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Monday, April 25, 2016

Awesome Adverts

       Estase has railed against offensive television advertisements.  So it behooves him to give credit where credit is due.  The death of Prince will be mourned by music enthusiasts everywhere, but will also be mourned by those of us who loved Lil' Sweet, the Prince avatar used to sell Diet Dr. Pepper.   These commercials were funny to all of us old enough to remember Prince's heyday.
        Geico Insurance has the best ad agency in America.  Geico's ads are funny and/or cute.  The people at Progressive Insurance, however, are being robbed.  Progressive Insurance has annoying, stupid ads.  The pig on the zip line was genius, as was the swipe at Alec Baldwin where the pig is on an airliner, and is told to put away his phone.  Bravo!
        A company called Slack has created an adorable commercial involving anthropomorphic animals at work.  Estase hopes they air the heck out of this ad.  In a world where vulgarity and gross-outs are commonplace, some ad agencies keep it clean and funny.  Rest in peace, Lil' Sweet.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Bible Inscription

George Faris was born July one {17}76
George Faris was born July the 26, 1770
George Faris was born July the 16, 1721

John C. Hollister his Bible presant from his stepfather the above

John C. Mallis son of Benjamin Hollister and Elizabeth his wife was born in the year of our Lord 1803 April the 4th

Molly Fisher daughter of Jacob Fisher Viletty his wife was born in the year of Lord 1807 January the 7th


If you have any information about the family referenced in this inscription, kindly leave a message.

Fear and Stasis, Part Two

      There are several points of comparison between the pissed off British electorate of 1770 that inspired Edmund Burke's Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents and the segment of the American public who find Citizen Kane attractive.  The British rogue John Wilkes was the Donald Trump of his day.  His damning sin was bucking the Earl of Bute, but what he was denied Parliament for was his insult to George III in North Briton #45.  The first time Wilkes was denied his seat, the Middlesex electors were at least allowed to elect a replacement.  The second time, the ministry named a Colonel Luttrell to fill Wilkes' spot.
       The grievances of the British in 1770 were the weak legislature caused by an intrusive executive power (namely, Lord Bute and the Court faction), the fact that competent leaders were unwilling to enter office because of the undermining of ministries (as happened with Pitt the elder and Lord Rockingham), and a public feeling that the executive was overwhelming the legislature.
       The grievances of the Trump faction today are similar.  They include a pushover Congress that does everything the President asks, Congressional leaders who are scapegoats for executive programs, and a public uninterested in empowering Congress.
        The problem with the backers of Citizen Kane is that they want to deal with an emasculated Congress, not by restoring the proper functions of Congress (e.g. by returning to actual budgets, rather than continuing resolutions;  an end to finances being designed in the White House), but by replacing one autocratic President with another autocratic President.   Two years ago, Estase was lamenting the nomination of Sci-Fi Bruce Rauner for Illinois governor.  Estase felt that Rauner's position on abortion was unacceptable, and that Rauner basically wanted to enter public life as a rich man's hobby.  Citizen Kane is forty times worse than Bruce Rauner.  Virtually no position Trump takes is based on facts, reflection or experience.  Limited government and constitutionalism are meaningless to him.  All Trump promises to be is a different type of autocrat.  His ego is so out of proportion to what he is that it is not saying too much to call him a meglomaniac.   His history as a liberal is too well-established for any person to take him as anything other than a Democratic plant.   He refuses to rule out a third-party candidacy, yet another sign that his intention is not to defeat Hillary Clinton, but to split the vote to ensure her election.  Why Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh defend Trump defies logic.  It probably will damage the Republican brand forever if a xenophobic authoritarian enters office as a Republican.  So, unlike the British in 1770, there exists today in America discontent, but a strange, incoherent discontent that aims to remedy a disorder by the same disorder.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The Discipline of Confusion

     "A sullen gloom, and furious disorder, prevail by fits:  the nation loses its relish for peace and prosperity, as it did in that season of fullness which opened our troubles in the time of Charles the First.  A species of men to whom a state of order would become a sentence of obscurity, are nourished into a dangerous magnitude by the heat of intestine disturbances;  and it is no wonder that, by a sort of sinister piety, they cherish, in their turn, the disorders which are the parents of all their consequence.  Superficial observers consider such persons as the cause of the public uneasiness, when, in truth, they are nothing more than the effect of it. . . .One mob is hired to destroy another;  a procedure which at once encourages the boldness of the populace, and justly increases their discontent.  Men become pensioners of state on account of their abilities in the array of riot, and the discipline of confusion."  Edmund Burke Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents p.45

Friday, April 01, 2016

Fear and Stasis

      It is my conclusion that the Sturmabteilung (SA) has been resurrected, and now constitutes the Citizen Kane campaign.  Estase knows that Keith Olbermann really abused the whole Hitler-analogy thing with George W. Bush.  That being acknowledged, it is hard to think of a political campaign that features a candidate who obviously has not thought seriously about any topic whatsoever.  Nor can one think of a campaign that has encouraged its supporters to engage in violence on its behalf.  Citizen Kane actually offered to pay the legal bills of a man who sucker-punched a protester at a rally?  He keeps his campaign manager even as he's accused of battery himself?  In Weimar Germany, the street battles between the Communists and the Sturmabteilung were one of the signs that Germany was becoming a dangerous, uncivilized place.
       The racial opinions of Citizen Kane have been talked to death, so Estase won't belabor them.  His "platform" is a mishmash of half-thought-through platitudes.  This week's bizarre comments on abortion are not, as his campaign claims, a failure to properly communicate.  They are the result of Trump's utter lack of seriousness.  They are the result of a campaign that literally stands for nothing coherent.  They are pandering, an incoherent idea that someone who doesn't care one way or the other about abortion formulated because either 1)He actually supposes that abortion opponents want to jail women who've had abortions, or 2) He supports abortion, and is ironically making an absurd proposal as a kind of reductio ad absurdum argument for abortion.  People who have been reading Q.E.D. since my first post on the subject (Price?  No Man Can Say!) know which of these Estase prefers.  I believe that the Trump candidacy, from its very inception, is an elaborate ploy by Hillary Clinton to create a bogeyman whose positions are so extreme, and so unattractive, and yet so charismatic, as to draw attention away from legitimate conservatives.  The whole National Enquirer debacle, where the best candidate of the Republican field is derided as "Pervy Ted," who is accused of having multiple mistresses, is a perfect example.  Trump is attempting to destroy a legitimate conservative, not because he wants to be president, but because he wants Hillary Clinton elected president.  By the time Citizen Kane is done making preposterous, unhinged, arguably racist comments, the old harridan from Rose Law Firm will look like a moderate grown-up by comparison.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Blandinsville Boys Parole

