Without A Hitch

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Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011, essayist, provocateur, wit, atheist, Brit-American and honest man, passed away on December 15. A Socialist early in life who evolved into a Marxist and eventually into a Conservative Marxist (a distinction he coined), later in life; Hitchens played no favorites and took no prisoners with his writing, he sought victims from both the Left and the Right, using his views of incompetence and dishonesty to guide his sharp critiques of those he eviscerated with indifference and without remorse, but regardless of whether you agreed with him, and he almost always bucked public opinion, he had the ability to make you think.

In this country, we have a phony pantheon of self-proclaimed intellects, starting with the president and his crew of faux intellectuals, but we have a few men who can write, Krauthammer, Sowell, Hanson, Horowitz, Goldberg, men who can write and make you think; Hitchens was among those who have a tremendous grasp of history and can write in a manner that will cause you to think and reconsider. There is a common thread among these writers and several others; they are honest in their opinions and expression. They have not let solipsism become immersed and diverted into proscribed theories of thought and writing that must conform to the party line without deviation or independent thought. No one can say that Hitchens wrote within the boundaries of Leftist drivel that we read in the New York Times or watch on the Main Stream Media. He was honest to his own convictions and was willing to let his thinking evolve when exposed to new evidence.

Hitchens excoriated the Clintons, George Bush, Kissinger, Mother Theresa, Sara Palin, and many others, but he could do it with wit and style.

Typical Hitches in the giddy-up:

“[George W Bush] is lucky to be governor of Texas. He is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things.” – Hardball with Chris Matthews, NBC, 2000

“‘Bombing Afghanistan back into the Stone Age’ was quite a favourite headline for some wobbly liberals. The slogan does all the work. But an instant’s thought shows that Afghanistan is being, if anything, bombed OUT of the Stone Age.” – Daily Mirror, November 2001

“The noble title of ‘dissident’ must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement …”

“Do bear in mind that the cynics have a point, of a sort, when they speak of the ‘professional naysayer’.” “To be in opposition is not to be a nihilist. And there is no decent or charted way of making a living at it. It is something you are, and not something you do.” – Letters to a Young Contrarian, 2001

“[Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.” – Slate, October 2003

“The search for nirvana, like the search for utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle.” – Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays, 2004

“Those who had alleged that a million civilians were dying from sanctions were willing, nay eager, to keep those same murderous sanctions if it meant preserving Saddam!” – The Weekly Standard, May 2005.

“The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.” – God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007

“My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilisation, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can’t prove it, but you can’t disprove it either.” – God Is Not Great

“The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.” – The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer, 2007

His support of the Iraq War and deposing of Saddam Hussein, and denouncing the Islamo Fascism of the Middle East put him at odds with the Left.

“I got hold of a copy of the video that showed how Saddam Hussein had actually confirmed himself in power. This snuff-movie opens with a plenary session of the Ba’ath Party central committee: perhaps a hundred men. Suddenly the doors are locked and Saddam, in the chair, announces a special session. Into the room is dragged an obviously broken man, who begins to emit a robotic confession of treason and subversion, that he sobs has been instigated by Syrian and other agents. As the (literally) extorted confession unfolds, names begin to be named. Once a fellow-conspirator is identified, guards come to his seat and haul him from the room. The reclining Saddam, meanwhile, lights a large cigar and contentedly scans his dossiers. The sickness of fear in the room is such that men begin to crack up and weep, rising to their feet to shout hysterical praise, even love, for the leader. Inexorably, though, the cull continues, and faces and bodies go slack as their owners are pinioned and led away. When it is over, about half the committee members are left, moaning with relief and heaving with ardent love for the boss. (In an accompanying sequel, which I have not seen, they were apparently required to go into the yard outside and shoot the other half, thus sealing the pact with Saddam. I am not sure that even Beria or Himmler would have had the nerve and ingenuity and cruelty to come up with that.)”

