opponents were able to raise only three charges against him: being apathetic, a glutton and a highly skilled locksmith. In the new princely family, formed without deep bonds of affection, the Christian spirit that imbued the spouses more than compensated for the absence of love. Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were always exemplary spouses who built the undeniable happiness of their family life on the solid foundations of mutual respect and absolute morality....

Not for an instant did the dethroned sovereign cease to be Queen. Greater in suffering than in glory, confronting unarmed with her son in her arms the furious mob of drunkards that invaded the royal palace, she showed herself to be from a race that fears no danger, particularly when embodying a just cause. With royalty dragged into the Paris mud and Louis XVI’s weak personality bent low under the weight of misfortune, Marie Antoinette became the sole bastion of resistance. Turning her misfortune into a dazzling throne for her personality, armed in the face of suffering only with the sublime breastplate of faith and Christian resignation, she fearlessly confronted the tidal wave about to overwhelm France....

That sovereign sought to save her throne until the last moment, not out of personal interest but for love of the monarchical principle. And she did it without hesitation, encouraging everyone and never despairing even as the mob dragged her out of the Tuileries, where she had been imprisoned, and took her with cries and jeers into the deadly and grim shadows of the Temple prison; and even as she saw, struck with horror and remorse, at the tip of a rod between the window bars of her dungeon, the severed head of the courageous Princess of Lamballe, eyes gouged out, wig sprinkled with blood, and lips completely livid – attesting to her best friend’s bitter and unmerited death. Behold, gentlemen, the torture of your Queen. It was complete, nothing was lacking; and she endured everything with calmness and resignation, prying, from time to time, cries of admiration from her own adversaries.

As a wife, Marie Antoinette suffered the greatest of martyrdoms. After being the target of most cruel insults, her husband, to whom she devoted all the feelings of an exemplary Catholic wife, was eventually dragged to a death regarded as glorious by posterity but which at that moment seemed utterly depressing....

Yet, gentlemen, it was as a mother that Marie Antoinette suffered her most horrific torture. When the Convention tried to separate her from her son, she covered the innocent prince with her own body, fighting for two hours against the brutal Simon, the shoemaker, and his cohorts. She only let go when her strength failed her. There followed long months of separation. Left alone, terribly alone, locked up with armed guards in a cell in the horrific Temple prison, the unfortunate woman had prayer as her sole, albeit powerful, consolation. To this day, France keeps her daily Missal upon which there surely fell the bitter tears of that mother who, at the height of misfortune and abandonment, always thanked God for the helplessness in which she found herself.

Finally, she was judged by the “Committee of Public Safety” for betraying her country, being a new Catherine de Medici, a bad wife and mother, and especially for the less admissible reason that she opposed the heretical goals of a certain secret charitable association which is not entirely unknown.

During the proceedings, her suffering attains an apex. Brutalized by alcohol, her son had been turned into a little animal, constantly trembling with fear....

 Death finally came. In His immense goodness, God had prepared a worthy place in heaven for her who had suffered so much and loved Him more when He sent her trials than in the fullness of pleasure. October 16, 1793 saw the end of her long martyrdom as the guillotine blade, at the same time criminal and charitable, cut off the thread of her extraordinary life. (Read entire article.)

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Bastille Day and Other Convenient Myths

From Fr. George Rutler at Crisis:
While the adage obtains that those who do not know their history are condemned to repeat it, those who do not know their history can also be fooled. “Bastille Day” is the celebration of an inflated myth. Propagandists—and later romanticizers like Alexandre Dumas with his Man in the Iron Mask and the amiably pathetic Doctor Manette of Charles Dickens—made the storming of the prison the first thrust of the liberators.  The Bastille was far from a fetid torture chamber. It had a storied history. While at times it must not have been a congenial hospice, the number of prisoners dwindled under benign Louis XVI, making it the equivalent of an American “white collar” place of custody, with tapestries, paintings, a library, and at least one personal chef.

