The Libertarian Party has officially chosen “I’m THAT Libertarian” as the next slogan for their biannual national convention in remembrance of 2016 Presidential hopeful Marc Feldman, who passed away last year. He gave an impassioned speech that was widely seen as one of the highlights of the conference. At a … Keep Reading
For all of its conceits, the post-modernist treatment of narrative, which eschews a traditional beginning, middle, and end, does nevertheless convey the mindset of the tortured. Psychiatrists tell us that traumatic events are remembered, not in coherent order, but in jumbled flashbacks. The mind apparently cannot structure the unendurable into a story line. The figures most associated with flash-backing terror are the Vietnam Vet and the Holocaust survivor. It is, in reality, the former inmate of the Soviet gulag system, those graying figures who today jump at knocks on the door or accidental flashlights in the eyes, who has been ignored.
Conservative humorist P.J. O’Rourke has been compared to journalist H.L. Mencken. But on closer examination, the comparison is not so apt; for Mencken’s attacks on white trash Southerners, Democrat and Republican Presidents, puritan-types, and “red scares,” was powered by a pro-German, even borderline fascist agenda. O’Rourke, although obviously conservative, has no grand vision, save that of human beings being retarded, especially when personified by liberals who believe they know what’s best for everyone else.
Attached to the Kennedy Assassination has always been what was lost when the President was murdered. For some, it was America’s innocence; for others, it was the center, which would no longer hold. Perhaps the most peddled of these answers comes from the Camelot camp. For them, what was lost when Kennedy died was the opportunity to end the Cold War, and thus, avoid the quagmire of Vietnam. In their history lesson, Kennedy, chastened by the Cuban Missile Crisis, became an American Gorbachev, attempting to normalize relations with Castro and withdraw troops from Vietnam.
Herman Mankiewicz, who, according to all evidence was the chief writer of the screen classic, Citizen Kane, was unusually well-informed politically for a Hollywood screenwriter in Golden Age Hollywood (and, given, the Meryl Streeps of the world, even more so, today). His huge library was composed almost primarily of political books, and his research on the thinly-veiled subject of Kane, William Randolph Hearst was impeccable. Although taking “progressive” stands, (he supported the ACLU, labor leader John L. Lewis, and despised conservative president Calvin Coolidge) Mankiewicz blasted born-again Communists in Hollywood as uninformed idiots, whose information came solely from The New Masses. A former member of the Algonquin Round Table (famed for its diners, George S. Kaufman and Dorothy Parker among them, trying to top each other in the wit category), the screenwriter/producer unleashed his lethal wit on them. Reds, he asserted, thought Woodrow Wilson “was someone who founded a high school in Glendale.” And four years before Reds “discovered” Hitler was a threat he was peddling a script attacking…
A picture of Hemingway, mere months from suicide, has him leaning drunkenly against a wall separating him precariously from a bullfight, guzzling a bottle. The immediate impression is one of pity toward an old man pathetically trying to recapture days of glory in a setting that once made such days possible. The same could be said of the photos of Hemingway with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro; one more last hurrah for an old man pining for Spanish Civil War days when he was relatively young and still capable of writing.
Asked before his death about his proudest achievement, liberal actor Paul Newman stated, “making Nixon’s enemies’ list.” And that is a view shared by many 70s-era liberals (their counterparts today are probably hoping that Trump keeps such a list and that they will soon be on it). But to my mind, the more dangerous list, given their penchant for overseas’ liquidations, at least during the 30s and 40s, would be that compiled by the Soviet Union. And the person who made the top of the list, a title he held from 1968 to 1989, from the Brezhnev era to the collapse of the Soviet Union, was not a Trotskyite, or a KGB defector but a British historian/poet.
Do you have federal student loans? I do and, if you are anything like me, it sucks. Regardless of being on the receiving end of a loan, the program administered by the U.S. Department of Education is clearly flawed. In fact, one can easily make an argument claiming that because of widespread borrowing, the student loan program was a direct link to the epidemic of ever-rising tuition rates in American higher education. Millions take out multi-thousand dollar loans from institutions that have to comply with federal standards to allow such things and the end cost is a steeply subsidized environment. With the popularity of Federal subsidized loans, in effect, could corroborate the increase of higher education tuition prices by astronomical rates. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York conducted a study on the subsidization of higher education costs and concluded the darn’dest thing… Costs for tuition increase whenever someone takes out a loan.
