Category: Feature


How to Learn–and Not to Learn–a Foreign Language, Part II. Defining Goals

Many people, embarking upon a serious study of a living foreign language, dream of acquiring fluency.  While this is probably an impossible dream for most of us, so are a virtuous life, athletic prowess, and saintliness.  The difficulty should be no deterrent to the determined, though we must always keep in mind the very remote chance that we could ever succeed. What do I mean by fluency?  My second Greek teacher, Walton Morris, had a rigorous definition.  In the 1950’s he had worked in Army intelligence along the French-German border, gathering information on Communist activities.  One day, he would pose...


The End of Conservative Magazines

A few years back, from the safe perch of the Bushido  in the waters of the Ionian Sea, Taki goaded me–suffering from an almost lethal hangover– to gloat over the Weekly Standard’s collapse.  They were rescued for a time, but finally an entirely pointless exercise in ignorance and duplicity is coming to an end. National Review doesn’t actually need to quite printing since no one of any intelligence or discernment has picked it up for 20 years.  The  American Spectator was, at best, a college rag that poked fun in the right directions until its editor–a stage Irishman–was afflicted with...


The Decline of the American Empire, Part 4: Get Big or Get Out

Americans–especially the globalist liberals who call themselves “conservatives”–are not much impressed by the historical parallels of Nineveh and Tyre.  Even those who do not join in the chorus of New Dealers, Neoconservatives, and Dittoheads who glorify this City On a Hill, cannot bring themselves to believe that we could go the way of the Carthaginians, leaving nothing impressive behind except for our wars of aggression and heaps of dead children. Even ruthless pragmatists like Don Rumsfeld insist on the point.  When evidence emerged of American misbehavior at Abu Ghraib, Rumsfeld cracked, America is different:  “We don’t do those things.”  Ah,...


French Riots and American Climate Misreporting

The French riots must have more behind them than a revolt against gas tax increases to fund climate programs. As we’re seeing in the revolts of common people against the rancid ruling elites throughout Europe, and with Trump’s election, large chunks of the population now longer want to go along with seeing their livelihoods reduced and their families destroyed to make the elites feel good about their absurd abstractions, such as Gaia worship. Yet the Main Sleaze Media continue to pump out Fake News and nothing but Fake News. A good example is the climate “reporting” in the Los Angeles...


The Decline of the American Empire, Part III: The Health of the State

Growing up, my only training in the martial arts was the experience of getting beaten up by older boys until I learned how to inflict pain even when losing a fight.  It was a useful lesson, and just as useful was my intuitive understanding of the basic principle of judo, which (so I have been told) is to use your enemy’s strength against him. I was forced to apply this principle more than once in college, when my athletic friends, invigorated by the joy of youth and a fifth of Jack Daniels, would suddenly realize how pleasant it would be...


Wednesday’s Child: A State of No Conscience

“In an instant I had my lifelong foe by the throat. After so many years of waiting and longing, he was mine at last. I tore him to shreds and fragments. I rent the fragments to bits. I cast the bleeding rubbish into the fire, and drew into my nostrils the grateful incense of my burnt-offering.  At last, and forever, my Conscience was dead!  I was a free man!  I turned upon my poor aunt, who was almost petrified with terror, and shouted: ‘Out of this house with your paupers, your charities, your reforms, your pestilent morals! You behold before...


The Paul Ehrlich Half-Century

People like to give names to periods. During the span from 1968 to 2018, numerous events happened: the end of the Cold War, the rise of the computers and so on. But one thing now stands out: demographic collapse in almost every country. So I’m calling it the Paul Ehrlich Half-Century because 1968 was the year his book “The Population Bomb” was published by the Sierra Club and Ballantine Books, whose publicists had a flair for marketing.  The paperbook version included a lit bomb on the cover, along with the subheadings: “Population Control or Race to Oblivion?” And, in shouting...


Wednesday’s Child: A London Postscript

 While I was in London, an old friend of mine and I had what can be described as an emotional misunderstanding, and since then I’ve thought of little else. Particularly in view of the fact that had it not been for this friend’s nearly infinite kindness to me over the years, I probably wouldn’t be here now writing about it, or about anything else for that matter. So I could do worse, I figured, than to extrapolate the misunderstanding and extract a moral out of its reflective depths. The moral is that modern civilization has compromised sentiment. In about the...


The Decline of the American Empire: Recessional I

I am revising a series of articles and lectures I wrote on American Imperialism.  In some places I have deleted political references that have lost their significance, in others I have expanded and developed an argument in light of later events and more serious consideration.   The first version of this was written in (so far as I can tell) 2002.  While the Trump administration may, viewed in retrospect, represent a lull in the imperialists’ Grand Design to wipe the old America from the face of the earth, no President willing to hire John Bolton or Nikki Haley can be regarded as a defender of the American Republic.