Magnifying the Universe
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- Shadow People: Attacks On Humans Increasing
- Blacking up on the Road to Auschwitz
- Rolf Harris – Beyond Reasonable Doubt? 2 Attachments
- Freemen of the Land: A Barrister Writes
- Graphic of the Day
- What They Got Wrong In The Rolf Harris Trial
- Council Tax and the Law
- Comment on Jihad Watch
- Daniel Harding Reviews The Break
- Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
- Daniel Harding Reviews The Break
- Graphic of the Day
- Blacking up on the Road to Auschwitz
- Jane Cobden: Carrying on Her Father’s Work
- Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
- Know A Decent Pub Garden? Shhh, Don’t Tell
- Review of Richard Blake’s “Curse of Babylon”
- Comment on Jihad Watch
- “Economic Patriotism”: The Last Refuge of a Tax Scoundrel
- Perverted Science and mineral water
Ian B on Blacking up on the Road to… David Davis on Blacking up on the Road to… Robert Henderson on “Economic Patriotism”: The Las… Sean Gabb on Blacking up on the Road to… Hugo Miller on Blacking up on the Road to… David Davis on Graphic of the Day Sean Gabb on Blacking up on the Road to… Hugo Miller on Blacking up on the Road to… Ian B on Blacking up on the Road to… Concerned Briton on Blacking up on the Road to… Hugo Miller on Blacking up on the Road to… Ian B on Blacking up on the Road to… David Davis on Blacking up on the Road to… badgerostripeyone on Graphic of the Day Robert Henderson on Blacking up on the Road to…
Author Archives: Without PrejudiceImage
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
by Joel Schlossberg
“Economic Patriotism”: The Last Refuge of a Tax Scoundrel
In mid-July, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew proposed that Congress prohibit US-based companies from moving offshore in search of more favorable tax climates, citing an ostensible need for a “new sense of economic patriotism.”
The resort to “patriotism” theater stands out as the most egregious aspect of legislation whose retroactive status would blatantly violate the Constitution’s prohibition on ex post facto laws. Continue reading
(This article ran in Green Egg. I could not find a date, so all I can say is it was in the 1970s. It reads like one of the missing appendices for Illuminatus!, but I can’t think of anyone I could ask to test my theory. My thanks to Mike Gathers for making it available to everyone. — Tom.)
Anarchism and Crime
By Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea
Because anarchists aim at the abolition of government, the first question they are usually asked is, “What about murderers, thieves, rapists? The government protects us from them. Would you just let them run wild?” Continue reading
by Kevin Carson
ISIS: Yes, Mr. Blair, You Did Build This
Last month, in a tone which might best be called unlikely insistence, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair reassured the public that “we” — the UK and United States — “have to liberate ourselves from the notion that we caused” the destabilization of Iraq by the ISIS insurgency. Well, actually you did.
Let’s go back to the Versailles peace conference at the end of WWI, when Britain — with the agreement of the other Western powers — carved the mandate of Iraq out of three former Ottoman provinces. These provinces — Sunni Kurdish, Sunni Arab and Shia marsh Arab — were about as unwieldy as any other artificial country the imperial powers of Europe cobbled together around the world and displayed high potential for instability from the beginning. Continue reading
What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17
Rep. Ron Paul, July 21, 2014
Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim – even before an investigation – that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council – just one day after the crash! Continue reading
by Anna Raccoon
Groomed by Labour – Screwed by Tories?
NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.
Lord Denning described the Magna Carta as ‘the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot’. Continue reading
As the author of six novels set in seventh century Byzantium, I’m often asked: Why choose that period? There’s always been strong interest within the historical fiction community in Classical Greece, and in Rome a century either side of the birth of Christ, and the western Dark Ages. With very few exceptions – Robert Graves’ Count Belisarius, for example, or Cecelia Holland’s Belt of Gold – Byzantium in any period of its long history is a neglected area. Why, then, did I choose it?
The short answer is that I wanted to be different. I won’t say that there are too many novels set in the other periods mentioned above. There is, even so, a very large number of them. If there is always a market for them, standing out from the crowd requires greater ability than I at first thought I had. And so I began Conspiracies of Rome (2008) I ran at once into difficulties I hadn’t considered, and that could have been shuffled past had I decided on a thriller about the plot to kill Julius Caesar. Solving these difficulties put me through a second education as a writer, and may even have shown that I do possess certain abilities. Before elaborating on this point, however, let me give a longer answer to my question: Why choose Byzantium? Continue reading
by James Tuttle
What is necessary for the use of land is not its private ownership, but the security of improvements. It is not necessary to say to a man, ‘this land is yours,’ in order to induce him to cultivate or improve it. It is only necessary to say to him, ‘whatever your labor, or capital produces on this land shall be yours.’ Give a man security that he may reap, and he will sow; assure him of the possession of the house he wants to build, and he will build it. These are the natural rewards of labor. It is for the sake of the reaping that men sow; it is for the sake of possessing houses that men build. The ownership of land has nothing to do with it. –Henry George Continue reading
Is Market Anarchism eclipsing Anarcho-Marxism?
