Monday, June 23, 2008

EDJUCATION-R-US: "We B Edjucatin' U." [Issue #1: Polatics & Soshial Studies]

[*From the STMcC Archive: 2008, April 21st.]

So, you think you know American polatics and have some knowledge about Soshial Stuffs, do ya? Test yer beliefs against reality in this highly Politically Incorrect questionnaire. If you are a Liberal (and really, how many Americans aren’t these days?) you will almost certainly be offended by the facts revealed in this Blog Bit. Heck, they might even pop yer body-piercings ‘n’ curl yer tattoos; and if yer one of them girlie-men, they will likely stand yer ponytail on end. Think you can handle stuffs that hasn’t been toned down for 21st Century sensibilities? Read on at yer own risk, dudes and dudettes . . .

This is a test -- if it was an actual emergency, the U.S.A. would be up Crap Creek without a paddle. Fetch paper and pencil and respond to these questions to the best of yer knowledge. The answers can be found posted at the bottom of the test. Good luck, Y’all (yer a-gonna need it).

#1: An American citizen’s rights come from…
A) God.
B) the Declaration of Independence.
C) the Constitution.
D) the Bill of Rights.
E) the New York Times.
F) John Wayne.

#2: 1787 is…
A) Oprah Winfrey’s weight this week.
B) the year John Wayne was born.
C) the number of American women whom Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with.
D) the year the U.S. Constitution was written.

#3: Daniel Webster said the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of…
A) good intentions.
B) tyranny.
C) bureaucrats.
D) dictators.
E) John Wayne.

#4: Bill Clinton was a bad president.
A) True.
B) False.
C) It depends on what the meaning of the word “bad” is.

#5: Bill Clinton…
A) inhaled.
B) had “sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.”
C) looked on a lot of women with lust, just like Jimmy Carter did.
D) took campaign money from the Communist Chinese in exchange for military technology.
E) All of the above.

#6: The 2nd Amendment secures your right to…
A) sleep with any woman not claimed by 2AM when the bars close.
B) an abortion.
C) write silly Blog tests.
D) wear short sleeved shirts.
E) None of the above.

#7: The phrase “Separation of church and state” is found in…
A) the Declaration of Independence.
B) the Constitution.
C) the Bill of Rights.
D) every atheist’s imagination.

#8: Sex, drugs and…
A) Jazz.
B) Country music.
C) Classical music.
D) the Clinton presidency.

#9: Sex, lies and…
A) 8-track tapes.
B) compact discs.
C) DVDs.
D) the Clinton presidency.

#10: Bimbos + cocaine + the Communist Chinese =
A) the Clinton presidency.
B) the Clinton presidency.
C) the Clinton presidency.
D) All of the above.

#11: Toni Morrison called Bill Clinton America’s “first ___ president.”
A) honest.
B) sexy.
C) Black.
D) non-inhaling.

#12: The first woman on the Moon was…
A) Sally Ride.
B) Alice Kramden.
C) Daphne Moon.
D) None, although a lot of women are pretty spaced out.

#13: Who recorded a musical version of The Declaration Of Independence?
A) Jimi Hendrix.
B) The 5th Dimension.
C) Yoey O’Dogherty And His Corn Liquor Boys.
D) The Beach Boys.
E) William Shatner.
F) John Wayne.

#14: Who said “The Constitution is just a G#ddamned piece of paper” ?
A) Karl Marx.
B) George W. Bush.
C) Bill Clinton.
D) Jane Fonda.
E) John Wayne.

#15: Your local police force is there to…
A) protect and serve.
B) get its kicks while generating municipal funds.
C) respond to the Bat Signal.
D) help little old ladies cross the street.

#16: The average man is…
A) a great communicator.
B) quick to ask for directions.
C) quick to run to the doctor.
D) a bear with furniture.

#17: He said it would be very bad if we should label one man a Communist when he is not a Communist.
A) Joseph McCarthy.
B) Alger Hiss.
C) Edward R. Murrow.
D) Julius Rosenberg.
E) John Wayne.

#18: The average American is…
A) brainwashed.
B) dumbed down.
C) in debt.
D) losing their Constitutional rights.
E) addicted to mindless entertainment.
F) ##k’d up.
G) Tattooed.

#19: The next president of the U.S. will be…
A) John McCain.
B) Barack Obama.
C) Hillary Clinton.
D) a world-class scoundrel.

#20: Rodney King said, “Can we all…
A) get a group hug?
B) get a group photo?
C) conduct this beating in an orderly fashion?
D) get along?

#21: Warned that Soviet operatives with phony F.B.I. credentials were on their way to kill him, he subdued the would-be assassins and held them at gunpoint.
A) Joseph McCarthy.
B) John Kennedy.
C) Ronald Reagan.
D) John T. Flynn.
E) John Wayne.

Now Discover Yer Real Knowledge Of Political and Social Stuffs By Comparing Yer Responses With The ANSWERS BELOW.

Here are the answers to my "EDJUCATION-R-US: Issue #1: Polatics & Soshial Studies" Blog test of APRIL 21, 2008:

#1: A. (The Declaration Of Independence states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.")
#2: D.
#3: A.
#4: We will accept both "A" and "C."
#5: E. (For information on "D", see the book "YEAR OF THE RAT: How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security For Chinese Cash" by Timperlake & Triplett)

#6: D. (The Second Amendment secures your right to bare arms.)
#7: D.
#8: D.
#9: D.
#10: D. (If you missed Question #10, you have failed this test regardless of how many other questions you answered correctly! For more information on the “Cocaine” aspect of this question, see the documentaries “THE MENA COVER-UP” and “THE NEW CLINTON CHRONICLES.”)

#11: C. (If Bill Clinton was the first Black president, does this mean that if Hillary is elected president in 2008, she will be the country's first female president but only its SECOND Black president? Or was Bill also the first president to have an interracial marriage?)
#12: D.
#13: B.
#14: B. (Go to
#15: B. (If you thought the answer was “A”, your understanding has been handcuffed.)

#16: D. (Credit where it's due: if memory serves me, I think it was Elayne Boosler who said that men are "bears with furniture.")
#17: A.
#18: We will accept any answer you chose.
#19: D.
#20: D.
#21: E. (A true story according to Michael Munn, the author of "JOHN WAYNE: The Man Behind The Myth.")


*100% Correct = "The George Mason Award" (Patriotism just doesn't get any more American than the guy who refused to sign the Constitution because there was no Bill Of Rights!)

*20-16 Correct = "The Patrick Henry Award" (He said "Give me liberty or give me death!" That's the stuff that great nations spring from.)

*15-13 Correct = "The John Wayne / Ronald Reagan Award" (choose yer American cowboy).

*12-10 Correct = "The Calvin Coolidge Award" ("Well, what DID Calvin Coolidge say?" ~Mayberry barber, Floyd Lawson)

*9-6 Correct = "The Benedict Arnold/Bill Clinton/George W. Bush Award" (But it depends on what the meaning of the word "award" is.)

*5-0 Correct = "The Woodrow Wilson Award" (The president who single-handedly wrecked his own country once and for evermore.)

[*Note: When I was in junior high school, my Spanish teacher allowed me to create an oil painting of a bullfight for "extra credit." Although the oil painting didn't add a single word of Spanish to my vocabulary, it DID save me from failing the class. If, therefore, you have failed this test but want to create an oil painting of the signing of the Declaration Of Independence and send it to us for "extra credit," we will take this into consideration.]

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2005, May 30th]

*My grading scale is typical A through F, but with the very highest mark being an R, which is the equivalent of an A++. Why an R? Heck if I know. My Pa used to tell me that in high school he had a drafting teacher whose highest grade was an R. Pa never did learn what the R stood for, nor - sadly - did he ever achieve one.

Book: “END-TIME PROPHECIES OF THE BIBLE” by David Haggith; 1999.

Grade: R

Simply stated, DAVID HAGGITH has written the most exhaustive and spiritually mature book on eschatology that I have encountered. About five years ago, a gentleman who owned a mobile bookstore expressed his appreciation for me by insisting that I select any item from his stock. I had not heard of David Haggith, but because of my deep interest in Bible study, his tome, END-TIME PROPHECIES OF THE BIBLE caught my eye. I can tell you without hesitation that I would have been every bit as pleased with my choice even if I had paid full price.

The first question that will be raised by people Biblically aware but a bit naive is: Why study the Last Days when Jesus said that they will arrive like a thief in the night; no one knows the day or the hour of their coming, and they could be far into the future?

There are several ideas to take into consideration here. First - Jesus said, "Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven." (Matt. 24:36) Note that He spoke specifically of days and hours, not necessarily decades or years. Haggith says on page 121 that looking at it this way is "being hyperliteral." I don't think so. Jesus chose His words carefully. Furthermore, what might have been unforeseeable two thousand years ago, may be quite perceivable now. Also, if it was still going to be unpredictable even when the age was nearly upon us, why did Jesus bother giving His closest apostles clues to watch for? In Matthew 24 & Mark 13, The Master tells Peter, James, John and Andrew the signs (situations) that will be present on the Earth and related to the end of the world (as we know it) and His imminent return. Why did He go to the trouble to elucidate the scenario if NO ONE would be capable of discerning the time? And He even concluded with the admonition, "What I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"

Significantly, the Old Testament book of Daniel (also concerned with eschatology) closes with another indication that as the time draws near, at least some of God's people will have foreknowledge of the timing of Tribulation events:

And the angel said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified . . . and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." (Dan. 12:9,10 - NKJV)

It makes sense then to study this subject, especially since several Biblical prophecies concerned with the timing of these momentous events indicate that we are about to enter into the age in question. (Even if Mr. Haggith does not overtly make such a bold statement.)

