Archive for March 2016
Find out when your name was the most popular, where it was most popular, what it means, and other fascinating tidbits. If you are as tired of “the news” as I am, you’ll enjoy the ten minutes or so you doodle around this site.
Actress Patty Duke has died. She didn’t sustain the stardom she achieved by winning an Academy Award at age 16, but she worked steadily over the years, even having her own short-lived TV show. Unlike so many child stars, she didn’t implode, and she deserves credit for bringing mental health issues to the fore.
Dos Equis beer has fired its spokesman, Jonathan Goldsmith, after a decade of wildly successful ads featuring the tanned and bearded actor, which boosted the Heineken-owned brand from just about nowhere to a world-famous brew. Aside from the fact that the ads were highly entertaining and deliciously tongue-in-cheek, Heineken may be misreading its target audience.
Mr. Goldsmith has moved on to doing public service announcements for one of his favorite charities, the Make-A-Wish Foundation-Vermont. You can see his final ad for Dos Equis, featuring him blasting off to Mars, here. I hope he will do as splendidly for the charity as he did for the beer.
The Port of Los Angeles has only one of the four automated cargo terminals in the U.S., although a fifth is scheduled for the port at Long Beach. European ports are way ahead of us because American long-shore labor unions have resisted automation because it means up to 50% fewer humans will be needed to move cargo. But like it or not, robots will be necessary to handle the super cargo ships of the modern era.
Holy Week 2016 was quite a week, and not in the best sense, I’m afraid. The Easter message from Pope Francis didn’t offer much hope from my point of view, but perhaps others found it comforting. The “weapons of love” the pope mentioned are of limited value against firearms, and none at all against the bombs set off by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar at an amusement park in Pakistan, killing 29, mostly women and children, and injuring hundreds more.
A group of very bad parents in Connecticut didn’t manage to kill anyone, but did leave one child bloodied. The nation’s parents-in-chief held their final Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. As always, the event was about the Obamas. What a surprise.
Mother Angelica, founder of the EWTN network, died at the ripe old age of 92 on Sunday. I wasn’t a devotee of the network myself, but if you aren’t familiar with this Franciscan nun’s back story, you should learn about her. It just might give you what His Holiness failed to.
It was a good time to reflect on good and evil, and to take David French’s advice to find courage in Easter. Considering the times, it’s not startling that more Americans are rediscovering their faith. Let’s end on a lighter note with some favorite dioramas of Peeps, the Easter candy everyone loves to mock.
I did not personally know any of the celebrities whose deaths I’ve noted recently, but I do know the One who died for all of us. We Southerners tend to be more religious than other sections of the country. The most avid golfers I know don’t hit the links on Easter weekend, unlike Pres. Obama, who finds Christians misguided at best.
Christians display great tolerance of other faiths, as I believe they should, despite being under siege from both secular tyranny and radical Islam. Individually I am in more danger from the former than the latter, as are most Americans, and that is one reason for this blog. I am able to defend myself against jihadists because I am fortunate enough to dwell in a state which believes the Second Amendment actually means what it says, and that I should protect myself if I am capable of doing so. My home is a harder target than many places because I choose to be alert to danger and arm myself against it. Anyone who tries to persuade you that gun control is a public safety issue is a bald-faced liar. A government intent on disarming its citizens is a government intent on doing something to which the only proper response is armed resistance. Contrary to liberal/progressive claims, the Bible does not prohibit justified killing, only murder.
Judge Andrew Napolitano ties together freedom and resurrection. Jesus died to conquer mankind’s sins, as act of courage and selflessness unequaled by any other in history, but in rising from the dead he conquered death. Islam demands that you die for Allah when directed, and that non-believers be struck down for their non-belief, quite a different approach to life and the hereafter. Islam is not a religion of peace, but of submission.
Secularization has not yet succeeded in wiping out all reference to artistic representations regarding the most monumental supernatural event, but the algorithms for the internet’s search engines tend to be totally ignorant about its existence.
Mass marketing has also hit the candy market, with the word “Easter” disappearing from many brands in the UK. Even the venerable Cadbury has succumbed, to my intense disappointment, though its American products have thus far staved off the change. Whole Foods no longer offers rabbit in its vast array of butchered meat, bullied by protesters accusing it of killing the Easter Bunny, though I strongly suspect they were militant vegans who want everyone to be as miserable when eating as most of them are. I don’t begrudge others their choice of foods, but I object strenuously to their attempts to limit my choice of comestibles.
Whatever your beliefs, or lack thereof, you’ll be entertained by Debby Witt’s collection of Easter tidbits. I hope that you will enjoy a delicious celebration of good food in the fine company of family and friends, and that at some point you will pause to reflect on the meaning of this day and the everlasting value of the greatest gift any of us will ever know.