This archive, organized into months, and indexed by
contains all issues since inception, including the current week.
You can write to me at
poisonous, bigoted, ignorant, verbose little wa*ker.”
(except I'm not little - 1.97m)
Video Clocks, Flash Clocks,
Fun Clocks at
ISSUE #215 - August 2011
Much as I hate to temporarily discontinue the fun of
publishing polls showing
President Barack Obama’s non-existent popularity, for September and
daily updates of running scores from the 2011 Rugby World Cup takes
the Wrath of Melanie Philips! - 15th
You need to be very sure of your ground
before you cross Melanie Phillips.
Heather Mallick was not.
In the aftermath of the Breivik massacre, the
indomitable Melanie Philips, below left, wrote a piece on 25th July in her blog,
wider pathology”, in relation to the fact that she is quoted a
couple of times in the “manifesto”
of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik.
Three days later, this was picked up in Canada's The
Toronto Star when its columnist Heather Mallick, right, wrote a piece entitled
“What to do when a monster likes your work”,
in which she hurled some extraordinary vitriol at Ms Philips.
Ms Mallick appears to be an outspoken controversial left-wing
radical of sorts, once described as an
Ms Philips is certainly man
enough [sic] to absorb a tirade of abuse and insults. But
accusing her of spitting at the memory of those murdered in Oslo and
Utøya was a step too far. I don't know what Ms Philips did or
threatened, but on 14th August, The Toronto Star
offending article from its website,
Ms Philips her legal costs and
undisclosed donation to a charity of her choice in lieu of damages.
As you might expect, on her own site Ms Philips was glad
record her victory. She reminds us that, of the massacres, she
had written on 26th July that
“there can be no excuse, justification or rationale
whatsoever for the atrocity perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik”.
But the apology means very little if you don't know what was
actually being apologised for.
But it means very little if you don't know what was
actually being apologised for.
After some sniffing around, I eventually found, thanks
to Blazing Cat Fur, this poor-quality, virtually unreadable
JPG reproduction of a cached version of Ms Mallick's now deleted article
However, thanks to the miracle of scanning and OCR, here is what the
Mallick: What to do when a monster likes
Heather Mallick, Star Columnist
Spare a moment to feel pity for a small but
select crowd of people in Canada, the US and Europe. They’re the
agitators who woke up last Saturday to find that the Norwegian
monster Anders Breivik liked them. As in, he liked their opinions,
he quoted them in his so-called manifesto and they – only lurking on
the margins of decency before then – are now themselves hated
This is new in human history. Thanks to the
power of the Internet, never before have lives been so easily
damaged, if not destroyed. Life online is fast and remorseless. It
runs on rage.
The online hate that so-called Muslim-haters
displayed was instantly turned back on them and their discomfiture
must be terrible. One former Ryerson student who was involved in a
minor quarrel over Catholic-versus-Muslim prayer rooms was mentioned
by Breivik. The poor man is collateral damage. He sounds stunned
now. I’m trying to imagine how he will survive a basic Google
search done by prospective employers.
What’s striking is how much succour the killer
drew from the online hate that matched his own. No one is to blame
for his finding motivation where he could, but need Canadian
opinionators have positively bubbled with malevolence?
Do not read Brievik’s footnoted little
booky-wook. I read it at 3 am only because I had a severe case of
food poisoning and it seemed wrong to waste perfectly good nausea.
What better way to pass the time than exploring the damp folds of a
psychopathic brain. The clock ticked.
It is thick with misogyny, just like the
online world itself. Women-hating is so common now that most
commentators haven’t noticed that he hated women as much as he hated
Muslims, maybe more. Breivik, a mommy’s boy who lived off his
mother, had a curlicued sexuality. But so do many hateful people.
That’s why I find the case of the unreadable
British journalist Melanie Phillips so troubling. She has always
been vicious, first on the hard left and now on the hard right. But
almost everyone else praised by the killer has said how horrified
they were by the slaughter at Utoya.
Not Phillips of the Daily Mail. “The
supposed beliefs of the Norway massacre’s perpetrator has (sic) got
the left in general wetting itself in delirium at this apparently
heaven-sent opportunity to take down those who fight for life,
liberty and western civilization against those who would destroy
it”. Seriously. That was her response. We cry at the news of
children who bled to death in the water. She spits.
