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Quote of the Day – The purpose of propaganda

 

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to. – Theodore Dalrymple

You can replace the word communist with progressive and it explains a lot of the ridiculousness being spouted today: gender fluidity, the patriarchy, the joys of socialism. Whatever the current cause de jour for the woke folk, it has to be ridiculous on its face, yet asserted with total sincerity. It is not enough to have you state the ridiculous is true. You must believe what you state. Otherwise they will devour you the way the demons devoured Wormwood at the end of the Screwtape Letters.

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It Isn’t Over Until It’s Over And It Isn’t Over

 

It is imperative that not only Senator Graham proceed aggressively in identifying and counterattacking those who formulated the Hillary email whitewash and the Trump Russia collusion story, but also for AG Barr to appoint Special Counsel to investigate. And contra to Graham’s suggestion the prosecutor should not be some respected Establishment figure like Mueller, but rather a very good lawyer who takes no prisoners and will instill fear in those who are potential subjects of investigation. This is particularly important in light of what I expect the Democrats next moves to be.

What we can anticipate from the Democrats and media:

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Smollett Skates

 

In a development so infuriating, even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeing red, actor Jussie Smollett was basically given a get out of jail free card after his hoax involving his supposed assault by supposed Trump-supporters.

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The Bul****: You’ve Gotta Pivot Like There’s Nobody Watching

 

Lest we lose sight of the forest for the trees: It seems to me likely Mueller will find there was collusion between Trump associates and Putin operatives; that Trump knew about it; and that Trump sought to cover it up and obstruct its investigation. What then? Good question. — Bill Kristol, August 9, 2018

Good question, indeed. The complementary question, of course, is: what if Mueller doesn’t find that there was collusion between Trump associates and Putin operatives? What then?

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Mueller: This Should Not Be The End

 

Mueller has concluded that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. After two years of concerted attacks by a biased press and a corrupt bureaucracy, the collusion fantasy has been laid to rest.

Now let’s talk about collusion.

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You Go Girl! Kellyanne Conway Goes after Adam Schiff

 

Kellyanne Conway is fighting back. She’s not just willing to say, “let’s just move along, folks”; for one, she’s going after Adam Schiff:

Adam Schiff should resign. He has no right as somebody who has been peddling a lie, day after day after day, unchallenged and not under oath. Somebody should have put him under oath and said ‘you have evidence, where is it’?

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Trump’s DOJ Advises Court to Invalidate Obamacare

 

Remember when Obama’s DOJ decided not to defend laws that they didn’t like? And how people warned of the horrible precedent they were setting? Looks like Trump remembers and his first target is Obama’s most prized accomplishment.

The Justice Department has informed a federal appeals court that it agrees with the ruling of a Texas judge who invalidated Obamacare. The administration said that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down.

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Knowledge and Appreciation

 

I sit beneath fluttering leaves on a cool spring evening, listening to the splutter of dripping water amid strange squeaks shared between too numerous young squirrels. Potted flowers and trees from every precipice of the world are gathered on the patio of a lovingly cultivated garden. Light and shadow play on passing clouds that hide airplanes carrying unseen hundreds. The sun finally begins to settle, casting new lines and dramatic shapes over the familiar scene, painting it anew.

If I had a dog, it would know things about this place that I do not: the scent of the starling, the voice of a distant pup. But it would not ponder as humans do. It can look but does not see. Dogs do not think in gardens and music and histories. They are wonderful creatures, but simpler.

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‘Either You Did It on Purpose or…’

 

Ann Althouse is writing this morning about the media reaction to the Barr statement on the Mueller report. She quotes the WaPo:

“Russiagate” has been a news media obsession since Trump’s victory in November 2016…. The cable news networks, particularly CNN and MSNBC, have added hundreds of hours of discussion about the topic, too. The story undoubtedly was an important factor in shaping voters’ perceptions before the 2018 midterm election, in which Democrats won control of the House. But the conclusion of the inquiry has put a question once hazily debated into sharp focus: Did the mainstream news media mislead?..

