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. A holy harangue — April 24, 2016
  2. Seriously — April 20, 2016
  3. Trump is wrong and Jeb was right — March 3, 2016
  4. Religious ideology is a tool — March 1, 2016
  5. We humans hang on to our symbols — February 21, 2016

Most commented posts

  1. Bane of fundamentalism — 10 comments
  2. Climate change in Arkansas — 8 comments
  3. Some powerfully stupid stuff — 7 comments
  4. Oh brother where art thou? — 6 comments
  5. When dead birds fly — 5 comments

Author's posts listings

Apr 24 2016

A holy harangue



Franklin Graham made a recent appearance in Little Rock.  The Arkansas Times described it this way:

He preached against godless politics; advocated more church in government (particularly installation of more Ten Commandments monuments on public ground) and claimed to be proclaiming no partisan interests while repeating standard Republican Party talking points — anti-gay, anti-abortion and so forth. He also preached against materialism — curious  message from a man making $880,000 a year, a lot of it from a [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2016/04/24/a-holy-harangue/

Apr 20 2016


When religious liberty demands cease to be legitimate

By Amy Butler, April 19, 2016


I think most Americans, even non-religious Americans, are on board with the idea of religious liberty — in the abstract. But like so many of the things we hold dear, what sounds great in theory becomes deeply complicated when the “rights” we cling to individually begin to conflict.

All of us have been watching news reports of contentious legal claims unfolding almost every day … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2016/04/20/seriously-2/

Mar 03 2016

Trump is wrong and Jeb was right



It is disappointing that the Hot Springs Sentinel Record routinely allows such malevolent prejudice to be printed. This particularly odious letter by Larry Bauer was published yesterday, Wednesday March 2, 2016 CE.

Muslims have been in America ever since they were brought over here as slaves. High time for Mr. Bauer and his fellow bigots to get over themselves. Had George W. Bush’s perfect storm of colossal intelligence failures (that culminated in 9-11) not ended so tragically, they’d have … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2016/03/03/trump-is-wrong-and-jeb-was-right/

Mar 01 2016

Religious ideology is a tool

Why the Arabs Don’t Want Us in Syria

By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., February 22, 2016


In part because my father was murdered by an Arab, I’ve made an effort to understand the impact of U.S. policy in the Mideast and particularly the factors that sometimes motivate bloodthirsty responses from the Islamic world against our country. As we focus on the rise of the Islamic State and search for the source of the savagery that took so many innocent … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2016/03/01/religious-ideology-is-a-tool/

Feb 21 2016

We humans hang on to our symbols

Meditation on My Home in Lebanon

By Frances Fuller, 21st February 2016


I made a mistake in my book. Let’s just say that I was wrong. In the epilogue of In Borrowed Houses I said that the little stone house around which my whole story revolves would outlive all of us. My actual words were: “It will be there when everyone who remembers this story is gone.” With so much confidence I said that. After all, its walls were built … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2016/02/21/we-humans-hang-on-to-our-symbols/

Feb 15 2016

The world according to Webster



The world according to Webster… In the following 2/12/2016 letter to the Hot Springs Sentinel Record, Brother Lloyd cherry-picks his nefarious See?! See?!!! example countries just like his “facts” — no mention of Canada, England, Norway, France, Sweden, etc., etc.

Makes you wonder how the definition of “stupid” reads in Webster’s Dictionary…

— Brother Jack (Jacques d’Nalgar)


Dear editor:

It really hasn’t been too far back in time in which the overwhelming majority of Americans regarded … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2016/02/15/the-world-according-to-webster/

Jan 18 2016

Once upon a time



What follows is an email conversation that occurred between 2002 and 2007, when I first launched the ill-fated Mission: Meeting website.  Since there is renewed interest in a similar venture, perhaps made more urgent because (1) so little has changed, and 2) so many extraordinary eyewitnesses to the humanity of the “Holy Land” are of a generation that is, ironically, leaving us behind, I am sharing this now in the hope that it might breathe new life into an … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2016/01/18/once-upon-a-time-2/

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