Donald R. McClarey
“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
George Orwell, Politics and the English Language (1946)
Whatever comes of the revelations about Planned Parenthood and its participation in the traffic in fetal body parts, those revelations will have achieved one thing: they have parted the veil of antiseptic tidiness behind which the abortion industry has for so long operated. The sight of a senior Planned Parenthood official, and a doctor to boot, discussing the market for fetal body parts in between bites of salad and sips of wine was stomach-turning.
That’s because it laid bare the essentially brutal nature of abortion. Let’s be blunt: abortion involves the extraction and killing of a human life, which within a couple of weeks of pregnancy has a beating heart. Five weeks in, its hands and legs begin to grow. It is these tiny creatures, and too often ones that are far more developed, that are pulled from a mother’s womb and crushed with forceps.
Oh, but oh-so-carefully, lest body parts that can be sold are preserved. This gruesome procedure shows the extent to which we, as a people, have been anesthetized by the estimated 55 million—fifty-five million—abortions performed since the Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to that procedure 42 years ago.
Will we as a nation not someday look upon that decision and what it has done to us, not to mention the 55 million, with horror and regret? One can only hope we will.
A second video is out by those redoubtable video warriors at The Center for Medical Progress showing a
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc. ghoul demonstrating yet again that you can put a price on human life and human body parts.
Father Z gives us the details:
Never has the label “Big Business Abortion” been more appropriate for Planned Parenthood. HERE
Another video is out, showing a PP exec negotiating the price of body parts of babies.
Planned Parenthood receives million of YOUR tax dollars.
A new undercover video shows a top Planned Parenthood official discussing “less crunchy” techniques to get “whole specimens” and haggling over the price of fetus tissue sales because she wants “a Lamborghini.”
The video released Tuesday morning, the second put out by the Center for Medical Progress, features a woman identified as Dr. Mary Gatter, who was president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors’ Council until 2014 and now works in a leadership and advisory capacity at the local and national level of the organization. Over drinks, Gatter and the undercover activists discuss “specimen” prices, eventually settling at $100 for “intact tissue.”
After a third of the century in the law mines few things get me angry. It is a survival mechanism of course. With what I routinely deal with, if I allowed myself to become angry, I would be perpetually outraged and unable to do my job effectively. However, a few things set me off, and one of them is when I hear about officers in the military sacrificing the well-being of their troops for their petty careers, and this piece I read at Instapundit has me grinding my teeth:
So, the idea that military leaders have their hands tied is nonsense – the governing directives and regulations expressly allow senior leaders to arm their troops when there is a threat. And there is a threat – as we saw in Chattanooga, as we saw at Fort Hood. These freaks are not picking military personnel at random. They are continuing the radical Islamic war against America here on our soil, and our warriors remain stubbornly disarmed and defenseless.
So why would a commander not order troops who have qualified on their M9 pistols to draw sidearms and ammo and carry them during their duties, at least until this crisis passes? Perhaps their discretion has been withdrawn from higher command – that’s possible, especially with this toxic administration. But more likely it’s because of fear.
It’s the fear that some solider is going to have an “incident” carrying a weapon, and that that incident is going to lead to questions, and in an environment where the Armed Forces are shrinking, the mention of an incident on an officer’s annual evaluation report can mean the difference between a career and a pink slip. It’s the same zero defects mentality that is keeping our military leadership from being an audacious, aggressive band of warriors and morphing it instead into a timid, passive pack of timeservers.
Yeah, troops do dumb things sometimes. During my 27 years leading soldiers, I was consistently amazed by their creativity both in solving problems and in getting into trouble. But while real issues are rare – negligent discharges, lost weapons – they do happen. I dealt with them myself. But that risk is the price of doing business, and when our men and women are being shot down in the street without even a chance to defend themselves, it’s not too high a price to pay.
You train your troops and then you trust them. You punish the knucklehead who screwed up and then you drive on. You don’t turn everyone in uniform into a sitting duck because you don’t want to have to explain to the two-star why Private Snuffy misplaced his Beretta.
In a politicized military, under a politicized administration, this is how things work. Luckily, American civilians are up to the job of defending our military.
