Thursday 30 September 2021

Life in general, Heath on Brexit, Michel Houellebecq on impending war in France

"A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats." George Orwell

"Other people's lives may easily be human documents. But a man's own life is always a melodrama.”
G.K. Chesterton  

"I do not know what the heart of a rascal may be, but I know what is in the heart of an honest man; it is horrible."
Joseph de Maistre 

"Brexit was a declaration of war on the global establishment, and as a result Britain is being held to a higher standard than other, more compliant countries. After years of bad publicity from an international media that was almost entirely anti-Brexit, such an attitude is no surprise, even if it is galling. Every problem in the UK is magnified, and immediately (and wrongly) blamed on our idiosyncratic decision to govern ourselves and reject the strictures of global bureaucrats."
Allister Heath today in the Daily Telegraph

"I should mention in passing the Leftist/progressivist/humanist opinion: we are not dealing with a suicide but with a regeneration. Ethnic composition is, admittedly, being modified, but in the essentials everything else remains unchanged: our republic (or rather in Europe, mostly our monarchy) our culture, our values, our “Rule of Law,” all that stuff. I sometimes hear this opinion being defended (though more and more rarely).

Wednesday 29 September 2021

This video clip shows that Joe Biden is starting to lose his wits. The media covers for him, which is not their job.

I accidentally came across these clips from Sky News Australia of Joe Biden and think the evidence that the president is losing it is overwhelming. 

He always rambled and lost his point but this is more than that.

Ronald Reagan was becoming senile in his second term and his country prospered, though he was compos mentis enough when a friend of mine spent some hours with him in 1990. Winston Churchill suffered a stroke in 1953, while attending a dinner for Italian Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi but continued in office two more years. 

More concerning than Biden's deteriorating faculties is the way the US media is simply the propaganda arm of an essentially bipartisan establishment and acts to protect the President. Most concerning of all is that left-of-centre people just don't notice or don't care.

More here. 

Niall Ferguson does not think China will overtake America in the next twenty years

When I was in Peking I bought and read Niall Ferguson's interesting 2011 book, Civilisation: The West and the Rest and had dinner with the historian James Palmer, who lives in the city. 

He told me that everything that Niall Ferguson said in the book about China (a lot) was wrong.

I realise now that James Palmer is ardently anti-colonial and left-wing and so disposed not to like a historian who has achieved my childhood ambition and presented imperialism in a fair light. Also, like me, Niall Ferguson loves AJP Taylor.

Still, I assume Mr Palmer knew what he was talking about. 

Sunday 26 September 2021

Is it transphobic to say only women have a cervix?

Andrew Marr: Is it transphobic to say only women have a cervix? 

British Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer: It shouldn’t be said. It is not right.

So, are the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Covid-19 linked, just like all the damn fools said?

What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass. 
Lord Melbourne

British scientist Peter Daszak's career has been dedicated to showing that environmental changes caused by humans have caused various diseases. It is a highly fashionable area for research, which attracts a lot of taxpayers' money in funding, but that does not mean he is necessarily right.

A campaign he organised in a very circuitous way (I do not want to be sued) succeeded in cancelling the idea that Covid-19 escaped from a Wuhan laboratory. 

A laboratory with which he had an important connection.

Documents released this week revealed a 2018 proposal by Dr Duszak to help the Wuhan Institute of Virology engineer bat coronaviruses to be more deadly, by inserting genetic features that are similar to those found in SARS-CoV-2.

From The Mail on Sunday today:
Daszak's 2018 proposal calls for testing different strains of the engineered viruses on 'humanized mice' to see which would be deadliest to humans. The Wuhan lab is known to use just such mice, with humanized lungs, to carry out research.

Saturday 18 September 2021


Shusha Guppy:

"This relates to what you once said, that “Books are not life, only its ashes.” Do you still believe that?"


"Yes, but books are also a way of learning to feel more acutely. Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being."

