The Bronx… An Obscure Root of the Russian Revolution

The Bronx… an Obscure Root of the Russian Revolution

trotskyBelieve it or not…   it is an historical fact that one of the most notorious and ruthless leaders of the infamous Red Army and a mover and shaker of the Russian Communist Revolution lived for a time in the United States. In fact, he lived within a few blocks of where I grew up in the Bronx. While his real tag, Lev Davidovich Bronstein, may not strike a chord with most, his more disreputable alias of Leon Trotsky certainly will. Trotsky, his second wife, Natalya, and their two sons arrived by ship in New York, which he referred to as a city of capitalist automatism. Trotsky, who became Lenin’s chief lieutenant in revolutionary Russia, wanted to live in a ”workers district,” so he moved his family into an $18-per-month apartment in the Bronx. A princely sum for any newly arrived Bronxite prior to the Great Depression, and clearly, by the standards of the day, an upper-blue collar area, if not white collar. The only real working classes in his neighborhood were the largely Polish and Italian Supers, that is, janitors of the apartment buildings themselves.

For a New York minute…

He stayed for nearly three months at 1522 Vyse Avenue in The Bronx. There’s some question about where exactly the Trotsky’s lived. In My Life, Trotsky gives 164th Street in the Bronx as the location, if I am not mistaken; but most other historians think Trotsky misremembered, and point to 1522 Vyse Avenue, on the corner of 172nd Street, just east of Crotona Park, as the more likely address.

Before occupying the apartment, Trotsky’s wife paid the janitor three months’ rent in advance. She received no receipt and upon moving in, Trotsky learned that the janitor had absconded with rent from several tenants. But when he unpacked boxes of belongings that he’d stored in the apartment, Trotsky found his $54 carefully wrapped in paper.

He did not mind robbing the landlord, but he was considerate enough not to rob the tenants, Trotsky wrote of the janitor. Trotsky’s sons were won over by the apartment’s amenities: electric lights, a gas stove, a bathtub, an automated elevator, a telephone and a garbage chute, known in local jargon as a dumbwaiter. In many left and Socialist articles this building was described as a tenement, but Trotsky himself worried that his sons, whom he hoped would follow in his footsteps, would become spoiled by the conveniences of the building and neighborhood.

trotskyjouseIn the distant past, Vyse Avenue, on the eastern edge of the Morrisania section, had been home to Irish, Italian and Jewish laborers and their families. His particular neighborhood of Vyse Avenue, in the northern reaches of the Soundview district was largely Jews from Europe, most especially, Poland and Russia. Nearby Westchester Avenue and the adjacent streets were home to host of stores and shops for the tenants of the area, but many catered to the predominantly Jewish neighborhood. Indeed, even as a boy I distinctly remember going to several kosher delis for the delicious garlic pickles and mouth-watering knishes. Hmmm… kosher dill pickles…☺

So, you may ask, how did a recent deportee from France, via Spain (both kicked him out for being a revolutionary socialist troublemaker), afford a relatively well to do neighborhood? Well, Trotsky plunged into the fractious, polyglot radicalism in the city, especially on the Lower East Side, where anarchists, Socialists, Communists, and others waged mostly a paper war against each other in the pages of The Call, Novy Mir (The New World), the Yiddish-language daily, Der Forverts, that is, (The Jewish Daily Forward), and the Volkszeitung. He wrote and lectured, met Socialist Party leaders and had contempt for them, read voraciously in the New York Public Library’s Slavic collection, and tried to keep abreast of news from Russia.

He was officially earning some $15 a week from his writings and lectures however; there must have been some other sustaining help for the Trotsky family as most immigrants at the time could not afford the prerequisite 3 months security deposit needed for an apartment. Indeed, most immigrants were living in “railroad” flats with pot-bellied coal stoves for heat. Some even had communal toilets and bath facilities shared with the floor or even the entire building.

While lecturing in New York, Trotsky discussed politics with Alexandra Kolontay, an expatriate Bolshevik and free-love advocate who informed on Trotsky in letters to Lenin. He also met Eugene V. Debs, the five-time Socialist candidate for the American presidency, whom he described as a sincere revolutionary. It is also likely that he had some acquaintance with Dorothy Day, before her conversion to Catholicism as both were involved in the local radical politics.

Trotsky was living in New York City when the February Revolution of 1917 overthrew Tsar Nicholas II. He left New York on 27 March. Trotsky had been in New York only a month when revolutionary uprisings began in Petrograd. Soon the Hammer and Sycle banner was flying over the Tsar’s Winter Palace. Trotsky was anxious to return home and bought his family tickets on the first available ship.

