Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Man and Superman



“There was a great difference between him (Nietzsche) and Dostoevsky, who, before him, had shown that the loss of man by the way of self-deification was the inevitable goal of Humanism. Dostoevsky recognized that this deification is illusory, he explored the vagaries of self-will in every direction, and he had another source of knowledge - he saw the light of Christ: he was a prophet of the Spirit. Nietzsche, on the contrary, was dominated by his idea of superman and it killed the idea of real man in him. Only Christianity has cherished and protected the idea of mankind and fixed the human image for ever and ever. The human essence presupposes the divine essence; kill God, and at the same time you kill man, an on the grave of these two supreme ideas of God and man there is set up a monstrous image - the image of the man who wants to be God, of the superman in action, of Antichrist. For Nietzsche there was neither God nor man but only this unknown man-god. For Dostoevsky there was both God and man: the God who does not devour man and the man who is not dissolved in God... It is there that Dostoevsky shows himself to be a Christian in the deepest sense of the word.”
- Nikolay Berdyaev: The worldview of Dostoevsky, 1923

Leisure

Richard Tombs notes that not until the later 20th century would English people take as much leisure time as they had before 1600.

Smoking prohibited

In parts of Germany until 1691 smoking carried the death penalty. Sultan Murad IV of Turkey (1623-40) used personally to behead smokers in the streets of Constantinople.




(Acknowledgments Dr. Sean Gabb)

Resist modernity

 Remember, the zeitgeist is always dangerously wrong.

Decline of free speech


"Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it is permitted, but no one is capable of it any more. Now people want to think only what they are supposed to think, and this they consider freedom." Oswald Spengler

Oswald Spengler wrote The Decline of the West more than a century ago and it has declined much more since then. We are now back to not being allowed to think freely.

1776 was the first mass shooting incident in America

The American revolution was the first mass shooting incident in America, if you think about it, and the worst until the unnecessary and illegal civil war against the Southern states.  The rebels are better described as murderers.  

When you think about it, why do people think George Washington any better than Putin? 

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Warts and all

Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the British Labour Party has instructed Hansard to stop correcting her "working class" grammar.

Hansard is in the habit of correcting reports of speeches in the House of Commons. Miss Rayner gives us an example. She said "less" when she should have said "fewer". Quite rightly, she told Hansard it must not, in effect, re-write history by correcting her mistake.

But bad grammar is not necessarily working class and hereditary peers also get corrected by Hansard.

One Edwardian Liberal peer - I used to remember who - praised another politician on his death for being faithful to his wife 'despite her being a woman of no great physical attractions'. The words he used were, in fact, 'a damned ugly old b-tch'. 

I redacted it not because I think the word is a bad one but because of the evil censors.

Quotations

"Though they like to fancy themselves independent thinkers, the intellectuals are (allowing for individual exceptions) the most oversocialized, the most conformist, the tamest and most domesticated, the most pampered, dependent, and spineless group in America today. As a result, their impulse to rebel is particularly strong. But, because they are incapable of independent thought, real rebellion is impossible for them. Consequently they are suckers for the System's trick, which allows them to irritate people and enjoy the illusion of rebelling without ever having to challenge the System's basic values.

"Because they are the teachers of young people, the university intellectuals are in a position to help the System play its trick on the young, which they do by steering young people's rebellious impulses toward the standard, stereotyped targets: racism, colonialism, women's issues, etc. Young people who are not college students learn through the media, or through personal contact, of the "social justice" issues for which students rebel, and they imitate the students. Thus a youth culture develops in which there is a stereotyped mode of rebellion that spreads through imitation of peers—just as hairstyles, clothing styles, and other fads spread through imitation."
Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, the American anarchist who killed three people and injured 23 others in a bombing campaign between 1978 and 1995.


"It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
Sir Noel Coward








"What to expect in Ukraine now that Russia has all but secured the Donbas? A bloodbath. Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. There are lessons to be drawn from it. More remarkable than the battle itself is its aftermath.

Monday, 4 July 2022

Dianne Abbott's allegations about Boris Johnson

When you are talking to someone, imputing inchastity to a woman, unless you can prove it, is slander and actionable without proof of special damages under English law. This does not apply to Boris Johnson because he is a man and, let's face it, has no reputation for chastity to begin with.

