Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Paris’ Lapérouse Restaurant Reopens

From The Daily Beast:
Said libertine address has recently reopened following a four-month renovation, and although its new owner christened it Maison de Plaisirs (House of Pleasures), the eatery’s origins were more practical than scandalous. Built as a private mansion, Lapérouse was founded in 1766 by King Louis XVI’s personal beverage maker and functioned as a wine market. The second-floor servants’ quarters were transformed into salons privés, and were used by wealthy merchants, not for debauched dalliances, but as spaces where they could discreetly count their money and balance the books without the fear of being robbed by street bandits.

The restaurant became Lapérouse in the mid-1800s when Jules Lapérouse took over, and its popularity boomed in the decades that followed. Literary lions like Baudelaire, Hugo, Marcel Proust, and George Sand flocked to the elegant haunt with the Rococo interior and gourmet cuisine, and it was at Lapérouse that Colette reportedly penned her 1933 novel, La Chatte. (Read more.)

The New American Fascists

From Newt Gingrich:
In his 1989 movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Steven Spielberg has a remarkable scene of Nazi book burning. The looks of ecstasy as the actors-playing-Germans parade past Hitler and throw inappropriate books on the fire are compelling and convincing. These people are cleansing their society of past and future sins.

Of course, the real Nazis went much further through their attempt to physically cleanse their society of perceived impurities through a holocaust of the Jewish people, murders of minority groups, the selective killing of Germans with genetic defects, and a maniacal sense of righteousness which remains horrifying to this day.

Unfortunately, the Nazi effort to destroy the past in search of a pure future is not an isolated event. During the Reformation militant Protestants destroyed art in Catholic churches. During the French Revolution, the calendar itself was replaced by a new French Revolutionary calendar which lasted from 1793 to 1805. The revolutionaries, in their righteousness, guillotined aristocrats, nuns, and ultimately many of their own revolutionaries. The search for purity was paved with violence.

The Soviets sought purity by establishing the secret police, banning books, turning churches into public restrooms, killing aristocrats, starving the middle-class farmers, and establishing their future utopia on a sea of blood.  The Chinese Communists persecuted Christians, Muslims, and Tibetan Buddhists. During Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution, they even went after their own communist leaders as impure. Now, the spirit of fascistic book burning has entered the American system. (Read more.)


Mold Toxicity: A Common Cause of Psychiatric Symptoms

Something to be aware of. From Psychology Today:
Toxic mold based illness is a very prevalent and under diagnosed condition that can manifest in many different ways, including with symptoms that are exclusively psychiatric, such as depression, anxiety, attention problems, brain fog and insomnia. Vulnerability to mold toxicity is only present in 25% of the population, who in most cases, have a genetic predisposition which inhibits their clearance of biotoxins. A family can all be living in the same house with mold growth, but only one family member will become ill. This is because that person is the only one with the genetic vulnerability. 
Mold growth is initiated through water damage. Due to common building practices of using Drywall or Sheetrock, which was not a construction material used in the past, more people are now being exposed to toxic mold, as Drywall is a great medium for mold growth. In addition, the current practice of making homes more energy efficient, means that there is less ventilation with outside air, and toxic mold gasses can be trapped inside, potentiating their effect. 
Mold toxins can accumulate in the body, continuing to wreak havoc long after exposure ceases and require an extended course of treatment. But for everyone, the first and most crucial step in treatment, is to identify where the mold is located and to get away from it. 
There are companies that specialize in mold testing and others that offer mold remediation. It is advisable to use different companies for testing and remediation, though some companies do offer both, in order to avoid a conflict of interest. (Read more.)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Bodleian Library’s Elizabethan Tapestry Map

From The Art Newspaper:
There is no village called Easewell in north Oxfordshire, although it is clearly shown as a delightful place with a parish church surrounded by fields on a unique map that has just gone on display in the Bodleian Library in Oxford—probably for the first time in 400 years.

The mythical village is just one of many mysteries surrounding a set of huge tapestry maps of English Midland counties, woven in silk and wool at fabulous expense around 1590 for a rich man called Ralph Sheldon. His own house in Warwickshire was originally shown, bristling with chimneys and the size of a small town, on each of the four maps though it only survives on one. The mysteries include who made the maps and where, and how such sumptuous and rare objects disappeared from history. They should have been famous, dazzling Sheldon’s guests when few would have seen a map of any kind, but researchers have found no references to them from the period.

Nick Millea, head of the library’s huge maps collection, knows there is no Easewell because he lives nearby; other maps show a moated farm called Caswell, so he wonders if the tapestry is a Tudor typo. He has found little to explain what happened to the maps in the centuries between Sheldon’s death in the early 17th century and the gift to the Bodleian of the Oxfordshire and Worcestershire tapestries in the early 19th century. In 2007, the library managed to acquire the biggest surviving chunk of Gloucestershire when it came on the market with an equally vague provenance. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London owns a few more fragments that the Bodleian hopes one day to reunite on display, while Warwickshire county council owns that map.

Damage from creasing suggests that the tapestries were folded for long periods, says Virginia Lladó-Buisan, the Bodleian’s head of conservation. And straight-edged gaps show where sections were deliberately cut out to use in upholstery—a chunk of Gloucestershire reportedly ended up as a fire screen. (Read more.)

