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ISIS Versus Trudeau in Edmonton
Stupidity is Our Strength! In my hometown, Edmonton, some...
Shanghai Oil Contract is Black Gold
Shanghai Oil Contract threatens to overturn U.S. dollar hegemony....
Ben Shapiro at Berkeley 2017
Although I didn’t have a ticket to see Ben...
The Beaver Dam Letter
This is an actual letter sent to a man...
Marxists Upset They Have to Pay to Visit Karl Marx Grave.
Despite being famous for advocating a system without private...
Debunking Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Science in America
Celebrity scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson has a new video...
Trump Does the Unthinkable
As an entertainment journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to...
Wikileaks, CIA, and Michael Hastings
So I went to check out the latest Wikileaks...
No Rules, Too Many Rules, and Stifled Curiosity
Lately if feels like I’m living in a world...
The Gehlen Organization
German General Reinhard Gehlen went into hiding as WWII...
Universal Basic Income is Universal Basic Theft
When one asks why any libertarian would take Universal...
The Looming Conflict
It’s unfortunate. We approach the point where open conflict...
Berkeley Riot and the Bloody Question
Years ago, my dear friend Laura sighed, then said,...
A Cuban on Castro
Please don’t pretend to understand what happened on that...
Trudeau Eulogies
In his comments regarding the passing of Fidel Castro,...
The Joy of Propaganda
The purpose of propaganda is not to persuade, but...
Is France Next?
First Brexit, then Trump, could France be the next...
Progressives Looking Backwards
People who call themselves “progressives” claim to be forward-looking,...
Global Freezing?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Internet, I’m afraid to...
Did a Canadian Mayor Refuse to Remove Pork from Menu for Refugees?
Muslims leaving the Middle East are trying to find...
Why Trump Won
Over this past year I’ve been called stupid, ignorant,...
Your Vote Doesn’t Matter – But You Do.
Did you ever have a dream that seemed so...
Why Trump Haters Really Hate Trump
It’s not the hair. Or the bad manners. Or...
2016 Election and the Art of the Possible
And I seriously thought 2012 would be the last...
The Other Side Absolutely Must Not Win
The past several weeks have made one thing crystal-clear:...
Rabbits and Wolves: The Sexual Evolution of Politics
There are two main sexual strategies in the animal...
Who Will Win the War on Error?
In May of 2018, the second year of Mrs....
Facebook Warriors
Today on Facebook I read the following statement: “WHITE,...
Tips for a debt-free life for Millennials
Research says that millennials aren’t ready to prepare for...
Canada’s Top Ten List of America’s Stupidity.
#10 Only in America… could politicians talk about the...
Kipling’s ISIS Solution. East is East and West is West.
Mencken was right, “For every complex problem there is...
Turkey No Surprise
Turkey? Orlando? Paris? So what else is new? I...
If Women Ruled the World…
Lesbian commentator Camille Paglia once wrote, “If civilization had...
The Wisdom of Prince. Quotes from the Purple One
Prince was more than just a musician, performer, dancer,...
Debunking the Cannot Eat Money Quote
“When the last tree is cut down, the last...
Sex, Religion & Civilization
Among civilized cultures there is a close relationship between...
RIP Kevin Randleman
Mr. Randleman impacted my life when I was around...
Is Congress Irrelevant? And What the Heck is a Boehner?
God’s truth, I do not know who Boehner and...
Smearing Scalia
Among the many sad signs of our time are...
The Common Nonsense on Terrorism
A few cheering thoughts on terrorism. This column specializes...
The Media Versus The Donald
In the feudal era there were the “three estates”...
University Professor Warns Politically Correct Students
In welcoming a new class, Mike Adams, professor at...
Showdown in San Ramon: A Clash of Civilizations
So I’m at Crown Billiards in San Ramon for...
Where Does ISIS Get the Money?
Numerous analysts believe these radical Islamists get much of...
Radical Islam’s War on Beer
While I was in Egypt this past summer, my...
Gun Control in France
In France, only licensed gun owners may lawfully acquire,...
The Islamic Inquisition and Modern Moderates
One of my dearest friends is a Muslim. She...
Veterans Money Stolen by Bad Design
By law, children of the one-hundred-percent-disabled combat vets can...
She loved it before she hated it.
According to CNN Hillary Clinton pushed the Trans-Pacific Partnership...
Dancing with Psychos
I remember in the early 90’s in Tucson, I...
Doing “Something” About Guns…
Another lunatic went on a shooting spree, and just...
Don’t Mess with Dr.Geezer
An old geezer became very bored in retirement and...
Don Bongino on Bernie Sanders
Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino ripped into the...
Finland Sucks
Beggars can be choosy. And they are. For example,...
The Trump Paradox
What is it that puzzles New York about Trump’s...
Bear Faced Panic
After a photograph of an emaciated polar bear hobbling...
The Racist Clockmaker
So I’m going through airport security and the guy...
Who Gave Us the Weekend & Saved the Children?
Way back in the old days, sometime in between...
Why They Hate Us
A frequent theme nowadays is “Why do they hate...
Why I Love Both Donald & Bernie
Face it, you probably love one and hate the...
Facebook Magic Bullet Powers
