Monday 18 February 2019


“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man."
C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity 

"Snobbery is just the public face of insecurity.”
James Kakalios, The Physics of Superheroes

"I was born in Paris, but I'm the son of Polish immigrants. My father was deported from France. His parents were deported and murdered in Auschwitz. My father returned from Auschwitz to France. This country deserves our hatred: What it did to my parents was much more violent than what it did to Africans. What did it do to Africans? It did only good. It put my father in hell for five years. And I was never brought up to hate. And today, this hatred that the blacks have is even greater than that of the Arabs.

"....We live today in an environment of a `perpetual war on racism' and the nature of this anti-racism also needs to be examined. Earlier, I heard someone on the radio who was opposed to Interior Minister Sarkozy's decision to expel anyone who doesn't have French citizenship and takes part in the riots and is arrested. And what did he say? That this was `ethnic cleansing.' During the war in Yugoslavia I fought against the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia. Not a single French Muslim organization stood by our side. They bestirred themselves solely to support the Palestinians. And to talk about `ethnic cleansing' now? There was a single person killed in the riots. Actually, there were two [more], but it was an accident. They weren't being chased, but they fled to an electrical transformer even though the warning signs on it were huge.
"But I think that the lofty idea of `the war on racism' is gradually turning into a hideously false ideology. And this anti-racism will be for the 21st century what communism was for the 20th century. A source of violence. Today, Jews are attacked in the name of anti-racist discourse: the separation fence, `Zionism is racism.'
"It's the same thing in France. One must be wary of the `anti-racist' ideology. Of course, there is a problem of discrimination. There's a xenophobic reflex, that's true, but the portrayal of events [the 2005 race riots in Paris] as a response to French racism is totally false. Totally false." 
Alain Finkielkraut speaking to the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz in 2005

The consensus among Christians on the use of violence has changed radically since the crusades were fought. The just war theory prevailing for most of the last two centuries—that violence is an evil that can, in certain situations, be condoned as the lesser of evils—is relatively young. Although it has inherited some elements (the criteria of legitimate authority, just cause, right intention) from the older war theory that first evolved around AD 400, it has rejected two premises that underpinned all medieval just wars, including crusades: first, that violence could be employed on behalf of Christ's intentions for mankind and could even be directly authorized by him; and second, that it was a morally neutral force that drew whatever ethical coloring it had from the intentions of the perpetrators.
Jonathan Riley-Smith

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"There used to be a story that discerning Frenchmen preferred to read Marcel Proust in English on the grounds that the prose of A la recherche du temps perdu was deeply un-French and heavily influenced by English writers such as Ruskin."
Terence Kilmartin

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