Sunday, 3 July 2022

Andreea Raicu

The Romanian model, TV star and famous beauty Andreea Raicu said something wise: many people spend so much time working that they forget to live.

I follow this rule

The only rule is don't be boring and dress cute where ever you go. Life is too short to blend in.
Paris Hilton


Saturday, 2 July 2022

Seen on Twitter

CNN: "What do you say to those families that say, 'listen, we can't afford to pay $4.85 a gallon for months, if not years?’" 

BIDEN ADVISOR BRIAN DEESE: "This is about the future of the Liberal World Order and we have to stand firm."

Elsewhere on Twitter:

Fun fact: The "Liberal World Order" is a euphemism elites use to describe a world where they technocratically enslave the masses and force them to eat bugs.

Travel

Most of these I posted before. The second one is the most profound and the truest.

"One travels to think." Mircea Eliade

"One travels to explore ones subconscious mind." Mircea Eliade

"One travels for architecture and food and America has neither." A.J.P. Taylor

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag." Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu

"Every perfect traveller always creates the country where he travels." Nikos Kazantzakis

"Nothing is worth spending money on except books and travel." Alexandra Svet

"Youth – nothing else worth having in the world… and I had youth, the transitory, the fugitive, now, completely and abundantly. Yet what was I going to do with it? Certainly not squander its gold on the commonplace quest for riches and respectability, and then secretly lament the price that had to be paid for these futile ideals. Let those who wish have their respectability —I wanted freedom, freedom to indulge in whatever caprice struck my fancy, freedom to search in the farthermost corners of the Earth for the beautiful, the joyous and the romantic." Richard Halliburton



From Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (Gilliat's and Launder's screenplay):

Flashback to a deserted Verona, two years ago today

 


I would normally never haver visited such a tourist trap but two years ago, eerily empty because of Covid, it was heaven.

I then took the train further to Venice, where I stayed six nights and drank Aperol Spritzes outside Florian with fewer than a score of people in Piazza San Marco. I then continued on the train down to Florence, from where I stayed six nights and took trains to various beautiful, deserted Tuscan towns. The story is here.

Friday, 1 July 2022

Hell in the Patriarchal Cathedral

 


The Patriarchal Cathedral this morning before breakfast (porridge, since you ask). Hell is always more interesting than heaven. In wall paintings.

Milan Kundera

“People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It's not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it. The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past.”


I posted this on Facebook four years ago today



Eastern Europe, the last part of Europe to become western, will be the only place in the world where the West survives. For a time.

The West is an idea that requires an antithesis: the East.

The First and Second World Wars began and ended in Eastern Europe. Napoleon's downfall was sealed by the Treaty of Bucharest, 1812. I wonder if it it is too much to hope that the EU will end in Eastern Europe.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Paul Gottfried this week in Chronicles.

'We cannot reproduce the political or cultural past, because “an historical truth is true only once.” But we can absorb the wisdom of thinkers from the past while trying to relate what they said and wrote to the present crisis. Even in uncharted waters, we do still have a map provided by those who came before.

'There is also a possibility that the leftist, woke hegemony cannot be broken and that the incalculable social harm it has done may be irreversible. Although this gloomy thought would not remove the need to mobilize against a crazed left, drunk with power, there may be no end to our crisis. Nevertheless, a real reaction can and should be mounted.'


A friend just wrote this to me: unfortunately it's probably true, more or less

The missing player in this is the EU , despite having no military force of its own it fomented the Maidan Square revolt. Von Der Leyen is still saying Ukraine belongs to us , whoever us is. 

Had Putin had toppled the Ukrainian Government in a three day blitzkrieg , the west would have acquiesced. The Russian Army failed and met stiff resistance from the Ukraine. This is now a potentially a four year war of attrition over who controls the Donbas basin oil and gas.

Quotations

"The hatred that men bear to privilege increases in proportion as privileges become fewer and less considerable, so that democratic passions would seem to burn most fiercely just when they have least fuel.” Alexis de Tocqueville's remark is relevant to Black Lives Matter, #Metoo and intersectionality

'No woman marries for money; they are all clever enough, before marrying a millionaire, to fall in love with him first.' Cesare Pavese

“We are not waging war against individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. . . . Do not look for evidence that the accused acted in word or deed against Soviet power. The first question should be to what class does he belong. . . . It is this that should determine his fate.” Martyn Latsis, an official of the Cheka, Lenin’s secret police, in a 1918 instruction to interrogators which seems topical.

