Dune the Nightmare

Thursday, December 31, AD 2015


Well, Clan McClarey, as is our custom, will be toasting the new year by watching Dune (1984), a film so spectacularly bad that is entertaining, a true train wreck of the filmmaking art.  Director David Lynch in the above video explains just how much a disaster the three years the film took to make became for him.  In a 1985 interview, below, he is, unsurprisingly, somewhat more circumspect, although he seems haunted by the ordeal he has just put behind him.

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13 Responses to Dune the Nightmare

  • – and yet, if I had to rewatch any of the three David Lynch movies I’ve seen (Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive, and this one), it’d be Dune.

    – Am I imagining it, or did he damn Kyle MacLachlan with oblique praise? He said that they were looking for certain qualities and never found them – that statement could be the result of editing, though. He also said that everyone else on the set was impressed by him.

    – Just seeing those clips reminds me of a description of Lord Voldemort: he did great things. Terrible, but great.

  • Don’tknow too much about Dune, but we’re there two different film versions? Is this the one with Sting?

  • Yes this is the one with Sting. Sci Fi channel had a TV version mini-series in 2000.

  • “– Just seeing those clips reminds me of a description of Lord Voldemort: he did great things. Terrible, but great.”

  • John Hurt doesn’t so much steal that scene as the whole scene steals the movie, maybe the entire series of movies. Everything that happens after that point is just tying up loose ends.

  • It was atmospheric, and many individual scenes were effective. It was also ridiculously over-the-top. Who on earth thought David Lynch would be the right man to adapt someone else’s work? The Bear likes everything Lynch has done, from Straight Story to Inland Empire (Eraserhead, not so much.) But he’s got to be doing his own thing, where he can add rabbits living a dull existence in a dingy apartment if he wants to.

  • Mr. McClarey: my sister also liked the movie. Likened it to a train wreck, so bad it was good. Best wishes for the New Year.

  • Just goes to show the best doesn’t always have to be good!

  • Pinky, watch The Elephant Man. It is one of the few films in recent decades that makes use of overt Christian imagery.

  • Dune (in all of its incarnations) has long been a favorite of mine. For the David Lynch one, the Judas Booth version, which adds nearly an hour, is a personal favorite.

    Interestingly enough, the mountain ranges south of Juarez, where many of external desert scenes were filmed, look strangely familiar.

    For those who have not read any of the expanded Dune universe by Frank Herbert’s son, Brian Herbert, I highly recommend them. There is a literal ton of back story to the overall saga.

  • Any thoughts on the new SYFY miniseries of Childhood’s End by Arthur C Clarke? I just saw the first episode- The Overlords. Seems more timely than ever!.

  • I have seen only bits and pieces thus far, not enough to make a judgment.

Quick, Someone Tell the Pope

Thursday, December 31, AD 2015


“A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades, this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”

Pope Francis, Laudato Si



Well, apparently scientists, contrary to the claims of advocates of the global warming scam, are not in lock step behind this hoax:


It is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.

Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.

The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.

According to the newly published survey of geoscientists and engineers, merely 36 percent of respondents fit the “Comply with Kyoto” model. The scientists in this group “express the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”

The authors of the survey report, however, note that the overwhelming majority of scientists fall within four other models, each of which is skeptical of alarmist global warming claims.

The survey finds that 24 percent of the scientist respondents fit the “Nature Is Overwhelming” model. “In their diagnostic framing, they believe that changes to the climate are natural, normal cycles of the Earth.” Moreover, “they strongly disagree that climate change poses any significant public risk and see no impact on their personal lives.”

Another group of scientists fit the “Fatalists” model. These scientists, comprising 17 percent of the respondents, “diagnose climate change as both human- and naturally caused. ‘Fatalists’ consider climate change to be a smaller public risk with little impact on their personal life. They are skeptical that the scientific debate is settled regarding the IPCC modeling.” These scientists are likely to ask, “How can anyone take action if research is biased?”

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12 Responses to Quick, Someone Tell the Pope

  • For me, another worrisome thing is CCC 841, the Muslims adoring the same god (God) as we do. I agree that Muslims play a role as part of salvation history, but not in the cheery way the Catechism hints. It’s clearly bunk, to me at least. What does this kind of thing mean for the Catechism? How much is bunk?

  • DJH: When God promised a Redeemer in the Garden of Eden, God revealed Himself as a Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Allah has no son to love nor to love him.
    In the matter of global warming, even if it were true; (some scientists say that the Antarctic cap grows in proportion to the Arctic cap shrinking) betraying America’s sovereignty to a one world, godless government is treason. When Obama acts outside of our Constitution, Obama does not represent his constituents and so, Obama self-impeaches himself.
    People as pollution is another form of the hoax of overpopulation, denial of the metaphysical human soul, the imposition of atheism on the whole world and acknowledging the devil as the Prince of the world instead of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

  • DJH- I think of it this way; I’ve had people talk about me and get it wrong in every single detail, including my name, sex and marital status.
    They were still talking about me, they were just wrong.

  • DJH: Thank you for pointing out CCC 841. I threw out my copy of the CCC. All the CCC I need is the 1959 Baltimore Catechism.
    Anyhow, I needed the space in the bookshelf for something useful: that would include anything north of simple smut.
    Whoever wrote that BS in CCC 841: Dulce Muslimensis inexpertis.

  • In the meantime, (not to appear obsessed) if we could save but one polar bears life….

  • I have some real problems with the original study and with the Forbes article about it. It’s a peer-reviewed journal, but a journal of organization studies, a social science. It’s a bit deceptive labeling its analysis as peer-reviewed. From the looks of it, the people who were surveyed weren’t ordinary geoscientists but employees in the oil industry, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bias against AGW among them. Only the 36% in the “Comply with Kyoto” group were identified with the belief in AGW, but three of the other four groups considered global warming to have natural and man-made causes. It would be just as fair to say that only 24% of those surveyed didn’t believe in AGW.

  • Yes, of course, the entire climate change business is a hoax and nothing but a political power play. And the involvement of Pope Francis in quite simply embarrassing, if not ridiculous. But the truly troubling thing about Pope Francis’, beyond his meddlesome intrusion into meteorological matters where he has no competence, is his quixotic involvement in Catholic doctrine where he is supposed to have some expertise but most unfortunately doesn’t. Conclusion: Pope Francis is failing us on both the earthly and the heavenly. 2015 is the year all of this became clear. Let us pray 2016 will be better.

  • Michael, you make some points, but let’s not forget those many cardinals, bishops, and clergy who enable all this. They too often appear to be among the crowd shouting out to “give us Barabbas.”

  • The tyrannical powers given to the EPA under Ted Kennedy’s Clean Air & Water Act are the stuff of Communist dictator’s dreams. It is simply unbelievable what they do to people & what they want to do to people…confiscation of thousands of acres of land, bankrupting private individuals & businesses, regulating dust from the farming of fields, regulating the mud puddles in our yards, etc. Climate change bunk is just another tool of big govt to control peoples’ lives & take their assets from them. I’m sure there are some true believers, however like governmental power grabs, I believe most folks are in it for the profits they receive.

  • We live under dictatorship disguised as a democracy. Constitution and laws only apply to political enemies. I hadn’t known that Bill Cosby is an enemy of the state. By Clinton gang rules, he and later his wife should be running for President.

    When confronted with the facts, I.e., this is the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, the lying liars shriek , “Bush had so severely wrecked the economy.” Unadulterated baloney! Beginning with the war on coal , skyrocketing electric bills, wasteful subsidies for green energy boondoggles, Dodd-Frank (that was like Hitler writing holocaust survivors’ relief aid program), Fed bailing out Wall Street/ignoring Main Street, Obamacare . . . nearly everything these nihilists have done has been detrimental to private sector economic growth.

Benedict XV, Rudyard Kipling, John Bunyan and G. K. Chesterton

Thursday, December 31, AD 2015


The cheapest and most childish of all the taunts of the Pacifists is, I think, the sneer at belligerents for appealing to the God of Battles. It is ludicrously illogical, for we obviously have no right to kill for victory save when we have a right to pray for it. If a war is not a holy war, it is an unholy one — a massacre.

                                                                                  G.K. Chesterton, October 23, 1915

(Rudyard Kipling was born one hundred and fifty years ago yesterday on December 30, 1865.  To observe the date I am reposting this post from 2011.  On all that I have written about Kipling, and that is now a considerable amount, this is my favorite piece. I would observe in passing that both Chesterton and CS Lewis, although they differed considerably from Kipling’s views on many topics, were both fans of him as a writer.)

The eighth in my ongoing series examining the poetry of Rudyard Kipling.   The other posts in the series may be read here, here , here , herehere , here and here.   Kipling wrote quite a few poems during his lifetime.  Some are world-famous, most are not, and some are today almost completely forgotten.   The Holy War (1917) is today one of Kipling’s most obscure poems, but caused something of a stir when he wrote it in Advent during 1917.

A tinker out of Bedford,
A vagrant oft in quod,
A private under Fairfax,
A minister of God–
Two hundred years and thirty
Ere Armageddon came
His single hand portrayed it,
And Bunyan was his name!_

He mapped, for those who follow,
The world in which we are–
 ‘This famous town of Mansoul’
That takes the Holy War
Her true and traitor people,
The gates along her wall,
From Eye Gate unto Feel Gate,
John Bunyan showed them all.

