Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve, 1965

Those of us of a certain age remember seeing Guy Lombardo ring in the New Year from New York, usually on CBS. If you're a little younger, you probably grew up watching Dick Clark and his New Year's Rockin' Eve on ABC. Easy enough, because neither of those networks had regular late-night programming on a consistant basis.

Nowadays, NBC has its own show, with Carson Daly. But for many years the peacock network stuck with its regular programming - that is to say, Johnny Carson and the Tonight Show. Johnny didn't do a regular New Year's special per se, but especially during the years when he broadcast from New York, he'd cut away as the clock approached midnight to provide live coverage from Times Square. Here's a rare clip from New Year's Eve 1965, as Johnny goes to (I believe) Ben Grauer to watch the ball drop. (Note how the studio broadcast is in color, but the live remote is still black and white.) Frankly, from the looks of this footage, I think they'd already been celebrating back at the studio.

2011 has not been a great year, and there's a lot of apprehension about 2012 - the economy, the state of the nation at home, tensions overseas, the election. It's somewhat poignant listening to Ben talking about 1965 and all that had happened, particularly the escalation of the war in Vietnam, and his hopes that 1966 will be better. In fact, I thought as I watched this, the worst was yet to come - even more war, even more drugs, even more death, MLK, RFK, riots, and more. John Lindsay, the new mayor of New York, will turn out to be a disaster, and it will take the city until the time of Rudy Giulianni to return to its former glory. Carson himself will leave New York for Hollywood in a few years.

Tonight we hope that 2012 will be a better year. Personally, I think that it will - at least, let's hope that 2012 will be kinder to us than the end of the 1960s was to that crowd in Times Square on New Year's Eve, 1965.

The Our Word Awards: Best of 2011

I'd love to have all of you involved in this new project for Best of 2011, the Our Word Awards! And this time, we're inviting our readers to vote! What do you think was the best of 2011?

Most Insulting Ideas of the Year:
  • Pepsi's Crash the Super Bowl promotion that included an ad that mocked Communion at Church
  • A South Carolina state legislator proposing cutting the school year to 144 days from 180.
  • New York state legislators betraying the people to redefine marriage in order to persecute the church.
  • The shutdown of the US Armed Forces in favour of establishing the Department of Social Engineering, Special Rights Division.
  • Macy's protects sex offenders by firing a worker who catches a man in a woman's dressing room.

Quotes of the Year:
  • "Within ten years, I wonder how many fine orchestras will survive Generation Gaga? What will happen to talent like this?" – Ingrid Schlueter
  • “I for one welcome our new computer overlords” – Ken Jennings
  • “But Governor Walker has freed the government union serfs from (union leader Richard) Trumka's plantations in Wisconsin.” – Peter Ferrara
  • “We will not allow the goodness of the traditional value system in our military, an ethos which has kept us safe all these years, to be undermined by misguided and deviant interpretations of American history.” – Bill Connor
  • "Being in a bookstore helps me to think. I find that my mind makes connections between authors and books and ideas as I walk along the shelves and look at the tables. When I get a case of writer’s block, I head for a bookstore. The experience of walking among the books is curative." -- Albert Mohler

Heartbreak of the Year:
  • J. R. Hildebrand crashes in Turn 4 on Lap 200 of the Indianapolis 500.
  • The United States House is unable to pass any of the reforms promised because of Dingy Harry.
  • Butler is stopped again at the Championship Game of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
  • Boise State, a top 10 team, is relegated to a pre-Christmas postseason game in Las Vegas.
  • The millions of Japanese affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Classic Sports Thursday

Back in the day, New Year's Day used to be the holy grail of the college football season. It was known to many as "Bowl Day," and invariably one of the games would settle the national championship.

Today, of course, the season drags on, with mostly meaningless games on New Year's (or January 2, as the case may be), and even more games leading up to a fabricated championship game a week later. But this wasn't always the case, as illustrated by this classic showdown, the 1973 Sugar Bowl* between undefeated, top-ranked Alabama and undefeated, third-ranked Notre Dame (undefeated and second-ranked Oklahoma was on probation). Here's the climatic sequence from Notre Dame's thrilling 24-23 win, with the incomperable Chris Schenkel providing the call.

*OK, so this year the Sugar Bowl was played on New Year's Eve, to try and keep the game from getting lost amidst the other three games on New Year's Day. They did that for a few years, went back to playing on January 1, and now the game's all over the calendar.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Opera Wednesday

In the opera world, nothing says New Year's Eve quite like Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus, which certainly has one of the great English-translated titles in all opera - "The Bat."*

*I've often wondered why, in the memorable scene of Christopher Nolan's first Batman movie where young Bruce Wayne's parents are murdered coming out of the opera, they didn't use Fledermaus for the music. I think they used music from Faust instead, which was also a good choice, but I could be wrong.

Fledermaus is frequently performed around New Year's Day, often with big-nbame guest stars in cameo roles. (The Met's doing it on its radio broadcast this Saturday, New Year's Eve.) But you don't need a big-name singer when you've got a big-name conducter like Herbert Von Karajan, who brings us the delightful overture here with the Vienna Philharmonic in a 1987 New Year performance.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A story that's more Boxing Day...

When the Christmas shopping bag had a few cans of canned food that would be donated to a food pantry as part of Christmas Eve Midnight services and communion, and the focus was more for those that need help more than the self, it's evident the story is about those in need.

And one story on this Boxing Day that makes you think about it is this from the 1970's, when brothers Kevin and Keith Parsons (yes, the Keith Parsons who would spend much of his sportswriting career for the AP based in North Carolina, covering the ACC) helped their father remind us of the disadvantaged, and how their father and his peers helped kids in rural North Carolina.

Tom Higgins reports on this story . . .

Celebrating the Feast of St. Stephen

Who is St. Stephen, the man whose feast is celebrated on December 26?

Happy Boxing Day!

Wait - you mean that's not what it means?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

O Church, Oh Why, O Church, Are You Resting on His Birth?

Christmastide has started! Starting today (Sunday) until near the end of the first week in January (January 5), we are in the Christmas season, and as is tradition, we are in the season.

Pondering on the gift of the Only Begotten Son, I drove past numerous churches and saw no morning Bible studies happening, save for a minute number of churches that were doing a full plate of morning studies, and most venues had relegated themselves to one short service that was more party, and discarded Bible studies, even though denominational study books carried a Christmas study. The last time Christmas fell on a Sunday, the church responded with kids cheered as they "danced" to a butchered "Ave Maria" from a teen pop artist that wasn't even the sacred song itself that claimed to be one thing and was another.

The trendy Life Enhancement Centres promoted big parties on the days leading to Christmas, but come Christmas morning, there was nary anyone, as they were shuttered, while restaurants (some quick-service, but also sports-themed, since the NBA season opener was Christmas Day, and hotel-attached ones), movie theatres (the Oscar nominees need to have their releases made on Christmas), and gambling halls were wide open on Christmas Day. Does something feel wrong when the world is open, but not a House of God?

Why the complacency of such an important day? Christmas is not the time to keep Houses of God silent. It's the right time to sing the sacred songs and observe such an important day! When I have to find a place that's not in party mode and doing the right thing, we know how serious it has become.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Hope you found everything you wanted under the tree this morning!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Classic Sports - Friday?

Yes, it's a special Friday edition of Classic Sports Thursday, to celebrate the Yule season. (After all, if the NFL can have special "Sunday Gameday" editions on Saturday, we can do whatever we want, right?)

