Thank you, Johnnie. Alex Trebek is now live in Heaven

Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek Biography

(1940–2020)UPDATED:NOV 8, 2020ORIGINAL:JAN 5, 2018

Alex Trebek served as the host of ‘Jeopardy!,’ one of the most popular game shows in television history, for more than 30 years.

Who Was Alex Trebek?

In the mid-1960s, Alex Trebek became the host of the Canadian quiz show Reach for the Top. His first American television gig was as host of the short-lived 1973 game show The Wizard of Odds. In 1984, he began his longtime hosting role of a revived version of the trivia show Jeopardy! In 2019, he revealed that he’s battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer and passed away from the disease in November 2020.

Early Life and Career

Trebek was born on July 22, 1940, in Sudbury, Canada, a large city in northern Ontario. His mother, Lucille Trebek, was a French-Canadian woman with some First Nations ancestry, and his father, George Trebek, was a Ukrainian immigrant who worked as a chef at a local hotel. “My dad drank pretty heavily, and he never missed a day of work in his life,” Trebek recalls. Trebek describes his father as a hoarder of knickknacks that had a way of proving useful years later. “His basic philosophy was don’t throw out something because someday it’ll come in handy,” he says about his father. 

A bright and curious child from a very young age, Trebek attended Jesuit schools until the age of 12, when he decided to leave Sudbury to attend the University of Ottawa High School in the Canadian capital. “Sudbury is a more distant memory,” he now admits, “because I was born there and raised there, but I left to go away to boarding school.”

After graduating from high school in 1957, Trebek continued on to the University of Ottawa to study philosophy. Upon graduation in 1961, Trebek decided to ditch philosophy and pursue a career in journalism. He landed his first job as a fill-in reporter and newscaster with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC TV. Although he quickly earned a reputation for his cool on-screen demeanor, in 1966 he decided to shift his focus from journalism to the more lucrative field of hosting game shows. He became the host of the Canadian quiz show Reach for the Top, which pitted teams of high school students against each other in academic competitions. In 1970, Trebek graduated to hosting the more prominent, nationally televised Canadian game show Jackpot.

‘Jeopardy!’ Host

In 1973, Trebek decided to leave his native country in favor of the place where the biggest television stars are made: Hollywood. His first American television gig was as host of the short-lived 1973 game show The Wizard of Odds. The show only lasted one season; in 1974 Trebek signed on to host its replacement, another game show called High Rollers. Trebek hosted the show through a pair of two-year runs on NBC, from 1974-76 and again from 1978-80. At the same time, he also expanded his repertoire to host other game shows such as The $128,000 Question (1977-78) and Pitfall (1981-82), which aired in both the United States and Canada.

In 1984, ABC tapped Trebek to host a game show by the famous creator of Wheel of Fortune, Merv Griffin. The show was a revival of a popular trivia competition called Jeopardy!, which aired from 1964 to 1975 in its first incarnation. Jeopardy! employed a unique format in which clues were offered in the form of answers and contestants answered in the form of questions. Trebek’s version of  Jeopardy! quickly became one of the most popular game shows in television history, and as its charismatic and unflappable host, Trebek became a pop culture icon, winning multiple Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host over more than three decades on air.

Another measure of the host’s iconic status in pop culture is the ubiquity of Trebek parodies — Will Ferrell played a crazed Trebek on Saturday Night Live, Eugene Levy played “Alex Trebel” on Half Wits, and Family GuyThe Simpsons, and The X-Files have all included Trebek-parodying storylines. The good-spirited Trebek thinks the parodies are hilarious, and especially liked Levy’s take. “I thought Eugene captured the private horror a game show host experiences trying to keep things moving on a day where everything is going wrong,” he says.

After more than 30 years hosting Jeopardy!, Trebek remained as fresh, motivated and humble as ever. Asked in an interview how he managed such a remarkable balance between professional success and personal modesty, Trebek responded, “Take your job seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.” 

He also answered a question that was burning in audiences’ minds ever since Trebek first began reminding contestants to state their answer in the form of a question back in 1984. How would he do as a contestant himself? Trebek answered, “I would do fairly well among senior citizens, but against a good 30-year-old I would have trouble because I cannot recall information as quickly as I used to. You used to say something and I would go, boom, right away, very sharp. Now it’s like, Oh, yes, but wait a minute, uh, uh….”

During a July 2018 interview, Trebek suggested that the end of the line was approaching when he revealed that the chances of him returning to host Jeopardy! after the end of his contract in 2020 were “50/50 and a little less.” He also named two possible replacements: Los Angeles Kings play-by-play announcer Alex Faust and radio host, author and legal professor Laura Coates.

Health Problems and Cancer Diagnosis

After hitting his head in a bad fall in October 2017, Trebek was diagnosed with subdural hematoma in December. He underwent surgery the following day, prompting the need to go on hiatus from his hosting duties, but Trebek soon made sure to reassure fans via a video posted to the game show’s website: “After two days in the hospital, I came home to start recovery,” he said. “The prognosis is excellent, and I expect to be back in the studio taping more ‘Jeopardy!’ programs very, very soon!” 

In March 2019, Trebek dropped a bombshell with the announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Delivering the news in a video posted to YouTube, the TV mainstay said he planned to finish out the season of Jeopardy! “Now, normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” he vowed.

A few months later, Trebek revealed that he was in near remission. “It’s kind of mind-boggling,” he told People for its June 10, 2019, cover story. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory … some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.” When asked why he felt he was responding so well to chemotherapy, the host credited the “positive energy” relayed by numerous well-wishers.

In mid-September, Trebek revealed on Good Morning America that he was undergoing another round of chemotherapy. The following March, he again took to social media to commemorate his reaching the one-year anniversary of his diagnosis. 

READ MORE: Inside Alex Trebek’s Courageous Battle Against Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer

‘The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life’

In July 2020, Trebek released his memoir, The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life. “I started recollecting things that I had not given any thought to in many, many years,” Trebek told NPR. “And it felt good. It was a way of reviewing my entire life, and that just brought me a great deal of satisfaction.”

Death

After a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Trebek passed away “peacefully” at his home on November 8, 2020, surrounded by his family and friends.

Personal Life

Trebek married Elaine Callei in 1974, and they remained married for seven years before divorcing in 1981. In 1990, he wed for a second time, to Jean Currivan, and they have two children, Emily and Matthew.

Trebek was an active volunteer and spokesman for organizations such as World Vision and Smile Train, which help improve the lives of impoverished children around the world. He participated in 13 USO tours visiting American troops overseas, and in 1998 was awarded the prestigious Bob Hope Entertainment Award.

Bye Bond, Bye James Bond

A movie tells a story, appropriately:

The name’s Bond. James Bond.

In his unmistakable Scottish brogue, Sir Sean Connery was the first man to utter film history’s most famous introduction.

7,713 Sean Connery Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

Sean Connery, award-winning actor who starred as first-ever James Bond,  dies at 90 | KTLA

Il mio nome è Connery, Sean Connery | CameraLook

The perfect combination of dangerous and suave, for many fans, he is the ultimate 007.

Connery was a jobbing actor when he was picked for Dr No in 1962, a role that set the man from humble beginnings on a path to becoming a Hollywood legend.

(Original Caption) Waist-up portrait of Sean Connery, as James Bond, caressing the barrel of a gun against the side of his face. Connery is wearing a tuxedo and bow tie and smiling slightly.
Image:Playing Bond made Connery a Hollywood legend

James Bond author Ian Fleming was initially resistant to the casting, describing him as an “overgrown stuntman” who was not refined enough for the role.Advertisement

However, he was later so impressed with his performance that he created a Scottish ancestry for the character in subsequent books.

Connery would become the British spy seven times in total, also starring in From Russia With Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Never Say Never Again, and Goldfinger, arguably the greatest Bond film of all, in 1964.

More from Sean Connery

His career in entertainment spanned seven decades, with smaller roles before Bond and films afterwards including The Rock, Highlander, The Untouchables and of course, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, in which he played Indy’s father, Professor Henry Jones.

However, it is his licence to kill that he will undoubtedly be best remembered for.

Sir Sean Connery, with wife Micheline (R), pose for photographers after he was formally knighted by ..
Sir Sean Connery, with wife Micheline (R), pose for photographers after he was formally knighted by the Britain's [Queen Elizabeth] at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh July 5. [The Scottish screen legend, famous for his role as James Bond, was honoured two years after he was reportedly denied a knighthood because of his passionate Scottish nationalism. ]
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Image:Pictured with his wife Micheline, the actor was knighted in 2000

Thomas Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge area on 25 August 1930. The elder of two boys, he left school at an early age and took his first job as a milkman, complete with horse-drawn cart.

He enlisted in the Royal Navy at 16, but was discharged on medical grounds three years later after suffering with a stomach ulcer.

Various jobs included a stint as a bricklayer, work as a lifeguard and sitting as an artist’s model for the Edinburgh College of Art. Under the name Thom Connery, he was placed third in the tall man’s division (he was 6ft 2in) of the 1950 Mr Universe contest.

Also a gifted footballer, his life could have turned out very differently, after he was offered a contract by former Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, who had seen him on the pitch during a friendly match.

Sean Connery and Jill Masterson
(Original Caption) James Bond (Sean Connery) and Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) share a laugh on the phone in the James Bond flick, Goldfinger. 1964.
Image:Connery starred alongside Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson in Goldfinger

Connery’s first major acting credit came in 1957 British gangster film No Road Back.

But it was Bond that launched him to stardom five years later.

He quit the role after You Only Live Twice in 1967, saying he was frustrated by the repetitive plots, but was enticed back after successor George Lazenby failed to make the grade.

Connery’s big screen career took a dip after Bond, but was revived with The Untouchables in 1987, with his role as tough gang-busting Irish policeman Jim Malone winning him an Oscar for best supporting actor.

In 1989, the US magazine People voted him Sexiest Man Alive, to which the then 59-year-old replied: “Well, there aren’t many sexy dead men, are there?”