All enemy divisions,
Recruits of every class,
 And highly-screened positions
For flame or poison-gas,
The craft that we call modern,
The crimes that we call new,
John Bunyan had ’em typed and filed
In Sixteen Eighty-two

Likewise the Lords of Looseness
That hamper faith and works,
The Perseverance-Doubters,
 And Present-Comfort shirks,
With brittle intellectuals
Who crack beneath a strain–
John Bunyan met that helpful set
In Charles the Second’s reign.

Emmanuel’s vanguard dying
For right and not for rights,
My Lord Apollyon lying
 To the State-kept Stockholmites,
 The Pope, the swithering Neutrals,
The Kaiser and his Gott–
 Their roles, their goals, their naked souls–
He knew and drew the lot.

Now he hath left his quarters,
 In Bunhill Fields to lie.
The wisdom that he taught us
Is proven prophecy–
One watchword through our armies,
One answer from our lands–
 ‘No dealings with Diabolus
 As long as Mansoul stands.

_A pedlar from a hovel,
The lowest of the low,
The father of the Novel,
Salvation’s first Defoe,
Eight blinded generations
Ere Armageddon came,
He showed us how to meet it,
And Bunyan was his name!_

At one level the poem is a fairly straight-forward paean to John Bunyan, the English writer who penned Pilgrims’s Progress, which every school child used to read back in days when schools spent far more time on academics and far less time on political indoctrination and fake subjects like “Consumer Ed”.  He also wrote quite a few other books and pamphlets, perhaps the best known of which is The Holy War, which portrays a war for the City of Mansoul between the good defenders and the evil besiegers.  I need not spell out the allegorical meaning of the work when the city’s named is rendered as Man Soul.  Kipling had been a devotee of Bunyan since his childhood, and I suppose that part of his motivation in writing the poem was to pay back a literary debt.

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11 Responses to Benedict XV, Rudyard Kipling, John Bunyan and G. K. Chesterton

  • I learned more history about WW I in this essay than I did in all my years of public schooling.

  • I too am a big fan of Kipling. An added benefit is that liberals’ heads explode when I mention his name.
    Not all liberals, tho. My father (old soldier, Kipling man) was still with us and able to attend my son’s US Army commissioning ceremony at the lovely chapel in Fordham U. We were all pleasantly surprised when, after Father President gave the benediction, another Jesuit priest (apparently he does this every year) did a fine reading of Kipling’s “Recessional.”

    Kipling’s short stories are valuable, as well.


  • It is hard to see how Great Britain could have seen WWI as anything other than a war that must be fought through to a just victory, a “holy war” perfectly valid against the Kaiser and his ruthless military leadership.

    Just for one point, it was the first use of senseless aerial bombing (both Zeppelin and early long-range bombers) against civilian population centers, needlessly killing hundreds and wounding hundreds more.

  • The irony is that Kipling did get his wish concerning German militarism, but only in 1945, and after Foch’s twenty year armistice.

  • (World War I) was the first use of senseless aerial bombing (both Zeppelin and early long-range bombers) against civilian population centers, needlessly killing hundreds and wounding hundreds more.
    Steve Phoenix

    Aerial bombing of civilian population centers was an easily anticipated response to Britain’s Starvation Blockade (yes, that’s what the British Government openly called it) barring all shipping, even from neutrals and even of food, to Germany. The other noteworthy response of Germany to Britain’s plan to starve civilians to death en masse was her submarine warfare against British shipping and other ships carrying war materiel to Britain. By the way, British practice was to mingle passenger ships within convoys of warships and armed merchant ships carrying war material to Britain. Think about that when the current heir to Wilson’s positions as Democrat party leader and US President complains about ISIS positioning its fighters among civilians.

    2016 is the 100th anniversary of Woodrow “He Kept Us Out Of War” Wilson’s re-election. Yes, the Democrat KKK-fanboy marched the USA right into war after his re-election. There were over 300,000 casualties of young American men, over 100,000 of which were deaths. (But to hear the feminist Mrs. Clinton tell it, women had it worse.)

  • Great article, just correct:
    In 1907 Pope BENEDiCT….

    By the way, yeah on Pope Pius XIi, but he was silent too many times and the Second War was clearer where was the evil.

    Best regards,

  • Thanks for catching that Pedro. I have made the correction. During World War II nobody was criticizing the Pope for silences. Everyone knew where he stood.

  • “yes, that’s what the British Government openly called it)”

    No, that is what the Kaiser’s government called it as part of their propaganda. Germany imported food from the Netherlands and Scandinavia throughout the War. Due to their victories against Russia, they had access to the grain producing regions of Poland and the Ukraine during the latter part of the War. German food rationing, and stealing food from conquered areas, kept starvation from happening in Germany, hysterical Teutonic propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding.

    ” marched the USA right into war after his re-election.”

    The Republicans were much more eager for War against the Central Powers than Wilson. His hand was forced by the Zimmerman telegram in which Germany promised Mexico parts of the US in exchange for Mexican support of Germany in any war between Germany and the US.

  • You are always welcome.
    Yes everyone knew and he even plotted to kill Hitler, but the own Pius xii recognized his silence in his speeches as Pope.
    I recommend the excellent book “The church of spies” . Riebling clarifies.
    Best regards,

  • Pingback: Making Dogma Out of Unsettled Science, Art and the Embodiment of the Incarnate Word, and Much More! | The Guadalupe Radio Network
  • Yes, I agree that we should do something about our schools – voting comes to mind

Friendly Fire

Wednesday, December 30, AD 2015

When Rick Perry dropped out of the presidential race in 2o12 it was an easy decision to back Rick Santorum. Santorum was easily the best of the remaining field of candidates, as his political ideology closely mirrored my own. I have no desire to fe-fight the battles of 2012, though I will say that I thought some of the attacks on Santorum, particularly by some on the libertarian-right who depicted Rick as a big government conservative, were unfair.

Santorum is running again for the presidency, and thus far is gaining almost no traction. Considering that GOP runners-up have historically wound up being the man nominated next time, this is somewhat curious. It’s true that the field is (or was) much stronger, but Santorum had established a decent base of support. It’s also worth noting that while Donald Trump has rocketed to the top of the polls largely based on his strong rhetoric vis a vis illegal immigration, Santorum, unlike the Donald, has consistently been an immigration hawk. Even with Donald’s bluster, Santrum still holds the strictest line on immigration – legal and illegal. And yet he flounders, barely registering in the polls.

Whatever the cause for his stagnation, he and his supporters still hold out hope that he can make the same kind of poll comeback in Iowa as he did four years ago. Indeed he is in about the same spot in the polls as he was at this time, roughly five weeks before the Iowa caucus. Yet it doesn’t seem likely that Santorum will come from back of the pack this time, and one of the primary reasons is Ted Cruz. Cruz has garnered the support of the evangelical and conservative wings of the party, and what’s more, he has developed the sort of ground game in Iowa and elsewhere that makes it very unlikely he will fade from the race.

I am most certainly not the only Santorum supporter who prefers Cruz this time around. Though I still like Rick, there are a few key differences between the two that make me prefer Cruz. I’ve always been a bit bothered by Santorum’s more bellicose foreign policy views, and Cruz seems to fit a happier middle ground between the Paulite and McCainiac extremes of the party. Santorum has also backed ethanol subsidies and the Export-Import bank, two corporate welfare schemes that belie the idea that he is not in fact a big government conservative.

With Santorum being desperate to start gaining ground, he has decided to go after Cruz on social issues. Santorum, like Mike Huckaphony Huckabee last week, has tried to take advantage of a Politico hit piece news story purporting to show Cruz being two-faced on social issues.

In June, Ted Cruz promised on NPR that opposition to gay marriage would be “front and center” in his 2016 campaign.

In July, he said the Supreme Court’s decision allowing same-sex marriage was the “very definition of tyranny” and urged states to ignore the ruling.

But in December, behind closed doors at a big-dollar Manhattan fundraiser, the quickly ascending presidential candidate assured a Republican gay-rights supporter that a Cruz administration would not make fighting same-sex marriage a top priority.

In a recording provided to POLITICO, Cruz answers a flat “No” when asked whether fighting gay marriage is a “top-three priority,” an answer that pleased his socially moderate hosts but could surprise some of his evangelical backers.

Aha! You see – Cruz isn’t as committed to social issues as his public statements make him seen. He’s a fraud!

Except, as Patterico points out, everything Cruz said in private is what he has been saying publicly for months on the campaign trail. First, Patterico provides the full quote from the fundraiser:

Q: Can I ask you a question? So, I’m a big supporter. And the only issue I really disagree with you about is gay marriage. And I’m curious: Given all the problems that the country’s facing — like ISIS, the growth of government — how big a priority is fighting gay marriage going to be to a Cruz administration?

CRUZ: “My view on gay marriage is that I’m a constitutionalist and marriage is a question for the states. And so I think if someone wants to change the marriage laws of their state, the way to do so is convince your fellow citizens — and change them democratically, rather than five unelected judges. … Being a constitutionalist is integral to my approach to every other issue. So that I’m very devoted to.

Q: So would you say it’s like a top-three priority for you — fighting gay marriage?

CRUZ: “No. I would say defending the Constitution is a top priority. And that cuts across the whole spectrum — whether it’s defending [the] First Amendment, defending religious liberty, stopping courts from making public policy issues that are left to the people. …

I also think the 10th Amendment of the Constitution cuts across a whole lot of issues and can bring people together. People of New York may well resolve the marriage question differently than the people of Florida or Texas or Ohio. … That’s why we have 50 states — to allow a diversity of views. And so that is a core commitment.