Paris Review

"My husband has a theory that people who go to Oxford and Cambridge think their work is done when they get their A-levels and so are less likely to achieve success or happiness when real life begins."
Christina Hopkins, Daily Telegraph, 8 September 2021

Where we are now

'There is a major disconnect between the West’s assumption that totalitarian nations are sloughs of poverty and deprivation, and the narratives of abundance and innovation that regale us daily in Western media and in advertising...... Our totalitarian drift is mostly well hidden, veiled by improvements in leisure, entertainment, and living standards; concealed behind rhetorical niceties and commitments to ill-defined aims such as inclusivity, tolerance, and open-mindedness.'
C. Jay Engel, Chronicles magazine this week.

'Based on WHO guidance, citing Chinese journal articles, doctors around the world began putting patients on ventilators en masse, killing thousands before a grassroots campaign stopped the practice. Based on the WHO’s guidance on COVID-19 testing, again citing Chinese journal articles, labs used, and continue to use, PCR cycle thresholds from 37 to 40, and sometimes as high as 45. At these cycle threshold levels, approximately 85% to 90% of cases are false positives, as confirmed by The New York Times.

'The WHO’s PCR guidance was paired with new international ICD-10 codes for COVID deaths to make COVID-19 quite possibly the deadliest accounting fraud of all time. According to this coding guidance, if a decedent had either tested positive or been in contact with anyone who had, within several weeks prior to their death, then the death should be classified as a COVID-19 death. The result was a terrifying number of supposed “COVID-19 deaths” that bore little relation to the number of “excess deaths” in a given year, even in states and countries that employed few lockdown measures. This absurd number of “COVID-19 deaths” has been used to rationalize any manner of devastation caused by governments’ response to COVID-19—from bankruptcies and mental health crises to deaths from lockdowns themselves.

Michael P Senger, Tablet magazine (the Jewish one not the Catholic one), September 17

'From Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan, the pattern of American officials showering questionable political allies abroad with armfuls of cash is a long-established practice. However, the idea that this is the reason the “missions” fail in such places is just a continuation of the original propaganda lines that get us into these messes. It’s a way of saying the subject populations are to blame for undermining our noble efforts, when the missions themselves are often preposterous and, moreover, the lion’s share of the looting is usually done by our own marauding contracting community.

Of Rioters, Protesters and Patriots

A large proportion of the small number of writers who have genuinely conservative views are very old. Pat Buchanan, for example, was born in 1938 and is four years older than Joe Biden. When they die the landscape will be very different.

He writes pithily and he sees things others miss. He makes what should be obvious points, which to most are not.

As in this article from February.

To the media, the long hot summer of rioting, looting and arson that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was driven by "racial justice" protests against a "systemic racism" that permeates society.

The rioters were calling attention to injustices we Americans have failed to address, like police brutality. And almost all of these "peaceful protesters" were calling us to be a better people.

And did not the riots produce beneficial results?

Joe Biden and his party have responded by setting as a goal the replacement of "equality of rights" with "equity," an equality of results, where gaps in test scores, incarcerations, incomes and wealth between white and black are to be closed by government action.

However, as for the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 by Trumpists, to protest and perhaps change the outcome of the election, that was an act of insurrection, a treasonous attempt to overturn a democratic election and overthrow a democratic government.

Protests by ordinary people against elites are viewed well by the Western media, unless they are against the US elite of which the US media is a part, or the transnational socially liberal international elite that rules the West. 

The swamp, to coin a phrase. 

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Do the terrorists misunderstand Islam or not?

Salah Abdeslam, 32, is standing trial for being one of the group of Muslims who murdered 130 people in Paris on the evening of 13 November 2015. Rejecting the terms "terrorists" and "radicalism", he told the court that theirs was an "authentic Islam". 

I had a close and very erudite Muslim friend (may he rest in peace) who told me many times that the extremists completely misunderstood Islam. 

