Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Books For The New Year

Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil by Cornelius Hunter. A slender volume of brilliant analysis contending that Darwinism is predicated upon theological rather than scientific grounds, reversing the order it currently occupies in the public mind. Heavily footnoted, it grounds readers in the often-overlooked aspect of theodicy in Darwin’s approach to his work, within the purlieus of Victorian England.
The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man by J. Budziszewski. As a former nihilist the author doesn’t engage in empty theorizing, rather he walks the reader resolutely through the pathologies that flow from the repression of moral knowledge, personally and corporately. Tackling the twin subjects of politics and Original Sin he writes with remarkable clarity on conscience vis-à-vis Natural Law, reminding us of “the things we can’t not know”.
A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Conversations With An Absolutist by Peter Kreeft. Using Aristotelian logic and the Socratic method of dialogue Dr. Kreeft creates an imminently readable defense of “the good, the right and the ought” through fictional interviews with a Muslim scholar by a black feminist interlocutor. His books create some of the best portable classrooms around and this is a volume to read and reread.
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Ellison crafted, for seven years, one of the superb novels America has ever seen. His stylish prose and Dostoevsky-like insight into the human psyche give his characters a rare depth. The nameless protagonist gives us his life in words and the adventure is as varying as the landscapes Ellison paints; from a stint at a black college for the promising young man to the Communist ladder-climber being used by the American Reds as a tool for propaganda. The straight storytelling sans the ideological bent of this tome is refreshing after reading socialist or narcissistic rants of contemporary black authors. As Stanley Crouch would say this man is "immoderately soulful", and possibly the great American novelist, with this, his finest work.
Othello by William Shakespeare. Of all the tragedies Shakespeare penned, Othello stands out in its bold message for modern audiences. A black man of high repute marries a white woman against her father's wishes and goes off to battle with his best friend constantly speaking in his ear about his wife's infidelities with his second-in-command. Eventually driven mad by jealousy he kills her and, after learning that his motives were false and she was pure, himself. Everything that makes Shakespeare endure in the English pantheon is here: love, betrayal, murder, jealousy, loyalty, and honor. (I recommend the Complete Study Edition that includes the original text, expert commentary, and a dictionary for those dankish earth-vexing words.)
A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. This is a stunningly good, funny novel with richly drawn characters and a cornucopia of pop culture and medieval philosophy; a vortex of language with dishonorable, misanthropic, paranoid, lying scalawag, Ignatuis Reilly, at the center of it all. Buy it for a friend and you may just arrive home to incoherent answering machine messages as they try to compose themselves amidst effusive laughter.
Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom & Discernment by Brian Godawa. With the keen eye of an insider, and the heart of a passionate didact, the author peels away the layers of movies to reveal that all are established on a particular view of the world. By recognizing that, and that the story is a dramatic argument for a worldview, he shows how he can start to intelligently engage it’s message; to reflect, evaluate and critique it. Along with Reel Spirituality, this is the best work I’ve found dealing with the nexus of faith and the cinema.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

New York Times

Using the thin gruel of scientific reductionism, Dr. David Sloan Wilson attempts to define religion via Darwinism, vexing lexicographers worldwide:

Religion has a superficial definition, which is a belief in supernatural agents, but some people regard this definition as shallow and incomplete. The Buddha, for example, refused to be associated with any gods. Or you could say that religion is something that handles concepts of an afterlife, but that definition, too, is limited, and it excludes a number of faiths. I've found that when you go beyond the superficial definitions of religion, it's very difficult to distinguish anything fundamental about religion that is not also fundamental to other social organizations. For example, the concept of sacredness, and the existence of a symbolic system that distinguishes the sacred from the profane, extends to many other social organizations.

[December 24, 2002]

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Boldly culled from the Media Research Center's Annual Notable Quotes, the year's best:


Barbara Walters finds herself in verbal harlotry for Cuban popinjay, Señor Castro:

“For Castro, freedom starts with education. And if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth. The literacy rate is 96 percent.”

