The Thinking 
Housewife
 

Ken Burns’ “Vietnam”

September 25, 2017

must-read review by John Pilger, who was a journalist in Vietnam, of the new Ken Burns epic on PBS.

In the series’ press release in Britain — the BBC will show it — there is no mention of Vietnamese dead, only Americans. “We are all searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy,” Novick is quoted as saying.  How very post-modern.

All this will be familiar to those who have observed how the American media and popular culture behemoth has revised and served up the great crime of the second half of the twentieth century: from The Green Berets and The Deer Hunter to Rambo and, in so doing, has legitimised subsequent wars of aggression.  The revisionism never stops and the blood never dries. The invader is pitied and purged of guilt, while “searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy”. Cue Bob Dylan: “Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?”

 

Less than Fun

September 25, 2017

 


THE audio system in the operating room was playing “Build Me Up, Buttercup” when I was wheeled in on Friday to have my broken wrist repaired.

I’m sure you have encountered this song, which was a big hit in that fateful year of 1968. If you have forgotten how supremely annoying it is, the video above will remind you. But be careful. Once you hear it, it may be difficult to get rid of for the rest of the day, like bubblegum stuck on the bottom of your shoe. This is the kind of song that interrogators should play over and over when they are trying to get someone to divulge secret information. Torture should be unnecessary.

Fortunately, I fell asleep and the operation went well.

But it made me realize how bad the noise has gotten. The ugly music we hear everywhere has now invaded operating rooms too. We are a captive audience. Many of the quasi-lewd rock songs in stores and offices feature a man or woman expressing resentment that he or she is not getting enough action. They all serve as advertising jingles. They are meant to get your juices flowing, so that you literally lose your reason and buy things you don’t need, but I also believe in a higher sinister plan to overwhelm the human mind with so much junk that it barely exists anymore. Perhaps the point of this music at a surgery center is to prevent you from, God forbid, feeling anxious or momentarily serious, but the point — by some crafty agents somewhere — is also to continue the ongoing demolition of the mind and soul.

The devil is fond of noise and sells these soundtracks by the millions. He is a big fan of The Foundations. That God created something so sweet and profound as silence is something that truly ticks him off, but we can always celebrate its existence, even when we are prisoners to noise pollution.

Thank you to those who sent me get-well notes the last few days. I appreciate your concern. The recovery has been tough, with pain, swelling, weakness and grogginess, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

The surgery center did its best to make it a “fun” experience.

 

Fun

September 21, 2017

I’LL be having surgery tomorrow on my broken wrist. The radius bone was knocked out of place and will be put back with a neat metal plate. The surgeon said the procedure is one of his “favorite operations” and his young assistant said, “Yeah, it’s a whole lot of fun.” He wasn’t joking. I guess I’m glad there are people who get a kick out of this kind of thing.

 — Comments —

A reader writes:

You know ‘fun’ is the only important thing anymore…sigh. Read More »

 

Organic Hypocrisy

September 21, 2017

THE organic food movement defends a natural habitat for vegetables, but not for human beings.

Steve Tennes, an organic farmer who does uphold the all-natural, organic family and has spoken against same-sex “marriage,” was even barred from selling his produce at a Michigan farmer’s market. Fortunately, for now, a federal judge has overturned the discrimination against Tennes. An interview before the court decision:

 

 

War: An American Sport

September 21, 2017

TRUMP threatened to “totally destroy” a country of 25 million people the other day — a country, by the way, which has not attacked us and does not seriously endanger us — and his approval ratings went up.

— Comments —

Lydia Sherman writes:

Consider where Trump’s ratings came from: the media was all against him until he favored war. After that, the headlines of every one of their news organizations praised him. The bankers must have their regular blood ritual.

 

Iraq and the National Security State

September 21, 2017

AMERICA must repent of its invasion of Iraq and bring an end to the unconstitutional, national-security state that has been in place since World War II. Jacob G. Hornberger writes:

The worst mistake in US history was the conversion after World War II of the US government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the US military.

