Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Escape to Bodrum

Businessman's taste I know. Luxury requires an aristocratic setting to make it attractive,  I know. But my terrace in ultra snob resort in Bodrum, overlooking the harbour, with 1980s music playing far away, is a very relaxing alternative to quotidian life in my small book strewn flat. And increasingly cold grey Bucharest skies and potentially virus infected building. And restaurants closed again.

It was 13° Celsius in Bucharest this morning and twice that in Bodrum. 79° Fahrenheit. I advise my fellow Bucureșteni to come over, but I respect people who refuse because of Armenia. I hate Erdoğan's support for Azerbaijan's war against the poor crucified Armenians.

This place, the ludicrously and whorishly named Caresse, is everything of which I have always disapproved.  Completely touristic, and utterly cut off from the country it is in, thoroughly nouveau riche and show off and I am simply loving it. Abramovitch parks his vast yacht here. That tells you everything you need to know to have the picture.

I am sipping a pleasant local Cabernet Sauvignon and listening to a pleasant and caressing song by someone who is called Carol Welsman.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Pope Hillary

I pointed out that Pope Francis hoped to have a long fruitful partnership with President Hillary Clinton, with whom he shares enthusiasms for green energy, combating climate change, mass migration, open borders, left-wing economics, the EU and the UN, all the things that can be summed up as globalism. 

I see today this excerpt from his encyclical Fratelli Tutti which could come from a speech by Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden.

We need to develop the awareness that nowadays we are either all saved together or no one is saved. Poverty, decadence and suffering in one part of the earth are a breeding ground for problems that will end up affecting the entire planet.
When popes previously talked of being saved they had in mind heaven and hell. This one seems more interested in saving this world. 

One problem with that (there are several) is that we Catholics are required to believe,  if not six impossible things before breakfast, then a lot of things that may be very difficult, like the immaculate conception, perpetual virginity and bodily ascension into heaven of the BVM. 

We have to accept a lot of rules that can seem very harsh or vexatious about sex, divorce and birth control.

Most of what we have to believe is deeply unfashionable, including that sodomy is one of the four sins crying to heaven for vengeance.

It would be a shame to give the faithful the erroneous impression that on top of all that we are also required to believe global warming is a problem and to approve of mass migration from the Third to the First World.

I note that former Papal Nuncio to Washington Archbishop Viganò says Fratelli Tutti lacks Faith, Hope, and Charity and is a manifesto for the New World Order. 

It is a globalist document, without doubt. 

If Joe Biden wins the White House things are going to look very grim indeed for the whole world.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

The world of May 2016 is gone forever

In May 2016, George Osborne, the Conservative (of a liberal type) British Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance), told television presenter Robert Peston: 

“We look forward to working with whoever the next President is, whoever she may be.”

By July of that year he was on the back benches after the referendum he had opposed was won by Leave and the world of May 2016 had ceased to exist. In the following November Donald Trump was elected and the world changed much more.

British Conservatives do not like Donald Trump very much. In October 2020 Charles Moore, an ardent Brexiteer and admirer of Margaret Thatcher, whose official biographer he is, who considers his former employee, Boris Johnson, an undoubted genius, says today

"If I could vote in this election, I suppose I would go for Mr Trump. In his nominations for the Supreme Court, he has chosen well-qualified, thoughtful judges who respect the words of the constitution rather than reinventing it for political purposes. He is nobody’s poodle and is untamed by the elites which have failed his country. Mr Biden, though he would be a nicer next-door neighbour, is that generation’s last, tottering, second-rate representative. Yet I feel so pessimistic about either man that I am positively glad to have no role in deciding."

I felt very glad to have no role in deciding on the night of the last US election. I was absolutely 50-50, after the revelation about his boasting about touching up female fans, but I knew intuitively, as I heard the results come in, that America had made the right decision. 

Donald Trump proved, for all his obvious faults, to be a far better president than Hillary could have been. He did a lot for peace. She, the destroyer of Libya, would have brought more wars. 

