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
One of Ronald Reagan’s more obvious fallacies was his location of the date “the Democratic Party left me” as 1948. For this was during the reign of Harry Truman, a liberal anticommunist par excellence; indeed, Reagan’s strategy for causing a Soviet implosion in 1989 was partly traceable to Truman’s containment policy begun in 1947 (Reagan did contribute to this policy the crucial strategy of forcing the Soviets to compete in a costly arms race that assured the implosion courtesy of their flawed economic system). One could trace the Cold War, at least on the American side, to Truman’s meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, 50 years ago, two weeks after he became President upon FDR’s death. At Yalta, Roosevelt believed that if he gave Soviet Premiere Josef Stalin everything he wanted–in effect, undisputed control over the Eastern Europe he “liberated” from the Nazis–then the Russian’s notorious paranoia would be appeased and he would honor his promise to hold democratic elections in Poland. American officials at Yalta were disgusted…
Groucho Marx, a reluctant petitioner for the Hollywood Ten, once lamented that the 1947 HUAC hearings into Communist influence in Hollywood, had not been used as source material for a Marx Brothers’ film. The brothers’ unique brand of surrealist comedy would, he believed, found an ideal setting in the question-answer format and the perfect set of foils with the career politicians of HUAC. In a sense, one of the brothers did participate, and there was comedy, but not from him, nor of the intentional kind.
One of the charges lodged at Hollywood communists who voluntarily revealed their politics to Congress during the blacklist period was that said volunteers did it to avoid jail or get back on the studio payroll, or both. Director Edward Dymytrk has always been hard for them to spin. Originally one of the Hollywood Ten, the first set of communists in 1947 to testify, or in their case, not to testify by refusing to answer direct questions from Congress, Dmytryk, although having left the Communist Party two years before, nevertheless went to jail with the other 9 in order to prove that his future cooperation with Congress would not be to avoid jail time. Although not agreeing with the Ten’s legal strategy of refusing to directly answer questions from Congress but appearing to, Dymtryk closed ranks with them.
Antifa sympathizer Jeffrey Tucker has really taken it on the chin this time. Despite being a self-professed anarchist, Tucker clearly likes his state deep. Wikileaks’ Vault 7 disclosures have made Tucker’s already indefensible position regarding the deep state look even more abhorrent. In a recent Daily Caller article, Tucker lamented the rise of Trump and floated the idea that the deep state might be better than the Trump administration. The shattering of the neoliberal consensus on global trade seemed to be his primary lament: “As much as we might hate the deep state…and I’ve written plenty against it…, we would be blind and dumb not to consider the possibility that something worse could come along in the name of overthrowing it. Every fascist dictatorship in history emerged in response to the real failures of socialism and bureaucracy. One leads to the other, as the history of interwar Europe shows… Donald Trump has made it a priority to overthrow the whole global-trade paradigm on grounds that ‘the nation-state remains the…
We are now currently two months (or thereabouts) into the Trump administration. As you have probably noticed, the putsches and death squads and concentration camps and secret police that President Trump was supposed to enact have not really come around yet. And nor will they ever—for all of the “Literally Hitler” talk, bear in mind that Hitler’s goals were explicitly enumerated in Mein Kampf (in all of its 800+ page denseness), whereas Trump has never expressed any desire to be a fascist dictator (And you’d think he would have done so in the four New York Times Bestselling Books he’s written). Regardless of Trump failing to be Literally Hitler, the Left continues to howl about how “racist” and “xenophobic” the man allegedly is, saying that any control over America’s borders is “not who we are as a country”—with the implication there being that, of course, America is a “nation of immigrants”/”proposition nation”, and thus the very idea of even temporarily halting immigration from any nation on is a vast affront…
Before Watergate, Carl Bernstein was known among journalists as being a leftist son of blacklisted parents and a protege of the fellow-traveling journalist I.F Stone. When Watergate arrived, however, Bernstein became known as the epitome of the journalist speaking truth to power. But when he is confronted by the specter of Hillary Clinton, his post-Watergate persona is abandoned, and the protege of the biased Stone takes over. Rather than dilate on the recollections even of friends from the 1960s who regarded Clinton as power-hungry, more interested in the nuts and bolts of getting into office rather than any New Left ideals of shunning contact with the contaminating establishment, Bernstein strains to find something impressive in such cold calculation. The best he can do is celebrate her intellect at the age of 20, evidenced by her ability to “speak in complete sentences”—a skill acquired by most people at age 5.
