The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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Christianity and Classical Culture, Episode 9: Oresteia Part II

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In this second part of a two part mini series on the Oresteia, Dr. Fleming explores themes and characters in the second and third plays in the cycle, the Libation Bearers and the Eumenides. He examines the role of fate in what Orestes does, the horror of blood guilt in relation to justice, how Athena tames the Furies eventually, and how she began this process using the conceit of a legal proceeding, in a courtroom. Original Air Date: December 17, 2016 Show Run Time: 52 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner   Christianity and Classical Culture℗ is a...

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Why the Russians Couldn’t POSSIBLY Have Helped Trump

  “If your opponents are digging a hole for themselves, let them,” advises “Debate, Student Edition,” a guide for high schoolers. I also remember Franklin Roosevelt said something similar, “If you opponent is committing suicide, don’t interfere.” But I can’t find the reference online. Perhaps the Russkies deleted it to sabotage the reputation of Uncle Joe’s old Yalta pal. That’s the best reason the Russkies actually didn’t interfere in our election to help Trump: They knew Hillary’s campaign was a loser and didn’t want to interfere with her slide toward oblivion. Only Hillary and her brainwashed Main Sleaze Media worshippers...

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Trump Must Break Up the CIA, Reform Entire Military

Back when I marched as a soldier in the U.S. Army in West Germany from 1979-82, I used to listen to Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America. They broadcast in English, German, Russian, Czech, Polish and other languages. I had never heard them back in The World, as we called our free America, because they were banned from broadcasting in the United States. All federal intelligence agencies, especially the CIA, were banned from interfering in any way with our domestic politics, even to reveal the horrors of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. But three years...

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Aristotle’s Politics, Book VII

The concluding books of the Politics, VII and VIII, are a meditation on the themes introduced by Plato in the Republic: What is the nature and characteristics of an ideal commonwealth and, in particular, what education would be appropriate for its citizens?  To address these questions, Aristotle has to remind us of what he said in the Ethics about the proper ends of human life—that we do not, to quote Socrates, live to eat but only eat in order to live.  In other words, that material necessities have to be met, not as ends in themselves but as means that must...

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Dealing with Putin

Andrei Navrozov has posted a very timely remark on my piece “Donald and the Russians”: “Indeed, let us not “build an even more costly, inefficient, and tyrannical intelligence apparatus.” Let us instead rebuild a military decimated by 30 years of wishful thinking, fraudulent arms control treaties, and suicidal unilateral disarmament.” I agree with my Russian friend, with this proviso: that we take an honest look at who has gained the most since the death of Brezhnev. Where once the West confronted the Soviet Empire in Germany, we now enter into contests of subversion and electioneering in Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, et...

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Wednesday’s Child:  A Samizdat of the Internet

My childhood reading in Russia was divided between ordinary printed books–that is to say, rectangular objects recognizable by their covers and spines–and loose paper sheaves, underground artifacts that friends of friends of friends had been disseminating and passing to friends of friends until a copy reached one friend or another of my father’s. The principal engine for the dissemination of “samizdat,” as those sheaves were called, was the typewriter, loaded with as many as six carbons, and the avowed aim of the disseminators was the collapse of the existing regime. The disseminators of those forbidden typescripts, who were known as...

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Donald and the Russians

The Russians are coming!  The Russians are coming! Or rather, if we are to believe President Obama’s CIA, they are already here, manipulating presidential elections in favor of their own particular spetznaz, Donald Trump.  Before we decide to ramp up the Second Cold War or build an even more costly, inefficient, and tyrannical intelligence apparatus, Americans might consider, for just a moment, three aspects of this question–simple facts, really– that are receiving scant attention. The first and most obvious fact should be obvious and, if we were listening to the radio, we’d probably hear it from Sean and Alex:  The...

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Jerks 2, Part C: The Virtue of Being a Selfish Jerk

The Rugged Individualist   “Who is John Galt?” I don’t know and couldn’t care less, but lots of disgruntled young people waste time on the internet asking this question, as pointless as it is pretentious.  John Galt was, of course, the fictional protagonist of Ayn Rand’s bloated novel, Atlas Shrugged, in which he leads a work-stoppage of the competent and innovative against a world of egalitarian consumers who do not appreciate what the geniuses of the world have done for them.  He is, in other words, the rugged individualist that is supposedly America’s greatest contribution to world civilization.  He is also...

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A Life in Shreds and Patches, Chapter 1: In Search of a Vocation, Part D

By the time I was in school, history had virtually disappeared from the curriculum, displaced by “social studies” units on how Juan and Maria lived on a coffee farm in Brazil and road a donkey to school.  Geography, which before my time meant learning to read a map and name the principle features of the terrain, now meant reading morality plays about the more interesting people who lived in distant lands.  Although I have tried to remedy it, my ignorance of geography has plagued me all my life.  Lately, I have been reading through Momsen’s History of Rome.  I thought...

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Roger McGrath Remembers Pearl Harbor, UPDATE 2

Roger McGrath, US Marine and illustrious historian of the American West, is also an authority on the Second World War.  In this ongoing interview, he sheds some light on the event that drew the United States into war 75 years ago. TFF:  Prof. McGrath: This week marks the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. When you and I were growing up, “Remember Pearl Harbor” was a common phrase, something like “Remember the Alamo in 19th century America. I’d like to explore with you why this event was so significant to two generations of Americans and why these days it seems to be...