Saturday, July 4, 2015

The History of Social Programs

Here is a fascinating and thought-provoking blog post from Diary of an Accidental Hermit:
When the pilgrims came to America, they brought with them these harsh and judgmental attitudes toward the poor.  Only those deemed “worthy” of assistance would receive it, and the local town elders would be the ones to decide who was worthy and in what kind and manner the charity would be distributed to them.  Poverty was a grisly, dehumanizing experience.  Some people were deemed unworthy to receive charity and were reduced to begging in the streets.

The provision of charity was made as unpleasant as possible, with the idea that this would discourage dependency.  If you were receiving relief, you could lose all your personal property, the right to vote or move, and you were often made to wear a large “P” on your clothing! (Read more.)

Colonial Americans and Intemperance

From The Atlantic:
Why did this 18th-century doctor care so much about moral consequences of drinking? “It was a pretty common belief among the founders [regarding] America’s experiment with republicanism, that the only way that we were going to keep it was through the virtue of our citizens,” said Bruce Bustard, the curator of a National Archives exhibit on American alcohol consumption. As Rush observed the effects of alcohol consumption, he had the young nation’s future in mind: People experiencing what he saw as the “Melancholy,” “Madness,” and “Despair” of intemperance surely wouldn’t make for very good participants in democracy.

Early America was also a much, much wetter place than it is now, modern frat culture notwithstanding. Instead of binge-drinking in short bursts, Americans often imbibed all day long. “Right after the Constitution is ratified, you could see the alcoholic consumption starting to go up,” said Bustard. Over the next four decades, Americans kept drinking steadily more, hitting a peak of 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol per person per year in 1830. By comparison, in 2013, Americans older than 14 each drank an average of 2.34 gallons of pure alcohol—an estimate which measures how much ethanol people consumed, regardless of how strong or weak their drinks were. Although some colonial-era beers might have been even weaker than today's light beers, people drank a lot more of them. 

In part, heavy alcohol consumption was a way to stay hydrated: Often, clean water wasn’t always accessible. Hard liquor, on the other hand, was readily available, Bustard said; farmers frequently distilled their grain into alcohol. Rush “may have been observing what's going on on the frontier,” Bustard said, “thinking, you know: What's the country going to come to?” (Read more.)


The origin of the word. To quote:
While there are differing versions of the term’s origin, the first use of “redneck” appears to refer to the Scottish Covenanters of the 17th century, an independence movement created in response to England’s King Charles I, who took steps to bring Scotland’s Presbyterian church under his control. In 1638, Scottish Presbyterians signed the National Covenant, declaring their allegiance to their religion over the King of England. The Covenanters signed in blood, and to symbolize this oath, wore blood-red bandannas around their necks. Under English persecution, many Covenanters joined the Scottish migration to Ireland that began in the early 1600s.

Scottish Presbyterians lived in Ireland for several generations. However, the 1704 Test Act required that all government officials and civil servants pass a test of allegiance to the Anglican church. Within about a decade, thousands of Scots-Irish migrated to the American colonies. Landing mostly in New England, they made their way south in search of open land. Eventually, the Scots-Irish spread throughout what today are the Southern states and many Southerners today trace their ancestry back to these migrants who brought not only their culture of rugged individualism and religious devotion, but also the term “redneck.” (Read more.)

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Stage at Marie-Antoinette's Theater

From Anna Gibson. Share

A Statement from the American College of Pediatricians

From Breitbart:
Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the College, said:
[T]his is a tragic day for America’s children. The SCOTUS has just undermined the single greatest pro-child institution in the history of mankind: the natural family. Just as it did in the joint Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton decisions, the SCOTUS has elevated and enshrined the wants of adults over the needs of children.
The College, which has members in 44 states and in several countries outside the U.S., joined in an amici brief in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that has led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states of the nation.
In the brief, the amici stated what is often the case when sound research is ignored by the left when it fails to support their causes:
Despite being certified by almost all major social science scholarly associations—indeed, in part because of this—the alleged scientific consensus that having two parents of the same sex is innocuous for child well-being is almost wholly without basis. All but a handful of the studies cited in support draw on small, non-random samples which cannot be extrapolated to the same-sex population at large. This limitation is repeatedly acknowledged in scientific meetings and journals, but ignored when asserted as settled findings in public or judicial advocacy.
The College itself has maintained that a significant body of research has demonstrated that “same-sex marriage deliberately deprives the child of a mother or a father, and is therefore harmful.” (Read more.)


