The whole Roseanne kerfuffle brought to mind something I wrote when I announced that after 41 years my love affair with Doctor Who had ended:

Now I know that since the series came back there has been a bit of a sjw agenda that has been pushed since the 2nd half of the 1st season. As the years have gone by it’s become more and more open but I let it go, first because I was so pleased to see the series back, then because I thought David Tennant was great, then because I thought Matt Smith was the best thing to happen to the series since Tom Baker, then because Peter Capaldi had given the character depth and then because Michelle Gomez was just so good as Missy and she and Capaldi worked so well that you wanted to see what happened next.

The actual reality is that I loved this show and even as it tried to nudge me away or suggest that I and my values were unwelcome I clung to it because of what it meant to me and mine. In a world becoming increasingly hostile it was my last my childhood escape that decades later was still intact.

The ability to sell a particular worldview where the British Empire, Capitalism, the Military and Christianity and the values they espoused was the source of the world or in this case the universes was helped by the fact said message was sold to the British public in general and British youth in particular by two of the best TV writers of the 21st century Stephen Moffat and Russell Davies and by suburb acting by not only all of the doctors from Eccleston to Capaldi but by an incredible ensemble including Arthur Darvill, Jenna Coleman, Alex Kingston, Catherine Tate, Matt Lucas (who really surprised me) and especially Michelle Gomez whose performances rank as some of the finest in the entire 55 year history of the show.

And the sales pitch was so subtle that by the time we saw Moffatt use the 1st Doctor as a stand in punching bag standing in for the values of the generation that saved the world from Nazism as something to be mocked that the generation that was saved from subjugation by those folks were laughing at those who saved them without realizing what they were doing.

That’s what skilled propaganda does and it’s particularly effective on members of a “fandom”.  It’s the nature of fandom that you remain a fan.  You might decide a particular show or actor wasn’t up to snuff but because you have built a relationship with a show or character or universe it’s hard to let go, even if it’s hostile to you and your believes,  you let it go because of that relationship, particularly if it one that you had for years (or in my case decades).  Without being well grounded in actual reality it’s very easy to surrender.

And that brings us to Roseanne.

For all the fuss about Roseanne being “right wing” she is and always has been a creature of the left, albeit one who likes Trump which I suspect comes from still remembering the life of a stand up comic.  Other than her ability to recognize the danger of radical Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood her values are Hollywood values.

Moreover those Hollywood values were shared by her cast, her writers and the network that carried them and while they were careful in season 1 not paint supporters of the current administration as villains the groundwork was being laid for the seasons to come.

Those season were going to be all about teaching the “Connor” family to accept things that conservative in general and social conservatives in particular reject.  Oh to be sure it was going to be subtle and the comedy was going to be there and there would be real care not to portray the Connors in a negative light but don’t doubt for one minute that if the series continued this was going to be the plan.

It would have been pulled off brilliantly by their group of 1st class writers and a strong cast headlined by Roseanne herself, Sarah Gilbert and the spectacular John Goodman who is in my opinion on of the best all around actors/comics in the industry.

The irony of course is the conservative audience would have gone along considering their viewing a rebellion against a media culture that hates them not knowing that they were going to be played and within a season or two the critics would have been hailing the series for progressing and becoming more “inclusive” as the years went on.

That was the long game, all of that was what was coming and the left might have pulled it off, if they had been capable of accepting Roseanne’s apology over her tweets over the years.

But fortunately for us on the right there were not and now not only has the left’s best chance to sell their values to the right without them even realizing gone up in smoke but it’s done so in such a way and at such a time designed to cause maximum damage to that same left in a critical midterm election we couldn’t have planned it better if we tried.

That’s why after acting rashly out of anger they are trying to figure out how to the plan back on track

There is some cautious optimism that Roseannecancelled by ABC on Monday, could continue without co-creator and star Roseanne Barr. I hear the show’s producers will be meeting with Disney-ABC executives on Monday to pitch a revamped Roseannewithout the title star (and likely the original title too).

Details about the concept that will be pitched are unclear but the show is expected to stay true to the praised first season of the revival — the series’ 11th overall — featuring the other cast members except Barr. There could be stronger emphasis on Sara Gilbert’s character Darlene, which can be expected since the revival was centered mainly on three characters, Roseanne (Barr), Dan (John Goodman) and their daughter Darlene (Gilbert) who moved back home with her kids.

, Allahpundit however is most likely right about what it would mean if anything:

Darlene is the fourth-most compelling character on the show, tops. I like the idea of keeping “Roseanne” going but only if it’s fundamentally a show about Dan and Jackie moving on from Roseanne’s death. If they go the Darlene route, they’re going to get one season out of it. Although maybe that’s the point: All they’re doing here, perhaps, is giving the cast, crew, and writers the second year of employment they were counting on before Roseanne ripped it out from under them. They’ll do 10 episodes of semi-respectable ratings and then pack it in.

