Saturday, November 23, 2002

here is estlin
yet again

if seventy were young
and death uncommon
(forgiving not divine,
to err inhuman)
or any thine a mine
to say would be to sing

if broken hearts were whole
and cowards heroes
(the popular the wise,
a weed a tearose)
and every minus plus
--fare ill:fare well--
a frown would be a smile

if sorrowful were gay
(today tomorrow,
doubting believing and
to lend to borrow)
or any foe a friend
--cry nay:cry yea--
november would be may

that you and i'd be quite
--come such perfection--
another i and you,
is a deduction
which(be it false or true)
disposes me to shoot
dogooding folk on sight
Went to Mass today

and for reasons that might seem obvious, I didn't pray the Our Father.

But I did hear an asphyxiatingly funny sermon from the living saint of a priest at my favorite chapel. About the woman who, in this life, had seven husbands. Whose wife will she be, the Sadducees mockingly asked the Lord, at the Resurrection?

The priest imagined a scenario where these seven men are pulling at her every limb, literally brawling over her. And imagined the Sadducees asking, will she be cut up, divided into seven equal parts, and each husband gets exactly one-seventh of the poor woman?

Seventy-plus-year-old Italian priest, with a thick accent. And I believe, a living saint.

And you really need to hear this sermon with the accent, and the animated gestures, and the wonderful vocal inflections.
Confucius (or maybe Lao-tzu)

At any rate, it's a proverb oft quoted by the prim Presbyterian 20th century Samuel Johnson, poet and essayist Marianne Moore (1887-1962)

If there be a knife of resentment in the heart, the mind will not attain wholeness.
The cutest girl in the world

There's a street person, a man who sits on milk-crates near one of the subway-stations in the big bean, who has got a fairly neat way of getting passersby's (is that the correct genitive plural of passerby?) attention : Placards that list celebrity birthdays.

The other day his placard announced that Goldie Hawn was 57.

Goldie Hawn. 57.

Slowly trying to absorb this. Zowie.

Gave him a quarter, and said "I can't believe she's 57."

"I know, she's the cutest girl in the world ..."
These four bumper-stickers
on the same parked car

Don't steal : The government hates competition.

Re-elect Nobody!

Pave the rainforest.

If you don't like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk.
Friends and foes and countrymen, yesterday was my first drink-free day since the presidency of Chester Alan Arthur. Actually, perhaps my 2nd or 3rd dry day since Labor Day. I can't tell you the last time I strung together two straight days of teetotalling. Today will be Day 2, if I get through.

Slept from 10.30 to 6.30 -- eight hours, soundly. Wow. It's possible! Huzzah! Let there be sung Non nobis and Te Deum.
I was just wondering

Is Konrad von Adenauer the patron saint of Daylight Savings Time?
Howie Carr to Tom Daschle
the South Dakota conspiracy theorist

The senator alleges that Democratic losses lead to more strident rhetoric on Republican talk-radio shows, which leads to an increase in threats against Demmie pols. The Herald columnist politely urges the sonn-to-be-quondam majority leader : Stick a sock in it.
Uh, oh. Big mistake.

They're moving the Miss World pageant to London.

Expect all those high-Church Anglican archdeacons to take to the streets ... and the low-church evangelical types, who think the swimsuits are immoral ... the liberal gay Anglicans who protest the blatant heterosexism of the whole thing ... Mark my words, there will be riots ... altar boys wielding thuribles ... suffragan bishops thwacking people on the head with croziers ... you see, the Church of England is not a religion of peace ...

Friday, November 22, 2002

estlinarians of the world, unite and take over!

[This is Cummings, yet again, from his introduction to the 1934 edition of The Enormous Room. Quotation found via i : six nonlectures.]

Russia,I felt,was more deadly than war:when nationalists hate,they hate by merely killing and maiming human beings;when internationalists hate,they hate by categorying and pigeonholing human beings.
An oldie but goodie

A Smiths song that seems oh, so apt.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

The Waking
by Theodore Roethke (1908-63)

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

Like a dope-slap to the psyche. A salutary cold splash of water on the fuming and fulminating soul.

