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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Stuart Smalley and Other Hypocrites

[This is reprinted from NewsMax.com]

The new book that exposes Al Franken, Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore and other liberals for political hypocrisy skyrocketed Thursday [Nov.3] to the very top of the Amazon bestseller list, hitting the #2 spot for all non-fiction books.

The book's success apparently has liberal radio yakker Al Franken [aka Stuart Smalley] threatening to sue the author because it alleges he doesn't practice what he preaches when it comes to affirmative action.

Peter Schweizer, author of "Do As I Say, Not as I Do: Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy," told Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly Wednesday night:
"Before the book came out, his agent, Jonathan Lazear, called my editor at Doubleday and said they consider the material in the book to be 'legally actionable.' They then followed up with a letter demanding to know where I got all this, 'private information' on Al Franken."

In "Do As I Say," Schweizer reports that Franken has hired 112 employees over the years and only one was black - news that Franken was not pleased to see in print.

But according to Schweizer, Franken isn't denying the charge, telling O'Reilly, "They haven't questioned the validity of the information. They want to know how I got access to private information. And the interesting thing, Bill, is they've said nothing publicly. This is all done behind the scenes. He's not challenged one thing."

O'Reilly, who himself encouraged Fox News to sue over one of Franken's books that used Fox's slogan "Fair and Balanced" in his title, gave Schweizer's book a hearty thumbs up.

"I found your book to be very entertaining and the information to be very compelling," he told his audience. "I recommend it."


We have no doubt that Al Franken is furious with news today that Peter Schweizer's blockbuster new book "Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy" has soared to the top of Amazon's bestseller lists.

The news will have Franken reaching for some Advil, as he is one of the main targets of "Do As I Say."

In "Do As I Say," Hoover Fellow Peter Schweizer reveals the glaring contradictions between the public stances and real-life behavior of prominent liberals. In addition to Franken, many others come under scrutiny including Michael Moore, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Ralph Nader.

After two years of research into liberal hypocrisy, Schweizer described his revelations as "stunning."

That may be understatement.

For example, Air America radio host Al Franken says conservatives are racist because they lack diversity and oppose affirmative action. But fewer than 1 percent of the people he has hired over the past 15 years have been African-American.

It gets worse.

Ted Kennedy has fought for the estate tax and spoken out against tax shelters. But he has repeatedly benefited from an intricate web of trusts and private foundations that have shielded most of his family's fortune from the IRS.

One Kennedy family trust wasn't even set up in the U.S., but in Fiji.
Similarly, Bill and Hillary Clinton have spoken in favor of the estate tax, and in 2000 Bill vetoed a bill seeking to end it. But the Clintons have set up a contract trust that allows them to substantially reduce the amount of inheritance tax their estate will pay when they die.

Hillary, for her part, has written and spoken extensively about the right of children to make major decisions regarding their own lives, such as having an abortion without parental consent.

But she barred 13-year-old daughter Chelsea from getting her ears pierced and forbade her to watch MTV or HBO.

And then there's Hollywood hypocrisy.

Barbra Streisand has talked about the necessity of unions to protect a "living wage." But she prefers to do her filming and postproduction work in Canada, where she can pay less than American union wages.
As for other liberals who like to offshore things, there's billionaire Bush-basher George Soros.

Soros says the wealthy should pay higher, more progressive tax rates. But he holds the bulk of his money in tax-free overseas accounts in Curacao, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Schweizer sums up his book this way: "The reality is that liberals like to preach in moral platitudes. They like to condemn ordinary Americans and Republicans for a whole host of things - racism, lack of concern for the poor, polluting the environment, and greed. But when it comes to applying those same standards to themselves, liberals are found to be shockingly guilty of hypocrisy.

"The media and the American people need to hold them accountable."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Jefferson on Income and Sales Taxes

"For example. If the system be established on basis of Income,
and his just proportion on that scale has been already drawn
from every one, to step into the field of Consumption, and tax
special articles in that, as broadcloth or homespun, wine or
whiskey, a coach or a wagon, is doubly taxing the same article.
For that portion of Income with which these articles are purchased,
having already paid its tax as Income, to pay another tax on the
thing it purchased, is paying twice for the same thing; it is an
aggrievance on the citizens who use these articles in exoneration
of those who do not, contrary to the most sacred of the duties of a
government, to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Joseph Milligan, 6 April 1816)

Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition,
Lipscomb and Bergh, eds., vol. 14 (465)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Remember Dan Quayle?

[This is reprinted from NewsMax.com.]

No one is telling Dan Quayle jokes in corporate circles these days - the former vice president has been reincarnated as a globetrotting business leader winning high praise for his investment savvy.