[October 11, 2002]
The Washington Post

Rick Weiss waxes philosophical on science under the rubric of religious relativism:

“The [President’s Council on Bioethics] will be navigating a scientific and ethical landscape significantly more complex than the one that existed...last summer. In November, researchers announced that they had made the first human embryo clones, giving immediacy to warnings by religious conservatives and others that science is no longer serving the nation’s moral will. At the same time, the United States was fighting a war to free a faraway nation from the grip of religious conservatives who were denounced for imposing their moral code on others.”

[January 17, 2002]
Inside Edition

Esteemed eminento, and whistle-brained thespian, Jessica Lange deposits this nugget into the national spittoon:

“I despise him [President George W. Bush]. I despise his administration and everything they stand for....To my mind the election was stolen by George Bush and we have been suffering ever since under this man’s leadership....And I think this latest thing with Iraq is absolute madness and I’m stunned that there is not opposition on a much more global scale to what he’s talking about....There has to be a movement now to really oppose what he is proposing because it’s unconstitutional, it’s immoral and basically illegal....It is an embarrassing time to be an American. It really is. It’s humiliating.”

[October 4, 2002]

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

"From the American Library Association’s insistence that every branch library must allow unfettered access to Internet pornography, to the propagandistic “Read a Banned Book” T-shirts sold by activists, to the ponderous newspaper editorials which butcher Martin Niemoeller’s “first they came for the Jews” warning every time a museum is criticized for another dung-and-urine desecration of the Virgin Mary, America has convinced itself that we are a hair’s breadth away from Fahrenheit 451."

Free Speech Rots from the Inside Out

Monday, December 23, 2002

Michael Medved - WorldNetDaily

Rev. Mark Bigelow, member of the apostate Christian Left, files a missive full of exegetical razzmatazz:

Reverend Bigelow of the Congregational Church of Huntington in Centerport, N.Y., sent a letter to Bill O'Reilly of Fox News defending the offensive Planned Parenthood holiday card that proclaims "Choice on Earth." To Rev. Bigelow, this slogan made perfect sense because he felt certain that Jesus endorsed abortion.

"Even as a minister I am careful what I presume Jesus would do if he were alive today," he wrote, "but one thing I know from the Bible is that Jesus was not against women having a choice in continuing pregnancy. Jesus was for peace on earth, justice on earth, compassion on earth, mercy on earth, and choice on earth."

[December 23, 2002]

Friday, December 20, 2002

A concerned environmentalist foregoes his personal safety in order to provide two pygmy monkeys an all-day pants party, and several birds the joys of support hose:

U.S. Man Jailed For Smuggling Monkeys In Pants

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

2002 Movie Picks

Theater Best:
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
The Royal Tenenbaums
Black Hawk Down
One Hour Photo

Theater Worst:
Punch-Drunk Love
The Bourne Identity
Triple X
Spy Kids 2

DVD Best:
Sunset Blvd.
The Celebration (Festen)
Amadeus: Director's Cut
Les Misérables (1998)
The Mothman Prophecies

Honorable Mention: Band of Brothers miniseries

DVD Worst:
36 Fillette
Two-Lane Blacktop
Y Tu Mamá También (And Your Mother Too)
Blood For Dracula
Don’t Look Now

Monday, December 16, 2002


Political greenhorn Harry Belafonte speaks further of the sundry ways The Man is holding us all down and continues rounding up the usual suspects for the Hammer & Sickle team:

...the Bush administration is maintaining a policy "that doesn’t identify with the interests of the U.S. people." He added that the Sept. 11 events, "that sowed fear in their hearts," served the administration "to extend its imperialist, economic and political domination all over the planet. Many of my friends are journalists," added Belafonte, "and they tell me that there has never been as much censorship as now, and if they rebel then they will just lose their jobs. There are many reporters in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Colombia but censorship comes from the Pentagon, the National Security Agency, the Bush administration. The U.S. people don't know the truth."

