Monday, September 25, 2017

The Return of Mules

Or perhaps they never really went out of style. From Oye! Times:
Those who disagree might be surprised that modern-day mules actually find their origins in the boudoir. In fact, before Marie Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour wore them in the French court, the slipper-inspired style was associated with prostitution. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, Hollywood pinups like Marilyn Monroe brought the mule renewed glamour, with voluptuous, spike-heeled versions, before a chunkier version emerged in the ‘90s, alongside its ugly step-sister, the slide.

Now, the style is so pervasive that it seems quaint that in 2015, Maryam Nassir Zadeh — who can be credited with turning monochrome peep-toed mules into a fashion-girl favorite — accused Mansur Gavriel of ripping off the design. That same year, Alessandro Michele introduced his signature fur-lined loafer slide in his first collection for Gucci, sparking a wave of what are basically soled slippers. (Read more.)
Share

The Tyranny of Immorality

From Matt Walsh:
This particular case, Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, will be decided by the Supreme Court soon enough. I’m not optimistic. Justice Kennedy will be the deciding vote, and there’s no telling if he’ll discover a Right to Pastries just as he discovered a Right to Gay Marriage and just as his forebears discovered a Right to Abortion. Maybe they’re all in the same mysterious amendment, written in invisible ink that can only be seen through a special decoder lens that liberal judges pass down through the generations like a family heirloom.

Some issues are so complex and nuanced that reasonable people can make intelligent arguments on either side of them. This is not one of those issues. In a free country, if we are to be a free country, you cannot compel someone to play any kind of role whatsoever in a private event that he objects to as a matter of conscience or religion. If you can, then I guess white supremacists can conscript Jewish caterers to serve them lunch at their next meeting. You may take exception to that analogy and point out that a white supremacist meeting is repugnant while a gay wedding is a wonderful celebration of love and happiness. That’s your opinion, yes. But it’s only your opinion. You cannot force me to agree with it or act upon it.

Speaking of force, it strikes me that those who desire only to raise their families and run their businesses according to their personal belief systems are the ones so often accused of “forcing their morality” on the world. When I was discussing this case on Twitter (an admittedly terrible forum to discuss this subject or any other subject known to man), I was admonished numerous times for committing the crime of morality-forcing. And that was just for saying that I think businesses should be allowed to refrain from serving gay weddings. (Read more.)
Share

Silence About Sin

From ChurchPop:
There’s a whole lot of sin all around us in our world today. As Christians, we are certainly called to refuse to participate in sin and instead to pursue holiness. But is that enough? Is a private pursuit of holiness with the grace of God all that Christians are called to do? Of course not. The primary mission of the Church is evangelical. That is to say, we are all called to share with others the Gospel of grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Included in that by necessity is the truth about sin, because that’s what Jesus saves us from. Sin, the transgression of God’s laws, is deadly serious. It’s exactly the thing that sends a person to hell for eternity. Which means that if we love other people, we have to warn them about sin. In fact, this responsibility is enshrined as one of the 7 spiritual works of mercy: admonish sinners. (Read more.)
Share

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Most Influential Female Artists of All Time

From Arts and Collections:
Vigée Le Brun is credited with painting approximately 660 portraits and 200 landscapes. She broke boundaries with her success; despite being initially denied a formal education in art, King Louis XVI ensured her acceptance into the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture and she went on to become a portraitist of the French court. She produced dozens of works of Marie Antoinette and royal family.

She shocked the art world when she exhibited a self-portrait in which she is smiling open-mouthed. Her portrait of Marie Antoinette was withdrawn because people didn’t like how informal it was. It depicted the queen in a simple white dress and straw hat. Although the artist was exiled during the French Revolution for her association with the monarchy, some 30 of her paintings of the queen still survive today, giving her the title of Marie Antoinette’s official painter. (Read more.)
Share

The American Burke

From Chronicles:
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) was the most substantial intellectual to reach high political office in the United States since Woodrow Wilson.  Thus his life, writings, policy deliberations, and political efforts, and the effects of these, deserve the most careful and respectful attention.  If the apocalyptic era of European history began with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, it is arguable that the American time of troubles reached critical mass in 1965—just 50 years ago—when Moynihan’s report to President Lyndon Johnson on the precipitous decline of the African-American family became public knowledge.  Moynihan’s worries about the decline of the American family—white, black, and otherwise—have proved to be prophetic.  As the sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia put it in 2010, “Non-marital child-bearing among [all] women with high-school degrees more than tripled in the last three decades—from 13 percent in 1982 to 44 percent in 2006-8.”