"Man in communication with his Maker is sublime, his activities creative. The instant he separates himself from God to act alone, on the other hand, he does not lose his power, for it is a privilege of his nature, but his activity is negative and leads only to destruction." Joseph de Maistre, On God and Society, p. 42. This was topical during the French revolution, under Communism and, perhaps more than ever, now.



Is Russia going to win?


Israeli military theorist Professor Martin van Creveld thought, when Russia invaded, that Ukraine would win. He now thinks Russia is winning.

'When the Russian-Ukrainian war began in February 2022, like almost all Western observers, I was convinced that the Russians would fail in their goals and lose the war.'

[That's complete news to me. I assumed Russia would win at the beginning and only after a couple of weeks started to wonder if victory was inevitable.]

'Leaving aside the details, that expectation rested on three strong pillars.

'First: Since 1945, numerous state-led armies have failed due to uprisings, unrest, guerrilla warfare, terror, asymmetric warfare and comparable forms of armed conflict...

'Second, the sheer size and population of Ukraine led me and others to believe that Russia had overstretched itself...

'Third, sheer wishful thinking - something I shared with most Western observers. Including heads of state, ministers, military, secret services and the media.'

The third pillar probably explains a lot of military analysts' thinking. They are either soldiers or think like soldiers and are engaged emotionally in the war on the Ukrainian side.

Romanian friends sent me interviews with Colonel Douglas MacGregor, Scott Ritter and others but it seemed three weeks ago (to me) that their predictions of Russian victory looked very out of date. 

Scott Ritter actually changed his mind on the ground that the war was now Nato versus Russia, not Ukraine versus Russia. 

Professor van Creveld, however, now thinks Russia's chances are not bad.

Nobody knows, in fact, but the sanctions are going to be a disaster for Europe and Russian economy is thriving on them. 

Meanwhile a new Cold War, much more stupid and less necessary than the last, is beginning. Last time the West was on the side of democracy and freedom. This time those things (though freedom with lots of restrictions and democracy run by experts not the people) and a lot of Woke ideas too.

I haven't been following Scott Ritter, but he has changed his mind a second time.

The latest article by Srđa Trifkovićn, a Serbian-American polemicist and historian, has interesting insights into the extraordinary way in which the media suppresses big news stories to support the Washington line. The same thing happens with everything, of course, including terrorism, wh
ite supremacy, #metoo, BLM, migrants etc. But suppressing an interview with Henry Kissinger!

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

How much harm is it in the UK's national interest to suffer to help Ukraine?

How much harm is it in the UK's or in European countries' national interests to suffer to help Ukraine? We must be approaching the upper limit and much much more harm is about to be visited on us. 

Unfortunately war aims change once wears start. Putin went to war to remove the threat of  Ukraine as an American satellite, armed with large numbers of American missiles, but now he talks about Peter the Great. 

People in the West, not just the appalling people like Anne Applebaum but normally sensible people, start to talk of regime change in Moscow and compare Putin to Hitler. 

When Khrushchev invaded Hungary and Brezhnev and Kosygin invaded Czechoslovakia the NATO countries did nothing at all.

You have to grow old, but you can be immature at any age

I don't feel in the least older than say 35. That's the upside of being immature. Immaturity is mostly upside, if you think of it in an immature way.

Many happy returns of the day to Peters, Petrus, Pauls, Petronelas, etc!

As I said in my Easter post, the New Testament scholar Gerd Lüdemann, who is not a Christian, said ‘It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.’ These experiences led Peter and Paul to suffer death rather than renounce their faith. In Peter's case the tradition is that it was on the site of St Peter's in Rome. In 1968, Pope Paul VI said that the relics of Saint Peter had been identified under the church, but the evidence is only circumstantial. Peter is said to have been crucified upside down at his request, because he did not believe himself worthy of the same death as Jesus, but this seems to be a legend. 


Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Bucharest

Ghislaine Maxwell cui bono?

All that matters about Robert Maxwell's daughter Ghislaine is who were the men who slept with her girls and why was she doing it. On both subjects the media have a serene lack of curiosity.  The media are beyond being reformed. Let's hope the flood destroys them all the newspapers and television channels.

