The Real News of the Month

October 2001
Volume 8, No. 10

Editor: Joe Sobran
Publisher: Fran Griffin (Griffin Communications)
Managing Editor: Ronald N. Neff
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  -> Reaping the Whirlwind
  -> Buckley, Rand, and Me
Letters to the Editor
Nuggets (plus Exclusives to this edition)
List of Columns Reprinted


Reaping the Whirlwind
(page 1)

     With the astonishing attacks on the Pentagon and 
World Trade Center, the United States has had an 
experience almost unique in its history, though common 
enough in foreign lands: it has been attacked on its own 
soil. I've expected something like this since the 1991 
Gulf War; as the phrase goes, I was shocked, but not 

     The shock has already, and inevitably, been compared 
to that of Pearl Harbor. There is one difference: on 
December 7, 1941, there was no doubt who the enemy was. 
The United States immediately declared war on Japan. This 
time, for the moment, no return address has been found. 
President Bush has been reduced to blustering that "those 
responsible" will be "hunted down," and "punished." But 
how do you retaliate for suicide attacks, when those most 
directly responsible have killed themselves with their 
victims? No doubt they had support from others, but 
identifying those others may not be possible. The simple 
and tempting response is to blame someone arbitrarily, 
strike him, and call it justice. In this case, Osama bin 
Laden, wealthy patron of Muslim guerrillas, is the 
natural target for bogus vengeance. 

     One thing is only too clear: most Americans have no 
conception of the depth of hatred harbored against this 
country in large parts of the world. This is no longer 
the ideological anti-Americanism of the Soviet era; it's 
much more personal and bitter, in large part because of 
the personal harm inflicted by U.S. bombs, sanctions, and 
"reliable allies," from the Middle East to the Balkans. 
Millions of Iraqis, Serbs, and Palestinians hold this 
country responsible for the deaths of their family 
members. We may have forgotten yesteryear's fleeting 
headlines of remote places we'd barely heard of; they 
remember living through scenes as horrible as those of 
the World Trade Center. 

     The U.S. Government takes no responsibility for a 
bullying foreign policy, including unstinting support of 
a bullying Israel, that has made this country loathed 
abroad and endangered its people, both abroad and at 
home. It has responded to the attack with pompous and 
irrelevant abstractions about "terrorism," "freedom," and 
"democracy." These are worse than useless: they show that 
our ruling elite is determined to learn nothing from this 
terrible experience. 

     No sensible man will bait a wild animal, and it is 
not to excuse or defend such awful crimes to say that the 
U.S. Government has been tormenting explosive passions 
for many years. Its attitude has been not only self-
righteous but cavalier. Few of those it antagonizes have 
the strength, means, or will to fight back; those who are 
desperate enough to use unsavory methods are dismissed as 
"terrorists." (Methods authorized by governments, such as 
bombing refugee camps, are not considered unsavory.) Just 
how *are* the victims of U.S. foreign policy supposed to 
get our government's attention? 

     Our rulers are already making it clear that they 
will not respond to the September 11 attack with any 
measure of introspection and self-criticism; instead, 
they will, as usual, make it an occasion of further self-
aggrandizement. They will continue making us enemies 
abroad, while "protecting" us at home by curtailing our 
remaining liberties.

Buckley, Rand, and Me

     Like many young conservatives of the Sixties, I was 
drawn to -- and torn between -- two leading figures of 
the "right wing" of American political opinion. One, whom 
I later wound up working for, was Bill Buckley; the 
other, whom I never met, was Ayn Rand.

     In those days it was customary to describe Buckley 
as an "enfant terrible" and a "gadfly." What I remember 
-- and what is hard to explain to young conservatives 
now, who see only the aged Buckley -- is that he was 
*fun,* the way Muhammad Ali was fun: quick, surprising, 
deadly to his opponents. A brilliant, fearless tease, 
taunting and defying liberalism. Never at a loss. A rich, 
reactionary Catholic who, at the height of the War on 
Poverty, took pride in his yachts. He seemed to sum up a 
tradition that ran from Aquinas to Belloc and Waugh, if 
there was such a tradition. Liberals hated him and tried 
to portray him as a Nazi.

