Formerly Ad Orientem

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"Puts the 'ent' in 'eccentric.'"

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Under the patronage of St. Tammany



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

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He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.

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Irish Elk - Blogged


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Irish Elk
Friday, November 28, 2008  

The news from Bombay

Times of India * Hindustan Times

Reuters image:

Smoke rises from Taj Mahal Hotel

Weekly Standard:

Attack most significant since 9/11

The Spectator: The Mumbai Atrocities

The Daily Telegraph:

World can no longer ignore India's Islamist terrorists

We must stand shoulder to shoulder with India

AP: Victims describe chilling night of horrors

Boston.com: Comment thread:

Religion of peace!
by harrylook November 28, 8:08 AM

Look buddy,

There's been some pretty damn evil acts committed in the name of the Christian god and Jesus.

Let's not forget that and see this for what it is, evil people using religion as a guise to spread their hate, fear and anger.
by TyrantII November 28, 8:49 AM

It is funny, when I heard about this the other day, they didn't say who the attackers where, they didn't have too, everyone new. Face it, they are all just a big cancer to the world.
by jaybo1234 November 28, 9:09 AM

All religions are cancer.
by jaf25 November 28, 9:22 AM

Ah, yes, the tried and true moral relativists have come out to say that Christians are just as radical and violent as Islamists... priceless. This argument was rendered moot about 700 years ago. You sound silly. Wake up and smell the gunpowder... and for the record, I'm an agnostic!
by sinisterg November 28, 9:26 AM


Thursday, November 27, 2008  

Here Comes Thanksgiving!

A very happy holiday to all!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008  
Photos by Elliott Erwitt

A larger-than-life Snoopy profile, as viewed from
inside an apartment building during the 1988 Macy's
Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Children peek out the window as the Pink Panther balloon comes
around the corner during the 1988 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.



"Tom Turk and Daffy"

Hide here. No, in here. No, here.

~ Directed by Charles M. Jones, 1944



Onward Mighty Mustangs

Our hopes are pinned on you.

We'll stampede the foe

As onward we go,

Onward to victory!

Go! Go! Go!

Onward, mighty Mustangs,

We want a touchdown

Hear our cry!

Go galloping on to victory

For Medford High!

* * *

Medford (0-10) vs. Malden (5-5)
121st meeting
10 a.m., Nov. 27
MacDonald Stadium
Malden, Mass.

Malden leads the all-time series 56-54-10.

* * *


Medford High Pep Rally 2007

Thanksgiving Game 2007

* * *

Image above: Mustangs Football



To get Steve M in the Thanksgiving spirit:

Senator Robert A. Taft inhales smoke from an Indian pipe
while standing around a group of Indians near Plymouth Rock, 1951.

~ From the Life Archive


Monday, November 24, 2008  

Old Time Hockey: Eddie Johnston

Gerry Cheevers' backup on the Stanley Cup winners of 1970 and '72, Ed Johnston paid his dues between the pipes for some very hard-luck Bruins teams in the early 1960s.

He was the last NHL goalie to play every minute of every game:

Eddie Johnston played all 70 games in 1963-64, the last goalie with a perfect attendance record for every minute of every game in a season. But his pain threshold was tested time and again. Johnston suffered four broken noses -- maybe an NHL record. His eyes would be so swollen from the bruising that, on two occasions, doctors applied leeches to suck the blood so he could see well enough to play. And play he did, for all 4,200 agonizing minutes.

On Halloween in 1968 his skull was fractured by an errant puck in practice. He wasn't released from the hospital until shortly before Christmas.

The Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont writes:

Eddie Johnston recalls where the pucks were that night, who was about to shoot, and how he was crouching in the net to turn back whatever came his way.

The former Bruins goalie also remembers the shot that almost killed him and where he spent the next 6-8 weeks.

"I was in the funny farm," Johnston recalled the other day, decades removed from the Bobby Orr slapshot that fractured his skull during pregame warmups at the old Detroit Olympia. "From late October till just before Christmas, I didn't know where the hell I was. Not a clue. They told me later that they had the priest in there two or three times to give me the last rites, but I don't remember any of that."

Eventually, time alone took care of the swelling, and blood thinners dissolved the clot. Teammates came and went, but Johnston didn't learn of most of their visits until much later. One out-of-town visitor, legendary netminder Glenn Hall, was shocked to see his old pal comatose.

"He was so shook up," Johnston said, "that he put on a mask to play that night and never took it off."

Back in the game not long after Christmas, Johnston also played with a mask for the first time and kept it on until finishing his career...