When I study PhilIips’ trajectory, I get the
same sensation I do about Breivik, that she is reacting to some
deeply felt psychic wound. The key is that many years ago, PhilIips’
left-wing allies turned against her and she was terribly hurt. She
didn’t have the moral fibre to prevent herself deteriorating into a
sick caricature. When people are hurt, they lash out.
This is the cloud that hovers over the
Internet, the rage of damaged people, especially those who comment
anonymously and egg each other on. This is why Mark Zuckerberg’s
sister, Randi, who helps run Facebook, has called for an end to
online anonymity and why Jimmy Wales has set up a rating system to
try to take the hate out of Wikipedia.
If people could find a way to be kinder
online, we perhaps might not have had billions of people whipping
each other into a frenzy of hate. The killer shouldn’t have been
able to find so many kindred sickened souls.
Speaking of which, could I ask people who
disagree with me not to openly wish for my death? I am going to die
one day. So will they. Shockingly, we are all going to.
In the meantime, as the grave draws nearer,
could we all please be kinder to each other and try to make the
online world less of a stinking swamp and more of a sunlit upland?
This is not the first time Healther Mallick has been in trouble over one
of her columns. In 2008 she
got into hot water with Canada's radio ombudsman after 300
complaints about a
column which berated, in crudest terms, Sara Palin (who else!), her
family and US Republican males in general.
This time she and her employer truly felt the wrath of Melanie Philips,
not merely the latter's devastating put-downs usually reserved for
fellow-panellists on TV and radio debates.
How long will Ms Mallick continue to draw a salary?
Back to List of Contents
Norwegian Carnage Holds Uncomfortable Lessons - 5th August 2011
The actions of an evil terrorist in Norway
exposed societal flaws that exacerbated the carnage;
the reactions so far are unlikely to deter future such attacks.
It is hard to imagine a course of action more likely to bring long-term
discredit to the causes he says he espouses than the criminal murderous
rampage of Anders Behring Breivik that left the corpses of
77 innocent people blown up, shot or drowned.
Back to beginning
Not just Norwegians, but all normal human beings are rightly consumed
with outrage over his actions first in downtown Oslo, then on that
idyllic island of Utøya in the Tyri fjord an hour's drive away.
There is neither excuse nor punishment severe enough to match the evil
that he wrought. Indeed, in Norway which abolished the death penalty
in 1979 the maximum penalty for murder is only 21 years, with
seven off for good behaviour. As far as I know, multiple sentences must
be served concurrently not consecutively; otherwise 77 x 21 =
1,617 years, effectively
might have been expected. Instead, he could be out by 2025, though
I am sure (hope!) the Norwegians will nevertheless find some barely
legal ruse to keep him
under lock and key forever.
Back to beginning
The other reason for fury, albeit of less severity under the
circumstances, is the damage this wicked man has brought upon what are,
in themselves, perfectly respectable objectives. Unworthy means do
not make objectives unworthy. The IRA waged a war against the
people of both Britain and Ireland for thirty years, which resulted in
3,000 unwarranted deaths. Its means were vile, but the objective of getting
Britain out of Northern Ireland was respectable. Sinn Fein is
today a democratic party which has eschewed violence, has parliamentary
representation both north and south of the border, yet its objective
remains identical to that of the IRA. The difference is that the
IRA sought/seeks to achieve this though the bullet, Sinn Fein now
espouses the ballot.
Breivik's objectives are spelled out in the 1500-page 770,000-word
- A European Declaration of Independence”,
here) that he issued on the internet just before his massacre.
Not all of these are respectable, but many are. Here are a few,
for which I have provided some of the justifications that are often advanced.
I have not used Breivik's arguments.
Anti-immigration and exclusive nationalism
Your country, your history, your culture primarily for your own
treatment of women, homosexuals and non-Muslims,
treatment of criminals,
embrace of savagery.
Because as the only Western-style democratic state in the Middle
East, it finds itself at the forefront of the “clash of
civilisations” between the democratic West and an
oppressive, backward and violent Islam.
Anti-Turkish EU membership
An influx of 75m mostly poor Muslims, many sympathetic of
Islamism, into the mainly Judeo/Christian/Secular European Union
of 500m can only spell trouble in the long if not short term.
This phenomenon is already apparent in pockets within France,
Netherlands, Sweden to name just three EU countries where Muslim
ascendancy has led to no-go areas and endemic Islamicist
violence against native peoples.
