The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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So What You’re Saying Is … Pat Buchanan Was Right all Along

A recent Claremont Review of Books article by the obviously pseudonymous Publius Decius Mus, “The Flight 93 Election,” has created quite a stir in the conservative universe. The article is a vigorous defense of Trump and Trumpism, and has been touted widely by Trump supporters. Rush Limbaugh read it aloud on his radio program. It has even inspired its own hashtag, #IAmDecius, but it has also generated a very vociferous reaction from anti-Trumpers. This National Review article by Jonah Goldberg contains links to several of the critical responses. Decius is one of the minds behind the now defunct Journal of...

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Writing and Reading Verse, V: Couplets

First, the one homework submission. Vince Cornell sends in: It is inevitable what we face. What we did once treasure we must now break. But first must we state our causes plainly. That this divide did arise from just cause Be assured, for we declare with one voice That our lives, our liberty, and our joy Are those goods which we must of our own secure. Britain, it was you that did bar our way, Cruelly depriving us of our base rights. Destructive became your rule over us, And we now do form our own government Building it upon those...

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Hooray for Hollywood!

According to a virtual reality rag called The Hollywood Reporter, both Stephen Spielberg and Harvey Weinstein are planning separately to base one of their schlock movies on “the true story of the kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.” Their true story is “about a 6-year-old Italian boy who in 1858 was taken from his Jewish parents by police and raised [sic!] Catholic.”  The villain in the piece is Pope Pius IX, who will be played—if Weinstein has his way—by Robert de Niro!   “Are you looking at me?  Are you looking at me?”  It’s too bad the Christophobic Christopher Hitchens has left...

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Wednesday’s Child: Health and Poverty

I have known many rich people in my lifetime and had ample occasion to remark upon what seemed like an endless spiral of personal tragedies they invariably suffered.  As a Christian, I always found this unfair.  The rich are supposed to be thoughtless of God and careless of the salvation of their souls – with eternal anguish their likely posthumous lot – but here on earth their existence is meant to be cushy, replicating or evoking the serenity of paradise. Instead it looked like their future suffering unto eternity was merely a continuation of their present sorrows in this earthly...

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Trump:  The Lesser Evil, Episode II

Reading the leftist responses to Hillary’s condemnation of us “deplorables,”  I was struck by the uniformity of tone.  They run the gamut from self-righteous astonishment to self-righteous indignation.  Occasionally, they tip their hand:  People who use “politically correct” as an insult, they say, are bigots, and so is anyone who thinks there might be something amiss with affirmative action, open immigration, same sex marriage, and men in women’s clothing hanging out in the girl’s locker room. There is a curious contradiction in the American “liberal” mind.  On the one hand, they are “all about” (an expression worth a few pages...

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Jerks I: Land of the Free, Home of the Jerk, Part B

Though they are one of America’s distinctive creations, Jerks have been observed throughout history.  Meet one from 17th century France, described by one of the most acute observers of human folly, Jean de la Bruyère: Gnathon lives for no one but himself, and the rest of the world are to him as if they did not exist. He is not satisfied with occupying the best seat at table, but he must take the seats of two other guests, and forgets that the dinner was not provided for him alone, but for the company as well; he lays hold of every...

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…Who Help Themselves

This piece appeared in the first number of revamped Chronicles, in  May 1985.  Some readers found it alarming at the time.   It now seems quite moderate, though many law-and-order neoconservatives would still deplore the call for self-help.   We take too much for granted in America. Whenever we have a problem, we assume that somebody else is paid to solve it, somebody from the government. All the ancient burdens of the human flesh—poverty and envy, greed and arrogance—have been turned over to one or another bureaucratic agency.  We sleep better at night knowing that somewhere someone is busy making life...

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From Under the Rubble, Episode 6: Burkini Ban

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In this episode of From Under the Rubble Dr. Fleming reflects on the recent burkini controversy in France and its implications for so-called “religious freedom” both in the Old World and the New. Original Air Date: September 12, 2016 Show Run Time: 39 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner The Fleming Foundation · From Under the Rubble, Episode 6: Burkini Ban   From Under the Rubble℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2016. All Rights are Reserved.

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Properties of Blood I.7: Dueling For Honor, Part A

Defining the Duel The word duel is often used loosely to mean a fight between two men or even any competitive conflict between men or beasts.  The historian Victor Kiernan has written an entire book on European dueling without ever, apparently, figuring out what a duel actually was.  Let us begin by setting aside such metaphorical usages as “dueling egos,” “dueling banjos,” and “dueling roosters,” and restrict ourselves to violent encounters between two human antagonists, who may or may not ne accompanied by allies who may simply insure fair play or even take part in the action. If we are...

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9/11 Still Haunts 2016 Presidential Race

Without delving into “conspiracy theories,” the 15th anniversaries of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, continue to haunt America and the world, especially the 2016 election. 1. Hillary Clinton, currently running for president herself, was “co-president” for the eight-year run-up to the attacks. She’s running on her long experience in government. But the first (and one hopes only) Clinton administration left the country open to the attacks. For one, its open-borders immigration policy let in the 19 terrorists. For another, its obsession with bombing numerous foreign countries – Iraq, Serbia, Sudan – for no real reason except to keep...