Sean Connery, Shirley Eaton
in Goldfinger
1964
Image:Sean Connery played James Bond seven times, including in 1964’s Goldfinger

In 2000, he was knighted by the Queen – an honour said to have been delayed by his vocal support for the Scottish National Party (SNP) – and received the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Once voted the greatest living Scot, in 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh Napier University for the achievements throughout his career.

The star never lost his much-imitated accent, despite his many years living abroad. From his home in the Bahamas, he remained a fervent supporter of independence for Scotland.

He had two tattoos – one reading “Mum and Dad” and another, “Scotland Forever”.

Connery is survived by his son Jason and his second wife, French artist Micheline Roquebrune, whom he married in 1975.

Sean Connery in James Bond - Anwar Hussein - Fine art photography -  ArtPhotoLimited

Six Empires that simply vanished into thin air.

UPDATED:OCT 23, 2020ORIGINAL:FEB 3, 2017

Here’s Why These Six Ancient Civilizations Mysteriously Collapsed

Many thanks to History.com for this fascinating glimpse of six vanished worlds

From the Maya to Greenland’s Vikings, check out six civilizations that seemingly disappeared without a trace.JESSE GREENSPAN

M and M, Inc/Corbis/Getty Images

1. Maya

Ancient Civilizations that Mysteriously Collapsed: Maya
A section of the Mayan Troano Codex, one of three surviving pre-Columbian Maya books.Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Arguably the New World’s most advanced pre-Columbian civilization, the Maya carved large stone cities into the jungles of southern Mexico and Central America, complete with elaborate plazas, palaces, pyramid-temples and ball courts. Known for their hieroglyphic writing, as well as their calendar-making, mathematics, astronomy and architecture skills, the Maya reached the peak of their influence during the so-called Classic Period, from around A.D. 250 to A.D. 900. But at the end of the Classic Period, in one of history’s great enigmas, the populace suddenly deposed its kings, abandoned the cities and ceased with technological innovation.

Dozens of theories have been put forth to explain what happened. Some historians, for instance, point to a major drought, exacerbated by deforestation and soil erosion, as the impetus for the societal collapse, while others put the blame on a disease epidemic, a peasant revolt against an increasingly corrupt ruling class, constant warfare among the various city-states, a breakdown of trade routes or some combination thereof. Though dispersed, the Maya never disappeared. Millions of their Mayan-speaking descendants continue to inhabit the region to this day.

READ MORE: Why the Maya Abandoned Their Cities 

2. Indus

Ancient Civilizations that Mysteriously Collapsed: Indus
A sculpture, possibly of a priest, from the ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro, now in the Karachi Museum in Pakistan.Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

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The Indus began building settlements in present-day India and Pakistan as early as 8,000 years ago, making them one of the earliest civilizations. By the third millennium B.C., they occupied over 386,000 square miles of territory—much more than their better-known contemporaries in Egypt and Mesopotamia—and accounted for an estimated 10 percent of the world’s population. They also developed a writing script that’s still yet to be deciphered, and their cities contained sanitation systems that remained unequaled until Roman times.

Around 1900 B.C., however, the Indus, also known as the Indus Valley or Harappa civilization, went into freefall. The population abandoned the cities and purportedly migrated to the southeast. Originally, scholars believed that an Aryan invasion from the north brought about the Indus collapse, but that theory is no longer in vogue. Recent research instead suggests that the monsoon cycle essentially stopped for two centuries, making agriculture nearly impossible. Other factors, such as earthquakes or outbreaks of malaria or cholera, may have also played a role.

3. Anasazi

Ancient Civilizations that Mysteriously Collapsed: Anasazi
Cliff Palace, located in present day Mesa Verde National Park, built by ancestral Puebloans.DEA Picture Library/De Agostini/Getty Images

In the dry Four Corners region of the present-day United States, the Anasazi built spectacular stone dwellings into the sides of cliffs during the 12th and 13th centuries, some of which contained hundreds of rooms. No other U.S. building would be taller until the construction of the first skyscrapers in the 1880s. Yet the cliff dwellings did not remain occupied for long, and the end apparently wasn’t pretty.https://56d8e53cb0db2a2be84f18e4f12c3a02.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Researchers have uncovered signs of massacres and cannibalism, as well as evidence of deforestation, water management problems and a crippling long-term drought that many believe precipitated the slide into violence. Religious and political upheaval, akin to what Europe faced following the Protestant Reformation, may have added to the chaos, which ultimately forced the Anasazi to abandon their homeland by A.D. 1300 and flee south. Their modern-day descendants include the Hopi and Zuni peoples, some of whom consider the term Anasazi offensive, preferring instead to say “ancestral (or ancient) Puebloans.”

READ MORE: Ancient Native Americans Once Thrived in Bustling Urban Centers

4. Cahokia

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READ MORE: Ancient Native Americans Once Thrived in Bustling Urban Centers

Thanks to the spread of corn cultivation from Mexico, indigenous villages began popping up around 1,200 years ago in the fertile river valleys of the American Southeast and Midwest. By far the largest of these was Cahokia, located a few miles from present-day St. Louis, Missouri, which at its peak hosted a population of up to 20,000 (similar to that of London’s at the time). Surrounded by a high wooden stockade, this inaugural U.S. city featured many plazas and at least 120 earthen mounds, the largest of which, known as Monks Mound, stood 100-feet tall and was built with some 14 million baskets of soil.

Meanwhile, just outside the wall, a ring of red cedar posts, dubbed “Woodhenge,” likely served as a sort of solar calendar. The city, a natural trade hub due to its position near the confluence of the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri rivers, seemingly thrived in the 1000s and 1100s. But it allegedly started declining around A.D. 1200, right when a calamitous flood is known to have hit, and was long deserted by the time of Columbus’ arrival. In addition to the flood, researchers have fingered overexploitation of natural resources, political and social unrest, diseases and the so-called Little Ice Age as possible causes for Cahokia’s fall.

5. Easter Island

Ancient Civilizations that Mysteriously Collapsed: Easter Island
Moai statues on Easter Island.Leonard 78 UK/Getty Images


Setting out by canoe sometime between A.D. 300 and A.D. 1200, Polynesians somehow found and settled Easter Island, one of the world’s most remote places, located about 2,300 miles west of Chile. Even more remarkably, despite lacking wheels or pack animals—much less cranes—they managed to erect hundreds of giant stone statues, called moai, the largest of which stood 32-feet tall and weighed 82 tons. (Another moai, nicknamed “El Gigante,” stood 72-feet tall and weighed at least 145 tons, but never made it out of the quarry.) By the 1800s, however, every statue had been toppled, the population had crashed and the island’s chiefs and priests had been overthrown.

By analyzing charcoal fragments and the pollen in sediment cores, scientists have since discovered that Easter Islanders cut down almost every last tree, and that rats ate the trees’ seeds before the forest could re-germinate. This ecological catastrophe, which eliminated the ability to make rope or seagoing canoes and reduced the populace to burning grass for fuel, may have then ushered in a period of mass starvation and civil war. The arrival of Europeans only added to the decimation, starting in 1722 when the first Europeans to set foot on Easter immediately shot to death several islanders. By the 1870s, several waves of smallpox, along with a major Peruvian slave raid, had reduced the number of natives to roughly 100.

6. Greenland’s Vikings

Ancient Civilizations that Mysteriously Collapsed: Greenland's Vikings
A statue of Leif Eriksson in the settlement of Qassiarsuk, the home of Erik the Red, in Greenland.Martin Zwick/Reda & Co/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

According to the Icelandic sagas, Erik the Red led a fleet of 25 boats to colonize Greenland around A.D. 985, not long after he was temporarily banished from Iceland for manslaughter. Setting up two colonies—a larger Eastern Settlement and a smaller Western Settlement—these Vikings herded goats, sheep and cattle, built stone churches that can still be seen today, and hunted caribou and seals. Thriving, or at least surviving, for hundreds of years, their population grew to roughly 5,000. Yet when a missionary expedition arrived in 1721, intent on converting them to Protestantism, it found nothing but ruins.

Archeologists have since determined that the Western Settlement failed around A.D. 1400 and that the Eastern Settlement was abandoned a few decades later. The onset of the Little Ice Age in the 14th century was almost certainly a contributing factor, as it clogged the route in and out of Greenland with sea ice and shortened growing seasons on what were already highly marginal lands. To make matters worse, the market collapsed for the Viking Greenlanders’ main export: walrus ivory. No one knows, however, what delivered the final deathblow.

Some experts believe they simply packed up and returned to Iceland or Scandinavia, whereas others think they starved to death, succumbed to the Black Plague or were exterminated by the Inuit, which had arrived in Greenland from Canada around A.D. 1200. At any rate, the Vikings were far from alone in their failure. At least three other societies have likewise perished on Greenland, including the Dorset, which for a brief time cohabited the island with both the Vikings and the Inuit.

READ MORE: DNA Suggests Viking Women Were Powerful Warriors

Many thanks to History.com for this fascinating glimpse of six vanished worlds.

Ancient Civilizations that Mysteriously Collapsed: Anasazi

Spencer Davis Died Today. Increasingly, I find myself writing Obituaries of the greats of our lifetime. Farewell, Spencer, farewell.

The Davis Family : News Photo

A Welsh guitarist, harmonica player, and vocalist, Spencer Davis became one of the elder statesmen of mid-’60s British rock. As part of the Spencer Davis Band, which formed in Birmingham in 1963, Davis scored chart-topping hits on both sides of the Atlantic, including “Keep on Running” and “Somebody Help Me” in the U.K. and a pair of Top Ten singles, “Gimme Good Lovin'” and “I’m a Man,” in the United States. The band — which also featured a teenaged Stevie Winwood on vocals, guitar, and organ, Muff Winwood (Stevie‘s brother) on bass, and Pete York on drums — continued to mix commercial pop tunes and blues-inspired R&B until the Winwoods departed in 1967. Inspired by American blues musicians, including Leadbelly and Muddy WatersDavis left a career as a college English professor to form the Rhythm & Blues Quartet. After performing a series of gigs at Birmingham nightclub, the Golden Eagle Pub, the group became the club’s resident band. Soon after adding regular Tuesday night sessions at the Marquee in London to their schedule, they changed their name to the Spencer Davis Group.