This proverb, found at 6/22/[early60s?] (I mean, Video meliora, proboque; deteriora sequor -- yet another contender for Title of My Autobiography).

The question of whether God exists is less important than whether he is love.

Speaking of titles, I remember Christopher Buckley (son of the venerable WFB) in the preface of his splendidly naughty collection Wry Martinis. I took it out of the library, don't have it on hand, so quotation is from memory, & almost certainly inexact :

"I thought of calling this book Oeuvre to You. The first word is French for 'work,' as in your life's work, and to pronounce it correctly, you have to make a sound much like a dyspeptic diner at a French restaurant about to throw up a plateful of choucroute garnie. I cabled this suggestion to my father, who cabled back NO ! ! ! -- a somewhat cryptic message which I interpreted to mean NO ! ! !"
with lyrics that seem suited to the temper of 6/18/69

When you were young and your heart was an open book,
You used to say, "live and let live,"
(You know you did, you know you did, you know you did) ...

Yes. This is my theme song. And the title of the song is another possible title for my autobiography.
I am so glad to have found this article online

I read it in the non-virtual edition of the National Review three years ago.

Here is a prediction about her: If she becomes secretary of state or even something lesser, she will be big. Rock-star big. A major cultural figure, adorning the bedroom walls of innumerable kids and the covers of innumerable magazines.

And :

She has enjoyed “a wonderful life, a great life,” graced by ideal parents, and “I have a very, very powerful faith in God. I'm a really religious person, and I don't believe that I was put on this earth to be sour, so I'm eternally optimistic about things.”

But then :

She is loath “to criticize any black person for how he or she has wanted to navigate being black in America, whether it's Clarence Thomas or Maxine Waters.”

How wonderfully, thrillingly, bracingly ... inclusive.
I've appended to the left margin's listing of weblogs, faith sites, and political sites, a new category called Fun Stuff. There is miniature golf, and the Oracle of Bacon. Perhaps there will be more to come.
Frederica Mathewes-Green

On contemporary poetry. An article which might be of interest to some regular readers of this weblog.

Ah, the joys of Jorie Graham!

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Too. Foo. Nay.

This conversation 'twixt our 43rd and 44th Presidents.
estlin yet again

Note : In one of his letters, the poet counselled a reader that, when reciting this poem aloud, the capital letters are not uttered or voiced.

:: :: :: :: :: :: ::

sonnet entitled how to run the world)

A always don't there B being no such thing
for C can't casts no shadow D drink and

E eat of her voice in whose silence the music of spring
lives F feel opens but shuts understand
G gladly forget little having less

with every least each most remembering
H highest fly only the flag that's furled

(sestet entitled grass is flesh or swim
who can and bathe who must or any dream
means more than sleep as more than know means guess)

I item i immaculately owe
dying one life and will my rest to these

children building this rainman out of snow

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Close your eyes
And bow your head
To rest your soul
And to praise the dead

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Dry your eyes
And stand upright
Put a smile on your face
He wouldn’t want us to cry

The sun will rise
The stars will shine
Turning day to dusk
And night to dawn
We’ll pass on
But until that time

Say Hallelujah
Say Hallelujah

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Have mercy
It’s a wonderful life
Eternal rest for the weary
Mourners party tonight

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Wave your hands
But don’t say goodbye
We’re all gonna meet you
On the other side
Title of my autobiography

I think this one is definitive ...

Here But for the Grace of God Go You
Tracy, three-dux

All right. I'm having a 4th (I think) listen to Let It Rain, Tracy Chapman's newest compact disc ... and it's really beginning to grow on me. Especially "Say Hallelujah" ... There are now two songs I really really like, and three or four I kinda sorta like. So, we've got an album that's better (much) than New Beginning, but still, nowhere near Telling Stories. But improving with each listening.

