Requiescat In Pace: Martin Landau

Monday, July 17, AD 2017

Actor Martin Landau is dead at age 89.  I became familiar with his work as a child sitting through endless Mission: Impossible episodes.  A very good character actor, he had the talent of drawing attention to the role he was playing rather than to himself.  Unlike many in his profession, he kept whatever private political views he had private.  The above video has my favorite of his many, many roles.

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7 Responses to Requiescat In Pace: Martin Landau

Barney Fife: The Law

Saturday, April 29, AD 2017


Don Knotts was a comedy genius but he understood that his creation, the bumbling Deputy Barney Fife, needed depth to be an effective character.  Here he faces down two men, each far more physically powerful than himself, simply because his badge represents the Law and the people the Law represents.  It is an example of a character overcoming his fear and helps explain why Sheriff Taylor had Fife as his Deputy.  A bravura performance from the Silver Age of Television.

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One Response to Barney Fife: The Law

  • Where oh virtue do you hide in Television today? You, who once graced the airwaves have vanished as vice has conquered the day, yet the days​ light is not out completely.
    The moon refects the the promise of the return. The Mother who reflects the brilliance of her son’s rays separates the vice from virtue, the dark from the light.

    Fear not the brut who teaches the dark is light and wrong is right. Fear not the short lived clouds that are swept away by the breath of God.
    Your office is secure you who fear God.
    Your priesthood is predestined by the Grace of God, for the age of this world is only a footnote in the book of Life. A reminder of the foolish wanderings of the forgetful pilgrim who is lead astray by the seeker of honor and riches.

    Barney Fife is a reminder of our calling.
    Our frailty. Our duty. Our complete reliance on God. For our weakness is inevitable, yet His strength is never failing. His work is made manifest in our weakness when discouragement and doubt is finally over come by His power.

    A power that surpasses all understanding. All deserving.
    For it is when we are weak His strength manifests within us to give All glory to God in the highest. Forever and always.
    In 1959 and 2959… timeless and without earning or deserving… Amazing Grace…how sweet the sound.

Hills Are For Heroes

Thursday, August 11, AD 2016


My favorite TV show when I was a boy was Combat!  In 152 grittily realistic episodes from 1962-1967, the experiences of an American infantry squad fighting in France in World War II were detailed.  Most of the cast members had served in the military, several in World War II.  The men were not portrayed as supermen, but ordinary men trying to survive while doing a necessary, dirty job.  The series won accolades from World War II combat veterans for its unsparing look at what fighting had been like for them.  The series hit its artistic peak on March 1, and March 8, 1966 with the two part episode Hills Are For Heroes.  Directed by Vic Morrow who starred in the series as Sergeant Chip Saunders, the episodes detail the battle of the squad and the platoon of which it was a part to take a vital hill.  At the end of episode two, after incurring heavy losses, they succeed, only to heartbreakingly having to abandon the hill due to a German breakthrough.  As they march away from the hill, Second Lieutenant Gil Hanley grimly tells his men to remember every feature of the hill for next time.  Television does not get any better than Combat!

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6 Responses to Hills Are For Heroes

  • Must be a metaphor

  • Another mostly-fair (given Hollywood’s widespread perversion to depict Vietnam soldiers as psychopaths, losers, or baby-killers) early 1980’s TV series is “Tour of Duty.” I catch it on rare occasions on a secondary cable network.
    Here’s a (unsolicited) book recommendation. A Shau Valor by Thomas R. Yarborough. The valley was famous/notorious throughout the VN war years for hill fights, sacrifices and uncommon valor. The movie “Hamburger Hill” comes close to getting it.
    Hemingway: “War is a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.” When you meet them, if you meet them, greet them ever with grateful hearts.

  • Thanks for the memories. One of my regular favorites, along with the “Victory at Sea” series.

  • Don,
    Agree on Combat!. I own the DVD series. Did you ever watch the 1990s series “Space — Above and Beyond”? I found it very enjoyable and it was often (fairly I think) compared to Combat!.

  • I have it on DVD Mike! I love that series.

Murder and Redemption

Sunday, May 3, AD 2015




When I was a kid I watched way too much TV.  How little of those hours I can recall now!  However there is one television show that I watched that has always stayed with me.  On October 25, 1971, when I was a freshman in high school, a Gunsmoke episode aired entitled Trafton.  The guest star of the episode was character actor Victor French, who would make twenty-three appearances on Gunsmoke, usually portraying a villain.  The Trafton episode was no exception.  He portrayed a gunman known simply as Trafton.  A murderer, Trafton had learned the gunman’s trade while riding with Confederate raider “Bloody Bill” Anderson during the War.  The episode opens with Trafton and his gang shooting up a town in New Mexico.  They attempt to rob the bank, only to find that the vault contains no money.  Frustrated, on his way out of town Trafton sees a Catholic Church.  He enters the Church and goes up to the altar, and takes a gold cross, a gold communion chalice and a gold paten.  The priest appears and tries to stop him,  Trafton unhesitatingly gunning down the priest.  Seeing a gold cross about the neck of the dying priest, Trafton stoops down to remove the cross.  As he does so the priest with his last strength, to the utter astonishment of Trafton, says, “I forgive you.” and with his bloody right hand traces a cross on the forehead of Trafton just before he dies.  Trafton uneasily touches his forehead, and then leaves the Church and rides off.