His opinion of Michael Moore:

“If Michael Moore had had his way, Slobodan Milosevic would still be the big man in a starved and tyrannical Serbia. Bosnia and Kosovo would have been cleansed and annexed. If Michael Moore had been listened to, Afghanistan would still be under Taliban rule, and Kuwait would have remained part of Iraq. And Iraq itself would still be the personal property of a psychopathic crime family, bargaining covertly with the slave state of North Korea for WMD. You might hope that a retrospective awareness of this kind would induce a little modesty. To the contrary, it is employed to pump air into one of the great sagging blimps of our sorry, mediocre, celeb-rotten culture. Rock the vote, indeed.”

On George Bush:

“[George W. Bush] is lucky to be governor of Texas. He is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things.”
“The general view was that you were a provincial Texan with no interest in doing anything much except shrinking the budget and cutting the maximum tax rate. (This general view was more or less right.)”

“George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as ‘evil.’ Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America’s peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the ‘lesser evil.'”

His latest book, a memoir, Hitch-22

“I became a journalist partly so that I wouldn’t ever have to rely on the press for my information.” – Hitch-22, 2010

“What is your idea of earthly happiness? To be vindicated in my own lifetime.” – Hitch-22

“Cheap booze is a false economy.” – Hitch-22

“Where would you like to live? In a state of conflict or a conflicted state?” – Hitch-22

A man whose favorite author was George Orwell, will have redeeming qualities.

Yes, he criticized George Bush and Mother Theresa, he may have been an avowed Marxist, but he called out phonies on the Left and the Right. He admired America’s fighting man and felt that America’s Revolution was the best revolution. He was a wit and a great thinker; among the greatest wits of this era.

One of my favorite essays of his, is this hit piece is on Hillary and Bill, it deals with the honesty mentioned earlier:

Why on earth would we choose to put the Clinton family drama at the center of our politics again?
By Christopher Hitchens|Posted Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, at 12:15 PM ET

Hillary Clinton
Seeing the name Hillary in a headline last week—a headline about a life that had involved real achievement—I felt a mouse stirring in the attic of my memory. Eventually, I was able to recall how the two Hillarys had once been mentionable in the same breath. On a first-lady goodwill tour of Asia in April 1995—the kind of banal trip that she now claims as part of her foreign-policy “experience”—Mrs. Clinton had been in Nepal and been briefly introduced to the late Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest. Ever ready to milk the moment, she announced that her mother had actually named her for this famous and intrepid explorer. The claim “worked” well enough to be repeated at other stops and even showed up in Bill Clinton’s memoirs almost a decade later, as one more instance of the gutsy tradition that undergirds the junior senator from New York.
Sen. Clinton was born in 1947, and Sir Edmund Hillary and his partner Tenzing Norgay did not ascend Mount Everest until 1953, so the story was self-evidently untrue and eventually yielded to fact-checking. Indeed, a spokeswoman for Sen. Clinton named Jennifer Hanley phrased it like this in a statement in October 2006, conceding that the tale was untrue but nonetheless charming: “It was a sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter, to great results I might add.”

Perfect. It worked, in other words, having been coined long after Sir Edmund became a bankable celebrity, but now its usefulness is exhausted and its untruth can safely be blamed on Mummy. Yet isn’t it all—all of it, every single episode and detail of the Clinton saga—exactly like that? And isn’t some of it a little bit more serious? For Sen. Clinton, something is true if it validates the myth of her striving and her “greatness” (her overweening ambition in other words) and only ceases to be true when it no longer serves that limitless purpose. And we are all supposed to applaud the skill and the bare-faced bravado with which this is done. In the New Hampshire primary in 1992, she knowingly lied about her husband’s uncontainable sex life and put him eternally in her debt. This is now thought of, and referred to in print, purely as a smart move on her part. In the Iowa caucuses of 2008, he returns the favor by telling a huge lie about his own record on the war in Iraq, falsely asserting that he was opposed to the intervention from the very start. This is thought of, and referred to in print, as purely a tactical mistake on his part: trying too hard to help the spouse. The happy couple has now united on an equally mendacious account of what they thought about Iraq and when they thought it. What would it take to break this cheap little spell and make us wake up and inquire what on earth we are doing when we make the Clinton family drama—yet again—a central part of our own politics?

