Skip to content

Bye-Bye Buckingham England

August 31, 2021

I had been hoping to visit England in order to give lectures at University of Buckingham. Sir Anthony Seldon invited me to speak to the topic of Empire but the Covid-19 Pandemic intervened. Unlike the United States with a robust private higher education system, England’s universities are government owned and operated.

In the 1960s Michael Oakeshott and Margaret Thatcher, then a back-bencher in Parliament, decided enough was enough and set about to found an “independent”–private university.  That idea was realized and the University of Buckingham was the result.

I have fond memories of the year I attended LSE with Michael Oakeshott and researched my Ph.D. dissertation from a small room at the British Museum. That was fifty-five years ago and England has changed, if Theodore Dalrymple’s account in City Journal is representative.

He writes of the 20-mile drive he took to be vaccinated in Shropshire:

Along the entire route, garbage—which no one had tried to clear—disfigured the roadside. Mostly, the litter was the wrapping of refreshments or cans of soda that drivers or their passengers had consumed along the 20 miles. The beauty of the countryside gave them no pause before they disembarrassed themselves. The garbage glittered in the sunlight; discarded plastic bags hung from hedgerows or fluttered in the breeze from trees, like prayer flags in Buddhist countries.

Despite exceptions, the country seems increasingly maladministered. Sloppiness, indifference to appearances, and inefficiency are everywhere, combined with grotesque administrative bloating.

Shropshire is a two hour drive southeast to Buckingham through Wolverhampton and Birmingham passing Coventry and on to Buckingham. From there, if you were inclined to drive another 26 miles, you could be in Oxford.

With Anthony Seldon departed from Buckingham, I will not be able to report on garbage-strewn roads in Buckingham.

Why Worry about France?

August 31, 2021

A Zoom Discussion of an essay by Dr. John Tierney on the topic “Loss of France” will be held on September 23. In advance of that discussion you may access Dr. Tierney’s essay at http://www.academydl.com/the-loss-of-france

This new essay pursues the question, “What happened to France” that was discussed in a Webcast that examined three examples of national “loss”: loss of China to Mongols in 1644, loss of Poland in 1939 and loss of France in 1940.

Why be concerned about the loss of these other countries?

A main reason to worry is the effect of Progressive domination of our media and our colleges and universities on the character of the American people.

Our great American common sense has been eroded and our national character has been changed.

“I don’t recognize my country” is a common statement by “conservative” and tradition-minded American citizens.

National cultures do change and though the buildings and roads remain, the people in those buildings and driving their nation’s highways have changed—for the worse.

The leaders of the generation that framed the Constitution were better educated and thus more knowledgeable than college-educated Americans today.

Many of our churches and the Denominations they serve have lost the faith of those who formed them. The Catholic church is similar in its decline, and wealthy Americans are fearful that their children will turn against them when they go to college.

We should worry also that our enemies in Russia, Communist China and Iran smell weakness in the Biden Administration and may prepare to act:  

Russia may seek to retake Ukraine.

The PRC may invade Taiwan.

Iran may shut down shipping of oil to Europe as it did recently by using weaponized drones.

Dr. Tierney will consider these issues from the perspective of the “Loss of France.”

“Coda” was Nominated!

August 30, 2021

Library of Virginia 24th LITERARY AWARDS NOMINEES for FICTION

Baldacci, David Daylight Grand Central Publishing
Barres, E.A. They’re Gone Crooked Lane Books
Beanland, Rachel Florence Adler Swims Forever Simon and Schuster
Bishirjian, Dick Coda En Route Books and Media
Castleberry, Brian Nine Shiny Objects HarperCollins Publishers
Cosby, S. A. Blacktop Wasteland Flatiron Books
Darden, Ryan Civil World War hidenBEHINDaROC
Deans, Bob The Bicycle Man Evening Post Books
Etheridge, Paige Pink, Not Fanged Solstice Publishing
Farmer, Robin Malcom and Me Spark Press
Fleischmann, Raymond How Quickly She Disappears Berkley
Ford, Kelli Jo Crooked Hallelujah Grove Hardcover/ imprint of
Grove Atlantic 2

Garstang, Clifford House of the Ancients and Other
Stories Press 53
Gillen, John Matthew American Blasphemer Epigraph Books
Grisham, John A Time For Mercy Doubleday
Harrigan, Sharon Half University of Wisconsin Press
Holloway, Ava Lynch, Amanda My Ancestors’ Wildest Dream Rethinking Resiliency LLC
Kaplan, Mitchell James Into the Unbounded Night Regal House Publishing
Katsu, Alma The Deep Penguin Random House
Klune, TJ The House in the Cerulean Sea TOR
Learned, Stephen P. The Girl To His Left Bermondsey Books
Lewis, Kristyn Kusek Perfect Happiness HarperCollins
Matthews, Charlotte The Collapsible Mannequin Black Rose Writing
Meisner, Jr., Jim Faith, Hope, and Baseball: A
Novel Immortal Works
Owen, Howard Belle Isle The Permanent Press 3

Parker, Lorelai Crushing It Kensington Books
Parks, Brad Interference Thomas & Mercer
Poyer, David Violent Peace: The War with China:
Aftermath of Armageddon St. Martin’s Press
Robinson, Mariah Once Upon a Fable Brandylane Publishers
Rosenberg, Madelyn Wan-Long Shang,
Wendy Not Your All-American Girl Scholastic Press
Sheriff, Mary Helen Boop and Eve’s Road Trip She Writes Press
Smibert, Angie The Truce Boyds Mills Press
Stejskal, James A Question of Time Casemate Publishers
Taylor, Art The Boy Detective & The Summer of
’74 and Other Tales of Suspense
Crippen & Landru
Publishers
Taylor, Liza Nash Etiquette for Runaways Blackstone Publishing
Vergot, Carla Lily Barlow: The Mystery in the
Mangroves
Lifestyle Entrepreneurs
Press
Walker, Ran The Strange Museum: 50-Word
Stories 45 Alternate Press
Weiss, Paula The Antifan Girlfriend Amazon KDP self-published

Too Late to Study “Con Law”?

August 30, 2021

The Convention held in Philadelphia in 1787 was called to amend the Articles of Confederation. Out of that convention came a Constitution that has well served these United States for 232 years.

Before the 1960s and 1970s, a college education required some study of Constitutional Law and study of “Con Law” at our law schools gave Attorneys a smattering of understanding of the ideas discussed in Philadelphia so many years ago.

Unfortunately that is no longer true and the best educated generation of American citizens in American history knows nothing about the Framers of the Constitution nor which President was the first to call them our “Founding Fathers.”  Credit President Warren Harding for that.

We know instinctively that something ominous occurred on January 6, 2020 that involved an interpretation of the Constitutional role of the Electoral College. We should fear the ignorance visible in that discussion and commence anew the study of the Constitution lest in a few short years we witness an abrupt reorganization of the Federal government.

Start you studies by purchasing Madison’s Notes  of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 as Reported by James Madison edited by James McClellan and M.E. Bradford. (Richmond, VA: James River Press, 1989).

Or purchase the Adrienne Koch edition of Madison’s Notes published by Ohio University Press, (2nd edition, 1985). Also see James Madison’s Notes Of Debates In The Federal Convention Of 1787 And Their Relation To A More Perfect Society Of Nations, ed. James Brown Scott (Andesite Press, 2017).

And do read about the work of Gordon Lloyd at the Ashbrook Center in Ohio.

Professor Lloyd’s presentation on the Antifederalists at the 2007 meeting of the Philadelphia Society is a good way to start learning about the Constitution of the United States before it’s too late.