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5 Responses to Murder and Redemption

The True Meaning of Christmas

Sunday, December 11, AD 2011

A Charlie Brown Christmas was first broadcast in 1965 on CBS.  I was 8 years old and I was stunned at the time by the passage of Linus quoting the Gospel of Luke in explaining the true meaning of Christmas.  Apparently CBS executives wanted to cut this passage out, but Charles Schulz, normally a fairly non-confrontational man, was adamant that it remain in.

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4 Responses to The True Meaning of Christmas

  • Amen!

    Seems as if Mr. Schulz (RIP) didn’t get the memo. The only people allowed to publicly express their beliefs are godless elitists that don’t believe in anything.

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  • Merrily, Jesus’ Salvation Mystery, like perennial grass, shall never be buried. Just when the godless begin celebrating and congratulating one another He is forgotten and they have buried him for ever, He humbly and lovingly rises up to remind us He loves us and became one of us so that He opens the Gates of Heaven for us.

  • Why can’t we humans just celebrate Christmas the way it was meant to be?? Its a beautiful time of the year.

5 Responses to Audie Murphy on What’s My Line

There’s A Law About That?

Thursday, July 21, AD 2011

The FCC is coming under fire from Congress for lax oversight of kids’ programming.  So what’s the problem?  Is Joe from Blue’s Clues working a little too blue, if you catch my drift?  Are the explicit drug scenes from Yo Gabba Gabba getting a little too out of control?  Is the lack of parental oversight of Max and Ruby sending a bad message?

No, none of that.  Evidently there are too many commercials.

I am not making this up.

TV watchdog groups say the Federal Communications Commission needs to better target kids’ programs that have too many commercials, and they want the commission and Congress to strengthen oversight of the Children’s Television Act.

Fueling the drive is a Government Accountability Office report issued last week that highlights FCC shortcomings in enforcing the landmark 1990 law intended to raise the quality and educational value of children’s programming while also limiting advertising. The report said the FCC has been lax in ensuring compliance from cable and satellite providers and questioned the commission’s guidelines for determining the educational value of children’s shows.

You mean to tell me there is a law out there that dictates the amount of commercials that can be shown during children’s programming?  Surely you jest.

Congress crafted the law in response to a decrease in educational shows during the 1980s that corresponded with an uptick in commercial blitzes during children’s programming. To shield youngsters from excessive commercials, the law restricts advertising during children’s programs to 10.5 minutes per hour on weekends and 12 minutes per hour on weekdays.

I repeat: there is a law, passed by Congress, signed by a President, that actually dictates the amount of commercials that are to be shown during kids’ shows.  The government of the United States deemed this an issue worthy enough of oversight.

Moreover, there are people who think the government isn’t doing enough.

During the Clinton administration, the FCC was “paying attention to children’s education, and the quality of children’s programming improved,” said Dale Kunkel, a child media expert and a communications professor at the University of Arizona.

“We slowly moved to a posture in the 2000s where they completely ignored the issue and the broadcasters offered whatever they want,” he said.

Wait a second.  Broadcasters can offer programs that viewers have the option to watch, or not watch?  What is this, a free country or something?

Look, I’m all for making sure that the airwaves are generally clean for kids.  While parents have the ultimate responsibility for watching their children and making sure that the content of what they’re viewing is appropriate, it’s helpful to be assured that they’re not going to watch all the animals from Franklin get a little too friendly (and at least they’ve finally had the decency to put some clothes on little bear).  But do we really need the government to dictate the quality of educational programming available, or the precise amount of commercial time airing on television?  Is there anything that busybodies won’t ask the government to oversee?

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16 Responses to There’s A Law About That?

  • A nation that has no sense of God and no morality is ever in need of more and more laws and regulation. The fantastic and ridiculous because the ordinary. George Orwell would probably not like to see this fulfillment of his prophecy, as it were.

  • Actually, yes. Marketers are all about money. And kids (unlike adults) can’t reason that something isn’t true when an advertiser tells them it’s true. There are children who actually believe that Shrek mac n’ cheese tastes better than regular mac n’ cheese because the advertiser told them not because they’ve tasted them both.

    So while it may seem a bit ridiculous to you, it’s a relief to me. The less commercials telling kids essentially lies (and for that matter to adults too), the better.

    I don’t want my child to be a walking billboard either. Even from birth children are marketed everything from Winnie-the-Pooh to Leapfrog. The idea is that children will remain brand loyal.

    Yes, I could not watch television ever (not just my child, but myself), but you can’t avoid it. There are billboards, dolls, diapers, shirts, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes, etc all branded. And no I don’t buy that stuff either if it can be avoided. Other parents, however, do and unless I want my child to grow up in a shoe box isolated from his peers I have to face branding.

    Having less commercials for him to see on television helps alleviate the branding problem. I want my child to learn that having the latest silly bandz does not make a person better than another. Integrity is more important.

