Thursday, January 31, 2019

Trianon in the Snow

Grotto and Belvedere

Petit Trianon

Petit Trianon
Marie-Antoinette's domain is especially charming in the snow. From Château de Versailles.

Temple of Love

The Marlborough Tower

Tour de Malbrouk


'Racist!' Is Not An Argument

From Andrew Klavan:
Whenever I hear the left dealing in insults rather than arguments, I am reminded of how many of their little experiments in transforming reality have resulted in catastrophe. The 100 million murders of Soviet and Chinese Communism. The enslavement of Socialist North Korea and the destruction of Socialist Venezuela. The increase in crime and terrorism brought on by massive Islamic immigration in Europe. Not to mention more subtle disasters like the way universal healthcare retards medical research, or the way some welfare programs destroy families and lead to dependency. This, in turn, makes me wonder if the reason the left is always screaming about racism — and sexism and homophobia and the rest — instead of making rational arguments is because they have no rational arguments at all. (Read more.)

What Jane Heard

It can be tempting to make connections to famous composers roughly contemporary with Austen. This usually means the ‘greats’ of late 18th- and early 19th-century Vienna: composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, whose music is most familiar to classical music audiences today. Studies that draw comparisons between Austen’s fiction and Viennese instrumental music rest on the (usually unstated) assumption that music we now consider great encapsulates its own era in some way that can be related to Austen’s achievement. There is no attempt to establish a historical context in which Austen herself may have known this music or become familiar with its strategies. Thus while such comparisons may generate new readings of her work for those willing to accept the somewhat problematic aesthetics of the point of departure, they provide little insight on Austen’s own musical experience or its relation to her writing. And they are no help at all in understanding the English music culture of her time, the environment her own readers would have understood as the frame of reference for musical scenes in her fiction. 
Austen’s family music books furnish a snapshot of at least some of the music Austen knew and performed. The books, held by Jane Austen’s House Museum and private owners descended from the Austen family, are now freely available online as digital facsimiles. Just under half of the surviving volumes belonged to Austen herself, and she certainly knew the books owned by other members of her family. In total, the 18 books include just over six hundred pieces of music, mainly for voice, keyboard and harp, all of it suitable for domestic performance by skilled amateur musicians. (Read more.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Versailles Sleigh

The type Marie-Antoinette so enjoyed to ride in. From Château de Versailles.


A Cautionary Tale for Our Times

What bothers me about the Covington incident is that so many Catholic leaders were quick to denounce the youngsters before having all the facts, whereas the same leaders are slow to use their authority in the cases of gross violations of basic morality. From The National Catholic Register:
The media bias against the pro-life cause and Catholicism is well-trodden ground. A relatively newer phenomenon on display were the calls for violence, “doxxing” (publishing private information on the internet) the minors involved and causing harm to them and their families. More appalling was the haste with which many Catholic commentators and even Church leaders reacted and condemned the alleged incident without yet knowing the full facts and based solely on an unreliable video, angry tweets and a condemnatory media firestorm. Covington Catholic High School, along with Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville and Bishop Roger Foys of Covington, issued profoundly hasty statements that extended their “deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips.” Five days after the incident, Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, wrote an editorial entitled, “Wearing a Trump Hat? That’s Not Exactly Pro-Life.” (Read more.)

One of the best articles on the Covington case, from one of my neighbors. From The Talbot Spy:
 I write all this down because far too few Americans have any idea of the history of bigotry and discrimination against Catholics.  Catholics did not demand reparations for discrimination against their ancestors.  We do not teach about “Protestant Privilege.” Catholics certainly did not get affirmative action.  The wave of Catholic immigrants simply buckled down to become indistinguishable from other Americans, despite Pope Leo XIII’s warnings about where this would lead.  When Catholics march, it is not for ourselves but for others – the March for Life being a case in point.

The recent examples of bias against Catholics include both the historically familiar features of falsehoods that incite mob reactions and campaigns to exclude Catholics from public office. White boys from a Catholic school in a red state wearing MAGA hats were the perfect target for the bigots of the modern age.  They fit the profile.

The young men were standing where they had been instructed by school officials to wait for their bus after participating in the March for Life.  It happened to be near a Native American gathering at the Lincoln Memorial, and they were verbally assaulted by a group of radical black supremacists known as the Black Israelites.  Without provocation, the black racists called the young men ‘racists,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘white crackers,’ ‘faggots,’ and ‘incest kids.’ The young Catholic men stood their ground, as was their right and necessary to avoid missing their bus, and eventually started some school spirit chants to drown out the obscenities.  Seizing an opportunity for attention, a “professional Indian” agitator grabbed a drum and started beating it in the face of one of the young men.

As the student in the viral picture described it, “To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers. I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse [sic] the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.”

As he feared, a video of a young white man smiling at a furious Native American beating a drum went viral.  Whoever posted the photo didn’t even need to make up an accusation against the young men – the media and the sharks of the internet immediately took up the attack and manufactured their own lurid stories about how the Catholic youths were disrupting a sacred event and showing disrespect for protected minorities.  Their story became headlines on all the television networks and in those bastions of tolerance, the Washington Post and New York times. Even the Bishop of Covington and their own school administrators turned on them, condemning them without even asking their own student what happened.

As Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, one of their few forthright defenders, put it, “It was amazing how quick those who preach tolerance and non-judgment of others were to judge and label some high school students based on partial information…There are none more intolerant than liberals who don’t like your options, values, faith beliefs, political stance, …” (Read more.)

Some people are not sorry for maligning the young people. From Townhall:
She’s not sorry. She’s not going to apologize. What else is new? The funny thing is that she thinks students from a Catholic school were are a pro-life march. That’s controversial? It all boils down to these kids were white, Catholic, and wearing MAGA hats. It’s not racist. News bulletin to liberal America: just because you lost doesn’t mean racism is to blame. This is so tiring, but they have to keep their narrative alive no matter how oxygen deprived it has become. It’s literally been beaten into a coma, but these kids were asking for it, or something. The best line is where she tries to say that not every Trump voter is a racist, but you really are. If you support this president and his agenda, you like the line Make America Great Again. And that’s fine! Bill Clinton said it, is he an imperial wizard of the KKK now? Is job creation, tax cuts, better trade deals, and border security racist? No. It’s sensible. It’s mainstream. It’s universally accepted. And yet, in the urban cesspools of America, where these Democratic creatures reside, multiply, and infest, this is seen as pillars of white supremacy. What type of black tar heroin are these people taking? (Read more.)

From Rod Dreher at The American Conservative:
 What we are dealing with here, in sight of the Lincoln Memorial, is what Connerton calls political theology. The political theology of the ancien régime was expressed symbolically by the archbishop placing the crown on the head of the king, showing the connection between the sacred and the ruler. This is why the revolutionaries decapitated Louis XVI: one ritual had to be negated by a counter-ritual.

It makes sense that Nathan Phillips, the Indian provocateur, went after the MAGA hat confrontation with his fellow protesters to the Catholic basilica in Washington, and tried to invade the sacred space during mass. It would have been an act of sacrilege, and therefore one of political theology. Under secular liberalism — a social order that includes many Catholic leaders (see Darel Paul’s excellent piece today on “Our Therapeutic Bishops”) — people like Nathan Phillips are the bearers of the new “sacred” order.

