Formerly Ad Orientem

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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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Irish Elk
Friday, October 31, 2008  

Maila Nurmi, RIP

Raise a glass of your favorite poison to the memory of Vampira
while listening to the Retro Cocktail Hour Halloween Spook-tacular.
(Free registration required)



ON TOUR of city Vampira sits regally in back of

old Packard with chauffeur provided by TV station.

She screams at stop lights.

~ Vampira in Life, 1954



Island of Lost Souls Trailer (1933)

You made us 'things'! Not men! Not beasts!

Watch the finale when the "things" take their revenge.


Thursday, October 30, 2008  

You can fool some of the people all of the time,

and all of the people some of the time,

but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

~ Abraham Lincoln

Barack Obama says he wants to spread the wealth, yet his own aunt lives in poverty in a South Boston housing project.

She wasn't featured in his infomercial last night. (Neither was his half-brother living in a shack in Kenya on a dollar a month.)

The story about the aunt in Southie was broken by the Times of London, not by the Boston Globe, literally down the street.

Boston's paper of record is in the bag for Obama – so much so that at one point they actually were selling Obama bags.

* * *

Mark Steyn:

The grubby business of electing a Messiah:

Here's the bottom line:

Two-thirds of the record-breaking haul Obama raised for the final stretch of the campaign comes from a racket set up to facilitate fake names, phony addresses and untraceable cards. As Bill Dyer asks:

Who ordered the anti-fraud protections turned off?

And as he concludes:

What did the wanna-be president know and when did he know it?

As Victor says below, this is part of a long pattern of behavior by Obama in which the noble ends of the Messiah's triumph justify any means.

* * *

Victor Davis Hanson:

The Messianic Style:

The messianic style—the cosmic tug to "change history", or stop the seas from rising or the planet from heating, juxtaposed with the creepy faux-Greek columns, Michelle's "deign to enter" politics snippet, the fainting at rallies, the Victory Column mass address, the vero possumus presidential seal, and the 'we are the change we've been waiting for' mantra—reflects the omnipresent narcissism: the exalted ends of electing a prophet always justify the often crude and all too mortal means.

If this is considered 'right', I'd rather be wrong with McCain.

* * *

Jennifer Rubin:

Obama & the Press:

It seems, over and over again, the media has simply deferred to the Obama version of reality. This is especially true on his own record and personal history. Obama says he’s a reformer, so no use asking him why he didn’t challenge the Daley machine at any point. He says he couldn’t possibly support infanticide, so there’s no point of taking him through the specifics of his votes on the Born Alive Infants legislation. He claims his relationship with Bill Ayers was slight, so there’s no reason to ask him about the conversations they might have had on “redistributive change” or about Ayers’ terrorist activities or about the groups which they funded together through the Woods Fund. Obama’s such a post-partisan guy there really isn’t any point grilling him as to how he could be unaware of Reverend Wright’s rhetoric.

You can call it bias or passivity or whatever you like. But it is hard to escape the conclusion that the press is not, in any meaningful sense, intellectually or politically independent from the Obama camp. On the contrary, the MSM has adopted entirely the Obama storyline. They simple relate it; they don’t challenge or investigate it.

* * *

Michelle Malkin:

Notorious Obamedia Moments of 2008:

No. 1 on her list:

The Los Angeles Times and the suppressed Obama/Jew-bash videotape.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008  

Somewhere Otto Knabe is smiling

A toast to the champion Phils.

Via BaseballRecordings.com

* * *

Today's Front Pages:

The Morning Call

Philadelphia Inquirer

Bucks County Courier Times


Tuesday, October 28, 2008  

The Last of the Tribes

~ Hiram Powers (1867-72)

Brought to you by RCB for Neo-Classical Allegory

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston writes:

In American sculpture, Powers helped pioneer the neoclassical style, an international phenomenon that held special meaning in a country that prided itself on the classical roots of its democracy. The sculpture combines Powers's typical graceful lines and calm, noble bearing of its subject, with dramatic movement, a departure in his art. The subject of the sculpture is dressed in a detailed skirt tailored by Powers's imagination. Decorated with diamond patterning and tassels, the intricately cut skirt seems to sway convincingly as the figure runs. Powers saw The Last of the Tribes as the sculptural equivalent of James Fenimore Cooper's literary classic, The Last of the Mohicans. Like Cooper, Powers helped to promote the popular notion of the time that the American Indian was a noble figure that co-existed harmoniously in an Eden-like American wilderness but was doomed to extinction because of his incompatibility with encroaching Western civilization. The running figure personifies the American Indian fleeing civilization, a current in American culture at the time.

This is apropos today as American civilization itself may be fastening its running shoes come Nov. 5.

At Flickr, a relative of the sculptor's has posted a magnificent Hiram Powers gallery.

His statue America (1848-50) was rejected for the Capitol because of the anti-slavery message in the chain underfoot.

