One of our local radio stations is already playing Christmas music full-time. It’s amazing how many songs have been written about Christmas. Most of them are secular, but the most common message they convey is one of family joy, of children and Santa Claus, of remembrance of all the Christmases we enjoyed in the past with loved ones who are no longer with us.
Roland Emmerich’s new film, Anonymous, tries very hard to persuade us that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the actual author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare. However, there are too many facts that make the Oxfordian thesis quite untenable. While I agree with Emmerich that Shakespeare did not write the plays and poems he is supposed to have written, we disagree on the identity of the person who did write the works we all admire. I believe they were written by Christopher Marlowe, the great poet-playwright who preceded Shakespeare. I wrote a book on the subject, The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection.
Roland Emmerich’s long-awaited big-screen production of a movie based on the Shakespeare authorship controversy has turned out to be a great disappointment. While technically brilliant, Anonymous turns the Elizabethan era into a heathen, barbaric époque with none of the strong religious values characteristic of the time. Queen Elizabeth is not depicted as the Virgin Queen, but as a lascivious victim of double incest: with her son, Henry de Vere, and grandson, Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southamption, who, as the story goes, should have become Henry the Ninth. In short, the story is so historically grotesque as to make of the authorship controversy a gaseous bubble of ridiculous and obscene fantasy.
Back in 1962, Arthur Trace wrote a book entitled What Ivan Knows That Johnny Doesn’t. In that book Trace informed us that Ivan was being taught to read by phonics, and that was why Ivan was able to learn so much better than Johnny. In fact, throughout the communist world, children were taught to read by phonics so that they could read Marx and Lenin and become the engineers and scientists the state needed to enable it to create its socialist utopia and great military power.
One should always be prepared for the worst. Considering that we have a dumbed-down public who votes emotionally rather than rationally, it is quite possible that Barack Obama can win a second term by simply scaring Americans into believing that they will lose their Social Security, their Medicare, their Medicaid, their food stamps, and all other federal goodies, if a Republican is elected president. Those who remember the 1964 presidential election may recall the scare tactics used by the Lyndon Johnson campaign to frighten Americans into thinking that should Republican candidate Barry Goldwater be elected president, it would be the same as "tearing up" their Social Security card. (See video, below.) Americans are now so addicted to government entitlements, that the idea of limited government probably frightens them. They actually want unlimited government. The more the better, they think, and by November 2012 most Americans may decide that Obamacare is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I suppose you could call me a “right-wing extremist,” although I don’t consider myself an extremist by any stretch of the imagination. But that’s the way the liberals have labeled us, and since they control so much of the printed and electronic media we have no choice but to roll with their punches. I am an individualist as opposed to a collectivist. As a writer, I willingly spend a lot of time alone at my word-processor. In the old days, it was the typewriter. Today it is the much more accommodating word-processor. But in my case, individualism was the reason why I could work so well alone. I was by no means a loner, but I never minded being alone with my thoughts, or while writing, or reading a book, visiting a museum, or traveling to new cities. I’ve always had good friends, but I also enjoy my own company.
One of the biggest mistakes taxpayers made in this country is permitting government employees to unionize. They created a real Frankenstein: unions that can hold the taxpayers hostage in order to get all of the benefits they feel entitled to. Governor Walker in Wisconsin was successful in curtailing the bargaining power of the government employee unions, but now that the unions have won in Ohio, they are determined to unseat Governor Walker and restore the benefits they lost. Will the taxpayers of Wisconsin allow that to happen? We shall see.
During this last weekend of November 11 to 13, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair took place at the Hynes Convention Center. As an antiquarian book collector, I always go to these fairs because I love books, particularly old books, and the dealers who exhibit at this fair usually bring the best they have to offer. And considering the prices being asked, you would think they were selling jewels. And in a sense they are.
Much has been written and argued over the Israeli settlements that now exist on land that the International Community considers to be the “occupied territories” of the incipient Palestinian state. That state is supposed to include the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. It is being argued that the existence of these Israeli settlements is the cause of the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians in their mutually stated aim of creating two states, living side by side in peace and security.
Most Americans who have become aware of the academic and moral decline of public education tend to believe that the humanistic curriculum that now dominates the system is of relatively recent origin. They believe that the great emphasis now placed on the “affective domain”— all of those programs devoted to values clarification, sensitivity training, group dynamics, feelings, sexuality — is somewhat new. Actually, it is far from new. The fact is that the groundwork for what we have in our schools today was laid early in the 20th century by the Progressives who knew exactly where they wanted to lead America: to a socialist society.