Sunday 2 April 2023




“Mothers are all slightly insane.” J.D.Salinger

"The best, the most public-spirited, solution to the pensions crisis is clearly the one that I have adopted myself: breed lots of children, so as to maintain the balance between the young and the old; and then drink and smoke yourself into an early grave." Tom Utley, Daily Telegraph, 18 November 2005. Fortunately, Mr Utley is still with us.

"To immerse oneself in popular culture for any length of time is to wallow in an almost unbearable shallowness. Was the sum of European endeavour and achievement really meant to culminate in this?" Douglas Murray


  1. Zelensky, the “highest paid actor” of 2022.
    Donald Trump Jr. on Instagram

  2. Study: Length of Stay for Older Adults Residing in Nursing Homes at the End of Life

    Results: Median and mean length of stay before death were 5 months.

    Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

  3. Report: 44% of Americans Work a Second Job

    69 percent of employed professionals either have a side job or want one.

    62 percent of Americans, including 48 percent of high-income consumers, were living paycheck to paycheck in February.

  4. I always make sure I have a good book with me when taking public transport or airplanes. I want to show women — and men — that I’m intelligent, cultured, a good conversationalist — someone they might want to sit next to. But it never happens. People on public transport aren’t interested in what you are reading because a) they’re looking at their phones and b) books no longer tell a story about you.

    This is a great shame. What is the point of being well-read if no one is interested in what you’ve read? I’ve had lovers in my bedroom who have never given my bookshelves a casual glance. How can they know anything about me? You are what you read — or have read.

    Jonathan Franzen once wrote, “there’s nothing sexier than a reader,” and I know what he means. I once saw a very pale, Nico-like blonde dressed in black with black shades on a number 19 bus reading Heidegger — and in German too! It was love at first sight. I sat next to her and whipped out my copy of Chris Kraus’s I Love Dick, and was she impressed or interested? Nope.

    Still I persevered. “I heard a funny story about Heidegger the other day.” I thought she might at least smile at this — after all, it was an original chat-up line, but she showed no sign of interest. I went on, “Did you know,” I asked, “that Leo Strauss once tried to pick up Hannah Arendt in the Prussian State Library and she said to him, ‘No thanks. I’m fucking Heidegger!’”

    OK, she probably didn’t use those exact words, but I thought it was a kind of cute and funny anecdote, but my blonde was not amused. “Go away,” she said, and I did. Oh well, I guess you can’t judge a person by the cover of the book they’re reading.

    The sex lives of writers
    Spectator USA by Cosmo Landesman / March 30, 2023

  5. What we are seeing now, in the revelations exposing the inner workings of the state-corporate censorship regime, is only the end of the beginning. The United States is still in the earliest stages of a mass mobilization that aims to harness every sector of society under a singular technocratic rule. The mobilization, which began as a response to the supposedly urgent menace of Russian interference, now evolves into a regime of total information control that has arrogated to itself the mission of eradicating abstract dangers such as error, injustice, and harm—a goal worthy only of leaders who believe themselves to be infallible, or comic-book supervillains.

    The first phase of the information war was marked by distinctively human displays of incompetence and brute-force intimidation. But the next stage, already underway, is being carried out through both scalable processes of artificial intelligence and algorithmic pre-censorship that are invisibly encoded into the infrastructure of the internet, where they can alter the perceptions of billions of people.

    Something monstrous is taking shape in America. Formally, it exhibits the synergy of state and corporate power in service of a tribal zeal that is the hallmark of fascism. Yet anyone who spends time in America and is not a brainwashed zealot can tell that it is not a fascist country. What is coming into being is a new form of government and social organization that is as different from mid-twentieth century liberal democracy as the early American republic was from the British monarchism that it grew out of and eventually supplanted. A state organized on the principle that it exists to protect the sovereign rights of individuals, is being replaced by a digital leviathan that wields power through opaque algorithms and the manipulation of digital swarms. It resembles the Chinese system of social credit and one-party state control, and yet that, too, misses the distinctively American and providential character of the control system. In the time we lose trying to name it, the thing itself may disappear back into the bureaucratic shadows, covering up any trace of it with automated deletions from the top-secret data centers of Amazon Web Services, “the trusted cloud for government.”

    In a technical or structural sense, the censorship regime’s aim is not to censor or to oppress, but to rule. That’s why the authorities can never be labeled as guilty of disinformation. Not when they lied about Hunter Biden’s laptops, not when they claimed that the lab leak was a racist conspiracy, not when they said that vaccines stopped transmission of the novel coronavirus. Disinformation, now and for all time, is whatever they say it is. That is not a sign that the concept is being misused or corrupted; it is the precise functioning of a totalitarian system.

    If the underlying philosophy of the war against disinformation can be expressed in a single claim, it is this: You cannot be trusted with your own mind.

    A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century

  6. Since SARS-COV-2 arrived, we have witnessed a proliferation of things we aren’t allowed to discuss or even question:

    1). Pointing out the obvious evidence that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from a lab.

    2). Questioning lockdowns.

    3). Questioning PCR tests of asymptomatic people.

    4). Questioning mask mandates.

    5). Questioning vaccine mandates.

    6). Questioning the US proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

    7). Questioning “Climate Change” and “Alternative Energy” orthodoxy.

    8). Questioning the prudence and morality of trying to change the sex of children.

    9). Questioning the ballot results of the 2020 presidential election.

    10). Pointing out the obvious signs that President Biden is suffering from senile dementia and may not be fit for office.

    Anyone who questions any of the above will be vilified with an array of ad hominem labels such as quack, snake-oil salesman, misinformation spreader, conspiracy theorist, bigot, Putin stooge, anti-vaxxer, etc.

    In other words, questioning the prevailing orthodoxy about these major public policy issues will NOT BE TOLERATED.

    John Leake

  7. Until Trump began America’s attempt to strangle China technologically by cutting it off from supplies of advanced chips, TSMC was happily making semiconductors for all the world. Washington, grimly determined to maintain its imperial control of the world, is terrified that China might take over Taiwan and its chip fabs.

    This, not motherhood and human rights, explains the constant provocations of China.

    The plan seems to be to arm Taiwan, as it did the Ukraine, and then provoke a war, as it did in the Ukraine, and let Taiwanese do the fighting as it did with the Ukrainians. To reasonable people, the solution might be to leave TSMC alone to sell chips to anyone who wants them, but that is not Washington’s way.

    One should not underestimate the seriousness of the hostility to China. America cannot compete with the Chinese in normal international competition. The US seems to have realized this.

    America collapses internally, its education fails, it increasingly depends on Asians in matters technological, and its finances seem on the brink.

    The solution is war.

    Fred Reed

  8. Interesting comments, Toma, very much on point. I'd only quibble about one.

    Liberal democracy in America was not "different from the British monarchism that it grew out of and eventually supplanted". The positive features of American liberal democracy were overwhelmingly formed by British liberal democracy (which had already formed a constructive co-existence with monarchism that Americans never understood or matched).

    The US model not only never supplanted the more sophisticated British original of bourgeois democracy, but never caught up with it in terms of tolerance or liberal depth. The current American tragedy is rooted in their mistake of the 1770s, and their mischaracterisation of Britain. This idea that Britain represented oppressive monarchism is fondly believed in and retaught by Americans to this day because it supports their self-congratulatory myth of exceptionalism and conceals the sadder truth that their rebellion extended the slave trade and its destructive racial division by another half century.

    But of course you are quoting other writers, here Jacob Siegel?

    1. 'Interesting comments, Toma'

      Thanks, but... could help a lot, in order to understand what you're talking about, to post your observations underneath the relevant quotation or comment.