Sobran's --
The Real News of the Month

September 2000
Volume 7, No. 9

Editor: Joe Sobran
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(pages 1-2)

     Compassionate conservatism, as encapsulated in a NEW YORK 
TIMES headline: "Cheney Says Church-Based Charities Deserve 
Federal Support."

*          *          *

     At a convention featuring lots of women and minorities, 
Republican-style -- that is to say, Colin Powell and Bo Derek 
-- Junior Bush has formally received his party's nomination, 
and I admit he is distinctly preferable to Junior Gore, in the 
sense that a chest cold is preferable to lung cancer. The 
worst that can be said of him is that liberals don't find him 
threatening; they know he won't undo -- or even try to undo -- 
their achievements. In his own compassionate way, he'll even 
enlarge the role of the state in our lives.

*          *          *

     Bush did say that nobody should be taxed above a third of 
his income. So far this incendiary proposal has failed to 
ignite riots.

*          *          *

     Bush and Gore will be debating how to "fix" Social 
Security and Medicare. Neither will mention the correct 
answer: abolish these programs, which have no constitutional 
authorization (and are wrong in principle anyway). In 
Federalist No. 83, Alexander Hamilton reminds us that the 
powers of the federal government are specifically listed for a 
reason: "This specification of particulars evidently excludes 
all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an 
affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well 
as useless, if a general authority was intended." But 
Congress's "general authority" -- i.e., to legislate on all 
matters whatsoever, with or without specific grants of power 
-- is now taken for granted by both major parties. That's one 
thing they *never* debate.

*          *          *

Exclusive to the electronic version (one entry only):

	The Democratic convention was Al Gore's bar mitzvah. He 
came of age, announcing himself "his own man," with a Jewish 
running mate to lend him the "gravitas" of adulthood. He also 
kissed his wife at some length. All this to dissociate himself 
symbolically from one of the greatest presidents in our 

*          *          *

     Gore's choice of Joe Lieberman as his running mate was a 
shrewd move. Unlike Bill Clinton and Gore himself, Lieberman, 
an Orthodox Jew, really fools people; his seeming authenticity 
makes him the Democrats' answer to John McCain. Eight years of 
Clinton have left us hungry for moral authority and men who 
transcend the vile contemporary culture; and Lieberman struck 
a memorable pose in 1998 when he became the first major 
Democrat to call Clinton's behavior in the Oval Office 
"immoral" and "intolerable." Never mind that he followed up by 
voting for acquittal; a star was born. He will take the edge 
off Republican jibes at Clinton's morals. But his Old 
Testament "gravitas" is somewhat compromised by his support 
for abortion, infanticide, and sodomy. If he didn't put his 
party ahead of his religion, he wouldn't be on the Democratic 

*          *          *

     The selection of Lieberman has been universally seen as 
an attempt by Gore to dissociate himself from Bill Clinton's 
disgrace. But it's only one sign of tension between Gore and 
Clinton. Clinton has been hogging the spotlight by throwing 
his own barbs at George Bush; and on the eve of the Democrats' 
convention in Los Angeles, he allowed Barbra Streisand to hold 
a Malibu fundraiser for his presidential library, upstaging 
Gore's big moment and siphoning off a lot of Hollywood money 
-- about $10 million -- that might have gone to the Gore 
campaign. Proceeds from a second tribute to Clinton that same 
weekend in L.A., with an expected purse of $4 million, were to 
go toward Hillary's New York Senate race. Gore might echo the 
Duke of Buckingham's bitter words about Richard III: "Rewards 
he my deep services with such contempt?"

*          *          *

     Twenty years ago, liberals worried about Ronald Reagan, 
whom they called, in a favorite putdown of that time, 
"simplistic." This meant that Reagan had clear ideas of what 
were, and what were not, proper functions of government; the 
danger was that he might try to repeal the improper functions. 
Which is why conservatives loved him. Alas, liberal fears 
proved as exaggerated as conservative hopes. He turned out to 
be much less simplistic than he seemed. The huge welter of 
federal programs continued to grow throughout his two terms in 
office. (I note with misgivings that nobody is calling G.W. 
Bush simplistic.)

