The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


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...


Trog 5

On Thursday, I  took a break from slogging on this blog–does that make me a Slogger Trogger?– and we drove to Heraclea Minoa, a colony projected (6th century?) by the colonial city of Selinus as a frontier defense against the encroaching forces of the more powerful Akragas (Agrigento).  In time, Akragas got the upper hand and took the town, only to lose it in the disastrous struggle with Carthage at the end of the Fifth Century. Sikeliot Greeks, led by the tyrants of Syracuse and Akragas,  had defeated Carthage decisively in 480, but their incessant conflicts among themselves, aggravated by...


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.


Wednesday’s Child: Beauty and the Housewife

A young lady – well, not that young, actually, let’s say about my age – has reviewed my new book in The Spectator, a British literary and political weekly once known for its conservative sympathies.  Suffice it to say that when I wrote for it in the 80’s and 90’s the magazine was under the editorship of a man who was later appointed the authorized biographer of Margaret Thatcher.  But that’s all water under the bridge now. The reviewer, named Sara Wheeler, is a “travel writer.”  In the West, where anybody can travel as easily and as fast as she...


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.


Ecumenism for Orphans by Carl Hildebrand

Ecumenism for Orphans –Carl Hildebrand “Ut unum sint…” Zivania—the “dry traditional aperitif” of Cyprus. My American vulgarity wonders how it would go with Coca-Cola. Not as good as Jack and Coke, but I won’t let that get in the way.  Some months ago, I lived off-and-on in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, whose current partial occupation by the Turks since 1974 is only the latest chapter in that Levantine island’s storied history of invasion and seizure. Cyprus’ strategic position, jabbing its spindly north-eastern finger of land into the armpit of Asia Minor, made the occupation of Aphrodite’s famed birth-place a...