Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Voynich Manuscript

Recently, I found an interesting site on the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which I have blogged on before. (Via PrWeb.) It is the theory of one scholar that the medieval manuscript, written in an unknown language or code, was the work of the surviving Cathars, who he believes had managed to escape to South America (like the Nazis). The drawings of the plants and animals certainly resemble those which can still be found in South America. Why many of the inhabitants are shown as naked white women with blond curly hair is a yet unsolved question. Also, the Cathars despised the traditional Christian cross and would never have drawn one. It is, however, a fascinating theory. The castle depicted does possibly resemble Montségur, the castle in the South of France where the Cathars made their last stand. According to the Voynich Manuscript site:
 Note those frontal defenses known as M-shaped merlons. Such merlons have been found on castles in northern Italy. I checked them out myself: only two of them predate the fall of Montségur in 1244, but at one point or another those castles were destroyed and rebuilt or construction was expanded later on. In brief, so far, I have found no proof that any Italian M-shaped merlon predates the fall of Montségur.
The Cathars lived in both southern France and northern Italy. Catharism in France came to an abrupt end in the 13th century but continued to live on in northern Italy until the early 14th century. I suspect that the Italian Cathars introduced the M-shaped merlons into Italy in remembrance of those who died at Montségur. (Read more.)
A sunflower

The Rise of the Violent Left

From The Atlantic:
Antifa traces its roots to the 1920s and ’30s, when militant leftists battled fascists in the streets of Germany, Italy, and Spain. When fascism withered after World War II, antifa did too. But in the ’70s and ’80s, neo-Nazi skinheads began to infiltrate Britain’s punk scene. After the Berlin Wall fell, neo-Nazism also gained prominence in Germany. In response, a cadre of young leftists, including many anarchists and punk fans, revived the tradition of street-level antifascism.In the late ’80s, left-wing punk fans in the United States began following suit, though they initially called their groups Anti-Racist Action, on the theory that Americans would be more familiar with fighting racism than fascism. According to Mark Bray, the author of the forthcoming Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, these activists toured with popular alternative bands in the ’90s, trying to ensure that neo-Nazis did not recruit their fans. In 2002, they disrupted a speech by the head of the World Church of the Creator, a white-supremacist group in Pennsylvania; 25 people were arrested in the resulting brawl.

By the 2000s, as the internet facilitated more transatlantic dialogue, some American activists had adopted the name antifa. But even on the militant left, the movement didn’t occupy the spotlight. To most left-wing activists during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years, deregulated global capitalism seemed like a greater threat than fascism.

Trump has changed that. For antifa, the result has been explosive growth. According to NYC Antifa, the group’s Twitter following nearly quadrupled in the first three weeks of January alone. (By summer, it exceeded 15,000.) Trump’s rise has also bred a new sympathy for antifa among some on the mainstream left. “Suddenly,” noted the antifa-aligned journal It’s Going Down, “anarchists and antifa, who have been demonized and sidelined by the wider Left have been hearing from liberals and Leftists, ‘you’ve been right all along.’ ” An article in The Nation argued that “to call Trumpism fascist” is to realize that it is “not well combated or contained by standard liberal appeals to reason.” The radical left, it said, offers “practical and serious responses in this political moment.” (Read more.)
More from The Atlantic, on an old film:
When it first debuted, Don’t Be a Sucker would have played in movie theaters. Now it has made its 21st-century premiere thanks to a network of smaller screens and the Internet Archive, where it is available in full. Almost 75 years after it was first shown, Don’t Be a Sucker lives again as a public object in a new and strange context. (Read more.)

The Great American Eclipse

From Scripture scholar Emmett O'Regan in Unveiling the Apocalypse:
Now that the appearance of the Great American Eclipse is upon us, I thought it would be worth condensing all the relevant material I have written on this subject over the past year into a single post. This will allow new readers a quick catch-up, but should also be worth recapping for those who have already read the previous posts, since it will be interspersed with some important new material.