Expect more of this. Culture war is, at bottom, religious war, because sociologically speaking, culture derives from cult, a system of religious veneration and devotion. This is why the facts emerging from the clash at the Lincoln Memorial — facts that negated the initial progressive reading of the event — did not change the minds of progressive devotees. This is not a matter of facts and reason. They wanted a martyr — a witness to the evil of their enemies — and they manufactured one. They’re still doing it. (Read more.)

What a case of bad journalism. From The Atlantic:
The full video reveals that these kids had wandered into a Tom Wolfe novel and had no idea how to get out of it. It seems that the Black Hebrew Israelites had come to the Lincoln Memorial with the express intention of verbally confronting the Native Americans, some of whom had already begun to gather as the video begins, many of them in Native dress. The Black Hebrew Israelites’ leader begins shouting at them: “Before you started worshipping totem poles, you was worshipping the true and living God. Before you became an idol worshipper, you was worshipping the true and living God. This is the reason why this land was taken away from you! Because you worship everything except the most high. You worship every creation except the Creator—and that’s what we are here to tell you to do.”

A young man in Native dress approaches them and gestures toward the group gathering for its event. But the Black Hebrew Israelites mix things up by throwing some dead-white-male jargon at him—they are there because of “freedom of the speech ” and “freedom of religion” and all that. The young man backs away. “You have to come away from your religious philosophy,” one Black Hebrew Israelite yells after him.

A few more people in Native costume gather, clearly stunned by his tirade. “You’re not supposed to worship eagles, buffalos, rams, all types of animals,” he calls out to them. A Native woman approaches the group and begins to challenge its ideology, which prompts the pastor’s coreligionists to thumb their Bibles for relevant passages from Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. He asks the woman why she’s angry, and when she tells him that she’s isn’t angry, he responds, “You’re not angry? You’re not angry? I’m making you angry.” The two start yelling at each other, and the speaker calls out to his associates for Isaiah 58:1.

Another woman comes up to him yelling, “The Bible says a lot of shit. The Bible says a lot of shit. The Bible says a lot of shit.” Black Hebrew Israelites believe, among other things, that they are indigenous people. The preacher tells a woman that “you’re not an Indian. Indian means ‘savage.’ ”
Men begin to gather with concerned looks on their face. “Indian does not mean ‘savage,’ ” one of them says reasonably. “I don’t know where you got that from.” At this point, most of the Native Americans who have surrounded—“mobbed”?—the preacher have realized what the boys will prove too young and too unsophisticated to understand: that the “four young African American men preaching about the Bible and oppression” are the kind of people you sometimes encounter in big cities, and the best thing to do is steer a wide berth. Most of them leave, exchanging amused glances at one another. But one of the women stays put, and she begins making excellent points, some of which stump the Black Hebrew Israelites. (Read more.)

Fr. Pavone defends the teenagers. From Life Site:
In a Thursday livestream, Priests for Life’s Fr. Frank Pavone wore his own MAGA hat to demonstrate its compatibility with the pro-life cause. “I believe that the principles America was founded on are consistent with the Gospel, the unalienable rights bestowed by our Creator of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” he explained. “I believe furthermore that making America great again is simply another way of saying what we say throughout our history when we talk about preserving liberty, defending life, fighting for freedom.”

“God bless you, Covington students, for coming to the March for Life,” Pavone continued. “God bless those who brought you there, who organized the trip. You were in the right place, as were all the other hundreds of thousands of us in the right place on that day, because we're standing up for the children who cannot speak for themselves.”

He said their hats were evidence that the students had confidence in their convictions, and were perfectly appropriate in light of President Donald Trump’s pro-life record during his first two years in office, as well as the pro-life promises he reiterated in a message to the March. “Did we not hear the words of the most pro-life president that we have ever had when it comes to this issue of abortion?” Pavone asked. “Did he not stand up and say before our eyes and before our ears and before the whole nation and before the world that he would veto any legislation brought to his desk that weakens the pro-life provisions that our elected officials have worked so hard to put into our laws?” (Read more.)

Why are our bishops so weak? From First Things:
 The story is by now famous. While waiting last Friday afternoon for their bus home after the March for Life, roughly thirty students from the all-male Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Kentucky, found themselves in an incident—altercation is far too strong a term—with American Indian Movement activists in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Saturday morning, less than twelve hours after a 60-second video of the event was posted anonymously on Twitter, the Diocese of Covington and the administration of Covington Catholic High School released a joint statement condemning their own children, their parishioners, their flock. The statement barely offered justification for the censure, pointing vaguely toward untold violations of the “dignity and respect of the human person.” Later that morning the Archdiocese of Cincinnati lamented the boys’ “unfortunate & regrettable” behavior while anticipating “an important teachable moment” for them. Saturday afternoon Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville personally piled on, citing the Covington boys’ “shameful act of disrespect” and expressing total confidence in the Bishop of Covington to do the right thing. As late as Sunday morning, the Archdiocese of Baltimore felt the need to join the fray against Covington Catholic High School by condemning “disrespect” and insisting on “dignity.”
In the heat of the Twitter moment, it seems none of these Catholic leaders gave a thought to whether their own children might deserve respect and dignity. Why not? Cravenness can certainly explain a good deal of what American Catholics have witnessed from their leaders this past week. Yet there is more here to be unpacked. Catholic school principals, bishops, and archbishops are not only Catholic leaders. They are members of the American elite, its professional-managerial class that commands the heights of the country’s political, economic, social, and cultural institutions. Simply because they are Catholic does not mean they do not swim in the sea of class doctrines and dogmas. Neither does Catholic belief separate them from conforming to the cultural and moral ideals of that elite.
Today those ideals are realized in the character of the therapeutic manager. The philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre defines a “character” as the internalization and embodiment of the values of a social order. Characters—by which MacIntyre evokes both the ethical and the theatrical meaning of the word—are “the moral representatives of their culture.” In the fusion of personality and role, the character “morally legitimates a mode of social existence.” (Read more.)

Etiquette: Rediscovering an Art Form

From The Epoch Times:
The most simple definition of etiquette, according to Meier, is being kind, considerate, and respectful to everyone. Without it, we don’t have rules about how to conduct ourselves in a variety of situations and how to treat other people. Furthermore, it’s a concept that applies to people of all socioeconomic statuses, not just the wealthy and privileged. It is for these reasons that etiquette is crucial even today.

“As society evolves and business evolves, etiquette evolves, and so using the etiquette that we were taught 50 years ago certainly is no longer relevant, the majority of it, I would say a large majority of it, now,” Meier said. As social norms have evolved over time, so has etiquette. For instance, before the Internet, email etiquette did not exist. Gender etiquette, particularly in business, has also changed dramatically as attitudes toward women in the workplace have evolved.

American, British, and European culture feature similarities and differences, and as a result, proper etiquette varies between each. There are so many intricacies in the different types of etiquette, but there are some facets that do stand out. Dining is an arena where proper etiquette varies between the American, British, and European varieties. The way one holds and rests their silverware is very different across these three different cultures. Also, the way one signals to a server that they are finished with a meal varies greatly. (Read more.)

