Friday, December 30, 2011

Ron Paul: Sunny Side Up? Or Poached?

Were you as shocked as The Prude by the news that Gary Johnson dropped out of the Republican Primary race to run as a Libertarian?
This meant that instead of researching the dozen or so online sites that mention Mr. Johnson, she’s been perusing the 65 billion dedicated to proselytizing for or demonizing Ron Paul. (She chose to skip Fred Karger. OK?)
Today, let’s test your Ron Paul Knowledge o’Meter
How well do YOU know the most beloved/hated man in the US?
Which of the following have not endorsed Ron Paul?
a) Barry Manilow
b) Former KKK grand wizard David Duke
c) Kelly Clarkson
d) Jesse Ventura 
e) Michelle Bachman’s campaign manager
f) They have all endorsed him
The answer is (f). Ready for more?

Which of the following quotes is attributed to Ron Paul?
a)  All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones
b) There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things that we could use. 
c) Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms.
d) In politics... never retreat, never retract... never admit a mistake.
The answer is (c). (a) was Ben Franklin, (b) Mother Teresa, (d) Napoleon Bonaparte
Which statement on Ron Paul is not true?
a) A customer on his boyhood milk route was baseball great Babe Ruth
b) His wife asked him out first– to a Sadie Hawkins dance
c) He considered becoming a Lutheran minister
d) His supporters raised over $4 million on Guy Fawkes Day (an English holiday commemorating the guy who tried to blow up Parliament)
The answer is (a) He delivered milk to baseball great Honus Wagner
Which of the following has Ron Paul not cooperated and/or agreed with on certain issues or legislation?
a) Barney Frank on ending federal prohibition of marijuana
b) Nancy Pelosi in opposing SOPA, a bill to regulate the internet
c) WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning
d) Occupy Wall Street
e) Richard Nixon
The answer is (e). Rep. Paul was unhappy that President Nixon ended the gold standard.
And finally, does anyone else think (in a respectful sort of way) that Rep. Paul
has a serendipitous resemblance to this fine gentleman?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do Candidate Huntsman a Favor. Hate Him.

The Prude should contact Jon Huntsman.
Huntsman. Jon. Utah governor. Ambassador to China. Republican Presidential candidate.Boy Scout.
It’s this last one that, in the Prude’s opinion, is responsible for him flying lower under the public recognition radar than a dust bunny avoiding a vacuum cleaner.
If you’ll recall from yesterday, Newt Gingrich believes there is no place in politics for nice Boy Scouts. 
Maybe, much as it pains the Prude to admit it, Jon should listen to Newt.
Nobody seems to hate him.
And if a self-proclaimed ‘center-right conservative’ who is sort of a Mormon, sort of against global warming, sort of for a health care mandate and sort of disliking illegal immigration can’t get anyone to love his policies, he better get someone to hate him.
He better get a lot of people to hate him really quickly or he’ll be sucked up into the vacuum cleaner of obscurity along with past presidential hopefuls.
(Remember Jim Gilmore? Dennis Kucinich? There you have it.)
Mr. Huntsman needs to do or say something outrageous. He needs to get nasty. 
He’s got to lose the quiet speaking voice and get strident. Maybe he could make snide comments in the Mandarin Chinese he speaks so well. Few folks would know what he was saying but most would assume it was nasty. Especially if he said it with a sneer.
He rides a Harley. Maybe he could make cutting remarks about Kawasakis.
He considers himself a ‘street food connoisseur and frequents taco stands’. Could he mock Big Macs? Sonic? Tick off the midwest by questioning the veracity of Butter Burgers?
He would have the added benefit of getting taco stand frequenters calling Big Mac consumers names.
He could have Kawasaki riders blogging (anonymously and from a safe distance) about the lack of gray matter in the brains of Harley riders.
To be a viable candidate, Mr. Huntsman needs to realize the importance of being hated. Of helping Americans hate, if not each other, at least each other’s policies.
Are you with me? Can we, whether we want him for President or not, give Mr. Huntsman a fighting chance? Can we spread, if not actual hate, some intense dislike?
It looks like his only chance.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mr. Gingrich? Just one more question please.

