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  • Nov 11 / 2008
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From the halls of Montezuma . . .

I’m the son of two Marines! That may not be so unusual today, but back in 1956, when I was born, it was pretty weird. That was the year Carl Perkins, and then Elvis Presley, released “Blue Suede Shoes.” I remember listening to both sensational versions in my mother’s womb and thinking, “Let me out of here. I want to dance!” Years later, in the early 1980s, I actually got to hear Carl Perkins perform that song, and others, at Tipitina’s in New Orleans.

My mother, Peggy Mengis Duplantier, was one of the first women Marines. She and my father both served with the Corps during World War II. They met in New Orleans afterward, when both worked for newspapers there. Here’s an article my mother wrote for me when I was editor of The New American in the mid-eighties, about “Molly Marine,” the first statue of a service woman in uniform erected in the United States. Here’s another she wrote, about “The Moving Wall.”

My father, Crozet Duplantier, fought in the Pacific (Guam, Guadalcanal, etc.) and served with the occupation troops in Japan. If not for the much-lamented dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he would surely have been killed in the inevitable invasion — and I wouldn’t be here.

As the son of two veterans, I’m doubly grateful on Veterans Day. God bless all our troops, living and deceased, today and always! Semper Fi!

  • Nov 11 / 2008
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There They Go Again!

When [Minnesota] voters woke up on Wednesday morning after the election, Senator Norm Coleman led Al Franken by what seemed like a relatively comfortable 725 votes. By Wednesday night, that lead had shrunk to 477. By Thursday night, it was down to 336. By Friday, it was 239. Late Sunday night, the difference had gone down to just 221 — a total change over 4 days of 504 votes. — John R. Lott, Jr., FoxNews.com

What is it with Democrats and vote fraud? Do they consider the electorate too stupid (or smart) to recognize their superiority? Are they so full of self-loathing that they doubt their own ability to attract sufficient votes? Are they constitutionally unable to resist the temptation to cheat?

It’s all so brazen, too. They steal elections in broad daylight now, on live television, right before our eyes. And the amazing thing is, they manage to convince half the populace that they’re really fighting against vote fraud — that it’s actually the victim, the candidate having the election stolen from him, who is trying to pull a fast one. To this day, we still hear snide remarks about George Bush stealing the 2000 election, as though the efforts of Al Gore’s minions to divine the implications of dimpled chads was not the most audacious attempt at bamboozlement in American history.

Just recently, when I lamented the likelihood of Obama benefitting from vote fraud in key localities around the country, a seemingly intelligent relative remarked that he imagined Republicans were just as guilty of such things. That’s some imagination, given that the vast majority of vote fraud is, and always has been, committed by Democrats. Perhaps they deserve credit for trying to extend the franchise to all the groups that now vote fraudulently on their behalf (felons, illegal aliens, etc.), so that they can win elections fairly.

Imbroglios like the one that followed the 2000 election are certainly to be avoided, if at all possible, but the consequences of ceding the election to a person with no moral character, a thief (e.g, JFK), are far more serious.

Here’s a series I did on the “election” of another thief:

Will the Senate Wink at Vote Fraud?

Bogus Balloting in the “Big Easy”

Voting’s A Sure Thing for Gamblers!

  • Nov 10 / 2008
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Your Weekly Politickle

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

HOPE AGAINST HOPE
By nefarious allies surrounded,
With socialist nostrums propounded,
Obama has won,
The change has begun,
And I hope that my fears are unfounded.

Archive:

HAPPY DAZE
“He’s compared to the Christ and to Gandhi,
He’s offered us all bags of candy,
But he got my vote when
The endorsements came in
From the Fonz, Richie, Opie, and Andy.”

CHANGE AGENT
“I’m a master at deceivin’,
At wigglin’, wafflin’, weavin’;
And when I create
A socialist state,
You’ll have change you can believe in.”

MIGHTY HOAX
Assigning bailout blame
Can be a cryptic game,
One must be deft,
Read on the left:
Now you know the name.

OBAMA NATION
All that socialist “change” is deceivin’
And so-called “social justice” mere thievin’,
But five ones for a fin
Or two fives for a ten —
That’s the kind of change I can believe in.

Last week’s limerick:

RIOTIN’ CANDIDATE
There’ll be riots if that one’s rejected;
There’ll be riots if that one’s elected:
Either way, we are stuck
When his fans run amuck
And it’s better McCain is selected.

  • Nov 09 / 2008
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HOMILY GRITS: I Believe in Miracles

Is the Age of Miracles over? If it is, you can’t prove it by me. My life has been full of miracles — and that’s just a small sampling. Of course, if I hadn’t been willing to believe them, I’d never have seen them. For a naturalist, seeing is believing. For a supernaturalist, believing is seeing. And, believe me, that perspective makes all the difference.

If you believe, as I and other Catholics do, that a priest changes ordinary bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ at every Mass, miracles are an everyday occurrence. Rather commonplace, really.

Is such a phenomenon “impossible”? Of course. Is belief in such a thing “ridiculous”? Absolutely. But, you know what? Once you start believing, it’s impossible not to see. What you see brings meaning to everything you do and ties it all together, and life is suddenly far, far richer than it ever had been. Try it. You’ll like it.