There’s more at the link. Long story short, there is absolutely no inconsistency between what Cruz said in private and what he has said in public.

Santorum, though, has decided to attack Cruz for his federalist-inspired approach.

“It’s basically that he’s not the social conservative that he’s portraying himself to be and is the answer is he’s not,” added Santorum, citing aPolitico story where Cruz said on a secret tape at a fundraiser that he wouldn’t make fighting same-sex marriage a top three priority in his administration.

“If people want to do drugs in Colorado, it’s fine with him,” said Santorum. “If people want have different kind of marriages, it’s fine with him. He doesn’t agree with it. If you want to have an abortion, it’s fine with him, he doesn’t agree with it, but he’s not gonna fight it. That’s not what people are looking for. They’re looking for someone who has a very clear vision of what’s right and what’s wrong and be able to lay that vision out for the American people.”

This is at best a gross mischaracterization of Cruz’s beliefs. What’s more, as streiff at Redstate says:

There is nothing non-conservative about saying that you are willing to allow the voters of Colorado to legalize drugs or the voters of Massachusetts to legalize homosexual marriage. That doesn’t make those decisions right but what social conservatism is about is creating a space where people of faith are free to campaign to have their view be the dominant one. On abortion that means fighting in all states to have abortion outlawed. It doesn’t mean you have to win in all states. It means getting the Supreme Court out of these issues and not imposing Anthony Kennedy’s perverted view of human sexuality upon 300 million people.

I’d go a step further than streiff and note that Cruz’s approach is far, far more likely to lead to social conservative victories than is Santorum’s. Sad to say, Santorum is living up to his image as a would-be nagger in chief. Cruz’s approach, meanwhile, is one that would get the courts out of the social policy game. If the states are left to their own devices to set policy, then we would have a much greater chance of seeing abortion outlawed or gay marriages not sanctioned than we would now. That is not to say that we stop fighting the cultural values – just the opposite. It’s just that the primary objective of a president is to appoint justices who respect the 10th Amendment and would thus allow those fights to be had on a local level. It would then be up to social conservatives to spread their message in New York, California, Massachusetts, etc.

I understand why Santorum said what he said, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Yet I’ve been constantly disappointed by the need people seem to feel to absolutely denigrate every presidential candidate that is not their first choice, but that’s another discussion.



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44 Responses to Friendly Fire

  • Santorum has always been a Boromir with federal power, another politician believing the problem of big government is not its size but who wields it. My disagreement with him is not with social issues, but in many other issues, primarily the relationship of the fed and our money. I agree with him in the role of government at all levels in helping maintain a strong moral fiber.
    The 10th Amendment should be honored, but realize many issues cross state boundaries. No man is an island, and neither is a state. There is a strong tendency for conservatives, wounded from massive losses on social issues for two decades, to embrace the 10th Amendment as a salve. There are moral issues without state boundaries worth fighting for, e.g. abortion, one man/one woman marriage, harmful substance use, religious freedom, etc.
    There were times in America we excused social moral crimes as a state issue. We should learn from history the value of the necessity of those confrontations and the benefit of those victories.

  • Mr. Edwards. You need to fix the site. Hopelessly buggy.

  • It’s often said that Republican runners-up are guaranteed the next nomination, but the truth is more complicated than that, at least in the modern (post-Watergate) era of primaries. Let’s review. Reagan wasn’t granted the nomination in 1980 without a fight. In 1988 and 1992, Bush ran as an incumbent. In 1996, it was Dole, not Buchanan, who was fast-tracked for the nomination. In 2000, there wasn’t a strong previously-ran, and Bush won. In 2008, McCain got the nomination after having lost to Bush eight years earlier. In 2012, it was Romney rather than Huckabee who rode his previous runner-up status to the nomination. Now, in 2016, neither Perry nor Santorum have been able to build on their base from the last presidential cycle.

    So, what do Dole, McCain, and Romney have in common? And which wing do Reagan, Buchanan, Huckabee, Perry, and Santorum call home? It makes sense that the establishment of the GOP would be more likely to reward party service. It also makes sense that the Party’s right votes more on loyalty to ideas than on loyalty to party.

  • Is this the same Santorum that believes Bruce Jenner is woman because Bruce Jenner says he is? Bit rich for him to call Cruz two faced on social issues.

  • Is the term “friendly fire” apropos when talking about Republican tradition?. Maybe true among conservatives too.
    People of the Left seem more “liberal” with each other. More tolerant. Willing to forget if it means winning.

  • Cruz may be the best of a bad lot, and Santorum has no chance but what he said about Cruz rings true. Defending Federalism in the context of gay “marriage” or abortion are great in theory, but useless in practice in the post Roe and post Obergefell eras and Cruz, one of the most brilliant Harvard law students liberal prof Alan Dershowitz said he ever had knows, that perfectly well. To declare that the states should decide on gay marriage means absolutely nothing in our current legal environment; an environment that Cruz apparently will do little if anything to change. Maybe he believes he can’t. Fair enough, but that doesn’t mean that Santorum was wrong to point out Cruz will leave social conservatives disappointed.

  • That’s precisely the point, Chris. The judicial branch has ruled by judicial fiat on these issues, and Cruz wants to disentangle the judicial branch from social policy making, thus returning these matters back to the states. The idea that Cruz would “do nothing” to change the current legal environment is the complete opposite of reality.

  • The battle against gay marriage has been utterly lost. It was lost when Griswold v. Connecticut was decided. Any President, not matter how conservative will just be wasting resources fighting against it. Reversing Griswold et seq. would require fifty years of Supreme Courts composed of Clarence Thomas clones. Not likely.

    Otoh, we have had quite a few successes with restrictions on abortion at the state level.
    The next big battle for conservative will be religious liberty — an issue I think Trump couldn’t care less about.

  • A big reason I don’t support Santorum this time around is because it is way too easy to dismiss ANYTHING he says with a “you’re just saying that because you’re Catholic” attack, and he’s not good at defending against it. Hostile media, yeah, but he’s still not good at it.

  • Santorum was thrown out of office in 2006. He has no chance at receiving the GOP nomination. He has no base in Pennsylvania, the state he represented. What base he had here is gone, knowing that he lived in Leesburg, Virginia while in the Senate. Yes, I know he has a big family, but Santorum excoriated Doug Walgren for living full time in Virginia when Walgren was the US Representative from the South Hills of Pittsburgh.
    Santorum runs to be a voice for his issues. He is a good Catholic but his days as an elected officeholder are over and have been for almost ten years.

  • Paul, I’m sure that Cruz along with most social conservatives would like to disentangle the Supreme Court from legislating on social issues, but with regards to gay “marriage”, are you aware of any proposal he is making to achieve that end such as a constitutional amendment, or congressional action to deprive the federal courts of jurisdiction over the matter of marriage? Rand Paul has talked about the latter. Frankly I have the impression that most GOP candidates as usual, will say just enough to entice social conservatives to support them, while being little prepared to make things happen. Santorum seems to be calling them on it, starting with Cruz.

  • are you aware of any proposal he is making to achieve that end such as a constitutional amendment, or congressional action to deprive the federal courts of jurisdiction over the matter of marriage?

    In the immediate aftermath of the Obergfell decision Cruz indicated that only the states that were parties to the decision had to abide by it, but that all other states could ignore it.

    A constitutional amendment regarding marriage has zero chance to pass. The slow process of transforming the courts, tedious and daunting as it is, remains the best course of action.

  • The slow process of transforming the courts, tedious and daunting as it is, remains the best course of action.
    You’re problem is not only the courts, it’s the legal profession (leaving aside rank-and-file general practice lawyers) and the professional-managerial class of which they are a part. This notion of ‘transforming the courts’ has been implemented assiduously for over 30 years and haphazardly for 15 years before that. How is it working out for all of us?
    The constitution is defective and institutional habits people adhere to within it are even more so. If you want to take a whack at this problem, you have to disrupt the daily routine of people like Anthony Kennedy and tell people like John Roberts that they better pick a side, because it’s game on. First things first would be to tell particular federal districts and circuits that their geographic jurisdiction is one square yard in the middle of Sunset Blvd, or Castro Street, or 6th Avenue. Next would be to tell particular districts that they’ll have to hire someone out of pocket to enforce their decisions, because all the U.S. Marshalls have been transferred elsewhere, but maybe you get them back if Judge X resigns. Another would be to inform particular districts that they will, henceforth, be paid in potatoes. Dumped on their lawn. Once a year. Oh, you’re getting death threats? Well, sucks to be you. Buy a pistol and learn how to use it.

    As for the constitution itself, it’s a broken down wreck. An Article V convention is the only solution within its terms.
    Memo to Mr. Edwards: Many thanks.

  • Excellent writing, Zummo; my favorite pithy Zummoism (of many): ‘…like Mike Huckaphony Huckabee “.

    What a snake-oil salesman, the Huckster. Go back to your tax-avoiding Florida-haven mansion and rake in more $$$ off all the dupes.

    Happy New Year and Octave of the Nativity, everyone.

  • I, too, was in Rick’s corner in 2012…but his problem is that when he’s wrong, he’s off-the-charts wrong. The bellicose foreign policy is one thing (and it’s shared by pretty much everyone except Cruz and Paul), but he just can’t keep his Inner Purity Scold under control.

    That’s hobbled him his entire career, but it’s worse when he can’t make up for it with retail state-level politicking, which he was pretty good at.

