Monday, February 24, 2020

What is Burgundy?

From The Drinks Business:
In 880 AD this territory would be made into a duchy of West Francia, one of seven powerful dukedoms (alongside Champagne, Aquitaine, Normandy, Brittany, Gascony and Flanders) in the kingdom and one which was further sub-divided into several counties, each managed by a count – one must remember this is the beginning of what we now call ‘feudalism’, a system of vassalage where land was held by nobles with obligations to a monarch – covering Chalon, the Charolais, Mâcon, Autun, Nevers, Avallon, Tonerre, Senlis, Auxerre, Sens, Troyes and Auxonne. The duchy’s administrative centre was Dijon, which had grown from its Roman origins into a flourishing mercantile town.

Between 880 AD and 1004, the duchy would be ruled by various nobles and families until it was annexed by Robert II, king of France and member of the new ruling House of Capet. In 1032, Robert II’s son, also called Robert, rebelled against his older brother King Henry I and was given the Duchy of Burgundy as part of the peace terms.
An unpleasant and violent man, his descendants would nonetheless rule as Dukes of Burgundy until 1361, powerful and important nobles in France. We shall return to them later. (Read more.)
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Bernie in Soviet Russia

From The Federalist:
Nobody knows what paid for the construction and maintenance of Soviet culture palaces. In a planned economy with its web of subsidies and bribery, such things are not transparent. The trade union fees, however, were levied on everyone enrolled in a trade union, meaning every worker, because all those employed by the government were automatically enrolled in one, and everyone worked for the government — or at least pretended to. As the Soviet joke went, “We pretend we work, and they pretend they pay us.”

To be in awe of those palaces of culture performances in the late ’80s, a visitor would have to be really, really — I mean really — incurious. I understand the Sanderses went on their honeymoon surrounded by the KGB minders, but wow! The newlyweds were shown performance venues, but did they make an effort to meet an artist? Their tour was literally a Potemkin excursion through the Soviet Union: the best of architecture, no real people. (Read more.)
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The Last Neanderthals

From The BBC:
Neanderthals may have clung on in the region until as recently as 24 to 33,000 years ago, according to the dating of one of the layers in Gorham's cave. This puts this area as one of the last known places where Neanderthals lived. They may have spread to the surrounding coastal areas too, but the water has risen considerably in the last 30,000 years. This means any other fossil evidence has long been submerged. "We are lucky that in Gibraltar because of its steep cliffs, the evidence has stayed in these caves," says Clive. Clive, along with his wife Geraldine and son Stewart, has been excavating these caves for many years. All three are scientists. 

While the front part of the cave is relatively open, bathed in natural sunlight with a direct view of the ocean, the back is darker and splits off into several chambers. The caves remain cool in the summer and slightly warm in the colder months – a perfect place to rest tired eyes and stay safe from dangerous predators. (Read more.)

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Marie-Antoinette and Carnival


I usually do not use photos from the 1938 Marie Antoinette film; the costumes were glitzy and the wigs, too platinum. However, Norma Shearer's portrayal of Marie-Antoinette was soulfully authentic; the photo above captures the zest of the young Dauphine taking Paris by storm at Carnival. As a young girl, Marie-Antoinette embraced the festivities of Carnival with alacrity, especially the masked balls. Since members of the royal family were constantly surrounded by semi-liturgical ceremonies, at the masked ball the princes and princesses could engage in something vaguely resembling normal human interaction. The wearing of a mask, although it did not always endow total anonymity, lightened the tight protocol so that royals could mingle and converse with others in society.

In February of 1773, Marie-Antoinette wrote to her mother Empress Maria Theresa, relating how she went with her husband the Dauphin Louis to the Opera ball in Paris:
We went- M. le Dauphin, the comte, and comtesse de Provence and I- last Thursday to the Opera Ball in Paris; we kept the utmost secret. We were all masked; still, we were recognized after half an hour. The duc de Chartres and the duc de Bourbon, who were dancing at the Palais Royal right next door came to meet us and asked us pressingly to go and dance at Madame de Chartres's; but I excused myself from it as I had the King's permission for the Opera only. We returned here at seven and heard Mass before going to bed. Everybody is delighted with M. le Dauphin's willingness to have this outing since he was believed to be averse to it. (Secrets of Marie Antoinette: A Collection of Letters, edited by Olivier Bernier. New York: Fromm International, 1986, p. 102)
In January of 1774, Louis and Antoinette once again ventured incognito into Paris to the Opera ball, accompanied by Louis' two brothers and their wives. Here is Comte Mercy's description of the event in a letter to Empress Maria Theresa:
The three Princes and Princesses came on the 30th of January to the masked ball at the Opera; measures had been so well taken that they remained a long while without being recognized by anyone. M. le Dauphin [Louis] behaved splendidly; he went about the ball talking indiscriminately to all those he met on his path, in a very gay and decorous manner introducing the kind of jests suited to the occasion. The public was enchanted with this conduct on the part of M. le Dauphin, it made a great sensation in Paris and they did not fail, as always happens in these cases, to attribute to Madame la Dauphine the improvement they noticed in her consort's way of showing himself....

The Princes and Princesses came back a second time to the Opera ball on Sunday, the 6th of this month [February]; but this time their presence was less well concealed and consequently there was a greater influx of people to the theater. However, nothing improper or embarrassing resulted, and Madame la Dauphine, who did not unmask, drew on herself all the applause and admiration with which all the public always hastens to do homage to her, both owing to the people to whom she spoke and the things she said to them. (Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette before the Revolution by Nesta Webster, p. 21)
It was at the Opera ball on January 30 that Marie-Antoinette chatted with Count Fersen behind her mask, in the presence of her husband and in-laws, but no eyebrows were raised by this playful incident. The Empress Maria Theresa was more concerned with her daughter getting sick from exhaustion than with anything else, and at the end of the 1773 Carnival wrote: "Thank God it is all over...." (Secrets of Marie Antoinette, p. 104) Later, she expressed reservations about the young Queen's taste in fashion. On March 5, 1775, after Louis XVI had ascended the throne of France, the Empress penned:
Thank God the endless Carnival is over! That exclamation will make me look very old, but I must admit that all those late evenings were too tiring; I feared for the Court's health and for the order of it's usual habits, which is an essential point....In the same way I can't prevent myself raising a point which many gazettes repeat all too often; it is the coiffure you use; they say that from the forehead it is thirty-six inches high, and with so many feathers and ribbons to adorn it! (Ibid.,p.159)
Marie-Antoinette responded by saying:
Although Carnival did amuse me a great deal, I agree that it was time it was ended. We are now back to our usual routine....It is true that I take some care of the way I dress; and, as for feathers, everyone wears them, and it would be extraordinary not to wear them. Their height has been much curtailed since the end of the balls....(Ibid., 160)
After Marie-Antoinette became a mother in December of 1778, her participation in Carnival was greatly mitigated, since she preferred not be too far away from her babies at night. It is sad that the enjoyment of the masquerade balls during her teenage years would later lead to many false rumors about her lifestyle.