I have previously argued that this impending total solar eclipse appears to be part of a wider sequences of eclipses associated with the Sign of Jonah mentioned by Christ in relation to the binding of the "strong man", which in turn is closely connected to the period of the unbinding of Satan foretold in Rev 20:1-10 and the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII. This series of eclipses is primarily concentrated on the site of ancient Nineveh, in Mosul, modern Iraq - the city the Prophet Jonah was sent to warn of an impending chastisement. The beginning of the First World War, which many Catholics believe augured the beginning of the period of Satan's greater power foreseen by Pope Leo XIII, was marked by a total solar eclipse over the site of ancient Nineveh on the exact same date as the forthcoming eclipse, on 21st August, 1914 - the feast day of Our Lady of Knock. (Read more.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Statue

General Robert E. Lee at the University of Virginia
Above is a photo of the statue of General Robert E. Lee, a statue which is at the center of the on-going controversy at the University of Virginia, where there is a movement to remove it on the grounds that General Lee was not only a slave owner but a traitor to his country. The furor over the statue culminated in a riot on Saturday August 12, in which persons masquerading as Nazis and various other demented, antiquated extremist groups clashed with violent so-called anti-fascist left-wing protestors. The event quickly deteriorated into bloody, insane behavior and the death of at least one person, as police were ordered to stand down. (Two police officers died in a helicopter crash, but that was a mere blip on most television screens.) According to police, most of the protestors had out-of-state driver's licenses, leading to the conclusion that many were bused into town to cause trouble by escalating the inevitable violence. I say inevitable because seeing Nazi salutes makes the blood of most normal people boil; people looking for a fight are given an excuse for fighting when they see such aberrant behavior. Personally, I think anyone making the Nazi salute should be arrested. The Nazis were mass murderers and our enemies.  And that goes for waving the Nazi flag, too.

In the meantime I was fighting my own war on Facebook. Among the Facebook casualties of the weekend was a history blogger who unfriended me because I dared to question the party line that Robert E. Lee was Satan-incarnate but Thomas Jefferson was some kind of saint. Jefferson owned slaves as well as Lee, plus Jefferson's slaves were sold to pay his debts after he died. Families were divided. Why is Jefferson lionized and yet Lee is the devil? For bringing that information to her attention I was summarily unfriended as a fascist. Among the other casualties were one of my sisters as well as my best friend from ninth grade. It seems that knowing too much history can be a handicap, but I realized that a long time ago.

I cannot go cheerfully and quietly along with the crowd when what they say contradicts my basic knowledge of certain events and situations. Having grown up next to a Civil War battlefield among Civil War re-enactors, who had ascertained the exact angle of the sun over a hill when a cavalry charge took place in 1863, I have a passing familiarity with the various personalities on both sides of the conflict. Once I lived in the house which was the headquarters of General Lew Wallace (USA), the author of Ben-Hur. And Jeb Stuart (CSA) had galloped down the road near my house to the famous "Sabres and Roses" Ball in Urbana, MD, which he had left for a brief time while he fought and won the battle. I grew up with images of Union soldiers (we called them "Yankees") and Confederates all around me, amid lush farms and grand old homes set in the rolling hills of Frederick County.

Our neighbors were a highly-esteemed African-American family who were, I was always told, descended from the servants of the famous Key dynasty, as in Francis Scott Key, who had owned a great deal of property in the county. I grew up with white and black children, some of the rougher and crueler ones being Caucasian. However, I never personally witnessed any racism towards African-Americans, other than what I saw on television and read about in books. On and off I was picked on by both white and black children, which probably had more to do with my petit-bourgeois smocked dresses and buckle shoes rather than the color of my skin. The bullying continued until sixth grade when I punched an especially large aggressive white girl; after that they left me alone.

  Meanwhile, back on Facebook, I tried to make the point that Robert E. Lee, like Founders George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, was a Virginian, born into a culture where slavery was considered socially and morally acceptable, even as we now hold the institution in horror. Sadly, the Bible was used to justify it. Did Lee do things to the slaves that we would find shocking and horrible? Probably. Slavery is an ugly institution no matter how sugar-coated people want to make it. I say is because slavery is still with us, especially in Africa, Europe, Asia and even in America, where we have an immense problem with human-trafficking. 

 Lee, like Washington, Jefferson and Madison, helped lead a war against the federal government which many believed had committed tyrannical actions. In the case of Washington, Jefferson and Madison, the government was the British crown. Some Americans in the 1770's had great scruples about rebelling against the King and refused to fight. They were branded traitors; most fled to Canada. In the 1860's, many Southerners saw themselves as following in the footsteps of the Founders. Lee was against secession but did not want to fight against his family in Virginia. War and rebellion are ugly; atrocities happened in both the War for Independence and the War Between the States.

Lee was flawed human being who responded to the challenges of his time according to his capabilities, with some devastating failures but also with such successes that he has long been regarded as a great man by both friends and foes. He was the type of leader who inspired both love and heroism, so that his men followed him even when they were barefoot and starving. It was Lee himself who chose to surrender for the sake of their survival. Was Robert E. Lee the same as Hitler? No. Are there lessons to be learned from his life? Yes, many. The statue in Charlottesville should stay.