In many ways, the father of the Atomic Bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, has long been portrayed by liberals as a figure horrified about what he unleashed on the world, particularly with regard to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, in one film, Fat Man and Little Boy, he was portrayed as conscience-striken from the get-go. But the reality was different. Initially Oppenheimer approached the project as a purely technical problem. It was only after the experiment worked that he allowed the moral dimension in. His background in literature—the choice of “Trinity” was his, after a John Donne poem that he liked—made Oppenheimer recall a verse from the Hindu bible: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
H.L Mencken’s reputation as an independent-minded journalist rests on his lampooning of American politicians, his championship of, but not political sympathies with dissidents prosecuted and deported by the American government during World War I, and his public role as a defender of Scopes during the Evolution vs Bible Monkey Trial in 1925. Conservatives today claim him for his libertarian opposition to the New Deal, his fierce commitment to civil liberties, and his denouncement of collectivism in all forms. Liberals adopt him for his attacks on Christian fundamentalism, his faith in science, and his opposition to World War I. But what powered all of the above was his less attractive traits, all traceable to his fervent support of Germany. Despite being born in America, Mencken did not consider himself an American and regretted that this was his homeland: “My grandfather, I believe, made a mistake when he came to this country [from Germany]. I have spent all of my 62 years here, but I still find it impossible to fit…
When the Left requires a distraction for their own bad behavior, they always cite the 1950s, a decade ingrained in even the most uneducated mind as owned by a censorious, hysterical Right. In their estimation, spearheaded by an anti-anti-communist Victor Navasky, the Right burned books, shredded the Constitution, and caused suicides with their fascist behavior. But even within this decade, there were challenges to this view that it was only the Right who acted undemocratically. Against the very real threat to free speech fostered by Senator Joseph McCarthy, in which books by communist authors were removed from overseas Army libraries (and in some cases burned), there was the Congressional campaign to censor comic books. It bore all the features attached to the Right: playing fast and loose with charges, censorship, books thrown into bonfires, hysteria, and causing mass firings of employees.
In his last great battle in a lifetime of dust-ups, the late Christopher Hitchens in the aftermath of Sept. 11th, coined the term “Islamofascists” to describe and denounce the Muslim world. Linking it to 20th-century fascist movements, Hitchens elaborated: “The most obvious points of comparison would be these: Both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind. (“Death to the intellect! Long live death!” as Gen. Francisco Franco’s sidekick Gonzalo Queipo de Llano so pithily phrased it.) Both are hostile to modernity (except when it comes to the pursuit of weapons), and both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories. Both are obsessed with real and imagined “humiliations” and thirsty for revenge. Both are chronically infected with the toxin of anti-Jewish paranoia (interestingly, also, with its milder cousin, anti-Freemason paranoia). Both are inclined to leader worship and to the exclusive stress on the power of one great book. Both have a strong commitment to…
In our era of mainstream media journalists, masquerading under the easily penetrable guise of objective reporting, it is refreshing to find a journalist upfront about their politics. Such a figure was I.F. Stone who made no bones about his Soviet sympathies. Despite this, or more likely, because of it, mainstream media journalists laud Stone as the investigative journalist par excellence. Stone became a radical early, joining the Socialist Party before the age of 18, and after that, doing public relations for Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas. Even earlier, Stone became a journalist, joining a liberal monthly at the age of 14.
Today, as the Left decries the lawful deportation of illegal immigrants and a ban temporarily halting their entry into the US it is telling that less than twenty years ago they backed the use of federal troops to extract an illegal from a private home and send him back to a totalitarian country his mother tried to escape with him from. Historians argue that events should be studied only after fifty years has passed. Only from that vantage point can all the complexities of the event be taken in. Not so with the Elian Gonzales case; its features were evident from day one.
Christopher Hitchens once wrote of George Orwell that “it is possible to reprint every single letter, book review, and essay composed by Orwell without exposing him to any embarrassment.” The same could be said of Clive James–essayist and poet–when examining his output. At first glance, knowing James’ politics (to this day he calls himself part of the “proletarian left,” despises the free market, and favors a state-run media—he should emigrate here), one would expect dreary repetition. Certainly, that is what we got from James’ contemporary Gore Vidal. No matter the topic, Vidal always steered it toward his military-industrial complex conspiracy. Even Christopher Hitchens didn’t completely give up the Trotsky ghost; in one of his last essays, Hitchens scrambled to find something of relevance about the Old Man and found it in Trotsky’s conclusion that communism had failed.