If they suspected she might conceivably be working for Russia they'd never let us hear the end of it.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Quotations

"The more drastically elite schools apply affirmative action, the faster they degrade the signal that degrees from their schools send (e.g., employers haven't been impressed because of what an applicant learned at Yale, but because the applicant was admitted to Yale). The faster that happens, the faster that a degree from an elite school loses its cachet, and that is devoutly to be wished for the welfare of the culture."
Charles Murray yesterday

"We have been most secure when we kept out of Europe. Meddling with European affairs has brought us nothing but toil and suffering. The greatest age of British economic achievement was in the nineteenth century. Then we were truly the workshop of the world. The sole principle of our foreign policy was Splendid Isolation. This was the basis for our prosperity.... Of course we do not want to see new wars in Europe. But if we enter into European alliances or European associations we make war more likely."
AJP Taylor

"If one distorts faith in Christ by uniting it with the goals of this world, the whole meaning of Christianity will at once also be destroyed and the mind will necessarily fall prey to unbelief." 
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

John Mearsheimer's latest lecture: 'The causes and consequences of the Ukraine war', given 16 June 2022

I regret my eighteen years without television. A short news bulletin from, say, the dreary Euronews would have kept me better informed. But starting my day with BBC propaganda is bad for the soul, I decided. In fact all TV is bad for the soul, for several reasons.

Thanks to the wonders of technology I can get YouTube on my new telly and so I watched John Mearsheimer's latest lecture on Ukraine. I recommend you do too. It's here and not very long.

(By the way, like most American academics he's a left-wing Democrat. He likes Sanders.)

If watching a talk is too time consuming, I made a note of some points

Ukraine is already badly damaged and faces much more damage. 

The war will last months or years and is effectively war between America and Russia.

Russia will not give up her territorial gains or the Ukrainian ports (unless presumably forced to do so by Ukraine).

Biden started sending large amounts of armaments to Ukraine when he took office in January 2021.

"There is a serious possibility that one side will begin to lose badly." 

If Russia does so she may use nuclear weapons. Nato planned to do this if they were losing badly in West Germany.

The war will poison international relations for years to come.

Nato countries are united for now but conflicts are likely to emerge.

"The United States and its allies are mainly responsible for this train wreck." 

Bush 2 began the course of events that culminated in the present war at the Nato conference in Bucharest in 2008, when he said Nato would be extended to Ukraine and Georgia, but all three of his successors are also responsible. 

"The tragic truth is that had the United States not pursued the goal of Nato expansion Crimea would still be Ukrainian." 

Do I agree? 

Yes. Ever since I started reading Professor Mearsheimer fifteen or so years ago I have pretty much always agreed with him. 

He said in 2014 that he has a 19th century mind and that when he goes to China or Russia he's among 'my people' because they have 19th century minds too, unlike in Washington DC where they have 21st century minds. 

I have a 19th century mind and studied 19th century wars at university, which is why I think he is right. 

However the people at the top in Moscow all have 19th century minds, yet were astonished by the invasion of Ukraine and thought it a terrible mistake. 

From this it is fair to say that Professor Mearsheimer explains the invasion and American responsibility for it but more responsibility rests with Vladimir Putin.  To explain all is never to pardon all.

I think that had no move been made to extend Nato to Ukraine problems might well still have arisen, but not a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Instead of this intelligent analysis, my newspaper today has a British general saying that this is 'our 1937 moment'. This makes a change as it is normally always 1938.

Come to think of it, astute diplomacy could possibly have prevented the Second World War.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Benjamin Disraeli on race, the key to history


'No man will treat with indifference the principle of race. It is the key to history, and why history is often so confused is that it has been written by men who are ignorant of this principle and all the knowledge it involves... Language and religion do not make a race—there is only one thing which makes a race, and that is blood.'

'Is it what you call civilization that makes England flourish? Is it the universal development of the faculties of man that has rendered an island, almost unknown to the ancients, the arbiter of the world? Clearly not. It is the inhabitants that have done this. It is an affair of race.... All is race, there is no other truth.'

'But this principle of race is unfortunately one of the reasons why I fear war may always exist; because race implies difference, difference implies superiority, and superiority leads to predominance.'