Via Nobility. Share

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Medici: Masters of Florence, Season Two (2018)

Bianca de Medici and Lorenzo de Medici
The Medici clan plus friends, in-laws and out-laws
The continuation of the Medici saga is now on Netflix. Season One portrayed the rise of  the Medici banking clan in Florence from simple merchants to masters of the city under the leadership of Giovanni (Dustin Hoffman) and his son Cosimo de Medici (Richard Madden). Season Two opens with the Medicis still embroiled in a struggle for control with the Pazzi family, their long time rivals. The Pazzi (from whom came the Carmelite saint and mystic St. Maria Magdalena de Pazzi) are an ancient noble family who see the Medicis as nouveau riches usurpers. The Pazzi never lose a single opportunity to remind the Medicis that they started out as wool merchants, whereas the Pazzi are descended from crusaders. Sean Bean stars as the head of the Pazzi clan, Jacopo de' Pazzi. Young Lorenzo de Medici (Daniel Sharman) sees that his ailing father Piero (Julian Sands) is not able to manage the situation and so he must make some hard decisions in order to save his family and his city. Lorenzo is advised by his brilliant and devout mother Lucrezia (Sarah Parish) and later by his wife Clarice Orsini (Synnøve Karlsen). Clarice is an endearing character who puts personalities before politics. While women may not have always had a direct political role, they certainly had enormous influence behind the scenes. Meanwhile, Lorenzo's younger brother Guiliano (Bradley James) becomes embroiled with a married woman, Simonetta Vespucci, who is posing as Venus for their mutual friend Botticelli ( Sebastian de Souza).

Season Two is as addictive as Season One, so be prepared to watch several episodes at once. Filmed in Italy, the sets and costumes are glorious. The music, banqueting and dancing scenes are sumptuous. The Medici palace, with frescoes on all the walls, is exquisitely recreated. The theme song is especially captivating. It is not a family show, however, which is a shame since there is so much to learn about both art and history. Italian politics during the Renaissance were notoriously bloody but even so several lines are crossed by the Pazzi as they attempt to destroy the Medici. The suspense spirals into an almost unbelievable climax which is hard to digest even though it really happened. Amid great tragedy, Lorenzo's power is solidified and he is on his way to becoming Il Magnifico.

Lorenzo the Magnificent
The lyrics of the theme song are powerful and called "Renaissance." They make me think of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "I can say that I can change the world. I can make another world for us. I can suffer all for you." Those words encapsulate the love of Jesus for our souls. I am reminded that St. Theresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart lived in Florence and now lies incorrupt in the chapel of the Discalced Carmelite Monastery.

What Hitler and Stalin Promised

From CNS News:
Democrat Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promisng Americans the same thing brutal dictators promised, and those promises are never realized, Ben Stein explained in a Fox News Channel interview this week. Stein, an economist, lawyer and writer, warned that, when politicians promising to punish success in the name of equality obtain power, their policies invariably have terrifying results.
"We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Miss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promising. That led to mass murder, led to dictatorship, and led to genocide. 
"These promises are old promises, and they invariably lead to bad things. The promise of saying to the people do what you can within the law to make your life better and your family's life better that system works extremely well. Capitalism is a system that allows people to make something of themselves instead of oppressing other people." (Read more.)

The Dark Night of a Priestly Soul

From These Stone Walls:
I wrote a promised sequel to “USA Today’s Tim Roemer on how to Save the Catholic Church.” My sequel is not about the state of our Church, but rather about the state of our bishops as they prepare for a Vatican Summit on the crisis in the priesthood. Nine days after I wrote it and mailed it for scanning, however, it has simply disappeared. Foul play or lost in the mail? Who knows? So now I must re-write it and re-mail it, and by the time you are reading this I will have done so. Hopefully, it will be our featured post next week. I decided to reprint a post for this week I wrote for an Australian site in 2010 that is no longer online. The timing for it is good, and I have a haunting feeling that I am supposed to put it before you again. In “Anti-Catholicism and Sex Abuse,” in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, author Ryan MacDonald wrote:
“On a website located at Priests in Crisis, Father MacRae published an article in December entitled “The Dark Night of a Priestly Soul.” I urge every Catholic, every bishop, priest, and deacon, to read that article.”
(Read more.)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Of Child Sacrifice

 From The Christian Post:
Moloch was the false god of the Canaanites who required child sacrifice. He’s got a new altar in New York, he’s got worshipers and he’s doing business as Autonomy and Choice. On January 22, 2019 the state of New York enacted a law allowing for abortion up to a baby’s due date. How are we to respond to this new reality? We grieve and mourn and pray and share the Gospel. There are things done upon the earth which so grieve the heart of God that His people do what they can to reflect the depth of it. I now more fully understand the scenes of God’s people tearing their clothes and donning sackcloth and ashes when the darkness of sin became particularly acute.

Chosen because it was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade – the Governor of the state of New York in a formal ceremony that can only be described as celebratory – signed the Reproductive Health Act into law.  The law allows for abortion at any time throughout pregnancy.  And if a child is born alive, after a botched abortion, the born-live child is no longer protected.  It is clear Moloch has worshippers today and to this false god the children of America are being offered up on the altars of autonomy and choice.

In videos of the event, Governor Cuomo celebrates the presence of the attorney who argued Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court in 1973. He then confirmed plans to secure the right to abortion by amending the Constitution of the State of New York making clear their intent to lead not only this generation of children to slaughter but to bind the conscience of all future governing bodies in undoing this evil. The Governor of one of the nation’s most populous states also sent a clear signal that he intends to support advocates of abortion in reproducing New York’s taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand system to other states in the union.

Following the bill’s passage, Governor Cuomo applauded “The Reproductive Health Act is a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values,  In the face of a federal government intent on rolling back Roe v. Wade and women’s reproductive rights, I promised that we would enact this critical legislation within the first 30 days of the new session – and we got it done. I am directing that New York’s landmarks be lit in pink to celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.” According to the Governor’s office, the landmarks included One World Trade Center’s 408-foot spire, the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge and the Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany.

Consider the words in that order carefully. New York’s landmarks, by order of the Governor, were lit in pink to “celebrate” this “achievement” which he characterized as shining a “bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”  What has been born in New York is intended to be conceived, gestate and birthed elsewhere. (Read more.)

African-American babies are at risk. From Life News:
There are many, many secrets PPFA and its allies desperately want kept hidden. After the grim fact that they believe in and promote abortion for any reason throughout the entire nine months of pregnancies, probably no truth is more threatening to them than the incredibly disproportionate number of black babies who are aborted.

As Riley, who is black, tells us, “In New York City, thousands more black babies are aborted each year than born alive.” Only the likes of a Gov. Cuomo or Planned Parenthood/NARAL could calmly brush aside what many black leaders over the years have denounced. Riley reminds readers of historical truths only a tiny fraction would know:
When the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, polling showed that blacks were less likely than whites to support abortion. Sixties-era civil rights activists like Fannie Lou Hamer and Whitney Young had denounced the procedure as a form of genocide. Jesse Jackson called abortion “murder” and once told a black newspaper in Chicago that “we used to look for death from the man in the blue coat and now it comes in a white coat.” In the intervening decades, those views shifted. Mr. Jackson abandoned the pro-life ship to run for president in 1984, and leaders of black civil-rights organizations today are joined at the hip with abortion-rights proponents such as Planned Parenthood.
The magnitude of the death toll is nothing short of staggering.
According to a city Health Department report released in May, between 2012 and 2016 black mothers terminated 136,426 pregnancies and gave birth to 118,127 babies. By contrast, births far surpassed abortions among whites, Asians and Hispanics.
What about nationally? Riley writes
Nationally, black women terminate pregnancies at far higher rates than other women as well. In 2014, 36% of all abortions were performed on black women, who are just 13% of the female population. The little discussed flip side of “reproductive freedom” is that abortion deaths far exceed those via cancer, violent crime, heart disease, AIDS and accidents.
Think about that. 13% of the female population, 36% of all abortions! (Read more.)