In one sense that would be justice as none of those people had anything to do with the cancellation but “the Darline show” is unlikely to draw the conservatives who were upset with the cancellation and any attempt to subtly dose any who do hang around is now likely to be spotted a mile away.

So in the end conservative Roseanne fans without knowing it, have gotten lucky break

Would that Doctor Who fans had been as lucky.

If you want to know why what Samantha Bee did is much worse than what Roseanne did it can be explained in just three sentences.

  1.  Nobody disputes that Roseanne Barr put our her now infamous tweet about Valerie Jarrett all by herself on the spur of the moment with no input from her personal account unrelated to her TV show.

2.  Samantha Bee put out her infamous lines about Ivanka Trump during the broadcast of her show Full Frontal as part of a planned segment.

3.  This means the words she spoke were written with deliberation by professional writers, successfully passed through Full Frontal’s / TBS decision making process and were considered suitable for broadcast before they were ever spoken on the air.

Yet Roseanne Barr’s apology for her spontaneous tweets was rejected and her #1 rated comedy cancelled on the spot while Samantha Bee’s apology for her deliberately planned segment broadcast nationally was accepted on the spot without penalty to either her or any involved in the decision making process that resulted in the segment in question.

This is why nobody buys the virtue signaling of the Harvey Weinstein media/left It simply doesn’t play outside of their enclaves anymore.

Update:  Somehow two words were dropped from the last sentence, fixed (Thanks to Vektor for the catch) and one more thing hit me.

There is a live audience for the taping of Full Frontal.  Did anyone in the audience object to the Ivanka stuff?  I’m not aware of any booing or people walking out or reacting negatively to it when it was done?  What does that say about that supposedly woke #metoo audience?

This weekend I talked briefly about the crisis in England with Tommy Robinson’s arrest and the unwillingness of Englishmen to stand up and fight for the basic rights of Englishmen that back when I was born would have been an automatic reaction.

The question here is why and I think I have the answer.

In 1963 every single Englishman had either fought in the war (WW 2), had a family member serve in the military or personally knew someone who had fought and died in military service.

In 2018 how many Englishmen actually personally know another who served who is under the age of ninety?

Why would you fight for rights when you’ve never learned the virtue of doing so?

Today is Memorial Day in the US.

On Memorial day 1963 I was twelve days old and it would have been nearly impossible to find a person didn’t either serve in the armed services, had a family member who had served, or personally knew someone who had either served or fought and died.

On Memorial day 2018 I’m 55 years and ten days old and the opposite is now true. It takes no effort to find people who have never served, nor had a family member they know serve or don’t know a person personally who serves or has served.

I’m not saying where going to end up where England is, but I am saying that if we do end up there, this will be one of the primary reasons for it.

Politics is downstream of culture.          -Andrew Breitbart

Between network television and Netflix, I have been watching three separate series that all take place in and around the White House: “Designated Survivor,” “Madame Secretary,” and “House of Cards.” House of Cards is fun (although there are plenty of disturbing scenes made for fast-forward) because it makes no pretense that anyone in politics is motivated by anything other than naked self-interest and the pursuit of power. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised that it aired during the Obama administration, and with the Underwoods being democrats, too.

Madame Secretary was clearly developed to promote Hillary for president. If you realize that going in, you can laugh at the typical tropes like “Global Climate Change is the single biggest threat to our national security,” the non-gender-conforming policy advisor, and even the fantastical “Iran Deal” that could only be negotiated in a television show. Given the failure of this show to drag Clinton over the finish line resulting in (I love saying this) President Trump, the next goal of the show will be to show everyone how awesome it will be when we have a woman president.

Designated Survivor is perhaps the most subtle of the three. It stars Kiefer Sutherland (formerly Jack Bauer in “24”) as Tom Kirkman, the former HUD Secretary who gets thrust into the presidency after a terrorist attack during the State of the Union. Of course, the original Muslim suspect turned out to be a decoy and the real mastermind was actually an evil capitalist. Sutherland portrays the president as a non-partisan straight shooter, but it’s clear that he and his staff are anything but. In a recent episode, they were trying to nominate a “progressive icon” to the Supreme Court. Everyone was excited about how much “good” he could do on the Court which, of course, is not the job of a Supreme Court Justice. Interestingly, in a nod to the #metoo movement, the nomination was derailed due to a past sexual harassment claim that was initially only deemed a problem because “the Republicans control the Judiciary Committee.” I guess they were admitting that Democrats would have overlooked such things just to get a progressive on the court.

All three are entertaining, but keep your antennae up and be on the lookout for propaganda. And try not to get confused by the different Oval Office decorations.

And don’t forget to hit DaTipJar!