[…]

To this day, there are those who claim that George W. Bush simply made an honest mistake in claiming that Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s dictator, was maintaining weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that US soldiers were justified in trusting him by loyally obeying his orders to invade and occupy Iraq to “disarm Saddam.”

They ignore three important points: it was a distinct possibility that Bush and his people were simply lying. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a president had lied in order to garner support for a war. Lyndon Johnson’s lies regarding a supposed North Vietnamese attack on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam come to mind. Two, Bush didn’t secure the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, most likely because he knew that congressional hearings on the issue would expose his WMD scare for the lie it was. And three, only the UN, not the US government, was entitled to enforce its resolutions regarding Iraq’s WMDs.

Moreover, the circumstantial evidence establishes that Bush was lying and that the WMD scare was entirely bogus. Many people forget that throughout the 1990s the US government was hell-bent on regime change in Iraq. That’s what the brutal sanctions were all about, which contributed to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. When US Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked on Sixty Minutes whether the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it,” she responded that such deaths were “worth it.” By “it,” she was referring to regime change. Read More »

 

Don’t Stop the “Hate”

September 20, 2017

NOVUS ORDO WATCH examines the widespread accusation that those who criticize are “haters:”

Contemporary man has long replaced reason with emotion. This is why we see such absurd phenomena as transgenderism in our day. It is also the reason why those who defend the natural law and the completely rational idea that there cannot be more than one true religion, are accused of “hate/hatred”, “anger”, “fear/phobia”, “insanity”, or “extremism.” People have simply lost (or never learned) the ability to reason and to reason correctly. They prefer to feel instead. And whatever makes them feel bad, is bad.

See additional commentary on what kind of hatred is morally permissible.

 

The Globalization of Junk Food

September 20, 2017

IF there is any doubt in your mind that the high incidence of obesity in America is the result of two factors — the decline of home cooking and the aggressive marketing of processed foods — then I suggest you read this piece in The New York Times about how multinational food companies have transformed the traditional diets of relatively poor countries like Brazil.

Obesity has soared in Brazil and a high percentage of its obese people are malnourished. That’s right — you can be fat and malnourished. Nestle runs a successful program employing women as a door-to-door sales force, much like Avon did with cosmetics. The families of these women, who get discounts for the sugary cereals and yogurts, are among those who now suffer from serious diet-related diseases.

[O]f the 800 products that Nestlé says are available through its vendors, Mrs. da Silva says her customers are mostly interested in only about two dozen of them, virtually all sugar-sweetened items like Kit-Kats; Nestlé Greek Red Berry, a 3.5-ounce cup of yogurt with 17 grams of sugar; and Chandelle Pacoca, a peanut-flavored pudding in a container the same size as the yogurt that has 20 grams of sugar — nearly the entire World Health Organization’s recommended daily limit.

Until recently, Nestlé sponsored a river barge that delivered tens of thousands of cartons of milk powder, yogurt, chocolate pudding, cookies and candy to isolated communities in the Amazon basin. Since the barge was taken out of service in July, private boat owners have stepped in to meet the demand.

These junk foods are slow-acting, habit-forming poisons. The Brazil government, at the urging of activists, attempted to impose marketing restrictions, but it was sued by multinationals which claimed their rights of free expression were being curtailed. Food companies have even argued that curtailing their incursions into Brazilian homes would unfairly deprive the country’s children of the cheap plastic toys that come with their products.

The Pizza Industrial Complex is in on the explosive growth. Last year, Domino’s opened a new outlet — mostly overseas — every seven hours. Pizza Hut Brazil has a special chocolate pie called the Brigadeiro Pizza:

Academics, many of whom get grants from food companies, provide cover for the industry.

“We’re not going to get rid of all factories and go back to growing all grain. It’s nonsense. It’s not going to work,” said Mike Gibney, a professor emeritus of food and health at University College Dublin and a consultant to Nestlé. “If I ask 100 Brazilian families to stop eating processed food, I have to ask myself: What will they eat? Who will feed them? How much will it cost?”

