Sobran's -- 
The Real News of the Month

March 2000
Volume 7, No. 3

Editor: Joe Sobran
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(page 1)

     "Certainly, no one would argue with the proposition that 
our armed forces exist first and foremost for the defense of 
the United States and its vital interests abroad.... We 
choose, as a nation, however, to intervene militarily abroad 
in defense of the moral values that are at the center of our 
national conscientiousness [sic] *even when vital national 
interests are not necessarily at stake.* I raise this point 
because it lies at the heart of this nation's approach to 
Israel. The survival of Israel is one of this country's most 
important moral commitments.... Like the United States, Israel 
is more than a nation; it is an ideal...." (My emphasis)

     Thus Senator John McCain, in a speech the media ignored, 
delivered on March 14, 1999, to the National Council of Young 
Israel in New York City, where he received the Defender of 
Jerusalem Award. A similar pledge to a Christian group, 
advocating U.S. military intervention to defend Christians 
abroad "even when vital national interests are not necessarily 
at stake," would have received sensational coverage; McCain 
would have been accused of "pandering to the Christian Right," 
and in a particularly dangerous way.

     That speech helps explain the media enthusiasm for 
McCain. He has been getting sweetheart treatment, particularly 
from the Zionist press and pundits: U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, 
Cohen, Charles Krauthammer, and most notably William Kristol, 
who after McCain's victory over George W. Bush in the New 
Hampshire primary exulted that "the conservative movement ... 
is finished," and that McCain is the only Republican hope.

     Let's be quite clear about this: McCain, who favored 
sending ground troops to Kosovo, is willing to shed American 
blood for Israel. He isn't naive: he has seen combat, with 
boys' limbs scattered on the field, wounded survivors 
screaming in agony. And he would welcome such carnage for 
Israel's sake.

     So he tells a Jewish audience, anyway. Why not tell the 
rest of us? After all, if it's not just Jewish interests but 
our national "moral values" that may require us to sacrifice 
our sons for Israel, isn't that of some concern to other 
Americans? But Mr. Straight Talk has avoided this theme when 
addressing the general public.

     By McCain's logic of righteous intervention, our "moral 
values" -- equality before the law, for example -- could 
conceivably demand that we wage war against Israel, "even when 
vital national interests are not necessarily at stake." Just a 
thought, though not one that will occur to McCain.

     So now readers of THE WEEKLY STANDARD may appreciate why 
William Kristol and David Brooks can write in awestruck tones 
of McCain's appeal to the better angels of our nature: "In 
speech after speech, McCain calls on his listeners to serve a 
cause greater than themselves.... McCain was able to trump 
[George W. Bush's] appeal to self-interest with a public-
spirited message.... McCain's campaign reminds us that 
citizenship entails more than just voting, and the business of 
America is more than just business. His brand of conservatism 
rejects the notion that the highest end of government is to 
leave us alone."

(pages 2-4)

     An important libel suit is under way in London. David 
Irving, the controversial British historian of World War II, 
is suing an American scholar, Deborah Lipstadt of Emory 
University, for calling him "one of the most dangerous 
spokespersons for Holocaust denial." Since she wrote this in a 
1993 book DENYING THE HOLOCAUST, Irving says, his career has 
suffered badly, and he charges that this was exactly what she 
intended. He compares being accused of Holocaust denial to 
being called a wife-beater or a pedophile -- a defamation that 
results in social and professional ostracism, not to mention 
death threats. 

     The label became actionable when Mrs. Lipstadt's book was 
published in England, where libel law places the burden of 
proof on the defendant. Such invidious descriptions of public 
figures may be flung freely in the United States, and she 
apparently didn't stop to consider the difference between the 
two countries' legal standards when the British edition of her 
book went to press. 