Doing the jobs American soldiers and Marines aren’t allowed to do. Continue reading
Last week PopeWatch noted that our Bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear was weary of the Pope. Go here to read about it. Fatigue with the Pope is apparently a spreading reaction at this point in the current pontificate:
Carl Olson at The Catholic World Report:
They are not “Woe is me!”, but they are certainly tired of the seemingly constant addresses, homilies, interviews, texts—many of which read like lectures—that come from the Holy Father. And it’s not just the quantity, although that is staggering in many ways, but it is quite often the tone and approach found in many of those texts: haranguing, harping, exhorting, lecturing. It probably doesn’t help that Francis obsesses over particular points, to a degree that is, frankly, grating.
Case in point: the Vatican website returns 104 results for a search for “gossip”; of those, 96 are by Francis. But, again, it’s not the quantity alone, but the hyperbole: “Gossip kills more than weapons do” and “Gossip can also kill, because it kills the reputation of the person!” And:
The greatest danger is terrorism in religious life: it has entered, the terrorism of gossip. If you have something against a sister, go and tell her to her face. But never this terrorism, because gossip is a bomb thrown into a community and it destroys it. Unity without the terrorism of gossip.
This, I have to note, from the same man who spoke publicly—in remarks reported on numerous websites and newspapers—about a mother of seven whose pregnancy, said Francis, “is an irresponsibility”. Do public scoldings over sensitive and personal issues qualify as acts of “the terrorism of gossip”?
Go here to read the rest.
Elizabeth Scalia at The Anchoress:
However, I happened to see some people on social media who were discussing this piece by Fr. Robert Barron, and their own takes on the encyclical, Laudato Si’. Some were weary-negative of the encyclical; some were weary-positive.
What struck me most was that they all seemed in some way weary.
I’ve said before that Pope Francis is “the most exhausting pope of my lifetime”, so I think I understand why they’re tired. Some of them wish Francis was clearer in his meaning; they’re tired of trying to “figure out” his point, which often seems ambiguous.
Others are tired of trying to defend and explain him.
Others are tired (or actually, perhaps not) of blowing Gabriel’s trumpet and warning the world that hey, we have an anti-Capitalist-anti-American-anti-Christ on our hands, over here!
I don’t care about any of that — everyone can duke it out and expend vast amounts of energy as they debate the ludicrous conceits that this generation of men, women, and popes will either save the world and make everything right, or that the very same people will successfully take down a church, when better, smarter saints and fiends of the past have tried and failed on both counts.
The church survives, and outlasts everyone — all nations and institutions and all manner of clerics — by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and that will always be true.
So, I’m no longer interested in the “which pope is what” question. I’m frankly just tired of feeling scolded.
Go here to read the rest.
Katrina Fernandez at The Crescat has adopted a policy of ignoring the Pope:
For my sanity, I was right to shield my mind and eyes from this papacy last year. I’ve run out of cares to give.
I’ll be honest, I am not even going to read what’s being published in his defense because it’s indefensible. This is just one of many more sure to come utterly tone deaf actions and off the cuff remarks that I’ve come to expect with this papacy.
Jesuits gonna Jesuit.
I’m only lifting my Francis Sanctions now because this incident is so incredibly unbelievable and almost laughable. Except that it’s not. Not even a little bit.
The Vatican has begun its two day mayor conference, where leftist mayors around the world have been invited to attend a stacked conference at the Vatican:
Dozens of environmentally friendly mayors from around the world are meeting at the Vatican Tuesday to bask in the star power of eco-Pope Francis and commit to reducing global warming and helping the urban poor deal with its effects.
It’s the latest — and perhaps most important — Vatican initiative to keep the momentum alive after Francis released his landmark environment encyclical and as governments head into crucial climate negotiations in Paris in December.
Already, the Vatican has engaged Nobel science laureates, global faith leaders, the U.N. leadership, eco-friendly businesses and even the self-described “secular Jewish feminist” and environmental advocate Naomi Klein to promote Francis’ message that caring for the Earth — and humanity — is an urgent moral imperative.
Now, the pope is turning to mayors, some 60 of whom signed up to attend the two-day meeting at the Vatican. Several belong to the new Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, whose members have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050 or sooner.