Even Joe Biden, stupid and duplicitous, incipiently senile, accused of rape and allegedly corrupt, is a more attractive candidate than she was.

At least he seems a warm, kind man. He is a very hypocritical Catholic but he would not have laughed about the anal bayonetting of Colonel Gaddafi.

Hillary's top priority, she said eight days before the election, was regime change in Syria. We later learnt, thanks to hackers (no-one has any evidence about their nationality), that she had told a secret fund raising dinner with top men and women from Goldman Sachs that her dream was 

    "a borderless Western hemisphere powered by green energy". 

We are told that Pope Francis strongly supported her, perhaps gave money to her campaign and expected to have a productive partnership with her based on these common principles, but it was not to be.

Biden and Trump, broken down by sex

Joe Biden's large lead in the polls is entirely due to his lead among women of 60% to 34%, while men prefer the President 50% to 45%.

I think the reasons for this are easily understandable (Trump's a caricature of what many women and foreigners dislike about American men of his generation), but it is very different from the past. But then Donald Trump is very different from presidents in the past. 

Women are the reason the UK had any Conservative governments between 1951 and the 1980s. The French liberals prevented women having the vote until 1945 because it would mean giving another vote to the priest. In those innocent days priests were conservative not left-wing.

But women have been moving left for a long time. 

I remember some woman saying George HW Bush reminded women of their first husbands. Another example of how normal divorce was in America. In the 1980s and 1990s American Protestants made a great issue out of homosexuality but never mentioned divorce.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Bad guys of 2020

The bad guys of 2020: the World Health Organisation and its very compromised boss; the owner of Twitter, Dorsey; General Secretary Xi; the Duchess of Sussex; innumerable very wicked bishops and cardinals; Erdogan; Trudeau; Frau Merkel; Black Lives Matter rioters. Most Oxford and Cambridge and Ivy League academics, left-wing clergy of all denominations.

The good guys: Mrs Amy Barrett, and .. er that's it.

Oh Rudy Giuliani. And Navalny. 

And the protesters in Hong Kong and Belarus.

Evidence Hunter Biden has been paying half his large salary to Joe Biden is suppressed by social and mainstream media

This latest piece of news from the US election campaign is huge (yuge) - a scandal much bigger than the Watergate accusations. 

If you doubt that these are much bigger allegations, imagine if Richard Nixon had been accused not of complicity in a burglary to steal Democrat strategy papers but of living off bribes from shady foreigners while Vice President - and even altering US foreign policy to suit them. 

(This latter accusation against Joe Biden, of his getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired for pecuniary reasons, I do not believe.)

Mr Giuliani says that he has sent hundreds to prison on weaker evidence than the evidence he has found against Hunter Biden.  

Mr Giuliani blasted out a screenshot last night of a text he claims Hunter Biden sent to his daughter, Naomi Biden, on Jan. 3, 2019.

“I Hope you all cal do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family Fro 30 years. It’s really hard. But don’t worry unlike Pop I won’t make you give me half your salary.”
I have been very naive about both Joe Biden, though I knew he was a shameless liar, and his son Hunter.

Rudi Giuliani says he knew the truth all the time but did not have proof till now.

Mr Guiliani tells the story here.

Even more shocking yet, Twitter and Facebook do not let this news be published on their sites - on the grounds that the information came from hackers - and the mainstream media taking their lead from social media have mostly ignored the story. 

Former British Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister 'Nick' Clegg may have been the man who made the decision by Facebook or it may have been Policy Communications Director Andy Stone, who used to work for a series of Democrat politicians. Isn't it a small world?

In fact  the quotation from Hunter above comes not from hacking but from a computer left behind with a repairman who handed it to Giuliani's lawyer because it contained evidence of crimes.

Donald Trump's tax returns were leaked illegally, by a public official who would rightly go to prison for doing so were he caught, but Twitter amplified that story.