Hitchens considered Thomas Jefferson the Author of America, and admired the writings of Thomas Paine, Evelyn Waugh, Bob Dylan, and George Orwell. Although he was an atheist or an anti-theist as he called himself, it is interesting to note that he appreciated Dylan and Waugh, whose works are deeply rooted in theism.

He was a complex and complicated man, who refused to tell you what you wanted to hear, but instead concentrated on honest opinions; he was an honest thinker, and we need to recognize the advantages of honest men over partisan hacks and propaganda politicians. A political system like our Republic requires differing opinions and a swing of power and influence like a metronome; how refreshing it would be to have politicians and pundits with wit, who could offer ideas in opposition that would tend to make America stronger rather than intentionally trying to destroy the country to rebuild or transform America into some form of Marxist tyrannical dystopia.

A professional horseman for over 40 years, Skook continues to work with horses. He is in an ongoing educational program, learning life's lessons from one of the world's greatest instructors, the horse. Skook has finished an historical novel that traces a mitochondrial line of DNA from 50,000 years ago to the present. The book Fifty-Thousand Years is awaiting me to finish a final proofread and it should be sent to the formatter in a matter of days. I am still working, so it is not easy to devote the time I need to finish the project. The cover is a beautiful wok of art. I would put it up here if I could figure out how to make it work.

38 Responses to “Without A Hitch”

  1. 1


    I particularly loved seeing Hitchens put Maher in his place. A speechless or near-speechless Bill Maher is a wonderful thing to behold. Maher wished that he were half the intellect of Hitchens.

  2. 3


    Great read Skook! I put Hitch in the ranks of William F. Buckley, so sad to see him go.

    You make a very important point in mentioning that part of his great writing was based on his vast knowledge of history. Sadly, even our next generation gifted writers, to whom most have been educated in “revisionist history”, can not only obtain the likes of Hitchens, but will be powerfully dangerous. Image if a powerful writer such as Hitch had written with the new history?

    The other thing interesting about your post is the reminder of the power of honest writing. As you well point out, Hitch was no more a friend to the left as to the right, but he wrote honestly as he knew it, and both sides listened. Only on the God stuff, at least IMO, did he get carried off in the emotional rather than the objective, almost as if truly finding God would have been a unwelcomed game changer for him. A great example of that is Mother Teresa and her view on suffeirng. Knowing or not, he had 2000 years of Catholic Church history and dogma to have understood the theology behind it. For a man who knew the importance of history, his failure to objectively apply it to Judeo/Christain History escapes me, which is why I believe he never wanted it to be true, and wrote from pure emotion on the God stuff.

    On the other hand, he may well have gotten more Americans talking and thinking about God than most US Bishops.

    If there is any reason not to fear death and believe in an after life, meeting up with the greats, the believers, and especially the unbelievers is certainly one of them. Glad to have lived in the same space as Hitch.

  3. 4



    Patricia, Hitchens was primarily concerned with injustices and hypocrisy; unfortunately, there are many injustices and hypocrisies in religion. He chose to only look at the most egregious negative aspects of religion and flew off on a tangent, but that was the nature of his honesty. His pursuit of injustice and hypocrisy took him to the core of the American Left. They hated him for his purity of purpose, for their claimed purpose is nothing more than the very reason why men wore sheets to hide their identity in the KKK: they would be in big trouble if people knew their true agenda.

  4. 5

    Gary G. Swenchonis

    We miss him already. I disagreed with him at times, but admired and respected him for his ability to work as hard as he could to keep an open mind, open to all sides of an argument, and not to become entrenched into one way of thinking and believing. I often wonder if he had some serious debates with himself about the God thing as Patricia suggests. But at least he knows the answer to that one now, or he does not. I know I have and still do so I am not picking at him for that. And know other people who have as well. A shame that we don’t have more like him? But is it any wonder in this age when it’s either right or left and not just here but all over the world? But his words, and ideas caused numerous debates in our house, and other houses and at work too. I hope he found what he was looking for in the end.