There are many books on the market that address this subject, most all of them in a more sensationalistic manner. But Haggith's approach is very sensible and evinces a highly developed spiritual understanding. His respect for God's Word, and his humility is evident throughout the book. For example, on page 408 he states, "Judgment, as St. John's Gospel emphasizes, is going on all the time throughout our earthly existence." That would appear to be a basic premise, but one you will find eluding many of the more well-known Christian commentators! On page 450, Haggith observes that, "Humility comes from confidence in the goodness and justice and love of God." There is much wisdom in his writing that goes beyond a strict adherence to the book's primary theme. His equating the patterns of Biblical truth and prophecies with fractals, and his observation that, "Jesus never did a miracle that wasn't a metaphor for spiritual truth" are just two more examples of his great insight, no doubt derived from a warm association with The Holy Spirit. END-TIME PROPHECIES OF THE BIBLE also has a wonderfully extensive index that will make it easy for the reader to refer back to certain topics at a later date.

David Haggith also understands the necessity to refrain from inflexible positions when exploring the nature of Biblical prophecy. This idea, and his personal humility shine through in this excerpt from page 459:

"Simply linking passages as I've done in this book can distort meaning if the wrong links are forged. If the reader sees a more natural fit for any prophecy than where it has been placed, he or she should explore that connection . . . It's best to keep one's opinions about God's revelation fluid and allow the God who makes all things new to shape one's opinions over time and to reshape oneself in the process. A dogmatic stance on words the Bible, itself, describes as ultimate mysteries belittles the greatness of God. It presumptuously assumes that the human mind can fully comprehend God's mysteries."

END-TIME PROPHECIES OF THE BIBLE is a very thorough, thought-provoking, open-minded, and scholarly study. I am normally stingy with my highest grade, but I am awarding it to Haggith's study because, as far as I know, it is the best book of its kind. If you are very serious about exploring the Bible, and seek publications that will help you to develop the capacity to examine theological concepts from a variety of perspectives, this book will surely be a welcome addition to your personal library. Other than Salvation, it's the best thing that I ever got for free!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2005, March 17th]

Book: “DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER: Artists And Writers On Baseball” edited by Peter Gordon; 1987.

Grade: A -

Can it really be that no one has posted a review of DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER at before now? Wow! "WHO'S ON FIRST?" It looks like I am!

The recent pennant-clinching victory of the Boston Red Sox (hate 'em) over their arch nemesis the New York Yankees (hate 'em) and curse-busting Series sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals (hate 'em now - the chokers!) inspired me to revisit my copy of DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER.

"WHOEVER WANTS TO KNOW THE HEART AND MIND OF AMERICA HAD BETTER LEARN BASEBALL," Jacques Barzun tells us on page 138. But I think Foghorn Leghorn said it best: There's something - ah say, there's something kind of Eeew about a kid that's never played baseball.

Although Football has now overtaken Baseball as America's favorite sport, the game played out on a green diamond is so ingrained in the American psyche that its idioms are commonly accepted facets of our lexicon. This is illustrated by Lesley Hazleton. Moving to the U.S., she was surprised to find that much of the English she had learned in Israel originated with our National Pastime: "I COULD TOUCH BASE, GIVE A BALLPARK FIGURE, STRIKE OUT AND REACH FIRST BASE LONG BEFORE I REALIZED THAT THESE WERE BASEBALL TERMS." (-page 15)

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER is a "gem" of a compendium celebrating the sport with baseball-themed art, photographs and excerpts from a variety of books, essays and poems. It truly reflects the mythology, the emotions, the poetry, and the mystique of the game. I like very little of the featured art, but the writing, being "uniformly" topnotch, more than compensates, and each of the smattering of photographs are worth a thousand topnotch words. This book really does get to "the heart of the hide" - a double delicious dose of "Doubleday."

Although free agency and the record-skewing, steroid-laden hulks like Barry Bonds with the 'Frisco Giants (REALLY hate 'em!) have killed off much of my interest, Baseball will forever be a part of who I am. Twice I witnessed perfection while in a Baseball stadium: Kirk Gibson's game 1-winning World Series homer in 1988, and the 1991 mound mastery of Dennis Martinez - Major League Baseball's 13th Perfect Game. (Of course, the combination of grilled Dodger Dogs and cold, tap beer was yet another type of "perfection" I often experienced at the old ballpark.)

And if you're like me, then you learned some of life's most important lessons while on the green fields of Summer:

* I once got drilled between the eyes by a hardball thrown by Craig Richardson, our team's strongest (and most erratic) arm. LESSON: Never sit on the grass behind the "Hot Corner" when Richardson is playing First Base.

* After that, I always had one foot "in the bucket" at the plate, and that was the reason I struck out 21 times that season - a team high that I was never able to quite match again, but leading to another LESSON: The importance of setting and trying to achieve personal goals.

* The kid slid into Second Base on a steal attempt. I took the throw down from the catcher and applied the tag. And even as the umpire was signaling "Safe" I saw that no part of the boy's body was touching the bag, but the ball in my glove pressed against his calf. LESSON: Sometimes the "authorities" are wrong!

* Called to The Hill to pitch the Little League Yankees out of a bases-loaded jam, I saw that Yolanda was watching the game from behind the fence near our dugout. In my haste to get over there and talk to her, I fanned 3 consecutive batters. My Grandfather (the manager) came out to meet me. "You just struck out the side in order!" he excitedly informed me. I didn't know what that meant at the time, and furthermore, I couldn't have cared less; I had nothing but that little cutie on my mind. LESSON: A man's love for a woman will supersede his love for the "diamond", but conversely, the diamond is a girl's best friend.

* Growing up po' (not Third World po', of course, but American po'), one Summer my Brother and I played for a team in the "economically challenged" part of town. One day our Ma asked, "Do you realize that you're the only White guys on the team? Everyone else is Black." We both had to pause for several moments to contemplate that before answering, "Oh yeah, huh?" She later confessed that it was the proudest she ever felt of us. And she realized then and there that she had raised us well! LESSON: It doesn’t matter what color your skin is because when your team loses a ballgame, every player is BLUE!

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER really captures the magic of Baseball on several levels, but best perhaps in the photo on page 63: There's Wally Joyner, a California Angel in 1986, leaning against a thigh-high stadium fence, hand on hip, one leg casually cocked over the other, gazing off into the distant outfields, oblivious, flawless, looking like a Greek god. There next to him on the other side of the fence, two blonde brothers, maybe ten years old, heads tilted upward, mouths ajar, awe radiating from their eyes, and their bodies leaning slightly away from Joyner - one does not crowd a god!

If you are a literate person and a true aficionado of the game of Baseball, but my review has failed to convince you that you need DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER in your bookcase, then THERE IS NO JOY IN DOTCOMVILLE - MIGHTY STEPHEN HAS STRUCK OUT . . . again.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2006, October 22nd]

Book: “WAS KARL MARX A SATANIST?” by Richard Wurmbrand; 1976.

Grade: B

On page 71 of my 1979 edition of WAS KARL MARX A SATANIST?, Richard Wurmbrand writes: Marx did not love mankind. Mazzini, who had known him well, wrote that he had “A destructive spirit. His heart bursts with hatred rather than with love toward men.” I know of no testimonies to the contrary from Marx’s contemporaries. Marx the loving man is a myth constructed only after his death.

This is a factor that all men and women who lean toward Communism/Socialism as a result of genuine concern for the welfare of all people would be wise to seriously consider before ascribing any noble aspirations to the manifesto Marx gave to the world. If what Marx wrote was true, that he harbored “hatred against all gods” and that he wished to avenge himself “against the One who rules above”, should it surprise any of us then that the fruit of his philosophy is responsible for unspeakable torture, terribly unjust acts, and the murder of about 100 million people worldwide? Should any thinking person be mystified by the obvious unfeasibility of Marx’s materialistic Communism/Socialism wherever it has been tried, and by the destruction and unhappiness it inevitably leads to for the people it proposes to benefit?

WAS KARL MARX A SATANIST? by Richard Wurmbrand is just a small, 84 page booklet, but it contains lots of food for thought. If I was part of a jury given the responsibility to officially answer this question, in all honesty, I could not say that Wurmbrand’s booklet proves its contention beyond all reasonable doubt. Wurmbrand essentially concedes this point when he writes, “I am conscious that the evidence which I give here is only circumstantial . . . I do not claim to have provided undisputable proof that Marx was a member of a sect of devil-worshippers, but I believe that there are sufficient leads to imply this. There are certainly enough leads to infer satanic influence upon his life and teachings . . . The sins of Marxism, like those of Nazism, surpass the ordinary. They are satanic.” With that I wholeheartedly concur.

For the student such as myself, interested in the study of secret occult societies, there are a number of little “dots” provided in Wurmbrand’s booklet that aid in seeing “the big picture” when one is connecting those dots. For instance, there’s Karl’s association with Moses Hess, whose family name appears in any detailed study of the Illuminati, and Karl’s own son-in-law Edward Aveling, friend of luciferian Annie Besant, and a leading personality in her luciferian Theosophy organization.

On page 67, Wurmbrand makes the extremely intriguing supposition: “Communists have the habit of creating front-organizations. [The above text] suggests the probability that Communist movements are themselves front-organizations for occult satanism. This would also explain why all the political, economical, cultural, and military weapons used against Communism have proved so inefficient. The means to fight satanism are spiritual, not carnal . . .”

I’ve given this book a B grade only because of its cursory examination of a topic worthy of rigorous, scholarly study, and because it is not ultimately able to conclusively prove what it proposes. But anyone interested in this idea will find WAS KARL MARX A SATANIST? well worth reading and considering.

On February 27, 1852, Karl Marx wrote to his comrade in evil, Friedrich Engels, about an inheritance he would come into if his wife’s ill uncle passed away: “If the dog dies, I would be out of mischief.” On March 2nd, Engels replied, “I congratulate you for the sickness of the hinderer of an inheritance, and I hope that the catastrophe will happen now.” As bad luck for Marx would have it, the old man recovered and did not depart for a better world until 1855. But on March 8th of that year, Marx wrote again to Engels, expressing his glee: “A very happy event. Yesterday we were told about the death of the 90-year-old uncle of my wife. My wife will receive some 100 Lst; even more if the old dog has not left a part of his money to the lady who administered his house.”

