Category: Cultural Revolutions

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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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Robert Bork, R.I.P.

I met Judge Robert Bork once, in the summer of 1989, when I was interning at Accuracy in Media.  I was working on a feature story for the Washington Inquirer, AIM’s weekly newspaper, about the Smithsonian Institution’s use of tax dollars to fund the performance of Santeria and Palo Mayombe rituals on the Mall in...

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The Reds and the Blues

It has become commonplace to observe that the American people are now divided into two distinct camps, roughly approximated by the opposing voters in the recent presidential election.  The Blues, concentrated in the Northern tier and Pacific states, are the progressives, marching on into the brave new world of polymorphous hedonism and limitless ethnic transformation. ...

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Handgun Culture

Bob Costas fired off a lecture during prime-time NBC coverage of the NFL that outraged some political commentators and fans.  The speech was in response to a murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, who killed Kasandra Perkins, 22, the mother of his infant daughter, before kneeling, making the sign of the...

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Sharia Rising

The crescent moon is rising over Deutschland.  After France, Germany has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.  According to government statistics, approximately 3 to 3.5 million Muslims live in Germany.  Of these, only about 80 percent are citizens.  Most of the Muslim population trace their roots to Turkey and the guest-worker program of the...

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Turkey’s Gamble

Following the AKP (Justice and Development Party) victory in February 2002, Turkey’s clout has been steadily increasing in the Balkans, the Arab world, and the predominantly Muslim regions of the former Soviet Union.  Prime Minister Rejep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is pursuing a neo-Ottoman agenda that blends Islamic revivalism with nationalism.  Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s concept...

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Wymyn Don’t Wyn

The girly-men at the New York Times and a perpetually aggrieved feminist you’ve never heard of finally got what they wanted. In August, Augusta National Country Club, home of the storied Masters Tournament, finally admitted two women: Condoleezza Rice, a neocon secretary of state under President George W. Bush, and the fetching Darla Moore, a...

Nonconformist Historian
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Nonconformist Historian

Eugene Dominick Genovese, r.i.p.  Gene Genovese, 82, one the more important and controversial American historians of the 20th century, passed away quietly at his Atlanta home on September 26.  A dockworker’s intellectually precocious son, who came up through Brooklyn College and Columbia University, Genovese embraced Marxism early in life, almost inevitably.  And there was a...

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The 400 Club

Imagine a club where you have to earn $137 million per year to join, and which limits membership to 400 people.  That, we’d all agree, is an exclusive club.  Mitt Romney, for example, probably thinks he is rich, but he could not get in.  He’d be told he would be happier elsewhere. The club is...

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Something’s Gotta Give

The Golden State is now the Bankruptcy State.  In late July and early August, California suffered a cluster of bankruptcies in three cities: Stockton, San Bernardino, and Mammoth Lakes.  In 2008, Vallejo declared bankruptcy. Since 2010, 26 municipalities in the United States have filed for bankruptcy.  The most notable, Central Falls, Rhode Island (August 2011),...

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The Last Word

What would the country be like if Congress added to every law it passed a section that said “No court of the United States or any state shall have power to review or interpret this act”?  Such a proviso, popularly known as a “stripper,” prevents the Supreme Court from declaring the act unconstitutional.  In the...

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Immigration Arch

Browsers of our metropolitan dailies are well aware of these papers’ attempt at rebranding our national holidays.  Thanksgiving has become Immigration Day, and so has the Fourth of July.  But, as we should have learned by now, it can get worse.  Readers of the editorial page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (founded in 1878 by...

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Strange Conventions

There’s a lot to be said—though as a conservative I hate to admit it—for the sheer passage of time.  Change can elevate as well as degrade.  We don’t have to believe in the bauble Progress in order to know that established orders require and invite house cleanings after periods of complacency and foolishness. Which is...

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Game of Chicken

Dan Cathy, the CEO of the successful chain restaurant Chick-fil-A and a devout Baptist, has made the mistake of insisting that a spade is in fact a spade, and that can mean only one thing: He and his delicious chicken have to go. If only he had played by the rules of the Game!  Here...

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Bloomberg’s Tubbies

Try an experiment next time you’re watching an old movie—say, one from the 40’s: Count the fat people.  In Casablanca, for instance, you’ve got roly-poly Sydney Greenstreet.  That’s it for corpulence.  Bogart?  Paul Henreid?  Conrad Veidt?  Straight up and down, like two-by-fours. Not even the short guys—Peter Lorre, Claude Rains—can be called overpastured. Ingrid Bergman?...

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Now a Russian Spring?

The Kremlin has reacted to continuing protests over election fraud and what the protestors see as the illegitimacy of the regime by toughening the law on mass meetings and is beginning to wield the newly adopted law against protestors and the protest leaders.  The protests have been centered in Moscow and do not by themselves...

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Summer of Sharia

So here we are a year and a half after the start of the protests of Tahrir Square in Cairo, which Tom Friedman and the rest of the Arab Springers had promised would give birth to a New Middle East, where democracy and liberal values would reign from here to eternity, and Arabs and Muslims...