     Supported by various Jewish organizations, Mrs. Lipstadt 
has gathered an expensive team of lawyers and scholars, 
including Anthony Julius, who served as attorney for the late 
Princess Diana in her divorce. Irving, who lacks similar 
support, is representing himself in court. Under British rules 
of discovery, he has gained access to Mrs. Lipstadt's 
correspondence with these organizations and he intends to 
expose the methods by which he says Jewish groups conspire to 
destroy heretics like him. Under assorted laws against "hate 
speech," he has already been harassed, banned, and threatened 
with arrest in several countries where "Holocaust denial" is a 
crime; Germany is seeking to extradite him for criminal 
prosecution during the lawsuit! 

     The Holocaust debate is a strange one, since the Jewish 
side insists that there is no "other side" (since there is 
nothing to debate about) while trying not only to ruin those 
on the nonexistent other side, but to put them in jail -- over 
a difference about historical fact. Forty years ago the 
British historians A.J.P. Taylor and Hugh Trevor-Roper had a 
famous and bitter debate over Hitler's responsibility for 
World War II; but it never occurred to either man to try to 
get the other fired from his academic position, let alone 
thrown into prison! 

     Irving says he has never denied that during World War II 
the Germans persecuted Jews and killed many of them. But he 
has disputed many details of the standard account, including 
the number of the dead and the existence of gas chambers at 
Auschwitz. Whether these modifications add up to "Holocaust 
denial" is one point at issue; another is whether he is 
"dangerous." Dangerous to whom? More dangerous than laws 
limiting the freedom of speech? More dangerous than Mrs. 
Lipstadt's words about Irving himself? 

     In any case there is no doubt that powerful forces, 
especially Jewish ones, have been out to get Irving for many 
years. But until now, the combative and fearless historian, 
never one to back down, has been able to do little to defend 

     The verdict in the trial will probably neither affirm nor 
refute the occurrence of the Holocaust. The question before 
the court is whether Mrs. Lipstadt deliberately damaged 
Irving's career with false statements. Living as she does in a 
country where libel is pretty much legal, thanks to the U.S. 
Supreme Court's peculiar reading of the First Amendment, it 
must come as a shock to her to find herself forced, for once, 
to back up her charges. 

     Jewish groups are afraid that a verdict in Irving's favor 
will amount to an official ruling that the Holocaust never 
happened. But it need not mean that at all. It could mean no 
more than that Mrs. Lipstadt committed libel by imputing 
Holocaust denial -- and a "dangerous" version of it at that -- 
to Irving. 

     Irving, a nonacademic freelance historian, has written 
many books on World War II, the most famous of which is 
HITLER'S WAR, in which he argued that Hitler never ordered the 
destruction of the Jews. The book caused an uproar beyond 
academe. He has also unearthed important documents and 
interviewed many of Hitler's close associates; even many 
professional historians who don't share Irving's German 
sympathies and his scorn for Winston Churchill agree that his 
work is indispensable. Most recently the publication of his 
biography of Joseph Goebbels by St. Martin's Press was 
canceled under pressure from Jewish groups. 

     I haven't read Irving's work and would be unable to 
assess it, but I have met the man himself. A couple of years 
ago we had lunch in Virginia and I found him a stimulating and 
captivating conversationalist. He described himself as "a 
Holocaust skeptic, not a Holocaust denier," amazed at the 
proliferation of Holocaust memorials in this country. We 
agreed that the subject has become a topic of alarming thought 
control, both of us having experienced forms of it, including 
personal smears by Jewish fanatics. 

     I myself have been accused of Holocaust denial by a 
Jewish academic in California; but the truth is that I have 
never denied it, for the simple reason that I don't know 
enough to have a firm opinion on the matter. I lack the 
qualifications to be a Holocaust denier. I don't read German; 
I don't know anything about gas chambers and Zyklon B; I 
wouldn't know how to weigh the evidence. None of which 
suffices to protect me from being libeled. 

     But I certainly do distrust those who want to punish 
others for the impertinence of disagreeing; the Lipstadts 
don't act as if they believe in the Holocaust themselves. If 
you have a real conviction about a factual matter, why would 
you want to punish a man for differing with you? If you think 
his view is absurdly wrong, you're serenely content to confute 
him; locking him up would add absolutely nothing to your case 
and could only raise suspicions about its inherent strength. 
Neither side in the heated Shakespeare authorship debate, for 
example, seeks the incarceration of the other side. 

