The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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The Very Bad Great Books (FREE)

Then, let us begin, not as Rousseau does (In his “Essay on Inequality”), by setting aside the facts, but by looking the truth in the face.  Multi-culturalism is a particularly virulent movement of cultural genocide designed to eliminate European Christian culture and its traditions. It was not invented in the 1960’s or even in the 1920’s when French communists and surrealists “forged” all the arguments that have been repeated ad nauseam by Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and the current promoters of multi-culturalism. The creators of this multi-cultural revolution were, in fact, among the writers included in any list of the...

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G.K. Chesterton: Ancient Historian, Part I [FREE]

This is a revised version of a talk given recently at the US Chesterton Society Conference in Colorado Springs. Anyone who does not know and love Chesterton will find my title preposterous.  For them, Chesterton is a fanciful writer who framed clever paradoxes. Such a man could scarcely be considered any kind of historian.  History is, after all, a sober undertaking, the dry sifting of facts coupled with a cautious reluctance to draw sweeping conclusions.  No kind of historian would say something so fanciful and preposterous as: Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode, The rolling...

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Actually, North Korea Can’t Hit the U.S., or Guam, With a Nuke

Americans sure get in a tizzy these days. What happened to the people that methodically destroyed Hitler and Tojo in less than four years, then calmly faced down the Soviets in the Cold War? The latest “threat” is from the ridiculous Kim Jong Un of North Korea. This time, supposedly, he’s years or months away from launching a nuclear-tipped ICBM at the American mainland, or at least Guam and its U.S. military bases. The Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post headlined, “North Korea now making missile-ready nuclear weapons, U.S. analysts say.” But as Justin Raimondo noted, the Post quoted only a single sentence from...

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Simple Simon’s Political Lexicon: Liberal

  In one of our discussions, I hinted that our conversations might be expedited by agreeing to use certain words, e.g., liberal, conservative, radical,  Marxist, traditionalist, culture/cultural, republican, democratic, in a precise manner that takes account of historical reality.  The most obvious term with which to begin is the almost universally abused word “Iiberal.” Political Liberal:  Someone who advocates liberty and individual autonomy as the ultimate good and seeks to weaken or eliminate all barriers and impediments that stand in the way of an individual’s quest for fulfillment.  At different periods Liberals have opposed monarchy, established churches, aristocracy, tradition, and...

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The New Phase of the Korean War–a possible explanation

The United States has had difficult relations with North Korea, ever since Harry Truman refused to permit the American military to end the Korean War in victory.  Truman’s lack of resolve, coupled with the American elite’s obsession with global Americanization, has meant a long string of failures:  Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Iran, and Iraq.  Ever since I grew old enough to think I had the right to answer questions of such scope, I have given the same answer, whenever anyone has asked me what to do:  Fish or Cut Bait!  Either leave other people alone or, if we have to fight,...

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“The Law’s a Ass”: Marriage and Divorce, POB II.2

POB II.2  “The Law’s a Ass”:  Marriage and Divorce Bumble the Beadle was a professional philanthropist, which is to say that he made a comfortable living by spending other people’s money on the poor.  As an agent for the parish, he had grown fat and vain, and he was fond of reminding the indigent of their debt of gratitude.  When the officers of the parish sell young Oliver Twist into slavery–and early death–as a chimney sweep, the Beadle admonishes the boy that “the kind and blessed gentlemen which is so many parents to you, Oliver…are a going to prentice you:...

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from Sardinia

A capital delusion of the rich, to the effect that money can be transmuted into beauty, is dwarfed by a mass delusion of the poor, to the effect that beauty can be transmuted into money.  As in the case of nuclear transmutation in physics, neither of the two processes is an impossibility. Yet scientists warn that while particle bombardment can easily turn gold into a base metal like lead, the reverse, though possible in theory, is far too costly and time-consuming to be of any practical benefit to the avaricious. An alchemist, or for that matter anybody who’s got his...

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Bring Back the Spoils System!

  Nowadays American history in high school consists of unrelenting attacks on our country as a racist, sexist, etc., hellhole. But back when I took the class at Wayne Memorial High School back in 1971, we learned about how horrible the old spoils system was, and why our country leaped into the progressive future with Civil Service Reform. Although he didn’t use the term, the spoils system largely was instituted by the great President Andrew Jackson. It was a way to get an unresponsive bureaucracy to perform its duties. If a functionary treated citizens badly, he knew they could vote...

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On the Wings of a Snow White Dove–Killing Time in Rome

This was one of the last pieces published in a magazine I used to write for.   You know how it is when you have over an hour to kill downtown in a major city?  How time seems to slow to a stop?  Fortunately, the Roman houses beneath the Palazzo Valentini, which we were waiting to visit, are a stone’s throw from the column of Trajan.  On that warm and sunny day in February, we took over an empty bench facing the imperial fora and soaked in the sun we should not be seeing, when we returned, for months.  Before...

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Rome and Back

I am frequently asked questions about travel, and now that we have announced our Fall convivial program in Italy, I expect to be inundated by requests for information, to which I shall cheerfully and gratefully respond.  Nondimeno, I think it will be helpful if I put together some anticipatory observations. Passport Before you do anything, you should check your passport and determine that your passport is valid beyond several months of your return date.  You may, of course, check out various travel websites as well as the US State Department, and you will find as many answers as there are...