You may now take Mr. Heston’s firearms. Charlton Heston is dead at age 84. The Associated Press offers an ironic headline, “Oscar-winning star of ‘Ben-Hur’ was known for heroic roles:”

LOS ANGELES – Charlton Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar as the chariot-racing “Ben-Hur” and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in movie epics of the ’50s and ’60s, has died. He was 84.

Yes Heston played epic roles in Hollywood, but his most epic was in real life, video:

Well said Chuck, rest in peace.

Addendum I:(Bit)

I have some very specific memories of Heston appearing with George McGovern, Dennis Weaver, and Gary Hart in a WFB special, a Firing Line debate. I had the thing taped, but alas, I taped in in Beta.
Hillsdale has part of the text up, however. The proposal Bill Buckley put before the panel: “Reagan was right; Government is the problem”

Heston said, in his opening statement:

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. David Hume, the great Scottish philosopher, said that. I am a Scot myself. He was bloody right. For more than half a century, the shining Republic created by the blood of the Continental Army and a few great men has been nearly nibbled to death by the Democratic ducks in the Congress and a warmly cooperative Supreme Court.

There is now no aspect of American life, public or private, that the federal government does not invade, instruct and finally coerce to its will. Farm and factory, home and school, university and research center, club and playground—all are overlaid with a spidery network of laws, guidelines, restrictions and Draconian penalties that stifle the spirit, the energy, the creative capacity of what was once the freest nation on earth. In this hemisphere, now that Ortega and Noriega have fallen, the collectivists’ sentiments discredited around the world fly best, I fear, in Cuba and Washington, D.C.

Of course, government is the problem. The armies of bureaucrats proliferating like gerbils, scurrying like lemmings in pursuit of the ever-expanding federal agenda testify to that amply. Tom Jefferson, the only genius we ever had, said that government is best which governs least. I am amazed you Democrats are still comfortable with Mr. Jefferson as your designated logo.

One exchange, which shows Heston’s sense of humor:

Rep. Pat Schroeder:

I certainly hope that you are also going to stand strong with us and keep the federal government out of bedrooms. I know people who are on your side also like to get people into the private lives of folks. And I’ve always found it really amazing in that your side often trusts corporations and fat cats to do anything and they want them deregulated, but they want to regulate the private lives of people. I hope you clearly are against that also.


Well, as the fellow that took down the original dictation on the Ten Commandments, I am naturally opposed to adultery.

And a passage of that debate serves as a backlight for one of the issues we’re facing today:

Sen. George McGovern:

Mr. Heston, I made reference to the savings and loan crisis. This is probably the most embarrassing and expensive financial scandal in the 200-year history of the country. Some people think that a major contributor to that was the breakdown of government regulation—we actually weakened the regulatory agencies and it was the kind of an atmosphere in the country to let people do what they wanted to in the private sector. What’s your assessment of how well that theory has worked in the savings and loan industry where everybody was more or less allowed to run wild without any kind of government supervision?


I think certainly there was grievous dereliction of duty there on the part of the government, specifically the Congress. We lost the Speaker of the House, Jim Wright; we are about to lose the senior senator from California, Alan Cranston, because of their involvement. There were certainly congressmen and senators in both parties that were involved in this. But I don’t think the handling of the program speaks well for the function of government.

Sen. George McGovern:

…as I understand your view here tonight, you would intend, wherever possible, to eliminate government supervision and government regulation. Obviously, we have a lot of scandalous behavior on the part of both the Congress and the executive branch, but is your argument that things would have been better in the savings and loan industry if we had less government regulation and less government supervision?


Certainly it would have been better if the little cadre in Congress had not, in kind of a quiet meeting in the [Congressional] Cloak Room, said, “Well, look, let’s guarantee loans up to $100,000.” That was a little careless!

Heston was a true patriot, and will be missed.

Addendum II:  (David L)

Michelle posts all three parts of the address to the National Rifle Association.   Great speech.  Oh by the way, she also posts the trailer to this movie called Ben Hur.  Ever heard of it?


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