Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Peaceful Sojourns




A trip to Burgundy. From Victoria:
With its colorful, glazed-tile roof and Gothic facade a beacon of hope, the Hospices de Beaune was founded in the fifteenth century as a hospital for the destitute. Through the years, gifts from wealthier classes afforded expansion and an impressive art collection. The original structure, the Hôtel-Dieu, now functions as a museum.

Roses outside the café—the casual counterpoint to gastronomic La Table de Levernois—welcome patrons to the mansion’s eighteenth-century kitchen. (Read more.)


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Gender Dysphoria

From The Public Discourse:
First, though, let us address the basic assumption of the contemporary parade: the idea that exchange of one’s sex is possible. It, like the storied Emperor, is starkly, nakedly false. Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men. All (including Bruce Jenner) become feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they “identify.” In that lies their problematic future.

When “the tumult and shouting dies,” it proves not easy nor wise to live in a counterfeit sexual garb. The most thorough follow-up of sex-reassigned people—extending over thirty years and conducted in Sweden, where the culture is strongly supportive of the transgendered—documents their lifelong mental unrest. Ten to fifteen years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to twenty times that of comparable peers. (Read more.)
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The Ethics of Escape

From Charles Coulombe:
The point to be made is that the "escape into fantasy" so often condemned by so-called "right-thinking people," is not without a real utility in solving problems in the here-and-now, especially the political here and now. Being devoted to the literature of escape does not preclude a deep and abiding interest in reality; quite the contrary. It allows one to meditate, as Huxley did with the ideals of Dr. Williams, on hypothetical questions in a constructive way. Not that fantasists are unanimous in their political or religious views---far from it. Yet they do have a commonality of perspective which transcends mere party labels---even as do the Technocrats. Tolkien was a Catholic, Royalist, Tory (as indeed, am I myself); but the chapter of The Return of the King called "The Scouring of the Shire" would be very pleasing indeed to any self-respecting Green or Anarchist. William Morris was considered a radical in his time, George Wyndham a reactionary; yet their taste in literature mirrored the fact that their politics contained a great deal of mutuality. Rudyard Kipling and Hilaire Belloc were in quite opposite camps when it came to the Empire---but as one when it came to England herself, as a comparison of the one's Puck of Pook's Hill with the other's Four Men will show clearly. Not for nothing did our old friend Herbert Spencer call the nascent Labour Party "the New Toryism," and would no doubt have made the same accusation against not just R. H. Tawney, but Tolkien and Henry Massingham as well. I have myself found much more in common in terms of basic values with other lovers of fantasy whose party labels are supposedly opposed to mine than either of us do with those who share those labels---but are committed believers in the truth of the gaol in which we live. (Read more.)
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Princess Augusta of Bavaria, Duchess of Leuchtenberg

From Madame Gilflurt:
Augusta was born to Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt. She lost her mother when she was just eight years old and though Maximilian married Princess Caroline of Baden, it took some years for the young Augusta to get used to her stepmother. From the start, it was intended that she would make a good dynastic match. Initially the young woman was promised to Charles, heir to the Grand Dukedom of Baden and brother of her stepmother. However, Napoleon had other ideas and prevailed upon Maximilian to offer his daughter as a bride for Eugène. (Read more.)
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Economic Nationalism

From Chronicles:
Even in recent crises, Republican presidents have gone back to the economic nationalism of their Grand Old Party. With the Brits coming for our gold and Japanese imports piling up, President Nixon in 1971 closed the gold window and imposed a 10 percent tariff on Japanese goods.

Ronald Reagan slapped a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles being dumped here to kill Harley-Davidson, then put quotas on Japanese auto imports, and on steel and machine tools. Reagan was a conservative of the heart. Though a free trader, he always put America first. What, then, does history teach?

The economic nationalism and protectionism of Hamilton, Madison, Jackson, and Henry Clay, and the Party of Lincoln, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and Coolidge, of all four presidents on Mount Rushmore, made America the greatest and most self-sufficient republic in history.

And the free-trade, one-worldism of Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama enabled Communist China to shoulder us aside us and become the world's No. 1 manufacturing power.

Like Britain, after free-trade was adopted in the mid-19th century, when scribblers like David Ricardo, James Mill and John Stuart Mill, and evangelists like Richard Cobden dazzled political elites with their visions of the future, America has been in a long steady decline.

If we look more and more like the British Empire in its twilight years, it is because we were converted to the same free-trade faith that was dismissed as utopian folly by the men who made America.

Where in the history of great nations—Britain before 1850, the USA, Bismarck's Germany, postwar Japan and China today—has nationalism not been the determinant factor in economic policy? Speaker Ryan should read more history and less Ayn Rand. (Read more.)
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Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence

From Church Militant:
Nothing happens in the the universe without God willing and allowing it. This statement must be taken absolutely of everything with the exception of sin. "Nothing occurs by chance in the whole course of our lives" is the unanimous teaching of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, "and God intervenes everywhere."

"I am the Lord," He tells us Himself by the mouth of the prophet Isaias, "and there is none else. I form light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil. I, the Lord, do all these things" (Is. 45:6–7). "It is I who bring both death and life, I who inflict wounds and heal them," He said to Moses (Deut. 32:39). "The Lord killeth and maketh alive," it is written in the Canticle of Anna, the mother of Samuel, "He bringeth down to the tomb and He bringeth back again; the Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, he humbleth and he exalteth" (1 Kings 2:6–7). "Shall there be evil (disaster, affliction) in a city which the Lord hath not done?" asks the prophet Amos (Amos  3:6). "Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches are from Go," Solomon proclaims (Ecclus. 11:14). And so on in numerous other passages of Scripture.

Perhaps you will say that while this is true of certain necessary effects, like sickness, death, cold and heat, and other accidents due to natural causes which have no liberty of action, the same cannot be said in the case of things that result from the free will of man. For if, you will object, someone slanders me, robs me, strikes me, persecutes me, how can I attribute his conduct to the will of God, Who far from wishing me to be treated in such a manner, expressly forbids it? So the blame, you will conclude, can only be laid on the will of man, on his ignorance or malice. This is the defense behind which we try to shelter from God and excuse our lack of courage and submission.

It is quite useless for us to try and take advantage of this way of reasoning as an excuse for not surrendering to Providence. God Himself has refuted it, and we must believe on His word that in events of this kind as in all others, nothing occurs except by His order and permission. (Read more.)
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Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Untoward Circumstances"

From Jane Austen's Microcosm:
Miss Bates is one of my favourite Austen characters. Mr Knightley insightfully realises she is not as silly as she is made out to be. She does go on a bit about trivial matters, but the intelligence she provides helps us get a better picture of everyday life in Highbury – what can be more delightful than her ‘harmless gossip’? The seemingly inconsequential flow of important and mundane information found in Jane Austen’s letters often reminds us of her. Yet Cassandra must have relished every detail, and fans as well as scholars joyfully strive to make sense of it all. And, unlike so many foolish people, Miss Bates knows she is not clever: ‘I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan’t I?’ (Read more.)
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Recent Broadcasts about Marie-Antoinette on #BlogTalkRadio

Here are the two recent Tea at Trianon Radio broadcasts. In the first program I discuss the sources for my new book, Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars, HERE. In the second program I talk a little about Marie-Antoinette's family, as well as how to deal with trolls on the internet, especially anti-Antoinette trolls, HERE. Share