See an Ed Johnston gallery.

* * *

Stick & Puck:

The Irish Elk agrees with Bill Simmons:

New Rule: Only cities with locals who can play hockey outside in the winter can have an NHL team. Look, I want to like the NHL again. It looks magnificent in HD, and really, that's all that matters in life. For the umpteenth straight year, I'm going to advocate a 22-team league: two 11-team conferences, one in Canada, one in America, only in cold-weather cities (no ifs, ands or buts). That will give us more rivalries, deeper teams and a higher quality of play. Every Stanley Cup Finals would feel a little Ryder Cuppy, with the Canada vs. America subplot. Besides, warm-weather cities don't need the NHL. Why? Because it's warm there! Believe me, I live in LA-there's plenty to do here. But in Winnipeg? You guys can have the Kings. Please. I insist.

* * *

Stanley Cup of Chowder: The Bruins at the Quarter Pole.

* * *

Re the Bs' third jersey, unveiled today: What a missed opportunity. Great logo -- but they should have gone for the true vintage throwback from the '20s, or maybe this from the '30s.

The Providence Bruins farm team actually has gone for the Eddie Shore look in a third jersey, and also has turned back the clock to the '50s with an alternate sweater in gold -- both outstanding.

* * *

Of interest:

Vancouver Millionaires

Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society



Do We Have a Right to Be Excited?

Scrolling through the bookmarks:

Victor Davis Hanson: 10 Random, Politically Incorrect Thoughts

Great tree-houses of the world * Via Power Line

Visions of Obama: Erik Keilholtz' nightmare * In duplicate

Sheila O'Malley: On Oscar Wilde

Naked Villainy: Mrs P's Squeeze-induced memories

Sir Mix-a-Lot in Latin * Via Naked Villainy

Daily Telegraph: Picture galleries

Above image: A tip o' th' pin to Zippy



Fight Fiercely

WARREN LITTLE, Harvard Class of 1955, buttoning up his coat at chilly Harvard Stadium for the 125th Harvard-Yale game, Nov. 22, 2008:

"I'm wearing my father's great raccoon coat here. He's from the Class of '23. It keeps me warm. I've worn it to every Harvard-Yale game. Oh God, I've gone to over 50. Everyone wants to buy it. The EMTs just wanted to buy it a minute ago. I've gotten a lot of offers for it. It's got a nice pocket in it that will take a full fifth without being seen. It goes back to Prohibition days, I think. I haven't had problems [with animal rights groups] yet. If they put something on it, it better be crimson in color."

~ Stan Grossfeld, Boston Globe, "What They Were Thinking"


Saturday, November 22, 2008  

The JFK Show



Vaughn Meader:

The First Family, Vol. 1, Part 1/5

1. The Experiment
2. After Dinner Conversations
3. The Malayan Ambassador
4. Relatively Speaking
5. The Astronauts
6. Motorcade

Part 2/5

Part 3/5

Part 4/5

Part 5/5


Friday, November 21, 2008  

Galloping Buffalo

By Eadweard Muybridge, 1887

(Via BfloBlog)


Thursday, November 20, 2008  

An Ode to Baked Beans

“Oh! how my heart sighs for my own native land,

“Where potatoes and squashes and cucumbers grow,

“Where cheer and good welcome are always at hand,

“And custards and pumpkin pies smoke in a row;

“Where the pudding the visages of hunger oft screens,

“And what is far dearer—a pot of BAKED BEANS.


“The pot of baked beans! ah the muse is too frail,

“Its taste to discant on—its virtues to tell;

“But look at the sons of New England so hale,

“And her daughters so rosy—’twill teach thee full well.

“Like me it will teach thee to sigh for the means,

“Of health and of rapture—the pot of BAKED BEANS.”

~ “By a Yankee,” Huron (Ohio) Reflector, Jan. 26, 1841

* * *

If there is a dean of baked-bean historians it is Roger M. Grace.

He describes how 19th-century New England exalted the beanpot:

A yarn spun in the Berkshire County (Mass.) Eagle on Jan. 8, 1858 was that of a young man smitten with a lass. He was shown into the parlor of her home one day and found her asleep on the sofa. He proceeded to pose a query to her he would not be so bold as to speak were she awake: “My dearest Betsy, tell me, oh, tell me the object of your fondest affections.” Her response: “I love Heaven, my country and baked beans.”...