For those that think social media has some kind...
HARRISON BERGERON by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal....
Making Racism Worse
It never stops, and won’t. Another state of emergency...
How to Deal with Haters
I’ve had four death threats. I’ve had several major...
Mother in Law: USA
The United States has embarked on a headlong rush...
A Communist asks “The Question.”
For many years I have lived in dread of...
Sylvester Stallone’s Dog Days
This is one of the SADDEST stories ever told...
English Pubs and American Indians
The local pub has been a part of English...
Euros, Gyros, Heroes, and Zeros.
The CNN “analysis” of a possible Greek exit from...
How Thomas Sowell Got Lucky
After my 85th birthday last week, I looked back...
Greece For Dummies
Mr. Greece really likes taking care of his family....
Slavery in Canada?
As Canada went to war in 1914, unwanted foreigners...
Get Your Money Out of Mutual Funds Now
BlackRock Inc. is seeking government clearance to set up...
Berkeley Word Game Totalitarianism
The political left has come up with a new...
Just Who are the Real Haters Here?
“I will never be able to hold her again,...
Gay Marriage Freedom?
In the old days, the slaves had to ask...
A Letter From Russian Immigrants to Governor Brown
Honorable Governor Jerry Brown, We are a group of...
You Are What You Say You Are?
Rachel A. Dolezal, the recently resigned president of the...
Was Jesus a Socialist?
On June 16, 1992, London’s Daily Telegraph reported this...
Stupid Doctors & How I Cured My Persistent Cough
For two years I was hacking up a lung....
How Plumbers Saved the World
Vaccines get all the glory, but most plumbers can...
Aeromobil: The Real Flying Car
Ever since the Jetsons, people have been laughing at...
Bagpipes on the Border
I’m still hopping mad about the US Government’s bagpipe...
Nine Things I’ve Never Asked a Woman
My date leaned over and asked, “What year is...
How to End Police Brutality Forever
I am going to make this as short and...
Left, Right & Elvis on Baltimore
Baltimore burns, that much is sure, but who is...
The War on Fathers
Not long ago, Megyn Kelly of FOX News went...
President Obama Fiddles While Baltimore Burns
During his press conference today, President Obama addressed the...
Feminist Destruction
We have suffered for decades now the squawking of...
Anthem: It Is a Sin to Write This…
It is a sin to write this. It is...
Isaiah’s Job
Isaiah’s Job is from Chapter 13 of Albert J....
Travel Hacking the IRS
Unlike many people, I do not have my taxes...
Cell Phone Cowards
Kids these days are punks and cowards. They can...
One Woman Versus the Tax Man
In a sense, the entire system of taxation is...
Mencken’s Bathtub and Social Security
In 1917, H.L. Mencken wrote an article to commemorate...
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s War on Pizza
A reporter went into Memories Pizza and asked an...
Mahatma Gandhi: Smartass
When Gandhi was studying law at the University College...
Iran Insanity and the War on Peace.
Most of the time, on most subjects, Rebublicans are...
The Craigslist Vasectomy
I got a vasectomy. I met a girl soon...
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and...
How a Poor Boy Became the Richest Man in the World
Andrew Carnegie rose from humble beginnings as a factory...
Who Shot Down MH17? Reuters Lies…
A witness, whom Reuters reported saying he saw a...
The Wal-Mart Story
Why do they Hate Customers? One-hundred percent of the...
In Praise of Stupidity
The simple man heads straight for his goal like...
Stock Market Crashes, Then and Now…
The endless low interest, QE, and bond purchasing programs...
Animal Rights and Wrongs
A “right” is something that cannot, or at least,...
Diversity is a Disaster.
Diversity is a disaster. Why people cannot see this...
Fighting Terror by Punishing You
Economist Martin Armstrong warns that the twin attacks in...
Dead Horse Solution
A boy named Chuck bought a horse from a...
Ancient Chinese Secret – The Wisdom of Lao-Tzu
Lao-tzu founded Taoism when he wrote the Tao Te...
A Short Guide to Kindness, Compassion, and Politics
A Cheapskate Christmas Carol
Ladies and gentlemen, take two minutes to read this...
The Truth About Population
With seven billion people already on our planet, some...
Why Johnny Can’t Rede
After today, you’ll never have to read about education...
Black and Green
Eric Garner’s death was a senseless act of State...
How to Get Rich in Congress
Isn’t it strange how often middle class people get...
The Rolling Stone Rape Fiasco
The fiasco of “Rolling Stone” magazine’s apology for an...
Are Typhoons Getting Worse?
No one likes typhoons, with the possible exception of...
The True Story of Pearl Harbor
The day after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt stood...
No Man is an Island (Except This Guy)
My father wasn’t a king, he was a taxi...
History is for the Winners, Baby!
“History will be kind to me, for I intend...
10 Things Coffee Does to Your Brain
Legend has it that coffee was discovered 1500 years...
Ten Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime
Whether these changes are good or bad depends in...
The Amazing Amazon
Where Marta Ortega’s family used to raise pigs is...
Dumb Climate Deal is Dumberer
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry returned from China...
The Tiny Dot
In this entertaining video, Larken Rose explains the amazing...
News and Other Lies
These days, most people get their news from a...
Are “We” the Government?