His Greek Slave (1851) was a centerpiece of the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition. A replica today graces Sir Basil Seal's study.



Mythic TR

Max Boot, World Affairs:

True Believer: TR, McCain, and Conservatism

* * *

TR on Socialism:

Socialism . . . is blind to everything except the merely material side of life. It is not only indifferent, but at bottom hostile, to the intellectual, the religious, the domestic and moral life; it is a form of communism with no moral foundation, but essentially based on the immediate annihilation of personal ownership of capital, and, in the near future, the annihilation of the family, and ultimately the annihilation of civilization. (Outlook, March 20, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 563; Nat. Ed. XIX, 106.

____________. On the social and domestic side doctrinaire Socialism would replace the family and home life by a glorified state free-lunch counter and state foundling asylum, deliberately enthroning self- indulgence as the ideal, with, on its darker side, the absolute abandonment of all morality as between man and woman; while in place of what Socialists call "wage slavery" there would be created a system which would necessitate either the prompt dying out of the community through sheer starvation, or an iron despotism over all workers, compared to which any slave system of the past would seem beneficent, because less utterly hopeless. (Outlook , March 20, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 556; Nat. Ed. XIX, 100.

(Via the Theodore Roosevelt Cyclopedia)

* * *

PJ O'Rourke, Weekly Standard: 24 Hours on the Big Stick

* * *

Café Press:

Let Teddy Win!

The Teddy Roosevelt Classic Thong

* * *

Prints Old & Rare: The Theodore Roosevelt Page

* * *


"Theodore": a Musical Tribute to Teddy Roosevelt

* * *

Above: Dragons, unicorns, mermaids & the Bull Moose.



Worth Reading

Charlie Parker Gunslinger: Sex Education #114

Smart Set: Andrew Jackson's Raucous Inauguration Party

More Intelligent Life: Haunted Gettysburg

Andrew Cusack: Charles & Zita * Coronation of Blessed Charles

Roman Miscellany: Papal Zouaves

Daily Telegraph: Film footage of Edwardian London, 1904

(Via Power Line)

Patum Peperium: Apple Economics

Panabasis: Put Out More Flags

John Casey, Open Democracy: Rediscovering Traditionalism

(Via Damian Thompson's Holy Smoke)

Feast of Nemesis: Joan Greenwood Tribute

Classic Canadian: My Lady Nicotine

Shorpy: The Funnies, 1922

Atlantic Ave: Visiting Ogden Nash's Grave


Monday, October 27, 2008  

The Fifth Column Fourth Estate

Michael Malone, ABC:

Media's Presidential Bias and Decline:

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I've found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.

But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I've begun -- for the first time in my adult life -- to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was "a writer," because I couldn't bring myself to admit to a stranger that I'm a journalist...

If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography.

That isn't Sen. Obama's fault: His job is to put his best face forward. No, it is the traditional media's fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so...

* * *

Jennifer Rubin, Commentary:

Half a Race:

A list of stories barely covered by the MSM: the Woods Fund, Obama’s state senate voting record, the details of his “95% of Americans” tax cut and his $4.3 trillion spending plans, the misrepresentation of his Infant Born Alive voting record, the Obama team credit card fraud scandal, Obama’s extensive ties with ACORN, the agenda of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Obama’s receipt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donations, the earmarks of both Democratic candidates, the cozy relationship between Joe Biden and his homestate credit card company, the thugocracy (e.g. St Louis “truth squads” and requests for the Justice Department to investigate Obama’s political opponents), and the credibility of Obama’s claim to have sat in Reverend Wright’s pews for twenty years without hearing his inflammatory language language.

If you know the details of these stories, it more than likely is from new and conservative media, not the MSM. Moreover, the MSM hasn’t grilled Obama or Biden on their gaffes (e.g. spreading the wealth, testing Obama’s mettle) or taken issue with the utter lack of transparency by the Obama camp (e.g. no Obama medical records, no state senate voting records).

In essence, the MSM covered one campaign and served as the PR department for the other. It is an embarassing display, one which will convince more and more viewers and readers to look elsewhere for news. That’s exactly what they had to do this election if they wanted to learn something about Obama that wasn’t campaign-approved spin.

* * *

Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism:

Most Voters Say News Media Wants Obama to Win

Study: McCain coverage mostly negative

* * *

Melanie Phillips, The Spectator:

The Sacrifice of Truth to Power:

Over the past seven years, the media has created the Big Lie that America is the biggest rogue state in the world, with Israel its proxy. Now it is ensuring that a man who will act on that very premise to crush America and destroy Israel will be placed in the White House to do so. It is not just that the west’s Big Media can no longer be trusted. It has become the most important weapon in the arsenal of the enemies of the free world.