Quayle, who left politics in 1999, is chairman of global investments for New York-based Cerberus Capital Management.

And thanks to his extensive connections from his days in politics, he's "the classic door-opener" who is "especially valuable when offshore politicians are involved," according to Business Week.

His first major task after joining the company in 2000 was calming Japanese officials concerned about his firm's bid for the former Nippon Credit Bank.

His longtime ties to Japan paid a dividend, and Cerberus went on to purchase a controlling interest in the bank, now known as Aozora Bank Ltd.

"Quayle has given a broad sense of credibility to Cerberus," said Yoshihiko Miyauchi, chief executive with a firm that also has a stake in Aozora.

More recently, Quayle met with then-Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this summer about Cerberus' interest in buying Israel's roughly one-quarter stake in Bank Leumi, Business Week reported.

Quayle has also impressed corporate insiders as a company director, beginning in 1993 when he joined the American Standard Cos. board.

"He surprised everybody in the most positive way with his insights, judgments and ability to net out the issues," said Joseph S. Schuchert Jr., a fellow director.

Quayle told Business Week he hasn't found the move from politics to business particularly hard.

"There are a lot of similarities. You've got people who have different agendas. It's basically getting people to agree, and I've been doing that all my life in politics."

Friday, November 18, 2005

The New Gettysburg Address

[This was delivered by Michael Feldman on his "Whad'Ya Know?" show on National Public Radio. It concerns the building of a casino in Highland Township, Pennsylvania.]


Four score and seventy million in expected grosses from now, our
fathers will have brought forth in this county a new casino,
conceived in greed and dedicated to the proposition that there’s one
[sucker] born every minute.
Now we are engaged in a great media war, testing whether or not that
casino or any casino so detached from a race track can succeed. We
are met on a great battlefield of that war. We will dedicate a part of it
to property tax relief but get it back at the slots. Attracting Wayne
Newton to the lounge is not out of the question. This we may, in all
likelihood, do. But in a larger sense we cannot fleece, flim-flam or
bilk the public. Only the public can do that. The world will little
remember what we say here, but the bucks will roll in indefinitely.

It is for us, the patsies, to be dedicated to the great task of ramming it through the Highland Township planning commission so that the developers who’ve already sunk a pretty penny into this thing shall not have spent in vain, that this county shall have a new stream of revenue, and that gambling of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the county.

written by Michael Feldman

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Party of the Little Guy (Who Lives in a Mail Box)

[More and more counties in Oregon and Washington are adopting voting-by-mail. This is a November 15, 2005 post from http://soundpolitics.com of Seattle, Washington.]

The Washington State Democrats are defending the "rights" of the illegally registered [post office and other private] mail box voters to commit election fraud.

David McDonald, attorney for the WSDCC, asserts that a private mailbox is a legitimate "non-traditional" address, like maybe the voter really lives in his mail box.

I'm not sure why the Democrats are so passionate about defending the illegal mail box voters. Are the Democrats proud to be known as the party of perpetual vote fraud? Or is this the only way that the party of fat-cat lawyers can still plausibly present itself as "the party of the little guy"?

UPDATE: [Democratic Gov. Christine] Gregoire's supporters brag that "Gregoire’s always fought for the little guy". And without the little guys who claim to live in their mail boxes, Mrs. Gregoire probably would not have won the 3rd recount [of the November 2004 election]. A cross-check of the (uncorrected) list of challenged mail box voters shows that 1,100 of them voted last November. Even after adjusting for errors in the list, the voting patterns of the mail box precincts suggest that the illegally registered voters gave Mrs. Gregoire a 300 vote cushion. No wonder the Democrats are stretching so hard to defend their miniature voters.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Natural Way to Fight the Flu

[This is a reprint from the Health Sciences Institute at http://www.hsibaltimore.com.]

On the heels of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the East was rocked again in 1919 with the Indian flu epidemic that spread as far as Europe. Although largely forgotten in the wake of the famously deadly flu of the year before, the Indian flu is unique in that an herbal remedy - andrographis paniculata - is credited with halting its spread.
Extract of andrographis has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) therapies and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat common colds and influenza. Last year, researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in the UK conducted a review of seven different andrographis trials with very promising results.

Seven up

The UK teams conducted a survey of medical databases, herbal manufacturer information and World Health Organization reports to select seven studies that met the criteria for double-blind, controlled trials. The combined studies tested the use of andrographis as a treatment for respiratory tract infection in nearly 900 subjects.

As reported in the journal Planta Medica, researchers analyzed three studies that tested doses of 48 to 60 mg of andrographis per day against placebo. Three other studies examined 60 mg of andrographis per day along with a daily dose of Siberian ginseng versus placebo. And the seventh trial had subjects taking 180 and 360 mg of crude andrographis (as opposed to standardized extracts in the other six studies), measured against a medication for common colds.

