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Beethoven’s Skin-Tone Poem
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Beethoven’s Skin-Tone Poem

Back in the days when skin tone was not a criterion for worthy art, I used to attend the opera quite regularly, especially when works from Mozart, Verdi, or Puccini were on offer. I mention skin tone because a black American so-called academic, Philip Ewell, claims that Western classical music is rooted in racism. Phil...

A Tale of Two Withdrawals
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A Tale of Two Withdrawals

It’s difficult to characterize President Biden’s precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan as anything but a shameful debacle. It’s also difficult to determine who was responsible for the lack of a strategic withdrawal plan. Can the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff be that incompetent or feckless if an immediate and unconditional...

In Afghanistan, America Failed to Know Its Enemy and Itself
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In Afghanistan, America Failed to Know Its Enemy and Itself

The latest episode in an ironic reversal of the roles of the foreign powers that have tried their luck in Afghanistan is unfolding before our eyes. Britain’s profitless involvement (1839-1919) is ancient history, but more recently the Soviet intervention (1979-1989) and America’s subsequent “longest war” (2001-2021) have both ended in strategic failures. Because the United...

The Rape of the Afghan Boys
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The Rape of the Afghan Boys

Ainuddin Khudairaham held down the trigger of his Kalashnikov and kept firing on unarmed U.S. Marines until the rifle’s magazine was empty, murdering three and wounding one. The Americans had been working out at a gym on Forward Operating Base Delhi in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province when the teenaged boy attacked on Aug. 10, 2012. “I...

Uncle Sam’s Obituary
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Uncle Sam’s Obituary

Prick up your ears and listen to the violins: beyond the dreamy adagios and thrilling arpeggios the fat lady has sung. On stage Uncle Sam has been laid to rest, but unlike Don Giovanni, the good uncle’s corpse has not descended into hell. European pundits are lesser liars and hypocrites than American ones, yet they...

Hungarian Rhapsody
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Hungarian Rhapsody

I have come to see myself as a morale officer for the Deplorables. When a fellow conservative writer recently asked what I hoped to accomplish by writing about ideas the left would either ignore or demonize, I said my hope was to give support to those otherwise inclined to view the left’s ideas as irrefutable...

Jihad Undefeated
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Jihad Undefeated

Events are the building blocks of history. Narrative historians, starting with Thucydides, have focused on what they regarded as significant occurrences in order to present and evaluate the past.   The import of some events can be recognized by astute observers almost as soon as they occur. Edmund Burke’s 1790 Reflections on the Revolution in...

The Spartans and Simone
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The Spartans and Simone

Sailing around the Greek Isles and reading up on the Spartans is how I’ve spent most of my summer. Both of my mother’s parents were Spartans, and the line goes back a very long way. My grandfather even left our family house to the state and today it’s a beautiful museum right in the heart...

Inconvenient Children
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Inconvenient Children

Never Rarely Sometimes Always Directed and written by Eliza Hittman ◆ Produced by BBC Films ◆ Distributed by Focus Features These Wilder Years (1956) Directed by Roy Rowland ◆ Written by Frank Fenton ◆ Produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer In the guise of a documentary treatment of abortion, Never Rarely Sometimes Always tells us quite...

When Cali Was Conservative
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When Cali Was Conservative

Facing a recall election, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced the state would pay all back rent for qualifying tenants and then, sounding like Jack Bailey in the 1950s TV show Queen for a Day, said, “And that’s not all. The state will also pay all past due water and utility bills!” “Qualifying” renters include all...

The Key to America’s Pathologies
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The Key to America’s Pathologies

Behemoth and Leviathan, the biblical chaos-monsters, are how Carl Schmitt described terra firma and the oceans in his 1942 masterpiece Land and Sea: A World-Historical Meditation. World history, he noted, is composed of land and sea powers warring against each other. Schmitt was not the first to note this phenomenon. It has been well-documented since...

An Especially Unethical Hack
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An Especially Unethical Hack

August is called the silly season by English hacks, as the Brits like to call journalists. Most people are on vacation, the days are lazy, sunny, and long, and “stop the presses” stories are rare and far between. Silly stories are awarded front-page coverage for lack of earth-shattering news. I don’t use social media, hence...