During the 70’s and 80’s, Generation X children grew up watching “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”; wholesome programming focused on character development. Near the end of each episode, good old Fred Rogers would take his young viewing audience on an exciting journey to the “Land of Make Believe”. A kingdom of sorts where imagination could run wild and all life’s problems were resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. Now, fast forward to today and you’re likely to find many on the far left clinging to the idea that Mr. Roger’s “Land of Make Believe” really exists, and why shouldn’t they? Like a rich kid with no athletic skills and barely able to maintain a C-average, Obama used his position to win over his constituents with charity. Whenever his diehard supporters cried out for special rights and privileges, in many cases, they got it. The only tradeoff, boost his ego and click the like button when he posted selfies.
In the modern era of technology and digital communications, the issue of leaks has become more prominent. Hackers can access internal documentation and communication that, in the past, would have been unavailable. This point was on full display last year, when whistleblower website Wikileaks released a series of dumps containing e-mails from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The contents of these e-mails ranged from questionable campaign tactics to revealing actions by politicians and media figures alike, but overall provided an intimate glimpse of the inside. Other times, it can reveal activities of questionable legality and constitutionality. Perhaps the most prominent example is Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who revealed massive secrets about the United States surveillance programs. Since his disclosures, the intelligence community and the United States Government as a whole have struggled to prevent further leaks. How can the government prevent leaks from occurring?
Students at Furman University rallied against Trump’s order on immigration in February at the “Students For Solidarity Rally.” The event, held on the steps of Furman’s James B. Duke Library, was billed as “a showing of public opposition to the Executive Order banning refugees and Muslims from 7 countries from entering the United States.” Prior to the rally, a petition circulated online, designed to “urge SGA to issue a statement regarding the security of students,” referring to Furman’s Student Government Association (SGA). The petition garnered 131 signatures out of its goal of 200, stating, “it is expected that SGA responds to political actions that create feelings of insecurity and exclusion for members of the student body.” “Members of our Furman community remain fearful for their safety, their futures, and their pursuit of a Furman education,” the petition continued. Over 150 people attended the event, holding signs with slogans such as, “Students For Solidarity,” “Hate Never,” “All are Welcome,” “Don’t Try to Ban Our Ideas,” and “I Believe in the…
It was more than fitting that Hugo Chavez died in 2013 on the 60th anniversary of Josef Stalin’s death. Although Chavez, with his relatively meager police apparatus, could not match the 20th-century leading mass murderer in body counts, he nevertheless emulated the Soviet leader. Both made themselves leaders for life, outlawed opposition, created a state-run media, and transformed formerly independent government branches into their yes men. Both manufactured trumped up charges against opponents.
In Oliver Stone’s wildly conspiratorial JFK, the chief plotter behind the Kennedy assassination, identified as “General Y,” is obscured by the shadows, and is identified with enough letters visible on his nameplate on the desk to reveal the identity of “Y.” “Y” is General Edward Lansdale, a counter-insurgency expert who, unfortunately for Stone’s thesis that Kennedy was killed by “Y” and his cohorts because the president was about to withdraw the American advisers from Vietnam, was actually less of a hawk on Vietnam than Kennedy; indeed, the more one looks at Lansdale the more apparent it is it that, among the hawkish Cold War establishment, he was a voice of reason.
Children of the blacklisted are usually associated with the Communist—if they bother to admit that—Left. From the undoubted suffering visited upon their parents by the red-hunting climate of the 1950s (but it should be noted that that their parents lost in effect their swimming pools, while the truly persecuted in the Soviet Union, the country the blacklisted defended, lost their lives), children like the late Christopher Trumbo, son of the Stalinist screenwriter who toppled the blacklist, strum the violin and attack all forms of anticommunists. But there were other children of the blacklisted, largely ignored by the mainstream media, because they and their parents don’t fit the Leftist agenda; indeed, they represent a danger to the standard liberal blacklist narrative by showing that their anti-communist parents were blacklisted by the very leftists who years later cloaked themselves in the Bill of Rights when it was their turn to be persecuted.
Since it’s passage several years ago, The Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare”, has been a controversial piece of legislation. It’s widely considered the greatest accomplishment of former Democratic President Barack Obama, but it’s also been a political target of the Republican Party since its introduction. Obamacare features a series of debates ranging from politics to philosophy. Touching upon the latter: does government truly have the right to govern healthcare? Even more at the heart of the debate: is healthcare a right? This has been a major point of libertarians, who believe in free market capitalism and subscribe to the notion that healthcare is a service, not a right. Conservatives, in general, agree, while both also point to cost concerns.
Historian Rick Perlstein has been criticized by historians and reviewers for using the internet for sources. But the real criticism ought to be directed at Perlstein’s method of editing out competing information, slanting the treatment toward a leftist agenda, and relying on dubious sources that bolster his side of the spectrum. This is never truer than with Perlstein’s treatment of Ronald Reagan.
