Author Archives: leeduigon

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations.

Thanksgiving With Godzilla

I don’t know what you’re doing today, but while our turkey is cooking (we always have ours the day after Thanksgiving), we’re watching Godzilla vs. Megalon.

Yes, this immortal film classic is an annual tradition here. Even if somebody I talked to asked “Is that basketball or football?”

You gotta hand it to the Toho Film Company–they make great miniatures. It must be tremendous fun to work on one of these movies, painstakingly crafting a truck or a dam or a power plant: creations whose fate is only to be destroyed by monsters. The scene wherein an earthquake sucks a lake dry is particularly effective.

Well, back to viewing pleasure. They’ve just explained that the bad guys who tried to steal the robot seem to have come from Easter Island: but we know they’re from the unknown, underwater continent of Seatopia, where ladies dance around in plastic bags on their heads, looking like some kind of weird Lutheran church service.

Ai-oh! Here comes Megalon! That damn monster! Eeyaaah–


Wooden Heads and Iron Butts

Yesterday we drove a long way down the Garden State Parkway to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and brother. The destination was fine, but the journey was pure horror.

Although its purpose is anything but obvious, there is perpetual construction on the Parkway, making for miles and miles of extra-narrow lanes. Along these stretches the posted speed limit is 45 mph, which means most people go 65 mph and not a few tear along at 80. This is extremely dangerous. At those speeds, with no room to maneuver, the slightest little error could kill you and a lot of other people in a minute. Good Lord! If anybody ever had to hit the brakes for any reason, it’d be another death-fest for the 6:00 news.

But these immortals are not content with speeding. The higher the speed, the more they want to tailgate. And nothing beats weaving in and out of traffic on these constricted lanes squeezed in between temporary cement dividers.

The construction will never be finished. It’s been going on for years, with no effect but to erase landmarks and make you wonder where the  blazes you are. But nothing seems to bother the kamikaze pilots of the Parkway. You should see it when it snows–cars scattered all over the place like tinker toys.

My hands are still shaking.


Now Thank We All Our God

I believe God answers prayers. It’s His nature: God is love. And it’s our nature to thank Him only after He has done something for us–preferably, something that we asked Him to do: or at least something we can see. Only a fool wants his relationship with the Lord to be on a “What have you done for me lately?” basis.

But sometimes we ought to thank Him for His rock-bottom, foundational blessing: the mere fact that the Lord lives, and that the Lord is God, and has revealed Himself to us. Imagine if we didn’t know Him! Imagine if all we had were idols, or some exalted Leader, or our politics, or the consensus of the faculty lounge–yeesh, I don’t even want to imagine it.

Because the Lord lives, and because He is whom He reveals Himself to be in the Bible, we have blessings that no power in heaven or on earth can ever take away from us: the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39), and God’s sure promise of salvation and eternal life to those who put their trust in Him. He sent His only begotten Son down from heaven to the earth to make this sure for us.

These blessings are mine whether I am in a hospital bed, in prison, shipwrecked in the middle of the ocean, or falling off a 20-story building. No one can take them away from me. Not even my own sins can take them away from me.

And that’s something to be thankful for.


The Sweet Smell of… You Gotta Be Kidding

Nope, we’re not kidding. A Frenchman has invented “the Father Christmas fart pill that gives your farts the sweet scent of chocolate” ( http://www.thelocal.fr/20141125/frenchman-invents-pill-making-farts-smell-like-chocolate ). This from a nation that doesn’t believe in deodorant.

I dunno. Somehow the notion of chocolate-scented gas is, well, off-putting. The guy has invented pills in other flavors, too. I just might never eat chocolate again.

As we survey the swirling wreckage of Western civilization–national borders down, illegals swarming in to collect welfare; cities convulsed with riots; government by wicked, Godless idiots; public schools teaching the kiddies that they can change their “gender” at will–it is no great comfort to know that at least our farts won’t stink, if only we take these pills.

But I can’t help thinking that this Gaul’s clever little invention is a wonderfully apt symbol for the whole postmodern, secular humanist, worldly enterprise.

Disguise it as you will, it’s still a fart.


They’ll Never Learn

Even as the good Professor Gruber gloats over how easy it was to trick the “stupid”–his word–American people into supporting Obamacare by lying about it six ways from Sunday–the fact that the American people never have approved of Obamacare seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle–another Democrat bigwig, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, is rolling out a new slogan: “Democrats must embrace government” ( http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/schumer-democrats-must-embrace-government_820147.html ).