If Lee's statue is taken down, then logically the Jefferson Memorial might be next, or even the entire University of Virginia. After all, the University was founded by a slave owner (Jefferson), and generations of slave owners were educated there, bringing their slaves with them to school. Do not think that closing down an entire university is too far-fetched. The Soviets closed down lots of colleges and schools. In the middle of Paris there was once a vast palace called the Tuileries; nothing now remains but the gardens. In 1870 it was burned by rioters and later torn down because of what it represented. For that matter, all of Washington, DC might someday be seen as one big monument to dead slave owners. People forget that the old slave market was on the Mall across from the White House, even after Lincoln became president.

Anyone saying a word in the defense of General Lee has lately been branded as a racist, myself included. The fact that anyone would think that they are superior to anyone else based upon the color of their skin has always seemed to me to be the height of stupidity. But what we have witnessed in Charlottesville was carefully planned and orchestrated by hired protestors to aggravate racial tensions and exacerbate political differences. I saw so many Catholics running to condemn racism: "This is a sin!" Of course racism is a sin, like all hatred is a sin; racism is not only sinful but asinine. The fact that Conservatives have allowed themselves to be placed on the defensive for actions which have nothing to do with them shows that they have allowed the Left to lure them unto a Marxist view of reality, of social conflict as a means to reach utopia.

Incidentally, my father, a white man, was a card-carrying member of the NAACP during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's in Maryland; as a young businessman he participated in boycotts when doing so could make one unpopular. I was brought up with a loathing of racism in any shape or form. So when people start labeling me a racist just because I do not agree with their Marxist-Maoist rhetoric, they are way off the mark. What I pray for is that we could all focus less energy on the wrongs of the past and more on fighting the various manifestations of slavery, and other injustices, occurring today. The suffering of the present should be our main concern. Share

Charlottesville: What Everyone is Missing

From Allen B. West:
I find it rather odd that so many are seeking to lay blame on President Trump for what happened in Charlottesville. And there are some voices out there who want to blame all white people, and all Republicans. How odd that when it was the New Black Panther Party outside a voting precinct in Philadelphia in black fatigues and with clubs, nothing was said. As a matter of fact, they weren’t even prosecuted for voter intimidation. And when it was the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore fueled by media false narratives and a presidential administration’s rhetoric, there was no blame laid on Barack Obama. It appears to me that there is a blatant hypocrisy when an individual commits a horrible crime, such as in Charleston, South Carolina, and a collective group of people are to be held accountable.

But, when there’s an Islamic terror attack people say, “we cannot rush to judgment” or “this is not indicative of all Muslims”…to wit I agree, but why not call the enemy for what it is” militant Islamic terrorism or jihadism? Why must some be browbeaten into condemning the actions of a few, yet we have others who have fully admitted their support to groups calling for a “resistance?” And where were the voices to condemn the violence in Washington DC on Inauguration Day, or even at UC-Berkeley…or the violence committed against those who support the current president or hold beliefs aligned with Constitutional conservatism?

If we want to condemn groups such as the neo-Nazis and others, then we must also condemn groups such as BLM and Antifa. And we need to stop the cherrypicking, as they all should be investigated. Let’s end this absurdity of trying to connect the Republican Party with the Ku Klux Klan, since it was a creation of the Democrat Party. And I seem to recall Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, infamously known as a grand wizard of the Klan, lauded over at his memorial by Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton. It was Senator Byrd who was vehemently against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but it was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen who supported its passage. (Read more.)
From Matt Walsh:
 Their idiocy is overshadowed only by their moral depravity. The one thing they lack more than jobs and girlfriends is a semi-coherent understanding of history. How many of these neo-Nazi punks even realize that Hitler would have marched them to the gas chambers right alongside the black and Jewish Americans they despise? How many of them had grandfathers and great grandfathers who stormed the beaches to defeat the very movement they now wish to resurrect? Part of me hopes their grandfathers are dead so they don’t have to witness what’s become of their families. Part of me hopes they’re alive so they can take their canes and swat these brats across the head. I don’t condone violence, unless it’s a WWII vet delivering a grandfatherly whooping to his vile, ungrateful Nazi grandson.

It would be very difficult to go too far in criticizing the sorts of “men” who rallied this weekend. I am forced to put the word “men” in quotes because they are only men in the most literal sense. In any other sense, they are cowardly, pathetic little boys desperate for attention. I am not interested in hearing, as I have heard from some people, that these imbeciles were “driven” to this point because of all the racism and hatred on the Left. There is racism and hatred on the Left — a lot of it, and we’ll get to that in a second — but that does not even begin to excuse them.