    The rounding-on-Cruz thing is a great example of this. I’m sure he’s doing it for slightly better motives than Huckabee (a quite nasty politico underneath the folksy shell), but it’s still the wrong move.

  • I’m not understanding the Huckabee hate fest here.

  • knowing that he lived in Leesburg, Virginia while in the Senate
    I think Richard Armey had a cot he slept on in his office, and Barbara Mikulski used to commute on the Metroliner. These aside, it is pretty standard for members of Congress to have a Washington residence. Unless his Pennsylvania residence was phony (and Richard Lugar, Pat Roberts, and Robert Packwood were all caught doing that in flagrant ways), I’m not seeing how this is an issue.

  • Rick Santorum may espouse solidly orthodox positions on various social issues but he presents himself as a self-effacing person on the verge of utter success. Trump seems a polar opposite who will utterly fail. I may change my mind tomorrow.

  • I like Rick Santorum. The more I go to hear him in person the more I like him. He doesn’t stump like most others.. each time is different and not what you just hear in the tiny amount the media gives him. He has more to say and is terrific with questioners. We sent some money for his campaign today. I figure if I don’t even try to do the right thing- well then, I will not have even tried. I can’t just blow off steam, but I have to try to participate for the good.

  • Trump seems a polar opposite who will utterly fail.

    If you take survey research at face value, four candidates have lost ground since last July (in the cases of Gov. Bush and Gov. Huckabee, about 2/3 of their body of respondents have deserted them). As for the rest, Mrs. Fiorina and Gov. Kasich have persuaded < 1% of those not previously declaring for them to change their minds and support them. Regarding Gov. Christie, about 2.5% have done so; regarding Dr. Carson, ~ 3.5%; regarding Sen. Rubio, ~5.5%; re Sen. Cruz, 13%; re Donald Trump, 20%. If he's going to 'utterly fail', he's going to have to register a radical reversal of fortune.

  • Huckbee, is a huck-a-phony, because like many other conservative-pretender-snake-oil salesmen, he has made himself a multi-millionaire, by posing as a serious political opponent: first in 2008, pretending to seriously oppose McCain; later in 2011, teasing everyone that he would run against Obama before self-fizzling; and now in 2015-2016, running again only to get more air-time and attention for the advertisers for his mediocre radio show (Motto of his show; “Conservative, but not angry about it.” Sweet.)
    He was of modest financial circumstances when he left the governorship of Arkansas, and now enjoys his $3 million Florida mansion in between fake money-raking runs for office—of which he will always bow out, because he is a gutless poser. He is not alone—throw in Lindsay Grahamnesty, John McVain, and several others. But the country needed a serious candidate to defeat Obama in 2012, and after the Huckster cluckingly fled, we ended up with the most gutless candidate in recent history, the Mitt.

  • I know many here have read about Hitler and his capacity to mesmerize and strike utter fear into his opponents after direct encounters with him—Napoleon was another who did the same, notwithstanding his physical lack-of-height—but Obama, who I am convinced has a devil, really must do something to make grown men like all these I have mentioned shrivel up inside and cower like fearful children.

    The only three I have seen who do not act like this with Obama are Trump, Cruz, and Carson. Most of the others, to varying degrees (I will except Santorum—I have seen his fearly face-to-face debate on partial-birth abortion with Barbara (I am not a dog) Boxer, and he intellectually eviscerated her). But we need someone with steel guts because time is running out for the country.

  • He was of modest financial circumstances when he left the governorship of Arkansas, and now enjoys his $3 million Florida mansion in between fake money-raking runs for office—

    My suggestion was that you all offer a reason for your complaints. “Reason” is not a synonym for ‘fictions and resentments’.

  • AD, aren’t you the one who sounds surprisingly resentful? At the facts I pointed out, that is? Several, out of just a few facts, of the Huckster’s self-aggrandizing career:

    Huckabee was a man of modest means, worth only 6 figures, when he left the Arkansas governorship in 2007 to run for president. After gaming the campaign with McVain, he folded in March, 2008. The Florida mansion purchase, if you check, occurred in Dec. 2010, after he abandoned his faux campaign but which enabled him to previously secure a lucrative Fox News position. He parlayed that into taking over the slot for the Paul Harvey commentary with “The Huckabee Report”. He then spent a few months of 2011 as pretender to run against Obama in 2012, pushing up ratings and advertising on his radio show and Huckster Report sales. I had been a Huckster supporter until he, again, quit and left the field to nice-guy loser Mitt Romney.
    Then, like clockwork, in Sept. 2014, he started revving up interest that he was thinking of running in 2016. After milking that speculation for some months, in early 2015, he announced and his supporters developed a Super PAC. One of the things you are apparently unaware of is that he specifically targeted “po’ people” donations, seeking $25 a month donations, saying something like, “I will ask you to give in the name of your grandchildren.” He is a shameless carnival barker, and he will drop out after again milking it for all the money he can get thru HuckPac. But you didn’t know all that. As a former Huck supporter, I do, and one gets a feel for the cheap-suit-fold-o coming on.

    So, apparently all these facts are “resentment” and probably meeaan-spirited. Facts they remain, and I wish I had my money back to this guy. And, keep it up, AD, you will be in fine fettle with the progressives—whenever a criticism surfaces, the birds on the line start chirping, “Ohhh, that’s re-seeeent-ful.” 🙂 Happy New Year!

  • Huckabee was hired by Fox News in June of 2008. His house in Florida was paid for with the proceeds from the sale of his house in Little Rock and the income from his employment with Fox. It had nothing to do with any political campaign he did not run.

    Huckabee quit the race in March 2008 for a simple reason: it was over. McCain had the votes. Nothing odd or sinister about that.

    From the time Mike Huckabee was old enough to hold a job to the present day, eighteen individuals have run passably competitive campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination. There are usually three such candidates each season bar when an unchallenged incumbent is running. To be able to do so is not a prevalent skill set. For every man who manages it, there are one or two other prominent politicians who set up campaign committees, raise some money, and sink without a trace (see John Connolly, Jack Kemp, Lamar Alexander, Phil Gramm, Orrin Hatch, Fred Thompson, and Tim Pawlenty for examples). Somehow, in your mind, Mike Huckabee ginned up a business plan whereby he runs for President, makes quite a show, and then uses that as a launching pad to persuade Fox News to hire him (even though the number of quondam presidential candidates who had built a lucrative career for themselves as television commentators is around about zero), and them makes even more money running phony presidential campaigns which either never happen or fail just in the same was as other campaigns which are in your mind non-phony. I will be plain: this has no reality outside the space between your ears and is delusional.

    Also in your mind it is something sinister that he raises money in small donations from ordinary people. (I have little doubt that if he’d gotten a wad from Sheldon Adelson, you’d attack him for that too).

    You have no facts, Steve. You just put frames on ordinary public data which no ordinary person would consider the least bit worthy of comment. That’s your problem, not mine or his.

  • Well, then, benedicamus Domino, glad to hear you aren’t resentful or inclined to angry attacks sparked by a different view of the facts! And Happy New Year, Happy Art D!

  • At this point, we have but a single-minded anxiety. Hillary Clinton should not be elected President. After two disastrous terms of Obama, the election of Hillary would be like changing engineers on the down-bound train to destruction. The Democrats are clever. Their faux debates are predetermined to nominate Hillary. The Republicans are not so clever. Their debates resemble circular firing squads. By the time the nominee is determined he or she will be on the political equivalent of life-support. I wish I could be more optimistic but I think this is a job for Saint Jude.

  • I’d suggest you consult national polls and prediction markets. Hildebeast has an intermittently appearing notional lead over the four main Republican candidates (as in 1% point). Only with regard to Trump might she be outside customary confidence intervals (and not in half the most recent polls). The prediction markets still give a generic Democrat and advantage, but it depends on how you frame the question. For Hildebeast to win the Presidency, she has constrain Democratic losses to 3.9% of the popular vote, give or take. That doesn’t usually happen in these circumstances. It has happened just once in the last century, and that was one of FDR’s re-election campaigns.

  • sparked by a different view of the facts!

    You have not one intra-office communication which indicates that Gov. Huckabee had any objects other than those the other candidates had in 2008. All but 11 of the 50-odd states and territories had already voted at the time he discontinued his campaign in 2008 and these comprehended 85% of the population of the United States. He remained in the race 4 weeks longer than Gov. Romney. Alan Keyes and Ron Paul maintained pro-forma campaigns after Gov. Huckabee withdrew. Everyone else had departed the race earlier. Gov. Huckabee won 7x as many delegates as the sum of Paul and Keyes delegates and more delegates than did Gov. Romney, yet somehow in your head his campaign was some Rube Goldberg gambit to get on Fox News. That’s not derived from ‘a different view of the facts’.

  • As for the constitution itself, it’s a broken down wreck. An Article V convention is the only solution within its terms.

    Professor Turgeson and Frank Sinatra approve!

  • For those perhaps like Zummo, certainly like myself and others (Art the Indecorous, take a break, I am not to be held responsible for making you use up all your BP medication early this month) who can see that Huckabee the Huckster is only orchestrating the present run to keep himself economically viable after he then inevitably bows out as a candidate in coming months, here is a good summary of Huckabee’s incessant worries about money—which is what fundamentally drives him:
    Holly Bailey gives a good review of Huckabee’s issue of living beyond his means (getting the $3M custom-built Florida mansion with its $16400/mo payment and its coming balloon payment), his teasing the public as a populist representative of the poor (while earning reputedly $500k annually at Fox News), and his “struggles” to make ends meet — hence, the pandering latest book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy”, he released a year ago when he announced his run. Steve Deace, a conservative radio show host in Iowa has commented, “Had [Huckbee] run in 2012, the sea would have parted for him.” But the Huckster dropped out. Obviously Deace is another Rube Goldberg with little but delusion between his ears.

