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Wednesday
July 15, 2020


Now Playing

Juliet Naked
(Reviewed September 21, 2018)

An amusing but slight adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel which can laugh at its characters without precluding the possibility that they may laugh at themselves

Won't You Be My Neighbor?
(Reviewed September 20, 2018)

Did Mr Rogers’s extraordinary capacity for love end up producing a generation of haters?

Lady Bird
(Reviewed March 6, 2018)

A delightful and not entirely politically correct movie about growing up as a Catholic schoolgirl in 2002-2003

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
(Reviewed February 22, 2018)

An occasionally amusing parable of guilt and forgiveness whose setting in small-town America, like the prejudices of its author, does it no favors

Diary
ENTRY from July 14, 2020

The corruption of our language by the woke left continues apace. Having changed the meaning of the word “science” from a system of inquiry and verification to whatever knowledge or pseudo-knowledge, verified or not, supports their political agenda, they have now turned their attention to “traitors.” We had a fore-taste of this when John Brennan accused President Trump, a little prematurely, of having committed treason, which certainly implied the treachery of a traitor. But at least Mr Brennan could claim that he was using (or implying) the word, however dishonestly, in its proper sense of one who, while professing loyalty to his country, secretly treats with its enemies to the latter’s advantage. What the woke left now appears to be doing is to regard anyone holding a different opinion from their own as a traitor — or “racist”, “white supremacist” or any other boo-word that might come into their mind while they express nothing but their own feelings.

It might be thought that there is a better case for regarding Confederate generals as “traitors” — as The Washington Post, for example, now routinely does. Perhaps in imitation of such emotive language, Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois recently claimed, quite falsely, that President Trump in his Mt Rushmore speech “spent all his time talking about dead traitors” — though the Confederate generals that were not, in fact, mentioned by Mr Trump on this occasion, were not so called in their own lifetimes, or by those who had suffered the most from their rebellion. On the contrary, their Union opposite numbers generally regarded them as men of honor who felt, as many others did at the time, that their principal loyalty was owed to their states and not to the United States, now disunited, which they had joined voluntarily and believed they could withdraw from in the same way. They were called “rebels” and not traitors because everybody then knew the difference, in honor, between open rebellion and surreptitious treachery.

Not any more. Now even the generals themselves appear to be so far strangers to the canons of honor that they don’t know the difference. So, at least, we are forced to conclude if a report in the Post is to be believed, that “the military’s top officer,” General Mark Milley, has taken it upon himself to describe the rebellion of the Confederacy as “an act of treason” in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. Leaving aside the fact that he doubtless knew he’d better so describe it to the Democrat-controlled committee if he valued his job, why didn’t any of the Republicans on the committee think to ask: if they had committed treason, why did the victorious Union choose not to prosecute them for this crime? Indeed, they were more honored than despised by their erstwhile enemies, and many were received back into the Federal army that they had supposedly betrayed.
  Full Entry

Media MadnessBefore there was Howard Kurtz’s Media Madness, there was mine — now, alas, out of print but still available while supplies last for the cost of shipping and handling. Send $5.99 to me in care of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1730 M Street, Suite 910, Washington, D.C. 20036


Honor, A HistoryAlso available, now in paperback and Kindle version, is Honor, A History, which was first published in 2006. A study of Western cultural artifacts, from the epics of Homer to the movies and TV shows of today, it is focused on explaining why Western ideas of honor developed so differently from those elsewhere — and especially from the savage honor cultures of the Islamic world. The book then goes on to trace the collapse and ultimate rejection of the old Western honor culture from World War I until the present day and to suggest the conditions that would have to prevail for its revival.


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Polite fictions March 31, 2020.
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