Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The electorate is the problem

Populist voters are the problem. Politicians should dissolve the electorate and choose a new one.

Oh wait, they are doing so.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Even if you are not interested in history, history is interested in you

Many people are completely ignorant of and uninterested in history, before about 1963. 

Ignorant, for example, of how very little immigration there was into Europe, after the Muslim invasions of the Dark and Middle Ages, which were halted and finally after long centuries rolled back by the warriors of Spain, Portugal, central Europe and the Balkans.  

But even if you are not interested in history, history is interested in you.

Sir Roger Scruton



"Mismanaged sexual feelings lead to a society of casual encounters, jealousies, and aggressions, in which there are neither lasting commitments nor sacrifices on behalf of children."


"This period of courtship was also one of display, in which men showed off their manliness and women their femininity. And this is what we mean, or ought to mean, by the 'social construction' of gender. By playacting, the two partners readied themselves for their future roles"

Abortion - the old landmarks are gone

Almost everyone outside Ireland seems to be cheering the Irish referendum resultBreitbart came up with this headline: 

Childless Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May Celebrate Pro-Abortion Vote in Ireland
When the Southern Irish voted to keep the ban on divorce it was understood that another referendum would be held on the issue. It was and divorce won the second time, by less than 51 percent of the vote. Had divorce lost the second referendum there would have been a third. Then no more referendums. 

So it will be with homosexual marriage and abortion. Everyone understands this but I wonder who decides, and on what grounds, that some decisions are final and others not.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

First woman to join infantry regiment since defence chiefs lifted ban on females serving in combat units quits after two weeks

A headline in the British press restores ones faith in human nature.
First woman to join infantry regiment since defence chiefs lifted ban on females serving in combat units quits after two weeks


Apparently 

"In 2016, then Prime Minister David Cameron said it was essential that the make-up of the Armed Forces reflected society and he lifted the ban on women serving in combat units."

I have to concede what people keep saying to me is true, that there was really virtually no difference between the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour Blairites. Theresa May, of course, is a Blairite and so is Michael Gove.


The full story is here.

Friday, 25 May 2018

New Zealand adds “sex work” to “employment skills” for those wishing to migrate

The New Zealand immigration service has added “sex work” (as prostitution is increasingly described) to the list of “employment skills” for those wishing to migrate.
Julie Bindel, The Guardian, Monday 30 Apr 2018

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Abbott declared support for IRA defeat of Britain


[Diane] Abbott, who will become home secretary if Labour wins the election, said in the 1984 interview that Ireland “is our struggle — every defeat of the British state is a victory for all of us. A defeat in Northern Ireland would be a defeat indeed.”

Andrew Gilligan
May 21 2017, The Sunday Times

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Quotations

"People triggered by blood probably shouldn’t be in medical school. People triggered by ideas probably shouldn’t be in university."
Stefan Molyneux 

“A nation that cannot get angry about the slaughter of its own children is a nation that has lost its moral anchor.”
Brendan O'Neill 


"You wouldn't believe the things they have said about me. They have said I am Georgian... forgive me for saying this... even much uglier things, they have even called me an Armenian, but I am Turkish."
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a 2014 interview on the NTV news network

'The nation state is the political masterpiece'

What matters in politics, more even than freedom or tradition, is the nation. It's a truism and yet I bet in our day many people, who are not Marxists, do not agree. 

'The nation state is the political masterpiece' as Raymond Aron said - but making central and eastern Europe into nation states was Procrustean and painful.  The process by which Eastern Europe became the collection of nation states that we know today was in many ways regrettable (the Habsburg Empire was a European Union that worked, at least until the Hungarians were taken into partnership) but also hard to avoid because, as travel became easy and people were taught to read, a common language and sense of national community became necessary. 

Bernard Lewis and Edward Said

I rejoice in this attack on Edward Said by Dominic Green in The Spectator, especially as it deals even-handedly with Bernard Lewis and his share of responsibility for the invasion of Iraq. 

I thought that Said's Reith lectures were intellectually not third but fourth or even fifth rate. On the other hand, Said was right that the Israelis had behaved badly to the Arabs and he did not help persuade Bush 2 to launch the unjust and tragic invasion of Iraq.
"Lewis ... said that the Arabs were the authors of their own misery, and that

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Bernard Lewis: Will the future see an Islamised Europe or a European Islam?

Bernard Lewis died at the weekend and I thought it appropriate to republish this from a year ago.



