Category: Fleming

16

A Capital Crime? Trump and Jerusalem

“Trump has sold us out!” ”It’s all the fault of that Jewish son-in-law of his!” “This sets back the Middle East peace process by decades!” These are just a few of the more moderate exclamations I have heard in condemnation of the President’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel and to relocate the embassy. Perhaps they are all right, but I doubt it.  While Trump’s manifest trust in his children is a source of possible weakness, it is also one of his strongest qualities.  Jared and Ivanka Kushner have certainly played a major role in this administration, but whether...

2

Perhaps the Greatest Novel Ever Published: I promessi sposi

The French Revolution was a source of great evil. It not only spawned the leftist revolutionary movements that dominated the past two centuries but it also gave birth to the reactionary and rightwing movements that responded to the Revolution.  Most of these responses were imperfect, corrupted either by revolutionary ideas or suffering from the temptation to run blindly in the opposite direction.  If reason misapplied is dangerous, irrationality is equally dangerous; if globalism is a menace, so is blind nationalism; if atheism and anti-Christian  bigotry have deformed the character and values of modern men and women, Catholic obscurantism and fanaticism...

0

Niki Haley–Trump’s Worst Mistake

Niki Haley is a disaster as foreign policy mouthpiece.  One might use of her what Mencken unfairly said of Bryan:  “a zany without sense or dignity.”  Of course she is a good deal more virile than South Carolina’s distinguished Senator Lindsay Graham, but that can be said of Chelsea Manning.  Butching it up for the press in difficult matters of war and peace is exactly what the United States does not need, and her recent ridiculous tirade gave the Russians one more opportunity to ridicule the cynicism–and amateurism–of the US foreign policy establishment. Serious nations do not act like North...

4

Stupid Thoughts

This is a country where Joe Scarborough, who is so fake he has to lie about his Thanksgiving day, is accusing Donald Trump of insanity.  If it hadn’t been Morning Joe, it might have been Matt Laurer.  What a country. The only clever thing I have ever heard from John Podhoretz (Full disclosure: I have never met the pizza man though I did have dealings with his parents) is his remark that Trump should be impeached for forcing on our attention the moronic Lavar  Ball, who single-handedly has done more to explode the idea of racial equality than anyone since...

0

City-State Rights, Part II: Conclusion

The city-state is the seed-bed of civilization, but the concept seems alien to the American tradition.  Nonetheless, our cities once did possess, at least before the revolution, many of the same chartered rights enjoyed by English and European burgs.  In the Anglo-American world, the liberties of cities was defined by the charters they received either from the Crown itself or from the Royal Governor and legislature: Williamsburg, for example, was chartered in 1695, Wilmington in 1763.  Many of the older cities and towns of the Eastern Seaboard had been chartered municipal corporations, though in the decades following the revolution, the...

City States Rights, Part IB (Free to all registered subscribers)

There have been many press accounts, including Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s series of articles for the London Telegraph, on the increasingly strict censorship of opinion in Europe.  Public criticism is usually taken to be the sign of a robust society, but it is increasingly difficult to describe Islamic attacks on Jews and, in the aftermath of the recent Islamic invasion, information on the robbery, assault, rape, and murder committed by immigrants has been rigorously suppressed.  In 1995 the EU sacked economist Bernard Conolly for criticizing monetary union, and it took six years for the European Court to act on the case.  When...

9

City-States Rights, Part I A (FREE)

A version of this was presented some years ago at a meeting in Charleston, South Carolina Cities like Charleston and Siena and Edinburgh are a great deal like nations: They have their own identity celebrated in songs and stories and a peculiar slant on history.  These real cities are not merely aggregations of aliens who “dwell together, in Eliot’s phrase, “to make money from each other.”  They are enduring communities, with a common  faith and identity, that have a future only because they have a past. I have come to see that in this respect Charleston has been throughout its...

5

Movie of the Week: Frank Capra’s Rain or Shine (1930)

Rain or Shine (1930), directed by Frank Capra, starring Joe Cook, with Dave Chasen.  This zany classic is based on a Broadway show co-written by Maurice Marks and the character actor James Gleason.  Jo Swerling adapted it for the movies; the biggest change, apparently, being elimination of the musical numbers that the cheap producer did not wish to pay for.  (Capra went along, arguing that any film with the greatest comedian in the world had to be good.)  The film has more of a premise than a plot:  Smiley Johnson, experienced circus performer and manager, is trying to save the...

8

Judge Roy Moore: Is It Time to Go?

Judge Roy Moore is probably not going to be governor of Alabama.  The case against Moore is growing more serious with each passing day as more women come forward to charge him with indecent behavior and as people who knew him in Gadsden are backing their claims. That none of the claims is politically motivated is difficult to believe, and the justification that the accusers are Republicans who voted for Trump proves little.  Many Trump voters are not especially conservative and few, probably, would approve Judge Moore’s conflation of Scriptures and the American Constitution.  HL Mencken might have held his...

6

We’re a Lot Smarter Than We Used to Be.. (FREE)

“We’re a lot smarter than we used to be.”   I almost wish I had heard what led up to this extraordinary declaration on NPR’s Morning Edition, but I was too busy making breakfast.  Perhaps it had something to with Global Warming or lead in the water or the cholera plague brought into Haiti by the UN’s humanitarian mission.   Almost wish.  Perhaps the poor geek only meant our increased knowledge in certain technical areas enables us to screw things up more royally than in previous generations.  But it is far more likely that he seriously meant that the wisdom...