* * *

John Hinderaker, Power Line:

Barbarians at the Gates -- of the White House:

I can remember when [Andrew] Sullivan was a respected journalist, not a gutter smear merchant and borderline pornographer. His descent exemplifies the Left's decline in recent years to a baboon-like level of discourse. The vileness of much of what passes for political "argument" on the Left has to be seen to be believed. The worst impulses of human nature have been not just unleashed, but rewarded. If you haven't looked at web sites like Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, the Huffington Post and Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, you have no idea what the phrase "gutter politics" really means.

Nowhere has the vileness of the Left been more sickening than in its treatment of Governor Palin. It is interesting to contemplate what a semi-pornographic video about Barack Obama, playing on the same sort of prejudices and stereotypes that are so disgustingly on display in Sullivan's video, would look like. Frankly, I can't imagine such a video being made, let alone featured on the web site of the once-proud Atlantic magazine. But on the Left, anything goes--the more slimy and disgusting, the better...

Barack Obama can't be blamed for all of his followers' vile actions, but, like it or not, he trails in his wake a howling mob of barbarians. If he is elected, these bottom-feeders will have achieved their goal, and some of them, at least, will be rewarded for doing their leader's dirty work. This is not, folks, your father's Democratic Party.


Saturday, October 25, 2008  

Floyd the Barber says: Vote GOP!

Oh, it's a nice bespoke Cabot Lodge bowtie.

Oh, my, yes.

Opie and Andy may want a socialist Mayberry but they can stuff it.

Somewhere, Aunt Bea and Barney Fife are looking down and endorsing McCain:
"Nip it in the bud! You got to nip it in the bud!"



For Life

Christine Flowers, Phila Daily News:

One Tiny Vote for John McCain

Cardinal Egan: Just Look


The Angel of Life,

Giovanni Segantini, 1894


Friday, October 24, 2008  

La Belle Rosina, or Two Young Girls

~ By Antoine Wiertz, 1847

Brought to you by RCB for Memento Mori

Via Bioephemera and Morbid Anatomy



Charles Krauthammer: McCain for President

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the last year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Jennifer Rubin: "Krauthammer gives us a dose of St. Crispin's..."


Thursday, October 23, 2008  

Trick or treat

Next they'll have whole graveyards voting for him.

Meantime, how easy is it to donate illegally to Obama?

Power Line posts the results of a remarkable experiment.

Mark Steyn observes:

If the Republican candidate's website were intentionally set up to facilitate fraudulent donations, it would be on the front page of The New York Times. But, as it's King Barack the Spreader, we can rest assured the crack investigative units will be too preoccupied with Governor Palin's shoes over the next two weeks.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008  

Little Murders

Barack Obama says the first thing he'll do as president is sign the so-called Freedom of Choice Act.

With one stroke of the pen this would wipe away virtually every state law on abortion nationwide, allowing abortion-on-demand in all nine months of pregnancy for any reason and without any restrictions.

Some on the Catholic left nonetheless maintain Obama's positions on peace-and-justice issues make him the more genuinely "pro-life" candidate in the presidential race.

George Weigel writes:

The argument, in sum: the constitutional and legal arguments that have raged since Roe vs. Wade are over, and Catholics have lost; there are many other "intrinsic evils" that Catholics are morally bound to oppose, and Republicans tend to ignore those evils; liberalized social-welfare policies will drive down the absolute numbers of abortions and Senator Obama is an unabashed liberal on these matters. Therefore, a vote for Obama is the "real" pro-life vote.

The argument is, some might contend, a bold one. Yet it is also counterintuitive, running up against the fact that, by most measures and despite his rhetoric about reducing the incidence of abortion, Barack Obama has an unalloyed record of support for abortion on demand. Moreover, he seems to understand
Roe vs. Wade and subsequent Supreme Court decisions as having defined abortion as a fundamental liberty right essential for women's equality, meaning that government must guarantee access to abortion in law and by financial assistance—a moral judgment and a policy prescription the pro-life Catholic Obama boosters say they reject.

According to his own Web site, Obama supports the federal Freedom of Choice Act [FOCA], which would eliminate all state and federal regulation of abortion (such as informed consent and parental notification in the case of minors seeking an abortion); these regulations have demonstrably reduced the absolute number of abortions in the jurisdictions in which they are in effect. FOCA would also eliminate, by federal statute, state laws providing "conscience clause" protection for pro-life doctors who decline to provide abortions. Obama (along with the Democratic Party platform) supports federal funding for abortion, opposes the Hyde amendment (which restricts the use of taxpayer monies for abortion) and has pledged to repeal the "Mexico City policy" (initiated by Ronald Reagan and reinstated by George W. Bush, which bans federal foreign-aid funding for organizations that perform and promote abortion as a means of family planning). According to the pro-choice Web site RHRealityCheck.org, Obama also opposes continued federal funding for crisis pregnancy centers...

