This is your President speaking.

Number 177 in a series

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

Oh, I get it! I am a very good developer, happily living my life, when I see our Country going in the wrong direction (to put it mildly). Against all odds, I decide to run for President & continue to run my business-very legal & very cool, talked about it on the campaign trail…

….Lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in Russia. Put up zero money, zero guarantees and didn’t do the project. Witch Hunt!

Dude, you have never had anything but self aggrandizement at heart. It’s getting to be about time for you to take the money and run.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 140

Hey! Even if you are just a kid, you still have the right to protect yourself. Also, a handgun comes in handy if you feel the need to exercise your muscle on some schoolyard punk:

A Missouri mother was furious after a viral video showed a teenager holding a gun at her 13-year-old son’s head.

The video, which circulated on social media, showed the 13-year-old boy on his knees and being yelled at by a few boys demanding him to kiss their feet. A boy was seen pulling out a gun and pointing it at the boy’s head. The gun was pulled away and the boy was seen being punched.

Now, if both kids had been carrying their shit, this episode might have had a much more satisfactory ending.

Deconstructing Robert Ingersoll

Number 8 in a Series

 

Continuing a review of Robert Ingersoll’s collected works

He analyzes the route by which we create gods.

Man, in his ignorance, supposed that all phenomena were produced by some intelligent powers, and with direct reference to him. To preserve friendly relations with these powers was, and still is, the object of all religions. Man knelt through fear and to implore assistance, or through gratitude for some favor which he supposed had been rendered. He endeavored by supplication to appease some being who, for some reason, had, as he believed, become enraged. The lightning and thunder terrified him. In the presence of the volcano he sank upon his knees. The great forests filled with wild and ferocious beasts, the monstrous serpents crawling in mysterious depths, the boundless sea, the flaming comets, the sinister eclipses, the awful calmness of the stars, and, more than all, the perpetual presence of death, convinced him that he was the sport and prey of unseen and malignant powers. The strange and frightful diseases to which he was subject, the freezings and burnings of fever, the contortions of epilepsy, the sudden palsies, the darkness of night, and the wild, terrible and fantastic dreams that filled his brain, satisfied him that he was haunted and pursued by countless spirits of evil. For some reason he supposed that these spirits differed in power—that they were not all alike malevolent—that the higher controlled the lower, and that his very existence depended upon gaining the assistance of the more powerful. For this purpose he resorted to prayer, to flattery, to worship and to sacrifice.

Ingersoll, Robert Green. The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, (Complete 12 Volumes) (Kindle Locations 204-214). BookMasters. Kindle Edition.

When people began to employ science to understand the natural world, the usefulness of religion started to become not only absurd, but embarrassingly foolish.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

James Bond movies are currently streaming on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots. First, something about the Bond series. Ex spy Ian Fleming wrote a bunch of these stories in the 1950s before finishing up in the early 1960s and dying in 1964. MGM began to put out movie interpretations, beginning with Dr. No in 1962, and they generally followed Fleming’s plots. Then they got famous for their special effects, and eventually Bond movies became synonymous with sex, glitz, stunts, and special effects. Really quite boring. No story—sequences of episodes strung together, sometimes losing the central theme in the process. Fortunately for us, something like this one got made, and it has a real story with real plot development. It’s For Your Eyes Only, from 1981, by which time the Bond series was well into it’s plot-devoid era.

The problem is, the original Fleming plot takes up a few pages in a collection of short stories published under the same title. The movie uses the title and the names of a few of the characters and concocts an epic yarn. More later.

The opening scene has nothing to do with the plot. We see James Bond (Roger Moore) laying flowers at the grave of his wife, who was cruelly murdered in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Comes a call from headquarters, and a helicopter arrives to pick him up for an important assignment. Only it’s a fake. Once Bond is inside the helicopter, buckled in, and in the air, an unseen hand pushes a button on a remote control device and causes the pilot to be electrocuted. Bond is trapped inside the helicopter controlled by a vicious and sinister old man sitting in a wheel chair on top of a distant building. The man’s voice comes through the helicopter intercom telling Bond of the grisly fate that awaits him.