*          *          *

     David Broder of the WASHINGTON POST, a liberal of 
moderate demeanor, sneers that Republicans are "hung up on 
sex" because they favor promoting chastity, oppose condom 
distribution in schools, and loathe abortion. They "also want 
to turn back the clock on sex education," he adds. The weary 
clock metaphor should be retired; turning back the clock is 
often the best reform. The Sexual Revolution has been an utter 
disaster; society was healthy when it was governed by sexual 
hangups. Today's kids, having grown up in a swamp, may not 
remember, but it's irresponsible for someone of Broder's age 
not to remind them. That would be the truest kind of sex 

*          *          *

     The Century of the Common Man, when you stop to think 
about it, has been pretty tough on the common man. In the days 
when kings didn't pretend to rule in the name of The People, 
tyranny, though it surrounded itself with pomp and ceremony, 
was relatively modest. It was only when rulers began speaking 
and acting on behalf of The People that universal terror and 
systematic plunder became the norm. We who have survived the 
departing century in safety and prosperity should always 
remember those who didn't -- the millions who perished in 
wars, forced labor camps, and state-made famine -- and how 
easily we too could have met their fate.

*          *          *

     What do you call prejudice against homeless people? 
Hobophobia, of course!

*          *          *

     After some bitter semi-public infighting, Al Gore 
successfully pressured Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez to scrap 
her scheduled fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion. Of course 
Gore himself has long accepted campaign donations from Hugh 
Hefner, and he has been properly charged with hypocrisy. But 
the real point is that pornographers like Hefner and Larry 
Flynt have correctly recognized Democrats like Clinton and 
Gore as deserving of their support. That should tell us 
something even if the Democrats rejected their money.

*          *          *

     "Never, in times so complex and chaotic as these, have we 
faced two contenders who are so boring and insipid," says 
Fidel Castro. Sure, he's a fine one to talk, but he took the 
words right out of my mouth. What does it say about our two-
party system that the forty-year dictator of a one-party state 
thinks it doesn't offer much of a choice?

(pages 3-6)

     My Shakespeare studies have recently driven me back to 
the English Reformation, with special attention to King Henry 
VIII (1491-1547) and the great Puritan poet John Milton 
(1608-74). The two men, who lived a century apart, could 
hardly have been more different; and yet, in a way, Milton 
seems to me a natural result of Henry.

     Henry, who by denying papal supremacy created the Church 
of England, with himself as its head, wasn't a heretic by 
nature; his refutation of Lutheran doctrine caused Pope Leo X 
to dub him "Defender of the Faith," a title British monarchs 
still boast. Even when he broke with Rome over the Pope's 
refusal to dissolve his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, he 
remained in many respects theologically conservative. To the 
end of his life he attended mass and insisted on the Real 
Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. His quarrel with the 
papacy centered on his own claim to be, in effect, England's 
Pope; he dealt sternly with Protestant tendencies in his own 

     When Henry died in 1547 and was succeeded by his nine-
year-old son, Edward VI, the men around the boy king faced a 
problem: What form should English Christianity take? "Above 
all," writes the historian Christopher Morris, "could the 
social and religious revolution stand still? Was it inevitable 
that there should be either conservative reaction or else 
further moves in a revolutionary direction? This last point 
Henry himself had decided. He had preferred to let the 
revolution proceed rather than have his work undone." (Hilaire 
Belloc later argued that but for Henry's break with Rome, 
Protestantism would have died out in Europe.)

     The "new men" around Henry and, later, Edward, Mary, and 
Elizabeth were keenly aware of what a restoration of 
Catholicism in England would mean for them: they owed their 
wealth, position, and power to the massive expropriations of 
church properties. There would be no going back. For William 
Cecil, later Lord Burghley, the greatest statesman of the 
Elizabethan era (and father-in-law of a certain Earl of 
Oxford), the Roman Church was always *the* enemy and his 
constant endeavor was to prevent, at all costs, the Catholic 
powers, chiefly France, Spain, and Scotland, from uniting 
against England. He followed a cunning policy of gradually 
crushing Catholicism in England; and considering that about 
half of the common people still adhered to the old religion 
when Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558, he succeeded 
brilliantly. Though personally lukewarm in religion, Cecil 
would always favor Protestants and Puritans against Catholics.

