Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Oh, my! Non-sport memories of Dick Enberg

The sad news from Boston that Nicole Vaz told the AP her father, Dick Enberg, died while packing his bags for a family vacation to the area lastweek was another sign of how our legendary figures of our youth are dying.

Mr. Enberg, 82, and wife Barbara were headed to Boston and the wife arrived, only to learn he never made it out of his La Jolla home, waiting to be transported to the airport.

But as much as we know him from sport, he did television game shows, none of which lasted but a year or two.  We found a few clips from game shows he hosted as a tribute to Enberg the quizmaster – something that started as a gofer at a radio station in college never expected we'd see, let alone a distinguished broadcasting career.

Three For the Money


Perfect Match

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

St. Stephen, the First Martyr

This second day of Christmas is called St. Stephen Day, and whom do we celebrate on this day?  He was the first martyr of Christianity, as seen in Acts 6-7.  (Because of copyright restrictions, we are posting only a Public Domain version of the Bible.  There are other versions out there, but we cannot post them without hitting copyright infringement issues.)

Acts 6

1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,

13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:

14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Chapter 7

1 Then said the high priest, Are these things so?

2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.

4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.

5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.

7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.

8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.

9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,

10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

11 Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance.

12 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.

13 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh.

14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.

15 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers,

16 And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.

17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,

18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.

19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.

20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months:

21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.

22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.

24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:

25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.

26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?

27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?

28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?

29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.

30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.

31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,

32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.

33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.

34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.

35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,

40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?

43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

44 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.

45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;

46 Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.

47 But Solomon built him an house.

48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

50 Hath not my hand made all these things?

51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 23: Get used to it

I don't know about you, but this isn't exactly my idea of what I want to see under the tree on Christmas morning. As I said in the title, though, get used to it: as soon as Christmas is over, you'll see nothing but weight-loss commercials on TV. I can't wait!

Friday, December 22, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 22: Here's to you!

I don't drink egg nog myself, but if I did, it would have to be Sealtest. After all, if it passes the Santa test, it has to be good!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Grinches: What does not fit for the season

It caught my attention last night at church during the candlelight service in the middle of the Third Week of Advent (the fourth week is Christmas week itself, so it clashes with the first half of Christmastide), they want Christmas Eve to mimic the big self-help centres with one loud daytime rock concert instead of Bible reading.  A music ministry official permitted a vocalist at church to sing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" with karaoke accompaniment.  Karaoke it is well known I have a problem, but one listen of it and I was having to escape because it was highly inappropriate for me to accept that song in church, especially if you've seen Fleming, von Stade, and others, participated in a Singalong Messiah where the seating organisers forgot instructions that I thought I was driving Kyle Larson's sprint car and could not find the cushion as I could not find fellow tenors in the tenor section to ensure proper matching just two days ago, and have been able to discern what is and not appropriate for church.  How inappropriate was it for that song to be sung for a Christmas service, especially when "Hallelujah" means Händel's No. 44 from Messiah, and even then, that's an Easter song, not a Christmas song.  (The final Christmas section from the piece is "His Yoke is Easy", No. 21.)

The acceptance of that song for Christmas has puzzled me, considering during a Christmas party for the CrossFit box I visit weekly (sometimes twice a week), they did not accept the more Christmas themes from "Not That Far from Bethlehem," Schubert's "Ave Maria," "The Season of Love" (which my old Townhall and 74157 Club member who writes the Jenny's American Slice blog appreciates), but they accepted every winter song and numerous awful versions of a Mariah Carey song that I just don't see being Christmas-like.  Why has it every Top 40 hit can be accepted for Christmas, but the platinum standards of Schubert, Franck, Bach, and Händel are not accepted in the public square, but now not even accepted in churches today?

These incidents forced me to read again an Amy Spreeman commentary about one popular group and their promotion of sin, yet too many accept their arrangement of Christmas songs.

And two cases of nativity scenes with perversion support led to two opposites, as a Rhode Island bishop objected to a nativity scene in California that was perverted with Baby Jesus and two Josephs, no Mary (that wouldn't be welcome at Hobby Lobby) . . .

. . . meanwhile, Pope Francis selling out to perversion activists again with a scene in The Vatican that is suggestive and associated with activists in Italy.  Does he remember October 31, 1517?

The progressive push to make Grinches on Christmas continue to rise.  And just notice that when the Christ Child is forgotten everywhere.

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 21: The Price is right

This isn't as ridiculous as it looks; Vincent Price was a world-renouned art connoisseur who not only chose works of art to be sold by Sears, he also trained the employees in how to sell it. If your ornaments have been selected by Vincent Price, they're sure to be in good taste.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 20: Let's shed some light on it!

The first few airings of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were on NBC's General Electric Fantasy Hour, and the characters appeared not only in GE's print ads, the elves also appeared in the commercials during the program. Makes for the kind of show when you don't want to fast-forward through the commercials!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 19: Don't let it foil your Christmas!