The Shame of Baltimore

From Front Page Mag:
The New Shame of the Cities, Perazzo's pamphlet for the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is a vital counterweight to the mendacious cries of racism that have descended on President Trump for daring to speak the truth about Baltimore and Rep. Elijah Cummings. 
“Black congressman, majority-black district. ‘No human being would want to live there.’ Is he saying people that live in Baltimore are not human beings?” Chris Wallace blathered on FOX News. As John Perazzo demonstrates, people don't want to live there. Not since the Democrat machine - that Rep. Cummings is part of - ruined Charm City. 
"Today Baltimore’s population has declined to 622,000," Perazzo notes in The New Shame of the Cities. "As a result of Baltimore’s multiple social, economic, and educational problems, some 47,000 abandoned houses and 16,000 vacant buildings now stand like pulled teeth in Baltimore’s once vibrant but now depleted and depressed neighborhoods." (Read more.)

From Breitbart:
 Elijah Cummings has represented Baltimore in the U.S. Congress for more than thirty years. As I write this, despite his objectively disastrous reign, the Democrat-infested mainstream media is treating the Democrat like a local folk hero, not the obvious and glaring failure he really is. Every single member of the Baltimore city council is a Democrat.

Liberalism and all the toxic government dependence and cronyism and union corruption and failed schools that comes along with it, has run amok in Baltimore for a half-century, and that is Baltimore’s problem. It is the free people of Baltimore who elect and then re-elect those who institute policies that have so spectacularly failed that once-great city. It is the free people of Baltimore who elected Mayor Room-To-Destroy. (Read more.)

From The Daily Wire:
"'Infested.' That's usually reserved for references to rodents and insects, but we've seen the president invoke 'infestation' to criticize lawmakers before. You see a pattern here?" he said on-air, nearly in tears. However, PBS aired a documentary called "Rat Film" about the troubled city last year, detailing the issues the president highlighted about Baltimore. The documentary, as one might suspect, was not condemned as "racist" when it was aired. "'Rat Film,' a documentary that takes the decades-long fight waged against Baltimore’s rat population and uses it as a lens through which to look at how the city has addressed myriad social issues over the decades, airs tonight on PBS," The Baltimore Sun reported in February 2018. (Read more.)

More HERE, HERE, and HERE. Share

The Day of Reckoning Is Coming

From Jim Dwyer:
It is now clear that this was in fact an attempt to overthrow a sitting President.

Mueller was nothing more than a dupe for Weissman who was acting on orders from Rosenstein who was acting on orders from Comey who was most likely acting on orders from Obama or Jarrett. This is the single biggest scandal in America history.  It is Treason plain and simple.  The punishment for Treason is the death penalty.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that AG Barr reinstated the death penalty for Federal Crimes??? Think about it.

I believe that God does things at certain times for certain reasons.  Certain people are put in place at certain times.  No one could have led England during WWII other than Churchill. No one could have endured the constant onslaught from the Establishment and the media like Donald Trump.  His best appointment has proven to be AG Barr who is going to bring to justice all that participated in the coup.

Nothing would make me happier than to see all involved prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  I will bring the popcorn for everyone. President Trump is exposing the Establishment and after the indictments of many, the continued draining of the Swamp will continue.   The Democrats will lose the house in 2020 and Trump Republicans will take their seats.  We already got rid of a lot of the Establishment Republicans who didn’t have the cojones to run and support Our President.

The Best is ahead for this country and Thankfully God put Donald Trump in place when this country needed him the most. (Read more.)

Best Southern Cookbooks

To get a taste of the true history of Southern cuisine, one must look to the work of African-American chefs, home cooks and writers. The eight cookbooks below are a crucial collection for any serious Southern cook. If you don’t have these in your kitchen already, get them in your shopping cart now. 
There simply is no denying the impact that countless African-Americans have had in shaping food culture in our country. In the South specifically, the influence of black Americans is easily felt — and consumed — in everyday staples such as braised collard greens, candied yams and fried catfish. While other Southern chefs have received a lot of acclaim for bringing their interpretation of Southern food to the masses, this beloved cuisine was built in the kitchens of black folks below the Mason-Dixon and continues to thrive even today.  
One of the best things about the cookbooks below is being able to get a glimpse at the historical origins of many of the dishes we’ve come to love. When you’re cooking a recipe out of any one of these books, it’s impossible not to go about it with a sense of reverence for the people and context that helped create such a dynamic cuisine.    
No matter your culture or background, if you’re a Southerner — or at least just love Southern food — there is no better guide to cooking than these eight cookbooks.  (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

Monday, July 29, 2019

Ferdinando e Carolina (1999)