     English piracy, actively encouraged despite official 
denials, provoked Spain, and when the English beheaded the 
Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1586, Catholic Europe was 
outraged. Two years later the great Spanish Armada attacked 
England but was defeated by an enormous storm, which English 
nationalism interpreted as a sign from heaven, rebuking popish 
enemies. The event was a turning point in English religion as 
well as politics. When, in 1605, the authorities discovered a 
Jesuit-led conspiracy to blow up Parliament and King James I 
together, English sentiment against Catholicism hardened and 
the Puritan forces were strengthened. By 1642 the Puritans, 
led by Oliver Cromwell, were powerful enough to depose James's 
son Charles I; in 1649 they beheaded him.

     It was against this background that John Milton was born 
in London in 1608. His father was a scrivener who had been 
disowned by his own Catholic father for becoming a Protestant. 
The young Milton was a precocious, headstrong student who 
attended Cambridge University (where he suffered a brief 
expulsion). By his twenties he was extremely learned, reading 
and writing poetry in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Italian, and 
French. Of his genius there was no doubt. He wrote several of 
his short masterpieces before he was 30.

     Milton was a passionate Protestant. Though he is usually 
described as a Puritan, this is a loose label for his 
idiosyncratic views. He was always outspoken; during his tour 
of Italy in 1638 he courted trouble by animadverting against 
Catholicism. (He visited the imprisoned Galileo, whom he 
admired.) He interrupted his journey and returned home when he 
heard the news of impending civil war; he was determined to 
play a role on the Puritan side, against the royalist forces 
and the Church of England, which still savored too much of 
popery for him.

     For the next few years Milton delayed his cherished plan 
to write a great poem -- he was undecided between epic and 
tragedy, Latin and English; possible subjects included the 
legend of King Arthur and the Fall of Adam. Meanwhile he wrote 
prose pamphlets, in Latin and English. With great eloquence 
and fierce invective, he argued for freedom of the press (for 
Protestants), for liberalized divorce (he had married 
unhappily), for educational reform (while earning a living as 
a tutor), and for regicide (defending the execution of Charles 
I). His talents as a controversialist recommended him to 
Cromwell, who appointed him his Latin Secretary. His chief 
duty was the defense of Cromwell's regime in a succession of 
responses to Europeans who had been horrified by Charles's 

     Milton is often accused of inconsistency in his 
libertarianism, since he made exceptions for "popery and open 
superstition" when it came to freedom of the press; but as 
Willmoore Kendall has pointed out in a brilliant essay, Milton 
was no John Stuart Mill. He believed that liberty was a 
condition proper only to those who had cast off popery and 
idolatry: Protestants could be tolerant of each other's 
"neighboring differences," but not of differences he saw as 
downright evil. In his ideal Protestant commonwealth, 
Catholics and pagans simply had no legitimate place. In that 
sense, as Kendall notes, Milton was no liberal. His politics 
were always theological, never merely secular.

     Samuel Johnson, Tory monarchist, later described Milton 
as "an acrimonious and surly republican" whose politics were 
"founded in an envious hatred of greatness, and a sullen 
desire of independence; in petulance, impatient of control, 
and pride disdainful of superiority.... He felt not so much 
the love of liberty as repugnance to authority." Proud he 
certainly was, but he appears to have disbelieved in certain 
kinds of authority -- especially royal and episcopal -- on 
principle. His belief in liberty of conscience, however 
misguided, was sincere.

     During the 1640s Milton's unhappy marriage was resolved 
by the death of his wife; a second wife soon died, and he 
eventually married again. Only his second marriage seems to 
have been happy, perhaps because it was brief. He ruled his 
wives and three daughters with extreme rigor; Johnson would 
comment that Milton "thought woman made only for obedience, 
and man only for rebellion" (an echo, perhaps, of PARADISE 
LOST, in which Adam and Eve form a small hierarchy: "He for 
God only, she for God in him"). It's an interesting detail 
that Milton, like Henry VIII, should have broken with 
Christian tradition on the question of divorce; sex and heresy 
often keep company. His divorce pamphlet -- which argued for 
divorce strictly as a husband's prerogative, not a wife's -- 
caused considerable scandal.

     During his years in Cromwell's service, Milton went 
blind. The loss of his sight didn't prevent him from 
continuing to write, by dictating to his daughters, who, being 
poorly educated, hardly understood the words they were taking 
down. They also had to read aloud to him books in foreign 
languages which they knew only phonetically. He was a severe 
man, demanding on himself as well as his unhappy children.