This is a quick link to this story at by Don Banks, clearly a man after my own heart, as he remembers back to Christmas Day 1971, and the longest football game ever played (not counting a playoff game from the USFL, but who's counting?) between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Like Banks, I would sit at the dinner table with one eye on the food and one eye on the field when big dinners and big games happened to collide. (When I was really spoiled, I'd be allowed to eat in the living room, in front of the TV, while everyone else was in the dining room.) Unlike Banks, I was not rooting for the Dolphins that day - never did, really. At the same time, I don't recall that I was rooting for the Chiefs, either. I do remember, though, the drama that accompanied that double-overtime thriller, and how it pretty much ended the NFL's playing football on Christmas for many years. They do now, but it's only one game, at night, when the movie theaters have opened and restaurants are serving and people are looking to wind down anyway. I think a lot of dinners were ruined that day, waiting for men to come in from a game that seemed it would never end.  What a Christmas!

As Banks mentions, the NFL Network is doing a one-hour retrospective on that game on, appropriately enough, Christmas.  Don't interrupt your dinner for it, but set the DVR.  It should be a lot of fun.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Miracle: The Story of the 2010 Carolighting

Last year, at the South Carolina State House, the Governor's Carolighting, which had been lost two of the past three years, was in danger of being lost to complacency when the volunteers were able to rescue it in time, with a volunteer chorus and musicians, for Mark Sanford and the boys to light their final State House Christmas Tree.

Unfortunately this year, when we had the all-state crews back and ready for this year's Carolighting, the event, moved to Monday night this year, was called off as a result of weather, the third time in five years the state's annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony did not take place, meaning Nikki Haley would not have the ceremony for her first year in office. 38-year Raycom newsman Bill Sharpe, the unofficial dean of South Carolina newscasts (joined WCSC in 1973, and has stayed with the station since then), was set to host the event.

Let's remember back when a group of hearty volunteers made a State House tradition as a miracle on Gervais Street. Raycom's Dawndy Mercer Plank had the honours.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rockin' Christmas

For reasons that don't really bear going into, here are some Christmas classics I'm fairly confident you haven't heard in quite this way before. First, a medley of seasonal favorites by Jimi Hendrix, including "Silent Night," "The Little Drummer Boy," and "Auld Lang Syne," with a little bit of "Taps" thrown in for good measure.

As if that wasn't enough, here's a Jim Morrison impersonator with a surprisingly effective rendition of "Jingle Bells":

Just goes to show that Christmas music comes in all shapes and sizes, doesn't it? Say what you will, this beats Celine Dion and Mariah Carey any day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cool Yule Links

A couple of neat sites to keep you in that Christmas spirit:

As seen on the Travel Channel (at least that's where I found out about it), the National Christmas Center in Paradise, Pennsylvania, is indeed Paradise for anyone who wants to recapture the Christmas memories of their youth. I've come to see this not as a desperate attempt to relive the past, but rather to find out just what it is about Christmas back in the day, and to share it with those who never lived through that time. There's no doubt that the way we celebrate Christmas isn't what it used to be, and I think what is missing from it is the sense of awe and wonder, not to mention the general acceptance that Christmas was a fundamental part of American culture, something to be shared and celebrated.

Speaking of back in the day, for me one of the highlights of the kid Christmas season was the arrival of the Christmas catalogs from Sears, JC Penney, and Montgomery Ward. Again, it's hard to find the modern-day equivalent - online shopping has replaced the mail-order catalog, and it has its own charms, but imagine shopping for Christmas decorations, toys, artificial trees, cards, even candies and nuts - all from the same store. This terrific site helps bring back those memories of the epic days when the catalogs arrived, and immediately became dog-eared with the items that I hoped would wind up under the tree. And a lot of times, they did!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Even our name spells Christmas

Wrapping up our week-long look at Christmas commercials is probably my favorite of all the old-time commercials - the Norelco Santa. As one of the commentators says, it wasn't Christmas until you saw the Norelco Santa on television.

In this version from the early 70s, Santa flies through the village, meeting some decidedly odd but charming snowmen.

By the 80s the look had been updated, but it was still classic.

The great news is that this year the Norelco Santa is back! Some differences, to be sure (while it would have been nice to have the famous "Noëlco" ending, as is it isn't bad), but it retains almost all the elements that make the original so endearing. Great to see that there's still a place for tradition, at this most traditional time of the year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A cornucopia of Christmas music

In February, I celebrate ten years since a 26-year old college graduate decided to have fun and take voice from a 24-year old master's student earning the degree in vocal performance who needed it to fulfill her degree requirement, and over the years, it has blossomed into an enjoyable friendship with Dr. LaRoche, her pets, her friends, and her (newlywed) husband. I've sung sacred Christmas works at the 2010 Governor's Carolighting (the ceremony was not held in 2011 because of weather) when a makeshift choral group was required because of the lateness of its organisation, and have been part of two one-offs with church choral groups because of the laziness of our own church with Christmas music becoming extremely secular in nature. Monday night is the annual sing-along at Washington Street that I've enjoyed over the years, with Dr. LaRoche, The Brittnee, and the Rattrays in the past.

As someone who appreciates the serious church music of Christmas, and is sad to see many of the works disappear from our daily grind, being replaced by winter songs that are not sensible for the season (remember half of the world it's summer!), let's open a cornucopia of wonderful song for Christmas.

Paderborner Domchor's - Veni Veni Emanuel

Johannes Kalpers - “Hush, hush, hush, for the little child wants to sleep!”. This Austrian folk tune from Salzburg is about the infant Jesus and Mary as they sleep. The song was given to me for the informal recital with friends, and it's become a favourite of mine.

I'm guilty of always (especially the first verse) wanting to sing this in Latin. One of my first Christmas music selections I purchased was a Luciano Pavarotti album (are you kidding me?) and why would he be an inspiration for a college student who hadn't heard much classical music? Once I anchored my boat with the young Mississippi Squirrel, I had gone classical and my steps haven't turned back. A Montréal, chanson "Adeste Fideles," avec Pavarotti . . .

Say it with Andre

I always loved this commercial for Andre's sparkling wine. We think about this as being a Christmas commercial, but as I recall (and I'm always open to correction), it only ran between Christmas and New Year's.

Now, maybe it's just because I was still going to school when these were on, and therefore I would have been on break between Christmas and New Year's, but I'm convinced that back in the day, people recognized that New Year's Day was an extention of the Christmas season - you still heard Christmas music, parties were still being held, and ads still featured holly and other Christmas trimmings. In other words, the Christmas season didn't end at the stroke of midnight on December 26. I kinda liked that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The family that sleds together drinks Coke together

Yesterday I shared a clip of a 1958 Coke Christmas commercial featuring the "Santa Doll." Here's a different commerical from the same Christmas - a typical example of the animation that was so prevalent in commercials of the 50s and early 60s. I think many of us are used to seeing the polar bears or remembering the "I'd like to teach the world to sing" Coke commercials; it's fun to see something different. I guess it's true that if you stick around long enough, the old becomes new.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Real Thing

As far as I'm concerned, Coke has always been the official soft drink of Santa. Last year, the Swedish Institute here in Minnepolis had a magnificent exhibition of the Coke Santa illustrations of Haddon Sunblom. So it's no surprise that this 1958 Coke commercial prominently features the big guy himself.    You can read more abou the Coke Santa Doll here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hot Pepper!

We're doing Christmas commercials here at Our Word this week, and let's start with this one for a Christmas beverage tradition I'm not previously familiar with: hot Dr. Pepper. Enlighten me, anyone who's tried this.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Retro TV Friday

Over at the "It's About TV!" website, I've got a piece on the 1960s Christmas special "Carol for Another Christmas." I've written about it before, but it's got some new links, and it's worth checking out.  In my humble opinion, that is. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cleaning up on Christmas

During our Christmas carnival of features a few years ago, I posted this picture with a comment to the extent that nothing says Christmas like finding a vacuum cleaner under the tree.

Well, as it turns out, I guess there's more truth to this idea than I realized. It just goes to show that I really don't understand what women want, apparently.

