Monday 5 October 2020


Prince Metternich is reputed to have said:

"The Balkans begin at the Rennweg",

a street that led southwest out of the  Vienna, but no-one seems certain that he did.

Another version is, 

"Asia begins at the Landstrasse".

Sir Lewis Namier:

"...Nor can he [Metternich] be blamed for Austria's intellectual backwardness; with him or without him Vienna has never produced anything truly great or creative, only a fine blend of a peculiar internationalism with an intensely local colouring - somewhat like Metternich himself."

Listener: Is it possible to predict the future?

Radio Yerevan: Yes, the future can be predicted with complete accuracy. It is only the past that keeps changing.

Queen Margaret in Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3, Act 1, Scene 4:
I prithee grieve to make me merry, York. Stamp, rave and fret, that I may sing and dance.

She was good, quiet, dull, and amiable, and young only because she was twenty-three. E.M Forster


  1. Maybe Turkey Should Make Hagia Sophia a Church Again

    For the time being, opening the Hagia Sophia as a mosque seems, frankly, preferable to objectifying it as a dead artifact of history. Tourists will be treated to the authentic experience of being told to cover their heads and lower their voices when entering the building. But the only reason this lick of polish to the Turks’ captive jewel finds any hubris at all is because the Turks themselves know how brightly it used to shine. The Church of Holy Wisdom has heavy foundations, and the signs are that Erdoğan’s escalation can’t end here.

    By restoring Hagia Sophia to its original Christian purpose, Turks can share in Constantinople’s glorious history, bear witness to their secular identity, avoid conflating the will of any God with that of their president, and snub the decadent West that patronizes them as a buffer against Christian Russia.

    It’s one of these situations where, if they take initiative, the Turkish population actually stand a chance of having their cake and eating it. Poised to restore one of their finest pieces of real estate, they should act before someone else does. Constantinople won’t be taken through the ballot box.

    Alexander Francis Shaw

  2. 'But even in Germany, and other previously civilized countries...'

    Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, Crimes against Humanity

  3. The IMF says, in PPP terms, Russia's economy passed Germany to become number five.