* * *


Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University:

"Obama's Abortion Extremism":

Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress.

See also Robert George & Yuval Levin: "Obama and Infanticide"

* * *

Damian Thompson, The Daily Telegraph:

Obama shows a horrific disregard for unborn life that should disqualify him from serving as a commissioner of drains, let alone president.

* * *

Fr Richard John Neuhaus, First Things:

As abortion extremists put it, the woman has a right to a dead baby. Obama apparently agrees, even saying that it is a constitutional right. In this he goes farther than almost any reputable constitutional scholar, claiming that the abortion license is covered by a right to “privacy” that is found not only in the “penumbra and emanations” of the Constitution but in the Constitution itself.

This, together with his adamant support for the government funding of abortion and for the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate all state regulation of abortion–including waiting periods, parental notification, and other very modest measures–leaves no doubt that Senator Obama is on the farthest edge of abortion extremism. And it highlights what is arguably the most important single issue in this election: Who, as president, will get to nominate the next one, or two, or three, justices to the Supreme Court.

* * *

Archbishop Charles Chaput:

"Little Murders":

None of the Catholic arguments advanced in favor of Senator Obama are new. They've been around, in one form or another, for more than 25 years. All of them seek to ''get beyond'' abortion, or economically reduce the number of abortions, or create a better society where abortion won't be necessary. All of them involve a misuse of the seamless garment imagery in Catholic social teaching. And all of them, in practice, seek to contextualize, demote and then counterbalance the evil of abortion with other important but less foundational social issues.

This is a great sadness. As Chicago's Cardinal Francis George said recently, too many Americans have ''no recognition of the fact that children continue to be killed [by abortion], and we live therefore, in a country drenched in blood. This can't be something you start playing off pragmatically against other issues.''

Meanwhile, the basic human rights violation at the heart of abortion - the intentional destruction of an innocent, developing human life - is wordsmithed away as a terrible crime that just can't be fixed by the law. I don't believe that. I think that argument is a fraud. And I don't think any serious believer can accept that argument without damaging his or her credibility. We still have more than a million abortions a year, and we can't blame them all on Republican social policies. After all, it was a Democratic president, not a Republican, who vetoed the partial birth abortion ban - twice.

The truth is that for some Catholics, the abortion issue has never been a comfortable cause. It's embarrassing. It's not the kind of social justice they like to talk about. It interferes with their natural political alliances. And because the homicides involved in abortion are ''little murders'' - the kind of private, legally protected murders that kill conveniently unseen lives - it's easy to look the other way.


Monday, October 20, 2008  

Drill, Baby, Drill

Brought to you by the RCB for Saloon Art

Via Texas Escapes



A tip of the hat to the Rays

Image: Frank Galasso, Dirt Dogs


Sunday, October 19, 2008  
Sarah Palin on SNL




Saturday, October 18, 2008  


Amy in NH says tag, I'm it. Here goes:

Ten Things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago
* Awaiting the arrival of our second child, our daughter.
* Awaiting our eldest's second birthday.
* Working on a Halloween piece for the paper on local haunted places.
* I can't for the life of me think of what else I was doing in October 1998, and I don't have a calendar like Amy's that will jog my memory. But a Lexis search does turn up more of the newspaper pieces I did over the course of that year, so I'll cheat and round out the tally by listing a few:
* A story on how the ventilator cowl of the USS Maine came to rest on Woburn (Mass.) Common;
* A story on merry-go-round restoration;
* A story on a rigger who moved entire houses from one place to another;
* A story on the amateur ballplayers of the Over 30 Baseball League;
* A story on a car club devoted to vintage Corvairs;
* A story on police efforts to prevent jet-skiing on the Concord River;
* And appropriately for this post, a story on local 5&10s.

An excerpt:

Crab mallets and trolley garters, pop guns and wobble wedges, flue stops and egg poachers.

You won't find these items in every store, but you will at Balich 5 & 10 in Arlington Heights, where the motto is, "Can't Find It? We Have It!"

"In a big store, you have trouble finding a salesperson to even ask where to find one of these," mused store founder Antoun Balich, contemplating a backscratcher with a handle in the shape of an owl.

Stocking the oddest of odds and ends is the secret to success for the independent 5-and-dime, a nostalgic piece of Main Street Americana that is becoming increasingly rare in this age of chain stores.

In this area, two independent 5-and-10-cent stores - Balich's in Arlington and the West Concord 5 & 10 - survive by providing customers with a mom-and-pop brand of service you don't find at a mall.

At the West Concord 5 & 10 one recent Saturday morning, owner Maynard Forbes roamed aisles lined with cap guns, piggy banks and lemon reamers to ask customer after customer, "Can we help?"

A 25-year veteran of the Army field artillery who served two tours in Vietnam, Forbes retired with the rank of colonel in 1982 and took over the family 5 & 10 on Commonwealth Avenue that his father, John, had run since 1951.