By John Ruberry

“It [the Thames River] had borne all the ships whose names are like jewels flashing in the night of time, from the Golden Hind returning with her round flanks full of treasure, to be visited by the Queen’s Highness and thus pass out of the gigantic tale, to the Erebus and Terror, bound on other conquests—and that never returned.”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

Last Monday I completed watching AMC’s ten-episode masterful series, The Terror, a telling, with many needed embellishments to fill in the missing details, of John Franklin’s Lost Expedition of 1845-1848.

The voyage was a British Navy attempt to navigate an ice-free route through the Canadian Arctic, the Northwest Passage, an envisioned shortcut to China, that to this day, is a rarely navigable by large ships. The expedition was led by Sir John Franklin, who was also the captain of the Erebus. Francis Crozier captained the Terror. The ships were last seen between Greenland and Baffin Island in 1845. After wintering off of Beechey Island, where three crew members died, the ships became trapped in the following year, it’s believed they never sailed again. Franklin died in 1847, and the last communication from the expedition, a note left in a cairn on King William Island, reported that an astounding 24 men died before the ships were abandoned in 1848. The crew of the ship totaled 134 when it departed the Thames. Only a few bodies and some bones–some of which betray evidence of cannibalism–and a smattering artifacts were discovered after an exhaustive series of rescue missions. Over the following decades it was ascertained that the men may have been debilitated, both physically and mentally, by lead poisoning from shoddily soldered cans of food.

There were no survivors.

That’s the essence of what is known of the expedition.

The Terror series, based on a novel by Dan Simmons, imaginatively fills in the details of what might have happened to the crew.

Franklin (Ciarán Hinds) ignores the advice of Crozier (Jared Harris) and they get stuck, well you already know that part of the story. The ships are menaced by a mysterious creature, Tuunbaq, which appears to be a polar bear. An Eskimo woman (Nive Nielsen) becomes their only human connection to the Arctic, of which Crozier says, “This place wants us dead.”

True, very true.

About Tuunbaq: Is it real, or an elaborate exaggeration where Inuit legend melds with lead-poisoned induced dementia?

The most compelling character is a young petty officer, Cornelius Hickey (Adam Nagaitis), who in a role reminiscent of George Segal’s in the Japanese prisoner of war movie, King Rat, uses the catastrophe to recreate himself as a leader. As so often happens, when order collapses cunning operators such as Hickey move in. Something bad becomes something worse.

Of course they don’t realize it right away, but the crew of the Franklin Expedition are imprisoned just as the inmates in King Rat were.

Crozier finally decides to abandon the ships–and the crew embarks on an 800-mile journey by foot to a remote mainland Canadian outpost–pulling many of their belongings, including unneeded books, in lifeboats refashioned as sleds.

The situation becomes dreadful for them as the series gets even better.

The Terror was filmed in Hungary, superbly done CGI replicates the ice-bound ships and the rocky terrain of Beechey and King William islands. If you perform a Google image search of these forlorn islands, you’ll swear the series was filmed on location.

Paul Ready’s portrayal of surgeon Harry Goodsir, who remains kindly even while he gently declines the request of a dying man that he not perform an autopsy on him, is also praiseworthy.

I enjoyed the series, although I have to call out an overdone flogging scene that devolved into sadomasochistic torture.

Then again, like Conrad’s steamboat in his novella, the Terror and the Erebus sailed “into the heart of an immense darkness.”

AMC is still showing The Terror and it’s available where I live on Xfinity On Demand.

This show is not for the squeamish.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

radical feminists protested against pornography for many years until — with stealth funding from the pornography industry, including Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Foundation — there emerged in the 1980s what is now known as “pro-sex feminism,” sometimes called liberal feminism to distinguish from (the original) radical feminism. That the women’s movement was co-opted by the porn industry is a fact that Women’s Studies majors usually don’t learn until their sophomore or junior year, if they learn it at all, because this is one of the shameful secrets that the feminist cult doesn’t like to mention, and radical (anti-pornography) feminists have been marginalized within their own movement.

Robert Stacy McCain Special Snowflake™ @Belle_Knox and Make-Believe Feminist ‘Empowerment’ 2-27-14

Very shortly I will be old enough to qualify for senior citizen discounts all over the nation and I’ve been thinking about my life as I hit its seventh inning stretch when I saw this tweet (via instapundit) by Ben Shapirio

This brought to mind an old post on the Sexual revolution:

In days past a man who wanted a women was expected to be a good provider, to be able to support not only a wife but an entire family through the sweat of his brow. He was expected to call on a woman, likely with a chaperone to keep an eye on him to offer self-control and to slowly but surely win approval of both the woman and the family to some degree before advancing to the next step.

And if he advanced prematurely or attempted to attain a conquest otherwise he was subject to the disapproval of culture or a shotgun to the back to make sure he did the right thing. The right thing being marriage, and if you finally secured a wife after meeting all these requirements divorce was not considered proper or acceptable culturally.

