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Faces of Clio
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Faces of Clio

[This view first appeared in the October 1986 issue of Chronicles.] The obscurest epoch is today. —Robert Louis Stevenson Taken together, these three books serve nicely as a kind of group portrait of Clio and her several faces. In reverse order we have the historian as diarist and memoirist, as documentarian, and as reflective sage....

Beautygate!
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Beautygate!

Here’s an opinion that might as well be a fact of life: Men of all ages find beauty queens to be attractive.  Yes, I know, it’s quite a newsflash.  Remember, you read it here first. Yet judging by the media’s reaction when longtime sports play-by-play man Brent Musburger paid a compliment to Katherine Webb, the...

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Service Academy Board Blues

After an absence of several years, I was back to serve on my congressman’s Academy Selection Board.  This group of ten or so volunteers is made up of service-academy graduates, several of whom are retirees, and a few who are still on active duty.  All of them have links to West Point, Annapolis, or the...

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Poems of the Week–the other Coleridge

Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849) was the oldest son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  He inherited much of his father's talent and brilliance but also some of his lack of discipline, which resulted in the forfeiture for intemperance of his Oriel fellowship.  He wrote biography for money and is often felt to have ...

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Chronicles Unbound, Live Today 3-5 PM

Chronicles Unbound, the official radio program of the best magazine on earth, is on the air and streaming live today, 3-5 PM.  Join Tom Fleming, Scott Richert, and host Paul Youngblood as they discuss the Obama administration's war against ...

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Bibi’s Dilemma—and Barack’s

“Bibi” Netanyahu was disgusted. “My initial reaction is that Iran has gotten a freebie. It has got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation.” The Israeli prime minister was referring to Saturday’s meeting in Istanbul of the P5-plus-1—the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany—with representatives from Iran. Subject: Iran’s nuclear...

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Poems of the Week–Ben Jonson

Here is a somewhat conversational masterpiece by the great Ben.  It's a bit long but very vivid, funny, and, while self-serving, not hypocritical.  What a man he must have been!  Small wonder younger poets loved him, and not simply because he helped them.  His poem on Shakespeare, so often misunderstood ...

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Poems of the Week–April 9: Conversational Verse

This is a big topic.  Conversational verse includes satires, dramatic dialogues, and homey little poems of the Robert Frost type.  To achieve a conversational tone, one has to lower the diction a bit and work somewhat against the metrical rules.  I'm going to stick mostly to iambic pentameter lines.  Let's ...

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The Heart of Darkness

When the Vietnam War ended in 1975, over 58,000 Americans had lost their lives over the course of almost 20 years.  Whatever one may think of the justice or prudence of the U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia, only the most callous of souls regards that loss of life with complete ...

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Dreams of My Daughters

President Barack Obama surprised even battle-hardened pro-life Americans with his official remarks on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that has, since 1973, littered garbage dumps across America with the corpses of 50 million babies, 32 percent of them African-American.  In a White House press ...

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The Civil Rights Movement—March 2012

Vol. 36, No. 3 March 2012 perspective Revolting Parasites by Thomas Fleming views The Inner Logic of Civil Rights by Claude Polin Zora Neale Hurston’s White Mare by Jack Trotter news Crusader in the Crossfire by Timothy Stanley reviews A Warring Visionary by Tom Piatak [The Crusader: The Life and Tumultuous Times of Pat Buchanan, by ...

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Putin’s Victory

That a week is a long time in politics is confirmed by three significant events of the past seven days which will make life more difficult for the proponents of American “engagement” abroad. One was Bashar al-Assad’s victory in Homs, accompanied by the embarrassing discovery of French military “advisors” with ...

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Syria Gets Complicated

A three-member “Independent International Commission of Inquiry” appointed by the United Nations concluded on February 23 that “gross human rights violations” had been ordered by the Syrian authorities as state policy at “the highest levels of the armed forces and the government,” amounting to “crimes against humanity.” The 72-page ...

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A Warring Visionary

The Crusader: The Life and Tumultuous Times of Pat Buchanan by Timothy Stanley New York: Thomas Dunne Books 464 pp., $27.99 British scholar Timothy Stanley  has produced the first significant biography of Patrick J. Buchanan, describing his life from his boyhood in Washington, D.C., up ...

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Obama’s Game

I was away in Europe when President Obama delivered his third State of the Union Address, hence a belated commentary. Obama’s carefully crafted speech sounded more like the opening shot in the reelection race than a set of serious policy proposals. His “blueprint for the future,” which supposedly will bring about ...