The YouTube description says this is a 1962 commercial from Australian television. Proof that all the mad men weren't in the United States.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year...

It's December, and that means it's time once again for our parade of Christmas-themed videos and stories. Believe me when I say that this is not only the best time of the year, it's also the time when it's the most fun for me to write this blog.

Speaking of the most wonderful time of the year, let's get it started with Mr. Christmas himself, Andy Williams, in this clip from one of his great Christmas shows, from around 1965.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Opinion Digest

The sands of time tick away, yet the run to the primaries is less than 30 days away until the first caucus of the 2012 election season!

Neal Boortz interviewed Jack Chambliss of Valencia College, who assigned students in economics a project on "The American Dream". The sad state of what is being taught in schools and media show their true colours in this report.

Paul Jacob talks about junk science.

Amy Oliver Cooke and Michael Sandoval uncover the disaster of "clean energy."

David Limbaugh believes the President is moving the goal posts, and benefiting from each move.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wish I'd Written That

The law is an envious monster, and you represent it. You can't tolerate a decent and swift conclusion to a skirmish between an individual and what you call society, as long as you have it in your power to turn it into a ghastly and prolonged struggle; the victim must squirm like a worm in your fingers, not for ten minutes, but for ten months. Pfui! I don't like the law. It was not I, but a great philosopher, who said that the law is an ass."

- Nero Wolfe, as written by Rex Stout, The Red Box

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crazies at it again

So here I am, after picking up parts for our small business easily, on Friday morning without any traffic and being very peaceful (it's good for B2B work, too, to save money and see no traffic at brick and mortar places), I join a close friend who is running the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon next week in a tiring 90-minute cardio and weights workout, before heading back to the shop at lunchtime, all of which came just a day after I disappointed myself being sixteen seconds slower than last year's turkey trot (my tenth).

Meanwhile, the looniness of the big-box stores and malls with “Black Friday Doorbusters” rears its ugly head with land-rushes worse than the “sooners” before 23 April 1889. Stores turn into Krzyzewskiville on Thanksgiving, some even piling the lines with tents and sleeping bags after lunch, waiting for the 20.59.53 ignition of the first red light, all the way to having the five red lights turn off at 21.00.00, or others with the same procedure at 21.59.53 or 23.59.53. Some places the lights were on at 4.59.53, but they were mostly malls and those who turned on the red lights later later were late-comers with few shoppers except for those with sense.

Those parked under the starting gantry watching the five red lights come on and running immediately to the department of the store where they wanted to buy the must-have item within tenths of the lights extinguishing were the ones who showed little class. In Los Angeles, a woman used pepper spray, typically used ins self-defence against stalkers, to spray those trying to purchase a video game system at deep-discount prices. In Arizona, a shopper hid a video game in his clothes, which led officials to worry a shoplifter or was a terrorist, since homicide bombers load explosives under clothes in the acts of terror, resulting in his beating. In North Carolina, shootings took place at malls. The numerous violence of Black Friday with shoppers standing outside as if they were in Krzyzewskiville, watching the red lights at the gantry prepare for their five-second rundown, has gone too far. We have lost our standards of decency.

What gives? Oh to just do a Turkey Trot (27:42) with one friend and then a hard workout with another on the ensuing Friday instead of being packed at the “worst day of the year in the malls” ensures knowledge that there are things more important, such as health and a day at work, instead of the obsession that has taken place. Might track clubs seriously consider Black Friday half marathons starting at 5 AM to keep real runners on course and not in the malls?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Let the holidays begin!

Classic Sports Thursday

Today Steve Spurrier, head football coach for South Carolina, is known as "The Old Ball Coach." But back in the day he was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at the University of Florida. Here he is appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966 as part of the All-America team.

Great, isn't it? First the camera misses Spurrier altogether, then when Ed has him out later in the show, you can hear him mistakenly refer to Spurrier being from "Miami" rather than "Florida." Oh well, that's Ed - gotta love him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Opinion Digest

Paula and Jason Coyle uncover another Life Enhancement Centre that has released another piece of apostasy called a "Bible Study" that's built around another piece of pop culture, and not on God's Word. When will these ministers learn that these studies of popular culture are not appropriate for God's House?

Albert Mohler describes the defeat of Mississippi's "Personhood Amendment" as one where "We're All Harry Blackmun Now," a reference to the Supreme Court justice who authored the legalisation of baby murder.

Jonah Goldberg notes how the President is now blaming regular Americans for the employment crisis, when the problem has been the policies in place since Pelosi took power in 2007.

Dan Doherty talks about the Leftist indoctrination on college campuses -- and as I've noted, the leftist indoctrination there is why school policies protect pedophiles, which has launched the recent round of troubles on campus with sex offenders.

Janice Shaw Crouse writes on liberal activists' attempt to normalise pedophilia -- it is indeed an outrage, and normalising it would protect pedophiles further, as the sexual deviants' agenda has successfully barred policies against pedophilia.

Victor Davis Hanson asks why the United States defends Israel, Taiwan, Kurdistan, Greece, and Armenia.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Retro TV Friday

With the news Time Warner (owner of Lorimar) and their cable channel TNT will air a sequel to Lorimar's 1978-91 series "Dallas" that could in theory be called "Dallas: The Next Generation," as it focuses on John Ross Ewing III (the son of J. R.) and Christopher Ewing (the adopted son of Bobby Ewing), two characters when last we saw them were children, we look back at the anniversary to a legendary moment in television that still is one of the biggest in television because of a two-month delay caused by an actors' union strike. The episode is still the most watched non-special or season/series finale shows of all time. While it was the most-watched show of all-time when it first aired, the last M*A*S*H* and Super Bowl XLIV (the end of CBS Sports' 50th NFL season) have surpassed it but they were not regular episodes.

350 million watched the episode worldwide, with 83 million in the United States alone, carrying a 76% share.

Sunday is an anniversary of a television legend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Classic Sports Thursday

As part of our Tribute to Joe Frazier, we remember the Foreman-Frazier bouts. This from 1973, and we know the famous call.

"I think Joe is hurt. Angie (sic) Dundee, Ali's trainer right next to me is saying it. You may hear him . . ."

The end of the sequal of Foreman-Frazier:

And one more for the show, the Ali-Frazier battle had a fourth chapter, in the turn of the century. The daughters had a 21st century battle more about determination than skill, boxing at its grass roots, in eight two-minute rounds (in women's boxing, rounds may be no longer than two minutes) on the Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Opera Wednesday

During the runup to an aborted election to determine if video poker would be stopped by the next July, a famous evangelical minister, Anthony Evans Snr, spoke to a large crowd about the issue after the video poker lobby (“pokies” to our Australian mates) had bought the preceding year’s gubernatorial election, eventually leading to expanded gambling in our state that has hurt it. Isaiah 65:11-12 warns those who forsake God and sets a table for luck, and furnishes an offering to it will be killed, as they ignored God in favour of luck.

While we stopped the pokies and had them banned the next July (it was my only time I could celebrate winning that fall; I had just graduated from college in the middle of a terrifying losing streak and that fall was a winless year; it was so bad I contemplated taking the family’s Mercedes and dipping it into the pond near the home or entering it into a demolition derby, as everyone in town supported the rival and they cheered at my expense; my car couldn’t stand it and a head gasket blew out after the season), sadly, our state a year later (mostly because of a certain group that voted for it) sold out to the casino lobby with the state “LOOTtery,” and people have forsaken God in favour of luck, with luck being a virtue now in schools.

Now what does that have to do with opera?

Ah, it reminds me of a recent attendance of a twin-bill of Menotti operas, The Old Maid and the Thief and The Medium, with my discussion based on the latter that I attended, along with a plethora of old friends I’ve known (Mr. and Dr. LaRoche, Miss Heintzkill, Dr. Stallard, et al) from my Decade of Classical Music.