Historians and Nixon

 

“History will treat me fairly. Historians probably won’t because most historians are on the left.”


Richard Nixon after he resigned.

Actually a historian who hated him in his youth wrote a very positive biography of him. History is a discipline which tends to make its practitioners overcome their prejudices if they are good historians (the majority are not).



The Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul




The first picture is wonderful. Christ and two demons in committee.

Today is St Peter and St Paul's Day in the Greek Catholic calendar and the collection is Peter's Pence, meaning it goes to the Vatican. I did not put any money in.
 

Boris, the magnificent blond beast avid for plunder, must go

'Would a change in leadership help? Has the country had enough of (to quote Nietzsche) “the magnificent blond beast, avid for plunder and victory”? It depends on what happens next.' Lord Hannon writing about Boris in the Sunday Telegraph deploys a wonderful quotation.

But my mind is made up. He wants millions of Hong Kong Chinese to settle in Europe, he is bankrupting the country because of climate change and the foolish lockdowns he implemented (admittedly the public insisted on them) and because he is spending like a sailor and he is hopelessly chaotic and unprincipled.  On top of those things he foolishly provoked Russia last year, does not want a peace soon in the Ukraine, has been ardent for sanctions that hurt the rest of the world more than Russia and finally he condemned the American Supreme Court's decision yesterday to let the states make laws about abortion. He is not remotely conservative. 

Cowley said of Milton that the language sunk under him. Toryism sunk without trace under Boris but mostly it had already sunk under Blair. 

I can't imagine how to recreate it and nor can Boris. 

Unlike me he doesn't even want to although he does want to win the next election.  I don't imagine he can do that or will be allowed to try. 

He is even more left liberal though not as incompetent as Mrs May.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Marcus Aurelius

'The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.'

From Gramsci's prison notebooks

"Any country grounded in Judaeo-Christian values can’t be overthrown until those roots are cut … Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity … in the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society."

Friday, 24 June 2022

Allister Heath in the Daily Telegraph is, of course, right: lockdowns were a terrible mistake, as was fairly clear in 2020

'The World Health Organisation’s seminal study on excess death rates shows that Britain performed far better than previously thought, beating Germany, Italy and America. Our rate of 109 per 100,000 would have put us 15th out of 28 EU member states had we still been part of that dreadful body.

'Yet Sweden, which imposed drastically fewer restrictions, suffered just 56 excess deaths per 100,000, a bit worse than its Nordic neighbours but much better than us. For the vast majority of the world, one would be hard-pressed to find a correlation between the speed and harshness of lockdowns and the excess death rate. (Australia, New Zealand, Japan and China are separate, but in at least three out of four cases their lockdowns came at obscene costs).

'Lockdowns did have some benefits but were, on net, a calamity of historic proportions. Some lives were saved, thanks especially to the speed at which the vaccines were rolled-out. But this came at a disproportionate price that was neither acceptable nor moral. A voluntarist Swedish approach would have been immensely preferable, even had more people died. It is a stain on our national polity that we never conducted a proper cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns at the time, and that the establishment refuses to reassess the question honestly today.'

My posts on Facebook on this day 6 years ago, after the Brexit referendum count was finished

I just woke up. Oh - my - God. I - cannot - believe it.

(I fell asleep after Sunderland)


The electorate have let down the politicians very badly.


My prediction is that we will not leave.


Whatever you think of him and you might loathe him, Nigel Farage, who is the reason this referendum was called, is one of the two politicians in post-1945 British history who changed the country the most. The other of course being Edward Heath.



I said to the Portuguese ambassador last week 'It's up to you, of course. We're off on Thursday". He gave me the smile a corpse gives the undertaker. But I didn't think for one moment that we really would be off.



I never post anything using four letter words, but I made one exception. I shared this post from Julie Burchill on June 24 2016, after reading innumerable accounts of children in tears because their futures had been destroyed. I just couldn't resist it. I was howled down for advocating violence against children.

Feeling sickened to the point of nausea by the postings by Remnants about how tewwibly sad their own special snowflake spawn feel in the wake of our glorious victory yesterday. Give them a fucking clip around the ear, then they'll have something to cry about!

