Kitty Wells, arguably the first big female star of country music (not counting the women in the Carter Family), died Monday at the age of 92. Here is her breakthrough song, a response to Hank Thompson’s “The Wild Side of Life,” in which the singer laments that a “honky tonk angel”–that is, a woman of ill repute–broke up his marriage.  Kitty, irked at that song, wrote a reply using the same tune, in which she makes the musical observation that… Read more

The History News Network posts an earlier article by Edwin Black on the American eugenics movement and what it accomplished.  Twenty-seven states adopted eugenics laws, with the biggest program to sterilize the “unfit” being established in California.   Major funding for the eugenics movement came from the Carnegie Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation.   Black shows how the American eugenics movement spread to Germany and was championed–and later implemented on a massive scale–by Adolf Hitler. Read the whole article, but… Read more

What happens when pop culture addicts run your campaign: According to Paul Bedard at The Washington Examiner, the Obama campaign takes Batman’s new enemy Bane, a pumped up venom gas breathing maniac, in the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” and compares him to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, because of the Massachusetts GOP’ers previous work with the investment firm Bain Capital, which Obama and Democrats say was a job killer. Get it–Bane and Bain? Bedard writes: “Bane” is the… Read more

We blogged earlier about how online shopping sites have a big advantage over local businesses in not having to charge sales tax.  So states and now Congress have been trying to pass laws to collect those taxes.  Amazon used to fight those efforts, but no longer, saying, in effect, throw me into that briar patch. From Farhad Manjoo in Slate: Why would Amazon give up its precious tax advantage? This week, as part of an excellent investigative series on the… Read more

I leave today for two weeks, in which time I will have three speaking engagements, attend a conference, and visit relatives in Oklahoma.  I won’t be in the big woods, though, this time, and I do plan to keep my blog up the best I can, this being a hobby I enjoy, rather than work.  I might not be able to put up quite as many posts per day as I usually do.  And there may be days when I… Read more

You have perhaps heard about how the University of Virginia board fired the university president Teresa Sullivan, whereupon a huge uproar ensued, and she was hired back. I’ve heard conservatives lament the re-hiring, saying that the lunatics are in charge of the asylum, that this just re-enforces the corruption in higher education, that this is another example of  academic elites stifling reform, etc., etc. But in this case a conservative philosophy of education was victorious over more progressive attempts to… Read more

We had another great sermon from Pastor Douthwaite on the death of John the Baptist (Mark 6:14-29).  A sampling: John the Baptist never was at home in this world. He was an interloper. A stranger. A misfit. It began with his birth which was not the usual way. He was born miraculously to a couple who could not have children because they were too old and she was barren. He was given the wrong name (in the opinion of all… Read more

Metropolitan Jonah, the evangelical convert who became the head of the Orthodox Church of America (one of several Eastern Orthodox denominations in the U.S.), has been ousted from his office.  The reason, reportedly, is his aggressive public stands against abortion, homosexuality, and other controversial moral issues.  (Metropolitan Jonah was one of the signatories of LCMS president Matt Harrison’s open letter opposing the Obamacare contraceptive/abortifacient mandate.) I realize that Eastern Christianity is more quiescent on cultural issues than that of the… Read more

I really enjoyed yesterday digging up those old songs on YouTube, not just those that shed light on the article we were blogging about but also the ones you suggested in the comments.  I was also trading songs back and forth off line, with my assistant Zach showing me a tune by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils and me coming back with Roy Acuff’s “Wreck on the Highway.” Let’s do that for its own sake.  Given that YouTube seems to have… Read more

The Nielson ratings people and Sony surveyed just over 1,000 Americans to determine the top 20 “most universally impactful moments” on television.  Here they are: 1. Sept. 11 tragedy (2001) 2. Hurricane Katrina (2005) 3. O.J. Simpson verdict (1995) 4. Challenger space shuttle disaster (1986) 5. Death of Osama bin Laden (2011) 6. O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase (1994) 7. Earthquake in Japan (2011) 8. Columbine High School shootings (1999) 9. BP oil spill (2010) 10. Princess Diana’s funeral (1997)… Read more

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