     By the time I went to work for him at NATIONAL 
REVIEW, in 1972, Buckley had begun to charm liberals and 
endear himself to them; but also to make certain 
concessions to them. For my part I found him not only a 
sweet boss but wonderful company for more than 20 years, 
though the last few years were marred by differences that 
led to my quitting. (I was, strictly speaking, fired, but 
I can't say I didn't provoke it.)

     At the same time I'd discovered Buckley, as a 
college kid in 1965, I'd begun reading Ayn Rand. She had 
no sense of fun to speak of, but she was strangely 
magnetic. Whereas Buckley could joke about having come 
"up from liberalism," Rand solemnly attacked 
"collectivism." She found little to joke about. She wrote 
with iron logic, or at least a tone of it. Her premise 
was that no man owed anything to "society," let alone the 
state, and all her politics derived from that. Her 
demolitions of liberal dogma were less amusing than 
Buckley's, but more electrifying. Her exaltation of 
"capitalism" made Buckley seem timid by comparison.

     Unlike Buckley, Rand was an atheist, and a militant 
one. She blamed collectivism on "mysticism" -- her word 
for religion, especially Christianity -- even though 
Communism was itself militantly atheistic. Buckley wasn't 
a systematic thinker, but he savored all the colors of 
life, as even his rich vocabulary showed; whereas Rand 
took a starkly rationalist approach and prized 
philosophical consistency. In Isaiah Berlin's terms, 
Buckley was a fox, Rand a hedgehog.

     Rand called her philosophy Objectivism -- an amalgam 
of Aristotelian logic, laissez-faire economics, and 
individualist ethics. One collection of her essays was 
titled THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS. Unlike most atheists, 
she insisted that there are absolute standards of 
morality. That was what made her fascinating to me, at a 
time when I'd lost my Catholic faith; she offered at 
least a bleak connection to Aristotle. (I was pleased 
that she had at least a few good words for Aquinas.)

     Rand was born in tsarist Russia to a prosperous, 
secularized Jewish family in 1905. After the Communist 
Revolution she migrated to America and apparently never 
looked back; family ties meant little to her. Moving to 
California, determined to become a writer, she took odd 
jobs in Hollywood and married Frank O'Connor, a handsome, 
ineffectual young man she met when they were both extras 
in a movie. He was the sort of fellow everyone likes and 
nobody respects, but she would insist that he was the 
model for the independent-minded heroes of her novels. 
Rand loved America for its tradition of individual 
liberty and accordingly hated the New Deal. Later she 
would testify before Congress about Communist 
infiltration of Hollywood. In 1964 she even endorsed 
Barry Goldwater.

     Her first successful novel was THE FOUNTAINHEAD, 
which was poorly received by the critics in 1943 but 
became a sensational hit by word of mouth. "Howard Roark 
laughed," it began. "He stood naked on the edge of a 
cliff ..." Roark is a young architect of utterly original 
genius who rejects all the conventions of Western 
architecture and refuses to compromise his own standards. 
At the climax of the book he is tried as a criminal for 
blowing up a public-housing project he designed himself. 
He shows that the builders departed from his plan, 
violating the terms of his agreement, and argues that he 
had the right to destroy the deformity that resulted. His 
defense is the philosophical principle that the 
individual owes nothing to "society." Not only is he 
acquitted; he wins the girl, Dominique Francon, whom he 
had raped early in the book. (She'd enjoyed it, of 

     In 1957 Rand published her magnum opus, the 
thousand-page novel ATLAS SHRUGGED. In this amazing 
story, America's "men of the mind" go on strike in 
protest against collectivism. They form a secret society 
of their own in the Rocky Mountains, while their 
secession brings the American economy to ruins. Their 
shadowy leader, John Galt, broadcasts a sixty-page radio 
address explicating the philosophy of Objectivism. The 
country's desperate collectivist rulers capture Galt and 
try to force him to save the country by acting as 
dictator, a role he refuses under torture. As the book 
closes, the "men of the mind" end their strike and 
freedom has at least a chance of survival. The book's 
heroine, Dagny Taggart, has amours with several of its 
capitalist heroes before settling into Galt's embrace.