[December 16, 2002]
Quote of the day:

"If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present him as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of heredity and environment. If we do that we will feed the nihilism which modern man is in any case prone. I became acquainted with the last stage of corruption at my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment, or as the Nazis liked to say 'of blood and soil.' I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry of defense or other in Berlin but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers." - Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor

Sunday, December 15, 2002

"More consequences for thought and action follow from the affirmation or denial of God than from answering any other question" - Mortimer Adler

On the side of denial I present an omnium gatherum of theophobics.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Quote of the Day:

"If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner." - Malcolm Muggeridge

Bloated gasbag Rev. Al Sharpton proclaims that he doesn't need the Dems support to capture the 2004 nomination, exhibiting an élan that excites all eighteen of his supporters, and the makers of Aquanet.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

One of the Methuselah's of the '60s generation rockers, John Entwistle, is found to have kicked the oxygen habit, but none of his others, to wit; family says despite slatterns, booze and blow he was a good man:

Entwistle Dead After Heart Attack Triggered By Cocaine
C.S. Lewis on the unique nature of Jesus Christ:

'There is no halfway house and there is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and said 'Are you the son of Bramah?' he would have said 'My son, you are still in the veil of illusion'. If you had gone to Socrates and asked, 'Are you Zeus' he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked 'Are you Allah?' he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius 'Are you heaven?' I think he would probably have replied, 'Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.' The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion which undermines the whole mind of man. If you think you are a poached egg, when you are not looking for a piece of toast to suit you, you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you. We may note in passing that He was never regarded as a mere moral teacher. He did not produce that effect on any of the people who actually met Him. He produced mainly three effects - Hatred - Terror - Adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild approval.'

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

More evanescent pronunciamentos from the secular Left about how questioners of Darwin's theory of Christian heresy (evolution) are full of dark motives, including deceit and opposition to indoor plumbing:

Survival of the Slickest

A weeping canker on the mouth of American public life, Joe Conason chimes in on Trent Lott's past and unwittingly swerves into the truth:

...the incoming Senate majority leader's public expression of nostalgia for the era of Jim Crow and lynching passes virtually without comment. If only Drudge had given the Lott story bigger play, maybe Judy Woodruff and the Times editorial board would consider it important.

[December 9, 2002]

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Quote of the Day:

“Christianity does not profess to convince the perverse and headstrong, to bring irresistible evidence to the daring and profane, to vanquish the proud scorner, and afford evidences from which the careless and perverse cannot possibly escape. This might go to destroy man's responsibility. All that Christianity professes is to propose such evidences as may satisfy the meek, the tractable, the candid, the serious inquirer.” – Bishop Wilson

Friday, December 06, 2002


In a curtsy to the lords of cultural relativism, Dan Rahimi, who is ever mindful of sensitivity and pluralism, explains the reasoning behind the change from B.C. and A.D. dating at the Royal Ontario Museum:

...to use the words 'before Christ' is really quite ethnocentric of European Christians...And to use 'the year of our Lord' is also quite insensitive to huge populations in Toronto who have other lords.

What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?

[December 5, 2002]

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

The Truth About Tax Rates, Class Warfare and Who Really Pays Their "Fair Share"
The totalitarian Chinese are blocking tens of thousands of web sites beyond the standard sexually explicit material, silencing voices that seek to rise above their own Asian Bolshevism.

The Inquirer - Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Sunday, December 01, 2002

To cover for the Dems impecunious set of ideals The Honorable Tom Daschle clears his throat and rasps that talk radio's conservative voices are inciting the body politic to increasing forms of violence, up to and including unspeakable acts in voting booths (namely voting Republican):

What If John Ashcroft Had Tried to Quiet the New York Times
the Way Daschle Targeted Limbaugh?

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Larry King Live

Distinguished scholar of Middle East studies, Bill Maher, doffs his cap to the Naderites and proceeds with his attempt to sell moonshine to the American people:

Larry King: “We [Americans] try to do good, don’t we? I mean, we’re basically good.”
Bill Maher: “No. Not for the rest of the world....Iraqis, I think, feel that if we drove smaller cars, maybe we wouldn’t have to kill them for their oil.”

[November 1, 2002]

Friday, November 29, 2002

Quote of the day:

"Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover that materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door." - Richard Lewontin, "Billions and Billions of Demons," New York Review of Books, January 9, 1996

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Dipping into the interview archive I found this oldie but a goodie with biochemist Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box.

