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.

Most commented posts

  1. Bane of fundamentalism — 10 comments
  2. An obituary — 10 comments
  3. Climate change in Arkansas — 8 comments
  4. Some powerfully stupid stuff — 7 comments
  5. Funny things — 7 comments

Author's posts

Oh doctor! An analogy scorned…

The Trump analogy

Dear editor:

Here’s a make-believe but often real nightmare scenario: You have just received the terrible and terrifying news, “You have cancer.” After biopsying your mass, your surgeon wants to refer you to a medical oncologist (a cancer treatment specialist). Many are available in your area. He then asks you, “Do you want a medical oncologist with a good bedside manner who is barely competent and will probably not successfully treat your cancer? Or do you want … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2018/08/17/oh-doctor-an-analogy-scorned/

Circular No. 3591

Dear editor,

 

Time for another letter of random (or not) non-sequiturs…

Like most Americans, you probably think slavery ended with the Civil War.  Fact is, especially here in the South, freed slaves often found themselves subjected to conditions of forced labor little different from slavery.  Real emancipation didn’t begin to happen until FDR’s Attorney General announced Circular No. 3591 on December 12, 1941.

Imagine, only five days after Pearl Harbor, an AG was taking care “of the least of … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2018/08/12/circular-no-3591/

Which 9-11?

Dear editor,

One final observation, one final broadside against our balmy Benghazi! bellowers…  It is exceedingly curious that they fixate their wrath only upon the 9-11 of 2012, when four white Americans died in the violent anarchy of a civil war that we actively participated in.  No matter that it also killed tens of thousands of Libyans.  Libyans were neither white nor Christian.  To navel-gazing Americans, their deaths were inconsequential.

Curious that the 9-11 of 2001 is barely mentioned any … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2018/07/22/which-9-11/

Vinegar will work just fine

Privileged civility

By Autumn Tolbert, June 29, 2018

 

By now, we have all seen take after take from journalists and politicians about the events last Friday night at the Red Hen in Lexington, Va., where White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the restaurant after the owner and the staff decided they did not want to serve her. This came just days after Sanders explained that the Bible supported separating children from their parents … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2018/07/05/vinegar-will-work-just-fine/

Puppet-theater Burlesque

Dear editor:

On September 11, 2012, four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya. Ever since, their fog-of-war deaths have been fodder for a macabre, puppet-theater burlesque of right-wing propaganda. Contrarians may wax poetic with fanciful exaggerations, but the dead did not “come home in wooden boxes.” As it has been for decades, their remains were respectfully returned to Dover Air Force Base in flag-draped metal containers.

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton were there when the plane landed. Here is … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2018/07/04/puppet-theater-burlesque/

In your name

If

By Arkansas Times’ “The Observer” (David Koon), June 14, 2018

 

If you can, cast your mind back to when you were very young and recall what it felt like to be separated from your mother and father. Not just playing in the yard or another part of the house, but truly, even for a moment, lost. Recall the vice crush of panic in your chest.

If you were ever a parent, remember the feeling of being in a … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2018/06/20/in-your-name/

A funk of fundamentalists

 

Dear editor:

Ah, dearly beloved, ‘tis no earthly pleasure can compare to the sweet caress of gentle enlightenment! But when ye write, use not vain repetitions, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking (with apologies to Matthew 6:7 and the KJV). Verily, we beseech thee to keep thy blithering succinct.

Yea, it doth seem that Donald J. Trump loveth America and God, probably in that order, yet there is one he surely loveth above … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2018/06/17/a-funk-of-fundamentalists/