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. Funny things — July 17, 2015
  2. 40 years after — July 4, 2015
  3. An uneasy pressure — July 4, 2015
  4. Every reason to resist — June 23, 2015
  5. The Passion of George Zimmerman — June 22, 2015

Most commented posts

  1. Bane of fundamentalism — 10 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

Jul 17 2015

Funny things

Dear editor,

This is a letter about funny things. A random collection perhaps, but some readers may discern a veritable fountain of flummery, deep and wide, that flows through them all.

Funny thing about that young bigot slaughtering all those people away yonder in a Charleston church just a few weeks ago. Suddenly there’s a surge of patriotism right here in Hot Springs. Grown men and women are waving flags, honking horns, and revving engines. Loud and proud they are once … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2015/07/17/funny-things/

Jul 04 2015

40 years after

Ode to Nam on the 40th Anniversary of its End

By J. Randall O’Brien, February 15, 2015


He came home from Nam
But never made it back.
I saw him last just before
He left for the war.

We celebrated his return
His presence being our only lack.
Cheering glasses were raised
Repeatedly before

We noticed his eyes and long hair were with us
But not his mind.
After the party he walked to the Vietnam memorial
And killed … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2015/07/04/40-years-after/

Jul 04 2015

An uneasy pressure



Back in January 2014, I wrote this:

“We are told by political fundamentalists that even our America, born in the crucible of colonial tyranny long ago, must be forever held hostage by the ‘original intent’ of those powdery old white men who signed the U.S. Constitution (rumor has it, by the flickering light from a burning bush on Mount Sinai).  It’s peculiar of course, but apparently only certain fundamentalists can rightly divine original intent…”

Yesterday, a Facebook friend posted a … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2015/07/04/an-uneasy-pressure/

Jun 23 2015

Every reason to resist

In Israel, we walk amongst killers and torturers

By , Jun. 22, 2015 12:48 AM


In our homes, our streets and our places of work and entertainment, there are thousands of people who killed and tortured thousands of other people or supervised their killing and torture. I write “thousands” as a substitute for the vaguer “countless” – an expression for something that cannot be measured.

The vast majority of those who kill and torture (now as well) are proud … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2015/06/23/every-reason-to-resist/

Jun 22 2015

The Passion of George Zimmerman

We now know that Dylann Roof, the young man who murdered nine people in Charleston last week, left behind a manifesto.  And from it, we know that the killer’s Damascus-road conversion happened once he believed in the righteousness of the Passion of George Zimmerman, the Miami vigilante who gunned down a black teenager for wearing a hoodie and carrying Skittles.

But what informed his deadly opinions about the Trayvon Martin case?  Where did his virulent racism, his born-again awakening about … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2015/06/22/the-passion-of-george-zimmerman/

Jun 16 2015

Tree of liberty

A Modest Proposal

By The Observer, June 11 2015


In recognition of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s recently opining that the open carry of firearms is, as he understands it, legal now under Arkansas law as long as the person doing the carrying doesn’t intend to commit a crime, The Observer is pleased to announce the next step in the ongoing fight to preserve and defend the Right to Bear Arms: The Open Carry of Large Butcher Knives, Rusty Machetes … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2015/06/16/tree-of-liberty/

Jun 13 2015

A quiet, respectful carnival

Champagne days

By Will Stephenson, April 02, 2015



A weekend in Hot Springs. City of ghosts and cracked porcelain doorknobs. Where old-world tourism once bloomed in the shadow of the Ouachita Mountains — a place of yellowed decadence, amphibious tour buses and wax statues of recent U.S. presidents. A city whose most prized attributes are underground: the geothermal wellsprings, the much-hyped subterranean mob tunnels. Steam rises off the public fountains along Central Avenue. Men wear their sunglasses … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2015/06/13/a-quiet-respectful-carnival/

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