The reason why this combination of restraints and incentives was effective is due to a simple truth that has never changed:

Men want sex and want it badly and as much as men want sex teenage boys & men want it obsessively to the point where they were willing to allow themselves to be pushed toward responsibility, hard work and respectability for the chance to get it.

Thanks however to the sexual revolution, none of this is necessary anymore.

When I was a kid you had to hide a “dirty magazine” (a friend of mine kept a stash in a trash bag in the woods near his house) today you would be hard pressed to find a boy who had not seen hard core porn online by the age of 12 and thanks to the sexual revolution girls are not only taught at a young age that virtues like modesty or chastity are not only prehistoric but a form of oppression but we have a society that actually teaches that one who critiques having sex on camera for the masturbatory pleasure of men to pay for college is worthy of contempt.

In short men all the sexual desires that once motivated men  from nudity, to sex without commitment are now available without the effort of self improvement and the idea of women and girls engaging in this conduct that provides this to men in high school, college and even before is not only considered “empowering” but the failure of a young women to do so makes one odd.

All of this has happened in the space of two generations and by a not odd coincidence in my opinion, coincides with the growth of “woman’s studies” programs in universities all over the nation.

So as I near the date of my senior citizen discount and look back at this change I have a question for all the woman’s studies programs out there and the women in them:

How has the normalization and mainstreaming of promiscuity among young women and the removing of the sexual incentive system restraining men over the last 40 years empowered women and brought them better, more fulfilling lives?

I submit and suggest that it has not.

Update: If I had emailed Ed Driscoll of Instapundit and asked him to put up a post to prove my point today I couldn’t have done better than this:

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Male Student Accuses Female Student of Sexual Assault. She Says He Wanted Revenge.

Doe woke up, realized they had engaged in sexual activity while they were both drunk, and feared that she would file a complaint against him, as she had done to his friend. Panic-stricken, he felt he had no choice but to beat her to the punch.

How’s all that empowerment working out for ya?

As I mentioned last year, I spent many years in the Boy Scouts as an adult leader while my son, who became an Eagle Scout, was going through the program, only to be disappointed by the national organization in recent years. As predicted, the Boy Scouts went from allowing homosexual boys into the program, to allowing homosexual scout leaders to admitting girls-who-claim-to-be-boys to now allowing girls to be Boy Scouts.

While the parent organization will still be knows as “Boy Scouts of America,” the name of the group of 11- to 17-year-olds that used to be called “Boy Scouts” will now be called “Scouts BSA,” further distancing them from the original point of the organization, which was to teach boys how to become men and good citizens. The BSA is claiming that they are doing this to give girls the opportunity to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout and to give families the opportunity to have their sons and daughters in the same program to make it easier to coordinate the children’s activities.

That goal, however, completely contradicts their pledge that the new Scouts BSA troops will be single-sex. As a former scoutmaster, the idea that any local sponsoring organization will be able to procure separate spaces at the same time so that boys’ and girls’ troops can meet at the same time, to say nothing or recruiting enough parents to support both groups, is ludicrous. It’s simply not going to happen.

A large part of my son’s journey to Eagle Scout was Summer Camp. Aside from the opportunity to just learn how to “be a guy” by spending a week in the woods with other boys, he earned the majority of his merit badges at camp. It is simply not possible to reconcile these two important aspects of scouting when girls are added to the mix. If girls are not given the opportunity to attend Summer Camp, it will be much more difficult for them to become Eagle Scouts. To avoid yet another discrimination lawsuit, BSA will be forced to either a) allow girls to attend Summer Camp alongside the boys or b) create parallel camps for girls. It is simply too expensive to create separate camps (also subject to a “separate-but-equal” lawsuit anyway), so the BSA must allow girls to attend Summer Camp alongside boys.

It is simply a fact that boys will behave differently when girls are present. They will spend more time trying to impress the girls and compete with the other boys for the girls’ attention than they will learning how to just be comfortable with themselves around other boys. The very nature of scouting will change.

While it sounds nice to give girls the opportunity to become Eagle Scouts, there is no way the BSA can give girls this opportunity without robbing boys of the unique things that made the Boy Scouts the Boy Scouts. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is either lying to you or doesn’t know what Scouting used to be.

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By John Ruberry

For decades, probably since in the advent of rock and roll, America’s has been a youth-worshipping culture. In eastern Asia, at least for now, elders are admired and respected, on the other hand.

Back to America. Is it a coincidence that four years after Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show with 82 percent of television viewers tuned in, the youthful John F. Kennedy became the youngest person elected to the presidency, replacing the oldest president up to that point, Dwight Eisenhower?

The Democrats found young pay dirt again in 1992 when Bill Clinton, the first baby-boomer president, who was 46, defeated incumbent president George H.W. Bush, age 68, and in 2008 when Barack Obama was 47 when he bested 72-year-old John McCain to win the presidency.