The New York Post reproduced an email last night showing an 'international consultant', one James Gilliar, telling Hunter Biden in May 2017 that Chinese billionaire Ye Jianming’s company will divide up payments for an unnamed company for which Hunter is “chair/vice chair" and says Hunter will receive a 20% equity, plus a 10% stake “held by H for the big guy?”

I don't subscribe to the paper but I can see the story nowhere on the New York Times, which is a cornucopia of anti-Trump headlines. The Washington Post, which is equally full of anti -Trump stories, does have a story buried away.

The putative second debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden didn't happen and each was questioned alone last night on TV. Joe Biden was interviewed by Bill Clinton's campaign manager turned journalist. Amazingly or perhaps not, he was not asked any question about these allegations. 

Twitter and Facebook and the mainstream media work together to protect the American public from the news. Even the Republican paper of record the Wall St Journal allows the liberal media to set the political agenda.

This is something I find absolutely incredible, but it is a fact.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Burisma story shows Twitter and Facebook have 'power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages'

This report in the New York Post should be huge but Twitter has banned it and Facebook is fact checking it to decide if it can be mentioned on Facebook. 

'Power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages'. Baldwin was talking about the press barons of the 1930s - Twitter and Facebook are much more dangerous.

Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post.
The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads.
An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.
The blockbuster correspondence — which flies in the face of Joe Biden’s claim that he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings” — is contained in a massive trove of data recovered from a laptop computer.

The Post’s principal source is Rudy Giuliani, who tweets today:
Emails from Hunter Biden’s hard drive reveal Joe Biden lied about BURISMA.
Much more to come.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The threat to Great Britain and Europe is not Russia, obviously - you know that

The head of MI5 said today that Russian espionage was the most aggravating problem caused by a state actor, but though Russia provided spells of bad weather and Iran was a danger, China was a far greater challenge in the long-term and resembled climate change.

This reminded me of David Frost saying that in England we have the best secret service in the world. Unfortunately it belongs to Russia.

Churchill suddenly said to Harold Macmillan during the Cairo Conference in 1943 late one night: 
'Cromwell was a great man, wasn't he?' 
'Yes, sir, a very great man.' 
'But he made one great mistake. Obsessed in his youth by the fear of the power of Spain he failed to observe the rise of France. Will that be said of me?
Whether it is said of Churchill or not, it should be. 

Germany was not a threat to the British Empire and would not have been a threat to France had France allowed her a free hand to erase the borders in Central and Eastern Europe created at the Paris Peace Conference. France, of course, had no means of preventing this, even with England's support. 

Bolshevik Russia was to be much less of a threat to Western Europe than Germany. Stalin never had any desire to extend his rule beyond the countries which his army occupied. As for Khrushchev, in 1955 he offered to allow a demilitarised Germany to be reunited, with free elections. Eisenhower and Adenauer turned the offer down.

Now Russia is a declining power, not a threat outside her own backyard, not able to impose order in Nagorno-Karabakh now any more than 30 years ago. 

China is a threat but where exactly do her interest and Europe's conflict except in economic competition? Islamic terrorism a bigger one of a different kind, but illegal immigration and massive numbers of asylum seekers are a bigger threat and Islamification the biggest of all, as the late Bernard Lewis and the late Neagu Djuvara warned us. 

Both centenarians who died recently thought it inevitable that Europe would become Islamic, but as AJP Taylor said, nothing is inevitable until it happens.

Covid in Belarus

Data for deaths from all causes suggest that Covid related deaths in Belarus are about three times higher than the 690, out of a population of 9.5 million, to which the government admits. 

Covid deaths are probably often classed as deaths from pneumonia.

Still the number is fairly low and comparable with a bad flu. This is despite a complete lack of social distancing or other restrictions, which make Sweden seem positively paranoid. 

Life expectancy, especially for men, is not long in Belarus anyway because of smoking and heavy drinking. This means Belarussians usually die before they reach the ages at which most people in Western Europe die of Covid.