A little over two weeks ago, our friends in Washington D.C. held a committee meeting to discuss the possibilities of modernizing the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA is one of the several environmental laws passed in the 1970s that served as provisional attempts to protect species considered a risk of going extinct due to economic growth and the alleged lack of concern for the conservation of our environment.
Stockholm syndrome is a term used by psychiatrists specializing in the study of terrorism to describe how a hostage falls in love with their captor. One could not find a better example of a group version of this syndrome than in Russia today. March 5th marked the 64th anniversary of Josef Stalin’s death, and scores of elderly Russians are already laying wreaths on the grave of the ruler who murdered 20 million of their countrymen. But this admiration goes beyond the aged; a recent survey commissioned by the Carnegie Endowment reveals that Stalin remains widely admired in Russia.
President Trump has credibly accused Obama of wire-tapping the Trump Tower phones during the 2016 campaign. Whether the tapping of Trump Tower phones can be traced to Obama; whether it’s true or false—consider the counter-accusations floated by President Donald Trump about Barack Obama as part of a strategy. The president is in survival mode. He’s backed into a corner and is fighting back with brio, counter-punching at the Machine intent on unseating him. The Donald is destabilizing the destabilizers. The opinion makers were incensed. “He had no evidence when he smeared his predecessor. Just contemplate the recklessness—the sheer indifference to truth,” yelped the New York Times. “The administration can’t substantiate the wire-tapping claim,” screeched the MSNBC collective. On CNN it’s been incontinent outrage, every hour of each day, since president Trump shot across the bow at Obama. Marching in lockstep, media have ruled that Trump’s wire-tapping taunt is unworthy of investigation. At the same time, the RussiaGate conspiracy with which media are hobbling the Trump presidency, and for which…
Toward the end of his life, liberal actor Orson Welles reported being told by Nikita Khrushchev on a Hollywood visit by the Soviet premiere that Stalin had once targeted conservative actor John Wayne for liquidation. Although not reaching this height and honor on Stalin’s “enemies’ list,” conservative matinee idol Robert Taylor was able to have the distinction of having his films banned in Communist Hungary and in Czechoslovakia. And, depending upon your point of view, Taylor had the distinction of organizing Hollywood anticommunists into a political group (The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals), and being the only major star to name names during the 1947 Congressional investigation into communism in the film industry.
Every decade or so pundits return to the question of whether George Orwell was a conservative. The answer is dependent on the questioner’s ideology. Norman Podhoretz claimed him as a neoconservative. Christopher Hitchens, still in thrall to socialism, stated that Orwell “was conservative about many things, but not politics.” By and large, this bodysnatching relied on the same facts, and thus spin was required. However, the recent publication of Orwell’s letters and diaries bolsters the conservative interpretation while also showing how hard it was for the writer to let go of socialism. For example, Orwell, still promoting socialism, albeit a libertarian version (which to my mind is a contradiction in terms), had a yin and yang attitude toward money, or to be more precise “the Money God” as he put in one of his novels. in which this commodity disfigured the human personality.
Fifty-six years ago, the Berlin Wall was erected and gave the West the ultimate propaganda victory in the Cold War. JFK certainly viewed it as such. While he enraged some of his military advisers by refusing to green-light an invasion (supply lines would have been impossible to maintain), he nevertheless pronounced the images of people fleeing with literally their clothes on their backs. (By August 1961, an average of 2,000 East Germans were escaping into the West every day.) While guerilla-faced East German guards batted and drug the slower back to the East as “a failure of communism.” He told his aides to release this footage to the networks. Escapes were still attempted despite the barbed wire now extending to thirty miles. Perhaps one of the starkest images of the Cold War, and another propaganda victory for the West, was provided when Conrad Schumann, a 19-year-old East German soldier, was photographed leaping over the barbed wire to freedom.
Republicans have been running on a platform of regulatory reform for years. 2017 appears to be the year that this campaign promise will be realized. This is important for liberty loving Americans as the regulatory environment has violated the Checks and Balances that our Constitution originally established. Regulations remove power from Congress and give that power to unelected bureaucrats.