In all seven of these studies, subjects who took andrographis after the onset of cold symptoms reported faster recovery, compared to subjects who took placebo or medication.

Researchers concluded that andrographis may be effective in treating "uncomplicated" infection in the upper respiratory tract (throat, sinuses and ears). Adverse effects were described as "mild and infrequent." They also noted that preliminary evidence indicated a possible preventive effect, but further studies will be needed to confirm that.

Enzyme protection

In addition to the seven studies mentioned in the UK research, previous laboratory trials have shown that andrographis extract doesn't actually kill the organisms that make you sick - at least not directly. Instead, it boosts your immune system and stimulates natural antibodies.

Your body creates some very powerful disease-fighting enzymes. But if you become ill easily or don't recover quickly from colds and the flu, the production of these antioxidant enzymes may be compromised. Andrographis protects enzymes, enhancing natural disease-fighting abilities.

But andrographis may eventually prove to do more than just bolster disease-fighting enzymes. Here are some results from trials with lab animals:

Research with dogs showed that andrographis may help prevent myocardial ischemia (inadequate blood circulation in the heart caused by coronary artery disease)
A similar study found that andrographis may inhibit the formation of blood clots
Diabetic animals treated with andrographis developed lower blood sugar levels
Andrographis lowered systolic blood pressure in lab rats bred to be spontaneously hypertensive
Andrographis preserved liver function in mice that were given drugs to impair liver function
The potential of andrographis to influence these conditions in humans isn't yet known.

Northern latitudes

In the December 2001 Member Alert, we told you about Kan Jang, a brand of standardized extract of andrographis that has outsold all other cold medications in Scandinavia for well over a decade. Kan Jang is formulated by scientists at the Swedish Herbal Institute. They recommend one tablet four times daily to fight colds or the flu. Extracts are standardized to 11.2 mg andrographolides per 200 mg of extract.

Extensive human trials of Kan Jang have only measured the product's impact on cold symptoms and occurrences. And even though those trials didn't identify any adverse side effects, you should consult with your doctor or health care practitioner before supplementing with Kan Jang, especially if you suffer from high or low blood pressure, a blood-sugar disorder, or vascular problems. The American Herbal Products Association also suggests that pregnant or nursing women avoid using Kan Jang.

Kan Jang can be purchased at dietary supplement stores and through Internet sites.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Why Mississippi College and Millsaps Stopped Playing Each Other

[This is Rick Cleveland's August 31, 2000 column from The Clarion-Ledger. Barry Landrum preached a youth revival at my church in Natchez, Miss. in 1962. I did not learn of the incident at the Jackson City Auditorium until I read Lee Baker's 1997 piece.]

Imagine this. Imagine fights breaking out all over the stands this Saturday night at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. Imagine the good Baptists from Mississippi College and the good Methodists from Millsaps brawling-- on the field, in the stands and underneath the stadium in the concession areas.

Imagine Jackson police rushing to the scene to break up a riot-like situation. Imagine the police restoring order, only to see fights break out again and again. Imagine blood, lots of blood. Baptist blood. Methodist blood.

Never happen, you say?

Why, it already did.

That's why Millsaps and Mississippi College quit playing 40 years ago. It was ugly. It was dangerous. Not to mention, it didn't look good for all those Baptists and Methodists to be acting like heathens.


We take you back now to a night in early 1960. This was the night years of bickering and scuffling between students of the two schools turned ugly. Millsaps and Mississippi College were playing basketball at old [Jackson] City Auditorium, which no longer exists. [Capital Towers is now at that location.] MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE WAS WINNING BIG. Worse, Choctaw students were waving a banner at Millsaps students across the floor. What burned the Millsaps faithful so much was that the banner had been purloined from a Millsaps fraternity house. (Caps added)

Finally, Millsaps football player James "Wooky" Gray could stand it no longer. He charged up into the stands. Wooky Gray was going to get that flag.

First, he had to get past Mississippi College football player Barry Landrum [of Laurel] and about 40 of his friends. Landrum and Gray had met before, and I'm going to try to put this nicely. They did not like each other. LANDRUM CAUGHT GRAY WITH A HARD RIGHT. And that's when all hell broke loose. (Caps added)

Landrum, a Baptist preacher in Houston, Texas, remembers. "You know, people who were there say I attacked Wooky, but we all know a preacher wouldn't do that," Landrum says, chuckling.

Other witnesses have said that Landrum knocked Gray out. Landrum's not so sure. "If he was out, he wasn't out long, because he hit me back," Landrum says.

