Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Britain is not in decline

I just finished and cannot praise highly enough Robert Tombs' The English and Their History. To be honest, I never read a one volume history of England (Lord Macaulay's History of England doesn't count as it only covers the reigns of James II and William III and is in several volumes), but this is now the only one to read. 

It is not good to read a history book from cover to cover, as I have just done. One should read in small portions, think, then re-read. So many ideas jump out.

One of Dr Tombs' themes is that the myth of British decline since 1945 is precisely that, a myth.
There was something in the complaint Britain had been a third rate power with a great Empire. Except at sea it had slender means and was shaken by frequent disasters. If Mrs Thatcher could not delay German unification in 1989-90 neither could Mr Gladstone in 1870- 71. Loss of Empire was the most spectacular face of decline but the Empire as a whole was ceasing to be (if it ever really had been) the bedrock of wealth and power and this winding up has not weakened or impoverished England - rather the contrarry, for what was a liberation for the colonies was also a liberation for England. The fact is that the power of the empire, real when it could be mobilised, had been mostly taken up by defending itself. In military terms, even leaving aside technologies such as aircraft and the atom bomb, Britain in the 1950s was far stronger in sheer numbers of men than at the height of Victoria's empire. .....

Monday, 29 October 2018

Identity Politics in Overdrive

I recommend a good article by Heather MacDonald, called Identity Politics in Overdrive from a site called The Social Order. 

She mocks Paul Krugman, my least favourite public figure outside the Catholic hierarchy. I quote:
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman took a similarly deterministic line. Race, sex, and class drove Kavanaugh’s testimony—but not Ford’s. Kavanaugh’s rage resulted from his recognition that an “increasingly diverse society no longer accepts the God-given right of white males from the right families to run things.” Kavanaugh’s belief in his innocence had nothing to do with his remarks.

Sic transit Angela Merkel at last

Frau Merkel, just announced that she will not stand for her party's leadership again when her term of office ends in December, but hopes to continue as German Chancellor. 

She has been the worst German Chancellor since Hitler, not forgetting Ulbricht and Honecker. 

The terrible things they did can be put right over several generations, her mistakes not.

She stands down after both her party and their coalition partners, the Social Democrats, did very badly yesterday in Hesse and two weeks ago in Bavaria. 


The election results, despite the damage they did to the Christian and Social Democrats, were not good news. They showed the Social Democrats are being edged out by an extreme and very worrying party, who look certain to enter government. 

This party is the Greens, true children of 1968, left-wing social liberals who want open borders. The future of Germany looks left-wing for the near future, since the Christian Democrats and the dying Social Democrats are centre -left parties. The Christian Democrats also lost votes in Hesse to the Greens.

Still, it is certain that one day Germans will require the borders to be closed with a resounding clang.

I imagine the anti-immigration parties will come to power across Europe, unless conventional conservative parties convincingly match their policies, although this will probably happen last in Germany - and England, because of her two-party system. 


But though anti-immigration parties of one sort or another will win power, I suspect that they will not stop mass immigration. 



The Brazilian election is a victory for Pentecostalism against liberation theology

Jair Bolsonaro, who was almost murdered by a Communist during the campaign, has been elected president of Brazil. Some think the election is bad for democracy but how can democratic elections be undemocratic? When they are won by social conservatives.

In this case the left, approved of in the foreign press, was deeply corrupt and presided over horrifying violence and disorder (under democracy, there have been an average of 31 homicides per 100,000 individuals instead of 3 per 100,000 under the last junta). While the Government paid huge sums in social payments, the National Museum burnt down because it did not have adequate fire extinguishers. 


To read the press, you would think Senor Bolsonaro is Hitler. In fact, he sounds very like a Brazilian version of Donald Trump, though I do not like his remark that the mistake of the military dictatorship in power in the 1970s was to torture not to kill its opponents. 

On reflection, he sounds more like J.- M. Le Pen.

The financial journalists tell a very different story from their colleagues who cover politics. Brazil’s next president has promised to reduce the deficit and the size of government and his impending victory made the stock exchange jump by more than 50% in value. The left-wing Workers’ Party have created the worst recession in a century.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Identity politics and the synagogue murders

The latest suspect, a man suspected of murdering ten people in an American synagogue, is a white, anti-Trump anti-Semite and neither a Trump supporter nor a Muslim. 

The suspect accused of sending bombs to Democrats that did not go off has a history of issuing terrorist threats which long predates the Trump administration. He might or might not have had Trump stickers on his car and is a registered Democrat or possibly Republican. 

How odd this game is of seeing which camp is the killer in from every time. This is what identity politics means folks and it is just getting started!

The ricin sent to Donald Trump and other Republicans is largely ignored, though a man has just been sentenced to life imprisonment. Did you hear about it?


The American press is not even-handed in its coverage, lest you did not know that.


What has happened is that mentally unstable men have been violent. The commentary about the impending fascist takeover is a waste of your time, dear reader. it keeps journalists in their precarious employment.

It is true, however, that mentally ill people can be susceptible to all sorts of mass psychological forces and even demonic ones.