Seeing Through a Glass Darkly
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Seeing Through a Glass Darkly

The Woman in the Window Directed by Joe Wright ◆ Written by Tracy Letts from the novel by A. J. Finn  ◆ Produced by 20th Century Studios ◆ Distributed by Netflix Things Heard & Seen Directed and written by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, based on the novel All Things Cease to Appear by...

Equity or Bust
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Equity or Bust

Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 on Sept. 24, 1965, directing federal agencies and contractors to not only avoid discrimination but to also “take affirmative action to ensure … equal employment opportunity based on race.” Despite the promises of various Republican politicians, affirmative action remains firmly entrenched in government, higher education, and even in...

A Tale of Two Europes
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A Tale of Two Europes

April 18 marked the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which established the European Coal and Steel Community. The leaders of France, West Germany, Italy, and the three Benelux countries thus laid the foundation for European integration. It was primarily meant to facilitate economic recovery, but also to help overcome old...

Nothing’s Easy About Israel
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Nothing’s Easy About Israel

Such was my pro-Israel ardor back in 1967, I actually put my name down as a volunteer soldier in the Six-Day War. I was living in Paris, and I was asked by the recruiter if I were Jewish. When I answered in the negative, he jumped up and shook my hand. As everyone knows, my...

Me and Macho ‘Papa’
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Me and Macho ‘Papa’

General Robert E. Lee, Charles  Lindbergh, and Ernest Hemingway were among the names of great Americans I listed in a London Spectator article quite a long time ago. Needless to say, if one were to mention these names today in an American publication or news program, all hell would break loose, and the name-dropper would instantly become a...

Till Death Do Us Part
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Till Death Do Us Part

Happily Directed and written by BenDavid Grabinski ◆ Produced by Common Wall Media ◆ Distributed by Saban Films The Father Directed and written by Florian Zeller ◆ Produced by Film4 ◆ Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics Goodbye Again (1961) Directed and produced by Anatole Litvak ◆ Written by Samuel A. Taylor ◆ Distributed by United...

American Guerrilleros
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American Guerrilleros

If the American right feels pinned down by an enfilade coming from the institutions it has traditionally identified with and defended, that’s because that is precisely what is happening. Pressed up against the berm, the only way out for the right is through a place it has avoided. With the fall of academia, the ideological homogenization...

America’s Dangerous Overreach
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America’s Dangerous Overreach

All recorded history can be viewed as a long record of the use of force, or threats of force, in relations between human communities. This applies to all epochs, civilizations, and geographic spaces. Violence is immanent to man. Its constant presence is indicative of the immutability of his nature, regardless of the cultural context or...

The House I Hide In
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The House I Hide In

In 1945, liberal Democrat Frank Sinatra recorded a song about the meaning of America, “The House I Live In.” It was a perfect match for the honeyed voice of the young Sinatra, one that Sinatra continued to sing as his voice matured and his politics moved rightward. I have been vaguely familiar with the song since...

A Badge of Honor
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A Badge of Honor

This is for you writers out there: if you’re not canceled, you’re no good. The good Dr. Seuss is out, as is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Adolf Hitler is still in, although I can’t say the same for William Shakespeare. Everyone who is anyone is getting canceled, so I was glad to see Captain Cook...

Smiling Through Clenched Teeth
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Smiling Through Clenched Teeth

I Care a Lot Directed and written by Jonathan Blakeson ◆ Produced by Andrea Ajemian and Sacha Guttenstein ◆ Distributed by Netflix The Shrike (1955) Directed by José Ferrer ◆ Written by Ketti Frings ◆ Produced by Aaron Rosenberg ◆ Distributed by Universal Pictures   Rosamund Pike is one of the most versatile and accomplished actresses in...

Avoiding War With Russia
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Avoiding War With Russia

The Biden regime’s frantic moves in recent weeks to escalate tensions with Russia—at a time of China’s continued economic and military rise—are irrational, inexplicable by any standard method of foreign policy analysis, and perilous to this country’s security interests. Mr. Biden’s decision less than two weeks after his inauguration to move B-1 bombers to Norway “to...

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted
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The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

Seizing control of the means of information is the sine qua non of a successful coup. Radio, television, and newspapers must be grabbed first and foremost. That is what the Greek colonels did in the last successful European coup, back on April 21, 1967. Some years later, a colonel tried but failed to overthrow the elected post-Franco Spanish...

