Sunday, 29 October 2017

Cardinal Newman explains why law and business should not be taught at university

‘…When I speak of Knowledge, I mean something intellectual, something which grasps what it perceives through the senses; something which takes a view of things; which sees more than the senses convey; which reasons upon what it sees, and while it sees; which invests it with an idea. It expresses itself, not in a mere enunciation, but by an enthymeme: it is of the nature of science from the first, and in this consists its dignity. The principle of real dignity in Knowledge, its worth, its desirableness, considered irrespectively of its results, is this germ within it of a scientific or a philosophical process. This is how it comes to be an end in itself; this is why it admits of being called Liberal. Not to know the relative disposition of things is the state of slaves or children; to have mapped out the Universe is the boast, or at least the ambition, of Philosophy.

Eastern Europe is more civilised than Western Europe


Knife Crimes in 2016 London : 21,365 All of Poland: 3,474

Cișmigiu after a downpour yesterday

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, outdoor and nature


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Universities, islands of totalitarianism

Ronald Reagan in the 1980s described universities as islands of totalitarianism in a sea of freedom.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The origins and history of the Freedom Party in Austria

If Wikipedia is to be trusted the Austrian Freedom Party is not far right at all. SInce being founded in 1955 it seems to have combined belief in free market classical liberalism (Thatcherism) with a desire for Austria to unite with Germany. Sounds a respectable old fashioned tradition, stretching back to 1848.
The FPÖ is a descendant of the pan-German and national liberal camp (Lager) dating back to the Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas. During the interwar era, the national liberal camp (gathered

in the Greater German People's Party) fought against the mutually-hostile Christian Social and Marxist camps in their

Saturday, 14 October 2017

A big bagful of good quotations that will be new to you


“For me dying is a lot like going camping. I don’t want to do it.” Phil Wang 

“Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.” Charles Baudelaire 

“Everything must be learned, from reading to dying.” Gustave Flaubert

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Sabrina has died


I suspect Sir Oswald Mosley had Sabrina in mind when he said 'In or around 1955 the British discovered sex and instantly made it ridiculous'.


Philip Larkin thought we discovered sex later. 

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three 
(Which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And the Beatles' first LP.

In or around 1963  the world and England began to change out of recognition. From 1963 it was a few steps to joining the Common Market, out of town shopping centres, same sex

Sunday, 8 October 2017

"The souls that never go to confession are like rooms with closed windows, which never get any fresh air in."



"The souls that never go to confession are like rooms with closed windows, which never get any fresh air in." (Octavian Goga)


"'I know of no joy,' she airily began, 'greater than a cool white dress after the sweetness of confession.'" (Ronald Firbank)

Why do some people stay in the confessional so long? I am thinking of a very old lady ahead of me who took at least 15 minutes, which is a very long time. What had she done?

'Today everybody's identity is his or her iPhone. There is no national identity as such.'


In this article from the BBC site a famous Catalan writer is prosing on about the crisis when he suddenly says
Do we have an identity? I don't know. I think today everybody's identity is his or her iPhone. There is no national identity as such.
A Romanian academic economist when I asked him what the future of Romania would be in fifty years time thought it wouldn't exist and be no loss.
Surely there'll still be people speaking Romanian?

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Food, diversity and the new international elite

“Bizarrely, as immigration began to change Europe at its economic and cultural core, the political vocabulary remained the same as when immigration had been a fringe phenomenon. People kept talking about restaurants.”

Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West 

Today is a palindrome


7 10 2017

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

David Laws's diary for 4 December 2012: Cameron and Osborne humiliate Theresa May



We very easily imagine Theresa May squirming, as she squirmed in her interview with Andrew Marr on Sunday.

She is not nearly as clever as Messrs. Cameron and Osborne, was a hopeless Home

Monday, 2 October 2017

Groucho Marx danced on Hitler's grave

I just learnt that Groucho Marx climbed a pile of rubble that marked the site of Adolf Hitler's bunker, the site of Hitler's death, and performed a two-minute Charleston.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Eastern Europe, the last hope for Europe and the world

You might be interested by this articleWhy the West Can’t Unite Against Terrorism, written by Richard Storey, who thinks Eastern Europe the last hope for Europe. 
I assumed Eastern Europe was the best part of Europe before I got here in 1990 and I have never doubted Romania's superiority to the West, in innumerable, intangible ways, since I came to live in Romania in 1998. But when asked 'In what ways?' I always have difficulty in answering - apart from saying they still believe in God here.
But, as I type this, I think of many strong reasons. They also still believe in the nation, their tradition, in freedom, hierarchy, the divine order in the universe that makes men men and women women. I could think of many more reasons if pressed.

Mr. Storey says, rather gushingly:
"How else are we to explain Europe’s indomitable civilization, despite being beset by barbarians at the gates and the plutocratic pursuit of political power? The answer is apparent to much of Eastern Europe; they have seen where the unstable forces of leftism lead them and have returned to the Church as that common transcendent system of higher cultural values which bound Europe together into a network of communities. This is why they stand strong and terror-free, boldly declaring their Christian identity and closed borders in the face of the EU taking Poland, Czech and Hungary to court."

Neagu Djuvara and Dan Hodges on Trump

Dan Hodges today: Donald Trump is a lunatic. A big lunatic. An ocean going lunatic.

Neagu Djuvara to me last year: Trump is a bull and a bull is what we need now.

Famous Last Words


“I see that you have made three spelling mistakes,” remarked the Marquis de Favras when he read his death warrant.

Coming across that quotation reminded me of that I once collected last words and must find and publish online my collection. Here are one or two.

These are the last words of King Frederick William I of Prussia, the father of Frederick the Great. A Lutheran clergyman was giving him the last rites and said