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The Prosecution of Daleiden

A travesty of justice. From The Federalist:
As an undercover journalist, California shield laws should have protected Daleiden from warrants to seize his videos or recording equipment, yet that’s exactly what Harris’ California justice department did.

“It’s blackletter California law that you are not supposed to get a search warrant to seize the unpublished materials of a journalist, whether citizen journalist or professional journalist,” Daleiden told Tucker Carlson in September. “But that’s what Kamala Harris did … to protect [Planned Parenthood] from further scrutiny from the crimes of selling aborted baby body parts.”
The prosecution of Daleiden and Merritt could set a detrimental precedent for undercover journalism. In the same year Daleiden released his alarming videos speaking to employees of Planned Parenthood and tissue procurement company StemExpress, animal rights activists in California used similar tactics of undercover recording on farms and in slaughterhouses to expose the mistreatment of chickens, yet they faced no legal consequences from the state. (Read more.)
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Medieval Ethiopia

From Apollo:
Our understanding of the history of the emperors who ruled over late medieval Ethiopia is still quite fragmentary but, as far as we can tell, life at their courts was marked by violence, betrayal, and power struggles. Perhaps the most prominent among these rulers, who belonged to a house that rose to power in 1270 and traced its descent back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, was Zar’a Ya‘eqob (r. 1434–68). What is known about his reign has hitherto been gleaned mostly from Ethiopic texts in ancient parchment manuscripts, some still preserved in the country’s hard-to-access monasteries, others now in Western collections. However, objects such as icons and wall paintings can also provide insights into the culture and society of this period and, through an interweaving of text and image, present a fuller account of one of the most important rulers in Ethiopian history.
A retelling of his life could begin with a late 15th- or early 16th-century Ethiopic manuscript now kept in the Giovardiana library in Veroli, the frontispiece of which bears an image of the Virgin and Child. It contains a collection of texts known as the ‘Miracles of Mary’. The nucleus of these stories about the miraculous interventions of the Virgin, which vary in number and content in each manuscript, was written in 12th-century France, but the work was translated into Arabic in the 13th century, and into Ethiopic at the end of the 14th century at the behest of Emperor Dawit II (r. 1382–1413), Zar’a Ya‘eqob’s father. Because the Ethiopic version was soon enriched with local traditions about the Virgin’s miraculous powers, it is a valuable source for understanding the political and religious history of Ethiopia from the 15th century onwards.
One of the stories in the Giovardiana manuscript describes the miraculous birth of Zar’a Ya‘eqob. According to this text, his mother, Queen Egzi’ Kebra, had miscarried her first child and almost lost him, too. Seized by spasms five weeks into her pregnancy, she asked a priest called Athanasius to pray to the Virgin Mary on her behalf, after which her pains ceased and about eight months later, in 1399, the future emperor was born. Local traditions make this the first of many miraculous interventions of the Virgin Mary into the life of Zar’a Ya‘eqob, whose devotion to her reached the point of zealotry. (Read more.)
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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Carnival

 P. Bernaigne, "A Carnival Ball"
José Benlliure y Gil, "At the Carnival"


Carnival season officially began on January 6 and ends on Shrove Tuesday or "Fat Tuesday," called Mardi Gras. It is now Shrovetide, when most parishes used to have Forty Hours devotions in order to atone for the excesses of Carnival. Outside of certain exotic places such as New Orleans, carnival is not celebrated to the extent that it once was in the Christian west, when the season was a time of joyful merry-making before undertaking the rigors of Lent. At home, we usually have a "king cake;" HERE is an easy recipe. Amid the festivities, the traditions of the liturgy remind us that Lent is near. Not only Lent approaches, but death as well; the hour of reckoning for each soul is unknown.

"If Ever I Cease To Love" is the theme song of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It is a song which does not make sense, but then neither does love, most of the time.
In a house, in a square in a quadrant
In a street, in a lane, in a road.


Turn to the left on the right hand
You see there my true love's abode

I go there a courting, and cooing to my love like a dove;
And swearing on my bended knee, if ever I cease to love,
May sheep-heads grow on apple trees, if ever I cease to love.

Chorus:

If ever I cease to love, if ever I cease to love,
May the moon be turn'd to green cream cheese,
If ever I cease to love.

Winslow Homer, "Dressing for Carnival"
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Is America Suffering A Mental Health Crisis Or A Moral Crisis?

From The Daily Wire:
Resignation and defeat seem to pervade the American landscape. We can barely even register notions of the common good, never mind what is objectively good for ourselves. The moral and ethical foundation that ought to buttress us in times of hardship and fatigue is cracked and crumbling, if not altogether broken. While the Left has certainly deconstructed our values into oblivion, we cannot disregard our collective spiritual and moral lassitude in this crisis either. At best, only frail and brittle platitudes inform our collective moral pedigree these days. There are no longer discernible footholds to guide us out of the various trials and tribulations that assail us. Instead, we are told to inoculate ourselves with all manner of pills and potions. Others simply turn to illicit drugs and alcohol to remedy the existential aches. (Read more.)
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Coffee and Revolution

From History:
Parisian Cafés, with their social egalitarianism, were an ideal location for Republican agitation and organization during the French Revolution. A royalist of the era complained: 
“Where does so much mad agitation come from? From a crowd of minor clerks and lawyers, from unknown writers, starving scribblers, who go about rabble rousing in clubs and cafés. These are the hotbeds that have forged the weapons with which the masses are armed today.” 
The Paris's Café de Foy hosted the call to arms for the storming of the Bastille. During the Enlightenment, the Café Procope had been the place where men like Rousseau, Diderot and Voltaire gathered to hone their philosophies and art. After the Revolution, Parisian café culture again became the haunt of writers and thinkers gathering to exchange ideas and work on their next masterpiece. 
Expatriates like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and T.S. Eliot met at La Rotonde. French poet and critic Apollinaire worked on his art review, “Les Soirées de Paris,” at the Café de Flore, sitting alongside André Breton. By midcentury, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre debated and created philosophies from its tables. (Read more.)
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Friday, February 21, 2020

