Category: Free Content

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Wednesday’s Child:  The Technicolor Dreamcoat (Free)

Truth may be stranger than fiction, especially in places where the writers ain’t all they’re cracked up to be, but these days, I swear, even apparently random facts seem to be running away with themselves in the land of Gogol. I have made two posts, one in April and one in October, highlighting the creation in Russia of the equivalent of Himmler’s Schutzstaffel (SS), called the National Guard (Rosgvardia), and speculating on the likely function of this 350,000-strong presidential private army.  Recent developments bear out my speculation.  Last week a senior Rosgvardia commander, Aleksandr Maul, made a statement that swept...

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When Christmas Was Coming! (Free)

When Christmas was coming, Mama would start collecting medium-sized boxes which she would later decorate with bright Christmas paper for the purpose of taking food as a gift – a canned ham, some fruit, some nuts and some homemade candy- to the numerous “shut-ins” in and around Pollock. When Christmas was coming, out would come the reserve box of Christmas cards which were chosen, filled out, and stamped at the dining table some pre-Christmas night after supper. I usually chose a card for a particular person or family; Mama filled it out and addressed the envelope, and Daddy would break...

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Wednesday’s Child:  Wheat of the Saracen (Free)

“Idiot!” exclaims the driver of the car I’m in, referring to the man ahead who has just pulled out, or cut him up, or whatever it is that motorists do to each other which they oughtn’t.  In exclaiming thus he pronounces judgment on his fellow man where the verdict is shorter than a sentence.  It’s called an insult. An insult is different from a slur in that no inferences are drawn about the person apart from those suggested by his behavior of the moment. He was cursed, yet remains a stranger.  Calling the erratic driver in front a “bastard” would...

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The Fleming Foundation Wants You

Wanted:  A Few Good Men and Women Dear Subscribers and Readers: The Fleming Foundation needs help.  We have virtually no staff but the broken-down old editor plus some part-time help from volunteers, and, if we are going to thrive and grow, we need more. If you have any useful skills—beyond talking a good game or thinking great thoughts —please consider joining our dedicated band of volunteers.  What sorts of skills?  Computer and internet experience, for example, secretarial skills, business administration, book editing and publishing, writing and editing…  We are deficient in every area. And compensation?  Initially, nothing but good will. ...

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Trump Must Break Up the CIA, Reform Entire Military

Back when I marched as a soldier in the U.S. Army in West Germany from 1979-82, I used to listen to Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America. They broadcast in English, German, Russian, Czech, Polish and other languages. I had never heard them back in The World, as we called our free America, because they were banned from broadcasting in the United States. All federal intelligence agencies, especially the CIA, were banned from interfering in any way with our domestic politics, even to reveal the horrors of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. But three years...

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California Nightmare

Meet Derick Almena, model Californian and prototype for the next generation of Americans.  Derick—in his world we dispense with formalities—is “manager” of a warehouse in Oakland California, where he sublets space to various artistes.  At this for-profit arts collective, which he named the Ghost Ship, Derick and his rentors throw parties.  At a dance party last Friday night, a fire started and raced through the rabbit warren, killing at least 36 people.  Derick’s first reaction, posted on Facebook, expressed no sorrow for the victims—much less remorse: “”Everything I worked so hard for is gone.  Blessed that my children and Micah...

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Marco Bassani on The Italian Crisis

A Conversation  with Prof. Marco Bassani of the University of Milan. TJF:  Prof. Bassani, over the weekend Italian voters decisively rejected a set of “reforms” proposed by PM Renzi.  It is hard for Americans to understand the significance of the vote, particularly since very few of us follow Italian politics.  To begin with, could you please describe Renzi’s proposals.  MB:  Quite frankly I believe that even most Italians had only a vague idea of the proposed constitutional reforms. They voted from their political guts and clearly rejected  Matteo Renzi’s Constitution.  The package was a very complex transformation that revolved around the change...

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Jerks 2: Taxonomy, Part B

Let’s begin with the basics.  Rather than breaking down Jerks into categories of severity—rating them from one to ten—we can agree to divide them broadly into what I am calling Boors and Louts.  The boor is someone who does not know how to behave.  He constantly makes a fool of himself by using the wrong fork or insisting upon steak in a seafood restaurant.  He will pay embarrassing compliments to women he has just met and make himself the life of every party by telling anecdotes about his not very interesting life—anecdotes in which he inevitably plays the hero.  Most...

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Castroized America

Cuban exiles and other anti-communists greeted comrade Fidel Castro assuming room temperature with rum-inebriated shouts of “Viva Cuba libre!” Sorry, I can’t join the celebrations. I’m as happy as anyone that El Jefe has gone to be judged by his Maker and no longer will be tyrannizing his people. But during his 56 years in power, the United States he hated moved far more in the direction of Cuban communism than Cuba moved, even after the fall of his Soviet patrons in 1991, toward becoming a free and normal country, as the U.S. was in 1959. Some comparisons: 1. Socialized...

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A Homegrown Buckeye Terrorist

Another surprise.  The homicidal maniac who went on a rampage at Ohio State turns out to be one Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an 18-year-old Somali Muslim.  No one knows why he did it.  NBC has informed us that “a senior law enforcement official said authorities are a “long way” from pinpointing a motive for the Monday morning attack, which sent 11 people to the hospital.  Apparently irrelevant are the the young man’s complaints against America for the persecution of Muslims in Burma.  Yes, Burma.  Why didn’t he go to Burma to kill the enemies of his religion?  Perhaps because that would have required...