  5. 7

    Richard Wheeler

    Anticsrocks It’s one thing to spar with Maher quite another to diss Mother Teresa and denounce Jesus. I for one won’t miss him.
    Be in good health

    A blessed Christmas to all

  6. 8



    Good point Shook, but I would disagree (or claify), that at least in speaking for Catholicsim, which I have studied enough to know what the church actually teaches, he failed to understand that the hypocrisy was (and still is), in man, not the actual teaching. In fact, Mother Teresa being one of the few well known Catholics who actually lived the faith as it is taught, was simply too much for him, so he did what those in fear do best, attacked. His attack against Mother Teresa was truly the most illogical and dumbest thing that ever came from his pen and lips. The truth is, she probably scared the crap of out him.

    To this day, you can still look at everything most hate about the the big bad Catholic Church and find that the teachings are still firmly in tact, with all of the hypocrisy coming from the members, not the church, sort of like a hospital full of critical care patients, Mother Teresa and JPII being two visible exceptions.

  7. 9


    Watched Hitchens in person about 1 year ago debate a physicist (quite renoun but his name escapes me) about intelligent design vs the big bang theory. The physicist was no match for Hitchen’s great oratory skills but the seminal moment to me was when the physicist tried to explain faith to Hitchens in such an earnest way to get Hitchens to at least consider the possibility. Hitchen’s response (in a rather subdued sincere way) was that he would dearly love to believe in God but he was just unable. Not a defiant “your so weak and stupid” way but in a way that came across as “I wish I had that ability but I just can’t believe” sort of way. Hitchens was not his usual bombastic self but sort of humble. (As humble as I assume Hitchens could be : ) ).

    I hope Hitchens was able to grasp it before he died. Guess we will all have to wait for the end of the story. I sure would like to sit in on more of his debates in eternity.

  8. 11


    We must remember that Hitchens was for the literacy and empowerment of women. He saw feminism as a means to advance society and as a means to rise above barBarism. Although, Hillary surely made him question the wisdom of teaching women to read.

  9. 12

    Nan G

    Was it atheist Richard Dawkins?
    If so, he LOST big time.
    He basically kicked the can down the road by saying that life on earth came from space aliens.
    (But he never addressed where those space aliens came from.)
    Maybe it was somebody else, if the physicist was the believer in a designer.

  10. 13


    There is a sad chapter in the life of Hitchens that is partially responsible for anti-theism; when he was a young man, his mother was having an affair, she and her paramour committed suicide rather than face the guilt of having an affair as a married woman. They were in Italy at the time of the double suicide, Hitchens traveled to Italy to claim her remains and arrange for burial in England. He blamed religion and the Christian concept of guilt for the tragedy.

    Another reminder, we should always be careful casting guilt upon others for their beliefs.

  11. 16


    Seriously Lib, buy ‘Elements of Style,’ by Strunk and White, ‘Usage and Abusage’, or ‘Eats, Shoots, and Leaves,’ if you are going to insist on taking the occasional dump on our commentary. Your grammar renders your prose incomprehensible and little more than an annoyance. Any of the aforementioned books and many hours of study will help you from making a fool of yourself repeatedly on these cyber pages. Eventually, you might be able to express a coherent thought and engage in intelligent debate; otherwise, your semi-literate rhetoric is an insult to our intelligence with its infantile logic, and a miserable and pathetic irony, that you try to claim his genius in support of the American Liberal, when he repeatedly expressed contempt for Ideologues like you.

  12. 18

    Old Rebel

    Of course Hitch was a Trotskyite. That was his ultimate justification for supporting the Neocon Wars, which were projects conceived and implemented by the Trotskyites who founded “neo-conservatism.” The notion of a “global democratic revolution” is pure Trotskyism, and the sworn enemy of true conservatism.

