Towards The End Of All Strife


Because I know how sensitive you all are, how finely tuned into the pain of your fellow men, and how willing you are to do whatever you are informed it will take to make everyone feel at home here in These Untied States, I am taking the liberty to forward for your information and education these two articles from a leading scholar in the field of Things That Are An Abuse of White Privilege and That Really Torque Everyone With An Ounce of Sense. The author’s first article appeared in a not so recent issue of the Washington Post; most probably because The Onion had already gone to press. For those unfamiliar with it, The Washington Post is a newspaper whose supercilious, arrogant, haughty, conceited, disdainful, overbearing, pompous, condescending, superior, patronizing, imperious, proud, snobbish, snobby, smug, scornful, sneering, high and mighty, uppity, stuck-up, snotty, snot-nosed…in other words liberal…point of view is second in loathsomeness only to The New York Times. Here is the link to it:…/ea929b2a-3f96-11e5-9561-4b…

The second article isn’t really an article. It is a link to a “teaser” of sorts to the author’s doctoral dissertation published by something called The American Studies Association; a kind of leftist organization made up of thin chested, chrome domed, watery eyed, thick lensed whiners and wheezers most famous, I guess, for boycotting Israeli academic institutions, and bringing that country to its knees. An organization devoted, it says, to studying America from the vantage point of those who work in “higher education”; a more evident example of an oxymoronic enterprise it would be hard to find if the dissertation in question here is typical of its work. The little abstract is only slightly more silly than the article in WaPo:…/southern_beauty_performing_feminin…/

After reading them both, the only fault one can find is that it does not go far enough. Urging a ban on hoop skirts (which are hell in a crowded subway car) is small beer. We need to ban them of course; but along with them, in order that all manner of things will be well, we need to do away with a lot of other “southren” things. Such as, we should ban: sweet tea, barbecue, mint juleps, grits, fried chicken, chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, catfish in any form, pecan pie, bourbon, Kentucky, colonels, jambalaya, gumbo, jazz, shrimp, crawdads, Mississippi mud and parasols…just in case.

Oh yeah, live oaks, too and banjos and the color black.

Oops, I forgot, every word written by Faulkner, Percy, O’Connor, Williams, Twain and a few dozen others.

Then, and only then will Rodney King’s dream come true. And then, only, may we return to the good men may do saving baby seals, snail darters, rainbows, lollipops and right whales…and killing babies.


The Society for the Restoration of Civility, Respect and Good Behavior has announced today that along with the words war, breaking, shooting and other such incendiary words they are bringing suit in the Supreme Court to ban the use of these two words: I and Me. Stan Lee, spokesman for the group, told reporters early this morning as he was mopping the Washington Mall, that such words are intolerant and dangerous; as are the words intolerant and dangerous.  “In the world to come, everyone will be the same,” said Mr. Lee.  “There will be no need for such privilege seeking words as the personal pronouns.  We and Us are the only words which will be necessary, and approved.” 

When asked for an example of a word that SRCRGB could approve in all circumstances he replied, “Tea.” He explained that “tea” is the only word in any language which should not be banned, with the possible exception of an unpronounceable word in Tlingit which means “Do you want ice with that?” Mr. Lee excused himself at that point saying he was still several hundred yards short of the Washington Monument, and must get the mopping done before the tourists showed up. We stood watching as he mopped away,stopping every few feet to bend and scrape up a wad of gum from the ground.

I understand that the SRCRGB has added “incendiary” and “silly” to its list of “words which must never be spoken”.

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A Meditation on Freedom and Independence


Poor Satan. He always gets it in the neck when folks argue, or when we do something other folks think is wrong, or “bad” or “mean”. Then they jump ugly on us and we jump back; and all sorts of lettered bombs start falling; verbal ones and metal ones.

If we only followed his example and blew everyone off from the very beginning, there’d be no hard feelings, ever, since no one would have anything to do with anyone else.  Everyone would be free.  You know?

“Just stay the hell outta my way!” has got to be the motto of Hell.