Though his stay in New York was brief, two and a half months, they were apparently memorable ones for Trotsky. He later wrote in his autobiography: Here I was in New York, a city of prose and fantasy, of capitalist automatism, its streets a triumph of cubism, its moral philosophy that of the dollar. New York impressed me tremendously because, more than any other city in the world, it is the fullest expression of our modern age. He further wrote of his departure from New York: My only consolation was the thought that I might return. Even now I have not given up that hope. Trotsky, who was assassinated in Mexico in 1940, never lived in New York again.


Little known facts about Trotsky, WWI, The Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War

  1. Trotsky’s parents were wealthy land-owning farmers in the Ukraine. These were later called Kulaks under Stalin and whom he mercilessly persecuted, striped of their wealth, and murdered.
  2. The Bolshevik leadership was mostly exiled abroad or in Siberia when the first revolution occurred. V. I. Lenin was in Switzerland, and Leon Trotsky, was in New York City.
  3. Trotsky would rise to fame as the founder and head of the Red Army and then lose a power struggle with Joseph Stalin,
  4. The family left NYC on March 27, 1917, but Trotsky was pulled off the boat in Nova Scotia and detained by the British for a month.
  5. His already tumultuous life got a lot more frenzied before ending in Mexico in 1940 at the hands of one of Stalin’s assassins.
  6. The most far-reaching agenda of the First World War was the destruction of the three remaining strongest empires—Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Ottoman—and the utter transformation of the map of Europe and the Middle East as a result.
  7. The first of these to fall was that of Tsarist Russia, which began to topple in the Revolution of February, 1917. However, the Bolsheviks did not seize power until later that year, during the Revolution of October, 1917. (The Russians were then still using the Julian calendar, date these revolutions as March and November, 1917; while the West was using the more accurate Gregorian calendar).
  8. Trotsky, then Lev Bronstein, was exiled to Siberia twice and managed to make his way back.
  9. Siberia at the time of the Tsars was:
    1. Not a collective of prisons but more of a frontier where dissidents, nonconformists and other unwanted were sent to be forgotten.
    2. Comparatively speaking it was much like our Old West, but most residence were exiles of one sort or another.
    3. There were no bars, prisons, or guards, except if you broke the local laws, in which case, you were sent to local jail.
    4. Trotsky was confined for local infractions and he was briefly jailed. It was here that he adopted the name Trotsky from a jailer.
    5. The root of the name Trotsky means defiant thus it appealed to Lev. The Revolutionaries had an affinity for pseudonyms that had a significant meaning, i.e. Stalin was from the Russian word steel, and thus Stalin was the man of steel. …and I ain’t talking Marvel Comic’s Superman.
  10. The Russian Communist Revolution was not a single event but a progression of events beginning with:
    1. The Russian Revolution of 1905, then
    2. The overthrow of Tsar Nikolai I and his repudiation of his dynasty
    3. The February Revolution,
    4. The October Revolution, finally,
    5. The Russian Civil War
  11. The Russian Civil War was fought by:
    1. The Red Army, these consisted of the Bolshevik Communists
    2. The White Army, Monarchists, and a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces that fought the Bolsheviks
    3. The Green Army was armed peasant groups which fought against all governments in the Russian Civil War of 1917–22. They fought to protect their communities from requisitions or reprisals carried out by third parties.
    4. Various foreign armies fighting on different sides, these were known as The Allied intervention was a multi-national military expedition launched during the Russian Civil War in 1918. The Americans contributed the 339th Infantry which set the tone of suspicion between the two nations for the next 70 years.
  12. After losing the struggle for power on the death of Lenin, Stalin tried to erase all memory of Trotsky from Russian history; yet there was a persistent and sizeable Trotsky following in the Soviet Union, most especially in the Red Army. Stalin knew that the only way to remove any threat from Trotsky in future was to remove Trotsky from the face of the earth. In this he succeeded by Trotsky’s receiving a mortal wound to the top of the head with an ice-pick at the hands of a Stalin assassin in 1940.

Very little commemoration remains of this staunch Marxist in the former Soviet Union any longer; except in the West where his posters are ubiquitously found in nearly every college dorm beside that of another bloodthirsty Marxist killer Che Guevara. This however, is largely for the show of adolescent rebellion rather than real political ideology.

So above is another tidbit of trivia from myself, The Font of Useless Information as I’ve been called. Yet perhaps there is a lesson to be learned about the obscure roots of revolution and how something seemingly innocuous can have lasting reverberations throughout history.

Meantime, lets continue the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Consecration of Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart to assure that the errors of Russia and the legacy of Trotsky will not once again proliferate.

I urge the readership to rate and comment on this and other articles on Catholic Rural Solutions. Also spread this and other articles among your like-minded friends and family.

Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.