In this off-year election there are a couple of races I’ve noticed that may show the Democrats are betting that the fountain of youth is the key to winning a majority in Congress.

The first match-up already occurred. In the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district, Democrat Conor Lamb, age 33, narrowly defeated GOPer Rick Saccone, age 60, for the vacant seat of Tim Murphy, who resigned because of a sex scandal.

Lamb won in a district that is traditionally a Republican stronghold.

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Wisdom and experience should still count for something, right?

Democrats, at least on social media, are excited about the prospects of US Rep. Beto O’Rourke upsetting Republican Ted Cruz, a presidential candidate in 2016 who is still well-respected by conservatives despite his tussles that year with Trump. They’re about the same age, O’Rourke is 45 and Cruz is 47, but look how CNN is potrarying the candidates:

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How long did it take the writer of that CNN article to find a photograph of Cruz with a double chin?

For his part, O’Rourke won his nomination in a primary while Lamb was selected by a party convention.

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Whoah, O’Rourke is the dreamiest, isn’t he?

While good looks and youth don’t make anyone automatically stupid–my wife says I still have the former and I used to be young–I have a question: Why are the Democrats running glamour shot campaigns?

If their ideas are correct, shouldn’t that be enough?

On the flipside, Donald Trump, a 71-year-old with an orange comb-over, is our president. And the Democrats in the House are led by Nancy Pelosi, 78, but youngster Lamb says he will vote against Pelosi the next time there’s a vote for Democratic leader in the lower chamber.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Saint Dymphna was an Irish princess born in the seventh century to a pagan king and a Christian mother. She is the Patron Saint of people who are suffering from mental illness and/or emotional stress, nervous disorders, epileptics, victims of incest, runaways, and mental health professionals.

I first learned of her from my grandmother, who suffered from depression and who gave me a pocket sized prayer booklet for Saint Dymphna from the Franciscian Mission Associates in New York which features the image below on its cover. I still have that booklet, well over twenty years after it was given to me. Saint Dymphna is very dear to me, and her feast day is coming up on May 15th.

Saint Dymphna Patron of Mental & Spiritual Afflictions

Dymphna’s Christian mother was very beautiful, and her husband, King Damon of Oriel, loved her very much. Saint Dymphna was raised Christian; she was secretly baptized by her mother and educated by their priest, Father Gerebernus. Young Dymphna loved Jesus Christ and promised herself to Him with a vow of chastity as she began to approach womanhood. Via the National Shrine of Saint Dymphna, here is what happened soon after:

It was not long, however, until an unexpected cloud overshadowed the happy childhood of the beautiful girl. She lost her good mother by death. Many were the secret tears she shed over this bereavement, but at the same time she found great comfort in the Divine Faith which, though she was still of a tender age, already had taken deep root.

Dymphna’s father, too, greatly mourned his deceased wife and for a long time continued prostrate with grief. At length he was persuaded by his counselors to seek solace in a second marriage. So he commissioned certain ones of his court to seek out for him a lady who would be like his first spouse in beauty and character. After visiting many countries in vain, the messengers returned saying that they could find none so charming and amiable as his own lovely daughter, Dymphna. Giving ear to their base suggestion, the king conceived the evil design of marrying Dymphna. With persuasive and flattering words he manifested his purpose to her. Dymphna, as may be expected, was greatly horrified at the suggestion, and asked for a period of forty days to consider the proposal. She immediately betook herself to Father Gerebran, who advised her to flee from her native country, and since the danger was imminent, he urged her to make no delay.

With all speed, therefore, she set out for the continent, accompanied by Father Gerebran, the court jester and his wife. After a favorable passage, they arrived on the coast near the present city of Antwerp. Having stopped for a short rest, they resumed their journey and came to a little village named Gheel. Here they were hospitably received and began to make plans for establishing their future abode at this place.

The king, in the meantime, having discovered Dymphna’s flight, was fearfully angry, and immediately set out with his followers in search of the fugitives. After some time, they were traced to Belgium and their place of refuge was located. At first, Dymphna’s father tried to persuade her to return with him, but Father Gerebran sternly rebuked him for his wicked intentions, whereupon he gave orders that Father Gerebran should be put to death. Without delay, his wicked retainers laid violent hands upon the priest and struck him on the neck with a sword. With one blow of the steel, the head was severed from the shoulders and another glorious martyr went to join the illustrious heroes of Christ’s kingdom.

Further attempts on the part of Dymphna’s father to induce her to return with him proved fruitless. With undaunted courage she spurned his enticing promises and scorned his cruel threats. Infuriated by her resistance, the father drew a dagger from his belt and he himself struck off the head of his child. Recommending her soul to the mercy of God, the holy virgin fell prostrate at the feet of her insanely raving father. Thus the glorious crown of martyrdom was accorded to St. Dymphna in the fifteenth year of her age, on the fifteenth day of May, between 620 and 640. The day of her death has been assigned as her feastday.