     And of course Irving and I aren't the only targets: 
everyone is a potential target. Canada, France, Germany, 
Israel, and several other countries have criminalized 
Holocaust heresy. The Israeli writer Amos Elon marvels that 
opinions about historical events can still be made illegal. 
It's hard to believe that this sort of thing can happen in the 
modern world, but it does happen. A few years ago the Israelis 
even tried to block publication in the United States of a book 
critical of the Mossad; and in fact a Jewish judge in New York 
did order its suppression. His order was immediately reversed; 
but for a few hours, a book was actually banned in this 
country for offending organized Jewish interests. 

     Such restrictions on opinion are insults to the freedom 
of a whole society. They violate not only David Irving's right 
to speak, but everyone else's right to hear him and assess his 
arguments for themselves. Even those who think Irving is 
seriously wrong, and even dishonest, should enjoy the exercise 
of grappling with his criticisms; that is how historical study 
constantly progresses. In a sense, all serious history is 
"revisionism," an endless process of refining knowledge. 

     As for views that are just bizarrely wrong, why bother 
with them? If a man argues that Napoleon never existed, or 
that Joe Stalin and Pol Pot were basically decent chaps, 
society can afford to let him walk the streets. 

     In a recent article on the Irving-Lipstadt suit in THE 
ATLANTIC MONTHLY, D.D. Guttenplan discusses the often bitter 
differences over the Holocaust among Jewish scholars, noting 
that many things that "everyone knows" about the Holocaust 
have been discredited -- such as the grisly fables that the 
Nazis made soap and lampshades out of the remains of murdered 
Jews. Yet some people have been imprisoned for denying what no 
scholar now believes. The Israeli scholar Yehuda Bauer has 
argued that "only" a million Jews, not four million as 
officially asserted, were murdered at Auschwitz. Irving has 
forced Lipstadt's expert witnesses to concede that the alleged 
gas chamber at Auschwitz is not authentic, but a postwar 

     One complication, of course, is that the standard account 
of the Holocaust serves political interests. Though Israel 
didn't exist until Hitler had been destroyed, it has claimed 
enormous cash reparations from Germany; and it has enjoyed 
great indulgence from the United States by justifying its 
violence against its Arab neighbors, and its abuses of its 
Arab minority, as necessary defensive measures by a people 
still traumatized by persecution and threatened by 
annihilation. The very term "Holocaust" became current long 
after World War II -- during the late 1960s, in fact, when 
Israel won the Six-Day War with Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. It 
was then that the Zionist lobby became one of the most 
powerful forces in American politics and ethnic "Jewishness," 
as distinct from religious Judaism, became, for the first 
time, openly militant in American culture, and any criticism 
of Jews or Israel became "anti-Semitism." It wasn't long 
before "Holocaust denial" became a capital thought-crime. 

     Jewish guilt-merchants have also used the Holocaust as a 
stick to beat other parties with. Christianity, from the 
Gospel writers to Pius XII, has been blamed for inspiring 
genocide against the Jews; the Holocaust is often described as 
the culmination of "2,000 years of Christian anti-Semitism." 
Those who make these charges are deeply resentful when 
Christians reject them. Last year's Vatican statement 
exonerating Pius XII provoked further angry attacks by some 
Jews. The nominal Catholic John Cornwell has found favor among 
such Jews by smearing Pius as "Hitler's Pope." 

     On the other hand, a number of more temperate Jews have 
deplored these wild indictments. Unfortunately, the incentive 
system still favors the shrillest. Cornwell stands to lose 
nothing by lying about Pius; if he had praised him, his book 
would have been published (if at all) by some obscure Catholic 

     The Jewish lobby (though "lobby" seems an inadequate term 
for it) now inspires enormous fear because of its power to 
ruin politicians, writers, and businesses. It wields such 
dreaded labels as "anti-Semite" and "bigot" with abandon and 
-- and here is the real point -- with impunity. This is the 
background against which Mrs. Lipstadt made her charges 
against Irving. 

