Sunday 31 December 2023

The New York Times' "investigation" into rapes by Hamas is fake news from top to bottom but the media do not tell you this

Two days ago the New York Times published what seemed compelling eyewitness evidence of many rapes by Hamas fighters on October 7

Whether they were ordered by the Hamas leaders seemed unimportant. 

I shared the link to the NYT article free of the paywall on Facebook and Twitter but then I discovered from this tweet by Max Blumenthal that the stories were lies.

Not mistakes or distortions but wicked lies, made for financial reasons or, no doubt, to justify the Israeli actions in Gaza.

See this too and this.

There is no evidence that would stand up in court that the Arab fighters raped anyone on October 7th. 

I really shall give up the mainstream media for one of my New Year's resolutions. The only exception: the Telegraph obituaries which are often so funny. 

I shall read things occasionally on Twitter as Elon Musk advises, read Christopher Caldwell and Rod Dreher and keep an eye on three or four blogs,  including John Helmer's.

Talling of which, this is John Helmer's last  post on his blog, Dancing With Bears. 


John Helmer is if not the doyen at least the most senior of the foreign correspondents in Moscow. His out of office announcement would make a great question in a history or political science examination, though the latter is a bogus discipline.

For the first time in a life as a news addict I find the Arab Israel dispute interesting and I suddenly wonder if Israel will be around in fifty years' time.

New Year's Eve quotations

“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.”
Rainer Maria Rilke in a letter

"It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company." George Washington. I wish we had hanged him but he was right about this.

Saturday 30 December 2023

The world is in great danger, from America


I keep meaning to print and paste absurd and or terrifying headlines in the Daily Telegraph. 

There are so many. 

This one reminds us that the world is in very great danger - from Americans (and from Benyamin Netanyahu who wants the Americans to go to war with Iran as he urged them to go to war with Iraq, Syria and Libya). 

Bolton is an outlier being plainly mad but people like him (think John McCain) are part of the secret network that rules the West to which the Labour leader and probably next British PM Starmer is fully signed up. People in the British Labour party who express sympathy with the people of Gaza are in danger of being expelled from the party.

Friday 29 December 2023


"God is an infinite sphere, the centre of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.” 

Hermes Trismegistus, “thrice-great Hermes”, Book of the 24 Philosophers. Pascal and Voltaire also said it and it has been attributed to St Augustine.

"In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found. Yet she shall be known and 
I never." 

Aleister Crowley, the Satanist 

"The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce variety and uncompromising divergences of men. In a large community, we can choose our companions. In a small community, our companions are chosen for us."

G. K. Chesterton 

“Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I refer to it by this name because I once
discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)

"Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article
on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the
article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues.
Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

"In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page,
and forget what you know.

"That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I'd point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all. But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper.”

Michael Crichton

Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong is a brave opponent of Chinese Communism and was ignored by the Pope when he visited Rome. Summorum Pontificum is an apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI encouraging the traditional Latin Mass to be said where the laity request it, without the permission of a bishop.

Wednesday 27 December 2023


"He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute." St. Augustine

"There is a certain part of all of us that lives outside of time. Perhaps we become aware of our age only at exceptional moments and most of the time we are ageless." Milan Kundera

"The buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching toward infinity..." Isreal Regardie

“If you are arguing for a rules-based international order, if you want to be pushing back against countries taking territory with the use of force, then Ukraine should not be seeing itself as aligned with the Israelis.” Timothy Kaldas, deputy director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

“The rules were never published, were never even announced by anyone to anyone, and they are being applied depending on what exactly the west needs at a particular moment of modern history.”' Sergey Lavrov peaking at the Doha Forum this month.

"It's so weird watching western rightists babble about how barbaric they think Muslims and their culture are while western culture amasses a mountain of ten thousand child corpses in Gaza." Caitlin Johnstone

Saturday 16 December 2023


"In the afternoon they came unto a land

In which it seeméd always afternoon."   

I expected Aruba to be much less interesting than Ramsgate, which does at least have a Pugin monastery, but in fact a sense of utter relaxation immediately descended on me.

A glimpse of Cartagena and Panama City

Before the pandemic I had intended to spend two weeks in Colombia, which would not have been nearly enough. Instead I just spent one week there and want to return soon. 

Bogota is wonderful and not spoilt by tourism. 

Friday 15 December 2023


I have no idea why I am going on a Caribbean cruise and before that to Colombia, and it doesn't matter, but I am.

I probably supposed that Colombia the most interesting place in the Americas apart from Cuba, which I have already visited.

Bogota cathedral shortly after I arrived.

Acute sleep deprivation but I love my groovy hotel, the Selina Candelaria. I decided to avoid expensive hotels which are boring and stay in hotels that are also hostels,  where you make friends without trying, as I did.

In Colombia everyone lights a candle on the Eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mine is the one on the far left of the box.

In any case I am so glad I chose Colombia. I love her.

How can a country so close to the USA be so un-American, so traditional, so conservative? Whichever Mexican politician said 'Poor Mexico, so far from heaven so close to the United States' could have been speaking about Colombia too.  

Tuesday 5 December 2023

'Jenrick challenges BBC Today presenter over failure to ask about Israeli hostages'

From a news item in the Daily Telegraph today about an interview on the BBC with the British minister in charge of immigration.

'Her final question regarded comments by Lloyd Austin, the US secretary of defence, that Israel risked a “strategic defeat” if it did not work to protect Palestinian civilians. Mr Jenrick replied: “Well, we have had a number of frank conversations with Israel at every level in which we have encouraged them to pursue this vital war in a responsible manner.'

'“We’re also working with international organisations to get as much aid and medicines into Gaza as possible and we’ve increased British funding to those organisations by many millions of pounds. That’s the right thing to do.'

'“But your line of questioning has not once asked about the hostages, it’s not once asked about the imperative of defeating Hamas.'

'“And we have to support Israel in that effort and the eradication of Hamas will be a blessing to people in Gaza, to people in Israel and frankly to the whole world.”'

I too wish Hamas did not exist and the PLO ruled Gaza, but what business is this "quarrel in a faraway country" of the British government?

Admittedly the Arab Israel dispute is our fault but, Pilate-like, we washed our hands of the Holy Land in 1947.

Why does HMG want regime change in Syria or worry about all sorts of distant places?

Perhaps the Anglo-American alliance embody the ideals which led Roosevelt to design the UN, which he naively hoped would ensure world peace. But we do not keep the peace and most UN countries see us and Israel as colonialists.


Talking about someone's problems a moment ago, I used a quotation I once loved but which I have not remembered since my teens. 'This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.'

Horace Walpole said it, as far as I ever knew, though it sounds too good for him. The internet says Racine, whom I do not think of as a wit.

Every life is at both comic and tragic. I said this to someone who asked me what I meant and I decided he was not a deep thinker.

Sunday 3 December 2023


'The greater part of the population is not very intelligent, dreads responsibility, and desires nothing better than to be told what to do. Provided the rulers do not interfere with its material comforts and its cherished beliefs, it is perfectly happy to let itself be ruled.' Aldous Huxley, “The Art of Seeing”. I don't believe this.

'Liberal opinions are the opinions of those who would be free from certain constraints & regulations, from a certain dependence & duty deemed necessary for the general or popular welfare. Liberal opinions are very convenient opinions for the rich & powerful...'
Benjamin Disraeli. Liberals in his day believed in freedom, unlike in ours.

'We have done everything we can to turn Vladimir Putin into an implacable enemy of the United States.' Colonel Douglas MacGregor. Yes and the US did the same with China and Iran.