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In our times there is much confusion about almost every aspect of living day to day. Time was when things seemed more stable, for instance, in employment. Back in the day when you joined a company it was usually for life… barring something egregious you might have done like punching-out a co-worker, dating the bosses daughter, or pilfering company money or property etc. Generally speaking, when hired out of college, or even in those days high school, you could count on being employed by a company until retirement at age 65, with all the fat medical, and retirement benefits to tide you over until death. Today, however, the average worker can expect to have at least eight to ten different jobs with different employers. Additionally, some statistics indicate that the average worker can expect “career” changes at least three times or more in his lifetime. While there is little that any of us can do to change this situation, this article will help to dispel some of the confusion over another important area of our everyday lives… food expiration dates.

Food expiration, much like the terms of natural or organic, are among the cloudier elements of everyday living, which on the face of it, have powerful implications for health of the average consumer.  Food, as a once living thing, has a certain but variable perishable quality. Perishable meaning, of course, the time before purification begins to set in.  This is so variable depending on the item, storage method, time, etc. that it is difficult to place an exact date on when a food item is still safe to eat, even for the same items. This is also why, much to the surprise of the average consumer, the government has not place mandates on food expirations.

In the 1970’s consumers began to wonder about the safety of their foods and so producers in order to show sensitivity to their customer’s needs began a voluntary system of food labeling indicating what really amounts to a vague food quality system, though it truly does not meet the need of knowing when food is safe or not. Until that time, generally, most folks relied on the “sniff and view” test. This system of labeling is now so widely known and accepted by consumers that many think that it not only is a mandate of the Nanny State, but also, an absolute guide to food safety, which in both case is a misunderstanding.

Rather the system is a custom of the trade, so to speak and not an out-and-out law, code or mandate. Manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, and marketers voluntarily label their products to show more the optimal quality date rather than the food safety date.

So for better understanding below find what most producers generally, (but not always) mean by the terms that most consumers think of as “safety dates”.

Aside: It’s amazing how times change the terms and words we use. Back in the day, a “safety date” was the girl who really liked you but whom you merely thought of as a friend. She was held in reserve so that you would always have a date for Saturday night.

Sell By, this is mainly for the guidance of the grocer to indicate a last date to sell the item; this is strictly for optimum quality and does not imply food safety or even that food beyond this date is “bad”.

(Best) Used By, this is targeted to the consumer to indicate optimum quality and by no means indicates that the item is unsafe to eat. So once again it revolves around the producers reckoning of top quality.

Expiration Date, here again we have another quality criterion rather than a food safety date. This guide although mostly for the grocer can be used as an alternative to Sell By

There may also be other designations used by producers since this is a voluntary system and does not require specific labels or terms. Additionally, these terms and others vary widely according to the area, region and State. In general, though the terms above are targeted to either consumers or grocers although consumers wrongly use it as a reference of food safety.

On average, since these terms are more an indication of freshness and optimum quality it is usually safe to consume most items beyond the dates indicated. The use of the old “Sniff and View” test is largely adequate to determine when to chuck something of not, often under the guise of better safe than sorry. (see note on Botulism below for exceptions)

owewwThe bottom line is that the quality assurance dates on the labeling is just an indicator of freshness and optimum quality and not safety. Since products vary on freshness you must do the research to determine the maximum safety date beyond expiration for each and everything you consume. As I’ve been wont to say, the only way to be sure of the freshness and safety of any food for your family’s consumption is to grow, harvest, process and store you own vittles. Otherwise you are just transferring responsibility for your health to a third party who may not have a vested interest in your family’s well-being and health.

The above information while valuable to all consumers is of especial use to so-called preppers and other folks who store food for long term. Time was when all folks, not just preppers, had a larder to help them get through the winter. While not as convenient as today’s 24 hour shelf stock inventory of the modern Superette, it was also a guarantee of availability regardless of world, weather and political conditions.

A Word about Botulism

Never, never under any circumstances use canned products that are swollen, cracked, rusted or otherwise compromised. Treat them as if they contained the bacteria Botulism, Clostridium botulinum. Botulism can neither be detected by sniff or view, or even by taste. Always assume that such cans described above already contain this deadly bacteria, even when they seem to pass the “Sniff and View” test. Too many people have died to take a chance eating such food.

As always remember to continue to pray the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text and information, are presented here for general information purposes only. Always seek professional medical advice -in other words you should always review any information carefully with your professional health care provider.

Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.

Posted in Economics, Homestead | Leave a comment

The Legend of Prester John

The Christian Legend of Prester John

prester-johnOf long forgotten contemporary Catholic memory is the Legend of Prester John, an alleged Christian Monarch of the Orient. The word prester is said to be a corruption of the word presbyter, meaning alternately presider or priest depending on the times and the interpreter. Be that as it may, the story of Prester John is a blending of remote history, myth and legend culminating in a Christian character of immense and epic proportions; an inspirational hero who inspired not only Crusaders but many Oriental missions of actual revered saints.