Today The Prude conducts a fantasy interview with Former Speaker of the House and current Republican Candidate Newt Gingrich. 
Prude: Mr. Gingrich, let me begin by noting with profound relief that your given name has no relation to the salamander family, but is short for ‘Newton’. Like the famous scientist Sir Isaac Newton.
Mr. G.: Hmmhmm.
Prude: My research yielded fascinating results. There are several astounding comparisons that could be made with famous folks.
For example, your second name is Leroy. Leroy Jethro Gibbs of the TV show NCIS has had 3 wives. Or 4 depending on which rerun you watch. You are on your 3rd wife. 
Mr. G: Hmmmm
Prude: Also, Henry the Eight switched from Catholic to Protestant after a few divorces. You switched from Protestant to Catholic after a few divorces.
Mr. G: Ummmm.
Prude: AND you lived in Hummelstown.  Which leads me to wonder if you ever considered maybe adding a little flip to your hair?

Mr. G: Hmmm?
Prude: Let’s get to some of the issues. You believe to be competitive with China we need to improve education in math and science. But you yourself are a historian. Don’t you feel that this is flip-flopping?
Mr. G: Huh?
Prude: You are interested in animals and zoos. But you ALSO are interested in dinosaurs and dinosaur research. Mr. Gingrich, this could open a can of raptors we won’t be able to close. I recommend you watch ‘Jurassic Park’ and see what happens when huge meat eating creatures are gathered into one spot for the public’s viewing pleasure.
Mr. G: Whaaa...?
Prude: And while I appreciate that you want a strong America with a balanced budget, a limited judiciary and a slew of scientists and mathematicians, the Prudes of America can’t let your following quote pass without censure:

“...We encourage you to be neat, obedient, loyal and faithful and all those Boy Scout words, which would be great around a campfire but are lousy in politics.”

Please, Mr. Gingrich, could you PLEASE still encourage at least the neat part if you get to be President? Mr. Gingrich? Why are you grabbing your head? Oh, I see. You’ve managed to work up that little flip in your hair!

Tomorrow: Who is Jon Huntsman and why is someone saying absolutely nothing about him?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Meet Michele. Make that 'Roz'

When the Prude calls Michele Bachmann an over achiever, she probably means that she is jealous of the Republican presidential candidate.
The woman was a straight-A cheerleader. She won a Miss Congeniality beauty contest. She worked on a kibbutz in Israel, gave birth to five kids and fostered oodles more. She helped start a charter school, was a lawyer for the Treasury Dept. and became the 1st Republican woman to represent Minnesota in Congress.  She is older than The Prude. But cuter.
Here is what people like about Candidate Bachmann:
she is extremely conservative fiscally and politically
she is extremely outspoken on her conservative Christian views
she is extremely cute in a conservative sort of way. 
Here is what people hate about her:
she is extremely conservative fiscally and politically
she is extremely outspoken on her conservative Christian views
she is extremely cute, in a conservative sort of way.
What obstacles does she have to overcome?
She is, by conservative estimates, so far behind the other candidates in Iowa that Iowa corn stands higher in the polls than she does.
What does she have going for her?
She won her Minnesota Senate seat against Elwyn Tinklenberg.
Now she is running against Mitt and Newt. Her record of beating gentlemen with unusual names is stellar.
What plug can The Prude give her?
Her tendency to engage in the hyperbole so dear to The Prude’s heart.
How would The Prude advise Michele Bachmann?
That name. It is so straight-A Minnesota cheerleader.
She needs a nickname that will give her broader appeal without falling into the salamander/slugger/snicker categories.
I’m hovering between ‘Roz’ and ‘Harley’. 
If you have any other nicknames let The Prude know.  We’ll suggest them to Candidate Bachmann. It may not be too late to  give her a fighting chance in Iowa.
Tomorrow: Meet and Greet Newt Gingrich!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Politics with the Prude

Today is Boxing Day in various Accented-English speaking nations.
Happy Boxing Day.
The Prude was going to share some trifles about Boxing Day customs (helping the poor, killing foxes and wrens) and then cap it off with the surprising news that, just as American retailers have turned Thanksgiving into Black Friday Eve,
the English, Australians et al have made Boxing Day a holiday to line up before dawn at department stores for bargains.

But she decided to take a different direction.
For the next several days leading up to the Iowa Primary she will fill you in on the Republican front runners and back trotters.

Knowledge is power.
The next best thing is a pile of unrelated fact and innuendo.
If The Prude can’t provide you with the former she will do her best to fill you with the latter.

