By royal disappointment: Meghan and Harry’s behaviour is undermining the monarchy | The Spectator

What must the Queen think of the younger royals’ actions?

Source: By royal disappointment: Meghan and Harry’s behaviour is undermining the monarchy | The Spectator

“Yet there is a feeling that, while the Queen deserves our respect, certain other members of her family should try harder. Much harder. There is a turbulence in the air, a contagion of bad behaviour that taints the good deeds and hard work of other royals, causing understandable resentment. These miscreants could do worse than follow the example of the Queen; this force of nature in pastel separates who has never put a foot wrong nor allowed selfish needs or creature comforts to impede her sense of duty.”

This excellent if sobering essay on the sense of duty and propriety of Her Majesty The Queen, as contrasted against the behavior of certain other members of the Royal Family, devotes – as its title would indicate – a fair amount of its space to pointing out the foibles of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a.k.a. Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle. As well it should. Continue reading “By royal disappointment: Meghan and Harry’s behaviour is undermining the monarchy | The Spectator”

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The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality) | Intellectual Takeout

Family singing at the piano

Over the last 20 years, fewer people are learning how to read and compose music. What impact has that had on the music we listen to?

Source: The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality) | Intellectual Takeout

“Oh yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute:
Candles in the window, carols at the spinet!”

These famous lines, from the still-popular secular Christmas song “We Need a Little Christmas” (1966) are not just me longing for Christmas, in this steamy central Maryland August (although neither would I deny it), but an illustration of the linked essay‘s point: that although most people listening to it today probably gloss right over the line without a clue as to what is meant, the song would have been unlikely to contain those lyrics, if “carols at the spinet” (a once-popular type of small, drop-action piano) had not been an easily-recognizable feature of Christmas cheer at the time it was written.

It’s certainly recognizable to me! Born in 1965, the third and much the youngest of three brothers, I grew up with a “spinet” (actually a furniture console piano) in our home: one which my father had purchased for my mother years before – at a time when they were still struggling financially – because he knew how much music meant to her. Continue reading “The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality) | Intellectual Takeout”

“Churches could win back teens like me if they were more welcoming and less judgmental” | USA Today

Stacia Datskovska in New York City on July 24, 2019.

“Church should offer more open-ended resources such as meditation, discussion groups and even nature walks. Let teens come to God in their own way.” Stacia Datskovska, Opinion contributor: USA Today

Source: Churches could win back teens like me if they were more welcoming and less judgmental | USA Today

As I read this essay, I am reminded of the introduction to C.S. Lewis’ essay, “Priestesses in the Church”:

“I should like Balls infinitely better,” said Caroline Bingley, “if they were carried on in a different manner … It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing made the order of the day.”

“Much more rational, I dare say,” replied her brother, “but it would not be near so much like a Ball.”

I am not defending the gratuitous self-righteousness of the woman with whose example this young woman opens her essay; lack of charity is never excusable.

But when Miss Datskovska jumps from the unkind words of an unpleasant person to generalize, “many Christian denominations are too deeply rooted in tradition. Whatever this ‘tradition’ comes dressed as, we find it a turnoff,” she is basically saying “I should like church much better if it were less like a church.” Continue reading ““Churches could win back teens like me if they were more welcoming and less judgmental” | USA Today”

The Civil War on America’s Horizon | The American Conservative

“You accuse us of overturning our patrie by rebellion, but it is you, who, subverting all principles of the religious and political order, were the first to proclaim that insurrection is the most sacred of duties.” — French Royalist rebel to the newly-installed Jacobin government in 1793

Source: The Civil War on America’s Horizon | The American Conservative

I disagree with the author of this piece’s knee-jerk anti-Trumpism, and more generally his assertion of what amounts to moral equivalency between the President’s supporters and America’s radical Left. But that doesn’t mean the essay’s depiction of the situation in which we find ourselves is wrong. Sadly!

