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
Tuesday, March 31, 2009  

Around the Horn

Rita Reichardt:

How Fr Brown Led Alec Guinness to the Church

(Via Christine and Robbo)

Naked Villainy: The Quest for Ham

Riverwalk Jazz:

A Night at Bricktop's: Jazz in 1930s Montmartre

The Spectator: Book Club

The Times: Archive Blog

Terry Teachout:

Thirty key recordings by Louis Armstrong

On "West End Blues" (Via John Salmon)


Recent vexillological acquisitions

Chorus line in pickelhaubes

Charlie Parker Gunslinger:

Before & After: Winston Churchill

Cat-Women of the Moon

Quincy Magoo

Fiorello LaGuardia and Charlie McCarthy

Dr Boli:

Useful English Phrases for Visitors From Foreign Lands:

No. 2.—At the Home for the Incurably Insane.

The Smart Set: The Ferris Wheel Craze

Ye Olde Evening Telegraph:

If We Survive

Bespectacled German Infantryman

The Daily Telegraph:

Readers' pics of foxes in their gardens

Newly bookmarked at left:

The People's Cube

What's the Rumpus?

Jurassic Rants

Sven in Colorado

Dickens Blog

Quondam Washington

Virtual Victrola

Image above: Giant Deer by Elrina 753



One more reason to toast the Danish monarchy

Crown Princess Mary appointed lieutenant of the Danish Homeguard.

(Via Royal & Co.)




Flat Dog

No Bite


~ Annie, for short


Monday, March 30, 2009  

Who painted it?

Hillary visits the Basilica of Guadalupe:

During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white flowers “on behalf of the American people,” after asking who painted the famous image.

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was miraculously imprinted by Mary on the tilma, or cloak, of St. Juan Diego in 1531. The image has numerous unexplainable phenomena, such as the appearance on Mary’s eyes of those present in the room when the tilma was opened and the image’s lack of decay.

Mrs. Clinton was received on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. by the rector of the Basilica, Msgr. Diego Monroy.

Msgr. Monroy took Mrs. Clinton to the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been previously lowered from its usual altar for the occasion.

After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!”
(Via the Llamas)

* * *

LA Times: Clinton also lighted a candle during her 30-minute visit and, on her way out told a crowd of Mexicans, "You have a marvelous virgin." (Via Mrs P)



The Catholic Church in America has bred her own destroyers…

graduating from doctrinally corrupt catechetical programs, schools and colleges two generations of pro-abortion politicians. Barack Obama, in his effortless Alinskyite style, has exploited this phenomenon to the hilt, seeking out Catholics such as Joe Biden and Kathleen Sebelius to serve as his agents of destruction.

The controversy this week at Notre Dame is one more snapshot of this self-implosion. Here we have the American bishops' most prominent university planning to confer an honorary degree upon Obama even as he accelerates the destruction of its moral teachings.
~ George Neumayr, The American Spectator

* * *

One of his big ideas is of educating the whole child, which is sneakily similar to the Jesuit idea cura personalis, which is care for the whole person; so we saw the obvious similarities here, and that's why we invited Ayers to speak. ~ Melissa Roberts, vice president of College Democrats of Boston College, on inviting unrepentant former terrorist-turned-academic Bill Ayers to the Jesuit school

* * *

Image above by Margaret Bourke-White

"Jesuits in America," Life Archive



Beaver Fever

Bemidji State, pride of the Iron Range, heads to the Frozen Four.

How about that?

If Irish Elk weren't a BU loyalist he'd have to root for the Beavers.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009  

"Koko's Earth Control"

~ Max & Dave Fleischer, 1928

UPDATE, 3/29/09

A word about the music from Virtual Victrola:

It's a good bet that the original screening of this cartoon was silent, but in its reissue it has been given some wonderful period music, including "Dancing Shadows," recorded by the Paul Whiteman orchestra on April 22, 1928. Soloists on the record are Bill Rank on trombone and Frank Trumbauer on c-melody saxophone. The "sweet trio" of Jack Fulton, Austin Young, and Charles Gaylord provide the humming under Trumbauer's solo. Although cornetist Bix Beiderbecke was in the orchestra during this recording, he is inaudible.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009  

The Ingenues: "The Band Beautiful"

~ From 1929

All-banjo "Chasing the Blues Away" at 5:05

"Tiger Rag" at 6:21


Sunday, March 22, 2009  

I Am a Stout Conservative

What kind of beer are you?

I am a Guinness.

(Via the Maximum Leader)

* * *

How Progressive are You?

I am not very, according to my score of 155/400, which makes me
off-the-chart Conservative by the lights of the framers of this quiz.

According to their chart the average for Americans is 209.5.

At one end of the spectrum:
Liberal Dems 247.1
Obama voters 244.0

At the other end:
Republicans 168.4
Conservative Republicans 160.6

And then me, the stout-drinking troglodyte. Where do you rank?