So, take a deep breath.
Enjoy Boxing Day by helping the poor, hunting small animals and bopping other frenzied shoppers for the best deals.

Because tomorrow (working in alphabetical order) we will
Meet and Greet Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond all Splendour

And here is my favorite. The lyrics by Frank Houghton, the tune I don't know how to share with you–
these delight my soul.
The mystery of the incarnation,
the absolute necessity for God to become a humble and despised man,
the wondrous love involved in this fathomless sacrifice–
these 'demand my life, my soul, my all'.

Is it ethical to bribe one's pastor to sing this on Christmas Day?

1. Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love's sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love's sake becamest poor.

2. Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest man.

3. Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
Make us what thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.


Merry Christmas, beloved friends!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

All My Heart This Night Rejoices.

I was going to call this ‘another oldie but goodie’ but that is such a trite description of Paul Gerhardt’s sweet song of rejoicing and victory. He wrote it in 1653 and Catherine Winkworth, bless her little linguist heart, translated it in 1858. If you can find the tune by Johann Ebeling in 1666 please listen. It will fill you with joy.

All my heart this night rejoices
As I hear
Far and near
Sweetest angel voices.
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing
Till the air
Now with joy is ringing.

Forth today the Conqueror goeth,
Who the foe,
Sin and woe,
Death and hell, o'erthroweth.
God is man, man to deliver;
His dear Son
Now is one
With our blood forever.

Shall we still dread God's displeasure,
Who, to save,
Freely gave
His most cherished treasure?
To redeem us, he hath given
His own Son
From the throne
Of his might in heaven.

He becomes the Lamb that taketh
Sin away
And for aye
Full atonement maketh.
For our life his own he tenders;
And our race,
By his grace,
Meet for glory renders.

Hark! a voice from yonder manger,
Soft and sweet,
Doth entreat:
"Flee from woe and danger,
Brethren, from all ills that grieve you
You are freed;
All you need
I will surely give you."

Come, then, banish all your sadness,
One and all,
Great and small;
Come with songs of gladness.
Love him who with love is glowing;
Hail the star,
Near and far
Light and joy bestowing.

Dearest Lord, thee will I cherish.
Though my breath
Fail in death,
Yet I shall not perish,
But with thee abide for ever
There on high,
In that joy
Which can vanish never.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lo, How a Rose e're Blooming

600 years ago some unknown lover of truth in Germany
expressed the wonder that a promised deliverer
of God's people would actually be God Himself become man.
A little over a century and a half ago Theodore Baker
blessed many generations of English speakers by translating
the text so we can delight in the lyrics below.

1 Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming
from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
as those of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright,
amid the cold of winter,
when half spent was the night. 
2 Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
the Rose I have in mind;
with Mary we behold it,
the Virgin Mother kind.
To show God's love aright,
she bore to men a Savior,
when half spent was the night. 
3 The shepherds heard the story,
proclaimed by angels bright,
how Christ,the Lord of glory,
was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
and in the manger found him,
as angel heralds said.
4 This flow'r, whose fragrance tender
with sweetness fills the air,
dispels with glorious splendor
the darkness ev'rywhere.
True man yet very God,
from sin and death he saves us,
and lightens ev'ry load.
5 O Savior, child of Mary,
who felt our human woe;
O Savior, King of glory,
who dost our weakness know,
bring us at length, we pray,
to the bright courst of heaven
and to the endless day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All Praise to Thee, Eternal Lord

These graceful lyrics are credited to Martin Luther. I like it more than ‘Away in a Manger’ which, I just learned, was NOT written by the fine reformer.

I particularly like the line 'Choosing a manger for thy throne while worlds on worlds are thine alone'.

1 All praise to thee, Eternal Lord,
Clothed in a garb of flesh and blood;
Choosing a manger for thy throne,
While worlds on worlds are thine alone.

2 Once did the skies before thee bow;
A Virgin's arms contain thee now:
Angels who did in thee rejoice
Now listen for thine infant voice.

3 A little Child, thou art our Guest,
That weary ones in thee may rest;
Forlorn and lowly is thy birth,
That we may rise to heav'n from earth.

4 Thou comest in the darksome night
To make us children of the light,
To make us, in the realms divine,
Like thine own angels round thee shine.

5 All this for us thy love hath done;
By this to thee our love is won:
For this we tune our cheerful lays,
And shout our thanks in ceaseless praise.