Formerly Ad Orientem

"Irish Elk is original, entertaining, eclectic, odd, truly one-of-a-kind. And more than mostly interesting."
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"Puts the 'ent' in 'eccentric.'"

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Unitarian Jihad

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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.

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
Monday, August 31, 2009  

Baseball Epitaphs

For a Pitcher
No runs,
No hits,
No heirs

For a Catcher
Here lies No-Knees Mick McGirk
Squatted when he went to work
Squatted when he went to bed
Squatting now that he is dead
His casket's only half the size
Of any other normal guy's
Because, no taller than an elf,
Mick could not unsquat himself

~ By J. Patrick Lewis

~ Elysian Fields Quarterly



"Dear American Fellow"

~ The salutation on a piece of direct mail sent me by Sean Hannity
on behalf of the Heritage Foundation.

Apparently they are taking the hail-fellow approach, literally.


Saturday, August 29, 2009  

Ted Kennedy III announces run for U.S. Senate

I'll vote for him in 2044.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009  

Sen. Edward Kennedy: If Only

Michael Knox Beran offers a compelling take on why Ted K chose the political path he did:

For the fourth and only surviving son of Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy, the path to liberal lionhood began on Dike Road on the night of July 18--19, 1969.

Had Chappaquiddick never happened, Kennedy would have had every incentive to try, as his older brothers did, to arrest the leftward lurch of the Democratic party, which weakened Democrats' ability to compete for the White House.

Ted, after Chappaquiddick, had to find another path to glory, one that did not include a sojourn at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. His choice revealed a certain native shrewdness: Morally debarred from the presidency, he would be the liberal lion that the older brothers--who valued possession of the White House more than they did the whimsies of the Left--could never be. The older boys were retrospectively endowed with liberal halos, as a concession to their martyrdoms; the kid brother would obtain the same crown in life.

By hewing with so little deviation to the liberal line, Kennedy has been able to maintain his dominance in the party.

Ted Kennedy did much good. But one is left with a sad feeling of "if only": If only he had channeled his immense power and celebrity and charm and Senate effectiveness differently – to defend the weakest, the unborn; to promote liberalism informed by his Catholic faith rather than in conflict with it; to promote the civility for which was credited behind the scenes, but which he so undercut with his attack on Robert Bork. How different would the Democratic Party and the country be today?


* * *

The Anchoress on the late Sen. Kennedy and Purgatory:

Some will focus on his personal sins -the assumed repentance or lack of same (of which they will likely have no real knowledge, just hunches) and some will presume to know the state of his soul, but those will be the inveterates, working from long-habit. Most Christians will, I think, understand that “the favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies not over and done” and will simply pray in hopes that Kennedy had made a contrite and humble confession of his failings and sins.

Others, of course, will suggest that Kennedy’s pro-abortion positions, in and of themselves, should damn him forever in the eyes of God.

Thankfully, God knows more, and sees more, than the rest of us, because eventually we’ll all need to count on his mercy, as we face his justice. For all that we know of Kennedy, there is much we do not know. A family member who works with the very poor once told me that when he was in a real fix and unable to find help for, for instance, a sick child in need of surgery, a phone call to Kennedy’s office would set the “Irish Mafia” of professional people -doctors, lawyers, pilots and such- into brisk motion. I think an examination of the life of every “great” person (and I mean “great” in terms of power and influence) will expose deep flaws and surprising episodes of generosity.

So, upon hearing of his passing, I say “ah, he’s gone, then,” make a Sign of the Cross, and think of what C.S. Lewis wrote of Purgatory:

Our souls demand Purgatory, don’t they? Would it not break the heart if God said to us, ‘It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy’? Should we not reply, ‘With submission, sir, and if there is no objection, I’d rather be cleaned first.’ ‘It may hurt, you know’ – ‘Even so, sir.’


Thursday, August 13, 2009  

Off to Rhode Island

~ See you next week


Tuesday, August 11, 2009  

Interest in mysterious Kennedy sister spikes

That is the headline tonight at Yahoo! where the Buzz Log notes a surge in queries on Rosemary Kennedy, whose difficult life inspired her sister Eunice's work with the mentally disabled.

Irish Elk originally posted the picture above of Rosemary Kennedy four years ago. The number of visitors who have arrived at this site today via Google Image Search had passed 1,800 as of 9 o'clock tonight.



Eunice Kennedy Shriver, RIP

Eunice Shriver warned in 1968 against what she saw as "a drift into what I would call the 'Hard Society'" -- one without love, in which everyone takes care of himself or herself and people too frequently use one another to satisfy their desires without assuming the responsibilities of permanent relationships. The Hard Society was characterized by "separateness between rich and poor, between whites and blacks, between an intellectual elite and the unlearned masses, where both individuals and blocs are concerned solely with maximizing their own comforts and enforcing their own prejudices."

She wrote:

"I think we should be intolerant toward anything that makes it difficult for a woman who has conceived a child to bring him or her into the world with joy and gladness...

(Via Kathryn Jean Lopez)


Friday, August 07, 2009  

The Dreadful

Dinotherium he
Will have to do his best for D.
The early world observed with awe
His back, indented like a saw.
His look was gay, his voice was strong;
His tail was neither short nor long;
His trunk, or elongated nose,
Was not so large as some suppose;
His teeth, as all the world allows,
Were graminivorous, like a cow's.

He therefore should have wished to pass
Long peaceful nights upon the Grass,
But being mad the brute preferred
To roost in branches, like a bird.
(We have good reason to suppose
He did so, from his claw-like toes.)

A creature heavier than a whale,
You see at once, could hardly fail
To suffer badly when he slid
And tumbled (as he always did).
His fossil therefore comes to light
All broken up: and serve him right.

If you were born to walk the ground,
Remain there; do not fool around.

~ From A Moral Alphabet by Hilaire Belloc


Wednesday, August 05, 2009  

University Club (1960) by Norman Rockwell

~ Via Charlie Parker Gunslinger


Monday, August 03, 2009  

Buffalo Bill at old Cubs Ballpark, 1916

Portrait of William Frederick (Buffalo Bill) Cody (1846-1917), sitting in a director's chair with members of his travelling show standing behind him. Scenery painted to look like Rocky Mountains is visible in the background, as are horses (real or painted?). Cody was a buffalo hunter, U.S. Army scout, and Indian fighter who dramatized the American West in travelling shows. Buffalo Bill's Show took place at the old Cubs' ballpark.

Horses, cows and bulls graze in the field at the old Cubs' ballpark. Painted scenery, with Rocky Mountains and pine trees, is propped in the back of the field, next to the grandstand. The animals and scenery were part of Buffalo Bill Cody's travelling show.

Via Library of Congress * Chicago Daily News Collection

* * *


The Smart Set:

Black Tie & Stetson: Under the Stars With Buffalo Bill

Horsing Around With Catherine the Great

Yeoman Lawyer: Put On Your Darn Hat

The Spectator Book Club: Horror in the Arctic

The Onion: Terrier Defends Family From Squeak


A Dream of Dinner with Franklin Pierce

A Dream of Sparring with TR

Charlie Parker Gunslinger: Art of the Big Top


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