Monday, September 30, 2013

Passing by her mirror 
this woman felt compelled to ask:

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the vilest of us all?
The mirror sighed, and then replied,
"Because I cannot impart lies,
The face you see now qualifies."


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Shura Cherkassy, one of the greatest of the greats

Partita in E-Minor

by Johann Sebastian Bach

Shura Cherkassky, piano

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fillet of Sole with scallops, shrimp, fresh peas,
and cherry tomatoes on a bed of rice and quinoa

Civilized Folk

We put our differences aside 
When we sit at the table
To share cuisine produced by friends 
Whose talent –– more than able ––

Produces gustatory gems
In atmosphere delightful ––
A welcome respite from our fears
Of world events so frightful ––

A stimulating ambience
This pleasing to the senses
Lets  good food served with elegance
Put down all our defenses.

~ FreeThinke (9/27/13)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz
 A Modern Don Quixote

Last night at Who’s Your Daddy? Lisa asked if anyone thought Senator Cruz’s herculean effort would do any good?

Here is what I said:

Have we forgotten already the lessons Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, tried so eloquently to teach us? 

To dream ... the impossible dream ...
To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ... 

This is my quest, to follow that star ... 
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ... 
To fight for the right, without question or pause ... 
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause ... 

And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest, 
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm, 
when I'm laid to my rest ... 
And the world will be better for this: 
That one man, scorned and covered with scars, 
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage, 
To reach ... the unreachable stars ...

~ Joe Darion (1917-2001)
__ Mr. Darion was the prize-winning lyricist for Man of La Mancha __

Long ago in one of my my school English classes one of the teachers wrote this on the blackboard:

"Men do not become heroes by trafficking with inevitables."

The greatest fools in this world are those who lack the courage  of their convictions, and the passion to stand up for the principles they believe in.

If we have lost the courage –– and the WILL –– to fight TYRANNY, we richly deserve to live out the rest of our existence in chains.

I stand with Ted Cruz and the few brave souls who stood with him, and have nothing but the bitterest CONTEMPT for the spineless, gutless, utterly worthless and despicable RINO's who for fear of losing their precious positions and their undeserved perquisites, refused to stand with Senator Cruz.


GOD BLESS YOU, SENATOR CRUZ! Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What a Magnificent Work of Art! 

Does anyone know, 
or would anyone care to guess 
the artist's name?

What does this picture say to you?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Disappearance of "The Farmer"

Fellow blogger Z, proprietor of the very popular geeeeeZ, featured a beautifully illustrated video of Paul Harvey’s moving tribute to “The Farmer.” [The late Paul Harvey, whose distinctive voice and manner I remember hearing with fascination on the radio from my days as a toddler back in the 1940’s, was still making daily broadcasts when I was well into my sixties, and continued up until the day he died just a few short years ago in 2009. He stood for something fine and sturdy, and remained a living symbol of Sanity and Stability all his long life. Very sadly his passing has marked the end of an era.] 

Z asked if it were still possible for future generations to develop in themselves, and benefit from the splendid, staunch, foursquare, admirably dependable, self-sufficient character of “The Farmer?” 

Here is my answer:

Thanks to Industrialization, mass production, and all the modern inventions we regarded as Great Blessings, we also got Mass Communication which brought the Glorification of Vulgarity and Immorality first through Radio, then TV, and now the internet, we no longer plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land. Instead we work in "Dark Satanic Mills" where regimentation has dehumanized and alienated us. 

Industrialization destroyed rugged individualism, and thus made it all-but-impossible to take pride in our work anymore. Because our tasks are now fragmented, we feel no personal association with the finished product, and working on production lines has rendered us robotic as well as moronic -- and deeply resentful.

Thanks to the emergence of Freudian Psychology and the glorification of False Education via the creation of "The Helping Professions," and useless, worthless, purely theoretical fields of non-productive endeavor such as Economics, Sociology, Political Science, and later the degenerate, divisive fields such as Black Studies, Women's Studies, Queer Studies, etc., we have turned away from honest labor and now spend most of our time sitting on our fundaments, getting fat, increasingly lazy, restless,  and fixated on grossly sensual pursuits wondring why we feel so unhappy. 

Instead of doing genuine productive work and enjoying real sports, we neurotically pursue artificial "fitness" by joining "gyms" where we grimly "work out" on MACHINES not unlike those found in the dark satanic mills from which every upwardly mobile person has sought to escape.