But Bond gains the upper hand. He climbs out a door and hangs on as the helicopter flies a torturous and frightening route among buildings and stacks in an industrial area of the city.

Finally he gets inside the pilot’s compartment, dumps the dead pilot, and takes control. He flies the helicopter up behind the sinister wheel chair and scoops it up with one of the  craft’s skids. Then he dumps his nemesis, wheel chair and all, down a smoke stack, which you see just now coming up.

Then runs the film’s intro, and the movie starts for real. A British spy station is disguised as a fishing boat off the coast of Albania, and the “fishermen” catch a floating mine in their net. The mine explodes, sinking the vessel before the crew can activate the thermite destruction device to destroy the ultra-secret ATAC device, this plot’s MacGuffin. The race is on to recover the device before opposing forces can get at it.

Switch to the yacht of the Havelock family, husband and wife being oceanographic researchers, he being involved in helping recover the ATAC. Their glamorous daughter Melina (Carole Bouquet) comes to visit while the yacht is anchored in Greek waters. She arrives by a float plane, which lands close by and lets her off at the yacht.

The float plane takes off, but then it circles back, and the pilot opens up on the boat with machine guns concealed in the floats, killing the husband and wife.

Here is where the film and the Fleming story overlap. In the book Mr. Havelock is retired MI6 living on the family estate in Jamaica. Gangsters seeking to flee Cube before Castro comes to power (this sets the time about 1958) are looking for other places to park their wealth. One gangster seeks to purchase the Havelock property, and Mr. Havelock turns them down flat. The gangsters take the next logical step and murder the husband and wife, then they begin to put pressure on the heir, the daughter, named Judy in this case. She seeks revenge with an aim to track down and to kill the gang leader. At this point the two plots diverge, never to cross paths again.

In the book James Bond’s boss, “M.”, is a friend of the Havelocks, and he asks Bond to “take care of business.” He hands Bond a file and stamps it “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.” Hence the title.

Here is a scene nearly straight out of the Fleming story. The gangster is holed up in a resort in Vermont near the Canadian border with a lake and hot and cold running bimbos. The movie somewhat duplicates the scene, only this may be on the island several thousand miles to the east.

In the book Bond goes in with a sniper’s rifle with intent to kill the gangster. There he meets Judy, who has arrived by a different route and with a crossbow. Judy tells Bond to stay out of this business and to let her do it. In the movie Bond is unaware of the girl until the gangster dives into the pool and floats to the surface with an arrow through his worthless torso, a scene from both plots.

But Bond has been surprised by guards and taken to the boss, who orders him disposed of. The arrow generates confusion, allowing Bond to escape, whereupon he meets Melina on the trail, where she saves him again with a well-placed arrow. They team up and escape in her little yellow car, since his tricked-out Lotus has exploded when one of the guards attempted to break in. Here begins the first of several stereotype Bond chases, as the little yellow car (a Yugo?) dashes madly along winding mountain roads and through villages, pursued by two cars full of gunmen. Of course Bond and the girl escape, as the gunmen meet ghastly ends.

Trust me. There is a plot in this movie. The story advances as Bond follows lead after lead to track down who is after the ATAC. In the meantime there is the requisite snow chase. Here motorcycles with ice racing tires (spikes) chase Bond, on skis, down the mountain.

And down a bobsled run.

But Bond finds out he has been chasing the wrong villain. A smuggler clues him in that a supposed Anglophile is the real mastermind, and Bond and the girl retrieve the ATAC from the sunken spy boat, only to be captured by the traitor. It is decided that rather than shooting the two and dumping them to the sharks, the mastermind will troll them behind his boat over some sharp coral and let the sharks do the rest.

This is a plot device out of Live And Let Die, and the same escape is employed. Bond and the girl catch some slack in the tow line when the boat reverses course, and they snag the line on some rocks. As the boat charges forward the line goes taut and snaps, allowing the two to escape.