Attending is Gov. Jerry Brown of California, which has enacted the toughest greenhouse gas emissions standards in North America, as well as the mayors of New York City, Boston, Oslo, Vancouver and Boulder, Colorado. Continue reading
Our homeschool readers might like to consider having their kids memorize this poem by Thomas Babington Macaulay. Much that is great in Western Civilization, or was great in Western Civilization when the poem was being routinely taught to school kids, is contained in it:
LARS Porsena of Clusium
By the Nine Gods he swore
That the great house of Tarquin
Should suffer wrong no more.
By the Nine Gods he swore it,
And named a trysting day,
And bade his messengers ride forth,
East and west and south and north,
To summon his array.
East and west and south and north
The messengers ride fast,
And tower and town and cottage
Have heard the trumpet’s blast.
Shame on the false Etruscan
Who lingers in his home,
When Porsena of Clusium
Is on the march for Rome.
The horsemen and the footmen
Are pouring in amain
From many a stately market-place;
From many a fruitful plain;
From many a lonely hamlet,
Which, hid by beech and pine,
Like an eagle’s nest, hangs on the crest
Of purple Apennine;
From lordly Volaterræ,
Where scowls the far-famed hold
Piled by the hands of giants
For godlike kings of old;
From seagirt Populonia,
Whose sentinels descry
Sardinia’s snowy mountain-tops
Fringing the southern sky; Continue reading
Julius: The new made Adam! And this is how you see man? Noble, beautiful, unafraid?
Michelangelo: How else should I see him?
Julius: As he is! Corrupt and evil! His hands dripping with blood, destined for damnation! Your painting is beautiful but false.
Michelangelo: I cannot change my conception.
Julius: You’ve taught me not to waste my time trying to change your conceptions. How did you arrive at this?
Michelangelo: I thought … my idea for the panel was that man’s evil he learned from himself, not from God.
Julius: (quietly) yes…
Michelangelo: I wanted to paint man, as He was first created. Innocent, still free of sin, grateful for the gift of life.
Screenplay, The Agony and the Ecstasy
Kevin Williamson at National Review Online nails it in reference to the revelation that
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc, is trafficking in some of the corpses of their murder victims:
Human beings are not lumps of labor. They are not capital, consumer goods, taxpayers, commodities — or meat. The philosophy of Planned Parenthood (and Eros is a jealous god) is the philosophy of men-as-meat, and that philosophy is not long compatible with liberty and human dignity. When Erich Fromm wrote his famous book on the dream of religion without deity, he titled it “You Shall Be as Gods.” The truth is that without an understanding of the uniqueness of human beings and the consequent value of every human life, you will not be as gods — you will be as meat. And meat gets butchered, packaged, and sold. It gets stuffed in the freezer. Continue reading
One of the deeper mysteries currently in the Church is why the Pope Emeritus resigned. Ostensibly for health reasons, more than two years later he is still with us, quite healthy for a man of 87. If the resignation was not done for health reasons, why? Pope Benedict has suggested that he had a mystical experience that caused him to resign. If so, why didn’t he indicate that at the time?
According to Fr. Fausti, Cardinal Martini, already gravely sick, met with Benedict XVI on June 2, 2012, on the occasion of the World Day of Families in Milan (Cardinal Martini later died on August 31, 2012). When he met the Pope, he told him: “You cannot reform the Curia, you can’t do anything else than give up.”
Benedict XVI had come back very tired from the trip to Mexico and Cuba, at the end of the preceding March. During that summer he began speaking about the possibility of resigning with his closest collaborators who tried to discourage him from taking that decision. In December 2012, Benedict XVI called a consistory for the creation of six cardinals (no Italians, no Europeans, no curialists among them) in order to “re-balance” the College of Cardinals, and on February 11, 2013, he publicly declared his intention to resign from the active exercise of the Petrine ministry.
But according to Fr. Fausti, the resignation was already programmed from the beginning of the pontificate in case things did not to go as planned. And it was even planned since the conclave of 2005, when Cardinal Martini transferred his votes to Cardinal Ratzinger in order to avoid the “dirty games” of cardinals aiming at eliminating both of them as contenders so that they could elect instead “a man of the Curia, very shrewd, who could not make the cut,” Fr. Fausti revealed.
“Once he caught on to the trick, Cardinal Martini went to talk to Ratzinger in the evening, and he told him: ‘Accept your election as Pope tomorrow with my votes. You should accept, as you have been working in the Curia for 30 years and you are intelligent and honest. If you are able to reform the Curia, ok, if you cannot, you can leave office.’”