     Far from being persecuted, or remotely threatened with 
persecution, Jews in the modern democracies are very powerful. 
That is precisely why they are feared, and why their labels 
terrify. If they were really helpless victims, there would 
obviously be no reason to fear them; nobody in Hitler's 
Germany (or Jefferson's America, for that matter) had to fear 
being called anti-Semitic. Most Jews of course take no active 
part in the thought-control campaign, and many would oppose it 
if they considered it seriously; but the major secular Jewish 
organizations are determined to silence any public discourse 
that is not to their liking, as witness the fate of people as 
disparate as Irving, Louis Farrakhan, and Pat Buchanan. 

     The test is this. What is the penalty for making false or 
reckless charges of anti-Semitism? The plain fact is that 
there is no penalty at all. That is why the Irving-Lipstadt 
suit is so startling. In this country we aren't used to seeing 
people -- especially members of the mighty "victim" groups -- 
held responsible for ruining others' reputations. 

     If anti-Semitism is a serious matter, you might think it 
would be in the interest of the Jewish lobby itself to define 
the term carefully and to discourage its promiscuous use. But 
neither has happened. Why not? 

     For the simple reason that the function of the word is 
not to identify and disarm real hostility to Jews, but to 
terrorize. For the purpose of creating fear, as Stalin 
understood, a false charge is as good as a true one -- better, 
in fact, since the power to stigmatize arbitrarily, without 
well-defined rules and safeguards against abuse, is the 
perfect way to intimidate the general population. 

     Even a false charge reinforces the power of the lobby. 
After all, if people only had to beware of true accusations -- 
strictly defined charges in which the burden of proof was on 
the accuser, who would put himself at risk by making charges 
he couldn't support -- there would be little to worry about. 
You don't fear being falsely accused of murder, because you 
know you can defend yourself against it and see your accuser 
punished. If the crime is serious, so is the false imputation 
of it. That's the ordinary rule of life. 

     But when nobody pays a price for making false 
accusations, there are going to be a lot of false accusations. 
Joe McCarthy really didn't get it. When he spoke of "card-
carrying Communists," he was too specific for his own good. 
His charges were too well-defined and therefore subject to 
falsification. Everyone knows what a "card-carrying Communist" 
is; when you use that phrase, you'd better be able to make it 
stick. But nobody really knows what an "anti-Semite" is, so 
the charge of anti-Semitism can't be falsified, and nobody has 
to worry about being penalized for using it. It's a thoroughly 
perverse incentive system, worthy of the Soviet Union. 

     If Deborah Lipstadt winds up paying damages to David 
Irving, it will be partly because she, like Joe McCarthy, was 
imprudently specific. Dangerous may be a little vague, but 
"Holocaust denier" isn't. It can be proved or disproved. 

     A ruling in Irving's favor might even tend to confirm the 
standard account of the Holocaust, if it transpires that he 
agrees with its central contention in spite of his skepticism 
about certain of its features. But such a ruling would 
certainly show that there is still one island on earth where 
you lie about people at your own peril. 

(page 5) 

     On Martin Luther King's birthday this year the usual 
cloying commemorations, masquerading as news stories, were 
capped by the report that an American Catholic bishop had 
submitted King's name to the Vatican, recommending that he be 
honored as a Christian martyr. 

     "Dr." King, whose doctoral thesis was plagiarized, was a 
mixed character, admirable in some respects -- especially his 
unquestionable courage -- but too seriously flawed to warrant 
national (let alone religious) veneration. Far from living a 
life of holiness and sanctity, he lacked the basic integrity 
we expect of religious leaders. He was, for openers, a 
relentless philanderer who spent the night before his death 
sharing a bed with two women. He was also a believing Marxist 
who hobnobbed with Communists while preaching "freedom." You 
might even suspect him of hypocrisy. 