The Evolution of a Skeptic
Peter Kreeft, lightning logician and criminally undervalued philosopher, in a rare interview shows once again why he's a top-flight thinker. As Dallas Willard says "... look at the evidence and breathe the fresh intellectual air that nourishes genuinely opened minds." Seek out Dr. Kreeft's work and like it, love it, learn it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

The Dubliner

Dr. Richard Dawkins, in a fit of intellectual autism, adjudges something foul in the Catholic Church, and, to wit, it isn't pederast priests:

...if the Catholic Church does die in Ireland - and I devoutly hope it will - I hope that it will not be replaced by some other idiotic superstition like New Age-ism or some other kind of religion. The Roman Catholic Church is one of the forces for evil in the world, mainly because of the powerful influence it has over the minds of children. The Catholic Church has developed, over the centuries, brilliant techniques in brain washing children; even intelligent people who have had a proper, full cradle-Catholic upbringing find it hard to shake it off when they reach adulthood. Obviously many of them do - and congratulations to them for it - but even some really quite intelligent people fail to shake it off, powerful evidence of the skill in brainwashing that the Catholic Church exercises. It's far more skilled than, for instance, the Anglican Church, mere amateurs in the game. Regarding the accusations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, deplorable and disgusting as those abuses are, they are not so harmful to the children as the grievous mental harm in bringing up the child Catholic in the first place.

[October 2002]

Monday, November 25, 2002

All Music Guide

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, dope-fetcher columnist, confers sainthood on comedian David Cross's first album, Shut Up You F**king Baby!:

It would be hyperbole to say that it revitalizes the genre -- one album can't do that...but it is no stretch to say that it's one of the greatest albums in recorded comedy history...When everybody else treats George W. Bush with kid gloves, Cross tears into him with savage humor and logic, dissecting everything from the war on terrorism and Bush's reaction to 9-11...The Catholic Church and John Ashcroft are subject to similar rants, but the key isn't that Cross is preaching to the converted or just reciting "liberal" lines -- he offers biting, informed criticism that only a comedian could possibly deliver. It's not all religion and politics, though: just as funny are Cross' reading of a story from the Promise Keepers handbook, recounting a night of debauchery with Harlow, and exposing the absurdities in Cosi's marketing plan for Squaggels, their square bagel.

[November 5, 2002]
Terry Teachout's new biography The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken of Henry Louis Mencken has gotten a rave recent review at Atlantic Monthly. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

I have been thinking about the esoteric twaddle a Marxist/socialist acquaintance of mine have spewed since I've known him and I thought I'd chronicle some of his greatest hits here. Pearls of wisdom, thrown before capitalist swine, from a progressive crank:

"No offense, but I believe ultimately that Dubya will spend many years in jail."

"The Impeachment train [for George W. Bush] is starting to move again. All the hate, ill-will and bad karma that fuels the GOP will come back to them and bite them on their ruby red rumps many times over."

"What failed system? Show me where there has been a true Socialist or Communist system on earth. Oh! I see you have been brought up to think that the former Soviet Union was a Communist nation. And what? China and Cuba too? No ‘fraid not! All these are aberrations of some twisted Capitalistic theory."

"Then we get Shrubby, first he STEALS the election (he was NOT elected by the people of this country)...In less than a year from that sad event, the economy sucks, massive unemployment throughout the land, people are being screwed left and right, corporate crime is at an all time high, we are in what is euphemistically called a “war” Wall Street is about to collapse, the dollar ain’t worth didums, the surplus is gone, the Government no longer satisfied on spying on our every move now wants my neighbor to become a rat, The Bill of Rights is being held hostage, our civil liberties are being threatened, the FBI/CIA has carte blanche in gathering information about you, book stores and libraries are under siege, people are being held in prison without due process, torture is allowed and recommended. We have pissed on our neighbors, spit on our allies and rewarded our enemies."