These are the two great “humanitarians” who gave this world the joys of Communism. I’ll say this much: If Karl Marx was NOT a satanist, he certainly missed his second calling. (God called him first – as God calls to each of us first – but we KNOW that Marx wasn’t listening to THAT Voice!)

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2005, November 2nd]

Book: “ON THE ROAD” by Jack Kerouac; 1957

Grade: B -

"We'll pick up Hazy Davy and Killer Joe
And I'll take you all out to where the gypsy angels go

They're built like light
And they dance like spirits in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Oh, you don't know what they can do to you
Spirits in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Stand right up now and let them shoot through you"
~“Spirits In The Night” by Bruce Springsteen.

I happened to spend a night in Lowell, Massachusetts, while on a road trip two months ago. Being back in Jack Kerouac's hometown, I seized the opportunity to pick up a copy of his most famous book, ON THE ROAD, for a young co-worker. When I learned that he was only halfway through the book after 6 weeks of reading, I pulled my old copy from the shelf to see if it was more complex than I remembered it being - I hadn't read it since the age of 19 or 20. (*No, it's predominantly high school level writing.) I intended to read but a page or two, but found myself sucked in, and went through the entire book as fast as Dean Moriarty drives through "the fatal red afternoon of Illinois." (For those of you who have never read this cult classic, that translates to 110 mph.)

Ostensibly, the story is an existential look at America played out in the form of multiple cross-country road trips conducted by a variety of "beat" characters or "hipsters" from 1947 to 1950. Of course, it also captures the hedonism of that "Lost Generation." But in a way it also illustrates the development of Jazz in that era - something that escaped my notice when I first read it. When Sal Paradise (Kerouac's first-person narrative voice) undertakes his first trip to the West coast, his plans are all mapped-out, nice and orderly: "I'd been poring over maps of the United States in Paterson for months . . . on the roadmap was one long red line called Route 6 that led from the tip of Cape Cod clear to Ely, Nevada, and there dipped down to Los Angeles. I'll just stay on 6 all the way to Ely, I said to myself and confidently started." [-pg. 10]

It is not long before Sal's plans get scrapped and he's forced to improvise his way West. This mirrors the movement of Jazz at the time. The rigidly structured musical charts (roadmaps) of the Big Bands were gradually giving way to more free-form Jazz, as musicians began to explore greater possibilites within the genre. By the book's conclusion, Sal, Dean, and various hangers-on are blasting through the nights and days in a wild frenzy of (sometimes illogical) driving and drinking, and they are womanizing with reckless abandon. Just as the Jazz musicians had gone to the outermost edge of melody and then abandoned all musical structure with wild flights of fancy – that being the "Bebop" saxophonists and pianists whose musical aspirations were to create wholly personal, improvisational expressions which often became as self-indulgent as the road trips and misadventures of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty. And throughout the story we find the two protagonists in smoke-filled Jazz clubs in the wee hours, nodding their heads, banging on tables and exhorting the players to Go, Cat, go!

And "GOING" in the pursuit of the unnamed "IT" is another major component of the story. "We all realized we were...performing our one and noble function of the time, MOVE. And we moved!" [-pg. 134] "Sal, we gotta go and never stop going till we get there." / "Where we going, man?" / "I don't know but we gotta go." [-pg. 240] "If you go like him all the time you'll finally get it." / "Get what?" / "IT! IT! I'll tell you - now no time, we have no time now." [-pg. 127] "Man, this will finally take us to IT!" said Dean with definite faith. [-pg. 265] But Dean Moriarty never does define "It" because he can't. I believe that Sal Paradise comes as close as they ever get to the object of their quest when on page 147 he relates that "as the river poured down from mid-America by starlight I knew, I knew like mad that everything I had ever known and would ever know was One." But then he gets distracted again by illusory, mirage-like pleasures deceptively promising to lead him to "It", and he subsequently loses the scent in an alcohol haze.

It really doesn't surprise me that the first car I actually loved, I named SAL, after Kerouac's character who was forever on the road. And many aspects of the story call to mind my own LIQUIDATED YOUTH when I cavorted with the spirits in the night (all night, every night) and friends known collectively as THE LEAGUE OF SOUL CRUSADERS, and individually as Napoleon, Cranium, Twinkie, and Pooh. Yours Truly was sometimes referred to as Mr. Intense. And then there was our red-headed unofficial leader, Yoey O'Dogherty, known by the nickname of Torch, who served as our "Dean Moriarty" with his contagious passion for life and his magnificent acts of magic behind the wheel of Tiburon, his 1963 Cadillac. There was virtually NOTHING that Torch couldn't get Tiburon to do (except obey the rules of the road). I caught the essence of The League Of Soul Crusaders in a 1983 poem that concluded with the lines, "Telling jokes and howling / To Nowhere." And that could just as easily describe the exploits of our boys in ON THE ROAD.

By no stretch of the imagination is ON THE ROAD truly great literature. It's one of those books that found its niche by coming along at just the right time with a new "language." What makes it interesting is its ability to convey the unharnessed energy of youth, and to portray an exuberance for experience that resonates with primarily young readers (and old hippies). While there are far better and more important books for you to spend your limited time with (and although I always preferred Kerouac's, 'The Dharma Bums'), ON THE ROAD is a somewhat worthwhile read and I can generally recommend the "trip", though I would caution you against emulating the immoral self-centeredness of its principal characters. (And I can tell you from many years of experience that you're never going to find "It" at insane parties and wild bars, nor while crossing the country at 110 miles per hour in a tequila or chemical-induced stupor.)

They raced madly, wildly, chasing after IT. Looking here, looking there; tracking IT through the loud neon-painted nights and always seemingly one step behind IT. I've got IT now! I can feel the heat of IT, and hear IT breathing. I can sense the powerful presence of IT here. And yet IT is gone again; ever elusive, never materializing. And Sal and Dean never realized that IT dwelled within them. The one place they never thought to look. They toted IT with them in their crazy, frenzied and futile attempts to find IT. And with Kerouac's poor body utterly wasted from drugs and alcohol, he died a sad, bloated death in 1969 at the age of forty-seven, never having located IT. And IT died with him.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2005, July 30th]

Movie: “THE NEW CLINTON CHRONICLES” from Citizens’ Video Press; 1996.

Grade: A -

INTERVIEWER: Welcome to 'McCarthy At Hollywood And Vine.' We're here again with Stephen T. McCarthy and we're discussing documentaries. Stephen, you don't watch many of them. Why is that?

McCARTHY: I tend to read a lot of books, which are able to explore their topics in much greater detail. Usually, if I'm interested in a subject, I want to learn more about it than a 90 minute or two hour film can teach. There are a few documentaries I would strongly urge people to view, however. Certainly, 'In Pursuit Of The Shroud' is one. It's a good program on a fascinating subject, and if a copy can be located, it should inspire the viewer to pickup the book THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD, Mark Antonacci's remarkable study. Of a political nature, 'Waco - The Rules Of Engagement' is a must-see.


McCARTHY: Absolutely! 'THE NEW CLINTON CHRONICLES' is a 105 minute documentary that will open the eyes of all but the most desperate half-wits to the dastardly abuses of America's former Philanderer In Chief, Billy "Bubba" Clinton.

INTERVIEWER: Stephen, a lot of people claim that this tape is nothing more than a spurious, Right-wing attack, filled with unsubstantiated allegations and unsupportable innuendo.

McCARTHY: Look, there's more than enough evidence presented here to warrant a full-fledged investigation. There's eyewitness testimony from people who were intimately familiar with Clinton's cocaine habits. We have several of his personal, Arkansas State trooper bodyguards being interviewed about his many adulterous affairs. There's information on the laundering of money by Clinton's Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Gary Johnson, former attorney for Larry Nichols, displays the horrific scars he received from being beaten by several goons who stole his footage showing "Bubba" entering the condominium of Jennifer Flowers numerous times. Remember, Bubba claimed never to have been there. The scars are REAL! And so is the abundance of circumstantial evidence tying Clinton into the Mena, Arkansas cocaine smuggling operation. Check the demeanor of law enforcement officers Duncan and Welch, who saw their intensive investigation of Bubba's wrongdoings quashed - are they lying? Are ALL of the people interviewed in this tape lying? Is it simple coincidence that EVERYTIME an individual came forward with some sort of allegation against the Clintons, the media machine went right to work with unfounded character assassination pieces on said individual? Anybody who actually watched this program and remains unconvinced that a full criminal invesitgation (and indictments) of the Clintons and their creepy cronies is justified, has the critical thinking capacity of a retarded earthworm. Either that, or they're as dishonest as . . . well . . . Bill Clinton!

INTERVIEWER: Don't pull any punches, Stephen. Why don't you tell us how you really feel? Ha!-Ha!

McCARTHY: OK, I will! I think one of the biggest problems in America is that most citizens have been effectively divided along party lines. They no longer view themselves as Americans, but defenders of their political party. They don't care what their representatives do, as long as they have fingers to point at the other party's transgressors. They're politically and spiritually sick. The people of the United States have been SYSTEMATICALLY DESPIRITUALIZED AND LOBOTOMIZED! Not one in ten possesses any discernable brain wave activity. They're a significant part of the problem.

INTERVIEWER: But what about George W. Bush? Didn't he--

McCARTHY: You see? That's what I'm talking about! Don't get me started on Bush. There are many GOOD REASONS to believe that our two most recent presidents may be, at the very least, accessories to murder after the fact. But anyone who dismisses 'THE NEW CLINTON CHRONICLES' as much ado about nothing, has their head shoved so far up their Southern orifice that they're not likely to ever again see the light of day! They're political dogs in heat, nosing after the underside of their own party, and lifting their leg to urinate on anyone from the "other" team. They're an embarrassment as Americans! Furthermore, they're too stupid to realize that unseen puppeteers have them well under control.