Notice how Gibney sets up a straw man — the abolition of all food factories, as if that is the only alternative to the unregulated marketing of toxic junk.

How did the people of Brazil survive before Kit Kat bars and double-crust stuffed pizza?

 

Melania

September 19, 2017

STEPHEN IPPOLITO writes from Australia:

I well recall the day I first happened upon the intellectual and spiritual oasis that is The Thinking Housewife blog. Like a great book, I just couldn’t put it down and that is how I ended up reading all the way back to May 2009 where it all started.

I sometimes wonder if you ever revisit those early entries and, if so, what you make of the blog’s evolution. The blog seems to me every bit as good today, even better, but definitely a different look and “feel” from those early days.

It being just after the inauguration of President Obama, you blogged on his lawyer wife in that first month in a short riff on first ladies. You concluded with the rhetorical but interesting question: “How long before we have a first Lady who leaves the White House with a brief case every day?”

Thanks to the beauteous Melania, your country has escaped that fate so far.

But even as Melania, who goes about her public duties as First Lady with supremely feminine grace and dignity that reflects tremendously well on the U.S., she attracts ceaseless petty criticism from nasty so-called pundits, including but not limited to the loathsome Ms Yaeger, whom you featured recently, and whose unedited bio has been unearthed and can be viewed here. Read More »

 

The Bereavement of Edgar Allen Poe

September 18, 2017

 

Virginia Clemm Poe; Thomas Sully

IN 1835, at the age of 27, Edgar Allen Poe, who was orphaned as a toddler, married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm. The author was devoted to her. Seven years later, she became seriously ill with tuberculosis, and was ill for five more years before her death in 1847.

Poe, a heavy drinker, never found lasting love after his wife’s death but had many romantic friendships with women.

Barbara Wells Sarudy at It’s About Time tells the story of Poe’s love life with portrait paintings. Read More »

 

Party Hosting: Extreme Sport Edition

September 18, 2017

LIFE has been overwhelming the last few days. So I haven’t blogged for good reason.

Our 28-year-old older son got engaged to be married on Saturday. We knew of his proposal — and probable acceptance — in advance and had planned a big party for about 60 guests. On Friday night, while we were running around preparing for the party, I got on a step stool to get some light bulbs stored high up on top of a cabinet. Something went wrong — not quite sure — and I flew off the stool and landed on the floor on my left wrist, which broke. After a couple of hours in the emergency room and no sleep due to pain, I returned to party preparations on Saturday, with help. Somehow it all came off. It was a happy event with eating, drinking, gabbing, singing to the piano and children running around in the dark playing hide-and-seek. Things would have been better if I had two hands to use and wasn’t feeling lousy, but many guests offered help and my sister washed a lot of dishes. We only wished my parents could have been there. They are both ailing and my mother is in the hospital.

We are very fond of our future daughter-in-law, who is beautiful, both inside and out; I think it was okay to have broken a limb on her behalf.

A word of advice: Do not get on stools or ladders when preparing for parties. The nurses in the emergency room said they see injuries like this all the time.

 

Hiding from God

September 14, 2017

 

Baby in a Chair, 1825

ALMOST all of us at some point believe — or act as if we believe — that we can hide from God. It’s as if we think or assume that God has other things to do than be with us. Seven billion people, and many more in production — God couldn’t have time to focus on everyone. We assume God’s indifference or distraction. He doesn’t really see us. He doesn’t really know what we just thought or said. We look at the throngs on city streets, the seas of traffic, the soaring population statistics and we think, “He couldn’t care about us all. What an absurd idea.”

When we go about ordinary life as if God were not aware of every single thing we do, we are hiding from God — but out in the open. Did you ever play hide-and-seek with a little child who thought that he could not be seen when he closed his eyes? Hiding from God is sort of like that. We think that because we are oblivious or blind to God’s presence, He cannot see us.