Greg Weiner, a political scientist, has written an excellent short book on Moynihan, rightly comparing his thought and career with those of Edmund Burke.  Weiner’s book joins several other important volumes on Moynihan, including Godfrey Hodgson’s excellent The Gentleman From New York: Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Biography (2000), and the indispensable recent anthology edited by Steven R. Weisman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of An American Visionary (2010).  Moynihan’s service to presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon and his ambassadorships to the United Nations and India predated his long and distinguished service as U.S. senator from New York from 1977 until 2001, not long before his death in 2003.  It is true, though not the highest of compliments that Moynihan deserves, to say that his honor, honesty, intelligence, articulateness, and devotion to the common good make most of our presidents and legislators since World War II look like pathetically small figures indeed: the Kennedys, Nixon, and the Clintons hardly commend the quality of modern American political leadership.  Opposing the radical wing of the Democratic Party in 1980, Moynihan charged it with holding that “government should be strong and America should be weak.”

Weiner’s comparison of Moynihan with Burke is particularly apt, since Burke came at the beginning of a sociopolitical tradition on which Moynihan clearly drew and helped to develop and apply—the tradition of Tocqueville, Catholic social thought, and sociology as practiced by Robert Nisbet and Peter L. Berger.  This way of approaching politics enjoins respect for family, church, neighborhood, voluntary associations, tradition, federalism, decentralization—even for ethnicity and class.  Its great spokesmen dreaded two extremes to which modern history has been prone since the French Revolution: atomistic individualism and statism.  Atomistic individualism gives us radical, rootless, anxious or transgressive self-obsession, the Nietzschean consciousness, now so widespread, with its underlying belief, implicit or explicit, that there exists nothing authoritative that is anterior, exterior, or superior to the self.  This atheistic, anomic, alienated, “liberated” condition entails what Nisbet called “the twilight of authority,” and the “emancipated” individual drawn to the competing claims of the omnicompetent state.  European history since 1914 is that of the oscillations between these extremes, while American history since about 1965 displays a similar pattern, with no promising end in sight.  Like Reinhold Niebuhr, Moynihan wrote, Nisbet “holds that the civilization that begins by creating this autonomous individual ends by destroying him” through statist conformity or collectivism.  “A society suffused with the alienation of many of its members is a society that courts—if not totalitarianism, at least statism,” he continued.  “The state thrives, prospers and grows in an atmosphere of alienation, for it is the only alternative to the purposeful, private, communal activity that decays in the presence of alienation.” (Read more.)
Share

The Stafford Shoe Trade and the Irish

From Divergent Paths:
Andrew Brew was one of many Irish shoemakers who came to Stafford during the nineteenth century. Between 1841 and 1901 almost one in ten of the town’s adult Irish workforce was in the footwear industry, and many of the children of Irish families entered the trade when they grew up.[iii] This body of workers was a classic example of how emigration and settlement were fuelled by the shift in economic power between Irish and British capitalism. Ireland suffered ‘deindustrialisation’ in the nineteenth century, and Stafford’s shoe trade illustrates how industrialisation and deindustrialisation were complementary forces.[iv]

Traditionally shoes were bespoke products made by cobblers selling directly to their customers, but in Britain the growth of London and the industrial cities created a profitable market for mass-produced ‘ready-mades’. This was exploited most profitably when entrepreneurs could use economies of scale, division of labour and cheaper road and rail transport. The trade increasingly concentrated in specialised shoe towns and villages of which Stafford was one.[v] Here the development was mainly due to William Horton (1750-1832), the first ‘manufacturer’ to orchestrate production on a large-scale, although most of the work was still done in workers’ houses. (Read more.)
Share

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Now is the Hour

 Today is the day of the great sign. According to Patrick Archbold, about two years:
 On November 20, 2016, Jupiter (the King planet) enters into the body (womb) of the constellation Virgo (the virgin).   Jupiter, due its retrograde motion, will spend the next 9 ½ months within the womb of Virgo. This length of time corresponds with gestation period of a normal late-term baby.