INTERVIEWER: Stephen, surely YOU realize that this vituperation will garner you a passel of political enemies, and could even get your program cancelled?

McCARTHY: Well, as I've said before, criticism and slurs don’t bother me. In fact, I welcome them; I wear them like Badges of Honor, separating me from "them." The day I find most Americans agreeing with me is the day I'll reevaluate my positions. As for the show being taken off the air, that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing either. It would finally give me the time I need to follow my REAL dream.


McCARTHY: To open a charm school and publish my book on etiquette.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Sunday, June 22, 2008


[From the STMcC archive; 2007, January 28th]

Book: “McCARTHY” by Roy Cohn; 1968.

Grade: A

“I was beginning to feel scared and a little sick. We were being hounded, pushed into a blind alley . . . For a few brief moments I felt that the best thing would be to pack my bags and get away from Washington and its intrigues. But then a contrary emotion took over. When some people feel trapped, they have the instinct to turn on their foes and fight to a finish. The role of underdog, I discovered, can give one courage.”
~ Roy Cohn; McCARTHY, chapter 9.

ROY COHN, chief counsel for the Senate Investigating Committee under Senator Joseph McCarthy, opened his book, McCARTHY, with the following statements in his Prologue:

The full portrait of Joe McCarthy and the era in which he rose to such remarkable prominence and power must await the historian’s special training, insight, and distance from the events . . . Emerson said, “Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.” To the best of my ability it is this I try to do in the pages that follow.

Roy Cohn’s honesty in recounting the good, the bad, and the ugly about the anti-Communist “McCarthy” years makes his book a truly compelling and essential account for anybody who wants to gain a clearer understanding of that monumental American epoch.

The full historical perspective that Cohn anticipated in 1968 is nearly upon us: M. Stanton Evans, the historian considered by many to be the preeminent authority on Joseph McCarthy is due to release his magnum opus “Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story Of Senator Joe McCarthy And His Fight Against America's Enemies” in late March of this year. I preordered the book 15 months ago, but the release date has been pushed back several times, and I’m now salivating on myself and champing vigorously at the bit. (My greatest fear has been that Evans will go to his grave with the book unfinished. I swear, if he dies before it’s done I’ll kill him!) But I’m so eager now to get Evans’ definitive account into my hands that I recently decided to revisit my old copy of McCARTHY by Roy Cohn, and to post a review of it. (Quite frankly, I’m embarrassed that I’ve waited this long to review this important book while having previously posted junk for some silly stuff. All I can say is – for the gazillionth time – “Uhp! I’m an idiot!”)

McCARTHY is the book that cemented Senator Joseph McCarthy in my mind as one of America’s greatest unsung heroes and inspired me to adopt his surname as part of my pen name well before I began contributing reviews to Certainly this is the ultimate “insider” view of this chapter in our history – it doesn’t get any more intimate and behind-the-scenes than McCarthy’s friend and confidant throughout the Army-McCarthy hearings and the Senatorial censure.

While one might assume that Cohn’s relationship to McCarthy and his involvement in the war against Communism and our government’s cover-up would make him incapable of delivering an objective account, one would be surprised, however, by the degree of honesty presented here. The 14 years between the censure of McCarthy and the writing of Cohn’s book undoubtedly gave the author the distance necessary for the emotional impact to subside and make possible a limpid assessment. Cohn doesn’t flinch and shy away from calling attention to his and McCarthy’s shortcomings. For instance, of his first appearance in the Army-McCarthy hearing witness stand, Cohn calls his testimony “rambling, garrulous, repetitious, brash, smug, smart-alecky, pompous, and petulant.”

He says of McCarthy, “His statements were frequently hasty and ill-prepared . . . He played rough politics, occasionally took unfair advantage of people, and said harsh things in public . . . I quarreled with him frequently [about his broad-brush approach] and stressed that by using this technique he sometimes placed himself in an indefensible position. But,” Cohn adds, “I never disagreed with the substance of his thesis. . . . He had more real personal courage than almost any man I ever knew. . . . When he became convinced that Communism was an evil, he took up the battle against its inroads into American life and fought the tough way he had learned how to fight early in life.” McCarthy comes across in Cohn’s book as fully human, with all of his strengths and weaknesses on display, and if you can read it in its entirety and feel no sympathy for the Senator, then it is you, I fear, who is not fully human.

Through this book you’ll come to know the “man” behind the myth, and you’ll see “the devil in the details” of his great political cause. I tend to think of McCarthy as a Western (Civilization) hero – kind of a “John Wayne Goes To Washington” character. There’s a great line in the Wayne Western, THE UNDEFEATED, where The Duke shoots a villain after an argument erupts during a discussion. He rides back over to the group of people he’s protecting, and a properly “civilized” woman berates him: “You went out there to talk! Why did you have to shoot the man?” And John Wayne responds in that famous drawl, “Conversation kind of dried up, ma’am.” Joseph McCarthy felt that the time for “nice” talk was over; it was time to take action against Communist infiltration in our government – action against communists determined to wreck our Constitutional Republic, to put the people of this nation in great peril, and to overturn the American way of life.

Senator William Jenner – one of the 22 Republicans who voted against censure – told McCarthy, “Joe, you’re the kid who came to the party and pee’d in the lemonade.” In other words, McCarthy wouldn’t shut up and just go along to get along; he raised a ruckus when everyone just wanted to “socialize.”

I urge EVERY American to read McCARTHY, no matter what you may think you already know about the Senator and “McCarthyism.” If all of your information has come from mainstream publications and movies, then trust me, you’ve seen only one side of a two-sided coin. You’ve examined the “Tales” side, now let’s also look at “Heads.” Roy Cohn’s McCARTHY is a great book. (While Cohn’s chapter titled “Why They Hated” is an interesting look at the philosophy espoused by the forces that opposed McCarthy, to get a better understanding of the macro view, let me also recommend the books, “THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND” by Griffin, and “THE NAKED CAPITALIST” by Skousen.)

“It has been a bitter lesson to come to Washington and see a reputation, gained at some effort, torn to shreds merely because I was associated with Senator McCarthy, who has become the symbol of hatred for all who fear the exposure of Communism.”
~ Roy Cohn; McCARTHY, chapter 16.

Senator McCarthy, wherever you are, I just want to say, “GOOD NIGHT, AND THANK YOU!”

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2006. April 20th]

Book: “CROSSING THE RUBICON: The Decline Of The American Empire At The End Of The Age Of Oil” by Michael Ruppert; 2004.

Grade: B+

1) The moon is made of cheese.

2) Cats and dogs never fight as they are natural allies.

3) Depending upon what the meaning of the word "is" is, William Jefferson Clinton "is" the most honest man in America and he never inhaled when he smoked his joints.

4) George W. Bush is a master linguist who could educate William Shakespeare when it comes to proper usage of the English language.

5) The United States government has never deviated from The Constitution and the intent with which the Founders framed it.

6) The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a hard-core conservative organization bent on stamping out collectivism from the public consciousness.

7) Ann Coulter is a radical Left-wing liberal and a secret card-carrying member of the Communist party.

8) Pedophiles are anathema to the Catholic church which leaves no stone unturned when investigating and excommunicating deviants within its priesthood.

9) The current administration is exceedingly concerned about the negative impact that illegal aliens are having on American society; it is determined to round them up and prevent their unauthorized return.

10) The Federal Reserve Bank is a government entity which was formed solely in order to regulate the American economy, prevent boom/bust cycles, and ensure an equitable financial system that would be beneficial to the U.S. citizenry.

11) The Bill of Rights was conceived and enacted as a safeguard against the personal liberties of the populace usurping power that rightfully belongs to the benevolent and omniscient Federal government. Too much individual freedom tends to interfere with the ability of the elected representatives and government bureaucracies to control and manipulate the nation's citizens for the good of the people.

12) The great tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001 was entirely unforeseeable, unpreventable, and unimaginable. The disloyal rabble-rousers in America who insist that highly placed government officials had foreknowledge of the terrorist attacks and yet allowed them to be perpetrated for political expediency, should be confined in a communist gulag for their un-American paranoia! All men and women who question the veracity and altruism of U.S. government leaders are not fit to call themselves Americans, nor to fly the Stars and Stripes on the Fourth of July. That flag and that holiday should be celebrated only by citizens who meekly and unquestioningly follow government edicts and the media pundits. Books such as CROSSING THE RUBICON present a serious danger to the status quo and ought to be publicly burned along with the unpatriotic drunkards who read them!

I think there was a thirteenth Truth also; something about the health benefits of imbibing 100 proof whiskey. But I can't find my notes at the moment because the room is spinning and my desk is out of focus.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2006, December 4th]

Book: “BIAS: A CBS Insider Exposes How The Media Distort The News” by Bernard Goldberg; 2002.

Grade: A -

“Before September 11, the media elites, too often, behaved badly. And they will again”, Bernard Goldberg writes on the first page of his important and impressive book, BIAS, “It is, after all, who they are.”

I must begin by saying how much I respect and admire the courageous Mr. Goldberg. This is a self-professed “liberal”, a man who acknowledges that he had never voted for a Republican candidate for president in his entire life! And yet, he put his liberal azz on the line when he publicly confessed and complained about liberal bias in the news media. Not the liberal values mind you – those he mostly endorsed – but the bias, the way the media distorts the truth to manipulate the perceptions of the (easily manipulated) masses.