A little too subdued on the whole, for my liking. "Say Hallelujah," a wonderfully exuberant ditty, is one of her masterpieces. So, a tentative rating of 3.3 stars out of five.
this is derrick jackson
trying to be nice
to the one the only
condoleezza rice
Why do I get the feeling

that I'd be most unwelcome in any church that declares with ostentatiously cultivated good cheer and liberally applied rouges of bonhomie, ALL ARE WELCOME ?

For example, right here in the big bean, there's the extremely "friendly" and "open" and "tolerant" Jesuit palazzo on Harrison Avenue. Their church bulletin had, the last time I wandered thereinto, a MISSION STATEMENT that declared -- in a tone that sounded more menacing than mellow, more Lieutenant Worf than Stuart Smalley :


Right. So if you're not a welcoming sort, stay away, keep out.

If you're not cheered to the cockles and sub-cockles of your heart by seeing the crucifix above the main altar shrouded in a rainbeaux drapeaux for the week of the Pride parade, then be so kind as to (forgive me) bugger off.

Unusually cheerful today, aren't I?

In case you were wondering
(warning : readers may lose their lunch)

here are the lyrics to Eminem's "Criminal." There may be a pop-up or two on the page.

Wow. Tell me how you like the leaden levity about the slain Gianni Versace checking the mail/male. ("Get it?" the rapper prods.)

Uh, no, we don't get it, Mr Mathers. Your formidable dexterity at constructing homophonous paranomasia is far too recondite for our feeble wit to grasp.
A strange train of thought

Fisking, frisky, Steve Martin, movies that mock celibacy

In a post from quite early this morning, I wondered if I was using the word "fisking" correctly. And of course, the word "fisking" sounds like "frisky" -- which reminded me of Steve Martin in the recent remake of The Out-of-Towners. Through no fault of his own, his character finds himself tripping on acid. And in the middle of this trip, he discovers how delightful it is to say the word "frisky." And encourages other people to say the word "frisky" with him.

I'd almost recommend the film on the basis of that scene alone, but there is an earlier scene where Steve Martin & Goldie Hawn stumble into what is ostensibly a 12-step-type meeting for sex addicts. Which brings us back, by a most convenient and commodious circumiteration, to the point of Mr Lugardo's post that was a fisking of an Australian journalist's article on elected celibacy.

What the bloody hell is so threatening about celibacy or chastity? From a depressingly worldly limited perspective, one can think of innumerable instances where celibacy would have saved a lot of people a lot of pain, suffering, heartache, and trouble.

Sure. It's difficult, it's countercultural -- but at one time, not too long ago, it was universally considered normative for the as-yet-unmarried. To say nothing of those who hadn't yet reached the age of, oh, 16.

Are these really happier, nobler, more enlightened days? Was the late Robert Mal-plethora-therapy really a liberator of the soul, and is the author of Love & Responsibility really little more than a scowling prude out to ruin everyone's fun? Are people better off when they follow the ethics of the Catechism or of the bathhouses?

Just a few sloppy inchoate malformed meditations on four hours' sleep.
another sonnet by estlin
for all the budding and inveterate estlinarians out there!

so many selves(so many fiends and gods
each greedier than every)is a man
(so easily one in another hides;
yet man can,being all,escape from none)

so huge a tumult is the simplest wish:
so pitiless a massacre the hope
most innocent(so deep's the mind of flesh
and so awake what waking calls asleep)

so never is most lonely man alone
(his briefest breathing lives some planet's year,
his longest life's a heartbeat of some sun;
his least unmotion roams the youngest star)

--how should a fool that calls him "I" presume
to comprehend not numerable whom?

Quite apart from the gist of this sonnet (a lowercase, less stentorian version of "I am large, I contain multitudes"), there is its gorgeous sound. Especially in the sestet, the unobtrusively prominent alliterations and vowel-echoes -- "briefest breathing" "longest life" "motion roams" and the quadrupilcate "oo" in the last 2 lines : fool, presume, numerable, whom.