Looking at the number of media that appear on television in the past decade, with infomercials for the “psychic friends” organizations prominent during late-night television, and the popularity of New Age spirituality among Hollywood with ideas such as Harry Potter teaching a generation into the New Age, seeing old friends sing again (one posted me a message that she was emotional as it was her last with the university opera company), I thought about what I had seen in The Medium. Seeing Mme Flora (the medium) away, her daughter Monica and servant Toby are playing your typical children’s dress-up games and upon the return of Mme Flora, they haven’t prepared the home for the upcoming session with the Gobineaus and Mrs. Nolan.

The medium is supposed to “speak” to the deceased sixteen-year old daughter, after which Mrs. Nolan, infuriated at what she thinks is her girl but is Monica and Toby running an elaborate light and telephone scheme, tries to meet Monica, but is restrained by the other family in the psychic’s home, the Gobineaus, which then attempt to speak, using the medium, to their deceased daughter, but it is the laughing voice of the medium’s daughter too! The result was the psychic thinks the servant has pulled trucks, and refunds the two parents of the deceased. Still, the deceased’s parents think they truly spoke to their dead children. Thinking the servant, who was in the puppet theatre, was a spirit, she kills the servant.

What came to my attention was how gullible people are to “crossing over” with the deceased. The Gobineaus and Mrs. Nolan both believed they spoke to their dead children, when it was Monica and Toby’s games. They had been suckered, and Mme Flora was too, as she thought the servant she hired for the ruse was too a ghost.

The Gobineaus, Mrs. Nolan, and Mme Flora all had forsaken God in favour of finding cups to fortune. Two were lied and never believed it, and Mme Flora thought her own servant was a ghost to be killed. Regardless, the lesson I learned was never to trust psychics, and that Bible verse posted at the start of this column should be a warning why we cannot trust media such as those in the Menotti opera.

This was from the practice session:

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae

Occupiers' Reign of Terror continues

The Occupy Wall Street crowd's antics continue to trouble me. In Mount Pleasant, on the U. S. S. Yorktown, docked at Patriot's Point (where we went on field trips), Congressman Michele Bachmann made an important speech on foreign policy when Occupy protesters started screaming and whining about "diving America" and complaining about the rich (their modus operandi). It is evident we have a group who wants America like the first two years of Obama, where it was they hold all speech cards, and nobody could speak but they can. They want another four years of one-sided liberal rule, and to disrupt Mrs. Bachmann's speech shows their entire goal is a CCCP.

We've converted the military from a fighting force to defend this nation from enemies to ramming down indoctrination of the sexual deviants' agenda down our throats. This continues the troubling mess of the Left.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This Just In

Classic Sports Thursday

I wroter earlier this week about the "Fight of the Century" between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. Here it is, from 1971, in all its glory and splendor. The legendary Don Dunphy is at the mic, with assistance from former champ Archie Moore and Burt Lancaster (!).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The real problem is protecting pedophiles in policy and law

In recent years, sexual deviants have been running ruses to protect their own at the expense of the children, and this is a troubling story in our education system, especially when deviants have written policies making "sexual orientation," "sexual preference," or any other form of sexual deviancy a protected class. Such policies can be used to force schools to hire pedophiles, and in the Obama Administration, we've seen Shepard-Byrd and the law that replaced the armed forces with a Department of Social Engineering, Special Rights Division.

We have seen states redefine marriage or enforce "civil union" laws that redefine marriage to the requests of activists, and punishment against churches, which can no longer offer foster children as laws give sexual deviants special protections in violation of the Bible in such states.

The real tragedy in the Penn State case is the push for protection of sexual deviancy by installing such protection of sexual deviants in nondiscrimination clauses, Shepard-Byrd, and the DSE/SRD is that child molesters and pedophiles can hide under such "sexual orientation" or "sexual preference" protections by educational institutions, corporatiosn, and governments. And that is the real problem we face today -- the sexual deviants' agenda has created an atmosphere that is pedophile-friendly, and unfriendly to its victims. For these deviants violate standards in the Bible.

For further research, see the following verses of the Bible: Romans 1:26-32, Leviticus 18:22-30, Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthinians 6, and Jude 7-9.

Just Asking

There's no doubt that the situation at Penn State is a horrible one. And yet -

I can't help but wonder whether the same people who continue to decry the abuse of "the most defenseless in our society" show the same concern about the kids who are still in the womb?

Or the elderly?

Or the terminally ill?

Not accusing - just asking.

Opera Wednesday

Aweek ago Saturday the Met broadcast Mozart's Don Giovanni, a spectacular production with Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role.

Don Giovanni is a terrific opera to be sure, but it's not one of Mozart's best, and I think part of that is due to what, in my humble opinion, is a rare mistake in judgement by the great Wolfgang. It comes in the final scene, where the wicked Don is dragged off to hell by the ghost of the Commendatore, whom Giovanni murdered earlier in the opera.

This is a tremendous scene, building to a resounding climax, and it should be the end of the opera. But no - for some reason, Mozart sees fit to stick in a final ensemble in which various characters whom Giovanni has wronged come together to pronounce their final judgement on him. It's a totally unnecessary coda - the music builds to its natural climax in the death scene, the audience is ready to applaud, the lights dim, what more could anyone ask for? We get what the moral of the story is, we don't need to have it pounded into our heads.

In the past, many conductors would leave this last scene out altogether, understanding that the dramatic flow of the opera demands that it conclude with the Commendatore scene. Unfortunately, the opera is rarely performed that way today - directors who seemingly have no problem cutting, moving and bastardizing other productions apparently freeze up when it comes to one simple little cut in Don Giovanni. Oh well. (Although, thankfully, there are exceptions.)

Be that as it may, it's still a terrific opera. But if you want an idea of how it should end, here's a televised performance of that scene, with Tadeo Giorgio as the Don. Now tell me: after seeing this, need anything more be said?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Joe Frazier, R.I.P.

One of the problems with growing old is that the icons of your youth grow old as well, and die, and every time it happens a piece of your youth dies as well, and in the end it reminds you - all of us - of our own mortality.

"The Fight of the Century," as it was called, was one of the seminal sporting events of my young life. It was March 8, 1971, and I was ten years old. It was Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali, and boxing was only part of what it was all about.

It's difficult to explain it to someone who wasn't alive at the time or (in the case of my wife) wasn't into sports, what an event it was. In my 5th grade class we discussed it animatedly, all of us aware of how high the stakes really were. I ran across this description from Yahoo! Sports, and I think it summarizes the atmosphere about as much as anything can:

The occasion itself transcended sports. The buildup to the fight was a cultural phenomenon, splitting America (beyond those who were already fans of either fighter) into two factions: the pro-establishment, pro-war camp rooting for Frazier, and the countercultural, anti-war group pulling for Ali, who was stripped of the heavyweight title and his boxing license in 1967—at the height of the Vietnam War—for refusing to be inducted into the U.S. Army.

It was an iconic event in American history, on a level that could never be approached by any other combat sport. The who's who—from Rat Pack member Frank Sinatra, who served as a photographer that evening for Life magazine, to New York Knicks guard Walt "Clyde" Frazier—were at the Garden to witness Frazier's epic battle with Ali in the flesh.
At least that begins to describe it. Burt Lancaster was one of the announcers on the closed-circuit broadcast, and the artist LeRoy Neiman painted the men as they fought. Everybody who was anybody was there, in the arena that thought of itself as the Center of the World, Madison Square Garden.

There was a deep aura of mystery about the event. There was no home television, so if you wanted to see the fight you had to go to a movie theater and plunk down your money (an early form of pay-per-view). There was no radio, either - only a round-by-round summary that was read from the studio after each round ended. I don't remember the host of that radio broadcast, only that the commentator was the former champion, Floyd Patterson, who refused to call Ali anything other than his given name, Cassius Clay.