Citizen, a newspaper in Smethport, Pennsylvania, reported on Dec. 24, 1859:

“A chap arrested at Boston, for stealing Pork, made the following defence: ‘From my youth upwards I have loved baked beans, I have a passion, for that substantial dish that baffles all description. Without beans I am miserable. With beans I am happy. Beans! I want for breakfast—beans I want for dinner, a cold beans for supper. A few days since my pork barrel was empty. What was I to do? I had plenty of beans, but not a pound of pork. I was in despair, and knew not what to do. If I missed my pork and beans I should die...”

While in “this frame of mind,” the defendant declared, he spotted the pork and pilfered it, explaining that if he had not been apprehended, “I should have had pork enough for my beans for six months.”


Wednesday, November 19, 2008  

Charlie Poole

From the liner notes:

Poole had other ways of stopping the show. He would shout down audience members who interrupted the band: "Did you people come here to talk or to listen?" Barely literate, Poole was nonetheless wickedly articulate. Locals knew better than to try matching wits with a man they said could insult a statue. ("I thought a damn polecat was the only thing that throwed a scent," Poole once told a man who put a penny in the musicians’ kitty.)

Although he had a preference for slicked-down haircuts ending inches above his jug handle ears, accentuating his eager, boyish appearance, Poole never played up the country bumpkin look. No hayseed he. Pictures of the North Carolina Ramblers always show them in dressy dark suits, sporting natty bow ties and looking for all the world like Rotarians with instruments.

Poole was no civic model, however. Fiddler Posey Rorer’s grandnephew Kinney tells of the time Poole was playing a gin mill that was raided by police:

"One of the officers nabbed Poole. ‘Consider yourself under arrest,’ he told him. Never having been one to run from a fight, Poole replied, ‘Consider, hell!’ and came down across the officer’s head with his banjo, the instrument neck hanging down his front like a necktie. Another policeman pulled a revolver on Poole, who grabbed it as the two wrestled across the floor. The officer managed to get the barrel of the pistol in Charlie’s ear but as he pulled the trigger to kill him, Poole shoved the gun away so that it went off near his mouth. The explosion chipped his front teeth and left his lips bloodied and badly burned."

Charlie Poole was "Outlaw Country" fifty years before the term existed.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008  

Little Big Man

Pedroia, El Caballito, is AL MVP;

Youk third in voting.

* * *

Curt Schilling: Congrats you little #@!$!


Monday, November 17, 2008  

Johnny Horton:

Live from the Louisiana Hayride

He was a particular favorite at the Louisiana Hayride during his tenure there from 1952 until his death. The Hayride was a fixture in the homes of countless country fans across the Mid-South and Southwest, beamed out every Saturday night at 50,000 watts from Shreveport’s KWKH. Every third Saturday, the Hayride went out nationally over the CBS radio network. In addition to its vast audience at home, the Hayride had a studio audience of some 3,800 who flocked each Saturday night to downtown Shreveport’s Municipal Auditorium to see the variety show’s star-studded lineup of regulars and guests. Popular though it was, however, the program was the number-two showcase in country music, behind Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. During the fifties, one Louisiana Hayride star after another left Shreveport for the Opry—Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Johnny Cash and others. But Johnny Horton stayed, and the Hayride fans loved him for it. "He was a genuinely nice guy too," remembers Hayride announcer Frank Page. "Never had any problems with him whatsoever. The only times I ever worried about Johnny was when he didn’t show up because he’d been fishing."



Best Blog Darts Thinker Award

Thanks to Thos Fitzpatrick for spreading some bloggy meme goodness hereabouts via a Best Blog Darts Thinker Award.

The protocol:

This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.

The rules to follow are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.

Thanks, again, Tom. The Irish Elk hereby passes the Best Blog Darts Thinker Award to:

Atlantic Ave.

Fear & Loathing in Georgetown


Patum Peperium

Poetry Hut

Ye Olde Evening Telegraph

Classic Canadian


Feast of Nemesis

The Port Stands at Your Elbow

Andrew Cusack

Dale Price

Scuffulans Hirsutus

TS O'Rama

Dr Boli



Give Ovaaaah!

Charlie Parker Gunslinger would say They Were Collaborators.

She was the Cockney girl on Mike Sarne's 1962 UK No. 1 hit, "Come Outside"
(which must have made good mood music during the Profumo Scandal).

Her scene in Help! ended up on the cutting-room floor.

Yet her most famous character lives in perpetuity during PBS pledge
drive weeks.

Who is she?