Corsica, Ethiopia, Mexico, Uruguay, Sarawak, Katanga and Morocco all asked to be annexed by the British Empire but were refused

According to Robert Tombs' bestselling and quite wonderful book The English and their History, Corsica, Ethiopia, Mexico, Uruguay, Sarawak, Katanga and Morocco all asked to be annexed by the British Empire but were refused.

Robert Tombs supervised me at the university when the world was young and Mrs. Thatcher had just led her party to a second victory. 

I can't recommend Dr. Tombs' book too highly. He has written a wonderful Tory (i.e. accurate and non political) history, free not of all liberal prejudices but of many, very insightful and full of brilliance. He spent his career as a historian of France not England.

He explains how the Empire came to exist, despite the forebodings of Liberals like Cobden. (Another Liberal, not quoted by Dr Tombs, Hilaire Belloc said the British Empire was an ugly name for an ugly thing.) 


Dr. Tombs:
Occupying new territories usually turned on some combination of strategic

The dangerous religion is not Islam but the human rights religion

I just came across a very polemical review by Andrew E. Harrod of a what sounds like a polemical book called Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, by an American called Raymond Ibrahim.

He is the son of Egyptian Coptic immigrants. Middle Eastern Christians often understand Islam better than anyone else, because they are native Arabic speakers who can be more objective than Muslims. Mr. Ibrahim was previously an Arabic specialist in the Library of Congress and is now a fellow at an American conservative think tank called the Middle East Forum run by Daniel Pipes. So he is probably at the Gatestone end of the spectrum. He is apparently a fairly serious scholar, but does not have appeared to have studied history at university.

Here is a quotation from the book.

The appeal of Muhammad's message lay in its compatibility with the tribal mores of his society. For seventh-century Arabs – and later tribal peoples, chiefly Turks and Tatars, who also found natural appeal in Islam – the tribe was what humanity is to modern people: to be part of it was to be treated humanely; to be outside of it was to be treated inhumanely.
That sounds a bit like what the civilised world was to Greeks and Romans, which the Romans extended to cover all Europe up to the border with the German barbarians - for those who like St Paul could say 
Civis Romanus sum.
Except that the citizens of Athens and Rome knew tribes were barbarians.

It was Christianity that transcended the idea of tribes, much though there is to be said in favour of them in principle and even though Jesus was interested only in preaching to the Jews.

Friday, 26 October 2018

'It's not racist or bigoted to want to know that when you elect a government, that government will do the governing'

I saw this on Facebook shortly after the British EU referendum. It's not by me or anyone I even know. I don't know who wrote it but I saved it then and think it worth posting now, when the Brexit drama moves towards its climacteric.
A lot of comments here about the culpability of the 'right-wing'. This was a result which turned on Labour voters in the north, who had no direction from their party and a burning resentment of immigration. The days of left/right politics are fast disappearing in our rear view mirror. We run with new rules..

It's not racist or bigoted to want to know that when you elect a government, that government will do the governing, and not be answerable to Brussels. It's not wrong to think that if you live in a country, that country should be able to manage its own borders.
The EU has been rejected, in some form, by voters, in five of the last seven times the European public had a chance to have a say. The two times it won were basically by holding the population who had dared to say "no" over a barrel. Not one of the previous four rejections has been taken heed of, and nothing has changed in Brussels. That - and that alone - explains what happened in the UK. It's going to keep happening until they get the message. They show no signs of doing so, and that, in the end, will be the EU's undoing.
A lot of comments here about the culpability of the 'right-wing'. This was a result which turned on Labour voters in the north, who had no direction from their party and a burning resentment of immigration. The days of left/right politics are fast disappearing in our rear view mirror. We run with new rules...

Thursday, 25 October 2018

A highly controversial poster which features the Google definition of the word 'woman'


"A highly controversial poster which features the Google definition of the word 'woman' has been removed from a billboard in Leeds.

"A digital version of the poster, which has been created by the campaign group Standing for Women, appeared on a billboard in York Road on Friday, October 19."



This reminds me of a piece of news from Barcelona a year or more ago, from a site called Gaytway.
Authorities in the Barcelona suburb of Sant Boi de Llobregat have launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness about the town’s sexual diversity featuring a series of questions on its municipal buses such as “Meat or fish?”, “Sweet or savoury?” and “Blue or pink?” 
The Sant Boi’s initiative coincides with the outrage in Madrid which we reported earlier this month. There a bus chartered by bigoted Catholic group Hazte Oír plastered with the transphobic message “Boys have penises, girls have vulvas. Don’t let them fool you. If you’re born a man, you’re a man. If you’re a woman, you will continue to be so” was paraded through the streets of the Spanish capital until it was quickly impounded in a car park by the council.




Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Political correctness is imposed by a section of the graduate class on everyone else

According to Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarised Landscape, 80% of Americans agree with the statement ‘political correctness is a problem in our country’, including 75 % of black Americans 82 per cent of Asians, 87 per cent of Hispanics and 88% of American-Indians. I learnt this from an article in Spiked. So who likes PC?

