A bit on impeachment but for the moment mostly Brexit.
A bit on impeachment but for the moment mostly Brexit.
I thought this was one of the most on-the-money posts I’ve seen at Instapundit: Denying the sky is blue because Orange Man Bad. This was some of it:
Yes, America is only 243 years old. But by the same token Italy is only 138 years old.
In any case, if you’re rolling your eyes at Trump’s statement – and thinking that the Italian interpreter is too – you’re missing the point, which is that countries like the United States and Italy – and Great Britain and Australia and Germany and Poland and Spain and Slovenia and so on – do indeed share a cultural and political heritage dating back to ancient Rome (and further back in time). It’s called the Western civilisation. You might hate it, but you’re still in it.
This is what got me right in where I found it at Instapundit!!.
OCTOBER 18, 2019
TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: Denying the sky is blue because Orange Man Bad. “If Trump – or Obama or Scott Morrison or Hillary Clinton – saying that 2 + 2 = 4 makes you automatically deny the math because your bête noire simply cannot be correct, you might want to take a deep breath or two and reflect on your approach to life. You’re broken. Don’t be that person.”
Oh they are broken, loonies even. Complete crackpots. What kind of people live in places like Australia and want to get rid of air conditioning? Nutters through and through.
David Solway on Time to Leave Western Civ Behind: Looking for a Place to Emigrate.
Clearly, Western culture should be sent to the chop shop, dismantled piece by piece, and sold off to the newcomers. They may conceivably reassemble the parts into something far superior than the civilizational vehicle we’ve been driving around in. Indeed, these “parts” may have been theirs in the first place. We have been guilty of so much in the past, of condescension as well as outright plunder. We are obviously morally obligated to cheer them on, to surrender our “white supremacy” in favor of the nobility, wisdom and cultural glory of Third World saviors and aboriginal peoples. Perhaps we should be grateful to our betters for bringing the manifold fruits of their accomplishments to our wide-open doors. Perhaps that is their real agenda, bless their souls.
None of this should be forgotten as well.
Remember all the wonderful things invented by Black Africans or Muslims or both, and then stolen by whiteys. And don’t forget that indigenous people everywhere, before the ongoing genocide and dispossession, had a deep intimate spiritual knowledge of life, Universe and everything, far more evolved than our pitiful 300-yr-old settler-colonial narrative of “science.” They have known about dark matter in the sky for 50,000 years, while white people are only starting to discover it now with our telescopes, as the Dean of Research of my ex university once told us. As for music, as another SJW academic once told me, the genius of the Aboriginal artists is that every didgeridoo is unique, has a different sound from every other, unlike our boring Western instruments that all sound the same.
Makes an absolutely incontrovertible case. At the bottom of the page there are, incomprehensibly, these words, “RELATED: SATIRE“. It’s nothing of the kind. It’s actually about time someone pointed the bone at our poisonous culture, which David has now done.
My favourite book of all time is Herodotus’s Histories. The first ever book of history, it tells the story of the war between the Greeks and the Persians in the fifth century BC for the survival of Western Civilisation before it had even commenced its journey. A storyteller who travelled everywhere to gather personal accounts of what others had witnessed, but with so much ancillary information and irrelevant tales about everything under the sun – including about the first people ever to have sailed around Africa which you know was true because they had observed that the sun eventually was no longer to their south but at some stage was found to their north. Lots and lots and lots like that, including some of the most astute philosophical, political and historical reflections you will ever read. Amazing book, but I can imagine not to everyone’s tastes. It’s also a reminder that you should get your reading in early since as you get older, you don’t have the patience you had when you were young.
Ah but this is merely prelude to: Nile shipwreck discovery proves Herodotus right – after 2,469 years.
In the fifth century BC, the Greek historian Herodotus visited Egypt and wrote of unusual river boats on the Nile. Twenty-three lines of his Historia, the ancient world’s first great narrative history, are devoted to the intricate description of the construction of a “baris”.
For centuries, scholars have argued over his account because there was no archaeological evidence that such ships ever existed. Now there is. A “fabulously preserved” wreck in the waters around the sunken port city of Thonis-Heracleion has revealed just how accurate the historian was.
“It wasn’t until we discovered this wreck that we realised Herodotus was right,” said Dr Damian Robinson, director of Oxford University’s centre for maritime archaeology, which is publishing the excavation’s findings. “What Herodotus described was what we were looking at.”