I don't know the year of this ad, but it has to be from some time in the mid-to late-'50s, I'd guess - just look at those Sputnik-styled stars and the stylized ornaments on the red package to your left. Then you have the multi-colored letters in the headline - it looks as if it could be an ad for a color TV. There's nothing not to like about it.

Monday, December 18, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 18: Wheels down!

Wonder how many youngsters found a Schwinn under the tree on Christmas morning? But how many bikes did this kid get? And he doesn't need the girl's version - unless this was a precursor to today's cultural mores. By the way, Dad looks way too rested for someone who probably spent most of the night assembling presents though, doesn't he?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 17: It's about time!

You know all those ads where the man buys his wife a toaster or vacuum cleaner or something like that? I have the feeling this will go over better, fellas.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 16: Stopping at the five and dime

I loved going to Woolworth's when I was a kid. It was within walking distance for me, so it was a place we went to often. At Christmastime they had a great selection of ornaments and decorations; as I look around our home today, I can still pick out a handful that have survived the past 45 or 50 years. It was a sad day when it went under.

Friday, December 15, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 15: What a sweet gift!

Here's another ad appealing to those of you with a sweet tooth. I don't remember Necco myself, although my wife does, but this would be sure to please any youngster who found it in their stocking. This ad is from 1952, and you notice that despite the fact there are two Christmas trees in the room, they don't display the glitter and stylization that would come to typify the midcentury tree, it's still pretty festive.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Of 42,915 lore, and It doesn't sound right -- and churches are singing it?

Those who read this blog have seen our cases against Pope Francis and similar Protestant liberalism affiliated leadership (they are two peas in the same pod), and also have reached into the crevices of church music corruption.  Before we get to that, however, Sunday night after returning home, I had been out of town doing my annual test Saturday in a 42,195 metre challenge that took just over six hours and eight minutes (when calculated from the absurdly late start caused by traffic) and watching a Daytona 500 and Big Machine 400 winner relaxing somewhere on the island after "Big Mac" (his sponsor tags him that way) finished three hours earlier (now that means I've run a 12k with the most infamous of all Olympic athletics runners and I've run the marathon with a Daytona and Indianapolis winner in the event), which is the perfect reaction when I see people call binge watching an entire season of a premium pay television programme (six to ten episodes) in one setting as a place full of fennels that in Greek gives its name to the battle between the Greeks and Persians that the Greeks easily won.

Unfortunately, the logic of calling binge watching an entire season of shows in a setting a place full of fennels in Greece is lacking any rationale. The real story is  Greek soldiers marched from the plains back to Athens (roughly 40km) in an attempt to stop the Persians at Cape Sounion -- only to see a retreat of Persians to announce their victory.  Legend Plutarch wrote (italics) On the Glory of Athens (/italics) states that soldier ran from those fennels back to Athens, announced victory, and died, of which the story was later retold by Robert Browning through his poem "Pheidippides" that gave us the name of the Olympic, and now well known sporting event, that carries the name of those fennel plains.  How is an unhealthy habit of binge watching on the same level as running from the fennel plains to Athens?

It does not hurt that my reward for 42,195 metres of pain was a nice recital, a second time to see Renée Fleming (left), only to learn a current college student that was in front of me after the event knew Dr. LaRoche, as she knew students in the studio for college students singing there doing what I did a generation ago with the same voice teacher!

As for the other issue on church music, on the way home Sunday evening, an incident at church caught my attention for the wrong reasons.  The church had decided for both the morning (I was in a church near the city where I ran my 42,195 Sunday morning) and evening to substitute youth (morning) and adult (evening) karaoke performances by the respective choirs for church services.  The unprofessionalism of submitting to the large entertainment organisations for Christmas music was dastardly offensive to those who have worked over the years, considering how forgetful they have become in knowing the Advent season comes before Christmas, and how Big Entertainment and their Emergent colleagues have been at work hacking classic hymns and sacred songs to advance their cause.  One such case came from the classic "What Child Is This?," which we noted Easter references have been removed from hymnals, and pop singers will not sing those lyrics, even though we sing parts of the Easter motet in Händel's Messiah.  In Universal's latest Christmas "cantata" packet, which is deemed "Ready to Sing" and pushes choirs into using their karaoke accompaniment, including their featured video, the same hymn is drastically altered to fit their theme, which has the markings of Brian McLaren and other liberal leaders that change songs to fit their theme.

Here's the video that Universal offers (Courtesy Universal Music Group). Does this even sound correct, or does this fit to push Big Entertainment with the lyrics they wrote?  Those who know the song will see the mistake, but a generation in church that has only heard Big Entertainment wares with loud rock concerts will swallow it hook, line, and sinker, sadly.

Works Cited:
"Why the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and I No Longer Sing from the Same Hymn Sheet."