     The Restoration of 1660, with the ascension of Charles II 
to the throne, exposed Milton to possible execution for 
treason. But his great reputation protected him, and Charles 
was lenient by nature. Milton, though impenitent about his 
role in the revolution, was allowed to live in peace (though 
he was heavily fined and his books were burnt), and he began 
writing his epic at last.

     PARADISE LOST, published in 1667, is a tremendous poem, 
but a forbidding one. After praising it adoringly for several 
pages, Johnson abruptly adds a hilariously deflating comment: 
"PARADISE LOST is one of the books which the reader admires 
and lays down, and forgets to take up again. None ever wished 
it longer than it is." One pictures the Milton girls nodding 

     I have always found the poem strangely arid, impressively 
thunderous but seldom captivating, less poetical than 
polemical; Milton always seems to be grinding an ax. William 
Blake made the famous observation that "Milton was of the 
devil's party without knowing it." I don't agree, but I 
understand why Blake said it; Milton's Satan is more truly 
diabolical than his God is divine. Milton's Hell may be 
unpleasant, but his Heaven isn't much more attractive. There 
is more charm in Dante's Inferno than in Milton's Heaven. 
Flashes of delight occur only in his Eden, as when the animals 
entertain Adam and Eve:

                                    th' unwieldy Elephant,
        To make them mirth, us'd all his might and wreathd
        His Lithe Proboscis.

     I should add that my feeling about PARADISE LOST isn't 
shared by some of the supreme critics of English literature: 
Coleridge, C.S. Lewis, Northrop Frye, and Dr. Johnson himself 
have held the poem in the highest esteem.

     Yet there has always been a minority view, and it too has 
eloquent spokesmen. Mark Van Doren says of Milton's God's 
self-exculpation, when he denies that his foreknowledge of 
Adam's fall makes him in any way responsible for it: "This is 
what a theologian should say about God, but not what God 
should say about himself." Milton's warrior-Christ is "an 
abysmal failure in the role of Redeemer." Milton habitually 
commits the "blunder of trying to make us see what cannot be 
seen." As for Milton's famous diction, it is "starched with 
latinity, as if Milton did not trust his own language, falling 
into which might mean falling from the high horse of his 
style." All this seems to me right on the money.

     Milton's explicit aim is to "justifie the wayes of God to 
men." But, as Van Doren says, God himself does too much of the 
justifying, and it sounds awfully pompous, not at all divine. 
C.S. Lewis may have had a point when he quipped that some 
people say they dislike Milton's God when they really mean 
they dislike God; yet I find it pretty hard to believe that 
Milton's God ever brought any reader closer to God. He may 
well bring some readers closer to Milton, whose mouthpiece he 
so plainly is -- as in fact so many of Milton's characters 
are. If his Satan is more attractive than his divinities and 
angels, it may be precisely because, contrary to Blake's 
notion, Satan has a life and will of his own and does not 
necessarily speak for the management.

     In PARADISE REGAINED (1671), Christ is tempted by Satan 
but triumphantly resists. The poem is a long and tedious 
debate, with little of Milton's grandeur; even his Satan is no 
longer his old self, and his Christ says nothing remotely 
worthy of the Christ of the Gospels. It was a foolish and 
arrogant artistic blunder on Milton's part to attempt to put 
words in Christ's mouth; in such an endeavor even the greatest 
human genius must fall far short. Paradise is "regained" not 
by suffering on the Cross, but by winning an argument with 
Miltonic dialectics. Everyone agrees that the poem is a 
failure, but Milton resented any suggestion that it was 
inferior to PARADISE LOST.

     This may have been more than mere vanity on his part. In 
1825 a lost work of Milton's was discovered: a theological 
treatise he never finished. It reveals him a far more radical 
Protestant than had previously been suspected; readers 
(including even the shrewd Johnson) had assumed that PARADISE 
LOST was essentially orthodox. It was not. Milton didn't 
believe in the Trinity, the Redemption, or the soul's 
immortality. His version of Christianity was all his own -- 
and a very dessicated one, devoid of sacrament, ritual, and 
most of the doctrines that even Protestants share with 

     Yet Milton did believe in Heaven and Hell, in the 
existence of Satan, and in an active Providence. As I gather, 
he really believed that the Puritan revolution was a new 
moment in sacred history, leading to a Protestant Utopia in 
England; he believed that the English were a Chosen People, 
that "God speaks first to his Englishmen." He espoused a sort 
of supernatural nationalism. And he must have been crushed 
when the revolution fizzled, bringing back the kings and 
bishops he despised. The new epoch he had hoped for turned out 
to be a historical blip.