But He can. God is everywhere, closer to each one of us than anyone else. He is within us and without. He is not constrained by time or number or space. His attention span is infinite. Add a few more billion of his creatures, he would fit each one in. He knows everything: our thoughts, our actions, our intentions, our successes, our failures. There is nowhere in the world where we can go and hide from Him. He is the most benevolent and loving of spies. He is our Father.

So much of what Jesus said makes no sense unless He is with us, each one of us, constantly. For instance when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” who knows whether someone is poor in spirit if not Jesus Himself?

When a person goes about as if God were not aware of every single thing he does — and we have all done it — he is trying to hide from God. He is attempting the impossible.

We cannot hide from Him, and once we realize this truth, and truly take it in, we have uncovered one of the greatest secrets of existence and the foundation of a happy (in the non-sentimental sense of the word) life. Come out in the open. You are known.

You are known by Someone with high expectations.

I was recently hiking in the New Hampshire mountains with my husband when we came to a waterfall, a plunging precipice situated above two smaller falls. A little girl of about eight years old had somehow jumped across the rocks in the pool below the first waterfall and ended up stranded on the other side, too frightened to go back. She was part of a large Orthodox Jewish family and everyone was caught up in rescuing her (except the mother, who walked away nearly in tears and said, “I can’t watch this” and a few of her older brothers who took advantage of the emergency to play unsupervised.)

The father was confidently and calmly leading the rescue. He went over to the other side and was showing the girl how to step back over the pool via the rocks. All the time, the father had a baby boy of about eight months strapped to his back. The baby was back-to-back with his father. He was facing outward, looking up at the sky and trees. As the water was roaring around them and the father was coaxing his daughter over the wet rocks, the baby’s lids grew heavy. He had been chewing on something, but the movements of his jaws slowed. As the father stepped over the rocks, inches away from possible disaster, and held out his hands for his daughter to jump toward him, the baby opened his mouth one more time — and then fell asleep. He just conked out. It was as if he were a tired commuter on a train at the end of a long day. He was oblivious to danger on the slippery rocks or in the deep water below. It would have been comical if the situation had not been so alarming.

That’s how we should be — like the sleeping baby, who knew his father was there even though he could not see him. We can no more hide from God than a baby can hide from his loving parents. God sees us. He knows us. He watches us. We should strive to be aware of His presence as a baby who relies on his parents for everything is aware of their presence. We should pause frequently — and notice Him, converse with Him, admire Him.

And we should know that it is precisely because of His presence that all danger is ultimately not true danger if we trust in Him, just as all was well for that little girl, who finally walked through the pool (instead of on the rocks), and for her brother, who slept while dangling over rushing water.

There is only one true danger on the slippery precipices that we encounter in life  — and that is forgetting the presence of the Father who loves us, who sees us every single moment of the day and from whom we can never hide. Read More »

 

When I Was Seventeen

September 12, 2017

 

ALAN writes:

“When I was seventeen, it was a very good year,” Frank Sinatra sang in the best song in his classic 1965 album “September of My Years.”

It dawned on me one day recently while sorting through old papers and letters that fifty years have now gone by since I acquired those things.

When I was seventeen, in 1967, it was indeed a very good year in some ways. Merely to be young and alive was cause for celebration. I was a spoiled brat but didn’t know it. It was hard to tell because there were millions of others like me. I found I was part of a species unknown in world history until Americans invented it only a few decades earlier: The Teenager. I lived in a limbo state between childhood and adulthood. I hated it.

The older generation did not see it quite that way: They looked upon the younger generation as beneficiaries of the highest material standards of living in history.  That judgment was valid, but it was only half the picture. The other half was the moral-philosophical framework whose transmission to the younger generation is the perennial responsibility of the elder, but at which (to put it charitably) the elder generation in the 1950s-‘60s did not excel.

I had no awareness of such things in 1967, or that a cultural revolution was going on. Current events were too vivid and I was too young to be able to evaluate them properly.

