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.

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