    BTW my father has a degree in marketing and he taught me how bad the business is especially when it comes to children.

  • I want my kids to watch only commercials so they get desensitized.

  • In case you were unaware, Nickelodeon’s programming isn’t regulated by the FCC.

    The government allows the use of the public airwaves by private companies in order to enrich the life of its people. Those people do include children.

  • I agree with Mr. Zummo. This is just nanny state nonsense. My kids are now grown, but they certainly were inundated with targeted advertising and marketing. Yet, they didn’t have much money to buy stuff without our approval, and my wife and I never found it all that difficult to say no.

    That said, I do want the FCC to make sure that they don’t encounter filth when kids turn on the TV, something most can do without parental approval and monitoring.

  • “The government allows the use of the public airwaves by private companies in order to enrich the life of its people.”

    A nice injection of humor into the thread MZ! Whatever would the nation do without the government sponsored anti-Catholic bigotry of NPR?

  • I wouldn’t go full libertarian and say there should be no FCC — as Mike says I think that the basic obscenity rules which are enforced on broadcast TV are a good thing. But the idea that congress is passing legislation on the number of minutes per hour of advertising that can be run is very, very silly.

    (And also, the idea that use of the airwaves is a “public service” is deeply silly. It’s a commodity which has to be apportioned by some authority to keep people from broadcasting over one another. As a valuable commercial commodity, it should be auctioned rather than distributed.)

  • “I think that the basic obscenity rules which are enforced on broadcast TV are a good thing.”

    What obscenity rules? One can watch a TV show like “Bones” and get the full brunt of the today’s sexually promiscuous life style where hedonism and homosexuality are promoted as normal. One can watch any number of TV shows that depict women in all manner of undress, and hear cursing without end. It seems that the only word forbidden in main stream media is the “n” word.

  • I am the parent of a four-year-old and an eighteen-month-old. As such, I am responsible for what they do and do not consume. Therefore, I have solved this problem by doing two thing:

    (1) I limit how much and what type of television my kids can watch. Believe it or not, you can exist without having the TV on all day. And if you really need the background noise, put on a cd. As far as what type of programming, we mainly use Netflix (no commercials!) and occasionally watch PBS Sprout (on cable, so we do pay for it). I also DVR any programs we adults would like to watch so that we can put them on after the kids are asleep.

    (2) The effects of what little. In the way of commercials they do see are mitigated by the fact that Mommy (that’s me) has told them that we only buy things we need and that we do not need anything we see on TV. I’ve explicitly taught my oldest that commercials are there to try and sell you things you don’t need and that we don’t want to be wasteful with our money. So, whenever my kids are exposed to commercials my oldest always says, “Mommy, we don’t need that. I wish they’d stop the commercials.” Success! No whining, no fussing, no ‘gotta-have-it’. Nada.

    It really is all about how parents approach the issue. As is just about everything to do with kids.

  • I agree with an earlier comment: Laws are put into place when they are needed. (The law exists for the lawless.) The less lawful people are, the more laws will be needed. The more lawful people are, the less they will require official laws.

  • And according to this morning’s paper, the AMA and the American Academy of Pediatrics are demanding that the Motion Picture Association rate all films that have smoking in them “R.” I kid you not.

  • The nanny state regulations have all but destroyed the classic kid shows that many of us grew up with. The regulators told the producers no more cartoons, no more silly comedy bits, and put more educational stuff in the programing. The kids tuned out in mass. They didn’t want to be “educated”, they wanted to be entertained, dang it!

  • Yeah, I find a lot of these kids shows to be almost condescending, not educational. I didn’t grow up with the characters on these shows turning towards the camera and asking me to help them. Don’t break the fourth wall!

    My kids a little younger than Mandy’s, but we’ve tried to do the same thing. Movies and Nick Jr, so little temptation from the advertisers to begin with.

  • I have a five (almost 6) year old, a three year old and a one year old. What Mandy said in spades. I explicitly tell my children that the commercials are there to make them want to buy stuff they don’t need and we don’t take orders from commercials. I tell them the same thing about store displays.

    I also have to agree with Paul. Most of the kid shows today are so mind-numbingly condescending, I wouldn’t let my kids watch them with zero commercials. We have a very limited diet of shows my children watch. The basic criteria is if I can’t watch it without wanting to jump off the roof, my kids don’t need to watch it either. So no Dora, no Diego, no Barney, no Elmo, no Disney Channel…My children have a very mean mommy. 😀

  • I am collecting old Three Stooges DVDs, so that when I have grandchildren they will be thrilled to come see grampa!

James Arness, Requiescat in Pace

Saturday, June 4, AD 2011


For all of my childhood, James Arness, and the show he starred in, Gunsmoke, were a constant presence.  The television show, a sequel to the radio show of the same name, came on the air in 1955 and ran for 20 years.  I was born in 57 and graduated from high school in 75.  Each week my family would watch the show, even the reruns.  We  had a slight personal connection to the show, my grandfather, a shoemaker, making a pair of boots for James Arness to wear in his role of Matt Dillon. 

