Odd Ball Conservatives Say the Darndest Things

Number 10 in a Series

As mentioned before, I’m signed up for a number of conservative newsletters. One is from Hillsdale College, an institution with considerable history and located in Michigan. Another is from the Media Research Center. Ask me whether the two are somehow connected. It’s not necessary to look far for the answer. MRC frequently references Hillsdale in their several times weekly email. Here is something recently:

Below is a special message from our advertiser, Hillsdale College. The financial support provided by these occasional messages allows us to provide, at no cost to you, these vital updates. Please note that the following message reflects the opinions and representations of our advertiser alone, and not necessarily the opinion or editorial positions of the Media Research Center.

[Followed by]

Fellow American,

Journalists, professors, and politicians on the Left want you to feel guilty about our nation’s heritage. They would rather erase the liberty that so many brave men and women fought and died to preserve—and even apologize for it!

There is more, of course, but this is a good indicator of America’s conservative mindset. “Journalists, professors, and politicians on the Left want you to feel guilty about our nation’s heritage.”

Really? The writer provides no citations. We have to guess at instances of those on the left wanting us to feel guilty, which guessing can produce unintended consequences. It could be we guess at a republic that started life with a constitution accommodating slavery. Fact is, the first draft of the Constitution, before others got around to making changes, did not provide protections against an intrusive government. Freedom of speech, right to a fair trial, protection of private property from government seizure, all were allowed under the Constitution as unamended.

Even the first ten amendments to the Constitution did not eliminate laws supporting slavery. Two more amendments were added before number 13 addressed protection against this insult to humanity—72 years after the Bill of Rights. Is this what the good people at Hillsdale College have in mind when they charge those on the left of being ashamed of our inheritance?

There is more. The ad from Hillsdale gives room to consider America’s left wants us to feel guilty about:

  • Genocide against indigenous people
  • A hundred years of denial of civil rights to Americans following the elimination of legally sanctioned slavery.

Left to their own imaginations, fans of MRC, and likewise Hillsdale College, may not need specific examples. They need only something to reinforce an inner voice that tells them something is deathly wrong with the political opposition. The consequences include a poisonous fruit.

We now have an elected president who feeds off this inner voice, speaking to his listeners’ darkest nature, eliciting a response counter to any and all that would make this country proud:

Heckler yells ‘scumbag’ to media at Trump rally

At a campaign-style rally, President Donald Trump egged the crowd on to heckle the media. CNN’s Jim Acosta describes his experience.

A free and protected press (now encompassing multi-dimensional media), is targeted by a sitting president, and attacks against verifiable truth are moving the boundaries. Is this the kind of thing Hillsdale urges on its students? That they do not distance themselves from this obscenity speaks volumes.

This is your President speaking.

Number 110 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!

Well played, Mr. President, well played. But the question remains: how whacked out do you have to be to earn a presidential pardon these days? We may have, this day, established a new standard.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 113).

Y’all keep safe out there. The NRA is on your side when you act positively to protect yourself and your community:

Michigan police still haven’t decided if they are going to charge a 47-year-old woman with a felony after she opened fire at alleged shoplifters at a Home Depot.

According to The Detroit News, the woman happened upon a store security officer who looked like he was trying to stop a shoplifter. When the suspects tried to escape in their vehicle, the woman pulled out her concealed 9mm handgun and opened fire.

That’s some quick thinking, Lady. Let me know the next you and your piece are headed toward my neighborhood.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

Saw this one before. Must have been on TV, because I don’t have a copy. It’s now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, where I obtained these screen shots. It’s Marathon Man from 1976, based on a novel of the same name by William Goldman. It’s from Paramount Pictures. Details are from Wikipedia. Here’s a quick overview.

Opening  titles show Thomas Babington “Babe” Levy (Dustin Hoffman) on a running trail, apparently along the Hudson River near Columbia University, since we soon learn he is a graduate history student there. The scene switches back and forth with a sequence showing an old German immigrant withdrawing a packet of something precious from a bank safety box. As he exits the bank he brushes up beside a man wearing a blue blazer, and he slips the packet into  the man’s hand, and the two go their separate ways. This movie is supposed to be a super suspense thriller, but it kicks off with grand comedy.

Mr. Szell (Ben Dova) gets into his car and shortly gets involved in a road rage tussle with an immigrant Jew. The exchange between the two involves racial slurs and some common German insults: “Gehen Sie zum Teufel!” (Go to the Devil or Go to hell). It ends when both drivers crash into a fuel truck and are incinerated. Babe, crossing a bridge on his run, observes the conflagration.

Cut to Babe’s brother, Henry “Doc” Levy (Roy Scheider), from all appearances a very shady operator. He is the person the late Mr. Szell passed the packet to. Anyhow, he’s now in Paris, up to something nefarious. He drops off the packet to another suspicious character, and he notices the man seems surprised to see him, alive. When he returns to his car a time bomb hidden in a baby carriage detonates near his car.

Things continue to unravel. He goes to the opera to for an agreed meeting with the suspicious man. When he gets to the specified opera box, he finds the man has been murdered. As he exits the opera he warns off a woman who is coming to  meet him. She disappears into the darkness and is apparently murdered. Back at his hotel room he kills another man who comes to murder him. Something is afoot.

He discusses the situation with his partner in suspense, Peter Janeway (William Devane).

Meanwhile, down Uruguay way, Dr. Christian Szell (Laurence Olivier), is the brother of the other, late, Mr. Szell. He changes his appearance in  preparation for coming to the United States. His brother’s death has made it necessary for him to be doing what his brother had been doing  for him.

Meanwhile, Babe’s fortunes improve. Researching in the school library (before Google), Babe spies a very interesting woman. She is stand-offish, but he pursues her to great success. She is Elsa Opel (Marthe Keller) from Switzerland.

Only she is not from Switzerland. Doc comes to New York to visit Babe at his apartment. Meanwhile Elsa and Babe have been attacked in Central Park by muggers wearing suits. Doc is most interested in this. The brothers also get into  a heated discussion of their father, who was a victim of the McCarthy witch-hunts and subsequently shot himself with a .45 Colt.

Doc treats Babe and Elsa to dinner at a swanky restaurant, where he quickly determines that Elsa is a phony. She is not from Switzerland, but from Germany.

Doc pays a visit to Dr. Szell, who is now in New York, his appearance disguised. He is der weiße Engel (the White Angel), a notorious Nazi fugitive who performed grotesque medical experiments on Jewish prisoners. In a face-to-face confrontation Dr. Szell guts Doc with a blade he hides in his sleeve. Doc makes it back to Babe’s apartment, mumbles a few words, and dies.