Debuting twenty years ago, Ferdinando e Carolina is yet another historical drama that had the potential to be masterpiece but caved in to trashiness and so was ruined. It is a shame since the sets are ravishing, the views of Naples and the gardens of Caserta are stunning, and the acting has potential. Sergio Assisi and Gabriella Pession are saucy and hilarious as King Ferdinand I and Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and would have been amazing with a better script. But the crude humor, rough language and the denigration of the monarchical principle, all made for a mere farce, without tapping the deeper aspects of the story. Produced by Lina Wertmüller, Ferdinando e Carolina  could almost have been the inspiration for Coppola's 2006 Marie-Antoinette, both films being shallow studies of young royals. In Wertmüller's 1999 film the heroine is Marie-Antoinette's favorite sister, Maria Carolina, who must also marry a Bourbon prince who has bad manners and loves hunting. But otherwise Louis and Ferdinando were immensely different.
From The Chicago Reader:
Lina Wertmüller's comic biopic (1999) about King Ferdinando I of Naples is characteristically over-stylized, with plenty of effects (zooms, colored lighting, circular camera movements) that catch the eye but add little to one's understanding of the story. The movie is also characteristically vulgar, focusing on the king's naughty pranks, sexual escapades, and gastrointestinal problems at the expense of the political and historical contexts in which he lived. Like many of Wertmüller's films, this depicts most interpersonal relationships as struggles for sex and emotional control. Her Ferdinando is a horny, pampered brat who abuses his privilege to get what he wants, and Wertmüller presents this smug caricature as if she were revealing some shocking truth about monarchical power. As in many of her films, the saving grace is Enrico Job's exquisite production design, which conveys a sense of nuance and a historical curiosity lacking in the script and direction.
The first part of the film deals with Ferdinando's ministers trying to get him to agree to a marriage with one of the daughters of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. As the ministers chase the boy king through the woods and fields, the Empress is preparing her daughters for their dynastic roles. As the marriage with Ferdinando approaches, the daughter chosen to be his bride, Archduchess Johanna, dies of smallpox, to be followed in death by Archduchess Josepha, the next choice. The lot of Neapolitan consort then falls to Archduchess Maria Carolina, who is dragged away in hysterics by her mother the Empress, as her younger sister Marie-Antoinette clings to her skirts.The scenes are portrayed in the manner of un vaudeville when in reality it was extremely tragic for the Habsburg family to bury so many children. Plus Maria Carolina had to be sent to Naples instead of to France as planned. Marie-Antoinette was then sent to France while too young. But the film does not go into any of the dynastic repercussions.

The second part of the film shows how Maria Carolina quickly gains ascendancy over her husband, so much so that his conservative ministers fear her influence. Maria Carolina, being an advocate of freemasonry, is feared to be too liberal and so the minsters, including a priest, try to distract the king from his wife by another lady. At one point the Queen appears to be with child, but they never show the baby, who would have been the lovely Maria Theresa, last Holy Roman Empress. The conception of their first son is mentioned, but no baby appears in the film. None of the couple's eighteen children are in the movie, except in a glimpse of the famous Kauffman portrait. I would love to have seen more of Ferdinando and Carolina with their family, but for that there is the brief scene in That Hamilton Woman. The Catholic religion is reduced to rank superstition in most of the film, especially on the part of the King of Naples, and similarly the monarch himself is depicted as a buffoon, which is how the revolutionaries, then as now, love to portray all Christian rulers.
The Habsurgs at Home
Maria Carolina of Austria arrives at Caserta
The Wedding Night
The Real Royal Family of Naples
Sergio Assisi as Ferdinando I of Naples
Gabriella Pession as Maria Carolina of Lorraine-Austria

The Dreaded White Man

From Matt Walsh:
Imbecilic bigot Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) claimed in a recently resurfaced interview on Qatari propaganda network Al Jazeera that Americans should be "fearful" of white men who are "causing most of the deaths within this country." These racist and blatantly false comments came in response to a question about Islamophobia. The interviewer asked if Islamophobia might be the result of a reasonable fear people have about Islamic terrorism. Omar could have responded that we shouldn't fear anyone based on race, ethnicity, or religion, and that each person should be judged according to his or her own merits — but instead, she took the opportunity to fear monger about the dreaded white man.

"I would say our country should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country," Omar said. "And so if fear was the, the driving force of policies to keep America safe — Americans safe inside of this country — we should be profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men."

It goes without saying that any white politician's career would be over and his reputation destroyed (rightfully so) if he ever uttered a phrase like "we should be more fearful of brown men" or "we should be fearful of black men." Even if Omar's statistical claims were correct, she would still be an irresponsible, race-baiting bigot for advocating fear of an entire race. But, as it happens, her claims are not correct. They are not even close to correct. She is not only fear mongering — she is fear mongering with phony statistics. (Read more.)

A Nation Has a Right to Control Its Borders

As the father of a family has not only the right but also the duty to protect those in his charge, the properly constituted authorities of a state have a duty to use their power to advance the common good of the nation. Should prudential considerations—such as the danger “of terrorism or the like”—suggest that restrictions on immigration are in the common good, those authorities have not only the right but also the duty to impose such restrictions. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes:
Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws, and to assist in carrying civic burdens (CCC 2241). (Read more.)

From David Harris:
The U.S. Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump to begin building the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border using emergency funds, lifting an injunction Friday that had been imposed by a district court in California and upheld by the Ninth Circuit. After Congress refused to appropriate enough funding to build a barrier along the border earlier this year, President Trump declared a national emergency to allow the administration to access more money. In total, he ordered $8 billion spent — though, as Breitbart News pointed out, only $3.6 billion needed an emergency declaration. (Read more.)

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Grétry Opera Returns to Versailles

Richard Coeur-de-lion returns. From The Star:
In honour of the 250th anniversary of the opening of the royal opera house at the palace, Pynkoski and Lajeunesse-Zingg were being invited to direct Richard Coeur-de-lion (Richard the Lionheart) by Belgian composer André Grétry (1741-1813). From its premiere in 1784 until the turn of the 20th century, Richard was one of the most popular operas in Europe. Grétry set Michel-Jean Sedaine’s libretto about the crusading English king, imprisoned in Austria, in a new, simple style that foreshadowed Romanticism.

