The Works of Philo
The Hebrew Scriptures were known only to the Jews until the king of Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphus, arranged for their translation into Greek, the common language of Egypt, Syria, and Judea of that day. The Jewish historian Josephus, a contemporary of Philo, gives an account of how these books of the Old Testament came to be translated. King Ptolemy offered in exchange for their translation one hundred talents in gold, twenty flasks wrought of gold, thirty flasks of silver, five large basins of gold, and a table for the show-bread, which was made of solid gold, and which was three feet long, one and a half feet wide, and two feet high. This amounted to about U.S. $2 million, an offer that Eleazar, the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, graciously accepted.
Dec 14, 2014 - 12:25:20 AM
Pollyanna Sees the Light
We ought to leave aside our preconceived notions about the name "Pollyanna." It is after all a name we call those who are persistently and annoyingly optimistic. The movie is quite different from the book by the same name by Eleanor H. Porter. Rather than teaching the virtue of positive thinking, Pollyanna in the movie challenges her fellow man to think on a higher level. Adopted by a rich aunt, and given a home in a palatial mansion, Pollyanna is a living example of the virtues of simplicity and poverty. She softens the stern preaching of her village pastor with a message of Christian charity. She urges her neighbors to see in every setback, illness, and disappointment the opportunity to find something good; and this she calls "the Glad Game."
Nov 23, 2014 - 12:07:34 AM
The movie Alien, as does the best science fiction, retells certain familiar stories from the Bible. Non- believers reject the truth of the Bible, but they are moved when they see that same truth portrayed in cinematic form. The battle in the heavens shown in Alien is a retelling of the enmity between woman and the Devil as set forth in the Book of Genesis:
Nov 19, 2014 - 12:30:31 AM
"Who Killed Love?" Part II
In Part I of this article, Fritz Spencer stated that "Movies influence our perception of reality, and nowhere is this influence greater - for good or evil - than when it forms our perception of what it means to be a man or woman." He then asks: "Why is lust now considered more important than love?" Part II commences with Mr. Spencer's observations about how the 'Loss of Romantic Love' has influenced America.
Dec 18, 2010 - 12:16:15 AM
"Who Killed Love?" Part I
Certainly, it sounds strange to hear someone say that America is gone. You might object by saying, "But look at highways, our mighty institutions, our government!" But these are outward forms, and a nation is above all known by its soul. I am not the first to say our civilization has vanished. The poet Ezra Pound said, "All that is left of our civilization is a few hundred broken statues and a thousand battered books." That is a poet's way of saying that the soul of the nation can be found only in a few surviving relics. But we have a better way to revisit this vanished civilization.
Dec 16, 2010 - 12:33:31 AM
Twelve Signs of Impending Social Collapse
The twelve warning signs listed below are compiled from ancient historians who recorded how nations gradually descend into hopeless corruption, revolution, and civil war.
Oct 28, 2010 - 12:17:42 AM
Seven Hours to Zero: The Bells of Nagasaki
These two outstanding books leave us with many puzzling questions. Do atrocities by a cruel enemy justify similar or worse atrocities on our part? How does one justify the incineration of entire cities, a crime which in terms of the numbers of victims and the cruelty of the act, exceeds the worst barbarities of recorded history?
Apr 4, 2010 - 12:25:29 AM
A Lesson in Courage
The need for civil courage - the courage to speak out when all are against you - is as great as the need for physical courage.
Mar 9, 2010 - 12:15:51 AM
City for Conquest
The "Conquest of the City" is an emotionally - rewarding movie which reveals the truth that Americans now labor under an alien, materialist ideology.
Mar 7, 2010 - 5:32:38 AM
Nicholas and Alexandra
The martyrdom of the Russian people will forever have a symbol in the death of the Romanovs. The execution of the Russian imperial family at the hands of the Bolsheviks makes a tragic ending to the film Nicholas and Alexandra, a historical drama called "the last of the epics."
Feb 13, 2010 - 3:48:29 AM
Nature, Mother of Invention by Felix Paturi
Indeed, the title of the book was originally, "The Genial Engineers of Nature, How Plants are Technologically Superior." But it would be a mistake to recommend the book merely as a compilation of natural curiosities.
Jan 30, 2010 - 12:20:45 AM
We Americans aspire to a carefree life, a life which finds it meaning in the pursuit of money and pleasure. Indeed, many of our countrymen think of life as a non-stop party.
