The Glories of the West: Vienna, Austria

Create places your ancestors would recognise and your descendants will be proud of. Beauty and Tradition will always matter. Vienna, Austria.

Source: Architectural Revival | Facebook.

This one has much better and more appropriate music – as one might expect, from Architectural Revival! Respectful salute to Austria, which seems to be making progress in dealing constructively with its immigrant crisis. Perhaps there is yet hope for Europe, after all!

 


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Judicial Watch Files House Ethics Complaint Against Maxine Waters | Judicial Watch

In encouraging individuals to create “crowds” who will “push back” on President Trump’s Cabinet members at private business establishments and in seemingly trying to prevent these Cabinet officials from obtaining basic necessities without fear of assault and violence, Rep. Waters seems to be violation of House rules (Washington, DC).

Source: Judicial Watch Files House Ethics Complaint Against Maxine Waters For Inciting Violence and Assaults on Trump Cabinet – Judicial Watch

As my dear late mother would have said, “it all depends on whose ox is getting gored.”

In the aftermath of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, and earlier, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and her staff being heckled out of another restaurant where they were holding a working dinner (these incidents referenced in a separate post), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has upped the ante, calling on Leftists to harass and verbally assault Cabinet members still further:

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them! And you tell them that they are not welcome, anymore, anywhere.”

And even if this were acceptable – which it is not – how long until verbal assault tips over into actual assault? As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton points out in a formal letter filed with the House Office of Congressional Ethics,

“In encouraging individuals to create ‘crowds’ who will ‘push back’ on President Trump’s Cabinet members at private business establishments and in seemingly trying to prevent these Cabinet officials from obtaining basic necessities without fear of assault and violence, Rep. Waters seems to be violation of House rules, specifically:

‘A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House. [House Rule 23, clause 1.]’

“We hereby request that the Office of Congressional Ethics conduct a preliminary investigation into whether Rep. Maxine Waters violated House Rules in encouraging attacks on Cabinet officials.”

The Red Hen incident seems to have particularly upset a lot of people, probably because in this case it was not outside protesters, but the owner of the restaurant herself who asked Ms Sanders to leave. Actually, though, and perhaps surprisingly to some, that’s not what bothers me, per se.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it was mean-spirited and inappropriate! But I happen to believe that any business owner has, or should have, the right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason – or no reason, for that matter. With the understanding, of course, that actions have consequences, and customers may choose to vote with their feet, and their wallets. But I am, and have always been, a firm believer in freedom of association, for businesses no less than for individuals.

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What aggravates me is that the Democrats, and Leftists in general, are so damnably selective in how, when, and to whom they apply this principle! The owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, VA, refusing to serve Press Secretary Sanders is praiseworthy, according to them.  A dress designer ostentatiously announcing that she would refuse to design a dress for Melania Trump (which she had not been asked to do) is admirable.

These are examples, so the Leftist narrative goes, of people courageously taking a stand for their principles. But floral designers and bakers, among others, declining to create special items for LGBT weddings, because they believe that would make them participants in something which their religious faith and moral sensibilities do not allow – that is unconscionable!

Well, here’s a recommendation for Democrats, Socialists, and others on the (il)liberal Left: pick one, and stick with it. Either it’s okay for all, or it’s not okay for all. You don’t get to have it both ways; you don’t get to pick and choose who gets to refuse service based on whether or not you agree with their social and political viewpoint. As it stands, you’re making yourselves look (even more than usually) like petulant, idiotic children.

But as I’ve commented previously, logic and rationality do not seem to be the strong suits of the current Left; unintended irony and double-standards appear to be their stock-in-trade. Or as I commented at the start, it all depends upon whose ox is getting gored…

Oh, Tommy Robinson #FreeTommy | Official Music Video – YouTube

“Oh, Tommy Tommy! Tommy, Tommy, Tommy, Tommy Robinson!”

There can be no question that the arrest and sudden incarceration – all taking place within about five hours – of activist and online journalist Tommy Robinson has struck a nerve with the British people. Whether this will prove the spark that sets the fires of open revolt against the present government remains to be seen, but Robinson has clearly become the icon around which a lot of British anger and resentment has coalesced.