The version being presented at Versailles is Grétry’s streamlined, 90-minute version in three acts. It had its premiere in Paris at Christmastime in 1785. The opera was such a hit that by 1797 it had made its way to Boston. It may have also have helped in the demise of Louis XVI and his queen, Marie-Antoinette, during the French Revolution. On Oct. 1, 1789, the royal guards threw a party for the king; after a bit too much wine, they launched into a rousing rendition of “O mon roi” (“O My King”) from Grétry’s opera. Word reached the anti-monarchist revolutionaries in Paris, who five days later forced the royal family to leave Versailles for good. It was also the last time any music from this opera was heard within its walls. (Read more.)

What Both The Left And Right Get Wrong About Freedom

From Andrew Klavan at The Daily Wire:
If you want to keep the values alive the preserve conservatism, preserve Americanism and preserve free markets in fact, the underlying atmosphere for free markets, the underlying ground in which free markets grow, are good communities, churches that people can go to, families that are kept together. You can't just keep saying to people, "Oh well, business has to be free, so your community is gone, your church is gone, your family's gone, your wife has to work. Too bad." It doesn't work that way, everything needs bookends.

 No system can control all things, it just doesn't work that way. So, you have to feel your way. I mean I don't like the idea of a welfare state, in principle, I'm against it. In principle, I'm against the idea that you take money away from one person and give it to another without a welfare state. You can't keep freedom alive. Even Hayek, this Fredrick Hayek said this, he said, "you have to have a welfare state where people will be too afraid to be free. You don't want people so afraid of what's going to happen to their children if they lose their job or if they get sick that they will not be free." You know it's all well and good to go on the radio and sit in front of a microphone and slam your fist into your palm and say "this welfare state is destroying everything." Everything needs bookends, no principal will keep you alive.
I get in these conversations when I go to colleges and speak because young people obviously are idealistic. They should be idealistic, and they say to you, "Well aren't you violating your principles?" Yeah, I am violating my principles, I’ve got to. I’ve got to violate my principles to keep the ground on which my principles stand alive. If people are too afraid to be free, they won't be free, so you need a bit of a welfare state. There's no such thing as an age of republic or an age of democracy that doesn't have some kind of welfare state.

We have a twofold problem; one is that the Left uses that fact to keep selling us a bigger and bigger welfare state. I believe that people shouldn't starve in the streets if takes government action, I wish it could be done through our churches, I wish it were done through churches and communities, but if it takes government action just to keep people from being too afraid to be free, I'll violate my principles and do it. But what we know is, the left is constantly adding things to the pile, right? We got to pay for college, you've got to pay for childcare, you've got to pay for this and that, you know you got to pay for choice, and we've got to pay for birth control. Choices that people make that they don't have to make, that I shouldn't have to pay for. (Read more.)

Bombshell Claim

It seems the earth has been warming and cooling on its own for millions of years. From True Pundit:
A new scientific study could bust wide open deeply flawed fundamental assumptions underlying controversial climate legislation and initiatives such as the Green New Deal, namely, the degree to which ‘climate change’ is driven by natural phenomena vs. man-made issues measured as carbon footprint. Scientists in Finland found “practically no anthropogenic  climate change” after a series of studies.

This has been collaborated by a team at Kobe University in Japan, which has furthered the Finnish researchers’ theory: “New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an ‘umbrella effect’,” the just published study has found, a summary of which has been released in the journal Science Daily. The findings are hugely significant given this ‘umbrella effect’ — an entirely natural occurrence  could be the prime driver of climate warming, and not man-made factors. (Read more.)

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Marie-Antoinette By An Unknown Artist

Via Vive la Reine. Share

Canada’s Extreme Wokeness

From Life Site:
The bizarre story has attracted international attention. As I mentioned in my previous column, British comedian Ricky Gervais has been highlighting the story to his millions of followers. In the United Kingdom, the Spectator is covering the story at length. Yaniv hung up on a popular atheist radio host in Ireland, who couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing. The National Review has covered the story, as has The Australian, Yahoo News, and the Washington Examiner.

In Canada, however, the media have remained almost entirely silent. The inestimable Rex Murphy over at the National Post harpooned both Yaniv and the Human Rights Commissions, and the Toronto Sun covered the story, but aside from that, only the Post Millennial has been relentlessly uncovering new details (including the recent revelations that Yaniv is allegedly a sexual predator). The Post Millennial, of course, has been smeared by Canada’s state broadcaster the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation — despite the fact that the CBC has resolutely ignored a story that has captured attention almost everywhere else.

It’s not just the CBC, either. Global News? Not a word. CTV? Not a single article. The Toronto Star? You won’t find out what everyone’s talking about there, either. The Ottawa Citizen? Nope. The Winnipeg Free Press? Nothing. The Canadian press, which has been enthusiastically pushing the transgender agenda and obediently using whichever pronouns it is commanded to by the LGBTQ lobby, is utterly silent about a viral story that is being discussed around the world.

