Monday 2 December 2019


Les Murray

'God is in the world as the poetry is in the poem.' 

St. Pius X in his motu proprio Fin Dalla Prima Nostra, articles I and III:

“Human society, as established by God, is composed of unequal elements, just as the different parts of the human body are unequal; to make them all equal is impossible, and would mean the destruction of human society” and, further, that “it follows that there are, according to the ordinance of God, in human society princes and subjects, masters and proletariat, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, nobles and plebeians, all of whom, united in the bonds of love, are to help one another to attain their last end in heaven, and their material and moral welfare here on earth.”

News item in The Tacoma News Tribune, April 11, 1953.

There'll Be No Escape in Future from Telephones

Mark R. Sullivan, San Francisco president and director of the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., said in an address Thursday night:

"Just what form the future telephone will take is, of course, pure speculation. Here is my prophesy:

"In its final development, the telephone will be carried about by the individual, perhaps as we carry a watch today. It probably will require no dial or equivalent, and I think the users will be able to see each other, if they want, as they talk.

"Who knows but what it may translate from one language to another?"

Seneca, writing to Lucilius

"That is why we give to children a proverb, or that which the Greeks call Chria, to be learned by heart; that sort of thing can be comprehended by the young mind, which cannot as yet hold more. For a man, however, whose progress is definite, to chase after choice extracts and to prop his weakness by the best known and the briefest sayings and to depend upon his memory, is disgraceful; it is time for him to lean on himself. He should make such maxims and not memorize them. For it is disgraceful even for an old man, or one who has sighted old age, to have a note-book knowledge. "This is what Zeno said." But what have you yourself said? "This is the opinion of Cleanthes." But what is your own opinion? How long shall you march under another man's orders? Take command, and utter some word which posterity will remember. Put forth something from your own stock." (A

1 comment:

  1. I am British in the sense that I travel often to England and Scotland and feel as much at home in Edinburgh and London as I do in Derry or Dublin.

    London is probably the most wonderful city in the world, with its cultural diversity. Where else would you get a Muslim mayor and a lesbian police chief? It also feels immediately familiar, even to people on a first visit, because it has been the setting of so many films and television programmes.

    Whether by chance, or by cultural inevitability, I have had more jibes in the north about being a Paddy than I ever heard in London.

    Remaining part of a reduced UK conceived of in the cluttered, erratic and excessively playful mind of Boris Johnson is not attractive.

    I will still want to get a buzz out of going to London, but will I want to subscribe to a state that is governed in perpetuity by smug old Etonians?

    Malachi O'Doherty

    Well, I feel affection for him, and anxiety. The hatred directed at him, and all he stands for, constantly from the Left, has taken on the murderous, bigoted quality. If he loses one election, or one significant legal decision, his whole Party is finished; the jackals will be all over the Republicans. That’s how he has come to command the loyalty, even of people like me, who disagree with many things he says, and regret some of his policies.

    For Merican Thanksgiving this year, after considering the matter from numerous angles, I would like to thank God, for Trump. In a time of real darkness, and civilizational despair, he has become, paradoxically, a point of light. I think that’s why the devils hate him so.

    David Warren

    I remember the 1970s. They were hardly a Land of Lost Content. But a bus driver could buy a terraced house in London while his wife stayed at home to look after three children. Again speaking for myself, I could go swimming for one-third the price of a Mars Bar. I could take a bus from one side to the other of London for about the same. I could find the works of Hayek in my small local library, and it was there that I found the texts for learning Latin and Greek. When I went to university, I had my tuition fees paid, and I had a student grant that left me with a small surplus when I graduated. All this, and the tax burden was about the same as now. Ditto the deficit as a fraction of GDP.

    There may be reasons why this world has passed away and cannot be brought back. But I can understand why people of all ages listen to promises to bring something like it back. We can denounce these promises all we like as Venezuela plus social workers. That is what the promises may bring. But they are attractive promises. The mistake the Conservatives made in 2017 was not to see that there was, in the public mind, a positive case for Jeremy Corbyn. There still is in 2019. Ignoring this can and will throw the election.

    Dr. Sean Gabb