Anyone who thinks you can't have fun in rhymed pentameters ... take note!

I might have to blog on the theme of reconcilable contradictions a bit further.

In the meantime, no one commented upon my thesis that these apparently contradictory statements are both true :

There is too little beauty in the world.

There is too much beauty in the world.

And of course, the question of why we seem to credit the possessors of beauty with having created that beauty. That topic could be explored for eons.
Orgasmic dithyrambs of praise
for the talentless Mr Mathers

Zadie Smith, here :

But let’s settle on the bald facts: Eminem has secured his place in the rap pantheon. Tupac, Biggie, and Pun are gone, and right now there just isn’t anyone else but Eminem who can rhyme 14 syllables a line, enrage the U.S. Senate, play the dozens, spin a tale, write a speech, push his voice into every register, toy with rhythm, subvert a whole goddamn genre, get metaphorical, allegorical, political, comical, and deeply, deeply personal—all in one groove of vinyl.

Andrew Sullivan, here :

Eminem's music is some of the most challenging, inventive and lyrically brilliant in recent times. His movie -- and this became the conventional reviewing wisdom -- was an excellently written and directed product. There's no mystery why it did so well. And the timing is irrelevant. Eminem's commercial power has been proven for years now.

(This, from a man whose stock in trade is criticizing the Catholic Church for its heaux meaux pheauxbia.)

How to phrase this delicately.

Eminem is a cancer-cell. His fans are cancer-cells. The genre in which he works is the epitome of all things cancerous and malignant.


Somebody save us from the virgins!

Chris Lugardo at Rosa Mystica points us in the direction of a clueless, condescending article (by Rebecca Fowler in the Sydney Morning Herald) which looks at chastity through a jaundiced eye.

How jaundiced? Well, Fr Groeschel's book The Courage to be Chaste is called terrifying.

Groeschel paints a terrifying portrait of the chaste diving for cover in a world bombarded by sex and populated by "fleshpots" luring them back.

Sigh. But be sure to read Rosa Mystica on the subject. Don't know if I'd call it a fisking, but it's something just as satisfying.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

a poem by estlin cummings

there are possibly 2½ or impossibly 3
individuals every several fat
thousand years. Expecting more would be
neither fantastic nor pathological but

dumb. The number of times a wheel turns
doesn't determine its roundness:if swallows tryst
in your barn be glad; nobody ever earns
anything,everthing little looks big in a mist

and if(by Him Whose blood was for us spilled)
than all mankind something more small occurs
or something more distorting than socalled
civilization i'll kiss a stalinist arse

in hitler's window on Wednesday next at 1
E.S.T. bring the kiddies let's all have fun
Charles Krauthammer.

Making sense.
Yes, Mr Rothwell!
... and Fr Nichols ...

On Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue.

Other names that could be mentioned among the orthodox Anglicans : William Law and Thomas Traherne of earlier centuries, Eric Milner-White, Austin Farrer, and (Archbishop of Canterbury 1961-74) Michael Ramsey in our own time.
Kat Lively's right
direct link not working : check today at 10:43 am

In many of his roles, he played an unlovable sort, but in interviews he seemed to be a sweet guy.
Mark Steyn (via JWR)

on the differences between Muslim fundamentalists and Christian fundamentalists, differences routinely ignored by the deep thinkers at the New York Times. From October.
Morrissey really loved disco, didn't he?

Chanson par les Smiths. We can apply the more memorable lyrics to so many different things ...
With a REB-el yell
or, We aren't family : Reprimanding the translators of the Revised English Bible

Consider the first epistle of Saint John, chapter 2, verses 9 ff., as rendered in the REB :

9 Whoever says, 'I am in the light,' but hates his fellow-Christian, is still in darkness. 10 He who loves his fellow-Christian dwells in light : there is no cause of stumbling in him. 11 But anyone who hates his fellow is in darkness; he walks in the dark and has no idea where he is going, because the darkness has made him blind.

No, no, no, no, no. Not!