"...you should be able to understand that the Soviet Union collapsed all by itself for a myriad of reasons, the basic being that it was not a Communist nation but a Totalitarian one that was choking the intellectual freedom of it's people. What killed The Soviet Union was the computer."

"If my wife and I decided to have an abortion that would be a decision that we would not only make, but one that WE would have to live with. It is no more your right to interfere with this process than it would be for me to poke my nose into your personal affairs. It doesn’t matter if I think it suffers or not, whether it is murder or not, that this decision is really a very personal and intimate one and should be left entirely to the couple to decide. I believe that it is not within the jurisdiction of any government, church or outside agency to interfere in this very private decision. But I believe in the inherent right to have this choice."

"Israel [should] cease its inhuman occupation of this land. The death ratio among civilians is something like 4 to 1 in favor of the Israeli. Israel is hell bent on genocide and the Palestinians are fighting back with the only weapons they possess. This is how far Israel has pushed these unfortunate people. Stop aid to Israel. NOW"

"When they told Hunter S. Thompson that Nixon was dead, he shouted “Sick pins in it! Make sure IT is dead!” That’s about how I feel. One less monstrous member of the GOP on earth."

"Conservatives mistrust the “intellectual” the most"

"I am a firm believer that ART is essentially Marxist by its very nature."

"While idiots like you wax on about debates and proving to their own addled brains how bright they are, real people suffer. I hope Christ kicks your ass real good one day for your supposed “Christian” ways."

"Sure I believe in absolute truth, it's just that your absolute truth and my absolute truth aren't necessarily the same."

"'Everytime a Republican dies a gay angel gets his wings!'"

Monday, November 18, 2002


I'll approach it practically first. In this age of medical advancements it is unfathomable to imagine a scenario where the mother's life was clearly in danger because of her fetus. In fact, many folks in the medical field believe it is never necessary to save a mother's life. C. Everett Koop - a pediatric surgeon for thirty-six years - said he never encountered even one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother's life. The distinction is made between potentially life-saving surgery to the mother - such as the removal of a cancerous uterus or an ectopic pregnancy that poses the threat of imminent death - and the direct act of intentional destruction of the unborn child. "Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal disease such as cancer or leukemia, and if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save the life of the mother." Alan Guttmacher, former President of Planned Parenthood, said that.

If complications arise nearer the end of the pregnancy the doctor will often induce labor or perform a C-section, keeping in mind both their lives to save. The Hippocratic Oath states "Nor will I give a woman a pessary [a vaginal suppository] to procure abortion" and the doctor's duty is to protect and treat both child and mother as his patients.

The mother's health is something else to consider. In the 1970s Roe v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton legalized abortion nationwide for any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Although the court said states have a compelling reason to regulate abortion in late pregnancy, it made the exception allowing abortion even in the third trimester if it was necessary for the mother's health. It then defined health reasons for legal abortion as much broader than protesting the mother's life, but said that "all factors" of her health including physical, emotional an even the woman's age could provide reason for legal late-term abortion. In effect, any reason for legal abortion became acceptable. Medical opinions can often prove wrong but to include such ephemeral criteria as "emotional health" to a pregnant woman is to needlessly widen that door further.

Litigiousness is rampant and defensive medicine is sometimes practiced in order to avoid malpractice lawsuits but abortion is never necessary to secure the life of the mother.

Secondly, I'll engage the question theologically and philosophically. I know of no teaching in Scripture that would oblige a mother's conscience to value her own life over her child's. In fact, most every mother I've known, valued her children's lives above her own. One of God's general revelations to mankind is that we are made in His image ("Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...So God made man like his Maker." Gen. 1:26, 27) and, through His nature, life is sacred. Man is born with a sense of eternity and destiny and it is through Him that we understand our true raison d'être. Aquinas termed the purpose "to love God and to worship him forever."

The above example of distinction is justified under the ethical concept called the "principle of double effect." Under this principle, the death of the child is an unintended effect of an operation independently justified by the necessity of saving the mother's life. We are never permitted to commit any sin no matter how worthy the motive or outcome.

