If you think she is just a joke you are missing the point

I have suspected for a long time that the American government, nominally under Joe Biden, is not only trying to subvert our civilisation, but they are doing it in a way so that no one can be of any doubt that it is entirely intentional. The point of Orwell’s 1984 was to ensure that we would be aware of efforts by government to undermine our freedoms while we weren’t looking. Now it is all done right before our eyes, not only with no effort made to hide what they are doing, but done in such a way that no one can be in any doubt that what is being done is deliberate. Even the meme below is too subtle for most of the left:

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So this is what they have done to rub our noses in it. This was part of a presentation by Tucker Carlson. In its own way they have allowed this bit of her history to be widely distributed because it will help to diminish the reality of just how serious this issue is. Can someone this inane really be a threat to the rest of us? And the answer most certainly is that it is a major change in how we are governed and these people are just as serious about their aims as Lenin was in 1917. 

This is typical of the kind of story we are being inundated with. As is the more complete version below.

In many ways to have such an apparent lightweight as the agency head is done to divert attention away from just how serious this effort is to undermine free speech and community discussion of major issues. Sure she’s a dill, but why is that almost all we are discussing? Why isn’t the issue that anyone at all has been appointed to such a position?

Gaudeamus Igitur and mindfulness

Having put up this post the other day – Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum – it brought me back to the phrase in which the Latin word “igitur” is most famously found – Gaudeamus igitur – which is the title of a mediaeval song that has been sung by students since the thirteenth century. I heard it first in Latin class in Grade XI sung by our Latin teacher, Mr Ireton. Here are the words, Latin first and then in English translation, the opening verse only.

Gaudeamus igitur,
Iuvenes dum sumus,
Post jucundam juventutem
Post molestam senectutem
Nos habebit humus.

Let us rejoice
While we are (still) young.
After a pleasant youth
After a troubling old age
The earth will have us.

I may already have worked out by then that life would fly by before I knew it, but that was the song that put that thought firmly into my mind, a thought which has never disappeared. And when I saw the word the other day – and I might note I was taught “igitur” never comes at the start of a sentence which when I saw the phrase quoted I knew I was not dealing with a scholarly use of the word – I thought of that song and its message. The message has been more than reinforced by a book I have just come across and have almost finished – Galileo & the Art of Ageing Mindfully : Wisdom from the Night Skies – which is discussed here.

With meditations on gravity, the turning Earth, and letting go, [its author Adam] Ford offers a personal synthesis of ideas on mindfulness, curiosity, ageing and stargazing. Part of the joy of growing older, he says, is in “letting go of certainties and living without answers”: but it’s a powerful thing to ask questions, and to contemplate those of centuries past.

It is the only book on mindfulness I have been able to resonate with, perhaps because the author and I are almost at the identical point in our lives. Not only was he at exactly the same age I now am when he wrote the book, not only has he also retired from work, but he had also, as I had myself, spent part of his youth in Hammersmith in London (not as odd as it was for me since I am Canadian-born and he is English). He also discusses on a couple of occasions when he had been in Australia.

I will only add that for me I have found dwelling on the brevity of life and living in the moment something I have always done (well, sort of). But if I were to name the philosophers in my reading past that have brought me here, they would include David Hume, as I have just discovered here: Was Hume a Secret Buddhist? The question for me then is this, am I now one as well?


Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

It was the very thought that came into my own head the moment I heard this: ‘Reality of our time’: Dutton warns Australians to prepare for war. Of course, my Latin is a bit rusty so the thought occurred to me only in English. However, the more up-to-date and erudite chaps and chapesses at The Spectator were able to go straight to the original.