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One Response to James Arness, Requiescat in Pace

  • This made me feel old all of a sudden. I remember watching James Arness’ Gunsmoke and Festas. I can’t seem to recall when that was really. Because of TV today I seldom watch television. Recently I discovered the RTV programs that in fact come from earlier times. I’m finding it hard to spend time with TV except for the so-called news today. When I want to relax I turn to the RTV TV programs, “A-Team” and “Night Rider” (so far); that fall in my “end of day” time.
    Thanks for this information. It set me to thinking how terribly fast the time gets away from us. I believe that because of his moral bent, Matt Dillon has a place in heaven.

Carl Sandburg, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Jefferson and Bishop Sheen

Thursday, March 31, AD 2011

Oh the gems that can be found on Youtube!  From 1957, two legends discussing a third.  Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the greatest American architects of the 19th and 20th centuries, and Carl Sandburg, poet and Lincoln biographer, talking about Thomas Jefferson!

Carl Sandburg, in his multivolume biography of Lincoln, got closer to the heart of the man than many professionally trained historians, telling the tale of a man’s life requiring the touch of a poet as well as a chronicling of facts.  Frank Lloyd Wright developed a style of architecture that causes his buildings to be treasured.  In my town of Dwight, the building of the First National Bank of Dwight was designed by Wright, and is a little gem of his style.  Go here to read all about it. 

It is interesting to hear two men who are now legendary themselves, discussing a third legendary American.  In the world beyond one can hope that Jefferson has since taken part in the conversation!

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7 Responses to Carl Sandburg, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Jefferson and Bishop Sheen

  • I met Bishop Sheen in St. Patrick’s Cathedral one evening in the mid-1950’s.

    My widowed Grandmother (RIP) worked in midtown Manahattan and bought tix for “Snow White” at Radio City. After the early evening movie, Mother (RIP) and Grandmother made the visit to the Cathedral with four young boys in tow. The youngest John, of course, was scooting around and not in sight. So, when trying to quietly call for him, Bishop Sheen heard “John” being called out. He graciously approached and introduced himself, saying his Mother had called him “John.” Grandmother and Mom were in Heaven.

    I remember his TV shows and have CD’s of a few. They broke the mold . . .

  • Don, good find! “My dear, Alistair…” Made me pine for more intelligent discourse on TV instead of cacophony of mumbo-jumbo on talk shows today. Say, Don, could you unearth some colloquies between Bill Buckley and Malcolm Muggeridge and post? They were real gems.

    Alistair Cooke had almost an obsession with Mencken, whom he mentions at the end of the vid. HLM, the “amiable skeptic,” is sorely missed today. Though an agnostic, he left a sliver of hope near the end of his life. He could be nasty, indeed, but beneath the curmudgeon was the soul of someone who thought man could be better somehow.

  • Don, I’m thrilled you share my interest in Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Wright designed his fair share of houses of worship. A Unitarian himself (grandson of a minister), he build Unitarian churches in Madison WI and Oak Park Il, a Greek Orthodox church near Milwaukee, a Jewish temple near Philadelphia and Protestant churches in Florida and Arizona.

  • They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

    I am from Galesburg, IL, the birthplace of Carl Sandburg.

    I had seen the Fulton Sheen clip before, but I can never help noticing how, as he is shaking hands with the panelists, one of them kisses his ring.

  • Now anytime a bishop is on TV the journalist is obliged – as a precept of their faith – to inquire about teaching on abortion, priestly celibacy, homosexuality, etc. And aren’t the journalists, to quote St Augustine, “ever more ready to ask questions than capable of understanding the answer.”

  • There’s a Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit showing right now at the Milwaukee Art Museum. I haven’t been to it yet, but intend to visit it before it closes in May. I too am a Wright fan.

  • And don’t forget the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, which was one of Wright’s earliest Prairie Style projects. It’s closed for renovation right now but when open it’s probably the biggest (perhaps the only) non-Lincoln tourist draw in the city.

Michael Scott Resigns From Dunder Mifflin

Sunday, July 4, AD 2010

Michael Scott, the head sales manager of Dunder Mifflin is calling it quits at the end of the 2011 television season.

The Office is one of the few shows that I enjoy watching because the comedy and writing are top-notch and just as importantly, it isn’t as depraved as most shows on television.

Viewing The Office is like watching elementary school cliques try to behave as adults.  It’s entertaining and sometimes difficult to watch, especially when the Michael Scott character embarrasses himself to the point that I cringe at the tv set.

Regardless, the show will definitely be different without him if they choose to continue, which I hope they do.

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Neal McDonough: Bravo!

Thursday, April 1, AD 2010

An actor, a faithful Catholic, willing to lose a role in a TV series because he won’t do sex scenes?  Surely not in this day and age?  Guess again!

Neal McDonough is a marvelous actor who elevates every role he plays, whether it’s in Band of Brothers or Desperate Housewives. So when he was suddenly replaced with David James Elliott 3 days into the filming on ABC’s new series Scoundrels earlier this week, there had to be a story behind the story. The move was officially explained as a casting change. But, in fact, McDonough was sacked because of his refusal to do some heated love scenes with babelicious star (and Botox pitchwoman) Virginia Madsen. The reason? He’s a family man and a Catholic, and he’s always made it clear that he won’t do sex scenes. And ABC knew that. Because he also didn’t get into action with Nicolette Sheridan on the network’s Desperate Housewives when he played her psycho husband during Season 5. And he also didn’t do love scenes with his on-air girlfriend in his previous series, NBC’s Boomtown, or that network’s Medical Investigation.