That was before halftime. At halftime, Millsaps and Mississippi College fans were jammed into a small concession area. Well, you know what happened then.

"They started fighting like sardines in a can," Landrum says. "It was bedlam."


In the days thereafter, the decision was made to end the rivalry. It was just too bitter. Landrum remembers sadness at both schools.

"I was a junior then, so it meant we wouldn't play Millsaps my senior football season," Landrum says. "We were really disappointed."

George Dale, this state's insurance commissioner, had a unique view. He played football at Millsaps in 1960, then transferred to Mississippi College where he played baseball. He is a member of both M-Clubs. He remembers the night he decided to transfer.

"Wooky came to my room with tears in his eyes," Dale says. "He said, 'Anywhere, George, anywhere but Mississippi College.'"

Wooky Gray would become one of this state's most successful football coaches, both in the high school and junior college ranks. His 1993 Mississippi Delta team won the national juco championship. He died in 1996 of a heart attack at the age of 57.

"When I was a pastor in Greenville, Wooky and I crossed paths several times," Landrum says. "I wouldn't say we were friends, but we were able to laugh about what happened."

Landrum, by the way, won't preach Sunday. He'll be in Jackson this weekend.

"I wouldn't miss this game," he says. "This is history. I'll be there."

Millsaps fans, be forewarned.


[This is Lee Baker's February 6, 1997 article from The Clarion-Ledger.]

A basketball fight ended the football series between Mississippi College and Millsaps College.

It was 1960, at the [Jackson] City Auditorium, where Capital Towers stands today. Millsaps football player Wooky Gray went into the stands after a banner taken from a Millsaps fraternity. What resulted, the Jackson Daily News [an afternoon paper!] reported, was a "riot."

Participants and witnesses alike abound with recollections, but no one had better seating to view it all than John Smith, now defensive ends and linebackers coach at Mississippi College, then a Choctaw senior.

"Chuck Brandon went to a fraternity party at Millsaps and brought back the flag," Smith said. "We decided to take it to the game and after the first 2 points, we'd throw it up to the ceiling and let it float down.

"It came down like a parachute."

Sometime thereafter Gray came in like an avenging angel, first gathering some associates, since, Smith explained, "Millsaps didn't have a lot of guys at the game and they first got some more.

"When Wooky and his entourage came in front of the MC seats, he said, 'Guys, we don't want any trouble. We just want our flag back.' Then he started up the steps, real slow, stopping at each one and looking over everyone on the row.

"I was in the sixth row, watching, and when he got to the fifth level, BARRY LANDRUM [of Laurel], right in front of me, STOOD UP AND HIT HIM IN THE MOUTH. (Caps added)

"After that, well, the fight went from there into the whole crowd."

Gray went on to become a coach and led Mississippi Delta to the 1993 national junior college football championship. He died last year [1996].

While Wooky and Co. never came close to getting the flag, Smith a day later was summoned to the office of Dr. Charles Scott, MC's dean of men [and later dean of students], and told to get the flag back to where it belonged.

"I took it back myself, calling first for someone to meet me at the student union building, and handed it over," Smith said. "I don't remember who it was, but it sure wasn't Wooky."

Ted Alexander, now president of Pearl River Community College, has his own recollections. He was second in line behind Gray heading into the stands.

"It was a mess, just an unbelievable amount of confusion," Alexander said. "Probably foolhardy on our part, but an opportunity for a souvenir. We were young and didn't know any different." (sic)

When the fight broke out, the players sat on the floor and watched. Afterward, MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE WENT ON TO A 131-72 VICTORY. The teams have played a few basketball games since, but the football rivalry ended. (Caps added)

Millsaps football coach Erm Smith and Vice Chancellor Jim Ferguson perhaps saved Gray from total destruction.

"We went into the stands to get Wooky," said Erm Smith, now 80 and living in Madison. "He could have been killed, and I told the administration I was too old to go up into stands and stop fights.

"As serious as that was, it could have been really bad, so it was well not to play MC the next fall."

"What if They Gave a War and Nobody Came?"

[Alfred Joyce Kilmer, a devout Catholic from New Jersey, wrote many poems and essays. The following, which he wrote at age 26, is his best-known work.]


(For Mrs. Henry Mills Alden)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

[Joyce Kilmer was killed at age 31 while "fighting for his country" in France, where he is buried. Que sera, sera. ISN'T WAR A GRAND AND GLORIOUS THING?]

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Man with the Little Pink Ribbon

[This story's author is unknown. I am posting it in memory of Sharon Gillespie, the wife of 33 years of my old and dear friend, Kenneth Gillespie. Sharon, whom Ken described as "the perfect wife and mother," passed away on November 5, 2005. Her final message was, "God is good."]

