Why Classical Architecture Better Serves The Public Good Than Modernist Atrocities | The Federalist

Why Classical Architecture Better Serves The Public Good Than Modernist Atrocities

Classical architecture offers the possibility of restoring beauty to gain respect for the work public buildings do in contributing to the common good.

Source: Why Classical Architecture Better Serves The Public Good Than Modernist Atrocities – The Federalist

Dr. Carroll William Westfall (PhD, Columbia University), Professor Emeritus at the Notre Dame School of Architecture, has penned (or perhaps, this being the 21st century, keyboarded) this excellent argument in favor of President Donald Trump’s recently leaked draft executive order – which may or may not actually be issued – which, as a surprisingly supportive article in The Atlantic points out, “strongly encouraged architects to adopt a classical style when they design federal courthouses and buildings in the nation’s capital.”

While there have been the usual bleated objections from the usual suspects, Dr. Westfall raises some excellent points, such as “the fact that a building is a public object that occupies a site that is necessarily part of the realm where people lead their lives. Things placed in the public realm are obliged to serve the public, common good even if privately owned, and it is the duty of government to ensure this is done.”

It is, in other words, not created merely or even primarily for the benefit of “those who seek to preserve the putative right of architects to express their interpretation of the modern era with the latest fashions on public land and at public expense.” He asserts, instead, what I would agree is the unassailable truth that “the primary purpose of a public building is to serve a public, common good,” and notes that

“Modernism gained ascendancy at the expense of classical architecture that uses valued traditions adapted with innovations, drawing on experience and new insights to fit current circumstances. This role of tradition and innovation in architecture has its counterpart in our form of government, which has its roots in ancient Greece and Rome and in the experience of governing British colonies.”

Let me reemphasize that: classical architecture… uses valued traditions adapted with innovations, drawing on experience and new insights to fit current circumstances.

This is also true of classicism and traditionalism, rightly understood, in general (as he alludes to, in referring our form of government). He further notes that “Classicism is not a style but an achievement of architectural art that renders a public service while honoring the canons of beauty as they pertain to that art.”

I have posted on “The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism” previously, so I will not rehash the point, here. But it is nothing but absurdity to claim that Classicism is simply a pro forma and unimaginative rehashing of “old stuff,” and “not who we are today.” And to the extent that there is any truth to the latter, it is an indictment of the present age, not a compliment to it!

Fortunately, a growing number of people are starting to realize that in architecture as in so many other areas of the res publica, the modernist / postmodernism “emperor” has no clothes. And more and more are beginning to develop an appreciation for classical things, classical ideas, classical values: in art and architecture no less than in other realms of public and private life.

With respect to public building and the architecture thereof, Dr. Westfall notes that “While modernist architects would fare poorly in satisfying the proposed guidelines” of President Trump’s leaked draft order,

“a growing number of architects is recovering the ability to produce classical architecture. They offer the possibility of restoring the beauty of public buildings to gain the people’s respect for the work those buildings do in contributing to the public, common good.”

He concluded that “We need these revisions to achieve this,” and I whole-heartedly concur.


The linked Federalist essay includes this bio of Dr. Westfall:

Carroll William Westfall (PhD, Columbia University) has been a professor of architecture since 1966. He began his career at Amherst College, then the University of Illinois in Chicago, the University of Virginia, and between 1998 and his retirement in 2015, at the University of Notre Dame, including four years as chairman of the School of Architecture. He has published three books and numerous articles on topics from antiquity onward, with a focus on the history of the city and particular attention to the reciprocity between the political life and the urban and architectural elements that serve the needs of citizens. He, his family, and pets now live in Richmond, Virginia.

None too shabby a resumé! His Notre Dame faculty directory bio adds,

A central theme of all of his studies has been the history of the city with particular attention to the reciprocity between the political life and the urban and architectural elements that serve the needs of citizens. His emphasis is on the usefulness of knowledge of history to practicing architects. This, rather than a stylistically based interpretation of the history of architecture, has informed all of his work. His current interests are concentrated on the architect’€™s capacity to nourish the Christian faith and on tradition and classicism in architecture and the American city with special attention to the role of Thomas Jefferson in founding a distinctive American architecture to serve a unique nation.

Why am I not surprised that he is approaching this issue from a Christian ethos? Truth, Beauty, and Goodness live! Thanks be to God!

“After Attending a Trump Rally, I Realized Democrats Are Not Ready For 2020”

After attending Donald Trump’s campaign rally in New Hampshire, a 20-year Democrat realizes her party’s odds are slim in 2020.

Source: After Attending a Trump Rally, I Realized Democrats Are Not Ready For 2020

It is dangerous in the extreme to take anything for granted. But this is certainly encouraging for those of us who think a Democratic victory in the 2020 elections would be horrible for our country! This account, by a left-leaning (former) Democrat (she has decided to #WalkAway, and become an Independent), is well worth a read.

“I think the Democrats have an ass-kicking coming to them in November, and I think most of them will be utterly shocked when it happens, because they’re existing in an echo chamber that is not reflective of the broader reality. I hope it’s a wake-up call that causes them to take a long look in the mirror and really ask themselves how they got here. Maybe then they’ll start listening. I tend to doubt it, but I can hope.”

