Sobran's -- The Real News of the Month

Column Archives, 2001

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Ronald N. Neff
Annandale, Virginia

Current Column          
December 27, 2001   •   The Curse of Beatlemania
Millions of kids were manipulated into an enthusiasm few of them would have arrived at on their own.
December 25, 2001   •   Who’s the Rat?
Nobody can keep track of all the things our government does in the open, let alone guess what it’s doing behind closed doors.
December 20, 2001   •   The Myth of “Limited Government”
When you grant the state anything, you grant it everything.
December 18, 2001   •   Our State, Ourselves
There’s no such thing as emergency saving.
December 13, 2001   •   Hail, Switzerland!
Switzerland has enjoyed the kind of history Americans once hoped for.
December 11, 2001   •   The Other Amen Corners
It seems there’s always someone trying to get the United States into a war who has ties to some other country.
December 6, 2001   •   Celebrity and Mortality
In order to celebrate most rock musicians, you almost have to talk the kind of nonsense we were hearing so much of when George Harrison died.
December 4, 2001   •   The Regime of Fear
We hardly even recognize the habit of fear as fear anymore.
November 29, 2001   •   Ferris Bueller n Exile
Clinton now appears even more frivolous than he did as president.
November 27, 2001   •   The Monolithic State of America
How did this country get involved in the Crusades?
November 22, 2001   •   Hooray for Hollywood!
It’s all in the voice.
November 20, 2001   •   The Case for Old Ideas
New ideas are showing their age.
November 15, 2001   •   Price Is No Object
What good are random searches, when we don’t live in a random world?
November 13, 2001   •   Doing Something
“Round up the usual suspects.” And as usual, that’s us.
November 8, 2001   •   The Lesser Evil
Is it utopian to think a politician might go to heaven?
November 6, 2001   •   What Is “Defense”?
Nuclear weapons are useless when you have to defend every post office, airport, and shopping mall.
November 1, 2001   •   Greek Thoughts
Making Pyrrhus gulp hard
October 30, 2001   •   Roosevelt’s Ultimate Legacy
Good reasons to avoid war may lie hidden, dormant in the seeds of time, to be revealed only decades later.
October 25, 2001   •   Belloc’s Prophecy
Islam’s great advantage is that its religious faith is still strong, while the West is losing its religion.
October 23, 2001   •   Weighing the Costs
Even “dual” loyalty would sometimes put U.S. interests first.
October 18, 2001   •   Retracing Our Steps
Our current condition is permanent — as long as this country remains an empire.
October 16, 2001   •   Patriotism or Nationalism?
You don’ love your family for being “the greatest family on earth.”
October 11, 2001   •   Remembering Jim Burnham
Entertaining the enemy’s perspective
October 9, 2001   •   Too Late?
Bin Laden is essentially demanding that we live by our own original principles.
October 4, 2001   •   The Virtue of Wariness
Readiness to slaughter foreigners should not be mistaken for love of America.
October 2, 2001   •   Bin Laden’s Modest Goals
They don’t sound apocalyptic.
September 27, 2001   •   Dad and Uncle Joe
What could go wrong? Are we going to insist on finding out?
September 25, 2001   •   The Department of Offense
You have to wonder where all the flag-waving patriots were while their Constitution was being wadded up, while their Republic was becoming an empire, and while their politicians were pandering to the pro-Israel lobby.
September 20, 2001   •   Is It Worth It?
Even those who see nothing to criticize in Israel should be able to see that America pays a price for supporting it. And the price just got higher.
September 18, 2001   •   Following the Script
What is the use of threatening fanatics with violence?
September 13, 2001   •   After the 9/11 Attack
What have we gained by our decades of meddling in the Middle East?
September 11, 2001   •   The Unknown Enemy
The first question you should ask about your enemy is why he is your enemy in the first place.
September 6, 2001
  •   The Mother of Tragedy
We are constantly buffaloed by glib leaders who are confident that they not only know what is going to happen, but can control events.