Perhaps they don’t know how to reconcile the fact that Canada is currently being transformed into a laughingstock due to a strange trans activist pushing us to the logical conclusion of an ideology they have all been plugging. Perhaps they simply haven’t noticed the story, which seems unlikely, considering how much time their employees spend on Twitter. Or perhaps they’ve decided that a story in which Canada’s extreme wokeness looks ludicrous does not go well along the “Canada is both humble and the best” stories they relentlessly publish. (Read more.)
More HERE. Share

A Rebirth for Lourdes

From The LA Times:
The centerpiece of Lourdes, a town of fewer than 15,000 residents that sees an estimated 5 million annual visitors, is the Gothic Notre Dame cathedral, built atop the grotto where Bernadette had her visions.
Visitors can walk through the grotto, touching the walls, sometimes as a priest conducts Mass in front. They then pass a series of fountains to fill jugs full of water or wait in line to bathe in the water from Bernadette’s stream. The Catholic Church says Lourdes has been the source of 70 medical miracles.
The sanctuary is surrounded by blocks of hotels and souvenir shops that for decades targeted a flux of tourists who arrived as part of large, organized pilgrimages.
About 10 years ago, the rate of those group pilgrimages began to plummet, mirroring changes in the Catholic Church, which has seen the percentage of its congregations in Europe fall and those in places like South America, Africa and Asia rise. Instead of busloads of pilgrims from places like Italy, Lourdes is seeing small groups of pilgrims from farther away.

In 2009, the town’s hotels reported 3,260,022 “nuitées,” a unit of measure in France’s tourism industry to count the number of nights a person spends somewhere. (For example, three people staying four nights makes 12 “nuitées.”) By 2017, the number of nuitées had fallen to 2,005,732, according to the French government’s official statistics agency. (Read more.)

Friday, July 26, 2019

In the South of France

From Victoria:
The white limestone face of Montagne Sainte-Victoire forms a bold backdrop for Aix-en-Provence, often shortened to Aix. The mountain was both Cézanne’s fascination and his muse, the subject of numerous works by this Post-Impressionist painter. Viewing the area through his perspective is just one of the many ways to enjoy Aix.

Above: Formal gardens, complete with swirling topiaries, encircle Aix’s Pavillon de Vendôme, built in the 1660s for Louis de Mercoeur, Duke of Vendôme. (Read more.)

"There Is No Mueller Report"

 From The Conservative Review:
Wednesday on the radio, LevinTV host Mark Levin explained that the only takeaway from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional hearing is that the real author of the 400-page Mueller report appears to be Andrew Weissmann.

“I want to thank the Democrat Party today for this hearing — actually two hearings,” Levin said. “I want to thank them, because they just killed impeachment. See, this was an impeachment trial. They used to call them ‘the best and the brightest.’ Now they’re the worst and the dumbest. Unbelievable. Robert Mueller. I’m not going to mock him, as they would mock him if he were testifying for the other side, but what you saw today … was a fraud, a ruse, that has been perpetrated against the American people. There is no Mueller report. It’s a Weissmann report. There is no Mueller special counsel. It was the Weissmann special counsel. Weissmann. And this little bastard — that’s right, I said it! — Weissmann, who destroyed Arthur Andersen and 80,000 jobs — in a 9-0 decision, Supreme Court, that reversed him on this very issue of obstruction of justice. He’s the invisible hand that’s been behind the whole damn thing, from day one. … This wasn’t a special counsel office; this wasn’t an office of prosecutors. This was an office of Democrat activists who happen to be attorneys in the government. And they had the power to use criminal law and processes and tools to advance a political agenda, even though they failed. That’s why they were so hot to get Manafort.” (Read more.)

On July 24, 2019, during a congressional hearing, Robert Mueller appeared to be either ill or highly medicated. From The Federalist:
Robert Mueller, in his current state, should not have been allowed to supervise the Russia collusion investigation.  But the greater question is, how long has Robert Mueller been like this? The regulation on the appointment of a Special Counsel provides that the person named as the Special Counsel “shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decision making, and with appropriate experience to ensure both that the investigation will be conducted ably, expeditiously and thoroughly, and that investigative and prosecutorial decisions will be supported by an informed understanding of the criminal law and Department of Justice policies. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.”  The regulation further provides that the Special Counsel’s responsibilities “shall take first precedence in their professional lives, and that it may be necessary to devote their full time to the investigation, depending on its complexity and the stage of the investigation.” (Read more.)

 From David Harsanyi:
If Democrats believed that Robert Mueller would provide them with additional ammunition for an impeachment inquiry, they made an extraordinary miscalculation. Not only was Mueller often flustered and unprepared to talk about his own report—we now have wonder to what extent he was even involved in the day-to-day work of the investigation—but he was needlessly evasive. In the end, he seriously undermined the central case for impeachment of President Donald Trump. The often-distracted Mueller didn’t seem to know much about anything. The very first Republican to question him, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. Doug Collins, forced Mueller to correct his own opening statement. In it, the former FBI director had asserted that the independent counsel “did not address collusion, which is not a legal term.” (Read more.)