And unlike the so-called “Resistance” against President Trump, here in the U.S., the Brits have a good deal of genuine authoritarianism, even downright tyranny, to revolt against. The sources of resentment are multiple:

  • BREXIT – in which a clear (albeit narrow) majority of the largest percentage of the British electorate to turn out for an election or referendum in decades voted to Leave the European Union, only to see the government stall, waffle, and second-guess until it’s now questionable whether a BREXIT will actually happen, or whether if it does, it will be hedged with so many conditions as to be in practice little better than Remaining.
  • Continued mass immigration, with pressure to submit to still more – most of it from places such as the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southwest Asia (primarily Pakistan) which are both majority Muslim and culturally and ethnically alien to Britons, and which have led to a vastly increased crime rate in the UK as well as considerable cultural dislocation, leading to fears – entirely justifiable, in my view – that Britain is in danger of having its history, heritage, and present culture swept away and replaced by something foreign.
  • On the subject of crime, the dismaying unwillingness of the British police and judiciary to constructively address the problem of “grooming gangs” (or as British journalist Katie Hopkins accurately labels them, “rape squads”) made up of so-called “Asians” (Southwest Asians; again, Muslim Pakistanis) who seduce, enslave, rape, and abuse ethnic British girls with, to date, almost complete impunity, due to the fear by the authorities of being labeled “racist.” It is this that Tommy Robinson was protesting, when he was arrested.
  • And increasingly, thought-policing: Brits have been warned by the police to “be careful” what they post online and in social media, and that they could be arrested for posting anything that might be deemed a “hate crime” or incitement thereto. Given what happened to Tommy Robinson, who was live-streaming outside a court sentencing (a rarity!) members of one grooming gang, this has understandably had a chilling effect on public discourse regarding the above issues!

Draconian anti-gun laws have already stripped Britons of their ability to defend themselves, and now (as described above) their right to express themselves is coming under increasing attack, as well. As I have commented before, in more than one forum, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was not incorrect, it was just a few decades premature!

Nonetheless, as I say, the arrest and imprisonment of Tommy Robinson has galvanized a significant segment of the British public. It has certainly and understandably enraged those who have been frustrated and angry for some time over the issues listed above, but I have a strong sense that it has also awakened many others who, up to this point, had been reluctant to either admit to the problem, or to take a stand.

People are coming – however belatedly – to the realization that they, too, could be arrested and imprisoned simply for speaking their minds, expressing their opinions, in the public square: either literally, as Tommy Robinson did, or online. So it is no surprise to me that this has become a flashpoint in the UK. And maybe, God willing, a turning-point as well. I hope so! Time will tell.

Liberals Are Pushing The Country To The Edge | Derek Hunter

https://media.townhall.com/townhall/reu/ha/2018/174/50d8f2f4-de76-44a8-be20-4cf6bd48f21f.jpg

Democrats have nothing to sell the American people but being the alternative to what they declare evil.

Source: Liberals Are Pushing The Country To The Edge – Derek Hunter

That is, indeed, the question.

As Hunter points out in this sobering but insightful piece,

“The ability to agree to disagree is dead, murdered by leftists who demand absolute adherence to their political will or they declare you an enemy of the people and seek to destroy you. As long suspected, those “coexist” stickers on their Priuses were for show, they should read “obey” because obedience, in absolute terms, is the only acceptable way to “coexist” with the liberal mob…

“When you hear that the President of the United States is well on his way to becoming the next Hitler, you almost have an obligation to act. When you’re whipped into a frenzy fed by dishonest reporters spinning half-truths into concentration camps, it’s only a matter of time before another person snaps at members of the party enabling the next despotic monster. It’s not only inevitable, it’s the objective. That’s the only logical conclusion you can draw…

“Democrats have nothing to sell the American people but being the alternative to what they declare evil. For that declaration to carry any emotional weight the hateful flames of their fringe have to be stoked to engulf enough people to motivate them to vote in November. The question is, will November come before the spark they’re building toward that ignites something awful?”

That is indeed the question. And on the answer, may ride the fate of our Republic. I have rarely been so fearful for our future as a nation, and a people.

And of course, in November, it all begins again… Is it any wonder that, much though I love and am loyal to the Founders’ vision for this country, I also have a political Tory’s longing for Church, King, and Country – and all of them ordered in a Traditional direction? To say that we are badly off-course is to risk severe understatement!

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist | For All the Saints

John the Baptist was born into a priestly Jewish family several months before the birth of Jesus. Events of his life and teaching are known from accounts in all four Gospels and in the writings of the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.

Source: The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist | For All the Saints

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, which, because of its proximity to the Summer Solstice (June 21st), was celebrated as Midsummer’s Day through much of Christian Europe during the Middle Ages and beyond. Known as the “Forerunner” of Christ, and the last Prophet, John was the living link between the Old Testament and the New. As the linked post recounts,

“John the Baptist was born into a priestly Jewish family several months before the birth of Jesus. Events of his life and teaching are known from accounts in all four Gospels and in the writings of the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. John’s birth was predicted miraculously to Zechariah and Elizabeth, as is recorded in the Gospel according to Saint Luke. At his birth the aged Zechariah sang the hymn of praise, the Benedictus, the traditional Gospel canticle at Morning Prayer (at Lauds in the medieval Daily Office).”

