Articles and Posts by Samuel-francis:
At the Heart of Darkness(25)
S.T. Joshi begins his mammoth biographical study of Howard Phillips Lovecraft by quoting his subject’s reaction to a suggestion from a fan that he write his autobiography. With the almost pathological modesty that characterized Lovecraft throughout his life, he snorted in response, “One might as well write the pompously documented biography of a sandwich man or elevator boy in 8 volumes.”
After several weeks of fulminating about John Kerry’s war record and the medals he presumably awarded himself, at least some veterans of the Stupid Party eventually got down to the real point about the man who wants to replace George W. Bush in the White House. Amazingly, it was none other than the forgotten Robert Dole—himself something of a war hero from World War II and whose wounds were far more serious than any Mr. Kerry has even claimed to have suffered—who seems to have been the only man in the GOP to grasp that point.
The Enemy of the Nation(0)
As far as I can tell, the idea that America is or should be a credal nation originated (on the right) with Harry Jaffa and his doctrine that Abraham Lincoln is the defining icon of the nation through his concept of equality. For Mr. Jaffa, the Declaration of Independence (or, more accurately, the sentence fragment from its second paragraph declaring that “all men are created equal”) is the original definition of the American creed, which Lincoln at Gettysburg was merely articulating.
Holding the Pass(0)
It has been ten years since the death, at his home in the village of Mecosta, Michigan, of Russell Kirk, author of The Conservative Mind and one of the main spokesmen for organized American conservatism as it was known throughout his life.
Queen of the Damned(0)
“What I like best about the Order of the Garter,” Lord Melbourne is reported to have remarked, “is that there is no damned merit about it.” Had the Philadelphia Society existed in Melbourne’s day, he would have found damned little merit in it either, though the society is not on quite the same level of social prestige as the unmeritorious Knights of the Garter.
The Success of the Pod(0)
Norman Podhoretz, Doris Day, and Arnold Palmer were among the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 23, and it is by no means easy to say who deserves the award the most—or, for that matter, the least. Most people probably were not aware that Miss Day was still alive but were happy to learn she was. The same cannot necessarily be said of Mr. Podhoretz.
Just how high did authorization go for the Abu Ghraib “abuses,” as the deliberate torture and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by American troops are demurely called? Was it really, as President Bush claimed in his flatulent “address to the nation” in May, a mere case of “disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonored our country and disregarded our values,” or were the people who really did the dishonoring and disregarding by authorizing and encouraging what happened on a far higher level than the trailer-trash grunts elevated to global celebrity by the dirty pictures in which they leer and smirk at their victims?
Ronald Reagan, R.I.P.(0)
By no means the least of Ronald Reagan’s achievements as man and president was that he may well have been the first chief executive since Herbert Hoover who did not deserve a prison term for his crimes. He also managed to hold the presidency twice, hand his office over to a designated successor, and remain a popular and even a beloved figure for the rest of his life. Aside from these not inestimable accomplishments, however, his enduring legacy as a conservative statesman is pretty thin.
A Question of Power(0)
Movies come and movies go, but probably never in the history of American film has more controversy greeted any movie than that which met Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ before and after its debut on Ash Wednesday. We all know what the controversy was about.
(Con)fusion on the Right(0)
or the last year or so, neoconservatism has been the subject of an astonishing number of discussions, examinations, and denunciations by the far and “mainstream” left as well as by the right, soft and not so soft. The reason for the scrutiny, of course, is that you cannot expect to engineer an entire war, concoct a series of bold-faced lies about why the war should be fought, and identify the interests of Israel as being indistinguishable from those of the United States, and then denounce everyone who disagrees or criticizes you as “unpatriotic” and “antisemitic” without inviting comment.