Formerly Ad Orientem

"Irish Elk is original, entertaining, eclectic, odd, truly one-of-a-kind. And more than mostly interesting."
Amy Kane

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

"The Gatling Gun of Courteous Debate."
Unitarian Jihad

"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)."
Erik Keilholtz

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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Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem

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

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Irish Elk - Blogged


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Irish Elk
Wednesday, January 28, 2009  

Annie the Wonder Pup

Part Steiff terrier, part Garth Williams drawing.

Also answers to "NoAnnie!" and "GoodDoggie!"



Rufus Thomas: "Walking the Dog"

How the Elk now spends the wee hours.


Thursday, January 22, 2009  

Waiting in Joyful Hope

Thousands converge on Washington today for the annual March for Life.

Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO writes:

It’s a beautiful thing to see how many of this crowd — and so many pro-life religious folks I’ve encountered – are praying for Barack Obama. They love their country and want better for it than legal abortion. They know the power of prayer, and if anything could make him reconsider abortion …

Ed Whelan writes at NRO that Roe v Wade is the Dred Scott decision of our day.

Life in the time of Obama may be for many far too short, warns Anne Conlon, managing editor of Human Life Review.

But Michael J. New at NRO makes the case for pro-life optimism.

Above: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, Protectress of the Unborn


Wednesday, January 21, 2009  

'Freedom' gets its liberty cap

Originally, the artist planned to dress "Freedom" in a Phrygian cap -- a simple, soft, peaked red hat, also called a "liberty cap." A classical motif, the hat had become such a common symbol of political revolution that it eventually ended up on the official seal of the U.S. Senate.

However, as the informative website of the Architect of the Capitol notes, after Secretary of War Jefferson Davis objected to the sculptor's intention to include a liberty cap, Crawford replaced it with a crested Roman helmet. Why the objection? Because, in the rising abolition movement, the liberty cap had been adopted as a symbol of freed slaves.

Davis, of course, resigned from the Senate in 1861 and accepted appointment as president of the Confederate States of America. In a cruel irony, the complex casting and assembly of the sculpture was overseen by Philip Reid -- a slave at the foundry.

At Obama's swearing-in, the "Statue of Freedom" will gain another level of meaning. Hats off.

~ Christopher Knight, LA Times



The Media Coverage:

Boston Globe * NY Times * Tiger Beat



Hail to the Old Chief

Mark McKinnon, Daily Beast: Aboard the Bush plane back to Texas

NRO Symposium: Farewell, Mr President

Noemie Emery, DC Examiner: Bush legacy hidden in plain sight

Con Coughlin, The Spectator: Don't misunderestimate Bush's record

Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: Bush considered

The Editors, National Review: Looking back

Charles Krauthammer, RCP: Exit Bush, shoes flying

Peter Wehner, Commentary: History will vindicate George W Bush

Andrew Roberts, Daily Telegraph: History will show Bush was right


Tuesday, January 20, 2009  

The Lincoln Ring

An excerpt from Presidential Courage by Michael Beschloss:

Sunday, March 4, 1905, Roosevelt took his oath on the East Front of the Capitol.

On the eve of his inauguration...TR received an extraordinary gift from his old family friend, Secretary of State John Hay -- a heavy gold ring, including six strands of hair mounted under a tiny oval pane of glass. With the ring came a handwritten note from Hay:

'The hair in the ring is from the head of Abraham Lincoln. Dr. Taft cut it off the night of the assassination, and I got it from his son - a brief pedigree.

'Please wear it tomorrow, you are one of the men who most thoroughly understand and appreciate Lincoln. I have had your monogram and Lincoln's engraved on the ring.

'Longas, O utinam, bone dux, ferias, Praestes Hesperiae.'

Hay had had the ring engraved with the initials "A.L." and "T.R." He knew how proud TR would be to have his name joined with that of his hero.

Roosevelt pledged that the Lincoln ring would remind him to "put human rights above property rights."

The strands of hair on the ring had been cut away by a doctor just after Lincoln's shooting to look into his open wound. Charles Taft, another physician who treated Lincoln, willed the strands to his son, who sold them to Hay for one hundred dollars a month before Roosevelt's inauguration.

~ Via the Theodore Roosevelt Association's page on Facebook

* * *

Above: President-elect Theodore Roosevelt takes the oath of office on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol, March 4, 1905.

The Associated Press recalls the day:

Inaugural history: The exuberant parade of 1905



O Ship Of State

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!

Sail on, O Union, strong and great!

Humanity with all its fears,

With all the hopes of future years,

Is hanging breathless on thy fate!

We know what Master laid thy keel,

What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,

Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,

What anvils rang, what hammers beat,

In what a forge and what a heat

Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!

Fear not each sudden sound and shock,

’Tis of the wave and not the rock;

’Tis but the flapping of the sail,

And not a rent made by the gale!

