Tuesday 30 April 2024

What they said

'The course of every intellectual, if he pursues his journey long and unflinchingly enough, ends in the obvious, from which the non-intellectuals have never stirred.'

Aldous Huxley

“The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.”

Chicago sports writer Hugh Keough, quoted by Damon Runyon. 

Thursday 25 April 2024

Hengist and Horsa were illegal immigrants and look what happened to them

Hengist and Horsa arrived in Kent as mercenaries at the invitation of the British King Vortigern (though here history and myth elide) and became the first English kings - I am astonished that many English people do not know this

Even the least educated Romanian knows about the earliest Dacian kings, Burebista and Decebal, but an English friend who took a First at Cambridge in Modern History asked me who they were. Which shows you Romanian National Communist schools taught pupils better than English pupils who care nothing for their (key word) medieval history.

The American empire dates from just after the end of the Second World War

American historian Howard Zinn was a Communist fellow traveller and exposed as a KGB agent, but these words of his on the Allied victory in 1945 are accurate. 

"The victors were the Soviet Union and the United States (also England, France and Nationalist China, but they were weak). Both these countries now went to work – without swastikas, goose-stepping, or officially declared racism, but under the cover of 'socialism' on the one side, and 'democracy' on the other, to carve out their own empires of influence. They proceeded to share and contest with one another the domination of the world, to build military machines far greater than the Fascist countries had built, to control the destinies of more countries than Hitler, Mussolini, and Japan had been able to. They also acted to control their own populations, each country with its own techniques – crude in the Soviet Union, sophisticated in the United States – to make their rule secure."

England, France and Nationalist China's victories were, of course, Pyrrhic. Since 1991 only the United States' empire remained but now, as was inevitable, it is being challenged.


Dud: 'You're a loony.'

Pete: 'They called Galileo a loony.'

Dud: 'They also called a lot of loonies loonies.'

What is so very depressing is that the EU vote - and the Scottish Referendum before it - has revealed how "patriotism" (my god, I feel old fashioned and archaic just typing that word) has not only been expunged as a virtue in the public consciousness and is now seen positively as a vice. This has been the relentless work of - in my opinion - left-wing politicians and academics since the war who have always recognised that by breaking up the unity of one community into smaller, sometimes artificial groupuscules ('working class', 'youth') they can then create political majorities which can be used to give them power. I mean who today can say, loudly, 'I am proud to be British' except old ladies in racist rants on buses or Sun columnists or madmen on the internet?

Wednesday 24 April 2024


"If she measured her own feeling toward the world she must have been pretty well able to gauge those of the world to herself and perhaps she reflected that it is the ordinary lot of people to have no friends if they themselves care for nobody."

Miss Crawley in Vanity Fair by Thackeray, which I am rereading.

“Change your conception of yourself and you will automatically change the world in which you live. Do not try to change people; they are only messengers telling you who you are. Revalue yourself and they will confirm the change.”

Neville Goddard, Barbadian mystic

Quotations from De Maistre and Burke in praise of prejudice

"Nothing is more vital to Man than prejudices. Let us not take this word in bad part. It does not necessarily signify false ideas, but only, in the strict sense of the word, any opinions adopted without examination. Now, these kinds of opinion are essential to Man; they are the real basis of his happiness and the palladium of empires. Individual reason is, of its nature, the mortal enemy of any association whatever because it gives birth only to divergent opinions." Joseph De Maistre. I remember my supervisor Robert Tombs looking askance when I told him that I found De Maistre's ideas attractive, all those years ago at Cambridge before life began.

Quotations from J.R.R. Tolkien

“The world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air."

Treebeard in J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

'Military idiot and bar'

It is tempting to think that retired army officers are stupid. The ones who become British Conservative MPs, for example, or the ones who write for the papers. The explanation for the things they say must be more nuanced, that they are trained to be soldiers not geopolitical analysts. 

Colonel Richard Kemp was in charge of the British troops we sent to Afghanistan (why didn't we know better, after losing three Afghan wars?) and writes in the Daily Telegraph  In February of last year he hoped that Ukraine could take back the territory lost to Russia the previous year and part of Crimea, 'but only with our support'.

A total Russian collapse is surprisingly close

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Will Zionism self destruct?

Alistair Crooke, formerly of MI6, in a talk he intends to give at the HSE University, Moscow, this month will say that Saudi Prince Bandar persuaded Donald Rumsfeld in 2006 to reduce Iranian power, increased by overthrowing their enemies the Taliban and Saddam, by overthrowing Assad. This is very interesting.

Putin put a stop to that game.

Now Israel is increasingly ruled by Middle Eastern Jews and is on the road to becoming another country in the region ruled by religious fanatics. The American evangelicals won't mind but liberal Democrat Jews will.

I wonder whether Israel will exist in 2100 but think it will not disappear without a world war. Seriously. I do not want it to cease to exist for several strong reasons, including wanting to avoid America launching a world war, but what a world of pain that languid dilettante Arthur James Balfour has caused.

Are these the end times, like the rustic American Evangelicals thought all along? And it's all England's fault.

"Sunak unveils biggest military spending increase in a generation"

Why is Rishi Sunak increasing defence spending massively when Great Britain is not threatened by any state actors? Why should we care what China does or what happens in the Middle East? Does no British politician understand anything about foreign affairs?

Will there always be an England? No.

For Saint George's Day a tweely expressed but devastating thought by Margaret Thatcher's official biographer, former Telegraph and Spectator editor (and former boss of Boris Johnson), Charles Moore. "Perhaps when I am very old, my grandchildren will ask me what England was. It will be a hard question to answer, but I think I shall tell them that it seemed like a good idea while it lasted, and that it lasted for about 1,000 years."