    Yet it is hard to understand how, in barely 8 years, someone who earned $74K/year as Arkansas governor and was worth perhaps at most 6 figures in 2007, has parlayed that into a current worth of $5M. And he still owns the mansion in Little Rock, worth about $450k (he sold a $350K vacation house for the down on the FL mansion—not the original residence) , of which he moans about the utility and other bills he has to pay. (We all suffer with him so.)

    That is why he has sponsored pricey trips to Israel (reputedly starting at $5k a head) and come under fire for pumping up and then selling his e-mail list. (Oh, by the way, Sheldon Adelson already awarded him an honor in 2012—I hope it had a financial component: Huck seems to always need the cash.) The Huckster can out-Gantry Elmer.
    So my 2016 prediction is: After again milking the present run for all the name-recognition, PR and e-mail subscribers that he can, he will shop himself around to one of the Alphabet Networks or Fox News in the unfolding election year as a qualified moderate Republican commentator, and drive up his salary again for a new high-dollar contract.

    Ave, atque, vale.

  • I need no blood pressure medication.

    You’ve condemned Mike Huckabee for running a competitive presidential campaign but losing. You’ve condemned him for not running a presidential campaign. You’ve condemned him for running a failing presidential campaign. You’ve attributed the same mercenary motive to him on all three occasions. That’s not because that explanation makes any sense except as a guide to what you’ll resort to to justify your animus.

    It’s not that difficult to understand where Huckabee’s assets come from: broadcasting pays well for the favored few. His salary at Fox was $500,000 per annum; he earns money from radio syndication; and he can command fairly high speaking fees, taking in $90,000 in a good month. It makes no sense for him to be holding on to a house that’s stupidly large for an elderly married couple and no sense for him to leave his lucrative job at Fox if financial worries are driving him. Much simpler than running another presidential campaign would be to remain employed at Fox and sell the house. (And, while we’re at it, he sold his house in Little Rock quite some time ago).

    You are obsessed with this man’s books, and impute all sorts of ugly motives to him. The problem is yours, not his.

  • Here’s another article from Amanda Carpenter on Elmer Gantry, excuse me Mike Huckabee. It’s certainly possible that the mountain of evidence that indicates Huckabee is a back-biting, self-interested, big government promoting fraud is all mere coincidence, of course.


  • While we’re beating up each other, Obama’s climate deal harms (Tell the Pope) blue collar and rural Americans. “Take that, bitter clingers.” See Instapundit.

  • Well, here goes the rest of Indecorous Art’s nerve meds for the month! Fair warning.

    Actually, Elmer Huckabee Gantry would be at the max fed income tax rate of 39.6%, plus the max Ark state income tax rate of 7%, and if he earned $500k, he might be lucky to net around 50% of that— And don’t forget huge property taxes, because Huckster lives large–so where did the estimated $5M net worth come from (in about 8 years) of the Huckster? Certainly that was behind his moving to tax haven, no-state-income-tax Florida.

    Yet he is always strapped for money: so what does he do? From amping his speaking fees, to his sale of email lists, to his pandering books, and thus elevating his PR—now Indecorous Art appears to agree with me on those points— and harvesting fools’ money by conducting or appearing to conduct a presidential campaign, about every four years. Soon the train will leave the station again; and I just marvel at how many people continue to be taken in, as was I for quite a while.

    Watch for his new lucrative TV contract in coming months, as soon as he inevitably drops out.

  • Here’s another article from Amanda Carpenter on Elmer Gantry, excuse me Mike Huckabee. It’s certainly possible that the mountain of evidence that indicates Huckabee is a back-biting, self-interested, big government promoting fraud is all mere coincidence, of course.

    You mean we have it on the authority of a quondam member of Mr. Cruz’ staff that a Huckabee campaign operative was (eight years ago) slamming a competitor’s campaign over the phone, that Huckabee and surrogates have criticized Cruz’ position on a given issue making use of public information, that… well, that’s it. You’re pulling my leg, right?

    As for components of your complaint that whatsherface does not address, when one utters the words ‘big government’, I think it’s incumbent upon one to have an idea in one’s head about what ‘small government’ is, brass tacks. For a number of years, I’ve been poking and prodding purveyors of the ‘big government’ discourse to offer some specifics on ‘small government’. These are the answers I get:

    1. Vulgar Rand: e.g. the woman who told me that people who could not afford to pay their medical bills should die in the gutter.

    2. Romantic babble about financing common provision through voluntary donations (complete with Davy Crockett homilies). William Voegli and (in a more qualified way) Marvin Olasky peddle this.

    3. Fanciful alternative history: cue Ron Paul on why it was wrong to enter World War II

    4. Fanciful current history: that would be the libertarians who seem to think we’re going broke enforcing drug laws and maintaining an ’empire’. Less than 2% of public expenditure is attributable to enforcing drug laws. Military deployments abroad might account for a mean of about 10% of public expenditure if measured over the whole of the last 75 years. In real time, it’s less than 5%.

    5. A list of complaints and suggestions which, while valid, save about $1.95 per fiscal year. A retired political science professor (theorist, natch) indignantly offered me this some years ago.

    6. Complaints about the other guy’s stuff. This would be she who shall not be named, who seems to think that higher education priced below marginal or average cost is something other than what it appears to be (if you’re an Arkansas state resident with an intense enough catalogue of resentments).

    There’s a lot of crap in public sector budgets, but you are bound to be disappointed if you expect Gov. Huckabee or any other working politician to rebuild the sort of political economy that was to be found in 1928. Sorry to be repetitive on this point. You can click on Sen. Margaret Chase Smith here:


  • on one to have an idea in one’s head about what ‘small government’ is, brass tacks. For a number of years, I’ve been poking and prodding purveyors of the ‘big government’ discourse to offer some specifics on ‘small government’. These are the answers I get:

    If this list is your honest assessment of all that you’ve taken out of years of dialogue, then I don’t know what to tell you. I think we’re done with this conversation.

  • Thank you, Zummo, for the Conservative Review article—of which I was aware, but prior to reading, had already an idea of the Huckster’s’ m.o. He’s smooth.

  • Huckabee’s property tax liability at current rates in Walton County, Fl. is about $42,000 per annum. Florida has no state income tax. If he’s like anyone else with that amount of money, he employs an accountant who assists him in finding the optimal balance between minimizing tax liability and sound investment, so he isn’t paying any 40% rate on his taxable income. For someone in Huckabee’s age bracket, municipal bonds are generally recommended as an investment vehicle. The interest income therefrom is exempt.

  • If this list is your honest assessment of all that you’ve taken out of years of dialogue, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    My ‘honest’ assessment? Paul, that’s what people tell me when I ask. If you want them to say something else, complain to them. If the regulatory state is what concerns you, that’s a legitimate point. However, regulatory agencies seldom have large budgets. Your government might be less officious without this or that agency, but it won’t be appreciably smaller.

  • “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horacio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet, I, 5, 166-67.

    Now, stop it. As Hamlet and his father’s ghost required, keep silent on this. It serves no useful purpose when the fate of the Republic stands in peril of four/eight more years of psychopathic narcissism and nefarious nihilism.

    Reagan’s 11th Commandment: Never speak ill of a fellow Republican.
    N.B. Sanders isn’t clawing away at Hillary; and I am independent.

  • Are the Indecorous, It is clear you do not understand federal income tax law, so let me help you a bit. If Huck has annual earned income of $500,000, that earned income is subject to the maximum federal income tax rate of 39.6%, no exceptions. Once that income has been subjected to tax, any savings he can invest it perhaps in nontaxable municipal bonds. However there is a new Obama surcharge tax as of 2014 of 3.8% for incomes over $250k, and even so (as I mentioned to you b4), if he has no state income tax, he will be a paying minimum rate of 43.4%: plus I am glad you noted the $26k annual or so in Fl property tax, and he still has to pay property tax on his AR mansion. He may have netted about $200-250k per year. But Huck lives large, as we’ve seen, and expects the gullible poor to pay his way.

    Any way you cut it, it is hard to to fathom how he got from perhaps $300k net worth in 2007 to $5M now…. except for running as a phony candidate every 4 or so years, and gunning up his PR for his next TV position.

    Anyway, like Zummo, I don’t expect you to understand, so I am done here.

  • All this talk about Huckabee is discouraging. We are in crying need of honesty and integrity.
    T.Roosevelt July 4, 1903:
    “In civil life we need decency, honesty and the spirit that makes the man a good husband, a good father, a good neighbor and a good man to work alongside of or to deal with.
    That makes a man, consequently, who does his duty by the State. The worst crime against this nation which can be committed by any man is the crime of dishonesty, whether in public life, or whether in private life, and we are not to be excused as a people if we ever condone such dishonesty, no matter what other qualities it may be associated with.”

    I see my favorites, Santorum, Cruz, Rubio as honest men as described above. Trump may be forthright in what he says but I can’t categorize him as reliably honest because of his changing positions which are pandering and a type of lie.

    As for honesty among the D candidates, it would be Jim Webb.

  • Hey Steve P- you made my day!!

    back to Santorum for a moment- one of our many problems is short memories- I’m still angry at Santorum for ARLEN SPECTER – remember that chameleon miscreant and Santorums’ support thereof ??