25 Days of Ad-Vent, Day 14: It won't burst your bubble

For me growing up, bubble gum was just the hard, pink stick that came in a package of football or baseball cards. Fleer certainly made their share of those, but here's a nice ad for the stand-alone product. I love the bright colors and one-dimensional animation; it reminds me a lot of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 12: Make your mark!

Did any of you try these when you were growing up? I remember doing it once; it was a bear to get off the windows. (But it looked like so much fun in the ads!) Do they even make these anymore? I've seen them in antique stores, but I don't remember seeing them anywhere else.

Monday, December 11, 2017

"Joy to the World" and the Second Coming

We understand Advent comes before Christmas.  Albert Mohler, a sage of American conservatism as well as Protestant faith, recently spoke at the seminary where he leads at their graduation.  In his commencement speech, he discussed the history of the 298-year old "Joy to the World," as written by Isaac Watts.

At Advent, we celebrate the anticipation that he comes, and many churches today, including the one headed by the brother of our state National Right to Life Chapter president, forgets the Advent tunes and are singing the latest in Universal's Christmas tunes, we rarely hear any Advent tunes.  (I visited Sunday because of a little incident the previous week.)  We celebrate his birth during the twelve days from December 25 to January 5 (when our 2018 State March for Life dinner happens this year), but in Dr. Mohler's speech to graduates, he notes Mr. Watts developed the English hymnody of the era drawn from the book of Psalms, and this hymn in question is from Psalm 98 when Christ will come to rule and judge. His primary commentary of the song relates to the third verse and the Second Coming of Christ referenced in Paul's letters to Corinth, Philippi (now Kavala, Greece), and Thessaloniki, his letters to Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews, in addition to epistles by Peter, John, Jude.  Dr. Mohler makes a reference in the song to Genesis 3, where Eve commits the first sin known to man, causing serious harm that we still have to this day, and yet some churches have performed blasphemous work violating this.

Take a look at this commencement speech where a well-loved Christmas song is found to be not just Christmas, but too, as we've learned in Händel's Messiah written 43 years later, is regarding the time that is to be.  This hymn and the third motet of Messiah go well together.  However, too many have ignored the simplicity of such.

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 11: Let's see him get that under the tree

Similar to yesterday's ad, the vivid colors and the stillness of the night below are very evocative, and very effective. The ads from the '50s are so well-done.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 10: Don't forget your Dextrose!

Here's another ad I'm really fond of. Not just because that Baby Ruth bar looks inviting, but the Christmas tree, the icicles, the ornaments, the bright colors - it's a great ad, isn't it?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 9: What's better than three roses?

Another ad that I'm very fond of. Christmastime in the City is so evocative; it reminds me of downtown Minneapolis when I was small. Memories are a big part of the Christmas season.

Friday, December 8, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 8: How sweet they are!

The Great One, Jackie Gleason, advertising for Manhattan shirts. (Nice plug for CBS, by the way.) I'm not sure why he looks so surprised, though - I thought Santa knew everything!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 6: Home for the holidays

I really like this ad; it perfectly captures the excitement of Christmas, and coming home, and unlimited possibilities. There's just something magic about it.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 5: Have a bang-up holiday!

I'm not sure that mom really wanting this is necessarily a good thing. I guess it depends on the mom, and what else you've got for her under the tree...

Monday, December 4, 2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 3: The perfect gift

Because nothing says "Merry Christmas!" like appliances, right? I wonder how Santa gets them down the chimney?

Saturday, December 2, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 2: How do you get it under the tree?

Apparently cars have always been thought of as great Christmas gifts - who knew? I'll admit this is a novel way to deal with getting it under the tree, but you'd better be sure the tree is non-flammable...

Friday, December 1, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 1: Open me first!

You might remember that back a couple of years ago, I did a December feature called "25 Days of Ad-vent," looking at some of the great Christmas-themed ads from over the years. I thought that this Christmas, being our first back in Minnesota (and  what I hear, it's sure going to look and feel like Christmas next week), it might be fun to do it again. So, for the next 25 days, we'll look at some vintage ads from a time in which people weren't afraid to say the word "Christmas" in public.

To kick things off, I think it's only right to look at this ad for the gift that always says, "Open Me First!" As Dick Van Dyke would tell you, it's the key to a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Greatest Generation loses a great: Sgt. Walter Maynard Moore, Jr.

Sgt. Walter Maynard Moore, Jr., known in the motorsport fraternity as "Bud" Moore, died Tuesday at age 92.  In addition to his motorsport accomplishments that included the 1962 and 1963 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series titles, he is best known for being a Sergeant of the 359th Regiment, 4th Infantry Division when he fought in both the Siege of Bastogne in addition to D-Day, the Battle of Normandy, earning five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars.

Other motorsport accomplishments include building Ford's 1970 SCCA Trans American Championship road racing factory cars, 63 MENCS win, 298 top fives, 463 top tens in 958 races.  Of those 63 wins, one was a Daytona 500 and three were Duels (when they were championship races).  We have a video montage of Sgt. Walter Maynard Moore, Jr. primarily discussing not motorsport as much as his part in World War II with Normandy.

