The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


Wednesday’s Child: Zone 2

I fear the gentle reader may have concluded from my last post, where I confessed to having watched fifty hours of old Russian television in a single week, that my idleness has finally got the better of me. Yet Zone, as I sought to explain, is no ordinary television, but a pivotal historic event, and one, moreover, that presages the latest political developments in Moscow. On the day my post appeared, December 20, a remarkable anniversary was being celebrated by the millions of Russians in the covert or overt employ of the police state.  It was the centenary of the...


Donald Trump: Genius or Chump?

For decades I have opposed the special relationship by which the Israeli tail wags the American dog, but, as I wrote recently on this site, I no longer care very much.  The Muslims of the world hate our guts and are slaughtering innocent people in Europe and the United States.  By any reasonable political standard, they have forfeited the right to be taken seriously. Spear-head by the Palestinians, their friends in the Muslim world, and the terrified Europeans who refuse to resist the ongoing invasion of Muslim enemies, the anti-Christian vermin who control the United Nations have rebuked the the...


You Robot, Me Man: From Under the Rubble, Episode 19


Dr. Fleming and Rex Scott discuss the development of technology From Under the Rubble. Original Air Date: December 21, 2017 Show Run Time: 31 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): Rex Scott From Under the Rubble episodes are available to Gold subscribers and higher.   From Under the Rubble℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2017. All Rights are Reserved.


Wednesday’s Child: A Zone Too Far

I just finished watching the last episode of a fifty-episode Russian television series entitled Zone.  This epic series was made ten years ago, and represents a kind of symbolic watershed in Russia’s political progress from the authoritarian horizontal of the 1990’s to the totalitarian vertical of today.  To make such a production in the country’s present climate would be just about unthinkable, as witness the scandal around Zvyagintsev’s 2014 film Leviathan, acclaimed in Cannes yet politically a much weaker statement than Zone. It occurs to me that, having sunk 50 hours of my time into this situation tragedy, I may...


The Christian Marriage Revolution: POB II.2, part 4

Christian Marriage in the Empire Christ did not come to overturn the law but to fulfill it.  Similarly, Christianity did not overturn the ancient view of marriage, but it did strengthen and discipline the institution, nudging it in the direction of the revealed ideal.   In form, most early Christian marriages would have been simply Greek or Roman customs imbued with a Christian understanding.  Pagan ceremonies would have been stripped of explicitly pagan customs, such as the taking of the auspices, but a pagan attending a Christian wedding would not have noticed much difference.  Marriage was still based on the...


Repeal the 17th Amendment

The debacle of Alabama’s Senate election shows why the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, electing U.S. senators by a vote of the people, ought to be repealed. Like other “reforms” of the Progressive Era – the Federal Reserve, Prohibition and the dreaded income tax – it made worse what it was supposed to improve. And World War I, the passion of progressive President Woodrow Wilson and ex-President Teddy Roosevelt, instead of “making the world safe for democracy,” paved the way for Lenin and Hitler. The original Constitution established a delicate balance between the more democratic House of Representatives, apportioned by...


I Promessi Sposi, Part II: Alessandro Manzoni

Manzoni This, then, is a bit of the world in which Manzoni lived and played a prominent part.  He was born  in Milan.  His father Pietro Manzoni came from a decayed feudal family and had  had married Giulia, the daughter of the liberal legal reformer Cesare Beccaria, whose tissue of cliches on punishment continue to undermine law and order throughout the developed world. .  Her father’s daughter, Giulia ran away from Pietro with her lover in 1792 and went to live in Paris among a circle of liberal and enlightened intellectuals.  Manzoni’s early life was lived in Lombardia–in Lecco (not...


Net Neutrality Isn’t (FREE TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS)

Donald Trump isn’t the only one who can come up with catchy phrases. The Silicon Valley Sultans long have been brilliant marketers, beginning with the late Steve Jobs, who radiated what was called a “reality distortion field.” That’s how they came up with Net “Neutrality,” even though what they want is not “neutrality” on the Internet, but freeloading control by them. There really aren’t any Good Guys here as both sides involve the biggest corporations in the country, all involved one way or another in attacking our freedoms and basic decency. But here’s what’s going on. In the past three...


The Pope’s Temptation

Is anyone old enough to remember when it was not quite respectable to be in the news?   Of course, the doings of the great and the wise would have to be recorded—the birth of an heir, the discovery of a planet—but, otherwise, it  was better not to be noticed by the newspapers, which have always been properly regarded as scandal sheets.  And, of all classes of men who had to avoid notoriety, the clergy were at the top, and of all the Christian clergy, the Pope was chief among those who were wise enough to stay out of the...


A Capital Crime? Trump and Jerusalem

“Trump has sold us out!” ”It’s all the fault of that Jewish son-in-law of his!” “This sets back the Middle East peace process by decades!” These are just a few of the more moderate exclamations I have heard in condemnation of the President’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel and to relocate the embassy. Perhaps they are all right, but I doubt it.  While Trump’s manifest trust in his children is a source of possible weakness, it is also one of his strongest qualities.  Jared and Ivanka Kushner have certainly played a major role in this administration, but whether...