     It's tempting to see Milton himself in his Satan, whom we 
meet just at the moment when his rebellion is defeated, and 
who must rally the spirits of his fallen confederates with 
proud talk of the mind being "its own place," which "in it 
self / Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n." That does 
sound like Milton's own defiant attitude toward his 
vanquishers. But Milton didn't see Charles II as God, or even 
as God's anointed deputy on earth, but as an unholy pretender.

     It's more plausible to see Milton as Samson -- blind, 
defeated, the captive of his enemies, yet conscious of his own 
power -- in his closet drama SAMSON AGONISTES. Unfortunately 
for this appealing view, modern scholars suspect that the play 
was written long before the Cromwell regime fell, perhaps even 
before Milton was completely blind. If it has any 
autobiographical echoes, they may reflect his marital 
problems, in the dialogue between Samson and Dalila (accented 
on the first syllable), who comes to seek Samson's forgiveness 
for her betrayal, only to be rebuffed when Samson discerns 
that she isn't truly penitent.

     Like most of Milton's highly doctrinaire women, Dalila 
might leave the reader who didn't know better wondering 
whether her author had ever met an actual woman. Her speeches 
have nothing of the feminine about them; perhaps only Milton's 
Samson could have been seduced by Milton's Dalila. The 
spritely wit of Shakespeare's heroines is utterly alien to 
Milton's women, who are all burdened with (I wish there were a 
nice way to say it) Miltonic personalities.

     All this may suggest that I am deaf to Milton's genius. I 
don't think so; but I think his most inspired productions are 
his shorter early works: COMUS, L'ALLEGRO, IL PENSEROSO, ON 
THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY, several of the sonnets. Some 
of these have a Shakespearean sweetness and splendor, and 
Shakespeare's influence is obvious in them. The young Milton 
had not yet become an argumentative poet.

     Johnson's witticisms about the length of PARADISE LOST 
have a serious point. I think the poem belongs to the category 
of perishable classics -- works that are held in the highest 
esteem for a while, sometimes for generations, even centuries, 
but eventually lose their power over the imagination. Joseph 
Addison's play CATO, revered throughout the eighteenth century 
(the American Founding Fathers loved it), but now forgotten, 
is another mortal classic. Milton, as they say, no longer 
speaks to us.

     The feebleness of PARADISE REGAINED seems to me to expose 
the essential fault of PARADISE LOST. Both are the products of 
the same poetic mind, a mind too abstract for real poetry. It 
lacks an earthy capacity for observation and delight, for 
seeing, savoring, and laughing at simple things. "The want of 
human interest is always felt," as Johnson says. Milton relies 
too exclusively on lofty language, which all too often fails 
to achieve its desired effect; he shrinks from the common 
touch. Despite his mighty aspiration to perform "things 
unattempted yet in prose or rhyme," Milton simply doesn't 
belong in the company of the great European poets -- Homer, 
Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare.

     Milton awed English readers for more than two centuries; 
he was long considered superior to Shakespeare as a poet. The 
quality for which he was most praised was "sublimity" rather 
than piety; his effect was never very religious. But such was 
his prestige that few readers dared to admit they found his 
grand manner tedious and priggish.

     Milton's mature version of Christianity is so odd that 
few could ever have believed in it, and it seems strange that 
even he could have held it so passionately. It has little 
connection to traditional Christianity, and is nearly as 
remote from Lutheranism as from Catholicism. It's really no 
more than Milton's personal creed, tailored to his own extreme 
individualism, and it has had little influence. One can't 
imagine it as the faith of a whole nation of ordinary human 
beings, not even Englishmen. Milton's religion died out with 

     Yet his religion was a natural terminus, in its way, for 
the tendency Henry VIII had set in motion. The word "heresy" 
of course, comes from the Greek word for "choose." Once Henry 
had set the example by picking and choosing among doctrines, 
English Christianity became a process of elimination. In his 
eccentric way, Milton "reformed" Christianity until little of 
it remained. And today the ordinary Englishman -- and perhaps 
the ordinary Anglican bishop -- believes in even less of 
Christianity than Milton did.

