The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

17

‘Give Us Back the Death Penalty, Josef Vissarionovich!’

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence – it is force.” – George Washington (attributed) “All grandeur, all power, all subordination to authority rests on the executioner: he is the horror and the bond of human association. Remove this incomprehensible agent from the world and at that very moment order gives way to chaos, thrones topple and society disappears.” – de Maistre “Who – Whom?” – Lenin My title refers to the chapter of that name in Solzhenitsyn’s “In the First Circle,” now “free” with Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Under the all-compassionate Josef Stalin, the Soviet Union abolished the death...

5

Wednesday’s Child: More of Tuscany

The hotter it gets, the harder it is to write anything here. I am now back in Palermo, and it’s quite astonishing what a difference just a few graduations on Fahrenheit’s scale can make.  In Pietrasanta, where as the gentle reader may remember I have just spent nearly two weeks, one can effortlessly ratiocinate – in the shade, if not in the sun.

4

Born Out of Due Time: The Think Tank Murders, Chapter Two

“Whatever.  It’s pretty clear, though, he looks on most of his board members as a classroom of adolescents who are constantly making the mistake of thinking they can outsmart their teacher.  Even his friends are sometimes irritated by his attitude, at least a little, and one or two board members are getting hostile.  They all say he is a great man, but their respect comes close to resentment.  I don’t think they quite know how to dump him, but when they figure out how to do it—and make some money at the same time—they’ll do it. “

1

Wednesday’s Child: Letter from Tuscany

If ever I had the temptation to shirk my duty as the gentle reader’s clarion and dulcimer, if ever I wanted to declare myself on holiday and beg off for just a single week, if ever nature triumphed over nurture to make a child’s chore of the fast approaching Wednesday, it is now. I am in Tuscany, where the other day it actually rained – that last word describing an atmospheric condition when condensed moisture falls from the sky in drops, see also snow. In July in Palermo, where it last snowed in 1956, leaving an air conditioned house to...