"In the artillery business, it's having the right ammunition in the right place at the right time," Forbes said. "This is more complex."

Items for sale at the West Concord store include penny candy, eight types of balsa gliders, metal kazoos and Slinkys, tong-handled soap-savers, stainless-steel cheese cleavers, and "pickle pickers" for extracting the last one from a jar.

There are bobbins for sewing machines and rubber tips for walking sticks, flag poles, teapots and ever-popular plastic soldiers, little 10-cent pencils and score pads for bridge, fishing bobbers and sinkers, and, in a refrigerator out back, trout worms and nightcrawlers. Prices are as low as a few pennies apiece for nuts, bolts and washers.

"Being an independent allows you to sell what you want. That's the fun of the whole business," said Forbes, 61. "Woolworth's and Kresges, in the old days, had fixed stocks, but as an independent, you bought what you sold. You hoped you bought the right thing, you hoped you bought the right amount, and that you had the right amount of the right thing at the right time - which is the eternal challenge."

Forbes' efforts at predicting demand for silver dip and tomato cages have evidently been successful. His old-fashioned dime store, which traces its roots to the mid-1930s, maintains a loyal following in the increasingly upscale West Concord neighborhood.

"He has everything, absolutely everything, in this store," said one customer, Peter Olsen of West Concord, who arrived at the shop in search of an electric juicer for oranges and limes.

Beth Morris of Concord said she has shopped at the store since she was 5. "They know where everything is, which absolutely amazes me," she said. "I was in the other day for something to waterproof a horse blanket. They had it. And shoelaces! Where else can you find shoelaces?"

* * *

Five Things On Today's To-Do List
* Keep eye on youngest (bronchitis) while wife pinch-hits at Cub Scout popcorn sale
* Help get daughter to soccer team photo shoot
* Tailgate with alumni at Jumbos-Purple Cows football game
* Contemplate mowing the lawn
* Cheer on the Red Sox

* * *

Five Snacks I Enjoy Eating
* Mr. Peanut
* Bean dip
* Chips and hummus
* Cheez-its
* Potato sticks

* * *

Five Places I've Lived
* Beacon Hill
* Allston, Mass.
* Medford, Mass.
* Denmark, Maine
* Washington, D.C.

* * *

Five Jobs I've Had
Canoeing counselor at girls' summer camp
Waiter at the old Wursthaus, Harvard Square
Sandwich-board pamphleteer
Newspaper reporter
Campaign press secretary

If you are so inclined, consider yourself tagged!


Friday, October 17, 2008  

John McCain at the Al Smith Dinner

Part 2 ~ Via Power Line



It ain't over till it's over.

Learn it.

Know it.

Live it.

We awake this morning to this news.

Mea maxima culpa: We turned it off at 7-0 in the seventh.

You just never know do you?

Bob Ryan:

The Red Sox came back from 7-0 down last night with four in the seventh, three in the eighth, and, in their typical M.O., a winning run with two away and no one on in the ninth, capped by a base hit by J.D. Drew. It was the greatest postseason comeback since the 1929 Philadelphia A's, trailing the Chicago Cubs, 8-0, won it with 10 runs in the seventh. And unlike the '29 A's, the Red Sox didn't benefit from a fly ball lost in the sun.

Yup, it was 7-zip Rays after six innings, and the joint was downright funereal. The Red Sox, down, three games to one, to the Rays in this American League Championship Series, were nine outs away from a sad, embarrassing end to the season. Once again a starting pitcher had given them nothing. The folks up in the press box were totaling up both the wondrous Tampa Bay offensive stats and the shameful Red Sox stats. The Rays were going to the World Series, and that was that.

Up there in Broadcast Heaven, Ned Martin was pouring another Scotch and muttering "Mercy!"

* * *

YouTube video of winning hit (about 1:45 in).

* * *


That was "The Miracle of Late Hits and Wicked Pissahs" is what that was.


Thursday, October 16, 2008  

Polar Nesbitiana

Mrs P writes re the prevailing political mood hereabouts:

All right Elk, you need a game changer. No more crying. No more depression…

What we need is nudity.

Public nudity.

Lots of it.

Get out your Evelyn Nesbit file and really get Steve M. to say Whoa Nellie.

We are still working on the public nudity. At Governing Bodies, the Obama forces, echoing national trends, have jumped out to a healthy lead, though outnumbered McCain-Palin body-painters are mounting a spirited resistance.

However, we did locate this picture of Evelyn Nesbit with bear behind.

The ursine theme is carried on here. And Shorpy offers this come-hither study. Not with a bang but a Quimper?

A new book is out on the girl "who put one man in the grave and another in the bughouse." The title: American Eve.