     Liberal opinion is indulgent toward adultery and sees 
nothing wrong with associating with Communists. If King's 
inner circle had been revealed to include Nazis, of course, 
his name would be mud. Nazism has become a symbol of pure 
evil, while Communism is treated as a noble (though ill-
starred) "dream" -- like King's. That "dream," under 
inspection, always turns out to be the hope of a collectivist 
society, with the annihilation of personal freedom. Other 
regimes are judged by their records, Communism by its 

     King's birthday was marked by articles in the NEW YORK 
TIMES (by Glenn C. Loury) and the WASHINGTON POST (by 
Jonathan Yardley) insisting that the Confederate flag that 
still flies over the capitol in South Carolina must be 
officially treated as a symbol of slavery, not of Southern 
valor. Both Loury and Yardley scolded John McCain, whose 
ancestors fought for the Confederacy, for refusing to condemn 
the flag. 

     "In retrospect," wrote Loury, "we can now see that those 
who fought under the Confederate flag were treasonous rebels 
bent on the destruction of our union. And those who hoisted 
that flag over their state's capitol during the height of the 
civil-rights struggle were obstructing social justice. There 
was nothing honorable in any of that, and one need not be a 
descendant of slaves to say so." 

     Yardley added: "Black South Carolinians are absolutely 
right to regard the flag over the state capitol as a 
calculated insult, an evocation not of Rhett Butler or of 
McCain's heroic ancestors but of the slavery in which their 
own ancestors were held and of the de jure discrimination that 
followed in Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era." In the minds 
of progressives, "reactionaries" aren't even entitled to 
decide what their own symbols mean. 

     At the same time, Loury spoke of his "African-American 
forefathers" who "were persecuted under the battle flag of the 
Confederacy." The question that comes to mind is why blacks 
like Loury, who damn the Old South, want to venerate Africa. 
According to their own logic, they should see Africa, even 
more than the Confederate flag, as a symbol of slavery. 

     Loury and Yardley imply that there is no controversy at 
all, no room for differences of opinion, no valid perspective 
but their own. The whole King cult assumes this. However 
controversial he was in his own time, King is now treated as a 
bland icon, a sort of dashboard figurine for liberals. "In 
retrospect," as Loury says, "we" can see that there was only 
one legitimate side all along, its opponents being "treasonous 

     From grade school on, our teachers, scholars, 
intellectuals, and journalists try to herd us into conformity 
to views that don't deserve our automatic assent. Through many 
channels we're besieged with the notion that all history is 
the story of mankind's march toward a collectivist and 
materialist society, a variant of what Herbert Butterfield 
called "the whig interpretation of history," dividing the 
world into progressive heroes and reactionary villains. 

     In my case, at least, the result has been a sneaking 
curiosity about, and sympathy with, the alleged villains. When 
urged to rejoice in the famous victories of the progressives, 
I've always wanted to hear the losers' side of the story. It 
nearly always turns out to be more interesting than the 
winners' side, and it often turns out to have been right after 

     To defeat is not to refute. A cause is not proved wrong 
because it loses on the battlefield or at the ballot box. To 
believe otherwise, as Chesterton says, is exactly like 
believing in trial by combat as a test of truth. 

     One by-product of liberalism is the sort of 
"conservative" who eagerly aligns himself with Abraham 
Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, or "Dr." King's "dream." If 
conservatism means anything, it means opposing vulgar notions 
of progress. It's exemplified in a Solzhenitsyn standing 
alone, against those who seem to have won overwhelmingly, to 
insist that the argument isn't over yet. 

(page 6)
[This is an unabridged version; text not appearing in the 
printed version appears in curly braces, thus: { text }]

     A week before his death in 1547, Henry VIII -- obese, 
syphilitic, demented -- groggily approved an order for the 
execution of Henry Howard, the young Earl of Surrey. Henry was 
too bloated to walk, or even wield a pen, so he used a stamp 
that had been provided for the purpose. 