  13. 19



    Thomas Sowell:
    Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, September 1980–present
    Professor of Economics, UCLA, July 1974–June 1980
    Visiting Professor of Economics, Amherst College, September–December 1977
    Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, April–August 1977
    Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, July 1976–March 1977
    Project Director, The Urban Institute, August 1972–July 1974
    Associate Professor of Economics, UCLA, September 1970–June 1972
    Associate Professor of Economics, Brandeis University, September 1969–June 1970
    Assistant Professor of Economics, Cornell University, September 1965–June 1969
    Economic Analyst, American Telephone & Telegraph Co., June 1964–August 1965
    Lecturer in Economics, Howard University, September 1963–June 1964
    Instructor in Economics, Douglass College, Rutgers University, September 1962–June 1963
    Labor Economist, U.S. Department of Labor, June 1961–August 1962
    2011. The Thomas Sowell Reader. Basic Books. pp. 464. ISBN 978-0465022502.
    2011. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (4th edition ed.). Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Books Group. ISBN 978-046502252.
    2010. Dismantling America. Basic Books. pp. 352. ISBN 978-0465022519.
    2010. Intellectuals and Society. Basic Books. pp. 416. ISBN 978-0465019489.
    2009. The Housing Boom and Bust. Basic Books. pp. 184. ISBN 978-0465018802.
    2008. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One (2nd ed.). Basic Books. pp. 400. ISBN 978-0465003457. OCLC 260206351.
    2007. Economic Facts and Fallacies. Basic Books. pp. 262. ISBN 978-0465003495.
    2007. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (3rd edition ed.). Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Books Group. ISBN 978-0465002603. OCLC 76897806.
    2007. A Man of Letters. San Francisco: Encounter Books. pp. 320. ISBN 978-1594031960.
    2006. Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press. pp. 460. ISBN 978-0817947521.
    2006. On Classical Economics. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. 2006. pp. 320. ISBN 978-0300126068.
    2005. Black Rednecks and White Liberals: And Other Cultural And Ethnic Issues. San Francisco: Encounter Books. pp. 360. ISBN 978-1594030864.
    2004. Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. pp. 256. ISBN 978-0300107753.
    2004. Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy, revised and expanded ed. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-08145-2 (1st ed. 2000)
    2003. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, ISBN 0-465-08143-6
    2002. The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late, ISBN 0-465-08141-X
    2002. Controversial Essays, ISBN 0-8179-2992-4
    2002. A Personal Odyssey, ISBN 0-684-86465-7
    2002. The Quest For Cosmic Justice, ISBN 0-684-86463-0
    1998. Conquests and Cultures: An International History, ISBN 0-465-01400-3
    1996. Migrations and Cultures: A World View, ISBN 0-465-04589-8 OCLC 41748039
    1996. The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-08995-X
    1995. Race and Culture: A World View. Description & chapter previews. ISBN 0-465-06796-4
    1993. Inside American Education, ISBN 0-7432-5408-2
    1987. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-06912-6
    1987. Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays. William Morrow, ISBN 0688-07114-7
    1985. Marxism: Philosophy and Economics. Quill, ISBN 0-688-06426-4
    1984. Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-03113-7
    1983. The Economics and Politics of Race. William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-01891-2
    1981. Ethnic America: A History. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-02074-7
    1981. Markets and Minorities. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-04399-2
    1980. Knowledge and Decisions. Basic Books.
    1975. Race and Economics. David McKay Company Inc, ISBN 0-679-30262-X
    1972. Say’s Law, An Historical Analysis. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-04166-0

    Hack, indeed. What pray tell are your accomplishments, Russ? Or are you just name calling because you don’t like Dr. Sowell’s ideology?

  14. 23


    Like an imbecile, Lib repeats a point that has already been discussed as if he were bringing up new material. Even the banality promoted at Liberal sites must seem challenging for him or perhaps they tire of his relentless moronic diatribe of callow and senseless remarks. Is it possible that liberal sites, with their ongoing lack of content and wit, tire of this polluter of expression and of words, for if there was a category for most useless contributor, it would be occupied by this purveyor of infantile lunacy.

    Lib, you are in way over your head. You accomplish nothing, but to demean the true cause of Liberalism and weaken it in the eyes of the public. Surely you must hope to sway a few individuals to the Left, but you leave them wanting to distance themselves from you and the Liberal cause.

    I think it was Mark Twain, “It is better to let people think you are an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” This quote describes you and your efforts with a machinist’s precision.

    I can listen to a true Canadian or British Liberal and debate them, but you aren’t with the effort or the time and you cheapen the legitimate or benevolent issues a lucid American Liberal might put forward. Since you destroy any argument the Left might put forward with your lunacy, you indirectly help promote the Conservative cause, and in that respect, it can be argued that you have some limited purpose. For others, you are like a pile of dog crap on a busy sidewalk, merely something to be avoided, while you carry on with your day. In no malfeasance of the imagination does that pile of dog crap endear someone to dogs; instead, they are more likely to curse the dog that dropped the load and all other dogs that just might commit a similar offense.

    This is why you damage the Liberal cause and for them, you are an infected splinter releasing toxins in to the blood system and damaging the body.

  15. 24

    Nan G

    I appreciated Hitchen’s agile mind.
    He made a late-in-life admission about God and an afterlife:
    ”No evidence or argument has yet been presented which would change my mind. But I like surprises.”

    My mom was a close escapee from Hitler’s concentration camps.
    She lost nearly every blood relative she had in them.
    She also lost her faith.
    Her atheism lasted for over 40 years.
    But she, too, came to accept that there may just be more for her after death.
    This happened to her mere weeks before my dad died.
    Between his death and hers she went to church pretty regularly, considering her health.

    Maybe God granted Hitchens his surprise.

  16. 25


    Nan, thanks for the uplifting contribution.

    The Hitchens’ Quote was typical Hitchens and brings forth a laugh if you have a sense of humor and appreciation for wit.

    I am reminded of a quote from the Bard, a man is on his death bed and tells a man in his room, (paraphrased) “Check in on me tomorrow and you will find a grave man.”

    Hitchens was a type of bard, in the same tradition as Twain. He made you think and if you aren’t an ideologue, he made you laugh.

  17. 26


    Merry Christmas, I am near the mountains of British Columbia and will disappear until after Christmas, there will be no electricity, the lights will be gas or oil, the cook stove and the furnace will be fueled with wood, and the water will be gravity fed; so you won’t be hearing from me for a week or more. This is my type of Christmas, lots of snow and with a few crumb pickers and ankle biters crawling around. See you after the holidays, be sure to hold down the fort.


  18. 27

    James Raider

    Good one Skook. As NanG said above, “I appreciated Hitchen’s agile mind,” . . . . totally.

    I particularly enjoyed his take-no-prisoners approach to deconstructing and then desecrating the hypocritical among us, the more powerful the better. With absolutely precise cuts, he exposed masquerades and diminished propped-up human frauds. Whether or not we agreed, Hitchens almost always made us think, . . . . . and for that, we can be grateful since he made us all just a little better for it.

    As he stepped into the next part of his journey, I’m quite confident that he had one flash of “Ok, let me rewrite that book, . . . just a quick rewrite. Please.”

  19. 29


    Patricia, I have been reading a book about Father Judge of the Jesuits, his parish was in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, in the latter part of the 19th Century; if religion had more men like him, they would humble us all. A truly awe inspiring man, he should be more well known.

  20. 31


    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU,, I bet you have a nice view in there, SNOW? MAYBE,
    Thank you for you’re interesting POST,
    MR HITCHEN would have been a good oponant to take on here, he would have get our
    keyboard to heat up, and we might have won a couple of debates,
    see how good I think we all are here at FA, beginning with you, all along the other and ending with me doing the knock out punch, see how good I think I am,
    best to you, take care for the BEARS

  21. 33

    James Raider

    MsBees, likewise, hope you had a great Christmas and best wishes to you for an enjoyable New Year.

    . . . and thanks, a little humour always helps the day.

  22. 35

    James Raider


    Shostakovitch – one of my favourite composers. You remind me that for years I had collected everything that Herbert von Karajan had performed of Shostakovitch’s work. Unfortunately, that collection was on LPs which have long lost favour. MP3s just aren’t the same quality. The products of the combination of these prodigious talents which Shostakovitch and Karajan delivered were without parallel. Shostakovitch was powerful, haunting, anxious, sometimes uplifting, and very much a product of oppressive and somber society he lived in.

    Shostakovitch produced a large body of work, nevertheless, you must be listening to the Waltz No.2 or perhaps to Gadfly, . . . perfect for a cold North East winter’s day.

  23. 36


    James Raider
    funny, it’s the first time I listen to his music from ANDRE RIEU, and I loved it, I will check on the one
    you mentioned also, thank you.

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