Category: Feature


Ideology: Unreason, Antifaith, Part Two

When people vote their pocketbooks, as they often do, they are giving some color to Marx’s more down-to-earth definition of ideology as a set of ideas concocted to advance the interests of a social class.  The creed of classical liberalism—low taxes, free trade, individual liberty–is the ideology of the well-to-do bourgeoisie, while socialism is the ideology of those who expect to be dependent upon government largesse: schoolteachers, promiscuous young women, and the politicians and public servants, who have so nobly given up brilliant careers in the private sector because they wished to serve the people.  No one claims the ideal...


Ideology: Unreason and Anti-Faith, Part One

What the GOP needs, “Conservatives” tell us, is a sharper ideological focus that will give greater prominence to the vast reservoir of “Conservative”  “ideas.”  If only the “Conservatives” were simply joking, if only they were entirely cynical about the war of words between the two parties, one might have some hope for a restoration of political sanity in this poor country.


Abortion Issue Would Win Minorities for Republicans

Several conservative commentators have noted how the Mainstream Media have given more attention to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appearing in blackface in college yearbook three decades ago than to his proposal to allow infanticide. It also was creepy how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo led cheering legislators as they passed a radical abortion law, which reminded me of Pandemonium in Milton’s “Paradise Lost”: A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round As one great Furnace flam’d, yet from those flames No light, but rather darkness visible Serv’d onely to discover sights of woe, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace And...


AOC’s Green New Deal–It’s Nuttier Than You Think

AOC is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, my favorite Democrat. She’s the Democrats’ id. In Freudian terms, “The id is the primitive and instinctive component of personality.” As they said in the Freudian Sixties: Let it all hang out. That’s why so many Democrats are endorsing her Green New Deal, best seen in her FAQ here. Adam Schiff took time off from looking for the non-existent Russian rigging of the 2016 election to endorse it, “I have long believed that our country needs an Apollo Project-like commitment to tackle climate change and lead our transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.” Republicans have...


Interview With Anthony V. Bukoski, Part Two

TJF: I’ve mentioned to you my Uncle Dan who once lived in New Orleans and was a leading expert on port facilities. You’ve been to New Orleans and have spent time in Louisiana. On the one hand, no two places could be more different than Northern Wisconsin and Southern Louisiana. On the other hand, your Southern experiences seem to have been fruitful. . . AVB: I’ve set stories in Superior and Natchitoches, Louisiana, where my wife and I lived when I taught at Northwestern State. One Superior-Natchitoches story appeared in the South Carolina Review, one in New Orleans Review. The...


Interview With Anthony V. Bukoski, Part One

TJF: You are a fictional chronicler of the Polish-American experience, but you have chosen to localize your stories, most of which either take place in Superior, Wisconsin, or have a character from Superior’s East End. Tell me a little about the Superior you grew up in. AVB: I was born in a port city at the western terminus of the Great Lakes. When I was in grade school and high school in the 1950’s and early ’60s, Superior had the world’s largest ore docks, huge grain terminals, shipyards, mills, railroad yards, and a stinking oil refinery, still the only one...


An Interview with Anthony Bukoski, Introduction

Anthony Bukoski is one of the finest living fiction writers in America.  Born and reared in Superior (Wisconsin)—a town often considered the cultural nadir of the Upper Midwest—he is the opposite of the mouse, which in the Latin tale emerged from a mountain:  He is the lion that came out of the molehill of rusting grain elevators and abandoned trainyards, the city with the greatest number of bars per capita probably in the world and a house of ill fame known across the world. He attended Superior State University (which is what everyone called it before they started putting on...


Jerry Brown’s Eve of Destruction

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say? And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today? If the button is pushed, there’s no running away, There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave, Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy, And you tell me over and over and over again my friend, Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.  – Barry McGuire, Eve of Destruction It’s too bad Jerry Brown didn’t come out with a guitar and belt out that old anti-war protest song from 1965. After...


Got to Laugh to Keep from Crying

Another morality play has been played out.  Catholic high school kids from Kentucky—obviously Southern bigots—harassed a Native American Marine, a Vietnam veteran, and one of the all-white adolescent louts deliberately got in his way and, with a smug grin on his face, humiliated the brave old man.  They should be expelled, cried the watchdogs in the media, their school should be humiliated.  One particularly repellant female demanded the release of their names and addresses so that outraged leftists could tar and feather them.  Another depicted the students being put–MAGA hat first–through a chipper. The best line came from the bastion...


Winter Symposium in Sicily

It was roughly ten years ago that now editor of the Angelus Jim Vogel emailed me, “You have to come to Summer School in Rockford.  You need to meet Dr. Fleming.”  Jim had introduced me to Chronicles a year earlier and since I had recently resumed my undergraduate studies (dormant for seven years) I thought it would indeed be a great opportunity to make new friends, learn new things, and as Jim had noted, meet Dr. Fleming.  Scarcely could I have predicted the numerous places in America and Europe I would continue to learn from Dr. Fleming and other teachers...