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  • Dec 15 / 2008
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What’s the Point of Christmas?

If people do not recognize that God was made man, what is the point of celebrating Christmas? The celebration becomes empty. We Christians must first reaffirm the truth about the Birth of Christ with deep and heartfelt conviction, in order to witness to all the awareness of an unprecedented gift which is not only a treasure for us but for everyone. — Benedict XVI

Viva il papa!

  • Dec 15 / 2008
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Happy Birthday, Bill of Rights!

The Bill of Rights was a guarantee
To protect our rights and our liberty.

Freedom of religion and the press
Are essential to our happiness.

To protect ourselves and our families from harm,
We reserve the right to keep and bear arms.

The unreasonable search is an abomination,
And we will not compel self-incrimination.

Defendants are always presumed innocent.
No excessive bail or punishment.

Today is the 217th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. The above excerpt from my History Chant is a brief synopsis of its significance. It’s sad to say, but anyone who memorizes the 45 verses of this jump-rope chant will know more about American history and government than the average college graduate — more than the average Congressman, as well.

  • Dec 15 / 2008
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“Social Justice” Masquerade

It is clear that “social justice teaching” does not mean justice as most Americans understand the term. Those who speak of “social justice” mean the United States is an unjust and oppressive society and the solution is for government to “spread the wealth around.” Activists who favor this solution know that influencing public school teachers, who can then influence the rising generation, is the most effective way to disseminate ideas they hope will soon become majority opinion. — Phyllis Schlafly, Education Reporter

I’ve fought for social justice, properly defined, all my life — as did my parents, and grandparents, before me. Nowadays, however, “social justice” has become a euphemism for socialism, concealing its radical, destructive agenda. While most Americans naturally find socialism repugnant, it can be difficult to resist when it masquerades as something noble and compassionate. Oppose any program or proposal that purports to help the poor, or children, and see how quickly you are dismissed as an uncaring ogre. Can you explain how said program or proposal will actually hurt its alleged beneficiaries? It doesn’t matter. You’ve already been demonized and everyone’s stopped listening.

  • Dec 14 / 2008
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Your Weekly Politickle

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

“Thanta, there’th a thpaith
I’d like you to replaith:
I’ll jump with glee
When all can thee
The thmile upon my faith.”


All the creches are empty, it’s true,
And I’m waiting for Jesus anew;
Harking back to the Book,
I know now where to look:
I must find the Lord Jesus in you.

If you find “Frohliche Weihnachten” odd,
“Buon Natale” and “Feliz Navidad,”
Even “Joyeux Noel”
Unfamiliar as well,
“Merry Christmas” should then get the nod.

Tell me how can an innocent Child —
Holy Infant, so tender and mild —
Be the object of scorn
From the moment He’s born:
Rejected, resented, reviled?

Is there somewhere I can go
That the Santas do not know,
A Santa-free zone
I can call my own
And not hear that “ho ho ho”?

So what if you feel disempowered
By someone who’s grimaced or glowered?
If you’re frightened to say
“Merry Christmas” today,
You’re simply a Noel coward!

He’s known plenty of struggle and strife,
But George Bailey is blessed with a wife
And family and friends
On whom he depends:
What he has is a wonderful life.

Who but a hardhearted heathen
For some nefarious reason
Would ignore the morn
When our Savior was born
And call Christmas the “holiday season”?

Last week’s limerick:

“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.

  • Dec 13 / 2008
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Diet Plans that Make a Statement

With health and weight consciousness all the rage, and diet after patented diet plan topping the bestseller list, the pressure on doctors and nutritionists to develop and christen original diet plans is formidable. The pressure has, in fact, extended to laymen, with the result that many a timely tome testifies to an expertise on food that consists wholly of a lifetime of eating it. The regimens published to date, however, possess a disconcerting uniformity. Though their focus may shift from starches to vegetables to proteins, the diets of the day display a consistent lack of imagination. — “Lite Motif,” F.R. Duplantier, 1984

My lampoon of fad diets, excerpted above, appeared in New Orleans Magazine in the summer of 1984 — can’t remember how I talked them into running it. I initially pitched it, unsuccessfully, to several women’s magazines, then switched gears completely and went the academic route. A journal called Obesity and Bariatric Medicine actually did accept it, but suspended publication just prior to the issue in which it would have appeared. Such a pity. I was really looking forward to shocking my doctor-brother with the announcement that I had been published in a medical journal!

If you’re not interested in making a statement and just want to look slimmer, you may prefer my Photoshop Diet.

  • Dec 12 / 2008
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Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for Us!

The first year we were married, way back in 1986, my Mom gave us a beautiful wooden carved statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She is very special to us and has always held a very special place in our home. In 2002 we discovered how special we are to her. — Evann Duplantier

In a recent post on her own blog, my wife tells the story of how Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in front of our house and brought us a new dear friend who provided our daily bread for several years.

  • Dec 12 / 2008
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City That Care Forgot

Everyone in New Orleans still has a Katrina story, and, like the old sailor in Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” everyone is still eager to tell it. — Wes Pruden, Washington Times

Wes Pruden is the last of the great American newspaper editors, and his comments on New Orleans, which he knows well, always hit the mark. As a kid, I often wondered why our most successful native sons all seemed to be emigres, Louis Armstrong being the prime example. But each time I moved away — to Lafayette, just 150 miles to the west, in 1976, to Boston in 1986, and to St. Louis in 1995 — my fortunes improved immediately. New Orleans certainly shaped my character and personality in my youth, but it also seemed to stifle me as I got older. When I last moved back in 1991, I knew immediately that I had made a mistake and couldn’t wait to move away again. Something is desperately wrong there, and whatever it is is not likely to change.

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