I have seen a young Belarusian academic in the West and a Belarusian on Twitter say the government's cavalier attitude towards the virus is one reason for the demonstrations each weekend. 

It may be so, but I wonder if they are influenced by opinion among their peers in the West. The Western media repeat this line.

Certainly so far Belarus is doing much better than her neighbours Russia and the Ukraine.

In praise of colonialism: another good man is shot down

When I was 18 my ambition was to be a historian writing about the British Empire and British rule in Ireland from a conservative point of view. I wish I had achieved that ambition. If I had I might now be in the position of Professor Bruce Gilley.

His book The Last Imperialist: Sir Alan Burns’ Epic Defense of the British Empire intended as the first volume in a series to be called “Problems of Anti-Colonialism” series will not now be published, after a petition organised by a by Joshua Moufawad-Paul , a Maoist philosopher, who sounds like an invention of Michael Wharton. Wharton's dark fantasy is our daily reality. The petion complained about the book's white nationalism.

Professor Gilley previously made the newspapers in 2017 when his paper The Case for Colonialism argued that colonial rule was beneficial in Africa and Asia, as if any sentient being can doubt it.

That paper, in Third World Quarterly, was retracted after threats of violence against the journal’s editor.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal a few days ago, Professor Gilley said: 

“The Last Imperialist is the culmination of five years of intensive primary source research into the life of Burns, who was governor of the Gold Coast and a prominent critic of rapid decolonisation while serving at the United Nations after World War Two. The book passed peer review with Lexington Books last December, and it carried endorsements from two giants in the field of colonial history, Jeremy Black and Tirthankar Roy. The book was already being sold to distributors and stores.”
I remember the BBC World Service interviewing a Congolese historian on the 50th anniversary of independence and the BBC man being shocked to be told that 'everything' in the Congo was better under the Belgians. (The Belgians, of course, were notoriously the worst colonial masters, save perhaps for the Germans). All the good things in the Congo, the historian insisted, were introduced by the Belgians. 

The BBC man said:

But surely you accept that the Belgians were not motivated by concern for the welfare of the Congolese?

The historian said he didn't care what motivated them. They had greatly benefited the Congo.

Tintin in the Congo, a book of which Herge was later ashamed

The former governor of Jamaica, Sir Howard Cooke, who took part in the pro-independence movement, had a similarly positive view of Britain's role in Jamaican history. The slave trade, he said, saved slaves from 'Africa's black night'. The interview I've linked with Sir Howard is very well worth reading. Again, even though he is from the Spectator rather than the BBC, the British interlocutor sounds taken aback.

Britain's most disastrous legacy to her colonies , of course, was socialism.

Fabianism begat Nehru, Nyerere and the rest. On the other hand, the former American and French colonies are not doing so well as India, now that India has rid herself of the socialism of Nehru and the appalling Mrs. Gandhi. On the whole, the British legacy was in most cases very positive, but our schools and universities do not teach this.

Suppressing voices


"Jarvis Dupont started life in 2018 as an upper-class university student who was crippled with white guilt. An early tweet from Jarvis displayed an image of the opulent Dupont estate that he would one day inherit. ‘Taking a walk around my family’s estate today’, he tweeted, ‘I am harshly reminded how privileged white people are. When I inherit this land, I will make damn sure I employ only people of colour to maintain it.’ In another thread of tweets he told an anecdote about being suddenly overcome with white guilt in a Pret a Manger. ‘I walked over to the nearest black family I could see and handed them my half-eaten muffin. “This is for slavery”, I said, and quietly left.’"

This is the promising start to an interview in Spiked with Lisa Graves. Her name is not well-known but her pen names were, until her Twitter accounts were suppressed.

She tweeted hilariously under the name Godfrey Elfwick, the ‘genderqueer Muslim atheist’ who was permanently banned by Twitter. Her latest character, Jarvis Dupont, has been banned too, after he had a gender realignment.

Bruvver Eccles, who ridicules left-wing Catholicism hilariously and very cogently was also banned - as in Lisa Graves's case without being given a reason - but after a long pause he came back. 

