Month: April 2015


  • In Baltimore, the Orioles and the Chicago White Sox played a game today in a completely empty stadium. It was the first major sporting event to be played in an empty stadium, unless you count every professional soccer game in America.
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Consistent with my statement last Monday that I was going to start frequenting The American Spectator site more often, I did and immediately found a great article on McDonald’s by Daniel Flynn.

In short, Flynn isn’t lovin’ it. He notes that McDonald’s lost 2.3% of sales last year and the franchise is beginning to teeter (if not quite totter). He asks, in connection with eating a Quarter Pounder, a valid question:

If you want to feel sick after a meal, why not Mad Dog 20/20? It’s healthier, tastes better, and at least provides a high before the hangover.

But isn’t just throwing darts. He also offers a 12-point “recipe for success.” Here are a few:

1. Don’t hire cashiers with neck tattoos.

2. Restrict morbidly obese customers to the drive-through to create the impression that most of the people who eat there carry around less than 40 percent body fat.

3. Bathe the indoor playgrounds with a blacklight to allow parents to make an informed decision whether or not they should allow their children to play there.

4. Offer up anybody who calls McDonald’s “Mickey D’s” to Mayor McCheese and his confederates for summary execution.

8. Recruit a Jared-like character to trick consumers into thinking a byproduct of daily visits includes weight loss. In replacing the cast of creepy cartoonish characters, this new product pitchman will also provide the added bonus of attracting families scared off by the subliminal sex-offender vibe projected by the clowns and masked marauders representing the brand in the past.

11. Hire Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Obama as culinary advisors. Do the opposite of what they say.… Read the rest


Background: When I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, I was responsible for the “Tremendous Trifles” column. It was occasionally hard to find a sufficient amount of interesting GKC material to fill the page, so John Peterson sent me a file full of Chesterton ancedotes. They were idiosyncratic, historical, and Chestertonian. He gave me permission to use them here. I hope y’all find them as interesting as I have over the years. Most of them have never been published.

Chesterton Short(s)

For those who like to say that Chesterton never made an enemy, there is the fact of Thomas Hardy’s very last literary work. In the final days before his death in 1928, Hardy dictated what biographer Robert Gittings describes as “two virulent, inept, and unworthy satirical jingles” directed at Chesterton and George Moore—Hardy’s “two most hated critics.” [Thomas Hardy’s Later Years, Boston, 1978, p. 211]… Read the rest



I used to enjoy greatly boxing. I lost $5 on the Hearns/Leonard fight (big Tommy fan), which was a lot of money back in the early 1980s for a high school kid. I boxed at the University of Michigan for a short spell (club sport; no ability required). I read a lot about boxing and, as a kid, could recite the heavyweight champions from Sullivan to Joe Louis. But I lost interest in it once the corruption became too much to overlook and especially when the sanctioning bodies split into four different groups, thereby making it ridiculously-confusing to know who, indeed, is the champ of a particular weight class.

But once in awhile, my interest is piqued, and the upcoming Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight is one of those times. Paul Beston at City Journal has packed a ton of facts into a concise article about the May 2nd rumble. Worth a read. A few excerpts:

“[T]he fight should shatter records for total revenue, live gate, and pay-per-view receipts, to say nothing of the more than $100 million both boxers will haul in (in Mayweather’s case, it’s perhaps closer to $200 million). Boxing remains the only sport whose participants can top the career earnings of other athletes in one night. In fact, Mayweather and Pacquiao will make more than the total payrolls of some Major League Baseball teams.”

“Pacquiao is so easy to like that more Americans may wind up rooting for him than Mayweather, who grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.”

“[Pacquiao] is also a professional basketball player back home, where criticism of him is not welcome. One former NBA player was bounced out … Read the rest


Miscellaneous Rambling

Great Mencken article at The American Conservative. Three brief excerpts: “When Mencken started at the Baltimore Herald in 1899, the newspaper had a spittoon at every desk but not enough typewriters to go around.” “Everyone involved in making the city’s news seems to have been drunk more or less perpetually: the judges, the sheriffs, the reporters, the typesetters, and the press operators.” “By his own reckoning, Mencken produced over the course of his career approximately ten million words on literature, language, music, food, politics.” * * * * * * * I’m kinda surprised to see the managing editor at The American Spectator writing for The American Conservative. I’ve always considered TAS as heavily stained with the neo-conservative mark. Maybe I’m wrong about that. * * * * * * * TAS, however, used to be the best conservative magazine out there, hands-down. R. Emmett Tyrrell’s “The Continuing Crisis” was one of the best monthly columns around (and, come to think of it, laid out similarly to this “Miscellaneous Rambling” weekly “column” at TDE; the comparisons, alas, end there). Tyrrell’s was the first thing I read when the magazine arrived, followed quickly with Ben Stein’s autobiographical column. I would then search for anything by Tom Bethel or P.J. O’Rourke. * * * * * * * While checking out the TAS website, I see that Tyrrell and Stein are still writing regularly for TAS. I’m going to start going back there more often. Who knows, maybe I’ll subscribe again someday. … Read the rest


Nock Notions

And anything that tears down society ought to be resisted by Catholics everywhere:

“It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power; there is never, nor can there be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power.” Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State.… Read the rest