Since his death in 1949, conservatives have annexed George Orwell for their cause. From Henry Luce to Norman Podhoretz, pundits have located in Orwell’s energetic denunciation of Stalinism, his anti-abortion and anti-gun control stances–and thanks to the publication of his diaries–his hatred of taxation either a right-winger or a leftist drifting toward that spectrum. Whether valid or not, what has been overlooked in this body-snatching is that Orwell himself may have annexed conservatives, and not for his cause, but rather for literary purposes.
In an example of him desperately trying to retain even a molecule of his collegiate Marxism, the late Christopher Hitchens refused to accept that Soviet communism was equivalent to Nazi Germany. One of his broadsides against this comparison was that, unlike the Soviet Union, whose government figures accused Stalin of betraying the Russian Revolution, Nazi Germany had “no dissidents…risking their lives on the proposition the Fuhrer had betrayed the true essence of National Socialism.” But in his rush to make this point, Hitchens had not done his homework, for there were dissidents in the Nazi Party who accused Hitler of betraying the Nazi revolution. The perfect case in point was SA leader Ernst Roehm.
Upon receiving the manuscript of what would be George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, publisher Frederic Warburg considered the novel the most “depressing” and “pessimistic” thing he ever read. Many Orwell scholars, sharing this view, attributed the novel’s bleakness to Orwell dying by inches during the composition of the novel. But despite the novel’s depiction of a broken Winston Smith, Orwell’s hopes never wavered, which must have been considerable when viewing the world of 1948-49. The Soviets had Eastern Europe and an atomic bomb. China would soon go Communist. Time was running out, but Orwell didn’t rule out that the English could be awakened: “The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else and that totalitarianism, if not fought against (italics mine), could triumph anywhere.” This wake-up call was no easy task. As far back as 1938, Orwell was complaining about the British being a “sleep walking people” and only Hitler’s bombs would wake them up.…
When Hollywood Communists Adrian Scott, a producer, and Edward Dmytryk sought material that was both entertaining and capable of making their anti-capitalist points, they searched no further than noir writer Raymond Chandler. Chandler’s hyper-cynical portrayal of a murdering, drug-taking upper class, corrupt brutal cops and all of the above’s business relationship with LA’s criminal element must have seemed perfect for communist agitprop. The result of Scott and Dymtryk’s labors was Murder My Sweet (1944), an adaptation of Chandler’s second novel, Farewell My Lovely. In it, an unshaven and punch-drunk Dick Powell weaves through a maze of quacks capitalizing on neurotic rich women, former showgirls murdering to retain the position they’ve married into, and ex-cons duped and then framed because of their romanticism.
Historians locate a decisive moment in the Republican Presidential campaign of 1940: The nomination the internationalist Wendell Wilkie, and in essence forever said goodbye to its isolationist wing. For the Democrats, their decisive moment was 1948. That year, Democrats engaged in an inner-party debate, a battle for its soul, between the accommodationist policies of FDR toward the Soviet Union and the containment faction. Truman was truly besieged on every possible side of the political spectrum. Across the aisle, Republicans were seeking to capitalize on the President’s low poll numbers and the public’s exhaustion with 16 years of Democratic rule. Within his own Party, he faced threats on both right and left in Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrats Party, who opposed Truman’s civil rights program. Then there was Henry Wallace, FDR’s former Vice President, who opposed his hard line toward the Soviet Union.
In the recent film Trumbo, about the blacklisted screenwriter–and Stalinist–who helped end the barring of communists from working in Hollywood, a sinister, bespectacled figure threatens a poverty-row filmmaker who is employing Trumbo. “Fire him,” the sinister figure says, or “we”–who he identifies as the Motion Picture Alliance For The Preservation of American Ideals–“will shut you down.” In point of fact, such an incident could have and probably did happen, for that organization did try to enforce the blacklisting of suspected or actual communists from studios. But the makers of this eulogy to Trumbo overshot their mark by having said sinister figure cite Ronald Reagan as one of the members. Reagan, then a liberal, but anticommunist Democrat, was not.
When war was declared in 1914, a failed painter and bum named Adolf Hitler fell to his knees with joyful tears running down his cheeks and promptly signed up. While others were miserable in the trenches, Hitler enjoyed his role as trench runner. Equally ecstatic about World War I, Heinrich Himmler never got his chance to bear arms, and this disappointment explains, perhaps even more than any anti-Semitism, his feverish service for Hitler as head of the secret police: Himmler was overcompensating.