Stuff like “I’ll never darken your door again,” need never be said. No love doesn’t mean hate. It simply means solitary.

I think Dante had it all wrong. Even that Frenchie philosopher and play writer, Smarter, had no idea.  And, he was a Commie, too.  Commies are supposed to be the smartest people on earth, the ones with all the answers.  Just ask one.  Well, if you’ve got about a year with nothing to do but listen.

And no place ain’t more free than a Commie Worker’s Paradise.  Just ask them.  Nah, on second thought…

Back to Hell.

Hell ain’t bedlam.

It ain’t a small room where you and your worst nightmares get to spend every waking (and there ain’t no ever going to sleep) minute.

Hell is the biggest, darkest, coldest, quietest place there can be, where no one give’s a rat’s ass about anyone or anything forever. And, you’re there.  Alone.  You can do what you want forever.  What’s more Free than that?

Just sayin’.

I know music hath charms and all that.  But the first time I heard this, it scared the hell out of me.  Then I sat thinking, and said to myself no amount of noise, no screeching, howling, thundering, scary noise for however long eternity is could be worse than nothing, simply nothing.

Just you, and knowing it was your choice.  There are no “savage breasts” in hell.

Enjoy the sounds.

And then:

That’s All There Is.  Happy Independence Day!

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Lollipops and Rainbows

My first thought on seeing the former White House lit up the other night was the Lesley Gore song of not so long ago, a happy little nothing.  In the video below she bounces along with her companions in a bus.  They have started from God knows where and are headed, again, God knows where.  But, they are happy, all of them.

So did the White House look happy and gay the other night.  (Please note, I mean to use the word “gay” in its ancient and original meaning of a person or event that is happy and bright.)  So, gay did it look, I had the sudden thought about this song, and wondered if there was a flag pole nearby, for surely there must be a flag pole on the, umm, White House grounds, it should be replaced by a giant lollipop!

Might we not then replace the Stars and Stripes, so bombastic, with Miss Gore’s lighthearted anthem:

Posted in A Newer Better Way, Bus Rides, Desert, Freedom of Choice, Gay, Lollipops, Music, Songs | 2 Comments

A Letter To A Friend

Recently a friend wrote to me about what has been in the news, lately; this new law in Indiana and all of the upset it is causing.  He’s a business person, and so he is upset at all of the problems the law, and the reactions to it from several quarters are causing for the business community in Indiana.  I can understand that.


Here is my reply to him, more or less…

Good Morning …,

A nice, long, and thoughtful piece.  I enjoyed reading it.

I’ll try to keep this short, but I know it will be too long to meet the Current Brevity Standard (CBS).  No imagining necessary about media coverage, My Friend.  This thing about pushed everything else aside; which has had me wondering “WHY?”  For probable answers to that you may try reading (or re-reading) Whittaker Chambers, “Witness”; not because I suspect Communists, but for reasons which will make themselves clear as you read along.

You make reference  to a 20 year period in Indiana of trying to grow the economy; a laudable effort.  From the point of view of a lot folks who are way more intelligent than I’ll ever be, the other side in this issue is uninterested in such things.  Their focus is on political power, and through it fundamental societal, possibly even civilizational, change.  It’s a point which has escaped the notice, I guess, and the reasoning and planning capabilities, of what might be called the traditionalists if one is speaking from a purely, umm, traditional position.  And, they, the change seekers I mean, have been at it for much longer than 20 years.

Many brainy types in the legal/academic/thinking professions trace the beginning of this change to the Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, a decision based on the use of contraceptives, and whether or not, I think, the government had a right to control  their purchase.  It was the beginning of the constitutionally guaranteed…and thus, not only above, but beyond, the law… right to privacy in matters personal between people of an age to consent to them.

Don’t ask me which amendment to the constitution the court relied on to reach that decision. It was the first of many discovered by the Nine Black Riders, the legal Nazgul, in the many penumbrae located in the woods of words, some of which included Roe v.Wade, and the much celebrated decision in a case down in Texas about homosexual relations which contained language from Justice Kennedy that found in the shadows behind the print of our founding document, guaranteeing each individual, more or less, the right to decide for himself what was truth, the right from right from the wrong, the real from the fancied, and etc.