And yes, I’ve heard about the absurdities on the knitting boards

President Trump’s historic 2020 March for Life speech | News | LifeSite

“All of us here understand an eternal truth: Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God. Together, we must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life.” – President Donald J. Trump

Source: FULL TEXT: President Trump’s historic 2020 March for Life speech | News | LifeSite

President Trump is the first sitting President of the United States to ever attend and address, in person, the March for Life. Many sources have commented that he is, in fact, the most vigorously pro-life President ever to sit in the Oval Office. Among his comments on this historic occasion, in addition to the one quoted above:

“When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation. When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul.”

“Sadly, the far left is working to erase our God-given rights, shut down faith-based charities, ban religious leaders from the public square, and silence Americans who believe in the sanctity of life.”

“And to all the moms here today, we celebrate you and we declare that mothers are heroes. [applause] Your strength, devotion, and drive is what powers our nation. Because of you, our country has been blessed with amazing souls who have changed the course of human history.”

“We cannot know what our citizens yet unborn will achieve. The dreams they will imagine. The masterpieces they will create. The discoveries they will make. But we know this: every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting.

“And above all, we know that every human soul is divine and every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of Almighty God.

“Together, we will defend this truth all across our magnificent land. We will set free the dreams of our people. And with determined hope, we look forward to all of the blessings that will come from the beauty, talent, purpose, nobility, and grace of every American child.”

One might quibble, theologically, with the statement that “every human soul is divine.” But every human soul does partake of the divine nature, in the sense of having been created by the living God; and every human soul is – at least potentially, if they own it and respond to such a great gift (or if our sovereign God, for reasons of His own, so chooses) – redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, with the promise of becoming by grace what He is by nature. So one can hardly fault the sentiment expressed!

As commented elsewhere, I was long on the fence about abortion. While thinking of myself as “pro-choice,” I always believed that it should be a last resort, never a first option: the oft-repeated (although less often and more softly, these days) mantra of “abortion on demand without apology” has always struck me as absolutely morally repugnant.

To snuff out a human life for one’s own convenience – for that is precisely what that slogan is calling for – is the very definition of murder. But I have tended to accept the traditional exceptions: rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. I still do, to a large extent. But what I did not fully realize until recently is how vanishingly rare a truly medically-necessary abortion (the so-called “therapeutic abortion”) actually is, particularly later in pregnancy.

As Dr. Omar Hamada, OB/GYN, has stated, “I want to clear something up so that there is absolutely no doubt. I’m a Board Certified OB/GYN who has delivered over 2,500 babies. There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no.”

And on a personal note, my sister-in-law underwent, many years ago now, what was referred to as a “therapeutic abortion.” It is that experience which did much to keep me on the “choice” side of the aisle. But in fact the child was already, sadly, dead in her womb by that time. His mortal remains are buried in a tiny coffin in the family plot, and my nephew carries his name as his middle one. Whatever that procedure was, it was not an “abortion,” as we generally think of the term!

And while I do not think that the victim of rape – or incest, which is nearly always also rape – should be required to carry the child of that rape in her body, I salute with great respect those who choose to do so. Why? Because, of course, it is not the child who committed the vile assault; yet if an abortion occurs, that child becomes still another victim of it.

So, yes, I am pro-life! And I salute President Trump for this heart-felt and encouraging speech in support of that right to life, which is enshrined in our very Declaration of Independence, the founding document of our Nation. God bless him, and God bless America – and may we grow, once again, into a people and nation that is worthy of God’s blessings!


Nota Bene: The video of the speech is embedded above; for the full written text thereof, follow the link. Thank you!

 

The killing of Qasem Soleimani | MelaniePhillips.com

Qasem Soleimani

Source: The killing of Qasem Soleimani | MelaniePhillips.com

The inestimable Melanie Phillips comments on the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard general and Quds force commander, Qassem Soleimani:

“Soleimani has been described by some outlets as a terrorist leader. This is vastly to underestimate his importance. The al Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is part of Iran’s hugely powerful proxy army, and Soleimani was the regime’s key military strategist and military commander.

“He launched countless military operations against US, Israel and others. He was responsible for hundreds of American deaths in Iraq. He was the invaluable architect of Iran’s territorial drive for regional incursion and hegemony…

“How will the Iranian regime react to this devastating blow to their prowess and prestige? … [It] will almost certainly use its still considerable malign power to retaliate.

Whatever now happens, however, Trump has achieved something of incalculable benefit for America. He has got it off its knees.

[…] “Faced with attacks on American assets, Carter ran away, Clinton prevaricated, Obama actually helped fund them – but Trump ruthlessly and decisively killed the attacker. America is now back as a force to be reckoned with.”

 

Iranian activist Masih Alinejad: The people of Iran did not mourn Qassem Soleimani’s death | Fox News

Image result for Masih Alinejad
Photo from a 2015 article on Masih Alinejad’s “My Stealthy Freedom” campaign.

Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad told Fox News Friday that the people of Iran did not mourn the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

Source: Iranian activist Masih Alinejad: The people of Iran did not mourn Qassem Soleimani’s death | Fox News

Our own media, and many of our politicians, pundits, and talking heads, are all too quick to filter the news through their own anti-Trump biases, take Iranian (and other totalitarian) news media at face value, or both. So there is a narrative that Iranians are livid at the “termination with extreme prejudice” of Quds force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and that we have somehow awoken an Iranian sleeping tiger by killing him.

There is no question that the Iranian regime forces are livid – in part due to fear – or that they will attempt reprisals. We hold those truths to be self-evident. It does not necessarily follow that their public pronouncements speak for the ordinary people of Iran, many of whom would like nothing better than to chuck the mullahs and their minions head-first into the nearest river.

This interview, with Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad – best known for her campaign against the compulsory wearing of the hijab, called “My Stealthy Freedom” – shows that for many Iranians, at least, the death of Soleimani is a source, not of anger and sorrow, but of joy:

“Appearing on ‘America’s Newsroom’ with host Sandra Smith, Alinejad said that the Iranian media staunches ‘freedom of expression’ in the country.

“‘So, all you see in Iranian state television – state media – [is], like, showing some people took to the street mourning and showing their sympathy [towards] Qassem Soleimani,’ she told Smith. ‘But, the fact is this: many Iranians do not see him as a hero and if you go to social media, that they are very happy.’

“‘Why?’ she questioned. ‘Because they have been witnessing how [the] Revolutionary Guard killed people in the streets across Iran.’ Alinejad added that to many Iranians, Soleimani and the Revolutionary Guard are killers and torturers, responsible for acts of terror in much of the Middle East.”

When asked how she herself felt about the killing of Soleimani, she “said that while her dream was to see Soleimani and his cohorts in court, ‘this is what they had to face’ because they are responsible for the ‘misery’ in Iraq and Syria.”

Then there is this, from Baghdad, Iraq, where he apparently was not to popular, either! This video, from Ruptly, shows Iraqis demonstrating in the streets with great joy upon the news of Soleimani’s death.

“Protesters rallied in the streets of Baghdad to celebrate, hours after General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was reportedly killed during a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport, on Friday.

“Footage filmed in the early hours of Friday shows crowds gathering in the streets of the Iraqi capital to celebrate the attack, marching and waving Iraqi flags.”

Meanwhile, back here at home, we have the rabidly anti-Trump press thoroughly embarrassing itself in its coverage of the event… the mind fairly boggles.

 

A Tale of Two Embassies… and two Presidents.

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US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, burning on September 11, 2012, following attack by Islamic militants that killed four Americans, including the Ambassador.
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U.S. Marines assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAFTF-CR-CC) 19.2, prepare to deploy from Kuwait in support of a crisis response mission, Dec. 31, 2019.

This was originally written for my Facebook timeline, and is posted here with minimal editing.

Benghazi, Libya, September 11, 2012. Under attack by Islamic militants, the US Embassy requests assistance. None is forthcoming.

As a result, four Americans die, including the Ambassador, Chris Stevens – the first U.S. Ambassador killed in an attack since 1979 – along with Information Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs, who fell trying to defend the Ambassador against overwhelming odds. The Embassy is burned.

Baghdad, Iraq, December 31, 2019. Under attack by Islamic militants, the US Embassy requests assistance. Within a matter of hours, 100 Marines are airlifted into the Embassy grounds via Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, supported by Apache attack helicopters; further air assets are reportedly overhead.

Shortly after, 750 soldiers – an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the elite 82nd Airborne Division – are wheels-up on their way to Kuwait, with an additional 4,000 troops gearing up to follow, in case additional support is needed.

Now, it’s possible to argue that we shouldn’t be there in the first place, and I might agree with you. But we ARE there: that’s the reality of the situation; American lives were in danger, and the response was quick and, so far at least, has proven effective.

Do some of y’all understand, now, why some of us support President Trump, despite the fact that we might not like or agree with everything he says or does? He puts America first, as an American President should, and when Americans are in danger, he protects them to the best of his ability.

Based on past history, if Hillary Clinton was President currently, we might be looking at another dead Ambassador and another gutted Embassy. That is the difference. You either get it or you don’t. If you don’t, I quite honestly feel sorry for you…

The Deep State Comes Out Of The Shadows | Issues & Insights

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/state-department-02-02-1-1140x684.jpg

Two news stories published over the weekend had the same message. The State Department was out to get President Donald Trump after suffering years of “frustration.” At least these denizens of the deep state are being honest.

Source: The Deep State Comes Out Of The Shadows – Issues & Insights

“Trump’s critics say that his claims about a deep state are the result of his paranoid delusions. But after what the country has witnessed over the past three years, and now the bragging by State Department officials bent on getting Trump out of Washington, it’s the denial of the deep state that is delusional.”

We’re in a bad situation when the intelligence community and the State Department are openly colluding against a Constitutionally-elected President. The “Deep State” (a.k.a. “the Swamp”) is all too real!