You see, make the passage inclusive if you like ... "his brother or sister," "his kinfolk," what have you. ... But don't eliminate the familial dimension of "brother" for the sake of gender-inclusivity.

It's like the Gomer Pyle version of "Let there be peace on earth" : Neighbors all are we. Gag.

Are we really just a community? No kinship? We aren't family? We're just another one of those associations, the teacher's union, the New England Poetry Club, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance? We have fellow members, but not brothers and sisters?

And a few verses later, the REB impairs euphony and defies concision (1 John 2.16), with the classic :

Everything in the world, all that panders to the appetites or entices the eyes, all the arrogance based on wealth, these spring not from the Father but from the world.

I guess "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" had a bit too much oomph, or was impenetrably obscure.

On the basis of this bit o' blogging alone, I'm thinking of adding the Oligarch to places oft visited.

Catullus! The sparrow! Huzzah!
From Daily Readings in Orthodox Spirituality (ed. P. Bouteneff, Templegate, 1996, 94 pp)

p 42 The Struggle and the Kingdom

Amma Theodora said, "Let us strive to enter through the narrow gate. Just as the trees, if they have not stood before the winter's storms cannot bear fruit, so it is with us; the present age is a storm and it is only through many trials and temptations that we can obtain an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven."

Amma Synclectica said, "Great endeavors and hard struggles await those who are converted, but afterwards inexpressible joy. If you want to light a fire, you are troubled at first by smoke, and your eyes water. But in the end you achieve your aim. Now it is written : 'Our God is a consuming fire.' So we must light the divine fire in us with tears and struggle."

:: :: :: :: :: ::

p 43 Temptation and Humility

Abba Anthony said to Abba Poemen, "This is the great work of a man : always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath."

He also said, "Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." He even added, "Without temptations, no one can be saved."

He also said, "I saw all the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, 'What can get one through such snares?' Then I heard a voice saying to me, 'Humility.'"
R. I. P., James Coburn
August 31, 1928 - November 18, 2002

Associated Press story from the Fox News website.

Coburn died of a heart attack at home while listening to music with his wife, said his manager, Hillard Elkins.

I remember best his part in Charade, and oddly, the beer commercial in the late 1970s for which, as it was widely reported at the time, he received $500K for two syllables of dialogue ("Schlitz Light").

I haven't seen The Magnificent Seven or In Like Flint or Affliction.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Former Bay State governor William Weld

explains his sense of kinship with the armadillo :

In the bottom corner of Weld's portrait is the small image of an armadillo, a nod to a stuffed armadillo Weld kept on his desk from his days in the U.S. Attorney's office.

''They're slow and stupid,'' Weld, now a lawyer in New York, said of armadillos. ''I'm a guy who never made the basketball team and this reminded me why.''
Tracy Chapman redux

I've heard the first six tracks of Let It Rain, the new disc. And it pains me to say : non mi piace.

With the notable exception of "You're the One," the obvious single, it is (so far) unremittingly lugubrious in an unenticing way. I think the best comparison would be to New Beginning, on which only "Give Me One Reason" is tolerable.

I do recommend Telling Stories. Have recommended, and will continue to recommend.
My governor has nice cheekbones

... and she's out of the hospital.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well, I contradict myself,
I am large, I contain multitudes.

Both of these statements are true

There is not enough beauty in the world.

There is too much beauty in the world.


Also, a deep philosophical question :

Why do we tend to think that a beautiful person is somehow responsible for his or her own beauty? (There is a sense in which this is true, but that requires unpacking the several meanings and implications of the word "beauty.") But let's use Dante and Beatrice as the names here. Did Beatrice make herself? Did she say, "Hmm. I've got the choice between being beautiful and average. I'll choose beautiful." Is Beatrice's beauty her own accomplishment?

But it strikes one how inevitably, how ineluctably, how instinctively, we think along those lines. Is there a justification for so thinking? Discuss.
Four words, Mr President ...