Dec 27, 2009 - 12:10:49 AM
Vigil in the Night
As for the movie being unrealistic, it should be remembered that the screenplay was based on a novel by A.J. Cronin, a physician turned novelist.
Dec 7, 2009 - 1:56:11 AM
Two Stories for Children
That America has fallen so far to allow such a movie to be shown to children is another matter. But what is the political significance of these two stories?
Nov 13, 2009 - 12:20:02 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: Blood and Sand
Longfellow once called a man who could speak up against popular opinion 'a brave man' and 'a man of pluck and courage.' How much more courageous is the man who risks death to defend the right! We will all need courage in the coming days, as an out-of-control government edges closer to tyranny. Death is, of course, the supreme test of courage and fortitude, and the willingness to stand for principle.
May 14, 2009 - 10:04:45 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: The Voyage of Forgotten Men
A wise philosopher once said that books are the true wealth of mankind. If so, then the pastime of browsing through an old bookstore is like a search for hidden treasure. The glossier and finer a book looks, the less it is likely to be worth. The best books are often the ones that are the most worn, or that have been carefully wrapped in a plain paper cover and tucked away in a dusty corner.
May 13, 2009 - 11:04:52 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: The Night of the Hunter
Euclid the Geometrician once met King Ptolemy in one of the shining white palaces that adorned the ancient city of Alexandria. The king was eager to know the mathematician's system, and he asked, without thinking, if there were a shortcut to learning Euclid's many theorems and postulates. "Sire," the great mathematician answered, "There is no royal road to learning."
Apr 20, 2009 - 5:17:04 PM
Old Embers for New Torches: Dangerous
Hollywood has a perverse genius for subverting moral values, and this genius is nowhere more apparent than in its miscasting of characters. Just as Hollywood fails to understand certain moral values, it has a lack of understanding of that which drives and illuminates any movie role - the human personality.
Apr 2, 2009 - 11:18:13 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: My Man Godfrey
With crime out-of-control, broken borders, and no-good-nicks doling out trillions of dollars to millions of deadbeats, some of us are feeling down in the dumps. Many millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Millions more face home foreclosure. Others are scraping by to buy food or badly-needed medicine. Still others are being turned out into the street.
Mar 19, 2009 - 5:34:26 PM
Old Embers for New Torches: The Marxist Minstrels - A Handbook on Communist Subversion of Music
After moving into my new office last year, I discovered a campaign button, left behind by a dedicated conservative political activist who now works for pro-family and pro-life causes in Augusta. Few campaign buttons express thoughts of lasting value, but this impressive button displays the remarkable observation by the philosopher Schopenhauer regarding the fate of ideas in democratic society. The button reads "All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as being self evident."
Mar 6, 2009 - 10:42:12 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: The Lost Weekend
Those in search of a trivia question about Hollywood could not possibly hope to top the following: "Which actress, the ex-wife of an American president, was buried in a nun's habit?" The actress of course was Jane Wyman. When very young, Wyman suffered the loss of her father, a day laborer, and was then abandoned by her impoverished mother, and placed in the care of foster parents. By all accounts, her new parents were cold and harsh disciplinarians, and her childhood was quite miserable.
Feb 17, 2009 - 2:47:56 PM
Old Embers for New Torches: A Tale of Two Cities
The start of a new year is naturally a time for speculating on what the future holds. Most commentators agree that the coming year will bring a deepening economic crisis. One Russian academic has even predicted that America will be plunged into a second civil war, and shattered into six regions. This of course, is one possible outcome of the Obama revolution, and the counter-revolution which must inevitably follow.
Jan 1, 2009 - 7:34:58 PM
Old Embers for New Torches: Movie Review: Heidi
The world of darkness wars incessantly against the world of light, never more so than at Christmas. As the day commemorating the birth of Our Saviour approaches, the media will focus on quarrels, shootings, knifings, and economic collapse. People will stand in long lines while surly customers hand plastic cards to scowling shop girls to buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, for people who don't care.
Dec 16, 2008 - 11:25:29 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: The Searchers
John Wayne was the iconic American hero, a tower of strength, a paragon of individualism and unflinching dedication to God and country. So important was the Duke to the cause of American conservatism, that the Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, tried to have him killed. The Duke always maintained that two Soviet agents were dispatched from Moscow to assassinate him on the set of the film "Hondo." Nikita Khruschev told Wayne personally in 1958 that he cancelled the order; and recently disclosed documents from secret Soviet archives prove that Stalin did indeed plan to kill John Wayne.