On July 14, 1789, there were only seven inmates, a couple of them mental patients. Ten days earlier, the Marquis de Sade, not a paragon of virtue, ran along the rampart of the prison shouting lies about inmates being murdered. This was too much for the congenial warden, the Marquis René Jourdan de Launay, to handle, and so the aristocratic patron of sadism was remaindered to a lunatic asylum in Charenton, founded by the Catholic Brothers of Charity, who were pioneers in psychotherapy.  The Marquis de Sade left behind his unfinished 1785 magnum opus, The 120 Days of Sodom, in the Bastille.

Yet the myth of the dank dungeon persists, and the one-pound-three-ounce key to the Bastille now hangs in Mount Vernon, the proud gift of the Marquis de Lafayette, sent in the summer of 1790 via Thomas Paine to New York where it was displayed as a relic at a presidential levee, and then through Philadelphia to Virginia. As for the Bastille, its remnant prisoners were an afterthought since the revolutionaries had pulled down its gates to get hold of 250 barrels of gunpowder. Indeed the confused inmates seemed reluctant to leave. The kindly, if dour, Marquis de Launay was dragged out and brutally stabbed, and then a butcher named Matthieu Jouve Jourdon sawed his head off. The prison was soon torn down, but bits and pieces are preserved as relics. (Read more.)
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A Migration Crisis

From Townhall:
Until recently, African migrants headed northward to the Mediterranean, embarking on a treacherous sea-crossing to Europe. But the European Union has slammed the door on migrants, cutting the number entering from 180,000 in 2016 to a mere 880 in the first four months of 2019.

Now, African migrants who head to Europe face indefinite detention in facilities on the north coast of Libya. According to the U.N., these detention centers are "an outrage to the conscience of humanity." Toilet facilities are nonexistent, food is crawling with maggots, many adults succumb to severe malnutrition, and rape and torture are commonplace.

That's why many African migrants are heading to the U.S. They're cobbling together airfare to Ecuador (which has a no-visa policy) and then trekking through Panama, north through Central America to the U.S. border. The African migration is indicative of how much larger the humanitarian crisis at the southern border could get -- unless Congress acts.

The bleeding-heart Democrats running for president are clueless about where the migrants are coming from and what their impact will be on our country. Front-runner Joe Biden says the remedy is to send "immediately billions of dollars worth of help" to Central America to "address the root causes that push people to flee." What about the rest of the world, Joe? (Read more.)

From The Washington Times:
 Since October 2018, when the fiscal year began, more than 593,000 illegal aliens have been apprehended at the border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In May, 132,887 illegals were apprehended. Because of the Democrats’ mau-mauing over “family separations,” the Border Patrol is encountering a surge of “family units,” many comprising non-relatives, including kidnapped children.

Some 332,981 of the nearly 600,000 illegals consist of “family units.” Because they can neither separate them nor keep them in custody long enough for asylum hearings, the Border Patrol has to release them. Most of them scatter around the country, never to return for their hearings. Under current rates of entry, the United States will be inundated over the course of 12 months by nearly 1 million illegal aliens by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. And you thought the caravans with a few thousand illegals were shocking a couple of years ago? This is a well-executed and mysteriously funded invasion.

Again, this is the Democrats’ playbook: Replace American citizens with illegal immigrants in order to turn the nation into a one-party state like California, which has automatic voter registration and millions of illegal residents. Another tactic is sheer bribery. Want the student vote? Promise to forgive all student loans and stick the taxpayers with the bill. Same for “free” college tuition, “free” child care and “free” health care. Want to juice up the black vote while aggravating racial resentment? Call for taxpayer-funded reparations for slavery. (Read more.)
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The Unfinished Sagrada Familia

From The Vintage News:
For 137 years, construction has continued at Barcelona’s world-famous Sagrada Familia –and now it turns out that it has been done so illegally the entire time. That changed on June 7, 2019, when the Roman Catholic Church at last received the building permit for work on one of the city’s leading tourist attractions. It turns out that the building’s designer, Catalan modernist Antoni Gaudí, had asked for a permit in 1882 from the city council of Sant Martí de Provençals, which is one of Barcelona’s neighborhoods, but he never received an answer. His request was accompanied by a blueprint of the ground plans that he signed himself. He started work anyway, and never stopped. (Read more.)
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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Czeslawa Kwoka