       In the summer of 1862, when men responded to the second call of President Lincoln for 300,000 more troops to serve in the army to preserve the Union, about six full companies responded from McDonough county {ed.-Illinois}.  
       Two of these served in the 78th Ill., two in the 84th and two in the 124th.  One of these, Co. C of the 78th, was known as the "Blandinsville company," its members being largely composed of men from the northwest part of the county.  Many of the new regiments, the 78th among the rest, were hurried to Kentucky to repel the invasion of Bragg's army.  As the confederates fell back and the Louisville and Nashville railroad was repaired, the 78th was one of the regiments that was divided into one or more companies at a place to guard bridges and track against General John Morgan, who was busy with his army of raiders some 2,000 to 3,000 strong doing everything possible to tear up this only line of supply to the Union army, that then, under Rosecrans, was pursuing and driving Bragg out of the state.  Co. C was stationed at the bridge over "Rolling Fork;"  it was surrounded by Morgan's 'terrible men' and, finding resistance futile, surrendered.
       We give below the parole of the company and the oath the men took, not to take up arms against the Confederacy until properly exchanged.  It will be interesting reading to the younger generation, as it gives one feature of the history of the war little known;  it will interest older ones because they will remember the ones paroled, some of whom are yet living at Blandinsville and vicinity or in other locations.  Most of them, however, have crossed the river to futurity, some of them being killed in battle after their exchange.
       C.L. Spielman was captured with the rest of the boys but was overlooked in making the parole.  He was taken, along with two others, to Gen. Morgan in person, who ordered the three of them to be set at liberty.

                                              "Headquarters Army Ky.,
                                               Rolling Fork, Dec. 28, 1862
                          We the undersigned, belonging to the United States Army, having been taken prisoners by the Confederate States' forces under command of Gen. John H. Morgan, on condition of our being released on parole, do solemnly swear that we will not bear arms against the Confederate State or perform any military duty or aid or abet their enemies in any way whatsoever during the war until regularly exchanged under penalty of death, nor will we disclose anything that we have seen or heard in the Confederate States' army to its prejudice.
                                               Joel H. Jenks, Fifer
                                               Privates--Thos. Boyton, Marion Bond, Henry Carnes, Marshall Cline, Thos. Davis, Geo. Dowell, Wm. Freeland, John Forest, John Galbreth, John Green, John Gorham, Elisha Hamilton, James Huddleston, John Harmin, John Hainline, John W. James, W.E. James, Joseph H. Keithley, Perry Keithley, Silas Mesecher, Wm. Mesecher, F.T. Mayhugh, John Mayhugh, Laban Mayhugh, George Martin, Nathaniel Midcap, Josephus Marshall, W.F. McGee, John Monahan, Sylvester Ruddle, Peter B. Robbert, Henry Venning, John Rush, John Worley, A.J. Stafford, Jas. Welsh, Andrew Wilson, Jesse Warner, Henry Warner, John Woodside, Philip Chaffin, Michael Chaffin, Lewis Hendricks, Cyril Tift, Marion Sherry, Richard Terry, Wm. H. Duffield, F. P. Brown

                                                 I certify that the within named men, belonging to my company, have this day been regularly paroled, according to the cartel regulating the exchange of prisoners between the United States and the Confederate States.
                                                     Capt. CHARLES R. HUME
                                                      Co. C., 78th Regt. Ill. Vol.

From Blandinsville {IL} Star Gazette, 29 SPB 1910, pg. 6

Monday, February 29, 2016

Unmasking the Devil

       "But when a man's fancy gets astride on his reason;  when imagination is at cuffs with the senses, and common understanding, as well as common sense, is kicked out of doors;  the first proselyte he makes is himself;  and when that is once compassed, the difficulty is not so great in bringing over others;  a strong delusion always operating from without as vigorously as from within. . .And, first, with relation to the mind or understanding, 'tis manifest what mighty advantages fiction has over truth;  and the reason is just at our elbow, because imagination can build nobler scenes, and produce more wonderful revolutions than fortune or nature will be at expense to furnish. . .How fading and insipid do all objects accost us, that are not conveyed in the vehicle of delusion!  How shrunk is everything, as it appears in the glass of nature!  So that if it were not for the assistance of artificial mediums, false lights, refracted angles, varnish and tinsel, there would be a mighty level in the felicity and enjoyments of mortal men.  If this were seriously considered by the world, as I have a certain reason to suspect it hardly will, men would no longer reckon among their high points of wisdom, the art of exposing weak sides, and publishing infirmities;  an employment, in my opinion, neither better nor worse than that of unmasking, which, I think, has never been allowed fair usage, either in the world, or the play-house."  Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub (p.119)