Neocon has been the go-to pejorative in libertarian circles for many years, and deservedly so. The Bush Administration ripped up the Constitution, thrust the country in endless wars, and sent the debt through the roof. These policies were then aggressively continued during the Obama regime, but times are finally beginning to change. In the age of Trump, neocon influence is waning. His “America First” talk does not align with their agenda, and tensions are bubbling to the surface. The neocons are clearly working to undermine Trump, and their star within Republican circles is fading fast. They floated Evan McMullin as an Independent Presidential candidate for the sole purpose of sabotaging Trump’s chances. Former neocon all-stars Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are now national laughingstocks. Perhaps it has come time for libertarians to take the term neocon. Libertarians have the opportunity to Make Neocons Great Again, but not in the traditional way. Instead of meaning neoconservativism, the term must be co-opted and re-appropriated to mean the far more interesting and…
Rep. Steve King walked back his remarks with ease. King had told Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” The Republican congressman quickly re-framed the comments. It was not race he was alluding to, but “our stock, our country, our culture, our civilization.” Those sound like proxies for race. Nice try, congressman. More instructive than what Rep. King said or meant to say are the lessons about what we’re not supposed to say. We dare not suggest that a civilization created by a particular people with a particular religious and racial profile, may well perish once those people are replaced or have engineered their own replacement.
Today, Monday, March 20th, at 10 am, the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments on an important case for Liberty Conservatives. In this case, the state of Wisconsin will argue that they have the right to tell a land owner who owns two contiguous lots that the landowner can no longer sell just one of the lots. In addition to telling you that you cannot sell the lots independently of each other, the county has the right to tax you on the full value of each lot. The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
Former Nation editor and anti-anti-Communist Victor Navasky may, with a few pathetic exceptions, be the last hold-out on the innocence of exposed Soviet spy Alger Hiss. Unconvinced to this day, despite the release of declassified Soviet documents from the 1940s describing Hiss in detail, Navasky has championed Hiss with a fervor bordering on the religious, and has used dated arguments, going back to the time of Hiss’ 1950s trial, that show a mindset trapped in the past.
To conservatives, film critic Pauline Kael will forever be known as the one who labeled the Silent Majority film, Dirty Harry as fascist, and for registering her confusion as to how Richard Nixon was re-elected in 1972 since “everyone I know voted for McGovern (Nixon’s Democratic opponent).” But an examination of her career shows that she was far from being part of the mainstream media. This is particularly apparent when Kael reviewed films that peddled heroic views of American communists.
Holocaust-Denying historian David Irving has been activated into a lecture tour by the new film, Denial, which depicts his 1996 lawsuit against U.S. historian Deborah E. Lipstadt for charging him with denying the Holocaust. Even though Irving lost the case when the judge agreed with Lipstadt and deemed him a “Holocaust denier,” the far-right historian is nevertheless embarking on a month-long lecture tour to once again combat this accusation. In the past, he has stated that the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis was greatly exaggerated, that Hitler was not involved in the Holocaust, and that Auschwitz did not employ gas chambers.
One of the reasons conservatives feel a kinship with British socialist writer George Orwell is that he was not afraid to embrace concepts of patriotism over cold empiricism or dialectical thinking. A good case in point was his taking to the woodshed Fabian Socialist writer H.G.Welles in a remarkable essay written while the Nazi bombs were blitzing England.
When I was a graduate student, my mentor of sorts, John Patrick Diggins, told me of an incident he had with blacklisted screenwriter Lester Cole, who along with nine others, testified before Congress 70 years ago, in 1947. Both were watching the Watergate hearings, when Cole exploded to Diggins, “See, it has to be done like Castro—democracy doesn’t work!” Whether true or not, this moment certainly fit Cole’s character. For, as the only member of the Hollywood Ten who remained a Stalinist, Cole hated till his dying day.
For 50 years, critics of the Warren Commission have usually been associated with the Left. From Khrushchev to Oliver Stone (hardly a leap) have obviously sought a more politically satisfying sniper than the grubby deadbeat Oswald. With regard to the Warren Commission, it is merely a cover job designed to misdirect attention from the true conspirators onto Oswald. But not all leftists attacked the conclusions of the Warren Commission. Two writers, a former Trotskyite, the other a former Communist supporter, came (sometimes reluctantly) to the conclusion that Oswald indeed acted alone.