Chief Justice Clarence Thomas.
Quotidian meanderings & explorations of the blogosphere

Discovered whilst scanning the oft-visited list of Doxos : this blog-spot, which appears to be one of intellectual alertness, sagacity, and a salutary skepticism toward all things trendy : Religious Left Watch.
Credit to Mr Sullivan, once again

An interesting sign of peace from West Marin, California.

As another blogger pointed out, such things don't happen in Islamic countries very often. Women who aren't cocooned in the requisite layers of mummification tend to be stoned to death, or something.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Caroline Knapp's alcoholic equations
to which I've added a few

Fear + Drink = Bravery

Discomfort + Drink = No Discomfort

Pain + Drink = Self-obliteration.

And here are mine :

Irritability + Drink = Exuberance

Introvert + Drink = Extrovert

Kurt-Cobain-cum-Thomas-Hardy + Drink = Estlin-Cummings-cum-Fats-Waller

Desolation Sonnets + Drink = "The world is charged with the grandeur of God"

Diffidence + Drink = Confidence

Anxiety + Drink = Joyful Hope

Fretfulness + Drink = Blithesome Insouciance

Gloom + Drink = Effervescence

And so on.
Stainless steal
a bit o' pilferage from Steven Riddle's transcendental Flos

Here are :

Russell Kirk's Six Canons of Conservative Thought
the first, the second, the sixth especially delight

-- Belief in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience.

-- Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of human existence, as opposed to the narrowing uniformity, egalitarianism, and utilitarian aims of most radical systems.

-- Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes, as against the notion of a 'classless society'.

-- Persuasion that freedom and property are closely linked: separate property from private possession, and the Leviathan becomes master of all.

-- Faith in prescription and distrust of 'sophisters, calculators, and economists' who would reconstruct society upon abstract designs.

-- Recognition that change may not be salutary reform: hasty innovation may be a devouring conflagration, rather than a torch of progress.

I think it was via Mr Kirk's Portable Conservative Reader that I first became acquaint with Phyllis McGinley's splendid poem "The Angry Man" and Lord Falkland's archetypically conservative maxim, "If it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change."
Iconically luminous, ineffably splendid

I'm falling back in love in a really big way with Tracy Chapman. Here's a cool website, with scores of really wonderful photographs.

I can't praise Telling Stories (2000) highly enough. As for her politics ... well, just don't tell her about mine!
Political survey
via Res et Rationes, weblog of the irrepressible Mr Roesch, who got it via, which also rocks -- there, check out the cool pic of a renowned jurist, and the even cooler caption ...

Political Party/affiliation: Republican.

Favorite Political, er, Person: Currently, W. Of differing ideas : Pat Moynihan (alas, emeritus).

Favorite Political Quote: Among them, "I'm not perfect, but I'm honest" (Paul E. Tsongas to Bill Clinton in a 1992 primary debate).

Pet Issue: Hindering the Dems on their nihilistic rampage through everything sacred, noble and true. Illegalize abortion. Legalize pot. Start making cars without radios. Make the radio an optional feature that will triple the cost of the car. Insure public places (trains, churches, restaurants especially) are never heated above 65 degrees, by big-government federal ukase. We need a vice president named Elaine. We need a Secretary of State named Condoleezza. I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way ...

Ideal Presidential Ticket 2004: W & Big Time.

Ideal Presidential Candidate 2008: I like the sound of Rice/Chao, but Condi ain't pro-life, so : Ashcroft/Chao or Santorum/Chao.

Who will the Democrats run in 2004? Whom? Clear Eyes Lieberman and Dollar Bill Bradley.

Favorite Gun: The "warm gun" in the "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" song on the Beatles' "white album." And the Peter Gunn theme. And maybe the poet Thom Gunn, because his name sounds tough.

Least Favorite Politico: hollery redham, shannon o'brien, coe lynn powell, this list could continue for thrice the length of the G'burg address

Favorite Political Periodical: I never liked the "hard copy" of the Weekly Standard, but I like their website. Jewish World Review,, National Review ... does First Things count?

