James M. Thunder

James M. Thunder is a Washington, D.C. attorney.

Have a Blue Christmas, a ‘Mr. Blue’ Christmas, That Is


I could not let this year without remarking that 2018 marks the 90th anniversary of the publication of a short novel, about 120 pages, that a young man published in 1928, and has seldom been out of print since: Myles Connolly’s debut novel, Mr. Blue. It is appropriate to do so at Christmas because, first, the […]

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Reading Poetry to Children With a New Book


If you search the Internet for “reading aloud to children,” you’ll see a number of results describing the huge benefits to children. If you search the Internet for “reading poetry to children,” you’ll find more such results. It’s too bad the results don’t describe the benefit of bonding between adult and child. My children often, and gratefully, remind me of the times I would read to them, including J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. For my own part, before I could read, I vividly remember seeing, and hearing the caption for the illustration for, such events as Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt, the serpents biting the Hebrews in the wilderness, Elijah in flight in a chariot of fire, and Absalom’s hair fatally entangled in a tree.

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A Second Round of Soundings on Items in the News


(Sounding: noun, the act of measuring the depths or the heights) Packing the Courts Following the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, the Democrats and liberals are suggesting that Congress add two seats to the U.S. Supreme Court. Two can play this game. President Trump could encourage all federal judges, at both trial and appellate levels, over a […]

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Michelle Obama

Soundings: Additional Perspectives on the News


(Sounding: noun, the act of measuring the depths or the heights) What Would Be an Invasion? CNN “reporter” Jim Acosta asked President Trump at the November 7 post-midterm press conference about the “caravan” of people intending to cross the Mexican-U.S. border illegally, arguing with the President that it would not constitute an invasion. Sixty thousand (60,000) people […]

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Assuaging Angst: President Trump at the United Nations


A correspondent informed me that he was apoplectic over the President being a “laughingstock” at the United Nations. How to respond? I thought of suggesting that the laughter may have been the “nervous laughter” emanating from people who heard unvarnished, undiplomatic truth or from people who had been caught with their hand in the cookie […]

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Who’s the Greatest Songwriter of All Time?


Let’s think about how we would answer this question. Maybe Lin-Manuel Miranda for his marvelous, creative, catchy musical Hamilton with its 47 songs? Well maybe it’s premature to anoint him as the greatest songwriter of all time, eh? What about Andrew Lloyd Weber with his: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968; Broadway 1982), Jesus […]

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Countercultural Pro-Marriage Music: A Proposal


February 7 starts National Marriage Week. I propose that, in conjunction with this annual event, we identify, and create, music that promotes marriage, including forgiveness and reconciliation within the context of marriage. I concur with the statement of Ellen Wilson Fielding who wrote on July 2, 2015, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision […]

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The Shock Factor: New Federal Report on ‘The Cost of Raising a Child’


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon release its annual report “Expenditures on Children by Families,” better known as “The Cost of Raising a Child.” And you will see media headlines like those from January 2017: “Cost of Raising a Child: $233,610” — Money “Raising a Child in the United States Costs $233,610” — Huffington […]

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Go Big, Bill de Blasio


I can’t be the only one who gets sick as they drive toward New York. No, not the noise, the crowds, the congestion, the traffic, the taller-than-tall buildings. No, it’s the signage! As I see the signs, from which I can’t possibly turn away, my throat constricts, my eyes redden, I sweat. The medicine my […]

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Christian Charity in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and United States


Pope Francis is making apostolic visits to Myanmar and Bangladesh November 27 through December 2. You will immediately note that these countries do not have large Catholic populations. In fact, Catholics are 1.24% (659,000) of the population in Myanmar and 0.24% (375,000) in Bangladesh I decided to gauge the charitable activities, open to all people, […]

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