The Other Student

I like to write about successful past students, like former Congressman Steve Israel, but sometimes I mention the other student. There’s one in Sing-Sing (the penitentiary) and they all go to my heart, especially Penelope (not her real name). She has young children, and recently her husband divorced her — she’d been unfaithful. She is now in a mental ward, repeating again and again, “Will no man have me?”

There’s not much I can do at the distance I am from her, but I do believe in the power of prayer. This is one prayer I want answered (and I’ve had many prayers granted — not always the way I wanted). It matters not to me how many rosaries it takes (my favorite form of prayer), but that pretty young woman has to be helped.

She has to find a way to recover and raise those children. God gives us so many chances in this, our Western Civilization. An educated woman like she can get a job, can find a kind husband, can find dozens of people who will help. Sounds too easy? You haven’t seen prayer at work.

The Advisor

I’m eighty-five years old, and I don’t claim I’ve seen it all. I still have an advisor, through religion, but I know better than to say all religions are the same. The advisor comes to me through the Hebrew tradition, ending in Christianity. That religion has influenced the civilization I live in more than all the religions of the world.

The need for an advisor is illustrated by this story from my son, Paul. He and his friends had taken to cutting open some firecrackers and emptying the contents into an unused lipstick cover. Now Paul liked to go big. So one day I met him coming up from the basement with a short piece of plumbing in his hand. “What’s that for?” I asked.

“Oh, we’re using it for fire-crackers.”

“Is that right?” I was used to dealing with boys. It turned out he had emptied the contents of about fifty firecrackers into that piece of pipe and sealed both ends, with a piece of string for a fuse. “That’s a pipe-bomb,” I told him, taking it safely into my own hands. “I’m going to advise you to do nothing with that but scatter the parts separately in the garbage can.” I will say this for Paul: he did as I advised. He became more helpfully creative later when he found a job as a librarian at NY Tech, and earned a Master’s Degree.

Silent Snow

It is outside my patio door, putting a blanket of silence on the outside, much like the one that inspired the awed composer of Silent Night. That song took Europe like a slow avalanche, and the emigrants took it with them to the New World. It reminds me of the inside of a Catholic church on a Friday afternoon, deserted, when I sometimes stole into the church for a visit. (The nuns encouraged that.)

I think that laid the foundation for my survival, to everything from Nazi U-boats to the deaths of two sons. But despite it all, it came short of breaking me–I always had those prayers to sustain me, and those boys were such a joy while they lived.

In the high altitude of my early youth, my classmates sang songs about bee-like snowflakes, and celebrated St. Nicholas on December 6. There were many such quaint customs that I found commemorated in America, and no doubt all the Americas. Maybe that’s why I became so fascinated with the indigenous Americans, the all-but-forgotten Native Americans.


The letter below criticizes Pres. Obama for his economics. I don’t know if it’s accurate, but I didn’t trust Snopes. What scared me even more about Pres. Obama was his friendliness toward anti-Christian Islam, even before ISIS.

Mr. Lebron James
The Los Angeles Lakers
2275 E. Mariposa Ave.
El Segundo, CA 90245

Dear Mr. James:

No one in my circles discusses French Modernist artists. That comforts me. Such a conversation would expose me as an illiterate on French Modernism, just as I am an illiterate on cooking, and many other things.

When I know nothing on a subject, my mouth stays closed. That’s at least one difference in us. You are an economics illiterate. You prove it often. The dishonest “reporters” who cover you want to be your buddy. They won’t embarrass you by being honest journalists, and treating your words as economics illiteracy. When you call Trump “a bum”, none of them will tell you that statistics rank him as one of our best presidents for black Americans. His tax cuts and freeing us from absurd regulations have resulted in — after only 24 months — the lowest unemployment numbers EVER for Hispanic and black Americans, and one of the lowest numbers for women.