Getting rid of the European Union
The EU has far exceeded its original Treaty of Rome mandate - a free-trade club
of countries that would simply permit free movement of goods,
capital and people within its boundaries.
It has become a monolithic pseudo-European government, replete
waste on a monumental scale,
accounts which have failed every annual audit
unnecessary interference in
the lives of 500 million
citizens within its boundaries and
dreams of ever greater
Extraordinarily, Brussels now makes 80% of the laws of EU member
states; the noble concept of
subsidiarity has long been
Whether the €uro ends up as a blessing or curse is very much an
open question as the
PIGIS' economies teeter ever closer to the
But the €uro's potential for destroying
when/if it collapses is almost unlimited.
Anthropogenic climate change is a scam
Hard to argue with!
What Breivik has done has made such arguments, even though polls show
they broadly have the support of up to a quarter of EU citizens, almost
unsayable in public, much to the delight of the multicultural global
Back to beginning
Clearly, one of these is
Norway's official representative in Israel, Ambassador
Svein Sevje, who took leave of his senses when he suggested that Hamas terrorism against Israel
is more justified than Breivik's attack against Norway, because “we
Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against
Israel”. In other words, terrorism against Israeli
citizens is the fault of Israel; there anyway is no
just settlements in disputed territory that has never been Palestinian.
Another is former Norwegian prime minister and
current chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize committee Thorbjorn Jagland.
In response to the violent attacks, he
admonishes British PM David Cameron and other European leaders (Sarkozy?
Merkel) be more
when talking about multiculturalism and to cease
“playing with fire”
by using rhetoric that could be exploited by extremists such as Breivik.
In other words, stop saying anti-left-wing stuff I don't like because I
have no rational answer for it.
At the other end of the spectrum, when
Mario Borghezio, an Italian MEP and a leader of Italy's Northern League,
which is part of Silvio Berlusconi's ruling coalition, recently
“some of the ideas [Breivik] expressed are good, barring
the violence, some of them are great”,
“opposition to Islam [is] shared by 100 million Europeans”.
went on to praise Breivik's call for a
“crusade by Christians against Europe's drift toward Islam”.
uproar ensured. He was suspended from his party for three months and
forced to make a grovelling
apology to Norway,
as did cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli also. It's as if he
was preaching that dislike of chocolate justified burning down the local
Cadburys factory with all the workers inside.
Do not be surprised if these insane reactions lead to calls for the
curtailment of speech that some on the left designate to be
Make love not war
Back to beginning
An assumption has quickly arisen that agreeing with what Breivik says
makes you a massacre enthusiast. But agreeing with what the
Norwegian Labour party stands for makes you automatically virtuous,
because that party was the target of Breivik and your support is a proxy
for support of his victims. Broadly speaking, Labour's
instinct is to oppose pretty much everything that Breivik embraces in
the list above, as would its love-child the
Workers' Youth League, or AUF, whose annual get-together on Utøya
Island was Breivik's target. The Party and League seem to be
imbued with 1960s California hippie mentality - you know, of the
“make love not war”
variety. This screams out at you when you read the
statements of its MP
Renate Håheim and prime minister Jens Stoltenberg
“If one man can create that much hate, you can only imagine how
much love we together can create. Violence creates violence, hate
creates hate ... Our answer [to Breivik] is more democracy, more openness and more
humanity – but never naivety.”
Noble sentiments, perhaps, if mushy, but the
lack of resolve is palpable. Fortunately, Breivik seems to be
a lone-wolf, so his non-existence colleagues will not continue the
fight. Nevertheless, such statements make it perfectly clear
that these Norwegian politicians would be similarly supine in the
face of ferocious attacks by Islamicists or other organised
terrorists, whose likelihood will have now increased as a result.
In fact this lack of resolve and
mentality are symptomatic of very many
people in Europe today. The virtue of peace is indisputable,
but when the desire for peace clouds out the necessity of sometimes
having to fight to preserve it, the desire for peace perversely
makes peace less likely to prevail over time. People who won't
fight always lose the fight. it's not rocket science.
The Sunday Times reports (£)
that a male Utøya survivor said
“Norway should not go the American
way - you cannot fight violence with violence”,
which perhaps says it all.
Back to beginning
These days, boys are rarely any longer taught
to box or other forms of self-defence. They are constantly
dissuaded from war games and fighting; indeed you will search toy
shops in vain to find guns, bows-and-arrows, swords, slings, lances
and other paraphernalia of make-believe war that were the staples of
boyhood just a couple of decades ago. They are
constantly urged to suppress their natural aggressive energies and
when conflict arises to always seek compromise and reconciliation.
