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Vera Caspary: Leaving The Communist Fold

In the genre of film noir, the movie Laura (1944) looms large. In 1999, the Library of Congress chose the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.
The American Film Institute ranked Laura 73 on their 100 years…100 Thrills. As a film noir, it is ranked no. 4 on the best mysteries of all time.

Despite the political orientation of its main stars, Dana Andrews (who was the lead in the radio series, I was a Communist for the FBI), and Gene Tierney (a Republican who campaigned for Nixon in 1960), the author who wrote the book the movie was based on, was a card-carrying Communist.

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Judge Andrew Napolitano Suspended Indefinitely By FOX News After Controversial Wiretapping Claims

Judge Andrew Napolitano, libertarian jurist and media commentator, was suspended indefinitely from FOX News after controversy sprung up regarding his claims that British intelligence likely wiretapped Donald Trump on behalf of the Obama Administration before the election. The controversy originated from Napolitano’s Mar. 16 op/ed where he mentioned sources giving … Keep Reading

The Nixon Tapes: No Smoking Guns

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As with the Kennedy assassination documents still “classified” under “national security,” pundits have long believed that the sealed Nixon Watergate tapes contain the answers to historical mysteries; chief among them the true motive for the Watergate burglaries; whether Nixon ordered executive actions against foreign leaders (Camelot pundits have long blamed Nixon, and not JFK, for constructing a Mafia/CIA nexus to kill Castro). But they’ve also sought ammunition to confirm their worst impressions of Nixon as a paranoid, insecure totalitarian. On what’s available they zeroed in on the potty mouth (the biggest surprise for my Republican parents), the anti-Semitism, the enemies list (the work of a “fascist,” according to William F. Buckley), the payoffs, the disturbing plots against political enemies (for example, slipping LSD to hostile reporter Jack Anderson).

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Mr. Smth: The Ultimate Libertarian

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With its patriotism and lone-man-against-the-system theme, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) is a popular favorite among conservatives. But, although directed by conservative populist Frank Capra, the script was in actuality penned by a then-member of the Communist Party named Sidney Buchman. It is difficult to believe in our era of flag-burning and bomb-throwing leftism that once upon a time American Communists promoted patriotism, which depending upon your point of view, was either authentic or a pose to meet the needs of Moscow. But Buchman may have been the real deal, as evidenced by his clashes with director Frank Capra and his later abandonment of Communism because it wouldn’t fit the democratic conditions of his country.

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Groucho Marx And Duck Soup: No Sacred Cows

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Eighty-four years ago, the Marx Brother’s film, Duck Soup (1933), premiered and despite being considered their masterpiece today, flopped. Its anti-war, anti-establishment, anti-politician message (if there can be a message in a Marx Brothers’ film), flew against the zeitgeist. Leader-worship was in vogue in 33, from Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany (both countries banned the film) to even FDR’s America. Satire and criticism, rampant in the 20s, which was really the Marx Brothers’ decade, was considered politically incorrect in “let’s pull together” ethos of New Deal America. Literally in Duck Soup, the Marx Brothers, un-plugged, un-policed, refuse to close ranks. There is no loyalty to any country. Chico only joins Groucho’s side because “the food is better over here.” Harpo switches sides constantly from spying on Groucho to recruiting soldiers for him. Groucho himself switches uniforms from scene to scene (Napoleonic one minute, Confederate General the next—there was no feverish debate of banning the Confederate flag in those days) as if to say it doesn’t matter who he represents.…

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Higher Education: No Safe Spaces For Conservatives

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It would appear that higher education has become a Politically Correct caricature of itself. Yet for an increasing number of students, this is no laughing matter, for academia’s ceaseless drift toward the abyss of far-left ideology has been accompanied by an increase in threats of violence. College campuses in many places have become dangerous for certain kinds of students. Specifically, they have become dangerous for conservative students. The College Fix (TCF) is a student-run publication. It is also a national treasure. Its writers deserve praise for drawing the public’s attention to the outrages that pass for higher education today. Parents should be particularly appreciative to learn that those of their children who they plan on sending to university could be harassed and threatened with violence for not endorsing the ideological groupthink that substitutes for education in the contemporary academic world.

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Revisiting The Christian Past: No Political “Progressivism” Here

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In the Western world today, particularly in America, there persists this idea among both Christians and non-Christians alike that, to be a Christian, one must endorse a specific kind of vision of how societies should be organized politically. While it is true that few if any contemporary Christians endorse a theocracy, and while it is true that few advocate on behalf of anything approximating a utopian politics, it is no less true that a good number, and possibly most, Western Christians are political perfectionists.