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Thank You, Devin Nunes

 

Fine article in the Spectator USA reminding us of the critical role that Rep. Nunes played in publicly undermining the Russia collusion narrative.

Nunes knew all along that the claims were bogus and he stood up for the truth in the face of withering attacks from Democrats, from the media, which daily took vicious shots at his character and integrity, and from skeptics and unsupportive leaders in his own party. Recall that then-Speaker Paul Ryan forced Nunes to temporarily remove himself from the investigation at the insistence of Democrats like Rep Adam Schiff. Schiff, you should know, is so attached to the Russia hoax that he is still claiming that he knows the collusion was real. Sure, Adam, so was the UFO that stopped you outside of Bakersfield.

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Schadenfreude Monday Continues

 

It was a fun news weekend watching the collapse of the flimsy Russian conspiracy theory. On Friday, Mueller cleared Trump of collusion and left the issue of obstruction unresolved. Then, Sunday morning, Attorney General Bill Barr revealed there’s no reason to fall down the obstruction rabbit hole. Stick a fork in it; the Mueller probe is done.

“Don’t worry,” media dead-enders said, “the real action is happening at the SDNY District Court!” As of Noon Monday, the SDNY had weighed in — by arresting unhinged Trump critic Michael Avenatti.

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‘The Silmarillion’ Is a Dense Yet Highly Engaging Origin Story for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

 

As Game of Thrones draws to a close, and a new Amazon Lord of the Rings TV series awaits, J.R.R. Tolkien is sure to return as the king of fantasy (if he ever even left). Despite being dead now for nearly 46 years, Tolkien created, in Middle-Earth and the stories that take place there, a rich, vivid mythology that has ensured his immortality.

Many people first came to appreciate Tolkien’s work because of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in the early 2000s. I was one of them. Only eight years old when The Fellowship of the Ring came out, I was not allowed to see either it or its sequel in theaters (though I did catch them later on DVD). But when my parents said they would let me see The Return of the King in theaters, I decided to read all of the books in the trilogy before the movie came out so that I would appreciate it properly. Even at age 10, I recall getting lost–in the best possible way–in the epic and fully realized world of heroism and mysticism that Tolkien had created. Seeing the last movie in theaters remains one of my best-ever theatrical experiences, and it confirmed my status as a Tolkien fan.

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Icon, Part 8: The Annunciation

 

“Rejoice, O Theotokos, O deliverance of Adam from the curse! Rejoice, O chaste Theotokos! Rejoice, O living bush! Rejoice, O lamp! Rejoice, O throne! Rejoice, O ladder and door! Rejoice, O divine chariot! Rejoice, O bright cloud! Rejoice, O temple, O most-gilded jar! Rejoice, O mountain! Rejoice, O tabernacle and table! Rejoice, O deliverer of Eve!” – Orthros of the Feast, Tone 2​“

On March 25, in both the Orthodox and Catholic churches, The Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, and of her assent to bear the Son of God is commemorated. This is exactly 9 months before the Nativity of Christ (Christmas). It is, on the Eastern calendar, the 7th Great Feast of the liturgical year. The primary Gospel account of this miraculous event is in the Gospel of Luke, but as with much else in the liturgical cycle, Church tradition, theology, and hymnody has so much more to say. In the centuries after the brief ministry of Jesus, succeeding generations of Christians had to come to terms with what, and moreover whom they had witnessed, and then work out and come to an understanding of the significance. Part of that reckoning was understanding who Mary was, and how profound her own role had been.

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The Role of Unions and Sexual Abuse in Public Schools

 

Over the weekend, the Miami Herald published a shocking story about a serial abuser in a local middle school. They report,

Middle school physical education teacher Wendell Nibbs sat down with a detective looking into allegations that he had asked a 14-year-old student when she would let him see her genitals.

