Thursday, February 11, 2016


The Future of Conservatism

Yesterday afternoon Carly Fiorina,
to whose campaign I had contributed
a few times and for whom I caucused on February 1, ended her campaign for the Republican Party's nomination for President. She chose to withdraw after a disappointing seventh-place finish in the New Hampshire primary.

She joins other conservatives like Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and Rand Paul on the sidelines, while asshat Donald Trump and hapless "moderates" John Kasich (endorsed by the New York Times!) and Jeb Bush are still in the race.

This is a particularly discouraging turn of events, as it is by no means clear that either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, the true conservatives in the race, will be able to overcome the populist/nationalist idiocy that seems to be animating Republican voters these days.

I have always said that I am not a Republican, but rather a conservative who tends to vote Republican because that party more often than not is relatively closely aligned with my principles. If Republican primary voters nominate the lifelong progressive Democrat Trump, the party will no longer deserve my support.

One of the most frustrating aspects of this election season is that a rabble of ill-informed nativists, aided and abetted by a progressive liberal media who wants to see Hillary Clinton elected, has chosen to abandon principle and support a pompous blowhard who hasn't got a clue about the issues, and lacks any guiding principles other than promoting his own brand.

I'm just a couple of more primary disappointments away from completely repudiating the Republican Party. That is something I never saw coming.

"Well, you have to vote for somebody come November."

I really don't. If the choice is between Frick and Frack, why bother?


On February 11, 1858 a 14-year old miller's daughter named Marie-Bernarde Soubirous (called "Bernadette" by family and friends) saw a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary while gathering firewood near a cave at Massabielle, roughly a mile from her hometown of Lourdes.

Statue at the grotto in Massabielle
Although met with skepticism at first, the Catholic Church eventually validated Bernadette's visitation, and the grotto at Massabielle became a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes.

Bernadette herself was canonized by Pope Piux XI on December 8, 1933.
To this day, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the most frequently-visited religious shrines in the world.

Although Lourdes Water from the grotto is believed by many to have healing properties, St. Bernadette herself said that any healing associated with visits to the grotto were the result of faith and prayer.

Bernadette's story was the subject of Franz Werfel's 1941 novel The Song of Bernadette, which spent more than a year on the New York Times Bestseller list, including 13 weeks at No. 1.

Original 1943 "one sheet" poster

In 1943, Werfel's novel was adapted for the screen and won four Academy Awards, including a Best Actress Oscar for Jennifer Jones in the title role.

The film received eight other Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.

At the inaugural Golden Globe Awards ceremony in 1944, The Song of Bernadette received the Best Motion Picture-Drama award, and Jones received the Best Motion Picture Actress award.

In 1946, author and drama critic Walter Kerr and his wife Jean adapted Werfel's novel for the stage. I directed a production of the play at Bishop LeBlond Memorial High School in the fall of 1999, one of my most memorable directing experiences.

I'm Sure the Democrats Know What They're Doing

From the pen of Chip Bok, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.


Yesterday's entry got a nice comment about the wonderful Benedictines of Mary, 
Queen of Apostles (whose singing was featured in the "Until Next Time..." segment). That reminded me that it has been awhile since I mentioned that comments are always welcome. Agree or disagree, I'd love to hear from you!

And while I'm at it, I should also mention that when you see live web links like this one in the text, you should consider clicking on them now and then. They are intended to enhance your enjoyment of the site.

"People enjoy the site? Are you sure?"

It isn't why I'm doing this, but yes, I do believe people enjoy it...

Until Next Time...

In 1986, singer-songwriter Jennifer Warnes recorded an album dedicated to the songs of the legendary Leonard Cohen, for whom she had served for a time as a back-up singer. Famous Blue Raincoat was released in January 1987 and broke onto the Billboard 200 Albums chart not quite 29 years ago today (February 14, 1987). It would eventually peak on that chart at No. 72.

The album featured many guest stars, including guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Lindley, and Robben Ford.

All of the songs on the album were Cohen originals except one. "Song of Bernadette" was a collaboration between Warnes and Cohen (plus
Bill Elliott).

Warnes was inspired to begin writing the song while touring with Cohen in the south of France in 1979. (If you click on the link in the previous paragraph you can read her moving reflections on the song's origins.)

Today's send-off is Jennifer's soulful rendition of the song from the remastered 2007 20th Anniversary Edition reissue of the album. Enjoy...

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