And that was part of it too, of course. Ali was a tremendously controversial man, not the beloved figure remembered today through a gauzy film.  He was arrogant and taunted his opponents with a blistering, almost dehumanizing cruelty.  (Called, by writer Tex Maule, a "barbarous display of cruelty.") The memorable 1996 ceremony in which his "lost" Olympic gold medal was replaced, happened in the first place because he had thrown the original in the river after refusing to fight in the Vietnam War.  And there was his association with the Nation of Islam, which resulted in his 1965 title rematch with Sonny Liston being moved from Boston to Lewiston, ME.  (I've been in Lewiston; trust me, you don't hold a heavyweight title fight there just for the fun of it.) 

Patterson called him Clay, and so did many others, as did my mother, who disliked Ali and what he stood for intensely.  I recall us staying up late into the night, far past my bedtime, listening to the summaries on the radio as they were presented, her keeping score by using one of the pages of advertising from the TV Guide (the middle section that was from the Columbia Record Club, I believe), marking down an "F" for each round Frazier won, and a "C" for those won by Ali.  The fight was, everyone supposed, a cliffhanger, and Frazier's 15th round knockdown of Ali figured to be the decisive blow.  It wasn't; Frazier had a big enough lead to have won anyway, but the image of Ali on his back, the tassels of his shoes flying, was imprinted on one's memory.

I didn't know much about Joe Frazier prior to that night, but I was thrilled that he'd beaten the hated Ali (or "Cassius Clod," as one talk show host referred to him), and I was tremendously impressed by the dignity with which he conducted himself in the face of Ali's caterwauling bluster.  From then on Frazier became my favorite fighter, through a couple more title defenses until he was shockingly knocked out by the surly young George Foreman (years before Foreman himself would become a loveable hero).  There was another Frazier-Ali bout, which Ali won, and then the "Thrilla in Manila," in which Ali, now the champ, defeated him once again, a result that left me as bitter and disappointed as had ever any sporting event.)

Frazier was never the same after that fight (nor, for that matter, was Ali).  And for a good while, he never received the credit due him - for being the first man to beat Ali, for being a powerful and proud heavyweight champion.  It was easy to be overshadowed by Ali, especially as his bravado became more and more the mainstream in professional sports.  And then there was that embarrassing episode on SuperStars where he almost drowned during a swimming competition - that didn't help much either.  But he kept on, fighting for a few more years until he was beaten once again by Foreman, in a bout between two former champs now on the has-been trail (or so it seemed for Foreman).  He started a second career as a singer, and made a hilarious commercial for Miller Lite.

And eventually, people came to appreciate that Joe Frazier was a great champion, and a man who'd handled his fame and career with grace.  There was widespread shock last week at the news that he was suffering from liver cancer and hadn't long to live, and when he died Monday night at the age of 67, there was a heartfelt outpouring of grief, including statements from Ali and Foreman, his two biggest rivals.

I realize that much of this seems to have been a celebration of Joe Frazier more for who he wasn't than for who he was, but sometimes that's how you measure a man.  And lest we forget, today people warmly remember Smokin' Joe Frazier as a man who, through it all, never lost sight of what it meant to be a champ.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wish I'd Written That

When I'm pushed, I shove."

- James Garner, in his new autobiography, The Garner Files. Just goes to show that you don't need a lot of words to make a statement.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Retro TV Friday

The last couple of weeks at the It's About TV site, I've been writing about television coverage of John F. Kennedy's funeral. A fascinating study of the relationship between television and religion - check it out!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Classic Sports Thursday

We're getting down to crunch time in college football, and this Saturday features the first time in five years that the number one and two ranked teams in the country meet in the regular season, when #1 LSU takes on #2 Alabama.

Back in the day, before the BCS guaranteed an annual #1 vs #2 "championship game," a matchup like this would have been called "The Game of the Century." College football has seen a number of these over the years, at least one a decade (which leads one to wonder exactly how sportswriters define a century), but few of them match up to the hype. One that did, in a most unexpected way, was the 1966 game pitting #1 Notre Dame against #2 Michigan State.

Mike Celizic’s wonderful book The Biggest Game of Them All illustrates just how this game profoundly changed the way in which television looked at sports. Among other things, it created a demand for media credentials unsurpassed in sports to that time (it took the Super Bowl years before it became as big a media sensation), caused Catholic churches throughout the nation to change confession times so as not to conflict with the game, and became the first sporting event telecast live via satellite in Hawaii.

It may be hard to believe now, but through the 60s and early 70s the televising of college football was a closely regulated business. Teams were limited to the number of appearances they could make on TV each season, and even the biggest games were frequently seen on a regional, rather than national, basis. The Notre Dame-Michigan State game, which was hyped to a level that would be remarkable even today, threatened to change everything.  College football fans everywhere were on the edge of their collective seats throughtout the game, but nobody was prepared for what wound up happening.  Here are the climactic final minutes of the controversial finish, with Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson calling the action:

Well, that was something, wasn't it? How many of you expected that?

It's hard to imagine now, since overtime guarantees a winner in every college football game. It was even harder to imagine, back then, that the "Tying Irish," as they became known, would let the clock run out rather than go for the win. But there was a method to Irish coach Ara Parseghian's madness - he calculated the AP voters would be unlikely to drop Notre Dame out of the top spot because of the tie, particularly since they had rallied from a ten-point deficit without their star quarterback Terry Hanratty, who had been injured early in the game, and star running back Nick Eddy, who missed the game altogether due to an injury getting off the train in East Lansing.

Parseghian also had another ace in the pocket: this game was Michigan State's last, while Notre Dame would finish their season the following week against USC. (Neither team would play in a bowl game that year; Notre Dame had a longstanding policy against bowls that would not end until the early 70s, while the Big 10 prohibited any team from going to any bowl other than the Rose. Michigan State, which had played in the Rose the previous year, was ineligible because of another of the Big 10's rules, the "No-Repeat Rule" that prevented teams from playing in the Rose Bowl in consecutive years.) Notre Dame crushed USC the next week, 51-0, and indeed won the national championship.

Someday when I've got more time I'll go into the cultural rammifications of this game, which were immense, in more detail. But for now let's just concentrate on the game, for which autumn Saturday afternoons were created.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Opera Wednesday

From Rossini's charming comeday L'italiana in Algeri, The Italian Girl in Algiers, here's one of its many charming arias, with the great Marilyn Horne singing "Cruda sorte." This is from a Met Opera performance in 1986, with James Levine conducting.

And here's a Marilyn Horne encore, with another of her greatest hits.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cost of education increases similar to sports: bidding war on professors similar to ones on athletes

A very common complaint about professional (and to an extent, collegiate too) sports has been the high cost of tickets in order to pay for the extensive salaries of professional athletes, as the two highest salaried stars in sports are Spanish F1 driver Fernando Alonso Diaz of Scuderia Ferrari ******** (Because of censorship laws, the team's full name must be censored) at a $40 million salary, and Cameroon footballer Samuel Eto'o of ФК "Анжи" Махачкала (СОГАЗ Russian Football Championship), who is paid $29 million a year – greater than any MLB or NFL star. The bidding wars on star players has sent ticket prices soaring in sports.

But with complaints about college tuition roaring into massive debt, the nationalisation of student loans passed in ObamaCare, and here in South Carolina, the cost of education soaring after the state government was massively expanded with the mockery called the “state lottery,” there's one issue I haven't heard in the discussion of education costs that is similar to sports, and that is the bidding war on professors.