The Hidden Tribes researchers identified a section of society which it labelled ‘progressive activists’. This group includes those most wedded to political correctness: only 30 per cent see it as a problem. It is characterised as being young, cosmopolitan and liberal. But it makes up just eight per cent of the US population. They are also disproportionately white: 80 per cent of the ‘progressive activists’ surveyed were white compared with 69 per cent of those surveyed overall. They are also overwhelmingly better-off: so-called progressive activists are three times as likely to have a postgraduate education and twice as likely to be earning over $100,000 a year.

Corbyn channels Allende

To understand a man's politics, someone said, think about what the word was like when he was twenty. 

When I was twenty England had been in decline for two decades, music, fashion, art, architecture and almost everything were ghastly (though short hair had come back and things were getting much better), unemployment in England was horribly high, industrial towns were suffering job losses like in the 1930s and almost all economists agreed that free market economics, as adopted by newcomers Mrs Thatcher and President Reagan, were what George H.W. Bush called voodoo economics. 

Although I was intensely conservative and not far from a libertarian I became committed to the need to be paternalistic and look after the working class. Like most people of my age, I thought the E.E.C. was a good idea and failed to see the significance of immigration. (In those days about 50,000 people from outside Europe permanently settled in the U.K. whereas now it is about 60,000, while the number of Europeans who come to live in the UK is about 150,000 each year, of whom many later leave, but they do not need permission to settle.)

To understand Theresa May realise that she was twenty in 1976, the year after Edward Heath was ousted for the Tory leadership and the same year that Harold Wilson resigned from the Labour leadership. 


To understand Jeremy Corbyn understand that he was twenty in 1969. His ideas are the ideas of a disappointed 1968-er. When he was 21 Allende became the Communist

Thrillers are more like real life than real life

The Khashoggi case illustrates the truth of Graham Greene's aphorism: thrillers are more like real life than real life.


Or perhaps it does the opposite. it is one of the rare cases where real life closely resembles a thriller. though that isn't true either. Real life resembles a thriller more and more: September 11th; Assange; the senior Catholic priests involved in cocaine fuelled and sado-masochistic orgies with young boys.


We are not the first to have thought this, though. The protagonist of Graham Greene's The

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Revisionism taken to a new level: the phantom time hypothesis of Heribert Illig

The best conspiracy theory in history, the Phantom time hypothesis, which argues that the years 614-911AD didn't exist and were just made up


Here it is.

It sounds like the basis for a novel by James Branch Cabell.


I just thought of another idea. If some years didn't happen, perhaps the world DID come to an end in 2000 and the years 2000- 18 were an illusion: this might explain Al Qaeda, innumerable pronouns, Pope Francis, Brexit, Corbyn, Donald Trump, etc.

Death of a Princess

Do people remember the huge fuss the Saudis made over Death of a Princess, a film shown by British TV channel ITV in 1980?  It was inspired by the fate of Saudi Princess Mishaal bint Fahd al Saud, who was executed in 1977 for alleged adultery at the age of 19. The Saudi King expelled the British Ambassador.

The Observer took an oddly broad-minded view on the killing. Did Lonrho which owned it have interests in the Gulf?

The film gave a lopsided picture. It concentrated on the sexual adventures of bored princesses and virtually ignored the efforts of many Saudi women who are struggling with skill, intelligence and increasing success to equip themselves through higher education for a new role, and to widen their freedoms.
Saudi Arabia is a fast changing country with all the problems which spring from quick riches in a society which until a generation ago was a simple pastoral patriarchy. One of the temptations the European media needs to resist is the urge to headline whatever is wrong with Arab society while rarely reporting what is being done to put things right.
We need to remind ourselves that in the gracious days of Jane Austen’s England men, women and children were hanged publicly for over a hundred offences; that it is only 20 years since Ruth Ellis was hanged in an English prison for shooting her lover who deserted her, after she had had a miscarriage. And that even today our children can still legally be flogged in public.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Why Donald Trump won - a McCain TV advert from 2010 explains

This television advertisement for the late John McCain, broadcast when he was fighting a tight primary in 2010, explains why in 2016 (almost half the) American electors preferred Donald Trump to any of the mainstream politicians who offered themselves as candidates for the presidency. 

Trump was elected to stop illegal immigrants (and, as far as many supporters were concerned, Muslim immigrants) from entering the USA.

In the advert, McCain walks along an incomplete fence with a local Sheriff, McCain listing the problems 

"Drug and human smuggling, home invasions, murder."
The sheriff replies,
"We're outmanned. Of all the illegals in America, more than half come through Arizona."
McCain's proposal, which the sheriff thinks is perfect, is
"Complete the danged fence."
McCain was being disingenuous as he had supported a bill in 2005, jointly sponsored by Ted Kennedy, to grant an amnesty. In a 2007 Vanity Fair interview, McCain said,

Two Italian Archbishops speak out

Archbishop Perego of Ferrara-Comacchio, who is described as “the most left-wing politician in town, and a courageous man” by one of his admirers, said in a recent sermon
“[Ethnic] inter-mingling is an inevitable reality and a response to Italy’s demographic crisis.....The challenge for Italy is to reconcile a country that is dying with young people who come from elsewhere, in order to begin a new history. If we close our door to migrants, we will disappear. I’m speaking about current realities, not just points of view.”

