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  • Nov 20 / 2008
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Jimmy Carter’s Legacy

Nicaragua . . . wants to eliminate American economic, political, cultural, and strategic influence from the hemisphere. The space left by the U.S. will be occupied by countries like Iran, Russia, and China. — Luis Fleischman, Center for Security Policy

My two eldest daughters both got to vote in a presidential election for the first time this year — one had recently turned 18, the other 21. The older was exasperated that she had had to wait three years to participate in this ritual, and disgusted by the candidates she had to choose between when she finally got her chance.

I know exactly how she felt. I turned 18 in 1974 and had to wait two years to vote in a presidential election, only to have a choice between the bumbling Jerry Ford and the unknown but grating Jimmy Carter. I sat out the 1976 election, lived to regret it, and enthusiastically cast my first vote for president in 1980, at the ripe age of 24, for Ronald Reagan. Thirty years later, we’re still suffering the consequences of Carter’s single term and his insane encouragement of revolution in Latin America and the Mideast! Of course, in the absence of Carter’s disastrous domestic and foreign policies, Reagan might never have been president; nevertheless, if I had it to do over again, I would hold my nose and vote for Ford.

The only time I ever voted for a third-party candidate was in 1988, the year I covered the Democratic and Republican conventions for the news magazine I edited. I was living in the Boston area at the time, familiar with Michael Dukakis, and confident that he had no chance of winning. So, to express my disapproval for George H.W. Bush, who had made clear his contempt for the Reagan Revolution and his determination to steer a different course, I cast my ballot for Ron Paul. That, I have never regretted. I did vote for Papa Bush in 1992, however, when Ross Perot was siphoning off enough of his support to throw the election to Bill Clinton, which he did — to our country’s everlasting shame.

In several of the elections since, including this year’s, I have had heated discussions with self-avowed conservatives who expressed a determination to vote for a third-party candidate. Having once cast a protest vote myself, I am certainly sympathetic to the temptation (though not to the sanctimonious self-righteousness with which they announce their decision); but failing to vote for the lesser of two evils when the greater evil is likely to win as a result is, to my mind, just plain stupid.

  • Nov 19 / 2008
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The Bank Terrorist

For years, a self-described “bank terrorist” blackmailed banks into making bad home loans in our inner cities. Now those loans are defaulting by the millions, and he’s blaming banks. — IBD Editorial

I first encountered this phenomenon back in the early nineties, while developing advertising campaigns for a bank in Thibodaux, Louisiana. “Blackmail” well describes it.

  • Nov 18 / 2008
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Oh No, Here They Come!

Fruitcakes are a staple of the holiday season, but what if you don’t like them? You may just be stuck, says fruitcakeologist F.R. Duplantier, who warns that it’s nearly impossible to unload the “spice-baked albatross” once you’ve accepted delivery.

On Monday, December 12, 2004, I sent out a limerick about fruitcakes to my politickles subscriber list. Friday, my friend Charley told me he’d heard Paul Harvey reading it that morning on his radio program. Amazing! I also sent out the silly press release excerpted above and wound up being interviewed on morning drive-time radio programs in several major markets. What a wacky world!

  • Nov 17 / 2008
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Eucharistic Miracles

The Eucharistic Miracles Exhibit, St. Anselm Parish

The Eucharistic Miracles Exhibit at St. Anselm Parish in Creve Coeur

This weekend, our parish hosted an exhibit of Eucharistic miracles: a pictorial account of 126 Vatican-approved miracles involving the Blessed Sacrament. Midwestern churches interested in hosting the exhibit in their own area are encouraged to contact “Body of Christ Outreach” at 636-928-0384.

  • Nov 17 / 2008
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Your Weekly Politickle

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

If a kid is a bit of a scamp
And resists the new socialist stamp,
He will be reassigned
And his mind realigned
At a reeducational camp.


How grim is the socialist plan
To create a new socialist man,
Who’ll be malleably meek
And in no way unique
In a world that is hopelessly bland.

Last week’s limerick:

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

  • Nov 16 / 2008
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Fan Mail

Marvin responded to last week’s Obama-themed politickle with this constructive suggestion: “Get a life.” Good advice, certainly, even for a father of six, like me, whose life is pretty full; but, still, it left me wondering what prompted his proffer, so I wrote back: “Was it something in particular that set you off?” No response. An unsolved mystery! (Where’s Robert Stack when you need him?) Assuming that Marvin’s wise counsel concealed a desire to unsubscribe, I reluctantly obliged. Perhaps the prodigal subscriber will return some day.

Later in the week, a more uplifting communique arrived from Odell: “I have not received any politickles for several weeks. Are you too busy? Or are you ill? I pray not, because I cannot function without politickles.”

Both Marvin and Odell have been on my subscribers list for several years, but I don’t know either one personally. Nevertheless — being, to some extent, human — I can’t help feeling more favorably disposed toward Odell. I made sure her address was back on the list (from which it had been mistakenly purged during a recent cleansing) and assured her that, like the U.S. mail, the Weekly Politickle is, and always has been, delivered rain or shine:

I’ve been sending out a politickle every week for 10+ years now and have never been too busy or too sick to get one out. So, if and when production really does stop, please say a prayer for the repose of my soul.

  • Nov 15 / 2008
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The Ayers Plan

In this 1980s documentary, an FBI informant who successfully infiltrated the Weather Underground recalls how Obama friend and mentor Bill Ayers once planned to overthrow the U.S. government and establish reeducation camps to create a new socialist man. He astutely realized that not everyone would be amenable to his plan and accordingly projected that 25 million of us would have to be eliminated. Ten percent of the American people. (That would be 30 million today.)

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