Food for Mardi Gras

From Aleteia:
One of the reasons New Orleans has become nearly synonymous with Mardi Gras, especially in America, is that the holiday is celebrated well beyond just Fat Tuesday. For the weeks leading from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday, the Mardi Gras season is in gear, featuring daily parades (weather permitting) and community events that become grander the closer we get to Lent. While the turning of a feast day into a feast season is a good tourist draw, the Catholic population can appreciate a heightened awareness of their faith. This in turn helps the faithful remain mindful that the solemnity of Lent is soon to be here. (Read more.)
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Pornography: A Public Health Crisis

Pornography endangers everyone, but most especially women and children. How many innocents are raped as a result of someone's porn addiction? It must stop. From AL.com:
Families have brought in their children to our clinic, boys and girls, ages 6-11, who were addicted to internet pornography. By addicted, I mean they were “hooked” after one or two exposures to pornography and would go to great lengths to gain access. For example, one little girl was getting in trouble at school for stealing iPhones from women’s purses to gain access to pornography and acting out the scenes she had seen on an infant sibling. An 11-year-old boy who could not get access to pornography at home was breaking into a neighbor’s home in the middle of the night to access their computer. These were good kids from good homes whose developing brains had been hijacked by a highly addictive and traumatizing material. Their parents also noted that their children were “different” in that they had become unable to bond, had normalized views about sexual violence against others, and their personalities had become eerily flat. (Read more.)
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Manila House

From Boundary Stones:
2422 K St. NW, nestled in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood just down the street from the George Washington University, looks like any other D.C. row house. But for the Filipino community in D.C. during the 1930s through the 1950s, it was a haven - a source of culture, community, and comfort. As those who remember it fondly today can testify, 2422 K St. NW wasn’t just a row house; it was the Manila House. 
Although today there are only a couple of Filipino-Americans still living who visited the Manila House in its heyday, stories of the house have been documented by Filipino writers and have been passed down in families. “I first learned about Manila House 24 years ago, in 1993, when I interviewed my father Clemente Cacas and his friends, Fernando Aguilar and Mateo Perez,” recalled Rita Cacas, writer and archivist of D.C. Filipino history.[1] “They described the house as a place for taxicab drivers like themselves to hang out, play cards and attend dances for ten cents on weekends.”[2]
It was a place of leisure for certain, but the Manila House was also much more than that. It provided Filipino-Americans a unique space to connect with each other and with their culture in a city that could be isolating. 
Filipinos began to settle in and around D.C. as early as 1900, but their numbers were small.[3] According to U.S. Census data, there were only 294 Filipinos living in D.C., 327 in Maryland, and 126 in Virginia as of 1930.[4] The Asian population at large in D.C. was only 780, or 0.2% of D.C.’s total population.[5] Many Filipinos came to the D.C. area to work as government workers in the office of the Philippine Resident Commissioner, as cab drivers, or as officers in the military[6]. Many Filipino men enlisted in the U.S. Navy in particular. Since Washington was the center of government work and Annapolis housed the U.S. Naval Academy, the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area was attractive to Filipino immigrants who sought work in those fields. Still, Filipinos found themselves just one small part of a large metropolitan area. 
The city was still largely segregated, with African-American communities in the southeast and southwest quadrants of Washington and white communities in the northwest and northeast quadrants.[7] Nila Toribio-Straka was just a child during the 1940s, but she remembers how her parents had to navigate the racial dynamics of the city. “[They] would be walking down Pennsylvania Ave, or wherever… and if a Caucasian person walked toward them, they had to cross the street and walk to the other side,” she explains.[8] “If they were on a bus, and again if a Caucasian came, they had to go to the back of the bus.”[9] (Read more.)
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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Fabricating Fashion: Textiles for Dress, 1700–1825

A fashion trend begun by Queen Marie-Antoinette. From Art Institute of Chicago:
In a portrait by Jean Baptiste-François Désoria, Constance Pipelet wears an elegant gown similar to a white cotton muslin dress from about 1800 (above), both simple garments that belie the complex global networks necessary to supply Europeans with imported fabrics like Indian muslin or Chinese silk. Drawing upon the Art Institute’s permanent collection, Fabricating Fashion illuminates the artistry that enabled the creation of these intricate textiles and garments. Presenting these works alongside portraits and prints from the period, this exhibition highlights the rich legacy of their mostly anonymous creators and tells a fuller story of the people who made and wore fashionable textiles in Western Europe between 1700 and 1825. (Read more.)
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How is Climate Change Deadlier Than Abortion?

From Return to Order:
Bishops need to be involved in political battles, but that is not their chief function. They must uphold Church teaching even when it is not politically correct or opportune. Thus, American Catholics must question why the bishop is raising this issue now. Pro-life Catholics have reached the height of their political power mobilizing millions nationwide. They have turned the tide to the point where nearly half of all Americans identify as pro-life. No one, not even the president, can ignore the influence of the pro-life movement. This influence is starting to bear fruit in the appointment of pro-life judges. Some are even saying that the overturning of Roe v. Wade is possible. By denying abortion’s preeminence, the bishop is undermining decades of work in the trenches by countless Catholics and other Americans to end the intrinsically evil sin of procured abortion in America and the world. (Read more.)
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Ancient Automatons

From Classical Wisdom:
The majority of technology developed by the Greeks seems to have only been for entertainment, spectacle, and toys. However, the Antikythera mechanism (1st century BC), recovered from a sunken ship in the Aegean Sea, appears to be the first analog computer, and it was designed to make astronomical calculations possible in order to determine the timing of the Olympics. There is little record of the Romans developing automatons, however, they were great engineers. It seems that, like the Greeks, they used automatons as toys, entertainment and public spectacles. Mark Anthony had an automaton of Julius Caesar, made of wax, depicting Caesar rising from his deathbed and turning, slowly, to display his twenty-three bleeding wounds to the crowd. This started a riot and led to Brutus and the other killers of Caesar fleeing the city. There are also reports that Roman temples used mechanical birds and figurines in a similar manner to the Greeks. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