As schools begin adding further research arms to their institutions, they are needing professors to lead these research divisions. To do so, they often engage in bidding wars with each other in order to hire the best talent, similar to sports. In once case over a decade ago, a professor's pay went from $90,000 to over $200,000 after a bidding war for him. Another case featured Ivy League rivals in a bidding war on a professor. When the bidding wars are as heated in the academic field as they are on an athletic field, the result will be the same. And with the “we must try the latest and greatest experiment” mentality in academics, the new buildings carry the most expensive experimental equipment. All of these are increasing the cost of schools on the level of sports. Has anyone noticed the similarities of academic bidding wars to athletic bidding wars? A generation of protesting students do not seem to understand that, but it's clearly evident with a bidding war, trying to entice professors, building new buildings, housing allowances, extra academic freedom for the professor, and the lure of such, the same things we see in professional sports are there in academic prices.

This Just In

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Peggy Lee campaign

I include the above in order to explain the title of this post, since anyone younger than me probably won't get it. (Your loss; you should get Peggy Lee, at least once in your lifetime.)

I can't help but think, though, that this was the question on the lips of many Republicans after last week's demolition derby of a debate in Las Vegas. It was great theater, at least for people you like David Mamet plays, but does this kind of attack politics really do any good? It made the candidates look small, like the children that fill the stage at the National Spelling Bee. And it leaves me asking one more question: "If this is the best we have to offer, how in the world are we going to beat Obama?"

Are they for real?

Guest post by Cathy of Alex

It's easy to make fun of the Occupy Wall Street and it's offshoot demonstrations in various cities - including one locally in Minneapolis, MN. I'm sure they are still laughing in downtown Tripoli too! Minnesota is usually, at least, a season behind the fashions and the music that are on the streets and on the radio (for those dinos that still listen to the radio) everywhere else in the U.S. so it makes sense while the Arabs had their Spring we are into Fall.

I hesitate to call the Occupy Wall Street a movement. It's not a movement, per se, in that it is not a cohesive and organized event positioning itself toward a common goal. It's almost like a "be-in" (remember those, you folks that are still listening to the RADIO!?) or Summer of Love or Woodstock or even an Andy Hardy film. Hey, kids, let's put on a show!? How about a bunch of us just show up someplace at a certain time and try and get something going, see what happens... It seems like a flash mob but the mob has no flash.

Occupy Wall Street, to me, is part of a current cultural phenomenon that is sweeping the globe. Really, it is - look around. Arab Spring, demonstrations in Rome, Greece, those periodic World Trade Organization dust-ups, the Tea Party, appear, on the surface, to have absolutely nothing in common. But, I think they do. They are all started by disaffected and disengaged youth. It's tempting to yell out: Get a job you hippies! or wonder why these kids appear to have so much free time on their hands that they can camp out in downtown New York for weeks. No kids? No families? Turn on, Tune in, Drop out?

I used to date this super-prog guy about 15 years ago (I was prog then but he made me look like a "Contract with America" supporter) who claimed that Generation Y was going to put the Baby Boomers to shame as far as protesting and radicalism goes. I thought he was full of crap (actually, not the reason we broke up). Now, I wonder if I should find him and apologize.

Except I think neither one of us saw a day when so many young people literally cannot get jobs, don't have a stable home life (if a home life at all), can't afford college, don't believe that they'll ever be able to own a home, are paying child support before they are out of high school, and perceive that education is meaningless as there isn't anything to prepare you for other than debt, unemployment and take-out.

What is different with some of today's youth-started protest phenomenon from those of 3 - 5 decades ago is the resulting demographic of the protesters is not just Gen Y and Millenials - a lot of older, employed people with families have joined in. Perhaps, relieving their protest days of yore, or, perhaps, we have finally seen a day when all generations have the same gripes.

I'm not saying I agree with this new youth-driven phenomenon; but I also acknowledge that I don't see the world as they do. I'm pretty well established. I had a stable home growing up. I have a life full of purpose with Christ. I have a job. I don't have trouble putting food on the table. But, I've also got over 2 decades of head start.

It's true that no two people in the Occupy Wall Street can identify the reason why the collective is protesting. They are not even sure what they are protesting. There are probably some people who don't even realize they are at a protest but it just seemed like a great place to get laid! There is no common platform. However, I just caution us as a society to refrain from thinking Occupy Wall Street is meaningless and nothing will come from it. Revolutions have started this way. We may not have to break out the guns, but new ideas can sometimes be as powerful and scary as any armament.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and related activists: Communist perpetrators

Listening to Neal Boortz discuss he demands of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement reminds states their demands will destroy the economy, with the current realistic unemployment rate of nearly 20% ready to soar if these leftists' agenda is met.

The crazy mandates wanted by the organisers is to raise the minimum wage, which four years ago was raised 40% from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour, to $20 per hour. When the Pelosi Reign of Terror led a 40% hike in the minimum wage in 2007 by a no-debate, no-discussion supermajority forcedown, the beginning of the current American crisis in jobs began, as Walter E. Williams noted in [i]Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed by Discrimination [/i]? Youth unemployment starts at the 15% range and in some groups is over 40%, as noted by Charles Payne this summer on Fox Business Network, as a byproduct of the Pelosi stupidity. James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation noted rescinding the 40% minimum wage hike would encourage such hiring of novices, and create more entry-level hiring. He notes this on the job training results in most workers accelerating skills that result in raises, including interacting with co-workers and bosses. The result of the last severe round of minimum wage hikes led to a lack of entry-level hiring as the value of hiring such workers was lacking. Some states have added further hikes to destroy their states.

A nearly 150% hike in the minimum wage to $20 would destroy jobs for good, and businesses would choose to locate their businesses in Mexico, or worse yet, the rising four nations of the BRIC (Brasil, Россия, India, and Communist China).

A related demand is to guarantee such income – regardless of the person is employed or not. This has no logic. Another is “free college education,” but thanks to ObamaCare, the federal government, not private parties or financial institutions, is the only place for student loans, and we are paying the price for having gambling money subsidise college education in South Carolina after over a decade of such outrageous policies. A government monopoly is the worst possible idea, and the passing of ObamaCare gave us one, and a mandate by these activists is to fully implement ObamaCare by adopting the Canadian-style single payer system that outlaws private industry and kill health care.

Another demand of these liberals is to outlaw oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy to push the standard liberal mantra of “wind and solar only”. However, as SCANA investors were told at a meeting, wind energy requires a minimum of 3.6 m/s of constant wind, and turbines shut down if the wind speed exceeds 20 m/s. The total demand of outlawing oil, gas, coal, and nuclear, with related “ecological restoration,” reminds me of the Taliban's anti-industry push. Many Communists have adopted the extreme environmentalist movement in order to push the idea of government in control of everything, and Lenin's Birthday (22 April 1870) is celebrated under the disguise of “saving the planet,” which popular culture has taught is more important than anything, and we see it in our trashy schoolbooks, where math, science, history, writing, and classics are ignored, while the fads of the trash are mandated in schools.

These activists demand gross Keynesian economics of spending on infrastructure, and have no regard on how they will pay for this, including a request of forgiveness of all debt, thereby creating a massive “spending without responsibility,” thinking we are a massive credit card that by law they will pay our debt. Money does not grow on trees, and they want spending without paying for it. What lesson does this teach a generation? Spend even past being broke, and get away with it?

Other demands mandate “card check,” which is part of the Left's push to unionise the entire nation, which would likely include a ban on replacement workers and legalisation of closed shops. And of course, we have the sexual deviants, successfully imposing speech codes and replacing the military with an activist organisation pushing their agenda, who want to occupy America to impose marriage laws and adoption policies in their form, banning churches from anything.