This narrative is certainly suggestive, and it reveals some aspects that are generally not taken in consideration. First, in 2005, the distinction between conservative and progressives had become outmoded. This development was certified by the longstanding Vatican-watcher Giuseppe De Carli, who announced in his book “Breviario del nuovo millennio” that the conservative-progressive dialectic was outdated.
Secondly and consequently, Cardinal Martini and Cardinal Ratzinger were not on different sides. Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, proved this when he presented the third book on Jesus of Nazareth by Benedict XVI. Speaking at the beginning of the presentation, Fr. Lombardi read aloud some of Cardinal Martini’s statements, among them, “I wanted to write a book on Jesus, then Ratzinger did everything I would have done.” This from the cardinal loved by progressives.
However, this interpretation of the 2005 conclave has some holes in it. First, Fr. Fausti said that Cardinal Martini had a bigger number of votes than Ratzinger – a detail that all those involved at various level in the conclave and also the famous “Diary of the Conclave” dismiss. Ratzinger was always in first place in every poll, and Cardinal Martini was not even taken in consideration as a candidate, given that he was already suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
The identity of the “shrewd cardinal of the Curia” is also a mystery. If we lean toward accepting as valid the reconstructions of the “Diary of the Conclave”, there were no other curial cardinals on stage, and the only opponent to Benedict XVI’s election was Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Eight years later, the name of Bergoglio was proposed once again, from almost all the same old cardinals of the Curia who placed him among the “papabili” eight years earlier.
So, Pope Francis’ election conveyed the message that the pontificate of Benedict XVI was just an isolated parenthesis in the history of the Church, and that the cardinals had perhaps been mistaken in their earlier approach, while today, with Cardinal Bergoglio’s election, they were setting out on a more just path, closer to the spirit of the world. Continue reading
Harry Truman was a very happily married man and whenever he was separated from his wife, he would write her chatty letters which are a first rate source of what he was thinking on a particular day. He wrote this letter after the start of the Potsdam Conference with Stalin and Churchill:
Berlin July 20, 1945
It was an experience to talk to you from my desk here in Berlin night before last. It sure made me homesick. This is a hell of a place–ruined, dirty, smelly, forlorn people, bedraggled, hangdog look about them. You never saw as completely ruined a city. But they did it. I am most comfortably fixed and the palace where we meet is one of two intact palaces left standing.
Jim Blair came to see me yesterday and had breakfast with me this morning. He is a Lt. Col. and is in charge of food and clean up for American forces here. Said it was the filthiest place he ever saw when he arrived–but it’s clean now.
We had a tough meeting yesterday. I reared up on my hind legs and told ’em where to get off and they got off. I have to make it perfectly plain to them at least once a day that so far as this President is concerned Santa Claus is dead and that my first interest is U.S.A., then I want the Jap War won and I want ’em both in it. Then I want peace–world peace and will do what can be done by us to get it. But certainly am not going to set up another foil here in Europe, pay reparations, feed the world, and get nothing for it but a nose thumbing. They are beginning to awake to the fact that I mean business.
Security around the Manhattan Project was quite intense. No doubt as a result of this Truman assumed that the Soviets had no inkling about the bomb. Perhaps he was therefore surprised when Stalin had little reaction when Truman at the Potsdam Conference told him that the US had developed an atomic bomb. Notwithstanding the intense security, the Soviets were kept quite informed about the steps the United States was taking to develop the Atomic Bomb, thanks to various spies and traitors:
1. Klaus Fuchs-A German anti-Nazi refugee to Britain, and a physicist, Fuchs worked at Los Alamos among the elite of the physicists. A convinced Communist, Fuchs had his information sent on the Soviets, courtesy of Harry Gold.
2. Harry Gold-An American laboratory assistant, Gold had been passing information to the Soviets since 1934. Here is his report on his first meeting with Fuchs:
He (Fuchs) obviously worked with our people before and he is fully aware of what he is doing… He is a mathematical physicist… most likely a very brilliant man to have such a position at his age (he looks about 30). We took a long walk after dinner… He is a member of a British mission to the U.S. working under the direct control of the U.S. Army… The work involves mainly separating the isotopes… and is being done thusly: The electronic method has been developed at Berkeley, California, and is being carried out at a place known only as Camp Y… Simultaneously, the diffusion method is being tried here in the East… Should the diffusion method prove successful, it will be used as a preliminary step in the separation, with the final work being done by the electronic method. They hope to have the electronic method ready early in 1945 and the diffusion method in July 1945, but (Fuchs) says the latter estimate is optimistic. (Fuchs) says there is much being withheld from the British. Even Niels Bohr, who is now in the country incognito as Nicholas Baker, has not been told everything.