Mark Steyn captured this perfectly some years
ago in a
Daily Telegraph column, where a Mum took away her little son's
toy sword as it was too
but allowed him to keep the shield. Thereafter, Junior would
play in the yard with nothing but his shield,
“mastering the art of cowering more
effectively against unseen blows”.
The situation is exacerbated by the tragic
absence for many a boy of his father at home and of male teachers at
school, on whom he can look as role models.
The result is the gradual feminisation of boys
along with the blurring of differences with girls. When it is
necessary for a male to do something difficult, dangerous or
unpleasant, fewer of them are able or prepared to step up to the
In 1912 the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank.
On that dreadful dark cold night, the phrase
“women and children first” assumed real meaning. In
order to let the ladies and their youngsters board the too-few
functioning lifeboats, most men stood aside, and even
threw life belts to passengers in the water, knowing that as a result
they would die a terrible death in icy black water - which they then
did. The band members (all male) knowingly continued to play
to help avoid panic, until they too succumbed to the same fate.
Edward John Smith, 62, voluntarily drowned with his ship.
Thus the newspaper sub-heading, “Survivors Mostly Women and
Children”. Such mass
nobility and manliness is unthinkable in 2011. Indeed, the
phrases themselves have become clichés, and largely ironic ones at
and children first”,
band played on”,
Captain went down with his ship”.
Nearly a decade ago, on Nine-Eleven, people
still gasp (as I do) at the selfless bravery of
Todd Beamer and his fellow (male) passengers on United Airlines
Flight 92 who, at the certain cost of their own lives, attacked the
hijackers and forced the plane to crash-land in a field instead of
on the White House.
We gasp because the behaviour of Mr Beamer and
his co-heroes has become so uncharacteristic of 21st century male
behaviour in the West.
Yet sixty years ago, deeds such as those of the
men on the Titanic or Flight 92 would be the expected reaction to
the ghastly circumstances in which those males inadvertently found
themselves. Manliness was the universal norm.
My aged father (b 1915) relates in his
memoirs how corporal punishment
was administered in
his London school. The boy would be asked whether he accepted
the beating and if he answered yes, the headmaster administered the
stinging strokes of the cane. In the very rare instance of a
refusal the miscreant would be spared, but he would thereafter be
regarded with disdain by teachers and fellow-students alike.
In those days, manliness began in boyhood.
Back to beginning
picture a scene. On a small idyllic wooded island of barely
500 metres by 200 metres, some six hundred idealistic young men and
women in their late teens and early twenties (plus a few children)
are enjoying a summer camp of activities, discussion and
camaraderie. Suddenly a man in uniform appears and invites a
group of the youngsters to gather round him in order to make an
announcement. Then he pulls out two guns and starts shooting
Let's imagine two versions of what happens
next, first in 1950, then in 2011.
1950 Version (and earlier):
As soon as
the first people fall to the ground, the remaining men rush at the
gunman to overpower him. If he escapes to the woods and keeps
shooting, the young men pursue him spreading out, taking cover in
the trees, hurling rocks at the gunman. Other men not part of
the original target audience join in the hunt. A few are shot;
the rest persevere. Everyone makes sure the young women and
children are safely out of the way. When the gunman has to
stop and reload, whoever is closest pounces on him. The men
beat him to a pulp and tie him up. Maybe they
shoot him with his own gun.
the medics arrive and tend to the casualties. The police
arrive and arrest (or body-bag) the gunman, commiserate over the
deaths, and then congratulate everyone else. No-one
comments on their manliness - it's just taken for granted.
As soon as
the shooting starts, those who are not hit flee from the scene.
The gunman pursues them at walking pace, shooting any that he spots.
From time to time he stops to reload. Some of the young people
hide in the woods, some try to swim to the mainland, every man/woman
for him/herself. For eighty minutes, the gunman continues
following and shooting the men and women, including several in the
water swimming for their lives and others at waters' edge. He
delivers a coup-de-grâce
on many of the fallen just to make sure they are dead.
Only when the
police arrive does the gunman cease the carnage, as he meekly allows
himself to be arrested. His father regrets his son didn't kill
himself. In all
69 out of the six hundred are shot dead or drowned and several
more are left wounded.
outpouring of national grief ensues (rather than rage) and
politicians make inane comments about
“how much love we together can create”.