Regardless of the agenda by separate activists in Occupy Wall Street and related left-wing events, it's clear they want a utopia reminiscent of the CCCP that will fail.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Las Vegas tragedy

I had just finished some housekeeping chores when I turned on our Vizio HDTV to our ESPN Broadcast affiliate and saw the IZOD IndyCar World Championship had been stopped for what was cleanup.

After finishing our Bible study tonight, on the drive home, I learned the horrifying tragedy of what happened, and saw what was clearly X-rated clips (violence) of the Bowers & Wilkins Honda flying into the catchfence. In the past three and a half years, we've seen fatal crashes in drag racing from various classes of cars flying into netting at the end of drag strips when cars are unable to slow down sufficiently in the sand trap. Now we've had another INDYCAR* fatality with a car flying into the catchfencing, open cockpit first.

The ultimate irony is that INDYCAR was criticised for a Nerf Bar (something that's seen on a NASCAR Modified) style tail for the new Dallara cars that will be used starting in March. After seeing the gruesome tragedy of today, maybe the Nerf Bars are a must. And the Nerf Bar may not be good on aerodynamics, but to prevent cars from flying is the most important issue. Wheel-to-wheel contact, regardless of it being an IndyCar, F1, GP2/3, Modified, or Formula Nippon (built in California), is the most dangerous because exposed wheels in contact with exposed wheels is easily grounds for launch. This bar may have prevented three cars from going airborne.

It was horrifying to see replays of what happened. Our thoughts and prayers go to the Wheldon family.

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

Let's Flash Back: 2005. 2011.

* The stylebook issued by Indy Racing League LLC states INDYCAR, the trade name of the IRL (the legal name of the organisation is Indy Racing League, LLC). All rule books posted by the organisation in regards to the sanctioning body has the name in all capital letters.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Retro TV Friday

I enjoy listening to talk radio, and often the catchy theme songs on the radio are some of the craziest you will hear. While many hosts will select various tunes they think are catchy theme songs, some are always stuck in your head, associated with the hosts. From "My City Was Gone" (Limbaugh), "Independence Day" (Hannity), "Heart of Rock and Roll" (Boortz), and the local radio talk show hosts, the themes are an integral part of any talk radio programme.

This was the theme song to a news/talk radio show from the mid-1990's. She responded, "Oh yeah. The opening to the show. Been awhile."

But it's Retro TV Friday. Why are you discussing old talk radio? There's a reason. In that time, I owned interest in CBS, including the CBS Cable operations. And I do miss the old Nashville Network, shut down by MTV after parent Paramount purchased CBS and sent the CBS Cable operations to MTV, allowing MTV to use the CBS Cable operations to shut down the outdoor and country channel in favour of a channel that sounds like it's a volleyball-talking channel but is an explicit adult channel.

This was the theme song to the radio talk show in question, as a performance on The Nashville Network's "Prime Time Country," with Gary Chapman hosting.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mr. Jobs' Eastern Mysticism: was he an advancer of the New Age cause in the nation?

There are some news cartoons that can go over the edge, and in some instance, they are highly inappropriate in light of Steve Jobs' death. One inappropriate cartoon I saw was one of Steve Jobs at the Pearly Gates with St. Peter -- and when I read his belief system and worldview was built in Buddhism, where he becomes dust after death, it was highly inappropriate to draw considering his worldview is built in a religion of nothingness, as I've learned is the view of Zen Buddhism, which he believed, and was married to his wife in a ceremony conducted by a Buddhist monk. Was one of Mr. Jobs' legacies the advancement of Eastern Mysticism to the point even today's Life Enhancement Centres are embracing such "contemplative spirituality" even in our houses of worship where we are supposed to study God's Word?

Forbes found this on his New Age beliefs:

Another perspective of Mr. Jobs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Opera Wednesday

Opera, as I've learned over the years, is a place where the fun and frolicking can happen. As I've learned from many a round of lessons from Dr. LaRoche in the decade past, we can have humour as I've shown my anger parodying Magda, and even Lauretta. Now the Seattle Opera Blog has found a humourous look at the life of opera. They asked the question, "What would Sevilla look like with Carmen and her friends were on a social networking site?" Oh, this one is funny and it makes us love our opera!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Three stories to steam

Sorry that I've been on the sickly side the past few days, I have not been able to write much thanks to falling ill and being busy at work, as you might expect.

The controversy over Gibson: All the attacks on Gibson aside, I remind myself that Gibson claims to be a victim of political contributions to opponents, which is true, but those who rally for Gibson forget that Gibson shut down the Baldwin piano plants in Arkansas in favour of opening plants in China. I remember the Baldwin pianos in my youth, and in the past five years, Gibson's idea of taking pianos to China and away from the States has now occurred. Where is the discussion of Gibson's piano plants now being in the PRC?

As for my take on Steve Jobs: Earlier this year, I noted how Apple has caused the demise of music stores and even bookstores to the easily manipulated portable file formats of readers such as the iPad and music players such iPod and iPhone concern me. Compression is nary a problem pop music because they do not have the quirks that perfectionists in classical music demand. Furthermore, we are not sitting there with 25-minute pieces (often 10-12 minutes a suite) in pop music when a song can start and finish in four minutes. As for the portable e-readers replacing books, the biggest concern has indeed come true with Amazon's advertiser-supported Kindles. Truly it can now be abused where you may read a conservative pamphlet and see ads for the 2012 campaign for President Obama, or read a Bible on the e-reader and see sexual deviant activists' push for their agenda come. Do "all your base belong to us," as the video game lore states, now?

The White House's recent launch of "We The People" to give citizens petition ideas has shown its Leftist colours. Some of the crazier ideas have included removing "God" from the Pledge and "In God We Trust" from currency, banning churches from tax-exempt status, ban coal mining, releasing drug offenders, legalising prostitution, redefining marriage to appease leftist activists, unemployment benefits for life, and banning the Bible from the country. We also have recognition and praise for those who are blockading Wall Street as another petition. What type of losers do we have on that site, trying to push every leftist cause? It's a dangerous utopia.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs, R.I.P.

Hullo there, remember me? I used to write for this blog from time to time.

I can't say whether or not this represents a permanent return to form, but I didn't want to be the only person in the Western world who hadn't commented on Steve Jobs' death.

Actually, I'm even cheating here, since all I'm really doing is linking to this fine piece by Philip Terzian at the Weekly Standard.  It speaks to me on several levels: the danger of sanctifying the dead, a trap into which we all fall at one time or another; my ambivilence at the technological revolution, which Jobs without a doubt spearheaded; and the ultimate question of how we treat the people with whom we interact.  Is it merely me, or is there a real irony in the fact that Jobs, who did so much through the iPad and the iPhone and the iPod to minimize actual human interaction, was apparently so bad at human interaction himself?  Chicken or egg?

Concludes Terzian, "It does take a genius of sorts to make technology adaptable to a mass market, and to persuade consumers they need to consume. But that is not quite the same as 'changing the world.' It is one thing to influence human behavior -- which might be said of figures as disparate as Sigmund Freud or Jesus -- but quite another to understand human behavior, and profit handsomely." 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cybersquatting by leftist activists on a presidential campaign, and poor Lacey Schwimmer . .

In January, I had the opportunity to participate at my fourteenth South Carolina Citizens for Life March for Life Weekend, with Rick Santorum as the keynote speaker at the event. Mr. Santorum is now officially registered as a Candidate for the Republican Nomination for the President of the United States.

The issue today is something more disturbing that came to my attention but uses the former Pennsylvania Senator who was defeated in the Pelosi Revolution that has led to the current economic crisis. If you type “Rick Santorum” on a search engine, one of the top three links will be to a sexually explicit site run by sexual deviant Dan Savage, best known for promoting his “anti-bullying” campaign, a cover for advancing sexual deviants’ agenda (it has successfully clinched in the 111th Congress both a speech code similar to “progressive” nations that makes the Bible criminal speech, forcing Dr. Laura Schlessinger to pay radio, which was a goal of liberals to throw her off public airwaves, and the elimination of the military, replacing it with the Special Rights Division of the Department of Social Engineering).