Morally, theologically, medically, philosophically and practically, I see no reason to cordon off "life of the mother" as an acceptable abortion argument.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

by Steve Turner

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin.
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.
We believe in sex before, during and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy's OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes,
UFO's and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher although we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same -
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then it's compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan.

We believe in Masters and Johnson.
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behaviour that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
and the flowering of individual thought.


There is a postscript to this poem called Chance:

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear
State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

The Birmingham News

Melinda Maddox, theological dunce, fails to hoodwink the good people of Alabama:

Maddox said she is Catholic but was "outraged and shocked" by the [Ten Commandments] monument because it not only was legally inappropriate, it also used a Protestant version of the Ten Commandments. Under questioning by Moore's lawyers, Maddox was unable to enumerate the differences in the two versions.

A homespun pantomime of Ignatius Reilly, brazenly shaped from Toole's brilliant comedic novel A Confederacy Of Dunces:

[insert name here], Mongoloid, Esq.:

Fortuna's wheel continues to spin and my valve reacts by violently closing, and at inopportune times. The Minkoff minx still continues her effrontery with vulgar and oversexed missives to me (as if I care). She remains ever the proletariat in a pack of bovine radicals, bent on degrading the public morality while massaging their own insipid egos. The theology and geometry of the rack would be too kind for a doxy like Myrna.

Mother remains ill-humored and often delinquent with her bowling duo; the yellow-lunged, low-brow Santa and her retarded nephew, patrolman Mancuso. The latter lost the finely bound copy of Boethius I graciously imparted to him while staking out the perverts and pederasts of the bus station. My valve revolts at the very thought of the place, housing the evil wheeled monster Scenicruisers that do permanently affected my usually steeled psyche. That trip to Baton Rouge is often lamented in this Big Chief tablet and the wisdom imparted a part of the lore of Your Boy the Working Class Narrator.

Clyde, my mad and possibly dangerous employer, continues to berate me daily. If not for the free weenies I'd pine for the days at Levy Pants when I incited the Negroes to brain that awful dolt Mr. Gonzalez, only to have them retreat at the last minute into their bourgeois values and jazz music. You can lead the horse to water, as the folk story goes, but you can't make him drink. Regardless, Clyde's disregard for my general safety (as I was accosted and almost raped by a Mau Mau recently) shows his disregard for the embodiment of refinery, culture and iconoclasm housed in my ample temple of flesh. He should be hung by his underdeveloped testicles and bled until he assumes room temperature.

I.J. Reilly
From an actual complaint letter, edit to your liking or purpose:

Dear Cretins,
I have been an NTL customer since 9th July 2001, when I signed up for your 3-in-one deal for cable TV, cable modem, and telephone. During this three-month period I have encountered inadequacy of service which I had not previously considered possible, as well as ignorance and stupidity of monolithic proportions.

Please allow me to provide specific details, so that you can either pursue your professional prerogative and seek to rectify these difficulties - or, more likely I suspect, so that you can have some entertaining reading material as you while away the working day smoking B&H and drinking vendor-coffee on the bog in your office:

My initial installation was cancelled without warning or notice, resulting in my spending an entire Saturday sitting on my fat arse waiting for your technician to arrive. When he did not arrive at all, I spent a further 57 minutes on my mobile phone listening to your infuriating hold music, and the even more annoying Scottish robot woman telling me to look at your helpful website.... er, how exactly when my modem has been disconnected?

I alleviated the boredom to some small degree by playing with my testicles for a few minutes - an activity at which you are no-doubt both familiar and highly adept. The rescheduled installation then took place some two weeks later, although the technician did forget to bring a number of vital tools - such as a drill-bit, and his cerebrum.

Two weeks later, my cable modem had still not arrived. After several further telephone calls (actually 15 telephone calls over 4 weeks) my modem arrived... a total of six weeks after I had requested it, and begun to pay for it. I estimate that the downtime of your internet servers is roughly 35%...these are usually the hours between about 6pm and midnight, Monday to Friday, and most of the useful periods over the weekend.

