Category: Fleming


Imperialism from the Cradle to the Grave, Part One of Two

Speaking in the broadest generalities, a  healthy and thriving religious civilization does not have to reassure itself by burning temples and overthrowing altars.   The atrocious vandalisms and massacres perpetrated by bands of Isis thugs in the name of Islam tells us something about Islam, and the same can be said for Christian sects whose members have broken stained glass windows and destroyed images of Christ, his Mother, and the saints.  They have  moral and spiritual screw lose, not just individually but collectively.


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,...


Trog 4

Last night, we celebrated my partial recovery by drinking a bottle of Zibibbo.  The grape, otherwise known as the Muscat of Alexandria, is most often made into a sweet wine or even a passito.  Passiti, which go back to the ancient Mediterranean, are wines made from grapes left to dry on the vine.  Columella says the Carthaginian version was called Passum, a term that may be preserved in the Italian.


Sicilian Trog 3

On Saturday, I finally was able to fall asleep in the afternoon, but my slumbers were cut short by the expected arrival of Il nostro amico Russo, who had driven down with my landlord, a lawyer in Palermo, who returns to his home periodically.  I was not the most entertaining of hosts, though I did bring out a good bottle of grappa di amarone, barricata.  I had managed to drink a glass or two the previous Thursday and now had to watch as Navrozov ruthlessly swilled glass after glass.  I begrudged him not my liquor, but I did resent his enjoyment.


Sicilian Trog

This is perhaps my sixth trip to Sicily.  I say “perhaps,” because I’m not very good about dates.  It’s not that my math skills are particularly deficient.  As a schoolboy, I always tested higher in math than in verbal skills.  It’s not even my almost complete lack of interest in mathematics, which has kept me blissfully ignorant of most higher math.  My real deficiency is something I regard as a virtue: an instinctive refusal to apply numbers to the phenomena of human life.  Aristotle did not make the mistake that has been made, over and over, by philosophers since Descartes...


Sicilian Trogs, Preface: Conclusion. Arrivederci, Roma

We had decided to stay in a little hotel in the center, the place in which we had spent a week during our first trip to Italy, 30 years ago.  I had been foolishly attracted to the Alberto Cesàri, when I discovered that Stendahl had passed a good part of his sojourn in Rome in this very place.  It was and is an unpretentious place, though about five years ago they added a rooftop bar and breakfast room.  In 1988 most of the guests were tourists like us, but this time we were the only Americans, except for a Fox...


Sicilian Trogs, I: Preface

Speaking a different language forces the traveler to wonder how in the world foreigners manage to distort English—and vice versa.  In Italy a bar is a place to get coffee and a pastry, have a light lunch, drink a glass of wine, but it is not for serious drinkers and does exclude children. 


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...


New From the Forum

A paragraph from an irresponsible rant on the murder of a Saudi journalist. …. It is quite possible that the murder took place exactly as the press, claiming the CIA as the ultimate source, has described it.  On the other hand, there is no reason to believe anyone in the media, whether Jim Acosta or Sean Hannity,  and after the past few years it is pretty clear we have no reason to believe the FBI, and if the FBI is specializing in political propaganda, can the CIA–the agency that appears to have engaged in massive drug smuggling in order to...