Favorite Columnist(s): William F. Buckley Jr., Peggy Noonan, George F. Will, George F. Will (yes, he needed two mentions), Don Feder, Joe Fitzgerald (Boston Herald, & he does more than politics). Michelle Malkin is gaining fast.

Favorite President: W, Reagan, Cal Coolidge.

Least Favorite President: Clinton for his nihilism; Carter for his maladministration.

Favorite Supreme: Thomas and Scalia are obvious choices. I'll go with the late "Whizzer" White (John F. Kennedy -- 1 for 1 in appointing pro-lifers to the US Supreme Court. Contrast Nixon, 1 for 4.)

Favorite Senator: Santorum, Nickles, any New Hampshire Republican.

Favorite Governor: Can I pick governors-elect? Or past governors? By Bay State standards, Bill Weld wasn't bad. He lived by four simple tenets: (1) Cut taxes. (2) Stay out of the way of economic recovery. (3) Pour yourself several drinks. (4) Go fishing. Don't, under any circumstances, try to govern all the time.

Favorite Political Book: The Morning After, a collection of colums from 1981-85 by George F. Will; What I Saw at the Revolution, by Peggy Noonan; Kennedy and Nixon by Christopher Matthews; Miles to Go by Pat Moynihan; Happy Days Were Here Again, WFB.

Favorite Political Simpsons Episode: Oh, I remember one where Gerald Ford moved in next door ...

Favorite Conservative Polemicist: George Will.

Have you ever been assaulted by a former Weatherman or Black Panther member? No.

Favorite Experience Being Oppressed By a Liberal Teacher/Professor: I was a moderately liberal soul during my college days. College helped to change that.

Favorite out of the closet conservative/Republican celebrity? Don't know her political affiliation, but I'll give a few points to Patricia Heaton for being pro-life. Literary Republicans : E E Cummings and Marianne Moore.

Favorite Feminazi to Make Fun of: To make fun of them requires that one (1) pays attention to them; (2) doesn't think they're all that dangerous.

Were you ever a member of the Communist Party? No.

Secret Political Shame: Never voted for Bush 41. What's worse, my "moderate liberalism" persisted until about a year into the Clinton era. Which means that I did, once, vote for you-know-who.

How Satanic is John McCain? It's the iron triangle of special interests that are satanic. I favor leaving him alone, if he promises never to run for President again.

Political Organization(s) that Scares You More than Death, Spiders, and Death by Spiders: Mr R says the UN; I'll go with that, faute de mieux.

dylan adds a list ...

Things that made me Republican
three "biggies" and two honorable mentions

1. The University of Marxichusetts at Amhearse. Dreadful little place.

2. The intelligence and gentility and irrefutable logic, the good-humored uncompromise of George F. Will.

3. The first year or 14 months of the kaiser blythe / hollery redham epoch.

Honorable mention :

The writings of William F. Buckley, Jr., although it is possible to admire the grace and elegance of the language without adopting the writer's views. In my early 20s, I regarded him as an aberration of wit and intelligence in a predominantly scowling, brawling, unlettered political movement.
From the Episcopal News Service

Stories about two retiring bishops -- the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury visits Illinois, and distinguishes between "godly liberalism" and "radical liberalism"; and a suffragan bishop of Massachusetts retires.
Psalm 68. Exsurgat Deus.

From the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Link to be added to left-hand margin.

LET God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; * let them also that hate him flee before him.

2 Like as the smoke vanisheth, so shalt thou drive them away; * and like as wax melteth at the fire, so let the ungodly perish at the presence of God.

3 But let the righteous be glad, and rejoice before God; * let them also be merry and joyful.

4 O sing unto God, and sing praises unto his Name; magnify him that rideth upon the heavens; * praise him in his Name JAH, and rejoice before him.

5 He is a Father of the fatherless, and defendeth the cause of the widows; * even God in his holy habitation.

6 He is the God that maketh men to be of one mind in an house, and bringeth the prisoners out of captivity; * but letteth the runagates continue in scarceness.

