After the Freedom Caucus stopped House Majority Speaker Paul Ryan’s health care bill from even receiving a floor vote, conservatives and libertarians were elated, but serious consequences may be on the way if White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s words are any indicator. Conservatives and libertarians hoping their health care … Keep Reading
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.
“I fear I am writing pornography.” So said former Communist and blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo about his on-again off-again attempt to address the Holocaust through the first-person narration of a concentration camp officer. When Auschwitz was liberated (ironically by the Red Army, which would soon institute a pogrom against Jews), a variety of writers tried to grapple with the Holocaust. Various interpretations of the Holocaust have been offered though out the years: Marxist (the Final Solution was the logical culmination of heartless capitalism and the fascism inherent in it); the banality of evil, the we-are-all-responsible school, etc.ect. ad nausaem.
Asked once toward the end of his life about what he was proudest of, liberal activist and actor Paul Newman cited his appearance on Nixon’s “enemies list.” The flip side to this occurred with conservative actor John Wayne making it onto Stalin’s enemies list, with much more lethal consequences than anything Nixon had at his disposal. According to those close to Wayne, Stalin ordered Wayne liquidated after learning of the outspoken conservative actor’s popularity and anticommunist beliefs from a Russian film-maker who visited New York in 1949.
Whenever the Grassy Knoll crowd needs a figure to represent the repellent seediness of JFK’s “actual” killers, they trot out David Ferrie. Dead for fifty years, the wigged, eyebrow glued macho homosexual has lived on in Kennedy conspiracy lore, memorably portrayed by a hyper-manic Joe Pesci in Oliver Stone’s laughable JFK, and is the pivotal figure that finally convinces Oswald to fire from the Texas School Book Depository at a president Oswald cannot muster up any feelings of hate toward in Don Delillo’s more sober Libra. Called in typically bombastic style by the headline grabbing, paranoid Jim Garrison, the District Attorney of New Orleans who brought the case to court, “the most important man in history,” Ferrie was in point of fact a rather pathetic figure, who, without Castro, and Oswald would have been only a locally important figure in the New Orleans Mafia and the city’s homosexual underworld.
Our once great nation is overflowing with poseurs who make believe they’re fighting the good fight against an uneducated army of Philistines, that is, anyone who votes Republican. And so, the myth goes, without the posturing of pawns in entertainment, news media, social media, politics and government, the least fortunate and most misunderstood among us (blacks, Hispanics, gays, transgenderism, etc.) would be crushed under the unfeeling boot heels of puritan era artifacts who long ago outlived their usefulness, if they were ever useful to begin with. Unpaid big-mouthery is all the rage these days and it always has been; people are frequently lazy but they’re opinionated too. The bifurcated quest for righteous bragging rights and the path of least resistance leads inevitably to the human inclination to proclaim outrage at the supposedly outrageous while doing next to nothing to correct often wholly imagined injustices.
When William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist (and whose screenplay for its adaptation won him the Academy Award), died in January, tributes poured in praising the former Jesuit student for creating the ultimate horror masterpiece. But now as then, people didn’t realize that despite the bull-bellowing blasphemies and head-spinning, Blatty had an ideological purpose in writing the book–a purpose that was socially conservative in nature.
Unfortunately, the roll out of the controversial Republican replacement of Obamacare relegated to the margins the much more important topic of the “Deep State” and the uses to which its resources were deployed during the Obama administration. After months of baseless allegations that he had colluded with the Russian government to steal the presidential election from Hillary Clinton, President Trump had reached his limit. With just a few tweets, Trump flipped the script on his detractors by doing what no Republican had ever had the guts to do: He called out President Obama directly and accused his predecessor of having “wire tapped” his home. At first, the usual suspects—i.e. those who never tire of grossly underestimating Trump, irrespectively of the frequency with which he owns them—laughed off his charge, claiming that he presented no evidence for it. Yet within no time this began to change as those of the President’s critics in the media were reminded that it is they who had been presenting evidence for his claims not…
Recently, I was privy to an exchange on social media that highlighted the intellectual and moral arrogance observed in many libertarians. Certain members of the Liberty Movement seem to be so sure of their superiority that they miss the authoritarian allure of a Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. Turning a blind eye (or turning up our noses) at those we disagree with will not help advance the ideas about individual rights, the rule of law, benefits of markets, or any of the other foundations upon which so many of us base our worldviews if not our careers. Rather than dismiss those arguments that we happen to disagree with by claiming some de facto intellectual, empirical, or moral superiority, we should instead be willing to engage with conservative and liberal arguments on their own terms. There is simply no better way to refute bad arguments, improve electoral opportunities, and gain adherents to ideas that have been indispensable in shaping the freedom and prosperity of the western world.
For those writers who began as conservatives on his magazine and graduated into liberalism, William F. Buckley of National Review called them the “apostates.” Probably the most notorious of these figures was Joan Didion, who, in the words of Buckley’s sister Priscilla, started as “a conservative” staffer and ended up a “flaming liberal.” At first glance, Joan Didion’s trajectory seemed to bear this out. She went from writing for National Review and voting for arch-conservative Barry Goldwater to defending Bill Clinton at the height of his impeachment proceedings, to lambasting George W. Bush, to voting for Barack Obama in 2008. She seemed to be that familiar figure of the Baby Boomer generation: a conservative pushed leftward by the sixties. But in her view, though, this “Goldwater girl” never really changed. Like Reagan (who Didion criticized and was alone in seeing him as too unprincipled to qualify as the heir to Goldwater), she stated that the “parties changed” and that her “unorthodox conservatism” hadn’t. She reminded readers into the 21st…
Despite the exposure of the Cambridge Spies, a group of Soviet moles operating out of British Intelligence, and their subsequent defection to the other side, the British have always boasted of not succumbing to a panic attack of McCarthyism. It was true that investigations into Soviet espionage were done quietly and almost exclusively directed at the employers of Philby, Burgess, McLean, and Blunt rather than any publicity-grabbing interrogations of the entertainment industry. To rescue some national pride for America, it should be noted, however, that unlike the Spies who settled any debate about their guilt by escaping to the other side, the American public was never allowed the luxury of such closure and the State Department officials denying everything (like Hiss) gave some credence to McCarthy’s conspiracy so immense charges.
Of all the events that triggered mass defections by communists from their party, the military partnership between Hitler and Stalin in 1939 may have been that caused the most. Hitler and Stalin’s joint invasion of democratic Poland registered shock waves among the communist faithful who joined the Party out of the perception that the Soviet Union was against Nazism. Arthur Koestler, Jr. spoke for many when he documented his disgust with the agreement: “I remained in that state of suspended animation until the day when the swastika was hoisted on Moscow airport in honor of Ribbentrop’s arrival and the Red Army band broke into the Horst Wessel Song. That was the end, from then onward I no longer cared whether Hitler’s allies called me a counter-revolutionary.”
The most perplexing and perverse development in our country’s politics over the past decade or so has been the unholy alliance between the so-called “progressive” movement and the pseudo-religious terrorist organization best known as Islam. A degree in the history of Abrahamic faith systems – maybe only Islam in particular – would be helpful in highlighting the absurdity of the Progressive-Muslim pact, but it’s unnecessary – the mind-numbing stupidity of the arrangement is virtually visible from space. On one side, you have snowflake social justice warriors who champion the causes of women and gays, among other things. On the other side, you have an unwashed horde of deviant psychopaths who despise everything their leftist partners uphold as virtuous. Strange bedfellows indeed.