* * *

3/10/09 UPDATE:

Wendy Richard, RIP


Friday, November 14, 2008  

Boston is a hockey town again

~ Jack Edwards

The Bruins took it to the Canadiens last night, and a buzz is starting to build around the Bs. Not too long ago there seemed to be few Bruins blogs; now there is a proliferation, some of them with great names. I like Stanley Cup of Chowder. There is a certain panache to Bobby Orr's Bastard. Also of interest: Hub Hockey * Big Bad Bruins * Cornelius Hardenbergh * Here Come the Bruins * Ghosts of the Garden * From the Penalty Box

Old School: Lucic v. Komisarek


Tuesday, November 11, 2008  

Herb Score, RIP

He was a brilliant Indians pitcher whose baseball career was virtually ended at age 23 when he was hit in the right eye by a line drive off the bat of Gil McDougald of the New York Yankees on May 7, 1957.

Then he became a Cleveland sportscasting institution, calling Indians games on radio and television for 34 years, longer than anybody else in the city's baseball history.

[T]o those who had seen his talent on the mound, it was comparable to Napoleon becoming a war correspondent.

"Ted Williams said he had the best fastball of any left-hander he ever faced," the late Ken Coleman, onetime Indians sportscaster, once said.

Some observers said his fastball was the equal of Hall of Famer Bob Feller, the Clevelander who was considered the hardest thrower of his time. He also had a fine curve.

"They didn't have a radar gun then to measure speed," [Rocky] Colavito said. "But I think he threw 100 miles an hour."

Colavito compared Score with Sandy Koufax, considered by many to be the best lefty in modern baseball history.

"If nothing happens to this kid, he's going to be one of the best who ever pitched," said former Indians hero Tris Speaker.

* * *

Joe Posnanski:

Herb was ours, and he forever will be the voice of summer for me. He gave us everything, he gave us the weather (“It’s a beautiful day for baseball”), he gave us the news (“Don’t forget Sunday is youth jacket day!”) and he gave us a feeling of what it was like to be at the ballgame even that meant (as it often did) being in a cavernous 80,000 person stadium with 2,400 people freezing their butts off while Don Hood gave up the lead in the seventh.

I don’t remember the precise time when I heard Herb Score’s sad story, but I’m sure it was not from him. Herb in my memory never talked about the old days on the air. I mean NEVER. I’m almost certain it was my father who one day said, “You know that Herb got hit in the face with a line drive. It ended his career.” I did not know that, in fact. I was still at that age I just assumed that everything was as it had always been — Herb Score had ALWAYS been the Indians announcer, the Indians had ALWAYS stunk, my father had ALWAYS worked in a factory and so on…

* * *

[T]he fateful day: May 7, 1957. The Indians faced the Yankees. Hank Bauer led off with a groundout to third. Up stepped Gil McDougald, a good player who would finish fifth in the MVP voting that year. The count worked to 2-2, and that’s when McDougald hit the line drive that would forever haunt him … he blasted the ball right back at Score, who did not have time to get his glove up. The ball smashed into Score’s right eye. Most people don’t know that McDougald was thrown out on the play … third baseman Al Smith took the rebound and threw out McDougald, who would say he wasn’t really running. He was scared. Everyone in the house — about 18,000 people — was scared. Witnesses would say you could hear the ball hit Score’s eye echo all over the gigantic ballpark.

Everyone rushed to the mound to help — Indians, Yankees, trainers of all kinds. The public address announcer said: “If there is a doctor in the stands, will he please report to the playing field.” Score’s memory of all these things was always sketchy when I talked to him … either it was sketchy or he had already told the story so many times that he simply did not have anything left to say about it…

* * *

I just think that whatever happened to Herb Score happened because, at the height of his power, a line drive came back too fast. I think it’s just like I heard it when I was 9 or 10. The young Herb Score pitched just about as well as any young pitcher who ever played this crazy game. Then he got hit in the face with a line drive. And he never pitched great again. And it’s the saddest kind of sports story, that story of what Roger Kahn called unmade music.

* * *

Jeff Kallman: Herb Score, RIP: Vision

* * *

Elsewhere: Preacher Roe, RIP



"Over There"

Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Take it on the run,
On the run, on the run.
Hear them calling, you and me,
Every son of liberty.
Hurry right away,
No delay, go today,
Make your daddy glad
To have had such a lad.
Tell your sweetheart not to pine,
To be proud her boy's in line.
(chorus sung twice)

Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Johnnie show the Hun
Who's a son of a gun.
Hoist the flag and let her fly,
Yankee Doodle do or die.
Pack your little kit,
Show your grit, do your bit.
Yankee to the ranks,
From the towns and the tanks.
Make your mother proud of you,
And the old Red, White and Blue.
(chorus sung twice)

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there -
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming
So prepare, say a pray'r,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We'll be over, we're coming over,
And we won't come back till it's over
Over there.

