Friday, July 6, 2007

Personal Asides: Okay-Okay, No One Knows the Lyrics to “P. S., I Love You.”… How About This One?...The Wall Street Journal Has the Giuliani Phenomenon Wrong…Dick Durbin Isn’t Really that Dumb; He Only Sounds that Way.


P. S. I Love You.

When even Frank Nofsinger throws in the towel, that means nobody…and I mean nobody…can supply the missing words to the lyrics of the old World War II love song by Johnny Mercer, “P. S. I Love You.” Jeez, I knew I was old but I guess I’m really a dinosaur. Here goes…by heart…the missing lyric supplied in bold print.

Dear, I thought I’d drop a line/

The weather’s cool, the folks are fine/

I’m in bed each night at 9/

P. S., I love you.

Yesterday we had some rain/

But, all in all, I can’t complain

Was it dusty on the train?/

P. S., I love you.

Write to the Browns just as soon as you’re able/

They came around to call/

I burned a hole in the dining room table/

And let me see, I guess that’s all./

P. S., I love you.

Nothing else for me to say/

And so I’ll close but by the way/

Everyone’s thinking of you/

P. S., I love you.

Goodnight, Irene.

That dated from the 1940s. Now I’m moving to 1950 when Frank N. was aged 13 and I was just graduating from under-grad—but he was probably listening to the radio. The number one song on the Lucky Strike Hit Parade was “Goodnight, Irene.” Without calling on the search engine, see if you can complete the lyrics. The chorus, incidentally goes:

Goodnight, Irene, goodnight, Irene/

Goodnight, Irene, goodnight/

Goodnight, Irene, goodnight Irene/

I’ll see you in my dreams.

Now complete the missing lines, please (no search engines).

Sometimes I live in the country/

Sometimes I live in town/

Sometimes I take a few notions/


One night I got married/

Now me and my wife settled down/

Now me and my wife are parting/


That can’t be too hard. Hint: the tenor of the song is very morose.

The Wall Street Journal.

A news story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal has the Giuliani phenomenon exactly wrong. There is a bit of theology in this and the news staff of the Journal, about as predictably liberal as other news staffs (in contradistinction to the editorial page), tries to insinuate that the Republican party is going liberal and disregarding its conservative social base. Absolutely not—but the nuance is usually lost on a reportorial staff that wants to insist that the Republican base is “growing” i.e. becoming as mature and liberal as the average Journal reporter. No, it takes a kind of conservative theologian to make the difference but there is a difference. Here goes.

(1). The base of the Republican party which is socially conservative is not undergoing a change. It still believes in its tenets. Then why is there a sizable break-off in behalf of Giuliani? (2) Not because Giuliani is a social liberal; that has nothing to do with his support. It is because this party’s base is composed of patriots who want to see the nation survive terrorist attacks in the homeland and perceives, rightly, that alone among all the candidates for president, only Giuliani has been tested in this regard and has been found to be brilliantly effective. (3) Liberal reporters can calculate that pro-life, stem cell, anti-gay rights are less important than survival to the average voter…and they’re right! (4) For proof, let another socially liberal candidate try to penetrate the socially conservative base and he/she can’t do it.

One example: me. I have been a social conservative since…well…a child, born to social conservatives and absorbent of their doctrines since…what?...the age of reason? That would be 1935 when I turned seven, when I was assigned to reading Colonel McCormick’s Tribune editorials to my father as he shaved and to recall his commentaries as he applied shaving soap from the spectacularly-designed shaving mug with his initials inscribed in gold: HNR. Since 1935 I have been a social conservative and I am now 78 (will be 79 July 23). What do I want for my children and 13 grandchildren? That they be impervious to elements of this sicko culture, obviously. That they not only get an education so as to make a living but an education similar to the one I had where they can distinguish John Milton from Milton Berle (and no who both were). That they be faithful in their understanding of spiritual verities so as to embrace and faithfully fulfill the obligations of the Catholic Church which I maintain will enable them to know, love and serve God in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

All these things are what I wish. But obviously for them to achieve these things, they have to survive. The choice of a president thus moves in this case from one who has an acceptable philosophy of life on the eternal verities to one who has the guts and determination to do what it takes…legally and extra-legally as may be required…to save this nation. That trumps all other qualities…and if the choice comes down to Giuliani versus Hillary or Obama or Edwards…I will pick Obama. Obviously I would prefer let us say the ticket of Thompson and Romney—but I will have to be sure that this ticket can triumph—because the fate of the nation is at stake.

Now having said these things, you have the testimony from one who is a paramount social conservative. Does that mean I am queasy in my beliefs? Not in the slightest. It means I perceive that the entire country is in the greatest danger.

Let me confide in you as only a topmost (in age) senior citizen can. When Franklin Roosevelt interned the Japanese…including some Japanese American citizens…in California…I was graduating from grade school, preparing to go to high school and had earlier completed a European trip where we saw the peaceful takeover of Austria by the Nazis. I was completely conversant with the details of the war and the crisis that affected our country. My father was serving in the FBI as a specialist in German affairs at that time but none of us…at least not I…knew of it (my mother did but was ordered to say nothing).

I recalled the announcement very clearly, the signing of Executive Order 9066 by Franklin Roosevelt on February 19. 1942. . The evacuation order rounded up 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and sent them to 10 internment camps—officially called “relocation centers”—in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and Arkansas. . Believe me when I say that I did not hear nor did I read a single objection at the time because the nation felt it was in deadly peril. And it was. Let me review the timeline for you because then you can understand how all of us…some who earlier criticized Roosevelt for maneuvering to get us into World War II…how all of us felt then—even me at age 13. And how the internment of the Japanese occurred without hardly a peep of protest.

Roosevelt signed the order as I said on February 19, 1942. Remember that Pearl Harbor had devastated the nation a little over two months earlier with the entire Pacific fleet sunk or seriously damaged. Here was the atmosphere surrounding the signing of the Executive Order: On January 11, 1942 Japan invaded Dutch Borneo, mor and the Celebes, seizing Kendari airbase, the finest in all the East Indies. On February 15, Singapore fell with the capture of 130,000…no not because the guns faced the wrong way but because of a foolish British dispersal of forces (Britain outnumbered Yamashita’s 30,000 with an army of 85,000). On February 27 there was the Battle of the Java Sea with the loss of the U. S. Houston with all on board perished and the loss of HMS Perth; also the Dutch vessel De Ruyter where admiral Doorman went down with his ship.

On March 10 came the fall of Rangoon; the closing of the Burma Road; the fear that India would fall. On April 5 the Indian Ocean was raided by Nagumo’s First Air fleet; on April 28 the fall of Lashio, British General William Slim and the Chinese 6th army outnumbered. On May 6 the fall of the Phillipines, the decision made to evacuate Manila, fall back of Bataan; on December 24, MacArthur moved his headquarters to Corregidor, preparatory to Japan entering Manila.

These are what the headlines blazed day after day as Roosevelt acted unconstitutionally to do what he believed was to save the United States from what he feared could be fatal subversion on the West Coast. To those civil libertarians who agonize about the internment now, I say: you were not in the United States at that time. Where was the ACLU? Quiet. So you are using 2007-style after-the-fact concern for civil liberties and applying them to 1942 extraordinary emergency conditions.

Roosevelt’s order was pushed, yes, by anti-Japanese sentiment among California farmers and by excitable newspaper headlines and news broadcasts warning that the country was in danger. Eventually the government allowed the internees to leave the internment camps if members of families enlisted in the armed forces. Only 1,200 did so which fueled further suspicion.

I report this because there is a very real possibility that terrorism may endanger the U.S. in the same manner as it appeared in 1942. Therein lies the difference between other politicians…conservative or liberal…and a politician who proved himself during the first real strike on American soil since the War of 1812. I write it so you may understand that the base of the Republican party is not going mushy or liberal—but understands that the first necessity is survival. Whether Giuliani measures up to the test politically no one can know. If he does not and someone else commands the trust of the American people, so be it (yet I cannot imagine a Democrat can given the pathetic weakness that party shows on anti-terrorism).

But understand me when I say I am cognizant…as some who did not live those days out may not…why this man Giuliani has gathered such strength at this time in the same way Roosevelt did then.