     Both Henry Tudor and John Milton made their own 
religions; and in both cases their religions were nothing more 
than reflections of their own personalities. These weren't 
religions other men could possibly adopt, because there was no 
stable core of truth in them. Others could follow Henry and 
Milton only in an analogical way; that is, by making up their 
own religions too, collecting doctrines that suited them and 
discarding the rest. This practice has become a modern 
tradition; it's probably what most people mean by "freedom of 
religion," the supposed right of rolling your own creed. We 
now use the telling phrase "religious preference" and are 
embarrassed by the suggestion that one religion may actually 
be *true.*

     Yet Henry and Milton would insist that their one-man 
religions were true, true for all men. The obvious vanity of 
their creeds may seem obvious now, but it wasn't obvious to 
them. Henry had an advantage over Milton in that he had the 
power to impose his creed on others, and men who possess such 
power, even by accident of birth, are rarely humble enough to 
ask whether they deserve it; Henry thought that Providence had 
blessed England by endowing the crown on the one man who was 
capable of setting the Church straight, namely himself. Once 
the king realized the previously unsuspected truth that the 
king should rule the Church -- an idea that would have been 
laughed at as eccentric if proposed by anyone but the king -- 
it achieved immediate popularity with his courtiers (with such 
annoying exceptions as Sir Thomas More). Lacking such power, 
Milton, as far as I know, never managed to convince a single 
soul that his religion was true, though his pride was no less 
than Henry's.

     Yet these two eccentrics -- one distinguished by might, 
the other by eloquence -- may be regarded as exemplars of what 
modern man understands as religious freedom: the right to take 
God on one's own terms.


BONSOIR, MON PERE: The obituaries of Alec Guinness (see 
page 12) said nothing about his devotion to the Catholic 
Church; but he described his own conversion beautifully in his 
memoir, BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE. His hostility to the Church 
began to melt away once when he played a priest in a movie 
being filmed in Burgundy. At the end of a day's shooting, 
still in costume, he was walking back to his quarters when a 
small boy greeted him as "mon pere," seized his hand, and 
walked with him, chattering happily until their paths parted. 
Then the boy bowed slightly, saying, "Bonsoir, mon pere," and 
darting through a hedge. Guinness was impressed by "a Church 
which could inspire such confidence in a child, making its 
priests, even when unknown, so easily approachable." (page 6)

THE GOOD OLD DAYS: Just as a rule of thumb, a tyrant in 
ermine is preferable to a tyrant in fatigues. And ordinary 
people sense this, as witness their nostalgia for royalty. 
After centuries of anti-monarchical propaganda, the denizens 
of democracy still sense that life was better, and nobler, 
under kings. It's significant that in the Age of Democracy, 
"politician" has become a dirty word for those who allegedly 
represent The People. (page 9)

WHAT'S MORE: Guinness also quotes one of my favorite lines 
from G.K. Chesterton: "The Church is the one thing that saves 
a man from the degrading servitude of being a child of his own 
time." If there is one thing I dread being, it's a child of my 
own time. And isn't that really why we recoil from a man like 
Clinton -- because he is so much at home in this age, so 
perfectly adapted to it, so happily at one with its attitudes 
and prejudices and assumptions? (page 10)

first 830 complaints against the Internal Revenue Service 
under recent anti-harassment legislation have been deemed to 
be without merit. Of course we have to take into account that 
the IRS itself makes this judgment. But the problem isn't 
putative IRS "excesses"; it's the IRS's *normal* powers and 
activities. These are the inevitable corollaries of a 
limitless state whose chief business is using an unrestricted 
taxing power to force one part of the populace to support 
another part. This parasitic economy is both unconstitutional 
and intrinsically criminal. And it depends on having an agency 
to collect from its victims. (page 11)

IF ONLY: In 1965, while running for mayor of New York City, 
Bill Buckley made the most sublime campaign promise of all 
time. Among other things, he offered the voters "the internal 
composure that comes of knowing that there are rational limits 
to politics." Since then there has hardly been a candidate for 
any office, anywhere, who would understand those words, let 
alone endorse them. (page 12)

Reprinted Columns (pages 7-12)

* Government and Greed (July 11, 2000)
* Wanted: A Juvenal (July 13, 2000)
* Hillary's Manners (July 18, 2000)
* Home-Run Inflation (July 20, 2000)
* History's Yes-Man (July 25, 2000)
* Blessings in Disguise August 8, 2000)

All articles are written by Joe Sobran

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