7 O God, when thou wentest forth before the people; * when thou wentest through the wilderness,

8 The earth shook, and the heavens dropped at the presence of God; * even as Sinai also was moved at the presence of God, who is the God of Israel.

9 Thou, O God, sentest a gracious rain upon thine inheritance, * and refreshedst it when it was weary.

10 Thy congregation shall dwell therein; * for thou, O God, hast of thy goodness prepared for the poor.

11 The Lord gave the word; * great was the company of women that bare the tidings.

12 Kings with their armies did flee, and were discomfited, * and they of the household divided the spoil.

13 Though ye have lain among the sheep-folds, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove * that is covered with silver wings, and her feathers like gold.

14 When the Almighty scattered kings for their sake, * then were they as white as snow in Salmon.

15 As the hill of Bashan, so is God's hill; * even an high hill, as the hill of Bashan.

16 Why mock ye so, ye high hills? this is God's hill, in the which it pleaseth him to dwell; * yea, the LORD will abide in it for ever.

17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels; * and the Lord is among them as in the holy place of Sinai.

18 Thou art gone up on high, thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts from men; * yea, even from thine enemies, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

19 Praised be the Lord daily, * even the God who helpeth us, and poureth his benefits upon us.

20 He is our God, even the God of whom cometh salvation: * GOD is the Lord, by whom we escape death.

21 God shall wound the head of his enemies, * and the hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his wickedness.

22 The Lord hath said, I will bring my people again, as I did from Bashan; * mine own will I bring again, as I did sometime from the deep of the sea.

23 That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, * and that the tongue of thy dogs may be red through the same.

24 It is well seen, O God, how thou goest; * how thou, my God and King, goest in the sanctuary.

25 The singers go before, the minstrels follow after, * in the midst of the damsels playing with the timbrels.

26 Give thanks unto God the Lord in the congregation, * ye that are of the fountain of Israel.

27 There is little Benjamin their ruler, and the princes of Judah their council; * the princes of Zebulon, and the princes of Naphthali.

28 Thy God hath sent forth strength for thee; * stablish the thing, O God, that thou hast wrought in us,

29 For thy temple's sake at Jerusalem; * so shall kings bring presents unto thee.

30 Rebuke thou the dragon and the bull, with the leaders of the heathen, so that they humbly bring pieces of silver; * scatter thou the peoples that delight in war;

31 Then shall the princes come out of Egypt; * the Morians' land shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.

32 Sing unto God, O ye kingdoms of the earth; * O sing praises unto the Lord;

33 Who sitteth in the heavens over all, from the beginning: * lo, he doth send out his voice; yea, and that a mighty voice.

34 Ascribe ye the power to God over Israel; * his worship and strength is in the clouds.

35 O God, wonderful art thou in thy holy places: * even the God of Israel, he will give strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

Wisdom 7
from the King James Version, incl. Apocrypha

15: God hath granted me to speak as I would, and to conceive as is meet for the things that are given me: because it is he that leadeth unto wisdom, and directeth the wise.

16: For in his hand are both we and our words; all wisdom also, and knowledge of workmanship.

17: For he hath given me certain knowledge of the things that are, namely, to know how the world was made, and the operation of the elements:

18: The beginning, ending, and midst of the times: the alterations of the turning of the sun, and the change of seasons:

19: The circuits of years, and the positions of stars:

20: The natures of living creatures, and the furies of wild beasts: the violence of winds, and the reasonings of men: the diversities of plants and the virtues of roots:

21: And all such things as are either secret or manifest, them I know.

22: For wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me: for in her is an understanding spirit holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good,

23: Kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure, and most subtil, spirits.

24: For wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passeth and goeth through all things by reason of her pureness.

25: For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her.

26: For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.

27: And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets.

28: For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.

29: For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.

30: For after this cometh night: but vice shall not prevail against wisdom.