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Ray Bradbury, R.I.P.

On June 5, we lost not only one of our finest writers but a true American storyteller and one of the last of the book people.  For Ray Bradbury, who passed away at the age of 91, was, like the remnant that Montag joins at the end of Fahrenheit 451, a book person, a walking...

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China Advances

China’s emergence as the world’s second-largest economy dates to the then-radical turn toward “reforms and openness” adopted in 1978 at the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee.  The economic worldview of Mao Tse-tung emphasized the importance of agricultural peasant workers, a leap in economic hierarchy above the industrial proletariat at the core...

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Beware the “Grexit”

Early elections were held in Greece on May 6, but the results have left the birthplace of democracy without a government.  The leading liberal New Democracy party got just 19 percent of the vote and 108 seats in the 300-member Greek parliament.  Their main opponents for the last 40 years, the socialist PASOK party, finished...

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Failure to Launch

North Korea’s failed missile launch has created a pervasive sense of relief and a little smirking in U.S. and East Asian policy circles.  The latest episode was Pyongyang’s fourth unsuccessful launch of a satellite since 1998, and it confirmed that the country’s missile program still faces some daunting challenges. Even though the North Korean regime...

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Stop Lying About VATs

Writing recently in Forbes, Brian Wesbury continued a theme that is popular among Beltway Republicans, warning about the dangers of a consumption tax system known as a Value-Added Tax (VAT).  Wesbury advances the specious argument that a VAT is bad because it would be placed “on top of the income tax” and “will harm the...

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Evil Lessers

If you had bet me six months ago that the grassroots disaffection in the Republican Party, as demonstrated by the “Tea Party” movement, would guarantee a responsive nominee for president, you would have lost.  I am no prophet, just an observer with some historical perspective.  I would have bet on Romney against all comers.  The...

Man of Honor
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Man of Honor

Ralph Walker Willis was a fireman, the author of five books, including My Life as a Jarhead (1999), and a contributor to Chronicles, but most of all he was a Marine.  He was related to the famous mountain man Joe Walker, and, like Walker, Ralph was a tall, strapping fellow with a booming voice.  He...

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SCOTUS v. U.S.

By the time you read this, nine Americans may well have declared the United States a nonentity. In April, the U.S. Supreme Court was supposed to decide on the constitutionality of Arizona’s SB 1070, the now-famous law that sought to stem the tide of illegal immigration into the state.  The Obama administration struck quickly after...

Newt Rocks!
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Newt Rocks!

I read in a recent New York Times article of a new conundrum for Republican presidential candidates; to wit, what music they can play, and what music they can’t, at rallies whose purpose is the extrusion of Barack Obama from national political life. Songwriters and performers, it appears, are waving off the GOP candidates out...

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Call It Insourcing

Americans are likely to hear more about “insourcing” as the 2012 presidential campaign unfolds.  President Barack Obama advanced the term during a February 15 trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  “You’ve all heard enough about outsourcing,” he explained.  “Well, more and more companies like Master Lock are now insourcing.  They’re deciding that if the cost of doing...

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Recent and Permanent

When the people’s fundamental law is ignored by the legislature, the remedy is typically to elect new representatives to set things right.  If the people’s fundamental law is transgressed by the courts, the correction is often not so easy.  Many judges are appointed for life and never have to face the electorate.  Others are appointed...

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Bombing Iran

As an American President prepares for his reelection campaign, he has to deal with a complex crisis in the Middle East.  A radical regime is projecting its military power, trying to destabilize the pro-American governments in the Middle East, threatening the state of Israel, and aiming to achieve regional supremacy. America’s allies in the Middle...

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ICC Rising

It was a sad day for conservatives when, on December 5, 2011, Laurent Gbagbo rose to speak in the antiseptic courtroom of the International Criminal Court.  Polite, old-fashioned (if a little verbose), well-dressed (but obviously not very well), the 66-year-old former president of Ivory Coast was clearly upset to find himself a prisoner, having been...

Gentle Warrior
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Gentle Warrior

Thomas H. Landess died from a sudden illness on January 9, 2012.  He was 80 years old.  His death was a shock to his family and his many friends.  I last heard from Tom two days before his death, an event that was out of mind, so warm and hopeful were his comments.  I had...

Man of Letters
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Man of Letters

Thomas H. Landess, R.I.P. At 80 Tom was still producing every day more than a day’s worth of versatile work.  His sudden passing in January struck like an unexpected calamity that portends the end of an era.  We lost not only the truest of friends, but a true gentleman, a true man of letters, and...

hitch Is Not Great
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hitch Is Not Great

In August 1997, Princess Diana died in a car accident.  A few days later, Mother Teresa died.  The death of Diana prompted an enormous outpouring of emotion.  One writer, who had delivered a drunken diatribe against Mother Teresa during ABC’s televised coverage of her funeral, was unmoved, describing Diana as “A simpering Bambi narcissist” and...