Writing BIAS was not an act of courage, as that came after Goldberg’s retirement from CBS, when he could not be hurt by the revelation, and could only benefit from the book sales. No, his great act of bravery and neck-outta-the-turtle-shell honesty came in the form of a 1996 Wall Street Journal op-ed piece in which he criticized his industry for its underhanded practices while he was still dependent upon that industry for a paycheck. Goldberg is the proverbial dog who bites the hand that feeds it. And in short order, he was treated like a cur, given a one-way ticket to Pariahville. But he expected as much and did it anyway because he believes in fair play. Though politically, Goldberg and I have next to nothing in common, if I ever met him at Jolly Jacks, I’d buy the man a “Kocktale” and consider it an honor to count him amongst my friends. He’s a rare breed in today’s world of politics.

The two factors that make this book a watershed publication on this subject are 1) that the exposure of the media’s Leftist slant (yeah, a “slant” like a “lien” on the truth) comes not from a protesting Conservative, but a dyed-in-the-wool Lib, and 2) the slant is not just admitted but illustrated – illustrated with unimpeachable examples and research into how, and how many times, certain socially important stories were framed and deliberately hung crookedly in the media museum for all the world to see. (You know, like this… ;o) See the Left-leaning reporter wink? That wascally wepohtah winks ‘cause he pulls the wibewal wool over yew TV-satuwated eyebawls.)

But what I liked was the book’s tone: it’s both humorous and hard-hitting. Goldberg pulls no punches on his old cronies. Consider these examples:

* “If arrogance were a crime, there wouldn’t be enough jail cells in the entire United States to hold all the people in TV news.” [-Pg. 186]

* “They love diversity in the newsroom. That’s what they say, anyway. They love diversity of color, diversity of gender, diversity of sexual orientation. But God forbid someone in their diverse newsroom has a diverse view about how the news ought to be presented. When that happens, these champions of diversity quake in their boots and practically make in their pants.” [-Pg. 32]

* “I know that homelessness ceased to exist because I watch television news. If homeless people still existed, Dan and Tom and Peter would have them all over the news . . . I could be wrong, but I think homelessness ended the day Bill Clinton was sworn in as president. Which is one of those incredible coincidences, since it pretty much began the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president. What are the odds?” [-Pg. 71]

In blowing the whistle on the liberal bias of both print and broadcast news sources, Goldberg tells us that “everybody to the right of Lenin is a ‘right-winger’, as far as the media elites are concerned. [-Pg. 13] . . . liberals have an uneasy feeling about tax cuts in general and are downright hostile to the kinds of cuts that benefit the wealthy in particular, even if they also help a lot of other Americans . . . [liberal opposition to the flat tax] was visceral, from the same dark region that produces envy and the seemingly unquenchable liberal need to wage class warfare.” [-Pg. 19]

Do you realize what Goldberg just called liberals (whether he really meant to or not)? Well, if you’re not educated enough to figure it out, I’m not going to spell it out for you. Like hell I’m not! C-O-M-M-U-N-I-S-T-S. There! It’s out! Now maybe we can finally make some real progress in this political debate between liberalism and conservatism.

The only aspect of Golberg’s BIAS that I must take issue with is his insistence that “there isn’t a well-orchestrated, vast left-wing conspiracy in America’s newsrooms.” He writes, “It is not some sinister plot, but about how mostly liberal journalists tend to frame stories from a mostly liberal point of view . . . No, we don’t sit around in dark corners and plan strategies on how we’re going to slant the news. We don’t have to. It comes naturally to most reporters.”

I have no doubt that’s true. But by his own admission, members of the media “vote overwhelmingly Democratic.” [-Pg. 118]; “By and large, the media elites, really are liberal. And Democrats, too.” [-Pg. 122]; that there is “a disproportionate number of liberals” in the media [-Pg.120]; and “in the world of media elites, Democrats outnumber Republicans by twelve to one.” [-Pg. 124].

No “left-wing conspiracy”? Hey, I didn’t just fall off the “potatoe” truck, ya know? A nod to Dan Quayle there. (An aside: You wanna learn how to spell better than a U.S. vice president? Just remember it this way… MR. POTATO HEAD only gets an “e” when he’s hangin’ out with other “potatoes.” Likewise his Marxist/Feminist girlfriend, MS. TOMATO HEAD. She only gets an “e” when she’s hangin’ out with her “Red” comrades, the other “tomatoes.”)

But look, in a country fairly evenly split between Democrats (liberals) and Republicans (conservatives?!), and the alternative news sources proving no lack of Republican interest in the media, the huge disparity between the number of Dems and Reps in the mainstream media indicates a “Left-wing conspiracy” in hiring practices. Maybe there’s no collusion in the newsroom, but there would have to be one at the level where employment decisions are being made. How else did the newsrooms become so liberal, and how did they maintain that liberal “lien” on the media decade after decade? (See the book, NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON: 25 YEARS LATER by John Stormer.)

Other than this one disagreement, I found BIAS by Bernard Goldberg to be a solid indictment of the mainstream media’s bias. An exceptional book! Wanna see how this country’s view of things like Homelessness, AIDS, Feminism, and Affirmative Action was shaped by the media? BIAS is your book and Bernard Goldberg is your writer. Despite being a Democrat, his insistence that at the least, the opposing conservative viewpoint deserved to be heard, proved to me that he is more “good man” than “bad liberal.” Goldberg is Left but right, and you should buy his book.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2006, October 15th]

Book: “THE GENDER AGENDA: Redefining Equality” by Dale O’Leary; 1997

Grade: A

At the United Nations’ International Conference on Women in 1995, a Sudanese delegate demanded of a French delegate (although it could just as easily and accurately have been a U.S. delegate), “Why are you so angry? You have all those rights you want us to accept . . . Please show me a little window of your paradise, because all I see in your world is increased promiscuity among young people, increased divorce, increased abortion, homosexuality, venereal diseases . . . I don’t see your paradise.”

Dale O’Leary attended the 1994 U.N. Conference on Population in Cairo and the Conference on Women in 1995 at Beijing, and in her 1997 book, THE GENDER AGENDA, she gives us her firsthand account of the proceedings with their behind-the-scenes mendacity and maliciousness, and the destructive feminist goals promoted at these gatherings. I have read many books on the Feminist Movement, but none better than THE GENDER AGENDA.

O’Leary writes, “What happened in Cairo and Beijing matters. Not so much because the U.N. can force its will on the United States, for only poor countries who depend on foreign aid will be forced to accept the agendas promulgated at these conferences. It matters because the culture war is a battle of ideas, and the U.N. has the resources and prestige to promote its agenda to world leaders, schoolchildren, and the media . . . What happened in Beijing does matter, because what was planned in Beijing will be coming to every town, every school, and every business (if it isn’t there already) – unless it is exposed and we stand up against it.” [pgs. 20 & 26]

President Bill Clinton insisted the Beijing conference was “true blue to families”, but I’m pretty sure that would depend on what the meaning of the word “families” is. Dr. James Dobson of Focus On The Family called it “the most radical atheistic, anti-family crusade in the history of the world.” Let’s see now, who should I believe, Dobson or the licentious liar (whose feminist wife may be leading this country after the next presidential election)?

On page 188, O’Leary tells us, “To make things even more difficult, no translation was offered in the contact groups. This clearly disadvantaged the profamily delegates who came mainly from Latin America, French-speaking Africa, and the Moslem countries. Since the debate was over language, correct translation was crucial. Protests about these abuses were ignored.”

Did you notice a glaring omission there? Thaaaaat’s riiiiight! The U.S. delegates sent to the Beijing conference were NOT profamily; they were profeminism and they supported every perverse abnormality and immoral sickness associated with radical feminism! Remember that, you proud American, the next time you remove your hat to sing God Bless America before the kickoff or during the seventh inning stretch!

One thing that Dale O’Leary’s book has going for it that few other antifeminsm books do, is its clear articulation of the disturbingly overlooked connection between Marxism and Feminism. Chapters 8, 9, and 10 elucidate the way in which Feminists have co-opted the dogmas of Marx and Engels to create a Neo-Marxist paradigm based upon gender rather than economics, but ultimately affecting both and all classes. It is because the feminist goals are in lockstep with the outcome so sought by the hard-line Marxists that the old guard has supported, promoted, and protected the feminists with their powerful communist front groups such as The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The connection is indisputable, and O’Leary’s research clarifies this logically incestuous relationship that has seemingly eluded some pretty good antifeminism writers over the decades. The next time you pick up a copy of Ms. Magazine, remember that you’re choosing Gloria Steinem over Thomas Jefferson, or to put it another way, you are choosing Communism/Socialism over our Constitutional Republic. Tell THAT to your daughters!

If THE GENDER AGENDA has any weakness, it’s that Dale O’Leary evidently had not yet recognized that power invested in any global organization such as the United Nations, not founded upon the Word of God, will inexorably slide into tyranny. And while O’Leary unhesitatingly denounces the 50/50 gender quotas in every occupation insisted upon by the radical feminists, nowhere does she acknowledge that there are a few select jobs should be filled exclusively by men (i.e., police officers; firefighters; military combat troops; and priests/ministers, as stated by Saint Paul).

Nevertheless, THE GENDER AGENDA, though I read it some time ago, remains one of the most important antifeminism books I've ever found. It should be required reading for EVERY American citizen!

In 1995, Mother Teresa sent a letter to the U.N.’s Beijing Conference on Women, and I’m going to give her the last word here with an excerpt:

“Those who deny the beautiful differences between men and women are not accepting themselves as God has made them . . . I have often said, abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace in the world today, and those who want to make women and men the same are all in favor of abortion.”

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Saturday, June 21, 2008


[From the STMcC archive; 2006, November 19th]

Book: “PARLIAMENT OF WHORES” by P.J. O’Rourke; 1991

Grade: A -

“It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.”
~ P.J. O’Rourke

Once upon a time, oh, about a year ago, I was on the john with my P.J. bottoms loitering around my ankles, and minding my own “business.” I had one of my Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers in my lap (Uncle John and the john were just made for each other) and I was reading a page that contained a lot of funny remarks related to politics. I noticed that the several excerpts that had been penned by one P.J. O’ROURKE elicited the greatest laughs from me, so I determined to find out just who this P.J. was and where he’d been my whole life. After a little surfing, I purchased his book, PARLIAMENT OF WHORES.