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24 Responses to Neal McDonough: Bravo!

  • He was superb in Band of Brothers. I’m glad to see he’s a good fella in addition to a good acta’

  • I’ve been a fan of his for a while, but I didn’t realize that he was a faithful Catholic… awesome!

  • I tried to find some way to email or contact Neal McDonough for his ethical stance. I couldn’t find a way, so please if possible forward to him that I’m very impressed. It’s good to know there are still some real men in Hollywood.

    Kind regards,

    Mark Emma
    Parsippany, NJ

  • Good for him.
    This culture is so overly saturated with sexuality that I cannot understand how anyone does not get bored with it. Religious convictions aside, don’t people ever get tired of trying to outdo each other in depravity? These so-called sexual rebels are really just marching in lock step with the culture. They all seem convince that they are breaking new ground. A month ago I was on the UIC (U of Illinois, Chicago) campus and some cute girls were at a table promoting the Vagina Monologues. Nobody paid them a visit. They looked pathetic and they shamed themselves.

  • Mr. McDonough has a facebook page where you can leave a message

  • @daledog, well said!

    @Marie, I found him on Facebook and am now a fan. Thanks.

  • I fixed the link.

    Good story and even more interesting comments on their posting over at Deadline Hollywood.

  • I remember the character he played on Boomtown, an adulterer and black-out drunk. I guess it’s good that McDonough doesn’t want to portray anything sexual, but that doesn’t seem like a big difference to me. It depends on how “hot” the scenes were going to be.

  • The reason this is so shocking is because everyone was pretty sure there was no one of character left in Hollyweird. Then Neil looses his job to his values.

    What is amazing to me is how the Hollyweird minion are suggesting there is no difference between playing a murderer, and taking your clothes off, making physical sexual (at least sensual) contact with an actress (who is not your wife) are not different issues. One is pretend, while the other is far from it.

    Hats off Neal, stand your ground, do not back down, and never apologize for being the last one standing with a moral core.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised Randy if a fair amount of actors and actresses aren’t secretly cheering him on. The entertainment industry is pretty intolerant of dissenters, and most people who dissent from the dominant worldview of Hollywood learn pretty quickly to keep their mouths shut if they want to work.

  • Pinky,

    In the Catechism it specifically states that even acted out sex is prohibited.

  • get tiger to do his role

  • Awesome!!! Finally someone to stand for faith, values and morals, Hollywood could take this to heart. Cheers for Neal McDonough.

  • Tito, are you referring to paragraph 2354 in the Catechism? I don’t think that every depiction crosses the line into pornography. A lot depends on how “hot” the scene is, I’d think.

  • @ Mark Emma
    I was thrilled to hear about Neal McDonough!!! I am also looking for a way to send email to applaud his actions. It also reminds me of another soap star who did the same thing…. Roark Critchlow- he played Mike on Days. If you find a way to catact Neal, let me know! I think he will get more opportunities to work- I believe God honors you for standing up for what is right!!!!

  • How awesome is that! Someone who actually has morals.

  • I also wish to applaud Neal McDonough for standing up for his beliefs and remaining faithful to his Catholic faith. May God continue to bless him and his family.

  • Glad to see an actor with moral character to say no to the filth and trash on our movies and TV screens. I commend him for his decision and wish more actors and actresses had the courage to do what he did. God Bless him. May he be an example for hollywood.

  • Yes, indeed. Bravo, Mr. McDonough! I’ll be looking forward to your new series.

  • Bom, sou brasileiro e achei muito impressionante a posição deste católico. Sou católico também e parece que o mundo não tem mais jeito. Mas mesmo sendo católico, eu duvido sobre estas coisas, mas aí que vem o poder de Deus e age para acreditarmos sempre, sempre. Felicidades para vc Mr. McDonough! Jesus o abençoe e Maria sempre o proteja!!!

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) Mr. de Melo’s comment is basically on-topic, so here’s a VERY rough translation from his Portuguese via my college Spanish:
    “Well, I’m Brazilian and [I like to look at things(?)] from a Catholic point of view. I’m Catholic, too, and it seems that the world now has more [skill?]. But this Catholic blog, you’re devoted to these things, so that one can see the power of God and have to praise him forever and ever. Congratulations to you Mr. McDonough! May Jesus lead you and Mary always protect you!”
    (As I said, this is a very rough translation of Waldney’s comments, so if anyone can refine it, that’d be great.)

  • Here’s Google’s translation:

    Well, I am Brazilian and found it very impressive that the Catholic position. I am a Catholic and seems also that the world is hopeless. But even being a Catholic, I doubt about these things, but then that is the power of God to believe and act whenever, wherever. Cheers to you Mr. McDonough ! Jesus and Mary bless you always protect him!

    /translation finished

    Pretty close to Mrs. Cathy “Civilization Guru” McClarey’s translation.

