The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


An Ancient Ploughman’s Breakfast

Here is a description of a hungry farmer who has to grind his own flour to make bread and then slathers it with a pungent cheese spread. ….Then immediately He piles it on a board that’s smooth, and pours Upon it tepid water, now he brought Together flour and fluid intermixed, With hardened hand he turns it o’er and o’er And having worked the liquid in, the heap He in the meantime strews with salt, and now His kneaded work he lifts, and flattens it With palms of hand to rounded cake, and it With squares at equal distance pressed...


Syria Strike Aids Trump’s Enemies, Alienates Friends

  “I reward my friends and [expletive] my enemies,” was how the noted political philosopher Bill Clinton once explained his governance. It’s pure Machiavellianism, but it worked for him. And while such amorality is an abomination, the kernel of truth is that a politician needs friends, and needs to keep them, because he certainly will gain plenty of enemies whatever he does. I’ll provide some examples in a minute. President Trump seems not to understand that his Syria attack endangers his entire presidency because it repulsed his truest friends, who backed him no matter what during the long and bloody...


Wednesday’s Child: A Blast of Cynicism

Say what you will, democracy has a responsible side.  Hardly anybody in America believed the findings of the Warren Commission, but you can never argue it was for want of trying on the part of its members, or for that matter on the part of those who had organized the assassination.  In totalitarian countries, by contrast, a lie is thought to be wasted on the populace unless it’s a white lie, and a conspiracy that is convincingly covered up is simply not worth the blood of the victims. So it is with the news of the recent blast in the...


The Balkans Powder Keg, Again (FREE CONTENT)

It’s a complete mess! The Balkans are becoming once again the powder keg of the European continent.   In the turbulent nineties, the peninsula experienced the creation of several artificial states, such as Kosovo, Bosnia and FYROM, that became cradles of Islamic terrorism as well as headquarters for criminal organizations.  Now, once again, Balkan governments are undermining the stability of Europe. Everywhere we look, there is trouble. Belgrade is plagued by antigovernment rallies and protests. The population of tiny Montenegro sharply is divided over NATO membership.  In Athens the leftist gang in power has opened the Greek and therefore European border...


Samuel Johnson, Our Greatest Moralist: Conclusion

In his moral writings, Dr. Johnson showed himself a devotee to  duty almost on the level with Robert E. Lee’s, who described it as “the sublimest word in the English language, adding,  “You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less.”   The concept of duty has been somewhat tarnished by Victorian moralists who too often seem to be advocating the virtue of prigs, and, worse, by  philosophers who, since the 18th century,  have got into the habit of regarding all duties as abstract, universal, and rational. A locus classicus for this approach...


Season 1, The Best Revenge, Episode 7: Pasta alla Norma


On this episode devoted to “Pasta alla Norma,” Thomas Fleming and Chef Garret Fleming talk about Sicilian markets, the history of eggplant, and even the preparation of this classic Sicilian pasta. Original Air Date: April 7, 2017 Show Run Time: 46 minutes Show Guest(s): Chef Garret Fleming Show Host(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming   The Best Revenge℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2017. All rights are reserved and any duplication without explicit written permission is forbidden.


Trump–Chump or Caesar?

The Russians have rightly condemned the US missile attack on Syria as a criminal act of aggression against a sovereign state.  I italicized the last phrase because it indicates a certain mental clarity on the part of Putin and his advisors:  Their own acts of criminal aggression are justifiable, apparently, so long as they are not directed against a state that holds undisputed sovereignty over a country or region.  John Seiler has made an excellent case that this may be the beginning of the end of the Trump administration.  He is probably right, but as a lifelong contrarian, I am going...


War Could End the Trump Administration

It didn’t take long for President Trump to let the dogs of war bite him. Item: He just attacked Syria with a “targeted military stroke” on an airfield supposedly used by President Assad for chemical attacks. But what if reports the chemical weapons are “fake news”? The reports came from the U.S. intelligence community, which hates Trump and, as we now know, relentlessly spied on him, his family and his campaign, while conjuring up the fake news of his collusion with Russia. Why would Syria use chemical weapons, bringing condemnation on itself, it it’s now winning the war against the...


Season 1, Islam: The Real Truth About the “Religion of Peace”, Episode 1


In this episode which is made specially for our Charter Subscribers, Dr. Srdja Trifkovic defines the texts we will be referring to, specifically the Koran, sunna, hadiths, and the system of cataloguing the Koran in “suras.” He goes on to discuss the type of world that Mohammed, the so-called prophet, was born into, the types of religion practiced in that part of the world, and the development of Islam prior to the taking of Mecca. Original Air Date: April 6, 2017 Show Run Time: 41 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Srdja Trifkovic Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner   Islam: The Real Truth...


Wednesday’s Child: The Möbius Syndrome

The Möbius strip, twisting back on itself in an endless loop, is how most people visualize the past, present, and – consequently – future of civilization. This seamless plane of recurrence is punctuated by popular historical concepts, such as “tyranny,” “slavery,” “war,” “revolution,” “famine,” “torture,” or else by such allegedly universal memes as “family,” “happiness”, or “wealth.”  Even those hysterically optimistic punters who believe that the history of civilization is progressive – which would imply that its topography is less like the closed loop than like an upwardly mobile parabola – cannot escape the pervasive myth of endless recurrence enshrined...