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Obama’s Trampling on God’s Turf Now

Yes, Virginia, there is a religious war going on. It is for the soul of America. And traditional Christianity is besieged. In a January visit to the Vatican, American bishops were warned by Benedict XVI that

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Plato’s Apology

After returning from my Balkan adventures, I can now return to the serious business of using Plato to teach reasoning.  Let us turn to the Apology.  You probably all know that the Greek apologia means something like justification or defense argument rather than apology.  It is Plato's reconstruction (or imaginative ...

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David Cameron’s Finest Hour

Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to veto Germany's demand for a new European fiscal union will define his premiership. More than that, Cameron has raised a banner for patriots everywhere fighting to retain their national independence. With his no vote on fiscal union, Cameron declared to the EU:

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Plato’s Euthyphro: Introduction

It has been a while since I posted a Booklog entry.  It is not for lack of reading, on my part, but most of my reading has been either rather technical--Sicilian history, Pre-Socratic philosophy, the history of marriage--or too light to merit discussion.  In preparing for our own Sicilian Expedition, ...

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A Kinder, Gentler Amnesty

By the time Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed the shift in policy, it was hardly a surprise.  In an August 18 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and 21 other Democratic senators, Napolitano acknowledged that removing people from the country simply for being illegal immigrants was no longer ...

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The Greek Referendum: A Machiavellian Scenario

European politicians and commentators are predictably screaming blue murder over Prime Minister George Papandreou’s announcement that the Greek government will put the EU rescue package to a referendum, but I smell a rat. This looks like a cunning ploy, jointly engineered by Athens and Berlin, to get a more radical ...

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Herman Cain and Obama’s 1000 Days

My latest on the Daily Mail takes up the rise and what I hope will be the fall of Herman Cain. I also have an even newer piece on Obama's First 1000 Days. Please do not respond here, since what is really needed is a show of interest at the ...

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Success(ion)

The lifeblood of Chronicles is Tom Fleming, who took the reins of an interesting magazine in 1985 and turned it into an indispensable publication for anyone concerned about the future of this country.  But the magazine that you hold in your hands today also owes its current form—and perhaps even ...

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Lessons of Libya

Liberal interventionists and their neoconservative twins on both sides of the Atlantic were jubilant as Libyan rebels took Tripoli.  From now on, “The right question for the United States and its allies isn’t whether to help oppressed people fight for freedom, it’s when,” declared the Washington Post on August 24.  The answer to that question...

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Am I a Threat to National Security?

When I first saw the memo from the FBI’s counterterrorism center in Newark, declaring that I’m “a threat to National Security,” not to mention an “agent of a foreign power,” I was incredulous.  These can’t be real FBI documents, I thought to myself.  Someone is pulling my leg. Sadly, no. 

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The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

In medias res: Loud, booming, clanging in an industrial factory.  Bottles and other loose articles shake and nearly crash to the floor with each successive pounding, rattle of the building.  A figure falls to a low crouch holding a drawn pistol while glancing about like a cornered animal.  Two calm men enter the room and...

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My New Blog

The commentary editor of the online edition of The Daily Mail has invited me to contribute a blog several times a week.  Once he wakes up and realizes his terrible mistake, the blog may be gone with the wind a lot sooner and more permanently than the Confederacy.  So, if ...

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An Open Letter to National Public Radio

Kudos to the Morning Edition staff!  I have been an NPR listener almost from the beginning, and while I am constantly impressed by the errors and distortions that pepper your reporting on literature and history, I must confess that even I was bowled over by Robert Krulwich’s conversation with Stephen Greenblatt on the subject of...

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Beyond the “Strategic Partnership”

The E.U.-Russia Centre Conference, Munich, September 15, 2011 The “Strategic Partnership” between Berlin and Moscow is usually understood in the English-speaking world in somewhat simplified terms: Russian energy meets German technology with a lot of high-minded political rhetoric on top. In the meantime, the received wisdom goes, Germany remains firmly anchored in the Euro-Atlantic framework of...

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Srdja Trifkovic on the Radio Today

Srdja Trifkovic, still in Germany at a major conference, will be interviewed by Paul Youngblood on WNTA/1330 at 4 PM today, Thursday 14 September.  On this same website there is a button to take you to the station's live webcast.

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9-11, Ten Years Later: Islam’s Unmitigated Success

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I thought that the Muslims had made a big blunder. At first I believed that they had scored an auto-goal: This was the sort of thing that would shake up the Western world, wake it up to the fact that the Islamic demographic deluge—a process that had been...