Recently, a Catholic minister I know from classical music events promoted Mr. Savage's social agenda on his social networking page, promoting sinful behaviours in violation of Romans 1, resulting in a phone call to the local Diocese, and the local church where he is employed, but they refused to discipline him for his promotion of sinful behaviour that violates doctrinal teachings (and it doesn't matter if it's Catholic or Protestant, sexual deviancy is a sin).

This form of cybersquatting will make people associate Mr. Santorum not to the Presidential candidate, pro-life advocate, and father, but to the explicitness of the sexual deviant activist Mr. Savage. Worse yet, the campaign in question has aggressively pushed the campaign for the deviants on network television during family-friendly programming, and it was responsible for pushing for the redefinition of marriage in many states, including the prohibition of Catholic and Protestant charities from running adoption agencies or foster homes as part of the banishment of faith through these new laws.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen inappropriate searches with common names in the news. A recent image search of a Daytona 500 champion and current Chase driver did not give me the gentleman in question, but of a teen actress few people know. This is a well-known celebrity it seems has been cybersquatted, and the person they show is not known by anyone outside of a few obscure places.

And don’t forget the number of times anyone wants to discuss the corrupt socialised medicine act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a. k. a. ObamaCare, where searches will advance users to sites promoting the President and his propaganda.

Search engines are selling out to extreme left-wing causes, as we’ve seen with Mr. Santorum and the fight against socialised medicine. But when a Daytona 500 champion’s name can be abused too, this issue is over the edge. Penny Nance has a report on it.

And speaking of sexual deviants’ craziness, I agree with those who believe we should not watch the local version of Strictly Come Dancing. Pity poor Lacey Schwimmer, who has to be partnered with a woman this season. Ballroom dancing is for people of the opposite sex. What is Disney doing? Ron and Diane Miller have seen the betrayal of her father’s company from the start, and this shows what is truly crazy, considering too that the show’s producer, the BBC, has just banned “Before Christ” and “Anno Domini”. Next?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This Just In

Message bodyImplosion of Atlanta National League Ball Club Results in True North Acquiring Team, Renaming it Goldeyes.

WINNIPEG, MB -- Following True North Enterprises' acquisition of the City of Atlanta at a bargain-basement price in June, True North Enterprises has announced Canad Inn Stadium will be the host of the National League's newest team, the Winnipeg Goldeyes, which will replace Atlanta National League Ball Club, Inc.

The Goldeyes will become a National League team and be slotted in the East Division.

"Obviously, True North is excited about having a professional hockey and now baseball team in Winnipeg, and as part of being the new headquarters for Home Depot, Delta, UPS, and other major firms that had been in Georgia until our acquisition of an entire city to be converted to a landfill, we are excited about the continuing growth of Winnipeg," posted officials in Winnipeg. The Goldeyes' 2012 schedule and roster will be announced at a later date.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The death of the United States armed forces

The United States Armed Forces. 1776-2011. Killed by President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Stefani Germanotta, and Tim Gill. Replaced by a secular humanist indoctrination force designed not to defend this nation but to advance the causes of humanism.

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

Bill Connor on the "jihad" that killed our military in favour of the new left-wing indoctrination force for secular humanism.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Searching for Snoopy

As a veteran space travel buff, this is way cool. The lunar module of Apollo 10 (code name: Snoopy) - the final lunar orbital test run prior to the moon landing - came within a few miles (relatively speaking) of the moon's surface. At the mission's conclusion, the LM was jettisoned to orbit around the sun. Now, astronomers are searching to find that spacecraft!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Opinion Digest

I remember boys complained in schools about the girls' dress code, and they wanted to have the girls' dress code adopted for school, and they won the complaint -- the school was forced to adopt the girls' dress code for boys (only thing that matters is if it touches the top of the knee, but the hem line moved up regardless of gender).

Seems the increased pop culture "flashing" as shown by certain pop culture stars is enough, as are the cases of girls pulling off copycat moves, impersonating their heroines with similar hiking tactics. Officials in some British schools have told girls the boys' dress code will be enforced on them, banning articles of clothing that often are used to create the mess in the first place. Turnabout is fair play, is it?

The censoring of the West, and the enforcement of Shariah are both troubling. Have we seen a rise of Islam since Usama attacked the US? Diana West's thoughts.

Thirty-nine men came to Philadelphia to form a more perfect union two hundred twenty-four years ago this weekend. Yet the courts today are eliminating their document in favour of adopting foreign laws today, and even abolishing the Bill of Rights (1-10 and 27*). Katie Pavlich reports.

Professor Krugman's rude commentary on Patriot Day was seriously offensive to the soldiers and those who lost family members in the attacks of Usama's Henchmen. Michael Reagan's thoughts.

Marc Morano reports a Nobel Prize winner resigned from the American Physical Society because of their embracing of false anti-industry "science" pushed on a generation.


* There were twelve articles in the Bill of Rights; The first article assigned the House to one representative per 40,000 people, and once it went to 200 representatives, the limit was one per 50,000; thar article did not pass, and it would be compex today, as it's nearly 650,000 people per Representative. The second article took 201 years, and 28 more states that was needed when originally proposed, to ratify and is the 27th Amendment. The third to twelfth articles are the first to tenth Amendments to the United States Consitution, henceforth, the Bill of Rights are actually the 2nd to 12th articles of articles sent to the legislators on March 14, 1789. For historical purposes, the 27th Amendment is part of the Founding Fathers' documents.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Those words

The words on Fox News Channel on the day have been played every 8:26 AM since then, as usual. We see the 8:46 AM report of the first crash on Fox & Friends, and we see clips of the numerous attacks. Those words said by the newsmen reflect on that day.

"Another plane just flew into the second tower. This has to be deliberate, folks. We just saw on live television as a second plane flew into the second tower of the World Trade Center. Now given what has been going on around the world, Some of the key suspects come to mind, Usama bin Laden, who knows what." -- 9:03 AM, Jon Scott

"We are hearing right now of another explosion that has taken place in the Pentagon. We have the heart of the financial district of America being been attacked now we understand now there . . . has been an explosion in The Pentagon, the heart of the military command center of the United States of America. Jon, it can't be worse I hope." -- 9:37 AM, David Asman,

"As we watch these pictures, the World Trade Center, 110 storeys, literally starting to fall" -- 9:59 AM, Mr. Scott

"It's gone. The whole tower( bleep). They knocked the whole freaking thing down." -- News chopper pilot.

"America, offer a prayer." (Second tower implodes) -- Jon Scott, 10:28 AM

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Remember The Day. Ten Years Ago. 8:46 AM.

I reflected being behind the wheel of my Buick LeSabre, the infamous "Heather" on the way to the shop when the 8:46 AM attacks took place, and listening to the radio desperately to find out what happened that day.

I looked at the books I've read, and they include a pair of Barbara Olson books, Hell to Pay and The Final Days, both on the Clinton Administration.

I saw the collection of memorabilia of the local (Charleston) ECHL team, the South Carolina Stingrays.

Both fit the day. Both are relics that remind us of what we lost ten years ago. We lost an author, headed to Los Angeles for Bill Maher's television programme when killed on AA77. We lost Mark Bavis, a former Stingrays player, on UA175.

We lost thousands others at the hands of Usama bin Laden, the most wanted man in America, and led to the President's painting of Usama has a desperado who needed to be stopped.

It has been ten years today. Listening to "Evocation: In Memoriam September 11, 2001," a piece of the day by the Upton Trio, makes you reflect what happened.

Here is a clip of the real-time coverage from that day, on WTMA's Dan Moon Show. 
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