Prester John has the distinct honor of being the embodiment of not only a priest but also a powerful earthly king. Legend has it that he is a descendent of the Three Magi, whose offspring intermarried with the ultimate progeny of a great Christian Monarch of the East. The tales go on to say that he was a convert and disciple of St. Thomas, the Apostle of India and is therefore regarded as the King of India, not only in legend but in some dubious historical documents. To make matters even murkier, the Middle Ages European only had a vague notion of geographical India and no concept of the historical area of India as we now know it to be. Some contemporaries of the time thought India consisted of either a part or a whole of a vast geographical crescent extending from the Ukraine through Georgia, down through modern India and even across the Arabian Sea to Ethiopia, the legendary home of the Wise Man, Balthazar. Balthazar according to further legend is the “Black-skinned Magi” who offered the Myrrh to Our Newborn Lord Jesus Christ. At the time, Ethiopia was called Saba, (often associated with the Biblical Land of Sheba).

Amazingly, the figure of Prester John seems to have existed in all ages from the time of the Apostle Thomas until and beyond the Crusades of the Levant, that is, the Middle East Crusades for the Holy Land.  Most, both now and today, don’t believe he, as a great Christian monarch, was preserved from aging, but merely his legend pops up in each succeeding generation. Needless to say, most today see him only as a legend and an inspirational Christian character. That said, many Christians over the centuries were moved in their actions by this great Christian monarch.

St. Francis Xavier was so certain that there existed in the Orient a true Christian Monarch that he embarked on his Providential Missions to the East with a notion of meeting and allying himself with him so that the entire world, through this Monarchs temporal power, might know and believe the Catholic Faith. St Francis’ initial mission field was India, where he hoped to meet the Catholic King of India. His conversions here were only moderately successful because his subjection to Lady Poverty, as well as, his ministering and “touching” the untouchables met with great resistance from the Brahman nobles.

He then ventured to Japan, via Malacca, where met a noble Samurai who regaled him with the feats of a Great Emperor of his homeland, Nippon or Japan as it is now known. Surely he thought, this could be the Great Monarch of the East; or at least a stepping stone in Christianizing the Orient. On arrival in Japan, he soon realized that his pauper and dowdy presentation off-put the Lords and Emperor of Japan. He therefore, invoked not only his Papal Representation but also his Commission from the King of Portugal, John I, to give the idea he was a peer. Adopting a religious habit more closely resembling the raiment of Japanese lords and rulers, (albeit black) he was more easily accepted and was able to expand within Japan, and influence many to true conversion, most especially of the commoners. However, he soon realized that the Emperor of Japan was largely a figurehead for a continuously battling nobility who vied for ultimate temporal power with little regard or devotion to the true Faith. He therefore reasoned that since the Japanese culture was largely and offshoot of the Chinese that the Great Monarch of the Orient must be somewhere in the vast reaches of China.

In China he was met with a widespread xenophobia of all Western culture and religion by the Chinese. The great lords of this country were largely interested in limited trade with the West and disregarded, ignored and largely mistrusted the strange religion of the foreigners. He did have many conversions among the people themselves and he might have made great inroads for the Catholic Faith only God saw fit bring him home. At any rate, while his missions to the Orient are fairly successful with still many Catholic Faithful today ascribing their conversion all the way back to him, he never did discover the Great Christian Monarch of the Orient.

Others, through the history of the West have also been given inspiration by the Legend of Prester John; the later Crusaders being an example. After the Second and Third Crusades many European kings, monarchs, and Emperor were very reluctant to undertake another retaking of the Holy Land for Christ largely due to the overwhelming expense.  Seemingly spontaneously the Legend of Prester John once again revived giving new motivation for the possibility of The Great Christian Monarch of the Orient aligning with the Roman Catholic Faith.  This would not only mean the vanquishing of the Saracens but also the possibility of uniting the world in the One, True Faith. However, that said, the “rest is history” so to speak and we all know the results of the final Crusades and their effect on Western History.

With the smallness of the contemporary world and the advances in modes of travel and communications the Legend of Prester John and our hopes for a temporally Catholic world have ostensibly vanished. Possibly such hopes may have transferred to the private revelations of the prophesied Great Catholic Monarch to come near the end times. Or perhaps they are merely vague references to the enduring Legend of Prester John. Maybe, just maybe, we can combine both of these hopes with the possibility of Vladimir Putin being the long awaited Great Christian Monarch of the Orient, that is, the contemporary revival of the Prester John legend… ☺. This, of course, is offered by my wry sense of humor and as an inside joke for some of the readership who know me personally.