Just last week, I was on an America West flight to Northern Nevada. At the airport, after taking everything from me that one could never commandeer an airplane with, and making me remove my belt and shoes and self-respect, the powers that be somehow let me waltz onto the plane with PARLIAMENT OF WHORES in my hand – a very dangerous book. I mean, had I begun reading aloud, I could have convulsed the pilots, the flight crew, and the air marshal with laughter and taken control of Flight #522.

Instead, I read silently to myself, and laughed out loud every thirty seconds or so. This aroused the curiosity of the woman sitting next to me who asked what I was reading. I said, “Parliament Of Whores by P.J. O’Rourke” but somehow what she heard was, “Will you tell me your life’s story?” So she proceeded to tell me how she had gotten married at Lake Tahoe and bred dogs for a living. Or maybe it was that she earned her bread at Lake Tahoe and had married a dog. To be honest, I wasn’t paying that much attention, but merely trying to nod and smile when I thought it was appropriate, and stealing another sentence or two from O’Rourke’s book every time she paused between chapters in her oral autobiography. (She did offer me her little bag of pretzels, so at least I got something from her besides an earache.)

PALIAMENT OF WHORES is P.J.’s 1991 account of a journalist’s inside look at politics and how it affects American Life. And trust me, it’s no laughing matter, which is exactly why we must laught at it. It’s laugh or go postal, but since the postal service is tied to the federal government, it’s better that we laugh. P.J. says, “I have tried to present a factual – data-filled, at any rate – account of how this government works. Which is complicated by the fact that it doesn’t.” But if you think a journalist should instead be writing about things that are of greater interest to most Americans, P.J. did promise in the Acknowledgments that his next book was going to be about “Madonna’s Illegitimate UFO Diet To Cure AIDS And Find Elvis.”

On page 103, O’Rourke confesses that he is “a real Republican” but then adds, “unlike some current presidents of the United States I could name.” That unnamed “presidents” he referred to was, of course, George H. W. Bush. Now, it’s his equally un-Republican son, George W. Bush, who occupies The White House, proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the Bush.

But don’t let the fact that P.J. is a Republican dissuade you from reading PARLIAMENT OF WHORES if you happen to be a Democrat because Ol’ P.J. absolutely grills EVERYONE in this laugh-out-loud book. And why not? The federal government has taken it upon itself to warn the nation that undercooked eggs and meat are unhealthy. And is raw government any better for us? It too deserves a good grilling, and P.J. is just the chef to do it!

Now, I can’t say that P.J. never misses the nail’s head and hits his own thumb. For example, on page 78 he states that the Supreme Court opening a session with “God save the United States and this Honorable Court” is a clear violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. This is surprisingly sloppy reporting coming from a man who makes his living with words. The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” So, when did the Supreme Court become Congress? And since when is stating, “God save the United States and this Honorable Court” the establishment of a law? (And has anybody informed God that He is now bound by law to do these things?)

On page 119, P.J. questions the wisdom of the illegality of recreational drugs. I think keeping these chemicals out of the hands (and arms, and lungs) of as many people as possible is indeed wise. The only exception being those funny smelling “cigarettes” which my buddy at work, The Great L.C., and I agree should be treated in like manner as alcohol, for they have, if anything, even less potential for harm: Put 10 guys into a room with loud music and bottles and bottles of booze, and it’s sure that before the evening is over, one (or more) of those guys will get roughed up. But put the same 10 guys into the same room with the same loud music, and replace the booze with “wacky weed” and the only things that are gonna get roughed up are bags of potato chips.

But other than these rare disagreements, I found PALIAMENT OF WHORES to be wickedly accurate and whorribly humorous. Wait’ll you read the suggestions the author makes for reducing federal expenditures (“O’Rourke’s Circumcision and Budget Liposuction”), and the way he dissects the Special Interest Groups (“The Original Barrel Of Monkeys That Nothing Is More Fun Than”). This thing is simply a howl from one end to the other; the funniest book I’ve read in a very long time. Heck, one of the funniest books I’ve ever read at ANY time! It’s “seriously funny” like Mark Twain. And I am no more ashamed to have PARLIAMENT OF WHORES standing in my bookcase between “The Declaration Of Independence” and “The Heritage Guide To The Constitution” than I am to have Twain’s “Roughing It” standing between “Saloons Of The Old West” and “I Married Wyatt Earp.” Aw, well, you know what I mean.

In the final analysis – after his study of how our government works [sic] – O’Rourke concludes that what we suspected all along is true: “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” Nevertheless, watching P.J. T.P. the U.S. is the best cry you’ll ever laugh. I’ll be voting P.J. for President in 2008, even though he’s too smart to run . . . except away.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2007, February 16th]

Movie: “GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK” directed by George Clooney; 2005.

Grade: F for content, A- for style.

George Clooney’s GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK is a beautiful looking movie. It employs sharp, aesthetically appropriate black and white photography in order to capture the 1950s black and white television era, and to imaginatively incorporate period footage of Senator Joseph McCarthy and people related to the events for which he was famous. The cinematography and editing is first-rate, a real feast for the eyes, and I enjoyed the Ellaesque mid-century Jazz score. Clooney’s movie is essentially a hagiography of the nearly humorless newsman, EDWARD R. MURROW, played so woodenly by David Strathairn as to make Pinocchio seem like Gumby by comparison. (It may have been an accurate portrayal of his personality, but it doesn’t exactly make for captivating viewing.) There were a couple of nice performances in the movie, most notable is Frank Langella in the role of William Paley; he had some real charisma.

Speaking strictly visually, the movie’s a winner. GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK opens in 1958 at a banquet given to honor the television news commentator, MURROW. (It’s one of those types of affairs that my dear departed friend Marty once referred to as “a bunch of a##holes patting themselves on the back.”) Of the many singularly wondrous works of Murrow that we’re informed of, one is that “He threw stones at giants … not the least of which, his historical fight with Senator McCarthy.” So, Murrow was David versus Goliath, eh? As McCarthy’s chief counsel, Roy Cohn, wrote in his great book, McCARTHY: “All we had against us was the White House, the administration, the Democratic party, and the Republican party.” Wanna talk David and Goliath? So, enough about the movie’s artistic attributes, let’s talk FACTS since this is a one-sided demagogic attack on the dead Senator who was himself often labeled a demagogue by the print and broadcast media:

Our 1958 honoree tells his audience we need to get off our collective rear end and “recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse and insulate us.” Well, guess what. It was, and still is! And so are magazines and movies … just like THIS one. GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK (GN&GL) is simply more of Hollywood’s Socialistic brainwashing of Americonned citizens. (We are told in this movie that in the 1950s, Kent cigarettes filtered best; Liberace was giving thought to marriage; and McCarthy was slandering completely innocent people and ruining their reputations and their lives. Each one of those statements is only as true as the next.)

GN&GL touches on the most famous moments in the McCarthy “Communist Hunt.” (He was looking for Communists who had infiltrated sensitive departments of our government and who were being protected from exposure and removal by highly-placed government officials. Contrary to popular belief, he was NOT hunting witches.) But unless the viewer is familiar with the history, he or she will not likely grasp the relevance of certain details.

Murrow insists that “ninety-nine percent of the time”, McCarthy is wrong about the people he names as being security risks. Do you know what became of the 110 people in the State Department whom McCarthy named before the Tydings Committee - but did not name publicly - as possible security risks? (Pardon me, I forgot that you’re an Americonned citizen. Here’s an easer question for you: Who got kicked off SURVIVOR last week?) Well, 81 of those people were eventually dismissed or resigned from government service due to their Communist affiliations. Mr. Murrow, that’s nearly 74% proven right, not 99% wrong! (And here I thought I was bad at math.)

Watching GN&GL, the Americonned viewer will come away with the idea that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was falsely accused by McCarthy of being a subversive Communist front organization. Yes, the same ACLU founded by Roger Baldwin, who served as its executive director for 30 years, and who wrote 12 years after founding the organization: “I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.” (Book: THE ACLU VS. AMERICA) You may not have known this fact, but I’ll bet you know who won the last American Idol competition.

In one scene, we see McCarthy’s Investigating Committee questioning the poor, old Black woman, ANNIE LEE MOSS, who was employed in the Pentagon’s Code Room. She denies ever having been a dues-paying Communist party member. The Great Murrow makes a heroine of the poor beleaguered woman, insisting that it’s a case of mistaken identity and irresponsible McCarthy charges. What you WON’T learn in GN&GL is that it was later proven using the Communist party’s own records that THIS “persecuted” woman (who lived at 72 R Street, S.W., in Washington, D.C.) had indeed been a dues-paying Communist. Yes! Watch GN&GL, watch her lie, and watch Team Murrow defend her!

The scene that nearly made me laugh out loud has Team Murrow fretting, anxiously awaiting with bated breath the morning edition of the New York Times to see whether or not their television attack on McCarthy the night before will meet with the approval of the ultraliberal but influential newspaper. Yes, the stridently anti-McCarthy New York Times – THAT newspaper. That’s fairly analogous to tossing a bag of T-bone steaks into a kennel and then worrying that the dogs might resent it!

But what of EDWARD R. MURROW? Along with William Paley, he was a member of the COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (CFR), an organization whose principal founder, Edward Mandell House, wrote that he essentially favored “Socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx.” House further wrote, “For a long time it had seemed to me that our government was too complicated in its machinery and that we had outgrown our Constitution.” (Book: PHILIP DRU: ADMINISTRATOR) According to 16-year CFR member, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Chester Ward, the primary goal of the CFR is “to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and national independence of the United States … to a one-world all-powerful global government.” This will be a form of global, totalitarian Socialism. (Book: KISSINGER ON THE COUCH) Today, the CFR even offers an “Edward R. Murrow Fellowship Award” and the Time-Warner company, distributor of GN&GL, happens to be a CFR corporate member.

