The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


Christianity and Classical Culture, Episode 5: Sophocles Part II


In this episode of Christianity and Classical Culture, we continue a discussion of Sophocles that started with Oedipus Rex. We continue by discussing both Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone in depth. Dr. Fleming knows these plays very well and it is a real treat to listen to his discussion of the various threads within these plays and the interpretation of them both in their time and in ours. Original Air Date: May 8, 2016 Show Run Time: 1 hour 8 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner   Christianity and Classical Culture℗ is a Production of the...


From Under the Rubble, Episode 4: Civil Disobedience


In this episode of From Under the Rubble, Dr. Thomas Fleming addresses something very much in the headlines these days: Civil Disobedience. Is it lawful and right? Host Stephen Heiner also asks our guest about the civil rights movement, while Dr. Fleming asks the larger question: what do we do in a civilized society when confronted with odious laws, dictates, and decrees? Original Air Date: May 7, 2016 Show Run Time: 40 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner   From Under the Rubble℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2016. All Rights are Reserved.


Does Your Daughter Feel a Draft?

  “There ain’t no draft no more.” – Sgt. Hukla in “Stripes” Say, isn’t the U.S. House of Representatives supposed to be controlled by Republican “conservatives,” almost all of whom oppose the non-conservative Donald Trump? Weren’t they elected to a majority in the 2010 Tea Party campaign to repeal Obamacare? Well, the conservatives just voted to impose the draft on girls. H.R. 4478 actually is called the Draft America’s Daughters Act of 2016. Reportedly it was put up as a jest by “Rep. Duncan Hunter, a former Marine who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, [but] does not...


40 Days Later: They still didn’t understand

“Domine, si in tempore hoc restitues regnum Israel?” “Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?” Acts I: vi “…apparuit illis Iesus: et exprobravit incredulitatem eorum, et duritiam cordis: quia iis qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt.” “…and He appeared to them and He upbraided them for their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen Him after He was risen again.” St. Mark XVI: xiv They had spent years with Him.  Lived with Him.  Watched Him work miracles.  Watched Him raise people from the dead.  Watched Him die.  Watched...


Ransom Notes, Cinco de Mayo Plus One: GOP Deserters

Why are so many Republicans shying away from Trump and promising to boycott the convention? Whatever the answer is, we know it has nothing to do with principles, because they don’t have any.  What they do have are paymasters. In picking a side, e.g., the global war machine to which Maddog John McCain bends the knee, or the Megachurch pseudo-Christian pastors bloated on greed and ignorance that Ted Cruz adores, or the transnational business interests that force the Republican Party to stiff the American people by bringing in cheap labor and shipping jobs off to Chinese slave-masters.  Even the hint...


Aristotle: Politics I, chapters 3-5 On the House

The subject of the third and fourth chapters is the acquisition of  property (ktesis) and the gaining of wealth (chremastike).  Possession of property  is natural because it is necessary to our existence (and even of animals’ existence) to secure food, shelter, etc.  Wealth-getting per se is a more narrowly specialized and morally circumscribed activity.  To the extent it serves the needs of the household it can be regarded as natural; to the extent wealth become an object in itself, it is unnatural.  Aristotle distinguishes between two uses of a piece of property such as a shoe: Its proper and natural use in...


Donald Trump’s Paper Moon

“All’s Over then.  Does truth sound bitter as one at first believes?” Yes, it must sound very bitter indeed to the leaders of the TedCruzJohnKasicMarcoRubioCarlyFiorinaJebBush Party—which is neither very old nor very grand.  They played the game according to its well-established and well-known rules, which can be boiled down to “Lie, Cheat, and Steal,” and they went down in a defeat untouched by honor or dignity.  What a pill it must have been for the Bible-thumping Cruz to take, listening to the vulgarian Trump verbally pat little Teddy on the head, predicting big things for the kid when he grows...


Wednesday’s Child: But ah, my Foes, and oh, my Friends

Vladimir Bukovsky, whom I became friends with while living in Cambridge in the late 80’s, was born in 1942.  In 1963, while a student in Moscow, he was arrested and charged with possession of forbidden literature. As it was thought more convenient to pronounce a lad of 20 insane than to bother with a trial, he was committed to a special psychiatric hospital.  He was released in February 1965 and arrested again in December of that year for organizing a street demonstration.  This time he was committed to a psychiatric hospital of the ordinary type. Released in July 1966, in...


Programming schedule for 2016

I just wanted to take a moment to thank our Gold and Charter members for their patience as Dr. Fleming and I caught up on our podcasts.  The promise of last year was one per week, four per month, but in February and March Dr. Fleming and I both had travel schedules that contrived to tinker with that plan.  I’m happy to say now at the end of April/beginning of May that we are mostly caught up, and will be regularly delivering at least one podcast per week. We will have two season breaks in 2016, which will include the...


Why I don’t “support the troops”

Some weeks back one of the speakers at a conference I was attending told me over a meal that his son was heading into the Marines via ROTC, and he wanted to know what I, as a former Marine and as someone who had attended Officer Candidates’ School, thought about his son’s military aspirations.  I did not have encouraging words for him. I had a conversation about this subject with one of my former students some months ago. I have taught hundreds of young men and women, but only a few students become friends and keep in touch with me...