So in conclusion, for the Catholic we await our salvation not by the exploits of some legendary or prophesied future Monarch but in the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ, through his Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Therefore, please continue to offer your daily Rosaries for Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Here is where our hope and recourse truly lie.

For more of the ramblings of Richard of Danbury subscribe, rate, comment and go to Catholic Rural Solutions Blog at:


Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.

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The Polarizing Effect

The Polarization of the USA and Other Western Nations

The sensational Trump landslide in both the popular and electoral vote along with the resulting melodramatic response from the left has made it evident to even the casual observer that the American political differences are not simply matters of ideology but in reality go far deeper than earlier times in our history. The contentions we are witnessing express a hostility and belligerence that is noteworthy to say the least. So palpable is this it is even splitting families and friends along political and ideological lines. No matter, however, how apparently new this bellicosity appears it has been long in the making.

Since the revolutionary decade of the 1960’s our culture has been undergoing a foundational and fundamentally radical change… a Socialist Metamorphosis, if you will. In all spheres of our Western Culture: political; ideological; social; educational; religious; cultural; etc., drastic Socially Left concepts have crept into our society and in most cases have become institutionalized by both law and custom. Divorce, abortion, Sodomy, cohabitation, working wives and moms, day-care, the loss of Faith, exotic educational concepts such as Common Core, socialized medicine, and many other things have not only been implemented but largely embraced by the man in the street.

All of this has created a dichotomy that is the perfect environment for Trump’s election to the Presidency and the overreaction of the Left. Despite being largely responsible for Trump’s win, many of those under the age of 55 years old today have only a vague notion of conservative values. They lack the firsthand knowledge and experience of those gone before. They know the music, so to speak, but don’t know the lyrics, to use a poor metaphor. This creates in them a blind spot that often makes it difficult for them to justify their stance within themselves, to say nothing of being able to utilize apologetics effectively when confronted.

While we can debate the reasons why the Revolutionary 1960’s were so successful, I believe we can all agree that some combination of: the education system, television, and the news media are at its heart. However, an interesting aspect of the Election of 2016 is the polarization of the urban / suburban areas vs the rural sections of the nation. Country cousins were and are mostly red states, arguably because they work closer to nature on farms, fields, and forests for either work or recreation. This close relationship with nature, the handiwork of God, teaches them that things are not just handed to you but that you must work and work hard for them.

A second feature is that many of the Trump constituency is made up of blue-collar workers, sons of fathers who maned the mines, factories, and mills and knew the value of honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. These contemporary workers are the ones whose jobs have vanished overseas and who have suffered under misguided programs and schemes of the government, Republican or Democrat. They’ve seen our nation’s sovereignty eroded in favor of a New World Order, which will leave them with no jobs and subsistence living in the Land of Opportunity. Their reactive approach with some skill from the incoming administration could easily be transformed into a proactive force that will restore not only our sovereignty but also our industrial and financial strength. I digress, however.

The most remarkable contrast between the Urban / Suburban vs the Rural contrast is the mentality of the City Cousins. While they may have an intellectual knowledge of where their sustenance comes from, practically speaking milk comes from the shelf of the grocery store and not from the udder of a cow; they crave natural and organic foods but don’t realize the near Herculean task it is to grow it. They haul their trash to the curb and don’t fully appreciate what a personal burden it is to dispose of their own waste. They cavalierly flush the john with little if any thought about what happens after it lease the four walls of the toilet. In short, these people live life in an Ivory Tower with no worries unless there is a trash haulers strike or  a blackout; even then it becomes merely a short-term adventure.

ny-mentalityYet, despite their “charmed” living, they look down on the rest of us as deplorables simply because we wish to live a hard working honest life. It is like we only exist on the periphery of their vision and only as a nuisance. It is the epitome of the “New Yorker” mentality. To me this New Yorker image, even growing up in NYC, always revealed a level of arrogant ignorance beyond belief, yet to them is was a symbol of their intellectual superiority. What an outrage!

The ancient Chinese curse says: may you live in interesting times, and the next four to eight years will prove very interesting indeed. This most especially as we move into the 100 year commemoration of the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima with still no Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Misguidedly folks the world over think that if they become more conservative politically and socially all will be well again, when a simple request by the Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth is abandoned. Such a simple request, still not met, will clearly produce dire and catastrophic effects if not heeded. Pray for the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart… it is not too late to do so.

Richard of Danbury, D.S. G.