     Surrey was a victim of the tangled court intrigues of 
Henry's reign. Not yet 30, he had been a favorite of the king. 
But he had a wild streak and a hot temper and had once been 
jailed for breaking church windows and pelting prostitutes 
with stones in the streets of London. Henry forgave such 
pranks, shaking his head affectionately at "the most foolish 
proud boy that is in England." 

     But in late 1546 Surrey's enemies accused him of claiming 
a right to the throne by virtue of his Plantagenet blood and 
plotting with his father, the Duke of Norfolk, to supplant 
Henry. Since it was a crime even to speculate about Henry's 
death, he was charged with high treason and, on January 19, 
1547, beheaded. His father was spared. It's hard to judge the 
truth of the charges. 

     Surrey is now best remembered as a poet. With his friend 
Sir Thomas Wyatt, he introduced the Petrarchan love sonnet to 
England and originated the "Shakespearean" sonnet form. He 
also created English blank verse in his translation of two 
books of the AENEID. His influence on Shakespeare is 

     Surrey also had a nephew by marriage, whom he didn't live 
to see: Edward de Vere, later 17th Earl of Oxford, author of 
the Shakespeare works, was born in 1550. Oxford grew up 
venerating Surrey's memory and aspiring to emulate him as a 
poet; a thousand Petrarchan sonnets ascribed to others were 
actually Oxford's, as I will argue in a future book. 

     I have just found a new piece of evidence that Oxford was 
"Shakespeare." Scholars now widely agree that the play SIR 
THOMAS MORE is at least partly Shakespearean. It exists only 
in a single manuscript, which was discovered in the nineteenth 
century; it was never printed in its own time and may have 
been banned, since it favorably portrays a Catholic martyr 
beheaded by the father of Elizabeth I. 

     What is interesting is that Surrey is a character in the 
play. Since the real Surrey was still in his teens when More 
was executed in 1535, the author has taken a remarkable 
liberty with the historical facts to include him in the story; 
Surrey speaks the final lines of the play. Clearly Oxford was 
going out of his way to honor his uncle. 

     Orthodox Shakespeare scholars, naturally, have failed to 
notice Surrey's anachronistic presence in SIR THOMAS MORE; its 
significance is lost on them, since they assume the wrong 
author and are unaware of Oxford's relation to Surrey. 

     It's fascinating that the greatest English poet should 
have been so close to such important events and personalities 
in English history. But there is more. 

     After his father's death in 1562, Oxford was raised at 
the court of Elizabeth I as a ward of William Cecil, later 
Lord Burghley, whose daughter Ann Cecil he married in 1571. He 
was a favorite of the queen in his youth and was rumored to 
have had a flirtation with her shortly after his marriage; his 
mother-in-law was infuriated, but Burghley tried to ignore it. 
I am convinced that the sonnet cycle printed as EMARICDULFE in 
1595 was originally addressed to Elizabeth. 

     Burghley, lord treasurer and spymaster, was the most 
powerful man in Elizabethan England and a crucial figure in 
English history. Hilaire Belloc gives him the dubious credit 
of crushing the Catholic Church in England, not out of any 
religious passion, but because he belonged to the class that 
had enriched itself during the looting of Church properties 
under Henry VIII. According to Belloc, Burghley -- and his son 
Robert Cecil after him -- wanted to make sure England never 
returned to the Catholic fold. They successfully worked to 
make England a power independent of Europe; and in Belloc's 
view the Reformation would have died out if England had 
resumed Catholicism. 