A handsome, middle-aged man walked quietly into the cafe and sat down. Before he ordered, he couldn't help but notice a group of younger men at the table next to him. It was obvious they were making fun of something about him, and it wasn't until he remembered he was wearing a small pink ribbon on the lapel of his suit that he became aware of what the joke was all about.

The man brushed off the reaction as ignorance, but the smirks began to get to him. He looked one of the rude men square in the eye, placed his hand beneath the ribbon and asked, quizzically, "This?".

With that the men all began to laugh out loud. The man he addressed said, as he fought back laughter, "Hey, sorry man, but we were just commenting on how pretty your little ribbon looks against your blue jacket!"

The middle-aged man calmly motioned for the joker to come over to his table, and invited him to sit down. As uncomfortable as he was, the guy obliged, not really sure why. In a soft voice, the middle aged man said,

"I wear this ribbon to bring awareness about breast cancer. I wear it in my mother's honor."

"Oh, sorry dude. She died of breast cancer?" "No, she didn't. She's alive and well. But her breasts nourished me as an infant, and were a soft resting place for my head when I was scared or lonely as a little boy. I'm very grateful for my mother's breasts, and her health."

"Umm", the stranger replied, "yeah".

"And I wear this ribbon to honor my wife", the middle aged man went on.

"And she's okay, too?", the other guy asked.

"Oh, yes. She's fine. Her breasts have been a great source of loving pleasure for both of us, and with them she nurtured and nourished our beautiful daughter 23 years ago. I am grateful for my wife's breasts, and for her health."

"Uh huh. And I guess you wear it to honor your daughter, also?"

"No. It's too late to honor my daughter by wearing it now. My daughter died of breast cancer one month ago. She thought she was too young to have breast cancer, so when she accidentally noticed a small lump, she ignored it. She thought that since it wasn't painful, it must be nothing to worry about."

Shaken and ashamed, the now sober stranger said, "Oh, man, I'm so sorry mister".

"So, in my daughter's memory, too, I proudly wear this little ribbon, which allows me the opportunity to enlighten others. Now, go home and talk to your wife and your daughters, your mother and your friends. And here . . ." The middle aged man reached in his pocket and handed the other man a little pink ribbon.

The guy looked at it, slowly raised his head and asked, "Can ya help me put it on?"

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

War on Christmas is a War on the West

VDARE.COM - http://www.vdare.com/francis/041213_war_on_the_west.htm

December 13, 2004

By Sam Francis [1947-2005]

December is not even half over, and already the war on Christmas has started. Out in the Red State of Colorado, where traditional culture supposedly thrives, the city of Denver has waded into a little cultural gunplay that is attracting national attention.

But Denver is not the only battlefield. Increasingly it looks like Christmas may be pitched in the same trashcan as the Confederate Flag.

In Denver, local merchants have for years sponsored a pallid festival called the "Parade of Lights," which sported Santa Claus but no Christian images. The "mood," as the New York Times described it last week, "was bouncy, commercial and determinedly secular." The Parade "shunned politics and anything remotely smacking of controversy, including openly religious Christmas themes that might offend." (Well, not entirely.) [A Question of Faith for a Holiday Parade, By Kirk Johnson, December 6, 2004]

It's interesting there's someone in Denver who thinks that "openly religious themes" in a Christmas event "might offend."

It's even more interesting to consider that someone in Denver actually would be offended by such themes.

But perhaps most interesting of all is that nowhere in the entire New York Times story, despite several references to "the controversy,"is a single person or group identified who actually admits to being offended by religious imagery.

The people who were offended were local Christian groups fed up with the absolute refusal of local businessmen to mention religion at all. This year the Faith Bible Chapel sought permission to run a float in the Parade of Lights that carried explicit religious themes with a choir singing hymns and carols.

Permission denied. Too controversial, you see. Can you imagine what would happen if somebody in a Christmas parade actually started singing "Silent Night"? The horror, the horror.

Michael Krikorian, a spokesman for the Downtown Denver Partnership, which sponsors the parade, says they don't allow "direct religious themes," and that includes "Merry Christmas" signs and singing or playing traditional Christmas hymns.

"We want to avoid that specific religious message out of respect for other religions in the region," Mr. Krikorian smirks. "It could be construed as disrespectful to other people who enjoy a parade each year."

But the horror of being misconstrued apparently extends only to Christian themes. The Parade of Lights, as the Rocky Mountain News reported, "includes the Two Spirit Society, which honors gay and lesbian American Indians as holy people; a German folk dance group; and performers of the Lion Dance, a Chinese New Year tradition 'meant to chase away evil spirits and welcome good luck and good fortune for the year.'" [Parade prohibition puzzles preacher, By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News, December 1, 2004]

Sounds sort of like a "specific religious message," no?

