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.


"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


"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.”


"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


"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. 

Monday 20 June 2022

John Winterson Richards on 15th June - I agree with him

Putin sees himself as "a leader in the tradition of Peter the Great" - I said a post here back in March. It has taken the BBC this long to catch up, and even then they needed a heavy hint from Putin himself! [Political Refugee from the Global Village: I did too!]

This rather confirms what I wrote in the same post: "The Western media and political class simply do not understand the Russian mentality." Sorry to be quoting myself, which is usually a bad sign of egotism. In my case it is a sign of frustration, that the people being paid to know these things are so ignorant.  

 The people making all the decisions in the West today prefer to think of themselves as cosmopolitan - literally "citizens of the world" - but lack the faintest idea of how most of the world thinks.  

Most of the world, including the people making all the decisions in Russia, China, India, Brazil, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, etc, care absolutely nothing for the New World Order with all globalist bureaucracies and sanctimonious declarations.  

They seek only to increase the power of their own tribes, be those tribes national, religious, or political, or some combination. In doing so they remember what Western leaders try to ignore, that power ultimately comes down to force and, possibly more important, the will to use it.  

Gyles Brandreth interviewed in the Telegraph today - what a shame he wasn't made host of the radio show Just A Minute

'When I was at my first boarding school, a prep school in Kent, the headmaster, Mr Stocks, said to me, “Brandreth, busy people are happy people”, and I’ve kept that motto all my life.'


"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

Strange Death of England

'Partisans sometimes rejoice in seemingly historic triumphs that are followed by defeat and retreat, something that may yet apply to both the referendum, and Johnson’s win in 2019 (shades here of George Dangerfield’s famous critique of the Liberal landslide of 1906: “from that victory they never recovered”).' John Harris in the Observer yesterday reminded me of one of the best books I ever read, Dangerfield's Strange Death of Liberal England.

"The One Nationers are a psychological type. They see themselves as the party of the established order, but our establishment is no longer Tory, dominated as it is, from the NHS to HSBC, by the liberal-Left." Timothy Stanley in the Telegraph a week ago.

David Goldman quotes a US military intelligence professional with 30 years' experience

"What we are seeing is what Ukraine wants us to see, they have done a masterful job painting the picture. But we need to keep in mind that the real numbers - training, manning, equipment, readiness and all the other boring stuff - have been hidden from us and we really don’t know what is or is not possible until we know those details. Hopefully, the folks inside the Pentagon have the real numbers on both the Ukrainians and the Russians. They won’t be able to make accurate assumptions and plans without them."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions." 

A memorable sentence

"More immigrants arrived in the UK in 2010 than came between 1066 and 1950." Sir Andrew Green of Migrationwatch speaking to the Bruges Group in April.

Carlyle on Muslims

"No Christians, since the early ages, or only perhaps the English Puritans in modern times, have ever stood by their Faith as the Moslem do by theirs, — believing it wholly, fronting Time with it, and Eternity with it." Thomas Carlyle

Dame Edith Evans

Why, when women behave like men, can't they behave like NICE men? 


'When a problem has no solution, it ceases to be a problem and becomes a fact.' (Porsche the car manufacturer)

Saturday 18 June 2022

The liberal world order is back

I posted this on Facebook a week before the Brexit referendum.
"The Economist says that "in the age of Donald Trump, Brexit would be a defeat for the liberal order that bla bla". There are good arguments for staying and for leaving but this seems to be a good argument for leaving."
The liberal world order that Biden’s victory restored is going from strength to strength. I ean this very ironically and ironically. The globalists and neo-cons are in charge, the EU and Nato are suddenly strengthened, the American empire has resumed its sway over Europe. War and famine have taken the place of plague.

21% of Romanians think that Ukraine, the EU or the US are responsible for the Ukrainian war

21% of Romanians think that Ukraine, the European Union or the United States are responsible for the war and 24% of them think those countries are standing in the way of peace. 58% blame Russia. This makes Romania one of the countries in Europe with the largest percentages of people who think in this way. I know a few people who think something like this or evenly divide the blame, but I get the impression that among the people in Bucharest I meet the percentages of people who take the politically incorrect view are much lower. But then people who tell pollsters that the Americans are to blame don't always mention it at dinner parties. The taxi drivers who drove me recently thought Biden as much to blame as Putin. Romanian cynicism and scepticism about Ukraine and Covid is markedly different from British people's faith in what their rulers tell them. I think scepticism and cynicism about politicians and experts is by no means bad for democracy.