They team up with the smuggler, Chaim Topol as Milos Columbo, and they form up a team of five to assault the villain’s stronghold atop a Greek mountain top.

Bond makes the climb using rope and pitons, but when he nears the top a guard confronts him.

To sum up, the gang of five defeat the villains in a fierce fight in the mountain fortress, right before the Soviet general arrives to take possession of the ATAC. Bond tosses the device off the mountain, where it explodes in a shower of particles, and everybody departs content.

Finally, Bond and Melina reconcile, and as she undoes the top of her clothing she tells him the scenery is “for your eyes only.”

Obviously there are plot defects. We are meant to believe the ATAC, a highly sensitive device aboard the spy boat. has been designed for destruction to avoid capture. The person chained to its console drowns before he can pull the lever to initiate the destruction, and the device sinks, intact, with the boat. And it was not designed to dissolve in salt water? It lies at a depth of over 400 feet for days (weeks?), and it’s still going to be functional? No. Just no.

It’s necessary to have the Havelocks killed. In the book the two gunmen who come around to make Mr. Havelock an offer he can’t refuse. When he refuses, they pull weapons out of their bags and shoot them down on the patio. In the movie they trick out a float plane by installing machine guns in the floats. Then they endeavor to have this be the plane that picks up the daughter and takes her to the yacht. A simple matter would have been for the pilot/assassin to come aboard at the time and gun down everybody and leave. In real life, nobody fits out a float plane with guns in the float pods.

Bond and the girl are captured, and the miscreant needs to get them out of the way. Does he have them shot and dumped overboard? No. He needs to come up with a plan to kill them creatively and also to give them an opportunity to escape. Movie plots seem

The story is one of five in a volume with this title. The first story in the book is From a View to a Kill, and yes, Hollywood made a movie using a similar title. The Fleming story has Bond tracking down a Russian spy ring engaged in murdering motorcycle couriers carrying secret NATO communications in France. As became typical, MGM threw away Flemming’s plot to make the movie, now streaming on Hulu. A review shortly.

Codswallop 201

Number 5 in a series

I forget how I hooked onto this Hillsdale College business, but I’m now receiving periodic emails and also stuff arriving by post. They have a publication called Imprimis, , the latest edition of which was in my box yesterday. Here is some pertinent text:

America’s Cold Civil War

Charles R. Kesler
Editor, Claremont Review of Books

The following is adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College on September 27, 2018, during a two-week teaching residency as a Eugene C. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Journalism.

Six years ago I wrote a book about Barack Obama in which I predicted that modern American liberalism, under pressures both fiscal and philosophical, would either go out of business or be forced to radicalize. If it chose the latter, I predicted, it could radicalize along two lines: towards socialism or towards an increasingly post-modern form of leadership. Today it is doing both. As we saw in Bernie Sanders’ campaign, the youngest generation of liberals is embracing socialism openly—something that would have been unheard of during the Cold War. At the same time, identity politics is on the ascendant, with its quasi-Nietzschean faith in race, sex, and power as the keys to being and meaning. In the #MeToo movement, for example—as we saw recently in Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation battle—the credo is, “Believe the woman.” In other words, truth will emerge not from an adversarial process weighing evidence and testimony before the bar of reason, but from yielding to the will of the more politically correct. “Her truth” is stronger than any objective or disinterested truth.

That’s a warm-up. You can read the entire article on the linked page. Here is what this issue has to say about the author, Charles R. Kesler.

Charles R. Kesler is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College and editor of the Claremont Review of Books. He earned his bachelor’s degree in social studies and his A.M. and Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. A senior fellow at the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and a recipient of the 2018 Bradley Prize, he is the editor of several books, including Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought(with William F. Buckley Jr.), and the author of I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Future of Liberalism.

The point I’m making is this author and this organization are down on liberalism, and they are up on American conservative values. Yeah, I know. That used to stand for a lot. Nowadays people will wonder what they are going to get when they buy into the modern conservative brand. A look back is telling. The February issue highlighted conservative speaker Joseph E. diGenova.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on January 25, 2018, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series. 