Fox Sports, 2012:  During Fox's annual salute to the military pre-race show, Moore was the featured subject, discussing his legacy with America's Greatest Day of Fighting in World War II -- D-Day.

At the NASCAR Hall of Fame, 2011At the NASCAR Hall press conference, talking D-Day.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It's not just a Catholic problem

Father Dwight Longenecker's column on "America's Two Catholic Churches," as we've noted with the current problems with Pope Francis, seems to draw a line that I've seen is not just a problem in the Catholic Church.  In the column, he notes a group he calls the "liberal Catholic elites" that run their own publishing arms and institutions of higher learning, pushing the Left's social justice with illegal aliens and sexual perversions.  They focus on advancing their career in academia, and fellow leaders of such have the same background.  He specifically calls out the "politically correct, essentially humanistic and rationalistic agenda using the usual mass media channels where they have friends and allies."  He also notes the Deism of such and the audience that has pushed leaving tehir faith, attacking demographics as the reason for their decline.  What they are not seeing is the same principles as what we have seen in numerous other denominations.

Liberal Protestantism has driven churches out of schools once known for affiliation with churches, such as (Richard) Furman University, where Richard Furman's push for the Baptist faith has given way to a humanist school that beat the public universities to sexual perversion acceptance, and the church that once sponsored it is now falling into the same line as the Catholic churches of elites that Father Longenecker is referencing.  We are seeing that in Belmont in Nashville also, as a post-Obergefell attitude demands perversion has rights and nobody else can run the nation except these elites and their sympathisers.  Note the ties to liberal Protestantism with Wake Forest University (where Sean Hannity's son attends, he is on a partial tennis scholarship) in Winston-Salem and Mercer University in Macon (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship material is printed at Mercer), the University of the South in Sewanee (Episcopal Church), Presbyterian College in Clinton (PCUSA), Baylor University in Waco (CBF), and other such universities -- but very few people identify the correlation between these places and the similarities they have to the liberal elite churches that Father Longenecker referenced.

The Anglican churches in our area belong to a Diocese that left The Episcopal Church, which consists of the liberal elites and social justice, in 2012 and joined African primates that run the Anglican Church in North America following a June meeting.  Some churches that may be part of conservative groups that follow the Bible are wanting to defect to the dark side, as we've seen through the music that is rampantly heretic and ambiguous, as they are using the music of the latest pop stars in churches known for content of the song, a lack of understanding church doctrine, and style over substance, reminiscent of a certain Presidential Administration that one well known radio host often referenced has the same problem.  When I read that column, I saw Antonin Scalia's Obergefell commentary on how the Catholics and Jews had exclusive authority over the court (there is one Episcopal judge, but still lacking the Conservative Protestants or Evangelicals, which Justice Scalia specifically stated created the bad decisions), since it seems the liberal majority consists of the same elite institutions.

In a similar vain to what Americans know after the elections, the elite enclaves lack an understanding of the rest of nation Catholics that support ETWN, the Right to Life, and other conservative groups.  The elites misunderstand and intentionally advance what the original article states are left-wing leadership in line with prosperity teachers.

So this is not a Catholic problem, I see it with many faiths where there is a split between conservative and liberal denominational leaders.  Are churches not seeing the problem with Big Entertainment taking control of church music and advancing prosperity teachers?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Wish I'd written that - and our response

Hey Macy's - why are there so many adult themed songs of sex and heartache instead of songs of thanksgiving and holiday spirit at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade? It’s really low brow and antithetical to the theme."

-- Chris Loesch (from Twitter;  for clarity, any abbreviations, hashtags, and Twitter handles have been fully extended)

My response:

The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade has become a place to promote the latest regietheater-inspired musical (as some artists performing are singing in those;  Todd Starnes a few years ago was livid when a sexually perverse musical promotes its outlandish propaganda, and it was referenced in his book Godless America) or the latest pop song on the radio from artists performing on these shows.  There is a similar problem in our churches, as many are now singing the Top 40 charts of Universal's latest artist they promote or from heretic teachers that push left-wing activism (Hillsong, et al).

Sadly, even Christmas music isn't prone now. As the nation has been secularised by the Humanist Education System, Bach and Handel give way to the latest Top 40 hits that are adult themed songs of sex and heartache at Christmastime. Why do we have to hear awful songs from Wham!, B. Spears, M. Carey, C. Aguilera, T. Dillard, and these big shots when the classics of 250 years ago fit the season? The University of Ohio marching band even performed some inappropriate gyrations in front of NBC cameras that has people wondering how far we've fallen.  Listen to the latest Christmas songs being promoted from the hot artist of the day.  Have we lost it?

Mr. Loesch's wife Dana is a well-known political commentator and NRA spokesman.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dmitri Hvorostovsky, R.I.P.

