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  • Dec 10 / 2008
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Unplanned Parenthood

Evann and I advise married couples not to postpone the pleasures of parenthood. “We can’t afford kids right now, we’re just not ready yet” is a frequently heard refrain. We counsel against such rigid pragmatism. If you wait ’til you’re “ready” to have kids, you may never have any, we warn. We certainly weren’t ready for our first child when Maria was born just two weeks shy of our first wedding anniversary, and we weren’t ready for our son either, when he arrived a year ago last November. We were broke when the stork first came, and we’re broke still. The only difference is, we now have five beautiful children who give meaning to our lives in more ways than we can ever describe. — “Pleasures of Unplanned Parenthood,” F.R. Duplantier

It’s been ten years since I wrote the commentary excerpted above, and the only thing that’s changed is that we now have six beautiful children “who give meaning to our lives in more ways than we can ever describe.” Our advice remains the same: Don’t postpone the pleasures of parenthood. You’ll never be “ready.” Practice unplanned parenthood!

  • Dec 09 / 2008
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Fools (and Opportunists) Rushed In

If there is one phrase to describe the events in the subprime meltdown, it is “collective stupidity.” Looking back on the poor underwriting standards for mortgages, the inflated ratings for loans that were packaged together and the unknowns about the new financial instruments that big institutions eagerly gobbled up, it boggles the mind that so many could have rushed in asking so few questions. — John Berlau in Stocks, Futures & Options Magazine

Good overview of a complex subject, placing the blame on too much government intervention, not too little.

  • Dec 09 / 2008
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Growing Our Own Fuel

If we are going to allow a massive raid on the treasury in the hope of providing a speed-bump on the certain road to reorganization and downsizing of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, the very least we can do is get for the country something of lasting value in exchange. Here’s a modest proposal: Set America free from its enslaving addiction to oil. — Frank J. Gaffney Jr, Center for Security Policy

As a native of Louisiana, I have a lifelong appreciation for natural resources and the economic opportunities they generate. The collapse of the domestic oil and gas industry in the 1980s was a blow that my hometown has yet to recover from. I was one of thousands of New Orleanians who evacuated 20 years before Katrina, in search of economic opportunity elsewhere. For several years thereafter, I produced a nationally syndicated newspaper and radio commentary called “Behind The Headlines,” promoting free enterprise and limited government. I know, as well as any layman, that energy independence in America requires full exploitation of our domestic reserves of coal, oil, and gas — along with nuclear power plant construction, development of biofuels, and other reasonable options. The only thing holding us back are bogus environmental threats and the financial interests that fabricate them.

WELL, WELL, WELL
Well, I’m not exactly thrilled
When I get my gas tank filled,
But it makes my blood boil
To know that there’s oil
In reserves of our own to be drilled.
— Your Weekly Politickle, F.R. Duplantier

  • Dec 09 / 2008
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Adoption Scandal

Westerners have been sold the myth of a world orphan crisis. We are told that millions of children are waiting for their “forever families” to rescue them from lives of abandonment and abuse. But many of the infants and toddlers being adopted by Western parents today are not orphans at all. — E.J. Graff, Foreign Policy

This is truly tragic: American couples unwittingly finance the theft of foreign children from their parents, while American babies that could be adopted are aborted instead. “There are simply not enough healthy, adoptable infants to meet Western demand,” says Graff, but this is not true. The number of babies aborted in this country every year far exceeds the demand for adoption, and there are agencies that help unwed mothers forego abortion in favor of adoption. Why can’t the media glamourize a far superior option?

  • Dec 08 / 2008
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Your Weekly Politickle

Feel free to publish, post, or pass on Your Weekly Politickle by F.R. Duplantier:

NAUGHTY
“I know just what I want for a gift,
And I’ll throw such a fit if I’m stiffed!
If you fail to come through,
Who knows what I might do?”
The pathetic executive sniffed.

Archive:

I OF THE STORM
William Jefferson struggled to hide
Every trace of his larcenous side,
While Katrina touched down
And destroyed the whole town
And constituents suffered and died.
(2006)

IDENTITY OF VICTIM MISTAKEN
“While Congress just sits there and fidgets,
We’ve got losses in high double digits:
We’ll never come back
From the terror attack
Without federal support for our widgets.”
(2001)

Last week’s limerick:

CHARGE!
At Thanksgiving we pull out the stopper
On commercialized Christmastime proper:
We’ll have six months to pay,
But stay out of the way
Of the stampeding psychotic shopper!

  • Dec 07 / 2008
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Stooge Christmas

I’ve got a surefire way to avoid the holiday blues — with a Three Stooges TV marathon!

Now that I’m happily married and have six children, I no longer have to worry about loneliness at Christmas. But there was a time, many years ago, when I too dreaded the onset of the holiday season, and one holiday season in particular when I’d never felt lower.

I still remember that worst Noel and the televised tonic that lifted me from the depths of despair: a Three Stooges marathon broadcast by an independent tv station in my hometown of New Orleans.