~ George M. Cohan

* * *

As sung by Enrico Caruso:

* * *

An Armistice Day selection:

The Great War in Color

Project Gutenberg: Mr Punch's History of the Great War

Trailer: All Quiet on the Western Front

Trailer: Sergeant York.

Trailer: The Fighting 69th

Lee Friedlander: Father Duffy, Times Square

Internet Archive: Father William Doyle, SJ (1922), Alfred O'Rahilly

Image: Fr Doyle, SJ



"A Dirge of Victory"

Lift not thy trumpet, Victory, to the sky,
Nor through battalions nor by batteries blow,
But over hollows full of old wire go,
Where among dregs of war the long-dead lie
With wasted iron that the guns passed by.
When they went eastwards like a tide at flow;
There blow thy trumpet that the dead may know,
Who waited for thy coming, Victory.

It is not we that have deserved thy wreath,
They waited there among the towering weeds.
The deep mud burned under the thermite's breath,
And winter cracked the bones that no man heeds:
Hundreds of nights flamed by: the seasons passed.
And thou last come to them at last, at last!

Captain Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers


Monday, November 10, 2008  

Be Happy

The other day I was driving on the Pike behind an SUV with the bumpersticker: "My child is an honor student. My president is a MORON."

In a similar vein, a car in the parking lot at work is festooned with anti-W stickers reading "Daddy's Little War Criminal" and "Somewhere in Texas a Village is Missing its Idiot."

You see a lot of these when you drive around in Massachusetts.

I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to not hearing from these people for the next four years.

Llama Gary writes:

I am really in awe about exactly how many lefties really went off the deep end for the last eight years. It started with the post-2000 recount fiasco and never let up. Think about how much negative energy these dopes have exhausted - for EIGHT YEARS. That energy could have been directed in a more positive direction, like, oh I don't know maybe actually enjoying their lives.

That's eight years of hate. Eight years of their sad lives that they're never going to get back. And they invested everything - and I mean everything - in the hope of The One to deliver them to the promised land. Right now they think they're stepping of the boat onto the golden shores with rainbows all around and a unicorn in every garage (sorry Robbo).

...I'm certainly not going to pull that childish "He's not my President" crap, which is the political equivalent of stamping your feet and holding your breath. Of course he'll be my President. What an absurdity to state otherwise. Though that didn't stop so many of the Lefties for the last eight years.

* * *

Callimachus observes another silver lining: So much for the race card:

Obama is more or less an American mutt, like the rest of us more or less are. If the media and the political class choose to identify him as black, as they do, say Bob Marley, Tiger Woods, Sally Hemmings, or Frederick Douglass, so much the better.

Because now they can stop saying "a black man never can be president in racist Amerikkka." Now we can wave those Nov. 5, 2008, front pages in the face of the European elites and say, "let's see you do THAT."

* * *

Meantime, as to the fallout from the McCain campaign:

Jennifer Rubin at Commentary puts it well:

Watching his team engage in vicious, public fighting suggests that perhaps he was never the ideal person for a chief executive role. After all, if the campaign was this bad, imagine what the White House would have been like.

I think it was Howie Carr who commented that John McCain should have won in 2000. He would have been great at the time of 9/11. But his moment had passed. This wasn't his time.

And so, onward.



Clear the Track, Here Comes Shack

Hockey fans of a certain vintage will enjoy this pop classic.

Via Garage Hangover

* * *

From SI, Dec. 13, 1965:

The night after the Leafs lost to the Rangers on their home ice. Coach Punch Imlach scanned his Rochester farm team's roster, took a deep breath and put in a call to Mr. Edward Shack in Rochester. "Hustle on up here," Imlach told Eddie, "and do something."

Imlach called just the right person, for Shack's talent is unique. Nobody has ever confused him with any of the world's great hockey players. No sir. But take a perfectly orderly and predictable turn of events, point Eddie in its direction, and duck. Suddenly what was orderly becomes a wilderness of confusion, excitement and unpredictability. Shack does have a fair turn of speed, but his splendid rushes up the ice are often completed with a futile circle of the opponent's net. At times he makes abandoned assaults on the unoffending sideboards just because they are there. Opponents, teammates, referees—all have been clobbered by Shack and all at the most unforeseeable times. A few years ago one of Toronto's more experienced forwards, Bert Olmstead, had cannily avoided a vicious check by an opposing defenseman in white only to be flattened in mid-ice by his teammate Shack. Olmstead got up, regathered his gloves and stick, pulled a fistful of Eddie's shirt out in front of him and yelled: "What color is it, Eddie, what color is it?"