Over the past year, facts have emerged that suggest there was a plot by high-ranking FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials in the Obama administration, acting under color of law, to exonerate Hillary Clinton of federal crimes and then, if she lost the election, to frame Donald Trump and his campaign for colluding with Russia to steal the presidency. This conduct was not based on mere bias, as has been widely claimed, but rather on deeply felt animus toward Trump and his agenda.

In the course of this plot, FBI Director James Comey, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok, Strzok’s paramour and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, FBI General Counsel James Baker, and DOJ senior official Bruce Ohr—perhaps among others—compromised federal law enforcement to such an extent that the American public is losing trust. A recent CBS News poll finds 48 percent of Americans believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia collusion probe is “politically motivated,” a stunning conclusion. And 63 percent of polled voters in a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll believe that the FBI withheld vital information from Congress about the Clinton and Russia collusion investigations.

This is American conservatism today, and Hillsdale College is front and center with pushing the brand. Having no deep insight into college life at dear old Hillsdale, I am left to conclude that any distinction between that institution and a right wing training camp will be hard to discern.

Wishing to throw some cold water on their party, I will take some space here to remind them and others of what it is they are fronting:

I’m thinking the likes of DiGenova is the tip of an iceberg. The baggage recently taken on by American conservatism is beginning to weigh heavy, and a certain stench is becoming apparent. Hillsdale could help itself by bailing at the nearest opportunity, but that is not about to happen. The rot is firmly set and will not wash out.

Deconstructing Robert Ingersoll

Number 7 in a Series

Continuing a review of Robert Ingersoll’s collected works

Ingersoll demonstrates additional proof that people have created their gods rather than the reverse.

Man has not only created all these gods, but he has created them out of the materials by which he has been surrounded. Generally he has modeled them after himself, and has given them hands, heads, feet, eyes, ears, and organs of speech. Each nation made its gods and devils speak its language not only, but put in their mouths the same mistakes in history, geography, astronomy, and in all matters of fact, generally made by the people. No god was ever in advance of the nation that created him.

Ingersoll, Robert Green. The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, (Complete 12 Volumes) (Kindle Locations 166-169). BookMasters. Kindle Edition.

It brings to mind an old joke. Here is my version:

Herbie was born and grew up in Queens, more properly Queens Borough, New York. His friend Nathan from time to time pestered Herbie with wacky ideas. One day Nathan came in all excited.

“Herbie,” he exclaimed. You have got to come to see this woman I met yesterday. Her name is Miss Yarna, and she tells me fantastic things. She tells me things about myself that only I know.”

Herbie was nonplussed. He told Nathan that business was fake and nonsense. But Nathan was persistent. “Herbie, she can put you in contact with your grandmother, your Bubbe.”

Herbie figured he needed to get Nathan clued up, so he went along with him to visit Miss Yarna. Miss Yarna was properly impressive. She wore a long, flowing gown, and her hair was stacked almost to the ceiling. Nathan introduced Herbie, and he told Miss Yarna that Herbie wanted to communicate with his Bubbe, who had been dead five years.

Miss Yarna told the two she would enter a trance and would speak to them in Bubbe’s voice. She closed her eyes and rocked back and forth. Finally she began to speak. She reminded Herbie how she told him to always eat his vegetables and to not run around with fast women. And much more. Finally Bubbe asked Herbie if he had a question he wanted her to answer.

Herbie, obviously entranced, thought for a moment and then spoke. “Bubbe, when did you learn to speak English?”

Wacko Right Wing Religious Fanatics Say The Darndest Things

Number 22 of a continuing series

They really do, readers. These wacko right wing religious fanatics say the darndest things. In that light, here is some old news:

Roy Moore says ‘we’ve asked for’ shootings and killings by turning away from God

As I mentioned, that was last year, but it is no less worth reminiscing about. It serves as a notice to how close American society has come to the brink. Not clear? Here is a bit of analysis.

As Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Judge Moore repeatedly broke the law by using the power of his office to promote religion at public expense. After being overruled by the United States Supreme Court and after defying the Court’s order, Judge Moore was removed from office, twice. His second term in office came about when Alabama citizens chose personal preference over the rule of law and elected the disgraced judge back to his previous position. There is more.

Out of office, Judge Moore saw a new opening. President Donald Trump nominated his staunch supporter Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be Attorney General of the United States. After a contentious confirmation process, Senator Sessions obtained the appointment. Then he fell immediately into President Trump’s disfavor owing to his preference of the rule of law over Mr. Trump’s desire to rule by decree.

Anyhow, that left open a Senate seat in Alabama, and Judge Moore made a run for it. Fortunately for the country, Judge Moore’s fondness for young girls proved to be enough to bring Alabama voters to elect Judge Moore’s Democratic opponent to the Senate, shaving the Republican majority in the Senate by one more count.

Let’s double the irony. Donald Trump subsequently fired Jeff Sessions, so now the once Republican Senator from Alabama is now a private citizen. I am sure Donald Trump never saw this coming or possibly did not care.

Anyhow, this nation narrowly dodged a bullet, in the form of a carbon life form who believes removing a fictional character from public adulation had the direct result of mass killings in the United States. To which thinking I would respond, really? Let’s take a look at what we lose by shunning this bit of biblical fiction. Start with this:

Judges 19:29 New International Version (NIV)

29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel.

But that is not strictly speaking mass murder. This is:

1 Samuel 15:3 King James Version (KJV)

Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

 This is how we avoid mass killings in this country? Never was “wacko” so well-defined.

Dying to Believe

Number 134 in a series

Hey! I’m quitting putting these out on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are going to get a different series starting this week. These Dying to Believe posts will be coming out whenever something along those lines pops up. Which are likely to be often.

I am told that God helps those who help themselves. Apparently Jesus feeds those who feed themselves:

South African pastor dies after 30 days fasting; wanted to beat Jesus Christ’s record

A pastor in South Africa who wanted to break the fasting record held by Jesus Christ ended up killing himself from hunger.

Published: Isaac Dachen

A popular pastor in South Africa, Alfred Ndlovu, took the temptation of competing with God too far when he decided to embark on a dry fasting that would break the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus Christ underwent, when he died after just 30 days into the programme.

This seems to be old news. Maybe 2000 years old. But hey, people, don’t go believing stuff your read in the Bible. That book is filled with stories of animals that can talk, dead people coming back to life and people turning wine into water. Or was it water into wine? Doesn’t matter. It’s a bunch of foolishness, and you don’t want to be pulling down a Darwin Award for killing yourself through false belief. Take it from me and have a nice bowl of multi-grain cereal with skim milk for breakfast, and have a glass of orange juice on the side. I won’t guarantee you will live forever, but you might maked through the remainder of the month.

And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Bad Movie of the Week

Number 247 of a series

Another Bond film, now streaming on Hulu. I’m not reviewing these in any special order, just taking them as they show up on Hulu. This time it’s Sean Connery as 007 agent James Bond. Details are from Wikipedia.

It’s Diamonds Are Forever, based on a novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, and to get some perspective you need to review some history. Fleming published the novel in 1956, before most of us were born. During the time the De Beers company had a corner on jewel-grade diamonds, and they needed a marketing ploy to sell them. Some ten years before, their advertising company came up with the slogan, “Diamonds are forever” to let you know that when you gave a lady a diamond, as in an engagement ring, you were giving something that would last forever, like your love. All jokes aside, diamonds are quite durable, and they are the hardest natural substance we commonly encounter, except they are carbon, and they will burn up in a fire.

Anyhow, this is about a crime caper that involves a load of diamonds, hence the unimaginative title.

Opening up we see Agent 007 engaged in a fruitless quest to locate and kill the notorious Ernst Stavro Blofeld. He finds where Blofeld has established a facility to create body doubles of himself to decoy enemies such as 007. Bond kills one double, and later kills another, thinking he is done with Blofeld. Not so, and the plot continues.

