Category: Feature


Two Oinks for Democracy, Conclusion: Dealing with Muslims

Any honest evaluation of US foreign policy over the past 50 years would lead to one conclusion: Any effort to build a stable regime friendly to US interests will have to construct its programs on a population that has some understanding of the West and some institutions—religious or cultural—compatible with our own.  On this basis, we can appreciate at least one of the reasons why we have chosen Israel, for all the troubles this special relationship has cost us, to be the focus of our influence in the Middle East: Israel is a European colony in the Arab and Muslim...


Generations of Impotence, Conclusion: The Cruelty of Nerds

Like so many modern American males, the Marquis de Sade was incapable of taking pleasure in the ordinary things of life.  Morally and intellectually feeble, he wallowed in fantasies of sexual violence.  The history of civilization might be written as a series of social inventions for the proper application of violence: boxing matches, duels, warfare.  When civilizations die, men cannot fall back on the killer instincts of barbarians who control their violence.  They are like the jackdaws studied by Konrad Lorenz:  Not genetically programmed to fight and kill, they do not have the ritual off-switch to stop violence, once it...


The Problem With Movies

Not too long ago I would have seen two or three of the five movies up for best picture at the Academy Awards, and heard something about the others. This year, as in most recent years, I haven’t seen any of the nominees, now inflated to eight, although I do recognize a couple from ads or the minor controversies they started in our PC-obsessed so-called culture. I also used to go to one or two movies a month. But I stopped doing that maybe 15 years ago. It isn’t that I watch them on TV now; I don’t even have...


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...


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...