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  • 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.)

  • Nov 14 / 2008
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YouTube Favorites

We don’t have cable and gave up trying to find something worth watching on broadcast television years ago (the Triple Crown races being the sole exceptions). We do own dozens of classic films and cartoons on videotape and cd, however, which we rewatch regularly. We also rent movies frequently (free of charge) from the local library.

Recently, while searching for some of my favorite cartoons online, to see if they were available for purchase or rental, I was delighted to find many of them posted on YouTube and have spent many a pleasant evening since enjoying them with my children: Eek the Cat, Mother Goose & Grimm, The Ant and the Aardvark, The King & Odie, Go Go Gophers, etc.

This week, I found several of my favorite TV shows on YouTube — Fawlty Towers, Jeeves & Wooster, Frank’s Place — and decided to add them to the “favorites” on my YouTube channel. Frank’s Place is set in New Orleans at a restaurant very carefully modeled on the world-famous Chez Helene, where chef Austin Leslie served up the best soul food (fried chicken, stuffed peppers, red beans & rice, etc.) in the city. The chef in the program is his spitting image.

I also added videos of some of my favorite New Orleans/Louisiana bands: the Neville Brothers, Chuck Carbo & the Spiders, Beausoleil, Bourre. Beausoleil played at my wedding reception in 1986; Bourre played at my sister’s in 1991. The Bourre video is actually an interview with bandleader Bruce Daigrepont, who established a weekly fais do do at Tipitina’s in New Orleans 22 years ago.

  • Nov 13 / 2008
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How Do They Know?

The church we go to, St. Anselm’s, is in a heavily wooded section of St. Louis County. There’s a deer crossing sign on the main road just before the entrance to the parking lot. One day my wife was talking to some other women in the parish about the abundance of deer in the area and one of them mentioned the sign, at which point another woman asked: “How do they know to cross there?”

  • Nov 13 / 2008
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Media Bias? Say It Isn’t So!

The public opinion of the media does not run high in [2008], and yet a scathing attack on journalists and their penchant for distorting or fabricating the news appeared in 1937. . . . It was penned by a sometime member of that disreputable profession, who with this book and a half dozen others established himself as perhaps the foremost satiric novelist in the history of English literature. — “The End of Satire,” F.R. Duplantier

The ombudsman for the Washington Post admits that her paper slanted its coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign in favor of Obama. This is a revelation? I don’t think so. Just business as usual.

  • Nov 12 / 2008
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A Personal Connection

A roomful of academics erupted in angry boos Tuesday morning after political analyst Michael Barone said journalists trashed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republicans’ vice presidential nominee, because “she did not abort her Down syndrome baby.” — Politico.com

My older brother, Chris, now 53, was born with Down Syndrome. In 1963, my father published a five-part series in the New Orleans States-Item entitled “My Son Chris is Retarded.” The series was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and drew the attention of Kennedy inlaw Sargent Shriver, who, early in 1964, invited my father to serve on President Johnson’s new Committee on Mental Retardation. (The 1963 Prize went to coverage of the assassination.)

  • Nov 12 / 2008
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Death to Maven!

"soldier" would have been a good word for Veterans Day

"soldier" would have been an excellent word to play for Veterans Day

Maven, the virtually infallible brain of computer Scrabble, made a big mistake yesterday. On his second turn, he played a horizontal word starting with g in the far left column, halfway between the two triple-word scores, setting me up for a triple-triple, eight-letter bingo (9x the total point value, plus 50 for the bingo). I played stod[g]ier, for 131 points in a single turn! Take that Maven! Humans rule!

  • Nov 11 / 2008
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Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

“Charitable organizations must not forget the Christian meaning of their activity, influenced by the present philanthropic climate or by excessive reliance on public funds,” [Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes said in an address to U.S. bishops this morning]. Catholic charity, Cordes said, is intended to be a “sign of God’s goodness.”

Cordes said that Cor Unum recently organized a set of spiritual exercises for leaders in church-run charities, to some extent designed to foster a clear sense of what makes Catholic charitable activity distinct from its secular counterparts. — National Catholic Reporter

It’s about time the Church did something to rein in the radicals who have been subverting her doctrine for the last 50+ years. But don’t expect “spiritual exercises” to bring them back into the fold. The Lefties are convinced of their own sanctity and think that everything they do is holy, no matter how malicious. Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul have been infiltrated by change agents determined to hijack these worthy organizations and use them to enact their own “social justice” agenda.

  • 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!

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