Of course the second version is what actually
happened on Utøya
on that fearsome 22nd
day of July. At least twelve of the victims are shown below,
in happy mode sitting in the sun with their colleagues just the day
before, oblivious to the dreadful fate about to befall them.
People of an earlier generation just would not
understand the mass panic that enabled one man with a couple of guns
and a bag of ammunition to stroll around the island shooting and
occasionally reloading, while six hundred fit young people, half of
them presumably male, simply ran away in terror.
Back to beginning
But that's what happens when men throughout
their upbringing have been imbued with such a sense of peace and
love and friendship and caution and reaching-out at all costs, that
they believe -
that feelings and emotions are as important as
facts (or more so),
that all danger and all risk must be avoided at
that men must never ever use violence or even
learn how to,
that when confronted with violence or danger
retreat is the only response,
that men have no inherent duty to protect
that they have no sense of either civic
responsibility or personal pride.
Their instinctive manliness has been driven
out, to be replaced by feminisation. This, unfortunately, is
an observation that Breivik also makes several times in his
manifesto. No doubt the belief that the hundreds of youth on
the island would all have been too feminised to counter-attack
helped encourage him in his evil deeds.
Back to beginning
however, the peaceableness of those
young people had a let-out, for they were virulently anti-Israel
pro-Palestinian. Thus, while staying safely in Norway far away
from the explosive Middle East, the AUF
not universally anti-violence, only anti unapproved
violence. They and the parent Labour party
support Palestinian militancy, and on Utøya
played anti-Israel games, such as
“break the blockade” and “boycott Israel”.
fifteen years, representatives of Fatah
youth wing of its parent, Fatah)
the AUF's annual youth camp on Utøya, joining in the
“learning and sharing experiences on democracy and
advocacy for peace and justice”.
Though no longer officially designated as a terrorist group, Fatah
nevertheless remains committed to what it calls
struggle” against Israel. Fatah Youth itself only last
year organized a popular inauguration of a public square in the West
Bank town of el-Bireh, which was named after
Dalal Mughrabi. This beautiful young Fatah terrorist was
killed while hijacking a bus in Israel in 1978, resulting in the
murder of 37 innocent Israelis.
adult Fatah organization is also parent to its armed wing,
the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. This is
the Islamic terrorist group which proudly
claims responsibility for the brutal
murder of the Fogel Family while they slept and the virtual
decapitation of baby Hadas.
statement about the Utøya murders included this: “Fatah Youth
presents its condolences to the families of those killed and sends a
strong message of support to our comrades from the Norwegian AUF as well
as from other sister parties that were participating in this summer camp.”
They know their friends.
So the AUF's and the Labour party's aversion to
violence is in fact a hypocritical sham. They support it against
Israel, they just don't know how to do it themselves, nor want to.
Conclusions and Lessons
Back to beginning
So here are my conclusion and things to be
learnt, some of them uncomfortable:
Breivik's actions were unutterably evil,
abominable. In any sane society he would be looking at
imminent execution rather than years in a comfortable Norwegian jail
with all mod-con s and a sensitive rehabilitation programme.
His right-leaning objectives, however, whether
or not you agree with them, are largely respectable, if not
honourable - see the shopping list at the beginning of this post.
But Breivik has ensured that those who
share them will now for a long time be demonised whenever they
This must be countered by persistently
presenting their underlying logic (I have
elsewhere how the ideas of the right always makes more sense
than of the left).
Utøya must not be allowed to become an
excuse for constraining free speech.
We must be sceptical about groups that proclaim
their anti-violence or anti-war credentials; for many these worthy
sentiments are set aside where approved enemies are concerned,
usually Israel. Indeed attitudes towards Israel are a useful
In particular, Norway, widely acknowledged as
one of the most
anti-Semitic countries in Europe, is ruled by a party (Labour)
that preaches non-violence, while with breathtaking double-think it
has long consorted with Fatah whose militant wing is devoted to
violence against Israel. These two phenomena are not
The overall reaction during and after the
events in Norway have made such attacks in the future more not less
Calls for the curtailment of free speech in the
light of the Norwegian atrocities are irrational, ultimately
dangerous (because they encourage other more belligerent outlets)
and must be resisted.