Most people consider ‘government’ to be an institution of...
The World’s Strangest Political Quiz
Forget about the Conservative, Liberal pigeonhole stereotypes. Opinions vary...
18 Year-Old-Girl Wins State Election
Saira Blair, an 18-year-old freshman at West Virginia University,...
Election Rejection
Republicans won large majorities in both the House and...
The Senator in Heaven
While walking down the street one day a corrupt...
Countries Versus The Big Idea: Part 2
At the start of the First World War, the...
United Breaks Guitars
A musician named Dave Carroll recently had difficulty with...
Money Won’t Fix Africa, Freedom Will
Here’s how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: “Anyone...
Glorifying Hitler or Flinging Mud?
Enough is enough. At Salon.com I encounter an article...
Definition of a Liberal
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of...
Countries Versus The Big Idea, Part 1
I like countries. Not because I like imaginary lines...
Canada is Shocked
Canadians were shocked in recent weeks as two Canadian...
Hillary Clinton and the Dept. of Making Shit Up
Hillary Clinton told an audience in Massachusetts, “Don’t let...
The Race to the Bottom
The other day I saw one of those guys...
To Tell the Truth
I’m pushing Mr. X down to Radiology in his...
Gene Simmons Said What?
Gene Simmons has a lot to say when he...
Ms. Yellen’s Imaginary Halo
Arguably the most powerful woman in the world, Federal...
Ebola Payola?
In what appears to be a staged “news” event,...
The “Trickle Down” Straw Man
Among the suggestions being made for getting the American...
The Flawed Definition of Nerd
So what defines a nerd to you? I find...
The 20 Stupidest Things Politicians Ever Said
“What right does Congress have to go around making...
Why Do Men Hate Shopping?
Of course, it’s cliche to say that, “Women like...
Day One Report: US Open 9-Ball Championship
Day One of the world’s premier pool championship is...
Real Life Policing Ain’t What You Think…
I sometimes wish that people knew more about cops,...
Ebola: Panic and Common Sense
The United States will begin “thermal screenings” of passengers...
IMF Wants to Reduce Risk by Encouraging Risk
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) finally realized what should...
Top 10 Deadliest Jobs
One might reasonably expect to find “hero” jobs such...
Anybody Seen America?
Mail arrives, telling me that by going to Mexico...
Apple vs. The FBI
Apple and Google recently announced that they are encrypting...
Eat More. Eat Smart.
A common misconception about weight loss is “eat less,...
Checking My White Male Privilege
Several decades ago, I was born. Purely by chance,...
Would You Like Toilet Water With Your Fries?
Would you rather have ice in your soda, or...
How Tyranny Came to America
One of the great goals of education is to...
Confessions of a Transgender.
A Redditt user who identified herself as transgender posted...
Do It Yourself Jihadism
Last week, Australian authorities thwarted a plan by Islamic...
Beating the Libertarian Strawman
If there is one thing that both liberal and...
Are Men Obsolete?
In a recent debate to decide the fate of...
No One Should Make that Trip Alone
The old veteran looked down at the boy and...
Permission Granted
I don’t know what it is with my generation...
A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Prozac Go Down?
What if psychiatric drugs like Prozac and Zoloft were...
Dodd-Frank Law Bait and Switch
If you ever want to know the purpose of...
Alton Nolan and White Privilege
After being fired from his job at a food...
The 13 Million Dollar Question
A little while ago, I was invited to participate...
The Forbidden Car
The Forbidden City in Beijing used to be reserved...
UFOs: The Coyne Helicopter Incident
An Army Reserve helicopter nearly collided with a UFO...
The Bizarre Reason Your Health Insurance Plan was Cancelled
“If you like your plan you can…” oh never...
Never Underestimate a Boy Band
Every time some dumb Japanese politician (all over 65)...
Save the Women and Children… from Women?
LaTesha is a tough girl from Queens, NY, with...
What’s A Living Wage?
While we talk about democracy and equal rights, we...
Scotland has more Sheep than People
I once read that “Scotland has more sheep than...
Who Shot Down MH-17?
Not surprisingly, the Russian Union of Engineers accuse the...
UFOs and the Cold War: The RB-47 Case
On the night of July 17, 1957, a UFO...
Lending a Helping Hand, and Lifting a Finger.
Yesterday while waiting for my friend to open the...
MSNBC Host Picks Rand Paul over Hillary
Former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur, says he would bet...
Sean Connery on Scottish Independence
Having been on this journey to independence for more...
What Would Braveheart Do?
By Patrick Buchanan No matter how the vote turns...
Rethinking Sexual Abstinence in the Christian Church
In the face of child molestation scandals, Pope Francis...
A Letter of Separation of Right from Left.
Dear American liberals, I know we tolerated each other...
Winning by Losing: How Sanctions Really (Don’t) Work.
The EU stepped up its sanctions on Russia, aligning...
4 Lousy Reasons the U.K. Doesn’t want to Break Up with Scotland
The Scots are on the verge of voting themselves...
How Men and Women Think Differently. The Nothing Box.
Women are much more complicated than men. Men are...
11 Ways to Tell if Your Country is Run by Idiots
1. If you can get arrested for hunting or...
An Apology For Going To College