Spencer Davis Group and Little Stevie Winwood, who was then 15 years old.

Although he briefly kept the band together following the departure of the Winwood siblings and recorded two minor hits, “Mr. Second Class” and “Time Seller,” Davis disbanded the group. After a short stint playing alongside guitarist Alun Davies, he then moved to California in 1970. Remaining active as a musician, he recorded a solo album that quickly went out of print, formed a new blues-pop band called Davis, York, Hardin & Fenwick in 1973, and then launched an acoustic blues band with Richard Landis and Peter Jameson. For much of the remainder of the ’70s and early ’80s, Davis worked behind the scenes. After serving as a consultant for a California video company, he worked as an independent producer and publicist for Island Records, where he helped to guide the early careers of Robert Palmer and Bob Marley, and served as head of A&R for a small Hollywood-based independent label. In addition to recording an impressive solo album, Crossfire, featuring guest appearances by Dusty SpringfieldFlo & Eddie and Booker T. Jones, he produced the Spokane, WA-based group USK and Canada’s Downchild Blues Band.

Forming a new version of the Spencer Davis Group in 1984, Davis toured throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. By 1987, the group averaged more than 100 shows a year. Davis appeared as a guest during concerts by the Grateful DeadGary U.S. BondsLevon HelmBruce SpringsteenPeter “Herman” NooneDownchild, and Alvin Lee.

So Far

Joining with ex-Iron Butterfly and Blues Image guitarist/vocalist Mike Pinera, ex-Rare Earth drummer/vocalist Peter Rivera, and ex-Sugarloaf bassist/vocalist Jerry CorbettaDavis formed the Classic Rock All Stars in 1993. During the two years that he worked with the group, Davis was featured on an album, Double Live and performed in North America and Japan. Davis‘ original songs were featured in such films as Iron Eagle, Big Chill, Mr. Destiny, Days of Thunder, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and Notting Hill. He recorded numerous advertising jingles in the mid-’90s and appeared in a co-starring role on the television comedy Married with Children. The following decade saw him continuining to record new material, and the solo effort So Far was issued in 2008.

Billie Davis and Spencer Davis : News Photo
American Bandstand 1967

Deceased

1939–2020

Image result for spencer davis is dead

Date of death: October 19, 2020

Joltin’ Joe Morgan, The Little General, leader of the Big Red Machine, now guards second base for God’s Angels in Heaven above.

Second baseman Joe Morgan #8 of the Cincinnati Reds in this portrait standing in the batters box circa mid 1970's during a Major League Baseball game. Morgan played for the Reds from 1972-79.

The Little General of The Big Red Machine, baseball’s oldest professional team, best second basemen in history, now guards second base in Heaven Above.

Joe Morgan 1976: At 5'7" he's baseball's most complete player - Sports  Illustrated Vault | SI.com

Joe Morgan

American athlete, entrepreneur, and sports broadcaster

Joe Morgan, in full Joseph Leonard Morgan, (born September 19, 1943, Bonham, Texas, U.S.—died October 11, 2020, Danville, California), American professional baseball player who won consecutive National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards in 1975–76, when he led the Cincinnati Reds to back-to-back World Series championships.

Morgan, a second baseman, played his first major league game at age 19. In 1965, his first full season, he was named the NL Rookie of the Year for the Houston Astros; he hit 14 home runs, scored 100 runs, and had a .271 batting average. He remained with the Astros through 1971, being named to the All Star team twice (1966 and 1970).

Morgan was one of eight players involved in a trade between the Astros and the Cincinnati Reds, and he played in the 1972 World Series his first year in Cincinnati. The Reds captured consecutive World Series titles in 1975 and 1976, while Morgan earned two MVP awards. In 1975 he had 17 home runs, 94 runs batted in, 107 runs, and 67 stolen bases and hit .327. The following year he had 27 home runs, 111 RBIs, 113 runs, 60 stolen bases, and a .320 batting average. His slugging percentage of .576 was the league’s best. He made the All Star team during each of his eight seasons with the Reds and received the Gold Glove Award five times (1973–77).

Morgan spent his final five seasons (1980–84) with four teams: the Houston Astros, the San Francisco Giants, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Oakland Athletics. He played in his final World Series with the Phillies in 1983, finishing with 20 hits in 23 World Series games. In 22 seasons Morgan had 2,517 hits, 268 homers, 1,133 RBIs, 1,650 runs, 689 stolen bases, and a .271 batting average. He hit 266 of his home runs while playing second base, breaking Rogers Hornsby’s record for most home runs by a second baseman. Ryne Sandberg later broke Morgan’s record.Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription.Subscribe today

Morgan was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. After his retirement from professional baseball, he was a television analyst for network baseball broadcasts, as well as the owner of a beverage company.

Joe Morgan 1976: At 5'7" he's baseball's most complete player - Sports  Illustrated Vault | SI.com

Heaven has Her first string second baseman to guard that base for little angel ballplayers.

Amen

Best Cincinnati Reds Ever: Joe Morgan v. John Franco

Whitey Ford~~To my mind, the best southpaw ever to throw a baseball~~now pitches for the Angels.

Ford, Whitey | Baseball Hall of Fame

Whitey Ford, who pitched the Yankees to 11 American League pennants and six World Series championships in the 1950s and ’60s and who still holds the highest winning percentage (.690) among all modern-day major league pitchers with at least 200 wins, died Thursday night at his Long Island home. He was 91.

Nicknamed “the Chairman of the Board” by teammate Elston Howard for his calm demeanor in pressure situations, Ford spent his entire 16-year career with the Yankees. for whom he went 236-106. The Yankees signed the left-hander out of high school in 1947 for $7,000, outbidding the crosstown Giants and the Boston Red Sox.

Ford, who retired midway through the 1967 season due to a circulation problem in his pitching arm that surgeries failed to correct, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, his second year of eligibility. Waiting that extra year for his enshrinement after falling short by 29 votes allowed Ford to enter the Hall alongside former teammate, close friend and late-night running mate Mickey Mantle.

Whitey Ford Six-Hitter

19Whitey Ford gets congratulated in 1950 after a six-hit shutout propelled the Yankees into first place

Getty Images

A 21-year-old Ford arrived in The Bronx in 1950, a year ahead of Mantle, and immediately made his mark. In July of that year, he joined a rotation loaded with veterans Vic Raschi, Eddie Lopat, Allie Reynolds and Tommy Byrne and went 9-1 with a 2.81 ERA while finishing second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. He started Game 4 of the World Series that October, recording a 5-2 victory over the Phillies to complete the sweep.

Ford spent the next two seasons in the Army, missing out on two world championships, but returned in 1953 to help the Yankees win their record fifth consecutive World Series. He went 18-6 that season, then averaged 15 wins a season over the next seven years.

While manager Casey Stengel was protective of his ace, never pitching Ford more than 255 innings at a time when staff aces routinely threw more than 275 innings per season, Ralph Houk, who succeeded Stengel in 1961, had no such qualms. The former Yankees catcher promised he would pitch his former teammate every fourth day — as was the custom at the time — and the lefty responded with the best season of his career. He went 25-4 and won his only Cy Young Award in 1961.

The aging Stengel, who was fired after the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series in seven games to Pittsburgh, may have sealed his own fate that October when he bypassed Ford as his starter in Game 1. The Yankees split the first two games at Forbes Field and Ford, whom Stengel held back to pitch the first game at Yankee Stadium, tossed a shutout in Game 3. The Yankees split the next two games and Ford again shut out the Pirates in Game 6. But he was a spectator in Game 7 as the Yankees fell, 10-9, on Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run in the ninth.

“It was the only time I ever got mad at Casey,” Ford said in his 1987 autobiography, “Slick,” written with Phil Pepe. “I felt I should have started that game so I could pitch three times if it was necessary. … Casey had this thing about saving me for Yankee Stadium to take advantage of the big area in left field and left-center, Death Valley to right-handed hitters. … I was so annoyed at Stengel, I wouldn’t talk to him on the plane ride back to New York.”

Stengel was fired days later and Ford always believed the Yankees would have won that World Series had he been allowed to start three games. He may have had a point.

When he retired, Ford held a fistful of Fall Classic records, including most games pitched (22), innings pitched (146), wins (10), and strikeouts (94). He also had a streak of 33 ²/₃ consecutive scoreless World Series innings.

The Yankees won the World Series in 1961 and 1962, but lost to the Dodgers and Cardinals, respectively, the next two Octobers before the bottom dropped out on the dynasty. But even during that 1965 season when the Yankees recorded their first losing season since 1925 and finished in sixth place in the 10-team American League, Ford went 16-13.

Battling arm injuries, Ford would go a combined 4-9 in 1966 and ‘67. He walked off the Tiger Stadium mound after the first inning during a May game that final season and kept right on going. Before he headed to the airport, he left a note in Houk’s locker: “Dear Ralph. I’ve had it. Call you when I get home. Whitey.”

Edward Charles Ford — his nickname was given to him by former big-league pitcher Lefty Gomez, his first minor league manager — was born in Manhattan on Oct. 21, 1928. An only child, he moved with his parents — his father worked for Con Edison — to 34th Avenue in Astoria, Queens, at the age of 4. Also growing up in that neighborhood, which Ford described as a mixture of second-generation Irish, Italian and Polish families, was a kid a few years older who liked to sing named Anthony Benedetto. He’d later make his name and fortune as Tony Bennett.

Ford attended the Manhattan School for Aviation Trades because Bryant, his local high school, didn’t have a baseball team and, having already established himself as a pretty fair first baseman, he wanted to play ball.

“There really was no earthly reason for me to be at Manhattan Aviation,” Ford said. “I wasn’t a good student and I wasn’t a very good mechanic. … I think the only reason I graduated was that I never missed a day of school and one of the reasons I didn’t miss school was that I wanted to remain eligible to play baseball.”

Ford said he always regretted never going to college and getting an education.

“I consider myself very lucky to have made my living in baseball,” said Ford, who didn’t really become a pitcher until after he failed to get a ball out of the infield while batting during a tryout at Yankee Stadium. A Yankee scout in attendance quickly — and presciently — asked Ford if he had ever pitched.