The police come. Janeway comes. The police leave with Doc’s body. Janeway questions Babe and warns him some people may come calling. Janeway will keep an eye out.

The people come while Babe is in the bathtub. As they work at breaking down the bathroom door we get to see Dustin Hoffman’s bare butt. Sorry, no screen shots.

They take Babe to visit Dr. Szell, who performs dental procedures without anesthetic as a way of obtaining the answer to that question that has burned for all time in our brains, “Is it safe.”

But Babe escapes, and he learns Janeway is in on the scheme. Here comes the part for the marathon runner as Babe outdistances Janeway down darkened Manhattan streets. He contacts Elsa, and she picks him up in a car, driving him to this house out in the middle of nowhere. Babe immediately suspects Elsa, and that suspicion proves to be true.

As they wait, Babe exhibits his father’s pistol, which he has kept all this time. Presently Janeway arrives in a car with two other gunmen. In a ridiculous standoff, Babe kills the two accomplices and rushes outside the house. Elsa makes a move, and Janeway shoots her dead. Babe blasts a few rounds through a window and kills Janeway. Now it’s just Babe against the evil Dr. Szell.

Szell has gone to the bank with the safety box key, and he has retrieved a passel of diamonds from the valult. He is now confronted with a mystery. He has been in the Uruguay outback since 1945, and he knows nothing about the jewelry business. He needs to find out what his treasure is worth. New York is the place to go. We see Szell visiting jewelers, apparently on 47th street, the city’s diamond market place. Unfortunately for Szell, these shops are run almost entirely by Jews, some of whom are Holocaust survivors.

One jeweler, a survivor, thinks he recognizes Szell from the concentration camp days. A woman on the street, played by Madge Kennedy, knows immediately he is der weiße Engel, and she runs down the street shouting this out. The jeweler comes out and confronts Szell, who slashes his throat with his famous sleeve knife.

But Babe has been stalking Szell, and he confronts  him on the sidewalk with his father’s pistol, saying “It isn’t safe.” He forces Szell to go with him to a city water plant, where there will be a final  showdown. Wary of any knife trick, Babe keeps his distance and names the price for Szell’s life. He takes the valise full of diamonds and tells Szell he can  keep all that he can swallow. He punctuates his demands by periodically tossing a few diamonds into the water.

But quickly Szell has had enough, and he is sure Babe will not shoot. Babe throws the remaining treasure into the water, and Szell tumbles down  the steel spiral stairs, falling on his own blade. We see Babe running along the Hudson, pausing to toss the pistol over the chain link fence, into the water.

Great suspense, mystery, action, drama—from beginning to end. However, there is no point to this narrative except to thrill viewers with suspense, mystery, action, and drama. Olivier was being treated for cancer while making this film. He obtained an Oscar nomination for performance, beat the cancer, and lived another 13 years. This was Ben Dova’s only film appearance. It was Madge Kennedy’s final film. She died 11 years later.

Wacko Right Wing Religious Fanatics Say The Darndest Things

Number 17 of a continuing series

I like to tell people that right-wing religious fanatics say the darndest things, and I don’t have far to go when looking for examples. Most recently (see the above link) I caught a video of right-wing religious fanatic Paul McGuire appearing on the Jim Bakker Show. He was there with co-author Troy Anderson, and much of the discussion centered on the book. Jesus will forgive me, but I had to purchase a copy. It is Trumpocalypse, and the Kindle edition is $14 ($13.99), delivered in seconds to my computer. Remember, I read these so that you won’t have to.

Anyhow, it’s worth a stroll through the 316 pages to see what passes for wisdom in some circles. I did that and picked out some bits for your enjoyment. First, some stats:

  • The word “conspiracy” appears 31 times.
  • Hillary Clinton is mentioned 51 times.
  • President Obama is mentioned 58 times.
  • There are 22 references to the Rothschild family.
  • “Apocalypse” appears 18 times, always capitalized.
  • There are 51 references to variations of the term “end-times.”
  • “Occult” appears 113 times.
  • “Deep state” appears 32 times.
  • Variations of “supernatural” appear in  52 places, sometimes in reference to the title of a work.
  • “Multi-dimensional” does not appear anywhere in any form in the book, despite author McGuire’s recent statement on the Jim BakkerShow that President Trump is currently engulfed in a battle with “advanced beings” who possess ‘supernatural multidimensional’ powers.”
  • And finally the book uses “Illuminati” 147 times, always capitalized.

It is worth noting that many of these references occur in passages McGuire quotes from others. Fact is, a significant bulk of text consists of quoted passages. Here is the context of some of these references, with key phrases highlighted.

“[The Economist] also happens to be owned by the Rothschild family and has a knack for touching on Illuminist pictures, hints, and outright disclosures guaranteed to make conspiracy theorists do a double-take,” explained S. Douglas Woodward, an Oracle and Microsoft executive and prophecy expert. “This year it has truly outdone itself. (By the way in 1988 the magazine predicted on its cover that in 2018 there would be a one-world government with a global currency and singular economic system. That is sure to pique any Bible prophecy buff’s interest.)”

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 3). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

Throughout the 2016 presidential race, the world became intensely fascinated with the prophecies involving Trump and former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton and how a series of seemingly unrelated events—the populist uprising against the globalist elite and an explosion in occult phenomena—align with what prophecy scholars believe is a convergence in end-time markers.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (pp. 2-3). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

In recent decades, and largely during the Obama administration, many Americans watched with dismay as their nation—one the Pilgrims dedicated to God in the Mayflower Compact four centuries ago—underwent a radical and malevolent transformation.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 7). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

The best-known of the purported thirteen Illuminati families, according to the special publication Secret Societies: The Truth Revealed, are the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. In his book Our Occulted History: Do the Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens?, Jim Marrs wrote that the Rothschilds believe they are descended from Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah. In this belief system, the “Anunnaki/Nefilim,” according to interpretations of ancient stone tablets from Sumer, are extraterrestrials who visited Earth in “fantastic flying machines” long ago and manipulated the “DNA of primitives on Earth”—creating “kings and dynasties” among “the new hybrids.” The term “Nefilim” is the biblical “Nephilim.” A growing number of Bible scholars say Nephilim were the offspring of women and fallen angels as described in Genesis 6:1–4, Numbers 13:30–33, and Jude 4–8. “The practice of dynastic kingship based on a royal lineage traceable to the gods has affected nations and governments up to the present day, as evidenced by the fact that the Rothschilds of today claim kinship with Nimrod,” Marrs wrote.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 100). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

[Referring to Donald Trump] The stunning victory of “the chaos candidate” not only confounded the predictions of pundits and pollsters but also created an eschatological mind-twister for students of the Apocalypse who are convinced the world is on the fast track to the end of human civilization.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 1). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