That great Gospel canticle here follows:

Benedictus. St. Luke i. 68.

BLESSED be the Lord God of Israel; * for he hath visited and redeemed his people;
And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us, * in the house of his servant David;
As he spake by the mouth of his holy Prophets, * which have been since the world began;
That we should be saved from our enemies, * and from the hand of all that hate us.

    To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers, * and to remember his holy covenant;
To perform the oath which he sware to our forefather Abraham, * that he would give us;
That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies * might serve him without fear;
In holiness and righteousness before him, * all the days of our life.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: * for thou shalt go. before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people * for the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God; * whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us;
To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, * and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Here are the Propers (Collect and Lessons) for St. John Baptist’s Day, from The Book of Common Prayer 1928:

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Saviour by preaching repentance; Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through† Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Epistle. Isa. xl. 1.

COMFORT ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight. and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

The Gospel. St. Luke i. 57.

ELISABETH’S full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed. and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judæa. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

 


 

Nota Bene: I have just added a new top-level category, “Christian Commemorations.” This is the first entry therein, but many of my past posts (obviously, for The Anglophilic Anglican!) are focused on the Faith. Gradually I may have the opportunity to go back and mark them with this category, but for now, I’m sorry but you’ll have to look for them based on the tags!

The Glories of the West, Old Midsummer, and a blessed Feast of St. John the Baptist!

In honor of this (“Old”) Midsummer’s Day – the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist – Sumer is icumen in (“Summer is a-coming in”)!

(… and of course, more of the culture that we Europeans don’t have…! *wry smile*)

Former House Speaker New Gingrich on Leftist nastiness…

… most recently, a restaurant (The Red Hen) in Lexington, Virginia, which refused service to Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders; Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was hounded out of a restaurant by hecklers earlier in the week. On this occasion Nielsen was having a working meal with staff; but earlier she had to deal with protesters outsider her very home! And Sanders was simply trying to have a nice dinner with her family.

Can you imagine if similar officials in the Obama administration had been similarly treated? The elite-o-sphere would be ablaze with accusations of racism, bigotry, Nazism, and who-knows-what else!

At any rate, here’s Speaker Gingrich:

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I think he’s right; unfortunately, dying beasts can do a lot of damage with their death throes…

Russiagate’s ‘Core Narrative’ Has Always Lacked Actual Evidence | The Nation

'Russia's Mark Zuckerberg' takes on the Kremlin, comes to ...

The unprecedented allegation that the Kremlin “attacked America” and “colluded” with its president in order to elect him is based on two documents devoid of facts or logic.

Source: Russiagate’s ‘Core Narrative’ Has Always Lacked Actual Evidence | The Nation

As my late father used to say, “My mind’s made up, don’t confuse me with the facts!” He, however, was joking. Unfortunately, there’s no hint of humor, awareness of irony, or anything other than a deadly earnestness in the Left’s verbal opposition to “fake news,” even as they use it themselves to feed their favorite narratives.

Case in point: The Nation is hardly a platform for alt-right opinion, yet this article in that venerable magazine of progressive causes and perspectives reports that Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York University and Princeton University, and frequent contributor to The Nation,

“reminds listeners that the Russiagate scandal, which first leaked into the media in mid-2016, has already done immense political damage during these two years. It has cast doubt on the legitimacy of this presidency and possibly future ones. It has questioned the authenticity of a popular election and probably future ones, and thus of American democracy itself.

“And with high-level former US officials, influential columnists, and an array of mainstream-media outlets regularly declaring that President Trump is ‘a quisling‘ and ‘a Russian agent,’ the scandal has greatly diminished his capacity to avoid war with Russia, conceivably nuclear war.”

That alone is a horrifying thought, and is worth some serious introspection regarding whether the Democrats’ irrational desire resolute determination to take down the President, regardless of the cost, is really worth that cost, in world peace as well as political stability here at home.

Up until quite recently, the U.S. has been justly proud of its tradition of the orderly transfer of power, and the willingness of the party not occupying the White House to take the role of the “loyal opposition” – standing up for its principles and policies, of course, but doing so with honour and dignity, in an awareness that we are all, despite our differences, Americans, and that “politics stops at the waterline.”

That reserve seems to be gone, and while today’s Democrats – with their bluster about being the “Resistance” (a hard slap in the face to those who have, throughout history, resisted real dictatorships and tyrannies) – are not solely responsible for the shift, they have carried it to new extremes. Meanwhile, the article goes on to note,

“as happened during the McCarthy era, a myriad of official and media ‘investigations’ have cast an ever-widening net in search of evidence of other ‘colluders,’ from peripheral Trump ‘advisers’ and shadowy ‘informants’ to a Russian prostitute and her pimp in Thailand. After all this time and frenzy,”

it continues,

“substantiated charges and indictments amount to little more than customary financial corruption on the part of the bipartisan top 2 percent and “lying to the FBI,” the latter apparently open to interpretation as to what was actually said and perhaps involving entrapment.