Ford and Mantle, who remained close friends until Mantle’s death in 1995, were in the middle of one of the most memorable off-field incidents in Yankee history. During the 1957 season, they were among a group of Yankees who went to the Copacabana nightclub in Midtown to celebrate Billy Martin’s birthday. A fight broke out among some of the Yankees and the members of a bowling team seated at a nearby table.

No charges were filed, although Ford said he, Martin and Mantle were each fined $1,000 by Yankees general manager George Weiss for their involvement in the incident. A month later, Martin — deemed a bad influence on his two infinitely more talented teammates — was traded to Kansas City.

In his autobiography, Ford revealed what had long been suspected, that he doctored baseballs to gain an advantage as his skills began to erode. He’d use spit and dirt or deface the balls with a specially designed ring, his belt buckle or a cooperative catcher’s shin guard

“I want to emphasize that I didn’t begin cheating until late in my career, when I needed something to help me survive,” he said. “I didn’t cheat when I won the 25 games in 1961. … And I didn’t cheat in 1963 when I won 21 games. Well, maybe just a little.”

Ford, whose No. 16 was retired by the Yankees in 1974, is survived by his wife, Joan, son, Edward, and daughter, Sally Ann. His younger son, Thomas, died of a heart condition in 1999.

Edward Whitey Ford Photograph by Granger

Art thou a King? Consider: Rex Papa Francisco’s Kingdom is of THIS world

Christ Before Pilate High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

Francis’​ New Encyclical ‘Fratelli Tutti’ leaves us brothers without a Father (i.e. orphans)

Pope Francis allows girl with autism to run around stage undisturbed at  weekly audience | America Magazine

I thank my friend Sean Degidon for these observations today:

On Feast of St. Peter, The Pope Encourages Prayer For Leaders Not Criticism

Yesterday, my pastor replaced the liturgy that the Roman Catholic Church normally serves with Environmentalist Humanism. The Penitential Act replaced confession of personal with “Environmental sins,” the Glory to God was more focused on Mother Earth, and the Prayers of the Faithful and after Communion were pledges to elect public officials who will create global structures to prevent imminent Environmental doom and advance Progressive causes. As the proposed common bond is not Communion in the Blood of Christ, but “our Common Home” on Earth, the homily was consequently a saccharine, passive-aggressive remake of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (i.e. Carbon-emitters in the Hands of an Angry Gaia). However, short of petitioning our Great High Priest (Jesus Christ) it’s hard to register a complaint when the pastor’s innovations are quotes from Pope Francis’ previous encyclical Laudato si’; and Francis’ newest, Fratelli Tutti, is basically just a shift in focus from “our Common Home” to its common residents:

“Francis says he desires to contribute to the ‘rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity’ and ‘brotherhood’ between all men and women. ‘Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all,’ the Pope writes.” In Chapter One, titled Dark Clouds Over a Closed World, a bleak picture is painted of today’s world which, contrary to the ‘firm conviction’ of such historical figures as the European Union’s founders who favored integration, a ‘certain regression’ has taken place. The Pope notes the rise of ‘myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism’ in some countries, and ‘new forms of selfishness and a loss of the social sense.

https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=7145065594379706875

It’s painful to admit, but this interpolation is (to use a phrase of Francis’ that deserves to survive his papacy) an “ideological colonization” of the Faith by Freemasonry:

“Bishop Schneider recalled that Freemasonry in general has always worked so that ‘the entire mankind becomes unified, with the help of the three slogans – fraternité, liberté, égalité…’ And this is to be ‘global’… ‘Liberty’ means for them ‘freedom from God and his Commandments, that we are completely free and can rule over ourselves.’ That is exactly what is taking place today…the ‘complete abandonment of the natural moral law’ and finally also ‘of God’s Commandments.’ ‘Fraternity’ means for the Freemasons that we are ‘all brothers,’ and most importantly, ‘the equality of all religions.’ Freemasonry tries to reduce mankind to a ‘mere natural level,’ ‘that we are brothers only according to the flesh’…and not anymore, ‘what Christianity had brought us, brothers in Christ, children in God.

‘”https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=9174139923797636290

The language of Fratelli Tutti is prefigured in Human Community in the Pandemic Age, the Vatican’s very Moralistic Therapeutic Deist response to #Covidcrisis:

“Nowhere in the document is it mentioned that God is our final end, that Christ is our hope, and that we need the grace of the Holy Spirit for both our moral conversion and a good moral life. Nowhere is the Church – the dispenser of the sacraments as a source of grace – mentioned either… In what way does the Academy’s call for solidarity, equality, and ‘access (to health care) for all without exceptions’ differ from that of secular ideologies? This is a document issued from a prestigious body of the Catholic Church, yet there is no mention of Christianity or Christians, let alone Catholics. That a document is destined for all men and women is certainly not a reason for bracketing out its Catholic identity… Instead of a reductionist vision of a merely earthly utopia where all inhabitants can ‘enjoy good living,’ the document should have invited men and women into the life of Christ; it should have offered a strong message of hope with a rich eschatological vision ‘that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us’ (Romans 8:18).

https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=7076700801665882389

Only such a horizontal reduction of human nature can explain how the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences could say that “at this moment, those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese… They seek the common good, subordinate things to the general good.

”https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=7443264710640156598

This stands in stark contrast to the view of Joseph Cardinal Zen, who lives in China, and has suffered for criticizing the militantly Atheist, totalitarian state:

“The Holy See has done three things to kill our Church. The first is this secret…deal with Beijing. Because it is secret, the government can use it to demand from the people anything in the name of the Pope… The second horrible act was to legitimize the seven schismatic bishops [created within the state-established Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association]. The third, and even more terrible is this document for registration…joining the [state-controlled] Church? That’s apostasy! I raised my voice, I wrote a letter to the Pope, and then to all the cardinals of the world, and nothing happened.

https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=7371753503611697212

The most plausible explanation for why Cardinal Zen’s plea has fallen on deaf ears, and that Pope Francis’ retinue is a nexus of Globalism, financial and sexual scandal generally, passes through Theodore McCarrick:https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=8840829789857136845

The consequences of whether one defines Catholicism by the full and consistent witness of Scripture and Tradition, or by the “hermeneutic of rupture” that uses the most recent pope or ecumenical council to negate them, works its way down to the granular level of daily life – for bishops and priests, consecrated religious and laity alike. Consider the two nuns recently featured at America’s respective party conventions:

“But the two sisters are not separated by a mere difference in appearance, or even in experience. The content of their words varies greatly. In an appeal for the defense of the unborn, Byrne reminded faithful listeners that ‘As Christians, we first met Jesus as a stirring embryo in the womb of an unwed mother and saw him born nine months later in the poverty of the cave.’ Campbell, meanwhile, got no more specific than sentimental appeals to the ‘Divine Spirit’ and one loose paraphrase of a verse from ‘the Scripture that informs the three Abrahamic traditions.’ It’s a little strange—though not entirely surprising—that Sister Dede’s speech contained more religious material than Sister Simone’s prayer.”https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=8739079481970372989

St. Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2 that “the mystery of lawlessness” and “wicked deception” are already at work, but that The Great Apostacy and The Lawless One must arise from among baptized Christians before Christ comes. Ours is not to know when the latter erupts from the former, only to “give thanks…for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth [and to] stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or in writing.”

I continue to pray for Pope Francis – indeed more frequently and fervently than for any previous pope. However, nothing about Papal Infallibility (the papal corollary to Our Lord’s vow that the Holy Spirit will not permit His Church to definitively teach error in dogma of Faith and Morals) exempts a pope from the same sins and vanities prone to us all. And if someone’s intellect is darkened, the most loving and loyal prayer we can offer is not for his intentions, but the purification of his intentions.

Washington, DC, USA

Oremus pro invicem

Always Faithfully,

Jack Begg

No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image

Oremus pro invicem

In the name of God

Amen

No alt text provided for this image

Oremus pro invicem~~IN THE NAME OF GOD.AMEN

Praying Hands Personalized Prayer Card (Priced Per Card)

####################################################################Index Librorum ProhibitorumI wear the chain I forged in life.

article-2253237-00BCBB6C00000190-350_634x715

How short the list one could compile of those of whom it can be said that fame and money did not deprave?