Feminine Ordeals
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Feminine Ordeals

Pieces of a Woman Directed by Kornél Mundruczó ◆ Written by Kata Wéber ◆ Produced by Bron Studios, Little Lamb, and Creative Wealth Media ◆ Distributed by Netflix Promising Young Woman Written and directed by Emerald Fennell ◆ Produced by FilmNation Entertainment and LuckyChap Entertainment ◆ Distributed by Focus Features   In the 1940s and...

Canceling Uncle Tom
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Canceling Uncle Tom

The only thing those on the left hate more than a conservative white male is a conservative black male. It simply infuriates leftists when a black man rejects their socialist dogma and espouses such conservative ideals as individual initiative, freedom from government, self-reliance, responsibility for decision making, and competing in the marketplace. How dare he! A...

The Woke-Enabling Act
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The Woke-Enabling Act

In the first week of September 1792 the French Revolution entered its openly terroristic phase with the massacre of some 1,600 prisoners in Paris. It was an outrage euphemistically called les Journées du Septembre (or the September Days). It was justified by the claim that the country was in danger from foreign enemies and domestic...

The End of Truth
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The End of Truth

“What is Truth?” is a question that has been around since the Greeks. One can speak of moral truth as well as aesthetic truth, yet scientific truth seems to be the only one that’s undeniable. And yet, even though there’s scientific proof the world is round, those who deny it can still live normal lives...

The Film’s the Thing
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The Film’s the Thing

Mank  Directed by David Fincher ◆ Written by Jack Fincher ◆ Produced by Netflix International Pictures ◆ Distributed by Netflix Citizen Kane (1941) Directed by Orson Welles ◆ Written by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles ◆ Produced by Mercury Productions ◆ Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures Netflix is currently streaming Mank, a film dramatizing...

Disenfranchising the Deplorables
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Disenfranchising the Deplorables

If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely that Donald Trump would have won reelection. He achieved a growing economy that was seeing more wage gains at the bottom than the top, he refused to start another foreign war, and he appointed three Supreme Court justices and nearly a third of all active federal...

U.S. Politics Gives Brits a Bad Trip
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U.S. Politics Gives Brits a Bad Trip

“Covering American politics is like crack,” a veteran British journalist told me last year. “Once you’ve had a taste nothing else gives the same high.” I now think I know what he meant—though LSD might be a more apt comparison. In the age of Trump, it’s hard to watch American politics without wondering if you are...

Biden’s Would-Be Globalist Foreign Policy
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Biden’s Would-Be Globalist Foreign Policy

People are policy and Joe Biden has 2,000 of them. That is, according to reporting in Foreign Policy magazine that his team of foreign policy and national security advisors has swelled to more than that number. A contingent of that size could be expected to produce a torrent of interesting ideas and fresh proposals, from the fundamentals of...

Here’s Looking at You, Beirut
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Here’s Looking at You, Beirut

Exactly 50 years ago last month I was lolling by the pool of the Saint Georges Hotel in Beirut, surrounded by bikini-clad women of uncertain virtue, spooks, pimps, journalists, and rotund Lebanese playboys. The scene was straight out of the movie Casablanca, except we all wore swimming trunks and there was no Rick to run the show....

The Sensual and the Savage
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The Sensual and the Savage

Yes, God, Yes Directed and written by Karen Maine ◆ Produced by Maiden Voyage and RT Features ◆ Distributed by Vertical Entertainment Waiting for the Barbarians Directed by Ciro Guerra ◆ Screenplay and novel by J. M. Coetzee ◆ Produced by Iervolino Entertainment and Ithaca Pictures ◆ Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films Zulu (1964) Directed...

Our Recessional Culture
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Our Recessional Culture

I was born in 1964, in a country that most people, inside America and out, regarded as the greatest on the planet. Indeed, many felt that America in the early 1960s was the greatest country there had ever been. There was little reason at the time to question this consensus. Americans enjoyed a standard of living...

India, China, and U.S. Pacific Strategy
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India, China, and U.S. Pacific Strategy

A major border clash took place between Indian and Chinese troops mid-June in the Western Himalayan region of Ladakh, on the disputed “Line of Actual Control” dividing the two Asian giants. Twenty Indian soldiers died, including a senior officer, and there were 43 reported casualties on the Chinese side. This was the bloodiest in a series...