Adam LeBor, June 17, 2016

"Labour, writes a well-known political journalist, embraced the idea of Europe in 1998, as it was the best opponent of Thatcherism and seemed to mean trade union and welfare rights. But this came at a high cost, he writes. "In doing so, however, it abandoned the classic left-wing vigilance against the 'bankers' ramp' , the device which allows democracies to be overpowered by banks, central banks and their lackeys to run an economy in their own interests. The euro is just such a ramp. It was imposed without democratic endorsement and cannot be unstitched by democratic rejection. Hence perma-slump in large parts of the eurozone, 50 per cent youth unemployment in the worst bits, and German domination of the whole. Never, since the age of the dictators, have the workers been further from control over the means of production, distribution and exchange than they are in the EU today."
Oh glory be, at last someone has spelled out the left-wing (very left-wing) case for Brexit. But who is this seer? Gosh, it's Charles Moore, a high Tory, in the Spectator, the weekly conservative magazine. And some of you criticise me for writing in the Daily Mail. But it is here, on the right, that the left-wing case for Brexit is being made. Where Is The Thinking Left in this debate?" Adam LeBor, June 17, 2016

Friday 17 June 2022


Ukraine and Moldova can become candidates for membership of the European Union, but not Georgia because of a partisan chief prosecutor linked to the ruling party. Do they know that England's Attorney General is a senior government minister and Member of Parliament? The reason Georgia should not join is quite other. Georgia is not in Europe. The same applies to Turkey of course, except for Western Thrace (3% of Turkey) and Western Thrace is in Europe in body but not in spirit.

Brexit prevents Scotland seceding

"Sturgeon had told friends after the last referendum that it would be political suicide to call another one until separation was backed by 60 per cent of voters. But that point never came. Even now, there’s a (slim) majority for the Union – and that’s after Brexit, an inflation crisis, a not-wildly-popular Etonian in No 10 and the partygate debacle. Fraser Nelson in the Daily Telegraph today." I've said since before the Brexit referendum that Brexit makes Scottish independence almost impossible, when all the clever men and women were saying the opposite.

British Chief of Defence Staff thinks Russia is doing badly

British Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Sir Anthony 'Tony' Radakin said that Russia may achieve "tactical successes" in the next weeks, but the idea that the war had been a success was "nonsense". "President Putin has used about 25 per cent of his army's power to gain a tiny amount of territory and 50,000 people either dead or injured." We shall see what we shall see. What I fear is a long drawn out war that destroys Ukraine, as Anglo-American intervention destroyed Iraq and Libya. I do not want another cold war. The original one was unnecessary and could have led to world war. I do think that Russia under Vladimir Putin must always be a pariah. I did think that sanctions must remain in force after peace is made, but it looks now that sanctions will probably cause a world recession. So far they are hurting the UK and Europe west of Ukraine worse than they hurt Russia. So let's hope for a swift peace and an end to most of the sanctions imposed since the invasion.

The Catholic Church's and the BBC's teaching on "transgender"

The Catholic Church's teaching on "transgender" was repeated in December 2012, during his Christmas address to the Roman Curia, by Pope Benedict XVI who described the view that one can choose ones "gender identity" as a "profound falsehood". Pope Francis ha repeated the Chirch's oppositon. He said in 2016 that teaching children that they have the ability to choose their gender, is a form of ideological "colonization". For him colonialism is a bad thing, just so you know. In June 2019 the Catholic Church published 'Male and Female He Created Them', which rejected the term transgender and said the idea that people could choose or change their gender was a "confused concept of freedom". The Protestant churches are divided on the matter but the BBC, it seems is not, according to a news report yesterday.
"BBC training instructed journalists to lobby politicians and protest for trans rights, raising questions about impartiality. "Trainee journalists were told to use their “magical ally powers” to “influence politicians” and change the minds of the media in favour of rights for people who wish to change gender. "One journalist who attended the training session, run by a trans group, said that it conflicted with the BBC’s code on impartiality and left him questioning whether he was being instructed to break those rules."