3. David Greenglass-A machinist at Los Alamos, he passed information on to his sister Ethel Rosenberg and her husband Julius Rosenberg who passed it on to the Soviets.
4. Theodore Hall-An American physicist working at Los Alamos. Perhaps the most important of the atomic spies, beginning in October 1944 he passed on detailed information to the Soviets about the construction of the atomic bomb code-named “Fat Boy”. Continue reading
There is no doubt that in the sphere of politics ample matter may exist for legitimate difference of opinion, and that, the single reserve being made of the rights of justice and truth, all may strive to bring into actual working the ideas believed likely to be more conducive than others to the general welfare. But to attempt to involve the Church in party strife, and seek to bring her support to bear against those who take opposite views is only worthy of partisans.
Leo XIII, SAPIENTIAE CHRISTIANAE (1890)
From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
Close to a week after presidential nominee Donald Trump called Mexicans “rapists” and “disease carriers,” the 69-year-old business mogul has now decided not to ask Pope Francis to run as his vice presidential nominee after learning that the Pontiff speaks Spanish.
“Mr. Trump has decided that, though the Pope is not Mexican, he still represents a threat to the U.S. because Argentina and Mexico are practically the same thing, if you know what I’m saying,” a Trump advisor told EOTT this morning. “Citizens of both countries speak the same language, and they speak it fast, and traffic drugs, and rape people.”
The advisor also added that, outside the facts stated above, and the fact that the “might-as-well-be-Mexican Pope,” stands for nearly the complete opposite of everything Trump does, the Pope would have been a perfect running mate.
“Mr. Trump would like me to express the fact that he is nevertheless excited to meet with the Pope when he visits the U.S., and just hopes that [Francis] does not take advantage of the American people’s hospitality by taking one of their jobs while he’s here.” Continue reading
Something for the weekend: Three stages of a Catholic hymn. Of course there is a fourth stage of a Catholic hymn: the sound of the Congregation singing any song that hasn’t been beaten to death thousands of time over the past four decades in the parish:
Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, in a post entitled appropriately EINSATZGRUPPEN, looks at the revelation that Planned Parenthood is making money off the corpses of some of the babies they murder:
Initially, I wasn’t particularly shocked by this story:
An undercover video shot last summer by a new pro-life organization called Center for Medical Progress purports to show the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of America talking on camera about how to abort a child intact so the child’s body parts can be transferred for medical and scientific research.
The video was shot by a team led by David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress posing as representatives of a start up biotech firm in the business of buying fetal body parts for medical and scientific research. Daleiden told Breitbart News, “It as remarkably easy to make contact with Planned Parenthood” to discuss procurement of fetal tissue.
I mean, it’s Murder, Inc., it’s what they do. But the truly scary thing about this story is that the more you think about it and the deeper you dig, the more horrifying this all eventually becomes. Satan, and I’m not being at all figurative here, is in the details. Like these.
The video purports to show, between bites of lunch and sips of wine, Dr. Deborah Nucatola saying, “A lot of people want intact hearts these days, because they are looking for specific nodes.”
She adds: “Yesterday was the first time she said people wanted lungs. And then, like I said, always as many intact livers as possible. People just want…some people want lower extremities, too. I mean that’s easy. I don’t know what they’re doing with it, I guess they want muscle.”
[Nucatola] talks about pricing. “You know, I would throw a number out, and I would say it’s probably anywhere from $30 to $100 [per specimen] depending on the facility and what’s involved.”
In the video, Nucatola goes into great detail about ordering specific body parts and how the abortionist goes about ensuring those parts are not damaged in the abortion. She says the abortionist uses “ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.”
And then she talks about the baby’s head. “The kind of rate-limiting step is procedure is calvarium.
Know what a calvarium is? There should be one on top of your neck.
Calvarium — the head — is basically the biggest part. Most of the other stuff can come out intact.”
