The Saturday Evening Post: End of Year Edition

I hope you all are having a blessed Christmas season.  Gailina and I did.  (By the way, thank you for your well-wishes on the recent story she wrote on the Indiana List.  That was most kind of you.)

So, here’s the deal:  it’s become well-nigh impossible for me to keep up with the news.  Seriously, I can hardly find the time to read the on-line sources.  What’s even worse, I barely have time to answer your comments (worthy as they are). 

There’s been nothing short of an avalanche of momentous happenings throughout 2023.  If anything, the news (mostly bad) has only accelerated.  It’s been fast and furious. 

So that’s why I’ve decided to (hopefully) take the end of each week to go over the news and some of your comments via podcast form.  Hence, the title.  I hope this meets with your approval.*

Anyway, here’s a smattering of the news of the week that came to our attention. I hope you enjoy it! 

O Little Town of Bethlehem (1’7″)

There’s no way to sugar coat this.  We are seeing a live action genocide in Gaza.  On Christmas, just four days ago, it spilled over into the town of Bethlehem, where our Lord and Savior was born.  This is nothing less than an atrocity and it has blackened the name of Israel. 


Frankie Goes to Hollywood (5’10”)

OK,  I wanted to use “Frankie Screws the Pooch” as a working title instead but I thought better of it.  Regardless, that’s what Pope Francis did.  He stepped in it big time.  For some reason, we are supposed to believe that he’s not blessing same-sex unions just the two people who are in that union.  A blessing but not a blessing.  I guess.  My worry is the thunderous silence coming out of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  


Trump Continues to Dominate the News (9’45”)

What can I say?  The more things they throw at him, the higher he rises in the polls.  The Uniparty has decided that they have to destroy democracy in order to save democracy.  I guess. 


Rome, the Visigoths and Dick Durbin (12’16”)

Sen Dick Durbin (D-IL) said the quiet part out loud.  My answer to His Excellency:  how’d that work out for Rome?


Comments Answered, Questions Raised (17’07”)

This is the part where I try to answer some of your comments, questions, and observations (at least those that intrigued me).  And finally, 


What Can We Look Forward to in 2024? (19’40”)

The Good, the Bad, and the Hopeful.

So here is my commentary!  

*The times for each section are posted by the titles.


  1. Not strictly-speaking “This Week” but:
    IBM rewrites the Ten Commandments

    Tucker Carlson and James O’Keefe discuss IBM’s internal “10 commandments”

    [Video – 00:52]

    When they rewrite the Creed, will they consult
    with Pope Francis and/or Patriarch Bartholomew?
    Or will Yuval Noah Trotsky do it on his own?

    Part II – IBM [non-]Response

    James O’Keefe Exposes IBM CEO

    [Video – 03:18]

  2. George Michalopulos says

    Not even 12 hours after I posted this video, specifically the prediction that the 2024 election may be “postponed,” I got this in my email:

    Homeland Security as been wargaming such an event for quite some time now.

  3. Yes, we are in a bad spot.

  4. Has Bartholomew said anything at all about Gaza?

  5. Happy New Year to Everyone!

    Dougie Maclean: Auld Lang Syne

    [Video – 03:52]

    Robert Burns | Auld Lang Syne

  6. Sometimes a Committee gets it right:

    Dougie Maclean & Guests – Caledonia

    [Video – 05:32]

  7. PS: In case you don’t know who Dougie Maclean is,
    you may have seen the film The Last of the Mohicans.
    Dougie composed the main theme. Here he plays it:

    [Video – 04:51]

  8. William Harris | “Sounding Brass” and Hellenistic Technology

    Ancient acoustical device clarifies Paul’s well-known metaphor

    ‘ No New Testament passage is better known than Chapter 13 of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Its singular lyrical felicity and its insistence upon love differentiates it from the often practical and pragmatic side of Paul’s mind.

    This ode to love begins (in the King James Version):

    “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.”

    In modern translations we sometimes find “noisy gong” instead of “sounding brass.” The Jerusalem Bible has a “gong booming:”

    “If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or cymbal clashing.”

    In the original Greek the words for “sounding brass” or “noisy gong” are chalkos echon; a “cymbal clashing” is kumbalon alalazon.

    The cymbalon or kumbalon was a well-known musical instrument of the period. Alalazon is an onomatopoetic word which means re-sounding. It is used several times in the third-century B.C. Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. So we have no difficulty in accepting the translation of a cymbal clashing or clanging or even tinkling.

    The other Greek phrase, chalkos echon, translated as “sounding brass” or “noisy gong,” is more difficult. …

    My own search of the lexical materials reveals that nowhere is the phrase chalkos echon found as a musical instrument in the Hellenistic world. The noun chalkos is used to describe a wide variety of objects cast from the copper-tin alloy called bronze or brass—armor, knives, cauldrons, mirrors, money, even tablets. But there is no proof of the word being used for a musical instrument.