It is heresy in our time to intimate that...
UFOs and the Cold War – Part One
The index case for the modern UFO “epidemic” was...
Last of the Texas Wheeler Dealers
Known as the last of the Texas Wheeler Dealers,...
Nicola Tesla on Women: Shocking!
Over 100 years ago the Galveston Daily News interviewed...
The Top 20 Thomas Sowell Quotes
Some people have a knack for turning common sense...
The “Green Thing.”
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested...
Hooray for the Criminals!
Regardless of whether the athletes at Yuma High are...
Good News for Polar Bears
662,000 square miles of ice. More than twice the...
You’re Doing it Wrong
The “narrative” of Ferguson, Missouri changed somewhat. But, amid...
Think and Grow Rich
Timeless advice from Napoleon Hill: The majority of people...
What Cops Really Do
The police are out of control all across the...
Has Hillary Ever Been Right?
By Patrick J. Buchanan Sen. Rand Paul raises an...
Killing People is Not Nice.
I believe in equality. That is not to say...
The Anti-Asian Mayor
New York Mayor De Blasio wants to ‘solve’ social...
Irwin Schiff wants to know why he is in jail.
86 years old, partly blind, and lacking legal counsel,...
Minimum Rage
Some politicians argue that raising the minimum wage helps...
A Message from Elena
This video was released a month before the Malaysian...
McCainiac and Sillery
Both John McCainiac and Sillery Clinton have recently compared...
Whither Israel?
The Road to Ruad I first heard the phrase...
Men are from Earth
Men are not from Mars. Women might be from...
She Threatened to Shoot Me…
I was just sitting there, visiting with a good...
Poverty and Snowstorms
Many years ago, in upstate New York, there was...
I Almost Killed a Guy Today
I did it on purpose, and to be quite...
Economic Viagra
Known to many as the maker of the sex-enhancing...
So What?
Donald Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers owner, was recorded by...
The Magic Bank Account
Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in...
Modern Day Lynch Mobs
Some years ago I was married to a black...
Equal Pay for Equal What?
While interviewing candidates for a UX designer position, I...
Look West Before Crossing
A little more than 100 years ago, my ancestors...
The Republican Godfather?
One by one, they snuck into Vegas to dance...
Unless we Change our Ways… The Future Looks Awesome.
A recent NASA study predicted that civilization would end...
The War on Women
Some ideas are so silly you have to be...
Honorable Idiots
The Obama administration imposed new sanctions on Russia in...
For The Children?
Pop Quiz: If a school’s students are passing math...
The Long Shadow of the Future
A thousand generations of parental caring stands behind a...
What the hell is going on in Ukraine?
What the hell is going on in Ukraine? It’s...
He Lost a Fortune, But Not His Resolve…
Erik Voorhees lost over half a million dollars last...
No Gay Jokes
Here are two jokes that can no longer be...
The Real History of Slavery
Mention the word ‘slavery’ and most people think of...
State of the DisUnion Address
In his State of the Union address, President Obama...
Myths to Break for 2014
Why won’t those dummies on the other side smarten...
Men in Pink
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has some interesting ideas about crime...
By Their Fruit, Ye Shall Know Them…
Whenever we stand on the threshold of a new...
Baboons at the Wheel
Looks like the New York Times Paul Krugman has...
The Practical Feminist
“What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide,”...
Where’s Snowden?
Edward Snowden says he feels like a winner despite...
Christmas Without Scrooge?
Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in the hope...
Do You Believe in Santa Claus?
Like many children, my parents told me that Santa...
Invest in Shower Curtains?
In the past decade or so I’ve noticed more...
Ducks in the Closet
Up until a few days ago, I had no...
Smart and Accomplished
Huma Abedin has done nothing wrong. As far as...
Watch Your Backside
It’s good to know that some American’s can still...
Cold Hard Facts
There were 1455 weather records set last week in...
Bibi and the Bomb
There was a bit of a hullabaloo over the...
5 Reasons I Stopped Taking the News Seriously
Back in the early 90s, I felt a need...
Wait Until Dark
It is almost six o’clock when the two Japanese...
Fairy Tales & Facts
Whenever a new and wonderful social program is enacted,...
Smart Women are a Dying Breed
All around the world, “smart” women are foregoing children...
The Light Bulb Lobby
Dear Congress, it has come to our attention that...
Confessions of a Too Big to Failer
I can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a...
Typhoon Tears
Typhoon Yolanda, may very well have been the strongest...
Paul Krugman is Nuts. Part 73.
We’ve lost track of all the nutty statements made...
Six Common Brain Mistakes
Think about it. Our brains are fabulous tools, the...
Social Security’s Sweet Lie
Every now and then, someone refers to Social Security...
The Great Extinction?
As humans live longer, more animal species are going...
The Happy Fascists
According to George Carlin: “When fascism comes to America,...
Making Sense
In the 1950’s America was, superficially at least, happy....
Bees and Al Sharpton
Years ago, someone said that according to the laws...
1 out of 10 Americans are Not Fooled By This Video
There’s a video making the rounds on Facebook and...
5 Things “They” Don’t Want You to Know About…