Why are people cheering? From The Daily Wire:
 "Why were they even so into this?" asked Limbaugh. "It was a political issue. What was the benefit of this? Well, it was a hell of a fundraising issue, but it also tied inexorably to militant feminism, which meant that it tied to uber-liberalism. So it was designed to raise money. It was designed to create hatred against people who love God and believe in God. It was designed to create a divided society and culture with people that love and believe in God on one side and everybody else on the other, and then they tried to recruit as many people away from God to their side as they could."

Rush argued that this was the reason why the pro-abortion crowd doesn't support adoption; instead, they repeatedly cite rape and incest and attempt to distort and downplay the reason the vast majority of women abort their children. Now, said Limbaugh, all that's "gone."

"But now, folks, all that’s gone now, and it’s changed — and you know, the big change is, they are giving standing ovations in the New York state Senate chamber to the killing of children!" he said. "Now they are acknowledging that that’s what’s happening, and they’re applauding it! And they’re codifying it and making it constitutional in New York. They applaud it. There was a standing O for the provision that if an attempted abortion fails, you can go ahead and finish the job after birth. They stood up, standing O."

He continued: "Do you realize this is a striking change in approach? For the longest time there wasn’t a baby involved, there wasn’t a human being. It was just a woman’s right to choose. It was just civil rights, human rights. It was an illness. It was an unviable tissue mass. It was a potential psychological problem. To get away with it, to promote it, to make sure that there were as many abortions as possible, they had to take the human element out of it — and they did. Now they’re making no effort whatsoever to hide what’s happening. They are opening celebrating what’s happening."

"The last time something like this happened was in World War II!" he added. "You’re not supposed to bring that up, by the way, in relation to abortion. ... So abortion now is an approved method of killing, whereas it used to just be about 'a woman’s right to choose,' a civil rights issue." Limbaugh then got to his primary question: "Why?" Why are they now willing to openly cheer the murder of viable unborn children? (Read more.)

‘White Privilege’ Is a Racist Idea

From Breitbart:
“White privilege” is a racist term, but also part of a totalitarian ideology — identity politics — that erases the individual in favor of collective identities based on race and gender. So detached is the idea of “white privilege” from any reality that CNN analyst Areva Martin accused Fox News host David Webb last week of being conservative because he had allegedly benefited from “white privilege.” Webb is black. That’s a working definition of racism. Everything you don’t like, everything you reject, is white. Every white is a prisoner of his or her skin color. In the end, “white privilege” is an Orwellian construct to scapegoat white Americans who in reality, and in alliance with minorities, have helped create the most tolerant and inclusive society in human history. (Read more.)

Whole Milk

From Ag Moos:
Everything helps… Anything helps,” said Nelson Troutman. The Pennsylvania dairy farmer gave consumers in his area an early Christmas gift, and this gift of knowledge keeps giving in the New Year. Frustrated by the forced emphasis on low- and non-fat milk promotion and seeing the need to draw attention to the simple healthy truth about milk, while planting the seed that consumers can ask for local milk, Troutman came up with his own promotion idea.

On December 11, he painted a wrapped round bale with the words “Drink LOCAL Whole MILK 97% FAT FREE!” Then he placed the round bale in his pasture, where it is visible at the intersection of Wintersville and Stouchsburg Road near Richland, in the Lebanon/Berks area of Pennsylvania. After all, whole milk is standardized to 3.25% fat content, making it virtually 97% fat-free — a point on the minds of consumers that milk labels and checkoff promotion have not been able to tap into.

“It was the cheapest and easiest thing to do, and I’ve gotten a lot of very nice and interesting comments,” said Troutman in an interview with Farmshine. “Today, I saw two ladies walking down the street. They had just passed the bale. I had no idea who they were. They saw me coming out the farm lane and waved. I am sure they were talking about the bale.”

Nearly three weeks after his round bale billboard was placed for the community and those passing through to see, Troutman said the gift keeps giving with new and continuing conversations. “I am amazed at talking to people about this educational bale,” Troutman said Monday (Dec. 31). “People say to me that they did not know any milk is 97% fat-free, much less that the whole milk is 97% fat-free!”

Troutman uses their surprise at this revelation as a teachable moment. “I explain that fat-free milk is 100% fat-free, 1% milk is 99% fat-free, 2% milk is 98% fat-free and whole milk — at 3.25% fat — is basically 97% fat-free. They are astounded,” he affirms. “So, I ask them what they thought any milk is, and they tell me that they never thought about it. When I ask them what they think the fat percentage of whole milk is, most answers were 10% to 20% fat. I actually had one man say he thinks whole milk is 50% fat! His wife made him drink 2% milk for that reason.” (Read more.)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

3 Things Houseguests Say They Love About My Home

From The Nester:
I love to add dimension to my home by surrounding my guests with different yummy scents throughout the day, in simple, multi-use ways. You’re probably cooking and cleaning up a little anyway, why not make a lasting impression? 
Think ahead about serving food that smells irresistible and your guests will be so busy soaking up the scents, they won’t notice the baskets full of dirty laundry. My standbys are bacon in the morning, roasted garlic during the day to use with rosemary chicken at night. 
After every meal, keep those yummy scents coming by cleaning up with sparkling clean fresh scents in your kitchen that surprise and delight. It’s so simple yet incredibly memorable. I promise your guests will comment on how good your house smells. (Read more.)

Trump’s Heroic Efforts

Some commentary from Dr. Carol M. Swain:
With President Donald Trump about to begin his third year in office, it’s fitting to discuss what he has accomplished since his election. Although the news is currently dominated by the federal government shutdown and the conflict between Trump and Democratic leaders over the funding of a wall on the Mexican border, it’s worthwhile to look beyond the headlines. What you will find will be shocking for any person unfortunate enough to get their news exclusively from America’s mainstream media.

Despite unprecedented levels of opposition from national and international sources, Trump has been enormously successful at accomplishing his goals. He has been quietly checking items off a list of promises he made as candidate Trump, all part of his overriding goal to “Make America Great Again.” Note that wearing anything bearing that phrase is considered hate speech by the political left and an act of great bravery by the rest of America.

Frustrated with media bias, the president’s supporters have kept their own running list of accomplishments. In October 2018, Washington Examiner reporter Paul Bedard reported 289 presidential accomplishments over the 20 months Trump had served in office. There is a website called MAGAPILL that has a running list of the president’s accomplishments in the categories of government, economy, trade deals, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Homeland Security, Veterans Administration, and the State Department.

Criminal justice reform, the USMCA trade agreement that replaced NAFTA, moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and securing the release of American Pastor Andrew Brunson from a Turkish prison are among the notable accomplishments, as is the record level of Americans who now have jobs.