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The Left’s Presumption of Their Own Bias

 

As time passed, and months and years went by, it became increasingly obvious that Mueller had found no collusion. And it seemed obvious from the beginning that there would be no collusion, because why on earth would the Russians want Trump in the White House when they could have had Hillary Clinton? But despite the lack of evidence, progressives really believed that there would be collusion discovered. Somehow.

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Jordan Peterson – a postscript

 

Further to @brianwatts satirical piece on Jordan Peterson’s latest book, let us not forget the inherent danger of any form of censorship.

Above all, remember that in 1823 the German-Jewish author Heinrich Heine wrote: “Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende Menschen.“ (Where you burn books, you will finish by burning people). 

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The first Sunday of Lent: The Triumph of Orthodoxy

 
The Triumph of Orthodoxy – Theodora’s restoration of icons. By Anonymous – National Icon Collection (18), British Museum, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7306236

Great Lent is the most profound time of the Orthodox year. The rigors of fasting (to the extent that you can do it – not everyone can, and if you can’t it’s nobody else’s business), the added services throughout the weeks, the very special nature of those services, the change in the tones of chanting from major keys to more muted and plaintive minor keys, and the change in the vestments and various draperies, covers, and hangings to darker colors, all together carry the change of the season. There is also a cycle of Sunday services as Lent approaches, with each Sunday being set aside for something significant to the history of the Church, to remind the Orthodox annually of the commitment they have made to carry on with the living tradition and faith of nearly two thousand years.

Eastern Orthodoxy is sometimes called the Church of the Seven Councils, after the first (and only) truly Ecumenical Councils (“ecumenical” here meaning those councils which could be said to truly represent all of Christendom, and whose decrees were universally accepted by all of Christendom – though the Catholic Church numbers many more, the Eastern prelates were either not represented, or the decrees of these councils were never accepted by them). The first Sunday of Lent is called, variously, The Sunday of Orthodoxy, or the Triumph of Orthodoxy, and commemorates the Seventh and final such council and its aftermath. This final council settled the final major theological question of the ancient Church: the proper role and place of religious art. In so doing, it closed arguments that had ebbed and flowed for nearly 500 years, and had been the cause of riots, banishments, and wholesale destruction of art throughout all of the eastern provinces of Christendom (many early relics and works of art from the East were sent West during this time).

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Quote of the Day: Greatness is a Decision

 

Everybody matters. Everything goes back to the people. I hire people first, coaches second. I recruit people first, players second.

But if you want to know what the biggest change in Clemson football is over the last 10 years, it’s this: it’s attitude. We control what goes in our heads. So many people let people walk through their heads with dirty feet. Greatness isn’t anybody’s destiny. It’s a decision.

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Town and Gown Troubles

 

There is a long history of Town and Gown troubles. Riots between university students and townspeople took place in the Middle Ages and they continue to this day. One difference, though, is that the combatants, for the most part, are students and police officers. There are outside agitators that are attracted to the fights. Anarchists travel to Portland from Seattle, and anarchists who reside in Portland travel to Seattle for away games.

On February 10 1355, Walter de Springheuse, Roger de Chesterfield and their companions from Oxford University walked into the Swindlestock Tavern. A disagreement over the quality of the wine resulted in an argument. The university men angered by the “stubborn and saucy language” of the wine-seller, threw the wine and its container at his head. The wine-seller expressed his anger to his friends and family, who armed themselves with bows and arrows and shot at the scholars and the chancellor who arrived to calm the situation down.

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The Kellyanne and George Debacle: A Sad Testimony on Marriage

 

This post is not going to cover the lurid details of the public spat between Donald Trump and George Conway. Instead, I’d like to speak to the degradation of the Conway marriage vows, to the absence of spousal respect and to the damage it causes to the family, especially the children.

Let me provide a little background. Kellyanne and George Conway married in 2001. They now have four children. Before working for President Trump, Kellyanne founded a polling company with many credits to her name. George is a private attorney.

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