I have said for years that Leftists ought to be able to express their disapproval of a police shooting without burning down a convenience store. That really is not a high bar to hurdle. In the same way, these people ought to be able to protest racial double standards or Confederate statue removals without becoming actual Nazis. To answer racism or perceived racism by becoming racist is about the dumbest and most indefensible response possible. This applies to the racists on both sides of the fence. Both feel they are justified in acting this way because people on the other side are acting this way. I am so tired of that demented, third grade logic that I could vomit. If you want to be the good guy, you need to be better. If you have no desire to be better, then you are just as rotten as whatever evil or perceived evil you purport to oppose. (Read more.)
From The Federalist:
Violence against Republicans and anyone deemed a “racist” by the Left has gone mainstream. Now, with actual racists showing up and violence ensuing, Antifa and its supporters in the Democratic Party feel even more justified attacking everyone they’ve judged as a fascist, and many in America are tolerating it or at least deflecting blame onto Republicans.

Fueling this are liberals who have been infecting America with the idea that our country is intrinsically racist—a notion Obama perpetuated. It’s in our DNA, he said. We are racist even if we don’t know we’re racist. We’re not judged by our actions or personal guilt, but by those who have determined our collective guilt because of past injustices, our conservative beliefs, politics, and associations. We are the real danger, not anti-fascists who are actually engaging in violence in their ongoing war with the radical Right. (Read more.)

The Mystery of Prester John

From Nobility:
The mythical journey to Rome of a certain Patriarch John of India in 1122, and his visit to Callistus II, cannot have been the origin of the legend. Not until much later, in a manuscript dating from the latter part of the fifteenth-century “Tractatus pulcherrimus” (Zarncke), do we find the patriarch and priest united in one person. The first combination of the two legends appears at the end of the twelfth century, in an apocryphal book of devotions called the “Narrative of Eliseus”. The first authentic mention of Prester John is to be found in the “Chronicle” of Otto, Bishop of Freising, in 1145. Otto gives as his authority Hugo, Bishop of Gabala. The latter, by order of the Christian prince, Raymond of Antioch, went in 1144 (after the fall of Edessa) to Pope Eugene II, to report the grievous position of Jerusalem, and to induce the West to send another crusade. Otto met the Syrian prelate at Viterbo, where in the pope’s presence he learned that a certain John, who governed as priest and king in the Far East, had with his people become converted to Nestorianism. A few years earlier he had conquered the brother monarchs of Media and Persia, Samiardi. Prester John had emerged victorious from the terrible battle that lasted three days, and ended with the conquest of Ecbatana; after which the victor started for Jerusalem to rescue the Holy Land, but the swollen waters of the Tigris compelled him to return to his own country. He belonged to the race of the three Magi, their former kingdoms being subject to him. His enormous wealth was demonstrated by the fact that he carried a sceptre of pure emeralds. (Read more.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Z

From Southern Lady:
Annie Zeleskey, who opened The Z last fall with older sister Brittany, recalls, “Growing up, we would always stay at B&B’s, and I loved how cozy and how personal they were.” So as she finished her last semester in the hospitality management program at the University of Mississippi, she hatched a plan with Brittany, who was completing her master’s in accounting that same May: Rather than return to their home state of Texas and the potential corporate careers awaiting them there, the pair would stay in Oxford to pursue their retirement dream, a bed-and-breakfast, several decades early.
From the inviting porch swings out front to the sweet tea with fresh mint served at check-in, Annie and Brittany have turned their college-town cottage into a gracious Southern getaway. Their interior designer mother, Kelley Zeleskey, helped shape The Z’s identity with French country–chic décor and lavish appointments in the three guest rooms, named Live, Love, and Laugh. Then Mary Ann Mewbourn, their grandmother and an expert seamstress, contributed her talents to make the bedspreads, pillows, hand towels, and most of the curtains. “It’s nice to be able to say my grandmother made those,” says Annie, beaming. I feel that it adds a special charm.” (Read more.)

Stop Supporting Left-Wing Universities

And that includes some of those that claim to be Catholic. From Fox News:
A survey by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA found that a staggering 60 percent of university professors identified as “liberal” or “far-left” in 2014 – up from 42 percent in 1990. But interviews conducted in 17 separate Gallup polls in 2016 that found that 70 percent of Americans consider themselves either conservative (36 percent) or moderate (34 percent). In colleges across the country, far-left professors now dominate disciplines like English literature, sociology, and history. Few have anything positive to say about capitalism, the Constitution or the United States in general. As a result, many colleges have become ground zero for propagating every extreme idea the far left can imagine. And they want your money to help them do it. Lots of it. (Read more.)