In 2010 the greatest historian of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, predicted that by the end of the decade Iran would abandon political Islam, while Turks adopted some form of Islamist rule. The old man might yet be right.

He also said in 2010 that Muslims were making their third attempt to conquer Europe, an attempt which seemed to have a much better chance at success than the first two as it took the form of peaceful migration rather than military aggression. 

“The only question remaining for us to answer regarding the future of Europe is will it be an Islamised Europe or a European Islam?"

Seen



"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Sir Winston Churchill


US bank Morgan Stanley estimates that the energy needed only for mining Bitcoin will represent some 0.6% of the world energy consumption in 2018.


WikiLeaks Retweeted WikiLeaks
Harvard has announced that Hillary Clinton will receive a medal for "transformative impact on society". But there is only one society she truly transformed. Libya--from the most developed society in Africa, into a smoking, ISIS-infested ruin

Monday, 21 May 2018

Two flawed heroes have died: Richard Pipes and Bernard Lewis

Bernard Lewis died two days ago, two days after another of my very favourite historians, Richard Pipes. 

Both were Jewish Americans and emigrants, Pipes having fled Hitler and Lewis having, less understandably, given up being a British subject.

I love both men's work and recommend their books very highly. I understand that Pipes' fiercely negative view of Bolshevism in his Russia Under The Bolshevik Regime is

Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray in a godforsaken world

Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray have much in common. Both are very intelligent, very eloquent, very charismatic. Neither is particularly conservative but common sense is now considered right-wing. Both think like human beings rather than ideologues. Both have flourished on the internet and above all both are trying to find something with which to replace belief in God.

As Douglas Murray put it,

Having been for some years, as Roger Scruton has put it, downstream from Christianity, there is every possibility that our societies will either become unmoored entirely or be hauled onto a very different shore. Very unsettling

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Diaries

Tallulah Bankhead: 

"Only good girls keep diaries. Bad girls don't have time."

Fanny Burney, March 1768:

"To have some account of my thoughts, manners, acquaintances and actions, when the hour arrives in which time is more nimble than memory, is the reason which induces me to keep a journal."

Gwendolen in "The Importance of Being Earnest"

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."

Quotations

Joseph Campbell:

"If you want to know what a given society believes in, look at what its largest buildings are devoted to."

Chris Beck
'Claire Lehmann’s Forum for the Intellectual Dark Web':

“Lehmann contributed to a number of publications before launching Quillette, but claims the Australian media blacklisted her as soon as she started criticizing feminism. She rejects the ‘blank slate’ view that feminists, and progressives in general, have made a centerpiece of their dogma. It’s the belief that humans are strictly the product of culture and socialization, and the rejection of the idea that humans are born with certain innate characteristics.”

Romania and Turkey are the least well educated countries in Europe


This map says Romania and Turkey are the least well educated countries in Europe.

Since WHEN was Turkey in Europe? 

Balkan countries not in the EU are a blank space, unless Turkey is still a Balkan country.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Eyeless in Gaza


I was originally angry with the Israeli army for killing fifty civilians trying to storm the border with the Gaza Strip, but reading about it - in particular what was written by Colonel Kemp, a retired 
British officer, in the Telegraph - it seems the Israelis did what they could to avoid fatalities and are not to blame for the civilian deaths. 

The army did not shoot indiscriminately and it has now been revealed by the Palestinians themselves that 50 of the 62 dead were Hamas members.

Hamas wanted to breach the wall and
 to flatten the fence at numerous points to allow hundreds or even thousands of Gazans to enter Israeli towns, overwhelming the Israeli security forces ability to protect the townspeople from the infiltrators, thus requiring the Israeli security forces to use lethal force against all those who infiltrated.

Similar demonstrations have taken place each week since March. The reason that this

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

In Ireland the past is not dead, it is not even past

My grandfather's grandfather (or great grandfather) came to England from County Cork in Ireland in around 1860. My father always wanted to trace our family history but never did and nor have I nor probably ever will. 

I therefore do not know where exactly we (meaning my paternal line) came from. But I do know where we left from, or at least I think I do. 

Though they might have embarked for England from Kingstown, now Dún Laoghaire, the port of Dublin, my granddad's grandparents probably left from Queenstown (Cobh), the port of Cork where I spent a happy twelve hours at the weekend. 

It was from Queenstown that millions of Irishmen and women left their island for England, Canada or the USA, after the terrible famine that killed so many while the British Whig government, pursuing free market economic theories, did little.