  • i just want to say…..I love this guy! why can’t i find a fan site??

Tim Tebow Pro-life Superbowl Ad

Sunday, February 7, AD 2010

Hattip to commenter restrainedradical.  One of the two Tebow pro-life Superbowl ads has leaked.  I can see why the pro-aborts fought tooth and nail to keep it off the air.  In tandem with the other Tebow pro-life SuperBowl ad,  it is devastating to them.  For background to the ads go here.  For the rest of the pro-life Tebow story, go to Focus on the Family here.

And here is the second ad:

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.  The pro-aborts by their hysterical reaction made sure the Tebow story of how his Mom refused to abort him got broadcast over America for free.  Now these two anodyne ads featuring a loving Mom and son make the pro-aborts look like the intolerant bigots they truly are!

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12 Responses to Tim Tebow Pro-life Superbowl Ad

  • Why exactly is this prolife? This ad in isolation says nothing and probably will only confuse people. Is there another ad?

  • There is NOTHING particularly pro-life about these ads. We were scammed. They were NOT what they were represented by Focus on the Family to be. They were about promoting Tim Tebow and Focus on the Family and that was it. Nothing about choosing not to abort, nothing about choosing life.

    We were had.

  • The message is in the Focus on the Family tag: “Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life.”

    No wonder the pro-aborts want to censor this ad.

  • Zach and Bender the “ads” weren’t the message, they were just teasers to get you to go to the web site where the real message was conveyed in an interview. The link is at the end of the first paragraph above.

  • So what was demonstrated by this event in contemporary culture is that it takes precious little to send pro-aborts over the top in preserving abortion on demand. That their extreme views and actions can work against them in unforeseen ways. That Focus on the Family must have some serious monetary resources!

  • You’re right, the ads weren’t the message — Focus on the Family’s misrepresentation about the content of the ads was the message, and FF’s manipulation of the pro-life community for it’s own purposes has now become the issue.

    I defended the ad because they said it was a pro-life ad. It wasn’t. It was a Tebow and FF ad. And I don’t particularly like being used to end up promoting Tebow and FF, rather than defending life as we all thought we were doing.

    Fraud and dishonesty are not the way to promote anything, especially the pro-life cause.

  • NOW is now condemning the ad for advocating violence against women. No, I’m not making this up:

    NOW president Terry O’Neill said it glorified violence against women. “I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it,” she said.


  • Let’s not overrect–as far as I know minimal information about the ad was given out beforehand by FF and much of the expected content was inferred by the opposition based on what was already known about the principals. While I wouln’t put it past Focus on the Family to engage in a little pro-abort leg-pulling, I’m hard pressed to discern a concerted effort to exploit pro-lifers. I believe most defenders of the ad acted spontaneously out of respect for the Tebows’ right to tell their stoy and weren’t goaded to it by FF. Anyway, FF succeeded magnificently. Weeks before the ad was aired, large numbers of people who had never before heard the story were suddenly aware of Tebow’s birth story. The ad itself was the most innocuous of teasers, exposing those pro-aborts who objected the loudest as the bigots they are. And the weblink at the end of the ad enabled anybody who hadn’t yet heard the Tebow family’s story to do so, if they wished. FF got its money’s worth several times over out of that thirty-second spot, and they did it in such a way that no reasonable opponent of their viewpoint could have protested.

  • Excuse me, that would be “overreact.”

  • “Violence against women?” Someone needs to tell that pro-abortion pseudofeminist that abortion is violence against women.

  • I’m just sayin’, there was nothing pro-life about these ads. Superbowl viewers were exposed to nothing pro-life. I don’t care about getting scammed (which I don’t think we did), I’m simply disappointed that nothing pro-life was said.

  • Preccisely, Zach. At the end of the day, there didn’t have to be anything pro-life about the ads. The pro-life part of the ads was all off-camera.

Res et Explicatio for AD 2-4-2010

Thursday, February 4, AD 2010

[Update at the bottom of this post]

Salvete TAC readers!

Here are my Top Picks in the Internet from the world of the Catholic Church and secular culture:

1. The USCCB scandal continues as the U.S. bishops continue to issue denials of wrongdoings.

Mary Ann of Les Femmes blog asks why does the USCCB continue to cooperate with evil.

An interesting twist to this story is how the Boston Globe and New York Times covered the homosexual pedophile abuse scandal in the Church quite vigorously yet not one peep when the USCCB is caught red-handed with direct links to anti-Catholic organizations.

2. A great discussion about the origins of the phrase, “The Dunce Cap“, provided for a clarification by Friar Roderic.  He provided a video that explains the steady progression as a Protestant insult, ie, to call Catholic dunces for being aggressive in their Catholic beliefs, to the more secularized version which has turned it into a catch phrase for idiocy.

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The Baby and the Quarterback

Wednesday, January 27, AD 2010

My ignorance of sports is vast.  However, I believe I now have a favorite quarterback.  Focus on the Family has paid for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl featuring former University of Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam.  When Pam was pregnant with Tim she contracted amoebic dysentery.  Harsh antibiotics were administered to her to rouse her from a coma.  She was counseled to have an abortion, being warned that her baby would be stillborn or live only a few hours.  She refused to have an abortion and Tim Tebow came into the world.