Greek Statues, Molon Labe!
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Greek Statues, Molon Labe!

I write this under an Attic sun, its light reflected from the marbles of the Acropolis and into my living room. This was once the center of Western civilization, its stem just hundreds of feet from where I’m standing. Individual liberty and democracy first flourished right here, while 300 Spartans gladly went to their inevitable death...

That Damn Cowboy
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That Damn Cowboy

His statue in front of the Museum of Natural History in New York City is scheduled for removal, which is certainly ironic for one of New York’s most accomplished, adventurous, self-sacrificing, and patriotic sons, Theodore Roosevelt. Although he never owned slaves and was a recipient of both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Medal of Honor,...

The Revolution, Televised
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The Revolution, Televised

Mr. Jones Directed by Agnieszka Holland ◆ Written by Andrea Chalupa ◆ Produced by Film Produkcja ◆ Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965) Directed by Martin Ritt ◆ Written by John le Carré, Paul Dehn, and Guy Trosper ◆ Produced by Salem Films ◆ Distributed by Paramount...

A Bit of British Virtue Signaling
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A Bit of British Virtue Signaling

Politics is downstream from culture—so said Andrew Breitbart, that somewhat uncouth American media man. Well, for us Brits, culture and politics are downstream from America, and sometimes it feels as if the currents run too fast. In recent days, Britain, taking after America, has been convulsed by a widespread rage against the perception of racial injustice....

U.S. Dream Turned UK Nightmare
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U.S. Dream Turned UK Nightmare

It has been said ad nauseam that when Uncle Sam sneezes, the English bulldog catches the flu. Emulating American rioting has caught on over here with a bang, pun intended. As Douglas Murray wrote in The Spectator, riots are one import “we can do without.” It wasn’t always this way. In tumultuous 1968, the U.S. rioted after...

Alien Intuitions
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Alien Intuitions

The Vast of Night Directed by Andrew Patterson ◆ Written by Andrew Patterson and Craig W. Sanger ◆ Produced by GED Cinema ◆ Distributed by Amazon Studios Shirley Directed by Josephine Decker ◆ Written by Sarah Gubbins based on a novel by Susan Scarf Merrell ◆ Produced by Los Angeles Media Fund ◆ Distributed by...

Don’t Know Much About History
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Don’t Know Much About History

A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to be included in a group meeting with a former adviser to President Trump. At one point, this former adviser asked me what I thought conservatives needed to do to win over younger Americans. I replied that the most important step conservatives could take was to make sure...

Managing Rivalry With China
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Managing Rivalry With China

The United States finds itself at a geostrategic crossroads. The moment is comparable to the period between the dispatch of George Kennan’s “Long Telegram” from Moscow in February 1946 suggesting a new strategy for relations with the USSR, and the announcement of the Truman Doctrine in March 1947, pledging U.S. political, military, and economic assistance to...

The Benefits of Solitude
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The Benefits of Solitude

Solitude can offer a blissful disengagement from the horrors of modern-day life, even if it’s forced upon us by a government lockdown. Enforced solitude could even be a spiritual blessing, but for the escapism of television, that medium of absolute rubbish, vulgarity, and violence that Hollywood calls entertainment. As long as we avoid sabotaging diversions, we...

The Chinese Exclusion Act
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The Chinese Exclusion Act

In 1882 Congress took steps to control Chinese immigration with the passage of “An Act to execute certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese.” The act later became known misleadingly as the Chinese Exclusion Act. In high schools and colleges it’s taught that the act was simply another example of American racism.  The real story is more...

Aiming Aimlessly
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Aiming Aimlessly

The Hunt (2020) Directed by Craig Zobel ◆ Screenplay by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof ◆ Produced by Blumhouse Productions ◆ Distributed by Universal Pictures The Most Dangerous Game (1932) Directed by Irving Pichel and Ernest B. Shoedsack ◆ Screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman ◆ Produced and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures The Candidate (1972)...

Monocultural Resilience
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Monocultural Resilience

At the end of the ongoing global melodrama’s first quarter, it seems reasonable to predict that this will be a two-act play with the final curtain coming down in July. It will end as a tragedy, not because the outcome was preordained in a world impervious to human choices, but because men have free will....