Now we switch to the diamond mines of Africa, where workers enterprisingly pick rough stones out of the diggings and smuggle them out in their teeth. A corrupt dentist processes a procession of miners with toothaches, taking from each a stone and giving to each a packet of money.

Then the dentist is off with a packet of stones to meet the courier who is prepared to take them out of Africa. Only, two assassins, a Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) and a Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith) have already intercepted and killed the real courier. They take the packet from the dentist and kill him.

The diamonds wind up in Amsterdam, the diamond market of uncut diamonds of the world at the time (maybe still). Possession of the diamonds has landed in the exquisite hands of a Miss Tiffany Case (Jill St. John). Yes, Fleming had a way with names. But Bond is on the trail, and he tracks down Miss Case, grabbing up the diamond shipment and submitting to the requisite tumble in bed.

Bond has been posing as smuggler Peter Franks (Joe Robinson), and when Franks shows up there is a fight to the death. Bond smuggles the diamonds to the USA, their intended destination, inside the intestines of the unfortunate Mr. Franks. Here he meets CIA Agent Felix Leiter (Norman Burton) at the airport, where Leiter poses as a customs inspector. When Leiter inquires as to where the diamonds are hidden, Fleming takes another turn at humor, having Bond respond, “alimentary, Mr. Leiter.” Most amusing.

Anyhow, the adventure is not over. Bond still has the diamonds, and the crooks still want them. I admit to having read the book decades ago, but I do recall that a thunderous load of details has been changed for the movie. Anyhow, Bond is in Las Vegas, where there are casinos to gamble in and sexy hookers to snuggle up to him. After he wins at roulette, Miss Plenty O’Toole invites herself up to his room and gets mostly naked. Then the bad guys show up and toss Plenty out the window. Fortunately she lands in the pool. A gangster looks out the window, and remarks famously, “I didn’t know there was a pool.”

The case devolves into the standard Hollywood mangling of a straight-forward spy plot. There has to be a quantity of mass mayhem. There is a vehicle chase in the desert involving many gangsters crashing their cars while chasing Bond, who is driving a mock-up moon rover, something that did not exist when Fleming wrote the book.

The carnage continues as Las Vegas police get involved and wreck any number of cars trying to catch Bond.

Along the way Bond has been captured, placed into a coffin, which coffin is fed into the furnace. He comes to as the the flames start to eat away at the coffin, and it’s at this time the crooks quench the burners and extract the scorched box. They open it and demand to know where the diamonds are.

There is also the encounter between bond and homosexual lovers Wint and Kidd. They take the unconscious Bond to a place in the desert where a pipeline is being laid, and they leave him in one of the pipe sections about to be installed. Comes morning, and the construction crew arrives. A crane picks up each pipe section in turn, laying them, Bond inside, into the trench. A welding machine comes along inside and welds the sections together. When it encounters Bond he puts a stop to it, triggering a reaction from the construction company. They come looking for the machine, and Bond steps out.

Anyhow, the supposed recipient of the diamonds is a billionaire named Howard Whyte (Jimmy Dean), who is working on an earth satellite project. Only Whyte has been imprisoned by Blofeld, whose scheme it is to launch a satellite that incorporates the diamonds in a reflector to turn it into a deadly laser weapon. Blofeld will threaten the planet with destruction unless he is paid billions. Yes, lasers didn’t exist in 1956, and satellites were still a dream.

Anyhow, Bond and White figure out where all the monkey business is going on, when Bond points out a Whyte business location that is not supposed to exist.

It’s an oil-drilling platform off the California coast, and Tiffany Case is there as the guest of Blofeld, who has sexual expectations. Bond infiltrates the base and hooks up with Case in a scheme to switch the tape cassette that controls the satellite. Get this, a tape cassette is the thing that determines which parts of the planet are to be zapped. Anyhow, you see here Tiffany Case trying to switch tapes, and one copy is tucked into the back end of her bikini.