Biassed reporting by the BBC again, as every day

BBC World a moment ago. "A Congressional Committee has heard more damning evidence about President Trump's attempt to overturn...." I switched off at that point. It is for the viewer to decide what is damning (and damning is a very strong word, though not for the sophisticated BBC). The BBC was always biassed (against Mrs Thatcher, for example) but not like this. A worse example of its partiality is its continual use of the word 'false' rather than 'strongly disputed'. 'False' is a value judgment and has no place in a news report. Besides, it is impossible to prove a negative. BBC journalists, who tend to have gone public school and Oxford or Cambridge, should know that.

Thursday 16 June 2022

The Old Town, Str. Smârdan at the intersection with Str. Șelari, in 1900

From the German news website, Welt

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has made an open threat to possible Western gas supplies to Ukraine. Medvedev wrote on Telegram that he had read that Ukraine had received liquefied gas from its "masters abroad" and wanted to pay for it in two years. "But there's a question: Who says Ukraine will even be on the world map in two years?"

This morning in the Antim Monastery


The revolution turned out, when it came, to be Islamist (first published on June 15, 2017 - Tim Farron was briefly leader of the British Liberal Democrat Party)

"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." Antonio Gramsci

The revolution that Marxists expected for so long has turned out, when it came, to be Islamist. 

What Marxism and Islamism have in common, of course, is nihilism.

Just as God sublimely says 'I am Who am', meaning He is life itself, evil is essentially destruction. Evil is a very real thing but wholly negative, death not life. 

Everything in history is at base theological. Liberalism, for example, is puritanism, even if few liberals are any longer Nonconformists and many have no religion. In the place of Christianity they now consider abortion and homosexual rights as sacred.

But they approve of these things for puritanical, not cavalier reasons.

This story which I posted in 2016, a week before the Brexit referendum, shows how much being in the EU corrupts a sense of nationhood

My British Remainer friend at dinner last night made various arguments for staying in the EU, such as all reputable economists think we should (certainly not true), and then said he thought nationals of other EU countries who live in the UK should have had a vote in the referendum. 

This was like the thirteenth stroke of the clock, that not only was not convincing in itself but cast doubt on the other twelve. 

I don't think he gets the idea of nationhood.

Helmut Schmidt thought the Russian intervention in Ukraine was justified

Interesting quotation from the Economist's obituary five years ago of Helmut Schmidt, who apparently thought Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine was justified.

"As publisher of Die Zeit, Germany’s most heavyweight weekly, he became its leading commentator—more influential there in shaping opinion, perhaps, than as an embattled chancellor. He deplored worries about climate change: population growth was a far bigger problem. Intervention in other countries’ affairs was a mistake (though he made an exception for Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine: that was a justified response to Western meddling)."
Helmut Schmidt also said in an interview with “Bild” in 2014 that it was “megalomania” on the part of the European Commission to want to annex Ukraine. 

He called for more restraint from the EU:
“You are presenting Ukraine with the apparent choice of having to choose between West and East”

and warned of a war between Nato and Russia. 

Even though he was a Social Democrat, I always liked Schmidt (much more than Giscard and infinitely more than Frau Merkel who is also a social democrat).

Wednesday 15 June 2022

Fred Weir in Moscow wrote this on 11 June

Fred Weir is a Canadian journalist who is a Moscow correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor since 1998. He published this article on 11 June, from which I quote.
Nobody, including me, expected to be writing these kinds of stories at this point in this awful war and sanctions orgy. I was, perhaps, better primed for skepticism than most because I've seen this movie many times before. You are supposed to be looking at catastrophe and collapse, and instead your nose keeps pointing you to stories of survival and resilience.


I realize that nobody wants to hear this. The trolls who haunt my page will go nuts over this post. But even Russian inflation is declining this month. The rouble is stronger than it's been in years. And here's a fun fact: You can actually buy US dollars in Moscow banks, at a rate of about 57 roubles, and transfer them abroad. It's more difficult than it used to be, but we know it works because we've done it. 

The media misled us and sold us the US Government/MI6 line, as ever

I am very ashamed that it took me this long to realise that the mainstream media are as untruthful and unreliable about Russia and the Ukraine as they are about every other political story. Journalists have let the world down more than any other institution, and that's saying an enormous amount when you think about the bishops and the academics. 