Pushback of a sort came in the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Encoded thus in the law of the land, the original Fed law about religious freedom under Clinton could be seen as a step away from the potential sea change of moral, ethical, legal  medical, and societal mess that many feared might be coming, the wave forming offshore…and which surely has broken with tsunamic force; first and foremost with homosexuals, and now with all sorts of things strange and wonderful to behold, and shrink from: same sex unions in the beginning and now marriage, open marriages, triple and quadruple marriages (bringing about the total disappearance of any meaning to the word adultery, and the corresponding sense of faithfulness/fidelity in marriage.)  [The latter collapses the covenental nature of marriage, the notion of family, with unknown and uncalculated changes to and the great possibility of harm to children…who are now thought of in many ways as commodities.  One of the consequences of that is the commodification of sex itself, and the destruction of its usefulness as an interpersonal/intersexual bond.]

It is beyond my depth to discuss the “advances” in the science of chemical reproduction on the one hand, the industry grown up around it and the corresponding push to change the definition of human; the advances in bio-engineering, cloning, gene replacement, sex-reassignment and God knows what all on several others hands that have happily marched alongside this advancing tide of change.  I’ll just say that for the most part these things are all viewed as positive goods; leading to longer, happier, stronger and more sexually attractive, exciting and fulfilled lives.  Speaking of which, I saw a photo somewhere recently of a person (?) who has had a third arm grafted onto “its” body.

All of these scientific and clinical wonders remind me of  the following: Many, many years ago, when I was a young boy, I read a story in Astounding Science Fiction, a pulp magazine, which was about what happened when a race of heartlessly cruel aliens conquered the Earth, and began “breeding” different types of humans; specifically to do different tasks.  Some were bred as draft animals, some as aquatic creatures to keep the sea lanes clear, some for other reasons.  One of the illustrations accompanying the article presented the artist’s take on what the different types would look like.  I remember the draft animal humans, the riding humans and the “other” purposed breeds. The story itself was a kind of crude and short “Brave New World”, a dystopic view of the future to be sure, but one which is being discussed, more or less seriously by folks who appear to be sane.  There has recently been a conference somewhere among deep pockets people to order up research and planning for the end of death.  That’s right life immoratl.  Who needs promises.  We can do it ourselves.  And what would an immortal human look like I wondered when i read that; all botoxed up?

For sure, the folks who envisioned a world without any restrictions of who may be married to whom(s) several decades ago looked normal, too.  They have become so, along with many kinds of people whose existence was never even contemplated outside the pages of things like Astounding Magazine.

And people like me?  Does the name Jeremiah mean anything to you?

Below are some things I’ve come across in the media which might interest you, they are all of recent vintage:  (Pay particular attention to some…many?…of the comments for what seems to me a willful misreading and distortion of Brook’s point.  You will find the same going on in almost every reports about this law in the media.)    (The author, Robert George, may be known to you.  He’s a Princeton law professor.)  (A short statement on religious liberty signed by, among others, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, a man of surpassing intelligence and deep faith.)  (Esolen is a personal favorite of mine.  I would wear an Esolen T-shirt.)

For the record, one of my oldest friends was recently described to me as a homosexual fellow.  I never knew!  Such things never mattered.  He was simply my friend.  He introduced my first wife and I and painted us a beautiful picture which still hangs in my house as his wedding gift.  I’ve known him since we were children.  He’s been in a celibate relationship with a woman for at least 30 years.

Several years ago I wrote of my encounters with homosexual men, and “published” it on something called Nashua Patch, an on-line journal of local news and opinion, having been asked to write about things by the editor.  For doing so I was excoriated by pro-homosexual folks for the next few weeks, quite to my surprise, for telling how I had been approached and had refused the advances.

Anyway, I like what you had to say, and hope all is well with you and yours.

Happy Easter,


PS:  A friend suggested yesterday that we all begin wearing yellow crosses sewed on our clothing like the yellow stars Jews had to wear in Germany.  The idea appeals to me.

