Monsieur Jacques d'Nalgar

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 preachers, missionaries and educators. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where his father was a school headmaster for more than 30 years (and before 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 15-year nightmare began in earnest. Most reputable historians do not associate the onset of that tragic conflict with his departure. He returned for a visit in 1978, three years into the civil war. His right eye still occasionally twitches as a result. After 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 Fries” 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 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 once defined his religious confession as Zen Baptist, a burgeoning movement (of one) within the Southern Baptist Convention seeking to reclaim the mantle of Christian orthodoxy from fevered fundamentalists just itching for Armageddon. When evangelicals embraced the tangerine wankmaggot Trump and rejected Jesus, the futility of his quest was apparent. He abandoned the family faith and embraced Episcopalians' peculiar cocktail of ancient traditions and progressive inclusion. 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. What we should be talking about — 9 comments
  4. Climate change in Arkansas — 8 comments
  5. Funny things — 7 comments

Author's posts

What if?

It’s Sunday, October 8, and I’ve been reading letters and opinions in today’s paper.  One side is right.  Everyone else is wrong.  I’ve also been thinking all day about the tragedy last week at the Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania… If the Amish had responded as America did after September 11, they would have immediately burned …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2006/10/08/what-if/

Muslim and American?

For several months now, a provocative question-and-answer (Q&A) essay has been circulating on the Internet and by e-mail.  The essay asks the question “Can a good Muslim be a good American?” and then emphatically answers “NO!” A few days ago, the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) offered its position on each of the points raised …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2006/08/29/muslim-and-american/

How do I love thee?

  Yesterday morning (April 27, 2006), Democratic Congressman from Illinois Rahm Emanuel asked and was given permission to address the House for one minute.  Mr. Emanuel said, “Mr. Speaker, investigators have recently uncovered a letter from the Republican leadership to special interest lobbyists.”  He then read the following letter: Dear Lobbyists, How do I love …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2006/04/28/how-do-i-love-thee/

Shock & awe

Shocked!  World leaders are “shocked” by the outcome of the Palestinian democratic elections.  Cable TV’s faux news experts are breathlessly analyzing “what it all means” when people half a world away won’t vote the way we want them to… Let’s  see if we can break it down:  With great fanfare and general acclamation (by those same …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2006/02/05/shock-and-awe/

Political catechism

I had always wondered how our nation’s founders (terrorist insurgents that they were) argued the merits of their rebellion to a profoundly Christian population, so I did a little Googling on the subject.  Turns out to still be a pretty hot topic (732,000 hits).  Anyway, I came across an interesting essay at http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/search/detail.php?ResourceID=40.  Near the end …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2005/12/30/political-catechism/

Lines, lines, everywhere lines

I noticed the other day that the border between Israel and the Sinai is not a straight line.  About halfway across, between Gaza and Aqaba, the border has a couple of protrusions into the Egyptian side (there are other places, but these are the most noticeable).  Does anyone know the history of how this border …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2005/12/10/lines-lines-everywhere-lines/

The dead and the mutilated

From Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter’s December 7 lecture:  The 2,000 American dead are an embarrassment.  They are transported to their graves in the dark. Funerals are unobtrusive, out of harm’s way.  The mutilated rot in their beds, some for the rest of their lives.  So the dead and the mutilated both rot, in different kinds …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2005/12/09/the-dead-and-the-mutilated/