Monday 22 April 2024


“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Only press on : no feeling is final.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

"In a general way it's very difficult to become remarkable. People won't take sufficient notice of one, don't you know." Joseph Conrad, quoted by Anthony Powell as the epigraph to his memoirs.

Saturday 20 April 2024

Patrick Cockburn is always interesting

Patrick Cockburn on February 24 in the i newspaper, tweeted that day by Peter Hitchens.

"As an unforced political error, Biden’s mistake over Gaza vies with President George W Bush in invading Iraq in 2003 and President Vladimir Putin ordering Russian troops into Ukraine in 2022. As a military conflict, Gaza might be small, but it has an infinite capacity to destabilise the region and the US itself.

"Israel, helped by the US, has wrecked a status quo in the Middle East that favoured them both and whose destruction they may already rue."

Patrick Cockburn today.

My country right or wrong

Patriotism is always a good thing. The problem nowadays is that so many people are very patriotic for foreign countries. I am one of them in the sense of loving Romania passionately. But with one's own country the rule should be "my country right or wrong". With other countries this rule should never apply, but it does. Especially when the other country in question is Israel. 

Americans' patriotism and lack of irony are two of their strengths but American patriotards are very annoying.

Equally annoying, and perhaps equally dangerous, are the people who think patriotism is all right in small doses, like an infection. Western Europe and England are full of them. These people are often globalists.

Patriotism is required by the Fourth Commandment. (Protestants call it the fifth.) Thou shalt honour thy father and mother. 

Of course it applies to immigrants whose mother and father are from another country but it is connected to ancestor worship.

'The least eventful war ever'

This is how wars generally begin, rather than because of plots by evil men. 

Friday 12 April 2024

The Portuguese banknotes scandal of 1925 and the end of the first Portuguese Republic

This is the fascinating story of Alves Reis that could have been written by William Le Queux, Edgar Wallace or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Even Professor Moriarty, the Napoleon of crime, never dreamt of BUYING the Bank of Portugal with forged notes.

I am staying in the Hotel Metropole in Lisbon where Reis stayed until he had enough "money" for the Hotel Alvenida Palace.

In the story of Aladdin the Chinese empire is gripped by massive inflation because Aladdin was turning so many things into gold. Reis's forgeries created a boom and bust in Portugal which led to a coup against the First Republic and the benign despotism of Dr Salazar. 

Reiss became converted to Protestantism in gaol and converted many other prisoners.

Sunday 7 April 2024

The pursuit of happiness

Five suggestions for how to be happy, based on replies to questionnaires by people who had completed the Bristol University 'science of happiness' course:

Talk to strangers

Spend more of your money on others

Spend time in nature

Count your blessings

Be kind to others.


"Real love simply means being able to say to someone else, 'What are you going through right now?'" Simone Weil

“Everything about this [English] society is disagreeable to me – from its limited way of thinking to its indecent manner of cooking vegetables”. Portugal’s greatest novelist, José Maria de Eça de Queirós (1845-1900), was a Consul in Newcastle and Bristol. He was one of the fairly few famous men to have lived and died in Queen Victoria's 63 year reign: Oscar Wilde and Charles Stewart Parnell are two others that spring to mind.

Saturday 6 April 2024

Franklin Foer says the Golden Age of American Jews began in 1967 and is drawing to a close

Subscribing to centre-left Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz provides me with a critique of IDF actions and the Israeli government that is absent in the UK and Romanian press and leads me to all sorts of interesting things.

Like this very interesting audio discussion with Franklin Foer about how liberalism benefited American Jews after 1967, as set out in his recent Atlantic article The Golden Age of American Jews Is Ending. The Ha'aretz interviewer and he agree that American Jews believe in liberalism as a creed but also as a means to protect Jews.

This sense of security ended when Donald Trump became President. This was despite Mr Trump being the most philo-Semitic and Zionist of American president ever, President Biden possibly excepted.

From the Atlantic article:

Friday 5 April 2024

10 Commandments of Propaganda

A summary by Belgian historian Anne Morelli of Lord Ponsonby's 'Falsehood in War-time, Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations During the Great War' (1928).

1. We don't want war, we are only defending ourselves!

2. Our adversary is solely responsible for this war!

3. Our adversary's leader is inherently evil and resembles the devil

4. We are defending a noble cause, not our particular interests!

5. The enemy is purposefully committing atrocities; if we are making mistakes this happens without intention

6. The enemy makes use of illegal weapons

7. We suffer few losses, the enemy's losses are considerable

8. Recognized intellectuals and artists support our cause

9. Our cause is sacred

10. Whoever casts doubt on our propaganda helps the enemy and is a traitor


"I do not believe a word that comes out of your mouth. Your entire policy consists of provoking the Palestinians." Jacques Chirac, 'red with anger', talking to Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The strange superstition has arisen in the Western world that we can start all over again, remaking human nature, human society, and the possibilities of happiness; as though the knowledge and experience of our ancestors were now entirely irrelevant." Sir Roger Scruton

"Love and do what you like." St Augustine

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Before progressives were progressive about race

The Progressive movement in the USA in the first quarter of the last century were not like modern progressives. Carrie Chapman Catt was an American Emily Pankhurst - a leading suffragette who founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance in 1904. She argued that "White supremacy will be strengthened, not weakened, by women's suffrage" because more white women than black ones would vote.

Monday 1 April 2024


Amnesic 🕊️
It may be slightly inconvenient to remember Extraordinary Renditions, or US ambassador to Tashkent John Herbst being "livid" at the rogue UK ambassador, Craig Murray, for publicising the "not uncommon" practice there of boiling people to death

"Modern man is painfully confused.
He spends his vacation visiting the wonders of what the old world built, yet hates the beliefs that inspired them to build it."
I,Hypocrite (Twitter/X)