day3

IL MIGLIOR FABBRO

1147013_363612750432676_183433089_o

 At Washington, capital city of the terminally self-absorbed, mortal man holds to fleeting, feeble and fallible opinion, God immutable fact.

~~~~~~~~~~~

November 2003 event 012
  • The rich man ought not be taxed at all~~he ought be compelled to employ and train the poor man~~directly~~
  • ~~The principal need in America today is~~financial and industrial De-Globalization~~to facilitate the promotion of the possibility for the average man to get and keep a good job with good benefits paid by the employer~~as was done not very long ago.~~clip_image002MA9982782-0001~~Bene Nati, Bene Vestiti, Et Mediocriter Docti~~~~~La crema y nata~~~~~Artista de la conquista~ ~~In sunshine and in shadow~~I hold tight to the Republican view of time and money~~I write night and day~~yet~~while impecunious~~I am vastly overpaid~~in that taking pay to do what I love is unfair~~to my employer~~in a fair system~~under such circumstances~~I should pay him~~not he me~~I am far, far too old a man to be sexually confused~~praise Jesus~~but I am yet young enough to be politically confused~~is anyone not~~in an absolute sense~~I am a Catholic Royalist~~in a practical sense~~I am a Classical Liberal~~a Gaullist~~a Bonapartist~~an American Nationalist  Republican~~in either sense~~my head is soon for the chopping block~~to hasten my interlude with Madame La Guillotine~~I write without fear~and without favor of~any man~~~~Finis Origine Pendet…The escape commences…~~September, 1957~~Saint Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic parochial school, called, by anyone of any background, simply: “Chan~al,” a place where, of an autumn day in 1957, school,  for me,  began and ended in the first convening of the first grade in which a tiny nun, one Sister Dom Bosco, appeared before me, just behind the window appearing at far left of this photograph, and piped out this: “I may be small, but so then, is the Atom Bomb.”~~My determination to escape school commenced immediately on hearing about this Atom Bomb business and took 16 dicey and arduous years to finally accomplish.~~~~Non SibiThe escape continues…~~September, 1966~~The Cathedral Latin School~~Finis Origine Pendet~ ~~Κύριε ἐλέησον~~Rejoice and Glad!!Amen~~~The Original Angry Bird~~The Catholic University of America Screaming Red Cardinal Mascot~~~~EX LIBRIS~~~~THEOS EK MĒCHANĒS~~Tuesday, 25th Aout,~Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2020 Website: http://johndanielbegg.wordpress.comhttp://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=122865699&trk=tab_prohttp://www.facebook.com/JohnDanielBeggPublicAffairs http://www.tumblr.com/blog/theoldsoldiershome1952http://www.facebook.com/john.begg.33http://www.pinterest.com/johnbegg33/boards/http://independent.academia.edu/johnbegg/Papers?s=nav#addhttp://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/jtdbeggTweets: @jtdbegghttp://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=122865699&trk=hb_tab_pro_top http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=122865699&trk=hb_tab_pro_top “Jean-Marie Le Pen is a friend. He is dangerous for the political set because he’s the only one who’s sincere. He says out loud what many people think deep down, and what the politicians refrain from saying because they are either too demagogic or too chicken. Le Pen, with all his faults and qualities, is probably the only one who thinks about the interests of France before his own.”~~ French actor~~Alain Delon
    CONCEPT OF THE CATHOLIC AND ROYAL ARMY OF AMERICA (CRAA)The Catholic University of AmericaSeal of The Catholic University of AmericaMotto~~Deus Lux Mea Est~~The escape concludes…~~The Catholic University Of America, Washington, District of Columbia.~~1976, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi.Catholic University Receives High Wall Street Journal College Ranking - Catholic  University of America, Washington, D.C. | CUACatholic University Students Slam Porn, Then Lefty Faculty - Crisis Magazine~~Acta Est Fabula.~~Deus Vult.~~Our Ubiquitous Presence~~OUR Queen~~Our Ruler now 68 years on~~Simply the best President we could ever hope to have~~ ​Oremus pro invicemAlways Faithfully,Jack Begg
1147013_363612750432676_183433089_o

Washington, DC, USA

King Jesus High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

Washington, DC 5th October 2020

Middle Class Angst

FOR THE AMERICANS OF THE MIDDLE ORDERS, POVERTY IS TERMINAL SOCIAL CANCER.

Portrait of Leslie Howard (1893-1943) by Reginald G.Eves (British 1876-1941)....English stage and film actor. Among his best-known roles was Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind  and roles in Of Human Bondage  & The Scarlet Pimpernel. He was active in anti-Nazi propaganda and reputedly involved with British or Allied Intelligence. He died in  1943  when the plane he was travelling in was shot down over the Bay of Biscay... always a man of great elegance on and off the screen...

I have noted in my life a strange symmetry between the behaviours of the high and low social orders.

The high social orders and the low social orders have the same social habits:

of human bondage bette leslie

Too much drinking, sexual licentiousness, excess narcotics uses, sloth, habituation to gaming and a generalized self-indulgence.

Leslie Howard and one of his polo ponies

The high social orders behave in this way because they can do whatever they like.

Leslie Howard (3 April 1893 – 1 June 1943) was an English stage and film actor, director, and producer - best known for his role in Gone With the Wind

Their behaviour has no consequences, as riches alone define the rich, so they act as they wish.

Bette Davis and Leslie Howard as Mildred and Philip, Of Human Bondage (1934) - Walter W Seaton

Likewise, the low social orders behave in a manner identical to the rich because no matter how they behave, they remain poor and have no incentive to live a productive life.

As with the high orders, the behaviour of the low orders has no societal consequence, as poverty alone defines the poor.

Leslie Howard in Never the Twain Shall Meet

There is nothing that can be taken away from the poor man as punishment for his loutish behaviour, as he has nothing to take away.

Odd man, left out, in all this is the middle orders.

Leslie Howard and Binnie Barnes in The Lady Is Willing

Only the middle orders hold to what, the Americans call, middle class mores, because they must do so in order to maintain their, now very tenuous, grip on their social position and not fall down the social orders ladder into poverty, the condition most feared by the Americans of the middle orders.

Leslie Howard - Google Search

For the Americans of the middle orders, poverty is terminal social cancer.

Leslie Howard Forever

Incurable and intractable and simply too horrific to contemplate.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oremus pro invicem

Always Faithfully,

Jack Begg

No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image

Oremus pro invicem

In the name of God

Amen

No alt text provided for this image

Oremus pro invicem~~IN THE NAME OF GOD.AMEN

Praying Hands Personalized Prayer Card (Priced Per Card)

####################################################################

Index Librorum Prohibitorum

I wear the chain I forged in life.

article-2253237-00BCBB6C00000190-350_634x715

How short the list one could compile of those of whom it can be said that fame and money did not deprave?

day3

IL MIGLIOR FABBRO

1147013_363612750432676_183433089_o

 At Washington, capital city of the terminally self-absorbed, mortal man holds to fleeting, feeble and fallible opinion, God immutable fact.

~~~~~~~~~~~

November 2003 event 012
  • The rich man ought not be taxed at all~~he ought be compelled to employ and train the poor man~~directly~~
  • ~~The principal need in America today is~~financial and industrial De-Globalization~~to facilitate the promotion of the possibility for the average man to get and keep a good job with good benefits paid by the employer~~as was done not very long ago.~~clip_image002MA9982782-0001~~Bene Nati, Bene Vestiti, Et Mediocriter Docti~~~~~La crema y nata~~~~~
  • Artista de la conquista~ ~~
  • In sunshine and in shadow~~I hold tight to the Republican view of time and money~~I write night and day~~yet~~while impecunious~~I am vastly overpaid~~in that taking pay to do what I love is unfair~~to my employer~~in a fair system~~under such circumstances~~I should pay him~~not he me~~I am far, far too old a man to be sexually confused~~praise Jesus~~but I am yet young enough to be politically confused~~is anyone not~~in an absolute sense~~I am a Catholic Royalist~~in a practical sense~~I am a Classical Liberal~~a Gaullist~~a Bonapartist~~an American Nationalist  Republican~~in either sense~~my head is soon for the chopping block~~to hasten my interlude with Madame La Guillotine~~I write without fear~and without favor of~any man~~~~
  • Finis Origine Pendet…The escape commences…~~September, 1957~~Saint Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic parochial school, called, by anyone of any background, simply: “Chan~al,” a place where, of an autumn day in 1957, school,  for me,  began and ended in the first convening of the first grade in which a tiny nun, one Sister Dom Bosco, appeared before me, just behind the window appearing at far left of this photograph, and piped out this: “I may be small, but so then, is the Atom Bomb.”~~My determination to escape school commenced immediately on hearing about this Atom Bomb business and took 16 dicey and arduous years to finally accomplish.
  • ~~~~T
  • Non Sibi
  • The escape continues…~~September, 1966~~The Cathedral Latin School~~Finis Origine Pendet~ ~~Κύριε ἐλέησον~~Rejoice and Glad!!
  • Amen~~~
  • The Original Angry Bird~~The Catholic University of America Screaming Red Cardinal Mascot~~~~EX LIBRIS~~~~THEOS EK MĒCHANĒS~~
CUA_Cardinal_2008
Style Heroes: 1960s Alain Delon | The Rake

  • CONCEPT OF THE CATHOLIC AND ROYAL ARMY OF AMERICA (CRAA)The Catholic University of America
  • Seal of The Catholic University of AmericaMotto~~Deus Lux Mea Est~~
  • The escape concludes…~~The Catholic University Of America, Washington, District of Columbia.~~
  • 1976, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi.Catholic University Receives High Wall Street Journal College Ranking - Catholic  University of America, Washington, D.C. | CUACatholic University Students Slam Porn, Then Lefty Faculty - Crisis Magazine~~Acta Est Fabula.~~Deus Vult
  • ~~Our Ubiquitous Presence~~
  • OUR Queen~~
Here's Every Time Queen Elizabeth Met a U.S. President | Time
  • Our Ruler now 68 years on~~
  • Simply the best President we could ever hope to have
Coming to America: Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana's First Visits |  Mental Floss
  • ~~ ​Oremus pro invicem
  • Always Faithfully,
  • Jack Begg
1147013_363612750432676_183433089_o

Washington, DC, USA

Give’em an inch and they’ll take it ALL.

 


Given these tax rates, why would anybody bother to do anything at all????

When the Beatles were the biggest band in the world, they were in a 95% tax bracket

Modern Income Tax

The Modern Income Tax started in 1913 at a modest 1% rate​ and that 1% tax applied only to Rockefeller types.​

By 1918  it was 77% to finance WWI which the US should never have been involved in​, the war to end all war, that ended up being the war that never ended at all​.

In the name of “fairness” President Franklin D. Roosevelt idiotically proposed a 100% tax on all incomes over $25,000.

In the wake of WWII marginal rates got as high as 94% on incomes above $200,000.

Rates have generally been falling since 1964 when the top rate was lowered to 70%.

​70%.

Gee, thanks.​

  • Oremus pro invicem

    Always Faithfully,

    Jack Begg

    No alt text provided for this image
    No alt text provided for this image
    No alt text provided for this image

    Oremus pro invicem

    In the name of God

    Amen

    No alt text provided for this image

If one shoots at the King, one daren’t miss.

Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud 11 passes away.  Being a Prince can be risky.
Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud 11 passes away. Being a Prince can be risky.

Saudi Hard Ball

john begg

Status is online

john begg

For God. For King. For Country.
Oremus pro invicem ~~
I Wear The Chain I Forged In Life

We very much are in the debt of Vanity Fair Magazine and the named writers who tell us today of a troublesome business in a very strange Kingdom. From here out, we will quote from that very good article and will until, noted by us “Cease Quoting.”