From All That's Interesting:
Czeslawa Kwoka was one of the 116,000 Poles deported from their tiny villages in the wake of the German invasion in 1939. These villagers, mainly Catholic farmers, were ripped from their homes to make room for the Germans that the Nazis imagined would soon come to populate the area. Very little is known about Kwoka’s life before this moment. We do know that she was born in the small village of Wolka Zlojecka in southeastern Poland on Aug. 15, 1928 and that she and her mother were deported from Zamosc, Poland to Auschwitz on Dec. 13, 1942. (Read more.)
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The New World of Transgender Policy

This is a sad case that has happened in my town. One family's psychiatric problem is imposed on the entire county as teenage boys are forced to pretend that a young girl is really a boy. I feel sorry for the mother, who instead of getting the help her daughter needs, is feeding the illness. It is pathetic how many deluded people are willing to go along with such madness. Most pathetic of all is the young girl, who is being used to push an agenda on everyone else's children. From The Talbot Spy:
It is relatively easy to have a conversation in the abstract about transgender identity in such fields as health, religion, or government policy, but it’s an entirely different matter when it comes to the everyday challenges of navigating the rights of individuals with accommodations such as restrooms and locker rooms.

And it’s also a very different story when it’s your child needing to be accommodated. That was the case with Lynn Brennan and her family when a daughter became a son between the seventh and eighth grade in the Talbot County Public School district a few years ago. At a time when state and local governments had not developed guidelines for transgender students, Lynn’s family was the first locally to enter into this new and complex terrain for public schools, teachers, and students. (Read more.)

Another sad case HERE.
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'Odd' Richard III Portrait

From the BBC:
A portrait of Richard III, designed to make him look "odd", is to go on show in the city where his bones were found. It is part of the National Portrait Gallery's Coming Home programme which takes portraits to places with which they are linked. The monarch's skeleton was found by archaeologists beneath a Leicester car park in 2012. Experts say the painting, hosted by the city's New Walk Museum, was subtle propaganda to undermine his character. Richard was the last king from the house of Plantagenet and died fighting Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII, at Bosworth in 1485. (Read more.)
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Friday, July 12, 2019

Marie-Antoinette's Chinese Pavilion

Once at Petit Trianon. Maxime de Rocheterie says of it:
In 1776, at a short distance from the palace, the Chinese pavilion was built, and beneath the pavilion a roundabout, which was moved by invisible mechanism hidden beneath the ground, and whose riders sat astride of dragons and peacocks, carved by Bocciardi.
According to Pierre de Nolhac:
Among the diversions of Trianon, mention must be made of the game of 'the Kings,' which had been set up by the Queen's directions on the lawn, sheltered by a Chinese pavilion, also billiards and loto; these Louis XVI. particularly liked. But everybody's chief pleasure was walking in that well-cared-for, widely-varied garden, whose beauties were analysed by Prince de Ligne with the skill of a connoisseur, and which suggested the poetic descriptions of the Chevalier Bertin in the 'Almanach des Muses.' The number of exotic trees, the 'surprises' in landscape effects to be met at every turn, the refinement of this contest with nature made foreigners who were admitted to see it understand the young Queen's love for her little domain, which she had so greatly embellished.
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The Stupidest Generation

From the American Thinker:
Time Magazine acknowledged Hitler's magnificent socialist achievements by honoring him as its 1938 Man of the Year. His more Hegelian approach had him blending a state-controlled capitalism with tyrannical dictatorship. Hitler never did like the dull, gray masses produced by Lenin's more Marxist rendition. He did, however, like Lenin's death camps and stole the idea.

It amazes me that almost none of our best voices points out the very real danger — at least not with any frequency or clarity. We're so focused on getting justice for the crimes committed by the Deep State that we've lost sight of the gigantic socialist apparatus that ties all of this together. From Clinton, Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, and Baker to Obama, Brennan, Clapper, Ohr, Preistap, Yates, Rice, and Lynch (and far beyond), this has been a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the will of the people.