My melancholy was no match for the inspired madness of Moe, Larry, and Curly as they portrayed incompetent plumbers, scheming exterminators, and pie-throwing “gentlemen.” The one scene etched indelibly on my mind that night, appropriately enough, was of Moe accidentally pulling a Christmas tree down upon himself and slowly extracting from his mouth the string of lit Christmas lights he’d swallowed.

To capture that moment, and encourage holidazed others to take advantage of the uplift only the Three Stooges can provide, I rewrote the lyrics of one of the most popular Christmas tunes. With apologies to Walter Kent, Kim Gannon and Buck Ram (composers of the original), here is my Stooge version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”:

Stooge Christmas
© 2004, F.R. Duplantier

I’ll be home for Christmas
you can plan on me
I must see Moe, Larry, Curly, or Joe
destroy a Christmas tree!

Christmas Eve will find me
where the blue light beams
I’ll be home for Christmas
watching Stooges on TV!

I’ll be home for Christmas
you can plan on me
I must see Moe, Larry, Shemp, Curly Joe
destroy a Christmas tree!

Christmas Eve will find me
where the blue light beams
I’ll be home for Christmas
watching Stooges on TV!

If you’re a Three Stooges fan, check out the official Three Stooges website. The album pictured above is available for download there.

  • Dec 06 / 2008
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My Favorite Christmas Music

Great Christmas albums: Glenn Miller, Mills Brothers, Aaron Neville, Michael Doucet

My wife is crazy for Christmas music and has an extensive collection. I’m not that wild about it myself, but I do like these four albums:

  1. “In the Nutcracker Mood,” the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s rollicking versions of selections from Tchaikovsky’s suite;
  2. The Mills Brothers’ “Merry Christmas,” guaranteed to bring harmony to your home;
  3. “Aaron Neville’s Soulful Christmas,” with the instant classic, “Louisiana Christmas Day“; and
  4. Michael Doucet’s “Christmas Bayou,” the best Cajun Christmas album on the market, and another instant classic in the title track.
  • Dec 05 / 2008
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Jingle Bells, Revised

I had a brainstorm the other day: an idea for a novelty song that could become a Christmas classic (see below). Instead of “Jingle Bells,” it’s “Jolies Belles,” to the same tune. It’s all about a guy who likes to dance with pretty girls and spends the whole day doing just that — in one Cajun town after another. (I actually did that once, thirty years ago, and it was fun, too!) All I need now is a Cajun band to record it for me. If you know of one that might be interested, please pass this on. (If you don’t know of any, but would like to, here’s a list. There’s nothing better than a good Cajun or Zydeco band for a party or special event.)

JOLIES BELLES
© 2008, F.R. Duplantier

One morning in Mamou,
I danced with Sal and Sue.
Ooh la la! Comme ci, comme ca,
How I love those pretty girls!

Jolies belles! Jolies belles!
J’aime les jolies belles!
Quelle joyeux c’est pour danser
Avec les jolies belles!

At breakfast in Breaux Bridge,
I danced with Madge and Midge.
Ooh la la! Comme ci, comme ca,
How I love those pretty girls!

Jolies belles, ETC.

Midday in Morgan City,
I danced with Kate and Kitty.
Ooh la la! Comme ci, comme ca,
How I love those pretty girls!

Jolies belles, ETC.

At lunch in Lafayette
I danced with Barb and Bette.
Ooh la la! Comme ci, comme ca,
How I love those pretty girls!

Jolies belles, ETC.

Afternoon in Abbeville,
I danced with Jane and Jill.
Ooh la la! Comme ci, comme ca,
How I love those pretty girls!

Jolies belles, ETC.

Late day in Thibodaux,
I danced with Fran and Flo.
Ooh la la! Comme ci, comme ca,
How I love those pretty girls!

Jolies belles, ETC.

That evening in Ville Platte,
I danced with Pam and Pat.
Ooh la la! Comme ci, comme ca,
How I love those pretty girls!

Jolies belles, ETC.

Midnight in Mermentau,
I danced with Liz and Lo.
Ooh la la! Comme ci, comme ca,
How I love those pretty girls!

Jolies belles, ETC.

  • Dec 04 / 2008
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Something Better than a Diet

I’ve discovered something better than a diet. You see, it’s not the extra weight I mind so much; it’s the way other people react to it that bothers me: the look of horror in the eyes of friends and relatives seeing me for the first time in many years, the sudden gasps they give out like the floor’s just fallen away beneath them. — “Something Better than a Diet,” F.R. Duplantier

Put on a little weight at Thanksgiving? Expecting to put on even more during the Christmas holidays? Resolving to take it off during the new year? Thinking about trying the latest weight-loss craze?

Quit kidding yourself. It’ll never work. The less you eat, the hungrier you’ll get — and then you’ll eat even more and get even fatter. So, forget about dieting and try my amazing plan instead.

If your objective in dieting is not to lose weight but to make a statement, my thematic diets may appeal to you.

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