The records of Dymphna’s life and death say that the bodies of the two martyred saints lay on the ground for quite some time after their death, until the inhabitants of Gheel removed them to a cave, which was the customary manner of interment in that part of the world at the time of the martyrdoms. But after several years had elapsed, the villagers, recalling their holy deaths, decided to give the bodies a more suitable burial. When the workmen removed the heap of black earth at the cave’s entrance, great was their astonishment to find two most beautiful tombs, whiter than snow, which were carved from stone, as if by angel hands. When the coffin of St. Dymphna was opened there was found lying on her breast a red tile bearing the inscription:

“Here lies the holy virgin and martyr, Dymphna.”

The remains of the saint were placed in a small church. Later necessity obliged the erection of the magnificent “Church of St. Dymphna,” which now stands on the site where the bodies were first buried. St. Dymphna’s relics repose there in a beautiful golden reliquary.

Miracles and cures began to occur in continually increasing numbers. Gradually St. Dymphna’s fame as patroness of victims of nervous diseases and mental disorders was spread from country to country. More and more mentally afflicted persons were brought to the shrine by relatives and friends, many coming in pilgrimages from far-distant places. Novenas wer made, and St. Dymphna’s relic was applied to the patients. The remarkable cures reported caused confidence in the saint to grow daily. At first the patients were lodged in a small annex built onto the church. Then gradually it came about that the patients were place in the homes of the families living in Gheel. From this beginning Gheel developed into a town world-famed for its care of the insane and mentally afflicted. An institution, called the “Infirmary of St. Elizabeth,” which was conducted by the Sisters of St. Augustine was later built for the hospital care of the patients. Most of the latter, after some time spent in the institution, are placed in one or other of the families of Gheel, where they lead a comparatively normal life.

In the town of Geel, Belgium, where Saints Dymphna and Gerebernus were martyred, local people still continue to provide care for those who travel there seeking relief from mental illness centuries later. Via NCR Online:

In the mid-14th century, Geel erected a church in Dymphna’s honor; it was built on the spot where she was buried. Around this time, rumors spread about disturbed individuals who were cured upon visiting Geel. As these accounts circulated, people began bringing disturbed family members, hoping for their own miracle. And many embattled souls made it to Geel on their own.

A building contiguous to St. Dymphna Church was built to accommodate the troubled pilgrims. Soon enough, the capacity of this structure was exceeded. Church authorities appealed to the citizens of Geel, who responded in a way that would eventually designate Geel as “the charitable city”: They welcomed mentally ill strangers into their homes.

The Geel community showed remarkable compassion, particularly for an era when most any sort of psychological aberration was viewed as being due to demonic influence or possession. Ronald J. Comer’s Abnormal Psychology mentions the typical techniques of the time for dealing with the psychologically aberrant. Exorcisms, of course, were performed. “Holy water” or “bitter drinks” might be administered. If these remedies failed to produce results, the ensuing therapy could consist of flogging, scalding, stretching of limbs, or starvation. It was hoped that these extreme measures might expunge the iniquity.

In contrast to these measures was the Geel way, in which the mentally ill, who were called “boarders” instead of “patients,” became a valued part of the community. Many of the boarders helped with agricultural labor. They were allowed to go about the village, and some even became regulars at local taverns. Some boarders stayed in Geel for only a few months; others stayed for the rest of their lives.

The boarder population peaked in the year 1938, when the number reached 3,736. About 1,600 remained by the late 1970s. Geel now has some 500 boarders and a total population of about 35,000.

Via Medelita, here is more information about how the mentally ill are cared for in Gheel currently:

These days, boarders are considered wards of the local psychiatric hospital, and they have a treatment team that checks in on them and drops off medications when needed. However, there is no care plan or greater goal given to the families that take them in. They are only told to be as normal as possible. Families are unaware of the patient’s diagnosis, only knowing what the patient chooses to tell them, and often times, families are not trained in any way other than what they’ve learned from relatives, other townspeople, or past experiences. Despite the lack of a treatment plan, boarders are given the security and stability of being accepted by a whole community, as well as family and doctors, which some say has a healing effect. People living in Geel simply do not look at mental illness in the same way that most societies do, and mental illness is regarded with zero stigma attached.

Compassionate care for the mentally ill seems to work out well for the afflicted and the people of Geel who welcome them and help them. Divine intervention seems a plausible explanation for this.

Below is a prayer to Saint Dymphna, via Our Catholic Prayers:

Good Saint Dymphna, great wonder-worker in every affliction of mind and body, I humbly implore your powerful intercession with Jesus through Mary, the Health of the Sick, in my present need. (Mention it.) Saint Dymphna, martyr of purity, patroness of those who suffer with nervous and mental afflictions, beloved child of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request.

(Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.)

Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.

You can also do a Novena to her, which is a series of prayers lasting nine days. Via Pray More Novenas:

St. Dymphna Novena Prayers

Day 1 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Faith

O God, Source of our salvation, in the midst of a pagan people, Thou didst enlighten St. Dymphna by the light of the true faith, which she professed under the guidance of her holy confessor, Gerebran, with such constance that she suffered martyrdom. Through the intercession of these two saints, we beg Thee to strengthen the faith which Thou hast given us, so that by wisely subjecting our souls to Thy Supreme Authority, and by faithfully conforming our lives according to our faith, we may honor Thee with our whole heart and soul until the hour of our death. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 2 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Hope

Almighty and infinitely good God, Thou hast promised eternal salvation to those who obey Thy commandments and make zealous use of Thy graces. Through the intercession of St. Dymphna, who fled from the danger of sin by leaving the palace of her father, and who, eager to gain eternal salvation, fled to Belgium to live in poverty, we beg Thee to grant that we also, who are striving for eternal happiness, may overcome all obstacles in the way of virtue and may attain eternal salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 3 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Charity

God of love, Thou art the most perfect Being, and Creator of all that is good and beautiful. Through the intercession of St. Dymphna, who in her youth loved Thee above all creatures and for Thy sake loved her neighbor as herself, as the image and likeness of Thee, as the price of the Blood of Jesus and as co-heir of heaven, be pleased to help us by Thy powerful grace, that we may faithfully fulfill the two great commandments of charity not only in word, but in action and in truth. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 4 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Piety

God, Our Creator and Supreme Master, St. Dymphna served Thee with great zeal even in her childhood, by hearing Thy word with delight, by assisting at Holy Mass with fervent reverence, and by receiving Holy Communion from the hand of St. Gerebran with tender devotion. Through her intercession we beg Thee to grant us the same virtue of piety so that, having honored Thee during this life as our Creator, we may possess Thee hereafter as our final reward. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 5 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Prudence

O God, ruler of the universe, Thou didst allow St. Dymphna to discover a helpful means of avoiding the evil intentions of her father. Through the merits of Thy holy servant, be pleased to grant that we may become, according to the words of Jesus, simple as doves and wise as serpents, so that through prudent advice and sound judgment we may recognize what we must do to achieve the great work of our salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 6 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Justice

O God, source of eternal justice, Thou didst inspire St. Dymphna to flee from her country and her father in order to render to Thee that which was Thine. Through her intercession we beg Thee to make us seek after justice so that we may perform our duties toward Thee as we ought. Though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 7 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Fortitude

O God, rewarder of those who remain firm in their good resolutions, Thou gavest St. Dymphna such a love of virtue that she had the courage to suffer privation, persecution, and even martyrdom. Through her prayers we beg Thee to grant us fortitude that we may courageously and perseveringly overcome ourselves and finally conquer the enemy of our salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 8 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Temperance

O God, You made St. Dymphna resplendent in the virtue of temperance so that she mastered sensual inclinations and used temporal goods prudently. With temperance she combined the beautiful virtues of modesty, docility and humility. Let us not forget that humility is called the foundation of all virtue because it banishes from the soul pride, the obstacle to grace. Through the intercession of St. Dymphna, we beg Thee to guide and direct us, so that being preserved from evil and nervous disorders, we may obey till death the commandments and counsels Thou hast given us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 9 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Chastity

O God, lover of innocent souls, Thou gavest St. Dymphna the virtue of angelic purity which made her reserved in all her actions, modest in her dress, attentive in her conversation, upright in her character, so that she even shed her blood to preserve this precious virtue. Through the intercession of St. Dymphna, we beg thee to bestow upon us the virtue of chastity that we may enjoy peace of conscience in this life and pure eternal joys of heaven hereafter. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Please remember those suffering from mental illnesses in your prayers and try to have compassion for them in your hearts.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Sun-Times headquarters

By John Ruberry

A week ago the Chicago Sun-Times began a high-profile begging campaign with a white splash–a blank sheet of paper–as its front page to draw attention to an op-ed, “Imagine Chicago without the Sun-Times: An urgent appeal.”

Or, the editorial could be titled, give us money or the Sun-Times will shut down.

“Until now, we’ve offered our online content for free. But we can no longer afford to operate our business this way,” the Sun-Times said in that plea. “Imagine our city without our headlines,” it continues. “Without our journalists to tell your side of the story.”

Your side?

My side?

Since then I’ve noticed three follow-ups, including two columns–my guess is they were ordered by Sun-Times brass to write them–by Richard Roeper and Neil Steinberg. This morning on Fox Chicago’s Flannery Fired Up, the Sun-Times’ managing editor, Chris Fusco, along with James Warren, who held the same job at the competing Chicago Tribune, pleaded the case for online Sun-Times subscriptions, which the host, Mike Flannery, endorsed as he told the pair that he had just signed up.