    Moreover, had Paul wished to refer to a “drum” he would certainly have used the regular word tympanon, not chalkos; and had he wished to say “trumpet” he would have used salpinx, a word he actually does use in the following chapter. There would seem to be little reason for Paul to coin a new term in this context to refer to a common musical instrument. …

    A passage from Vitruvius’ book, On Architecture, allows us, I believe, to be even more specific. Vitruvius was a practicing Roman architect in the last part of the first century B.C.; his book dates to the period shortly before 27 B.C.7 Vitruvius was a skilled builder, a practical man who could write well, and we can generally rely upon his firm understanding of the materials with which he deals.

    Vitruvius described certain brass sounding vases (echeia) used in theaters of the time, including the theater in Corinth, to amplify the sound of the actors’ and singers’ voices. I think Paul refers to these brass sounding vases in 1 Corinthians when he spoke of “chalkos echon.”

    Vitruvius described the problem of projecting voices in the theater and the consequent development of brass sounding vases. In an earlier period, wood theaters were usual in Italy. The natural acoustics of wood were sufficient to use as an amplifier: When an actor wished greater voice projection, he could turn and speak to the wood panelled double-doors (valvae) which would serve as an echoing board to reflect his voice back to the audience. When more rigid structural materials such as cement and marble were used to construct theaters, special devices known as echeia or sounding vases were developed. At the time Vitruvius wrote (27 B.C.) Rome had only recently acquired these devices; many examples were found in southern Italy, however. Vitruvius noted that sounding vases were first brought to Rome by Lucius Mummiuss from the sacked theater at Corinth! It seems hardly fortuitous that Paul, some hundred years later, mentioned sounding vases in a letter to the citizens of Corinth.

    Vitruvius described the sounding vases in some detail. The vases, each having a tuned response, were arranged in niches at the back of the amphitheater. Thirteen were equally spaced, inverted and placed on blocks to allow sufficient airspace beneath; the vases did not touch the walls at the back.9 Since the vases were tuned to specific intervals, they responded accurately, and the series covered roughly an octave range. In larger theaters three ranks or rows of niches were provided, one above the other, and the vases in the three ranks were tuned in harmonic, diatonic and chromatic scales respectively, thus providing a widened variety of intervals and thereby improving the acoustic response.

    One further remark from Vitruvius is important. The vases were made from bronze, although some poorer Italian cities had them made from ceramic materials, with equally good results he reported.

    Thus, in the Hellenistic world, as attested in an architect’s detailed description from around 30 B.C., acoustic amplification or resonance systems were common in newly constructed stone amphitheaters. They were called “sounders” or echeia and were generally made from bronze (chalkos). Other echeia for making stage thunder are known from the fifth century B.C. down to the third century A.D. as part of military engineering. In no cases are these seen as musical instruments, but rather as engineering contraptions or devices. The absence of actual archaeological examples of bronze sounding vases from the ancient world is probably due to the high value of bronze as a coin metal, but Vitruvius’ detailed description leaves little question as to the device’s form and use. …

    The “sounding brass” or bronze echoing vases call to mind the civilization of the Hellenistic world. The rest of Paul’s letter demonstrates that he considered the various religious virtues of the whole of the ancient world and concluded that none of them satisfied the needs of the new society without the essential “x”-factor, which was love or agape. The acoustic amplifiers of the Hellenistic theaters, and certainly the famous theater at Corinth speak for the emptiness of the Hellenistic world, which had far more voice than inner meaning. In this phrase Paul seems to be saying, without Love, I am as empty as the acoustic amplifiers of the Greek theaters, full of sound but literally saying nothing in the decadent years of Hellenic achievement. … ‘

    Now ain’t that somethin? “Without Love,”
    as Macbeth might have said: “it is a tale told by an idiot,
    full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

  9. Thanks for the video blog post – interesting thoughts!

    Though I disagree on your last point… With the recently unsealed documents related to Jeffrey Epstein, seems that it’d be very tough – even for the D’s – to get another Clinton elected President, in light of Bill Clinton’s prominence in Epstein’s world and in his underage sex games.

    I pray that our country has finally had enough of the Clintons!

    I agree with Tucker…. Nikki Haley is a much better Uniparty candidate for 2024… the Uniparty system seems to be definitely working overtime lately to establish her in that role!

    • George Michalopulos says

      FTS, you’re 100% right about Neocon Nikki.

      As to Hillary, you’re right about that as well. However, the Dem bench is as shallow as it is thin. They have no national personage of any stature who is not a flaming idiot (e.g. AOC).

      Anyway, that’s my 2c.