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What We Need And Don’t Need

( kind of a poem )

We need more carpenters. We need more plumbers and electricians. We need more cooks. We need shoe makers and tailors
who can use a fine nail and a fine thread, too, on leather and cloth; who can cut a hide and a bolt of cloth and make a work of art.
We need more fishermen and iron workers; workers with nets and lines, with re-bar and high steel, on the wild ocean,
above the streaming streets, balancing on the wind, dancing on a wave.. We need truck drivers and bakers. We need guys who
can wire a house and hang dry wall, tear off a roof and put on a roof. Hell, we need plasterers and brick layers to build a wall
to keep out the cold; a wall to hang a painting on; a painting of mothers and fathers so the kids can see who they were and know,
know how and why each of them came to be . We need lumberjacks and longshoremen to knock down a tree and to tie a ship to
the pier. We need barkeepers to pour an honest beer for an honest man. We need ball players in neighborhood lots, “spaldeen”
throwers who know  a curve ball from a curved wall. We need barbers and their shops for Saturday mornings and for  first haircuts.

These guys build and maintain, shore up and and support, do good work and know what fun is.  They’re all honest men. They’re all true men.
We don’t need more lawyers, accountants, investment advisers or “wealth planners”. We don’t need more ad executives, reporters,
commentators, analysts, panelists or pundits; sports, political, military or medical variety. They wear white shirts and silk ties and
shoes someone else shines for them; pay a hundred bucks for their haircuts but have never stepped into a barber shop. We don’t need hair dressers;
hair dressers, and guys who go to them. We don’t need more diplomats, bankers, or special envoys stinking up the air,  the air and atmosphere, making their own poisonous weather
with the contrails of their conferences in high places and rare spaces; handing their coats and cases to eager, dutiful young jerks from expensive schools.  We
don’t need vice-presidents…of any kind; committees or committee members in paneled rooms and puffy chairs with pitchers of water
and microphones; water to wet their whistle or whet their wit; wit no amount of whetting could ever sharpen beyond the cutting edge of
cooled lava or warm butter, microphones so the News at Nine may bring their mumbles, fumbles and foolishnesses to the boobocrats who voted for them;
the Big Deals in long black limos smoking long black cigars who bought them   We don’t need the kind of guys who read “men’s” magazines, and wear a jacket with some other guy’s name on it and don’t wear sneakers; but they have running shoes, and climbing shoes, and walking shoes, and skiing shoes, and every kind of shoe but honest shoes.  We don’t need men (or women) who miss the wedding ceremony, but show up for the reception.

We need fathers who are fathers, husbands who are husbands; wives who are wives and mothers who are mothers.

We certainly need poets. A poet will do,will do just fine in all these places, or alone on a hill, or meadow, or by the sea; just as long as he’s
listened to.

We don’t need constitutional scholars.

We need truth.

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No Thanks, Doc, I Can Do It Better Myself I Think

A very smart man I know of has gone out on a limb, and has written a short list of some of the things about science and scientists which, well, he believes are annoying, or downright foolish, or, worse than that, actually dangerous; things which cause him to distrust scientists, though he still thinks there’s something to science worth the effort.  One reads his list and can think of other things that may be or have been dangerous for anyone, especially scientists, to think or do.  And for the rest of us to live with.

His list may not be long, and as I say it is probably not exhaustive. But it sure got my attention.  And, after giving it some thought, a good thinker might think something like this: that the scientist in his lab, or the V.P. For Research and Development of Really Good New Things, who is quite often someone with a background in science, might take a look at what is bubbling away in the beaker, or reproducing itself in the dish, or slowly being assembled by the techs down in the clean room, and simply toss it instead of taking the “concept” to the boys down in advertising, or applying for an NIH grant for the next new cure for creeping “coreopsis” disease, or ending “kudzu” syndrome in the elderly.  When you get a booster like Stephen Hawking saying things like AI may be the death of us, you ought to pull over to the curb and consult the map.  Maybe,  just maybe, we ain’t supposed to try to walk on water.