Rapid climate change is not happening

Science writer, journalist and banker Viscount ("Matt") Ridley, in this week's Spectator:
Donald Trump now says of climate change: ‘I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man-made.’ The climate activist Eric Holthaus said: ‘The world’s top scientists just gave rigorous backing to systematically dismantle capitalism.’ Both are wrong. The truth is that climate change is happening, but more slowly than expected. It’s now 30 years since James Hansen of Nasa raised the alarm and, as climate scientist Pat Michaels and hurricane expert Ryan Maue have pointed out, ‘it’s time to acknowledge that the rapid warming he predicted isn’t happening’. Our own government’s climate-change committee, and the hysterical BBC, should take note.

Britons need to back Brexit, says Remainer MP

My last post quoted Captain Johnny Mercer, M.P., who committed the solecism of referring to MPs' wives rather than 'husbands and wives'. The article in which he did so is an interesting one, published in yesterdays' Sunday Times. It's interesting because Mercer is a great admirer of David Cameron and his 'compassionate conservatism', and was on the Remain side in the referendum. He now urges people to embrace Brexit. 

He also says that he would not vote Conservative were he not a politician. (2015 was the first time he voted and he voted for himself.)

It contains these words that I like very much.
That “hopey-changey” thing that Barack Obama talked about — it’s our turn. Britain is a naturally aspirational country. We are unique, no doubt about it. We have become the first country in the world to vote for politics over economics, and back Brexit. Don’t sneer at it; embrace it. Stop campaigning about how bad the other side is, and speak to
that uniquely brilliant British spirit that flows through the towns and cities of this country. People will come — good politics is not dead.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Sajid Javid in trouble for tweeting: "These sick Asian paedophiles are finally facing justice”

An unnamed Tory MP has advised Theresa May “bring her own noose” to the forthcoming 1922 Committee meeting, where it will be decided whether she stays or goes. Matthew Norman took offence, but not on behalf of the Prime Minister. In his Independent blog he comments
Always nice to see the argot of the Deep South lynching get a run-out.
(Actually the word lynching antedates the post-bellum American South by 80 years and comes from Charles Lynch, a disgusting man who hanged brave Loyalists during the American revolution.)

Norman also sneers at Tory M.P. Johnny Mercer for saying yesterday:
“Any disagreement is met by howls of personal abuse. MPs are expected to accept the abuse of their wives, children, homes …”
He should have said spouses, not wives. Matthew Norman says he could go on pointing out breaches of politically correct form recently on the part of Tory MPs but time is short and so he comes to his point.
“These sick Asian paedophiles,” wrote the home secretary of the 15 men convicted on Friday in Huddersfield, “are finally facing justice.”
If Javid imagines his racial and religious origins offer any defence to the charge of incendiary race-baiting, he must be out of his tiny mind.

The fall of Theresa May seems imminent - at least let's hope so

50,000 people in London marched (the march was described as looking like the queue at Waitrose) in favour of another referendum. In fact it would not be another referendum but the one two years ago reheld. This is how the EU deals with referendums that go the wrong way (as they always do first time for the EU) and this shows how decadent the British now are. We are getting out of the EU just in time.

Suzanne Moore, who in the end voted Remain, in the Guardian of all places explained that we have already had a People's Vote and it's time the Remainers tried to understand why they lost.

"Despising half the country is now the progressive position. So half the country are racist, old, small-minded, poor people who were seduced by a combination of Aaron Banks and delusions of empire. What these people really need is to be lectured constantly by a motley crew of metropolitan celebrities and has-been politicians (Clegg, Heseltine, Blair). Spare me, please."

Crime broken down by race in London in 2010

London was the scene of more murders in February and March than New York.
For over a long time I have been reading about the steep increase in violent crime in London. Mayor Khan attributed it to cocaine use among the middle classes which got him laughed into oblivion, though an intelligent Labour-voting Facebook friend in her fifties thought it made sense to her. Intelligent, nice people like her are, in a certain sense, the biggest problem in the Western world.

I thought I'd do some cursory research on the internet to see if demographics and immigration were linked to the rise in crime. I did not find such a link, but I did not look hard because I quickly came across this in Wikipedia, which astonished and horrified me.

In June 2010, through a Freedom of Information Act request, The Sunday Telegraph obtained statistics on accusations of crime broken down by race from the Metropolitan Police Service. The figures showed that the majority of males who were accused of violent crimes in 2009–10 were black. Of the recorded 18,091 such accusations against males, 54 percent accused of street crimes were black; for robbery, 59 percent; and for gun crimes, 67 percent.

What people say about the Khashoggi affair


The Khashoggi affair will not end the US Saudi alliance but it does damage Donald Trump's foreign policy: alliance with a reforming Saudi leader and Israel to bring pressure on the Iranians hoping this leads to regime change in Iran, while cutting deals with Russia to bring peace to Syria. This enables him to overturn another Obama policy and, to my surprise, looks like it was bringing results in Syria. 