SAUDI ARABIA

“THIS PLANE IS NOT GOING TO LAND IN CAIRO”: SAUDI PRINCE SULTAN BOARDED A FLIGHT IN PARIS. THEN, HE DISAPPEARED

Prince Sultan bin Turki II was cut off from the Saudi royal family’s cash flow after criticizing the regime. So he appealed to Prince Mohammed bin Salman for help—and was never seen again.

BY BRADLEY HOPE AND JUSTIN SCHECK

AUGUST 25, 2020

No alt text provided for this image

Photo credit BY BANDAR ALDANDANI/GETTY IMAGES. 

Something wasn’t right about Captain Saud. Sitting on a fine-grained leather couch in the custom wood-paneled cabin of his Boeing 737-800 in Paris, he had the outward appearance of a pilot. His uniform was crisp, his demeanor confident and friendly. He cracked jokes and showed pictures of his children to staffers of the VIP he was supposed to fly to Cairo, a Saudi prince named Sultan bin Turki II.

But little things seemed off. One member of the prince’s entourage was a recreational pilot, and Saud couldn’t keep up with his small talk about 737 pilot training. The captain’s plane had a crew of 19, more than double the usual number of staffers. And the crew was all men, some a little burlier than you’d expect. Where were the leggy European blondes who were fixtures on Saudi Royal Court flights?

Then there was the watch. Saud was fascinated by the Breitling Emergency watch the prince’s companion wore. “I’ve never seen one of these,” he said, in perfect English.

The $15,000 watch, with a radio beacon to summon help in a crash, is a favorite indulgence of pilots with disposable income. What kind of airplane captain had never seen one? And what kind of pilot wore the Hublot that Saud had on, a showy hunk of metal that would cost three months’ salary for most pilots?

The watch, the 19 men, the lack of flying knowledge—the dissonances added up. Sultan’s security detail warned the prince: Don’t get on the plane. It’s a trap.

But Prince Sultan was tired. He missed his father, who was waiting for him in Cairo. And Mohammed bin Salman, the son of the king, had sent this plane. Sultan figured he could trust his newly powerful first cousin, who had maneuvered himself out of obscurity to become the most powerful member of the royal family after the king.                       

Sultan bin Turki II, like Prince Mohammed, is a grandson of Saudi Arabia’s founder. Sultan was born on the family’s troubled fringe. His father, Turki II (named because the founder had two sons named Turki), seemed a potential heir to the throne until he married the daughter of a Sufi Muslim leader. Many in the royal family consider Sufis’ mysticism an affront to their conservative strain of Islam, and they shamed Turki into exile. He moved into a Cairo hotel where he remained for years.

Sultan, though, maintained relations with powerful relatives in Saudi Arabia. He married his first cousin whose father, Prince Abdullah, would become king. But in 1990 she died in a car accident, and the 22-year-old Sultan adopted the life of a libertine.

On his generous allowance from his uncle, then King Fahd, Sultan traversed Europe with an entourage of security guards, models, and fixers. The aging king had a tolerance—even a fondness—for high-living princes, and enduring affection for his nephew. When Fahd left a Geneva hospital after a 2002 eye surgery, Sultan was right behind his wheelchair, a privileged position among royals jostling for physical proximity to the king.

Sultan didn’t have a government role, but liked to be seen as a person of influence. He spoke with foreign journalists about his views on Saudi policy, taking a more open stance than most princes but always supporting the monarchy. In January 2003 he veered onto a different tack. Sultan told reporters that Saudi Arabia should stop giving aid to Lebanon, and claimed Lebanon’s prime minister was corruptly using Saudi money to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

Internationally, the statement didn’t seem like a big deal. Sultan was hardly the first to accuse Prime Minister Rafic Hariri of corruption. And the prince didn’t criticize the kingdom as much as Lebanon.

Inside the Royal Court it amounted to a Molotov cocktail. The Hariri family had deep ties to Saudi Arabia’s rulers, and especially to King Fahd’s powerful son Abdulaziz. Sultan’s statement seemed directed at antagonizing Abdulaziz. A few months later Sultan faxed a statement to the Associated Press saying he had started a commission to root out corruption among Saudi princes and others who “pillaged the nation’s wealth over the past 25 years.”

About a month later, Abdulaziz sent Sultan an invitation: Come to King Fahd’s mansion in Geneva. Let’s work out our differences. At the meeting, Abdulaziz tried to coax Sultan to return to the kingdom. When he refused, guards pounced on the prince, injected him with a sedative, and dragged him onto a plane for Riyadh.

Sultan weighed about 400 pounds, and either the drugs or the process of dragging the unconscious man by his limbs damaged nerves connected to Sultan’s diaphragm and legs. He spent the next 11 years in and out of Saudi prisons, sometimes in a locked-down government hospital in Riyadh.

In 2014 Sultan contracted swine flu, and later life-threatening complications. Assuming the prince, now a semiparalyzed, wheezing shadow of his antagonistic younger self, was no longer a threat, the government let him seek medical care in Massachusetts. As far as Sultan was concerned, he was free.

Massive change swept the House of Saud during Sultan’s captivity. King Fahd died in 2005, and his successor Abdullah—the father of Sultan’s late wife—had less tolerance for ostentatious displays of princely wealth. Abdullah trimmed handouts to princes and censured the most profligate and ill-behaved.

But Sultan seemed not to grasp that shift or the bigger one in early 2015, after he’d recovered from his acute health problems, when even-more austere King Salman assumed the throne. Instead of fading into a low-key life, Sultan got liposuction and cosmetic surgery and started getting the band back together to resume his life of vagabond opulence.

Sultan reached out to security guards and old advisers, people he hadn’t spoken to since his kidnapping more than a decade earlier. With the entourage reunited, Sultan set out for Europe like a Saudi prince of the high-flying 1990s.

With armed guards, six full-time nurses and a doctor, rotating “girlfriends” hired from a Swiss modeling agency, and an international assortment of hangers-on, Sultan spent millions of dollars a month. From Oslo to Berlin, Geneva, and Paris, the modern-day luxury caravan ate only the finest food and drank only the best wine. After a few days or weeks in a city, Sultan would order butlers to pack his bags and call the Saudi embassy for an escort to the airport. They’d hop on a rented plane and set out for the next city.

In mid-2015, Prince Sultan took over a luxurious hotel on Sardinia’s most picturesque beach. Swimming in the Mediterranean, Sultan’s partially paralyzed lower legs could support his weight. It was the closest he got to moving freely.

Along the way, the Royal Court kept depositing money in Sultan’s bank account. The prince realized the payments would eventually stop, and he didn’t have other income. So he developed a plan: Sultan decided the Saudi government owed him compensation for the injuries from his 2003 kidnapping. They made it difficult to start a company or an investment fund the way his other princes could.

Sultan appealed to Mohammed bin Salman. He didn’t know Mohammed well. He’d been locked up since the younger prince was in his late teens. But he heard from family members that Mohammed had become the most powerful person in the Royal Court, and asked Mohammed for compensation for his injuries

It didn’t work. Mohammed was unwilling to pay someone who had brought about his own troubles by airing family grievances. What kind of lesson would that teach other royals? So in the summer of 2015, Sultan did something unprecedented: In a Swiss court, he sued members of the royal family for the kidnapping.

His confidants were worried. “They abducted you once. Why wouldn’t they abduct you again?” warned Sultan’s lawyer in Boston, Clyde Bergstresser. Sultan often followed the advice of Bergstresser, a blunt New Jersey native who was referred to Sultan during his medical treatment in Massachusetts. The lawyer didn’t have the baggage of other Saudi connections, and spoke to Sultan more directly than members of the prince’s retinue would. But on this point Sultan was obstinate. He insisted on filing the suit. A Swiss criminal prosecutor started investigating. Newspapers picked up the story. Sultan’s payments from the Royal Court abruptly stopped.

Sultan’s entourage didn’t realize the problem for weeks, until the prince one day ordered room service in his Sardinian hotel. The restaurant refused to serve them.

It fell to a member of the entourage to tell Sultan why. “You’re absolutely broke,” his staffer explained.

The hotel would have just evicted the prince but couldn’t afford to write off $1 million or more in unpaid bills from the prince’s weeks-long stay. Sultan told his staff he could get the Royal Court to restore his payments. The hotel reopened the line of credit, and Sultan took a gamble: He tried to outmaneuver Mohammed bin Salman.

In the Saudi royal family the brothers of the king have a say in the line of succession. If a king proves inept, his brothers can remove him. So Sultan sent two anonymous letters to his uncles. Their brother King Salman, he wrote, is “incompetent” and “powerless,” a puppet of Prince Mohammed. “It is no longer a secret that the most serious problem in his health is the mental aspect that has made the king the subject of his son Mohammed.” 

Mohammed, Sultan wrote, is corrupt and has diverted more than $2 billion in government funds to a private account. The only solution, Sultan wrote, was for the brothers to isolate the king and “convene an emergency meeting of senior family members to discuss the situation and take all necessary measures to save the country.”

Sultan’s letters leaked to the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper. Though the letters were unsigned, Royal Court officials quickly identified the author.

Sultan awaited the fallout. Perhaps his uncles would try to rein in Mohammed. Or maybe Mohammed would offer money to stop making trouble. It could be a situation like his father’s, Sultan reasoned: He could live in well-funded estrangement from his more powerful cousins.

Amazingly, it seemed to work. Not long after the letters were published, more than $2 million from the Royal Court appeared in Sultan’s bank account. He paid the hotel and renewed his travel plans. Even better, he got an invitation from his father to visit Cairo and hopefully patch up their relationship. As a bonus, his father told him, the Royal Court was sending a luxury jetliner to fly the prince and his entourage to Cairo. It seemed that Mohammed bin Salman was bringing his wayward cousin back into the fold.

Sultan’s staff was dumbfounded. Some had been around the last time he criticized the Al Saud and found himself on a Royal Court plane. Then, it had led to kidnapping and a lifetime of health problems. How could the prince even consider getting on the flight?

But Sultan seemed eager to believe a reconciliation was afoot. Perhaps Mohammed bin Salman was a new kind of leader who wouldn’t solve a family dispute with an abduction.

The Royal Court sent a specially outfitted 737-800—a plane that fits 189 passengers in commercial use—and Sultan ordered his staff to meet the crew and suss out the situation.