This just came in the wires this morning.  Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Дмитрий Хворостовски), the BBC Canwr y byd Caerdydd (Cardiff Singer of the World) winner of 1989, defeating Bryn Terfel (himself an accomplished baritone too) for the cup, died Wednesday of brain cancer at 55 after a battle of more than two years.

I've always wondered why we always have to watch bad pop music singing competitions every year when the biennial BBC Wales competition in Cardiff which he won is much better and the talent that wins always goes to higher levels, as we've seen.

The Красноя́рск (in Siberia) native thought in adolescence that the toughman society of vice would put him in prison and not on the stage, and his drinking and absurd behaviour took him up to his early 30's, and admitted his first marriage collapsed because of alcoholism.  Going sober, he married Swiss soprano Florence Illi, who survives him, and together they had two children.

The bel canto singer's notable roles include the titular role in "Eugene Onegin," where he performed, among others, with Renée Fleming in her first full production of a Russian-language opera, leads in Verdi's "Don Carlos," "La Triaviata," and "Il Trovatore."  He promoted Georgy Sviridov's music, which the Russian government refused to promote because he refused to join the Communist Party.

He will be missed.

"Eri tu" from Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, which was the song he sang to win Cardiff: 

The Merry Widow (with his wife):

Official YouTube channel of his children.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Golf with your Thanksgiving Dinner?

With the many football protests as a result of Kaepernick's antics last year spread out by inept leadership, it's very interesting how this week NBC will have a Thanksgiving alternative to football with an American superstar playing.


Though the US PGA Tour's 2017 calendar year ended last week in Georgia, the world of golf will close the year with major overseas tournaments.  The European Tour will not have a tournament in Europe until April, as every tournament is in Africa, Asia, or the Middle East, but points will start counting starting this weekend's tournament in China, the UBS Hong Kong Open where Masters champion Sergio Garcia and top European stars are playing (that airs on tape).  In Australia, with two more tournaments left in their calendar year, Wednesday night starts the Golf Channel's coverage of this weekend's Emirates Australian Open, where Jordan Spieth will aim to gobble his third Stonehaven Cup on Saturday night.  The past three years he has spent his Thanksgiving Down Under and has been on the podium, and he is the biggest international star playing.

So Jordan Spieth and his fans can enjoy golf with their Thanksgiving dinner with second-round coverage on Thanksgiving night, thanks to the time difference.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Wish I'd Written That: Al Franken Edition

don't like the guy at all, and that’s not based on politics but an experience with his extraordinary personal jerkiness. I don’t agree all the time with our other senator, but I like her, because she’s a decent person. Franken is an arrogant toad. I am amused that his sonorous pomposity has been pierced by the boob-grabbing photograph of something he thought was funny, because it cuts right to the heart of his self-conception.

"He’s probably always thought he was a comic genius. He’s second-rate. If that. No one searches Netflix for “Al Franken comedy.” No one who watched SNL ever thought “oh wonderful! It’s Al Franken,” and no one ever said SNL was can’t-miss-TV this week because Al Franken was back.

"I don’t think he should have to resign his Senate seat. That seems a bit much, but I didn’t make the rules. Did he say he doesn’t remember doing what he did? Because if I wrote a script so I could kiss a Playboy model, I think I’d remember.

"Quite a bonfire, isn’t it. You might say a wienie roast."

- From today's Lileks

I couldn't have put this any better myself. To be fair, though, his apology was a model of contrition, the kind that every crisis management team should have on file to give to their clients.

Hopefully, he actually meant it. And that's not meant as a reflection on him, as much as it is the general cynicism in which we find ourselves nowadays. You'd like to think that these people really are sincere when they make apologies like this - or at least that they meant it at the time they said it, if nothing else - but unfortunately, we have too much evidence pointing elsewhere to be able to do so.

As to whether or not Franken should resign - yeah, he probably should. In a perfect world, or a lab experiment marked "U.S. Senate," probably not. A formal censure, even a reprimand, would probably suffice. But I'm not sure that kind of thing does any good anymore; we don't value integrity as we once did, or even pay it lip service. Something like a censure would amount to little more than a slap on the wrist; there wouldn't really be any stigma to it. In the age of lifetime politicians, the loss of their office is probably the only thing they really understand.

It's a chicken-and-egg thing. Is the problem how to punish a guy like Al Franken, or is it how a guy like Al Franken got into the U.S. Senate in the first place?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday: The dangers of social media

If you're a fugitive from justice, best to keep a low profile:

The fugitive, who has been at large since violating probation, made a post on his Facebook page inviting friends to join him for batting practice at a specific location. The police, who had been on the lookout for Patterson, immediately alerted the Caldwell police officers who showed up at the softball field where Patterson was and arrested him on the spot.