The Lahun Pyramid

From Archaeology News Network:
A roughly 4,000-year-old mud-brick Egyptian pyramid is opening to the public for the first time this week, according to the north African nation's antiquities ministry.  The mud-brick Lahun -- or El-Lahun -- pyramid was first discovered by British archaeologist William Petrie in 1889 in Fayoum, about 60 miles southwest of Cairo. In 2009, archaeologists discovered a cache of pharaonic-era mummies in brightly-colored, painted wooden coffins, Reuters reported at the time. (Read more.)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Dark Night of Marie-Antoinette

The first two parts of a series from Culture and Stuff about Marie-Antoinette's trial.
By the time Marie Antoinette found herself in the prison of the Conciergerie in August 1793, she was without a doubt deep in the blackest period of her life. The king’s death had been a great blow to her – she seems to have entertained some hope that he might be reprieved, hopes that were only finally dashed when she heard the sound of drums and great cheer echoing round the streets, and she knew he was dead. From this point on she would be known as the Widow Capet, and she dressed accordingly in widow’s weeds. Her daughter was later to write
She no longer had any hope left in her heart or distinguished between life and death; sometimes she looked at us with a kind of compassion which was quite frightening.
(Read entire article.)

Summer of Discontent

There is a line from Shakespeare’s Richard III, “Now is the winter of our discontent” expressing the idea that we have reached the depth, or winter, of our unhappiness and that better times are ahead as winter rolls into spring and summer. Summer of discontent must then mean that darker times are ahead, as summer transitions into fall and winter. For Democrats, this summer may be the best of times for the foreseeable future, as storm clouds gather on their horizon. 
The source of Democrats’ discontent is a funny word they like to use, Drumpf, the ancestral family name of President Donald Trump. Many immigrant families, legal I might add in this case, ended up with an anglicized last name, derived from their previous names back in the old country. So-called comedians, like John Oliver, seem to actually believe that monologues making fun of the name Drumpf would turn Trump supporters into Democrats. The reality is that the tedious harangues from late night jokers probably create more Trump supporters. 
Democrat discontent stems from their inability to stop the Trump train. Despite assurances from John Oliver and others of his ilk that Donald Trump would never be president, he was and still is. The Access Hollywood tapes were strategically leaked by NBC as an October surprise. The only surprise was on the faces of cable news anchors on election night. 
The Electoral College electors would choose someone else. The military would arrest Trump before inauguration day. Robert Mueller and his band of partisans would take out Trump but instead served up a nothing burger of no collusion and no obstruction. Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti would drive Trump from office. Stormy is pole dancing somewhere in Ohio and Avenatti is getting fitted for an orange prison jump suit.
Omarosa had a tell-all book that would destroy Trump and after a week of orgasmic delight by CNN and MSNBC newsreaders, Omarosa disappeared. Megan Rapinoe, not content with being a famous and celebrated soccer star, auditioned for the still vacant role of Trump slayer, quickly becoming as annoying and irrelevant as Stormy or Omarosa. (Read more.)

The Ann Cooper Hewitt Case

An early case of a mother destroying her daughter's fertility according to the principles of the eugenics movement. From Narratively:
There was something else about this case that raised eyebrows: the unconventional use of sterilization. Ann appeared to have been sterilized because of environmental rather than genetic defects; she was the product of bad parenting, rather than bad genes. Furthermore, the involuntary procedure occurred in a private practice, rather than in an institutional setting. Ann was also wealthy, whereas the usual targets of sterilization (epileptic, intellectually disabled, and unemployed persons) were poor. If the court ruled in favor of Ann’s mother, these details could reinvigorate and redefine a flailing movement that embraced the practice of sterilization: eugenics.
The term “eugenics,” which translates to “well-born” from Greek, originated with English intellectual Sir Francis Galton. In his 1869 book Hereditary Genius, Galton drew on Gregor Mendel’s insights on the reproductive patterns of peas to advocate a selective breeding program among humans. Galton wanted to ensure that the characteristics he associated with the upper classes, such as superior intelligence, were passed down. Galton’s theories significantly shaped policies in the United States, as Edwin Black’s volume, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, demonstrates. According to Black, the Englishman’s ideas inspired Charles Davenport, a prominent American biologist, to establish the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York in 1910. Davenport appointed Harry Laughlin as the first director, and the two hired field workers to collect family pedigrees from the public. These workers were especially eager to identify “defective” traits, such as poverty, intellectual disability, and criminality. With the support of philanthropic organizations, such as the Carnegie Institution, and certain government offices, such as the Department of Agriculture, the ERO campaigned for stringent immigration restrictions and helped to pass legislation in 28 states authorizing the sterilization of persons deemed to be “unfit.” Over 64,000 individuals went under the knife as a result of these laws. (Read more.)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Modern Americans Work More than Medieval Peasants

From Nancy Bilyeau at the Vintage News:
“Before capitalism, most people did not work very long hours at all,” wrote Schor in her book. “Consider a typical working day in the medieval period. It stretched from dawn to dusk (sixteen hours in summer and eight in winter), but, as the Bishop Pilkington has noted, work was intermittent – called to a halt for breakfast, lunch, the customary afternoon nap, and dinner.” 
Depending on time and place, there were also midmorning and midafternoon refreshment breaks. These rest periods were the traditional rights of laborers, which they enjoyed even during peak harvest times. During slack periods, which accounted for a large part of the year, adherence to regular working hours was not usual. According to Oxford Professor James E. Thorold Rogers, the medieval workday was not more than eight hours. 
Plowing and harvesting were backbreaking toil, no doubt, but the peasant enjoyed anywhere from eight weeks to half the year off. 
The Catholic Church, mindful of how to keep a population from rebelling, enforced frequent mandatory holidays. Weddings, wakes, and births might mean a week off to celebrate, “and when wandering jugglers or sporting events came to town, the peasant expected time off for entertainment,” according to Business Insider. “There were labor-free Sundays, and when the plowing and harvesting seasons were over, the peasant got time to rest, too.” 
In fact, Schor found that during periods of particularly high wages, such as 14th-century England, peasants might put in no more than 150 days a year. “All told, holiday leisure time in medieval England took up probably about one-third of the year,” she wrote in her book. “And the English were apparently working harder than their neighbors. The ancien règime in France is reported to have guaranteed fifty-two Sundays, ninety rest days, and thirty-eight holidays. In Spain, travelers noted that holidays totaled five months per year.” (Read more.)

