The Illusionist…UPDATED

Here you see him, and there you see him. The Great Obama and Mitt the Magnificent. You see,

A good storyteller, like a good magician, knows that the audience wants to be fooled, at least while the show is in progress. [Read more...]

“We Stand for Religious Freedom…”

You know, except for when we don’t.

Image Credit: Jeff Jacoby/Boston Globe

 President Barack Obama said the United States supports religious freedom, despite his administration’s ongoing legal dispute with the Catholic Church and other religious groups.

“I have made it clear that the United States has a profound respect for people of all faiths,” Obama in his weekly address on Saturday. “We stand for religious freedom.” [Read more...]

The Real Culprit Behind the Attacks Across the Islamic World UPDATED

The Colors flying at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo Egypt, at half-mast. September 13, 2012

I’ve been thinking about the attacks to our embassies all across the Islamic world. Like the rogue character Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, me thinking is a frightening prospect, I know. But I cannot help but do it, as I served in Cairo, Egypt and Kuala Lumpur Malaysia as a Marine Security Guard (MSG) at our embassies located in those two capital cities of predominantly Muslim countries.

I spent 15 months or so in both of these countries fairly soon after a barracks of Marines was blown up in Lebanon (1983), and the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was blown to kingdom come (1984). [Read more...]

Six Great Songs for Labor Day 2012 (Music for Mondays) UPDATED

“No amount of piety in leisure hours can compensate for slipshod labor on the job. But any honest task, well done, can be turned into a prayer.” —Archbishop Fulton Sheen

In the United States, the first Monday of September is a federal holiday celebrating the contributions and dignity of workers. Nothing gets done without them! But on this day we stretch the weekend out a little longer, wrap up our summers, and have one last barbecue. And here, since its a Monday, I get to throw together some songs celebrating us working stiffs too!

We have good company in this department, because lest we forget, Jesus was a man of work. Unless you are on call, or on duty (military, police, fire, ambulance, doctors and nurses) I hope you can take advantage of this day off and enjoy yourself. Here’s some songs I hope you’ll enjoy too. [Read more...]

Today’s the Day the Music Died (Music for Mondays)

For me, anyway. No, I’m not talking about Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, who Don McClean sang about in American Pie. No, I mean the day the music died for me. It was on August 27, 1990, when Stevie Ray Vaughn died in a helicopter crash at the age of 35.  SRV boarded a chopper after a show shorty after midnight for a quick hop to an airport, only the pilot flew into a low hill and  the best guitar player in the world was taken from us.

So I’m remembering Stevie Ray Vaughn, one of my favorites, as long time readers know. [Read more...]

Thoughts As Summer Winds Down on a Saturday

La Grenouillere, Claude Monet, 1869

My children headed back to school twelve days back. But it still feels a bit like summer, though this year it seems as if all the seasons are running three weeks ahead of schedule.

Though the scorching of July made headlines, and has been followed up in the news with leading questions by seemingly all-knowing journalists wondering if this is because of global warming, my electric bill says otherwise. [Read more...]

Message from Mammon On Student Loan Debt: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Really. It’s “contained.” Ben Bernanke says so. Cody Willard of Marketwatch gives us reasons to be confident in the latest pronouncement of The Great Ben, [Read more...]

If God Is A Bullet… (Music for Mondays)

I was just checking the archives and realized it’s been a long time since I shared a music post. Ever since the HHS Mandate naked power grab reared it’s ugly head, my muse has been under a cloaking device. But today, I’m going to break out and share a few tunes that I haven’t heard for a long, long time. I’m curious how many of you remember them too, so sound-off in the combox. They’re all from the Big Eighties, and share a similar theme. [Read more...]

Singapore and the Strange Tale of Population Control Policies UPDATES

Truth is stranger than fiction. And weird things happen when governments decide to help you decide how many children you can have.

Take Singapore, for instance. The island nation, after gaining its independence from Malaysia in 1965 had a total fertility rate (children born per woman) north of 4.7 (down from 5.41 in 1960). As demographers know, a nation needs a TFR of 2.1 to maintain itself for the long run. The Singapore government was spooked by this high TFR and was determined to remedy the situation.

What they wound up doing is pretty clear. They put Singapore on a path to extinction. [Read more...]

Happy Independence Day! Let’s Sing a Song…

"Congress Voting the Declaration of Independence" c. 1776, Edward Savage and/or Robert Edge Pine.

But before we do, here’s one little tidbit to recall on this 236th birthday of our republic. Everyone knows the first lines of the Declaration of Independence, but the last line is pretty impressive too.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

And so it was, as the good folks at Snopes note with the footnotes to back up the facts verses the urban legends. Also, did any Catholics sign the Declaration too? Meet the Carroll’s of Maryland. [Read more...]


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