Nucatola says the doctor has to be “just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, and I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
Nucatola explains how the position of the baby can be changed so that she can be extracted up to the head and then collapse the head so that all the other body parts can be extracted without damage.
Think about that for a second. The “chief medical officer” of Murder, Inc. doesn’t want it’s accredited teppanyaki chefs to go in there and just start indiscriminately slicing and dicing. MI has a bottom line to think about.
They’re harvesting them. The bastards are harvesting them.
But they’re “harvesting them” for medical research. They’re trying to save lives.
Oh, come on now, Johnson. You’ve just been diagnosed with some kind of terminal illness; the doctors tell you that you have 3 to 5 years left. Optimistically.
But there’s this treatment deriving from the research on or the direct use of fetal tissue that could extend your life be decades or even cure you. Are you seriously claiming that you would refuse such treatment if you knew where it came from?
Yeah, pretty much. Prolonging my existence is not a high, personal priority right now. And if it necessitates killing other human beings, it’s far too high a price to pay anyway.
Will this story have legs? The Washington Post has picked it up so we’ll see.
If the Nation can take a moment from the task of banning all things Confederate one hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, it might wish to pay attention to a slightly more pressing matter among us:
The gunman who shot and killed four Marines Thursday during two attacks at military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., has been identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a law enforcement source confirmed to Fox News.
Abdulazeez, 24, was born in Kuwait, a U.S. official told Fox. It was not immediately clear if he was a U.S. or Kuwaiti citizen. He was reported to be from Hixson, Tenn., just across the Tennessee River from Chattanooga.
The law enforcement source said preliminary reports indicate Abdulazeez, who also died, was not on the FBI’s radar leading up to Thursday’s attacks. A defense official told Fox he was killed by law enforcement officers and did not commit suicide.
The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center said it has seen nothing so far to connect Abdulazeez to any terrorist organization. But it noted that the Islamic State group (ISIS) has been encouraging extremists to carry out attacks in the U.S.
“We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism,” said Bill Killian, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. At a news conference late Thursday, FBI agent Ed Reinhold said there was “no indication at this point that anybody else was involved.”
The gunman first shot up a recruiting center before driving seven miles to the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center and killing four Marines before he was shot, authorities said. Sources told Fox News police chased the gunman from the recruiting center to the Center. The entire attack last about half-an-hour.
A well-placed source in Chattanooga told Fox News that one of the Marines who was killed was a “decorated war hero with two Purple Hearts.” The youngest was 19 years old, the source said. Defense officials also said late Thursday a female sailor was in surgery after being shot.
A dozen law enforcement vehicles, including a bomb-squad truck and an open-sided Army green truck carrying armed men, rolled into the Hixson neighborhood, and police closed off streets and turned away people trying to reach their homes.
Details of Abdulazeez’s life were just beginning to emerge late Thursday. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that he graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 2012. Before that, he graduated from Red Bank High School with a yearbook photo featuring the quote, “My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?” Continue reading
They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
As I slave away in the law mines, I take my flashes of amusement where I can find them. One thing that has often amused me is the bizarre names that people these days often curse their children with. I often find when questioning the mother that the name was from some television show, film, video or song, often with a spelling variant to ensure that the child will be a special little snowflake and have his or her name misspelled for the remainder of the time God allots the child in this Vale of Tears.
Naming kids after a fictional character has always struck me as bizarre: real people always being so much more interesting than two-dimensional fictional puppets.
An example of the drawbacks of naming a child after a fictional character has been illustrated this week by an interesting little literary-morality tempest being played out this week. Harper Lee, a one book wonder, To Kill a Mockingbird, has released another book, Go Set a Watchman. The story behind this book is perhaps more interesting than the tome itself. Ms. Lee, 89 years old, lives in an assisted living facility, and is perhaps in her dotage. Go Set a Watchman was written in 1957, the year of my birth, before To Kill a Mockingbird. It was rejected by a publisher at the time as showing promise but not ready for publication, an accurate assessment I think. That the book is now being published 58 years later might cause some to suspect the motivations of those now in control of Ms. Lee’s affairs, since for more than a half century she made no effort to have this early work published. No doubt a book about the behind the scenes machinations that led to the publication of Go Set a Watchman will be forthcoming eventually, doubtless not written by Ms. Lee, alas. More on this below the fold, with spoilers in regard to Go Set a Watchman. Continue reading