(Via New Majority)


Friday, March 20, 2009  


Detail, Spring (Venus at her Toilet)
Francesco Albani
Oil on canvas, diameter 154 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome


Thursday, March 19, 2009  

While waiting for Opening Day

A picture to warm the cockles of Steve M's heart:

Stanley Silverman of the Bronx now cheers for Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, September 24, 1950, having decided to switch allegiance from the Yankees two years ago because the Sox, with their losing streak, needed more fan support.

A most discerning youngster. Is he the same Stanley Silverman who went on to be a famous composer?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009  

Thanks to the Annie pre-rinse cycle

We save on water when washing the dishes.

And what with all the extra fertilizer,

the tomatoes should be quite lush this year.

Our dog is very green, indeed.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009  

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Jean Butler & the Chieftains, 1991

~ Pre-Riverdance

Naithí Céilí Band Reels at the All-Ireland

Old Bay Céilí Band Reels at the All-Ireland

Sruleen Céilí Band Jigs at the All-Ireland


Monday, March 16, 2009  

A Dog's Life


Sunday, March 15, 2009  

Taft's Back


The First Lady, 1909

Sea of Faces, 1908

* * *

100 Years Ago in the NY Times:

What Leading Men See in the Coming of Taft:

"An Era of Prosperity” the Prediction of Captains of Industry —

Confidence in Mr. Taft a New Stimulus to Business World

The Tafts Move In; Plans for the Titanic (!)

* * *

Lost Theaters of Somerville:

Odd Fellows Hall decorated for President Taft visit

* * *

Image above via Donald Mark


Saturday, March 14, 2009  

Junior Walker & the All-Stars: "Shotgun"


Tuesday, March 10, 2009  

NPR Music: Bix Beiderbecke



BBC Radio 4:

Simon Schama: "Baseball & Me"

Simon Schama, who has lived in the United States for 30 years, explores his love of baseball.

He first walked into a ballpark in the early 1980s. From the moment he saw the floodlit green of the Fenway Park turf and the theatrical attire of the Boston Red Sox he was smitten. Before then, cricket had been his sport, but all too quickly wickets became bases and bowlers became pitchers.

Simon fell in love with baseball - its statistics, language, characters and history. Now he seeks to explain why he, and the United States, are so infatuated with a game that the British so often dismiss.

Simon gains behind-the-scenes access to his adopted team, the Boston Red Sox. The lockeroom, the scoreboard operator and, most importantly, the man who sells the famous Fenway Frank hotdog are all players in a pageant that holds a nation in its thrall.

(Tip of the cap: Old Dominion Tory)



Frankie Trumbauer & Bix Beiderbecke:

"Singin' the Blues" (1927)

Happy Birthday, Bix.

"He was our golden boy, doomed to an untimely end."

~ Hoagy Carmichael

A Bixography * Red Hot Jazz * "Sorry"


Monday, March 09, 2009  

Strong Horse

That's how this pic of President Taft is slugged at Wikimedia Commons.

Taft's Wikipedia bio notes:

He was given the nickname "Big Lub" because of his size, but his college friends knew him by the nickname "Old Bill". Taft received jibes about his weight throughout his life: as governor of the Philippines, Taft once sent a telegram to Washington, D.C. that read, "Went on a horse ride today; feeling good;" Secretary of War Elihu Root replied, "How's the horse?"

* * *

A selection of Taft quotes:


I am a Unitarian. I believe in God. I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe. ~ Letter to Yale University (1899), quoted in Henry F. Pringle, "William Howard Taft: The Life and Times," vol. 1, p. 45 (1939)

If humor be the safety of our race, then it is due largely to the infusion into the American people of the Irish brain. "Irish Humor," address in Hot Springs, Virginia (1908-08-05) [2]

I have come to the conclusion that the major part of the work of a President is to increase the gate receipts of expositions and fairs and bring tourists to town. ~ Letter of Archibald Butt to Clara F. Butt (1909-06-01); reprinted in "The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt" (Doubleday, Doran, & Co., 1930)

Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race. ~ "Popular Government: Its Essence, Its Permanence and Its Perils," chapter 3 (1913)

The world is not going to be saved by legislation. ~ "The President and His Powers," chapter 6 (1916)

Substantial progress toward better things can rarely be taken with out developing new evils requiring new remedies. ~ "Our Chief Magistrate and His Powers" (Columbia University Press 1916), p. 61

Anti-Semitism is a noxious weed that should be cut out. It has no place in America. ~ "Anti-Semitism in the United States," address to the Anti-Defamation League in Chicago, Illinois (1920-12-23)


Failure to accord credit to anyone for what he may have done is a great weakness in any man.