September 4, 2001
  •   Labels and Libels
New names for organized force
August 30, 2001
  •   What’s in a Nickname?
Exalting despoliation
August 28, 2001
  •   Sharon’s War on Terrorism
When Sharon attacks his enemies, he makes still more enemies for this country.
August 23, 2001
  •   Great Mistakes and Great Men
Sacrificing our judgment to our mistakes
August 21, 2001
  •   The Decline of Rock
Rock used to be fun.
August 16, 2001
  •   Money and Honor
The government’s chief function is extorting money from us and giving it to others.
August 14, 2001
  •   The Making of a Myth
A happy boy wants to emulate his father.
August 9, 2001
  •   The Shark as Media Pet
Whenever ordinary folk think something is evil, journalists take pride in proving the opposite.
August 7, 2001
  •   The Davis Legacy
The U.S. government could never let Jefferson Davis have his day in court. Here’s why.
August 2, 2001
  •   A Bitter Argument
When Midwesterners lose their tempers over the meaning of the Constitution ...
July 31, 2001
  •   Lincoln’s Manners
Learning from Lincoln while learning about Lincoln
July 26, 2001
  •   Who Killed the Iceman?
We never know how much remains unknown.
July 24, 2001
  •   Interns and Other Playthings
So were the Democrats lying three years ago when they said that of course it was reprehensible?
July 19, 2001
  •   Death of a Sacred Cow
People became so used to sucking up to Katherine Graham that they couldn’t stop even when she died.
July 17, 2001
  •   Defenders of the Faith
Why is journalism so reflexively on the side of the government?
July 12, 2001
  •   The Decline of Advertising
What was the last commercial that moved you to go out and buy the product?
July 10, 2001
  •   Waiting for the Moral
It’s hard to resist the inference that Congressman Condit can’t afford to tell the full truth.
July 5, 2001
  •   What Lies Ahead?
Don’t bother asking an aggressor where he will stop; he may not know himself.
July 3, 2001
  •   John Locke in the Middle East
Why does the peace process never bring any peace?
June 28, 2001
  •   In the Name of “Civil Liberties”
The hypocrite recognizes the honest man as his deadly enemy.
June 26, 2001
  •   Baseball’s Knight
What really set Koufax apart was his courage.
June 21, 2001
  •   In Praise of Joe Sobran
It sure felt like a no-hitter to me.
June 19, 2001
  •   Bowdlerizing C.S. Lewis
How is the censoring impulse satisfied in an age that regards nothing as obscene?
June 14, 2001
  •   Whose Idea Was It?
Meet a loose cannon.
June 12, 2001
  •   The Judiciary and the Rule of Law
Americans accept arbitrary, unpredictable rule as normal.
June 7, 2001
  •   The Age of the Misfit
The remedy for “discrimination” seems to be requiring everyone to be indiscriminate.
June 5, 2001
  •   The Sopranos
Putting someone on the government payroll is nearly as irreversible as castration. So ...
May 31, 2001
  •   Slavery in Perspective
Americans tend to be self-important even in our self-flagellations.
May 29, 2001
  •   Casey at the Court
Undermining the exercise of freedom
May 24, 2001
  •   Dylan versus the Sixties
A rare example of independent thinking in leftist politics
May 22, 2001
  •   Listening to Lincoln
Does anyone else find the idea of a majority’s being outvoted a little strange?
May 17, 2001
  •   The Ideal Lincoln
The real Lincoln is much more interesting than the mythic Lincoln.
May 15, 2001
  •   Finding Evil
“EVIL” trivializes evil.
May 10, 2001
  •   Hate Mail
I’m supposed to shrivel up (and shut up) when some fool calls me names, and meaningless names at that?
May 8, 2001
  •   Pedophilia and Hypocrisy
Think: why do “gay” groups target children so avidly?