Endless Criticism and Complaint, increasing emptiness in our conversation, and hostility in our personal and social relationships have become our Way of Life –– our substitute for healthy participation in community affairs, absorbing interest in worthwhile hobbies, and the joy that comes from CREATIVE, PRODUCTIVE endeavor, and pleasant social interaction where The Art of Conversation is practiced over delicious, Home Cooked Meals followed by Card Games or Board Games, joy is taken in Growing Vegetables, Roses and other flowers in gardens we proudly tend, ourselves, and share with friends and neighbors in an attitude of friendly competition.

Sadly, it is no longer possible for people to become "farmers" either in the literal or the metaphorical sense of the word. We have lost much of our virtue for two reasons: 1.The endless pursuit of easier, more comfortable, less time consuming, less demanding ways to perform necessary tasks, 2. Moral degeneration caused by turning away from God and toward Freud and Marx and the increasingly hideous, demoralizing, disgusting, truly wicked public exhibitions that now pass for Entertainment and Culture that have come in the wake of the militantly anti-Christian moguls who not only create and control the Advertising and Entertainment Industries, but also the dissemination of News and Information.

Bearing all this in mind is it any wonder the square, hardworking, thoroughly decent individual represented by the Farmer has all-but disappeared from our society?

Paul Harvey (1909-2009)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vladimir I. Lenin

Six Principles of Propaganda 
Lenin Used to Consolidate Power

 by Monica Showalter (edited and truncated by FT)

Posted 09/20/2013 07:12 PM ET

Having attained power in late 1917 on a raft of promises — land to Russia's peasants, bread to Russia's starving cities and peace to Russia's World War I-weary soldiers — V.I. Lenin was able to dispense with every one of them by advancing civil war from 1918 to 1921 to justify his acts by crisis.

In place of ... liberty and rights, Lenin gave Russians propaganda, empowering the Bolsheviks to govern through knoutish messages, if not the barrel of the gun. In so doing, he sought to undermine Russia's weak democracy and to transform her society fundamentally.

"The Russian Revolution was permeated with forceful propaganda of a brutal kind ... This was used not so much to win people over with ideas, but [through] coercion, repression and making examples[i.e. selective prosecutions]. ...

A number of patterns emerged

The Ends Justify the Means

Lenin's promises delivered just the opposite. He guaranteed a free press, but ... he halted it, and ordered opposition newspapers shut down and censorship re-instituted. He called it temporary, but it wasn't.

Lenin also [promised] to broaden land ownership, but immediately issued 60 decrees to end private property, including a secret directive to destroy state archives of land, factory and building title deeds before anyone could protest. To war-weary soldiers, Lenin promised peace, but immediately impressed them into the new Red Army, holding their families hostage to ensure their loyalty.

All this was justified in his mind by one idea: consolidating power. ...

Firstest With The Mostest

... Lenin also was quick to seize the semantic high ground ...

Like Nathan Bedford Forrest, the "firstest with the mostest" general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, Lenin swiftly altered and manipulated the meanings of words, intellectually disarming opponents.

As early as 1903, at a party congress, Lenin won a membership issue by a single vote. But from then on he called his faction "the Bolsheviks," or majoritarians, and his opponents "Mensheviks," or minoritarians. It didn't matter that the Bolsheviks never were a true majority among Russia's revolutionaries; what mattered was the perception of power.

Lenin repeated the tactic by dubbing Bolsheviks "Reds" to signal an affinity with the bloody violence of the French Revolution, while their battlefield opponents were saddled with "Whites" to link them with the discredited French Bourbon dynasty. Lenin also took title to the word "democracy," disarming opponents who were then unable to project a coherent message. By controlling words, Lenin controlled perceptions of reality.

Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

As propagandists, however, the Bolsheviks were not especially persuasive.  ...
Their newspapers were notoriously gray, mechanically spouting simple, choppy messages such as "All Power to the Soviets!" "Create a New Socialist Man!" and "Bread! Peace! Land!"

They were expert, however, at tuning these gray organs into monopolies. Instead of persuading with words, Lenin simply closed competing papers, leaving only the Bolshevik publications. ...

Vilification and Mischaracterization

In denouncing opponents, Lenin was obsessive, virulent and personal, calling them "bloodsuckers," "insects," "spiders," "leeches" and "vampires." The bourgeois were "ex-people." The murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family was termed "a humane act."

Then there were "hoarders," "wreckers," "saboteurs" and, worst of all, "Kulaks" — the prosperous and industrious peasants of whom Lenin spoke only with virulent hatred ...