But I like better the analysis of both the article and the situation it describes, from Clergy in Support of the 2nd Amendment, which posted a link to this article: Continue reading “The Civil War on America’s Horizon | The American Conservative”

The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism: Ugly Buildings, Ugly Paintings, Ugly Words, Ugly Life

Image result for modernist art and architecture

We who live in the Western world at the present time continue to suffer under the reign of a great tyranny — the tyranny of artistic modernism.

Source: The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism | New English Review

The four “uglies” in the title above are the assessment – all too accurate – of William Briggs, in his post on the subject. I cannot disagree! Here, at any rate, are some quotes from Mark Anthony Signorelli and Nikos A. Salingaros’s piece at New English Review, linked above, with my reflections thereon:

“We who live in the Western world at the present time continue to suffer under the reign of a great tyranny — the tyranny of artistic modernism. The modernist aesthetic, which dominates our age, takes a variety of forms in the respective arts — in architecture, a lack of scale and ornamentation combined with the overwhelming deployment of materials like glass, steel, and brutalist concrete; in the plastic arts, a rejection of natural forms mixed with an unmistakable tendency towards the repulsive or meretricious; in literature, non-linear narrative, esoteric [*] imagery, and an almost perfect lack of poetic form and diction.”
Continue reading “The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism: Ugly Buildings, Ugly Paintings, Ugly Words, Ugly Life”

Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, their own brownshirts | American Thinker

Antifa thugs in Washington, DC. Photo credit: cantfightthetendies.

As America slips into what many are calling a “cold civil war,” not a single Democrat running for president is willing to condemn Antifa, the contemporary version of the Brownshirts that terrorized opponents of the Nazis.

Source: Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, their own brownshirts | American Thinker

I still think “Red Guards” is a more historically and ideologically accurate comparison for Antifa than the “Brownshirts,” but I also realize it has less resonance, and less recognition value. Such quibbles aside, this essay is sadly all too correct.

“Antifa activists constitute a dedicated, organized national violent organization openly suppressing political opponents, something that ought to be condemned by everyone, not just those whom they seek to silence.

“Antifa now is arming itself. History teaches us that armed thugs pave the way for monstrous political oppression. Yet the leaders of the Democratic Party are now becoming complicit with armed thugs…”

A good friend of mine (and a fellow Anglican priest) posted this on Facebook yesterday, quoting another clergyman who commented,

“In the choice between the civilized and the uncivilized, one must always choose the civilized.”

Indeed! Today’s Democrats are full of hot air about supposed “white nationalist / supremacist terrorists,” but – as this essay points out – haven’t a word to say about their own Antifa thugs, who represent the far greater threat to peace and stability. Projection at its finest!

My friend who posted this added, in a reply,

What the Jacobins did to France, and the communists to Russia, Asia and other parts of the world, Antifa would do here if they had the power to do it. That’s why they must be crushed. It’s also why any connection that can be established between Antifa and the Dems must be highlighted.

I agree, and am doing my bit to that end!

How Liberty Dies | Campaign for Liberty

Image result for campaign for liberty

Right now, the political class is rushing to do something – anything – to appease the cries of those who seek security over freedom… And in the process, destroying the very reason our nation was created.

Source: How Liberty Dies – Campaign for Liberty

Rahm Emanuel (in)famously said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” and few have taken that dictum to heart with more enthusiasm than Leftist gun grabbers.

In the aftermath of two mass shootings last weekend, one in El Paso, Texas, and the other in Dayton, Ohio, there is understandable angst and fear, even though overall firearms homicides have dropped dramatically in recent decades, and the risk of anyone in particular being involved in such an incident is extremely low – something like a 0.0000001 chance in any given year.

Still, the bodies had hardly been given a chance to cool before the Left was screaming and wringing their hands over the evils of gun violence, and the supposed “epidemic” of mass shootings… and of course finding ways to blame President Trump and his supporters for the incidents.