     { Belloc credits Burghley with "a very great political 
genius" but "a despicable character -- mean, sly, avaricious, 
and thoroughly false." He was "one of the greatest and 
certainly one of the vilest of men that ever 

     England remained largely Catholic during Elizabeth's 
reign, but attachment to the old religion waned and all but 
flickered out after the shock of the Jesuit-driven Gunpowder 
Plot in 1605. (One of those who turned Protestant at about 
that time, incidentally, was John Milton, father of England's 
great Puritan poet.) }

     Oxford's attitude toward all this is hard to judge. He 
had Catholic sympathies, drawn from both his family and his 
Italian journey of 157576, but they seem to have waned; his 
works reflect a broadly Catholic outlook, certainly not a 
Protestant one, but this is also consistent with attachment to 
the Church of England, or with no particular religious zeal. 
He was often at odds with Burghley, but apparently for 
personal reasons that had nothing to do with religion; 
Polonius in HAMLET is clearly modeled on Burghley, even to the 
detail of sending a spy to Paris to report on his wastrel 
son's misconduct. 

     But Oxford seems not to have realized that his father-in-
law would loom large in history, any more than Burghley 
realized that his son-in-law would be an immortal poet.

Boxed Copy

RIGHT AS USUAL: The House of Representatives has passed a 
bill authorizing a measly $30,000 to coin a Congressional Gold 
Medal in honor of New York's John Cardinal O'Connor. Only one 
member dissented: Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who calls 
O'Connor "well-deserving" but deems the bill unconstitutional. 
Exactly! Thank God for both men. (page 9)

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WORLD: Are Jews smarter than gentiles? 
Are you kidding? Of course they are, and Jewish intelligence 
is a blessing to the whole world. If it sometimes seems 
otherwise, the real problem -- the fact that has really 
wrought endless havoc in this world -- is that dumb Jews are 
smarter than dumb gentiles. (page 9)

BY THE WAY: McCain, who claims to be "pro-life," says he's 
never voted for experimentation on aborted children. But TIME 
reports that he did so three times -- in 1992, 1993, and 1997. 
He says his religion is "between me and my family." So is his 
voting record, I guess. (page 10)

NOTED IN PASSING: In case I haven't mentioned it before, Sir 
Derek Jacobi, one of the world's greatest living Shakespearean 
actors, has gone on record as a firm believer that the real 
author was Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. The year 2000, by 
the way, marks the 450th anniversary of Oxford's birth. (page 

commenting on Internet vandalism, said that the Internet has 
been a huge success because the government has pretty much 
left it alone. He's absolutely right. I don't get it. (page 

NONE DARE CALL IT DUAL LOYALTY: McCain's speech (see page 1) 
is an instance of a basic principle of politics: that one may 
in practice assume the truth of propositions which, made 
explicit, are universally denounced as "myths," "canards," and 
"stereotypes" -- in this case, the notion that American Jews 
put Israel's interests ahead of American interests. McCain 
assumes that this is exactly what Jews do and, far from being 
accused of bigotry, he has won fervent Jewish support. (page 

Exclusive to the electronic version:

OUR FRIEND, THE ABORTIONIST: I haven't seen the movie 
version of THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, which has won seven Oscar 
nominations, but I have read the execrable John Irving novel 
it's based on -- a literary experience only in the sense that 
a black mass is a spiritual experience: the heroes of the 
absurd and ugly story are a pair of abortionists, master and 
apprentice. Since Irving (who also wrote the film's 
screenplay) can neither build a plot nor create a believable 
character, one's interest is sustained only by his puerile 

LOVING THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Hillary Clinton, now officially 
running for the U.S. Senate as "Hillary!" in New York, is off 
to a rocky start. After gobbling a free breakfast in upstate 
New York, Hillary! left the restaurant without tipping the 
waitress -- who was, it so happens, a single mom. Maybe Al 
Gore's wife should have run for that Senate seat. At least we 
know she's a Tipper.

Reprinted Columns (pages 7-12)

* The Nickname Game (January 11, 200)
* The Rules of the Game (January 13, 2000)
* What About Elian? (January 18, 2000)
* Musidorus the Cannibal (January 20, 2000)
* Advancing toward Savagery (January 25, 2000)
* The Courtier Who Would Be King (February 1, 2000)

All articles are written by Joe Sobran

Copyright (c) 2000 by The Vere Company. All rights reserved.
Distributed with permission by the Griffin Internet Syndicate