"Blue," said Shack.

"That's right," said Olmstead, "it's blue. Stay clear of it, Eddie, for Pete's sake, stay clear of blue!"

* * *

Above: Eddie Shack, at 45 degree angle, with the Leafs.



Maybe Notre Dame can start playing Holy Cross

The Globe lede after BC beat ND for the sixth straight year:

Maybe it's a good thing Boston College's rivalry with Notre Dame is coming to a temporary end in a couple of years. In the Eagles' ongoing quest for more national recognition, coach Jeff Jagodzinski's team needs to upgrade its nonconference schedule. And, quite frankly, the Eagles can do better by facing such teams as Southern Cal, Northwestern, and Syracuse.

Ouch. This can't be going over well among the ND faithful.



Good Pay

Foreign Travel

Congenial Employment

Happy 233rd Birthday to the Soldiers of the Sea.

(Campaign hat tip: Old Dominion Sachem)



Laugh, Taft, Laugh

A bit of bipartisan spirit prior to Wilson's inauguration, 1913

Via Library of Congress


Sunday, November 09, 2008  

The Basilica of St John Lateran, Rome

~ Mother Church of the Whole Inhabited World

~ Today is the feast of its dedication

~ Image by psionik


Friday, November 07, 2008  

Dooley Wilson: "Knock on Wood"

~ From Casablanca

(Via Gatochy)


Wednesday, November 05, 2008  

"The Off Year"

~ Thos Nast, Harper's Weekly, Nov. 1877

(Howdah tip: Old Dominion Tory)



Congratulations to President-Elect Obama

John McCain:

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to visit -- to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now -- (cheers, applause) -- let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth. (Cheers, applause.)

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer in my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day, though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans -- (applause) -- I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises, to bridge our differences, and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.

* * *

Jonah Goldberg, NRO:

Look, I expect to be one of the most severe critics of the Obama administration and the Democrats generally in the years ahead (though I sincerely hope I won't find that necessary). But Obama ran a brilliant race and he should be congratulated for it. Moreover, during the debate over the financial crisis, Obama said that a president should be able to do more than one thing at a time. Well, I think we members of the loyal opposition should be able to make distinctions simultaneously. It is a wonderful thing to have the first African-American president. It is a wonderful thing that in a country where feelings are so intense that power can be transferred so peacefully. Let us hope that the Obama his most dedicated — and most sensible! — fans see turns out to be the real Obama. Let us hope that Obama succeeds and becomes a great president, for all the right reasons.

As for John McCain, he is an American hero and arguably the best candidate we could have fielded. I will in the days to come offer no small amount of criticism about his campaign. But where his campaign may have lacked qualities that would have helped it win, the candidate never lacked for honor and integrity. Thank you John McCain for your sacrifice, commitment, and honor.

God bless America, and may He guide Obama to be the best president possible.

* * *

Jim Manzi, NRO:

Legal racial segregation was prevalent in America within living memory, yet we appear to have just elected a black man to the position of maximum honor, authority and influence in the country. The manner of this political victory is important, as well. This was not some prize bestowed upon him, and Barack Obama didn’t just buy a winning lottery ticket; he out-smarted and out-worked both Hillary Clinton and John McCain. It is healthy that the American political system gathers the energies and talents of those who feel excluded into the nation to change it, rather than pushing them away from the nation to oppose it. I expect a lot of damage to be done to the nation’s economy, politics, and social order due to the excesses of a government dominated by a combination of Barack Obama and a radicalized Democratic caucus in Congress, but as a wise man once put it, “there is a great deal of ruin in a nation.”

There are about 1,460 days until the next Presidential election, and I assume that I will spend approximately the next 1,459 of them opposing Barack Obama. But I’m spending today proud about what my country has overcome.

* * *

John Podhoretz, Commentary:

History is made. There will be time to be disputatious. This is not that time. A member of a minority group, making up 12 percent of the population, a population that did not even solidly possess the franchise until the 1960s, will win the presidency in a landslide with the largest vote total in American history. It’s a breathtaking achievement for Barack Obama and for the United States.

* * *

Jennifer Rubin, Commentary:

You can’t help but be touched. Many Americans disagree with his policy positions and have legitimate concerns about his outlook and preparation. But that is dwarfed at this moment. Let no one say this is not a remarkable country which defies expectations and confounds its critics.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008  

Vote Early and Often

What they're drinking on Election Night:

Mr P: I'm sticking with Black Velvet--not champagne and stout, but the Canadian Whiskey that inhabits the lower shelf of our local emporium; for all its humble origins has never played me false.