There is a battle between good and evil as American forces attack, and Blofeld attempts to escape in his miniature submarine. But Bond takes over control of the crane that is lowering the sub into the water, and he crashes it into the platform superstructure. That eliminates Blofeld and the machinery that controls the satellite. The world is saved.

Case and Bond set off on a cruise together, where they are accosted by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, still working for somebody. They disguise themselves as stewards and bring a sumptuous feast to the suite, since Bond has never actually seen the two.

But Bond becomes suspicious when he recognizes the smell of Mr. Wint’s cheap perfume. When Kidd approaches Bond with flaming skewers he douses him with alcohol from a bottle of spirits. The burning Kidd jumps into the ocean and is never seen again.

Bond grabs the bomb Wint and Kidd have stashed in the service cart, and he stuffs it into Wint’s underwear before tossing him overboard, where he explodes in mid-air.

Yeah, we don’t believe a lot of this either. I no longer have a copy of the book, but you can take a peek at the Wikipedia summary and see the movie is a ghost of the original plot. The deliciously evil characters of Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are there, but Bond kills them early before shutting down a diamond smuggling operation. There is no mention of satellites and lasers.

If you know the Bond stories, you will know there is another one that involves CIA Agent Felix Leiter. In the prior story Leiter has lost an arm and a leg in a shark attack, but for this movie he has recovered remarkably, and he is back working for the CIA.

St. John played a number of sexy bimbo roles, in defiance of being one of Hollywood’s brainiest players.

Lotz Wife

A Recurring Appearance—Number 4

This is a bunch to unload, but here’s a start, from The Intellectualist:

Billy Graham’s Daughter: We Deserve To Be Hit With A Nuclear Strike

Evangelist Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, said God will punish America’s immorality with a nuclear strike.

Lotz says she believes severe judgment is coming and has partly begun. “And I’m talking about something like a nuclear strike, an earthquake that splits us in two, an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack that devastates our electrical grid. Something major that would be a game-changer for America, because we are so defiant and rebellious and idolatrous and immoral, and we know better.”

I don’t know about you, but I am glad to receive the heads up.

This is your President speaking.

Number 176 in a series

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

“It’s a mean & nasty world out there, the Middle East in particular. This is a long and historic commitment, & one that is absolutely vital to America’s national security.” I agree 100%. In addition, many Billions of Dollars of purchases made in U.S., big Jobs & Oil!

“I find that I can accomplish more with diplomacy and a bone saw than I can with diplomacy alone.”

Deconstructing Robert Ingersoll

Number 6 in a Series

Continuing a review of Robert Ingersoll’s collected works

Ingersoll discusses the perceived influence of Jehovah and the devil with respect to human welfare. It is claimed that God has people’s best interest at heart, but his dealing with Adam and Eve is one of suppression and retribution, while the devil rewards the pair with knowledge, freedom, and advancement. Don’t take my word for it. Read the Bible. Ingersoll did.

The account shows, however, that the gods dreaded education and knowledge then just as they do now. The church still faithfully guards the dangerous tree of knowledge, and has exerted in all ages her utmost power to keep mankind from eating the fruit thereof. The priests have never ceased repeating the old falsehood and the old threat: “Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” From every pulpit comes the same cry, born of the same fear: “Lest they eat and become as gods, knowing good and evil.” For this reason, religion hates science, faith detests reason, theology is the sworn enemy of philosophy, and the church with its flaming sword still guards the hated tree, and like its supposed founder, curses to the lowest depths the brave thinkers who eat and become as gods.

Ingersoll, Robert Green. The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, (Complete 12 Volumes) (Kindle Locations 150-156). BookMasters. Kindle Edition.

He has a keen sense for picking out absurdities that should be obvious to the most casual of readers yet remain hidden in plane sight to the faithful. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

A curious email exchange

Dearest Dad,

I’m coming home to get married soon, so get your check book out. I’m in love with a man who is far away from me.