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♫ Mary Had a Little Fib…♫

♫ Mary Had a Little Fib…♫

Well as the saying goes, better late than never. While the USA’s Thanksgiving Day is nearly a week gone by I herewith present the truth about Thanksgiving. I don’t wish to burst anyone’s bubble surrounding the myth concerning the first Thanksgiving popularly dated 1621 but the Truth will out, so to speak.

For Catholics thanksgiving is regularly celebrated through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which though primarily Our Lord’s Sacrifice is also a Sacred Meal. Here the actual Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ is once again enacted and thanks are given Our Lord for our Redemption and Salvation. In addition, this does not include the daily prayers of thanksgiving that should be part of a Catholic’s daily prayer life.

spanish-thanksgivingHowever, that said; let’s now lay to rest the fantasy and myth surrounding the traditional First Thanksgiving of the Pilgrims. To start the original Thanksgiving, including a Mass and feast was given in St. Augustine, Florida on September 8, 1565 by the Spanish Admiral and explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. The fare of the feast was shared by the Spaniards and the Timucua Indians, intentionally invited guests, who brought indigenous vittles such as venison, corn, beans, squash, oysters, clams, fruit, and, of course, plenty of turkeys. Quail, hare, rabbit, chicken were probably also supplied by the Timucua Indians, who most certainly brought tortillas, frijoles (beans for my Gringo brothers), and a corn and squash dish commonly called succotash, plus various other legumes, as well as fruits.

The Spaniards likely contributed cocido, (soup or stew made with beef, alternately pork, garbanzo beans, chickpeas, and onions), along with biscuits, olive oil and red wine. Surely, salted pork and cheese spread was also present. Let us remember that Spaniards introduced into the newly discovered territories: horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens. Condiments were also brought over such as olive oil, cinnamon, parsley, coriander, oregano and black pepper, and also nuts and grains such as almonds, rice, wheat and barley.

Being now a gentleman farmer and a Connecticut Yankee it always struck me as strange that the appointed date for the USA Thanksgiving was the fourth Thursday in November, considering this was largely a thanksgiving for a successful and bountiful harvest. In fact, here in New England the harvest is long gathered into the stores and larder much before this date in September and early October: so here was my first red flag and one that got my inquisitive senses going.

A second “Thanksgiving” was also given in San Elizario, TX along the banks of the Rio Grande in 1598 in the current county of El Paso by another Spanish explorer, Juan de Oñate y Salazar to give thanks for the crossing of three hundred and fifty miles of the Mexican Desert.

pilgrim-mythIt actually turns out that the modern concept of Thanksgiving is viewed through the lens of New England Protestant settlers, specifically, persecuted English Pilgrims who actually had numerous thanksgiving celebrations for a myriad of triumphant occasions going back even to their time in the Old World. Indeed, the modern concept of the Pilgrim is largely a derogatory view of the Pilgrims by their Protestant brothers who saw them as rigid and austere. For instance, the image of the severe black, grey and white of their dress was largely false since it was only their custom to wear this fashion on Sunday. Other than this they wore mostly the fashion of the day, but more in line with their incomes. Last Wills and Testaments, the Passenger Manifest of the Mayflower, and other historical documents attest to this as clothing descriptions included many colorful waistcoats, pantaloons, and other raiment of the time. BTW, the iconic buckled high-hat and buckled shoes are largely a figment of our times as bucklers of brass were costly and generally an accoutrement of the upper classes of the day and beyond the practical reach of the average Pilgrim.

Incidentally, the democratic ideal of the local Narragansett Indians as invited guests is also a myth, in that the celebration was largely internal for the Pilgrim community. This comes from none other than Governor Bradford himself in his now famous writing: Plymouth Plantation. Any Indians present were drawn to the feasting and celebrations by the raucous field-games, festivities, and the smell of the foods being prepared; once there, they were invited to partake, but not as commonly depicted as invited guests.

A very large foundational myth was that the first Thanksgiving was to give thanks for a successful harvest after years of devastating crop failures and near starvation. The fact is, the Pilgrims with great foresight, planning, and knowledge of previously failed colonies in the New World took proper precautions and had contracted several merchant traders to regularly call on Plymouth Plantation with clothing, dry goods, stores, food and ammunition. Said contract lasted for seven years or more until the colony was firmly established in the New World. This is easily corroborated by contracts in historical archives still existing today. So yes, while initial harvests might have been poor as the settlers acclimated to the new climate and soil, the larders and stores were largely full thanks to constant supplies coming from Europe. This, of course, does not take away from the story of Squanto and his lending a helping hand in the agricultural adventures of the newcomers as they had much to learn about the harsh and short growing season of the New England and also about its rocky soil. As a transplant myself from New York and New Jersey I personally can say there is a learning curve when it comes to New England gardening and farming.