The crew members looked more like security officials than flight attendants. “This plane is not going to land in Cairo,” one of Sultan’s staffers warned.

“You don’t trust them?” Sultan asked.

“Why do you trust them?” the staffer responded. Sultan didn’t answer. But he wavered until Captain Saud offered to ease his fears by leaving 10 crew members behind in Paris, as a good-faith gesture to show this wasn’t a kidnapping. That was enough for the prince.

He told his entourage to start packing. With the butlers, nurses, security guards, and a “girlfriend” hired from a modeling agency, the retinue numbered more than a dozen.

The plane left Paris uneventfully, and for two hours its flight path to Cairo was visible on screens around the cabin. Then the screens flickered and shut off.

Sultan’s staffers were alarmed. “What’s happening?” one asked Captain Saud. He went to check and returned to explain that there was a technical problem, and the only engineer who could fix it had been among the crewmen left behind in Paris. There was no need to worry, Saud said; they were on schedule.

By the time the plane started descending, just about everyone aboard realized it wouldn’t land in Cairo. There was no Nile snaking through the city below them, no Pyramids of Giza. Riyadh’s sprawl was unmistakable.

By the time Kingdom Centre Tower, a skyscraper with a huge hole in the center that cynics said resembled the Eye of Sauron from TheLord of the Rings, came into view, pandemonium had broken out. Non-Saudi members of Sultan’s entourage demanded to know what would happen to them, landing in Saudi Arabia without visas and against their will. “Give me my gun!” shouted Prince Sultan, weak and wheezing.

One of his guards refused. Captain Saud’s men had guns, and a shoot-out on a plane seemed worse than whatever would happen on the ground. So Sultan sat silently until they touched down. There was no way to fight, and Captain Saud’s men shuffled the prince down the Jetway. It’s the last time anyone in his entourage saw him.

Security guards herded the staff and hangers onto an airport holding area and eventually to a hotel. They stayed for three days, unable to leave without visas.

Finally, on the fourth day, guards brought the retinue to a government office. One by one, the foreigners were summoned into a sprawling conference room with a huge table in the middle. At the head was Captain Saud, now in an ankle-length thobe instead of his pilot’s uniform. “I’m Saud al-Qahtani,” he said. “I work at the Royal Court.” 

Saud al-Qahtani had previously been known to Saudis as “Mr. Hashtag,” a social media presence who extolled Prince Mohammed’s virtues on Twitter and belittled his critics. With Sultan’s abduction, Saud had become a central player in the Royal Court’s security apparatus, someone Mohammed could rely on to accomplish sensitive, aggressive tasks.

Sitting at the conference-room table, Saud asked the foreigners to sign nondisclosure agreements, offered money to some, and sent them back home. The operation silenced an irritating critic, teaching a lesson to any other would-be dissidents in the royal family.

Almost five years later, the full context of Prince Sultan’s abduction would become more clear in another unlikely court case against royal family members. 

Saad al Jabri, a former Saudi spymaster living in exile in Canada, sued Prince Mohammed in federal court in August of 2020, claiming the prince tried to have him killed by an international hit team called “Tiger Squad.” 

The squad’s roots go back to 2015, the ex-spy chief alleged. Prince Mohammed, the lawsuit says, asked him to deploy a Saudi counterterrorism unit “in an extrajudicial operation of retribution against a Saudi prince living in Europe” who criticized King Salman. 

Jabri claims in the lawsuit that he refused because the operation was “immoral, unlawful” and bad for Saudi Arabia. So Prince Mohammed created the Tiger Squad and put Qahtani in charge, the suit says. Two years later, it was Tiger Squad that would kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, U.S. officials say, an incident that threatened Mohammed’s international standing—and reminded Saudis what can happen when they criticize him. Qahtani hasn’t been charged in Saudi Arabia.

Adapted fromBLOOD & OIL: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Powerby Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck. Copyright © 2020. Available from Hachette Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.


We very much are in the debt of Vanity Fair Magazine and the named writers who tell us today of a troublesome business in a very strange Kingdom. From here out, we will quote from that very good article and will until, noted by us “Cease Quoting.”

We here cease quoting and once again thank Vanity Fair and Her writers for a well done job.

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The founding father of the modern Kingdom, Ibn Saud with FDR during the war.

Oremus pro invicem

Always Faithfully,

Jack Begg

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Oremus pro invicem

In the name of God

Amen

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The King had such a pretty little wife. Such a shame all ’round.

Ex-Spanish King Juan Carlos had nearly 5,000 lovers: retired colonel

We thank the NEW YORKER Magazine and their swell writer today about King Juan Carlos and now quote them in full until note “Cease Quoting.”

Juan Carlos’s Fall from Grace in Spain and the Precarious Future of the World’s Monarchies

A person wearing a face mask removes a painting of former King Juan Carlos I from the wall while a group of people...
A portrait of the disgraced Juan Carlos I was recently removed from a Spanish Parliament building.Photograph by Jesus Diges / EFE / Alamy

It has been a hundred years since the bloodbath of the First World War finished off several of Europe and the Middle East’s most iconic monarchies—including the Russian, the Austro-Hungarian, and the Ottoman. Along with them went the sacrosanct notions of God, king (or queen), and country that had buttressed them through centuries of dynastic rule and, indeed, driven millions of young soldiers to their deaths in the trenches as cannon fodder. A dozen royal houses have endured since then, but these are decorative fripperies. The ongoing pomp of kings and queens and their offspring may be entertaining to American and Chinese tourists, and help sell copies of Hello!, but the royalist fire in the belly is long gone for most Europeans.

The one monarchy with any punch left is the British Crown, mainly thanks to the fact that Queen Elizabeth II, who is now ninety-four, is an authentically historic figure and has been in the public eye since the hallowed days of Winston Churchill and the Blitz. In the diminished Britain of the Boris Johnson era—amid the bungled coronavirus-pandemic response and the never-ending chaos of Brexit—the Queen is practically the only remaining national institution. The same cannot be said for her children or their spouses.

After a bad patch following the tabloid-chronicled divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and Diana’s subsequent death, the House of Windsor had in recent years recovered a patina of stability and decorum. But much of that has gone over the parapets with the noisome evacuation (“Megxit”) from the royal circle by Meghan and Harry and the abominable spectacle of Prince Andrew, accused of being a participant in Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls. (Andrew has denied the allegations.) In the economically depressed Little Britain of the near future—with Elizabeth II’s death likely over the next decade and the future integrity of the United Kingdom itself in doubt, thanks to Brexit—will there really be room for a new generation of Windsors on the throne? Perhaps not. In the end, reruns of “The Crown” and “Downton Abbey” may be all that’s necessary to satisfy the lingering British appetite for blue-blood porn.

With the remaining European monarchies so inconsequential as to beg credulity (Luxembourg, Monaco, and Belgium, among others), the only other royals with a whiff of modern relevance have, until recently, been Spain’s Bourbons. But, after the country’s once venerated King Juan Carlos I announced, on August 3rd, that he was leaving Spain in the midst of a spiralling corruption scandal, their future also looked increasingly precarious.

Yet, by bolting the country, Juan Carlos was, in fact, upholding a long-standing, if sometimes conveniently forgotten, Bourbon family tradition of subterfuge, flight, and exile. In 1931, Juan Carlos’s grandfather, Alfonso XIII, fled the royal palace, in Madrid, and Spain itself, just two days after a municipal election overwhelmingly won by republicans ended the monarchy and established Spain’s Second Republic.

The First Republic had lasted a mere ten months, from February 11, 1873, to December 29, 1874. Along with the Napoleonic invasion of 1809 and an 1868 uprising called the “Glorious Revolution,” it was one of the shorter interruptions to Bourbon rule in Spain since the dynasty’s beginnings, in 1700. The interruption in the Spanish monarchy that followed Alfonso XIII’s downfall would be the longest ever, lasting forty-seven years.

After leaving Spain, Alfonso XIII moved to Mussolini’s Italy, where he remained, eventually abdicating the throne, a month before his death, in 1941, in favor of his son and heir, Don Juan de Borbón—Juan Carlos’s father. But Don Juan’s claim to the throne was thwarted by Spain’s Fascist dictator, General Francisco Franco, who had seized power, in 1939, after destroying the Second Republic in a bloody three-year civil war that he had waged with the help of Mussolini and Hitler.

Franco disliked Don Juan, whom he suspected of being an Anglophile (Franco despised the British and referred to Great Britain as “perfidious Albion”); he was also determined to be the sole arbiter of Spain’s destiny. And so he was. For the next thirty-six years, Franco remained the country’s unchallenged caudillo, or strongman, and although he declared Spain a monarchy once again, in 1947, he kept the throne empty, leaving Don Juan to languish and fret in neighboring Portugal, even as Franco himself assumed the role of dispenser of noble titles. In a cruelly Shakespearean twist, Franco asked Don Juan to send him his son, Juan Carlos, who was then ten, to be educated and groomed under Franco’s supervision. In 1969, when Juan Carlos was thirty-one, Franco summoned him and informed the young man of his decision to make him his successor, with the title of King of Spain.

To accept Franco’s decision meant that Juan Carlos had to step in line in front of his father, which he did, participating in a formal ceremony with Franco in which the caudillo announced his intentions. Juan Carlos didn’t tell his father about the usurpation beforehand, and the breach caused by his betrayal was long-lasting. Despite—or perhaps, in part, because of—his act of filial betrayal, the young and dashing king, who assumed the throne after Franco’s death, in 1975, became a beloved national figure. He went out of his way to promote a democratic transition that reduced his own powers but turned Spain into a constitutional monarchy. Later, in 1981, he personally stood down a right-wing military coup, the leaders of which had evidently hoped he’d back them. His biographer Paul Preston, musing about Juan Carlos’s true motivations, described the monarch as a man who knew how to seize his opportunities. “Considering that Juan Carlos had been brought up and brainwashed in Francoist thinking, it’s a valid historical question to ask why he opened the way for democracy. It wasn’t like he was a democrat,” Preston told me. “At the time, they were all predicting that he’d be known as Juan Carlos the Brief, and the only way for him not to be that was to turn Spain into a constitutional monarchy, which he did.”