Andrew Cusack: It's champagne for me.

Steve M: Club soda for me, alas.

Erik Keilholtz: Either gin martinis (redundant - there is not such thing as a non-gin martini) or Manhattans, same as any other morning.

Basil Seal: The Vesper, of course.

Sven in Colorado: Bushmills with just enough branch water to "release the demons." I'll wash it down with a pint o' Black and Tan (Guinness and Fat Tire).

Amy in NH: Dark n Stormy. Husband recently home from the Caribbean with an assortment of my favorite dark rums.

Joel in Alaska: For me? Alaska Amber pulled from the back deck and served just before it slushes, two at a time in a tall plastic cup from Wal-Mart. You Betcha!

The Irish Elk is thinking maybe Powers Gold Label chased with Harpoon IPA.

What are you having?


Old Dominion Tory: Last night, as soon as I arrived home from my day's labors as the Chief Officer of Election at the Highland Belle precinct, I poured myself a large bourbon (Woodford Reserve), not only because I needed refreshment and reinvigoration (I had been awake since about 0315 because I needed to be at the polls at 0500), but also because, based on my precinct's results, I knew that Senator Obama would win Virginia. For the ODT traditional Election Night fare of steak, baked potato, and Caesar salad, Mrs. Tory and I drank 2005 Phantom from Bogle Vineyards). I followed that with a few hours of political coverage and several large brandies.


Sunday, November 02, 2008  






give up.

~ Churchill *

* * *

The Daily Poem: What Makes a Hero?

The Hero
By Sir Henry Taylor (1800-1886)

What makes a hero?—not success, not fame,
Inebriate merchants, and the loud acclaim
Of glutted Avarice,—caps toss’d up in air,
Or pen of journalist with flourish fair;
Bells peal’d, stars, ribbons, and a titular name—
These, though his rightful tribute, he can spare;
His rightful tribute, not his end or aim,
Or true reward; for never yet did these
Refresh the soul, or set the heart at ease.
What makes a hero?—An heroic mind,
Express’d in action, in endurance prov’d.
And if there be preeminence of right,
Deriv’d through pain well suffer’d, to the height
Of rank heroic, ’t is to bear unmov’d,
Not toil, not risk, not rage of sea or wind,
Not the brute fury of barbarians blind,
But worse—ingratitude and poisonous darts,
Launch’d by the country he had serv’d and lov’d:
This, with a free, unclouded spirit pure,
This, in the strength of silence to endure,
A dignity to noble deeds imparts
Beyond the gauds and trappings of renown;
This is the hero’s complement and crown;
This miss’d, one struggle had been wanting still,
One glorious triumph of the heroic will,
One self-approval in his heart of hearts.

* * *

Jay Nordlinger, NRO: Show the Shaggers!

I wish to tell one of my favorite stories out of British politics. It is Election Day 1970, and the Conservatives, led by Ted Heath, have pulled off a victory against Labour, led by Harold Wilson. Ken Tynan, sitting at a bar, is despondent. And Kingsley Amis is on a table dancing, saying, “Show the shaggers, show the shaggers! Five more years outside the barbed wire!”

I say, in the same spirit, “Come on, Americans, show the shaggers [or whatever your favorite national equivalent is]! Four more years outside the barbed wire!”

* * *

Scott Johnson, Power Line: Harking Back to JFK

John and I have a column supporting John McCain for president that is forthcoming in Monday's Christian Science Monitor. Working on the column, it occurred to me that McCain would fit relatively comfortably in the Democratic Party of JFK, which lives on today if at all in the lonely personage of Senator McCain's friend and supporter Joe Lieberman.

McCain himself seems to me beautifully captured in the almost Churchillian quote from JFK's inaugural with which we conclude our column. JFK described himself as the representative of a generation "tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world."

* * *

WSJ: McCain's Honor

The John McCain of this campaign is the same as he ever was. The former Navy pilot's politics has always been more personal than ideological. His core convictions are duty, honor and country. He has always been passionate to the point of being impulsive, an unguided policy missile until he locks on target. Then he can be tenacious, and sometimes moralistic. These traits have characterized the McCain candidacy for better or worse and, we suspect, would also mark his Presidency. What the media can't say with a straight face is that they are shocked by any of this; they should admit they've simply found a new romance in Barack Obama.