I am still waiting for my telephone connection. I have made 9 telephone calls on my mobile to your no-help line this week, and have been unhelpfully transferred to a variety of disinterested individuals, who are it seems also highly skilled bollock juggler. I have been informed:
* that a telephone line is available (and someone will call me back);
* that no telephone line is available (and someone will call me back);
* that I will be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a telephone line is available (and then been cut off);
* that I will be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a telephone line is available (and then been redirected to an answer machine informing me that your office is closed);
* that I will be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a telephone line is available (and then been redirected to the irritating Scottish robot woman) ... and
* several other variations on this theme.

Doubtless you are no-longer reading this letter, as you have at least a thousand other dissatisfied customers to ignore, and also another one of those crucially important testicle-moments to attend to. Frankly I don't care, it's far more satisfying as a customer to voice my frustrations in print than to shout them at your unending hold music. Forgive me, therefore, if I continue. I thought BT were shit, that they had attained the holy piss-pot of god-awful customer relations, that no-one, anywhere, ever, could be more disinterested, less helpful or more obstructive to delivering service to their customers. That's why I chose NTL, and because, well, there isn't anyone else is there?

How surprised I therefore was, when I discovered to my considerable dissatisfaction and disappointment what a useless shower of bastards you truly are. You are sputum-filled pieces of distended rectum - incompetents of the highest order. British Telecom - wankers though they are - shine like brilliant beacons of success, in the filthy puss-filled mire of your seemingly limitless inadequacy. Suffice to say that I have now given up on my futile and foolhardy quest to receive any kind of service from you. I suggest that you do likewise, and cease any potential future attempts to extort payment from me for the services which you have so pointedly and catastrophically failed to deliver any such activity will be greeted initially with hilarity and disbelief although these feelings will quickly be replaced by derision, and even perhaps a small measure of bemused rage.

I enclose two small deposits, selected with great care from my cats litter tray, as an expression of my utter and complete contempt for both you and your pointless company. I sincerely hope that they have not become desiccated during transit - they were satisfyingly moist at the time of posting, and I would feel considerable disappointment if you did not experience both their rich aroma and delicate texture. Consider them the very embodiment of my feelings towards NTL, and it's worthless employees. Have a nice day - may it be the last in your miserable short life, you irritatingly incompetent and infuriatingly unhelpful bunch of twats.


Sophisticated cerebrations from the humble conscience of our nation, apparently just before a bracing colonic. Bill Moyers extrudes:

Way back in the 1950's when I first tasted politics and journalism, Republicans briefly controlled the White House and Congress. With the exception of Joseph McCarthy and his vicious ilk, they were a reasonable lot, presided over by that giant war hero, Dwight Eisenhower, who was conservative by temperament and moderate in the use of power.

That brand of Republican is gone. And for the first time in the memory of anyone alive, the entire federal government — the Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary — is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate.

That mandate includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to give up control over their own lives.

It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich.

It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable.

And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine. Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you liked the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what's coming.

And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture. These folks don't even mind you referring to the GOP as the party of God. Why else would the new House Majority Leader say that the Almighty is using him to promote 'a Biblical worldview' in American politics?

So it is a heady time in Washington — a heady time for piety, profits, and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money.

Don't forget the money. It came pouring into this election, to both parties, from corporate America and others who expect the payback. Republicans outraised Democrats by $184 million dollars. And came up with the big prize — monopoly control of the American government, and the power of the state to turn their ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.
Is CounterPunch magazine the best thought that radicals have to offer? The ideologue jackanapes writing for these folks rarely disappoint with their crank theories and feverish police state mirages. Aided by the constipated editing of the sonorous pontificator of the Left, Mr. Alexander Cockburn, it heaves a bi-weekly belch of idiocy into the already stifling ether of the Kultursmog.

Don't discount the fact that men are often drawn to women of dubious virtue. In the late '60s many a gent was wooed by a tripped out, braless hippie chick whose knees has not rubbed in some time. Whether such women still staff the watering holes of the lunatic left is for a reporter of strong constitution, and even stronger antibiotics.

As Chris Rock says (paraphrasing): "I look for dates at the nearest N.O.W. pro-choice rally. You know they f**kin'"