A good deal of the fretting over what might or might not turn out to be an increasing level of hostility between mainland China and Taiwan over the arcane (and currently irrelevant) question of whether everybody still believes in "One China" is related to the apparently irresistible urge of the U.S. State Department to want … Continue reading “THE ITCH TO CHOOSE SIDES”


BOMBING: IS THERE ANY AMERICAN CONSCIENCE AT ALL? Every year in August, someone is moved by the anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to say this or that about the morality of the first – and only – use, by anyone, of the Americans’ very own patent medicine of mass destruction. First, a well-meaning liberal of … Continue reading “RANDOM THOUGHTS, MOSTLY ON BOMBING”


It is difficult to imagine that anybody with more than a few months’ experience as an interested observer was actually surprised by the report from the international Office of High Representation – a marvelously vague but impressive-sounding title for the investigative arm of the international aid agencies – that a billion dollars or so has … Continue reading “IS ANYBODY SURPRISED?”


If the truth is the "first casualty of war," then the honest use of language must be "collateral damage." George Orwell rather famously dealt with some of the details in his essay, "Politics and the English Language" (1945). My topic is different insofar as I deal with the American language. That there is an "American … Continue reading “POLITICS AND THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE”

A Draft After the 2000 Elections?

There may yet be a military draft in your future if you’ll be turning 20 in 2001, once the elections are out of the way. In late July of this year Newsday published a Los Angeles Times dispatch reporting that, “key members of Congress’ military committees, for the first time in a generation, are discussing … Continue reading “A Draft After the 2000 Elections?”


I got two kinds of responses to my comments last week on Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey’s efforts to stir up a rationale for more intensive U.S. intervention into the ongoing insurgency-cum-narco-trafficking crisis in Colombia. One type came from a fellow whose e-mail address suggested he was a retired military officer was indignant: “FARC political insurgency? … Continue reading “COLOMBIAN CLARIFICATIONS (OR CONFUSIONS)”


One of the "old causes" embraced in this column – perhaps the most important one – is that of the "isolationist" Old Right. As used by the late Murray Rothbard among others, the term Old Right refers to a loose coalition opposed to the New Deal in both its domestic and foreign aspects. While not … Continue reading “MERE “ISOLATIONISM””

American Values in Dire Straits

High anxiety in the Taiwan Straits following Republic of China (ROC) President Lee Teng-hui’s "two nations" challenge to the People’s Republic of China raises the question: How should patriotic Americans respond to the Taipei-Beijing confrontation? The answer is: Americans who revere our heritage of freedom and independence must have the courage to defy 1990’s political … Continue reading “American Values in Dire Straits”