SO just where did all this misinformation we now view as factual originate, you might ask? Well, these stem from the imagination and pen of Sarah Josepha Hale, an influential editor and American writer best known for her little ditty of: “Mary had a Little Lamb”. She was a champion of making the mythical Pilgrim Thanksgiving a national annual celebration, (which for the Pilgrims it never was annual) and hugely succeeded in this endeavor in large part thanks to the financial support of her late husband’s Masonic Lodge buddies. Thus we see why the original Catholic Thanksgiving celebrations were virtually forgotten over the years even by the most devoted Catholic Faithful in favor of the Pilgrim myth.

So perhaps it is time for Catholics to celebrate Thanksgiving in the more appropriate season of September 8th, rather than November. This would, in fact, right two ongoing wrongs: the Pilgrim Myth and, more importantly, the infamous and bestial Black Friday sales events, which have become nothing more than a materialistic orgy of temporal gain.

Embrace your American Catholic heritage and culture and continue to storm heaven with the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Consecration of Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. Perhaps then recognition of our nation as an initially a Catholic nation we occur to the popular mind.

Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.



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In the immortal words of the Wizard of Oz: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Back in the day during my international energy trading career I had the occasion of meeting George Soros, who at the time owned / controlled a western USA coal mine. It was a brief encounter and I came away with the impression that he was a typical international businessman, no more, no less. Having met others of his ilk including Armand Hammer and Marc Rich in the daily operations of my position my impression was his type of businessman was a dime-a-dozen and I thought no more about it. Granted, while the meeting was very limited lasting no more than a brief introduction and exchange of cordialities, little did I suspect that I had just met the puppet master mover and shaker that would shape not only the business and financial world, but also the geopolitical future in which I and my children would live.

Now, however, I’ve come to know just how pivotal this man is in the re-shaping of the modern world of the so-called Post-Christian era. He not only can make or break markets with his mere opinions, but also nations. So the making of politicians is a lead-pipe cinch for him. That is why the election of Donald J. Trump is so vastly interesting in that, at least ostensibly, Soros was the unabashed backer of Hillary Rodham Clinton and the status quo. I say ostensibly because in both politics and business it occurs that apparent actions often mask other nefarious agendas that underlie the action and are the real goal.

Though a piker by comparison, The Donald in his business career must have had some dealings, even periphery, with Mr. Soros since both were so deeply involved in business and finance. So it will be interesting to see how the two interact over the formation and appointments of Mr. Trump’s administration and cabinet; to say nothing of Trump’s term as President. chess-masterSoros is a master chess player who has a great talent for anticipating what lies on the horizon; though this is seemingly easy since he has already set the scene and actors in most cases.

As stated, Soros is the champion of the Post-Christian era, popularly known as the New World Order that is engulfing our times. He is seemingly unstoppable in his ambition and goals in overturning the ancient regime of Christ and His Church and its stamp on Western Civilization. He is a godless man cold-blooded in his actions not caring about peripheral and collateral damage and even calculating them in his ends. He has destabilized and stabilized whole nations, markets and regions of the world without qualm of guilt, though it was a matter of life and death to those affected by his schemes. To get a sense of this man’s capacity I strongly urge you to watch the “60 Minute” interview from the early 1990’s. Also note the politicians he was associated with both then and now and how they are the pawns of his agenda.

Here is the web citation:

I urge the entire readership to observe minutely and anticipate what we are facing in contemporary times. Know, however, that Soros, Trump, and all the movers and shakers of our world are merely men, here today and gone tomorrow; also remember that the best-laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry. Now we must redouble our storming of heaven with the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary as times are uncertain.

Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.

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Presidential Triumph 2016

Presidential Triumph 2016

What Happens Now…

Trump v HillaryWith the stunning defeat of Hillary and the Democrats what can we expect from a future Trump administration? Let me preface this by saying, from a Catholic standpoint, I personally don’t like Trump. He is not an exemplary Christian let alone not being a Catholic. He has been divorced twice and married three times, making him, by Catholic teaching, a bigamist. His reputation as an astute businessman is largely a fantasy, as he stands on the shoulders of his now deceased father who built the family foundational support from which President-elect Trump catapulted and on which he has fallen back upon at least one documented time. He is, at best, silent on the murder of children in mother’s womb, and at worst, in favor of a women’s right to choose with some restrictions. He has a libertarian view of Sodomy and the cultural changes occurring within the Greater Society. Finally he panders to the Zionist State of Israel, turning a blind eye on the sufferings of the Palestinians, 20 to 30% of whom are Christians under Israeli apartheid and land confiscations, which continues unabated under the nose of world media who report nothing on this form of ongoing genocide.