The WSJ ran an excerpt:

An unwitting sexual anarchist draped in a crimson silk kimono and laid out seductively on a pure white polar bear rug, she could incite the wrath of reformers and excite the imagination of the public merely by sleeping. Once the "Madison Square Tragedy" tore its way into the headlines, the "little butterfly" generated more newspaper sales and publicity than Hearst himself could ever have manufactured. Through two trials riddled with theatrical tribulation and shocking revelations, she was the "pale flower" whose petals took on a "bruised pallor," with sympathetic observers wishing she had "grown wholesomely in a wholesome garden." Others, like the sculptor Saint-Gaudens, were less charitable, commenting just before he died, in 1907, that "she had the face of an angel and the heart of a snake."

* * *

Internet Archive: Florodora Girls: "Tell Me, Pretty Maiden" (1902)



Mount Obama

Abe Greenwald writes at the Commentary blog:

The word of the day is “temperament.” On PBS, last night after the final presidential debate, David Brooks was celebrating Barack Obama’s reassuring temperament. He told Charlie Rose that Barack Obama is like a mountain. When you go to bed–he’s there. You wake up–he’s there. You go to bed the next night–he’s there. Wake up–he’s there. It’s true: Obama does bear a striking characterological resemblance to a shapeless heap of non-living matter.

Moreover, he’s accomplished about as much as a massive hump of rock. I think if you look at his Senate record you’ll find that when a vote is called–he’s there. When another vote is called–he’s there. He is, to pick up on a campaign staple, eminently “present.” Mount Obama…

His omnipresence is itself the only precondition necessary to address each grievance of any and every party on the planet, regardless of how extreme their worldview. Which actually makes him more like another abundance of non-sentient rock: the moon…Like the moon, he’ll control the ocean’s tides and regulate the emotions of the world’s people. The cult around this lunar deity knows that his assent to power is inevitable.

Guy de Maupassant was said to take lunch every day at the Eiffel Tower because it was the only spot in Paris from which he didn’t have to look at the Eiffel Tower. If Maupassant were alive today, his best bet would be to bribe NASA and bring a brown bag up to the Sea of Tranquility.



Old Pete

A salute to the Phillies and to the memory of the only pitcher named for one president and played in a movie by another: Grover Cleveland Alexander:

Many men survived the war, but they didn't recover from it. One of the many cruel coincidences of the war is that it destroyed the two greatest National League pitchers of the Deadball Era, if not of the twentieth century, Christy Mathewson and Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Alexander spent seven weeks at the front under relentless bombardment that left him deaf in his left ear. Pulling the lanyard to fire the howitzers caused muscle damage in his right arm. He caught some shrapnel in his outer right ear…He was shell-shocked. Worst of all, the man who used to have a round or two with the guys and call it a day became alcoholic and epileptic, a condition possibly caused by the skulling he'd received in Galesburg. Alex tried to cover up his epilepsy, using alcohol in the mistaken belief that it would alleviate the condition. Living in a world that believed epileptics to be touched by the devil, he knew it was more socially acceptable to be a drunk…

The last two decades of Alexander's life are the picture of a man spinning out of control with nobody able to stop the free-fall...He shuffled around the country in an odyssey of odd jobs (including a stint recounting his strikeout of Lazzeri in a Times Square flea circus), cheap hotels, boarding houses, and the like…

Never meeting a batter he couldn't beat or a bottle he could, pursued by demons one can only imagine, Alexander was the cursed pitcher.



Joe's Great-Grandfather

From The Onion:

Poll: 85% Of Americans Would Like To See Candidates Compete In Funny Obstacle Course

WASHINGTON—According to a USA Today–Gallup poll released Monday, as many as 85 percent of Americans strongly wish to see Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain race through a gauntlet of comically ludicrous hazards and encumbrances sometime before Nov. 4. "Voters want to know how Obama's poise compares with McCain's experience, specifically when racing to pick the flag out of a giant foam nose," political analyst and Gallup pollster Brian Garfield said. "It has been a grueling nominating season, and now the American people want to see the candidates prove their mettle in a gigantic syrup moat. If they react the wrong way under pressure—say, on some sort of gravy slide or human-size hamster wheel—the results could be hilarious." At press time, neither candidate had comment, as they were both being zipped into sumo suits.

(Via The Corner)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008  

Pinch Yourself

You have to pinch yourself – a Marxisant radical who all his life has been mentored by, sat at the feet of, worshipped with, befriended, endorsed the philosophy of, funded and been in turn funded, politically promoted and supported by a nexus comprising black power anti-white racists, Jew-haters, revolutionary Marxists, unrepentant former terrorists and Chicago mobsters, is on the verge of becoming President of the United States. And apparently it’s considered impolite to say so.

~ Melanie Phillips, The Spectator


What McCain Must Say Tonight

* * *

Image via The People's Cube



The night I heard Fr Pfleger

The excesses of Chicago community activist Fr Michael Pfleger – the white Catholic priest-turned-Angry Black Man – are more widely known today than they were eight years ago when the university at which I worked hosted him as speaker at the annual Martin Luther King Scholarship Banquet.