But why? Dictatorship.

Socialists have murdered well more than 100,000,000 innocent folks in the past 102 years, often in ghastly ways. This same form of socialism is alive and well in American politics. It is lying below the surface — and all they allow us to see are its brightly colored deceits.

Mayor Pete and his daddy love the socialist Antonio Gramsci, who said, "Socialism is precisely the religion which must overwhelm Christianity[.] ... In the new order, socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society." They could not beat us from without, but they are quietly succeeding from within. We are one fraudulent major Democrat election win away from having real justice slip away. Hannity likes to say "we'll lose the country as we know it" — but what does that even mean?

The reality is that we are in grave danger. For the socialist left, power makes principles, morality, ethics, the law, and even our constitution irrelevant. When they get that power back, folks are going to pay. Consider that there are at least two major factors in play here: they lust for absolute power, and they wish to bury very real felonies...forever. (Read more.)

The liberal war on you. From Townhall:
We are witnessing the death of the liberal political machine that the elite has operated since the end of World War II, and everything that it is doing to conservatives right now – the censorship, the threats, the intimidation, the violence – is proof that it is dying. These are not the acts of an ideology in ascendance but rather of a scurrilous political paradigm in precipitous decline. And it’s only going to get worse as those losing their grip on political and cultural power desperately try to hold onto it in the face of our populist revolt.

Be prepared. It’s going to get uglier. Our would-be masters see the stakes – their power, prestige and position – and that’s why there is nothing they won’t do, no alleged principle they won’t upend, no bogus value they won’t abandon, to put off the reckoning that their greed and incompetence have brought upon them. It’s not just happening here in America. It’s happening all over the world – in places like Australia, Hungary, the UK, Brazil, and Italy, uppity citizens have proclaimed that enough is enough, that they want to have a say in their own future. That they have had enough of multiculturalism, globalism and scorn. They want their countries back.

Let’s review the situation here. Silicon Valley’s tech moguls, who advocated a free and open internet when it was to their advantage, have found, to their horror, that Normal people could use it to make themselves heard about the utter failure of our betters at home and abroad. That’s why we have seen the elite’s 180-degree pivot toward censorship and thought control on the web. The progressives never believed in free speech except to the precise extent it was useful to them; the tech titans’ alleged libertarianism extended only as far as them not being held accountable to the people through the people’s government, and no further. Now that they are in power, well, free speech is suddenly very, very bad. People are saying things the elite dislikes. That’s not supposed to happen. (Read more.)
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The Absurd Attack on Alexander Acosta

From The American Thinker:
Consider that the ideology that wishes to erase criminal records attacked Brett Kavanaugh for an alleged juvenile offense, for which he was never charged; personally attacked Norm Pattis, attorney for Alex Jones, by association; forced the resignation of Harvard professor Ron Sullivan solely because he represented Harvey Weinstein (who has not yet been tried); and now calls for Alexander Acosta's resignation because he was a prosecutor in a case that (years later) the media have in hindsight "judged" was too lenient in sentencing.

John Adams encountered blowback when he represented the British soldiers who had fired upon colonists in the Boston Massacre. The case was vitally important for our nation, not only because it sparked a patriotic revolt through Paul Revere's masterful employment of propaganda, but because it demonstrated to the British people that Americans were not a barbarian mob run amok. (Read more.)
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Storytelling Makes Us Human

From Cryssa Bazos:
Writers spin stories out of a void, creating characters and worlds that exist on paper and flourish in our minds. We share stories to understand our world and one another. It is no surprise, then, that myths and legends have been passed down through the generations. These stories have taught us courage, empathy, and helped make sense of a baffling world.

It is a uniquely human quality to imagine what lies beyond our immediate perceptions and postulate theories for may be out there—or imagine ravenous zombies rising from the earth and spawning an apocalypse. Chimps have somehow missed out on that magical 1% and they are unable to imagine an alternative reality where they rule the world and humans entertain them in zoos.