An Icon of American Painting

Hot Moon by Milton Avery
From Artsy:
Known to many as the “American Fauvist,” Avery painted the world around him––his wife, Sally; daughter, March; and the landscapes they traveled to––in broad planes of poetically juxtaposed colors. In works like Checker Players (1943) and Cello Player (1944), Avery captured the human figure as a series of large, chunky shapes. Rather than rendering the details of his subjects, Avery found his voice in the hues he observed, and used his feelings as fodder to render the underlying atmosphere of a scene. And yet, for much of his life, Avery’s career was eclipsed by  American Realism and the rise of  Abstract Expressionism; his work was too abstract for the academics and too representational for the AbEx scene. And despite his selling prices today (a painting can easily earn $3–$5 million at auction), he rarely sold work in his lifetime. Despite these difficulties, Avery continued to paint lilting abstractions of his family, shorelines, and forests until his death at the age of 79. The relentlessness with which Avery painted perhaps made sense given how accustomed he was to dealing with adversity, thanks to a youth frequently touched by death and poverty. (Read more.)
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The Guillotine: A New Democrat Symbol

You've got to be kidding. From The Blaze:
Bre Kidman unveiled a new campaign logo last week: a guillitone, the execution apparatus commonly associated with the French Revolution that was used for the beheadings of King Louis XVI and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette. But fear not, Kidman, who hopes to challenge Republican Sen. Susan Collins in November, says using an image of the deadly device in campaign materials is not meant to be taken literally.

"We're not going to start a guillotine in Monument Square (in Portland) and start beheading people," Kidman clarified to the Portland Press-Herald. "It's a symbol of the work we have to do to overcome flaws in our system – flaws that have become deeply evident in the last few weeks." (Read more.)
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A Lost Anglo-Saxon Monastery

Where the first King of England was crowned. From Live Science:
Newly unearthed remains may come from the monastery where England's first king, Edgar the Peaceful, was coronated more than 1,000 years ago, according to Wessex Archaeology, an archaeological company and charity in England.  The so-called smoking gun emerged during an excavation at the famous Bath Abbey, ahead of planned renovations there. During the excavation, archaeologists were surprised to find hints of Anglo-Saxon architecture in two structures next to the abbey. These are the first known Anglo-Saxon structures in all of Bath, a city that was founded by the Roman Empire and that is known for its thermal hot springs. The two apsidal (semicircular) structures, or apses, were found below street level, underneath what once made up the cloisters of the 12th-century cathedral built over Romano-British deposits. The cathedral is just south of the abbey church. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A Review of Hartwell House






Where the French Royal Family lived in exile. as told in the novel Madame Royale. From The Guardian:
The French royal family lived here in exile. In fact, it was in the ornate library that Louis XVIII signed his accession to return to the French throne. ‘Why wouldst thou leave calm Hartwell’s green abode?’ asked Lord Byron of Louis’s departure. Indeed....We stayed in the Duchess d’Angouleme room, once occupied by the daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. It features a sumptuous four-poster bed and cosy window seats from which to view the parkland....The dining room is formal, old-fashioned, and rather wonderful. For traditional afternoon tea, head to the drawing room or library, for cakes and scones on a silver cake stand. (Read more.)
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Inside a Southern California Rental Empire

I guess this is why so many live on the street. From LAist:
Many of Nijjar's tenants live in starkly different conditions, fighting off roaches, rats, bedbugs, bees, maggots and mold, all while struggling to get even minor issues fixed. At many of these rentals, low-income residents feel stuck in unsanitary, dangerous housing.The sprawling rental empire grew from modest beginnings in the 1970s into a behemoth. According to a KPCC/LAist analysis of government data and a review of public records, businesses connected to Nijjar account for at least:
  • an estimated 16,000 units spanning Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Kern counties, and reaching Sacramento, Fresno and Arlington, Texas
  • $1.3 billion in real estate
  • 4,400 parcels of land
  • 4,300 eviction lockouts in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties between 2010 and 2018
  • one in 20 evictions in San Bernardino County over the same time period
  • 170 business entities, including corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability corporations
Tens of thousands of California's poorest tenants -- many just a step away from homelessness -- have endured conditions in housing run by PAMA Management, which can be dirty, dilapidated and even deadly. That's according to code enforcement documents, lawsuits and public data, as well as interviews with plaintiffs' attorneys, fair-housing advocates, tenants and ex-employees. Those sources point to alarming issues at properties run by Nijjar's company.
At a Pomona trailer park owned by a Nijjar entity since 2005, typhus broke out in 2015. The medieval, flea-borne disease can kill if left untreated. Public health officials came in, trapping feral cats and opossums. On one opossum, they counted 1,087 fleas. It was L.A. County's first typhus outbreak since 2009. Since the outbreak, the state has twice suspended PAMA Management's permit to operate the Pomona park, citing electrical hazards and sewage leaks.
At another PAMA property, a manager testified that rats would swim in garbage water, walls would "bubble up" with mold and roaches "would fall over your body." At a third property, a lawsuit said a cockroach infestation was so severe that one of the insects climbed into a girl's ear, requiring surgery for the bug to be removed. At yet another complex, crime was so rampant that LAPD officers were afraid to patrol the property, leading the city attorney to file a lawsuit. (Read more.)
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Neanderthal DNA

From Fox 43:
We all likely have a bit of Neanderthal in our DNA — including Africans who had been thought to have no genetic link to our extinct human relative, a new study finds. Evidence that our early ancestors had babies with Neanderthals first emerged in 2010 when the first genome, extracted from the bones of the Stone Age hominims who populated Europe until around 40,000 years ago, was sequenced.

They found that modern Europeans, Asians and Americans — but not Africans — inherited about 2% of the genes from Neanderthals, with our ancestors apparently hooking up with their stocky cousins only after they moved out of Africa. However, researchers from Princeton University now believe, based on a new computational method, that Africans do in fact have Neanderthal DNA and that very early human history was more complex than many might think.

“This is the first time we can detect the actual signal of Neanderthal ancestry in Africans,” said Lu Chen, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton’s Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics (LSI) and a co-author of a new paper that published Thursday in the journal Cell. Joshua Akey, a professor at LSI who led the study, suggested their findings cast doubt on the widely held “out of Africa” theory of human migration — that modern humans originated in Africa and made a single dispersal to the rest of the world in a single wave between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago. (Read more.)
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Monday, February 17, 2020

Is Charles I a Martyr?