The Sordid History of Liberals Calling Republicans Racists

From PJ Media:
To help you see how this labeling by the Left has been transforming political discourse and altering the perception of conservatism in the minds of Americans, I’d like to go back to 1968 to give you a snapshot of labeling and to apply it to the bigger picture. In 1968, a debate occurred at the Republican National Convention between conservative William Buckley and liberal Gore Vidal. The environment surrounding the convention and the debate was fraught with racial strife. Conflicts between police and blacks had Democrats accusing Republicans of racism, fascism, and neo-Nazism. Slanderous, malicious rhetoric was heavy in public dialogue.

Sound familiar? While the degree of conflict changes, the essence of it doesn’t. Neither do the alarmist and exaggerated depictions of racism on the Right. This was evident to Buckley when, just before the debate began, ABC put on the screen images of “police brutality,” creating the impression that there was a “police state” in Chicago run by racist Republicans. (Read more.)

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Where Jesus Walked

From Fox News:
Israel officially opened a stairway, known as "Pilgrim's Road," that Jesus is believed to have walked on in ancient Jerusalem as another place with the significance of "biblical proportions" to billions, especially for Judeo-Christian visitors to the Holy Land. The City of David Foundation unveiled the 2,000-year-old main thoroughfare from Roman-era Jerusalem that it says served pilgrims ascending to the ancient Jewish Temple from the Pool of Siloam built by King Hezekiah. Until recently, it was hidden under a potato field and discovered by accident in 2004 after a pipe burst. (Read more.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Rainbows and Hummingbird Wings

From Colossal:
Australian photographer Christian Spencer has lived within Brazil’s Itatiaia National Park for nineteen years. The lush natural surroundings offer a multitude of photo opportunities ranging from pumpkin toadlets to false coral snakes. One of Spencer’s most fascinating finds is the way that light diffracts through the wings of hummingbirds in flight, resulting in a rainbow of colors within the birds’ feathers. The photographer has been following the petite birds for years, and his film recording of the phenomenon was included in his award-winning 2011 short film, The Dance of Time
More recently, Spencer has returned to these full spectrum moments. Each image in the artist’s hummingbird series captures sunlight filtering through the wings and tail of a black and white Jacobin hummingbird. Despite our age of post-production and photo manipulation, the images were not digitally manipulated; the visual phenomenon is naturally occurring.’WINGED PRISM’ (below) won a prize at the Museum of Modern Art in Resende RJ Brazil, and is available as a fine art print on Spencer’s website. You can follow along with Spencer’s animal encounters and nature-inspired paintings on Instagram. (Read more.)

Crisis at the Border

From PJ Media:
The left-wing bias of popular “fact-checking” sites like Snopes or Politfact has been well documented for years. So when Snopes took on the task of fact-checking the claim “The Obama administration, not the Trump administration, built the cages that hold many immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border,” I expected them to, at the very least, rate it as “Half-True” or “False” and come up with some long-winded explanation with some absurd standard for why the Obama administration was in the clear. Last year, couldn't bring itself to admit that family separations happened under Obama, even though their research proved it did.  But alas, Snopes couldn’t find a way to clear the Obama administration on this one, and had no choice but to rate the claim as true. But then Trump stated, “Obama built the cages. I didn’t build them. Obama built them.” (Read more.)

From The Daily Mail:
 An Immigration and Customs Enforcement pilot of new rapid DNA testing at the border has found that nearly a third of those tested were not biologically related to the children in their custody. ICE conducted the pilot for a few days earlier this month in El Paso and McAllen, Texas, finding about 30 per cent of those tested were not related to the children they claimed were their own, an official told the Washington Examiner. The official said that these were not cases of step-fathers or adoptive parents. 'Those were not the case. In these cases, they are misrepresented as family members,' the official said. (Read more.)

Paris in 1901

From Vanessa Couchman:
This district of Paris, on the Rive Droite of the River Seine, was a favourite destination for migrants from Aveyron and the Auvergne in the late 19th century. They established a number of restaurants here, often combined with a coal merchant’s business. 
On moving from Aveyron, Marie-Thérèse’s destination is la rue Daval, in the 11tharrondissement, not far from La Bastille. The street is the location of the Bistrot Mazars, an Aveyronnais Restaurant run by Marie-Thérèse’s Aunt Berthe and Uncle Henri. They have moved to Paris from Aveyron in search of a more profitable occupation. The Bistrot Mazars is an invention, and there was never a restaurant by that name in the rue Daval. But it seems a plausible location. 
Like many of these neighbourhood restaurants, the Bistrot Mazars has its regular clientele, mostly people who worked or lived nearby. But Aunt Berthe has ambitions to expand both the restaurant’s capacity and its reputation. 
Now a trendy and lively part of Paris, the 11th arrondissement is bordered by Père Lachaise cemetery. Le boulevard Richard-Lenoir, the home of Simenon’s fictional Commissaire Maigret, is also located in the 11th. (Read more.)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Rebuilding Jane Austen’s Library