We Are the Whirl
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We Are the Whirl

Time’s choice for 2011 Person of the Year—the Protester—arouses many a consideration.  The first Time-nominated Man of the Year was Charles Lindbergh in 1927, before everyone forgot that, on his flight, he wore a suit and tie. Times have changed.  Hitler and Sta­lin were interesting Men of Their Years, and then dead ones.  Time marches...

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Scolding China

President Barack Obama’s nine-day Asian and Australian tour in November was marked by a sudden outburst of bellicose oratory at the sixth East Asian Summit in Bali.  China must “play by the rules” and stop her “military advances,” he declared, and the United States “will send a clear message to [the Chinese] that we think...

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Moonbeam Returns

California is like a beautiful woman who always falls for losers.  In just the past 13 years, voters put on the governor’s throne Gray Davis, who was so bad he was dumped from power in the state’s historic 2003 recall.  He was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who promised to “terminate” California’s problems, especially its endemic...

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Sunni Spring

Middle East historian William W. Harris described the Levant as the “eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt,” a geographical zone that includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and a “fractured cultural mosaic” of ethnic and religious groups. Modern Syria, the largest Arab state to...

Cheerfully Unafraid
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Cheerfully Unafraid

Last week, we received word that Marion Montgomery was dying.  He had been diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of cancer only days earlier and had already fallen into the deep sleep that so often precedes death.  By the weekend he was gone. The funeral was held on Saturday in an Anglican Catholic Church in...

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Gardasil Rick

Texas Gov. Rick Perry enjoyed one month as the heartthrob of the Republican Party.  He announced his presidential bid on August 13, overshadowing Rep. Michele Bachmann’s narrow victory over Rep. Ron Paul in the Ames Straw Poll.  By September 15, a Bloomberg National Poll showed him leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Eastern establishment...

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Immoral Triumphs

Clyde Wilson once remarked that, if one were to distill multiculturalism to its essence, one would be left with nothing at all.  As he put it, multiculturalism means many fashions, mutable and discardable, but no culture.  An unintentional corroboration comes from a recent article dismissing “declinism” in our northeastern magazine of empire, The New Yorker. ...

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Celebrating Defeat

“That is what we honor on days of national commemoration—those aspects of the American experience that are enduring. . . . It will be said of us that we kept that faith; that we took a painful blow, and emerged stronger.  ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’” So said...

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Desperate Housewives

Those who have an interest in the cultural survival of the West may note with increasing trepidation that the very things that have traditionally characterized it are being cannibalized alive.  Australia is no exception to this general trend. The thought occurred to me recently while visiting the more bohemian sections of Sydney’s Newtown district.  Sitting...

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Putin Reset

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will return to the Kremlin as president in 2012, ending speculation on the fate of the “national leader” and of the “tandem” he had formed with current President Dmitri Medvedev.  Medvedev nominated Putin on September 24 during the congress of the ruling United Russia party, dashing the hopes of reformers...

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Statehood Bid

Much of the international politics of the 20th century revolved around the drive for national self-determination, such as that of the Serbs in the Balkans, setting in motion the crises that led to the Great War, or that of the Germans in the Sudetenland, aggravating the tensions that brought about the titanic clash between the...

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Here Comes the Parade

This past summer, a headline appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal: “Kentucky terrorist arrests shouldn’t jeopardize refugee program, advocates say.”  The first paragraph ran: “As U.S. authorities recheck intelligence gathered on refugees, resettlement agencies say the arrest of two suspected Iraqi terrorists in Kentucky should not jeopardize programs that have helped tens of thousands of persecuted...

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Ferals and Feds

Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old black man, was shot dead on Thursday, August 4, by police officers in Tottenham, a largely black and impoverished suburb of northeast London.  Duggan was a member of the Star Gang, which has a reputation for carrying guns and dealing in hard drugs, and his apprehension was preplanned.  It was originally...

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A Grand Day Out

I became acquainted with Peter Stanlis through my connection with The Rockford Institute, yet he is always associated in my mind with New Mexico, where our late mutual friend Jim Rauen had retired from his construction business in Chicago.  Jim and his wife, Ann, were for many years benefactors of TRI.  I no longer remember...

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Peter Stanlis, R.I.P.

Peter Stanlis sometimes seemed stiff and formal; and he was, because he practiced his whole life the arts of a gentleman.  This required a certain reserve, but one that never covered heavily the kindness of his Christian nature.  Part of being a true gentleman is to understate one’s sense of humor, at least partially, but...

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Execution Not Delayed

“Viva Mexico!  Viva Mexico!”  As he spoke those words, murderer and rapist Humberto Leal felt the gush of pentobarbital run into his arm. Like the late, lamented Mexican hero José Ernesto Medellín, whom Texas executed in 2008, Leal and his legal backers, including the Mexican government, argued that his guilty verdict was null.  The Vienna...

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No More Books

This is strange to say, but observation bears it out: Almost all publishers and most booksellers and librarians neither know nor care anything about books. Publishers don’t have a clue as to what is a good book or even a good-selling book.  Whenever you run across a book by a new author that is a...