The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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College: Affirmative Action Economics

At Mount Holyoke, the affirmative action committee sent to all departments an article by one of their professors of philosophy, arguing that preference on grounds of race and sex was proper, whereas no sound case in logic could be made for preference on grounds of ability.

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Pete Buttigieg–Man of Faith

Here’s a pretty-how-de-do!   Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend and leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, wonders if someone like Donald Trump–so wealthy, so unashamed of his wealth–could possibly be Christian.  He has also attacked Mike Pence for his concentration on sexual issues.   Like many people who read the headlines, I wondered what religion could inform the mind of a man who attacks one politician for being rich and another for being moralistic, when he pretends to have married another man.  (I forget which he pretends to be the wife and which the husband.) He can’t be a...

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St. Thomas Economicus

Many libertarians and classical liberals regard St. Thomas Aquinas as one of the enemies of liberty, of economic liberty in particular.  According to these critics (and to some self-described Thomists, Thomas is supposed to have devised an abstract and systematic theory of an ideal state, which would have the power to regulate the marketplace by establishing a quasi-Marxian “just price” for all goods and by prohibiting all interest on investments.  This opinion of Thomas’s economic views is substantially wrong, both in the details and in its overall point of view.  Although Thomas was far from being a classical liberal, his...

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Wednesday’s Child:At the Circus

I’ve spent the whole of last week at the circus.  No, I don’t mean Westminster or Capitol Hill, I mean literally, with a bunch of clowns. Generally speaking, they don’t make clowns these days like they used to.  A few of them have actually gone into politics.  In Italy, what is now the largest political party was founded by one, and I note that another one, in Ukraine, is slated to be the next president. They call themselves comics to lend themselves respectability, but what they really are is tragic clowns.  They play on the popular perception, famously a dramatic...

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Dante the Man, Part III: Christianity and Classical Culture, Episode 27

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In this ongoing discussion about Dante and his times, Dr. Fleming discusses Florence in particular: its governance, its aristocracy, and specifics of the Guelf and Ghibelline feud. Episodes from the Inferno and Purgatorio are tied in with this history. Original Air Date: April 3, 2019 Show Run Time: 34 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner This Podcast is available for Silver subscribers and higher.   Christianity and Classical Culture℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2019. All rights are reserved and any duplication without explicit written permission is forbidden.

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Foreign Affairs, Episode 6: April 2019

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On this episode of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Srdja Trifkovic returns to discuss the recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory by the United States, Brexit (and whether it will actually happen), the ongoing coup attempt in Venezuela, the 20th anniversary of the bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO forces, and the nothingburger that was the Mueller Report. This episode is free to the public. Show Sponsor: Members Who Support Our Work Original Air Date: April 2, 2019 Show Run Time: 44 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Srdja Trifkovic Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner Podcast Player – Click the Cloud to Download Episode...

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College: The Great American Fee-Factory, Part One

Foreword. Back in the 1980s, having had the fascinating experience of sitting on a financial-aid committee, I learned—to my surprise—that colleges no longer awarded endowed scholarships to exceptionally clever applicants; that instead they were offering something called “financial aid packages” to everyone, thus making it obvious to an inquiring mind that intellectual ability had little to do with college admissions. I also discovered that colleges operated in packs or cartels to fix their prices and restrict competition. The piece that follows was the result of my appalled fascination, and since I seem to have anticipated both the dereliction of academic standards...

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Born Out of Due Time, by Ched P. Rayson: Chapter 20

Geltner slammed the table, with his open hand and shouted: “Think about?  In your shoes I wouldn’t waste time thinking. I’d be shaking the hand of the man who made the offer.  What do you have to lose?  I don’t mind telling you, I’m the one who asked Sottili to look into your background.  He thinks you’ve been up to something, but he can’t find any evidence and I don’t give a damn if he does.  Me, I think you’re just an old-fashioned American eccentric, a Bohemian with nice manners and a collar and tie.  I’ve knocked around myself, and while I’m all for old-fashioned family values, there are some places where the rules don’t apply.”