The President cannot make clouds to rain and cannot make the corn to grow, he cannot make business good; although when these things occur, political parties do claim some credit for the good things that have happened in this way.

Don't worry over what the newspapers say. I don't. Why should anyone else? I told the truth to the newspaper correspondents - but when you tell the truth to them they are at sea.

Politics: when I am in it, it makes me sick.

The intoxication of power rapidly sobers off in the knowledge of its restrictions and under the prompt reminder of an ever-present and not always considerate press, as well as the kindly suggestions that not infrequently come from Congress.

Enthusiasm for a cause sometimes warps judgment.

I think I might as well give up being a candidate. There are so many people in the country who don't like me.

I don’t remember that I ever was president. ~
Reportedly when asked about his preference between being President and being Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The press sees itself to be the agents of heaven in establishing virtue.

I'll be damned if I am not getting tired of this. It seems to be the profession of a President simply to hear other people talk.

One cannot always be sure of the truth of what one hears if he happens to be President of the United States.

I love judges, and I love courts. They are my ideals, that typify on earth what we shall meet hereafter in heaven under a just God.

No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people.

Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever.

Don't write so that you can be understood, write so that you can't be misunderstood.

There is nothing so despicable as a secret society that is based upon religious prejudice and that will attempt to defeat a man because of his religious beliefs. Such a society is like a cockroach -- it thrives in the dark. So do those who combine for such an end.

Some men are graduated from college cum laude, some are graduated summa cum laude, and some are graduated mirabile dictu.

The cheerful loser is a sort of winner.

Dancing is the most effective form of negotiation.

(Click on title to hear entire song in new tab.)


Friday, March 06, 2009  

While the Media cover Rush Limbaugh

and the Obama kids' new swing-set…

Wall Street Journal: Dow down 25% for year

Washington Post: Corporate America's Icons Crumbling

Real Clear Politics: Unemployment heading to 10%?

Charles Krauthammer: Deception at core of Obama plans

Tim Reid, Times of London: If Obama Wrong, U.S. Will Be Bankrupt


Wednesday, March 04, 2009  


The Taft Inaugural Centennial

March 4, 1909 ~ March 4, 2009

Somewhere Steve M, Old Dominion Tory et al

administer the requisite Stimulus via Franklin Pierce mug.

* * *

Sousa's Band:

"Powhatan's Daughter March" (Windows Media)

* * *

NY Times, 3/4/1909:

"All is Set for Taft's Inauguration Today"

* * *

Bartleby.com: Taft Inaugural Address

* * *

Library of Congress images:

Taft & TR drive through snow

Top hats

Taft bows to crowd

* * *


President and Mrs. Taft leaving Capitol to head parade to White House.

(Library of Congress)


Monday, March 02, 2009  

Annie, for one, is enjoying the snow.


At Red Hot Jazz: "Walkin' the Dog" by Hoagy Carmichael's Collegians.


I was standing there, hoping for the best, when my meditations were broken in upon by an odd, gargling sort of noise, something like static and something like distant thunder, and to cut a long story short this proved to proceed from the larynx of the dog Bartholomew.

He was standing on the bed, stropping his front paws on the coverlet, and so easy was it to read the message in his eyes that we acted like two minds with but a single thought. At the exact moment when I soared like an eagle onto the chest of drawers, Jeeves was skimming like a swallow onto the top of the cupboard. The animal hopped from the bed and, advancing into the middle of the room, took a seat, breathing through the nose with a curious whistling sound, and looking at us from under his eyebrows like a Scottish elder rebuking sin from the pulpit.

And there for a while the matter rested…

Watching the animal sitting there like a bump on a log, I soon found myself chafing a good deal. I remember Freddie Widgeon, who was once chased onto the top of a wardrobe by an Alsatian during a country house visit, telling me that what he had disliked most about the thing was the indignity of it all – the blow to the proud spirit, if you know what I mean – the feeling, in fine, that he, the Heir of the Ages, as you might say, was camping out on a wardrobe at the whim of a bally dog.

It was the same with me. One doesn't want to make a song and dance about one's ancient lineage, of course, but after all the Woosters did come over with the Conqueror and were extremely pally with him: and a fat lot of good it is coming over with Conquerors, if you're simply going to wind up being given the elbow by Aberdeen terriers.

~ P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters


Sunday, March 01, 2009  

The presses, stopped

Howard Kurtz, Washington Post: Newspaper industry staggers

Real Clear Politics: Top 10 newspapers in trouble

AP: Rocky Mountain News publishes last edition

Rocky Mountain News: Final edition

RCP Media Watch: Philadelphia Story: Bankruptcy

Bloomberg: SF may be largest city to lose main paper

Time: A Seattle paper writes own obituary

Gawker: NYT Weekender ad parody: "Perfect for starting a campfire"

Above: Last front page of the NY Herald Tribune, 1966


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