Nevertheless, denied permission to chase away the evil spirits of their choice, "hundreds" of Denver area Christians showed up on the sidewalks anyway and sang "carols about mangers, shepherds and holy nights, handed out hot chocolate and spoke of their faith."

There you go. The witchcraft trials can be expected to start any day now.

In fact, nothing much happened, except the businesspersons now say they are going to have to "re-evaluate" the event.

"This was always just supposed to be a cutesy parade, for the kids," says Jim Basey, president of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "The purpose was to get bodies downtown." No offensiveness for Mr. Basey.

Denver is not the only city to enjoy a little Christmas cultural warfare. The Washington Times reports that the mayor of Somerville, Mass. has issued a public apology for "mistakenly" calling the local "holiday party" a "Christmas party," while "School districts in Florida and New Jersey have banned Christmas carols altogether, and an 'all-inclusive' holiday song program at a Chicago-area elementary school included Jewish and Jamaican songs, but no Christmas carols."

In Kirkland, Washington, a school banned a play of "A Christmas Carol" because of Tiny Tim's prayer, and neighboring libraries banned Christmas trees.

The Website Vdare.com sponsors an annual scrutiny of the "War Against Christmas." It has lots more examples.

Christmas, to be fair, is not an exclusively religious holiday, though Christians are entirely right to insist on preserving that meaning among others. It's a celebration that has been around so long it has acquired non-religious meanings as well, but meanings that go well beyond Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman.

It's a festival that comes from the heart of the traditional West, which is why music, literature, films and common social customs center around it so much.

At least some of the people who want to abolish it are not intentionally anti-Western. They're people who have simply disengaged themselves from their own civilization and are entirely indifferent as to whether it survives or not.

Being strangers in their own land, they no longer have a clue as to what Christmas and its symbols mean.

And it's not only Christmas that's "just supposed to be a cutesy parade." It's everything else their civilization has created.


Copyright © 1999 - 2005 VDARE.com

Jail Time for "Prime Time"

[This article is from The Clarion-Ledger of November 8, 2005.]

Escapee's show fails to go on

Investigator surprises missing Hinds penal farm inmate on stage

By Camille C. Spencer

Wearing a two-piece suit and tie as he took the stage at a nightclub in Tupelo [Miss., 175 miles northeast of Jackson] before a crowd of screaming fans, Gregory "Prime Time" Hobson was surprised by an unwelcomed visitor.

Hinds County [where Jackson is located] investigator Pam Turner, who went to The Bottom Line after hearing a tip that Hobson would be there, attempted to arrest the Hinds County Penal Farm escapee as he turned his back to the crowd and prepared to perform an exotic dance.

"He was on stage with three other guys," Turner said Monday. "I told him I had something for him. He walked off stage and struggled with us, but we got him."

Turner said Hobson had been selling tickets for the show before his 10 p.m. performance.

Tickets were sold for $10 to $20 each, and about 300 people were in the audience at the time of Hobson's arrest Friday [Nov. 4], nightclub owner Winfred Shumpert said.

He and the club's dancers didn't know Hobson was wanted, Shumpert said.

"He never told me anything about it," Shumpert said.

Hobson [who is black] had performed about three shows there before, he said.

Hobson, 36, of Brandon was one of three penal farm inmates who escaped Oct. 22. The circumstances of Hobson's escape and how he got to Tupelo are unknown.

Hobson was serving time for contempt of court for failure to pay $24,000 in child support payments and now faces additional escape charges, said Sheriff Malcolm McMillin.

"You don't expect someone charged with child support to be a flight risk," McMillin said.

Hobson has twins with wife Cynthia Skinner, investigators said.

Skinner was unavailable for comment Monday.

Hobson is being held at the Hinds County Detention Center, McMillin said. No bond has been set.

No other arrests are expected, McMillin said.

The U.S. Marshal's Office, Lee County Sheriff's Department, and Bolton, Edwards and Tupelo police departments assisted in the investigation. [Bolton and Edwards are in Hinds County.]

The other inmates have been captured, McMillin said.

James Bruce, 32, was captured last week in Colorado County, Texas.

Bruce was serving a three-year burglary sentence.

Bruce escaped with Danny Allen Ivy, 30, of Bolton, who also was serving a sentence for burglary.

Ivy was captured last week and taken into custody in Natchez [100 miles southwest of Jackson].

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A Song About Judge Alito

[This is reprinted from Judge Alito's own blog: samuelalito.blogspot.com. If you visit there, you'll see that our next Supreme Court justice has a good sense of humor.]