Charles I with his son, the future James II
From Charles Coulombe at The Catholic Herald:
Indeed, surprising as it may sound to Catholics, the King is the only individual the Church of England has ever tried to canonize. The reason is that it was made very clear that his life would have been spared had he been willing to sanction the abolition of bishops in the Church of England by Cromwell.
His feast day was removed from the Book of Common Prayer by a Whig government in the mid-19th century, but the Anglo-Catholic wing of the CofE fostered devotional societies who ever since have tried to bring the holiday back. Chief among these are the Society of King Charles the Martyr and the Royal Martyr Church Union. Interesting as all these facts may be to students of English history and Anglican beliefs, what interest could the question of Charles I’s sanctity possibly have for Catholics? Quite a bit, really.
For one thing, his cultus plays a prominent role in that Anglican Patrimony which Pope Benedict XVI created the Personal Ordinariates to preserve within the Catholic Church. When various Eastern Orthodox groups have been reconciled to the Church, they have been allowed to continue to venerate a number of post-1054 figures as Saints. So, might our newly admitted brethren of Anglican background be able to do the same with Charles I?
A close reading of his life and reveals some striking points. Raised by a Catholic mother and married to a Catholic Queen, Charles demonstrated a sympathy for Catholics unseen since Mary I died. At various times throughout his reign he negotiated with several Popes for reunion, assuring them that his beliefs were the same as theirs – a fact that helped bring him to the axe. He venerated Mary and the Saints and believed in the Real Presence.
It must be remembered that this was two centuries before Apostolicae Curae, meaning Rome had not yet ruled Anglican Orders invalid and it was still very much an open question whether Anglicans had the Apostolic Succession. Though in retrospect they did not, it was a doctrine Charles was willing to die for.
Moreover, shortly after Laud was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633, Urban VIII twice offered him the Red Hat: something that could not have been done without Charles’s permission. (Laud refused the offer.) The King vowed to return Church lands – including monastic properties – to the Church if he won the war. The famed Bishop Bossuet declared that Charles’s blood was in atonement for Henry VIII’s great sin.
Although feeling unable to release the imprisoned Catholic priests in London he inherited from his father, he allowed them to visit their flocks by day. Charles was no more able to save them from the Long Parliament then he was Laud or Strafford. As a husband and father, he rates with Bl. Emperor Charles I of Austria. At the end of the day, Charles I certainly considered himself to be of the same religion as the Pope – and died for his actions based upon that belief. Miracles were attributed to him after his death.
Catholics may not venerate him publicly as a saint. So, in Ordinariate parishes, Requiem Masses (such as are offered for Louis XVI – despite Pius VI’s private opinion that he, too, was a martyr) would be more appropriate than Masses honouring him as a saint. They may also pray privately for his intercession, given his prior cultus and efforts toward reunion. (Read more.)
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Bernie and the Catastrophe of Socialism

The love affair of young Americans with Bernie Sanders is the result of their disturbingly disastrous belief that they are entitled to what other people worked for. Pied Piper Bernie seduces young followers with his seductive lie: “You deserve and I will give you everything for free.” Ponder that, folks. In Bernie's America, no one has to work for anything.

Unless Bernie is another Jesus Christ who can feed 5,000 with a few fish and loaves of bread, Bernie's free everything means everyone will get a crumb -- long lines waiting for a crumb of healthcare, food, and so on. Far too many youths are Bernie Bros, true believers of his absurd mystical Promise Land where everyone gets a free ride.

Decades ago, we allowed New Leftist progressive zealots to infiltrate our schools. They taught our kids to hate the traditional family, God, America, and capitalism. They are still teaching our kids craziness such as “all whites are born racist” and “calling a boy a boy or calling a girl a girl” is hate speech. Anti-American schools have created this generation of entitled gimme, gimme, gimme Bernie Bros.

Almost 20 years ago, a newbie in politics, I accompanied our Republican Executive Committee official to a high school assembly. A Democrat and Republican spokesperson pitched the virtues of their party to the students. The Democrat promoted socialism using feel-good language, fairness, and a desire to take care of everybody. The Republican gave a brilliant intellectual speech of which I am confident did not resonate with the students.

Inside I was going nuts. I wanted to say, “Look kids. You and Larry have summer jobs as waiters. You work your butt off, remembering patrons' food orders correctly and swiftly filling their empty glasses; doing everything in your power to make their dining experience enjoyable. For your excellence, patrons tip you generously. (Read more.)
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The Rise and Fall of the Duchess of York

Another sad royal story. From Jezebel:
When Sarah Ferguson first joined the long-running primetime soap opera The Windsors in the 1980s as love interest to Prince Andrew, she was a popular figure, both inside and outside of the family; for a while, she was cast in a role very close to that of Meghan Markle, as the breath of fresh air livening up the stiff royal scene. But while Markle was welcomed as a progressive figure, a woman with a thriving career and a history of philanthropy and activism, Fergie’s narrative was that she was jolly, rowdy, horsey, charming—and, thrillingly, just a bit vulgar. For instance, Vanity Fair reported that Prince Philip was “tremendously taken with her off-color after-dinner jokes.”

It didn’t help that she was paired with and compared to Diana, who was more beautiful than ever and yet increasingly publicly miserable as Fergie arrived on the scene. At first they were “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” as the media dubbed them, a couple of girls having fun together. But in 1987, Vanity Fair asked, “Is Fergie’s Fizz Leaving Di Flat?” The subhead made it even more clear that Fergie was her foil: “In the year since her wedding, the rambunctious redheaded Duchess of York has charmed the Queen, captivated Prince Philip, and romped away with the hearts of the British public. Her angst-free antics have highlighted the mounting pressures on the Princess of Wales.”The narrative quickly turned against Ferguson. The very same qualities that had gained her praise—her cheerful informality—were deployed against her. For instance, she drew criticism for her performance in It’s a Royal Knockout, a variety show meant to demonstrate the young royals were hip and approachable, a.k.a a perfect vehicle for Ferguson. It was organized by her brother-in-law, Prince Edward, and featured several other members of the family including Anne and Andrew, but Fergie came off particularly poorly. What had once been refreshing was now recast as undignified; suddenly the vulgarity wasn’t thrilling. It’s probably not a coincidence that around the same time Fergie began to put on weight. “It became fat Fergie against wonderful Diana,” Harry Arnold of The Sun told Tina Brown. (Read more.)