Twitter and to a slightly lesser extent YouTube and Facebook are soft tyrannies. 

They wield enormous power and are trying hard to prevent the re-election of Donald Trump. So are most of the mainstream media, including the BBC, but the mainstream media do not have the power to exclude people from the public square.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

The battle for Western civilisation is taking place now

The term “political correctness” was coined by Anton Semyonovich Makarenko, Soviet educationalist and NKVD officer, in the 1920s. He was hailed by Unesco in the 1980s as one of the four most influential educationalists of the twentieth century.

Its principles were part of Leninism from the start. In the short-lived Communist dictatorship in Hungary in 1919, Georg Lukacs, the Commissar for Culture introduced pornographic sex education in schools, forced nuns to watch pornographic films and demonised the family.

The Russian Revolution was not supposed to happen in Russia. It was supposed to happen in Germany, and possibly Austria and Hungary.

When the revolutions in those countries quickly failed, Communists asked why and for Marxists there could only be one explanation: false consciousness on the part of the workers.

After the Romanian army marched into Budapest to get rid of the Bolsheviks (whom they knew wanted to recapture Transylvania and other lost Hungarian territories) Lukacs set up the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt to marry the ideas of Marx, Lenin and Freud, from which emerged the Frankfurt School of Marxism.

Lukacs famously asked: “Who will save us from Western Civilisation?” and tried to do the best he could to do so himself.

He was considered a great literary critic in England in the 1970s and 1980s and probably today. At least, his books continue to be published by Penguin Books, that arbiter of literary fashion.

Now we have Black Lives Matter (BLM) saying on its website that it specifically targets “the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement” and Rebecca Futo Kennedy of Denison University argues that Western civilization and study of the classics only provides cover for racism and sexism. Ancient Greece was “an imperialist, anti-immigrant society convinced of its own superiority because of its ethnic purity.” Aristotle “tells his readers that women are naturally subordinate to men.” If men, sorry people, of good will do not denounce Western civilisation, we “give sanction by our silence to the classical past’s uglier tendencies and embolden those who would use it as justification for present racism and misogyny.”

I owe the information in the last paragraph to Paul Gottfried, sturdy fighter for truth, justice and freedom, writing in Chronicles yesterday. He draws the lesson that it is Anglo-Saxon culture and Western civilisation, not the principles of the US Constitution, which are the basis of the USA and which are under attack.

'Confederates were simply the easiest targets in the opening days of the upheaval. Conservatism, Inc. and other useful idiots, blinded by their deification of Lincoln and his misguided constitutional theory, could not accept that the arguments employed against Confederate monuments could be logically extended to the entirety of American history. The cultural revolutionaries want to destroy the civilization that produced not just Lee, but Grant, Webster, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Washington. This is about power and the ushering in of a new order. Paeans to the Gettysburg Address or the Grand Army of the Potomac will only hasten our destruction.  
'As the nation dedicated to a proposition breathes its last, we must embrace Western civilization, which forms the core of our heritage from the mother country. Western civilization is the true target of our enemies, the modern-day Jacobins, and it is the best this world has to offer.'


Monday, 12 October 2020

More quotations

Arthur James Balfour:
Society is always persecuting.

Mikhail Gorbachev to Paul McCartney: 
I do believe the music of the Beatles taught the young people of the Soviet Union that there is another life.

Salena Zito:
Trump was never the cause of the conservative populist coalition that put him in office. He was the result of it. After decades of voters' dissatisfaction with both political parties, institutions, government, and culture, they voted for themselves and their communities over both party’s establishments. It wasn't about voting for Trump.

A lot of very smart people keep missing that critical nuance.

William Cobbett:
Sit down to write what you have thought, and not to think about what you shall write.

G.M. Young:
We . . . go out into the Waste Land of Experts, each knowing so much about so little that he can neither be contradicted nor is worth contradicting.