From Lapham's Quarterly:
For Austen scholars, that idea of access to the wider literary marketplace is important in what it might reveal about her and her novels. The library contains some deep cuts in the way of French books and Enlightenment philosophy. “This is someone,” Dow said, “who could reach up, grab a volume of Voltaire, and read it, post-French Revolution—quite a revolutionary thing to be able to do.” The amount of classical literature in translation on the shelves also bolsters the scholarship that sees Greek and Latin roots in Austen’s work; several scholars—including Mary Margolies DeForest, author of Jane Austen: Closet Classicist—argue that Persuasion is Homer’s Odyssey revamped. As a whole, the library helps us imagine a more expansive intellectual landscape for Austen. “I think it gives us a picture of someone who has the capacity to be much more than this kind of closeted spinster in a bonnet that some sectors seem determined to portray her as,” Dow added.

What else might she have pulled off the shelf? If Austen were browsing the center sections along the west wall, she might have happened upon An Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex (1797) by Thomas Gisborne, a book she told her sister in 1805 she “had quite determined not to read” until Cassandra recommended it. Surrounded as it is by sermons, the book calls to mind the volume that Mr. Collins recommends to the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice: James Fordyce’s Sermons to Young Women. Conduct literature, as it is called, was known—and pilloried—by Austen indirectly. She figuratively rolls her eyes at Collins, who declares, “I have often observed how little young ladies are interested by books of a serious stamp, though written solely for their benefit. It amazes me, I confess—for certainly, there can be nothing so advantageous to them as instruction.” In her brother’s library, she had several examples of conduct literature to choose from, including Jane West’s Letters to a Young Lady, in Which the Duties and Character of Women are Considered (1811), which looks today as if it had been read by generations of Knight girls. The original survives at Chawton without its binding, held together with white ribbon. “I don’t think she would have been very keen on those ‘duties of women’ and those kinds of books,” said Dow. “Although I’m certain she read them. You can’t lampoon things unless you’ve got a very good working knowledge of them.” (Read more.)

A Bold Message

The President has been hammered by everyone on the Left but what do his supporters think, specifically those who are minorities? On Tuesday during the "Women for Trump" launch, many female supporters including minority ones weighed in. Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.
Since being called "racist" by almost every Democrat in Washington, President Trump has fired back. “Our Country is Free, Beautiful and Very Successful. If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” Trump said. He then argued that his tweets were in no way racist. (Read more.)

From Chronicles:
Last month Ocasio-Cortez asserted that detention centers housing immigrants are “exactly” like concentration camps: “The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. If that doesn’t bother you ... I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something.” She subsequently responded to criticism by tweeting that the Trump administration had established “concentration camps” where immigrants are “being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.” AOC was subsequently instructed to draw a distinction between concentration and extermination camps—or may have done so on the basis of her knowledge and reading—but apparently she remains oblivious to the exact death rates, for instance in British concentration camps during the Boer War, or the Soviet ones during the 1930s collectivization drive. 
Ayanna Pressley, the newcomer to “the Squad,” is more articulate and better versed in the credo of cultural Marxism than Ocasio-Cortez. Just a week ago, in a speech to the Netroots Nation convention at the UN, she presented a demand for ideological conformity from the oppressed minorities which was positively Bolshevik in its tone and implications. (Read more.) 

The Childhood Home of Lady Jane Grey

From Smithsonian:
Today, the only visible evidence of the Grey family estate is a series of brick ruins scattered across Bradgate Park. As Maia Snow reports for Leicestershire Live, however, archaeologists from the University of Leicester recently announced the discovery of stone structures hidden beneath the remnants of these brick buildings. Given the fact that the buried stones pre-date the brick ruins, it’s likely they belonged to an earlier iteration of Bradgate House perhaps once inhabited by England’s nine-day queen. 
“While Bradgate House is such an iconic site, very little is known about the standing structure and how it changed over time,” project co-director Richard Thomas tells Snow. “Our evidence suggests that the home Lady Jane Grey would have recognized may have looked very different from what we see today.” 
By all accounts, Bradgate was a luxurious estate: As historian John D. Paul writes in Bradgate House and the Greys of Groby: A Sketch of Their History, the home—first envisioned by Thomas Grey, eldest son of Elizabeth Woodville, England’s “White Queen,” from her first marriage to John Grey, and completed by his son, another Thomas Grey, around 1520—consisted of two wings united by a great hall used for feasts and entertainment. An enormous kitchen occupied most of the western wing, while the Greys’ private apartments and chapels stood in the eastern wing. Per Abandoned Spaces’ Bojan Ivanov, the mansion was enlarged and modified two decades after it was first built and again toward the end of the 17th century. 
According to the Tudor Travel Guide, Jane’s parents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Dorset (the latter, Lady Frances Grey, was the daughter of Henry VIII’s youngest sister, Mary), likely moved to Bradgate in 1538, around two years after their eldest daughter’s birth. Jane spent much of her childhood in Leicestershire, but upon the formidable Tudor king’s death in 1547, she was sent to live with Henry VIII’s widow, Katherine Parr, and her new husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron of Sudeley and uncle of the just-ascended Edward VI. (The couple married just months after the king’s passing to great scandal.) (Read more.)

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.)

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.) 

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.)

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.)


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.)