Bob Hope Show: Christmas 1945

Wednesday, December 30, AD 2015

Broadcast on December 18, 1945, the Bob Hope Christmas show for 1945 gives an interesting insight into America as it observed its first peacetime Christmas in five years.  Hope mentions product shortages in his jokes and in a skit the housing shortage comes up.  His guest star was actor Wayne Morris.  Morris had served as a Navy flier, shooting down seven Japanese planes and contributing to the sinking of five ships, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  He earned four Distinguished Flying Crosses and two Air Medals.  A rising star before the War, Morris never recovered from putting his career on hiatus during the War.  He spent the rest of his career mostly in low budget Westerns.  He died of a heart attack in 1959 at age 45 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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One Response to Bob Hope Show: Christmas 1945

  • “A rising star before the War, Morris never recovered from putting his career on hiatus during the War.”

    It’s amazing to me how these brave young men were able to return home and try to fit right back into their respective careers. It must of been frustrating. How does one clear the mind of years of traumatic or near death experiences?

    God bless each of our Vet’s. As for Bob Hope.
    An icon. The lives he touched, especially the combat solider. The bar he set for future entertainer’s is an extremely high one.
    God bless Mr. Hope.

Saint Thomas Becket: Saint of Courage

Tuesday, December 29, AD 2015

We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, God permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters



Today is the feast day of Saint Thomas Becket, “the holy, blessed martyr”.  His fearless championing of the True Faith against his liege and former friend, Henry II, reminds us of the importance of courage as a virtue among Christians. From the historical record it is clear to me that Becket knew that his stand would likely end in his being a martyr for Christ, a destiny he embraced and sealed with his blood.  TS Eliot put into the mouth of Becket this homily on Christmas morning 1170 that probably was close to what the Archbishop actually said at the time:

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4 Responses to Saint Thomas Becket: Saint of Courage

  • Those times offer food for thought for Catholics today concerning church and state .
    Becket in the movie said ” I will be judged by the pope alone!”
    How would the pope today respond?

  • It is rather interesting that Henry II, first king of the Plantagenet line, ushered in an era of unsettled social conditions that lasted, with a few brief interruptions, almost three hundred years. The country could not decide if it was truly English or a French derivation. Although it may seem that Thomas lost his life in a futile cause, the devotion to Canterbury that followed and the principle of Church sovereignty lived on even to the present despite the tensions that arise from time to time.

  • Donald Link,
    With the breakup of Anglicanism and the wholesale embrace of anti-Christian sexual mores and a female priesthood, I do not think there is much devotion to modern Canterbury.

  • The Hundred Years War aided in the process of making the English feel English and the French feeling French. Henry V was the first English King to speak English as a first language and French, shakily, as a second language. (Shakespeare got that right.) The Plantagenets had the ill luck to have many weak kings mixed in with strong kings, often following in leap frog: Henry III-Edward I-Edward II-Edward III-Richard II; Henry V-Henry VI. The Tudors viewed themselves as a continuation of the Plantagenet line and were so viewed by their contemporaries after the passions of the Wars of the Roses, a 19th century construct in terminology, had cooled. Regarding them as a separate dynasty is also a 19th century construct.

Predictions for 2016

Tuesday, December 29, AD 2015



Well, here I stroll once again in where angels fear to tread and make my predictions for 2016:

  1.  The GOP national ticket will consist of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, but I am uncertain as to which of them will be the nominee for President.
  2. By the time of the conventions Donald Trump will be a spent force.  He will run third party in the fall with a Democrat in the second slot.  He will draw about seven percent of the vote, and his votes will come from both parties.
  3. Clinton will win the Democrat nomination, unless health problems force her to retire from the race.  Bernie Sanders will bolt the convention and run third party, drawing about two percent of the vote.
  4. The Republicans will win the presidential race.
  5. The Republicans will retain control of both Houses of Congress.

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15 Responses to Predictions for 2016

  • Mac,
    I pray that you are correct on the first five. Cruz is my man. The insiders fear and loath him. Sadly, Rubio is a no go. If he’s top of ticket, I will be chasing Adirondack deer on Election Day.
    Second five: 2. maybe unnecessary. Iraqi/Irani troops seem on the ascendancy against the murderous rabble.
    Add 6. McClarey will be providing excellent Catholic content.
    Hope/pray for the best. Prepare for the worst.

  • “Bernie Sanders will bolt the convention and run third party, drawing about two percent of the vote.”

    There’s no chance whatsoever Bernie will be anything other than a good Democrat. He’s such a feckless, gutless wonder when it comes to Hillary that he’ll fall in line.

  • Perhaps, perhaps not:


    I am getting a John Anderson circa 1980 race vibe from the Sanders campaign, except Sanders, with his far left views, is where the heart and soul of the Democrat party is, while Anderson was the avatar of dying liberal Republicanism. With his recent apology to Clinton, he does come across as a weak sister, but campaigns often get away from candidates and take on a life of their own. We shall see.

  • I’ve long suspected that the media have been stupefying incurious about Hildebeast’s period incommunicado coincident to her departure from Foggy Bottom, just as they were stupefyingly incurious about Webster Hubbell’s ‘consulting fees’. Unless she suffers something she can’t hide for a month, I do not imagine she’s withdrawing from the race. As long as we’re being morbid, around about March 2017, the Hot Springs Lounge Lizard reaches a milestone of sorts: he’ll be the longevity record holder of three generations of Blythe and Cassidy men and running behind only the sister he’s apparently never met and a couple of paternal side aunts. Compare pictures of the Big He to pictures of Walter Mondale (18 years his senior), Michael Dukakis (13 years his senior), Gary Hart (10 years his senior), Richard Gephardt (seven years his senior), George W. Bush (his age), Donald Trump (his age), Mitt Romney (some months his junior), Dan Quayle (some months his junior), and Albert Gore (a year and change his junior) and tell me who looks older than who. What’s Hildebeast gonna do with just Huma and Sidney Blumenthal advising her?

    No clue where this is going vis a vis the presidential contest, which is in uncharted territory. You’re 4th and 5th predictions would be quite likely if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, as the incumbent’s party loses market share the 3d, 4th, and 5th time they attempt to retain the presidency. The one notable exception was 1904, when the Democratic Party nominated a judge unknown outside the New York bar. So, we nominate a loose-cannon real estate developer and what happens?

    Re Sanders: the most plausible explanation for his bouquets to the Clintons I’ve heard is that he’s running to establish a constituency and does not actually want the job (which is perfectly sensible given his age). Must disagree with Dale Price. His affiliation with the Democratic Party is comparatively recent and, ca. 1984, he was dismissive of Michael Harrington and others who favored working through the Democratic Party. His organization in Burlington was very much an antagonist of the Democrats there. He’s not a party loyalist at heart. If the Sanders votaries in my family are any guide, he’s not selling Trotskyism to anyone, either; the Clinton’s are considered big-money shills. I’d like it if Sanders supporters were fed up with the common crookery within the Democratic Party, but I don’t think they acknowledge it or acknowledge it without being pressed.

    Unfortunately, the most secure prediction is that the Republicans will accomplish nothing if they do win the presidency and Congress, or accomplish nothing other than some noodling with marginal tax rates and pitching some candy to the skeezy lobbyist for the Chamber of Commerce. You’ll have Addison Mitchell McConnell to thank for that.

    Things I’d like to see happen: Paul Ryan, Renee Elmers, and Kelly Ayotte getting chucked out of office by primary challengers, and Rubio imploding completely.

  • is where the heart and soul of the Democrat party is,

    He has a constituency, but the Democratic Party is much more about mobilizing a grab bag of subcultures against the mainstream than it is about equalitarianism. Sanders is an old left denizen who has taken care to limit the degree to which he gets under the skin of Vermont’s electorate. Please note: Vermont is the least urbanized slice of North America this side of the Canadian Arctic.

  • I think the prediction you got wrong is #10, where you predicted you got some predictions wrong. Wait, no, that’ll create a logic spiral. But I do suspect that your political predictions are very close to the mark.

    My big suspicion: Ted Cruz realizes that he has two modes: human being and lawyer. He knows that when he’s being one of them, he doesn’t look like the other. (This is why he isn’t attacking Trump, by the way; he knows that if he does, he’ll scorch the earth and alienate everyone who’s even thought about voting for Trump.)

    My prediction: He figures out how to humanize his image, and by Super Tuesday has the race pretty well in hand. He’ll eventually choose Chris Christie as running mate / pit bull. Cruz will be all polite until the first debate begins, and what follows…will be a throttling. Clinton will try to pull the “he’s bullying a girl” thing, and it’ll surprisingly backfire in the polls. After the second debate goes even worse for her, her camp will cancel the third one.

    The surprise issue of the campaign will be the skyrocketing murder rate in major US cities. Cruz and Christie, two prosecutor-types, will come out way ahead of a family rights / health care industry lawyer.

    One other prediction: after some major flops, Hollywood will be asking itself if this is the end of the era of the superhero movie.

  • “realizes that he has two modes: human being and lawyer.”

    Comment of the week Pinky! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • Vermont is a lot like Marin County, California but with less pleasant weather.

  • P.S. That’s a list of predictions for which year?

  • Oops. Corrected. Thanks for catching that Micha!

  • I hope you’re wrong about Cruz and Rubio!!!! I have always voted, and we have nothing to show for it except a bunch of Republicans keeping their heads down. Trump isn’t in, I will not vote!!!!