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6 Responses to The Baby and the Quarterback

  • Excellent point made about the hypocrisy of the “pro-choice” protests of the Tebow commercial. Meanwhile Obama’s war against the unborn continues with his re-nomination of Dawn Johnsen to run the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Dept. Check out link at American Thinker.

  • Before you favor him too much, read about his father’s missionary work to convert the pagan (Catholic) Filipinos. That said, her certainly does deserve praise for the unjustly criticized advertisement.

  • I sincerely hope that this ad would bring hope and healing to women and not the type of condemnation and ridicule that so many have cynically come to expect. That would be the kind of thing that could truly bring people together instead of politicizing this issue and dividing us further. Anything less would be a disappointment.

  • I disagree w/ you, Donald, on the notion that his monetary value will go down because of this ad. I think he may lose one or two potential endorsements in the future, but then again, he wouldn’t want to advertise for any product whose makers support abortion or similar issues. Moreover, I think it’s likely he may just become better known because of this ad, and in a good way, attracting more attention to any team he plays for or product he endorses. Then again, it’s football, and this whole flap may have absolutely zero effect on Tebow’s pocketbook either way.

    At the very least, airing the ad during the SuperBowl, the most watched American TV event every year, will at least raise awareness of the issue and spur discussions among friends and families.

    The pro-abortion groups and supporters are on the ropes in American society and they know it, so they continue to blubber and scream that CBS should censor this ad. Culture War Notes has up a video clip from MSNBC yesterday of the presidents of NOW and a pro-life organization debating the issue. It was extremely telling to me to watch the faces of the two women as they debated–the NOW president appeared to be so obviously angry, bitter, and unpleasant that she eventually realized that wouldn’t play well on camera. She tried to force a smile, but it looked like her face just wouldn’t allow her to smile. Tells us a lot about pro-abortion beliefs and proponents, doesn’t it?

    I’m a Florida alum, and Tebow is not only the finest college football player ever to play the game (OK, I’m biased, but just ask Bobby Bowden and Tony Dungy!), but more importantly, he’s a hero and awesome role model to millions of people for his beliefs and his life, as well as his talent. Even his football rivals praise him to the skies after they get to know him personally. GO GATORS!

  • I’ll give you that he is a better role model, but he is not a better college player than inVINCEable Young was.

    I’m glad he is doing the commercial – I don’t think it will affect him much financially one way or the other. The Ben & Jerry’s crowd isn’t brimming with sports fans.

  • Oh c matt, and here I was beginning to trust your judgment w/ your good taste in BBQ, then you have to go and compare Tebow and Young! Young was one of the greats, no doubt about it (and I don’t particularly like the Horns, despite living here in TX now, although I would have loved to have seen the Gators play them last January instead of overrated Oklahoma for the nat’l championship!), but Young would rank perhaps in the top 5 or 6 players of all time at the college level. In terms of leadership, heart for the game, and even overall physicality, I have to give the edge to Tebow here, and by a comfortable margin.

    Alas, not everything that comes out of Houston is logical, including c matt’s football preferences! ;-p

What’s His Line?

Wednesday, April 1, AD 2009

Hattip to the Curt Jester.  I loved What’s My Line as a kid.  The game show aspect was fun, but I really watched for the wit of the panelists.  Entertaining and amusing without profanity, vulgarity, salaciousness, nudity or explosions.  How did they ever do it? 

The Bishop Sheen episode aired October 21, 1956  at the height of Sheen’s fame.  Note the high respect for him by the host, the panelists and the audience.  How much ground the Church has to regain in our society!

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One Response to What’s His Line?

8 Responses to Adama v. Adama

  • I still prefer the little-known Battlestar Galactica of the 1940’s and 1950’s. I think it’s available on DVD, if you’re interested.

  • Thanks for the comments and link to the amusing remarks by Dirk Benedict. As a member of the (original 1977) Star Wars generation, Galactica was a favorite show! But your comments prompt me to a related subject. You mention that the current iteration, like many shows since the 1990s, features soft-porn. Without wanting to appear sanctimonious or guilt-free, how do you justify watching it? Is it for the entertainment value? If so, what makes you (or me) different in that respect from any non-Catholic? It’s just that I think Catholics have fought shy of this issue in the last forty years. There used to standards for entertainment based on the catechism. As far as I still know I have no good reason to watch simulated sex or erotic content. Those things in some way or other fall under the 9th commandment. Granted there are shades of grey. And one could talk of subtle distinctions in mature entertainment before the 60s, but things are so in your face now, that those arguments no longer apply in many cases. I throw this out there for the sake of debate. Ultimately there must be an objective standard. As Catholics we object to porn, hard or soft, in our popular culture. How do we counter it? Do we allow ourselves to participate in it just because we like James Bond movies, etc.? What makes our stance any different from that of some antinomian “Christianinty” that has emasculated our religion and rendered us impotent in the face of neo-paganism. Again no judgementalism here but I’d like some answers. Thanks!