The long drawn out Khashoggi affair shows Donald Trump at his worst, continually making lame and risible excuses for the Saudis and Erdogan at his cleverest. He controls the story by leaking dribs and drabs and effectively is saying - we have more like this if you do not cut a deal with us. The discomfort of Neo-Cons and pro-Israeli journalists is delightfully funny too.

Here are some things that people said that are worth your time to read. 


Melanie Phillips repeats what she heard from her sources. This story sounds very

Saturday, 20 October 2018

The Saudi monarchy is a graver danger to Christendom than Iran or even Turkey

The Washington Post writer who was killed and cut up (in what order I do not know) by the Saudis, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was not a believer in single-sex marriage or feminism any more than American evangelical Protestants are. He was one sort of Islamist and the mortal (literally) enemy of the Islamists who are in power in Riyadh. 

He was their enemy because he was very close to the highest Saudis and knew a lot of their secrets. This is why he was tortured and killed by people close to the Crown Prince. I imagine he may have had a heart attack while being tortured or have put up a struggle that led to his killing.

It could be a Hitchcock film, but re-made by Quentin Tarantino. (I just re-watched The Man who Knew Too Much, where a political assassination is averted by Doris Day, but she was not there to save poor Mr Khashoggi). 

Some people who see the Saudis, who are allied effectively to Israel, as a force for stability disgustingly make light of the killing. 

Trump's manufacturing boom

Good news for the Americans. Manufacturing jobs have increased markedly. This article explains the boom since Trump got in: it's because business knows he is deregulating and cutting taxes, especially corporation tax. I am in favour of that and wish the British misnamed conservatives were.

The U.S. tax cuts are helping the global economy so that is good news for all of us.

I made a somewhat half-hearted attempt to find the reasons why America has boomed since Donald Trump took office (that still sounds odd to write). There is surprisingly little explanation to be found, because most journalists and economists are horrified by him. 


Not that I trust economists. Paul Krugman who won the Nobel Prize in Economics tweeted on election night:
"It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump. And markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover? A first-pass answer is never."
During the campaign he had said we were "looking at a global recession, with no end in sight” if Donald Trump became president. 

He tweeted on November 25, 2016,
“Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost [manufacturing] jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.”
Instead, in the first 21 months of the Trump presidency, manufacturing employment grew by 3.1%, reversing the trend under Obama.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Quotations

Not in nationalism does one find the main key to the epoch of the early Soviet years, but in the destructive whirlwind of internationalism, estranged from any feeling of nationality or traditions. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

They can print statistics and count the populations in hundreds of thousands, but to each man a city consists of no more than a few streets, a few houses, a few people. Remove those few and a city exists no longer except as a pain in the memory, like a pain of an amputated leg no longer there. Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana

Ann Coulter believes the left has 'lost its mind'.

An interesting interview with Ann Coulter in The Guardian today. The interviewer points out that 
"In June 2015, three days after Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, Coulter appeared on an episode of the Bill Maher show. She told him that, of the 17 Republican primary candidates, Trump was the one with the best chance of winning the White House. The room erupted in laughter. She then proceeded to tell an incredulous Maher that Bernie Sanders was the only Democrat who could beat Trump."
The article ends with a quotation from the lady at a recent speech. Not one of her funnier or better lines, if you ask me, though the audience loved it.
"Trump, she says, is chemotherapy for the country. The process won’t be pleasant. “We’ll get sick, we’ll throw up, it really sucks. But the entire New York Times editorial board dies.”

The decline and fall of the Church of England

The University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford was the site where the Protestants Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer were tried for heresy in the reign of Queen Mary I. Now, Anglican blogger Archbishop Cramner informs us that an Imam will preach there and comments thus.
He will not be delivering a pre-worship talk on Islam or presenting a post-worship discourse on interfaith reconciliation, either of which would be perfectly acceptable in a university church of theological scholarship and missional service. No, he will be preaching the University Sermon at the 10.30am Choral Eucharist.

Radical feminists attack church and town hall in Argentina

This story deserves a lot more coverage than it has received. Feminists attending a conference in a provincial town in Argentina attacked public buildings with Molotov cocktails (firebombs) and stones. Ten women were arrested. 

Numerous attacks on Catholic churches have taken place since the Argentinian senate rejected a bill legalising abortion in August.

This behaviour is extremely mild compared with the persecution of priests and nuns in Mexico years ago (providing the setting for Greene's The Power and the Glory) and on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, but it involves the same dark forces.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

In praise of Breitbart: free speech will drive out fake news

The New York Times and the Washington Post were excellent at one time, boring, factual newspapers that put British ones to shame, almost as enjoyably dull as German ones. Not any more. They now read like propaganda sheets.

They worry about fake news in the social media but if they do not publish exactly fake news what they publish is hugely biased, for example against the current U.S. administration.