     With the appearance of ATLAS SHRUGGED Rand became a 
bona fide cult figure. Objectivist clubs sprouted around 
the country, and THE OBJECTIVIST NEWSLETTER made its 
debut. Rand propagated her strong opinions on many 
subjects, from metaphysics to movies. Even her aesthetic 
tastes became tenets of the Objectivist creed: 
Rachmaninov was greater than Beethoven, Victor Hugo was 
the greatest of novelists, Mickey Spillane was the 
greatest *living* novelist, Marilyn Monroe was a great 
actress. Nor was Rand shy about putting down cultural 
icons: she disparaged not only Beethoven but Shakespeare, 
Mozart, and Tolstoy, irrationalists all, who belittled 
man's capacity for heroism. (Never mind the Eroica 

     As these views suggest, Rand's own personality was 
dictatorial. For all her cant of rationality, she 
confused her most arbitrary feelings with reasoned 
judgments and expected others to accept them on her 
authority. While exalting individualism and independence, 
she demanded total submission from her young disciples; 
she could be cruelly humiliating even to those who were 
pathetically eager to please her. She scorned "second-
handers" -- people of derivative opinions -- but her 
following consisted largely of people who aped her. She 
broke bitterly with those who did their own thinking, 
notably Murray Rothbard, one of the most original minds 
of his generation. And despite her wide areas of 
political agreement with Buckley, she never forgave him 
for publishing Whittaker Chambers's scathing review of 

     Rand's chief disciples and anointed successors were 
a young Canadian couple, Nathaniel and Barbara Branden. 
Nathaniel was handsome, intelligent, smooth-talking, and 
Objectivistically orthodox; Barbara wrote an authorized 
biography-cum-explication of Rand. Things got sticky when 
Rand fell in love with Nathaniel and announced to their 
spouses that she and he were going to be lovers; such was 
her authority over her inner circle that both spouses 
agreed to this humiliation, though O'Connor began to 
drink heavily. Rand was as uninhibited -- as randy -- as 
the heroines of her novels.

     The affair continued for a decade. It ended in 1968 
when Rand got wind of a terrible betrayal: Branden was 
having an affair with another woman, a stunning young 
Objectivist. Why Rand, on her own principles, should have 
expected fidelity in an adulterous affair is anyone's 
guess, but, being a woman, she did. There is no 
chivalrous way to describe her looks, and Branden's 
attraction to youth and beauty, however repugnant to 
Objectivist principles, can astonish no impartial student 
of human nature. Making love to his mentor may have been 
his duty according to Rand's rationalist philosophy, but, 
to put it delicately, *le coeur a ses raisons.*

     To say the least, Rand displayed little acquaintance 
with, or affinity for, Pascal, LaRochefoucauld, and their 
ilk. She was aware of such paradoxes of human psychology 
as the irrational male preference for young flesh over 
philosophical cogency, but nothing prepared her for the 
inevitable day when it was brought home to her. It's 
doubtful that even so articulate an exponent of 
Objectivism as Branden could have explained the situation 
to her satisfaction.

     So greatly did the Brandens fear Rand's wrath that 
Barbara, who knew of her husband's latest amour, tried to 
help him conceal it from Rand. When Barbara finally told 
her, the explosion dwarfed Krakatoa. Branden was fired, 
excommunicated, and then some -- Rand even hoped he would 
be rendered impotent -- and his name was expunged from 
all official Objectivist publications and products. She 
went so far as to change the dedication of subsequent 
printings of ATLAS SHRUGGED, which she had originally 
dedicated to him and O'Connor as her joint heroes.