Over the course of the next several decades, despite persistent rumors of his philandering and corruption, Juan Carlos could officially do no wrong. Successive Spanish governments, whether conservative or left-wing, stood firmly by him, and Spain’s media also exercised self-censorship on news about the King. Probing stories were routinely suppressed. In 1998, I wrote a Profile of Juan Carlos for The New Yorker in which I mentioned rumors about his receiving commissions on international business deals involving Spanish companies. Afterward, one of the King’s senior minions at the Palacio de la Zarzuela, the royal palace, called the editors of a major Spanish magazine to warn them not to republish the article in Spanish. They obeyed.

One day, during my time on the edges of the royal circle, a courtier showed me around the palace—a mansion set in rolling parkland outside Madrid. As she walked with me, she remarked that it could “hardly be called a palace, it’s really just a big house,” and, in a sympathetic whisper, she added that, unlike some of the other European royals, Spain’s royal family was not very wealthy; their budget was “really quite modest.” In subsequent years, I’ve often thought back to that conversation and wondered whether the courtier was subtly trying to tell me something.

The King’s downfall began, in 2012, when it was revealed that he had flown with a lover to Botswana on a private jet for a luxury safari that had been organized and paid for by a Saudi lobbyist. After breaking his hip in a fall during the trip, Juan Carlos had been rushed back home for surgery. With Spain deep in a recession and suffering one of the worst unemployment rates in Western Europe, the King’s profligacy felt like a betrayal, and his public popularity plummeted. When photos were published showing him posing with a gun in front of a dead elephant, it symbolized more than the monarchy’s being out of touch with the plebeian mood. At the time, he was the honorary president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund.

After his surgery, an abashed-looking Juan Carlos made a brief public appearance in which he said that he was sorry, had made a mistake, and that it wouldn’t happen again. The World Wildlife Fund removed him from its roster, and, in 2014, with the royal family under continuing close scrutiny, Juan Carlos abdicated the throne in favor of his son and heir, Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia—King Felipe VI to us plebs.

Even after his abdication, however, Juan Carlos—who had retained the title of “Rey Emérito”—continued to live large, jetting around the world to posh resorts owned by ultra-rich friends, and he was often spotted in the company of one or another of his known lovers. (He and Queen Sofía, who is a princess in the unseated Greek royal family, have, by all accounts, been estranged for many years due to Juan Carlos’s chronic infidelities.) There were additional contretemps along the way: In 2017, his son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin, a former sports star married to his daughter, Princess Cristina, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison after he was found guilty of using a charitable fund as a private slush fund. More recently, it emerged that Juan Carlos had accepted a previously undeclared “gift” of a hundred million dollars from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah—allegedly a bribe in return for his help in arranging a lucrative fast-rail-construction contract.

Further roiling the public, one of Juan Carlos’s former lovers, a Danish-born events organizer named Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein—who had accompanied him on his Botswana safari—has acknowledged that Juan Carlos had given her, some years ago, sixty-five million euros (worth about eighty-four million dollars at the time). This “gift” is believed to have come out of the funds given to Juan Carlos by King Abdullah.

In a first step toward damage control, King Felipe VI announced that he would renounce his personal inheritance from his father and that his father would no longer receive his royal allowance. After Felipe VI’s announcement, things remained in a tense limbo until a letter that Juan Carlos wrote to his son was released to the public. In it, Juan Carlos declared that, “for the good of the country” and “because of public repercussions certain occurrences of my past life are having,” he was leaving Spain for an undisclosed foreign location—and then he vanished.

Initial rumors held that Juan Carlos had fled to the Dominican Republic, where his friend the Cuban exile and Domino Sugar magnate José (Pepe) Fanjul owns a vast estate. But this turned out to be untrue. Then came reports that he had gone to ground in Abu Dhabi, where he was holed up in a ten-thousand-dollar-a-night suite at one of the world’s most luxurious hotels (reportedly with yet another longtime friend, Marta Gayá, of Majorca). Finally, this past week, Spain’s government confirmed Juan Carlos’s presence in the United Arab Emirates.

It is difficult to recall a modern-day monarch who has fallen into disgrace more precipitously and entirely than Juan Carlos. His downfall has thrown the future of the Spanish crown into question. Leftists in Spain have called for a public referendum on the future of the monarchy. Spain’s Prime Minister, the Socialist Pedro Sánchez, has called for national unity and reaffirmed his government’s support for “national institutions,” including the monarchy. But the story is not over—and it seems a fair question to ask whether or not Felipe VI will be the last king of Spain.

Preston, Juan Carlos’s biographer, told me that he could not rule out the possibility. “Felipe has a lot stacked against him,” he said. A less affable and charismatic figure than Juan Carlos, Felipe VI has taken an uncompromising posture toward pro-independence forces in Catalonia, including signing off on harsh police tactics there. This has made him a highly unpopular figure in Catalonia, and, on his latest visits, he has been booed and jeered by waiting crowds. “The King of Spain has to show that he represents all the country’s communities, not just Spaniards,” Preston said. Even so, Preston pointed out, widespread support for constitutional reform would be required to turn Spain back into a republic.

Looking beyond Spain and Europe, one wonders whether this, after all, might finally be it—the end of monarchy everywhere. Even in faraway Thailand, where it remains a sternly enforced criminal offense to insult the King or any member of his family, the royals are having trouble. In March, while the country’s people were under coronavirus lockdown, the Thai monarch was not even in the country but enjoying himself at a resort in Germany. In April, he flew home to celebrate the coronation day of his ruling dynasty, then promptly returned to Germany. Street protests from the beginning of the year calling for political reform evolved into full-blown anti-monarchy protests in July.

Whether from the onward march of Western-style secularism and global consumer culture or from public revulsion at the kinds of corruption that social media helps reveal, monarchy seems under increasing threat of extinction. It could be that economic decline and the unrelenting public exposure of contemporary figures via cell-phone images, Twitter, and TikTok have finally done for the institution of the monarchy what the First World War’s blood-soaked trenches left unfinished a century ago.

I’ve a check to write today.

In sunshine and in shadow~~I hold tight to the Republican view of time and money~~I write night and day~~yet~~while impecunious~~I am vastly overpaid~~in that taking pay to do what I love is unfair~~to my employer~~in a fair system~~under such circumstances~~I should pay him~~not he me~~I am far, far too old a man to be sexually confused~~praise Jesus~~but I am yet young enough to be politically confused~~is anyone not~~in an absolute sense~~I am a Catholic Royalist~~in a practical sense~~I am a Classical Liberal~~a Gaullist~~a Bonapartist~~an American Nationalist Republican~~in either sense~~my head is soon for the chopping block~~to hasten my interlude with Madame La Guillotine~~I write without fear~and without favor of~any man~~

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Finis Origine Pendet…

 

 

Oremus pro invicem

~~
IN THE NAME OF GOD.
AMEN
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I wear the chain I forged in life.
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How short the list one could compile of those of whom it can be said that fame and money did not deprave?

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IL MIGLIOR FABBRO

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 At Washington, capital city of the terminally self-absorbed, mortal man holds to fleeting, feeble and fallible opinion, God immutable fact.

~~~~~~~~~~~

November 2003 event 012
  • The rich man ought not be taxed at all~~he ought be compelled to employ and train the poor man~~directly~~
  • ~~
    The principal need in America today is~~financial and industrial De-Globalization~~to facilitate the promotion of the possibility for the average man to get and keep a good job with good benefits paid by the employer~~as was done not very long ago.~~
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    ~~Bene Nati, Bene Vestiti, Et Mediocriter Docti~~
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    ~~La crema y nata~~

    ~

    ~~Artista de la conquista~

     

    ~~In sunshine and in shadow~~I hold tight to the Republican view of time and money~~I write night and day~~yet~~while impecunious~~I am vastly overpaid~~in that taking pay to do what I love is unfair~~to my employer~~in a fair system~~under such circumstances~~I should pay him~~not he me~~I am far, far too old a man to be sexually confused~~praise Jesus~~but I am yet young enough to be politically confused~~is anyone not~~in an absolute sense~~I am a Catholic Royalist~~in a practical sense~~I am a Classical Liberal~~a Gaullist~~a Bonapartist~~an American Nationalist  Republican~~in either sense~~my head is soon for the chopping block~~to hasten my interlude with Madame La Guillotine~~I write without fear~and without favor of~any man~~
    ~~
    Finis Origine Pendet…
    The escape commences…
    ~~
    September, 1957
    ~~
    Saint Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic parochial school, called, by anyone of any background, simply: “Chan~al,” a place where, of an autumn day in 1957, school,  for me,  began and ended in the first convening of the first grade in which a tiny nun, one Sister Dom Bosco, appeared before me, just behind the window appearing at far left of this photograph, and piped out this: “I may be small, but so then, is the Atom Bomb.”
    ~~
    My determination to escape school commenced immediately on hearing about this Atom Bomb business and took 16 dicey and arduous years to finally accomplish.~~
    ~~
    Non Sibi
    The escape continues…
    ~~
    September, 1966
    ~~
    The Cathedral Latin School
    ~~
    Finis Origine Pendet~
     ~~Κύριε ἐλέησον~~

    Rejoice and Glad!!

    Amen~~

    CUA_Cardinal_2008

    ~The Original Angry Bird~~The Catholic University of America Screaming Red Cardinal Mascot~~
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    ~~EX LIBRIS~~
    ~~THEOS EK MĒCHANĒS~~
    Friday, 14th Aout,~Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2020
    
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    French actor~~Alain Delon

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    Motto~~Deus Lux Mea Est~~

    The escape concludes…

    ~~

    The Catholic University Of America, Washington, District of Columbia.

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    1976, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi.

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    Acta Est Fabula.

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    Deus Vult.

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    ~~Our Ubiquitous Presence~~

    The Queen~~

    Our Ruler now 68 years on~~

    Simply the best President we could ever hope to have~~

     

    Oremus pro invicem
     
    Always Faithfully,
     
    Jack Begg