As you know, I’m in Australia and he lives in Scotland. We met on a dating website, became friends on Face book, and had long chats on WhatsApp. He proposed to me on Skype, and now we’ve had two months of a relationship through Viber.

My beloved Dad, I’d like your blessing, good wishes, and a really big wedding.

Lots of love and thanks.

Your daughter, Lilly

THE RESPONSE

My Dear Lilly,

Like wow! Cool!

I suggest that you two get married on Twitter, have fun on Tango, buy your kids on Amazon, and pay for it all through PayPal.

And when you get fed up with your new husband, sell him on eBay.

Love,

Your Dad

This is your President speaking.

Number 175 in a series

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

I am extremely happy and proud of the job being done by Secretary . The FAKE NEWS likes to write stories to the contrary, quoting phony sources or jealous people, but they aren’t true. They never like to ask me for a quote b/c it would kill their story.

What? Fake news? Can’t be! Some analysis is in order. Start with an item from MSNBC:

Trump is reportedly dissatisfied with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, blaming him for appointment of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell

President Donald Trump has expressed dissatisfaction with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, blaming him for the appointment of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Trump, who nominated Powell a year ago to succeed Janet Yellen, has repeatedly criticized the Fed chairman for increasing interest rates. Trump fears rising rates could trigger an economic downturn that would jeopardize his 2020 re-election campaign, the Journal reported. The Federal Reserve, led by Powell, has raised interest rates repeatedly and is expected to do so again in December.

This is fake news? President Trump says it is. But The Wall Street Journal assures us this is not fake news. It would appear that somebody is lying. But who? There is one way to look at this. How about we exercise a short credibility test.

Trump and McDougal

Yes, I’m thinking I will go with The Wall Street Journal on this one.

Deconstructing Robert Ingersoll

Number 5 in a Series

Continuing a review of Robert Ingersoll’s collected works

His analysis of the Bible as the supposed work of an overarching intellect is keenly observant.

All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the Bible is simply and purely of human invention—of barbarian invention—is to read it Read it as you would any other book; think of it as you would of any other; get the bandage of reverence from your eyes; drive from your heart the phantom of fear; push from the throne of your brain the cowled form of superstition—then read the Holy Bible, and you will be amazed that you ever, for one moment, supposed a being of infinite wisdom, goodness and purity, to be the author of such ignorance and of such atrocity.

Ingersoll, Robert Green. The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, (Complete 12 Volumes) (Kindle Locations 112-116). BookMasters. Kindle Edition.

A person would have to wonder how it would be possible to take advice from the Bible after reading it while leaving behind the prejudice from conviction. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Deconstructing Robert Ingersoll

Number 4 in a Series

Robert Ingersoll, writing in the 19th century,  was a notorious critic of the Bible, raising criticism that portended major issues that confront us today. From The Works of Robert Ingersoll:

The book, called the Bible, is filled with passages equally horrible, unjust and atrocious. This is the book to be read in schools in order to make our children loving, kind and gentle! This is the book to be recognized in our Constitution as the source of all authority and justice!

Ingersoll, Robert Green. The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, (Complete 12 Volumes) (Kindle Locations 89-91). BookMasters. Kindle Edition.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 139

Have you ever wondered what it takes to deny a person the right to own, much less carry, a handgun? Apparently neither has anybody else.

Gunman In Yoga Studio Attack Had A Criminal History, Posted Racist And Sexist Videos

I’m guessing, I could be wrong, he needed this weapon for self defense.

Dying to Believe

Number 132 in a series

No longer relegated to a Tuesday schedule, these will be posted whenever something of interest bubbles up, such as this from The New York Times:

Mr. Pathak said Mr. Chau, believed to be 26 or 27 and from Washington State, may have been trying to convert the islanders to Christianity. Right before he left in his kayak, Mr. Chau gave the fishermen a long note in case he did not come back. In it, police officials said, he had written that Jesus had bestowed him with the strength to go to the most forbidden places on Earth.
Apparently Jesus has spoken, with prejudice.