In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,

In spite of false lights on the shore,

Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!

Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee.

Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,

Our faith triumphant o’er our fears,

Are all with thee,—are all with thee!

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Saturday, January 17, 2009  
Sixties Saturday

Beau Brummels: "Laugh, Laugh"

Johnny Rivers: "Secret Agent Man"

The Ventures: "Walk Don't Run"

Rolling Stones w/ intro by Dean Martin


Friday, January 16, 2009  

Siri, 1970

~ Andrew Wyeth, RIP.


Thursday, January 15, 2009  

The Call of the Elk

Actually it's called bugling, but this one sounds like a seagull.

Elsewhere of interest:

Salon: Camille Paglia on Katie Couric

Ye Olde Evening Telegraph: Mary Surratt House Now Chinese Takeaway

Dr Boli's Allegorical Bestiary: The Emperor Penguin

Dr Boli: Collected Advertisements

Charlie Parker Gunslinger: Patrick McGoohan, RIP

The Monarchist: The Great White Fleet

Robert Avrech, Big Hollywood: 10 Best Movies I Screened in 2008



Making their bones

The Smart Set celebrates 140 years of dinosaur displays.



Rice, Lynn and Evans

A toast to Jim Rice, voted into the Hall of Fame.

Rice was so powerful he snapped a bat in his hands on a check swing ~ twice.

He once hit a home run out of Fenway Park to the right of the center field flagpole.

Tom Yawkey said it was the longest he'd ever seen hit at Fenway.

Rice, Fred Lynn and Dewey Evans formed one of the great outfields ever.

Their picture above was taken when the world was young.

In their honor Irish Elk turns back the clock to the summer of 1975.



Not Obama. Ala Bahma.

Come out and get the nice carrot, pretty boney.

A classic.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009  

The HW Banner

The Irish Elk's score of 23 on this political quiz places him somewhere between Colin Powell and George Bush the Elder.

So news the president-elect dined last night at George Will's house with Bill Kristol, David Brooks and Charles Krauthammer was greeted here as a hopeful sign.

If the O does indeed turn out to be the second coming of Bush Père, then gun the cigarette boats and full speed ahead. Things could be worse.

The Elk misses Bush 41.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009  

What the well-dressed Taft supporter

will be wearing this March 4.

Be a party animal!

Celebrate the Taft Inaugural Centennial in style

with this commemorative Taftapalooza tee-shirt!


Monday, January 12, 2009  

A Birthday Toast to Edmund Burke

To Edmund Burke we raise our glasses up!

Damn the French, call the wench, bring another cup!

~ Via the Cigarette Smoking Blog

* * *

Above: Burke, by James Northcote


Sunday, January 11, 2009  

Bix Beiderbecke: "Sorry" (1927)

A little Bix for a Sunday night.

From the YouTube comments:

KlausVanBrueggen (1 week ago)
Fantastic tune, adorable. Thank you.

slownoman (3 weeks ago)
one of the great mysteries of music is how playing with this much joy, this much life, this much truth, can come from a man so deeply- suicidally, really- troubled. Bix's playing on this song is audible poetry- just phenomenal.

Corrie121 (2 months ago)
My favourite Bix recording. Absolutely brilliant!

joomuck (8 months ago)
I suppose that listening to 'Sorry' was as close to the truth as when Eddie Condon stated that listening to Bix was like hearing a girl say yes. My Uncle, who played with Paul Whiteman, introduced me to Bix when I was 15 and it was the beginning of a life long romance with his music. Hopefully, some place, Bix and Louis are playing together.


Saturday, January 10, 2009  

Taft on a Raft

~ Philippines, 1905

Clearly the inspiration for the song.


Thursday, January 08, 2009  

Buffalo Bill

~ Philippine Governor General William Howard Taft, primed for takeoff
on a water buffalo, c. 1904.

The Taft Presidential Inauguration Centennial is less than two months away.

Keep an eye on this space for all your Taft Inaugural Centennial coverage.



Marxist apocrypha

News that those fecund staples of the Discovery Channel the Duggars welcomed their 18th bundle of joy reminded Irish Elk of a celebrated Groucho Marx anecdote:

The most infamous remark of Groucho's You Bet Your Life years supposedly occurred when he was interviewing a contestant with a remarkably large number of children:

GROUCHO: "Why do you have so many children? That's a big responsibility and a big burden."

MRS. STORY: "Well, because I love my children and...I love my husband."

GROUCHO: "I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while."

Turns out the exchange never actually took place. A shame ~ I always liked that story.



The Torch, Passed

Tina Brown, Daily Beast:

Caroline: The Reasons Why

Noemie Emery, Weekly Standard:

Inherit the What?