Lenin rarely made such statements in public, however. ... Most of these characterizations were secretly hidden in Soviet archives. In public, Lenin wanted to be pictured as a jolly apostle of Marxism.

Use of Selective Prosecutions (Example)

Perhaps the most propaganda against Russia's mostly illiterate population was the use of selective prosecutions as part of a reign of terror. Public hangings and shootings served as well as any written material to force Russians into submission. "These swine have to be dealt with so that everyone will remember it for years," Lenin wrote.

Terror wasn't confined to those who defied Lenin. "We must execute not only the guilty. Execution of the innocent will impress the masses even more," wrote Lenin's commissar for justice ...

To reinforce the Bolsheviks' monopoly of ideas, churches were targeted for destruction,  sacred objects were looted ... and tossed into the dirt, while priests were shot.  ...

... Lenin ordered the use of poison gas on at least one village before it was leveled. "The dictatorship means — take note of this once and for all — unrestrained power based on force, not law," wrote Lenin.

Blame Your Predecessor

... Lenin's ... civil war cost 13 million lives and his ruinous economic policies triggered the famine of 1921-1922. Y... Many videos of Lenin speaking, demonstrate his propensity to blame Czar Nicolas, for the economic havoc.

Eventually, he would have to backtrack on communism to hold on to power. But error was never admitted and his New Economic Plan proved just a breather ahead of  even worse horrors to come under Joseph Stalin.

[NEXT: Lenin tries to build a New Soviet Man through education and indoctrination.]

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thought for the Day
 Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

 C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Clive Staples Lewis in his study c. 1950

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pianist, Jeremy Denk

Violinist, Joshua Bell


by C├ęsar Franck (1822-1890)

I. Allegretto ben moderato

II. Allegro

III. Ben moderato: Recitative-Fantasia

IV. Allegretto poco mosso

Friday, September 20, 2013

As imperceptibly as Grief
 The Summer lapsed away~~
Too imperceptible, at last,
To seem like Perfidy ~~ 

A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon ~~

The Dusk drew earlier in ~~
The morning foreign shone ~~
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, who would be gone ~~

And so, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape ~~
Into the Beautiful.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Third of May, 1808 - Goya


- OR -

The Case FOR Chemical Weapons

Apparently, it’s AOK 
To mow ‘em down with bullets,
But don’t dare try to kill ‘em off 
By poisoning their pullets.

It’s all right too when bombs 
Rain from aloft or on the level,
But when you kill with poison gas, 
You’re in league with the Devil.

Lock ‘em in a building,
Then burn it to the ground.
By judges at The Hague
You’ll not be guilty found.

Go drag ‘em from their cells
Into a courtyard to be shot.
The World Court will not chide you,
Nor tell you “Thou shalt not.”

Take mothers, babies, toddlers ––
Grandmas –– anyone who thrives,
Then hack them with machetes 
And bayonets to end their lives

Rape and loot and strangle,
Garotte or stab at will ––
Of you The World Community, 
I promise, won’t think ill.

Set ‘em loose in wood or field,
Then hunt ‘em down like game;
Let half-dead bodies lie unhealed.
You won’t lose your good name.

Rob and cripple, maim at will ––
Dislocate their joints.
Multiculturalists will know
You must have your good points.

Gouge their eyes out, slit each tongue.
Sodomize, impale their young.
Club ‘em down, then crush with tractors.
Brussels won’t call you bad actors.

BUT, urinate upon the corpse
Who tortured your best buddy,
And you’ll be tossed in the stockade
With nose broken and bloody.

And should you dare to wipe yourself
With leaves from the the Koran,
‘Tis YOU The World Community
Will call BARBARIAN!

~ FreeThinke (9/8/13)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rowing Home - Winslow Homer



Now through night's caressing grip
Earth and all her oceans slip,
Capes of China slide away
From her fingers into day
And th'Americas incline
Coasts towards her shadow line.

Now the ragged beggars creep
Into crooked holes to sleep:
Just and unjust, worst and best,
Change their places as they rest:
Awkward lovers lie in fields
Where disdainful beauty yields:

While the splendid and the proud
Naked stand before the crowd
And the losing gambler gains
And the beggar entertains:
May sleep's healing power extend
Through these hours to our friend.
Unpursued by hostile force,
Traction engine, bull or horse
Or revolting succubus;
Calmly till the morning break
Let him lie, then gently wake.

~WH Auden (1907-1973)

Wystan Hugh Auden, English-American poet