Above all, excessive feminisation (in other
countries as well as Norway) of young males - meaning
an embrace of emotions,
avoidance of risk,
fear of violence,
inability to cope with physical conflict
- is an attributes that ultimately leads to the
opposite of what is intended, namely more not less violence and more not
fewer innocent casualties.
Back to beginning
Back to List of Contents
Comments to Cyberspace
Why is Vatican so miffed at reaction to Cloyne report?
Online comment to an Irish Times article
You are dishonest, Mr McGarry. You allege that Cardinal Castrillon
Hoyos, who was responsible for the 1997 letter to the Irish bishops,
dismissed their 1996 Framework Document as “merely a study document”.
Had you bothered to actually read that 1997 Vatican letter you would
have learnt that ...
Vatican did not try to obstruct abuse inquiry
Online comments an Irish Times article
It's worth reading the
Vatican's actual 1997 letter which Mr
Kenny disparages, not least for its gobbledook nature. Somebody should really teach those Vatican guys to write
proper, simple English. Their convoluted phraseology ...
Tackle Shatter on male circumcision P!
Letter in the Irish Independent on 21st July
Kevin Myers points out that a Jewish Minister for Justice may
introduce a state law governing private Catholic sacramental practices
such as the seal of the Catholic confessional, and contrasts this with
Rabbinical circumcision ...
Letter published by the Sunday Times (subscription only) on 17th July
Brenda Powers refers to the book
Let Me Go”
by Kazuo Ishiguro and says that
“in his world, human
clones are crops to be harvested for their organs”.
Powers goes on to say that this is
Would that it were ...
Palestinian push for state status
Letter to the Irish Times
The alphabetically endowed Brian Dineen BCL (Int) III asks "Must
history repeat the same mistakes? The best solution to the current
impasse is the recognition of a provisional border along 1967 lines".
Actually, the best solution is for the Palestinians simply to recognize
Letter to the Irish Times
Columnist Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe begins his piece by telling
us that he used to work for Rupert Murdoch, then follows with an
entertaining 800-word anti-Murdoch harangue laden with hysterical
epithets. Murdoch’s output is variously described as a “sickening
stench”, “sleaze” ...
Back to List of Contents
- - - - - O B A M A - - - - -
“Eric, don't make me call my bluff.”
President Obama to Eric Cantor, the US
Congress's House Majority Leader,
over negotiations to raise (or not) America's debt ceiling of $1.3
which without action will be breached in August.
What is Obama talking about?
The whole point of a bluff is that
you hide that you are bluffing.
You don't announce you are bluffing and then
invite your opponent to force you to expose your own bluff.
Where is the Obama teleprompter when he needs it!
“The nation [risks] losing its
sterling credit rating not because we [don't] have the
capacity to pay our bills, we do, but because we don’t have a triple
A political system to match it”.
More balderdash from President Obama, in a
America doesn't have capacity to
pay its bills.
That's the very reason Obama has wanted to raise its debt ceiling.
“The fact that we are here today to debate
raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is
a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a
sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign
countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies …
Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and
internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’
Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto
the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt
problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
Then senator, Barack Obama, on 16th March 2006
Who knew he possessed such wisdom so long ago?
Then, he was trying to dissuade Congress
from raising the US debt ceiling above
In 2011 he wanted (and succeeded) to jack it up a few trillion over $14 trn.
You couldn't make it up.
- - - - - I S R A E L - - - - -
“Israel ... is a place where
women enjoy equality;
the LGBT community flourishes;
the media is unfettered and critical;
an independent judiciary protects the powerless from the powerful;
where trade unions are well-organised and strong;
educational excellence and scientific innovation are pursued;
religious minorities are free to practise their creeds;
a welfare state supports the poor and marginalised;
and, yes, it is a fully functioning, vibrant, participatory democracy.”
David Cairns, a British Labour MP,
in a speech which undoubtedly astonished and dismayed
his fellow, instinctively anti-Semitic, Labourites
- - - - - I R E L A N D - - - - -
Quote: “Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and
betrayal with St Benedict’s ‘ear of the heart’, the Vatican’s
reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon
lawyer. This calculated, withering position being the polar opposite
of the radicalism, humility and compassion upon which the Roman
Church was founded ... the Cloyne report excavates the dysfunction,
disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the culture of
the Vatican to this day.”