MAGAPILL is a reaction to documented reports that more than 90 percent of the news media’s coverage of the Trump presidency is negative. Each of the website’s articles offers documentation from mainstream media sources or government sites. Contrary to “Chicken Little” predictions, Trump is reaching his goals, despite the nonstop opposition he faces on almost every issue. (Read more.)

Who Would Have Known…?

From Dr. Esolen at Crisis:
Drag queen story-time is quite the rage these days. What makes librarians and schoolteachers fall over themselves in a cloud of lavender, gushing over transvestite men who reduce the female sex to a caricature, I have no idea. Sometimes I do not understand at all our women today. The unnamed woman in C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, a Christian girl with whom the “patient” falls in love, is a danger to Screwtape and Wormwood because she has a woman’s immediate grasp of reality, and a healthy sense of the absurd, making it difficult to turn her head with philosophical and social fads. It is quite the contrary case when it comes to ours, it seems. 
Or maybe it is simply that this fad—the homosexual one—does not visit the female sex with the same array of deadly diseases and the same depth of moral depravity and so they do not take it seriously. It is a far greater danger to the boy, and nobody gives him and his plight the time of day. Or maybe it is the single or divorced woman’s vengeance upon the sex that has hurt her, so that when her son, having grown up without a father for most of his life, declares to her that he is gay, she is not entirely displeased. Maybe it is ressentiment. Maybe it is the latest enthusiasm, as temperance once was. Women will have to explain this to me. 
I cannot imagine any librarian thirty years ago, not even the most “liberal” in the land, retaining her job after having a man in drag come and encourage young people in his favorite degeneracy. What changed? What have we learned since then that would cause us to change our minds? (Read more.)

Saturday, January 26, 2019

In the Conservatory

From Joy of Museums:
“In the Conservatory” by Édouard Manet is set in a conservatory in Paris, it shows a fashionable couple of some social rank. Their married status is conveyed by their rings and the proximity of their hands which reflects a hint of intimacy. The woman is the focus of the portrait, as she is more prominently placed plus her more colourful attire. Their lack of engagement with the viewer creates a sense of detachment.

The conservatory in this painting was in Paris, which was then owned by painter Otto Rosen. Manet used the conservatory as a studio from 1878 to 79. The couple was Manet’s friends, the Guillemets, who owned a clothing shop. In 1945 during the end of the Second World War, this painting was among the objects evacuated from the Berlin Museums and put for safekeeping into a salt mine in Merkers. After the war, the picture was discovered and secured by the Monuments Men. Its salvage was documented in photographs, which show soldiers posing with Manet’s painting in the mine in Merkers. Thankfully it survived those challenging times, and it made its way back to the first museum to own this masterpiece. (Read more.)

Tucker Carlson’s Firebell

From Chronicles:
Tucker Carlson shook the punditariat, liberal and conservative alike, with his incisive analysis, delivered during one of his show monologues, of the breakdown of the American family, a genuine four-alarm crisis that cannot be exaggerated. In it, he fingered long-standing economic policies pushed by Swamp residents and their donors for the benefit of a rootless elite class and an establishment about whom we might be tempted to say, “They hate normal Americans,” except that it is not clear at all whether they know normal Americans exist. The latter is the best construction. Factories closed, jobs shipped overseas, Midwestern wasteland towns, stagnant wages for men in what jobs remain, illegal aliens winked at in order to depress wages and increase the bottom line: These are major factors contributing to the decline of marriage rates, the delay of marriage, and the increase in bastardy and single-parenthood, and Carlson risked a great deal in saying so, on a program that depends on the advertising dollars of major corporations.

The monologue came during the 12 days of Christmas, and I for one consider it a gift to the American people. It is an argument made by various and sundry writers in Chronicles over many years, now put to a much wider audience but without sacrificing its moral clarity and conviction.

Not everyone agrees, of course. National Review deployed David French to make the bootstraps/land-of-opportunity argument, and Ben Shapiro deployed himself on his own website to laud and magnify the profusion of quality, affordable retail goods in the free market and high-five the Invisible Hand. These platitudinous responses remind us why Mitt “Bain Capital” Romney will henceforth win elections only in Utah (and possibly on Kolob): Hardly anyone truly believes them, having witnessed life in the real world in such places as Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia—the list goes on—and those who do believe them are concentrated in very particular areas of the country and ensconced in very specific sorts of neighborhoods. (Read more.)

A Brief Primer on the Devil

From The Catholic Thing:
I have written a fair amount on the angelology of St. Thomas Aquinas. But I haven’t yet delved much into demonology, though Aquinas has quite a bit to say about that subject in the Summa Theologiae (I, Q. 63-64). Fortunately, Aquinas asked many questions that come to my mind, and maybe yours, too. So, herewith, a few of them, with possible answers: 
Q: Devils, as pure spirits, don’t make choices like humans: For example, “Oh, if only I knew what the consequences would be!” The angels had the initial choice of siding with God, or not. They had a clear understanding of what they were doing, and what the results would be if they rejected God, including the punishments. How could they be so stupid? 
The intellects of pure spirits are not discursive, like ours; in other words, they do not think logically – starting with certain premises, figuring out connections or implications, and coming to conclusions. For us, even the conclusions can be ignored, out of laziness, or conflicting interests; regrets may come later, as bad consequences appear.
We can imagine souls in Purgatory regretting actions they took in life, or souls in Hell cursing themselves and all the conditions or persons that put them on the wrong road. But this could never take place with the devils. They can literally only blame themselves, since they foresaw as clear as day all the future consequences of their choices.
So, then, why did they reject God, and the rewards and love He offered? The tradition has it that Satan himself, the leader of the angels, was like a god, with powers and intelligence that we can barely fathom. When Satan took Jesus to the top of the mountain (Matt. 4:8) and showed him all the riches and grandeurs of the world, and claimed that everything was under his power and could be bestowed on Jesus, Jesus did not contradict him. Satan before his fall was probably the closest thing to divinity. But this was also his downfall. Could a primeval “son of God” (Job 1:5, 2:1) with such majestic and all-encompassing powers accept subjugation to God – even the God who had created him?
How could such a great being accept such subservience and humiliation? How could St. Michael’s cry, “Who is like God?” penetrate such overbearing pride? And if Satan and his followers were also given information about the coming creation of humans, how could they resist the possibility of setting up their own kingdom down below, being followed and even worshiped for the benefits and powers they could supply? (Read more.)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Remembering Holocaust Victims on Facebook

From The Jersualem Post:
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center located in Jerusalem is teaming up with Facebook's Israeli regional department to remember the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

As part of the initiative, Yad Vashem asks participants to join the "IRemember Wall," which matches a user's name with the name of a Holocaust victim. Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names contains brief biographies of victims in an effort to honor their memory and restore their identities. Users can then post the match to their Facebook page. The campaign will last four days, starting Thursday until January 27, which marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A second phase of the project will be called, "Unto Each Person There is a Story." Using Yad Vashem's database of interviews and testimonies from survivors and family members, Facebook users can share a story online. This part of the project will launch in May, in time for Yom HaShoah, Israel's national Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day. (Read more.)