What did MURROW do besides fight McCarthy’s attempts to expose Socialists hidden in our government? He defended J. Robert Oppenheimer who was fired as a security risk after it was shown that he had lied about his significant monetary donations to the Communist party. MURROW produced a highly complimentary “documentary” on Fidel Castro which aided the Communist dictator in his coming to power in Cuba. MURROW was an ardent defender of convicted Soviet agent Alger Hiss, and of Owen Lattimore, determined by the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to have been “a conscious articulate agent of the Soviet conspiracy.” MURROW also was a board member of the Institute of International Education, which encouraged young American school teachers to train at the University of Moscow. (Book: NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON: 25 YEARS LATER) Of course, you Americonned citizens wouldn’t know any of this because you’ve been busy watching C.S.I. Miami.

Shakespeare’s Juliet said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.” Well, if it looks like a pink rose, smells like a pink rose, and is growing amongst pink roses, I don’t care if it’s called a “courageous newsman” or a David who “threw stones at giants”, I say it’s a pink rose. (And I gotta wonder if GN&GL’s writer/director is planted in that same garden!) I’ve seen raw meat less “pink” than Edward R. Murrow was.

If you wish to wake up and throw off the shackles that have brainwashed you regarding Senator McCarthy and “McCarthyism”, then read the article “The Real McCarthy Record” by James J. Drummey by putting this address in your browser:

Years of independent research on my part has proven the accuracy of Drummey’s article. If, on the other hand, you wish to remain an Americonned citizen, then just go back to your ridiculous episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Friday, June 20, 2008


[From the STMcC archive; 2005, September 17th]

Book: “THE SHADOWS OF POWER: The Council On Foreign Relations And The American Decline” by James Perloff; 1988

Grade: A

The vast majority of Americans believe that the U.S. is engaged in a "Culture War." Indeed, this is true, but where they go wrong is in assuming that the war is carried out by two titanic forces known as the Democrat and Republican parties - the white and black-hatted combatants, or the black and white-hatted combatants, depending upon where the observer stands. The truth is that BOTH parties are wearing black hats, and the raging battle played out daily in Washington and the various media outlets is for public consumption only. The REAL war theater is elsewhere.

My best analogy is a "Punch-And-Judy" show: while the audience (the public at large) is engrossed in the fisticuffs between two warring enemies, behind the scenes, a single entity actually controls both participants. If you wish to see beyond the marionettes and get a look at the puppeteer, you'll need to read printed material that exists outside of The Establishment's imprimatur. Such as James Perloff's THE SHADOWS OF POWER.

I can hear a few of you balking already: "It sounds like he's referring to a...a...a...(shhh)...conspiracy." Welcome to the REAL world, friend. It's about time you woke up and smelled the arsenic! THE SHADOWS OF POWER is a well-researched and well-written expose on the heart of the matter: The Council On Foreign Relations - which is not "Ground Zero" of the Conspiracy, but it does represent the visible moving parts, the meshing gears, the framers and roofers and electricians building “The New World Order” structure from the blueprint provided by the "architects" hidden from public view - the "wizards" behind the curtain. More than you know, you need to read this book if you.....

* Have no idea what the C.F.R. is and wants.

* Think the Federal Reserve, which controls the U.S. economy, is a government agency.

* Wonder why the U.S. sent young men to fight Communism in Asia only 3 years after permitting (and assisting in) the establishment of a Soviet satellite just 150 miles off the coast of Florida.

* Still can't figure out how and why the U.S. lost that war with two-bit Communists in Asia.

* Were watching nice little stories on the Seven O'Clock news about Presidents Bill 'n' Hill [*See them tote their Bible to church and sing praises with the congregation], their nice daughter, Chelsea, and their nice little dog, Buddy, while sensitive technology with military capability was being sold to the Red Chinese without comment from the mainstream media.

One chapter of particular interest is 'A Second Look At Ronald Reagan.' Reagan "chalked up more government debt than all the Presidents before him COMBINED!" He was touted as an enemy of taxation and big government, and yet, although he did cut tax rates, "also pushed through the largest single tax increase in our nation's history, as well as boosts in the gasoline and Social Security taxes." Although critical of Jimmy Carter for abiding by the Salt II Treaty, which the Senate didn't ratify, later as president, Reagan ordered two Poseidon ballistic missile submarines DISMANTLED to ensure we stayed within Salt II limits. And that's just the beginning!

'The Media Blackout' chapter is also very enlightening. Here we learn of Nicaragua's former President, Anastasio Somoza's complaint about the deliberate hatchet job he received at the hands of Dan Rather and 60 Minutes. It reveals the power to promote an agenda and sway the public perception that major print and media outlets possess. And it should force most Americans to reconsider how many of their current beliefs might have been artificially induced by the manipulative mainstream media.

Although the book was published in 1988, it's every bit as relevant now as it was then because the C.F.R. program hasn't changed - evidenced by today's headlines, and discerned by anyone who knows how the game is played.

If there's ONE thing I've learned in studying politics over these many years, it's this: It's NEVER what politicians SAY that counts, it's strictly what they DO that matters. To the detriment of the People of the United States, when the Democrat party takes power, it usually keeps its campaign promises. Equally detrimental, the Republican party doesn't. And because I love the U.S. Constitution, I despise them both! Get this book and see who's standing in the shadows and pulling the strings on those two puppets.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2006, August 21st]

*My grading scale is typical A through F, but with the very highest mark being an R, which is the equivalent of an A++. Why an R? Heck if I know. My Pa used to tell me that in high school he had a drafting teacher whose highest grade was an R. Pa never did learn what the R stood for, nor - sadly - did he ever achieve one.

Movie: “ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST” directed by Milos Forman; 1975.

Grade: R

INTERVIEWER: Hello, and welcome back to McCARTHY AT HOLLYWOOD AND VINE. We’re here today with Stephen T. McCarthy and discussing one of his very favorite films, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. Tell us, Stephen, when did you first see this highly acclaimed film?

McCARTHY: CUCKOO’S NEST was released in nineteen seventy-five, and I saw it numerous times at The Avco Cinema Center in Los Angeles. I and a group of friends – some who later went on to become police officers – sneaked into the theatre repeatedly during its initial run. To this day, it remains entrenched on my all-time Top Ten movie list.

INTERVIEWER: Stephen, you little criminal, we never would have thought it of you. I understand that you have a rather original perspective on this classic film. Want to share that with us?

McCARTHY: Well, back in seventy-five, I thought I was just viewing a magnificently crafted and masterfully acted film centered on the important theme of individualism, and finding and being true to one’s own voice. I had no way of knowing that the movie was actually remarkably prescient with regards to the American political situation that would manifest over thirty years later.

INTERVIEWER: Would you care to elaborate?

McCARTHY: To the viewer in nineteen seventy-five, this movie, which won five Academy Awards, appeared to tell the story of a man who feigns mental illness in order to avoid his prison work detail. While he is undergoing psychiatric evaluation, his rebellious, individualistic spirit “infects” the real “nut cases” who begin to assert themselves much to the resentment of the domineering head nurse at the mental institution. But here in aught six, we can see that the movie was actually foretelling the political situation that this country now finds itself in.

INTERVIEWER: To you, the characters in this movie represent something completely different, don’t they?

McCARTHY: Yes. Actually, CUCKOO’S NEST is about the 2008 Presidential Election. The mental institution itself symbolizes the United States – a loony bin if there ever was one. The domineering, manipulative, and vindictive head nurse, Mildred Ratched, represents Hillary Clinton – a power-hungry woman driven by her insatiable quest for control. It should be pointed out that Louise Fletcher won an Oscar for her remarkable portrayal of Ms. Clinton; capturing every aspect of the senator’s traits, she paints us as good a portrait of Clinton as Clinton herself could have done.

INTERVIEWER: But the senator’s road to The White House is not without obstacles, is it?

McCARTHY: No. Standing in her way is the rebellious underdog, Randle Patrick McMurphy, a man who seeks to bring the nuts around him back to their senses. McMurphy personifies the true American spirit opposed to the socialism and suffocating bureaucratic nature of Nurse Ratched. There is one scene in particular that forcefully illustrates this friction: McMurphy petitions to have the television in the community room turned on so that he and his fellow Americans – or “the mental defective league”, as he accurately refers to them - can watch the second game of the 1963 World Series. Baseball, being “America’s Pastime”, is naturally repugnant to the Leftist Nurse, and so she resorts to her unique brand of sophism in order to prevent genuinely American traditions from being broadcasted into the community (room).

INTERVIEWER: And Nurse Ratched is aided and abetted by-

McCARTHY: She is voted into power and protected by women and minorities. This is conveyed by her ever-present subordinate female nurse and by the mental institution’s watchful and protective orderlies. Ratched’s eventual success in quashing all sense of individualism and driving the country deeper into the pit of Socialism is “shockingly” revealed in the eventual castration of America’s spirit, that being R. P. McMurphy. The castration, however, is thinly veiled by the fact that the scalpel is actually wielded against his “Northern” hemisphere.

INTERVIEWER: Is there no happy ending here?

McCARTHY: No, I’m afraid not. With the true American spirit now impotent, Ms. Clinton occupies the ultimate position of power that she coveted, and the principles of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and George Mason – those formerly enduring ideals NATIVE to America – “fly the coop”, or leave the cuckoo’s nest. This is represented by the “Native American”, Chief Bromden, who heads for the hills.

INTERVIEWER: And isn’t it true that-- Hey, wait, Stephen, where are you going?!

McCARTHY: To pack my bags! I’m afraid that Nurse Ratched really is going to win the 2008 election, and like Chief Bromden, I need to be ready to escape this insane country and “head for the hills.”