It might seem like we’re living at a uniquely...
Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid
When the Reverend Jim Jones told his followers they...
The Money of Fools
Thomas Hobbes said that words are wise men’s counters,...
Risky Business
Saul retired to Phuket, Thailand from New York City...
Life is Getting Better
All around the world, food availability, income, and life...
The End of Civility
Auburn Alabama prides itself on friendship and civility. So...
Washington Get a New Quarterback
The curious affair of Fred Mudgeon began in 2015...
Fools Rush In
It was two weeks ago today that Obamacare was...
Rock Hunters and Cool Whores
When someone says, “that’s cool,” it is a signal...
The Big Lie
In all the finger-pointing over the so-called government shutdown,...
Dollars Are Forever?
Imagine that you could pay for anything with an...
The Harry and Barry Show
It’s a shame that smacking people upside the head...
I Fought the Law, and Briffault Won.
“Breaking rocks in the hot sun. I fought the...
The Diner from Hell
Majority rule isn’t all its cracked up to be....
The Doctor Will See You Now…
Dr. Doug Nunamaker, a family doctor based in Wichita,...
The Cult of Multiculturalism
Long before the word was invented, the world has...
Champagne Socialism and Tequila
In my work, I sometimes rub elbows with the...
If She Had a Million
Khun Anuphan, a 76-year-old Muslim fisherman from Rawai, sold...
Permission granted
I don’t know what it is with people, but...
Putin’s Peace of Mind
A petition on the White House “We the People”...
The Big Freeze
Arctic Sea Ice levels were at record lows last...
The War on You
12 years ago yesterday, the so called “War on...
Middle East Meddlers
Did you ever stop to wonder why is there...
She Just Stared At Me
She was in her late twenties, with flowing brown...
Dirty Harry Syria?
So the Nobel Peace Prize winning President wants to...
The Impeachment of Franklin Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is considered by many to be...
Confucius Confused
“As a first step, I would see to it...
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way.
Born without arms, Richie Parker is now an engineer...
Seven Super Spices
Every time you add herbs or spices to your...
Elmore Leonard RIP
The Dickens of Detroit passed away yesterday. Perhaps the...
Hockey Fight in Cambodia
I didn’t plan to get in a fight. I...
Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber
Who Will Be the Next Fed Honcho? Bernanke is...
Bono Goes to School
When George Ayittey saw rock star Bono in the...
How to Get Rich Not Buying Cars
Over the past 20 years I’ve bought two cars...
Bye Bye American Pie…
1,810 people renounced their US citizenship in the first...
The Great Global Warming Swindle
The antidote to Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, this film...
Burning Down the House
I’m going to burn my house down. Then I’m...
Ban Cars!
It was an act of madness, one that no...
Oklahoma Sooner, Cheaper, and Better Too.
The Sooner State is leading the pack is the...
Who Killed Detroit?
MSNBC host Ari Melber, recently blamed the death of...
From Radical to Realist
Greenpeace founder, Patrick Moore has been ‘born-again’ as a...
The Prophet of Profit
Despised by some, deified by others, Ayn Rand is...
Boys Gone Wild
When I was a kid, my friends and I...
Can You Pass the 101 Year Old Test for Eighth Graders?
Apparently kids were pretty smart back in the day....
The Truth About Coconut Oil
You might have noticed that for the past 50...
Please Don’t Shoot the Drones
Hard to believe it’s been nearly 30 years since...
The History of Western Culture in 2 1/2 Minutes
Andrew Claven gives a mirthful overview of Western History...
Bill Really Said It.
I had my doubts that Bill Cosby actually said...
Love and Money
Why do people lie? I never thought about it...
Free Ferraris For Everyone!
In the never-ending quest to make things affordable, I’ve...
The Banned Coffee (Cup)
Rest easy citizen, Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine is...
The Malignant Dane
Niels Finsen was 20 years old when the doctors...
Meet the New Klan, Same as the Old Klan.
In a 1981 trial in Mobile, Alabama, a jury...
Sum Ting Wong? Yes…
In medieval times the court jester was there to...
Girl Power and the Trouble with Boys…
I recently did some work for an organization called,...
Hurricane Zimmerman
There’s a dangerous storm brewing in Florida. Not in...
The 13 Million Dollar Question
A little while ago, I was invited to participate...
Plane Crash Correctness
Air travel is generally safe, but not 100% safe....
Scared Sunless
Our ancestors evolved in the sun, so it is...
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to QE
The Fed has been hinting that it might bring...
Bastard-O-Cracy in Egypt
Apparently the people in Egypt have risen up and...
The Best Teacher I Ever Had
When I was about four years old, my parents...
BART Holds San Francisco Hostage
373,000 people ride BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) every...
Brazil’s Currency War Comedy
If it weren’t so tragic it would be hilarious....
Letter From a Marine
I just wanted to write and say thanks. You...
Beware the Beard
Did Martians invade? Was there a big storm that...
Elbert Guilory Moves to the Right
State Senator Elbert Guilory recently announced that he was...
Man Put in Chains For Refusing to Give DNA
Georgia man is held in shackles and chains for...
George Orwell’s Animal Farm
Are some pigs more equal than others?  A timeless...