The bias during the 2016 U.S. presidential election was preposterous. I read headline after headline in the MSM in Google news saying Trump was losing and clicked to find he was doing well.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Transgender person wins women's race

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and people playing sport

The Bavarian revolution



Political earthquake



“CSU, at 35.5 percent, loses its absolute majority and is below 40 percent the first time since 1954. SPD below 10 percent, loses half of its electorate and enters the territory of irrelevance. Greens are the new centre-left force; AfD enters another state Parliament.”

The Greens, who campaigned for more immigrants, scare me to death.


One minor German Green Party politician, Dr. Stefanie von Berg, told the Hamburg parliament in 2015, 

"Our society will change. Our society will change radically. In 20-30 years there will no longer be a German majority. We will live in a supercultural society. This is what we will have in the future. And I want to make it very clear, especially to right-wingers: This is a good thing!"

Cassocks

Cassocks are coming back. I love them.


Catholic priests wear them in Romania, a blessed country where priests and poets are right-wing, sometimes astonishingly right-wing.

It is a bit rich for Hillary to complain of sexism

Hillary Clinton achieved great and unaccountable power and almost became U.S. President, without any conspicuous ability, simply because of being married to her husband, yet she complains that “way Trump debated” her was “imbued with sexism.”

When he threatened that if he lost he would not accept the result she rightly accused him of acting improperly, yet she and her supporters blame the Russians and sexist and racist voters. It would be a sin to enjoy her unhappiness and whatever bad things she has done she is probably a perfectly good person. I will not believe she is a murderess until I see proof, though she did laugh about Gadaffi's horrible death, which she caused. 

However, American politics is enormous fun. I said in this blog in 2016 that one reason for voting for Trump was that with him nothing would be boring for a moment. I made a good point.

False charges against men

This is the kind of thing that is the background to the allegations about Justice Kavanaugh.

First, this news article in the American magazine National Review sheds horrifying light on the way false sex allegations against men are adjudicated on without due process or the rules of natural justice and destroy male students' lives.

Here is a riveting article by Barbara Amiel about sex charges, an article that scandalised people who are easily scandalised.

The Middle East is of no importance

The Middle East is of no importance except to its inhabitants. If you doubt me read this article by American defence analyst, Edward Luttwak. He's Jewish and friendly to Israel, by the way.

Malmo's murder rate higher than New York's

Vienna has a murder rate of 1.1/100,000. London has a murder rate of 1.2- New York has a murder rate of 3.4. Malmo has a murder rate of 4.4. So four times higher than Vienna, nearly four times higher than London and higher than New York. 

Pelle Neroth Taylor

Congratulations, sir and ma'am

I congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the latter's pregnancy, I suppose.


Romanians congratulate me, which is so nice of them, but I don't really know why. It's not like the birth of Prince George of Wales or even his brother, whose name escapes me. Their child will be seventh in line to the throne. It would take a massacre for her to become Queen.


I love the monarchy rather than the Royal Family, who obscure the importance of the monarch, an importance which is very deep and probably for Jungians part of the collective unconscious. This however always happens when a Queen is on the throne. The cult of the royal family began in Victoria's reign. 



Still, we are so very lucky not to have Roy Hattersley, Douglas Hurd or Gordon Brown as our head of state.


There are quite a few ways in which Romania is more civilised than England and quite a lot of ways in which we are better, the first of which is that we have a monarchy.

Quotations

“Fi­nally, we come to split­ting. Split­ting, or com­pulsive, neu­rotic re­order­ing of all per­sons and things as ei­ther good or bad, was orig­i­nally seen as a fea­ture of bor­der­line-per­son­al­ity dis­or­der. To such peo­ple it of­ten seems the cen­tral pur­pose of men­tal life. Now it’s widely un­der­stood to be the nor­mal be­hav­ior of the hu­man brain when wound up on so­cially con­structed ide­o­log­i­cal rage.”

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. in Friday's Wall St. Journal


“At his po­lit­i­cal ral­lies, Pres­i­dent Trump has taken to call­ing out “the rad­i­cal De­moc­rats.” De­moc­rats are ap­palled at the Pres­i­dent’s rhetoric. We can’t imag­ine why. If the par­ty’s post-con­fir­ma­tion cam­paign against Jus­tice Ka­vanaugh isn’t a rad­i­cal de­par­ture from the norms of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, we can’t imag­ine what is.”

Editorial, Wall St. Journal


Sunday, 14 October 2018

Why Donald Trump will probably win a second term

The Guardian in England and The New York Times and The Atlantic in the USA all recently published articles saying that Trump will probably win a second term. It was not something the writers wanted to write or most of the readers wanted to read.

Katty Kay of the BBC said during the 2016 campaign that Donald Trump is a Democrat. I can't find the link and I wonder if she has had it taken down. I agreed with her then - but now I see him as a throwback to the old Republicans of the pre-war era: protectionist and if not an isolationist, at least in favour of pursuing American interests and not an internationalist. So I think he is a Republican, even though at the same time he is clearly a third party candidate who took over one of the parties.

