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This is the opening lecture of the Fleming Foundation’s 2020 Seminar on Homer–held in the teeth of a government shutdown on the freedoms of speech and assembly and of the political correctness being imposed by mob rule and insurrection. Thomas Fleming provides an overview of the Greek reverence for religious and national symbols and contrasts the piety and respectfulness of the ancient Greeks with the irrational and hate-inspired vandalism of contemporary America.
This lecture is offered gratis to subscribers. All the lectures will be on sale in a short time.
The modern American regime under which we live has only a few heroes, most of them entirely bogus: a pair of womanizing presidents–Franklin Roosevelt and Jack Kennedy–a philandering plagiarist who betrayed his country, Martin Luther King, jr., and the second founder of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
We sat together at one summer’s end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
Not a day goes by that I do not see the word “prolific” being misused. Today, for example, an online USA Today headline reads: “Convicted killer Samuel Little, who claims 93 murders, is ‘most prolific serial killer’ in US history, FBI says.” Similar offenses appeared in headlines for Inside Edition, the LA Times, and newspapers and television stations around the country.
What is paleoconservatism? I should have put the question in the past tense, but, in deference to the true believers who collect hula hoops, and 8-track tape players, we can pretend there is still some sort of active movement going by that name. Like many political labels—Whig and Tory, Rebel and Yankee—the word “paleoconservative” would seem to be an insult.
To spend uncounted years of pain,
Again, again, and yet again,
In working out in heart and brain
The problem of our being here;
Here’s something weird about Bernie Sanders’ campaign: If he pulled our troops home from abroad and canceled dumb military projects like the F-35 – called the $1.4 Trillion National Disaster – he would have plenty of money for his other projects: covering all those without medical insurance, free college for everybody and jobs training for anyone. There would be no need for imposing new taxes on “the wealthy.”
Over the years, much of our critique of American imperialism was made on the level of principle: Preemptive wars, inherently wrong in themselves, would eventually justify the militarization of American life and the final destruction of our constitutional order. Reconstruction abroad, we argued, would inevitably justify reconstruction at home.
CSPAN coverage of the House of Representatives may soon replace Comedy Central. Within a short 24 hour period, House Democrats proposed giving the vote to illegal aliens and refused to condemn outrageous statements made by Somali Muslim Ilhan Omar. Born in Mogadishu, where she spent her early years, Omar and her family were granted refugee status by an American government whose kindness exceeded its wisdom. Omar was brought up in the most ridiculous state of the American Union—Minnesota—where she eventually became a policy fellow at the Hubert Humphrey School of extraterrestrial Marxism, “community nutrition educator” at the state’s parody-university,...
Big John Canaday may not have had brains, but with or without a gun he had grit, and to this day I do not know why he befriended me, much less why he picked the least athletic person he knew to take Coach Butts out to dinner. It may have been something as simple as the fact that my father owned a sports team, or–as I should prefer to think–that he knew I was at ease with grown-up men. Another bar (The Keg) in Charleston was owned by a Jewish prize-fighter who did not want kids in what was more...