Enda Kenny, Ireland's Taoiseach (prime
uses colourful hyperbole to excoriate the Vatican for
not doing more to protect Irish children from abuse by Irish
As a point of perspective, over the past decade
nearly two hundred children were allowed to die
whilst they were
under the care and protection of the Irish State,
more than half of them due to a “combination of unnatural causes”
- - - - - G L O B A L
W A R M - M O N G E R I N G - - - - -
Quote: “NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011
show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released
into space than alarmist computer models have predicted … the study
indicates far less future global warming will occur than United
Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies
indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less
heat than alarmists have claimed.”
James Taylor of Forbes, drawing from
an article by the University of Alabama
in the peer-reviewed science journal
blows yet another hole in the global warm-mongerers' scam.
- - - - - M E D I A - - - - -
“This is the most humble day of my life.”
Rupert Murdoch, confronted in his dotage
by a hostile parliamentary committee
investigating criminal phone-hacking by his newspapers,
looks back on his eighty years
Back to List of Contents
Quote VDH: June 18, 2010, Obama’s Gulf
War III, by Victor Davis Hanson, Pajamas Media
should fast-track nuclear power to produce clean electricity to fuel
a new generation of hybrid engines and electric motors; and we also
should fast-track natural gas distribution to capitalize on new
natural gas finds to power trucks, tractors, and large engines not
suitable for hybridization with present technology; and we should
exploit oil as a transition fuel wherever it can be more safely
recovered (e.g., ANWR) without going 5,000 feet to get it.”
VDH has the right idea on long-term energy
Use the present to prepare for the future.
Daily poll on President Obama’s
popularity; date is
on the charts.
(Click to get the latest version.)
Archive and Blogroll at top left and right, for your convenience
Back to Top of Page
Now, for a little [Light Relief]
Cuddly Teddy Bears
looking for a home
Click for details
Neda Agha Soltan;
shot dead in Teheran
by Basij militia
Good to report that as at
14th September 2009
he is at least
FREED AT LAST,
ON 18th OCTOBER 2011,
GAUNT BUT OTHERWISE REASONABLY HEALTHY
Atlantic Blog (defunct)
Broom of Anger
Cox and Forkum
Carey / GUBU
Thinking Man's Guide
Victor Davis Hanson
Tales from Warri
Graham's Sporting Wk
My Columns in the
What I've recently
“The Lemon Tree”, by Sandy
is a delightful novel-style history of modern Israel and Palestine told
through the eyes of a thoughtful protagonist from either side, with a
household lemon tree as their unifying theme.
But it's not
entirely honest in its subtle pro-Palestinian bias, and therefore needs
to be read in conjunction with an antidote, such as
This examines events which led to BP's 2010 Macondo blowout in
the Gulf of Mexico.
BP's ambitious CEO John Browne expanded it through adventurous
acquisitions, aggressive offshore exploration, and relentless
cost-reduction that trumped everything else, even safety and long-term
Thus mistakes accumulated, leading to terrifying and deadly accidents in
refineries, pipelines and offshore operations, and business disaster in
The Macondo blowout was but an inevitable outcome of a BP culture that
had become poisonous and incompetent.
However the book is gravely compromised by a
litany of over 40 technical and stupid
errors that display the author's ignorance and
It would be better
to wait for the second (properly edited) edition before buying.
As for BP, only a
wholesale rebuilding of a new, professional, ethical culture will
prevent further such tragedies and the eventual destruction of a once
mighty corporation with a long and generally honourable history.
Note: I wrote
my own reports on Macondo
A horrific account
how the death
penalty is administered and, er, executed in Singapore,
the corruption of
Singapore's legal system, and
enthusiastic embrace of Burma's drug-fuelled military dictatorship
More details on my
nonagenarian Alistair Urquhart’s
incredible story of survival in the Far
East during World War II.
After recounting a
childhood of convention and simple pleasures in working-class Aberdeen,
Mr Urquhart is conscripted within days of Chamberlain declaring war on
Germany in 1939.
From then until the
Japanese are deservedly nuked into surrendering six years later, Mr
Urquhart’s tale is one of first discomfort but then following the fall
of Singapore of ever-increasing, unmitigated horror.