His supposedly “racist” and “inflammatory” rhetoric are being blamed for allegedly “fomenting hatred” and “encouraging violence” – ironically at the same time as a “satirical” film about “deplorables” (Trump supporters) being hunted down and killed is about to be released:

“A controversial movie about privileged vacationers hunting ‘deplorables’ for sport is ruffling feathers more than a month before its scheduled release and after tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

“‘The Hunt’ is billed as a satire that follows wealthy thrill-seekers taking a private jet to a five-star resort where they embark on a ‘deeply rewarding’ expedition that involves hunting down and killing designated humans…

“‘The violent, R-rated film from producer Jason Blum’s Blumhouse follows a dozen MAGA types who wake up in a clearing and realize they are being stalked for sport by elite liberals,’ THR’s Kim Masters and Tatiana Siegel wrote. ‘It features guns blazing along with other ultra-violent killings as the elites pick off their prey.'”

This comes in the context of multiple physical and verbal assaults on Trump supporters and other conservatives, not to mention threats of violence against the President himself by high-profile figures in the political and “entertainment” realms. In addition, the Dayton shooter was a political Leftist himself – possibly the first Antifa mass shooter (though sadly, probably not the last).

Indeed, WaPo columnist Mark Thiessen has noted that “if Trump is responsible for El Paso” (a debatable proposition, but if it were granted for the sake of argument), “the Democrats are responsible for Dayton.”

But of course Trump and his supporters are the ones fomenting an atmosphere of violence, according to the dominant narrative…

In any case, among the gun control proposals which has found some support, not only in Congress but from the President (who should know better) is H.R. 838, the Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety (TAPS) Act. From the linked essay:

The TAPS Act would encourage law enforcement to give EVERYONE a personal threat assessment (adults and children) and single out those they deem as future threats. That information would then be used as a kind of Big Brother substitute to “stop dangerous individuals” before they can commit an act of violence…

… And use your own social media to do so.

As alluded to above, Benjamin Franklin once famously said,

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

This is an excellent article on a deeply disturbing and concerning subject: the “TAPS Act” (H.R. 838) would “red flag” people suspected of possibly being a risk for violent action due to their social media posts, and enable confiscation of their firearms: one of those things that sounds great, until somebody uses it against you. I shall not comment further on this cogent essay, but as I have often said, “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest“!

It also includes links to contact the President, one’s Senators, and one’s Congressional Representative to urge them to oppose it. I have done so, and my letter to President Trump follows.


Dear Mr. President:

I have long been one of your stanch supporters. I deeply appreciate your love of this country, and I am grateful that you have stood up for U.S. interests against foreign adversaries like North Korea and Iran, unhelpful erstwhile allies like NATO and the EU, and invaders crossing our borders illegally. Now I am asking you to support the citizens of the United States and its precious Constitution by denying your support to the TAPS Act or any other gun control or Constitution-shredding bill resulting from last weekend’s tragedies.

The TAPS Act (H.R. 838) destroys virtually half of the Bill of Rights. It allows government bureaucrats to spy on Americans without a warrant (4th Amendment) and take away our gun rights (2nd Amendment), without our day in court, due process, or even us knowing about it (5th and 6th Amendments) until the police kick in the door. This is a statist, anti-liberty, and clearly unconstitutional scheme, and is not acceptable. I beg you to oppose this dangerous and un-American scheme, if you want my support and that of many other liberty-loving Americans in 2020.

Please do not allow fear, ignorance, and the greed of politicians to buy the support of their constituencies with ill-advised proposals that pander to that fear and ignorance to destroy what countless Americans have worked, fought (including my father, decorated for valor and wounded in action in WW II and an important part of our signals security in the hottest part of the Cold War), and died for, over more than two centuries.

You can do better, Mr. President. I know you can; and with all due respect, I expect you to do so if you want my continued support.

Thank you, Sir, and you remain in my prayers.