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What 9/11 Wrought: The Bush Legacy

In Cairo in 1943, when the tide had turned in the war on Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, who had embraced Joseph Stalin as an ally and acceded to his every demand, had a premonition. Conversing with Harold Macmillan, Churchill blurted: “Cromwell was a great man, wasn’t he?” “Yes, sir, a very great man,” Macmillan replied....

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ON THE AIR AGAIN

Please join my friend Paul Youngblood and me at 3:00 (CDT) on WNTA 1330.  LAst week the station changed the schedule on us, but we're back to normal now.  We are probably going to talk about the new report on Thomas Jeffferson's alleged affair with Sally Hemmings--who says we don't ...

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September 11: What Has Changed?—September 2011

beyond the revolution Deforming Education by Thomas Fleming views U No What I Meen: Technology and Illiteracy by R. Clay Reynolds Tarzan’s Way by Andrei Navrozov news September 11: Ten Years After by John C. Seiler, Jr. reviews The Monism of Perfection by Chilton Williamson, Jr. The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life by Kenneth ...

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The Libyan Endgame

Regardless of whether Muammar Qaddafy is killed, brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, or exiled, his regime has collapsed beyond recovery. After a five-month air war against his forces NATO has succeeded in decisively tipping the balance on the ground in favor of the rebels. This does not mean that the...

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Today’s Rich Are Different

It used to be that plutocrats felt they were part of the society in which they lived, or at least felt the need to act as if they were part of that society. Thus, when they decided to give away some of their enormous fortunes, their gifts generally reflected ...

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Who’s Really Downgrading America?

The decision by Standard & Poor's to strip the United States of its AAA credit rating, for the first time, has triggered a barrage of catcalls against the umpire from the press box and Obamaites. S&P, we are reminded, was giving A ratings to banks like Lehman Brothers, whose books ...

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London’s Postmodern Riots

As a former resident of Winchmore Hill I am well familiar the surrounding areas of north London—Wood Green, Ponders End, Enfield…—affected by three successive nights of rioting and looting which has now spread to other parts of the capital. Burglaries, car thefts and vandalism started being ...

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Turn on the Radio

Paul Youngblood and I will be on the air at 3-5 CDT today, chatting amiably about Syria and government-funded contraception–and anything else that comes up.  Please call in and save me from Rockford’s  rabid welfare dependents  who call up screaming insults. [Subscribe online to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. Comments To post a comment,...

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What “Big Deals” Did to America

Thanks to Tea Party fanatics, we are told, America just lost an historic opportunity to deal with her national debt. Because of Tea Party intransigence and threats against their own leader John Boehner, the speaker had to reject Obama's

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Serbia Arrests the Last Fugitive From The Hague Tribunal

[Transcript and video of Srdja Trifkovic’s RTTV interview] RT: By giving up wartime fugitives President Tadić may win the praise of EU leaders, but as Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor at Chronicles magazine told RT, this will hardly pave Serbia’s way to the EU. On Wednesday Serbian authorities ...

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Democracy’s Dictionary (With Apologies to Ambrose Bierce)

Democracy: A sacred form of government invented by Abraham Lincoln in the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address.  John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also helped greatly in the invention of democracy. Democratic Elections: When the rulers permit the voters to keep on voting until they get it ...

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Otto von Habsburg’s Ambiguous Legacy

Archduke Otto von Habsburg, who died on July 4 aged 98, became the heir to the imperial crown of Austria and the royal crown of Hungary when his father Charles ascended the throne of the multinational Dual Monarchy in November 1916. In the final decades of his life (1979-1999) he ...

An American Family Covenant
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An American Family Covenant

“I used to say to my father,” he says, “‘If my class at Yale ran this country, we would have no problems.’  And the irony of my life is that they did.” —Louis Auchincloss, interview with Trevor Butterworth, Financial Times, September 21, 2007 In January (one year after his death at the age of 92),...

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Back on the Air

A few weeks ago, I hosted a local program on WNTA Radio for our new friend Paul Youngblood.  Paul has invited me to join him every Friday at 3. Call (815) 874-8255 to take part in the discussion.  I’d like to help Paul make this the liveliest talk show from Chicago to Madison. Listen Live...

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Israel in a Post-American Era

In 1918, the United States proved militarily decisive in the defeat of the Kaiser’s Germany and emerged as first power on earth. World War II, ending in 1945, produced two truly victorious nations, the Soviet Union of Joseph Stalin and the America of Harry Truman. Out of the Cold War that lasted from Truman to...

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Of Gods and Men

There are few movies I am still thinking about several days after seeing them. One such movie is Of Gods and Men, the superb French movie about the martyrdom of seven French Cistercians from the small monastery of Notre Dame de l’Atlas in Algeria in 1996, in the midst of the Algerian civil war. This...