Sunday, 28 November 2021

Euthenasia and Covid restrictions

I am indebted to my faithful reader Toma for this information. 

The highest German court ruled last year that euthanasia was not unconstitutional and, since then, in some provinces it has become legal, but anyone wishing to be euthanised should first present proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid, according to new guidelines issued by Germany's palliative care association.

I think it very shocking that euthanasia is being legalised. 

I also dislike the word guidelines. It came into fashion when traditional institutions became bureaucratic and run not by landowners and the church but by the kind of people who rule us now.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021


"The people who made Britain rich were not acting in the interests of the workers." A Congolese historian on the BBC Radio Four Today programme in 2011, telling a shocked interviewer how much better things were in the Congo under colonialism. He brushed aside the BBC man's objection that the Belgians were self-interested.

“If you yourself don’t choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will, and their motives may not be the highest.” Epictetus

“Thoughts become perception, perception becomes reality. Alter your thoughts, alter your reality.” William James

"The theologians say the soul has no sex. I doubt it. I very much doubt it." Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Winston Churchill's prescription for alcohol while visiting the US while prohibition was in force. Prohibition, McCarthyism, Woke, so many strange phases that curious country goes through.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

The Nazis, Napoleon, the Kaisers and compulsory vaccination

The decision by Austria to have another lockdown was a big surprise to me but it is, I suppose, what one should expect. Her decision to make vaccination against Covid compulsory shocked me very much, but people who say this is reminiscent of the Nazis are mistaken.

An article in The Daily Telegraph explains that the world’s first vaccine was developed against smallpox in 1798. 
Bavaria, which had become a kingdom the year before, was the first place to make vaccination compulsory in 1807. This, the article says, two years later led to an armed rebellion in the Northern Tyrol, then in Bavaria, now part of Austria, led by Andreas Hofer, who opposed the vaccine for religious reasons. 17,000 people died in the rebellion.

Great Britain made smallpox vaccination compulsory from 1853 till 1971 and the second German Reich did so in 1874. Then as now there were plenty of people who opposed vaccines.

The Nazis inherited the compulsory vaccination law, but fearing they might stir up resistance they did not enforce it and in 1940 they effectively made vaccination optional. Compulsory vaccination for smallpox returned to Germany and Austria after 1945. 

Friday, 19 November 2021

Words and phrases that go out of fashion

Odd how expressions go out of fashion. I just said 'Homer nods' and realised I haven't said or heard it said for decades. 

I also suspect I might be the last man to say 'Mr Gladstone' and one of a declining number who say 'Dr Johnson.' I used the expression 'pile Pelion on Ossa' recently talking on Facebook to an erudite professor of Scottish literature who hadn't heard it.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Things I read recently

Aldous Huxley in 1946 predicted exactly how we live now.

"There is, of course, no reason why the new totalitarianisms should resemble the old. Government by clubs and firing squads, by artificial famine, mass imprisonment and mass deportation, is not merely inhumane (nobody cares much about that nowadays); it is demonstrably inefficient

"A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.

"The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is the truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects, by lowering what Mr Churchill calls an ‘iron curtain’ between the masses and such facts or arguments as the local political bosses regard as undesirable, totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have done by the most eloquent denunciations, the most compelling of logical rebuttals."

Monday, 15 November 2021

Remedy worse than the disease

A disaster often does much less harm than what you do in response to it. September 11 being the best example. Covid-19 looks like another example.

Saturday, 13 November 2021

This is what I wrote 5 years and 1 day ago when Donald Trump won


Reality is not always probable, or likely. Jorge Luis Borges 

It's true Trump's win has sparked an increase in racist rhetoric, but we can hope this vilification of white voters will eventually abate. Ann Coulter

I stopped supporting him after the groping allegations. I was more or less neutral before the result but influenced by Rod Liddle who told me Trump was probably the lesser evil by a whisker. Watching in the early hours of Wednesday, I found myself delighted when he won so many states he wasn't supposed to have a chance in. I now think he will be good. After all, he has defied expectations all along.