Remember during the Trump campaign when Obama mistakenly said, “What’s Trump gonna do? Wave a magic wand? These lost manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back.” Just maybe manufacturing job growth depends on a president who knows what the hell he’s doing as opposed to some smiling idiot that was nothing more than a community organizer…

As a professional journalist, I cringe at some of Trump’s buffoonery, like repeating sentences and wearing us out with “great,” “fantastic” and other empty adjectives. He is egotistical and bombastic. He was not my original candidate which just goes to show how wrong I was. But there’s no question his policies have helped many more minority Americans than Obama. It’s not even close. Today, he’s working to free many black and Hispanic prisoners who, in his opinion, have been in prison too long for relatively minor offenses. Are you aware of that effort?

You need to look up Gross Domestic Product, adjusted for inflation, and learn what it means to everyday Americans. Learn what one GDP point means to employment, and see how Trump has kept the numbers climbing.

Your buddy Obama? In addition to being our worst foreign affairs president, and worst military commander-in-chief, his economic numbers all deserved an “F.” He is our ONLY eight-year president who failed to give us at least one 3% or higher year of adjusted GDP growth. EVERY other president achieved at least one year of 4.28% or higher growth. Aided by Vietnam spending, Johnson had an 8.48 year. The best peacetime year — 7.83 — belonged to Reagan. …And Obama couldn’t even score a 3??? ..Go ahead. Look it up.

You say you would talk to Obama, but not Trump? Why? Is it because you’re a star basketball player, and you feel this God given talent elevates you above speaking to the most powerful person on the face of the earth? How tragic that your ego is so misplaced.

Obama had BY FAR the worst debt accumulation record of all our presidents in our history. His economic blunders added about $9 trillion to our debt. NO OTHER PRESIDENT EVEN CAME CLOSE That’s ALMOST as much indebtedness as ALL of the former POTUS’S combined!! This debt will fall to you, your children, and your grandchildren…

Poor families suffered most during Obama’s tenure while he & his family were on VACATION, most of his time in office, on taxpayer funds! His awful job numbers forced a record number of people to receive food stamps. Black household income under Obama fell steeply as black unemployment rose. …Oh yes, you can look that up, too.

But the worst part of what Trump inherited is that Obama, like Bush and Clinton before him, thought bribes and sweet talk were the best ways to deal with North Korea. As the North Koreans neared being able to wipe out your present area of employment, Los Angeles, with a nuclear-tipped missile, Trump became the first president to stand up boldly to this rogue nation. Have you noticed North Korea, because of Trump, has stopped launching missiles over Japan? ….Noticed; North Korea has released political prisoners?…Notice; North Korea has returned the remains of U.S. Service members? …Absent sturdy spines, Clinton, Bush, and Obama could not approach those major achievements.

Obama naively bribed the planet’s worst terrorist nation, Iran, with what was supposed to become a $150 billion handout, mostly in cash , and without notifying Congress. Did Obama not know many of those U.S. Tax dollars would help fund Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism? Of course, he did. He just wanted to appease the masses.

Remember the $800 billion of your, and everyone else’s tax dollars in his early stimulus for “shovel-ready jobs.” Most of those tax dollars went to political cronies. He handed $500 million to Solyndra, a solar company run by HIS boosters. The company soon went bankrupt. Our half-billion in tax dollars vanished with it. (And Trump can’t get 5.7 billion to build a wall to keep ALL Americans safe because he is asking to do it LEGALLY with Congress’ approval?)

Trump is often obnoxious, but people with courage often have that hang up. Obama always talked big, smiled a lot, then feebly stood by and did nothing. A perfect example was when Putin infringed on Ukraine and annexed Crimea. What did Obama do?? … Not one damned thing!!

One of Obama’s most cowardly moves came when he warned Assad not to cross “the red line” in Syria . When Obama’s warning was ignored, which Assad knew would happen, Obama once again did nothing. Now please Mr. James, be honest.. If this happened with Trump in charge, do you really think this action would have occurred without some retaliation?? …Hopefully, you’re not that naive.