Since his thunderbolt election, Trump’s presidency has ignited end-time mania among Christians, Jews, Muslims, New Age adherents, and others curious as to how his presidency may fit into an increasingly mystifying prophetic puzzle, and whether the controversial and bombastic billionaire could paradoxically be a “John the Baptist” figure who will help usher in the “Messiah” and ultimately the Second Coming.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 2). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

These allegations of widespread occult influence in Washington, DC, came amid growing concerns about a “Deep State coup” and an explosion in occult phenomenon in America and worldwide.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 87). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

In what was perhaps the strangest presidential election in American history, the headlines shortly before Election Day 2016 hinted at the dark underbelly of a “diabolical scandal”—one that involves not just Bill and Hillary Clinton, but the “Deep State” and occult elite globally:

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 86). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

Finally, potential wars and nuclear conflicts are simmering around the world in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, the Pacific Rim, and Israel. A 2015 Brookings Institution poll found that 79 percent of evangelical Christians believe violence in the Middle East is a sign that the end times are “nearer.” The poll found that 81 percent of evangelicals believe Christ will return but are unsure when it will happen. A total of 73 percent say world events will turn against Israel as the world gets closer to the Rapture (the belief that Christians will be supernaturally removed from Earth to join Christ in eternity).

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 34). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

The “Illuminati” is a term that holds tremendous fascination with some right-wing religious fanatics, and the book is loaded with  references:

“We are having an incredible outpouring of occult things, of various alternative religions that are occult-based like Wicca, and even the Satanic Temple group that is getting so much press,” says Rev. William “Bill” Schnoebelen, a biblical authority on alternative religions and the occult and former Druidic high priest. “When I was into this stuff in the 1960s, it was all kind of in the closet. It’s now out in the open and it’s been mainstreamed… We have turned the reins of the culture over to Hollywood, and it’s been a disaster because the media, for the most part, are entirely owned by the Illuminati. All these different entertainers—Miley Cyrus, Madonna, and whatnot—are totally sold out to the devil’s agenda, and because of that, they have this enormous influence on the culture, especially with younger people, and we are losing this battle.”

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 89). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

For many years, an odd mix of investigative journalists, whistleblowers, prophecy experts, and others warned of the dangers of globalism—sounding the alarm that the wealthy elite and secret societies were planning a global coup to launch a world state, cashless society, and New Age–Illuminati-based religious system.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 95). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

The occult elite view themselves as “god-kings.” The term “Illuminati bloodlines” refers to the belief that certain families born thousands of years ago are genetically descended from entities who visited Earth from outer space or another dimension, but whom the Bible describes as fallen angels.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (pp. 99-100). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

Throughout history, members of secret societies have wielded enormous influence over the world’s most powerful empires. The Newsweek publication “Secret Societies: Infiltrating the Inner Circle” lists the names of the better-known secret societies: Druids, the Order of the Assassins, Knights Templar, Rosicrucians, and the Bavarian Illuminati. Semisecret societies like the Freemasons, Yale University’s Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove, Bilderberg Group, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, and Club of Rome are often the topic of books, films, and media articles. Among these groups, the Bavarian Illuminati—a historical secret society founded May 1, 1776, by Adam Weishaupt, a professor at the University of Ingolstadt—has captured the world’s imagination and has been the focus of blockbuster books like Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code and films like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Celebrities often flash the Illuminati “pyramid signal” in music videos and during concerts.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 102). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

And that is as far as intend to take this. Don’t look for a complete review of the book. This should suffice. Readers can view the excerpts and come to their own conclusions. Mine is that there is another world out there. It’s a place where truth and fact tread lightly, being required often to pull back as unfounded thought rumbles through.

Dying to Believe

Number 107 in a series

The depth of human folly seems to have no limits, and five hundred years of enlightenment have been for naught. Unsubstantiated belief remains the deadly sinkhole it always was:

Infection alert after dying Ebola patients taken to Congo prayer meeting

Fortunately for this country, our highest elected officials have grown past false belief. Wait! Never mind.

This is your President speaking.

Number 109 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Thank you for joining us on this solemn day of remembrance. We are gathered here on the sacred soil of Cemetery to honor the lives and deeds of America’s greatest heroes, the men and women who laid down their lives for our freedom.

“We now find out that the Obama Administration put the opposing campaigns presidential candidate, or his campaign, under investigation. That raises legitimate questions. I just find this really odd…this goes to the heart of our electoral system.” Jonathan Turley on

“Sally Yates is part of concerns people have raised about bias in the Justice Dept. I find her actions to be really quite unbelievable.” Jonathan Turley

“The President deserves some answers.” in discussing “SPYGATE.”

Why didn’t President Obama do something about the so-called Russian Meddling when he was told about it by the FBI before the Election? Because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win, and he didn’t want to upset the apple cart! He was in charge, not me, and did nothing.

Why didn’t the 13 Angry Democrats investigate the campaign of Crooked Hillary Clinton, many crimes, much Collusion with Russia? Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? Rigged Investigation!

When will the 13 Angry Democrats (& those who worked for President O), reveal their disqualifying Conflicts of Interest? It’s been a long time now! Will they be indelibly written into the Report along with the fact that the only Collusion is with the Dems, Justice, FBI & Russia?

This whole Russia Probe is Rigged. Just an excuse as to why the Dems and Crooked Hillary lost the Election and States that haven’t been lost in decades. 13 Angry Democrats, and all Dems if you include the people who worked for Obama for 8 years. & CONFLICTS OF INTEREST!

With Spies, or “Informants” as the Democrats like to call them because it sounds less sinister (but it’s not), all over my campaign, even from a very early date, why didn’t the crooked highest levels of the FBI or “Justice” contact me to tell me of the phony Russia problem?

The Failing quotes “a senior White House official,” who doesn’t exist, as saying “even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.” WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources.

Unlike what the Failing and Corrupt New York Times would like people to believe, there is ZERO disagreement within the Trump Administration as to how to deal with North Korea…and if there was, it wouldn’t matter. The has called me wrong right from the beginning!

Thank you, Mr. President, for taking this day of remembrance to honor those who have served our country. And also thank you for honoring yourself for all the tribulations that daily beset you as you go about your service to those who mean the most to you, including Stormy Daniels and others as yet unnamed. Without your words to  remind us it is possible we might forget that it is because of people such as yourself that we fight.

Bad Movie of the Week

One of a series

Here’s one from 1955, and it’s in color. It’s A Man Alone, starring Ray Milland and Mary Murphy. It also features Ward Bond and Raymond Burr, who was beginning to make a name for himself in films about that time, having been the wife killer the previous year in  Rear Window. The movie is currently streaming on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots. It’s from Republic Pictures. Details are from Wikipedia.