  • Yesterday, classically-literate defence minister Peter Dutton raised the campaign temperature by saying, ‘Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.’ Actually, that’s what a Roman chap called Publius Flavius Vegetius wrote the best part of 2,000 years ago. Dutton translated it on the Today show as ‘if you want peace, prepare for war’, with reference to Red China knocking on our door through its deal with the prime minister of the Solomon Islands. Meanwhile, our PM talked of ‘red lines’ being crossed if China militarises the Solomons: how the Reds would be thrown back behind that red line, if they crossed it, wasn’t spelled out by the government (nor did Labor spell out what they would do). But you can take it as given that those choices of words were workshopped in Liberal focus groups, and yesterday they set the media agenda.

Whatever and however Scott Morrison may be remembered, it won’t be as “Pig Iron Bob”. Labor will undoubtedly invent some other means to traduce [more Latin] our Prime Minister. This is a more complete version of what Dutton said: Peter Dutton warns of a potential chemical weapon attack and says China ‘would play Penny Wong like a fool’ if she becomes the new foreign minister. If you don’t think this is a very real issue, than think about this.

She [ie Penny Wong] told the Guardian’s Australian Politics Podcast that recent tactics by Scott Morrison to paint Labor as soft on China will only make the situation worse.

The Prime Minister in February branded Labor deputy leader Richard Marles a ‘Manchurian candidate’ after he called for closer defence ties with China on a trip to Beijing in 2019.

Ms Wong said the extraordinary attack to portray the Opposition as weak on national security and a puppet of an enemy power, was an act of ‘desperation by the government’.

‘It is also a trashing of Australia’s national interests because one of the things that makes us strongest is our unity,’ she said.

‘What we won’t do is play domestic politics with the China relationship.’

And what she definitely will not do is indicate that the CCP is a potential threat to Australia. And just what is the CCP?

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and sole ruling party of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Labor needs to be more specific about national defence along with border protection.

Leoplodstadt by Tom Stoppard

From Wikipedia.

Leopoldstadt is a play by Sir Tom Stoppard, which premiered on 25 January 2020 at Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End. The play is set among the Jewish community of Vienna in the first half of the 20th century and follows the lives of “a prosperous Jewish family who had fled the pogroms in the East”. According to Stoppard the play “took a year to write, but the gestation was much longer. Quite a lot of it is personal to me, but I made it about a Viennese family so that it wouldn’t seem to be about me.”

The opening scene is set in 1900 but other than the dress and gadgetry available to the family, it could have been about any modern Jewish family anywhere in the West right now. The second scene is set in post-World War I Vienna in 1924 where the family is all far to the left in the manner of the 1920s. The third scene is set in November 1938 on the day of Kristallnacht. And the final scene, with virtually all of the family now dead, is set in 1955, again in Vienna. 

The best piece of theatre I have seen in many a year.

Greek philosophy and democracy

Taken from Quora from a post by Spencer McDaniel in answer to this question: Why were most Greek philosophers against democracy?

First of all, it is a grave mistake to say that “most” Greek philosophers were opposed to democracy, because that is not actually true. Most Greek philosophers were either in favor of democracy or had no opinion on it. The philosophers that most people see as having been opposed to democracy are Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, but, as we shall see in a moment, this common perception is actually rather inaccurate.

For one thing, we actually know very little about what the historical Socrates (lived c. 470–399 BC) thought of democracy because everything we know about Socrates’s opinions comes from the writings of his two students Plato and Xenophon. Plato in particular seems to have used the character of Socrates in his dialogues as a sort of “sounding board” for various ideas and opinions, so, in most cases, when Plato attributes an idea to Socrates, it is very difficult to tell if it is really one of Socrates’s ideas, one of Plato’s own, some combination thereof, or just an idea Plato was experimenting with.

Plato (lived c. 423–c. 347 BC) makes it very clear in his Republic that he does not have much liking for the particular form of democracy that was instituted in his native city-state of Athens. Instead, in this dialogue, Plato argues that the ideal, perfect government should be ruled by a “philosopher-king,” a man who is supremely wise, intelligent, and rational and who makes all decisions for the benefit of everyone. This, however, is an idealistic vision and it is unlikely that Plato ever expected anything resembling his ideal republic to actually be implemented.