This reminds me of a story about, I think, Spencer Haywood, the former professional basketball player.  During the contract wars between the NBA and ABA, Haywood was in Seattle to sign a contract with the SuperSonics.  He was instructed to keep a low profile and avoid publicity, yet he was amazed that no matter where he went, people knew who he was.  A friend told him, "Spencer, if you want to remain anonymous, it's probably not a good idea, as a 6'8" black man in Seattle, to walk around in a warmup outfit with your name written on the back."  If it wasn't Haywood, it was someone similar - that's the way the ABA was.

It also reminds me of Slick Watts, the guard who played, coincidentally, with the SuperSonics many years later.  Told that coach Bill Russell was "incommunicado.", Watts responded, "Then let's go there and find him."

Originally published March 13, 2015

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Opera Wednesday

Short and sweet - Maria Callas (above) and Tito Gobbi perform the spectacular finale to Act 2 of Tosca in a special television broadcast from the Royal Opera House in London. This never gets old.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Food Nazis

One of the things about which it can be certain when it comes to life on Planet Earth is that nobody gets out of it alive. As Harry Reasoner once said, in an aphorism I return to frequently because of its essential truth:

The idea of trying to outguess life, to avoid everything that might conceivably injure your life, is a peculiarly dangerous one. Pretty soon you are existing in a morass of fear. A man makes a sort of deal with life, he gives up things because they are undignified or immoral; if life asks him to cringe in front of all reasonable indulgence, he may at the end say life is not worth it. Because for the cringing he may get one day extra or none; he never gets eternity.

With all due respect to John Greenleaf Whittier, the saddest words of tongue and are not those which read "it might have been," but "we know what's best for you." The phenomenon of the Food Nazi has always been with us, although it was raised to an art form by the actions of our previous First Lady, and the decrees by New York's Mayor "Nanny Bloomberg." It's true, as our beloved Captain Kirk once said, that too much of anything isn't necessarily a good thing, and the same goes for food. The elites often use diet as a way of judging people, of mocking those that they think belong to a lower class, but in doing so they often display their own inhumanity. It's as if they're the spiritual heirs of the Puritans, the proto-fascists who wanted to take all the fun out of everything. The demonization of food, which unsurprisingly has slipped from the government into corporate culture, overlooks the fact that food is not simply a utilitarian item - it's one of the most human things we have, one that speaks most directly to the human condition of man as a social creature.

For example, at my job in Texas, my last boss was one of those Food Nazis. He was a health freak, and one of his first actions when he moved into his office was to get rid of the candy bowl that sat on the counter in front of my desk in the outer office. Chocolate, he opined, was not a good sign to send if you wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle. And if visitors to the office had spent their time grazing at the bowl, or hoarding pieces of candy as if they were planning to use it instead of having to buy Halloween candy each year.

What the Food Nazis often fail to recognize is the power of food as a means of communication if not friendship, an invitation by the bearer to engage in a form of fellowship. The candy acted not so much as a calorie additive, but as a means of human interaction. People would stop in for a bite-size Snickers, but they wouldn't leave without having exchanged a pleasantry or two, or to catch up on the latest news in our respective lives. In this sense, food serves as an opportunity to strengthen a bond that frequently goes wanting in the man-made hustle of the workday. When the candy bowl was abolished - surprise! The level of drop-in visitors to the office diminished to near non-existence. The boss wondered why people weren't more sociable.

His next step was to skip lunch altogether in favor of a power workout, presumably at which people could stop to admire the sweat glistening from his bald pate. Well, perhaps that comment was unfair, but the point is that soon his associates became extremely self-conscious about their own eating when attending lunch meetings with him (meetings that, by his command, no longer included cookies or other sweet snacks). Should they, like him, be abstaining from lunch? Were they being judged on what they did eat when they were in his presence? More than one confided to me that lunch in the president's office became something of an ordeal, that they were indeed being watched to see what they ate.

I can't imagine what a holiday like Thanksgiving was like in his household. I joked to a friend once that I was tempted to take a picture of our dinner table on Thanksgiving, replete with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, corn casserole, cranberries, and crescent rolls, and text it to him. From one turkey to another, you know. I came to think of him as "The pipsqueak," because although he was not a terribly small man in size, when it came to intellect and feeling for others, he was a small man indeed.

The problem here is that the Food Nazis view food merely as a form of sustenance, a utilitarian means of gathering calories. If one can obtain those necessary calories through foods that supposedly promote a healthier lifestyle, so be it. The problem with this thought is that it misses how food serves as a basic element of the human condition. It provides a level of comfort, of happiness, of an improved quality of life - and since the Food Nazis associate quality of life with number of years lived, they fail to understand how something that objectively may not be healthy is still, in fact, good for you.