If the 2008 election were solely about character and experience, Mr. McCain would be winning in a walk.

* * *

Jay Nordlinger, NRO: A Reason to Elect McCain

Reagan spent his entire life standing up to the bully. From boyhood on, he interposed himself between the bully and the innocent. He stood up to the bullies in his schools. He stood up to the Communists in Hollywood, and to the coercive unions. He stood up to the student radicals and their abettors. He stood up to the Soviets.

He simply stood up.

In the world today are a lot of bullies to stand up to: al-Qaeda, the mullahs, the North Koreans, the Chinese Communists, the Castro brothers, Chávez. John McCain will almost certainly do it. Barack Obama will almost certainly not.

That’s one reason — probably the biggest reason — I’m voting for McCain on Tuesday.

* * *

* Via Robbo



Are You Hep to the Jive?

~ At last.fm



John McCain & Tina Fey on SNL

Ben Affleck as Keith Olbermann


Saturday, November 01, 2008  

"Our Good and Honest Taft"

~ A waltz by Annie R. Waln Bassett, 1908

There's a war-cry from Chicago
That's spread unto the sea
A summons to the battle
For the ga-lant and the free.

Yet a battle without blood-shed
and a fight all free of graft
The battle of the voters
for our good and honest Taft.

Thank God that we are free men
And can vote for whom we will.
We spread our starry banner
freely forth from dome and hill.

Hurrah then for our freedom
Let us cheer him with a will.
The man though slated president
is just a plain man still.

He has said it to his credit
Let us cheer him with a will
"Although I'm slated president
I'm just a plain man still."

'Tis the key-note of the poor man
and the man all free of graft
Whom 'tis said shall be presi-dent
our good and hon-est Taft.

Thank God that we are free men
And can vote for whom we will.
We spread our starry banner
freely forth from dome and hill.

Hurrah then for our freedom
Let us cheer him with a will.
The man though slated president
is just a plain man still.

There was blood in our election
In the time of shall and shan't
When we feared to vote for Lincoln
And we risked our lives for Grant.

Now we cast the ballot fearing
nothing more than autumn rain
And our peace will grow more peaceful
under Taft whom 'tis said shall reign.


At Parlor Songs scroll down to hear the tune. Richard A. Reublin writes: On first hearing this song, I wondered why a composer would create such a beautiful song and use it as a one-time throwaway, for that's really all that most campaign songs are. Then of course I realized that political zeal can make people do just about anything.

* * *

New York Times, 1908:

Taft for President

The difference, then, is between the candidates. They are equally well known to the country, the tried and the untried, Mr. TAFT schooled and ripened by large experience, Mr. BRYAN altogether inexperienced in administrative duty; Mr. TAFT wise, judicial, steadied by great responsibilities borne with unfailing credit, Mr. BRYAN unstable, flighty, fertile in extemporized principles and justified to the approbation of the people neither by achievement nor by sagacity.

We know that public policies, the old and new alike, will be executed by Mr. TAFT reasonably, with calmness, with sanity. He is less impulsive than Mr. ROOSEVELT, not given to disturbing utterance, averse to spectacular and ill-judged display. We know nothing of the kind about Mr. BRYAN, because he has not been tried. We do know that his mind is unsteady, his principles unsafe. The country has twice rejected him for that reason. If he at all believes what he says, what he continually preaches to his followers, what he causes to be written in his platforms, his election to the presidency with the power and the intent to apply his doctrines to the administration of public affairs would be an immeasurable calamity...

The difference between the two candidates is so marked and distinct, so unmistakably clear, and it is a difference so vital to the public welfare that the rejection of Mr. TAFT and the election of Mr. BRYAN would be an appalling evidence of popular delusion.

(Via WSJ)




As a Conservative,
I Must Say I Do Quite Like
the Cut of this Obama Fellow's Jib

By T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII
The National Topsider
Membership Chairman, The Newport Club

When my late father T. Coddington Van Voorhees VI founded the iconoclastic conservative journal
National Topsider in 1948, he famously declared that "Now is the time for all good conservative helmsmen to hoist the mizzen, pour the cocktails, and steer this damned schooner hard starboard." In the 60 years since he first uttered it after one-too-many Cosmopolitans at one of Pamela Harriman's notorious foreign policy black tie balls, father's pithy bon mot has served as a rallying cry for conservatives from Greenwich to Chevy Chase. Today, I say it's time for we conservatives to once again grab the rigging and set sail with the flotilla of the true conservative in this race: Barack Obama. More

Pure genius.

(Yachting cap tip: Old Dominion Tory)


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