The striking retro Big Chill refrigerator in the kitchen was the first spark of inspiration for this waterfront dwelling in Galveston, Texas’s Crystal Beach. Designer Laura Umansky says she and the homeowner fell in love with the Beach Blue hue right away and carried it throughout the home. Generating a look reminiscent of the sea and its shore, they achieved their “casual coastal” concept with a palette of primarily neutrals with pops of the fun shade all around. (Read more.)Share
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
About the year 950 AD the Danes were finally united into one country by a chieftain known as Harald Bluetooth. It was his son, Sweyn Forkbeard (and you have to love those Viking names) who led the Danish conquest of England which was completed by 1013. King Sweyn Forkbeard was, in turn, succeeded by his son King Canute the Great who conquered Norway in 1028. This represented a high point in Danish history but it was to be rather short-lived. After the death of King Canute the Great things began to come apart, aided in so small part by the fact that various chieftains battled over the throne. While civil war prevailed at home, Denmark lost control of England and Norway as well as other territorial holdings outside Denmark itself. However, when your history is as long as that of the Kingdom of Denmark, there is time for more than one high point and, in a way that seems rather foreign to people today, the Danes were not deterred by these setbacks and as soon as the domestic problems were settled, began to expand again to build another era of power and glory for their country.Share
A new Danish empire stretching across the shores of the Baltic Sea was established by two particularly powerful monarchs with the same name; King Valdemar the Great (1131-1182) and King Valdemar the Victorious (1170-1241). Thanks to their successful campaigns, the lands of the Kingdom of Denmark stretched across much of northern Germany, the island of Gotland and east to what is now Estonia. It was also King Valdemar the Victorious who gave Denmark its first legal system known as the “Jutland Code”. This law code was to remain in effect in Denmark until 1683 and influenced subsequent Danish law codes far beyond that. However, the Danish empire built by the two Valdemars eventually met its match with the rise of the German merchant city-states that banded together in the Hanseatic League. Denmark lost most of its continental possessions to the League as well as absorbing an amount of German customs due to proximity and close interaction. But, you can’t keep a good Dane down and as the 1200’s gave way to the 1300’s the Kingdom of Denmark began to rise again. (Read more.)
Monday, February 20, 2017
After much anticipation, the Washington State Supreme Court has punished Barronelle Stutzman for peacefully operating her business consistently with her faith. Barronelle's continuing struggle for religious freedom should be alarming not only to every Christian, but to every American who cherishes freedom. Barronelle is a floral artist … and a grandmother. You’d never expect to see someone like her at the center of a firestorm. But she is being sued both professionally and personally by the Washington State attorney general and the ACLU. This ruling could result in her losing everything she owns — her business, her home, and her life’s savings. Everything. (Read more.)Share
The average householder lived on a narrow street crowded with people and animals: horse-drawn carts blocked the way, flocks of geese were herded to market, sheep and cattle were driven to be sold or slaughtered, hens pecked in the yards, dogs and cats scavenged, and then there were the rats, mice and pigeons…Via Once I Was a Clever Boy. Share
Together, they produced a mountain of “mooke and fylthe”: entrails, bones and scales, fur and feathers, which mingled with rotting vegetation, food scraps, general household rubbish, dust, mud, ashes, the sweepings from workshop floors and “other vyle things”.
So if you’d have been a householder in Tudor England, how would you have gone about winning the daily war with waste? Here, with some help from the city archives of 16th-century York, are some tips…(Read more.)
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Roll out the red carpet to welcome a parade of special guests—Oscar night has arrived! Set a celebratory mood with a crisp black-and-white color scheme that evokes the golden age of cinema, as well as shimmering gilt notes in tribute to those iconic statuettes. A luxurious bouquet of white roses, anemones, and tulips, plus a handful of vintage film reels sprinkled about, lends a dash of drama. The most classic of theater snacks, tops a silken Popcorn Soup that pairs beautifully with peach-and-raspberry-kissed Prosecco Sparklers. (Read more.)Share
In Roberto Rossellini's film of 1966, The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, there is a scene in which the King appears in an outrageous red outfit, all frills and flounces, designed to his own specifications. He explains that with this clownish costume he is setting a dress code to keep his nobles poor, and divert their attention from politics to fashion.Share
It sounds absurd, but it worked. Louis XIV ruled by theatre, turning the palace of Versailles into an enormous stage set where every aspect of daily life was transformed into ceremony. Etiquette was everything in this hermetic environment, and a social faux pas could spell the end of one's brilliant career. (Read more.)