But he did not cast a spell on the GOP or fool them with Russian collusion. There were very good reasons why the Republicans chose him and people who dislike him, which is most people, should try hard to understand those reasons.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Pope Francis seeks to change the Catholic brand

The leaders of the Catholic Church seem to be going the way of Marks and Spencer's - an iconic chain of shops on every high street in England that is abandoning its core customers while vainly chasing after new customers who aren't interested in them.

I always thought it odd that the churches in the West have since 1960 become left-wing when the Church's teaching about sex, divorce, abortion, social hierarchy and hierarchy in marriage never seemed more conservative when contrasted with what is believed in the secular world.

It seems now that even the rock-like Catholic Church will not seem so rock-like if the Pope and his favourite cardinals (those who are not forced to resign) have their way. The intention of the Pope is not to attempt to change timeless doctrine but to move around

Cambridge University Students' Union votes against Remembrance Sunday motion

The Cambridge University Student Union (a body most students have no contact with and less important than the Cambridge Union) voted down a motion to promote Remembrance Sunday amid fears that it glorified war. Which is in fact the opposite of what it does.

The news story is confused and feeds the appetite the papers know their readers have for scandals at Oxbridge and public schools. Nor is anything the students' union does of much importance. But it seems a motion put forward by two members of CUCA, the Cambridge University Conservative Association, to "ensure that Remembrance Day becomes a well-established and well-marked event across the university” was rejected and another

Wise Democrats should vote Republican this time in congressional elections

It is such a shame that the Republicans will probably lose their majority in the House this time. It will send the stock exchange plummeting further which could even trigger a financial crash and will certainly mean a painfully divided country becomes much more painfully divided. Even Democrats should vote Republican this one time for these two reasons.

Cismigiu and the Russian church in autumn

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Feminists are the locomotive which pulls the train of political correctness

Feminists are the locomotive which pulls the train of political correctness.

Other minority groups are that, minorities. Women are the majority.

More and more it becomes clear in politics and, if they are still distinguishable from politics, in society as a whole and in the churches that, as an anonymous 1960s American radical said,

“The issue is never the issue."

Tory Island

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Tory Island, Donegal, the remotest inhabited island in Ireland.

The islanders elect one of their number to be king. When Sachaverell Sitwell visited the king was a woman.

Tory is an Irish word for robber or bandit and many dispossessed Irish Catholic peasants became bandits in the reign of King Charles II. 
Newspapers in England were just starting in his reign (the London Gazette, at first called The Oxford Gazette, began publication in 1665) and Tories were news.

The original Tories in English politics were people well disposed to the Catholic Duke of

Things people say

“I love rebellion, and I love getting rid of things that have outlived their usefulness. Brexit is both – after years of treading water and trading away our autonomy for a pathetic package of Euro-portioned mediocrity.” Julie Burchill

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Friday, 12 October 2018

Cardinal Wuerl finally resigns, but will remain very influential

Cardinal Wuerl has at last resigned as Archbishop of Washington D.C. after being accused of covering up cases of clerical child abuse when he was Bishop of Pittsburgh, rather than reporting them to the police. Crimes committed by priests in his former diocese were extensive and revealed in the Pennsylvania Grand Jurors' Report that has so shocked everyone. He was mentioned 200 times in the report.

Donald Wuerl began his career as private secretary to Bishop, later Cardinal Wright who was a pederast who interfered with teenage boys. Wright became Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy — that is, head of the Vatican’s apparatus for overseeing priests worldwide - and shared an apartment with Donald Wuerl.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Quotations

“If a natural cataclysm had placed a broad sea between the Germans and the French, the German character would not have been dominated by militarism. If – a more conceivable possibility – the Germans had succeeded in exterminating their Slav neighbors as the Anglo-Saxons in North America succeeded in exterminating the Indians, the effect would have been what it has been on the Americans: the Germans would have become advocates of brotherly love and international reconciliation." 
AJP Taylor


"Love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you.
For those who are near you are far away …

Sic transit Nikki

I am glad Nikki Hayley has resigned as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. She was in the George W. Bush mould and eager for U.S. involvement in the Middle East. The BBC says she received nationwide praise for removing Confederate statues from the South Carolinan capitol. Nationwide from some people but those were brave men who fought for what they considered their country.

Of course, Nikki is much less objectionable than Ivanka who thankfully will not replace her.



Sunday, 7 October 2018

Why the Romanian constitutional amendment to redefine marriage failed

The constitutional amendment to redefine the family will fail because only about 20% of the Romanian electorate voted, even though most who voted will have voted in favour of the amendment. A turnout of 30% was required.

Marriage in Romania will continue to be between men and women because that is what the law says, even though the constitution does not require it.

I just saw some angry man called Fabio Luciani on the Euronews Facebook wall saying: 
"Why did the Western democracies allowed this illiterates [sic] get into the Union? This was nonsense. Certain standards concerning democratic values and respect for human rights should be met before joining."

What Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh means for America

Judge Kavanaugh was confirmed in the most bitter battle anyone can remember by a majority in the Senate of 50-48.