The opening shots show a man alone (hence the title) in the desert, when his horse meets with an accident.

The man is Wes Steele (Milland), and he has the unpleasant task of shooting his crippled horse. That leaves the man alone and afoot in the desert with an empty canteen and a wad of cash stuffed in his shirt. Seeking to survive, he treks across the barren landscape until he happens upon the remains of a stagecoach holdup and massacre. A woman passenger and a man passenger have been shot dead. Likewise the driver and the woman’s small child. A strongbox that had contained cash is empty on the ground.

For some reason, not explained in the film, the man pulls the driver’s shotgun out of its scabbard and extracts two (apparently spent) shells. He replaces the shotgun. He takes for himself a canteen of water from  the coach, and he releases the trace horses, keeping one for himself. He rides the horse into the nearest town, leaving the other three horses to arrive ahead of him.

The three horses arriving alone stir some talk in the local saloon. The deputy sheriff wanders out into the darkened street to investigate while the man, who has just then arrived, is tying up his horse. In the darkness there is an excess of caution, and the deputy pulls his gun. The man, hearing the sound, pulls his piece. The deputy is wounded seriously in an exchange of fire, and the man seeks shelter in the darkened street.

The first place he finds an unlocked door is the local bank (or some other business). He lets himself in quietly, and eavesdrops as the stagecoach robbers discuss the day’s disastrous caper. The leader of the operation seems to  be a man known only as Stanley (Burr). His hired gunman named Clanton (Lee Van Cleef) describes the reason he had to kill all the passengers was the woman pulled off his mask and identified him. Their partner in crime, Luke Joiner (randon Rhodes) is aghast at the whole business and announces he wants to take his cut and get out of town. We know what this usually means in a criminal gang. There is only one way to deal with somebody who’s getting cold feet.

Steele, listening in the adjoining darkened room, makes a careless move and kicks a spittoon. Joiner goes into the room and fires off a shot. He is rewarded by two shots in the back from Clanton.

Steele makes his getaway in the dark and finds an unlocked cellar door. He lets himself in, and he hides behind the woodpile when a sweet young thing comes down the stairs. She is Nadine Corrigan (Murphy), and she is the sheriff’s (Ward Bond) daughter. The sheriff is in bed upstairs with yellow fever, which is why his deputy was the one taking the bullet earlier.

Steele hides out in the cellar overnight, and in the morning he reveals himself to Nadine. He shows his kinder side by helping her care for her ailing father. Over time an attraction develops.

Steele learns of Stanley, and he figures his gang was responsible for the massacre. One night he sneaks out and confronts Stanley, intending to stomp his ass into the ground.

That he does, leaving Stanley for dead. But Clanton spots him on the street and follows him back to the sheriff’s house. Soon a vigilante mob gathers, demanding Steele be turned over for hanging.

But in the meantime, Nadine has overheard delirious mumblings from her father, and she figures he has been covering for the gang of bandits. She examines her father’s books and spots suspicious wealth.

The sheriff, now recovered, wants to turn Steele over to the mob. Nadine convinces him he must do something honorable to atone, so he spirits Steele out of town in the dead of night, taking him into the desert and pointing the way to escape. Then he returns to the town to face his own justice.

The town’s people turn on him and proceed to string him up. But we know that Steele is not the kind of man to cover his own ass and leave somebody else to swing.

Before the noose can be tightened, Steele appears on the street and orders the Sheriff released. Steele tells the town’s people of Stanley’s complicity in the past string of robberies and in the massacre. Stanley and his men take refuge in the saloon, and one of  the gang volunteers to go out and mediate. Once on the street the man gives up Stanley, informing the people that Stanley is the ring leader. Canton shoots him in the back.

That triggers a gunfight in the saloon, where Steele kills Clanton and another gang member. The sheriff enters and arrests Stanley. He leads Stanley out into the street, prepared to face his own justice. Steele allows as how he will stay on in the town, and the movie ends there in the street with Nadine and Steele in a loving embrace.

And the plot is much too contrived. It has the stamp of Ray Milland, who directed it, all over—a story of fall  and redemption, pulling memories of The Lost Weekend, for which he earned an Oscar. The year before this movie he arranged the murder of his wife in Dial M for Murder, Late one night decades ago, I caught The Thief on TV, a film that has no dialog. I swear, that night I watched this from beginning to end without blinking, waiting for somebody to say something. That’s the kind of stuff Milland was famous for.

Of course, Raymond Burr went on to become more famous as Ironside, playing the title role in the long-running TV series.

The year before, Mary Murphy appeared in The Wild One with Marlon Brando, becoming famous for asking, “What are you rebelling against?” (“What’ve you got?”). She was Fredric March‘s daughter in The Desperate Hours, also starring Humphrey Bogart. Ward Bond finished up his career five years later as the wagon master in Wagon Train on TV.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a continuing series

The original Hollywood Squares debuted in 1966 and featured a panel of stars in a larger-than-life tic-tac-toe game. Rose Marie was one of the longest comedians on the show and appeared in the first and last network episodes.

Rose Marie, like most of the panelists, adopted her own unique schtick when answering questions. She played a love-lorn personality similar to her husband-hunting character Sally Rogers from The Dick Van Dyke Show.

While some of the panelists received behind-the-scenes help, Rose Marie wasn’t given the show’s questions in advance so her punchlines were made up on the spot. Here are some laugh-worthy zingers that Rose Marie delivered.

Question: According to Dear Abby, is there a law that can force a man to marry a woman?

Rose Marie: Yes, and I think it’s called a mother-in-law.

Question: Which is the most valuable gem now on the market?
Rose Marie: Men.

Question: Does your face look more wrinkled when you get up in the morning or go to bed at night?
Rose Marie: I imagine it’d be more wrinkled at night. It’s been out longer.

Question: According to beauty experts, put some egg white on your face, leave it on for two minutes, and then rinse with cool water. If you’ve been successful, what’s gone?
Rose Marie: The egg white.

Question: Can a mink coat be considered a necessity in real life?

Rose Marie: Yeah, I think it is to another mink.

Question: According to Billy Graham, there is only thing that can satisfy your deepest longings?
Rose Marie: Do you want names?

Question: Can intense pleasure bring on a heart attack?
Rose Marie: How would I know?

Question: What is “John Brown’s Body?”
Rose Marie: I found it to be very warm and wonderful.

Question: According to a nationwide poll, whom do more Americans say they trust more – garbage collectors or doctors?

Rose Marie: How can you put those two together? I guess because they both remove things.

Question: The great sphinx of Egypt has a human’s head and who’s body?
Rose Marie: Milton Berle’s.