Plato would probably have much admiration for the government of most modern democratic countries, which operate on a very different form of democracy than the one that existed in Athens during Plato’s time. Athens in the fourth century BC was a direct democracy, meaning citizens voted directly on all the issues. This was a problem because most people did not understand the issues and were unable to make informed decisions on them. Modern representative democracies would probably be more palatable to Plato’s sensibilities.

Aristotle (lived c. 384–322 BC) has sometimes been portrayed as hostile to democracy, but, in fact, this is an egregious misunderstanding of Aristotle’s complex and erudite political theory. In his Politics, Aristotle explains that there are three major forms of ideal government: a monarchy (which he defined as a government ruled by a man very much along the lines of Plato’s “philosopher-king”: one who is supremely qualified and rules for the betterment of everyone), an aristocracy (which he defined as a small group of the best and most qualified people ruling for the betterment of everyone), and a constitutional government (which he defined as a government ruled by all the free citizens on behalf of and for the betterment of everyone).

Aristotle held that, of the three ideal forms, a monarchy is the best because it is the most efficient, but he contended that all three ideal forms of government will inevitably become perverted and corrupted over time. He explains that a monarchy becomes perverted into a tyranny, a government ruled by one man for solely his own benefit. An aristocracy becomes perverted into an oligarchy, a government ruled by a few people for solely their own benefit. Finally, a constitutional government becomes perverted into a democracy, a government ruled by the majority of the population for solely their own benefit.

Aristotle reasoned that a democracy is the least terrible of these three forms of government because it results in the most number of people being happy; whereas a tyranny is the worst form of government because it results in only one man (the tyrant) being happy. Aristotle was therefore in favor of democracy, not because he necessarily liked it in and of itself, but rather because it was the least awful form of government that he could think of.

Trump advises people to go home on Jan 6, 2020

From  President Trump Shares Tweet He Released on Jan 6 that Twitter Took Down in 5 Minutes.

The left is creating a horror story of what was once a thriving democracy. Trying to imagine fifty years ahead – twenty or even ten – has now become near impossible. If the left cannot have its idiot ways, they seem to prefer national suicide to a democratically determined outcome.

We do not deserve the freedoms we have inherited from our ancestors

The editors gave the article the title The Failed Covid Response but the article really is about what a bunch of morons we are who do not deserve the freedoms we have inherited from our ancestors. Let me take to near the end of what is a very long article:

We need an honest discussion about how we proceed from here, and it must be free of the bullying, dogmatism, and bad faith exhibited by many experts over the past two years. The Science™ has held up poorly and will likely crumble further as time goes on, but that will not stop defenders of COVID policies from insisting it was all worthwhile.

That question—was it worthwhile?—cannot be answered by numbers, no matter how they are sliced and diced. We had a social contract before COVID hit. Like all social contracts, it emerged organically over time, and perhaps it needed to be revisited. But there was no such debate in 2020. The contract was simply tossed overboard, along with the values and principles underscoring it. Any suggestion that this was perhaps a bit precipitous was deemed morally reprehensible.

We acted as if we were on the Titanic with only minutes to work out what to do. It was a media-led pandemic for which there was virtually no evidence of anything unusual for virtually everyone. If we don’t learn from this great social disaster about the kinds of political leaders we have somehow put in place, we will all end up serfs subservient to some of the most incompetent people who have ever achieved high office.

Meanwhile, go to the link and read the whole thing.

The Libs are only around 45% socialist while Labor is 90% socialist

A proportion that must always be borne in mind by conservatives. The text below is from The Spectator Online. It’s a reminder that until Malcolm Turnbull pulled the pin on his own leadership, at least half the Liberal Party were for all practical purposes green-left socialists. No doubt something like that same proportion still are. As for what you read below, I am in complete agreement.

Why anyone votes Labor is an unknown to me, but what is to be done? These people seem politically insane but they still get to vote.