Good news for the Duchess, HERE. We wish her well! Share

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Forgotten Cause of James II

From Charles Coulombe at The Catholic Herald:
The Servant of God, James II (so we must call him, since his cause was opened by the Archbishop of Paris in 1734; it may be dormant but has never been closed – and boasted at least 19 miracles at the time it was opened!) officially converted to Catholicism in 1670 with his wife, Anne Hyde, after a fairly immoral life. Their daughters, Mary and Anne, later successively to usurp the throne, remained Protestant. James’s wife died a year later, and he remarried in 1673 to the Italian Princess, Mary of Modena. He assumed the throne on his brother’s death in 1685, and the birth of a son precipitated the first successful invasion of England since 1066.

He went into a holy and prayer-filled exile in France, dying at St Germain-en-Laye in 1701. Almost immediately miracles began to occur at both his temporary resting place at St Germain, and his more permanent one in Paris at the English Benedictine St Edmund’s Church (now the Schola Cantorum of Paris – the chapel survives, although the body was destroyed at the Revolution). The English Benedictines became custodians of his memory and offered prayers and so on for his canonization. The horrors of the French Revolution led to the Servant of God’s cause going on the back burner; regardless of whether James is ever canonized, there can be no doubt of his Catholicity.

His coronation is the key point here, however. Although James II did not receive Communion during the Coronation Rite (having done so with his Queen the previous evening at Mass at Whitehall), he did swear the same oath his father swore, with the Pope’s permission: “Will you grant and keep, and by your Oath confirm to the People of England, the Laws and Customs to them granted, by the Kings of England, your lawful and Religious Predecessors, and namely, the Laws, Customs, and Franchises granted to the Clergy, by the glorious King St Edward, your Predecessor, according to the Laws of GOD, the true Profession of the Gospel established in this Kingdom, agreeable to the Prerogative for the Kings thereof, and the ancient Customs of the Realm…”

He responded “With a willing and devout Heart, I promise and grant my Pardon, and that I will preserve and maintain to you, and the Churches committed to your Charge, all Canonical Privileges and due Law and Justice, and that I will be your Protector and Defender to my Power, by the Assistance of GOD, as every good King in his Kingdom, in right ought to protect and defend, the Bishops and Churches under their Government.”

From that moment, with Papal approval, the Catholic King James was head of the Anglican Churches of England, Scotland (the latter would revert to Presbyterianism upon his overthrow), and Ireland. He was then anointed and crowned by the Anglican Archbishop. In exile, James acted as head of the English, Scots, and Irish Catholic institutions scattered around the Continent; but he and his son, James III, and grandson, Charles III, continued to be recognised as rightful sovereigns and heads of the Church by the so-called “Nonjurors”- Anglicans who refused to accept the new order of things. One of the few remnants of this headship of these Protestant churches by the Catholic Stuarts is the Protestant cemetery in Rome where Keats and Shelley are buried – and which was created by James III in 1716. (Read more.)
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A Global Catastrophe

From The Gatestone Institute:
The global persecution of Christians has reached unprecedented levels: "260 million Christians experience high levels of persecution" around the world, notes the recently published Open Doors World Watch List 2020, an annual report that ranks the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted for their faith.

Additionally, "2,983 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons. On average, that's 8 Christians killed every day for their faith": "9,488 churches or Christian buildings were attacked," and "3,711 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned." (Note: All quotes in this article are from the World Watch List 2020 report.) Dictatorial paranoia continues to make North Korea (#1) the worst nation. "If North Korean Christians are discovered, they are deported to labor camps as political criminals or even killed on the spot."

Otherwise, and as has been the case in all statistics and reports on the global persecution of Christians, not only does "Islamic oppression" remain the chief "source of persecution" faced by Christians in seven of the absolute ten worst nations, but 38 of the 50 nations composing the list are either Muslim-majority or have a sizeable Muslim population. (Read more.)
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Authentic Profanity

From The History Quill:
Writing historical fiction presents its own particular challenges, not least when it comes to dialogue. How does an author create a sense of time and place without sounding faux-archaic or having characters proclaim “ye olde clichés”? Worse still, the unwitting author can sometimes use words or phrases of sufficient modernity to rudely jerk the reader out of their pleasant suspension of disbelief. I have done that myself, which is why this has become a topic close to my own heart. The thing that brings it into sharpest focus is swearing.
Swearing is an extremely useful item for any writer to have in their toolbox. The technical term for swearing is ‘using intensifiers’, and indeed that is exactly what it does. A carefully used, well-placed curse can give a character’s emotion more impact on the reader than a whole paragraph of description. It portrays that character’s mood or mental state in the most immediate manner. If you get it wrong, however, it can sound gratuitous, silly, or just plain anachronistic.
Most serious historical fiction authors will go to great lengths to try to be authentic to the events and culture of the time period they are writing in. Unfortunately, when it comes to cursing, a problem arises where what once sounded shocking to our ancestors now seems banal, childish or worse, laughable. In contrast, the everyday language used in the past can now be deemed unacceptable.
Using authentic curses can just seem plain odd to a modern reader. In sixth form, I had to read Sheridan’s School for Scandal and recall the hilarity with which we snotty-nosed 1980s kids regarded each utterance of Egad or Sdeath, 18th Century expletives which would have then been regarded as outrageous. The text’s original readers found the “D” word so terrible it could only be printed as D___ (I am talking about “Damn” by the way, in case you were thinking of another D word). Shakespeare’s use of curses like Swounds or Sblood met similar chortling.
In his Holcroft Blood series, set in the 17th Century, Angus Donald is careful to scatter enough original slang through his dialogue to give a sense of the era without overwhelming the reader with obscure or (to modern eyes) laughable expletives. Despite the name of the main character, Donald avoids using too much authentic swearing like Sblood. This once-shocking curse is a contraction of “By God’s Blood”, which gives us a clue to the origins of swearing. In the past, people first swore by their gods. They made oaths, promises to achieve deeds that they asked their Deities to witness and approve or aid them in their endeavors to fulfill them. It was the solemnity of the religious element that originally brought censure to swearing. These were words that should only be said in the most serious of circumstances. (Read more.)
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Saturday, February 15, 2020

A Requiem Mass for Louis XVI


On January 21, 2020 a Requiem Mass was offered for King Louis XVI in Paris at the parish of Saint-Eugène-Sainte-Cécile. Share

Limbaugh: A Genius at Radio

From Victor Davis Hanson at The National Review:
Even stranger still, his ascendance coincided with the presumed nadir of radio itself. It was supposedly a has-been, one-dimensional medium, long overshadowed by television. Even in the late 1980s, radio was about to be sentenced as obsolete in the ascendant cyber age of what would become Internet blogs, podcasts, streaming, and smartphone television. Stranger still, Limbaugh has prospered through two generations and picked up millions of listeners who were not born when he first went national and who had no idea of why or how he had become a national presence.