Now, there are quite a few people, and I have met some of them, who have strong and positive opinions about science and scientists. They are very much in favor of both of them.  In favor too are they of the things that other folks make and sell all over the place that come from the minds of scientists and the hands of the people who work at making scientific stuff; things as entertaining and harmless as computer games and energy drinks.

According to these folks, science explains everything. Well, it’s pretty far along the way they’ll say.  The end is in sight, almost.  Stuff like that.  And only scientists can make sense out of the world with their explanations of everything. Once the world has been made sense of, why, it can be tamed, used, improved, and everyone in it cured; including being cured of creeping “coreopsis”.

And, that’s progress – mostly.  And, ain’t progress good?

Why, take paved roads for instance.  We got about 60,000 square miles of them, not counting parking lots, and I used to hear said with pride and excitement you can go from one shining sea to the next without a stop for a traffic light.  60,000 square miles of concrete and asphalt.  That’s Ohio and some, give or take, or The Rockies if you pile it up.    100 years ago we had none of it.  See how far we’ve come.  Look at what it’s done for Detroit f’rinstance.

Plus we now got a lot of jobs paving and plowing and painting guard rails.Until, I suppose, some AI thing with ten legs, eight arms that end in bristles and a belly full of paint comes along.

Whenever I listen to these folks talking about science and scientists in such glowing terms I am reminded of a story I heard long ago when I was young. The story is about the world long ago when it too was young. You know the one I mean?  It’s about a couple in a garden who share an apple after some snake tells them they’ll know all they need to know if they just take a bit of the delicious red thing; they’ll be as smart and as powerful as the smartest and most powerful, umm, (?).  That’s, to my mind, where advertising was born.

There’s a lot of truth in thinking that there’s some things scientists oughtn’t to be thinking of doing when they’re in their labs about to do some of the things they’re thinking of doing. Instead, I kind of think, they ought to spend a certain amount of time thinking about the things in their philosophy that are “more” than they thought of; the things they cannot sniff, touch, taste, hear, see, either by themselves or their immensely sensitive machines that zip when they move, bop when they stop and whirr when they stand still…and ain’t no toys.

Because, really, there are things beyond science, you know.  Science is limited, despite what the boosters say, and it follows as the night the day that “progress” is, too.  S0meday, we’ll run out of paving materials.  Really!  And, then what?  We’re already running out of bug killers; they, the bugs that is, now laugh in their gambols through our veins and arteries and organs at the stuff we pour over them hoping to kill ’em.

Some day, maybe sooner than later, the appropriate treatment for a fever may again be a cold compress, a soft pillow, a sympathetic look, a cup of tea and a whispered prayer.

A whispered prayer.  Now, there’s something that might be worth thinking about.  Tea is always worth thinking about.


Listed below are the things which got me thinking in my “lab” about what I was thinking about above, and they’re only his Top Ten:

Top Ten Reasons Why I May Trust Science, but not Scientists (in other words, why scientists are people like the rest of us, motivated by pride and passion, avarice and ambition, stubbornness and fear):

1. Abortion — and all the retro-fitting of textbooks and of the Hippocratic Oath, to relieve them of the embarrassment.

2. Nineteenth century hospitals and the medical profession, NOT listening to Joseph Lister and Louis Pasteur, and so consigning thousands of women to death.

3. Euthanasia — including letting grandma go under with morphine, even if she is not in pain.

4. Rachel Carson’s lies, leading to the deaths of millions of Africans.

5. Josef Mengele et alia.

6. Lysenko et alia.

7. The whole LBGTQERTYUIOP double-talk — and all the retro-fitting of textbooks and of the psychiatric profession, to shore up the politics.

8. Ritalin.

9. Tuskegee.

10. Thalidomide.

Dishonorable Mention: Low-fat diets, margarine, cigarettes are good for you, eggs are bad for you, we should all eat Burpee vegetables, let’s make everything out of corn oil, sterilization of the feeble minded, the Pill, AZT …

Can you think of any more reasons???  I can.  Two.  Chernobyl and Fukushima.   And then there’s GE and PBCs.

