The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


The Decline of the American Empire: Recessional I

I am revising a series of articles and lectures I wrote on American Imperialism.  In some places I have deleted political references that have lost their significance, in others I have expanded and developed an argument in light of later events and more serious consideration.   The first version of this was written in (so far as I can tell) 2002.  While the Trump administration may, viewed in retrospect, represent a lull in the imperialists’ Grand Design to wipe the old America from the face of the earth, no President willing to hire John Bolton or Nikki Haley can be regarded as a defender of the American Republic.


Reaching the Boiling Point

The change-over in the House was predicted by pundits from the day of Donald Trump’s election and therefore means very little.  Nonetheless, it does show that the American electorate–it is hardly possible to speak of Americans as “a people”–is not only divided by class and region and race but even segments that supported Trump two years ago failed him.  A cynic might say it is because America’s blue-collar class and Middle Americans in general are fat, stupid, and cowardly, and cynics are generally right.


Religio Philologi: The Gentile Church, B:

Ignatius warned against one of the perennial temptations—to impose Jewish customs on the Church: “It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize.  For Christianity did not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity, that so every tongue which believeth might be gathered together to God.” [Magnesians 10] Ignatius also warned against the poison of heretics who denied the reality of Christ’s passion. [Trallians 11]


Roger McGrath on The Ace of Aces: Richard Bong

By the time he went on leave during the late fall of 1943, Bong had 21 aerial victories and was wearing captain’s bars.  Back in Wisconsin, at a Superior State Teachers College homecoming, he met the girl of his dreams, Marge Vattendahl.  When he returned to New Guinea in January 1944, he had his ground crew decorate the nose of his P-38 with a large photograph of Marge.  It was the last thing seen by many a Japanese pilot.   By early April he had added four mo


One Flesh in Law. POB II, Chapter 4: Husbands and Wives, B

In the Anglo-American tradition of Common Law, the status of wives was defined by the principle of coverture, which meant that the wife’s legal identity was merged with that of her husband.   When Hamlet is taken to task for addressing his stepfather as “mother,” he replies: “Father and mother is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh, and so, my mother.”  As Blackstone observes: “By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law…the very legal being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during marriage, or at least is incorporated or consolidated.”