Category: Feature

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So What You’re Saying Is … Pat Buchanan Was Right all Along

A recent Claremont Review of Books article by the obviously pseudonymous Publius Decius Mus, “The Flight 93 Election,” has created quite a stir in the conservative universe. The article is a vigorous defense of Trump and Trumpism, and has been touted widely by Trump supporters. Rush Limbaugh read it aloud on his radio program. It has even inspired its own hashtag, #IAmDecius, but it has also generated a very vociferous reaction from anti-Trumpers. This National Review article by Jonah Goldberg contains links to several of the critical responses. Decius is one of the minds behind the now defunct Journal of...

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Wednesday’s Child: Health and Poverty

I have known many rich people in my lifetime and had ample occasion to remark upon what seemed like an endless spiral of personal tragedies they invariably suffered.  As a Christian, I always found this unfair.  The rich are supposed to be thoughtless of God and careless of the salvation of their souls – with eternal anguish their likely posthumous lot – but here on earth their existence is meant to be cushy, replicating or evoking the serenity of paradise. Instead it looked like their future suffering unto eternity was merely a continuation of their present sorrows in this earthly...

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Trump:  The Lesser Evil, Episode II

Reading the leftist responses to Hillary’s condemnation of us “deplorables,”  I was struck by the uniformity of tone.  They run the gamut from self-righteous astonishment to self-righteous indignation.  Occasionally, they tip their hand:  People who use “politically correct” as an insult, they say, are bigots, and so is anyone who thinks there might be something amiss with affirmative action, open immigration, same sex marriage, and men in women’s clothing hanging out in the girl’s locker room. There is a curious contradiction in the American “liberal” mind.  On the one hand, they are “all about” (an expression worth a few pages...

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Jerks I: Land of the Free, Home of the Jerk, Part B

Though they are one of America’s distinctive creations, Jerks have been observed throughout history.  Meet one from 17th century France, described by one of the most acute observers of human folly, Jean de la Bruyère: Gnathon lives for no one but himself, and the rest of the world are to him as if they did not exist. He is not satisfied with occupying the best seat at table, but he must take the seats of two other guests, and forgets that the dinner was not provided for him alone, but for the company as well; he lays hold of every...

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Properties of Blood I.7: Dueling For Honor, Part A

Defining the Duel The word duel is often used loosely to mean a fight between two men or even any competitive conflict between men or beasts.  The historian Victor Kiernan has written an entire book on European dueling without ever, apparently, figuring out what a duel actually was.  Let us begin by setting aside such metaphorical usages as “dueling egos,” “dueling banjos,” and “dueling roosters,” and restrict ourselves to violent encounters between two human antagonists, who may or may not ne accompanied by allies who may simply insure fair play or even take part in the action. If we are...

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9/11 Still Haunts 2016 Presidential Race

Without delving into “conspiracy theories,” the 15th anniversaries of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, continue to haunt America and the world, especially the 2016 election. 1. Hillary Clinton, currently running for president herself, was “co-president” for the eight-year run-up to the attacks. She’s running on her long experience in government. But the first (and one hopes only) Clinton administration left the country open to the attacks. For one, its open-borders immigration policy let in the 19 terrorists. For another, its obsession with bombing numerous foreign countries – Iraq, Serbia, Sudan – for no real reason except to keep...

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Tripe Advisor

The generosity of a friend, like a magic carpet, took me to Rome over the weekend, and I am glad to report that the best restaurant in the world is still there and still serves the best tripe.  Outside Italy, mastery over tripe is a useless yardstick of a chef’s eminence, since hardly anybody makes it, while a cook in England would probably get arrested if he dared to put the dish on the menu, containing as it does organic agents even more devastating to the human condition than gluten or traces of nuts.  On our blessed peninsula, however, tripe...

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Bullying and Baloney

Bullying is the latest great social craze in the American media. They always have some social pathology with which they terrorize the suckers who watch the news or read websites.  Back in the 1980’s and 90’s they beat the drum for teenage pregnancy and father-daughter incest.  They had to drop the former, after a few dissidents were cruel enough to point out that the term “father” turned out to include the mother’s second husband, live-in boyfriend, and any stranger in the night she happened to entertain. The increase in teenage pregnancies was real enough, but, since the cause was the sexual...

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Properties of Blood I.6: In Defense of Honor, Part D

On a more basic level, shame can be an intense feeling of embarrassment and inferiority.  Romance languages express this feeling by using derivatives from the Latin verecundia:  vergogna (Italian), verguenza (Spanish), vergogne (French).  This sense of shame is an expansive category as Julio Caro Baroja points out in his historical account of Spanish honor. “Verecundia shows itself not only as chastity and modesty, as the blush which lewd speech or actions bring to the face, but also as respect for parents and elders, which prevents one from doing certain things in their presence, and as humility, reserve, and respect for...

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Reckoning With Reality

Reality has a way of biting you in the posterior. Americans are finding that out the hard way. They’re going to find it out even more if voters put Hillary Clinton back in the White House. She basically has reassembled President George W. Bush’s Neocon Brain Trust. The Atlantic magazine keeps a tally of Republicans who are backing her, including these Neocons: Richard Armitage, Michael Hayden, John Negroponte, Paul Wolfowitz, Max Boot and Robert Kagan. Add that to the “neo-Liberal” interventionist Democrats she has gathered, and you have a powder keg of interventionist insanity. Kagan is married to Victoria Nuland,...