     Not since Stalin and Trotsky had there been such a 
falling out. The Objectivist Movement was never the same. 
The Brandens' marriage broke up too, he moving from 
Manhattan to California to remarry and make a new life as 
a psychotherapist. Rand stayed with O'Connor, who sank 
into alcoholism and senility; she tried to cure his 
faltering mind by doing exercises in logic with him. Her 
conception of "reason" was remarkably rigid and naive.

     It was Rand's rigidity that always repelled me. Even 
as a college student I found her pronouncements about 
Shakespeare silly in their dogmatism. She accused him of 
a sort of determinism: of believing that man was doomed 
by "tragic flaws" over which he has no control. This was 
a drab and second-hand opinion, drawn not from reading 
Shakespeare but from bad literary criticism. And it could 
apply, at most, only to his tragedies, not to his other 

     Besides, I was surprised that anyone so intelligent 
could fail to be thrilled by Shakespeare's genius (though 
Tolstoy had an even lower opinion of him). Without 
knowing anything of her personal flaws, I felt that Rand 
was blind to any part of life that lay beyond her 
intellectual scheme. There were more things in heaven and 
earth than were dreamt of in Objectivism.

     When I met Buckley, I was surprised to learn that he 
also found Shakespeare baffling. A diligent self-
improver, he had even listened to tapes of the 
Shakespeare plays in his limousine, hoping to comprehend 
this mighty genius; but nothing seemed to help. This 
amazed me, not only because I'd loved Shakespeare since 
boyhood, but because I assumed that anyone with Bill 
Buckley's command of English and delight in the fine-
filed phrase would have no trouble with the greatest 
phrasemaker in the language. On the contrary, I supposed 
that, like many highly literate men, he'd acquired his 
love of language from Shakespeare himself, and even owed 
something of his own great gift of phrase to that supreme 

     Unlike Rand, Buckley had no doctrinaire objections 
to Shakespeare. He was open to so many aesthetic 
pleasures, including composers as diverse as Bach and 
Scriabin. Why should Shakespeare, of all writers, elude 
him, of all readers?

     I still don't know. I record it only as an odd fact. 
And the crucial difference between Buckley and Rand is 
that when he couldn't understand Shakespeare, he didn't 
think it must be Shakespeare's fault. He had the humility 
to realize that he was dealing with something larger than 

     It was a large part of Buckley's charm that he never 
thought he had all the answers to everything. He could 
admit error and laugh at himself. He had wide and urbane 
tastes, and his circle included many original thinkers; 
he surrounded himself with superior intellects, never 
trying to be the big frog in the little pond. Among 
NATIONAL REVIEW's early contributors were Chambers 
(still, in my opinion, an underrated mind), James 
Burnham, Max Eastman, Willmoore Kendall, Russell Kirk, 
Brent Bozell, Frank Meyer, Frank Chodorov, Richard 
Weaver, Henry Hazlitt, Thomas Molnar, John Lukacs, Ernest 
van den Haag, and the young Garry Wills.

     Buckley deferred to these men, most of whom were his 
elders; he was content to be their point man, a role his 
brilliance as a debater suited him for. He didn't pretend 
to be an original thinker. He could quote Edmund Burke, 
Michael Oakeshott, and Albert Jay Nock (a friend of his 
father's whom he'd known as a boy); that was enough. He 
reveled in his intellectual "patrimony" -- one of his 
favorite words. He had no impulse to reduce that 
abundance to a single sovereign truth, as Rand would. But 
if he avoided political dogmatism, he also risked trying 
to carry more than he could handle. His conservatism, 
unlike Objectivism, defied definition and courted 
confusion. At times he seemed almost to glory in being 
unable to say just what conservatism was.

     The role of conservatism, as NATIONAL REVIEW 
announced in its first issue, was "to stand athwart 
history yelling *Stop*!" An arresting phrase, but what 
did it mean? Conservatism generally meant contentment 
with the status quo, but that clearly wasn't what Buckley 
and his allies had in mind: for them the status quo -- 
Eisenhower Republicanism -- was precisely the problem. 
What *would* they be content with?