You wonder about these people, don’t you?

Chuckie-doll says goverment is “the only thing that’s going to get the middle class going again.”

Going where? I think it might be someplace we definitely don’t want to visit.

Which of government’s current projects is most likely to benefit America’s middle class? Executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, most of whom will wind up on welfare? How about their beloved carbon tax, which will slash middle class incomes yet again–if there’s anything left to slash, once Obamacare gets through with us?

Oh, I know–stopping the Keystone Pipeline! There’s a real boost for the middle class. And how about a whole bunch of new EPA rules to cripple the coal industry? Yes, this government has a real feel for what makes an economy tick.

And even as we speak, they’re titillating themselves with visions of getting government involved in what we eat and drink. They would very much like to control that.

Schumer issues dark warnings of a swing to the Republicans “if people don’t believe government can deliver.”

Oh, we believe government can deliver. But we don’t like what government delivers!

Why can’t they get that through their skulls?

Let me repeat the message delivered by the people in this last election, using words that even Democrats can understand.

Leave us alone. Get lost. Get your dirty hands off our paychecks.

They think they can still get it all done with executive orders.

We’ll see about that. We’ll see.


Atheist Honcho Announces He’s a Girl, From Now On

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Psalm 14:1

The Bible has plenty to say about fools. But here is a fool who has gone beyond foolishness and become altogether a lost soul.

David Muscato, public relations director for American Atheists, says he wants people to call him Danielle from now on, as he begins the long process of “becoming a woman” ( http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/3230483/posts ). He is a balding man with a coarse black beard. He says, “…I have identified internally as a woman for a long time… As I begin to take bigger steps to change my appearance, I will also begin dressing differently and changing other aspects of my gender expression.”

He made no mention of undergoing surgical mutilation, as many others of these lost souls do. He only talks about changing his appearance. For the time being, he wants you to call him Danielle and use female pronouns when mentioning him in the third person.

I am waiting for some Democrat to say we need one of these nuts on the Supreme Court.

This is what a civilization looks like, when it dies.


A Really Stinky Fantasy Novel

I am reviewing a book written by a successful writer under a pseudonym, and published by one of the major Christian publishing houses. It’s a pre-release review copy, and my employers at the Chalcedon Foundation have first dibs on my formal review. But I don’t think they’ll mind if I do a little venting here.

In his press package, the writer said he wanted to get away from “Christian fiction” for a while and take a whack at fantasy. Apparently he thinks anybody can just write fantasy. He said he wanted to write a fantasy that was “completely secular.” Why the Christian publisher should want to publish something “completely secular” is one of those questions like “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

The only thing really interesting about this book is that, in his efforts to be “completely secular,” the writer created something that was altogether pagan. I’ll bet he crossed that line without even knowing it.

Fantasy is supposed to be super-imaginative fiction. Let the imagination run wild, baby. So of course all this guy winds up doing is heaping up cliches. The incredibly gorgeous young woman who knows kung-fu–I hate it when a fantasy character screams heeaaah! and does jumpin’, spinnin’ kicks. The crusty but benign old wizard. And no one leaves out the invincible female warrior. Why in the world bother to write a fantasy if you’re going to populate it with stock characters that have already been used a thousand times? And did I mention he also has Elves?

Ordinarily I would protect the writer, but this time I won’t. His name is T. Davis Bunn, he has a couple dozen books in print,… and he’s using a pseudonym, Thomas Locke, “to help define a completely new brand of novels he will be writing,” says his publicist.

Oh, please! There is nothing “completely new” about this fantasy novel, Emissary. I can’t imagine why he wrote it.

It seems to me that Christian publishing houses, like Baker and Zondervan, have lately been trying to break into the fantasy market but have no idea how to do it. Consequently, these major publishers have been publishing seriously flawed books. Don’t think the readers won’t notice!

If they publish enough bad stuff, they’ll take the good down with it.


‘Christian Fiction’–a Stepchild?

“It’s too bad,” says my wife, “that whenever you see the label ‘Christian’ attached to anything, it means an imitation of something in the popular culture with some Christian stuff just tacked on to it.” Hence “Christian rock”, “Christian rap,” etc. But what about “Christian fiction”?