Question: True or False. It is now possible to hire a wife for 500 dollars a month.
Rose Marie: I’ll take 450 and bus fare.

Question: What is the scientific term for the study of man?
Rose Marie: Cruising the boulevard.

Question: According to the National Safety Council, if your clothes catch on fire, will running help?

Rose Marie: No, but it’s great for the legs.

Question: Ann Landers advises that when someone phones you and says “I called you last night, and you weren’t home. Where were you,” you should reply by saying what?
Rose Marie: Peter [Marshall], if you called I was home.

Question: According to Vogue, what flower has traditionally represented innocence and purity?
Rose Marie: Well, it’s not the rose.
Peter Marshall: Not the Rose we know anyway.

Question: A famous television personality has written a novel titled Everything a Man Could Want. Who wrote it?
Rose Marie: I did. It’s my autobiography. And it’s not selling, Peter.

Question: How far does a horse run in a Kentucky Derby?
Rose Marie: As long as he can go.

Question: As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while you are talking?
Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing older question, Peter, and I’ll give you a gesture you’ll never forget!

Question: In bowling, what’s a perfect score?
Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Question: During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?

Rose Marie: Unfortunately, Peter, I’m always safe in the bedroom.

Question: The Bible states that “your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see…” what?
Rose Marie: See me after the show.

Question: Dear Abby says that there is only one reason people lie. What reason is that?
Rose Marie: They want to get re-elected.

Wacko Right Wing Religious Fanatics Say The Darndest Things

Number 16 of a continuing series

Yes, they really do. Take, for instance, right wing religious fanatic Paul McGuire, as brought to my attention by Dead State:

Last week, End Times author Paul McGuire appeared on the Jim Bakker Show and declared that President Trump is currently engulfed in “the greatest spiritual battle in the history of all mankind.” He expanded on his claim on his radio program this Thursday, this time clarifying that the battle is with “advanced beings” who possess “supernatural multidimensional” powers.

Allow me to restate for emphasis: “supernatural multidimensional” powers. I can get the supernatural part, because that’s what right wing religious fanatics are all about. But “multidimensional?” Whoa! That’s mathematics. That’s supposed to be my department.

But wait. Before this gets even weirder, it’s worth taking a look at the video from the Jim Bakker Show linked above. For those who don’t have time to wade through all 58 minutes, here are a few screen shots and some quotes:

First of all, a big part of this video is about selling McGuire’s book, Trumpocalypse. It is co-authored by Troy Anderson, who also appears in the video.

Of course, there is Jim Bakker, now out of prison:

James Orsen Bakker, born January 2, 1940) is an American televangelist, former Assemblies of God minister, convicted felon, and former host (with his former wife, Tammy Faye Bakker) of The PTL Club, an evangelical Christian television program. Bakker is also known for building Heritage USA in Fort Mill, South Carolina, a former Christian theme park which opened in 1978 and closed in 1989. He has written several books, including I Was Wrong and Time Has Come: How to Prepare Now for Epic Events Ahead.

A cover-up of hush money paid to Bakker’s secretary, Jessica Hahn, for alleged rape led to his resignation from the ministry. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about his conviction, imprisonment and divorce. Bakker later remarried and returned to televangelism, where he works on The Jim Bakker Show. He sells buckets of food to his audience on the show, in preparation for the end of days.

Also:

Crimes

The PTL Club’s fundraising activities between 1984 and 1987 were reported by The Charlotte Observer, eventually leading to criminal charges against Bakker. Bakker and his PTL associates sold $1,000 “lifetime memberships”, entitling buyers to an annual three-night stay at a luxury hotel at Heritage USA, during that period. According to the prosecution at Bakker’s fraud trial, tens of thousands of memberships were sold but only one 500-room hotel was ever finished. Bakker sold “exclusive partnerships” which exceeded capacity, raising more than twice the money needed to build the hotel. Much of the money paid Heritage USA’s operating expenses, and Bakker kept $3.4 million.

A $279,000 payoff for the silence of Jessica Hahn, who alleged that Bakker and pastor John Wesley Fletcher drugged and raped her, was paid with PTL’s funds through Bakker’s associate Roe Messner. Bakker, who made the PTL organization’s financial decisions, allegedly kept two sets of books to conceal accounting irregularities. Charlotte Observer reporters, led by Charles Shepard, investigated the PTL organization’s finances and published a series of articles.

On March 19, 1987, after the disclosure of a payoff to Hahn, Bakker resigned from PTL. Although he acknowledged that he met Hahn at a hotel room in Clearwater, Florida, he denied raping her. In late March 1987, Bakker was succeeded as PTL head by Jerry Falwell. Later that summer, as donations declined sharply in the wake of Bakker’s resignation and the end of the Bakkers’ PTL Club TV program, Falwell raised $20 million to keep PTL solvent and took a promised water slide ride at Heritage USA.

Fraud conviction and imprisonment

After a 16-month federal grand-jury probe, Bakker was indicted in 1988 on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. In 1989, after a five-week trial which began on August 28 in Charlotte, North Carolina, a jury found him guilty on all 24 counts. Judge Robert Daniel Potter sentenced Bakker to 45 years in federal prison and imposed a $500,000 fine. At the Federal Medical Center, Rochester in Rochester, Minnesota, he shared a cell with activist Lyndon LaRouche and skydiver Roger Nelson.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld Bakker’s conviction on the fraud and conspiracy charges, voided Bakker’s 45-year sentence and $500,000 fine, and ordered a new sentencing hearing in February 1991. The court ruled that Potter’s sentencing statement about Bakker, that “those of us who do have a religion are ridiculed as saps from [sic] money-grubbing preachers or priests”, was evidence that the judge had injected his religious beliefs into Bakker’s sentence.

A sentence-reduction hearing was held on November 16, 1992, and Bakker’s sentence was reduced to eight years. In August 1993, he was transferred to a minimum-security federal prison in Jesup, Georgia. Bakker was paroled in July 1994, after serving almost five years of his sentence. His son, Jay, spearheaded a letter-writing campaign to the parole board advocating leniency. Bakker was released from Federal Bureau of Prisons custody on December 1, 1994.

Tammy Faye has since died, and Jim Bakker now appears on television with his new wife, Lori Bakker.

Apocalypse and The End Times feature prominently in these religious programs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9SXamL_Nh4Banners at the bottom of the screen hawk the book.

Paul McGuire is not angry at his book. He’s just angry.

Some quotes

Troy Anderson: And now we’ve watched the media become so liberal and so biased and so all-out…attack on our president.

Jim Bakker: That’s what this book is all about. How can God use Trump? Trump is God’s wrecking ball.

Paul McGuire: God was looking for a man [pauses for emphasis] to take care of business.