Warren said of the current owners of the newspaper, “They’re severely undercapitalized.”

Who owns the Chicago Sun-Times? A consortium of left-leaning investors, including a former Chicago alderman and failed Democratic candidate for governor, along with the Chicago Federation of Labor, which is an umbrella group of local unions. The CFL’s executive board is heavy with public-sector union bosses.

Chicago is one of the few cities left that has two mass-market daily newspapers. Television struck the first blow against big-city newspapers decades ago; the internet, which newspapers embraced twenty years ago when most of them put their content online for free–naively hoping that ad revenue would pay the bills–provided the second blow.

Houston, we have a problem. The city that seems poised to surpass Chicago in population, became a one mass-market newspaper town in 1995 when the Houston Post folded.

Or does Houston really have a problem?

Wikpedia lists nearly two-dozen Houston area newspapers, to be fair, none of them I’ve heard of until today. Sure, some of them are online-only publications. But is a book a book if it only appears on Kindle?

I believe so.

Of course there are scores of blogs based in Houston, perhaps many more, similar to the one you are reading now, as well as my own Chicago-area blog, Marathon Pundit–both of which represent my side. Perhaps yours too. The media elites love to dismiss blogs and news sites such as the Daily Caller, the Washington Examiner, or Breitbart as fake news, but of course the big shots never get things wrong.

Oh, the Chicago area boasts a dozen daily newspapers.

Let’s take a closer look at the Sun-Times’ side.

Richard Roeper was suspended then demoted by the Sun-Times after he was exposed for buying 25,000 Twitter followers.

Neil Steinberg, who blocked me on Twitter shortly after Election Day two years ago because I objected to a whacked-out anti-Donald Trump column spewed by him, is in my opinion the most execrable columnist in America. He should, as the late great Sun-Times-based Ann Landers would regularly advise, “seek counseling.”

The Holocaust was in part a failure of imagination. Jews just couldn’t imagine it. Which has to trouble anyone insisting it can’t happen now. Because that’s exactly what they thought then.

If you can’t see how this could turn really bad, really quick, let me ask you this: When Donald Trump fails to provide the boon he promised, when his protectionist trade policies crater the economy, who is he going to blame? Himself? Donald Trump does not blame himself.

Who will he blame? When he’s in Pennsylvania, talking to coal miners whose industry he did not revive; when he’s in Youngstown talking to factory workers whose jobs never returned, who will he blame? Who?

You know the answer.

Since November, 2016 the Trump economy has boomed, his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both Orthodox Jews, have enjoyed enormous power, some say too much, in the White House. And Trump will move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to the delight of many Jewish-Americans and of course, the Israeli government.

There is no Trump pogrom.

Steinberg later wrote a penitent book about the experience, but in 2005 he was arrested and jailed for a night after hitting his wife while he was drunk. He initially tried to use a public defender as his lawyer. Steinberg was being paid by the Sun-Times, right? At the time Steinberg was a member of the Sun-Times editorial board.

Not my side

Let’s take a look at the Sun-Times’ other regular opinion columnists. Mark Brown, Lynn Sweet, and Mary Mitchell are also leftists. The paper does re-print an occasional S.E. Cupp, piece, but this co-called conservative is a #NeverTrump Republican.

I didn’t forget about the Chicago Federation of Labor. As Illinois continues to plummet into the financial abyss, many members of the unions that comprise the CFL are doing well because they are or will be receiving generous but unaffordable taxpayer-funded pensions. While a couple of Republican governors share blame in the debacle, Michael Madigan, the man a former Sun-Times reporter, Dave McKinney, says is “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois,” deserves most of the dishonor. Illinois’ “House speaker-for-life” and “state Democratic Party chairman-for-life” has raked in a lot of CFL cash over the years, as has his daughter, the lame duck state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, as this Illinois Policy Institute graphic explains.

Definitely not my side.

Mike Madigan is the problem in Illinois, but don’t expect the Sun-Times to call for his ouster.

As Illinois and Chicago continues to lose population because of tax increases to attempt to pay for the local edition of what I called in this space The Great American Pension Swindle, this people-drain becomes the Sun-Times’ problem too. Fewer people living here means fewer readers and subscribers. If you live in Omaha, what does the Sun-Times offer you? Chicago’s best days are in the past and I expect that Chicago won’t remain a two mass-market-newspaper town for long. The Sun-Times is battling history with fewer troops in its camp.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

But there will be other voices that will persevere.

Including mine.

And no, I won’t become a monthly subscriber to the Sun-Times.

Now, if the Sun-Times wants to add opinions like mine, then perhaps I’ll reconsider.

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinoisan, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.