Is this just regular fiction that’s not quite as good as the secular stuff, but which has a special market because it’s labeled “Christian”? There are special best-seller lists for “Christian fiction”– but when do the top books on those lists wind up on the real best-seller lists?

Just skimming over some of those “Christian” lists, I see what appear to be a lot of goopy love stories, tons of ‘em, with sprinklings of fantasy, adventure, science fiction, and whatnot. It made me wonder, “Is this the best we can do?”

Don’t get me wrong. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the best fantasy anybody ever wrote, and their work was “Christian” down to the ground–because they were Christians! And if you like mysteries, there’s Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton, Brother Cadfael by Ellis  Peters, and Father Dowling by Robert McInerney. The lead characters in these books could not be themselves without being thoroughly, deeply Christian. These also happen to be crackerjack, award-winning mysteries.

We are probably better off without the label “Christian” on our books, and maybe even better off without “Christian fiction” best-seller lists. The label sort of says, “A substitute for the real thing, so you, the Christian reader, can read this stuff without feeling like a sinner.” All of the writers mentioned in the previous paragraph did just fine without the label or the lists.

Do we not believe that Christianity, that God’s word, is the truth? And should not the truth inform everything we write, even our most imaginative fiction?

If “Christian fiction” is perceived as inferior to the regular stuff, shouldn’t Christian writers be working overtime to do away with that perception? And how do you do away with it? By writing fiction that can compete successfully with the secular stuff, overtake it, and pass it.

In case you hadn’t noticed, our popular culture is desperately in need of Christian influence.


President Ahab

Here’s my prediction.

In spite of the unprecedented, blatantly unconstitutional action last night by the “president,” and in spite of a huge mandate given to them in this year’s national elections to stop this president, the Republicans will chicken out. They will take no meaningful action. All the “president” has to do is threaten to shut down the government, and the Republicans surrender: they know the nooze media will see to it that they are blamed for the shutdown. And beyond that, Republicans are terrified of being called racists.

This is why Barack Hussein Ebola smirks at them and says, “Just try and stop me!”

The Republicans’ cowardice will encourage Ebola to go farther down the path of lawlessness and caesarism.

Indeed, he is already a man who is chasing his own destruction. This afternoon would be a good time for him to catch up to it.

Remember Captain Ahab, the doomed protagonist of Moby Dick? What–you never heard that story? No, it wasn’t about any of the Kardashians. It was about the fanatical captain of a whaling vessel in the early 19th century, whose only purpose in life was to catch up to the White Whale–the whale that once bit off his leg–and kill it. He swore a terrible oath to do so, and made his whole crew join him in it. He sought all over the world for this whale.

And guess what happened when he finally found it.

This is Obama: President Ahab. He will seek his own ruin until at last he finds it.

It’s only now a matter of how many Americans he will drag down with him.

P.S. Just out of curiosity, a few minutes ago I typed in a search for “Obama as Ahab,” to see if anybody else had come to the same conclusion I have. Behold! It’s all over the Internet. It seems a lot of commentators have seen this parallel, going all the way back to 2011.

I didn’t “steal” the idea. It’s something that’s so glaringly obvious, it has occurred to many people over several years.


America’s Night of Shame

Yes, tonight is Amnesty Nite–the night our “president” voids the nation’s laws, which he has sworn an oath to faithfully execute, and imposes his own law on a country of 300 million people.

From 1776 to 1783, we shed our blood to throw off the shackles of monarchy. What King George III could not do, though he possessed and used against us the world’s most powerful military machine, has been done to us now by a community-organizing pipsqueak and his playmates in the nooze media, and his partners in crime in the Senate who have made him impeachment-proof.

He laughs in our faces as he does it. “Try and stop me!” He has promised to go on to impose his own vision of “Climate Change action” via still more executive orders. As if he were a king. As if he were a czar of czars.

But I take comfort in remembering that I have seen this pattern of behavior many times before. The Bible is full of examples–Goliath, Belshazzar, Sennacherib, Herod Agrippa, Abimelech the son of Gideon–of great men, men much greater than this pipsqueak of a “president,” pursuing their own destruction and soon finding it. The Greeks called it hubris, and made it the basis of their tragedies. But it is God who sets up great men as a rod with which to chastise His people, and God who breaks those men when the rod boasts itself against the hand that wields it.

If the Republicans whom we have elected to do this very thing cannot find the nerve to restrain this evil pipsqueak of a president, rest assured that God will find some other means to do it.

 


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