Paul McGuire: He’s not a cream puff. He’s a warrior. So, who is going to defend our Christian liberties? Who’s going to keep the Constitution safe for freedom of religion? [Screen is filled with a photo of President Trump with the White House in the background and an on-screen banner that says “Donald J. Trump 45th President of the United States.”]

Paul McGuire: [Speaking of President Trump] We watch the man’s back, but not only that, but we watch his back as he drives every scoundrel, skunk, thief, deceiver, two-faced liar… [pause for emphasis, camera shifts] …with all the credentials, three-letter words… [An obvious reference to agencies such as the FBI, CIA, NSA]

Paul McGuire: He’s a mortal man. They want to kill him.

And that will about do it for quotes from the video. You need to watch it. It gets deeper than I have revealed.

It’s a curse. Somewhere in my youth I crossed the wrong god, and now I find myself having to atone. I get started writing one of these through a link that crops up on a news feed, and I innocently figure to write a short blurb and take my afternoon  nap. Then it happens. I get sucked down into the rabbit hole as I follow link after link, and I end up purchasing the book. It’s $13.99 from Amazon for the Kindle edition, but there is tax, despite what President Trump has promised you. But the book gets delivered in under 30 seconds, and you can’t pour yourself a diet soda during that time.

So here are a few quotes from the book. First from a chapter titled “Deep State Coup and Occult Explosion.” It’s a quote from somebody besides the authors of the book.

Well, I found some examples that I’ve seen firsthand in Washington—evidence, the influence of occultism, certainly witchcraft… You have a lot of witchcraft. You have a lot of hedonism. You have all the issues. When I think of Sodom and Gomorrah I often think of Washington, DC, in the same thought.

—LIEUTENANT COLONEL BOB MAGINNIS (RETIRED), SENIOR FELLOW FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AT THE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 86). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

The Family Research Council is another of those rabbit holes you might want to check out.

In what was perhaps the strangest presidential election in American history, the headlines shortly before Election Day 2016 hinted at the dark underbelly of a “diabolical scandal”—one that involves not just Bill and Hillary Clinton, but the “Deep State” and occult elite globally:

  • “Is Hillary Clinton the Antichrist or an Illuminati Witch?” (Jennifer LeClaire, Charisma News, August 11, 2016).
  • “Witchcraft on the Campaign Trail” (Stacy Schiff, New York Times, October 30, 2016).
  • “No, John Podesta Didn’t Drink Bodily Fluids at a Secret Satanist Dinner” (Abby Ohlheiser, Washington Post, November 4, 2016).
  • “The Devil Is a Woman: Ben Carson Ties Hillary Clinton to Lucifer as GOP Swaps Campaign for Witch Trial” (Gideon Resnick, the Daily Beast, July 20, 2016).

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (pp. 86-87). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

The articles also involved speculation by former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson at the Republican National Convention about a “Democratic-Satanic alliance.”

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 87). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

These allegations of widespread occult influence in Washington, DC, came amid growing concerns about a “Deep State coup” and an explosion in occult phenomenon in America and worldwide.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 87). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

The concept of the “Deep State” can be traced to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warning in his farewell address in 1961 about the growing power of the “military-industrial complex.”

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 88). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

We live in the time predicted by the ancient Hebrew prophets and prophesied by Jesus Christ and his apostles—an era of mass deception unparalleled in human history.

Today, the level of deceit, subterfuge and disinformation in politics, media, Hollywood, business, academia, and religion is truly mind-boggling. The “Mystery, Babylon” thought-control matrix is fully operational. In today’s occult-entangled and technology-addicted culture, it’s not hard to envision how the world and church could be duped by what is known in prophecy circles as “the Great Deception.”

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (pp. 112-113). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

At 120 Wall Street in New York City, the Arcane School at Lucis Trust—formerly Lucifer Publishing Company—is working on behalf of the “spiritual Hierarchy of the planet” to carry out the “Plan” to create the “New World Order.”

Lucis Trust defines the “Hierarchy” as the “inner spiritual governance of the world led by enlightened beings.” It’s also known as the “society of Illumined Minds.” Lucifer is known as the “Light Bringer, the Illumined One.”

As astounding as this may seem given its obvious occult connotations, it’s all detailed on the website of Lucis Trust, a nongovernmental organization that has “consultative status” with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and whose political lobby, World Goodwill, is accredited by the UN Department of Public Information.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 188). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

As many of you discovered in The Babylon Code with its extensive documentation, the Illuminati is as real today as it was in 1776 when its founder, University of Ingolstadt professor Adam Weishaupt, first called for a “New World Order through Revolution.” Today, the Illuminati network—operating through countless front groups and an interconnected web of multinational corporations, international banks, government agencies, think tanks, foundations, and secret societies—is believed to be in the final stages of implementing its Plan to launch the New World Order. Illuminati whistle-blowers and others claim this could start soon with an engineered financial collapse, outbreak of war, or a sophisticated global deception involving a “fake Antichrist” before the “fake Second Coming of Christ.” We’ll delve more into these claims later.

McGuire, Paul. Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code) (p. 189). FaithWords. Kindle Edition.

Those are a few highlights I picked up while eating my cheese and crackers and vegetable soup for lunch today, and I will leave it at that. Look for more from this fabulous testament to early onset dementia. The book is solid gold.

Breitbart Mentality

Number 3 of an Infinite Series

Full disclosure: I signed up for a subscription to the Breitbart News email in July last year, and I now receive daily (sometimes more) missives from the right-leaning news group. Breitbart’s position on what matters is something that speaks for itself. This is from an email that arrived yesterday:

James Clapper Admits to ‘Spying’ from Inside Trump Campaign…

Following the link leads to:

23 May 2018

During a Tuesday appearance on the View, no less than the former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper described what was done by the Obama administration to Donald’s Trump campaign as “spying.”

Although Clapper said he does not like the word “spying” (considering how the disclosure of this spying has blown up in the Obama administration’s face, who can blame him?), he still used the word twice — because there is no other word.

Sounding rattled and defensive, even though he was among friends, Clapper, a left-wing partisan who served as DNI during the Obama administration, attempted to spin the “spying” into something that was for Trump’s own good and the good of the country.

And there is more. Follow the link and read the entire piece. What it displays, if nothing else, is a mindset. It’s a full-throated defense of Trump and what is becoming known as Trumpism. As it is becoming to be known, Trumpspeak exercises little regard for the truth. In this case the truth is more interesting. Readers can obtain the history from a number of sources: This is from Wikipedia:

According to court records, Papadopoulos was recruited to join Trump’s foreign policy advisor team in early March 2016 by Sam Clovis. In a meeting on March 6, the official told him that one of the campaign’s foreign policy priorities was to improve U.S.-Russia relations, though Clovis later denied having said that. Donald Trump identified Papadopoulos as one of his campaign’s foreign policy advisors on March 21, 2016, in an interview with the editorial board of The Washington Post. Trump said: “He’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy”.