  • The only thing I would take exception to is the “sour grapes” comment. It skews where the article is coming from – using the new show *only* as a jumping off point for the state of television (and society) as a whole. The whole “career peak” thing comes from the fact that he chose parenthood (gasp!) over acting, something to be applauded and which is too often overlooked.

  • “How do you justify watching it? Is it for the entertainment value?”

    In the same way that I justify reading the Satyricon by Petronious, to learn. I find the soft porn moments intensely annoying and not at all erotic, just as I find the ultra violence more sickening than exciting. The problem that has developed in our society is that many aspects of the culture are of questionable morality or intensely immoral. To avoid it entirely on tv, in movies, the internet, in books, etc, would be to adopt an amish way of life as it comes to the culture. I do not criticize Christians who adopt that approach, but it is not the path I have chosen. When I find some aspect of the culture that I believe has something to teach me, I decide whether the good that I am exposing myself to, justifies the intermingled bad. It’s hard to draw lines, and I wish our culture was not such an open sewer, but it is the interaction I have chosen with our culture for the present.

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply. I didn’t want to be overly contentious, but I’m not sure it’s the answer I’m looking for. Whether your approach works for you or not remains subjective and some might say indistinguishable from the mainstream view (“don’t look at it if you don’t like it”). It’s not “Amish” to say that what passes for entertainment now would have been totally inadmissible to the clergy and most laypeople fifty years ago. We had moral continuity for centuries and now it’s gone. Can definitions really change that much? Granted there are grey areas and room for prudential decisions. (Let’s avoid “puritanism” as a red herring.) But as I think you admit, there are excesses which no one should realistically be expected to grapple with. The problem is that today’s immorality is the rule and less easily avoided than an obscure piece of literature (e.g. Petronius) was in the past. If the standards have fallen then presumably we need to restore them rather than acquiesce to evil in the interests of aesthetic urbanity. On the other hand, if it means that we have to view lingerie displays and groping for the sake of some pulp sci fi show… well, that’s a bid of a hard sell for me, I admit! All said in charity.

  • “Whether your approach works for you or not remains subjective and some might say indistinguishable from the mainstream view (”don’t look at it if you don’t like it”). ”

    The truly foolish might say that.

    “Can definitions really change that much?”

    The definitions haven’t changed at all, but the people have. Where there was moral consensus, we now have moral anarchy. When I first started my legal career, I was shocked by how many marriages were ending in divorce. Now I am shocked by how many couples have several children, are now breaking up, and have never been married at all. I am also seeing more parternity cases where not even a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship had been established, but rather a few incidents of “hooking up” resulted in a child.

    “If the standards have fallen then presumably we need to restore them”

    Agreed. I am all ears as to how you think we can go about doing that. In the past such alterations in public taste have usually been acomplished through censorship, either voluntary such as the Catholic League of Decency, or through government action. Of course these attempts to enforce standards of decency in public entertainment were effective because there was broad public agreement as to what the standards should be, and an entertainment company that crossed the line would pay a price with the general public. Regrettably such a consensus as to standards in entertainment clearly no longer exist. Now, any attempt at censorship, leaving aside all the current legal difficulties that would entail, would probably simply increase the money that the “banned” show would bring in. Not to mention that the internet means that any censorship regime would probably make no sense anyway since even totalitarian states like the PRC have great difficulty controlling the internet. So the censorship route is out the window.

    The best alternative I can think of is for Christians to produce entertainment that does reflect Christian values and is entertaining. Too often what passes for Christian entertainment one would be hard pressed to get people to watch even if they were paid. The vast success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Passion of the Christ, and, to a lesser extent, the two Narnia films, does indicate that there is a strong market for well made and performed Christian entertainment. We are aided also by the fact that most of the entertainment that does not present Christian values is often pretty poorly made and acted, this is not the case with the current Battlestar Galactica, and so Christian entertainment in order to beat out the competition, does not always have to be a masterpiece, but merely professional in both the peformances and the production. One reason the culture is such a sewer is that Christians have not been active enough in providing alternatives, and this is a portion of the problem that can be addressed successfully if there is enough will, time and money. In my experience Christians who wish to reform the culture usually have the will and time, but money often is the sticking point.

  • “It’s not “Amish” to say that what passes for entertainment now would have been totally inadmissible to the clergy and most laypeople fifty years ago. We had moral continuity for centuries and now it’s gone.”

    From where I sit -and given the general direction of this reply- Matt is seeing things fairly clearly. Well spoken.

    My best friend is a nominal Catholic (his mother practiced, he never did) and seemingly obsessed with “BG 2.0”. As I liked the original as a child I thought I’d give the new series a chance, and joined my friend to watch up to the second season, but I won’t watch beyond that point. Among other issues I have with the new series there’s simply too much moral relativism, too much violence, and too much sexuality on display for me to find much redeeming about its story arc. Naturally, my friend thinks I’m taking my moral objections too seriously while I on the other hand wonder how any practicing Catholic could do anything else!

    As opposed to the original series “2.0” is nothing I’d show my fiancee, much less any children we might one day have.

    Still, I will thank you for this humorous and thought-provoking entry!

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