The delightful Southern Appeal (she does not reveal her name, but I'd like to call her "Zayde") has posted the following song about me (sung to Leonard Bernstein's "Maria" from "West Side Story.")

GEORGE (spoken) Alito . . .
(sings) The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Alito, Alito, Alito, Alito . . .
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word
. . Alito, Alito, Alito, Alito . . .

Alito!I've just met a judge named Alito,
And suddenly that name
Will never be the same
To me.

Alito! I've just nominated a judge name Alito,
And suddenly I've found
How wonderful a sound
Can be!

Alito! Say it loud and there's music playing,
Say it soft and it's almost like praying.
Alito, I'll never stop saying Alito!
The most beautiful sound I ever heard.


I'm really quite flattered. However, I'm more a Rogers and Hammerstein sort of judge.

And therefore, my favorite Maria song is the one from The Sound of Music.

So those of you who would like to compose a song about my nomination based on THAT "Maria," please send it to me at samuelalito@yahoo.com -- the winning pro-Alito and anti-Alito songs will both go on the site. Deadline is Wednesday at Midnight.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Kinky Friedman for Governor: "WHY THE HELL NOT?"

If you drive a car that's dinky,
If you can't afford a minky,
If you think Texas government is stinky,
And if you see Repubs and Dems as rinky-dinky,
Then you should vote for Kinky!!

[The following is reprinted from the South Puget Sound Libertarian: http://laceylibertarian.us.]

Kinky Friedman, song writer, author of hilarious novels and all around, far-out wise guy, is running as an independent for governor of Texas. Willie Nelson just hosted a fund raiser at his ranch for Friedman. Friedman's photo was on the cover of Texas Monthly magazine, July, 2004.

To all you Texans, vote for Kinky. To all the rest of you, read his books; they’re great fun. Here are a few titles, not of his books but of some of his songs, just so you get the idea:

"Proud to be an A--hole from El Paso"

"They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore"

Kinky’s Website is http://www.kinkyfriedman.com.


UPDATE: Country Music TV is going to run a "Go Kinky" series following the Kinkster’s candidacy as he attempts to get on the Texas ballot. Kinky said, "We agreed to give CMT this access to give Americans a window into just how hard it is to run for office as an independent these days. People will see what happens when you buck the two-party system in this country and hopefully Texans will get mad enough to do something about it and show the rest of America the way".

Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

[I first saw The Graduate at a theater in Monroe, Louisiana on my birthday.]

By Robert Ringer

Regardless of your age, you've probably seen what is arguably the best and most successful cult film of all time: The Graduate. Today, with oversexed, deranged female teachers playing out the role of Mrs. Robinson with increasing frequency, it can't help but bring back memories of the film that launched Dustin Hoffman's career in 1967.

The Graduate was the surprise hit of the year, with Mike Nichols winning an Oscar for best director. In addition, the movie was nominated for best picture, and Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, and Anne Bancroft all earned Oscar nominations as well.

And who can forget Simon and Garfunkel's time-defying musical score, particularly the memorable song that defined the movie. Is there anyone in the civilized world who hasn't heard the words:

And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know,
Wo wo wo.
God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson,
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey.

As I recall, Hoffman received $5,000 for his starring role in The Graduate - the last time he would have to perform for chump change. [Actor Charles Grodin was originally up for this role, but he and the producers couldn't agree on his salary.]

Of course, some might argue that getting paid $5,000 to be romantically involved with Katharine Ross and sexually involved with her movie mother, the late Anne Bancroft, was the Hollywood deal of the century. The modern-day Mrs. Robinsons turned out by America's teachers' unions would have a tough time topping The Graduate when it comes to appealing to the fantasies of teenage boys.

In any event, after his low-paid stint as Ben Braddock, Hoffman went on to major stardom, huge paydays, two Oscars, and an enviable list of hit films. (Just another "overnight success.")

Preceding the movie was the original novel, written by Charles Webb, first published in 1963. At the time, Webb was a young, privileged suburbanite who based his famous novel on what he saw as the valueless, hypocritical life of his parents and their country club friends.

In the movie, Hoffman's character, Ben Braddock, is a young man just out of college who has no ambition or sense of adult responsibility. Clearly, Webb was depicting himself in the main character - but his own life has played out even more movie-like than Ben's.

One would assume that the author of such a great American novel would normally move on to ever more fame and fortune. But not so with Charles Webb, who, at 66, is now 42 years removed from the year in which his famous novel was first published.

Though Webb did write a few more forgettable novels, he dropped out of the limelight by choice, rejecting mainstream society. The Graduate has made buckets of money for publishers and producers, but not for Webb. Why? Because - hold onto your hat - he and his wife signed away the book's copyright to charity.