  • Trump has no core beliefs. This is purely a vanity run for him. His new found conservatism is as unconvincing as his toupee.

  • Vermont is a lot like Marin County, California but with less pleasant weather.

    Over 80% of the population of Marin County lives in a suburban bloc on the bay side wherein there are more than 200,000 people. The per capita personal income of Marin County exceeds the national mean by a factor of 2.14. The per capital personal income of Vermont is almost precisely the national mean and 85% of the population in the state lives in small towns or in the countryside. No, Vermont is not like Marin County.

  • Thanks, Doug. But you’ve got to have noticed it, when Cruz’s eyes go all black like a shark’s and he repeats what the other person says word-for-word, then lists each error point by point, then digests the other person completely except for the pelvis and jawbone. He’s never 30% that person; he’s either 0% or 100%.

  • I can’t predict but I feel something will happen that will change the political landscape completely.
    There is lots of talk about who can beat Hillary Clinton but I can’t see her as their candidate. I don’t think there is that much steam in the machine anymore. I agree that the republicans will win and I hope the new president appoints his current fellow contenders to State, Defense, etc

Holy Innocents

Monday, December 28, AD 2015

A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. 

Matthew 2:18

Herod’s murder of the Holy Innocents is remembered on this feast day of the Holy Innocents.  The video below is a moving depiction of this horrendous crime from the film Jesus of Nazareth

Herod ordered this massacre in a futile attempt to stop the Light of the World from completing His mission of salvation.  In our day Holy Innocents are slaughtered each and every day in an ultimately futile attempt to deny what Christ taught:  that we are all brothers and sisters and that we must love God and love one another.  Some day this modern Herod emulation that goes by the name of legal abortion will cease, and the feast day of the Holy Innocents is a very good day for us to resolve to work unceasingly to bring that day closer.

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2 Responses to Holy Innocents

  • If Herod were a sovereign person , this massacre of innocent children would not have happened and would not have been foretold in Scripture.
    Roe v. Wade, the abortion decision assumed that the unborn child was not a person. There was no proof to uphold this assumption. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is not in Roe. v. Wade. Roe v. Wade is miscarriage of Justice and the imposition of atheism, denying the metaphysical human soul, the free will and conscience, making beasts of all men.
    Corbinian’s bear prayed in public, but American citizens are prohibited from praying in the public square that belongs to all men in joint and common tenancy.

  • “If Herod were a sovereign person… ” I don’t know your meaning Mary. Are you meaning if he was a Christian? as in
    Galatians 4:3
    “So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits* of the world. 4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our* hearts, crying, ‘Abba!* Father!’ 7So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.*
    8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods.

Christ and History

Monday, December 28, AD 2015


Walter Russell Mead at The American Interest, who normally writes on purely secular topics, has an interesting Christmas column up:


The Christian claim about the Virgin Birth is meant as a radical announcement that Christianity is different. Christianity is not another ‘how-to’ manual telling people how to act vis-à-vis the Creator. It’s not about what kinds of foods are holy and what kinds are impure. It’s not about how to wash your hands or which way you should face when you pray.



Christianity is much more than a group of people trying to fulfill the teaching of a revered founder; it is a community of people gathered around a world changing hero. Jesus came to save and not just to teach. He did not fulfill his mission by giving the Sermon on the Mount; he fulfilled it by dying on the cross and by rising from the dead.



More, Jesus could not have fulfilled this mission if he was simply a heroic man. The human race has many heroes and history is filled with the examples of people who gave their lives for others. You can to go the Normandy beaches and see row upon row of graves of people who gave their lives that others might live and be free. Jesus accomplished more through his death because he was more than just another human being; the gospel writers and the Christians who accept their testimony believe that Jesus was also the Son of God. It was God who died upon that cross, God who took the responsibility for human sin, God who drank the cup of human suffering to the bottom.



The story of the Virgin Birth isn’t there to set up the Sermon on the Mount as the Greatest Moral Lecture in the History of Mankind. It is there because it communicates the deepest, most important truth about Jesus: that he was a human being, but more than a human being as well. It is not an accidental detail or an embellishment; it is not an awkward defense against an embarrassing rumor. It is not the result of scientific ignorance about how babies are made; it is a statement about how this particular baby was different from all the rest.



That is the main theological point that Luke’s account makes. But he had another end in view, and this is also something to remember as we think Christmas through. The story of the Virgin Birth isn’t just a story about Jesus.  The gospels are also making a point about Mary and through her about women in general. Ancient Christian writers frequently referred to Mary as the Second Eve. The first Eve, as just about everyone knows even today, was Adam’s wife. According to the first book of the Bible (Genesis), she yielded to the temptation of the serpent in the Garden of Eden to disobey God and taste the forbidden fruit. Adam went on and tasted it for himself; ever since then men have been blaming women for all the trouble in the world. For millennia men have used the Biblical story and similar stories and folk tales to justify the second-class status to which women have been historically relegated in much of the world. (In some parts of the world, poorly behaved and uneducated young men call their vicious harassment of women “Eve-teasing.”)



The figure of the Virgin Mary marks a turning point. She is the Second Eve, the one who said ‘yes’ to God when he asked her to be the mother of his son. When God really needed help, the Bible teaches, he went to a woman, not to a man. And the woman said ‘yes,’ and out of her faith and obedience came the salvation of the world.

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One Response to Christ and History

  • Fr. Larry Richard rightly states that the Incarnation of Christ is the singular most important event in the universe since the Big Bang.

    Numerous societies before and after Christ has not been kind to women. Islam treats women as property. Hinduism had the nasty habit of burning the surviving widow on the pyre of her dead husband. I will omit any discussion of Judaism.

    Who else but Christianity exalts women? Certainly not modern feminism. Modern feminism seeks to demean the traditional role of women and demeans women who do not seek to act like men.

    It is a shame our “separated brethren” (dying Protestantism) often ignore the beginning of the Gospel of St. Luke, but the lamented Fr. Corapi once stated that you can’t expect Jesus to listen to you if you “diss his mother”.

    Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant. This is a concept that the Patristic writers developed. The Ark of the Covenant was considered to be so holy that death struck anyone who touched it who was not of the tribe of Levi. How much more important Mary is that the Ark?

    The Church Christ founded went on to convert the Roman Empire, East and West. Even though the Western Empire collapsed, the Church Christ founded tamed and converted the barbarians and rebuilt Western culture. It beat back the Muslim invaders. It converted the Slavs. It evangelized two thirds of the Western Hemisphere and put an end to human sacrifice.

Quotes Suitable for Framing: George Will

Monday, December 28, AD 2015

4 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: George Will

Predictions of Times Past

Monday, December 28, AD 2015


Well, it is that time again for me to review my predictions for the year coming to an end and eat a little crow.



1.   The contraceptive mandate will be found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

Not yet.  The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeals of seven non-profits, including The Little Sisters of the Poor.  Stay tuned.

2.   A major component of ObamaCare will found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

Not yet.  Constitutional challenges are still winding their way slowly through the Federal courts.

3.   Obama will veto at least ten pieces of legislation during the coming year.

Nope, just five.  Prior to 2015 he had vetoed two bills.

4.   Pope Francis and the Pope Emeritus will be perceived to be increasingly at odds.

Nope.  Whatever the Pope Emeritus thinks about his successor, he has been maintaining a tight silence.

5.   A major development will be announced regarding the possibility of a warp drive.

Nope, although there has been some tantalizing work on the EmDrive.

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10 Responses to Predictions of Times Past

  • Well, I wouldn’t go out on a limb to predict SCOTUS will uphold the Constitution on anything, especially with regard to the aforementioned issues. Hillary could be In the last throes of Satge 4 cancer and will still run for president. Her lust for power would forbid her from doing otherwise. I had predicted she wouldn’t get the Dem nomination. It looks like that prediction will turn out to be wrong. I would like to predict she won’t win the presidency. But looking at the mess the present GOP field is making, that may be going out on a limb too far.

  • Actually, crows are much more intelligent than humans.

    1: no crow ever voted for Obama.
    2; no crow ever voted GOPe.
    3. no crow ever made a bad prediction.

  • “5. A major development will be announced regarding the possibility of a warp drive.”

    “Nope, although there has been some tantalizing work on the EmDrive.”

    The EM Drive is not a warp drive per se. It is a reactionless electromagnetic drive. It violates the law of the conservation of momentum. I do not think it can work.


  • No, it isn’t a warp drive but it is a baby step in that direction. Scientific laws remain laws only until they are revoked by the ongoing march of scientific developments.

  • How come this prediction didn’t appear on your list? The GOP will betray it’s base and end up deader than a dodo.

  • Because people have been predicting the extinction of both parties since their origins and both parties keep chugging along. The Democrats and the Republicans are the only game in town and everything else is merely a wasted vote. Conservatives upset with the Republican party, and I am in that category, need to make sure that a Republican is elected President in 2016 and to make sure that conservatives control the party in their locale and state.

  • Mac, You are doing far better than I. I have a list, each year, of things I want to accomplish/do. And, each year-end I have to change the year-number at the top of the list.

    DonL, Scientific research (agreed to by 97.8% of scientists) proves that one in three democrats is as stupid as the other two.

