Blacking up on the Road to Auschwitz
By Sean Gabb
On Friday, the 25th July, I was called by a female researcher at BBC Radio Ulster for a comment on a story in Northern Ireland. Several members of the Rugby Team there had been photographed at a fancy dress party, with their faces blacked up and wearing chains round their necks. All hell had broken loose on publications of the photographs, and grovelling apologies from all concerned hadn’t been enough to settle things. The local anti-racism bureaucracies were calling for resignations from the Team. Would I, as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, care to make a comment on this?
I could have come out with the boilerplate libertarian reply – that it’s not our business if someone paints his face black or green at a party, or puts on an SS uniform, or hangs himself, or consumes recreational drugs. I could also have said what I do believe about this incident, or what I know about it: that, if the politically correct hegemony makes it almost irresistible not to make jokes, it is uncharitable to laugh at black people in this way. However, I was in a bad mood that day, and so began the following conversation with the researcher: Continue reading
Interview with Richard Blake
Richard Blake has so far written these historical novels, all published in London by Hodder & Stoughton, and all set in the Byzantine Empire of the seventh century:
Conspiracies of Romeby Richard Blake (2008)
The Terror of Constantinople by Richard Blake (2009)
The Blood of Alexandria by Richard Blake (2010)
The Sword of Damascus by Richard Blake (2011)
The Ghosts of Athens by Richard Blake (2012)
The Curse of Babylon by Richard Blake (2013)
What was your original inspiration for Aelric?
Based on the similarity in their names, is there any special connection readers are meant to draw between Aelric and the historical figure of Alaric, the Visigoth who sacked Rome in the fifth century?
I think the first idea came to me in the February of 2005, when my wife took me for a long weekend break in Rome. This was my first visit to the City, and my first at that time of year to anywhere in the Mediterranean World. In both senses, the visit opened my eyes. It was cold – much colder than England. Though I “knew” otherwise from the sources, I’d had a fixed notion of the ancient world as a place of omnipresent sun and warmth. Stumbling round the Forum in thick overcoat and gloves brought everything closer to my own experience, and set me thinking about what the Romans wore in winter, and how often most of them really bathed, and what the air must have been like in a place where a quarter of a million houses were heated with charcoal. Continue reading
Political arguments should primarily be based on reason, logic and empirical justification, with ethics taking only a secondary consideration. The reason being: if a policy passes the test with regard to reason, logic and empirical justification, it should pass the ethicality test too. But if ethics is the primary goal, then it can mislead, as reason, logic and empirical justification often take a back seat in the deliberations, which then increases the chances of a mistaken proposal. Continue reading
Though short of time, I feel some obligation to comment on this. Let’s take it as read that it was a horrible thing, and move to the questions of who did it and what it may lead to.
Here are the probable candidates for blame:
1. Moslem suicide bomber;
2. The Americans;
3. The Russians;
4. The Ukrainians;
5. The rebels. Continue reading
by Sheldon Richman
Jane Cobden: Carrying on Her Father’s Work
Among libertarians and classical liberals, the name Richard Cobden (1804–1865) evokes admiration and applause. His activities — and successes — on behalf of freedom, free markets, and government retrenchment are legendary. Most famously, he cofounded — with John Bright — the Anti–Corn Law League, which successfully campaigned for repeal of the import tariffs on grain. Those trade restrictions had made food expensive for England’s working class while enriching the landed aristocracy. Continue reading
by the Rev. Dr Alan Clifford
Note: When Dr Clifford turned up last year with some of his congregation, to hand out leaflets at the Gay Pride March in Norwich, he nearly got prosecuted for Hate Crime. If he gets done this year for handing out the leaflet reproduced below, we shall know that the country really has become a lunatic police state. SIG Continue reading
by Dick Puddlecote
Know A Decent Pub Garden? Shhh, Don’t Tell Via ASH Scotland, this written question exchange between a Green MSP and Scotland’s anti-smoker in chief is highly amusing (I think even he was probably struggling not to laugh when he read it). Continue reading
The Curse of Babylon
Amid the plotting, revolts and wild hedonism of the remains of the Roman empire at the beginning of the seventh century, English adventurer Aelric faces his hardest challenge as he tries to stop a Persian invasion – and deal with a determined and dangerous woman. Continue reading
by Ahmet the Turk
Original Post: Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, July 25, 2014
I wasn’t aware that Geller had written an equally length refutal. Sometimes there is a section header titled message history, which hides the message instead of the history. I didn’t click to expand it, that’s why I didn’t see what Geller wrote, which is also lengthy. If you want me to discuss any part of it in detail please point it out, otherwise I am responding to the general drift of these accusations.
Turkish uses plenty of Arabic and Farsi vocabulary in exactly the same way English uses Latin and Greek words. I looked it up in the 1890 edition of the Redhouse dictionary. This dictionary was published when Turkey’s emperor officially had zimmi subjects and it was published by an American lexicographer, Sir James Redhouse, who was working for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. A zimmi (feminine zimmiye) is simply defined as “A non-Muslim subject of the Ottoman Empire or of a Muslim state.” Full stop. Continue reading