He certainly did not capture new listeners by adjusting to the times. While tastes changed and the issues often metamorphosed, he did not. He remained conservative, commonsensical, and skeptical of Washington and those in it, as if he knew all the predictable thousand faces of the timeless progressive project, whose various manifestations reappear to mask a single ancient and predictable essence: the desire of a self-appointed group of elites to expand government in order to regiment the lives of ordinary people, allegedly to achieve greater mandated equality and social justice but more often to satisfy their own narcissistic will to power. It was Limbaugh who most prominently warned that lax immigration enforcement would soon lead to open calls for open borders, that worry about “global warming” would transform into calls to ban the internal combustion engine, and that the logical end of federal takeover of health care would be Medicare for All. (Read more.)
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The Kingdom of Kush

From Ancient History:
Kush was a kingdom in northern Africa in the region corresponding to modern-day Sudan. The larger region around Kush (later referred to as Nubia) was inhabited c. 8,000 BCE but the Kingdom of Kush rose much later. The Kerma Culture, so named after the city of Kerma in the region, is attested as early as 2500 BCE and archaeological evidence from Sudan and Egypt show that Egyptians and the people of Kush region were in contact from the Early Dynastic Period in Egypt (c. 3150 - c. 2613 BCE) onwards. The later civilization defined as 'Kushite' probably evolved from this earlier culture but was heavily influenced by the Egyptians.

While the history of the overall country is quite ancient, the Kingdom of Kush flourished between c. 1069 BCE and 350 CE. The New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1570-1069 BCE) was in the final stages of decline c. 1069 BCE, which empowered the Kushite city-state of Napata. The Kushites no longer had to worry about incursions into their territory by Egypt because Egypt now had enough trouble managing itself. They founded the Kingdom of Kush with Napata as its capital, and Kush became the power in the region while Egypt floundered. 

Kushite kings became the pharaohs of Egypt’s 25th Dynasty and Kushite princesses dominated the political landscape of Thebes in the position of God’s Wife of Amun. The Kushite king Kashta (c. 750 BCE) was the first to establish himself on the Egyptian throne and appointed his daughter, Amenirdis I, the first Kushite God’s Wife of Amun. He was followed by other great Kushite kings who reigned until the Assyrian invasion of Egypt by Ashurbanipal in 666 BCE.

In c. 590 BCE Napata was sacked by the Egyptian pharaoh Psammeticus II (595-589 BCE) and the capital of Kush was moved to Meroe. The Kingdom of Kush continued on with Meroe as its capital until an invasion by the Aksumites c. 330 CE which destroyed the city and toppled the kingdom. Overuse of the land, however, had already depleted the resources of Kush and the cities would most likely have been abandoned even without the Aksumite invasion. Following this event, Meroe and the dwindling Kingdom of Kush survived another 20 years before its end c. 350 CE. (Read more.)
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Friday, February 14, 2020

Tented Rooms

Why they associate tented rooms with Marie-Antoinette, I do not know. The Empress Josephine loved them, though. From House Beautiful:
VIP Cabanas, circus tents, canopy beds in sky-high turrets: There's something dramatic about bold fabric hugging the walls and draped overhead. Not since Napoleon's time have tented rooms been this popular—but designers today are reimagining them with so much contemporary style. The fabric-cloaked ceiling trick—whether simply tacked on or fully upholstered—offers practical value as well: It can help insulate a drafty space, hide architectural flaws, and even mask soffits and pipes. Keep reading to see eleven fabulous, over-the-top tented rooms for a design lesson in raising the roof. (Read more.)
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Managing Mental Illness

From The Washington Post:
That is why the president declared at the first White House Summit on Mental Health, “My administration is strongly committed to helping Americans suffering from mental illness.” And the administration has already taken action. Last year’s funding bill provided $3.9 billion for mental health programs, a $328 million increase. We invested in evidence-based programs including early detection, assisted-outpatient treatment and supported our law enforcement professionals. Finally, the administration solicited and approved the first-of-their-kind demonstrations for states to improve access to the full continuum of care these individuals desperately need.

But more remains to be done: President Trump is proposing to modify the outdated Institutions for Mental Disease payment exclusion, the long-standing Medicaid policy that prohibits federal reimbursement for many Medicaid-eligible patients who receive care in certain inpatient facilities dedicated to mental disease. These important changes will provide more than $5 billion in new federal funding to states that ensure a full continuum of care is in place to assist in getting people with serious mental illness the care they need and, in many cases, off the streets and out of prisons. (Read more.)
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The Bad Boy Prince Who Became a King

From Nancy Bilyeau at English History Authors:
He was a younger brother in a royal family, not expected to ascend to the throne of England when born. He threw himself into a military career. He was wild and boisterous, given to carousing, and fell deeply in love with an actress. During their many years together, she financially supported him. Sometimes mocked by the public, he had a warm heart, a generous nature, and a willingness to listen that gave him a popularity few others in his family enjoyed. Meet William, Duke of Clarence, and later King of England from 1830 to 1837. (Read more.)
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Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Art Dealer Who Championed Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani

Femme au chapeau by Henri Matisse

From Artsy:
The list of artists Weill championed goes extraordinarily on, full of hundreds of names—some blue-chip, some forgotten. Between 1901, when she opened Galerie Berthe Weill, and 1941, when she shuttered the space due to rising anti-Semitism and the onset of World War II, she hosted countless shows. “We took the risk of going modern,” the dealer wrote in her memoir.
Her risk-taking was admirable, but it didn’t always pay off. There wasn’t a thriving market for artists who were just starting out—or for women artists. And the painters Weill did manage to sell weren’t reliable sources of income, either. As her artists grew higher in profile thanks to shows with Weill, they left her shop for established dealers like Ambroise Vollard, Paul Rosenberg, and Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. These gallerists could offer stipends and the security of an exclusive contract—expenses Weill simply couldn’t afford without resorting to showing recognized, safe artists (something the prickly and opinionated dealer was against).
“Weill [was] a discoverer,” Le Morvan explained. “The first [access point] to the market for artists who are then spotted by galleries of larger sizes which offer better prices.” Weill was constantly replenishing her roster as successful artists moved to more established galleries, a pattern still playing out for scrappy and visionary dealers today.
“She’s doing something innovative and she’s in unknown territory, and it’s not easy but she’s doing it,” said Robert McD. Parker, an independent art scholar on a team mounting an upcoming Berthe Weill exhibition. The traveling show will include around 80 works that passed through Galerie Berthe Weill—though it won’t display them on clotheslines like she would do when she ran out of wall space. The exhibition will open at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2022 and at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery the following year, and it may travel to additional venues. (Read more.)
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Why Impeachment Failed