He drank wine and read the Guardian

Was he or Abdeslem right? 

Are there passages in the Koran or hadiths that throw light on this?

Tony Blair and David Cameron said that the Islamists have misunderstood the Koran, but is either a good Koranic scholar?

Monday 13 September 2021

Saturday 11 September 2021

If NATO's invasion of Afghanistan was a just war why was the Austro-Hungarian attack on Serbia in 1914 not?

I was against invading Afghanistan and then came round to seeing it as necessary. Now I read that the Taliban did not know about the attacks in New York.

A thought occurs to me twenty years late.

I always blamed Austria Hungary and Francis Joseph for the First World War, but if the Anglo-Americans and Nato were justified in toppling the Taliban and conquering Afghanistan why was Austria Hungary not justified in invading Serbia in 1914?

Austria Hungary avenging the murder of the heir to the throne, in which the Serbian secret service may have been implicated.

And if Austria Hungary was justified England, France, Romania, America and the other Allies in the First World War were the bad guys.

Please critique my logic.

If only Gore had won in 2000

If only the hanging chads had hung the other way and Al Gore been US President on September 11 2001. 

If you think about it, Ralph Nader is responsible for most of the terrible things that happened in the last twenty years, by siphoning off left-wing votes. 

Donald Trump would presumably have been very much better than George W Bush. 

Ross Perot or Pat Buchanan would probably have been best of all.

I am speaking in platitudes. Everyone knows this. 

Even the Bush family must know it.

Americans today are saying "Never forget". But what should they never forget? 

They should never forget that invading other countries without just cause has been disastrous and that the way the US sought revenge for September 11 did them far, far more harm than the attacks themselves, not to mention the harm to other countries. But again platitudes. I am bored typing this.

They would have done much better to have saved money, cut taxes and erected a wall to keep out illegal immigrants. 

Instead their southern border is almost open.

To change the subject, the Taliban have painted over a mural of George Floyd and replaced it with victory slogans.

Early morning and dusk in the Paris of the East


Twenty Years After

I wonder if the Taliban are worse than American rule. If I were a Pashtun I doubt I'd think so. They do have martial, masculine, Homeric virtues even though they are Calvinists. 

Calvinism plus polygamy (and nothing to drink).

Despite myself I cannot help being pleased that the American regime has fallen.

The Taliban is not a threat to the West but a million or more Afghan refugees are. There are already, according to UNHCR, 6 million Afghan refugees in the world, 2.2 million of whom are in Iran and Pakistan. Those 2.2 million are no doubt real refugees not economic migrants. 

Saturday 4 September 2021

Return of the native


Enchanting and empty, thanks to Covid. 

We put up in Christ Church. 

I found a woman porter with wise, conservative views on politics who said I was lucky to live in Romania. 

I think so too. I feel luckier with every week that passes as I read the British news. 

She had studied politics at Ruskin College, a very left-wing institution. 

I remembered the late Sir Roger Scruton saying he and Juanita the cleaner, who had a photograph of Pope John Paul II in her cubicle, were the only two conservatives at Birbeck College.

24 hours in Gdansk a.k.a. Danzig

The cheapest route to London from Bergen gave me a stopover in Gdansk and I spent a day and night there. 

The old town is fake, of course, and fake German not fake Polish, but it is beautiful. Worth a day and a night. Actually not all the old town was destroyed in the war, unlike at Warsaw, just most of it.

My (post-1945) hotel in the crisp morning air.

Friday 3 September 2021

Norway in 3 days

“Borders I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.”

These words uttered by Thor Heyerdahl, one of the fairly few famous Norwegians (Ibsen, Munch, Grieg, Quisling, Britt Ekland is Swedish) emblazon Oslo's Torp Sandefjord airport.

I had to queue an hour because of Covid but they would have irritated me even without Covid.

I was later congratulated by my friend in Oslo because at the main airport the queue took 3 hours.