I was there to cover the dinner for the house organ. We always ran an account of the speech at the MLK Dinner. But not that year: Fr Pfleger's remarks were so intemperate and demagogic that I prevailed on my office not to run them, and we didn't.

I no longer have my notes from that night, but you can get a flavor of Fr Pfleger's oratorical style in this YouTube clip of him preaching at his friend Rev Wright's church.

He was more subdued the night I heard him, but you get the gist of his message. It was clear to me that night eight years ago that Fr Pfleger was a real piece of work.

Yet Barack Obama counts him as a "dear friend" and spiritual advisor.

Here is an excerpt from a Chicago Sun Times interview in 2004:

GG: Do you have people in your life that you look to for guidance?

OBAMA:Well, my pastor [Wright] is certainly someone who I have an enormous amount of respect for. I have a number of friends who are ministers. Reverend Meeks is a close friend and colleague of mine in the state Senate. Father Michael Pfleger is a dear friend, and somebody I interact with closely.

GG:Those two will keep you on your toes.

OBAMA: And they're good friends. Because both of them are in the public eye, there are ways we can all reflect on what’s happening to each of us in ways that are useful. I think they can help me, they can appreciate certain specific challenges that I go through as a public figure.

I sat through one night of Fr Pfleger with great difficulty. Obama took his family to sit through this sort of thing at Rev Wright's church every Sunday for 20 years.

Is it "guilt by association" to note the "good friends" like Fr Pfleger, Rev Wright, and Bill Ayers with whom Sen. Obama has surrounded himself, and whose friendship helped make his political rise in Chicago possible?


Monday, October 13, 2008  

We Are the Taft We've Been Waiting For

~ Via Logobama


Sunday, October 12, 2008  
Columbus Day Weekend Barn Dance

The Carter Family: "Keep on the Sunny Side"

Some Depression optimism for Amy in NH, plus:

June Carter & Carl Smith: "Love, Oh Crazy Love"

Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters: "Sweet Talkin' Man"

Brought to you by Beech~Nut Chewing Tobacco:

Uni Watch posts this 1939 photo of (L to R) St. Louis Cardinals
Pepper Martin, Mickey Owen and Lon Warneke chewing tobacco.

It is noted: Pepper Martin seems to be preparing to let out a bee line of spit.

These are Sir Basil Seal's kind of ballplayers: contemplatives in action
who favor natural fibers over double-knits and know how to wear their socks.

In another age Sir Basil might have been a Brownies fan.

Milton Brown & his Musical Brownies: "Yes, Sir"


Pappy O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys

And some Patsy Cline:

"Lovesick Blues"

"I've Loved and Lost Again"


Friday, October 10, 2008  

Red Sox coming on field, 1912

The political news is too depressing.

So, apologies to Steve M et al, but Irish Elk must fall back on baseball.

A nation waits to see Heidi Watney doused in champagne.



Before Tito

There was Patsy Donovan:

Born in Queenstown, County Cork, in 1865 * The Pride of Lawrence, Mass. * Debuted with the Boston Beaneaters on my birthday in 1890 * Managed the Red Sox, 1910-11 * Convinced the Sox to sign Babe Ruth * Later coached George HW Bush at Andover * Died on Christmas Day 1953

In a letter written in 2001 supporting Donovan's nomination for the Hall of Fame, Bush described himself as "an admirer of Patrick J. Donovan" and characterized his old coach as a man "of the highest character."



Hot Club of Cowtown,

Jools Hogmanay Show, '03-'04


Thursday, October 09, 2008  

First the Cartoon, then the War:

Europe in 1870

From Strange Maps * via Zajrzyj tu



Fletcher Henderson Orchestra:

"Hop Off" (1928)


Wednesday, October 08, 2008  

~ Via the Do-It-Yourself Obama Poster


Tuesday, October 07, 2008  

Kellogg's Corn Flakes ad, 1908

Manhattan correspondent Steve M asks more politics, less baseball,
so we offer this campaign-season ad from Judge, Oct. 24, 1908.



Onward, Sox

~ To meet the Rays for the American League flag


But now it's time for the regulah season upstahts to be properly put back in their place.

That's right. It's the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness and Red Sox ass whippingness.


Monday, October 06, 2008  

The old Boston Redskins

~ Circa 1933; is that Fenway Park?

~ Via Uni Watch


Sunday, October 05, 2008  


~ Playing at the Blue Moon, Lafayette, La.

My nephew Chris writes:

Saw them tonight at Chelsea's in Baton Rouge.

I recommend "Femme l'a Dit."



Tina Fey as Sarah Palin: VP Debate

Plus: Sing along to the theme from Maverick!


Friday, October 03, 2008  

You Betcha

She was not bad last night, not bad at all.