At the time he was living in London, where he was approached by Joseph Mifsud, a professor with connections to high-ranking Russian officials. Mifsud attended meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club regularly, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, attended by Vladimir Putin. Mifsud told him the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” The two met on March 14 and 21, 2016. At the March 21 meeting Mifsud brought along a Russian woman, Olga Polonskaya, who posed as Putin’s niece.

Papadopoulos sent emails concerning Putin to at least seven campaign officials. Clovis, as Trump national campaign co-chairman, encouraged Papadopoulos to fly to Russia to meet with agents of the Russian Foreign Ministry, after being told that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton it wanted to share with Trump’s campaign. This occurred before there was public knowledge of the hack of Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta‘s emails, both of which U.S. intelligence agencies believe were carried out by Russia. In May 2016, Papadopoulos told the top Australian diplomat to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, that Russia had “political dirt” on Hillary Clinton, leading the Federal Bureau of Investigation to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Donald Trump presidential campaign.

Between March and September 2016, Papadopoulos made at least six requests for Trump or representatives of his campaign to meet in Russia with Russian politicians. In May, campaign chairman Paul Manafort forwarded one such request to his deputy Rick Gates, saying “We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low-level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.” Gates delegated the task to the campaign’s correspondence coordinator, referring to him as “the person responding to all mail of non-importance.”

In an interview about Russia–United States relations with Interfax in September 2016, Papadopoulos said that Barack Obama had failed to follow through on his promises to cooperate with Russia, and asserted that the U.S. had made insufficient joint efforts with Russia against terrorism. As foreign policy advisor during Trump’s campaign, Papadopoulos helped set up a New York meeting between Trump and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian head of state.[18] On January 20, 2017, just hours before Trump was going to be inaugurated, Papadopoulos and incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus met with Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos. Just after Trump became President, Papadopoulos visited Israel and told settlers in the West Bank that Trump supported their settlements.

Senator Richard Burr, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, said in October 2017 that the panel was interested in Papadopoulos because he had sent e-mails attempting to set up meetings between Trump and Putin. The recipients of emails about outreach to the Russian government reportedly were Clovis, Corey Lewandowski, Manafort, Gates, representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ivan Timofeev, and others.

The part about the Obama administration inserting a spy into the Trump campaign organization is missing from this narrative. The missing part seems to exist only in the fevered brain of Donald Trump, President of the United States, and in the strange world of Breitbart Mentality. Keep reading. There will be more to come.

Schlemiel-in-Chief

Number 33 in a series

When you do it over and over and never seem to get it right…

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign. Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal. Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. SPYGATE – a terrible thing!

That’s the definition of a Schlemiel-in-Chief.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 112).

Think about it for a moment:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 14-year-old girl was accidentally shot by her mother Sunday night on Jacksonville’s Westside, according to police.

The 33-year-old mom works for First Coast Security and was cleaning her gun in their home on Playschool Lane near Ricker Road when the weapon discharged, police said. The 14-year-old was hit by the shot.

I’m feeling safer already.

Special note

Two years ago I embarked on the project of posting one item each week on American gun violence. At the time I decided to restrict my comments to  incidents involving only handguns, this toward the end of keeping the volume down. As it turns out, restricting comments to handguns means I still have to sift through multiple cases each week before picking one to showcase. Apparently the filter needs additional tightening. It’s possible I will narrow the cases featured, and I may restrict coverage to one of the following types of incident:

  • Handgun deaths only, no simple woundings
  • Handgun deaths inflicted by children only
  • Handgun deaths inflicted by children under the age of 5
  • Handgun deaths inflicted by children under the age of 5 while sitting in the back seat of a car
  • Handgun deaths inflicted by children under the age of 5 while sitting in the back seat of a car and involving the death of an adult

I’m asking readers to weigh in and suggest which of these they would prefer to see each week. Other classifications are solicited. Thanks for reading.

This is your President speaking.

Number 108 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!

Yes, Mr. President, what goes around does come around. Don’t drop the soap.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

It’s been more than two years since I signed up for Amazon Prime Video, priming myself to catch a few old movies I have not seen in decades. There are two I have been especially on the lookout for, one being Working Girl, starring Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford. This one is Baby Boom, with Diane Keaton and Sam Shepard. It came out in 1987 from United Artists. Screen shots are from Amazon Prime Video. Details are from Wikipedia.

The title is, of course, from the period following the end of World War Two. A bunch of people put off procreating during the war—besides, a few million American males were off fighting Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo, and they weren’t getting much nookie. When the soldiers came home, and the wartime economic sanctions ended, people began making up for lost time. The result was the Baby Boom, a population explosion that is only now subsiding.

However, this is a different story. It’s about feminism in the work place, where, 30 years ago at least, women were finding their way into the work place, even the upper reaches. This story is loaded with lessons about conflicting career with family. Men, of course, are excepted from this conundrum. As one male character in the story—the big boss—says, he can have it all. He works a never-ending treadmill, creating wealth and moving into the business stratosphere. Meanwhile, his faithful (we hope) wife is managing his living side—home, community, children. He may not actually know how many children he has.

J.C. Wiatt (Keaton) is a woman who believes she can have it all. She is a human dynamo, a high-level management consultant at an upper west side Manhattan concern. She is often referred to as “Tiger Lady.”

Her love life is as structured and as spare as one of her management reports. She lives, unmarried, with an investment broker. Their sexual encounters are unspontaneous and brief. Her life is about to change.

J.C. is on track for partnership and is given to opportunity to haul in a massive food distribution company as a client. Then a phone call arrives in  the middle of the night, and the next morning she is at the airport to take delivery on the inheritance from a distant cousin. It’s a baby, Elizabeth (Kristina & Michelle Kennedy), and J.C. is the only surviving  heir.

Truth be, Elizabeth is a huge water balloon dropped into the midst of J.C.’s career prospects. Here is a woman who barely has time for a roll in the hay with her boyfriend, and Elizabeth is going to suck up every second of J.C.’s spare time and also carve a gaping hole in her career prospects. Realizing the only way to avoid drowning in this whirlpool, J.C. decides her salvation requires dumping dear Elizabeth onto somebody else.

The adoption papers J.C. signed give her the option of shedding this sweet child through adoption. At the critical moment, J.C.’s iron will caves to her humanity. She sees the kind of soulless parents about to take Elizabeth off to Minnesota, and she reneges on the deal. Elizabeth is going to be hers forever.