Whether Donald Trump is indeed a Putin sympathizer as charged by Democrats and even some Republicans, one of his speakers is definitely supportive of the former KGB spook. Pat Buchanan, who was decidedly anti-Soviet when serving in the Reagan administration, has expressed admiration for Putin and attacked Obama’s sanctions on Russia over Putin invading neighboring Ukraine. More than Buchanan’s infamous isolationism was at play here; the social conservative Buchanan has found commonality with the Stalin-praising Putin for cracking down on Russian homosexuals. Not only were Russian security interests at stake in the Ukraine, according to Buchanan, but also at stake was the health of Russia’s Christian foundations against a morally infecting neighbor. In Buchanan’s worldview, any American aid to the Ukranian people would have funded the Slavic version of Act Up. Some could find this inconsistent with Buchanan’s Cold War era behavior. After all, wasn’t he a fervent supporter of covert aid to Polish dissidents while in the Reagan administration?
During the early years of the Great Depression, where a considerable number of American intellectuals threw in with the communist candidate for president in 1932, William Z. Foster, literary critic Edmund Wilson urged American Communists to take Marxism away from the Russians and “Americanize it.” But this advice went unheeded and from 1932 onward, American Communists took their cues from Russia, a country with no democratic traditions. What may have been a lost opportunity, depending upon your point of view as to whether communism could be applied at all to American democracy, was briefly provided by Jay Lovestone, who helped found the American Communist Party (along with John Reed) in 1919. Lovestone then moved to Editor of The Communist, the Party’s newspaper. By 1927, he was the CPUSA’s national secretary.
As I write this and as you read it, millions of people the world over are starving and yet the number of malnourished persons worldwide is steadily declining as it has been for years. This is due to many factors such as increased crop yields, and perhaps in no small part to innovative agricultural techniques such as The System of Rice Intensification. Much to the chagrin of the muckrakers and doomsayers and pushers of trivialities in America’s free press, our small blue planet is, in many ways, becoming a better place to live for a larger number of people. That sound you hear is Malthus rolling over in his grave. Poverty is the on the mid- to long-term path to extinction. Even the liberal Brookings Institute has displayed some cautious hope for the future, a heresy that stands in stark contrast to the doom and gloom dogma of the so-called “progressive” Left. There’s a lot of good news out there, more than you might think. The world is coming…
During the Cold War, the Right attacked FDR for his appeasement of Stalin, which assured the Soviet empire. In the words of moderate Republican Senator Ralph Flanders, the Soviet aggression America was faced with during the early Cold War period came about because Roosevelt “was soft as taffy on the subject of communism.” The flip side to this came from the communist Left, who asserted that FDR was a progressive for peace and a better world along with Stalin, and with his death, the opportunity for peaceful co-existence was lost because of the “fascist” president Harry S. Truman. Faced with capitalist encirclement, Stalin had no choice but to assume a purely defensive posture.
As most politically astute individuals know, President Trump has Doubled Down on Regulation Reform. First, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order requiring federal agencies to remove two regulations for every regulation enacted. Trump then signed an Executive Order setting up a watchdog in each agency whose duty it is to make sure the federal agencies enact his regulatory reform. Not to be outdone by the President, this week Congress passed H.R. 998. This bill is called the SCRUB Act (Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome). This Act establishes a nine-member commission whose duty it is to hold hearings and find regulations that need to be removed. The commission is to be called The Retrospect Regulatory Review Commission. This commission is to be in existence for five years.
We will never forget 2016. A new Star Wars came out. Several celebrities passed on. Clemson upset #1 Alabama in the national championship game (still happy about that happening). The Cubs, for the first time since 1908, won the World Series. A great year all around. However, 2016 was most remembered for Donald John Trump’s victory for President. You see, the night of November 8, 2016, the third famous American political dynasty died — The Clinton Dynasty. Even I was stunned. However, while the world was seemingly being turned upside down, one thing remained: the hypocrisy and selfishness of the Left. My conversion towards libertarianism begin in 2012 when my Uncle Gandalf (yes, that’s really his name) exposed me to Ron Paul. Ron Paul was saying things that begin to make sense for me. He was single-handedly smashing the Left and the Right on their sky-high lies and deception of the Amerian people. I was shown in that moment that the majority of the Right and Left didn’t care…