So as I look back fifty years, what do I see?  Is life today better than it was in 1967? How could anyone doubt it?  Americans today have bigger TV screens and bigger, faster, and louder motor vehicles. Isn’t that proof? Read More »

 

What Really Happened on 9/11

September 11, 2017

 

 

The White Man Must Go

September 11, 2017

 

Conductor Matthew Halls

CONDUCTOR Matthew Halls was fired from the Oregon Bach Festival when he amiably joked with a black singer in a Southern accent.

Desire to Return writes:

The woman who created this bizarre situation probably thinks of this as a defining moment of her life, the time she stood up to the evil racists. Reporting Halls to the authorities was, for her, most likely, a means of asserting personal power in an increasingly impersonal society.  Getting Halls canned might have been one of the few times in her life where she felt real efficacy.

Of course, that’s all speculation. She could just as easily be a person who has done this sort of thing repeatedly, a person addicted to the frisson of righteous indignation springing from accusing the guilty and seeing them punished. For all we know, this woman is a decorated veteran in the war to stamp out dangerous jokes. Read More »

 

A Clergyman on 9/11

September 11, 2017

 

TEN YEARS ago, Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson said the official version of 9/11 is a lie. Why aren’t more Catholic priests speaking up? Wherever objective truth is under attack, “man is trying to take the place of God.” This is an excellent sermon. Bishop Williamson links the denial of the physical realities of the World Trade Center attacks to the general denial of truth by modernists in the Church and in the world at large.

 

Legs Through the Ceiling

September 11, 2017

A READER sent this reminiscence of the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926:

When my Dad was little, the family moved to Coral Gables one week before the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926.  He had just celebrated his seventh birthday on September 10 on the boat that brought them. George Merrick hired my grandfather, a civil engineer, to oversee the building of the roads and bridges of the first planned city. While in the eye, the landlord asked my grandfather to help him repair the roof.  It wasn’t long before the ladder had blown away and  my poor grandmother thought my grandfather had, too.  She had sheets of water pouring into the house and two kids burning up with scarlet fever.  Read More »

 

Military Officers and 9/11

September 11, 2017

SEE statements at Patriots Question 9/11 by military officers who have publicly spoken out against the official version of 9/11, including Lt. Col. Guy S. Razer, MS, who said in 2007:

“After 4+ years of research since retirement in 2002, I am 100% convinced that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were planned, organized, and committed by treasonous perpetrators that have infiltrated the highest levels of our government.  It is now time to take our country back.

The “collapse” of WTC Building 7 shows beyond any doubt that the demolitions were pre-planned.  There is simply no way to demolish a 47-story building (on fire) over a coffee break.  It is also impossible to report the building’s collapse before it happened, as BBC News did, unless it was pre-planned.  Further damning evidence is Larry Silverstein’s video taped confessionin which he states “they made that decision to pull [WTC 7] and we watched the building collapse.” [Editor’s note: WTC Building 7 was 610 feet tall, 47 stories.  It would have been the tallest building in 33 states.  Although it was not hit by an airplane, it completely collapsed into a pile of rubble in less than 7 seconds at 5:20 p.m. on 9/11, seven hours after the collapses of the Twin Towers.  However, no mention of its collapse appears in the 9/11 Commission’s “full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.”  Watch the collapse video here.  And six years after 9/11, the Federal government has yet to publish its promised final report that explains the cause of its collapse.]

We cannot let the pursuit of justice fail.  Those of us in the military took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.  Just because we have retired does not make that oath invalid, so it is not just our responsibility, it is our duty to expose the real perpetrators of 9/11 and bring them to justice, no matter how hard it is, how long it takes, or how much we have to suffer to do it.

We owe it to those who have gone before us who executed that same oath, and who are doing the same thing in Iraq and Afghanistan right now.  Those of us who joined the military and faithfully executed orders that were given us had to trust our leaders.  The violation and abuse of that trust is not only heinous, but ultimately the most accurate definition of treason!”