Look at the various ways in which food defines our level of humanity. Think of the community social, the "share a plate" mentality that enables people not merely to provide a meal, but to give of themselves. Think of the urge to bake something for the family that has just had a new baby, or to bring to the door a dinner for a family that has just lost a loved one. I can promise you that none of these people paused to read HEPA food standards while they were standing in the kitchen. For these people, food is more than something to consume - it's a way of one person sharing themselves with another. And the act of communal eating is another way in which we are brought together. It's why food is a part of going to the ballpark, or watching a movie. It's why people take their mates to dinner on a date. It's why we wish happy birthday to someone with a cake.

Rockwell's famous painting "Freedom from Want," seen at right, captures the quintessential American moment: the Thanksgiving dinner. Note one of the three words in that title: Freedom. It's something that Americans have always cherished, and while we must always be on guard to ensure that freedom doesn't translate to license, to avarice and greed, we also have to realize that life is made up of simple pleasures - one of which is food - and that someday we're likely to discover that the simple pleasures are the only ones that really matter.

At that first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims understood the ability of food to help form a community, to act as a goodwill gesture. So with the latest edition of Thanksgiving just around the corner, don't be afraid to loosen your belt, to take that nap after the big midday meal - you're in good company. And don't worry about how many years it might take off of your life: none other than Rush Limbaugh reminds us that 100% of those who eat carrots will, someday, die.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Your tuition dollars at work

You have to love this quote from Mark Steyn at SteynOnline:

It is a testament to the wholesale moronization of our culture that there are gazillions of apparently sane people willing to take out six figures of debt they'll be paying off for decades for the privilege of being "taught" by the likes of Professor Bray. 

The Professor Bray to which he refers is Professor Mark Bray of the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth University, a man whom Steyn says is part of "what passes for the intellectual wing of Antifa." He's one of those guys who thinks that if we just outlaw "hate speech," i.e. speech that he happens to disagree with, then we'll be able to prevent "hate crimes." Says Bray, "We don't look back at the Weimar Republic today and celebrate them for allowing Nazis to have their free-speech rights. We look back and say, Why didn't they do something?"

But as Steyn points out, that isn't exactly how it works:

But the problem with it is that the Weimar Republic—Germany for the 12 years before the Nazi party came to power—had its own version of Section 13 and equivalent laws. It was very much a kind of proto-Canada in its hate speech laws. The Nazi party had 200 prosecutions brought against it for anti-Semitic speech. At one point the state of Bavaria issued an order banning Hitler from giving public speeches.

And a fat lot of good it all did.

If these college professors aren't intelligent enough to know this - especially if they teach, say, history - then they oughtn’t be teaching your children in the first place. And if they do know, then not only are they intellectually dishonest, they're lying in order to prove an ideological plot, and in that case you have no business shelling out your (presumably) hard-earned dollars, while these cheats pollute what Rush Limbaugh refers to as the "young skulls full of mush." The ones who populate groups like Antifa while they spread their own fascist ideas to stamp out freedom of speech on college campuses - and they'll soon be coming to a neighborhood near you.

Either way, this speaks as yet another example of how higher education is destroying the fabric of this nation - while they laugh all the way to your bank.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Roy Halladay, R.I.P.

I flashed back to this earlier in the year, but it seems appropriate to return to it now, as the year comes to a close. This week former baseball star Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash. said it well when it referred to him as the "beloved hurler" - not only accurate, but a most appropriate use of retro baseball lingo for a man who by all accounts epitomized the grittiness of the old-time ballplayer.

This post originally ran in 2010, when Halladay became the only the second pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter in the post-season. Read and remember the good times for which Roy Halladay was responsible.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Opera Wednesday

Heard this on the radio this morning, and thought it was worth sharing. It's one of the more interesting scenes in opera, the prologue to Pagliacci, which generally takes place in front of a curtain prior to the start of Act 1, directly addressing the audience. His theme, which is the moral of the story we are about to see, is that "actors have feelings, too." When it's done well it's a real show-stopper, and the applause it garners can be greater even than that for the opera's most famous aria, Vesti la giubba.

Here's the great Sherrill Milnes in a concert performance.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A repeat of 500 years ago? Francis 2017 and Leo X 1517

Our blog primarily started in Catholicism, and although we have many Protestants and Catholics that both read this blog for its numerous other issues, we have to reflect on the corruption of the Catholic Church under Pope Francis and our articles we've posted regarding his corruption of the Church itself.

Damon Linker noted the current Pope wants to liberalise church doctrine on the sanctity of marriage and the family, lacking support and institutional power, so he attempts to sow seeds of change by undermining doctrinal enforcement.  The way the Pope is attempting to do so is reminiscent of the 19th century Anglicans in the United States, as Anglican Church in North America minister Frank Larisey has referenced when liberal professors were teaching in Episcopal Church seminaries.  What Rev. Larisey noted could be a repeat of what we'll see in Catholic schools to bring such liberal seminaries, hiring more liberal professors, and develop the faith and also the mind of future clergy.