Known as The Father of Lies (as well as the Father of History) because of his many fantastical tales, but appears that this one has turned out to be true. As for the book itself, it tells the story of the preservation of Western Civilisation that might have been snuffed out before it had even begun.
The reason I have been up in Sydney was to go to a Wiggles concert along with my granddaughter. The place was packed to the rafters and for the under-sevens it was a sensation. But for me, it was how they ended the afternoon that truly astonished me. First they brought on Santa Claus which I thought was amazing enough. And then, wildly beyond any expectation I might have had, notwithstanding this being December, they then sang Silent Night, but in German. Still I thought, that was amazing since they could not have been more Christian in their presentation. And then they continued in English, and there is no more Christian Christmas carol than Silent Night. It was a perfect way to end for me, although I doubt there were many there who noticed or thought this was particularly remarkable, but it was.
Now tonight, more than a day later, I was reading this typical piece of dreck, title: America’s New Religions, in which the point being made by Andrew Sullivan was that one cannot live without some kind of faith in the transcendent, which I did agree with, but there towards the end was this:
Now look at our politics. We have the cult of Trump on the right, a demigod who, among his worshippers, can do no wrong. And we have the cult of social justice on the left, a religion whose followers show the same zeal as any born-again Evangelical. They are filling the void that Christianity once owned, without any of the wisdom and culture and restraint that Christianity once provided.
This equivalence was obviously false. Only on the left is politics a religion substitute. These are lost souls. I will say no more than the obvious, that atheism is not a feature of the right and whatever may be the reason for our support for PDT, we do not think of him as a “demigod” who can do no wrong. But what is revealed is the tragic spiritual loss in the empty lives of so many on the left. There is much more that could be said, but will only add this from another website:
Liberty wasn’t born out of the United States Congress but from the heart of God. It is an inalienable right – a God-given right – a right which belongs to all men everywhere and in every age. The government doesn’t grant inalienable rights. Its task is to protect them. No person, no group, no government, is authorized by our Creator God to infringe upon what is the absolute inherent privileges of being made in the image of God or might interfere with one’s duty to God. When we try to separate liberty from the spiritual, when we base it in human definitions and objectives alone, freedom is corrupted, counterfeited, and dies.
I cannot link to these posts because of the primitive machinery I am on, but finding both online today does give me some hope for the future, not to mention the Wiggles who did the same.
As I began to think about Kavanaugh’s confirmation, my first thoughts were along the lines of there was once a time we could agree on many things, but most importantly we could agree on the processes by which we sorted out our differences. But if even the process of working and living together are gone, what really is left?
Yet the process did work. But in working it further exposed the raw timber of a corrupt media and political class. The system tilts not just left, but crazy left. It is no longer a case where there is overlap between the two sides. On the right, there is common sense and a continuity with our own past. On the left, there is a mad socialism, the identity politics of victimisation, and via migration and other policies of that kind, a clear desire to throw overboard all that has made Western Civilisation what it is.
Donald Trump is either a turning point, or a last ditch effort to save our way of life before the deluge. I am pleased to see Kavanaugh confirmed, but it is only a minor skirmish amid much larger issues. The best recap of what has gone on is from Conrad BlacK: Trump the Indestructible. A headline writer’s view of what he said, and it was published by the #NeverTrump National Review.
If Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed and the Republicans hold both houses of the Congress, it will be the greatest and swiftest ascension to comprehensive power in all branches of American government in history. A measurement of how the tide has shifted is the disappearance from public consciousness of the Mueller inquiry. The number of Trump-haters who are still clinging to that waterlogged life-vest is statistically trivial. It was just six weeks ago, when Michael Cohen’s plea bargain was announced and Paul Manafort was convicted (of offenses that occurred a decade before he knew the president), that Trump’s enemies ululated their triumph and proclaimed, in the words of one often-published Trump-hater, that “The fat lady is singing; it’s almost over.” She wasn’t and it isn’t. It has only just begun, and it will get better. Trump isn’t an aberrant interlude; he is a sea change. He has a mandate to clean up Washington and he plans to fulfill it.
Hope so. I nevertheless remain pessimistic for the long term. But there is Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, and there behind him is PDT, so hope does remain.
INSTAPUNDIT UPDATE: And I certainly agree with both.