A few moments ago

 


Moving a 7,600 ton apartment building to create a boulevard in Alba Iulia, 1987

Here is the story of  a building cut in two and moved on wheels with the residents still in it.

From the newsletter of renowned Russian icon painters Olga Shalamova and Philip Davydov, who have left Russia for Tbilisi

 


More here.

Does Putin have Asperger's?

A 2008 Pentagon report is the source of the story, largely based on video recordings, but it's only a guess without a brain scan.

Stephen Porges, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina said in the study that “Putin carries a form of autism” but later said he had never seen the finished report and “would back off saying he has Asperger’s.”

Quotations

"Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged." St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians 3:18-21


"The belief in equality remains vague and undefined, except negatively. For it is essentially a weapon against the existing order – a way of undermining its claims to legitimacy, by discovering a victim for every form of success" Sir Roger Scruton, Hayek and Conservatism


“No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!” Friedrich Nietzsche, Schopenhauer as Educator




I love Bucharest in June


 

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Bleeding Ukrainians dry

'With one voice, the hangers-on of the defense Establishment will egg on the Ukrainians till they're bled dry, and then with one voice, they will mourn the lost opportunity to make the world safe for democracy. There will be no consequences for the errors that cost so many lives.'

David Goldman last night.


The parallel is very inexact, because Russia has every right to be in Syria and none to be in the Ukraine, and unlike the Islamists in Syria the Ukrainian government's cause is just, but this reminds me of the media supporting the 'moderate rebels' in Syria because the State Department did. 

The Economist and David Miliband talked about the fall of Al Qaeda held East Aleppo as a very black day for Western civilisation. Lots of stories from the rebel side about atrocities with no evidence except the bare world of journalists who were really rebel activists. This is what the quality papers publish in our days.


To quote Dr Kissinger again, 

'To be America's enemy is dangerous. To be her friend is fatal.'

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Neither the Kremlin nor local people created the Donbass 'republics': Strelkov did, he says

In 2014 parts of Donetsk and Lugansk rebelled against the Kiev government. I thought at the time that this was something arranged by the Kremlin but it's not so, according to Igor Strelkov, a Russian who spent two weeks trying to start a war in the Dombass. He claims that his band of volunteers were responsible for the existence of the so called Donetsk and Lugansk republics.


"If our unit hadn't crossed the border, everything would have fizzled out — like in Kharkiv, like in Odessa." 


The mainstream media should be investigating this but finding out about what happened is very hard indeed.

The Whistleblowers: Inside The UN

There are some people who are not aware that the UN is an evil organisation, despite what we learnt about the WHO over the last two years. And about the UN bringing lethal disease to Haiti and about the rapes. 

My friend from Bucharest in 1999 John O'Brien is one of the people who still believes there is some good in the organisation, despite the wicked way he was treated for exposing corruption.

I think it is irremediable. It is not responsible to anyone. (A bit like the EU.)

A programme was broadcast last night on the BBC called 
The Whistleblowers: Inside The UN about the corruption and sexual offences and how whistle blowers are ruthlessly silenced. It includes an interview with John who was fired for speaking about the way aid money is embezzled. 

Reader, are you surprised?

A lot of people who create trouble for the powers in charge of our world get serious charges brought against them. I can thinks of a number offhand. 


Reilly, Wasserstrom and O’Brien all separately allege that once they spoke out, the UN went after them. O’Brien was suddenly accused of solicitation and viewing nude photographs on his phone at work (O’Brien sees the allegations as vexatious). Wasserstrom was promised whistleblower protection, then had his identity leaked to the very people he had accused. Reilly has footage of Swiss police entering her flat and refusing to leave: she says the UN had sent them, and had told them Reilly was a suicide risk. “Effectively,” she recalls, “the UN tried to have me sectioned.” By the time she’d convinced them it was a false alarm, she had missed an online meeting at which she had planned to raise the disclosure of activists’ identities – it so happened that the cops arrived just as the meeting was beginning.

Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul this morning


 

David Goldman: 'The U.S. and NATO are losing catastrophically in Ukraine'

I listened to this interview with David Goldman last night when I couldn't sleep and am very glad I did. David Goldman has more insights into the Ukrainian war than anyone and has no respect for the echo chamber. 

Like many people, though unlike the mainstream media echo chamber, he thinks the U.S. is losing catastrophically in the Ukraine.