  • Nov 08 / 2008
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Celebrate “World Freedom Day”!

Tomorrow, November 9th, is “World Freedom Day,” an international commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Evil Empire — a commemoration that I, personally, had a hand in establishing. From 1995 to 2001, I produced a nationally syndicated newspaper and radio commentary called “Behind The Headlines,” promoting free enterprise and limited government. It was the best job I ever had: propagating ideas that are manifestly true, though widely rejected. One of the ideas I propagated, year after year, was “World Freedom Day,” the brainchild of Hoover Institute scholar Arnold Beichman. Every November 9th, this commentary was republished in newspapers and rebroadcast on radio stations throughout the nation, reminding millions of Americans how lucky we are to live in a free country, and how many people throughout the world are not so fortunate.

I lost that job shortly after 9-11 when financial difficulties forced my sponsor to discontinue the program. On Monday, November 5, 2001, I noted with sadness that the annual dissemination of my “World Freedom Day” commentary would not occur that year. Then I had a brilliant idea: I would email President Bush and request that he issue a World Freedom Day proclamation.

It was short notice, of course: November 9th was only five days away. And the president, I had no doubt, must receive hundreds, if not thousands, of emails daily. So, I knew it was a crazy idea and that it was completely unreasonable for me to think that the President would actually read, much less act on, my request. But, what the heck, there’s no harm in asking, right? And it wasn’t like it took a great effort on my part to write the email explaining the concept and how it tied in to 9-11 (even the date, 11-9, is a mirror image). After all, I was unemployed and had nothing better to do, anyway.

To my amazement, on the morning of November 9th, there it was: President Bush’s proclamation of World Freedom Day! I was stunned.

About a month later, the mailman came to the door with a gigantic flat package — from the White House! The only person more curious about the contents than him was me. Inside were five official copies of the World Freedom Day proclamation! One of which is framed and proudly displayed on my living room wall to this day.

So, tomorrow, I will do what I do every November 9th: Celebrate World Freedom Day — and thank God that, when it really counted, we had a President who understood the value of freedom and did what he could to preserve it for us and to extend it to others.

  • Nov 07 / 2008
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Beausoleil Is Coming Your Way!

Bob & Evann's wedding waltz, Le Petit Theatre, French Quarter, 10.18.86

Beausoleil, the best Cajun band in the world, is playing in Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin next week — and Chicago, Minneapolis, Wilkesboro, and other venues nationwide early next year. Michael Doucet (the fiddler) and his group played at our wedding in the French Quarter in New Orleans in 1986 (see photo above).

I first heard Beausoleil (and their Cajun rock incarnation, Coteau) in Lafayette, Louisiana in 1976. Mike’s wife at the time was one of the best two-steppers in Acadiana, and I often took advantage of the fact that her husband was unable to dance with her while playing the fiddle. The story I wrote about my Sunday night trips to Boo Boo’s Lounge in Breaux Bridge to hear Coteau and dance with Linda Doucet was published in a Baton Rouge weekly and quickly led to my first real job, as editor of the bilingual Cajun monthly La Gazette des Acadiens.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the publication of “The Fiddler’s Wife,” I decided to turn the story into a song:

THE FIDDLER’S WIFE
My favorite Cajun band
Is playing here tonight,
So I’ll grab a seat
And tap my feet
Near the fiddler’s wife.

She can’t dance with him
While he plays the fiddle.
That gives me
A chance to dance
With the fiddler’s wife.

Have the fiddler play
The song called “Jolie Blonde,”
‘Cause the prettiest blonde
In tout le monde
Is the fiddler’s wife.

She can’t dance with him, ETC.

She’ll go home with him
When the band is through,
But until they’re done
I’ll have some fun
With the fiddler’s wife.

She can’t dance with him, ETC.

Beausoleil came to St. Louis early last year and played at a casino near our house. I hadn’t seen Mike in years and had a lot of fun getting caught up with him. And my wife and I got a chance to demonstrate that we can still do a mean two-step — mais, chere, next day we were sore, yeah!

Inspired by the outing, I decided that Doucet deserved his own song, so I wrote this for him a few days later:

DANSER, DOUCET
Little Doucet when he was young
Didn’t know how to dance.
All the girls in town would crowd around,
But he wouldn’t give them a chance.

Danser, Doucet?”
“Je ne peux pas, ma chere.”
“Danser, Doucet?”
“Je ne sais pas le faire.”

Little Doucet had to compensate,
So he picked up grandpa’s fiddle.
He tightened the strings till they started to sing
And he learned how to play a little.

“Danser, Doucet?” ETC.

Little Doucet got to be real good
And formed a band called Beausoleil.
They worked real hard, won a grammy award,
And they’re playing for you today.

“Danser, Doucet?” ETC.

Despite his fame, Doucet hasn’t changed,
He’s a victim of circumstance:
All the girls in town are still crowding around
Trying to get Doucet to dance.

“Danser, Doucet?” ETC.

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