When it was rumored that leftist actor Ed Asner was slated to play Stalin it was only natural, for although deprived of Stalin’s lethal tools, Asner has emulated all the left-wing hate and paranoia of the Soviet dictator. Serving two terms as president of the Screen Actor’s Guild in the 1980s, Asner sought to use the Guild to oppose then-President Ronald Reagan’s policies against the totalitarian Sandinistas in Nicaragua, who ruled the country with an iron fist, shutting down opposition newspapers, jailing critics, and beating up those who tried to vote.
Dwight MacDonald, defending the Warren Commission, once made the valid point that if rightists did kill Kennedy, the liberal Lyndon Johnson would have been delighted to expose them for political gain. Such an argument was ignored by Oliver Stone in his ultra-paranoid JFK, in which he accused “fanatical Cold Warriors” of killing JFK because he was seeking to end the Cold War; and of particular importance to the Vietnam-obsessed Stone, ending the U.S. commitment to South Vietnam.
Psychiatrists who deal with returning military veterans note that those who have seen almost constant combat have trouble switching off, and search for an outlet to satisfy their martial needs. This was never more true for Spanish Civil War veteran and Communist Party member Alvah Bessie. Whenever his Party needed a rigid enforcer of the Party line toward revisionist members, and a fighter against the “fascists,” represented by HUAC, Bessie was front and center.
In his life, John Updike was considered to be one of, if not the, premier American novelists of the 20th century-his Rabbit Angstrom books are still considered to be one of the best satires of the archetypical downtrodden American husband and father (the genre arguably started by Sinclair Lewis’ Babbit), full of broken dreams and mediocrity as he struggles against the changes of the world around him. But that’s not what I’ve come here to discuss: My favorite of his works is the 1978 best seller The Coup, an excellent read in its own right, but so much more than that: For The Coup is quite possibly the only satire of post-colonial Africa (or at least, the only one I’m aware of). More to the point, in satirizing latter 20th-century Marxist states, The Coup shines a light on some aspects of modern leftist ideology that confuse and infuriate us today, and shows that even back then there were competing camps in the leftist “big tent”. And of course, there is an…
Nationally syndicated “conservative” talk radio host Michael Savage and his poodle, “Teddy,” were recently assaulted while they exited a restaurant in San Francisco. A man followed them from the eatery and mocked Savage for his real surname (“Weiner”) before kicking Teddy and throwing Mike to the ground. Neither master nor dog, fortunately, sustained any serious injuries—though Savage was “bloodied and shaken.” According to his lawyer, Dan Horowitz, criminal charges will be filed. They are also going to pursue the possibility of having the assailant charged for committing a hate crime on the grounds that Savage was attacked because of his political views.
John F. Kennedy’s 1957 book crediting a bi-partisan group of politicians who, as the title stated, exhibited “Profiles in Courage,” would later be revealed not to have been penned by the then-senator, but by his chief speechwriter (and later, Camelot spear-carrier Ted Sorenson). But that makes the inclusion of uber-conservative Republican Senator Robert Taft all the more remarkable. For Kennedy (actually more conservative than has been portrayed) was already strategizing how to garner support from the much-needed liberal groups in order to run for president. Taft was a hard swallow for liberals, who remembered the Senator’s initial support for Joseph McCarthy.
A left-leaning colleague of mine recently sent me a link to an article that he found “encouraging.” Evidently, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, President Trump’s Secretary of Defense, believes that “climate change” is both “real” and, according to the article, “a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere [.]” In unpublished written testimony that he gave during his confirmation hearing, Mattis remarked: “Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.” “Climate change,” then, is an issue of national security. Contrary to what those like my colleague think, that the President has within his administration people who pay lip service to “climate change” is wholly unsurprising to many of us on this side of the political divide. This, however, makes it no less discouraging. And when it comes from a distinguished General and the Secretary of Defense, it is not only discouraging, but concerning.
You’re probably scratching your head right about now, aren’t you? Well, let me take a few minutes to explain to you the level of importance the following case carries for the larger narrative of governmental overreach and over-regulation. No, it is not a federal agency defying the new administration. Better yet, it takes place at the state level as an evident issue that affects many across the Union.
Liberals today smirk at American Cold War culture of the late 40s to early 60s with their typical moral vanity. Unable to avoid the failures and horrors of communism, they nevertheless try to salvage 1960s’ era views of American culture as hysterically misinformed about a superpower that had missiles pointing at the U.S. But upon examination, it is apparent that the Left has done considerable editing by halting history around 1970, thus skipping whole decades of Venona revelations, the Berlin Wall falling and workers in Red Square toppling Lenin’s statue, resuming it. Hence archaic terms like military industrial complex can seem fresh and applicable.