(1) THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO D.C.:
As Glenn has tweeted, “Trump’s greatest gift is getting various institutions to make clear in obvious ways that they’re as corrupt as he says they are.”
One of the most interesting and insightful articles I have ever come across. Odd title perhaps – O Magnum Mysterium – but this tells you what you need to know.
From the time of the troubadours and the trouveres of the Crusades, the advances in Western thought have not only been mirrored in our music, but occasioned by it, from Guillaume de Machaut, Josquin des Prez and Pierre de la Rue, to Obrecht and Ockegham, to Palestrina to Johann Sebastian Bach. A popular song such as “L’homme armé” could become the subject of numerous medieval masses, not because of its secular origin (although that certainly helped, as the worshippers would respond to its familiarity), but because its implicit polyphonic structure could be successfully and inventively exploited by composers across Europe, leading to ever more complex and inventive ways of using the material.
Yes, masses. Because the development of European polyphony was, like religious dogma itself, inspired by Aristotelian ideas of free inquiry and the teleological impulses of both Judaism and Christianity. Music, like faith, has to be headed somewhere. Our lives may be temporally constricted, but freedom of inquiry is not.
And the writer is someone to contend with, a true scholar:
Michael Walsh was for sixteen years the music critic and foreign correspondent for Time, for which he covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. His works include the non-fiction best-seller The Devil’s Pleasure Palace (2017); this article is an extract from its sequel, The Fiery Angel: Art, Culture, Sex, Politics, and the Struggle for the Soul of the West, which was published by Encounter Books in May.
Picked up myself randomly: You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught, that is, mis-taught. Here are the two paras out of four that make the point:
The ebb and flow of the internet brought to me the woebegone maunderings of a (presumably) white and (arguably) somewhat credentialed Millennial, who in her search for meaning and purpose in her life wound up involved in those anti-pipeline protests near the Sioux reservation. The ukase of her lament seemed to be that she had no native culture, not in comparison with those charming and dignified tribal elders. She appeared to view them as benign, terribly exotic, definitely ‘other’ – pretty much the same lens with which the old National Geographic viewed and photographed those interesting aboriginal peoples in far distant foreign lands all these decades ago.
And it was terribly sad to read, because the poor child does in fact, have a culture of her own – just that she has been deprived of it; deprived by intent or by cultivated sloth on the part of those who should have taught it to her; the unimaginably rich canon knowledge of western culture – our history, art, literature, music, technology, folkways. Homer and Cervantes, Shakespeare, da Vinci, Bach, Beethoven, Wagner and Rossini, Dickens and Twain, Michelangelo and Machiavelli, Brunel and Bruneschelli, the Brothers Grimm, the Brothers Wright, Don Juan of Austria and Ulysses S. Grant, the Duke of Wellington and whoever it was invented the toilet flush valve and the first working sewing machine. Likely all this and more were never taught to her, or what is worse – badly taught and as examples of western racism or whatever. To live without a sense of history is to be adrift in a kind of cultural sensory-deprivation tank, as exhibited by that child.
If you have never read a play by Shakespeare or heard a Mozart opera and yet you live in a Western country, you are as culturally deprived as it is possible to be.
From Wikipedia: under the heading University:
The word “university” is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars.” While antecedents had existed in Asia and Africa, the modern university system has roots in the EUROPEAN medieval university, which was created in Italy and evolved from Christian Cathedral schools for the clergy during the High Middle Ages.
Meanwhile, the Ramsay Centre finds it cannot even give away millions of dollars to a university to set up a program in Western Civilisation, the very place where universities began. First the ANU and now this. From The Australian: Sydney Uni hit by backlash while looking to the West, that is, while examining the possibility of setting up a course of study under the heading Western Civilisation.
University of Sydney academics have reacted furiously to the news, with more than 100 — including refugee and pro-Palestine activist Nick Riemer, fellow boycott Israel campaigner Jake Lynch and Tim Anderson, who courted controversy by defending Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad — signing an open letter signalling that they are “strongly opposed to the university entering into any arrangement with the Ramsay Centre”.