Unfortunately in this insanely busy world, where we are driven to increase our productivity, the first thing that suffers is our creative expression. We may as well be ants with a singleminded goal to keep the supply chain intact. The creative brain needs time to percolate, to lose itself in a daydream before it can do its thing. (Read more.)
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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Wine and Hamburgers

There's a wine for everything. From Food and Wine:
What wines goes best with a burger? The internet trolls will gleefully pile on with “wine sucks; drink a beer” comments, but hey, who wants advice from a troll? Let’s suppose you simply love burgers and love wine: That’s about a bazillion of us right there. Let’s suppose you also want your wine and your burger to taste mind-blowingly great together, instead of just really, really good. See? Now even the trolls are thinking, “yum.” 
However, not all burgers are created equal. The crucial thing to consider when it comes to pairing them with wine, even more than flavor, is fat. The mouth-coating lusciousness of a Pat LaFrieda ground chuck–brisket–short rib burger—with its 17 grams of fat—asks for a very different wine than a vegan Boca Burger and its abstemious 1/2 gram. Both may go great with a red, but a burger like LaFrieda’s—rich and beefy—wants some oomph: big flavors, powerful tannins, structure (French Malbecs, Italian Aglianicos, Bordeaux-style blends). The Boca prefers lighter, more delicate wines: Pinot, Barbera, and so on. So with that in mind, here’s a by-the-richness guide to some perfect burger pairings. (Read more.)
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Acts of Contempt

From The Federalist:
Colin Kaepernick has made a fantastic living out of protesting the America flag. That’s fine. No political speech should be inhibited, not even pseudo-intellectual historical revisionism. But let’s stop pretending that kneeling during the national anthem at sporting events is really about “respecting the flag” or criminal justice reform or any fixable policy problem. Whatever the underlying causes for Kaepernick’s popularity—some of them certainly legitimate—these protests are acts of contempt toward an irredeemable nation created in sin. This view of our founding is an increasingly popular position on the left. And if it ever takes hold in mainstream American life, we’re in real trouble. (Read more.)

From PJ Media:
The flag of Betsy Ross – who as a Facebook friend noted should be re-branded as an empowered woman business leader and cutting-edge designer of her era – represents much more than Kaepernick’s tunnel-vision misunderstanding of history. 
The American Revolution took place in the context of an age of revolutions against monarchy and hereditary government. It set in motion a series of events that turned the average person into a citizen rather than a subject. This was a deeply profound paradigm shift in the human mind and condition, we can scarcely understand how profound today. 
Slavery vexed America’s founders. They wrestled with how to deal with what was a ghastly legal and economic reality, mostly located in one region of the fledgling country, while attempting to build a federation of weak, thinly populated and war-weary states in the New World. They made their long-term intentions quite clear in the opening to the Declaration of Independence signed July 4, 1776, in the phrase “all men are created equal.” “Men,” here, meaning “human,” not a gender-specific identifier. They added that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.” 
All of this language was profoundly radical in its time. Kings and queens still strode most of the world, and the “divine right of kings” to rule as they pleased was a weakening but still serious idea. The American Revolution carried a deeply anti-authoritarian, pro-humanitarian character in its DNA. If our rights do not come from government or an occupant of a throne, if they are inalienable as the Declaration asserts, if we are all created equal, we the people are truly greater than our government. We do not serve it. It serves us. We vote it in. We vote it out. And as the Declaration states, we can end a government that no longer serves the people. This language flips the world’s existing power order on its head. And the founders were just getting started. (Read more.) 
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Britain's Pompeii

From Ancient Origins:
He also discussed the “uncontaminated simplicity of the settlement record – built, occupied, burnt down” and how that has helped the researchers reconstruct what life was like circa 850 BC. As Knight mentions, there are numerous finds that have been made at Must Farm since the first discoveries of a rapier and sword there in 1969. Ancient Origins has also reported on previous finds such as vitrified food found in jars , household and personal items such as textiles and jewelry , and a wooden wheel
Combined with other discoveries, the archaeologists at Must Farm have an almost unrivalled peek into what Knight calls “daily practice, architecture and the consumption of material culture” when people lived in the stilted roundhouse dwellings elevated over a river so long ago. (Read more.)
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