Holocaust in New York

The bill has passed. Why hasn't Cuomo been excommunicated? From Life News:
Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, told the Catholic News Service that the pro-abortion bill “foresees a time in New York where it’s a crime to be pro-life.” New York State Right to Life predicted that the bill will lead to the suppression of pro-lifers’ freedom of speech and conscience. Doctors and nurses who refuse to help abort unborn babies could lose their jobs, and pro-life advocates could be persecuted for just speaking out for life. Abortion activists have been trying to pass the bill for more than a decade in New York, and the latest version is “worse than we thought,” Gallagher said. It looks like it will pass in the new Democrat-controlled state legislature this winter. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has threatened to hold up the budget until it does. (Read more.)

Yet people are celebrating? How ghoulish. From Life Site:
Pro-life advocates lamented Cuomo’s celebration. Lila Rose of Live Action wrote on Facebook, “New York leadership cheers today for the legalization of killing a baby old enough to born - poisoning a 6-month-old to death in the womb and delivering her in pieces. This is the legacy of Roe v. Wade. It's time to end this barbarism.” The Radiance Foundation declared, “Already the nation's abortion capital, New York’s pro-abortion Dems just passed the most radical abortion bill in the nation, earlier today, allowing abortion through the entire pregnancy (to save the life or ‘health’ of the mother).” Gov. Cuomo, the Radiance Foundation said, celebrated the “unrestricted violence of abortion that treats the unborn with more antipathy than criminals. God help us.” (Read more.)

We lament the weakness of some of our shepherds. We have seen bishops react quickly enough when it comes to a bunch of schoolboys with MAGA hats. Also from Life Site:
The Catholic leaders of New York state expressed “profound sadness”  before the abortion-extremist Reproductive Health Act passed into law and decried the notion that it represents “progress.” But some Catholics are calling for a more robust episcopal response to the law. "The bishops' statement is welcome,” author John Zmirak told LifeSiteNews. “Sadly, it's a day late and a dollar short.”
“For how long have 'Catholic' politicians who support laws like this been allowed to receive Holy Communion by New York bishops?” he asked. Headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the ordinaries of the Catholic dioceses in New York released a letter on January 17th condemning the new Reproductive Health Act (RHA). “Words are insufficient to describe the profound sadness we feel at the contemplated passage of New York State’s new proposed abortion policy,” their letter reads. (Read more.)

Convicted criminals, however, will be spared. From Ben Shapiro at the Daily Wire:
How far has the Democratic Party gone at this point? Let New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) tell the tale. This week, Cuomo celebrated a bill passed by the legislature that legalized the murder of unborn infants up to the point of birth – and even changed the criminal code so that there would be no separate punishment for the murder of an unborn infant (so, for example, if a boyfriend beat his pregnant girlfriend in the belly so hard she miscarried, the only crime would be for his assault on her, not for his killing of the baby). Cuomo ordered that state sites be lit up in pink, in honor of the imminent murder of thousands of more children. Meanwhile, Cuomo came out strongly in favor of banning the death penalty in New York, hilariously citing Catholic doctrine in his own defense...(Read more.)

From Catholic Answers:
Here Cuomo warns, with florid language that masks his illogic, that for Catholics to fail to keep their faith “personal” (by imposing it politically through pro-life laws) would represent a selling-out to the world, substituting a tarnished and legalistic public morality for the pure (and purely internal) observance of God’s laws “in our hearts and minds.”
The end result of this failure would be “assimilation” and loss of identity. That’s right: in this twisted reasoning, not to betray Catholic teaching on the value of unborn life would be to betray Catholicism. To uphold Catholic teaching would somehow lead to assimilation by the culture. Now flash forward thirty-five years. Mario Cuomo got his wish. Catholics did not “impose” on larger society their personal religious beliefs about abortion. The red herrings he espoused—the seamless garment, the “root cause” argument, the supremacy of personal conscience—have become dicta.
By his prediction, American Catholics should today be a “light to the nation . . . leading people to truth by love.” Instead, yesterday Andrew Cuomo—Mario’s physical but also spiritual son—ordered the tallest building in the nation to be lighted in a sick celebration of a thing that is the opposite of truth and love. He said he hoped it would be "a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow." (Read more.)

What I Believe About Depression

From Therese Borchard:
I believe depression is complex. I believe it is a physiological condition with psychological and spiritual components, and therefore can’t be forced into any neat and tidy box. I believe depression is part of a intricate web of biological systems — nervous, digestive, endocrine, respiratory. I believe it is about the gut as well as the brain, the thyroid and the nerves. I believe healing needs to come from a variety of sources. I believe every person’s recovery is different. 

I believe untreated depression can increase the risk of developing other illnesses. A 2007 Norwegian study found that those participants with significant depression symptoms had a higher risk of death from most major causes, including heart disease, stroke, respiratory illnesses (such as pneumonia and influenza), and conditions of the nervous system (like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis).

I believe depression deserves the same compassion offered to people with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, breast cancer, or any other socially acceptable illness. I believe persons who struggle with depression aren’t lazy, uncommitted, and weak. I believe they are not trying to get attention, that they are ill. I believe the best thing you can do for a person who suffers from depression is to believe her. (Read more.)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

To Walk By A Secret Garden

From Virginia Fisher at Save the Pink House:
For five generations, children have walked past this garden gate and knocked on their way to and from Edgewood Elementary, never really expecting a response after years of knocking. But who can say what magic happens in the mind of a child in the habit of knocking here? For those who grew up around the Pink House and Secret Garden, they are used to hearing all kinds of stories — about the fairies who directed the planting of the flowers, the tall tales of long-dead Indians buried on the grounds or stories of movie stars driving up in limousines. About the parade of dogs with pedigrees as long as your arm that showed up to submit to the paintbrush of Eleanor Bridges. Of the ghost of Eleanor herself walking her Afghan hounds, patrolling the neighborhood and teaching children to paint in their dreams.

Our society has forgotten about the magic of ritual, of the simple act of knocking on a door, on wood that we and countless others have touched and wished upon and hoped against all hope against. Our desire to luxuriate in the warmth of nostalgia of place — and history and culture rooted in place — seems displaced or rather knocked down. We are too distracted and harried as we drive by to see the latest crop of school children with their new school clothes, walking by the tall hedges, still peeking past the vines to get a glimpse of the foreign-looking house and the Capri-blue umbrella on the parterre.

I started walking past this place when I was in high school with a very small white dog. Even after I bought my first house, an almost 100-year old house on the Southside, I still drove to Homewood to walk down Roseland Drive and the Pink House but with a baby stroller and a Springer Spaniel. In time, I returned to Homewood and bought a bungalow, painted it a pale pink, and walked all over Homewood with an Irish Wolfhound and always by the Secret Garden. After I sold that house, I'd still return from time to time, this time with a shepherd-husky rescue and knock on the blue door when no one was looking. (Read more.)

The War On Religious Schools

From The Federalist:
The core cause of concern comes from the parent agreement, which says the school may refuse admission or deny continued admission if a student participates in or condones homosexuality. The writer is stunned that the employment application “also makes candidates sign a pledge not to engage in homosexual activity or violate the ‘unique roles of male and female.’”

The author further states, “The application says that the school believes ‘marriage unites one man and one woman’ and that ‘a wife is commanded to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ.’” The application asks potential employees to explain their view of the “creation/evolution debate.” The “parent agreement” asks parents to cooperate in its “biblical morality” policy.