He, like me, blames Putin for this illegal and stupid war but knows that this war would never have happened had Donald Trump won in 2020. It was provoked by Biden and Blinken arming Ukraine to the teeth.

He blames Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland for helping engineer the 2014 coup and says they hoped regime change in Kiev would be followed by regime change in Moscow.


This is certainly true and was how most of us fools thought before Russia invaded the Crimea. Reader, I thought exactly the same as I read my newspaper, but I learnt wisdom from events. Many people didn't.


How many wars the US Democrats have caused, though George W Bush was worse still.


As Kissinger said, to be America's enemy is dangerous but to be her friend is fatal.

He, of course, knows.

David Goldman rightly considers Boris's egging on the Ukrainians for a long war 'despicable'.

He also says that sanctions have been a huge mistake which is thrusting the West into recession.

Agreed, but the Ukrainians' heroism made sanctions unavoidable. The media and public opinion required them.

I should add that Donald Trump originally opposed arming Ukraine, because of the corruption in the country, but then swung round to arming her in order to provide jobs for American workers.


Reader, you can decide if this is to his credit or discredit.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Quotations



"He had delusions of adequacy ” Walter Kerr


"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”- Winston Churchill


"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure. - Clarence Darrow


"He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” - John Bright


"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” - Dr Johnson


"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up. - Paul Keating


"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But I'm afraid this wasn't it.” - Groucho Marx

Colonel Douglas Macgregor says 'The war has been lost a long time ago'

Good readers, Borges said, are very black swans indeed. I am lucky to have such a swan in Toma, who posts fascinating things here in comments.

He reminded me of Colonel Douglas Macgregor, whose stuff another friend sent to me at the start of the war. Col Macgregor was nominated by Donald Trump to be ambassador to Germany and it sounds like he would have made a good one, but the Senate did not ratify the appointment.

I found this recent interview with him on the net.

Plenty I disagree with in it, but quite a bit that is probably right. 

I am confident Putin wanted to take Kiev originally. Colonel Macgregor like Scott Ritter (until he changed his mind for a moment) always argued Russia would win easily. 

Unlike David Goldman, who thinks Putin intends to destroy Ukraine, Colonel Macgregor thinks Putin wants to remove a threat that Ukraine and the USA would try to recapture the Crimea.


'The Ukrainians had been very straightforward about their determination to re-conquer the Donbas and then, subsequently, to regain control through conquest of Crimea. If you're a Russian and you're looking at that — and you're seeing the enormous buildup of weapons and equipment in Ukraine, particularly Eastern Ukraine, and you reckon that the United States at some point is going to move strike assets in terms of medium, intermediate-range missiles into Eastern Ukraine that could reach very important targets in Russia in a very short period of time — you make the decision to go in or sit and do nothing.

'The calculus [for Russia] was very simple: “If we do nothing, what happens? Well, the situation in Ukraine becomes more and more dangerous with each passing month and year to Russia. If we do something, we'll be condemned by everyone, but we can at least destroy the threat.”

'Ultimately, they came down on the second option. It's not the best, but it was the only one they saw because they saw no evidence that we or anyone else was going to listen to them.


'Now, the question is, “What is the United States' strategic objective in Ukraine? What do you want the situation to look like when the fighting ends?” That question was never asked, and it's never been asked in any of the interventions we've conducted over the last 30, 40, 50 years.


'...I think that NATO is weaker than ever. The unity you're seeing is a facade, at best. Macron was absolutely right, and he was not the first to make those statements. The United States does not have allies in Europe. It has military dependencies. There is one country in Europe that is capable of fielding significant military power and dominating the scene if necessary, and that is Germany. Germany, today, is what it was before World War II and World War I. It is the dominant power, regional power, and, to a large extent, an international power.

'....Russia is not afraid of the Europeans and never was. Russia always saw the European states as entirely subservient to, and dependent upon, Washington. NATO is the United States-led alliance. As long as we are seen as the dominant power in Europe and unambiguously hostile to Russia, then, yes, Russia is going to view what happens under the broad title of “NATO” as an existential threat to Russia.'

What do I think? I just don't know and nor does anyone. I do think sanctions are going to be more painful for the West than for Russia and will not affect the outcome of the war. I do want peace soon.