Dec 4, 2008 - 1:15:05 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: The Green Promise
Like Solomon before him, Christ was a close observer of the world of sunlight and meadow. He used each flower and each blade of grass to draw the eye of man from earth to Heaven, towards the doctrines of His kingdom. If an idea was remote and obscure, He would show His listeners a picture from their daily lives. Galilee being both a garden spot and a place of many farms, He illustrated His deepest teachings with scenes of wheat fields, vineyards, and threshing floors. And sometimes He used strange paradoxes. How does a man gain his life if he loses it? How does a seed live only if it falls to the ground and dies?
Nov 25, 2008 - 4:54:22 PM
Old Embers for New Torches: Roosevelt's Road to Russia
The recovery of lost or forbidden knowledge is a theme which enables science fiction writers to produce useful insights into contemporary society. In the movie The Time Machine, the hero digs through the ruins of the New York Public Library to find the reason why society is running backwards. In Fahrenheit 451, a government agent, equipped with a book-burning apparatus, is enlightened by the same works of politics and philosophy the government sends him to burn.
Nov 3, 2008 - 3:10:38 PM
Old Embers for New Torches: Shadows
Rows of sturdy sunflowers, adding green and gold to our gardens in Maine, are a common enough sight. These spectacular products of nature merit closer inspection, however, since they are truly one of the overlooked miracles of life. Their seeds are laid out in an intricate and mathematically precise pattern, and the design of their stalks and leaves are marvels of engineering. But this is not the most astonishing aspect of the sunflower. The sunflower, along with the flowering trees, holds the same position in the plant kingdom that man holds in the animal kingdom. That is, of all the plants, they are the most-highly developed. In children's tales, these cheerful beings with trunks, limbs, and a round leafy top take on the shape of men and speak. How very strange that their form resembles a man!
Oct 21, 2008 - 11:38:37 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: Penny Serenade
Anyone who sees through Hollywood's mystifying pretense of "popular entertainment" and discovers what really lies at its rotten core - a sinister preoccupation with, and promotion of the darker side of human existence - may easily conclude that modern day moviemakers are not concerned with values at all. They would be mistaken. Although Hollywood continues to heap trash on the heads of the movie-going public, those who control what we see and hear are careful not to offend certain core values indispensable for their own survival.
Oct 3, 2008 - 11:51:21 PM
Old Embers for New Torches: A Deeper Look at Gone with Wind
An ardent teetotaler, I once sat discussing the movies with a group of very bright young lawyers at Bull Feeney's Tavern in Portland. The subject of the movies naturally occurred to us since Bull Feeney was none other than John Martin Feeney, a Mainer born in Cape Elizabeth who, as John Ford, went on to become America's greatest director.
Sep 25, 2008 - 11:19:49 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: The Cypresses Believe in God
Outside the city of Madrid, in a place called The Valley of the Fallen, stands the largest cross in the world. Visitors on the esplanade below gaze up to a granite cross that weighs two hundred thousand tons and towers one thousand feet over their heads. The colossal scale of the monument is fitting, since it stands for the sacrifice of half a million Spaniards who perished in the Spanish Civil War.
Sep 11, 2008 - 10:19:03 AM
Old Embers for New Torches: Rose-Marie
Just as New York and Los Angeles are centers of popular culture today, Maine was once home to the most popular singers and songwriters in America. Rudy Vallee of Westbrook, and his popular The Maine Stein Song, is one example. Less well known is Lillian Nordica, a native of Farmington who went on to gain worldwide fame as an opera singer.
Aug 30, 2008 - 9:46:37 PM
Old Embers for New Torches: Satan Never Sleeps
Every Easter, Christmas, or St. Patrick's Day we are sure to see one of Leo McCarey's films on TV. He is best known for his heart-warming movies on religious themes, movies such as The Bells of St. Mary's and Going My Way. McCarey's film An Affair to Remember is the most sensitive and profound treatment of romantic love that ever came out of Hollywood, and will be the subject of a separate "Old Embers" column at a later date.
Aug 14, 2008 - 10:31:39 AM