After 9 ½ months, Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo. Upon Jupiter’s exit (birth), on September 23, 2017, we see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). At the feet of Virgo, we find the moon. And upon her head we find a crown of twelve stars, formed by the usual nine stars of the constellation Leo with the addition of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

That is a truly remarkable and, as far as I can determine, unique series of event with a startling degree of concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12. So what does it mean, if anything? The obvious and truthful answer is that we simply do not know. That said, we are not entirely without possible context.

It just so happens that these events transpire during the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of “the woman clothed in the sun,” Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. The culmination of these astronomical events occurs just 3 weeks before the 100th anniversary of the great miracle of Fatima, in which the sun “danced” (another heavenly sign), an event that was witnessed by many thousands.

In the almost century that has followed that great event, we have seen Our Lady’s warnings come true with startling precision. People did not cease offending God and we have seen terrible wars, nations annihilated, and Russia spread her errors throughout the world and, if we are honest, even into the Church itself. And yet, we still await the fulfillment of her promises, the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, and a period of peace to be granted to the world. (Read more.)
Now is the time to pray harder than ever. From Unveiling the Apocalypse:
The world is now standing on a precipice, being threatened with the fire which issues forth from the flaming sword held by the angel of the Third Secret. We can now only be spared through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fact that the angel with the flaming sword is seen calling out three times for the repentance of humanity in the midst of these trials of the Church appears to symbolise three separate periods in which the world would be spared from nuclear destruction to allow for a period of conversion and penance. We already know that the world was brought back from the brink of nuclear self-annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and Sr. Lucia herself said that the world was spared a nuclear war that would have broken out in 1985 by the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 (leading to the downfall of the Soviet Union). As Cardinal Ratzinger famously stated in his theological commentary in The Message of Fatima:

The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword. The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance.
We must now fervently pray that the Mother of God will intercede for us in a last act of salvation to stay the hand of the angel with the flaming sword, in order to allow for a period of conversion and penance before we undergo the trial of the Antichrist. (Read more.)
Share

Wiretappers

From The American Spectator:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir rests on an astonishingly audacious lie: that the very FBI director who made her campaign possible by improperly sparing her from an indictment doomed it. A normal pol who had mishandled classified information as egregiously as Hillary would have felt eternal gratitude to Comey. Only an entitled ingrate like Hillary would have the gall to cast her savior as the chief thorn in her side.

Nor does Hillary acknowledge another in-kind contribution to her campaign from Comey: his willingness to serve as a cog in Obama’s campaign of political espionage against Trump. Obama’s team of Hillary partisans, which included among others John Brennan, Susan Rice, and Loretta Lynch, wanted Comey to snoop on Trumpworld and he duly did.

It was reported this week that the FBI had until as recently as earlier this year been intercepting the communications of Paul Manafort, one of Trump’s campaign chairmen. This means that Comey, contrary to his lawyerly denial of Trump’s wiretapping claim, had the means to eavesdrop on any communications between Manafort and Trump.

Even at this late date, quibbling partisans in the media say that is insufficient proof of Trump’s claim. But could anyone imagine the Maggie Habermans bothering with such pedantry if George Bush’s FBI director had been snooping on David Axelrod? The same generation of reporters who watched All the President’s Men breathlessly now shill for the propriety of political espionage. They rush to offer what they consider high-minded reasons for wiretaps of Trump campaign officials. But those reasons, at least as this point, amount to nothing more than the haziest gossip. One of the supposed reasons for the wiretaps, rich in irony given Hillary’s complaint that foreigners interfered in the election, is that an ex-Brit spy, probably on Comey’s payroll (the FBI still won’t address this matter) and certainly on the payroll of pro-Hillary partisans, told U.S. government officials that Manafort was colluding with the Russians.

[...]

The scandal at the center of the 2016 election was not that Trump colluded with Russians to win but that the media and the Obama administration colluded with Hillary to defeat him. The loudest cries of “foreign influence over the election” came from Hillary partisans who sought it, whether it was John Brennan running off to England and Estonia to collect dirt on Trump from their spies or deep-state clowns at the FBI who wanted to turn Christopher Steele into an asset. The villain, in this sorry fable, turned out to be the victim. (Read more.)
Share