The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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Ask Mr. Autodidact: Diagram Latin Sentences?

A Question from a young Latin teacher. Henle asks that the students learn to diagram sentences in Latin. How helpful do you think this visual division of grammatical parts is for early and early-intermediate students? Much depends on the sort of students you have and what you expect to achieve.  Fr. Henle learned Latin before the Second World War, at a time when an analytical and structuralist approach was all the rage both in linguistics and in teaching English.  While the earliest method of diagramming goes back to the late 1840’s, the system really took off when it was visually...

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Subsidized Illiteracy

This murder of English and logic is being practiced by academics throughout the 50 states.  It results in a professor, testifying in the Senate, who has to ask what the word “exculpatory” means.  It results in hundreds of thousands of self-styled intellectuals who ridicule a successful businessman-turned-President who has that particle of common sense they will never have

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A League of Our Own, Part One

This essay on the Lega Nord was published in February of 1993, after I spend considerable time with members of the Lega and had secured a long interview (followed by subsequent briefer meetings) with Umberto Bossi. Now that the Lega is once again in the ruling coalition and facing the wrath of the EU for cracking down on Third World immigration, it seems a good time to take a second look.

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Life Lived without Law

Two unrelated events have connected themselves in my mind this week. My first story concerns a piece I read a couple of months ago about a priest in the diocese of Fall River, MA.  He had begun his career as a seminarian at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, MA, in the early 1990s.  In his first-year there, the academic dean, one Fr. John Farrell, not only described one of his homosexual adventures to the whole first-year class, but “inappropriately touched” our student twice or, as we would say in the language of the law, assaulted him. He was not the only...

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Take a Stroll in TFF Forum

We are developing an open discussion feature, the Forum.  At some point, we’ll have graphics,  bells, and whistles.  For now, what we have is the opportunity for paying subscribers to start discussions and take part in discussions others have initiated. To take part,  simply click “Forum” on the top menu.  If you have any problems about navigating this–or any–part of the site, just post your queries or complaints.  

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Wednesday’s Child: Blind Faith

I’m writing this while sporting dark sunglasses in the style of Ray Charles, or maybe even of Milton, raised from the dead to headline an Armani eyewear advertising campaign.  The trouble with my eyes, apparently, is caused by age – Dr. Jeffrey Heier, a famous Harvard Medical School ophthalmologist, apparently, has published a treatise entitled The Aging Eye – but I confess I attach far greater symbolic significance to this, one hopes transitory, malady.  Indeed, why stop at Milton, when one up the stakes and can go for Homer? Technically the thing that’s been happening to my eyes is called...