Oh, the very smart fellow whose Top Ten list I used is Dr. Anthony Esolen.  He really is a very smart fellow; a professor, even, in a famous eastern college.



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To Judge?

My Father, My Sister and Me ,1947, In The Good Times

My Father, My Sister and Me, 1947, In The Good Times

An old friend was talking about something in his life that caused him to change the way he had been thinking about things. I know a lot of people who are doing that, re-thinking stuff that had been settled long ago, so they thought, back in the days when up was up, right was right and life was rather more straight forward, the ground more firm beneath one’s feet.

Is it ever?

My old friend’s short explanation of this “circumstance” caused him at the end to quote His Holiness, who may be remembered more for this than anything else he says or does: “Who am I to judge?”

Now, as I round the clubhouse turn in this long race things which my old friend was speaking about come to my mind from time to time; things present and things past; things long with me which I begin to recognize have had quite a bit to do with my having been the person I have been. A lot of those things have to do with my family and me. One of them concerns my father. I guess because I am a father, too, it stands out, bolder each year.

Who is anyone of us to judge, really, in a situation like this:

My father, may he rest in peace, was an only child. Because his father was a seafarer, and his mother worked in places far from home, my father spent a lot of time living as a boarder in the homes of relatives. Years after he died I learned that they, his aunts and uncles and cousins, referred to him as Poor Eddie. He died of a combination of throat cancer and alcoholism after more than 20 years of his own…and his family’s..”long day’s journey”. And, after that event, for not a few years I wondered, from time to time, whether or not I was headed in the same direction.

Thinking about what my friend said about his thought provoking “circumstance”, my father’s life, and especially the last few months of it, was the first thing that popped into my head. It wasn’t perhaps, on point, as the saying goes, but it was what came to mind.

I remember, when I was about 12, my mother asking the three of us whether or not she should leave, just take us and go. My father would have been just short of forty, then, and had only 17 years left; and things had been going bad, really bad, for about five years. I remember where we were; standing in the hallway of our apartment on the ground floor, in the rear of a six story walk-up in the Bronx. It was a run down place, used, used too much and not well cared for, a neglected beaten dog kind of place. Mom was getting to look like that, too. We all cried and begged her not to do it, “We love him,” we said. Well, she did as we asked, and took to drinking herself.

The years passed.

He was in a hospice run by the Hawthorn Dominicans near the East River, not too far from the Brooklyn Bridge. The priest who’d baptized my son had arranged that for me, for us all, thank God. We brought my mother to see him shortly before he died, but once through the door she demurred. “I can’t see him,” she said. “I won’t be able to see him as he is. I love him too much.”

And so, we took her home. He died shortly after; a week, two, I can’t remember. But, the day before he died I visited him. It took a while for me to get him to come around enough to respond. I said, “I love you, Dad.” “I love you, too,” he answered and then was lost to me. They were the last words we spoke to each other.

I’ve thought about my mother’s non-visit and my own last visit to my father a lot over the last 45 years, her last words about him, and the last words Dad and I spoke to each other, and wondered what really was going on.

One of the “takeaways” from it that I’ve made a part of my prayers for both of them goes like this: God’s like Mom when she said that she didn’t want to see him like he was, wasted and dying from his “problem” and all the trouble it caused; not the man she loved, lying “in sin” and its effects. He loved Dad too much to want that meeting to take place.

And me and Dad? God’s like me when I finally can contact him, bring him around to look at me standing at his bedside, and hear me say, “I love you.” Despite the fact that your behavior for the past many years broke my heart, I love you, and I’ll always love you. Despite the fact that most of what you’ve been doing is wrong and selfish, I love you and I’ll always love you. Hear me. Wake up and listen.

And Dad? He’s Dad waiting to hear he’s loved, (and to be healed?), who when he does can say, “I love you, too.” And die, yet live.

Well, that’s my story.

So far.

PS: I know, because he was where he was, that he received the Last Rites. I still pray for him, though, and hope for him.

Posted in A Story, Faith, Hope, Truth | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments