Author's details

Date registered: June 13, 2010


Monsieur Jacques d’Nalgar is a working curmudgeon with a cat-killing curiosity in politics, religion, history, and other manifestations of irrational human behavior. He resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas, a semi-autonomous region of the United States (a waning political experiment on the third planet of a minor solar system in a remote corner of the Milky Way galaxy), with his wife and other assorted wildlife.

Jacques is a son and grandson of Baptist missionaries and educators. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where his father was a school headmaster for more than 30 years (and prior to that, a B-17 navigator in the last months of WW2). He grew up in the Middle East during the turbulent 50s, 60s, and 70s, but left just before Lebanon’s nightmare 15-year civil war began in earnest. Most reputable historians do not associate the onset of that tragic conflict with his departure.

After attending college in Oklahoma and working for a large oilfield servicing company now forever identified with the dark lord Dick Cheney, he moved his family to Hot Springs in 1994. Jacques spends most of his time reading, blogging under a barely-disguised snotty “Freedom” pseudonym, and staring at the sun. He works tirelessly for the OAFS (Obsessive Alliteration-Fondness Syndrome) Foundation, as both its only benefactor and sole beneficiary.

Jacques’ political pilgrimage has meandered across much of the left-right continuum. Once a staunch conservative (by all the standard litmus tests), he found himself suddenly adrift when the rest of the country lurched hard-right after 9-11. He is a frequent critic of our national love affair with wars, rampant nationalism in general, and the resurgent, xenophobic frenzy that masquerades as patriotism.

He defines his religious confession as Zen Baptist, a burgeoning movement (of one) within the Southern Baptist Convention that is seeking to reclaim the mantle of Christian orthodoxy from fevered fundamentalists just itching for Armageddon. Monsieur d’Nalgar may be reached by sending him your questions telepathically, or by sending him money. He prefers the latter.

Latest posts

  1. Finding Hitler — April 16, 2014
  2. 66 years ago today — April 10, 2014
  3. The power to fashion their fate — March 23, 2014
  4. Backfire effect — March 7, 2014
  5. Nationalistic religion, homophobia and sexism — March 3, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. Bane of fundamentalism — 9 comments
  2. Climate change in Arkansas — 8 comments
  3. Some powerfully stupid stuff — 7 comments
  4. When dead birds fly — 5 comments
  5. Southern weed rewind — 5 comments

Author's posts listings

Apr 16 2014

Finding Hitler


Can you spot Adolf Hitler in this class of 10 year-olds?  Here’s a hint: think about the type of can-do assertive personality we Americans idolize in our athletes, businessmen, and politicians…


Photograph from the exhibition catalog: Hans-Ulrich Thamer and Simone Erpel. “Hitler und die Deutschen: Volksgemein- schaft und Verbrechen”. Sandstein Verlag, im Auftrag der Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Dresden, 2010. ISBN 9783942422109.… [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2014/04/16/finding-hitler/

Apr 10 2014

66 years ago today

Remembering Deir Yassin


On April 9 1948, fighters from the Irgun Zevai Leumi and Lohamei Herut Israel Zionist paramilitary groups attacked Deir Yassin near Jerusalem, a Palestinian village of roughly 600 people.  Around 107 villagers were killed during and afte…r the battle for the village, including women and children — some were shot, while others died when hand grenades were thrown into their homes.  Several villagers were taken prisoner and may have been killed after being paraded through the … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2014/04/10/66-years-ago-today/

Mar 23 2014

The power to fashion their fate

Despite the cruelties heaped on them, Palestinian refugees’ spirit has not broken

By , Friday 21 March 2014 14.17 EDT


The only thing heard nowadays about the majority of the Palestinian people – those made refugees in the Nakba of 1948 – is that they must consider themselves and their fate entirely forfeited. Surrendering their right to return to the place they were expelled from – the most basic right every refugee has under international law – … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2014/03/23/the-power-to-fashion-their-fate/

Mar 07 2014

Backfire effect

Here Are 5 Infuriating Examples of Facts Making People Dumber

By , Wed Mar. 5, 2014 3:00 AM GMT



On Monday, I reported on the latest study to take a bite out of the idea of human rationality. In a paper just published in Pediatrics, Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth University and his colleagues showed that presenting people with information confirming the safety of vaccines triggered a “backfire effect,” in which people who already distrusted vaccines … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2014/03/07/backfire-effect/

Mar 03 2014

Nationalistic religion, homophobia and sexism

Putin’s ‘Holy Russia’ Goes to War

By Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, 03/02/2014 7:52 pm EST


What do you get when you combine ultra-nationalist religious and political conservatism along with homophobia and sexism?  Some might say you get the Tea Party in the United States, but today that is the toxic mix that is fueling Vladimir Putin’s militaristic moves against the people of Ukraine.

In other words, Pussy Riot is right. The lyrics of this Russian feminist, punk … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2014/03/03/nationalistic-religion-homophobia-and-sexism/

Mar 03 2014

Well, blow me down!

Were it not for the French, Hezbollah would all be Syrians fighting on their own government’s side inside their own country

By Robert Fisk, Sunday 2 March 2014


Borders are becoming a bit odd in the Middle East. They always have been, of course. Ever since Mark Sykes and François Georges Picot – the latter a former French consul in Beirut, by the way, who cost a lot of brave Lebanese their lives by his carelessness in sealing their … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2014/03/03/well-blow-me-down/

Mar 03 2014

You don’t have to listen

Don’t listen to Obama’s Ukraine critics: he’s not ‘losing’ – and it’s not his fight

By , Monday 3 March 2014 12.19 EST


In the days since Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops into the Crimea, it has been amateur hour back in Washington.

I don’t mean Barack Obama. He’s doing pretty much everything he can, with what are a very limited set of policy options at his disposal. No, I’m talking about the people who won’t stop … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2014/03/03/you-dont-have-to-listen/

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