  • @Donald:
    The following web link gives a brief discussion at New Scientist about the Roger Sawyer EM drive:
    Conservation of matter, energy and momentum are fundamental to the construction of our 4-dimensional universe of space-time, matter-energy. True warp drive does not invalidate those laws, but finds a way around them by fore-shortening space and time whether by warping its fabric or “drilling” a wormhole though it. The EM drive has no reactant output, yes produces forward momentum. This is not possible in our universe with its laws of physics, no matter what Roger Sawyer says. The EM drive like its Cannae predecessor is a wild goose chase. Sorry.
    PS, I will be among nuclear engineers most happy to be proven wrong. But the laws of physics are as immutable as the laws of God. Perhaps that is because for the physical universe the laws of physics are God’s laws, and only He has authority to suspend them. BTW, Einstein did not invalidate Newton’s Laws (which still hold true for most movements). Rather, Einstein refined Newton’s Laws. KE still equals 1/2 MV^2 except at velocities approaching light speed when the equation has to take in special terms to accommodate relativistic mass increase with velocity. Law is not and cannot be violated. (But I would like physics laws to be mutable for in that way we could get rid of that nasty weak nuclear force responsibility for radioactivity).

  • Don, I don’t think you understand the rage and hatred the average American voter has toward the GOP. Your leaders sold us out in Congress just a few days ago. Do you honestly believe we will support the bastards who shafted us? Yet you claim you have control of so many state legislatures. Were was that control when we needed it in Congress? The GOP might as well have been Demo’s! Yep, the GOP is a Donkey in an Elephant skin.

  • “Yet you claim you have control of so many state legislatures.”

    More state legislatures than at any time in history to be precise.
    The Republicans on the state level have been making good use of their majorities by and large.

    The Republicans in Congress simply are not going to shut the government down again in a showdown with Obama. They know they can’t override his veto and that the media will flay them alive over another shut down. I don’t particularly care for the GOP leadership in Congress, but I do understand that their options are limited so long as the Democrats control the White House and are completely undisturbed at the prospect of the government being shut down.

Star Wars the Premake

Sunday, December 27, AD 2015


A truly epic attempt by John D’Amico to recreate the first Stars Wars film, A New Hope, shot for shot using clips from pre-1977 films.  Some of the clips are misses but most are so on-target that it is difficult not to believe that they influenced Lucas in his crafting of a film that took a mishmash of heroic themes and archetypes and made them a huge crowd pleaser with then cutting edge technology.    The seventies prior to Star Wars was the age of the anti-hero, especially after the aging and ailing John Wayne was in the process of departing the scene.  The first Star Wars trilogy brought back heroes to cheer and villians to boo and told their tale in a coherent manner,  simple accomplishments actually, but we were then entering a period when even the simplest things, due to cultural rot, would become fouled up beyond recognition.  George Lucas is a typical Hollywood leftist, but in the Star Wars first trilogy he created a work of art that can be viewed as a deep critique of where the culture was going.

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One Response to Star Wars the Premake

  • Interesting… lots of echoes of scenes and themes and even music from Star Wars. Lucas really did a great job synthesizing and culling, and creating a work that seemed familiar in many ways but entirely new.

Breve Neminem Fugit

Sunday, December 27, AD 2015

Holy Family

When God in his mercy determined to accomplish the work of man’s renewal, which same had so many long ages awaited, he appointed and ordained this work on such wise that its very beginning might shew to the world the august spectacle of a Family which was known to be divinely constituted; that therein all men might behold a perfect model, as well of domestic life as of every virtue and pattern of holiness: for such indeed was the Holy Family of Nazareth. There in secret dwelt the Sun of Righteousness, until the time when he should shine out in full splendour in the sight of all nations. There Christ, our God and Saviour, lived with his Virgin Mother, and with that most holy man Joseph, who held to him the place of father. No one can doubt that in this Holy Family was displayed every virtue which can be called forth by an ordinary home life, with its mutual services of charity, its holy intercourse, and its practices of godly piety, since the Holy Family was destined to be a pattern to all others. For that very reason was it established by the merciful designs of Providence, namely, that every Christian, in every walk of life and in every place, might easily, if he would but give heed to it, have before him a motive and a pattern for the good life.

To all fathers of families, Joseph is verily the best model of paternal vigilance and care. In the most holy Virgin Mother of God, mothers may find an excellent example of love, modesty, resignation of spirit, and the perfecting of faith. And in Jesus, who was subject to his parents, the children of the family have a divine pattern of obedience which they can admire, reverence, and imitate. Those who are of noble birth may learn, from this Family of royal blood, how to live simply in times of prosperity, and how to retain their dignity in times of distress. The rich may learn that moral worth is to be more highly esteemed than wealth. Artisans, and all such as are bitterly grieved by the narrow and slender means of their families, if they would but consider the sublime holiness of the members of this domestic fellowship, cannot fail to find some cause for rejoicing in their lot, rather than for being merely dissatisfied with it. In common with the Holy Family, they have to work, and to provide for the daily wants of life. Joseph had to engage in trade, in order to live; even the divine hands laboured at an artisan’s calling. It is not to be wondered at, that the wealthiest men, if truly wise, have been willing to cast away their riches, and to embrace a life of poverty with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

From Breve Neminem Fugit, June 14, 1892, in which Pope Leo XIII instituted the feast of the Holy Family

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One Response to Breve Neminem Fugit

  • If all men and women could appreciate the highest honor given them, the greatest honor, motherhood-fatherhood. This is the trick of Satan, to fool men and women by substituting the high honor of parenthood with the lure of distinguished living. Placing material things and the drive to attain more things v raising children in Christian homes. Balance.

    When it’s out of balance… well…just look around.

    Good post Donald.

Video Clip Worth Watching: Ralph Kramden’s Christmas Speech

Friday, December 25, AD 2015

I loved watching re-runs of The Honeymooners when I was a kid.  I appreciated the fact that they were more broke than my family and, like my parents, they met that circumstance with good humor.  In the classic episode above Ralph sold his prized bowling ball to buy a Christmas present for his beloved wife Alice.


The late comedian Jackie Gleason, when asked his religion, would always say “Bad Catholic”.  He was once asked by a Paulist priest to appear on his  television program and talk about religion which he did, stating to the priest that Catholicism was strong enough to withstand an advocate even as bad as he was.

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A Proclamation

Friday, December 25, AD 2015


The twenty-fifth day of December.

In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;

the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;

the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;

the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;

the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;

in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;

in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;

the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;

the whole world being at peace,

in the sixth age of the world,

Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,

desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,

being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since his conception,

was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.

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It’s a Wonderful Life and the FBI

Thursday, December 24, AD 2015

Hard to believe, but there was an FBI report in 1947 that deemed It’s a Wonderful Life as Communist propaganda:

To: The Director  

D.M. Ladd 


There is submitted herewith the running memorandum concerning Communist infiltration of the motion picture industry which has been brought up to date as of May 26, 1947….   With regard to the picture “It’s a Wonderful Life”, [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a “scrooge-type” so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists.

>In addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters. [redacted] related that if he made this picture portraying the banker, he would have shown this individual to have been following the rules as laid down by the State Bank Examiner in connection with making loans. Further, [redacted] stated that the scene wouldn’t have “suffered at all” in portraying the banker as a man who was protecting funds put in his care by private individuals and adhering to the rules governing the loan of that money rather than portraying the part as it was shown. In summary, [redacted] stated that it was not necessary to make the banker such a mean character and “I would never have done it that way.”   [redacted] recalled that approximately 15 years ago, the picture entitled “The Letter” was made in Russia and was later shown in this country. He recalled that in this Russian picture, an individual who had lost his self-respect as well as that of his friends and neighbors because of drunkenness, was given one last chance to redeem himself by going to the bank to get some money to pay off a debt. The old man was a sympathetic character and was so pleased at his opportunity that he was extremely nervous, inferring he might lose the letter of credit or the money itself. In summary, the old man made the journey of several days duration to the bank and with no mishap until he fell asleep on the homeward journey because of his determination to succeed. On this occasion the package of money dropped out of his pocket. Upon arriving home, the old man was so chagrined he hung himself. The next day someone returned the package of money to his wife saying it had been found. [redacted] draws a parallel of this scene and that of the picture previously discussed, showing that Thomas Mitchell who played the part of the man losing the money in the Capra picture suffered the same consequences as the man in the Russian picture in that Mitchell was too old a man to go out and make money to pay off his debt to the banker.

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One Response to It’s a Wonderful Life and the FBI

  • Great movie. I am far right as you can get. It’s a movie. It’s entertainment. I see Potter as a caricature of evil not of bankers and capitalism. Plus, [redacted] needed to get a grip. I bet he saw a red behind every leaf of grass. That would be a rifle.
    OTOH, I’ve seen the trailer of “Trumbo” I think about a screenwriter martyred (couldn’t work) by the dreaded “black list.” I thought that seemed weak. He wrote the script for “Spartacus”; truly a latter day Shakespeare! Well, we didn’t hear, or see, other screen writers crying out, “I am Trumbo.” They were reds and cowards.

Good Lives On

Thursday, December 24, AD 2015

Chris and Family

      [27] She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle. [28] Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised her. [29] Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all.

Proverbs 31:  27-29


The two daughters, Christina and Courtney Bissey, of my secretary, Chris Bissey, who died on August 28 of this year, and who I eulogized in a post which may be read here, just stopped off at my house, wished us a Merry Christmas, and dropped off cookies and other baked goods as a Christmas present.  Chris was famous locally for her Christmas baking of cookies for friends and families, and her daughters are keeping up the tradition.  The good that we do in this life often survives us.  A good message to recall on Christmas eve.

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