Now with the above stated, many good and faithful traditional Catholics, favored and voted for Trump and it is crucial to understand why this is so. First, as Catholics we will never find the ideal candidate to represent the true and complete Catholic Doctrines and Dogmas on this side of heaven. Therefore, we must use logic and reason to determine how we must proceed. Of course, prior, during and after our considerations we must have recourse to prayer. Next we must consider what is at stake. In the recent election, as in most elections, the next administration will appoint new members of the Supreme Court. Since most of the laws of late seem to be determined by judicial fiat rather than legislation, it is crucial that we have the most conservative nominees possible for this prospective judicial position. Remember, however, there is no guarantee that the judges will vote this way, i. e. the Sodomite Marriage Law imposed on the US last year where an alleged conservative voted in favor of the measure.

Second, and most importantly, conditions in the world are dangerously close to a nuclear World War III scenario. If Mrs. Clinton had been made President, it is my considered and educated opinion she would have been inclined to press the button to precipitate Armageddon; indeed, she has repeatedly stated that when it comes to Russia, Iran and Syria, “nuclear weapons” are on the table. In addition, the new Prime Minister of Great Britain, Teresa May, in a session of Parliament had stated that she will “use nuclear weapons, because of what use is a deterrent if one is not prepared to use it”. Great Britain is our traditional partners in all the Middle East interventions and adventures over the past ten years and with one unstable termagant backing another as Heads of State this would be a very precarious circumstance in which every living being in the world could be affected unto annihilation. Yikes and gadzooks! What circumstances, clearly, this is an astoundingly horrific prospect.

So now what of Trump and his projected administration? His reputation in business and the intercourse with New York City and State politics is one of a rogue who bucks the system. Obviously, despite some setbacks his accomplishments must have been achieved with some compromise, glad-handing and backslapping. In other words, he can play ball according to the situation when a goal is set. That said, his reputation, perceived or factual, precedes him with the result that he has many enemies such as: Wall Street and the international bankers, Democrats, the powerful Jewish and Israeli lobby, and even his own Republican Party…( the Mayor of Danbury, CT, a Republican, wrote in the name of his dog, Ellie Mai). It is therefore; plain to see that unless he knuckles under to these powerful adversaries he will be a lame duck President for all his term and thus an ineffectual President with little to no accomplishments. Being the astute man he is I’m sure he sees this and will be willing to compromise… yes even betray some of his espoused positions as candidate Trump of this and last year. A strong indication of this came on his acceptance speech when he praised Hillary for her long battle over the past two years, as well as, “her valued service to our country as Madame Secretary of State. Well, so much for: “lock her up!” and “put Hillary in an orange jumpsuit!”

Indeed I don’t see him following through with strict enforcement of our national borders. Neither will he, nor can he, stop illegal immigration. He will not, nor can he, deport the Middle Eastern, (read Muslim) refugees already brought into the country. He will not, nor can he, cut off financial aid to the illegal aliens that are already here. He cannot effectively lead the charge in a totally Republican Congress to rescind Obamacare, at best he may fine tune it. He will not put an end to our endless misadventures and incursions into the Middle East and other countries. He will not, nor is inclined to leave Syria and stop meddling in President Assad’s internal affairs. He cannot, nor is he inclined to pull NATO back from encroaching on Russia’s territorial boundaries, waterways and airspace assuring Vladimir Putin we can truly be partners in effectively reducing terrorism in all its forms. He will not, cannot, nor is inclined to instruct our CIA to withdraw ALL covert U.S. support for Muslim terror groups such as ISIS–in which case, they would quickly dissolve. Also he will not stop the CIA from covert operations designed to destabilize governments that have a handle on their own home-grown terrorist as did Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Iraq. In short he will comply with the juggernaut of the many-headed hydra overwhelming international politics, culture, society and religion, thus assist in ushering in the New World Order and all it embodies.

As regards the Catholic vote the margin for Trump was only three points reflecting the liberal bias of not only the greater society but also that of this Pope and the Vatican. On the other hand, I’m completely baffled by some in traditional Catholic circles who looked on Trump as a savior of traditional Catholic values; even going so far as to considerate it a miracle and thanking God for his election as President. Often they wax piously as if he were the second coming; clearly, an unbalanced and distorted view of the man.

In summary, Trump is merely a bump in the road for the forces of the NWO, a flea on the hide of an elephant. For true believing Catholics he is but a man and nothing more. He will not work wonders, nor bring back the temporal power of the Catholic Church, the true traditional Catholic Church. If we expect anything else of him we are delusional.

So let us continue to pray the Rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, and this week, in particular, dedicate it to our lost and forlorn country. At this late date, remember it will be one hundred years in less than 11 months since this apparition, The Mother of God; the Theotokos is our last and best hope.

Richard of Danbury, D. S. G.

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