Further, they renounced a materialistic life and consumerism and refused to accept their wealthy families' money, choosing instead to move to England and live the life of classic Bohemians. Early in their relationship, they lived like vagabonds, doing everything from picking fruit to running nudist camps.

Most bizarre of all, Webb's wife of 43 years, Eve, shaved her head and changed her name to Fred (with no legal last name) in a show of support "for men named Fred who have low self-esteem." On reading this, my first thought was to call the ACLU and file a discrimination suit against Fred for failing to show support for men named Robert.

The last I heard, Charles Webb and Fred were residing in a seaside resort in Brighton, England. At the time (2001), they were living in a one-bedroom apartment with no TV and just a few pieces of furniture.
Webb likes to point out that when The Graduate was first published and became a modest success, his family (for obvious reasons) hated it. But when the movie became such a huge success that it catapulted the book into an equally huge best-seller, his family decided they loved it. As he puts it, "Success is what they (his family) related to."

One of the reasons I find Charles Webb and Fred so fascinating is because, unlike most dropouts, they aren't crusaders trying to save the world, and they at least claim that they don't begrudge the materialistic worship mentality of most of the other 6+ billion people on our planet. In fact, The Wall Street Journal quoted Webb as saying, "There's nothing wrong with wealth - it just didn't work for us."

Whenever I read unusual life stories, I try to draw meaningful lessons from them. But I had a hard time with this one. When I first read it years ago, it absolutely fascinated me. But I was cautious about drawing conclusions from the weird tale of Charles and Fred.

Because they don't go around preaching revolution, harassing fishermen in an effort to save whales, or burning down houses to preserve the habitat of wild beasts, I begrudgingly respected their implied philosophy: Don't tell us how to live, and we won't tell you how to live. Hey, in America and the U.K., that's a perfectly legitimate position to take.

But I also believe that what you don't know can hurt you. It's easy to say that Charles and Fred are doing what makes them happy, but I have to admit that when I first read about their strange travails, it saddened me. One part of me liked them because they were acting on their convictions, weren't entrapped by the material world, and, above all, weren't crusading to make others give up their own materialism.

I agree with them that Burbs Disease ... rampant consumerism ... keeping up with the corporate executive next door ... whatever you want to call it, is an equally sad way to live. I believe Buddha was right when he said, "All unhappiness is caused by attachment." And attachment to material things is the worst possible kind of attachment.

But completely dropping out of life - having no discernable purpose - seems like such a waste of human resources. To live in the real world doesn't mean you have to stay in step with everyone else. It doesn't mean you have to be hypocritical. It doesn't mean you have to worship money or material things.

I hadn't thought about Charles Webb and Fred for several years. Until this morning, when a friend of mine sent me an e-mail. I don't know the original source of these words, but he added the following at the bottom:

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ... 'Wow ! What a ride!'"

For some reason, that got me to thinking about Charles Webb and Fred again. Life is meant to be lived, and I don't believe it's possible to achieve one's true potential by renouncing "mainstream" life in its entirety.

Mainstream life is the ballpark. The players within that ballpark can be intense, goal-driven, and action-oriented or they can be dull, negative, and sedentary. But whatever kind of player you choose to be, you have to be inside the ballpark to play the game. If you want to be the ultimate risk-taker and break all the rules, fine. Just don't leave the park.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Religious Censorship in the Locker Room

[From the Rick Scarborough Report of October 6, 2005]

A minor controversy in major league baseball is a telling sign of the times.

In a story in the Washington Post last month, Ryan Church, a player for the Washington Nationals, disclosed that when he asked the team's chaplain if those who do not accept Jesus (including Jews) are "doomed," Chaplain Jon Moeller nodded, indicating his assent. Whereupon, a local rabbi charged "the locker room of the Nationals is being used to preach hatred."

A few days ago, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig [who is also Jewish] said "I was deeply offended by what happened with Ryan Church and Jon Moeller."

Someone needs to remind the Commissioner and the rabbi that all true Christians believe that salvation comes only through Jesus. Are they demanding that we deny the central tenet of our faith?

Chaplain Moeller isn't being accused of running around the Nationals' locker room shouting, "Non-Christians are going to hell!" His comment was made in response to a direct question. What was he supposed to do, lie? Refuse to answer a sincere inquiry from a Christian athlete?

Why are Christians the only believers in America harassed for their faith? If the chaplain was an imam who told a Muslim player that there's no salvation for infidels, would the politically correct be up in arms?

While we should strive to show sensitivity to others, Christians have a mission in this world. False charges of preaching "hatred" should not deter us from that great commission.