From The National Review:
While people were still scratching their heads over all of that, the Democrats then suddenly decided to back off the bribery charge altogether, as their evidence didn’t meet the standard for bribery under U.S. law. Instead, they voted to impeach the president for (1) abuse of power on the basis of “almost bribery” and (2) obstruction of Congress for asserting executive privileges that any president would have asserted, and which were so compelling that the Democrats were afraid to challenge them in court.
The House thus sent to the Senate two articles of impeachment that struck many Republican senators as an abject failure to prove any sort of impeachable offense. The general impression among Republicans, quite apart from what they might think of the president personally, was that the Democrats were turning the whole impeachment proceeding into a circus in which the chief entertainment was their own incompetence and mendacity.
You could agree with their argument only if you already believed that the president’s conduct was impeachable before hearing any of the evidence. And there was only one Republican senator in that camp — Mitt Romney, the last remaining champion of your grandfather’s Republican Party. Even he voted against the Democrats’ absolutely preposterous obstruction-of-Congress charge.
At this point, thinking people on the Democratic side should have perceived the fatal weakness of their argument, namely that it presupposed the very proposition to be proved. Amazingly, however, there has been almost no self-reflection on their side. They appear to have collectively dismissed even the possibility that their failure to remove the president was due to the weakness of their case. Instead, Democrats are now saying that if you found their case for impeachment unconvincing, you must not have any standards and would let the president get away with anything. One’s spirits sink. The assertion is so wrong at so many levels, one knows not where to begin to set them right. (Read more.)
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Charles Bell of Bucknell

The story of an escaped slave. From Valley Girl Views:
"That night a Sunday in August, 1849, my wife and I left Romney. We walked thirty miles to the Potomac River. We followed the river until we came to a bridge and before daylight were outside of the state of West Virginia. We made straight for the mountains, never stopping until we reached them. Rain had been falling all day. For a week it poured. We had no shelter nor a way to keep ourselves dry. During the day we rested as best we could under some thick tree or overhanging rocks, which sheltered us a little from the rain. At night we traveled. As soon as it was dark we worked our way down to the highway, and all night long we stumbled along in the mud. Alone either of us would have given up. However, we encouraged each other, and although we were wet and hungry, and foot-sore, we never lost our determination. We knew that if we went back or were captured, we should be sold down the river."

"For four weeks we kept to the mountains. After we had been traveling for a week or two, we came down to the highway, but almost the first thing we saw was a poster, nailed to a dead tree, Describing me and offering a reward for my return. That frightened us so we never again ventured on the highway in the daytime. "

"Only once in all four weeks did we speak to anybody. One day we came in sight of a little farmhouse in a clearing. We were very hungry and decided to try and go down to the hours and get something to eat. There were two women there. We asked for some food. The women looked us over and said they had nothing to give us then, but if we came back a little later they would have something for us. That made me suspicious at once. My wife and I went back among the trees and hid ourselves. Presently we saw one of the women leave the house and hurry over to some men on the hillside. She talked to them for a minute and then the men dropped their tools and came over to the house. We knew they intended to catch us and we hurried away as fast as we could go. By this point we were so used to traveling in the woods that we could go very fast. The farmers never overtook us." (Read more.)
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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Benefits Of Walking In The Rain


 
 From Gardening Soul:
Numerous people enjoy the sound of the pouring rain, many find it romantic and soothing, and others find its smell pleasant for the nerves. Walking in the rain can be a healing experience, as it calms the mind, and releases the suppressed thoughts and emotions. The scent of the rain has a special name, Petrichor, so named by two Australian scientists in the 1960s. The fragrance is a combination of chemicals released by soil-dwelling bacteria, oils released from plants during dry spells and ozone created when lightning splits oxygen and nitrogen molecules that then turn into nitric oxide. The rainy days are ideal if you are a bit stressed, feel blue, or just need some time to relax and enjoy the present moment. (Read more.)

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Being Fired by Trump

From David Harsanyi at The National Review:
At some point he perished, no doubt, in a vile and undignified manner, perhaps succumbing to starvation or typhoid or dysentery, or maybe he was shot in the head and left in a shallow unmarked grave. We don’t know. His wife and son, the latter of whom he would never meet, would never find out how he died, despite decades of trying. His loss, like the deaths of millions of other powerless and now anonymous victims of that age, would have repercussions that reverberate today.
When “they” came for James Comey, on the other hand, he landed a massive book deal, made millions on the speaking circuit, wagged his finger at his former boss through social media to his million followers, and spent some quality time with family. He never once had to worry about state-sanctioned violence. Comey, a man powerful enough to oversee a cooked-up investigation into a presidential candidate, merely lost a job.
Like Comey, all the alleged victims on Wittes’s ludicrous list served at the pleasure of the president and could be fired by Donald Trump for almost any reason he desired, just as they could have been fired by Barack Obama or Jimmy Carter or FDR. Many of the people on the list, in fact, have been investigated by the inspector general, who found that they acted either incompetently or potentially illegally.
Government bureaucrats aren’t endowed with a God-given right to work in the executive branch of the United States government. Most of these “victims” will find lucrative work elsewhere. None, I confidently say, are going to be thrown into camps. If you don’t like who Trump fires, or how he fires them, you can always vote for another candidate.

It might come as a surprise to those who, through hyperbole, demean the real victims of history, but Nazi Germany didn’t hold impeachment hearings for their leaders in 1938, there was no institutional anti-Hitler media in 1939, and most people in 1940 did not publicly accuse Hitler of being a seditious criminal and madman. Those who did, such as Martin Niemöller, ended up in Sachsenhausen and Dachau, not the green room at CNN. (Read more.)
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