“Meanwhile, reputations are slurred, lives ruined, once-respectable media degraded, and public discourse—especially about international affairs, but not only—chilled by self-censorship and growing institutional forms of ‘preventing disinformation.’”

Hardly the high-water mark in American political discourse. Furthermore,

“Amid this daily frenzy, it’s often forgotten that Russiagate’s ‘core narrative,’ as one of its most devout and prominent promoters terms it, was inspired by, and continues to be based on, two documents, both published in January 2017: an ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’ and the anti-Trump ‘dossier’ compiled by a retired UK intelligence officer, Christopher Steele.

“The ‘core narrative’ of both was, of course, that Putin’s Kremlin had intervened in the 2016 presidential election—essentially an ‘attack on America’—in order to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and abet Trump’s.

“At the time, a few critics questioned the authenticity of the ICA and the dossier, but for political and media Russiagaters, they instantly became, and have remained, canons, despite their deficit of facts and logic. Reread today, in light of what is now known, they are examples of the adage ‘rubbish in, rubbish out.’

For more details, read the rest of the article. It makes for sobering, or perhaps enraging, reading. If this is what we are becoming, I am not at all happy about it.

This sort of misinformation, manipulation, and blatant witch-hunting on the part of what should be reputable agencies and institutions is far more damaging to America’s credibility, values, and indeed system of Constitutional government than any number of arguments over whether the children of adult illegal immigrants should be housed with them or separately – the cause célèbre which seems to be consuming America’s talking heads at the moment. Distraction, anyone…?

Students’ attitudes really… *ahem!* …take the cake.

Many or most of my readers may know that a recent Supreme Court decision held that a Christian baker was within his rights to refuse to bake a special cake for a gay wedding. For that he was roundly criticized, some would say harassed, by the party in question. They brought suit, and the case eventually made it to the SCOTUS – which, to the surprise of most observers, found in favor of the defendant.

While their ruling has been criticized by some conservatives for being too narrow, it at least went some way toward upholding the principle that merely because one offers a service to the public, one is not thereby obliged to completely chuck one’s moral standards and religious beliefs into the gutter. (To put a slightly finer point on it, service does not equate to slavery.)

The baker made it clear that he would happily have sold the couple a pre-existing cake; he is, after all, in the business of selling cakes, and has no desire to actively discriminate. However, by demanding that he make one specifically for their occasion, they were forcing him to actively participate in it, demonstrating de facto approval of their actions, and that is what he objected to. The Supreme Court, to their credit, agreed.

Now, I am a bit more extreme in my views, in that I believe a private business owner has the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason, or no reason – with the understanding, of course, that this is likely to have an impact on his or her business, and if that impact is negative (people “vote with their wallet”), he or she has no right to complain. So from that perspective, yes, I agree that it was too narrow a ruling.

But, it is head-and-shoulders above the situation we have had up to this point, which is that basically anyone can be forced to do anything for anyone, if it is in line with their business, and the business owner has no choice in the matter, regardless of their moral qualms. So it is at least a significant step in the right direction!

What causes me to shake my head (in dismay though not, alas, in surprise) is the reactions of the college students interviewed, which demonstrate with all-too-crystalline clarity the extent of the socio-political indoctrination inflicted on our young people by the academic establishment – public school and higher education alike – as well as the lack of critical-thinking skills inculcated by these institutions.

They are emphatic and unanimous that the SCOTUS decision was wrong, that people’s “right” to “be who they are” trumps a business owner’s right to follow his or her own moral and religious standards – even to the point of being forced to do something that is directly against them. But they start to waffle when the parameters are shifted!

Well, what if it’s a black baker, being forced to bake a cake for a KKK rally? They backed off of that one in a hurry, although struggling (and failing) to find some sort of coherent justification for the switch: even admitting, in a couple of instances, that they had contradicted themselves.

What if it’s a Jewish baker, being asked to bake a cake for a Palestinian event (presumably of a “free Palestine” – and thus, anti-Israel – nature)? More waffling. A lot more, in this case, as they are presumably conflicted over which side is “in the right,” here!

But the point is that the argument that someone’s right / freedom to “be who they are” trumps a business owner’s right to be who he or she is, in following their religious and moral standards – even to the point of forcing that person to transgress their religious and moral beliefs – collapses completely, when it’s not some nasty reactionary Christian oppressing some poor, oppressed, “freedom”-loving progressive type.

As my mother used to say, “it all depends on whose ox is getting gored.” And as I have said more than once in various fora, irony and double-standards are endemic among today’s Leftists, and logic, coherence, and rationality appear to be in short supply!