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Kurt Vonnegut: Eternal Optimist

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One of the oldest sayings is that there are “no atheists in foxholes.” But for those soldiers either wounded or hit with the body parts of their exploding friends, the more apt expressions were caught by Paul Fussell, forty-percent disabled World War II vet and the most articulate historian of war. Before combat, Fussell catches the mindset of the virgin soldier: “It can’t happen to me. I’m too clever/agile/well-trained/good-looking/beloved/tightly laced etc.” Then after combat, the realization hits: “It is going to happen to me, and only my not being there is going to prevent it.” Kurt Vonnegut, definitely “there,” amazingly, emerged from the war more optimistic and, although not believing in God, saw such faith as necessary.

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Lions, And Tigers, And Guns, Oh My…

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Gun rights are one of the most defining issues for many conservatives. It isn’t my top issue, due to my devotion to the First Amendment; but, the Second Amendment rights to many are even more sacred than their right to freely speak, practice their faith, and slam politicians. Nevertheless, the way you perceive your gun rights links back to one basic principal: human’s natural survival instinct.

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Orwell And Trotsky: At Odds

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During his lifetime, British writer George Orwell was characterized as a follower of exiled Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky. H.G Welles dismissed Orwell as “a Trotskyite with big feet.” On a more lethal note, the Spanish secret police, on orders from Moscow, hunted Orwell during the Spanish Civil War for the crime of”Trotskyism” because he fought in a Marxist military unit at odds with Stalin. His “Trotskyism” even affected his livelihood; Orwell’s submission of Animal Farm to the publisher Faber and Faber was rejected by poet and employee T.S. Eliot for expressing “Trotskyite” views. At first glance, the literary evidence seems to bear this out. In both novels, Animal Farm, and Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Trotsky figure is the victim of the Stalin one. In Animal Farm, Trotsky appears as the pig “Snowball,” who initially rules the animal republic with the Stalin pig, aptly named “Napoleon” (in real life, Trotsky, exiled by Stalin, labeled the Soviet dictator and his military-style methods as the “Napoleon” of the Bolshevik Revolution); but “Napoleon,” craving power,…

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Politics Over Humor: Donald Ogden Stewart

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Robert Benchley, humorist and member of the famed Algonquin Round Table, once said of writing for the New Yorker in the 1920s, “you could write anything you liked, as long as you did it in evening clothes.” Benchley, no radical, was likely referring to the magazine’s toleration of him skewering everything and anything with his lethal wit.

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More Alike Than Not: Richard Nixon And Alger Hiss

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A cliche so overused it is at ad nauseam level is the one where villains tell heroes that “we are not so different, you and I.” But occasionally this rings true. A prime example is Richard Nixon and Alger Hiss. Despite then-Congressman Nixon being the one who, probably more than any other figure at the time, exposed former State Department official Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy (later re-confirmed by declassified Soviet documents), Nixon and Hiss, as the years rolled by had more in common than not.

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Going Political: Martin Amis’ Soviet Novel

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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.

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P. J. O’Rourke: At War With Babyboomers–and The Greatest Generation

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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.

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The Assassination Of JFK: Losing The Last Conservative Democrat

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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.

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Frank Mankiewicz: Not Following In Dad’s Footsteps

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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…

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Hemingway And Castro: One Last Hurrah

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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.

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Conquest At 100

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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.

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“Audit The Ed” – The Effort To Audit Federal Student Loan Programs

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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.

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The Trans-World Of Make Believe

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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.

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Edward Snowden’s Simple Solution To Stop Government Whistleblowers

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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?

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Furman University Students Rally Against Trump Executive Order

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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…

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Weeping For The Dictator: Hollywood And Chavez

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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.

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Edward Lansdale: The Lone Voice Of Reason In The Vietnam War

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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.

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Defending Dad: Allen Ryskind And The Conservative Blacklist

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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.

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Why Congress Would Be Wise To Reject Ryancare

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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.

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Using Everything And Anything: A Historian’s Attack On Reagan

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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.

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Meet The “Neocons” That Every Libertarian Should Applaud And Embrace

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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…

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What Rep. Steve King’s ‘Racist’ Statements Teach

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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.

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The Government Wants Your Cake … And Wants You To Continue To Pay Taxes

in Law by

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:

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Navasky And Hiss: Holding On

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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.

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Pauline Kael: Seeing Through The Propaganda

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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.

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David Irving: Back On The Lecture Tour

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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.

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Patriotism Versus Science: George Orwell On H.G. Wells

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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.

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Lester Cole: Hater

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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.

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