May 3, 2001
  •   The Decline of the Obvious
The future is a nice place to visit, but who wants to live there?
May 1, 2001
  •   War Hero
What should we expect of our war heroes?
April 26, 2001   •   McCarthyism and Lincolnism
Liberty is less often threatened by “reactionary” causes and more often threatened by “progressive” causes.
April 24, 2001   •   Reparations Now!
Addressing the profound trauma, the lasting wounds, of nearly two centuries of colonialism
April 19, 2001   •   The Great “Gay” Racket
Is the “gay movement” willing to see pedophiles punished?
April 17, 2001   •   Whose Testimony?
Who wrote the plays and the sonnets? Let’s call the star witness and see what he has to say.
April 12, 2001   •   Washington, D.C. — Tax Haven?
Aren’t we better off without politicians to “represent” us?
April 10, 2001   •   Taxes and the Modern State
In the end, the state does to everyone what it had threatened to do to the rich.
April 5, 2001   •   The Ultimate Lincoln
So why didn’t Lincoln just rise from the dead?
April 3, 2001   •   Me and My Family and China
The interests of the government are fundamentally at odds with those of its subjects.
March 29, 2001   •   Conquering Israel
Has any Jew ever wanted to be treated the way Arabs are treated in Israel?
March 27, 2001   •   Confessions of a Reactionary Utopian
When you feel at home in a world that has gone wrong, you’ve gone wrong too.
March 22, 2001   •   Beware of “Reform”
Freedom to oppose the powers that be is fine, as long as it doesn’t get out of control.
March 20, 2001   •   The Hanssen Shocker
You could advance the Soviet cause merely by pursuing a liberal agenda.
March 15, 2001   •   A New Beethoven
Never has the joyous humor of the Sixth and Seventh symphonies been so beautifully highlighted.
March 13, 2001   •   A Royal Makeover
What Queen Elizabeth can learn from Joe Pesci
March 8, 2001   •   Shakespeare and DNA
What is there in the plays and poems that suggests William wrote them?
March 6, 2001   •   Can We Afford a Tax Cut?
“We” can certainly afford to keep increasing federal spending, right?
March 1, 2001   •   One-Eyed Jacks
We have no way of knowing how much bribery, blackmail, and espionage are occurring right now.
February 27, 2001   •   Personalized Government Service
The unsung honesty of Bill Clinton
February 22, 2001   •   Clintonian (adj.)
We aren’t dealing with Hamlet here.
February 20, 2001   •   Shall We Watch?
There’s something more than physical squeamishness here.
February 15, 2001   •   Israeli Semantics
When is an Israeli not an Israeli?
February 13, 2001   •   Little Willie
Legends of Bill Clinton’s formative years
February 8, 2001   •   Lincoln with Fangs
Upstaging the Abolitionists
February 6, 2001   •   Unasked Questions
In what kind of society would liberals become conservatives?
February 1, 2001   •   Education Presidents
Our politicans never say memorable things because they can’t remember memorable things.
January 30, 2001   •   Character Witnesses
What kind of man is Bill Clinton? Listen to those who stick up for him.
January 25, 2001   •   None Dare Call It Killing
A taboo that goes beyond words
January 23, 2001   •   The Real Jesse Jackson
It’s unlikely that his birthday will ever become a national holiday
January 18, 2001   •   Jesse Jackson’s Contrition
He is not a man with a sense of irony about himself.
January 16, 2001   •   Slavery, No; Secession, Yes
They’re related historically, but not conceptually.
January 11, 2001   •   The Cost-Free Smear
It can’t be refuted because it doesn’t mean precisely anything.
January 9, 2001   •   Don’t Cut Taxes — Abolish Them
Limitless taxation is the natural consequence of limitless government.
January 4, 2001   •   Christ the Culprit
Don’t like what the Church teaches? Why not blame Jesus?
January 2, 2001   •   Money and Morality
Paper money’s comeback

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