The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


Wednesday’s Child: Death by Adventure

Yet another good reason to live in poverty, I reckon, is that paying a cool quarter of a million to get squashed inside a tin can at the bottom of the ocean should be well out of one’s reach.  I have always regarded the appetite for adventure as at least as attendant on wealth as on feeblemindedness, and  I must admit that the much-reviled comment by a leftist politician in England – to the effect that if millionaires can blow their fortunes on subaqueous deathtraps, it means they are not taxed enough – chimes in with my own macabre postmortem.


The Declaration’s Key Phrase: “Free and Independent States”

Conservatives and libertarians still like to celebrate Independence Day, while grousing about how today’s U.S. government is multiples larger than that of King George III, tyrant. But liberals nowadays, despite controlling most of the levers of power, especially the presidency, use the occasion to condemn the Declaration of Independence and everything that followed. Here’s George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times, columnist there for five decades:


Independence Day, Trump Rally, French Riots, Ukraine

As I write this, on Rumble I’m watching Trump’s South Carolina rally for Independence Day weekend. A choir just sang “America the Beautiful.” Now Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is speaking, describing the House investigations into President Biden, which revealed $5 million in bribes; and 15 calls by Hunter Biden, as well as two with the Big Guy, with Ukrainian oligarchs, which she said made a mockery of Trump’s impeachment and his ongoing persecution by the Biden-Garland Justice Department.


Wednesday’s Child: On Liberty

We have all seen studies, indexes, and tables purporting to assess the level of democratic development throughout the world, and these cannot but remind us of nineteenth-century quackery – something along the lines of Drs. John Kellogg and Havelock Ellis – with its measurements of life force.  The truth is we know a man’s alive, and roughly how alive he is, just by looking at him as he reads the morning paper.


Personal Story: How Russia Deals with Mutinies

Back in spring 1980 I was a Russian linguist in the U.S. Army stationed at a listening post east of Hamburg and just west of The Wall with East Germany. Not the Berlin Wall. This was The Wall that stretched from the Baltic Sea southward and separated East from West Germany. We used to listen to the Soviet Army practicing launching their nuclear missiles. One day I calculated the target position: Our position.


The Titanic and the Banality of Evil

Barack Obama has managed to sneak back into the news.  The occasion was an interview with Christiane Amampour in which he compared the modest media response to the death of 700 illegal immigrants, whose boat sank before they could enter Greece, with the hysteria over the fate of 7 rich tourists who tried to visit the Titanic.