     That early NATIONAL REVIEW set was a wonderfully 
brassy lot, whose charms included mutual suspicions of 
heresy: they not only debated first principles in the 
pages of the magazine itself, but sometimes came close to 
accusing each other of treason. They all agreed that the 
modern world had gone horribly wrong, but they couldn't 
always agree on the root of the trouble. Philosophical 
differences were compounded by personalities: Kendall 
could turn any debate into a bitter quarrel, and the 
cool, subtle Burnham loved to bait the irascible Meyer.

     What all these men shared was a readiness to appear 
reactionary -- to shock liberal opinion by rejecting its 
deepest axioms, on race, religion, democracy, what have 
you. Their reactionary iconoclasm made the magazine 
consistently refreshing and often exciting to read. Today 
it's a much slicker magazine, but rarely stimulating. It 
has forgotten its own glorious past, which even Buckley 
himself hardly seems to remember.

     It was getting that way by the time I left in 1993. 
One thing Buckley had in common with Rand was a lack of 
interest in American history. In her case the reason was 
that her principles were so abstract and universal that 
she felt she had no need of historical specifics to 
validate them. But it was a strange attitude for a 
conservative to share. For Buckley, as for most 
conservatives of those days, history began with the New 
Deal; later he seemed to think it began even later, with 
the Cold War. Under Kendall's influence (I never met him, 
but I loved his work) I began to look further back -- to 

     Over the years I'd very slowly learned to do my own 
thinking, and neither Rand's Objectivism nor Buckley's 
conservatism satisfied me. I had read Garet Garrett's 
radically conservative tract THE REVOLUTION WAS. and I 
was forced to ask myself the stunned question, "If 
Garrett is right, what on earth am I doing here?"

     When some conservatives feared that the New Deal 
would lead to revolution, Garrett argued that the New 
Deal *was* the revolution. This was where I'd come in. 
In 1965 conservatives still agreed on a broad agenda: 
stopping Communism abroad, and then repealing the New 
Deal at home. Garrett, John Flynn, and others taught me 
that anti-Communism had been perverted into an occasion 
for creating an American empire, which would finish off 
the American Republic. Sadly I yielded to their tragic 

     Today Communism, as a global going concern, is gone. 
But the New Deal and the American Empire appear to be 
here to stay. The conservatism Buckley represents, 
blindsided by a history it never comprehended, has made 
its peace with both, unaware of a fatal compromise. By 
the simple step of joining the winning side, it has made 
itself feel victorious. Never mind why it came into 
existence in the first place. What happened to the 
principles of 1955?

     If you'll read any recent issue of NATIONAL REVIEW 
you may agree that making feeble excuses for the latest 
Republican administration is a far cry from standing 
athwart history yelling *Stop*! In the old days the 
magazine drew its energy from a sense of danger. You 
couldn't read it without feeling that civilization was at 
stake. Today it seems cheerfully unaware of any danger; 
or maybe it's just cheerfully reconciled to the decline 
of the West. (Hey, it's not too late to party!)

     The original Buckley gang had a great sense of fun. 
Everyone I talked to remembered Kendall as hilarious; 
surprisingly, even Chambers, who wrote some of the 
gloomiest prose of the century, was described as "always 
laughing." (This becomes less surprising when you read 
his nonpolitical journalism.) The magazine was small and 
cheaply produced, but it packed a wallop. On the one 
hand, it was apocalyptic; on the other, it found lots of 
humor in the situation, much of it in the fact that the 
captain (Eisenhower) didn't realize that the ship was 
sinking. Now it's NATIONAL REVIEW itself that seems to 
represent insensate optimism.

     Not that it happened overnight, or recently. If you 
can mark a real turning point, it was the 1980 election. 
I'll never forget the astonished joy the editors (I among 
them) felt when Ronald Reagan won the presidency. Reagan 
was "one of us," an old subscriber and pal of Bill 
Buckley's, and Bill knew better than anyone how utterly 
improbable this would have seemed in 1955. It was as if 
our best boyhood buddy had been elected president.

     But it also put NATIONAL REVIEW in an odd and 
awkward position, though we didn't fully perceive this. 
It had been conceived in opposition to the powers that 
be, and now it suddenly had a friend at court -- the king 

     After bashing one president after another for a 
quarter of a century, we found ourselves implicitly 
dedicated to the proposition that the king could do no 
wrong. It wasn't just philosophical; it was social. Bill 
Buckley and his socialite wife Pat were close to both Ron 
and Nancy Reagan, and nothing in the magazine would 
threaten their cozy relations. Bill once spiked 
(apologetically, I must say) an editorial I wrote 
criticizing Mrs. Reagan. He explained that he didn't want 
to risk losing "our access" to the White House. He meant 
his own welcome, of course. He tended to confuse his 
personal success with the triumph of conservative 

     If that makes Buckley sound rather silly, consider 
that another of the magazine's senior editors literally 
wept with joy when Reagan was inaugurated in January 
1981, believing that liberalism was finally finished. I 
now acknowledge that my rejoicing was slightly premature.

     When Soviet Communism finally collapsed in 1991, 
NATIONAL REVIEW felt that its mission was accomplished. 
It didn't notice that the America it had set out to save 
from Communism no longer existed. Say what you will about 
Ayn Rand, I can't imagine her making such a mistake.

Letter to the Editor
(page 2)

BRACKETS [[ thus ]].)

Mr. Sobran -- During the past few weeks I have been 
researching the history of citizenship in Illinois for my 
dissertation. I spent a very interesting day in the law 
library here at Northern Illinois University reading the 
early copies there of the Illinois Revised Statutes. The 
earliest one we have in 1827, and it was rather moldy and 
tired. [[ Still, it was fascinating to be holding a book 
that had been printed on a hand press in Vandalia, 
Illinois, when that was the state capital. It had been in 
the library of at least one law firm, and was published 
by the state's designated printer. ]]

     The reason for this note is that I was re-reading 
your essay "The Imaginary Abe: A Reply to Harry Jaffa's 
'In Re Jack Kemp v. Joe Sobran'" [an Internet exclusive: 
see ""] this 
morning at breakfast, and noted your comments that 
Lincoln may never have read the Federalist Papers. I 
realized that a frontier lawyer, such as Lincoln would 
chiefly have been occupied with books such as the one I 
had held. Realizing that Illinois was a wild and poverty-
stricken frontier state in those days, the amount of 
printing it could afford to do was pretty slim. Those 
early Revised Statutes made up only a single volume and 
were of fewer than 500 pages. As I recall, the 1827 
edition did not even have the state constitution of 1818 
in it. It may have had the Declaration of Independence. 
Some of the ones from the 1830s had the Declaration, the 
Articles, and the U.S. Constitution in them. I think one 
may have even had the Northwest Ordinance. None had 
anything like THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. [[ The first edition 
we had large enough to be in two volumes was the 1853 
edition. I was mainly interested in the Negro Code and 
other laws bearing on citizenship, so I did not take 
great note of other contents. ]]

     My thought is that someone could be a very good 
lawyer in Illinois, and have negligible understanding of 
the Founding Documents and controversies. This is not 
surprising, since most modern attorneys do not have much 
of a clue on these things either. You might want to take 
a look at the really early Illinois Revised Statutes to 
get an idea on this.

Steve Berg
DeKalb, Illinois


     Mr. Berg makes an interesting point. We are apt to 
forget that Lincoln still lived, as men had always 
lived, in an era of scarcity we find it hard to imagine. 
At times he was forced to share beds with other men, a 
fact which has recently given rise to the absurd and 
anachronistic inference that he was homosexual. 

     Mr. Berg rightly reminds us that the same scarcity 
applied to books. These things are so abundant now that 
anyone can pick up a paperback copy of THE FEDERALIST 
PAPERS, and it's easy to overlook the rather obvious 
fact that most Americans in Lincoln's day not only never 
saw the book but were unaware of its existence. 

     [[ In studying Lincoln's speeches and writings for 
the last few years, I have come to realize that ]] 
Lincoln himself shows only the barest familiarity with 
the thought of the American Founders. He quotes the 
Declaration of Independence constantly, and of course he 
knew the text of the U.S. Constitution; but these are 
the two documents that would have been easily available 
to him. He also seems to have read Jefferson on the 
desirability of freeing and deporting Negro slaves. 

     But otherwise, I find no evidence that Lincoln knew 
the debates that framed the Constitution, particularly 
the all-important debate over the tension between 
"confederation" and "consolidation." He came of age in 
the era of rising nationalism, dominated by Jackson, 
Webster, and Clay (Lincoln's own hero), and he accepted 
their arguments for a powerful central government which 
did not permit secession. 

     Like many self-educated men, Lincoln was brilliant 
but not well-rounded. He applied what he knew superbly; 
but he was unaware of how much he didn't know. [[ He 
exemplifies Whately's aphorism: "He who is unaware of 
his ignorance will be only misled by his knowledge." ]] 
By contrast, Jefferson Davis was deeply read in the 
Founders' writings.



WE'RE OUTA HERE: The UN Conference against Racism and 
Other Bad Stuff convened in South Africa, where black 
African delegates inveighed against the white man, 
ignoring the persecution of whites in neighboring 
Zimbabwe and the enslavement of blacks elsewhere in 
Africa. The U.S. delegation left in a huff -- not because 
of the anti-white animus, of course, but because Israel 
was accused of racism. (page 6)

BIG DADDY: To nobody's great surprise, Jesse Jackson 
has jumped on the racial reparations bandwagon. He points 
out that blacks are disproportionately poor, arrested, 
imprisoned, discriminated against, victimized by crime, 
and so forth. He somehow contrives to omit the biggest 
social problem of all, the prevalence of black 
illegitimacy, to which he has made his own little 
contribution. (page 8)

EXCULPATION: I guess we can't pin this one on Janet 
Reno. She would never attack a government building with 
no kids in it. (page 9)

THE ONLY SOLUTION: What to do about immigration? At 
this point, all I can suggest is that we rename the 
country -- West Zimbabwe, perhaps. (page 9)

QUERY: Why are nonwhites always pouring into our racist 
white societies? You'd think the traffic would be in the 
other direction, yet they never seem to leave. (page 10)

Exclusive to the electronic version:

WITNESS: A few years ago Christopher Hitchens wrote a 
book assailing Mother Teresa, tastefully titled THE 
MISSIONARY POSITION. Guess what? Now that she is being 
considered for canonization, the Vatican has invited 
Hitchens to testify against her, in the tradition of the 
Devil's Advocate. He recounts his interview in the 
October issue of VANITY FAIR; suffice it to say that he 
doesn't make much of a case. But he supplies enough 
sneers to allow VANITY FAIR's smug readers to feel 
superior to a woman who devoted her life to serving the 
poor. One of his complaints is that she was guilty of 
"proselytizing" among the dying; that is, treating them 
as if they had souls.

ANNOUNCEMENT: There's a new page on the website you won't 
want to miss -- "". I 
call it SOBRAN'S CYNOSURE, a page on which I will list 
those definitions Joe comes up with that we all wish we 
had thought up ourselves. Most of the ones listed now 
came from an old issue of NATIONAL REVIEW; others will be 
added. They are *not* the same items that were included 
UNCONSTITUTIONAL, though they may find their way into one 
of its sequels later. -- Website Manager


* Great Mistakes and Great Men (August 23, 2001)

* Sharon's War on Terrorism (August 28, 2001)

* What's in a Nickname? (August 30, 2001)

* Labels and Libels (September 4, 2001)

* The Mother of Tragedy (September 6, 2001)

* The Unknown Enemy (September 11, 2001)


All articles are written by Joe Sobran

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