Dick Durbin’s Not Stupid…

…he just sounds that way. I mean this crack about Scooter Libby that “after all, even Paris Hilton had to go to jail.” How in the world can the second-highest ranking majority Senator allow himself to say this? Sure, certain paleos here say it but they believe in the flat earth theory anyhow…with rationale that runs erratically and counter to reality. . But someone who is supposed to be a Senate leader to say…I repeat…”after all, even Paris Hilton had to go to jail!” This ranks with his excoriating our troops to guard Gitmo, his joke that Abraham Lincoln had to be Jewish because he was shot in the temple. Will no one undertake the task of at least bringing the case against this scurrilous bum to the attention of the people—even if he were to lose? God help us all with a meathead like this representing us in the Senate.


  1. "the first real strike on American soil since the War of 1812" excluding the Civil War I would gather.


  2. I will hazard--

    "To take a little stroll downtown-"


    "I'll jump in the river and drown-"

  3. This guy is a beaut!

  4. Tom you seem so bent on carrying the water for the neo-con perspective these days, you know like the big play up for a Scooter Libby pardon. Why don't you take some time and tell us what the neo-cons have done for YOU. What have they done for your social conservative agenda which includes being against abortion and more. Tell us about all these Weekly Standard articles supporting YOUR social conservative agenda? Come on Tom DO tell us! You carry the water for dear dear neo-con Scooter.... What has Scooter done for you social conservative agenda? TOM ANSWER THIS, I implore you!

    What has dear Scooter written or done against abortion? and your other social conservative issues.

    Please tell use why you feel the need to play up to these people so much? What's in it for YOU?

  5. OK, also from memory--

    First, it's "sometimes I take a great notion..(to jump in the river and drown)," which was the inspiration for the Ken Kesey novel title, "Sometimes A Great Notion."

    Next, it's "Last Saturday night I got married..."

    Gonna take another stroll downtown.

    Now here's a follow-up...

    Stop your ramblin, stop your gamblin'/
    Stop stayin' out late at night/
    Go home to your wife and family....

    Bonus trivia point... the popular version of this song by (wait for it....) The Weavers was a Bowderized verson of the original song by....(anyone?) ...
    ...Leadbelly in which the last line of the chorus was not
    "I'll SEE you in my dreams" but
    "I'll GET you in my dreams."

  6. Why won't anyone of stature challenge Dick Durbin? I did not hear Nalepa on the radio show but he would be an excellent Senator. The contrast between the two is greater than day and night, and voters would have a real choice, instead of a Durbin-Lite candidate.

    The Doctor who is running is being set up to fail. If this is what the GOP leadership wants, McKenna should bite the bullet and run himself...people would have a lot more respect for him, even though he is somewhat ineffectual and vapid. He ran four years ago for an open seat. (At which time, JBT as committeeman had no problem endorsing him in the primary but could not endorse the sitting GOP Senator for re-election.) What is he scared of? Maybe he knows he won't get much $ from the RSCC.

    My philosophical and political leanings are obviously more like most of the commenters here, but I would vote anybody, including the likes of McKenna, over Durbin any day. And I think a lot of others would too.

  7. and so falls justification for interning American citizens.

    First off, Tom, the attack on Pearl Harbor ans the Phillipines were on territories of the US, not US states. These territories had the same relationship to the US as say Midway and Wake Islands or Johnston Atoll do today.

    Second, it was known at the time that the Japanese and the Germans each lacked strategic airlift and sealift to move any significant number of troops across the Pacific or Atlantic oceans. (Yes, for all the fearmongering about the dreaded Boch, Germany lacked this capability in WWI also.)

    We see the same fearmongering today. "Terrorists" can only follow us home from overseas if we let them.

    We're looking at a classic case of a populace who will sell out their freedoms in a heartbeat for perceived security, and big government (controlled by "our" guys) all too willing to snatch up those freedoms and exploit the "emergency" to its benefit.

  8. Is "Jeez" derived from "Jesus?"

  9. If you really want to learn who is behind Dick Durbin, ask Paul Findley, Tom. Better yet, have former congressman Paul Findley on your show, if you dare! I once asked as a caller to a talk show Dick Durbin, asked that he apologize for the "treatment" he gave Paul Findley who is a real decent guy. Obviously he did not like the question because it goes to the core of the shabby politician that he is. But then he's in with all the "cute" crowd so I suppose that makes it all OK..... After what he and his campaign did do Paul Findley, I would put Durbin on the lowest of political levels.

  10. Bowdlerized, of course. From Thomas Bowdler (1754–1825), a boyhood chum of Tom Roeser's, known for expurgating Shakespeare.