After confirming that the state of Virginia, as with many other states, permits private religious schools to discriminate, the article ends with a quote: “‘Why not teach at a school that welcomes everyone, instead of choosing one that won’t serve LGBTQ kids, kids of LGBTQ parents?’ said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president for policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement to HuffPost. ‘The Pences never seem to miss an opportunity to show their public service only extends to some.’” (Read more.)

The Rise of the Catholic Layman

From Joseph Sciambra:
Camille Paglia once wrote: “Masculinity is risky and elusive…and is confirmed only by other men.” In an age of anxiety and uncertainty, a number of young men have gravitated towards several men who have become famous primarily due to their podcasts and YouTube channels, namely Jordan Peterson and political commentator Ben Shapiro. Neither of them I would regard as traditionally masculine. But despite their smaller, slender frames and high-pitched voice – both Peterson and Shapiro, without trying, have amassed a loyal following of young men who pack their lectures as if they were rock concerts. Both reached probably the height of their influence while appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcasts – often for interview sessions lasting well over 2 hours. These podcasts are accidentally a study on the contrasting image of masculinity – with the ruggedly manly, tattooed, and muscled mixed martial arts devotee Joe Rogan listening in almost spellbound admiration to the bookish Peterson. In addition, the confident assertiveness of Shapiro is expertly distilled in his well-known quote: “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” These rather simple almost paternal-sounding axioms, epitomized by Jordan’s directions concerning “cleaning your room” and “telling the truth,” are sometimes easily ridiculed but reach the status of revelation to young men who never heard them from their dads. In another interview, Peterson remarked that 65% of the audience at his lectures are male. Another interviewer asked Peterson: “Are you a father figure?” He answered in a matter-of-fact voice: “Sometimes.” During his own podcast, Peterson answered various questions from viewers. One person asked: “How does it feel to be viewed as a father figure by many people who grew up without one?” He said: “It’s an unbelievable honor.” Peterson continued: “I am doing everything I absolutely can to be worthy of that.” He then spoke directly to his viewers:
I would like to say to all the people out there who grew up without a father – that’s really too bad. Because you need a father there to encourage you. That’s what fathers do. They encourage, they help make you courageous. And if I can help people develop that capacity to be courageous, and to learn to tell the truth, and to be responsible, then that’s great. I can’t imagine a better outcome for me.
In terms of YouTube viewership, boys are more likely than girls to identify YouTube as their primary platform (39% vs. 25%).

As Peterson and Shapiro gained a wider secular audience among young men looking for a father figure to guide them, a largely unaffiliated group of Catholic husbands and fathers began to boldly call for accountability and a return to more traditional values among a Catholic clergy embroiled in scandal. In doing so, they appealed to Catholic laymen who increasingly found the all-male hierarchy of the Church to be curiously bereft of strong masculine leadership. In the American Church, the most notable exception is the soft-spoken but fearless Cardinal Raymond Burke who unintentionally amassed a Catholic male fan-base.

Mirroring Peterson’s appeal for a reappreciation of traditional values, such Catholic men as Doug Barry, Taylor Marshall, and Jesse Romero and Terry Barber have successfully rallied the usually apathetic Catholic layman via their respective YouTube channels, television shows, and radio programs. Again, for the most part, these are somewhat unlikely heroes: a Catholic dad, a philosopher, and a pair of plain-talking, middle-aged Catholic evangelists. But, like Peterson and Shapiro, their willingness to speak the truth has created an oasis from which men have been able to drink – after years of wandering through a wasteland. For those men, for whatever reason, are not drawn to a Catholic fraternal organization, they have someplace to go. In particular, since the innovations instituted during the post-Vatican II era, Catholic men have been visibly absent from the Church. This missing sense of masculinity became wildly apparent to my generation in the 1970s and 80s when the new liturgy looked increasingly overcrowded by an ever-growing cadre of female Eucharist ministers, lectors, and altar girls. At the same time, homilies had about the same amount of depth and moral challenge as a Hallmark card. On Sunday, oftentimes, men stayed home.

After the American Psychological Association issued a report detailing how “traditional masculinity” is harmful to young men, Doug Barry posted the following to his Facebook page:
The attack against men is ramping up. Strategically it makes sense. Remove the one that God has designed to be the primary fighter and protector and the rest of society is left wide open to the assaults of the enemy. In every genocide this tactic has been used. There is a lot to cover on this topic. But for now let me say that the problem with men is not traditional masculinity as a whole, it is that God-given masculinity has been corrupted, misunderstood and rejected! And that many men, even good Christian men, have become comfortable with being soft and weak in body, mind and soul. Too many men have gone AWOL. Let me say this, NOT ON MY WATCH!
Speaking to Jesse Romero and Terry Barber, about the crisis in the Catholic Church, Taylor Marshall spoke in similar terms:
We men, we fathers, and grandfathers, patriarchs, we need to stand up for what’s true, and I say be the Maccabee. In the Book of Maccabees, a bunch of men followed their father Mattathias and they went into the wilderness and they formed a militia and they came back and they beat the Greeks and they took back the Temple of God and sanctified it…And that’s what we need to do. We got to be the Maccabees, we got to go into the wilderness, we need to organize, and we need to take back our temple and say this is true and this is right.
(Read more.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Lying Media

From Ben Shapiro at The Daily Wire:
All three stories were lies. All three stories were politically driven.

Take, for example, the Covington High School story. On first blush, it’s understandable that members of the punditocracy immediately leapt to the conclusion that the students had done something wrong – after all, would members of the media, the blue-checkmarked brigade, really have butchered video badly enough to completely lie about the story? Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, according to Newsbusters, CNN and MSNBC spent some 53 minutes and 20 seconds on the original, false narrative.

Then, as the facts emerged, everyone had to reconsider – the full video not only exonerated the kids, it actually cut directly against the prevailing narrative that the MAGA-hatted kids had surrounded the Native American man after he defended a group of black activists from them. In fact, the black activists were members of the cultish Black Hebrew Israelites, they were shouting racial and sexual slurs at the kids, and the Native American man sauntered with his group into the center of the high school crowd, banging his drum in the face of one particular student. The students reacted to all of this by singing their high school chants and songs. End of story.

That still hasn’t stopped members of the media from trying to dig up other information demonstrating the racism of the high school, or targeting the students for supposed bad behavior, or justifying the leap to conclusions as a predictable result of living in Trump’s America. The lesson: don’t trust the media’s immediate take. And count on their screw-ups to consistently reinforce a Leftist narrative about American racism and Trumpist bigotry. (Read more.)

From Tom Piatak at Chronicles:
There is no evidence that anyone from Covington Catholic called the Indians "beasts" or anything like that. Nor did they do anything to "these old black individuals," a group of Black Hebrew Israelites who had been yelling a variety of invectives, including anti-white slurs, for nearly an hour before the leader of the Indians decided to walk up to the students from Covington Catholic and begin banging his drum right in the one student's face, without ever explaining what he was doing and why. All things considered, the teen showed admirable restraint, far more than most other teenaged boys would have and far more than the adult members of the Twitter mob were able to summon even though they were tweeting from their easy chairs and without a stranger getting in their face. 
The teens from Covington Catholic represent everything too many on the left love to hate; and hate them they did, and hate them they do. As for me, I am white. I am a male. I am a Catholic. I went to an all-boys Catholic high school. I've been to the March for Life. I own a MAGA hat. Judging by the hysterical (and often) hateful reaction to the story about the teens from Covington Catholic at the March for Life, I might as well declare myself Public Enemy Number One. (Read more.) 