It makes me sad that you, as someone with a national voice would be so ignorant of economics, and also presidential decisions. I encourage you to do more reading and thinking as you watch the nation’s GDP numbers improve, and minority employment rise.

Read about “Right To Try,” which frees terminally ill people to sign a lawsuit waiver, and take an experimental drug that might not be approved for many years. Democrats fought this sensible plan for years because it would cost them HUGE donations from the drug industry.

In order to become at least somewhat intelligently informed, Mr. James, why don’t you read about a Navy that Obama left to Trump that struggled with almost half its carrier aircraft unsafe to fly.

…Read about Trump’s giving the VA the right to fire any employee who neglects or abuses a patient.

…Read about Trump’s courage in challenging, actually demanding that, NATO partners begin to pay their fair share rather than keep mooching off the U.S.

…You might also read the wisdom of two of the world’s brightest people, black intellectuals Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter Williams. They have written numerous books. Sowell and Williams’ integrity, remarkable insights, and clarity of expression cause their common sense to soar off the page to readers, both BLACK and white I might add.

Or, you could ignore vital Trump decisions, and remain an illiterate on both presidential achievement and economics. If you disdain knowledge, and keep calling Trump or any other U.S. president a bum, YOUR word; other people with normal intelligence might actually begin to wonder who the real bum is with a bigger mouth than Trump’s!

Sincerely, Hal Lundgren

This article took some backbone to write.. Every fact listed in this letter is verifiable, but alas, the people who should really read it will probably never do so, and will blindly go on thinking and believing whatever pulp news is fed to them via the liberal media, and will still vote for the so called “free stuff” until the money runs out. When reality hits them in the face, and their pocketbook they will wonder what the hell happened…..And you can be sure, they’ll NEVER believe the truth and how wrong socialism is even with Venezuela a prime example at this very moment…..We have fallen to a level I never believed possible in my lifetime. So sad!! Just one person’s opinion?

, or

A Different John

In this time of Advent, I couldn’t resist these lyrics by Francis O’Brien:

At the banks along the Jordan
Crying out: “Prepare the way”;
Washing sinners in the waters,
Calling all to God’s new day;
Who is this in beggar’s clothing,
Feasting on the desert’s fare?
Is creation’s plan unfolding
In the prophet’s haunting stare?
Could this be the bless’d Messiah?
Could this be the chosen One?
No, this is the final herald
Preparing all to meet God’s Son.
“I baptize you here with water,
But there’s one whom you must seek;
He baptizes in the Spirit,
Raising up the poor, the weak.


There is so much to keep us from being arrogant, especially before our Creator, and one of these we know so little about, though it consumes one third of our lives. Sleep, what does it do to construct the brains of our little ones, and to rationalize our own?

Every mother knows that without sleep her child becomes unmanageable. Every biologist knows that without sleep his charges — mice, hamsters, or what have you?– will die. Researchers, though they know sleep is reconstructive, have also classified the types of human sleep into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, during which we dream, and non-REM sleep.

There is an ideal amount of sleep for each person. Each person relates to night, the best time for it, according to the body’s schedule (circadian clock) which may be different from yours. Some people feel sleepy as early as 7:30 p.m., but will automatically wake up at 4:30 a.m.

Sleep well, because that’s how you function best. That may take a little accommodation, but it’s well worth it.

New Discovery

A Hungarian physicist, with a name unpronounceable in English (sorry), has just discovered a fifth force at work in the universe. Up to now there were four to which all forces could be reduced:

1.  gravitational force;
2. electromagnetic force;
3. strong nuclear force;
4. weak nuclear force.

The fifth force is one that is what they call photophobic, or fleeing light. As such, it may be related to the dark matter that fills the universe but so far has escaped analysis.

It is amazing how in recent times, knowledge that used to be hidden has seemingly been permitted by the Creator to be uncovered. First was evolution, Darwin’s great discovery, which showed the method of creation. Now we are being permitted to view the particles of the atom, starting with the Higgs boson. We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.