Dominic Lawson, who spent one year at Eton and asked his father to take him away:
A few years ago Oliver Letwin declared that his having been to Eton all but ruled out his ever becoming Prime Minister. Such a despairing thought certainly doesn't seem to have crossed David Cameron's mind. His enemies say that this is because he has the vast sense of entitlement of the Old Etonian. There may be an element of that. But it seems to me that Cameron better understands modern Britain. When Gordon Brown mocked him as just "an old Etonian" and John Prescott referred to him as being part of the "Eton Mafia" their remarks died as they were uttered. Because there is no longer a British ruling class - and the public knows it - Cameron's social background is seen as irrelevant. Nowadays a member of any minority social group can aspire to the highest office - even an Etonian.

One of President John Tyler's grandsons has just died

I have been wondering for years whether Lyon Gardiner Tyler were still with us, but saw no mention in the news of him. Sadly he has now died aged 95. 

He was the grandson of President John Tyler who, after President William Harrison died in 1841, established the convention that the US Vice-President becomes President on the President's death.

Yes. Lyon Gardiner Tyler was President Tyler's grandson. 

His grandfather became president after President William Harrison had given the longest inauguration speech in American history, in the rain, to demonstrate that he was in good health and was thought to have caught a cold while doing so that killed him.  

When Tyler was acknowledged and sworn in as President he was 29 years older than Queen Victoria, who had ascended the throne four years before. Her grandchildren included King George V and the Kaiser. 

The unfortunate President Harrison had a grandson, Benjamin, who was the 23rd President from 1889 to 1893 and died in 1901.

Harry Truman's eldest grandson, for comparison, is 63.

Tyler was a Whig, a Virginian and a slaveowner. Under him the USA invaded and conquered Texas, which was thoroughly unjust but also glorious. Later, after trying to prevent the civil war breaking out, he ended up on the Confederate side, the legally justified side in my opinion. 

John Tyler's father had been Thomas Jefferson's room-mate at William & Mary college.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler's father could remember the US Civil War and became head of William & Mary college.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler is survived by a daughter and by his brother, who is 91.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Western civilisation is fragile this year

Lionel Shriver is a very good writer, an American novelist who votes Democrat, lives in England, backed Brexit and is horrified by the English willingness to give up their freedoms for fear of Covid. 

I have been thinking that Western civilisation was looking fragile and that the anti-racist ideology can only be understood as a godless religious movement. Now everyone does. She is right that the West has lost what Douglas Murray quoting Unamuno called the tragic sense of life. She's right about everything really, except wanting the Democrats to return to power in her country.

"The widespread COVID-19 lockdowns and the increasingly venomous Black Lives Matter movement are both destabilising phenomena instigated by people suffering from a perilous complacency. A surfeit of Western security, with no major wars and nearly uninterrupted prosperity for 75 years, has created an ahistorical under-appreciation for the fragility of order. Perhaps the hyper-racialising of the West in the second half of this year will prove a temporary mania, at the end of which we’ll have fairer, more sensitive societies. But somehow I doubt it."

"Centuries in the making, contemporary Western civilisation is so complex that it shouldn’t really work at all — but somehow, after a fashion, it does. In fact, on the whole we’ve never lived more comfortably, more peaceably or more justly. Yet shrill voices on the hard left preach that countries such as the US, the UK and Australia are a disgrace and should inspire only shame. Subjecting the fruits of one’s forebears’ toil to contempt signals not only complacency but ingratitude."

"Should most Western institutions and corporations devote their principal energies to “anti-racism”, China will clean up."
"Widespread, simultaneous, long-lasting and often repeated international lockdowns may be unprecedented but COVID-19 is not. Asian flu in 1957 killed between one million and two million worldwide. Hong Kong flu in 1968 killed between one million and four million. During both pandemics, world leaders didn’t close so much as a newsagent. COVID deaths worldwide have killed just over one million — and owing to peculiar data collection whereby anyone with COVID necessarily died from COVID, Western coronavirus death counts may be inflated. The disproportionate re­sponse to one more disagreeable, albeit occasionally lethal, virus boggles the mind. There’s growing acknowledgment that lockdowns will cost many more lives than they saved, and that’s assuming they saved any lives, rather than simply dragging out inevitable fatalities over a longer period."