The Catholic Church's splintering now could be a repeat of the exact circumstances that led to a Theology professor at the University of Wittenberg to release a statement which its quincentennial is being observed October 31, after a series of incidents with Pope Leo X, including sales of indulgences to pay for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.   You could pay money for forgiveness of sin, and that infuriated Mr. Luther, who noted people were no longer worried about sin since they could pay for forgiveness instead as part of this fund-raising scheme.  That, of course, led to a major schism in the Catholic Church 500 years ago.  Could the actions of the Pope create a repeat of this legendary document at Wittenberg's All Saints Church sent to Archbishop Albert of Brandenburg?

And what is the document that angered Catholics 500 years ago, but the hatred has somewhat softened in recent years?  Furthermore, Luther's anger at Leo X could be similar now to many Catholics' anger with Francis.  Let's observe this all important document from a half millennium ago.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Man and Superman?

I was never a fan of Mike Tyson, back when I used to follow boxing, although I'll admit that the idea of Tyson playing himself as an animated character in Mike Tyson Mysteries is just short of very, very cool.  What Tyson was good at was being a villain, and having a villain around always makes drama, whether of the sporting kind or not, more compelling.

I've never been a fan of Tiger Woods either, not once I came to know more about it.  His first major victory, at the Masters, was awesome, at least in the sporting sense (and that's not a word I use lightly), and while there were other golfers I preferred, I could at least appreciate his talent. However, the more I got to know about him, the less I thought of him.  While I don't rejoice in his current tribulations, I do often think that what goes around comes around.

And that's the most I would have thought of either Mike Tyson or Tiger Woods, but in this column Joe Posnanski draws some real parallels between the careers of the two men, and in the process takes a look at how we regard greatness; I think it tells us a lot about how we look at our own mortality as well.  The punch line:

Call it Tysonography, our refusal to believe that even the most extraordinary talents fade quicker than we expect. There are a lot of “What’s wrong with Tiger Woods” stories out there right now, and some of them are interesting, but I still suspect they miss the point. Nothing’s wrong with Tiger Woods except that he’s human and he’s fading and it’s the most obvious thing in the world but, like with Mike Tyson, we willfully refuse to accept it.

Very true.  Some people just refuse to believe that Woods can't win it all again.  Hey, maybe they're right.  But if they are, it's not because they have the odds in their favor.

But doesn't this speak to our views on our own mortality as well?  I don't mean the "invincible" stage that teens go through when they think there isn't anything in the world that can hurt them, although that certainly is a part of it.  No, I think it's the way we look at life in general - unable to believe that we aren't the people that we used to be.  That's why we buy Viagra, and color our hair to get the grey out (or buy new hair, which is even better).  It's why we gravitate towards fast cars and trophy spouses, why we dress and talk and act like we're decades younger than we really are.  A perpetual adolescence, some call it, an unwillingness to accept the responsibilities of adulthood.  And that's true, but I think it's also our unwillingness to accept mortality, to think about what happens on judgment day.  There's a lot of whistling past the graveyard going on nowadays, but as Harry Reasoner once said, no matter what man does, no matter what he gives up or avoids, "he may get one day extra or none; he never gets eternity."  Not on this earth, at least.

Anyway, read Poz's column.  It's really good, and not nearly as heavy as I make it out to be.

Originally published February 20, 2015

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Opera Wednesday

A friend challenged us with this Tom and Jerry cartoon the other day. He'd seen it on TV while he was surfing around, and immediately thought of us. What, he wondered, was the piece that the orchestra was playing to Tom and Jerry's conducting? Did we know?

It sounded familiar, that was for sure.  I listened to it for a minute, but Judie was the one who came up with it. "That's the overture from Fledermaus!" And so it is. From Johann Strauss' famed operetta Die Fledermaus (which, by the way, has nothing to do with mice!), here's the overture - Tom and Jerry style.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A golf trophy that resembles

The trophy from last week's The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in the Republic of Korea had me looking at a 1970's (and also 1989) CBS game show which used Quincy Jones' "Chump Change" as its theme song because of the way the trophy was arranged.

According to the PGA TOUR, the trophy consists of movable type that was used in 13th century Korea, which the oldest surviving work is a Buddhist text.  Such classic movable type that is in Hangul.  When the tournament ended, one piece of the text was highlighted in gold, which gives it a feel similar to the Goodson-Todman Now You See It that I referenced above.  I've noted the section that was turned into gold by the engraver following Saturday night's tournament.

The trophy for the restricted invitational tournament consisted of the bridge on the 18th hole and a plaque consisting of the Korean printing press type.  On the trophy, as newsman Chuck Henry can see (he hosted the 1989 version of "Now You See It"), are the names of all 70 players who participated in the tournament.  It becomes a giant game of "Now You See It," and fans could virtually play the game by finding the names of their favourite golfers in the tournament on the press (though it is in reverse image because it is being printed on a piece of paper as a printing press).

As for the tournament winner?  저스틴 토마스, Column 20, circle vertically rows 1-6.  Now You See It . . . and a trophy that will change based on who plays every year.

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