For many years I have lived in dread of having to answer The Question. Curiously, no one has asked it.

At first I wondered if I had an ego problem. Did I feel bruised to learn that I was not important enough to be asked?

Were not more visible and professionally celebrated chaps with similar backgrounds having to face the music?

Apparently not.

So far as I know, none of the others, whose number is legion, has been asked either.

The Question: “What did you know, and when did you know it?”

For at the age of fifteen I became a Communist, and, although expelled from the party in 1950 at age twenty, I remained a supporter of the international movement and of the Soviet Union until there was nothing left to support.

Now, as everyone knows, in a noble effort to liberate the human race from violence and oppression we broke all records for mass slaughter, piling up tens of millions of corpses in less than three-quarters of a century.

When the Asian figures are properly calculated, the aggregate to our credit may reach the seemingly incredible numbers widely claimed. Those who are big on multiculturalism might note that the great majority of our victims were nonwhite.

Never having been much good at math, I shy away from quibbles over statistics. Still, all quibbles aside, we have a disquieting number of corpses to account for.

Those of us who have preached the need to break eggs in order to make omelets might note the political complexion of some of the eggs.

About twenty years ago, picking up on some passages in Roy Medvedev’s Let History Judge, I wondered if Comrade Stalin had not killed more communists than were killed by all the bourgeois, imperialist, Fascist, and Nazi regimes put together.

“It can’t be true,” said I.

“Has Comrade Medvedev taken up serious drinking?” So I sat down to do some rough arithmetic. (You do not have to be good at math to do that much arithmetic.) Alas, Comrade Medvedev had not taken up serious drinking.

Reflecting here on moral responsibility, I have referred to “we.” For it has never occurred to me that the moral responsibility falls much less heavily on those of us on the American left than it fell on Comrade Stalin and those who replicated his feats in one country after another.

And I am afraid that some of that moral responsibility falls on the “democratic socialists,” “radical democrats,” and other leftwingers who endlessly denounced Stalinism but could usually be counted on to support— “critically,” of course—the essentials of our political line on world and national affairs.

Especially amusing has been the spectacle of those who pronounced themselves anti-Stalin- ists and denounced the socialist countries at every turn and yet even today applaud each new revolution, although any damned fool has to know that most of them will end in the same place.

For that matter, how could we have survived politically were it not for the countless liberals who, to one extent or another, supported us, apparently under the comforting delusion that we were social reformers in rather too much of a hurry—a delusion we ourselves never suffered from.

There are liberals and liberals, and a distinction would have to be made in a more leisurely presentation. Even in academia there are indeed those who defend liberal principles tenaciously and honorably.

But the countless opportunists and careerists who dominate the historical associations call themselves liberals as a matter of political convenience. They went with the McCarthyite flow in the 1950s and go with its left-wing variant today. In the unlikely prospect of a fascist or communist ascendancy tomorrow, they may be counted on to apply for party cards as soon as it looks like the smart move.

Many of my old comrades and almost all of those ostensibly independent radicals and high-minded liberals remain unruffled. After all, did we not often protest against some outrage or other in the Soviet Union or China, signing an indignant petition or open letter?

I know I did.

And does not that change everything? I am afraid not, but I have nothing to offer as critique other than that which may be found in Galatians 6:7.

On May 11, 1992, having been invited by the right-wing American Enterprise Institute to reflect on the collapse of the socialist countries, I summoned up whatever capacity I have for dissembling in an effort to deflect the one question I did not want to answer.

I did not want to answer it before a right-wing audience because I feared I would unleash my Sicilian temper and counterattack with the litany of the crimes of the imperialists and their insufferable apologists. I began:

It is a great pleasure to be with you today, although, since I claim expertise only as a historian of the Old South, I speak on current issues with trepidation.

I do hope that your invitation carries no sadistic intent—that you do not expect an autobiographical mea culpa. For while it is true that I have been a Marxist and a bitter-end supporter of the Soviet Union, I dislike autobiographies and admire the CIA’s noble dictum, “Admit nothing, explain nothing, apologize for nothing.”

The audience responded with good-natured laughter. Generally speaking, rightwingers are decidedly more courteous than we of the left and would not think of abusing their guests, as I probably would have abused them if chal- lenged. They laid some tough questions on me during the discussion period, but not The Question.

Recently, I remarked upon the corpses to a well-known left-wing journalist with whom my wife and I were having dinner. He looked disgusted: “You? You of all people are getting masochistic?”

I reassured him as best I could. For, no, I am not getting masochistic in my old age.

No, I am not about to cringe before rightwingers who supported numerous imperialist slaughters or social democrats whose responsible and moderate governments aided and abetted them.

Yes, I do remember the glorious record of the bourgeoisie in the slave trade and the plantation colonies and the mass murders in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

I do recall that the Holocaust was not our doing. I still burn at the indifference with which virtually the whole American public received the reports of a quarter million Indonesian workers and peasants butchered in the 1960s, not in a civil war but in their beds.

And I know the rest.

No, I would not stand still for The Question from those people and would proba- bly tell them what I have always told my classes, “Your side has had its mass murderers, and we have had ours.”

Perhaps knowledge of the record of imperi- alist atrocities leads our liberal colleagues to refuse to single us out by asking The Question. But I am afraid not. After all, they never stop asking southern whites about their crimes, real and imagined, against blacks. And let’s face it: all the combined crimes of white southerners, at least if we restrict ourselves to the period since emancipation, would be worth no more than a footnote in a casebook that starred us.

A few years ago, there was a successful effort to get the Organization of American Historians (OAH) to condemn apartheid in South Africa. In the OAH and other profes- sional associations, Professor Wilborne Wash- burne resolutely opposed this politicization, and attempted to expose its hypocrisy by offering an amendment to condemn the “neck- lacing” of black South Africans, including children, by the militants of the African National Congress. (For those who have forgotten, “necklacing” was execution by burning the victims alive.)

The ANC subsequently repudiated necklacing as not only wrong but barbarous. The OAH has yet to endorse that repudiation.

I laughed. Those bloody South African whites did kill a lot of blacks and ought to answer for it, but throughout their whole history they probably never equaled the numbers we put up in one of our more spirited month’s work.