Cabinet minister stripped of his duties because of comment on Facebook

The premier of the Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut took away the responsibilities of a cabinet member this week for making this comment on Facebook, à propos Black Lives Matter.
“All lives matter. Just thinking out loud. The movement of BLM. I wonder how many BLM ladies go through abortion and at what stage of the gestation? Are they not lives too?”
This morning Premier Savikataaq released a statement.
“An unacceptable social media post was brought to my attention yesterday. As a result, I have made Minister Patterk Netser a Minister without portfolio, effective immediately.”
The minister 
Patterk Netser is an Eskimo and, like many Eskimoes, an Evangelical Protestant. He said his views were informed by his faith but insisted,
"I have never imposed my personal beliefs on anyone."

R.I.P. George Alberts

I just learnt yesterday with very great sadness that my friend, George Alberts, died last night a week after being admitted to hospital suffering from Covid. 

In hospital he was put on a ventilator and under sedation and received good care, but the disease had progressed too far. His lungs deteriorated very badly and he died of a heart attack.

He was a very good friend to Romania and a well known Bucharest figure with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the criminology of banking and very much else.  He gave good parties, had many friends, was very emotional and soft-hearted beneath his crusty surface and a lover of good wine and travel.

I know he would have agreed with at least most of what I have said in the article I posted yesterday, just before I heard the dreadful news, about the way the media suppress discussion of how the authorities are dealing with Covid. We agreed about most things, apart from Brexit. He was an ardent admirer of Donald Trump, a lot more than me.

He had a lot of good stories, including ones about being present in Tbilisi as the Soviet Union fell apart and being asked to set up the National Bank of Georgia. Or have I misremembered?

Rest in peace, George.

'From quiet homes and first beginning,
Out to the undiscovered ends,
There's nothing worth the wear of winning,
But laughter and the love of friends.'
Hilaire Belloc - he later disowned this verse because he said it wasn't true and it isn't, but it is not so far off the truth.

From an otherwise silly Nick Cohen article in the Guardian last year

'When Tony Blair was elected in 1997, 60% of the English population was white and had left school without A-levels. When Theresa May lost her majority in 2017, that proportion had fallen to 40%. Over the same period, the share of the English population who were university graduates, members of an ethnic minority group or both went from 17 to 40%. In Britain, as in the US, progressive politics will be drawn to appeal to minorities and the educated, while rightwing politics will be drawn to appealing to “the whites”.'

Apart from that paragraph, the article is not worth reading, just malign nonsense. Mr Cohen's sympathies are firmly enlisted with graduates and ethnic minorities, not "the whites". 

The British Conservatives are not pretending to be PC. They are true believers.

“I’ve been told off in the tea room for referring to ‘my wife’ because that’s ‘possessive’. By a Conservative MP, actually. But that’s the state of the world.” 
Ben Bradley, Conservative MP for the formerly safe Labour seat of Mansfield

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Fratelli Tutti

A highly intelligent Catholic friend who unlike me has read the new encyclical sent me this email.

One hallmark of leftist publications is making assertions that upon examination are revealed as false or, at best, half-truths kitted out in the livery of obvious popular wisdom (vox populi). One such example in Frutti Tutti, there are many, is Francis' assertion that the Church has never considered ownership of property to be an inviolable right. This is from paragraph 15 of Rerum Novarum by Leo XIII: "Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. This being established, we proceed to show where the remedy sought for must be found."

Of course, Francis prefers to cite his earlier writings more than the writings of his predecessors and Scripture - one supposes he places greater faith in the former than the latter two.