I never cease to be amused by people who think that by calling me homophobic and invoking the f-word they will somehow force me to reconsider my beliefs. I have been called all kinds of names, including bigot, hater, homophobic, etc and it never had the desired effect. I no longer feel the need to justify my stance to those who use such names as they try to reduce me to a caricature. We each answer to God and His is the only opinion that matters. Share

Thursday, July 2, 2015

La Petite Chambre de la Reine

Miniature of Marie-Antoinette en gaulle

The Swelle Life continues the tour of Marie-Antoinette's "country house" Petit Trianon with photos of the Queen's bedroom and the cabinet with the mechanical mirrors, put in by Madame du Barry. According to Pierre de Nolhac in his biography of Marie-Antoinette:
The rooms that come after, boudoir, bed-chamber and dressing-room, are less important, the ceiling becomes abruptly lower; we feel that we have reached the homely corner of the house. In the time of Louis XV. the bed-chamber was the King's cabinet, and the little boudoir which precedes it included the staircase leading to the entresol, where the library was situated. Marie Antoinette...abolished this communication, and the room that replaced it was called the 'Cabinet of moving mirrors.' It contained a mechanical contrivance by which mirrors were slid up from the floor, and concealed the windows. The apparatus was destroyed and the fragments were sold during the Revolution; but the white marble mantel-piece has been preserved, and also the panels which were carved for the Queen. These, with the panels of the Versailles cabinets, are the most perfect remaining from her reign. The price of them is known; they cost fifteen hundred livres. The narrowest are encircled by rose blooms on their branches; on the others, the shield, bearing fleurs-de-lys, supported by ribbons, appears among lightly - smoking cressets, doves, wreaths and quivers: above these pretty emblems is a lyre, and here and there the Queen's gilded cipher shines in the midst of the roses, between two torches, symbolical of the flame of love. Flowers, as we see, play a large part, suggested by its gardens, in the decoration of Little Trianon. One flower above all has supreme charm for the artist, and on leaving this boudoir, which might be called the rose cabinet, we shall find it, mingled with jasmine and narcissus, in the adjoining room.
On entering the Queen's bed-chamber, a closed sanctuary, securely her own, we must beware of believing, as we would dearly like to believe, that everything in it has been respectfully preserved in its former condition.... The bed is of the Louis Seize style; that is all we can say for it; but the flowers on the quilt were undoubtedly embroidered for one of the Queen's beds, for her cipher and the King's form part of the design. That the hangings in her time were muslin, embroidered in coloured silks, we know from one of the Queen's pages.... Marie Antoinette was fond of nick-nacks, the trifles of art. In the salon there are two vases of petrified wood, mounted in bronze, the design being hop-leaves, with the inscription: 'Jos. Worth fecit Viennae, 1780.' This work by a Viennese artist probably figured in the bed-chamber, where the Queen had collected all the memorials of her country, out of the reach of malevolent curiosity. The time-piece recalls the arms of Austria: two eagles support the dial, surrounded by roses and foliage; beneath the heraldic birds, the emblems of Florian's shepherds are grouped on the pedestal; at the sides are carnations in vases; never has bronze been carved with greater grace, or finer feeling for nature; all the art of Trianon seems to be summed up in this work.
  More photos HERE.


Sacrificium Laudis

From Vultus Christi:
Forty–nine years ago, on 15 August 1966, Pope Paul VI addressed a heartfelt and compelling Apostolic Letter, to religious Orders obliged to the choral recitation of the Divine Office, that is, principally, to monks, canons regular, and to members of the great mendicant Orders. The letter, entitled Sacrificium Laudis, was a clear mandate to continue the praise of God in Latin, and in Gregorian Chant; the letter ended with an authoritative summons to obedience. Sacrificium Laudis was contested, criticized, ignored, and disobeyed, just as Humanae Vitae would be two years later. (Read more.)