He has proved to be a remarkably good politician and a salesman of genius who likes to win. He has achieved something huge by overcoming both the two parties, the Clinton machine, the Bush machine, the religious right and the bipartisan establishment. Now he may get to sideline the climate change industry and institute a rational immigration policy.

Friday, 12 November 2021

History repeats itself in Hagia Sofia first as tragedy, then as farce

I discovered this story rather late. In the spring of last year the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor was seeking to convict Belgian model Marisa Papen for up to seven years in prison for being photographed naked in the Hagia Sophia on a 2018 trip to Turkey. 

There is, of course, a precedent. The Catholic army on the Fourth Crusade were diverted from Jerusalem to take Constantinople which they plundered in 1204. They placed a prostitute on the Patriarch's throne in the Hagia Sophia who sang obscene songs.

When the infidels took the church in 1453 and turned it into a mosque they were much more respectful.

Miss Papen also faces charges of "insulting symbols of state sovereignty" for posing nude on a Turkish flag. I imagine she will not return to Turkey.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Europe is a sick man

The key Marxist idea that class drives history seems to be forgotten, except by the hard left, but the equally key idea that countries, nations, ethnic groups and races are false consciousness was never more alive and well. 

It is now clear that this in many ways was the biggest Marxist fallacy of all and is being adopted by liberals, by Catholics, by the dying continent of Europe.

Europe which ruled the world until 1941, despite barbarian and then Muslim invasions, is now utterly feeble. As Neagu Djuvara said, it is committing suicide (if it has not already done so). 

This short essay by Peter Franklin is interesting on this theme.

What all of these crises reveal is the essential powerlessness of the European Union. We’ve been told ad nauseam that the EU is the producer of peace in Europe. The truth, however, is that the EU is the product of it. 

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Marxism is still powerful in the USA and has been for about 6 decades, except in the 1950s

The 1960s social revolution stems not from Paris in 1968 but from the American Civil Rights movement which was organised originally by Communists, as Harry Truman pointed out. 

Communism has played a crucial role in American history in every decade since 1920, except the 1950s, and you ain't heard nothing yet!

Think of the Soviet spies. Think of the Weather Underground that anticipated today's Woke movement with its talk of white skin privilege. They went into bombing public buildings, but then realised that running kindergartens not terrorism was the way to win power.

But although political correctness was a Leninist phrase revived by George HW Bush as a weapon against the left (it made a noise but it turned out that it fired blanks) the new sort of liberalism, influenced by the ideas of heretical Frankfurt School of Marxism and academics who sought refuge in the USA from Hitler, is more  important than the old hard left, as it was back in the 1960s and 1970s

Monday, 8 November 2021

St Michael and St Gabriel's Day

                                        Icon from Sinai.

Many happy returns of the day to people named after the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Today is their saints' day in the Orthodox calendar. (For Catholics they share a day with the Archangel Raphael on September 29).

Angels are not given much thought by modern people but they are very important, especially in Romania. Romania is a profound and profoundly mystical country. 

Almost one and a half Romanians are named after Michael and Gabriel. Today is the day they celebrate, or would were it not for the pandemic.

Angels are incorporeal beings who serve the will of God and watch over His creations. 

Covid in Romania

The number of Covid-related deaths in Romania reached 50,087 on 5 November.  

This is almost forty times the number I recall that had died when Romania's only lockdown ended in May 2020. 

The numbers dying in Bucharest are particularly high.

This must be linked to the very low number of people getting vaccinated. 483 Covid-related deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, 433 of whom were of people who had not been vaccinated.

Yet life goes on - with masks worn in the street and open air public places, in theory, and limitations on the numbers in restaurants. 

Saturday, 6 November 2021

Indian summer in Bucharest


How did Chips Channon know two days in advance that Germany would invade Russia on 22 June 1941?

I learnt some interesting things last night from reading a review of the second volume of the (almost) unexpurgated diaries of Anglo-American diarist and Conservative MP Chips Channon.

Channon, who wasn't in the government (he was merely Rab Butler's P.P.S., i.e. bag carrier), told the people he dined with on 20 June 1941 that Germany would invade Russia two days later, which is what happened.

How did he know and Stalin not?