Please, if you read one thing about the war this week let it be this wonderful article by David Goldman.

David Goldman has a brilliant mind. He has made me distrust the gung-ho stuff written by the distinguished military experts like Prof Sir Lawrence Freedman and various retired generals, colonels and majors. 

Freedman strongly trusts the US line and seems terrified of Donald Trump and the 'populists', which makes me suspect he wants and perhaps is engaged in a crusade for liberal values.

I quote from David Goldman's article:

'Now Biden (who tweeted April 4 that he had “reduced the ruble to rubble” and shrunk the Russian economy by half) is blaming Zelensky. NATO Secretary Stoltenberg admits that Ukraine will have to give up territory for peace, echoing Henry Kissinger’s comments in Davos. The CIA is telling the New York Times that we had better consider the possibility that Russia might win to avoid another “intelligence failure” (have we had anything else in the past half-century?). That’s a crock, of course; the U.S. has satellites that can tell what Ukrainian soldiers have for lunch as well as large numbers of military advisers on the ground.


"I find that I can have no enjoyment in the world but continual drinking of knowledge"
John Keats

"Thank goodness the sun has gone in and I don't have to go out and enjoy myself."
Logan Pearsall Smith

"No duty is more important than that of returning thanks."
St. Ambrose, quoted by Pope Pius XI.

Four churches before breakfast


I didn't take a picture at the Antim monastery. Now a toasted bacon and tomato sandwich al fresco. A good English working class breakfast four yards from the National Bank at the Hilton Garden Inn. How wonderfully lucky I am to live in this city.

Tuesday 14 June 2022


I had breakfast with a Cambridge and Harvard educated friend who has been an academic researcher, across several disciplines including economics and the hard sciences, for two decades. She told me she gave up the media years ago because they are inaccurate. She gets all her information about Ukraine from primary sources including State Department and Russian Ministry of Defence press releases and seems much better informed than I.

I really am foolish to soldier on reading the newspapers.

I asked her opinion about climate change. She said it's all baloney. Pleased to hear that. I assumed that but without a scientific background or doing research.

I started watching TV this year after 18 years without it but might strop. The BBC World Service is propaganda about abortion, refugees, climate change and Donald Trump and the Washington 'insurrection'.

I cannot take anything the BBC says very seriously. Countries that ban the Disney film because of a homosexual kiss are homophobic rather than being devoutly Muslim.

They do get basic facts right, unless liberal hobby horses are involved, but there are herds of liberal hobby horses, nowadays, and sacred cows.

Friday 10 June 2022


I am ashamed that I asked myself this afternoon for the first time why no is the abbreviation for number. The answer turns out to be obvious. No is the abbreviation for the Latin word numero.

I also didn't know till today that carnival means farewell to flesh. Of course!

I was in my 20s or 30s before I realised ventriloquist is derived from the Latin words for stomach and speak, even though I was top of the class in Latin.

I have known for thirty years which is the only word in English which comes from Lithuanian. 

It's 'talk'.

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Talking about the war

I just asked my IT guy what his opinion was about the war. 

'I don't have one.'

'You must have one.'

'I think the Russians are the victims here. The Americans are doing what they always do which is interfering, trying to control everything.'

It's surprising to me how often Romanians I speak to blame the Americans, usually only in part, for the war.

One of my employees wonders if America wanted this war. The question had crossed my mind.

Piața Sfântul Gheorghe

Sunset last night, seen from a balcony on the 6th floor on the Boulevard of the Victory of Socialism (renamed Unity Bvd)


Tuesday 7 June 2022

Origins of political correctness: I wrote this on October 14, 2020

The term “political correctness” was coined by Anton Semyonovich Makarenko, Soviet educationalist and NKVD officer, in the 1920s. He was hailed by Unesco in the 1980s as one of the four most influential educationalists of the twentieth century.

Its principles were part of Leninism from the start. In the short-lived Communist dictatorship in Hungary in 1919, Georg Lukacs, the Commissar for Culture introduced pornographic sex education in schools, forced nuns to watch pornographic films and demonised the family.

The Russian Revolution was not supposed to happen in Russia. It was supposed to happen in Germany, and possibly Austria and Hungary.

When the revolutions in those countries quickly failed, Communists asked why and for Marxists there could only be one explanation: false consciousness on the part of the workers.