Another hallmark of leftist authors is to pull out of context phrases that support their expressed point of view (aka Cherry Picking) but that turn out not to do so when examined in context. See Francis' use of Aquinas on private property or John Paul II on capital punishment.

The third and most common technique in leftist composition is projection, that is, ascribing to others the very thinking that they do themselves. See Francis' reference to the manipulation of words - democracy, liberty, freedom, etc. - to impose ideological conformity and delegitimize contrary points of view.

And, Frutti Tutti is verbose, unstructured, lacks any discernible stylistic quality and if it has a voice, it is a whining garble mixed with a mumble punctuated by hectoring shouting.

In my not so humble opinion. Yours Ed

Covid and thought crimes

The Guardian sent this email to Professor Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, one of the scientists who launched the ‘Great Barrington Declaration’ calling for a different approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Do you see a pattern? 

'Climate change denial' is a phrase deliberately intended to remind people of 'Holocaust denial'. 

People would like scepticism about the way Covid-19 is being handled to be unsayable.

Likewise admiration for colonialism.

And thinking the Confederates were legally justified in the American War between the States.

The traditional Christian doctrine that homosexual acts are sins is widely considered extremist now in the West (not in Romania). 

In the West thinking sex changes for young people dangerous and opposing abortion are too. 

Johann Hari treated disapproval of contraception as a thought crime, but that didn't catch on. 

I just read an article in the Daily Mail which is concerned about 'climate change denialist' posts on Facebook, i.e. posts agreeing with Donald Trump. 

And some people laugh at the notion that the Mail is PC.

But what is much worse, the Mail knows as well as manipulates its readers. Are the English so opposed to free speech now?

I suspect most younger people are, after having been indoctrinated at school. Although the article is probably aimed partly at the Mail's online American readers.

You'd think the press would favour free speech, though of course the written press hates social media. But no. 

And the BBC is very worried that people are allowed to say bad things on TikTok. 

As Douglas Murray thinks, why can't people say what they like and discuss ideas freely, so long as they do not advocate interfering with minors? 

Of course incitement to violence is also a necessary exception, as it always has been.

Universities which exist to discuss ideas freely are the least free places of all and they are forming the establishments of Western countries. They are forming Eastern Europeans who go to the west for their degrees too. 

Graduates in arts subjects in Western universities are going to make a lot of changes to Romania which I'd argue are malign.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Churchill on rule by experts

"Nothing would be more fatal than for the Government of States to get in the hands of experts. Expert knowledge is limited knowledge, and the unlimited ignorance of the plain man who knows where it hurts is a safer guide than any rigorous direction of a specialized character.
Sir Winston Churchill

This reminds me of the words I quoted not long ago from Lord Salisbury:

"No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe."

Ray Bradbury saw it all coming

"They passed a law. Oh, it started very small. In 1950 and '60 it was a grain of sand. They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another, political bias, religious prejudice, union pressures; there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.”
The Martian Chronicles; 1950. Acknowledgements, Chris Carter

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Thoughts on Donald Trump

Trump’s show-boating performance also taps into something uniquely American.
It is the blurring of the distinction between myth and reality, between fiction and truth.
Think of the inventor of the modern circus, P T Barnum. In 19th-century America, he thrilled people with freak shows, human oddities, weird things that boggled the mind.
It was not clear whether Barnum’s circus performers were real or fake but nobody cared.
They loved it.
Justin Webb in the Daily Mail, the day before last.

Trump is imperfect standard bearer of perfectly sensible and coherent strategic reorientation for US. Douglas Bulloch

Donald Trump’s reduction of religion to civic playacting is nothing new: he’s just more shameless than Nixon. Damian Thompson, in this month's US Spectator.

Trump’s relaxed attitude to homosexuality isn’t unusual for a 74-year-old American businessman. Millions of people his age hold far more liberal views on gay rights and other issues than they once did. Unlike their parents, they’re not racists. They think of white nationalists as paranoid losers — a view almost certainly shared by Trump, even if he is happy to send the odd dog whistle in their direction. Damian Thompson