Of course, that sinks J.C.’s career. Although she snags the fat and juicy client, her boss back-shelves her and gives the account to a back-stabbing subordinate. J.C. responds by purchasing a Vermont country home and taking Elizabeth to live in the upper reaches.

We all know that is not going to work out. The country estate turns out to be a money pit, purchased well above market value. J.C.’s woes come to a head when the local handyman announces her well, the place’s sole source of water, has run dry. Here she loses it completely, going into a rage, and collapsing face up in the snow.

When she wakes she is looking into the wise and kind face of Dr. Jeff Cooper. Dr. Cooper’s warm and caring manner decompresses J.C., and she unloads all her troubles on him, including her lack of sex for the past six months. Only then does she discover Dr. Cooper is a veterinarian, not an M.D. She is so furious at this humiliating herself, that she vents her rage on Cooper, subsequently rebuffing all his attempts at friendship and more.

But, during the time before Vermont turned into a vast snowfield, J.C. has amused herself by harvesting the estate’s generous crop of apples. Now, with nothing left to do in the winter, she gins up a formula for gourmet apple sauce for Elizabeth. Then she realizes a business opportunity and begins to market gourmet baby food. Using her deep marketing skills, J.C. launches Country Baby, which quickly becomes a market challenge.

Meanwhile, romance is building with Dr. Cooper, and J.C.’s sex-free life comes to an end. This spiritual bliss is intruded upon by a phone call from her previous employer. The giant food distributor wants to purchase Country Baby, and J.C. drives back to New York City to look over the offer. It is grand beyond compare. $3.5 million cash purchase price, plus a juicy position for J.C. in the corporation with perks that would make Donald J. Trump salivate.

And she turns it all down. She drives back to Vermont, back to Elizabeth, back to setting her own pace, far from the towers and canyons of Manhattan, and back to the bed of Dr. Jeff Cooper. We know as the end titles roll that another baby boom is in the making.

What a sweet story, but there is a lot that’s wrong with the story. Some enumeration:

  1. J.C. Wiatt is supposed to be a top-of-the-class business executive, yet opening scenes reveal a school girl response to  being offered a partnership. Whatever happened to  Tiger Lady?
  2. She meets the envoy from London, bringing Elizabeth into the country, and she signs the transfer papers without reading them and not realizing she is taking charge of a baby. Does a hard-nosed business person ever miss fine details such as these?
  3. We watch in dismay as J.C. fumbles again and again as she attempts, in  vain, to manage the baby and her career. Any working parent standing on the sidelines could have advised her, hire a qualified governess right now. Instead, we see J.C., famous for requiring subordinates to cancel social plans and work through the weekend, needlessly sacrificing attention to her work in order to personally manage Elizabeth. To be sure, this is a major part of the story. It’s a real life woman, an actual human being, whose parenting instincts come immediately to  the surface when faced with the circumstances.
  4. She purchases this estate out in Vermont, sight unseen. Can anybody believe this? I’m a fumbling engineer, but I would never make a major purchase such as this without a first-hand look and a professional appraisal.
  5. I watched the progress of time. The story starts during the summer when Elizabeth enters as a one-year-old baby. Then there is the first winter in Vermont. Then there is spring, as we see the apple trees blossoming again. Then there is another apple harvest, which takes us to another autumn. Now J.C. starts her company. Now we see the company growing. Time must be passing by. And Elizabeth does not seem to get that much older. Elizabeth was played by twin girls over a 5-month shoot. Anybody who has watched a daughter grow up will recognize the time warp that intrudes into this plot.

Anyhow, this is a nice morality play. The real things in life are those that are close to the heart, and as an engineer I use the word “heart” figuratively.

People Unclear

This is number 42 of a long series

By now everybody knows I’m never going to run out of these. No matter how obvious the matter is, no matter how well it may have been explained, there will always be some who are still unclear.

Full disclosure: years ago I signed up for the newsletter from Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress. He heads up the massive First Baptist Church of Dallas in that city’s business district. If I told you that Pastor Jeffress is a boundless source of entertainment, that would be an understatement. Here’s the latest.

Pastor Jeffress is a great admirer of President Donald Trump, one of the president’s closest confidants after Stormy Daniels. So it came to pass that when President Trump wanted to celebrate the opening of our new embassy in Jerusalem last week, Pastor Jeffress went to deliver the benediction, for want of a better description. Given the pastor’s prior comments on Jews and other religious affiliations, that seemed odd to a number of people, and there were even strong objections. One of those who commented was ex Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. It’s all strung out in a video linked by the email I received. Take a look. I obtained these images from the video.

Anyhow, according to the video, the former governor and current candidate for the Senate, had this to say:

Robert Jeffress says “you can’t be saved by being a Jew,” and “Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.” He’s said the same thing about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.

What makes this most interesting is that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. To further elaborate, the subject line of the email I received reads, “Breaking News: Mitt Romney Attacks Dr. Robert Jeffress …” Here is the body of the email:

Dr. Robert Jeffress’ dedication prayer at the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem last week sparked a national controversy over the fact that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.
U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney attacked Dr. Jeffress shortly before he delivered the opening dedication prayer by calling him a bigot for proclaiming the exclusivity of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Pardon me if I need to  pause at this point. I do not know whether to laugh or to cry. This is just too bizarre. Two grown men, supposedly mature enough to be allowed to handle sharp objects and to operate heavy machinery, are sparing over different versions of a well-debunked myth. Particularly hilarious are the references to “Jesus Christ.” Both men claim to be adherents to Jesus, and they cannot, at least Pastor Jeffress cannot, even agree on the matter of Jesus Christ.

Full disclosure: I have previously voted for political  candidates who claimed to be fans of Jesus Christ. May Jesus have mercy on my soul.

This is your President speaking.

Number 107 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!

I am told that history does not repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes.

Dying to Believe

Number 106 in a series

A page on the What’s the Harm site is devoted to deaths related to homeopathy. A case in point is the death of Charles Levy:

Only one case that has come before the Arizona Board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners during the past five years has involved the death of a patient, but that 2001 decision to clear the doctor is still a contentious subject.

The board dismissed a complaint against Dr. Gabriel Cousens, a licensed homeopath who practices holistic medicine and runs a spa called the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia. The complaint alleged that an elderly patient died of a gas gangrene infection developed after Cousens repeatedly injected him with “bovine adrenal fluid” as a treatment for fatigue.

The family of the patient, Charles Levy of New York, sued Cousens for malpractice in Pima County Superior Court. The case was headed to trial when Cousens settled for an undisclosed amount of money paid to the family.

What a homeopathic practitioner is doing using an active medication is not clear. Homeopathy canonically involves dilution of active ingredients beyond the vanishing point. Either way, false belief has produced another death.