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Thursday, June 19, 2008


[From the STMcC archive; 2006, December 17th]

Book: “THE PARTY OF DEATH: The Democrats, The Media, The Courts, And The Disregard For Human Life” by Ramesh Ponnuru; 2006.

Grade: A-

“THE PARTY OF DEATH” by Ramesh Ponnuru is quite possibly the most important book published thus far into “The Aughts” (the year 2000 through 2006). This book goes straight to the heart of its subject, abortion, with penetrating logic, powerful arguments, and probing theories. This is hardly a diatribe; rather, it’s reasoned fairly, but still a persuasive defense for Life, written from a purely secular position. This book deserves to be read and seriously contemplated by every single concerned adult, regardless of where they stand on this controversial and crucial issue. Are you pro-choice? See if your outlook can withstand Ponnuru’s insight and contentions. If so, you will finish the book more informed about your opinion. And if not, you will find yourself driven into the Light of Truth by a nonreligious text.

Five questions:

1) Do you understand the great “misconception” about the Roe v. Wade ruling, and why it leaves the United States alone among its peers in offering no legal protection to the unborn at any stage of development?

2) Did you know that when defenders of the Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortion cited the fact that no medical schools taught it as evidence for the claim that it had little medical value, some major medical schools began teaching it in time to affect the litigation?

3) Are you aware that the much ballyhooed claim that the 1973 Roe decision was necessary to save the lives of women who were dying in large numbers due to illegal abortions is utter nonsense? The Centers for Disease Control reported that 39 women died from illegal abortions in 1972, while 24 women died that same year from the legal variety.

4) Would you like to know how an offhand remark about the music group The Beach Boys was instrumental in transforming NORMA McCORVEY (the REAL name of “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade fame) from an abortion clinic employee into a dedicated antiabortion protester and dogged proponent of a Roe v. Wade ruling reversal?

5) In 1984, Dr. Bernard Nathanson (himself an occasional abortionist at the time) asked his friend Jay, another doctor who was then performing 15 to 20 abortions daily, to tape his next operation with an ultrasound device. Dr. Jay did so, and what he saw during the playback in the editing studio later left him so unnerved that he never performed another abortion. Does this tell you anything?

A November 2004 poll found that 55% of the public thought abortion should either be illegal altogether or illegal with only rape, incest, and for saving-the-life-of-the-mother exceptions. 31% thought it should be legal for any reason but only during the first trimester. Only 9% felt that abortion should be legal for any reason at any time. So, why has the federal government agreed to enforce a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a social issue that only 9% of the population concurs with? (And if you think I’ve misrepresented the ramifications of the Roe v. Wade decision, then you should certainly have answered “No” to question number one above!)

In THE PARTY OF DEATH, Ramesh Ponnuru also illustrates with fine diamond clarity the interrelatedness of abortion, embryo destruction, and euthanasia, and how the slippery slope of the first two will logically and inevitably lead to a snowball effect concerning the last, and subsequently, a severe degrading of society’s regard for life in general. Ponnuru’s writing style did not especially appeal to me, and I wish he had spent a little more time detailing the physiological reactions to CHEMICAL birth control forms, so readers would better understand why these are considered abortifacients by pro-Lifers such as myself. [For additional information on this point, see "THE FACTS ABOUT ABORTION," American Life League's Life Guide Series.] Regardless, Ponnuru’s mental acuity and scalpel-sharp theoretical comparisons makes THE PARTY OF DEATH a true “must-read” publication.

Many years ago, an 18-year-old girl calling herself “TOO YOUNG IN LAS VEGAS” wrote a letter to Dear Abby. She told how she had become pregnant as a result of being raped (a very rare occurrence, by the way). But TOO YOUNG gave birth to the baby anyway and then put the boy up for adoption. Three years later, she was still wearing around her neck a locket containing a photograph of her son. I saved that article because I thought then (and still do) that this was the greatest example of following Saint Paul’s exhortation, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) I will always love that woman, whoever she is, for her brave, bold, life-affirming and evil-conquering act! If only we all had the spiritual sight of TOO YOUNG and could equally see the glory behind the grime.

In THE PARTY OF DEATH, Ramesh Ponnuru effectively dismantles the myth that colonial America did not consider abortion to be a common law crime. And in The Declaration Of Independence, this country’s establishing document, our Founders wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Now, what part of “Life” does America not understand?

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


[From the STMcC archive; 2007, January 14th]

*My grading scale is typical A through F, but with the very highest mark being an R, which is the equivalent of an A++. Why an R? Heck if I know. My Pa used to tell me that in high school he had a drafting teacher whose highest grade was an R. Pa never did learn what the R stood for, nor - sadly - did he ever achieve one.

Book: “WALDEN: 150th Anniversary Illustrated Edition Of The American Classic” by Henry David Thoreau; photographs by Scot Miller; 2004

Grade: R

* “I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

* “I have thus a tight shingled and plastered house, ten feet wide by fifteen long…”

* “A lady once offered me a mat, but as I had no room to spare within the house, nor time to spare within or without to shake it, I declined it, preferring to wipe my feet on the sod before my door. It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.”
~ Henry David Thoreau; “Walden”

“Walden has become as much a state of mind as it is a place.”
~ Scot Miller, photographer; “Walden – 150th Anniversary Illustrated Edition”

For my birthday in 1984, my dear friend, Marty (“rhymes with party”), gave me the 1981 Avenel books hardcover edition of “WORKS OF HENRY DAVID THOREAU.” This compilation contained all of the famous Transcendentalist’s most significant writings and the thirty intriguing Herbert Wendall Gleason black and white photographs that graced the 1906 publication of Thoreau’s complete works.

My dear friend died in an auto accident five years later, but part of his legacy is the passion for Thoreau’s philosophy that his gift awakened in me, and that book which occupies a prestigious place in one of my bookcases right between my "Holy Bible" and my 1st edition copy of Mark Twain’s 1872, "Roughing It." And my book, though yellowed now, looks pretty good for a volume 23 years without a dust jacket (I nearly always trash the things immediately), and for having been completely read twice, and thumbed through hundreds of times!

A couple of years ago, GFM (Good Friend Melanie) gave me a softcover copy of “WALDEN AND OTHER WRITINGS," and I was glad to have it as it contained a couple of essays and excerpts I’d not previously read, and it provided me with a copy of Thoreau’s best works that I could loan out to others.

Therefore, when my friend, Pooh, and I flew into Philadelphia in late August 2005, to visit the birthplace of our nation, and then to drive north to visit Walden Pond and environs, I did not consider purchasing a copy of this 150th ANNIVERSARY ILLUSTRATED EDITION of WALDEN for myself while in Thoreau’s hometown. I already had two copies of this true classic and couldn’t see buying a third despite the stunning pictures included in this publication. I did, however, bring home a copy as a gift for GFM. (The woman in the bookstore in downtown Concord, Massachusetts, pointed out to me that the original publishing price, printed on the inside flap of the dust jacket, was $28.12, half a cent less than Thoreau tells us it cost him to build his little house at Walden’s shore in 1845. He officially moved into his homemade home on the appropriate date of July 4th, and an American classic was born!)

One day, shortly after returning from my memorable trip, I borrowed from GFM the copy I had given her, so I could gaze upon the nearly 100 Scot Miller photographs once again. And I was so awed by the indescribably gorgeous and practically breathtaking pictures of the Walden area and its flora and fauna, that I realized I needed to own this book like Thoreau needed solitude. And that’s how I came by Thoreau’s "WALDEN" for a THIRD time! While Marty’s gift reigns for sentimental reasons, the 150th Anniversary Illustrated Edition is tops in exquisite beauty – a lovelier and more profound coffee table book is simply unimaginable; a richer gift for a valued friend couldn’t be purchased at ANY price! This edition is simply a divine marriage of Thoreau’s insight into the nature of Man and his place in nature, and Scot Miller’s illustrations of the natural world wherein Thoreau made those treasured observations over a century and a half ago. Hey, I even left the dust jacket on this book despite the fact that the jacket’s photograph (which barely even hints at the wonders inside) is also reprinted on page 2.

In Thoreau’s "WALDEN," the naturalist makes the following observation in the chapter titled, “Sounds”:

“I had this advantage, at least, in my mode of life, over those who were obliged to look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre, that my life itself was become my amusement and never ceased to be novel. It was a drama of many scenes and without an end.”

And in these photographs, Scot Miller has brilliantly captured with his camera the splendor of that “drama of many scenes” at Thoreau’s old stamping ground.

I’m not knowledgeable in the techniques of photography, so I can’t explain to you HOW Miller was able to make photographs like these (it seems obvious to me, however, that he must employ an array of various filters and such). All that I CAN tell you is that words can’t describe the virtual explosion of colors (like nature vibrantly celebrating that 1845 4th of July within Herself) and the uncommon degree of visible detail to be found (staring at those rocks and leaves in “Still Life Under Ice”, I can almost feel the bone-numbing cold that would penetrate my hand if I held any one of those stones). “Magical Fairyland Pond” is the perfect caption for that dreamlike picture of Walden’s sister pond. When I’m lost in the “Sunrise On Frozen Walden Pond,” I can almost hear a lonely dog barking from across the glittering snow while hidden deep in the distant wooded shore. I’m not even going to attempt to describe the “Nature’s Palette, Heywood’s Meadow” photograph on page 32. Suffice to say that God is “THE” Master Painter. Incredible! (And Scot Miller, you’re a wonder, too!)

This beauty of a book represents the pinnacle of the publisher’s art, and it includes a photograph of the exact site of Thoreau’s 1845 cabin (previously obscured by a cairn), and a picture of Henry’s simple tombstone, which I visited at the Author’s Ridge section of the Concord cemetary where our hero’s physical body gradually became a part of the nature that his spirit loved so much.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy