The Real News of the Month

August 2004
Volume 11, Number 8

Editor: Joe Sobran
Publisher: Fran Griffin (Griffin Communications)
Managing Editor: Ronald N. Neff
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  -> A Heavy Reckoning
  -> The Moving Picture
  -> The Glory of Destruction
  -> Propaganda: A Lost Art?
Nuggets (plus electronic Exclusives)
List of Columns Reprinted in This Issue


A Heavy Reckoning
(page 1)

     "But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath 
a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms 
and heads, chopped off in a battle, shall join together 
at the Latter Day, and cry all, 'We died at such a 
place,' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some 
upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the 
debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am 
afeard there are few die well that die in battle; for how 
can they charitably dispose of anything when blood is 
their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it 
will be a black matter for the king that led them to it."

     So says Shakespeare's poor soldier on the eve of the 
battle of Agincourt in KING HENRY V, not realizing he is 
speaking to the king himself, who is visiting his troops 
in humble disguise. Henry, his conscience stung, answers 
lamely that war is God's "beadle," punishing men who have 
evaded the law in peacetime. It's not the king's fault if 
some of his soldiers are wicked men: "There is no king, 
be his cause never so spotless, if it come to the 
arbitrament of swords, can try it out with all unspotted 

     Of course this reply evades the whole thrust of the 
soldier's challenge: "But if the cause be not good ..." 
Henry has invaded France on a flimsy pretext: an obscure 
and dubious claim to the French throne. The blood of both 
sides will be on his head; for an unjust war is murder 
writ large.

     Recent debates on whether America should take 
"military action"-- in Panama, the Balkans, the Middle 
East -- have been remarkable for their abstractness. 
Their tone is legalistic, though without the substance of 
law: You'd never think that "military action" means a lot 
of death and dismemberment, inevitably including 
countless innocent noncombatants as well as soldiers. And 
if that action is unwarranted, the soldiers who defend 
their country against it are as truly innocent victims as 
the child whose home is bombed while he sleeps.

     Neither recent administrations nor most of their 
critics seem to be disturbed by the possibility that 
there may be a heavy reckoning for unjustified violence. 
It seems to be assumed on all sides that when America 
goes to war, even if unwisely, freedom is somehow being 
defended, and that once the shooting and bombing start, 
we must all "support our troops."

     Perish the thought that a war for the wrong reasons 
may be a "black matter" for those who wage it; that even 
if the Iraq war were somehow justified, it could only 
mean inflicting tragedy and horror on real people who 
bore no responsibility for the actions of their dictator.

     Has there been any note of regret or reluctance in 
the hawks' avid calls for war? Even a civilized sense 
that the only possible case for war can be tragic 
necessity, accompanied by the dread of the guilt that 
must belong to even an honest mistake? On the contrary, 
the administration has declined to estimate the number of 
civilian casualties in Iraq; only American casualties 
count as the "cost" of war.

     Not counted in the American ledger is Ali Abbas, 12, 
who lost his parents, all six brothers and sisters, and 
both his arms when an American rocket struck the family's 
house in Baghdad.

(page 2)

     I've been amusing myself by rereading the breathless 
press accounts of John Kerry's primary victories over 
Howard Dean last winter. How long ago it seems! At last, 
the Democrats had come up with a winner -- a tested, 
electable candidate who combined sobriety with charisma! 
Kerry's "electability" was headed for a showdown with 
George W. Bush's seeming invincibility. =Now= look. If 
Kerry were anything more than a hopeless stiff, he'd be 
mopping the floor with Bush, whose poll numbers continue 
to sink. Kerry keeps trying to play down his liberal 
record, reminding me of Harry Truman's advice to timid 
Democrats: "If you give people a choice between a 
Republican and a Republican, they'll vote for the 
Republican every time."

*          *          *

     Bill Clinton is back on the stage (again, already), 
with his bloated and widely panned autobiography. His 
eight years in the White House are beginning to seem like 
the good old days, but we should remember that he was 
responsible, albeit without much bluster or swagger, for 
more deaths than both Bushes put together: He enforced 
United Nations sanctions against Iraq, which killed 
hundreds of thousands, and he ordered the bombing of the 
former Yugoslavia. Clinton should be grateful for 
suffering no worse than the modest historical infamy of a 
crook, liar, and lecher.

*          *          *

     Speaking of bloat, Marlon Brando has died at 80, 
leaving memories of a powerful talent, a mostly wasted 
career, and a worse than wasted personal life. As a young 
actor in New York, according to his biographer Peter 
Manso, he arranged "literally hundreds" of abortions; in 
one case, he and a girlfriend kept the dead embryo in a 
paper cup and gigglingly showed it to friends as "our 
baby." Six women committed suicide after having affairs 
with him. His depravity, which makes Don Corleone seem a 
wholesome citizen by comparison, was reflected in the 
sorry lives of his many unaborted children, one of whom 
hanged herself after her half-brother killed her 

*          *          *

     And writing in the NEW YORK TIMES, Garry Wills 
likens abortion to cutting hair or fingernails. Brando 
was way ahead of him.

*          *          *

     I wonder if the TIMES is having second thoughts 
about David Brooks, its new "conservative" columnist. 
Brooks is in fact a =neo=conservative, though he has 
lately been trying to deny it. His dogged defense of the 
Iraq war has become more than an embarrassment; it's 
almost an anachronism. He speaks for a sect that was on 
top of the world a few months ago, but has gone out of 
vogue as suddenly as -- well, John Kerry.

*          *          *

     After telling a Senate Democrat to go bleep himself, 
Vice President Dick Cheney said he "felt much better" 
afterward, perhaps in part because of the applause he 
received from Republicans who want to clean up the 
airwaves. This is the party that used to express shock 
when Truman said "hell" and "damn," now boasts of 
restoring dignity to the nation's highest offices, and 
resents charges of hypocrisy.

*          *          *

     Same-sex couples now account for about 40 per cent 
of all adoptions in Massachusetts. What makes such 
figures particularly chilling, notes Steven Baskerville 
on WorldNetDaily, is the ease with which courts may now 
"seize children from their parents with no due process 
finding that the parents have actually abused their 
children." It doesn't necessarily take a village to raise 
a child; just a judge and a couple of perverts. And it 
could be =your= child.

The Glory of Destruction
(pages 3-5)

     Few today question the heroism of Winston Churchill, 
perhaps the most lionized statesman of the last century. 
Yet a few historians have begun to look critically at the 
myth. In fact Churchill himself, as the creator of his 
own legend, may have realized its fragility. The wonder 
is it has endured so long.

     Until Pearl Harbor, polls showed that about 80 
per cent of the American people opposed intervention in 
the Second World War. This was only the common sense that 
had prevailed since Washington and Jefferson. With two 
oceans separating the United States from the belligerent 
countries, Americans had no vital interest at stake. 
Conquering the United States would be a logistical 
impossibility for even the greatest power in the world.

     And of course that is still true. But Pearl Harbor 
caused the kind of outrage and panic stirred by the 9/11 
attacks 60 years later, awakening fears of foreign 
predators invading North America along with fantastic 
fears of enemy agents already in our midst. Barely three 
years ago we were likewise warned of al-Qaeda operatives 
among us, ready to create chaos at a moment's notice. 
Since then, sanity has quietly set in. We are in no 
danger from abroad today, any more than in 1941.

     But in a flash the Japanese "sneak attack" solved 
the greatest problem facing Franklin Roosevelt and 
Winston Churchill: making the American people want to 
fight Britain's war. Adolf Hitler obligingly declared war 
on the United States days later, and the previously 
half-concealed North Atlantic alliance became official. 
The Germans had always been Roosevelt's and Churchill's 
chief target anyway, though most Americans reserved their 
bitterest hatred for "the Japs."

     Postwar propaganda has made the European theater the 
main feature of the war, and Hitler, in contrast to the 
Emperor Hirohito, has been ceaselessly demonized. 
Roosevelt and Churchill have been divinized 
correspondingly. Roosevelt's legend has been somewhat 
tarnished by growing awareness of his mendacious 
character, which was never much of a secret anyway; but 
the Churchill legend, cultivated by Churchill himself, 
has only grown. He remains the stalwart British lion, 
warning a cowardly world against the Nazi monster and for 
two years fighting it virtually alone. He made up for 
military weakness with his singular courage and matchless 
eloquence. Many still regard him as the greatest man of 
the twentieth century.

     The Churchill myth suffered its first great 
challenge in 1961, when the British historian A.J.P. 
This was not at all an assault on Churchill's reputation, 
but it did question the received notion that Hitler 
himself was the sole cause of the war. The book stirred 
furious controversy, calling in question as it did more 
than two decades of official propaganda and journalistic 
myth, which are still prevalent today.

     Taylor simply reminded his readers of some obvious 
facts: Another European war had been widely regarded as a 
probable result of the Versailles Treaty, which had 
punitively assigned Germany all the blame for World 
War I. Britain had maintained its large military forces 
during the 1930s, preparing for war while hoping to avoid 
it; and Germany was of course the enemy it was preparing 
for. Hitler too wanted no war with Britain, and though he 
did a lot of bluffing, his actual military spending was 
greatly exaggerated. All in all, Taylor argued, Hitler 
had acted, under the circumstances, pretty much the way 
any German ruler might have been expected to act. The 
second war, like so many wars, issued from blunders and 
miscalculations on both sides. But calling Hitler "evil" 
-- as Taylor himself agreed he was -- wasn't an 
explanation of events.

     It is not true that Churchill rose to power in an 
England that was unready for war. It was already at war 
when he became prime minister in May of 1940; but it was 
too weak to defeat Hitler. War had been declared the 
previous year, after the invasion of Poland, by the 
alleged appeaser, Neville Chamberlain, and his French 
ally. In the spring of 1940, however, Germany had quickly 
conquered France, routing the British at Dunkirk but 
allowing them to retreat, Hitler still hoping to make 
peace with Britain. But Churchill rejected Hitler's 
overtures, insisting on a fight to the finish. He bet 
everything on his ace in the hole: Roosevelt's support, 
which he had been secretly (and quite irregularly) 
currying while still a member of Chamberlain's cabinet. 
Everything depended on Roosevelt's success in bringing 
America into the war.

     That Roosevelt was deceiving the American public, 
violating the Neutrality Act, and breaking his oath to 
honor the U.S. Constitution bothered the conscience of 
neither man. Both were practised dissemblers, ruthlessly 
unprincipled. Churchill sponsored a vigorous propaganda 
campaign to promote American entry. His chief agent in 
America, William Stephenson ("Intrepid"), was assigned 
such tasks as smearing opponents of the war, intercepting 
their mail, tapping their phones, and spreading false 
rumors -- all of which, and more, Stephenson and three 
hundred or so of his agents did, with Roosevelt's 
clandestine approval and cooperation.

     Here we encounter a curious feature of the Churchill 
legend. Unlike Roosevelt, who at least had created a 
lasting legacy of sorts with the New Deal, Churchill is 
remembered almost solely for his role in World War II, a 
role that has been greatly oversold. Without that war, he 
would remain only a minor name in British history, 
recalled only for a few brilliant aphorisms and 
witticisms (and for fathering the disaster of Gallipoli 
in World War I). Among those who knew him, he was 
notorious for his hare-brained military inspirations, for 
colossal vanity and rudeness, and for his great misplaced 

     Strangely, Churchill has become a large symbol of 
liberty and conservative virtues. But as the historian 
Ralph Raico points out in a superb summary of his career, 
he had no consistent philosophy, lurched from party to 
party, laid the foundations of the welfare state, and 
cynically pandered to the labor unions for political 

     Only war excited Churchill's imagination, preferably 
war with Germany, which he passionately hated well before 
Hitler came along. He was so obsessed with victory over 
Germany that he gave little thought to the consequences 
until it was too late; by that time, Stalin commanded 
Central Europe, including Poland, which he had joined 
Hitler in invading in 1939. Surveying the political 
results of the war, Churchill once confessed, in a rare 
moment of self-doubt, "I am not sure that I shall be held 
to have done very well," later adding that "we lie in the 
grip of even worse perils than those we have surmounted." 
He wasn't altogether deluded by his own legend.

     At one time he had been anti-Communist too, and 
later, seeing how he had helped Stalin devour much of 
Europe in order to defeat Germany, he adopted 
anti-Communist rhetoric again. But as Raico observes, 
during the war he had fawned on Stalin as shamefully and 
fatuously as Roosevelt had. He had also supported the 
murderous Tito in Yugoslavia, ignoring the pleas of the 
anti-Communist Mihailovich. When a horrified aide 
protested that Tito would rule Yugoslavia a la Stalin, 
Churchill flippantly retorted, "Do you intend to live 

     At the war's end, he favored Stalin again, 
needlessly, by agreeing to "repatriate" millions of 
refugees from the Soviet Union, thereby sending them to 
almost certain death. Many had never actually lived under 
Communist rule; Churchill sent them back anyway. Some 
killed themselves rather than accept this fate. Yet only 
a few months later, Churchill was booming eloquently 
against the "Iron Curtain" that he himself had helped to 
bring down on the Continent. Like Roosevelt, like 
Lincoln, he is chiefly remembered for ringing words that 
were contradicted by his acts.

     Raico notes that Churchill was possessed by the 
warlike spirit all his life, beginning with his huge 
boyhood collection of toy soldiers. "The story of the 
human race is war," he once wrote; and he was determined 
to be a hero of that story. He fought in the Boer War, 
distinguishing himself for bravery under fire. But this 
also led him to a shallow social philosophy. He lost his 
religious faith early, becoming, by his own account, "a 
materialist -- to the tips of my fingers." He adopted a 
facile Darwinism, in which war was not the destroyer of 
civilization, but a process of weeding out the unfit. The 
peaceful achievements of men and the virtues of markets 
meant little to him. In this, as Raico observes, he was 
curiously like Hitler; but his admirers have largely 
ignored his anti-Christian view of the world. His regard 
for Christianity may be measured by one of his wartime 
gestures: At the 1943 Tehran Conference, he presented 
Stalin with a Crusader's sword. (Roosevelt also discerned 
in Stalin "a Christian gentleman.")

     After a visit to Germany, Churchill became an 
enthusiast and promoter of Bismarckian collectivism. He 
also fell under the influence of British Fabian 
socialism; inspired by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, he 
called for "a sort of Germanized network of state 
intervention and regulation." So he wasn't altogether 
anti-German: He savored the marvels of German statism. 
Far from being a champion of liberty, Churchill, in peace 
and war alike, worked to strengthen the power of the 
state. As with so many conservatives, it's not obvious 
what he was conserving.

     During World War I, as first lord of the Admiralty, 
Churchill led the way in implementing the naval blockade 
that claimed 750,000 German civilian lives by hunger and 
malnutrition. This was contrary to international law as 
everyone but the British saw it, but it succeeded. The 
bitter naval warfare also indirectly helped Churchill 
achieve another goal: drawing the United States into the 
war on the British side.

     When World War II broke out, Churchill was again 
head of the Admiralty, and again his chief goal was to 
enlist American power for Britain. This time he had an 
inside track: He found two eager co-conspirators in 
Roosevelt and his top advisor, Harry Hopkins. The three 
men labored to provoke a naval incident with Germany that 
would repeat the history of World War I.

     Here the ironies become almost unfathomable. World 
War I, in our historical mythology, appears an accident 
of tangled alliances, with no clear moral lesson for our 
times. Kaiser Wilhelm II is no longer the monstrous 
villain of the old propaganda, which related lurid 
stories of Belgian babies impaled on German bayonets and 
Belgian nuns raped by marauding German soldiers, all with 
the kaiser's blessing. Today, even the official lies of 
that war are all but forgotten. By contrast, the 
propaganda of World War II is still repeated as simple 
fact. Indeed, that propaganda has been intensified. 
Hitler and the Nazis have become Absolute Evil in a way 
that was not the case while the war raged.

     World War II was fought by rulers who remembered, 
and had played major roles in, World War I. As Churchill 
had been first lord of the Admiralty, Roosevelt had been 
assistant secretary of the Navy. The new war seemed an 
extension, result, and repetition of the earlier war. Old 
grudges were being avenged on both sides, except for the 
new factor: the Japs. It was their perfidious sneak 
attack, not the European broils, that outraged ordinary 
Americans. American soldiers fought with far more fury, 
and sheer savagery, against the Japanese than against the 
Germans. (It helped that the Japanese were far more apt 
to fight to the death, refusing to surrender, when the 
odds were hopelessly against them.)

     But, like Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt always 
regarded Germany as their chief enemy, and they fought it 
with a method even more cruel than the starvation 
blockade of the Great War: what was nicely called 
"strategic bombing." Not to mince words, this was a 
policy of terror-bombing that turned whole cities into 
gigantic furnaces, roasting countless men, women, and 
children alive. Many of the desperate victims jumped into 
rivers for relief, but the water was literally boiling. 
The beautiful city of Dresden, "the Florence of the 
North," was the most infamous case, but many other German 
and Japanese cities met the same fate.

     Brazen as he was, Churchill again turned flippant 
when asked about Dresden: "I thought the Americans did 
it." He knew quite well, of course, that the two 
countries had shared the honors, the Americans bombing by 
day, the British by night. Apologists for the war still 
defend the terror-bombing of defenseless cities of no 
military value. This is something to ponder. Some (the 
"Holocaust deniers") doubt that the Germans were intent 
on exterminating the Jews, but they don't deny that such 
a thing, if it happened, was a horrible crime. The 
champions of Churchill and Roosevelt defend an obscene 
policy of whose occurrence there is no question.

     Nor was this mere retaliation for German bombing of 
English cities. The English had planned and prepared for 
it even before the war, building a huge fleet of heavy 
bombers; it was Hitler who belatedly retaliated with an 
inferior air force, when he finally realized that the 
British bombing of cities was no accident. Ordinary 
Englishmen, outraged by the Blitz, didn't know that their 
own government had provoked it. The truth leaked out 
after the war, but by then it was too late to diminish 
the Churchill myth.

     Yet even that myth might have been impossible to 
maintain if Churchill had achieved his heart's desire: to 
do to the Eternal City of Rome what he did to Dresden. 
"We will bomb Rome when the time comes," he wrote in a 
1940 memorandum. In September 1941 he repeated this 
threat publicly, in Parliament. Pope Pius XII warned 
through diplomatic channels that he would protest any 
such attack, rallying the world's Catholics against the 
British. Others around Churchill, aghast, tried to 
dissuade him from leveling Christendom's most venerable 
basilicas, churches, and monuments, including St. 
Peter's, St. John Lateran's, and many others, not to 
mention the priceless remains of ancient Rome. Churchill 
was willing, even eager, to destroy them all, along with 
the city's huge population.

     This was far beyond the beleaguered defiance of "We 
shall fight them on the beaches." It was also far beyond, 
though it included, mass murder. Luckily, it never proved 
feasible. Even the Americans had reservations.

     Such were Churchill's dreams of military glory. He 
was fully as cynical as Stalin about how many divisions 
the pope had. That he might incur eternal infamy as a 
twentieth-century Nero never seems to have crossed his 

     Yet today Winston Churchill is revered as a savior 
of Western civilization. Under the circumstances, the 
question is not whether he was a great hero, but whether 
he can even be described as sane.

Propaganda: A Lost Art?
(page 6)

{{ Material dropped from features or changed solely for 
reasons of space appears in double curly brackets. 
Emphasis is indicated by the presence of "equals" signs 
around the emphasized words.}}

     If you oppose the Iraq war, you find yourself, alas, 
on the same side as Michael Moore, whose FAHRENHEIT 9/11 
has broken box-office records for a documentary film and 
may even affect this year's presidential election. Though 
he is defiantly unkempt and mountainously 
unprepossessing, Moore's self-confidence suggests that he 
didn't get enough rejection as a child. He wants to be 
the star of his own movie, even if this undermines the 
serious purpose he claims for it.

     Alfred Hitchcock {{ was overweight too, and he 
also }} made a point of appearing in his own movies, but 
it was a joke, almost defying the audience to notice him 
in the second or two before he disappeared and let his 
art do its stuff. Moore's art is not documentary, but 
propaganda, and he's not very good at it, even when 
working with powerful material. It doesn't occur to him 
that propaganda =can= be an art, or that like other arts, 
it can be enhanced by self-effacement. Moore sees it only 
as an opportunity for uninhibited self-expression.

     As a result, several liberal pundits, who also 
oppose this war, have complained that FAHRENHEIT 9/11 
only preaches to the converted. That might be all right 
if it preached eloquently. {{ But in this case the }} 
preacher insists on being right in your face, standing on 
your shoes and clutching your lapels, shouting his 
message, without having bathed or brushed his teeth.

     And what is that message? That George W. Bush is a 
jerk, a dunce, a liar, a crook, and a murderer. All these 
charges are easy to support, and I can believe most of 
them, but they aren't all of equal gravity. Moore begins 
the film with a long rehash of the 2000 election, 
stressing {{ the irregularities in the Florida voting and 
vote-counting; }} he then asserts sinister long-standing 
ties between the Bush family, the Saudi Arabian 
government, and the bin Laden family. You don't have to 
believe that the Bushes are selfless public servants to 
find this a dizzying barrage of accusations. But how does 
it explain the war? Something about oil, I gather. 
{{ While he's at it, Moore also blames Bush for 
unemployment in Flint, Michigan. }}

     Nothing is too petty for Moore's Bush-loathing 
attention. But we might have been reminded of Bush's 
verbal maladroitness more subtly than by successive clips 
of him mispronouncing "nuclear." Moore even enlists 
physical disgust against the Bush team: we see Paul 
Wolfowitz preparing for a TV appearance by licking a comb 
to slick his hair down. But Moore is a very fat man on 
very thin ice when he resorts to this sort of thing: At 
least Bush appears to attend to grooming and personal 
hygiene. Moore wants to be thought of as a righteous 
slob, whose inattention to such vanities certifies his 
authenticity. I thought this attitude went out with the 
hippies. Is Moore making a statement against war and 
corruption, or just grownups?