That said, the election of a populist whose program is based in the kind of hard-headed prudence that guided Catholic statesmen over two millennia has provoked an intense fight within church circles. Those Catholics who have privileged their own statist approach to “social justice” over traditional moral teaching, liturgy, and evangelization, are throwing a public tantrum. Some of them are using the institutional power which they are gaining under Pope Francis to tar the policies Donald Trump is proposing as “un-Christian,” in the hope of rallying millions of Catholic voters against the president.More commentary on the political and religious divisions from The Christian Review. By the way, traditional Catholics have been marginalized for a long time. It is nothing new. To quote:
Last week, in two separate pieces at The Stream, Jason Jones and I dissected the case made by prominent Jesuit Rev. James Martin that Trump’s attempts to enforce U.S. immigration law are contrary to the Gospel. We showed that Trump’s position is actually closer to the official church teaching on immigration than is Fr. Martin’s (or Pope Francis’).
The question of solidarity within the Body of Christ aside, this high-minded sounding statement willfully ignores the fact that Middle Eastern Christians are the deliberate target of religious genocide, and that (unlike Sunni Muslims) they have absolutely no safe place to go in the region — while vast and wealthy Sunni Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia accept zero refugees, preferring to build mosques for refugees (staffed with Wahhabi Islamists) in Germany, France and Sweden.
Deal Hudson at Newsmax reports that one theologian, Prof. Charlie Camosy of (Jesuit) Fordham University in New York, has actually declared Donald Trump’s “America First” policy orientation a heresy, amounting to idolatry of our country over Christ. (Read more.)
In Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel Catch 22, a character complains, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” Conservative Catholics have long felt pushed to the sidelines of the Church, but since the election of Donald Trump there has been a considerable uptick in the abuse heaped on Catholics who cling to the legacy of Saint John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict XVI.Share
A prime example of this concerted effort was last week when a column by an Associate Professor at Fordham, Dr. Charlie Camosy, called for the Holy Father to declare “Trumpism” a heresy. This type of hyperbole alienates at least half of self-identified Catholics who actually voted for him.
There is obviously a concerted effort by members of the progressive leaders of the Church to marginalize orthodox, politically conservative Catholics. My concern also stems from the fact that during the general election, we learned from WikiLeaks that John Podesta, the head of the Clinton campaign was conspiring with Democrat operatives to influence the Bishops of the United States and others within the Church to take a more aggressive and disruptive social justice approach.
Sometimes this initiative pays dividends in the hostility towards pro-life, pro-traditional marriage Catholics by liberal clergy and the social justice warriors in the Church. This has always been the case, but in the so-called “Age of Trump,” it’s intensifying at a disturbing rate.
Since the outset of the Trump presidency, main stream media outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post are providing leftist groups the platform to attack Cardinal Burke. His Eminence has become the de facto leader of the the conservative, traditional branch of Catholicism that are growing dissatisfied with Pope Francis while largely supporting the policies of the Trump administration.
Cardinal Burke, one of the four cardinals submitting the dubia to Pope Francis, is now being dragged through the headlines for handling of a leadership scandal within the Knights of Malta. As the appointed patron of the Knights, Cardinal Burke did not approve of a decision that used the Order’s charitable donations to fund condom distribution in Africa. When Burke acted to remove the person responsible, Pope Francis objected.
Cardinal Burke, however, has grown used to controversy: He has been a target of the liberals within the Church since 2004 when he said publicly that he would not give communion to that then Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry. Kerry was a “Catholic” candidate and a highly vocal supporter of abortion rights.
It has been well documented that Pope Francis is not fond of “rigid members of the Church and now is taking more jabs at Trump and his supporters among practicing Catholics. As he said a year ago about Donald Trump, “A person who thinks only about building walls — wherever they may be — and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
Leftist media outlets and activist groups have also become obsessed with Trump advisor Steve Bannon since he traveled to the Vatican and met with Cardinal Burke. Bannon, the chief strategist in the Trump administration, is now portrayed as being in league with conservative Catholics who want to thwart the Holy Father’s initiatives on climate change and immigration. That demonization of Bannon and Burke is making its way into the minds of Catholics who still view the main stream media as having credibility.
Whether or not many Catholics will start seeing Catholic Trump supporters as “Trumpist” heretics remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that President Trump, his White House staff, and Cabinet secretaries are getting an historically rough ride not only in the secular media but also in much of the Catholic media as well. (Read more.)