After a wretched
journey Eastward, he finds himself part of Singapore’s big but useless
Taken prisoner when Singapore falls in
1941, he is, successively,
part of a death march to Thailand,
a slave labourer on the Siam/Burma
railway (one man died for every sleeper laid),
regularly beaten and tortured,
racked by starvation, gaping ulcers
and disease including cholera,
a slave labourer stevedoring at
shipped to Japan in a stinking,
closed, airless hold with 900 other sick and dying men,
torpedoed by the Americans and left
drifting alone for five days before being picked up,
a slave-labourer in Nagasaki until
blessed liberation thanks to the Americans’ “Fat Boy” atomic
distraught and traumatised on return to Aberdeen yet disdained by the
British Army, he slowly reconstructs a life. Only in his late 80s
is he able finally to recount his dreadful experiences in this
There are very few
first-person eye-witness accounts of the the horrors of Japanese
brutality during WW2. As such this book is an invaluable historical
“Culture of Corruption:
Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies”
This is a rattling good tale of the web
of corruption within which the American president and his cronies
operate. It's written by blogger Michele Malkin who, because she's both
a woman and half-Asian, is curiously immune to the charges of racism and
sexism this book would provoke if written by a typical Republican WASP.
With 75 page of notes to back up - in
best blogger tradition - every shocking and in most cases money-grubbing
allegation, she excoriates one Obama crony after another, starting with
the incumbent himself and his equally tricky wife.
Joe Biden, Rahm Emmanuel, Valerie Jarett,
Tim Geithner, Lawrence Summers, Steven Rattner, both Clintons, Chris
Dodd: they all star as crooks in this venomous but credible book.
ACORN, Mr Obama's favourite community
organising outfit, is also exposed for the crooked vote-rigging machine
This much trumpeted sequel to
Freakonomics is a bit of disappointment.
It is really just
a collation of amusing
little tales about surprising human (and occasionally animal) behaviour
and situations. For example:
Drunk walking kills more people per
kilometer than drunk driving.
People aren't really altruistic -
they always expect a return of some sort for good deeds.
Child seats are a waste of money as
they are no safer for children than adult seatbelts.
Though doctors have known for
centuries they must wash their hands to avoid spreading infection,
they still often fail to do so.
Monkeys can be taught to use washers
as cash to buy tit-bits - and even sex.
The book has no real
message other than don't be surprised how humans sometimes behave and
try to look for simple rather than complex solutions.
And with a final
anecdote (monkeys, cash and sex), the book suddenly just stops dead in
its tracks. Weird.
A remarkable, coherent attempt by Financial Times economist Alan Beattie
to understand and explain world history through the prism of economics.
It's chapters are
organised around provocative questions such as
Why does asparagus come from Peru?
Why are pandas so useless?
Why are oil and diamonds more trouble
than they are worth?
Why doesn't Africa grow cocaine?
It's central thesis
is that economic development continues to be impeded in different
countries for different historical reasons, even when the original
rationale for those impediments no longer obtains. For instance:
Argentina protects its now largely
foreign landowners (eg George Soros)
Russia its military-owned
businesses, such as counterfeit DVDs
The US its cotton industry
comprising only 1% of GDP and 2% of its workforce
The author writes
in a very chatty, light-hearted matter which makes the book easy to
However it would
benefit from a few charts to illustrate some of the many quantitative
points put forward, as well as sub-chaptering every few pages to provide
natural break-points for the reader.
This is a thrilling book of derring-do behind enemy lines in the jungles
of north-east Burma in 1942-44 during the Japanese occupation.
The author was
a member of Britain's V Force, a forerunner of the SAS. Its remit was to
harass Japanese lines of
command, patrol their occupied territory, carryout sabotage and provide
intelligence, with the overall objective of keeping the enemy out of
is admirably yet brutally frank, in his
descriptions of deathly battles with the Japs, his execution of a
prisoner, dodging falling bags of rice dropped by the RAF, or collapsing
in floods of tears through accumulated stress, fear and loneliness.
He also provides some fascinating insights into the mentality of
Japanese soldiery and why it failed against the flexibility and devolved
authority of the British.
The book amounts to
a very human and exhilarating tale.
Oh, and Irwin
describes the death in 1943 of his colleague my uncle, Major PF
Click for an account of this momentous,
of March 2009
Click on the logo
to get a table with
the Rugby World Cup
scores, points and rankings.
crackling, compelling, captivating games, the new World Champions are,
England get the Silver,
Argentina the Bronze. Fourth is host nation France.
No-one can argue with
the justice of the outcomes
Over the competition,
points per game = 52,
tries per game = 6.2,
minutes per try =
Click on the logo
to get a table with
the final World Cup
scores, points, rankings and goal-statistics