A lot of folks seem ready to throw in the towel. But how much of what you read these days can you trust?

Michael Graham writes:

For a typical American who had been convinced by the Partisan Press that Sarah Palin is an illiterate redneck who didn't know Afghanistan from Alabama, she won this debate. She debated a geezer from the Washington establishment to a standstill and forced him into several erroneous statements (I would say "false," but Sen. Biden talks so much without knowing what he's talking about, he could be clueless rather than malicious). He did vote for a war resolution. McCain did not vote, as Biden claimed, for the Obama tax hike. And Obama did absolutely nothing about the subprime mess at Fannie Mae except take record amounts of their money.

Sarah Palin wasn't brilliant. She wasn't able to adlib like Sen. Biden could to score additional points. She let quite a bit of Biden nonsense go unchallenged.

But six weeks into the race, she went toe-to-toe with a guy who's run for president twice, and she held her own and even pushed him around a few times.

Joe Klein writes Biden was more authoritative, demonstrating "a real knowledge of the issues in question."

Yet Biden was blatantly making stuff up.

Jonah Goldberg writes:

What struck me the most about the debate...was how Biden’s “gravitas” is derived almost entirely from the fact that he can lie with absolute passion and conviction. He just plain made stuff up tonight.

Just a few: Flatly asserting that Obama never said he’d meet with Achmenijad; that absolute nonsense about spending more in a month in Iraq than we’ve spent in Afghanistan (“let me say it again,” he said as if he was hammering home a real fact); the bit about McCain voting with Obama on raising taxes; his vote in favor of the war etc.

It’s amazing how the impulse to see Biden as the more qualified and serious guy stems almost entirely from his ability to be a convincing b.s. artist. I’m not saying Palin was always honest or unrehearsed, but when she offers up a catchphrase or a talking point, you can tell. When Biden spews up a warm fog of deceitful gassbaggery the response seems to be “what a great grasp of the issues he has!”

Peggy Noonan thought Palin clearly won the night:

She killed. She had him at "Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?" She was the star. He was the second male lead, the good-natured best friend of the leading man. She was not petrified but peppy.

Sarah Palin saved John McCain again Thursday night. She is the political equivalent of cardiac paddles: Clear! Zap! We've got a beat!

Hope so. We'll see in the coming days.


Thursday, October 02, 2008  

We pause from our regularly scheduled
political coverage to kowtow to Jon Lester.


The Angels are mere run of the mill angels
while Jon Lestah is a mofo archangel.

Clip: "The National Game," Sousa

Listen to the whole song, complete with bat-and-ball
sound effects, at last.fm.



Imagine No Religion, Too

This version of one of the ads for the Matthew 25 Network (sponsors of Pro-Life, Pro-Obama) has been slightly altered, but I think it captures accurately the unshakeable article of faith the Obama cult upholds.

Interestingly a Matthew 25 Network site search on Jeremiah Wright comes up empty.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008  

Nota Bene

Say what you will about the crazy old right-wing Manchester Union Leader in the William Loeb days, it made no pretense about its bias. The same can't be said for today's Boston Globe, which not only has shelved any sense of objectivity in covering the presidential election, but is resorting to outright dishonesty in its role of shilling for the Democrats. Today's most e-mailed item on Boston.com is this morning's editorial, "Wasilla made rape victims pay." That smear was debunked at least a week ago. This past weekend, Globe political cartoonist Dan Wasserman defended a cartoon mocking Palin's Pentecostal background because, he said, Palin had described the Iraq war as a "task from God." That quote had been shown to be a distortion several weeks before. Either the Globe editorial-page staff is not bothering to keep up with the news, simply relying on the Huffington Post and the Keith Olbermann Show for its partisan talking points, or it is keeping up with the news and simply lying. Which is it?


Summa Minutiae: John Cleese explains the God Gene

Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe: Frank's fingerprints all over financial fiasco

Matt Labash, Weekly Standard: Dick Cheney, fisherman

Orwell's Picnic: On Catholics' love for customs obscure and funny-looking * On nuns' cornettes

FLG: Goings on at Georgetown

Shorpy: The Great Gesticulator, 1924

Ye Olde Evening Telegraph: Mencken

Charlie Parker Gunslinger: Buddy Hackett, Whig Reincarnated?

The Fringe Party: Vote Harding-Agnew

Panabasis: On fezes and uncanny resemblances

More Intelligent Life: History is finally sexy

The Smart Set: Roman Bacchanalia * Birders' field guides

Fr M, Patum Peperium: Great Britain has lost her pink bits.

Andrew Cusack: Lewis of the Porcellian

Real Clear Sports: Most Athletic Republicans: Walter Johnson



"Keep Your Sunny Side Up!"

Johnny Hamp & the Kentucky Serenaders (1929)

Apropos, given the recent headlines.


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