Tucker Carlson weighs in:
Carlson, in a scathing monologue addressing the totality of the controversy, laid into the mainstream media for its dereliction of duty, rebuking them for failing to follow basic procedures learned in Journalism 101.

"Did the video really describe what happened? That should have been the first question journalists asked. Checking facts and adding context is what journalists are paid to do. It's in the first line of the job description. Yet, amazingly, almost nobody in the American media did that," Carlson said. Carlson then called out specific media members and famous Hollywood figures for their direct contributions to the outrage against the students, driven by lies and mischaracterizations in an incident that appeared to confirm the left's biases against white Trump supporters from middle America. He explained:
Maggie Haberman of the New York Times suggested the boys needed to be expelled from school. Ana Navarro of CNN called the boys racists and "a**wipes" and then went after their teachers and their parents.

Others called for violence against them. CNN legal analyst Bakari Sellers suggested one of the boys should be, "punched in the face." Former CNN contributor Reza Aslan agreed. Aslan asked on Twitter, "Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid's?" Longtime CNN contributor Kathy Griffin seemed to encourage a mob to rise up and hurt these boys, tweeting, "Name these kids. I want names. Shame them. If you think these effers wouldn't dox you in a heartbeat. Think again." She repeated her demand again later: "Names please. And stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you."

Hollywood film producer Jack Morrissey tweeted that he wanted the boys killed: "MAGA kids go screaming, hats first, into the woodchipper." He paired that with a graphic photo. Actor Patton Oswalt linked to personal information about one of the boys, in case anyone wanted to get started on that project.
But, as Carlson noted, the outrage and condemnation wasn't limited to progressives. Republicans and conservatives also jumped on the bandwagon. Carlson specifically called out Bill Kristol and National Review, which later retracted its initial story and issued a correction. So why the visceral reaction against the teenagers, ultimately leading to an abomination of the truth? According to Carlson, it was about power. (Read more.)

From Robert Royal:
So what, in reality, began near the Lincoln Memorial as an attack on the boys by Black Hebrew activists calling them “faggots” and worse (it’s on the tape); followed by the encounter with an Indian activist that (again to judge by the full tape) shows no more than some confused interaction, pointing to absolutely nothing; we have, once again, full-blown tribal warfare in America. 
Social media are largely now a sewer of outrage – your virtue signaling is greater the more it’s sensitive and offended, outraged and violent towards the other side. Worse, the mainstream media now also get into this shameful act. Outlets like the New York Times and CNN repeated the slurs about the boys – and then were forced to admit that further video “changed the context.” 
Serious media are supposed to get context and balance right before they enflame the kind of social divisions already only too evident now. None that I’ve seen has issued a retraction and apology. 
The Times did run a very good column by David Brooks about the shameful way the “incident” has been publicized. He concludes that the Covington boys displayed the least objectionable behavior among the actors. 
The result: Commenters on his column have basically said, yeah, but it doesn’t matter because the basic point, white privilege vs. disrespect for an elderly Native American, is the Truth. Justice – the concrete guilt or innocence of specific individuals – is thus unimportant compared to “Truth.” 
Our tribal warfare would be less distressing if Christians themselves refrained from this sort of stereotyping, but they don’t. I see it quite often when moderate liberals, whom I know personally, are accused of connections to radical groups and views, which I know they don’t share. 
I myself, for example, have strongly criticized things that Pope Francis has done and said over the past five years. But it’s appalling to see how some people then go on to speak about him. A Christian has to be scrupulous about the truth, which is one of the names of God. One consequence of launching wild attacks is that, when there’s really something that calls for loud denunciation, critics are dismissed as cranks. (Read more.)

From Red State:
A video went viral on the internet Saturday morning showing a group of kids from Covington Catholic school supposedly surrounding a group of Native Americans while wearing MAGA hats. The media, and unfortunately, even some Conservatives immediately clutched their pearls and began virtue signaling about how inappropriate the children were acting and condemning the actions. I am upset to see Conservatives so quick to buy what a Democrat controlled media is selling. 
Within a matter of hours, after main stream media began sharing the story and attempting to identify the students several videos from different angles were released and once again we see the media selectively editing reality to fit a narrative, and this time it was to punish children for supporting the President and the March for Life. The students from Covington High school were in DC for the March for life and were waiting for their bus home at the Lincoln memorial, that is when noted activist Nathan Phillips approached the group of students, cameras ready, and began beating his ceremonial drum in the face of one of the students. Nathan Phillips is known to decry racism at the drop of a hat, and is nothing more than a liberal outrage artist. (Read more.) 

From Life News:
Two days after his image went viral, Nick Sandmann gave a statement explaining what transpired as he and his classmates waited for a bus near the Lincoln Memorial, ready to return home after attending the annual March for Life. 
Known simply as one of the “MAGA hat kids” on social media, Sandmann, who is a junior at Covington Catholic High School, said he was the student who was approached by Native American elder Nathan Phillips. He also said, “it was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why.” (Read more.) 

From The Daily Wire:
On Monday, Patricia Heaton, the star of “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Middle” and a devout Catholic, minced no words attacking members of the media who vilified the Covington Catholic High School students for actions they did not commit regarding their encounter with a Native American man near the Lincoln Memorial on Friday, after the March for Life. Heaton issued a searing series of tweets addressing those who had attempted to ruin the boys’ lives, pointing out that their rush to judgment could not be ameliorated by their subsequent apologies, 
She started by writing, “I'm seeing what I believe to be sincere apologies from some journalists and verified media persons regarding their lack of professionalism in rushing to judgement re the #CovingtonCatholic situation.” (Read more.

Meanwhile, worshipers were harassed. From Catholic News Agency:
 While chanting and playing ceremonial drums, a group of Native American rights activists reportedly led by Nathan Phillips attempted Jan. 19 to enter Washington, D.C.’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during a Saturday evening Mass. The group of 20 demonstrators was stopped by shrine security as it tried to enter the church during its 5:15 pm Vigil Mass, according to a shrine security guard on duty during the Mass.

“It was really upsetting,” the guard told CNA.

“There were about twenty people trying to get in, we had to lock the doors and everything.”

The guard said the incident was a disappointment during a busy and joyful weekend for the shrine. (Read more.)

And children are threatened. From Yahoo:
 In a video statement tweeted out Monday night by conservative high-school online personality CJ Pearson, two Covington Catholic High school students named Grant and Sam discussed the effects of a viral video showing classmate Nicholas Sandmann appearing to have a stand-off with a Native American leader in Washington D.C. over the weekend. The video clip was later found to be taken out of context.

“Several media platforms blatantly lied about the events regarding the controversy in D.C. and it has affected us as a community and individuals greatly,” Grant said. Sam continued, “There have been many threats against our lives, against our parents. Some of these include that we should be locked in the school and it should be burned to the ground, the school being bombed, school shooting threats. It’s really scary, I know a lot of people are scared to go to school tomorrow and won’t be attending because of what could happen.” (Read more.)

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