I laughed even harder when our liberal colleagues poured out their wrath on the ghastly racists in South Africa while they remained silent about the immeasurably greater slaughters occasioned by the periodic ethnic cleansing that was—and is—going on in black Africa and every other part of the globe.

The New York Times recently announced that the death toll in the latest round of ethnic cleansing in Burundi has reached 150,000, with the fate of a half million or so refugees in doubt. The historical associations have not been heard from.

Nor should anyone expect that they will be.

If we are to believe the worthies of the radical left, to pose The Question means to engage in a reactionary ploy to deflect attention from the oppression of women, gays, and other belea- guered minorities.

Scholars in our own ranks have shown precious little interest in reflecting seriously on the collapse of the socialist countries we supported to the bitter end or on any personal responsibilities we might have for the occasional unpleasantness that led to so sad a denouement.

And sad the denouement has been. For one might make a case of sorts to justify mass slaughters as the necessary price to be paid for a grand human liberation.

Terrible as the sacrifices may have been, were they not justified by the beautiful world of equality, justice, and universal love we were creating for our children? During the communist revolution of 1919 in Hungary, Sigmund Freud startled his friends by announcing that he had become half a Bolshevik.

One of his communist students explained that the revolution would mean oceans of blood out of which would come a just and humane society. Freud became half a Bolshevik: he declared his belief in every word of the first half.

In retrospect Freud looks good and we not so good. Our justification began to look seedy when the grand liberation featured hideous political regimes under which no sane person would want to live. It became preposterous when our project ended in the ignominious collapse of the social system that was supposed to undergird a brave new world and justify the staggering sacrifice of human life.

We easily forget the economic rationale that Marx taught us, namely, that socialism would have to provide unprecedented abundance if it were to sustain social liberation of any kind.

With a few notable exceptions, leftists no longer find it fashionable to discuss economics at all beyond the now routine rejection of a “command economy” and some disingenuous mumbling about the necessity for markets.

But where is there a serious attempt to determine the extent to which any socialism could function without a command economy or to show how a socialist economy could integrate markets? A few left-wing economists, most notably Louis Ferleger and Jay Mandle, tried to raise these questions long before the collapse of the socialist economies, but they were effec- tively shut out of the left-wing press and are still ignored. And we may doubt that the wry remark of Nancy Folbre and Samuel Bowles, two other respected left-wing economists, will cause a wrinkle: “Leftwing economists— among whom we count ourselves—have thus far failed to come up with a convincing alternative to capitalism.”

No one should be surprised that none of our leading historical associations have thought it intellectually challenging to devote sessions at their enormous annual meetings to frank discussions of the socialist debacle.

We of the left are regularly invited to give papers on just about any subject except this one. We are not asked to assess the achievements as well as the disasters, the heroism as well as the crimes, and the lessons we ourselves have learned from a tragic experience.

No one need be surprised that we have never been called upon to explain ourselves.

The pezzonovanti of our profession have more important things on their minds. When they can take time away from their primary concern (the distribution of jobs, prizes, and other forms of patronage), they are immersed in grave condemnations of the appalling violations of human rights by Chris- topher Columbus.

I know that it is in bad taste to laugh, but I laugh anyway. I would rather be judged boorish than seen throwing up.

We do not need guilt trips and breast- beating. We do need a sober reassessment of the ideological foundations of our political course. I am not sure that I am right to refuse to answer to our long-time political adversaries.

But I am sure that we of the left have to answer to ourselves, to each other, to the movement to which we have devoted our lives, and espe- cially to the millions of our comrades who were themselves slaughtered in a heroic effort to make the world a better place. The left sneers at Burke’s great dictum that government—or, better, society—is a compact between the living, the dead, and the as-yet unborn. But the truth of the dictum returns to haunt us again and again. If nothing else, we cannot escape the duty to see that the millions of our comrades who died in revolutionary struggles did not die in vain.

Am I crazy to think that if we do not understand why and how we did what we did, we shall certainly end by doing it again—and again?

Crazy I may be, but I try not to be a fool., And only a fool would trust those who are now playing possum with even a modicum of political power.

What did we know, and when did we know it? We knew everything essential and knew it from the beginning. This short answer will doubtless be hotly contested by the substantial number of leftwingers now ensconced in the academic establishment.

I can hear them now: “Where does Genovese get off speaking for us? Yes, he himself always knew. He never even had the decency to pretend not to know. He thereby proved himself the cad we have always known him to be. But we ourselves never even imagined that we were hearing anything more than the usual stories circulated by imperialists and reactionaries. Honest.”

I am prepared to accept those pleas of innocence, and I hope that everyone else exercises Christian charity and accepts them too. But I do worry about where pleas of innocence will land those who offer them. It occurs to me that it would be much safer to admit complicity.

For Americans who honor the spirit and content of the Constitution would feel compelled to defend our academic free- dom, including our right to have borne with equanimity the blood purges and mass executions.

If, however, our innocents insist upon pleading ignorance rather than a complicity permitted by the Constitution, they ruin themselves. Especially the historians among them. For they thereby admit to a willful refusal to examine the evidence that had been piled high from the beginning.

Thus they confess to professional incompetence. I counsel against such a plea, for it would constitute grounds for revocation of tenure. Safer to plead no to contendere.

When someone gets around to asking me The Question I shall answer frankly, explaining as best I can my reasons for having gone along. But I shall insist upon doing so in a forum in which “democratic socialists,” “radical demo- crats,” and liberals are called upon to answer too.

For it is our collective dirty linen that has to be washed. And besides, our right-wing adversaries already know the answer, even if they have no few hard questions to answer themselves.

Er the moment I shall settle for a few topic sentences. The horrors did not arise from perversions of radical ideology but from the ideology itself. We were led into complicity with mass murder and the desecration of our professed ideals not by Stalinist or other corruptions of high ideals, much less by unfortunate twists in some presumably objective course of historical development, but by a deep flaw in our very understanding of human nature—its frailty and its possibilities—and by our inability to replace the moral and ethical baseline long provided by the religion we have dismissed with indifference, not to say contempt.

The question of moral responsibility has been raised within the left, if gingerly and indirectly, by a few brave souls like Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Cornel West, who have drawn attention to the price we have paid for scouting Christian ethics while having nothing to substitute and who have, in effect, called for an end to the blind hatreds that confuse the sin with the sinner.

Unger and West are justly revered figures on the left and accorded at least formal respect. Yet their efforts toward a reassessment of the religious foundations of political ethics have not sparked the slightest discussion. It is fair to ask: what kind of respect is that? Are we supposed to believe that Unger and West have been kidding?

Our whole project of “human liberation” has rested on a series of gigantic illusions. The catastrophic consequences of our failure during this century—not merely the body count but the monotonous recurrence of despotism and wan- ton cruelty—cannot be dismissed as aberra- tions.

Slimmed down to a technologically appropriate scale, they have followed in the wake of victories by radical egalitarian move- ments throughout history.

We have yet to answer our right-wing critics’ claims, which are regrettably well documented, that through- out history, from ancient times to the peasant wars of the sixteenth century to the Reign of Terror and beyond, social movements that have espoused radical egalitarianism and participatory democracy have begun with mass murder and ended in despotism.

Let us grant, arguendd, that the ruling classes have done worse.

Whatever solace that thought may give us, our own problem remains: what kind of society could we build on a worldview marred by flagrant irrationali- ties paraded as self-evident truths, even if reinforced by sandbox cries of “You’re another”?

The allegedly high ideals we placed at the center of our ideology and politics are precisely what need to be reexamined, but they can no longer even be made a subject for discussion in the mass media and our universities, to say nothing of the left itself.

They are givens: an unattainable equality of condition; a radical democracy that has always ended in the tyranny it is supposed to overcome; a celebration of human goodness or malleability, accompanied by the daily announcement of newly discovered “inalienable rights.”

And we have yet to reassess the anti-Americanism—the self-hatred implicit in the attitude we have generally affected toward our country—that has led us into countless stupidities and worse.

Let us give ourselves some credit: through it all we have preserved a rich sense of humor. The destruction of hierarchies, elites, and authority is to be effected through the concen- tration of power in a Leviathan state miracu- lously free of all such reactionary encumbrances.

No wonder liberals are ready to absolve us from our sins without first hearing our confession.

No wonder we are witnessing the virtual fusion of left-liberalism and revolutionary radicalism in the wake of the collapse of the socialist countries.

For most left-wing liberals share with radicals much the same ideology of personal liberation.

Radicals and conservatives alike have always charged liberals with bad faith in refusing to carry out the logic of their own egalitarian and radical-democratic premises. They have been right about the refusal but not necessarily about the bad faith.

There are more charitable explanations, including a healthy gut revulsion by humane liberals against the substitution of logical consistency for common decency and common sense.

I have been piling up assertions and may be wrong on all counts. But am I wrong in believing that unless the left reopens these fundamental questions it will have no future and deserve none?

The deepest trouble with “political correctness” arises from its thinly disguised invitation to an endless repetition of crimes, atrocities, and, worst of all, failures. Yes, worst of all the failures.

For the deepening horror that Black America faces, to speak of no other impending horror, cannot be arrested by a morally bankrupt movement with an appalling record of political and economic failure, no matter how many pyrrhic victories it piles up on deranged and degraded college campuses.

The left has been right to fight for social justice. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, no friend of ours, recently observed, “Although the earthly ideal of Socialism-Communism has collapsed, the problems it purported to solve remain: the brazen use of social advantage and the inordinate power of money, which often direct the very course of events.”

Our indictment of class injustice, racism, and the denigration of women has not been rendered less urgent by the failure of socialism. The millions of our own martyred comrades who fought against those enormities need not have died in vain.

But they will indeed have died in vain if we refuse to face our past squarely, subject our basic premises to stern review, own up to all that has gone wrong, and take the measures necessary to guarantee against the next round of the same old story.

By Eugene Genovese, Originally published in Dissent Magazine.

One thought on “A Communist asks “The Question.”

  1. What a tremendous article. thank you for spelling out a most important, if not the most important (and urgent) reality of the human race.
    this is a much needed topic that desperately needs discussion from all.these types of public discourses (or continued lack) will decide the future of our species, which is not looking good thanks to this missing “element” which israrely included in human decisions,much less our awareness.
    as for myself this explains why i have never felt right about accepting any dogmatic principle, whether it was religious,political or other , because i (often unknowingly)felt they were missing an important piece that was excluded by their mindset.
    thank you again.

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