The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


The Wilsonian Empire

The empire of our good friend Clyde Wilson is spreading.  Not only does it encompass Shotwell Publishing but it now includes Reckonin, a Southern political website developed by his daughter, which just put up a revised and expanded version of  my off-the-cuff piece, “What is To Be Done?”


Born out of Due Time, By Ched P. Rayson, Chapter VII

“Listen, professor.  You and me are not exactly two  peas in a pod–more like an English pea and a Swede—you’d probably call it a rutabaga—but I size you up from the first.  You don’t belong here, and I don’t mean just in Nadir.  You waste your time reading, but in some way you belong more to my world than to the world (pointing to the dead television screen) that’s on that thing.  I know you’ll take care of yourself.  Some of these guys do not mean you nothing  good.”


Crazy Town

In Fear, the latest spasm of gossip and fear-mongering by the infamous (among people of sense and decency) Bob Woodward, the gullible American public is given a portrait of the Trump White House as a cross between Bedlam and the palace of Caligula.  Trump supporters are outraged.  


How Did Ex-CIA Czar John Brennan Get Into The Company?

I laughed when I read ex-CIA Czar John Brennan’s gripe that taking away his security clearance was “part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics.” I once had a security clearance. Although not as high as his, it was pretty high, Top Secret-Special Intelligence. When I was training to be a Russian linguist and radio intercept operator, 1978-89, the FBI talked to everybody in my background, asking such questions as: Did you ever vote for the Communist Party-USA? They talked to my next door neighbor, and receive a glowing report. “He’s been...


Looking for Mr. Jefferson, Conclusion

I have always thought that Jefferson’s   advocacy of the separation of church and state was in part inspired by his distaste for the political power of the Yankee clergy.  Remember, the  famous letter  about “the wall of separation” was addressed to a group of Baptists in Connecticut, who were independent of that State’s established Puritan church.  One can still find die-hard Calvinists who denounce Jefferson as an atheist.  For some reason they never mention that John Adams became a Unitarian. Through the 19th century Jefferson remained a very popular symbol among the people and occasionally among writers, but  New...


Take Five: The Scandalous Pope

Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences [that is, scandals, stumbling blocks] will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.