John Dominic Crossan, the Irish-born American New Testament scholar and heresiarch, said the wisest thing about Irish history and probably about history in general.
I still hold two truths with equal and fundamental certainty. One: the British did terrible things to the Irish. Two: the Irish, had they the power, would have done equally terrible things to the British. And so also for any other paired

The English on the Irish

Dr Johnson: "The Irish are not in a conspiracy to cheat the world by false representations of the merits of their countrymen. No, Sir; the Irish are a fair people; -- they never speak well of one another."

Monday, 14 May 2018

Ireland is still her old-fashioned self in places


I am sitting in a bar watching Eurovision in Cobh, pronounced Cove. Cobh, formerly Queenstown and before that Cove, is a little port for big cruise ships in the very large and very deep natural harbour of Cork. Cobh is very Irish, not yet EU-ised. Even the waitresses are still Irish, not East European. It's a little like a Cornish port but Irish, meaning beery, peasant, articulate, funny, incredibly friendly.

I am thinking to myself that it’s strange being in a country similar to England which has no class system and some religious belief. Though much less religion than forty years ago.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

All Muslim terrorists in Europe are Sunnis, so why is Iran the great threat?

This post from a year ago is topical still on the day the USA pulls out of the Iran deal. The Iran deal could have been better but was much better than letting the Iranians continue to develop the capacity to make a bomb. Critics of the deal say that it allowed Iran to continue to threaten America's allies and sponsor terrorism. I think those two arguments, which I just heard advanced on the BBC World Service news by a neo-con called Richard Goldberg, who is 'a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies', are misconceived. The allied tail has wagged the American dog too long.

Obviously, the USA and UK should never have invaded Iraq. They should have launched a short punitive expedition into Afghanistan in 2001, restored the monarchy and then allowed the Taliban to come back. Nation-building was always (a liberal) folly: Afghanistan and Iraq were not post-war Germany, as should have been clear.


But having broken it, as Colin Powell warned, the USA bought Iraq. Leaving Iraq alone led to ISIS. So what is the solution?


I don't know. Unfortunately, the USA may now back the Israeli-Saudi-Sunni alliance against the Shia crescent (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah). I hope Mr. Trump resists this temptation.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A future Archbishop of Canterbury worried about mass immigration

The modern Anglican clergy's keenness on multiculturalism and immigration contrast with Anglican clergy in previous ages.

It is misleading to argue that England has always been a nation of immigrants. Immigration levels until the last two generations were low, unlike on the Continent. According to the reliable Migrationwatch, more people came to the UK in the single year 2010 than to the British Isles in the whole period 1066-1950. 

Nevertheless, there were always immigrants in England and in the Middle Ages their number was not negligible. A survey of foreigners in England in 1440 listed by name around
20,000 foreigners in England, who made up about one percent of the population. This was long after King Edward I expelled the Jews and centuries before Queen Elizabeth I expelled the few black people in the country. 

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Mini-holiday in Transylvania

Romania, which had four days off a year when I immigrated here, now has more holidays than I can count. A hot beautiful four day holiday just came to an end.

We spent the 'mini-vacation' in Sibiu and drove as far as Hunedoara Castle. It was my first visit, but a dauntingly long queue put us off. We returned mid-afternoon but the queue still looked an hour long and we drove on.
Ceausescu built a belching iron works next to the castle of John of Hunedoara, to show the victory of socialism over monarchy and the old order, but the works has been demolished, putting many out of work and the castle remains, the mainstay of the town's economy. 

Tourism has replaced iron and steel as the engine of economic growth. We grow rich by taking in one another's washing.

Quotations


Anglo Macron hype/hate has nothing to do with his actual performance. For liberals he must succeed, for socialists, nationalists he must fail. All ideologies sense of what must happens converge on Macron right now.


New York Times: "Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!"


I used to support the Democrats in US politics, back in the day of Carter and Reagan. I have changed and so, even more, have they.

I stopped being a Democrat after Bill Clinton had been in office a few months but I was neutral in 2000, strongly backed Gore in 2004 and hesitantly backed Obama, despite his being a European-style Social Democrat and his enthusiasm for horrible things like partial birth abortion, because of his colour, but also because of anger at the way Republicans had ruled since 2000 and because John McCain seemed like another George W. Bush.

Evening sky in Bucharest by Octav Dragan

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