The Pope in the mid-eighteenth century had nothing on Empress Maria Theresa.[1] The outcome of the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) ensured that she would rule the Holy Roman Empire for the next three decades. Britain helped, but that alliance meant little to the queen when the next war came around. Catholicism began to drive the empress’ foreign policies forward. When tensions renewed between Great Britain and France, Empress Maria Theresa began to rework (more…)

We are a forward looking nation. We once built cars, typewriters, shoes, and zippers for the world. But we dumped our manufacturing base without a thought, without nary any remorse or inklings of inner self-guilt. Instead, we imagined a future time where Americans stood atop the pyramid of consumption, like great carnivores of the desert, yes, the USA: top of the food chain, mighty beacon of materialism, debt, and American Idol. Our culture is largely based on the premise that we need not worry why, how or where we came from, just as long – sing it with me now – we “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, It’ll soon be here” (thank you Fleetwood Mac). (more…)