The U.S. Supreme Court has a conservative majority for the first time since the 1930s, when Franklin D. Roosevelt threatened to pack the Court with 6 extra judges to make sure Democratic legislation was not struck down.

Previous Republican presidents often either nominated judges who turned out not to be conservative (Eisenhower nominated the former Republican Governor of California Earl Warren who turned out to be very liberal) or had their choices rejected by a Democrat controlled Senate (Reagan's choice, Robert Bork, for example).

Dan Rather, the TV anchorman who succeeded Walter Cronkite as the personification of

Worrying about Russia is like Cromwell fighting Spain

Churchill suddenly said to Harold Macmillan in Cairo 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?' 

Out of Africa

Melania Trump wears a pith helmet on safari in Nairobi, Kenya.

I thought Mrs. Trump looked delicious in her pith helmet in Kenya but some accused her of looking colonialist

She shows that at 48 years of age she is a remarkable beauty, with great clothes sense and great wit, as with the 'I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?' jacket she wore on a trip to visit immigrant children. Some not very perceptive people thought she meant she didn't care

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Quotations

I think the most terrifying thing about growing up is that you realise that no one ever grows up, and that the world is, in fact, run by children.
Peter Istrate


Rebellion has psychological, sociological and anthropological bases. The idea that teens "need" to rebel is an Anglo-Saxon idea. In Portugal, my students always thought it was a strange concept.
Teresa Pole-Baker 

Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam [...] has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to

Thursday, 4 October 2018

When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a small heron

Hamlet's enigmatic line "When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw" has been explained. I just heard an actor on the BBC say he discovered this in Norfolk but others on the net had discovered it before him.

The handsaw, hanser or heronsaw is a Norfolk dialect word for a small heron. A hunter would be expected to know the difference. Birds generally fly in the direction of the wind . If the wind flies north, the sun gets in the hunter’s eyes and he can’t distinguish the two birds. If the wind is south, the bird flies with its back to the sun and can easily be distinguished.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's battle with Brett Kavanaugh over the truth

I do not really understand this complicated story by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Mr Evans-Pritchard, whom I have been reading since he was covering the Clinton Administration as a foreign correspondent, often seems wild in his judgments but he may be right to think very badly of Kavanaugh. He thinks him intellectually mediocre - which he obviously is- and says he suppressed evidence to protect the Clintons, in a case where some hinted that Hillary was a murderess. This, of course, is the opposite of the usual view that he was a Republican partisan who wanted to hang the Clintons out to dry.

I am going off Judge Kavanaugh.

Letter to the Times today


Sir, I agree with almost everything that Clare Foges writes in her article about Michael Gove, but she got one part slightly wrong. She says that “trashing experts was not his finest hour”. But really, it was. What he actually said was “the people of this country have had enough of experts from organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best.” In the same interview, and in the same context, he said: “I’m asking the people to trust themselves.”
Two statements that set Mr Gove apart from many of those experts, and many other politicians, in not patronising the people of this country.
Nigel Barratt
Melton, Suffolk

I agree with this very strongly. This was the high point of the referendum campaign and roused the most irritating sort of Remainers to fury. 

Michael Gove should have stood for the Tory leadership as soon as David Cameron resigned - he was the only good candidate.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Sober as a judge

I don't mind if Judge Kavanaugh drinks so long as it's not before hearings. I am not sure he should drink as much as the great reactionary Lord Chancellor Eldon whose judgments after sharing 3 bottles of port over lunch with a friend "continued to perplex the law of equity for a half century after his death", according to Lord Campbell's Lives of the Lords Chancellors, a delightful forgotten classic.


What he did as a teenager is a long time ago. Nowadays Judge Kavanaugh seems to be a respectable church-going paterfamilias. I suppose that is what leftists call 'hetero-normative'. By contrast, Lady Justice Hale's divorce did not prevent her being made President of the English Supreme Court. Though 
Melanie Phillips was not talking about her private life but her record as a law commissioner arguing for no-fault divorce when she described her as a marriage wrecker.

Monday, 1 October 2018

The Kavanaugh hearings are about abortion and about war between two elites

The Senate confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is a gripping novel where things done in their youth come back to haunt and punish the characters in middle age. It has almost everything: sex; politics; religion; possibly a crime.

It's as gripping as the Dreyfus affair, though I do not know who is Dreyfus and who Esterhazy. I hope an innocent man does not get sent to Devil's Island.

The hatred and bigotry that Democrats display towards Judge Kavanaugh is astonishing, though Republicans are just as hateful and bigoted when the boot is on the other foot. I have not seen one Democrat who believes or one Republican who doubts Kavanagh's
testimony. 

This, I think, is on the whole a good, not a bad thing. In England this would all be sorted out by civil servants.

Marriage

"You only know what happiness is once you're married. But then it's too late." Peter Sellers

Laurel and Hardy on single-sex marriage:


OLLIE: "I'm getting married" 

STAN: "Who to?" 
OLLIE: "A woman of course. Did you ever hear of anybody marrying a man?" 
STAN: "Sure. My sister."


“I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother.” 
Martha Gellhorn