The letter, written by Dr Riemer and history professor Adrian Vickers, refers to “political leanings” of the Ramsay Centre board, chaired by former Liberal prime minister John Howard and including Tony Abbott. It accuses it of propagating a “conservative, culturally essentialist, and Eurocentric vision” and claims its program embodies “chauvinistic, Western essentialism”. “We are deeply disturbed by the possibility of Ramsay Centre courses being part of our institution, to say nothing of the significant and justified reputational damage that the university collectively, and its academics derivatively, would incur as a result,” the letter says. “We belong to a multicultural and hybrid society in a world traversed by serious geopolitical and social animosities. Collaborating with the chauvinistic Western essentialism that the Ramsay Centre embodies would be a violation of our crucial role in promoting a society of diversity, inclusiveness and mutual respect.”
As for finding a society that promotes “diversity, inclusiveness and mutual respect” I hope they have a list of places from which these sorts of things can be learned.
PERVERSE OPINIONS: A number of commenters mentioned PVO’s article in The Oz today so thought I would have a look. Here are the top comments starting from the first and working my way down. I agree with all of them, although they are a bit temperate for my liking.
I read this article with mounting disbelief. For a man who claims a belief in the virtues and benefits of Western Civilisation, his argument boils down to one simple fact. Abbott should not have exercised his right to speak because it would upset an angry nest of bull ants. Claiming that Abbott gave them the excuse to do what they intended to do anyway is as peurile as it is immature. In essence PVO’s argument crystallises into the undergraduates plaint that ‘Abbott made us do it’. Give us a break. The NTEU and the SRC simply used Abbott as an excuse. They had no intention of letting the Ramsay proposal go ahead. And, if it had they would have white anted it anyway. Our universities are publicly funded institutions. They are not personal fiefdoms. Each and every one of us has an interest in them and and a right to speak about them that includes those who the Left choose to dislike.
The Left’s fear of Abbott borders on the unhinged.
‘It was Abbott wot done it.’ Yep, undergraduate stuff, once again. This stuff is lightweight.
Well of course it’s Tony Abbott’s fault! It just had to be. PVO is utterly laughable.
The weather here on Lake Como has been unseasonably wet & stormy. I am sure that with a little imagination this ‘journalist’ could find a way to blame Tony Abbott. If he did a good enough job maybe I could sue!!! To think that people are being paid to write articles such as this defies description. Tony Abbott must be very sore after the kickings which this man has managed to give him.
Gee that man Tony Abbott is mighty powerful! Supposedly because of just one sentence in his erudite article published in a conservative-leaning magazine , a University knocked back millions of dollars. In reality, its VC didn’t have what it takes to stand up to bullies who want to limit intellectual boundaries. However there is an excellent outcome – passionate PUBLIC discussion about Western Civilisation, and Tony Abbott has hit the spot yet again.
If Abbott is blame for the rejection of Western Studies supported by the Ramsay Centre how do you explain the established hate of all things western and conservative in our universities,that is so sensitive that one Statement is used as an excuse to reject the studies. The problem is not Tony Abbott,the problem is entrenched and generational anti western academics riding roughshod over weak and like minded administrations. Government should defund these state universities, pay funding assistance to students to use at private universities that provide diverse studies without political bias.
And half of those vandals are internal. Here is a twelve step program from Jordan Peterson. It is hard to believe that such common sense still exists and can be said in public, but here it is.
And if you are interested in the full text, here is the entire two hours.
This is Peterson’s own background briefing to the presentation:
Conservatism has all-too-often found itself unable to articulate a coherent positive doctrine. By this I mean specifically that the laudable conservative tendency to preserve the best of past has too-often manifested itself in a series of “thou shalt not” statements, instead of laying out a manifesto of fundamental values that might serve to unite people around a set of common ambitions. I am attempting to rectify this problem with this statement of principles, some of which I believe might have the additional virtue of being attractive to young people, looking for mature and forthright purpose and responsibility.
I am not making the claim that the statement is perfect, comprehensive or final.
I will just add that it’s not perfect or final, not least because it is mostly pragmatic but lacks the moral grounding that is essential. The left is filled with people who are evil to their very core but believe they are only doing good. Without a proper moral basis for action, there is no foundation for anything. Socialism is great on paper, and when we have perfected humanity we can bring it on. In the meantime, every such experiment is inevitably disastrous for everyone other than those who are at the very top of the pyramid. We have found a way to bring peace and prosperity which are through the principles laid out, but there is a deeper understanding required which only an Edmund Burke and an Adam Smith can supply.