Aaron Goldstein, American Spectator:

They Don't Make Kennedys Like They Used To



Fr Neuhaus, RIP

1/10 UPDATE:

J Bottum, Weekly Standard: A gaping hole in the public square:

And, oh, what sharp edges Richard John Neuhaus had. He wrote and wrote and wrote--a discipline of writing that almost every other writer I know has told me feels almost like an indictment: 30 books, and innumerable essays, and all those talks he flew around to give. And, just as an incidental, 12,000 words a month poured out in the column, The Public Square, that anchored every issue of First Things, the magazine he founded...

I remember him, sitting on the couch, taking me through the argument of a book he had just finished reading--and making the argument clearer than the author had ever managed. I remember his puffing on his cigars, and his constant jaywalking across the streets of Manhattan in utter confidence that the cars would stop, and his Lutheran-style preaching, and his bad coffee. I remember the way he would tilt his head when he smiled, and the way he used his hands when he talked, and the brilliant conversation about a book only a month back.

Only a month. But in that time, for those who knew him, the world has been inverted. Present still are all the noise and bustle of New York, the work in the office, the ringing phones, the demands for attention. But they all seem weak and gray and ghostly. Only his absence now is real.

* * *

J Bottum, First Things

Peter Wehner, NRO

John Podhoretz, Commentary

Michael Sean Winters, America

John Allen, NCR

Ross Douthat, The Atlantic


Tuesday, January 06, 2009  

RCB for the Israeli Defense Forces

As no less a publication than Maxim observes:

They’re drop-dead gorgeous and can take apart an Uzi in seconds.

The image above, from a gallery by photographer and IDF veteran Rachel Papo, comes via Counting Cats in Zanzibar. More pics are at Flickr and Tim Blair

Let the Left have Flat Fatima. We'll send pizzas to the Israeli soldiers at the front.



Time Marches On

Via Amy in NH, an engaging meme:

The gist…Retrieve and share the first sentence of the first blog post of each of the twelve months of (r.i.p.) 2008.

Here, then, is the Irish Elk Year in Review in 12 Sentences (give or take a sentence or two): *

Jan. 1, 2008: Tea sets & missing teeth: The national pastime of Moosejaw and Medicine Hat is a game after the Monarchist's heart, with hard-fighting players, stitched and toothless, who bow to the Queen, and are rewarded for their icy bloodletting with Hyacinth Bucket-worthy Edwardian hardware like the Lady Byng Trophy.

Feb. 2, 2008: Phil? Ned Ryerson wishes you a Happy Groundhog Day. (With Portuguese subtitles. Bing de novo!)

March 2, 2008: Canada in a Box: The Canadian past, as stored in old cigar boxes.

April 1, 2008: Zip, the What-is-it: Born in 1842 as William Henry Johnson, Zip the Pinhead was one of P.T. Barnum's biggest stars in the 19th century, performing as "The Man-Monkey," "The Missing Link," and the "What is it" -- the last what an incredulous Charles Dickens reportedly asked on seeing him at the Barnum Museum.

May 5, 2008:A Belated Happy St. Tammany's Day: The Roman Catholic Boys for Art (Ivy League Division) hope it is not too late to raise a walrus-tusk-stirred toast of New England rum to Dartmouth's hidden Hovey Murals.

June 2, 2008: Big Maybelle Smith: "I Ain't Mad At You"

July 2, 2008: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: "In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls...This is the great reward of service. To live, far out and on, in the life of others;...to give life's best for such high sake that it shall be found again unto life eternal."

Aug. 1, 2008: Exit Manny. Don't let the door hit you on your malingering, overpaid, baggy-pantsed arse.

Sept. 1, 2008: Purgatory Chasm ~ Sutton, Mass., Labor Day 2008. We saw the Corn Crib and Lovers' Leap, but missed the Fat Man's Misery. The name we gave the great rock to slide down at the entrance: the Devil's Wedgie.

Oct. 1, 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.

Nov. 1, 2008: "Our Good and Honest Taft" ~ A waltz by Annie R. Waln Bassett, 1908

Dec. 1, 2008: Hot Stove: Uni Watch wades through the baseball pictures in the Life Archive.

* In some cases of multiple posts the top or most interesting post has been chosen.


Friday, January 02, 2009  

"They have given us our wintah back."

~ Bob Ryan

The Bruins, winners of 10 straight, have the best record in NHL.

The B's are off to their best start since 1929-30.

Then the team was led by the Dynamite Line of Dit Clapper, Cooney
Weiland and Dutch Gainor (above).

The Irish Elk wants one of these.

(Click on title to open whole track in new window.)



The Frozen Confines

Kevin Paul Dupont:

With Wrigley as setting, outdoor hockey a hit

Chicago Tribune: Photo Gallery


Thursday, January 01, 2009  

Happy New Year!


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