     Not that the grownups here help their own cause. 
Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, and Colin Powell 
repeat (and repeat, and repeat) their own studied 
propaganda lines about the Iraqi "threat," the fabled 
weapons of mass destruction, the links with terrorists, 
the mushroom clouds, and so on. It already rings utterly 
false; no need to add sarcasm now. But it's good to be 
reminded that not so long ago this solemn hysteria had 
millions of Americans scrambling for duct tape.

     But despite his pose as a fearless truth-teller, 
exposing the dark motives that drove the war, Moore says 
nothing about the Israeli-neocon forces that had been 
plotting this war long before Bush became president, or 
about Bush's unconcealed links with Ariel Sharon. This 
explains far more than shadowy Saudi interests. To hear 
Moore tell it, you'd think the Arab governments welcomed 
U.S. military intervention; the opposite is true. It was 
the Likud and its American Amen Corner that were 
clamoring for the war. Moore can hardly have forgotten 
that. An omission so gross amounts to a lie.

     The most powerful part of FAHRENHEIT 9/11 is its war 
footage, which Moore himself didn't film but got from 
other sources, including the Arab media. The American 
assault on Baghdad is terrifying, a city exploding in the 
night with thunderous noise. Then we see the wailing Arab 
mothers and disfigured faces of children, as American 
pilots do their work with grim humor, while playing 
obscene rock CDs. If Moore could leave bad enough alone, 
this would have been quite sufficient to discredit the 
war. {{ And without these sickening scenes, the whole 
film would have little point. }}

     As a connoisseur of propaganda, I recently watched, 
once again, the seven WHY WE FIGHT films produced by the 
U.S. Government during World War II, under the direction 
of Frank Capra. It must be said that they are 
masterpieces in their kind. Unlike Moore, Capra {{ treats 
the war as a serious business, with no room for 
frivolity. Capra's patriotism, however corny at times, is 
devoid of personal egotism; he }} is trying to serve his 
country, not himself. {{ Even jabs of ridicule against 
the enemy are few. }} He repeats the official lies 
because he really believes them, and his propaganda 
carries a conviction Moore's lacks.

     The difference isn't entirely to Capra's credit. 
Under the constraints of his time, he couldn't have 
criticized Franklin Roosevelt if he'd wanted to. It's a 
blessing that Moore has a freedom Capra was denied (and 
didn't miss). But it's also a pity that Moore has made 
such poor use of that freedom. He's content to fight 
official lies with dubious half-truths.


RETIREMENT BENEFITS: Glad to see that Bill Buckley's 
latest book, in the issue of NATIONAL REVIEW announcing 
that he's finally stepping down as chief executive 
officer, got a rave review. As have his previous four 
dozen or so. The next four dozen will be the real test: 
At 78, he threatens to outlive all his sycophants. 
(page 10)

BLACK HOLES -- THE LIGHT SIDE: Who says the news is 
always bad? Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking now believes 
that black holes have had a bum rap. He is reported to 
have concluded that light can sometimes escape them. 
(page 12)

Exclusive to electronic media:

Yogi Berra remains our greatest living wordsmith. Told 
that Mike Piazza had surpassed his career record for home 
runs by a catcher, he rose to the occasion: "I knew my 
record would stand until it's broken!" 

WELL, NOBODY'S PERFECT: The Communist Party of the United 
States has endorsed John Kerry for president, generously 
overlooking his Catholic convictions and his deep 
personal opposition to abortion. 

THAT'S A RELIEF! A spokesman for Michael Jackson has 
categorically denied reports that a surrogate mom is 
carrying Jacko's quadruplets. Why must the media always 
go to such lengths to make the guy sound weird? I'll bet 
it's only triplets.  

(pages 7-12)

* Land of the What? (June 3, 2004)

* Is Bush Another Reagan? (June 15, 2004)

* Hitler, Hitler Everywhere (June 22, 2004)

* The Death of Shakespeare (June 24, 2004)

* Bill Buckley's Sad Farewell (June 29, 2004)

* Brando and His Imitators (July 6, 2004)


All articles are written by Joe Sobran

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