It seems to me that in the last couple of years “free market anarchism” in its various forms has grown to the point where it’s now starting to eclipse or even surpass the “anarcho-Marxists” in terms of size and influence. I base this observation on the number of public events sponsored by both, and the online presence of both. Am I right or wrong in this perception? Continue reading
by Stewart Cowen
DRIP and Tricks of the Political Trade
The real reason for the drastic Government reshuffle, according to many commentators, is to deflect our attention from the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill which has been rushed through the Commons after the European Court of Justice decided the current measures were ‘illegal’. But according to The Freedom Association: Continue reading
by Nick Land
rkhs put up a link to this (on Twitter). I suspect it will irritate almost everyone reading this, but it’s worth pushing past that. Even the irritation has significance. The world it introduces, of Internet-era marketing culture, is of self-evident importance to anyone seeking to understand our times — and what they’re tilting into.
Attention Economics is a thing. Wikipedia is (of course) itself a remarkable node in the new economy of attention, packaging information in a way that adapts it to a continuous current of distraction. Its indispensable specialism is low-concentration research resources. Whatever its failings, it’s already all-but impossible to imagine the world working without it. Continue reading
The Ideology of Totalitarian Humanism
Many on the alternative Right are inclined to refer to PC as “cultural Marxism.” In some ways, this is an apt metaphor, as the PC ideology bears a resemblance to the reductionist concept of class antagonism that orthodox Marxism advances. If the dualistic class dichotomy of “proletarians and bourgeoisie” is replaced with a newer dichotomy pitting feminist women, minorities, gays, immigrants, the transgendered and others having been or believed to be oppressed against the “hegemony” of “straight, white, Christian, males,” then similarities between PC and Marxism do indeed emerge. However, PC could in some ways be compared with totalitarianism from the other end of the political spectrum. If the duality of “Aryans” believed to be oppressed by and in mortal struggle with “the Jews” is replaced with the aforementioned dichotomy advanced by PC, a reductionism of comparable crudity likewise becomes apparent. Yet it would seem to me that such metaphors as “cultural Marxism” or “liberal Nazism” are not really the best characterizations of PC. Continue reading
Meet the author – Richard Blake
KCC events, Talks & Presentations
Deal Library , Deal
Meet local author Sean Gabb writing as Richard Blake at Deal Library for an insight into his historical fiction writing.
Sean Gabb is a historian, broadcaster and university lecturer and lives in the Deal area. He has written eight fiction books some under the name Richard Blake.
He has also written for The Times and the Birmingham Post. Sean has also written a number of nonfiction political titles.
Saturday 19th July 2014
by David D’Amato
Note: I don’t believe that open borders are presently advisable. But there are libertarians who think otherwise. The mission of the Libertarian Alliance is to let all sides be beard on this issue. I therefore commend David’s article to your attention. SIG
Reason is not the primary driver of Man
Man, at least in his modern secular First World form, has the illusion of free will. That is unsurprising because he is a highly intelligent and self-conscious entity with a discrete personality and an ego and it is natural for such a being to think that the choices they make are free choices insofar as they act without overt constraints from other people, their biology or brute circumstances. In fact, free will is an illusion not as a consequence of the constraints of human biology or the nature of the universe Man inhabits, but as a consequence of the fact that the concept is a logical nonsense. Continue reading
Some years ago, when everybody else was was reading it, I read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. It was pretty ridiculous, but it had an uncanny ability to keep me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen. (RAW fans will recall that the main source material for the book also was used in RAW’s earlier novel, The Widow’s Son. Dan Brown’s lawyers apparently missed the chance to use The Widow’s Son as part of their defense in plagiarism trial.)
A few days ago, British writer Sean Gabb talked me into reading The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis. I asked Dr. Gabb why he listed Lewis as one of his favorite writers, and he replied, “The Monk is a gloatingly lurid tale of lust and horror. Lewis was seventeen when he wrote it. I was that when I read it. Unable to put it down, I took it into an A Level Mathematics exam. Dickens and Wilkie Collins much admired it. My mother read it some years back, and was surprised when I showed her the publication date.” So I read it (or more precisely, listened to the free LibriVox audiobook, ably read by James K. White.) I thought it was ridiculous, but I was hooked. I had to keep going to find out what would happen to its poor, tormented characters. Continue reading
by Stewart Cowen
For the Children… and the Adults
Leg-iron tells us that Theresa May has announced that there is going to be an investigation into paedophilia, not just in Westminster,
To placate the masses, they are also going to investigate the NHS, the BBC and the Church (just the one religion, naturally) where they will find plenty of big name scapegoats to take the drones’ attention away from them.
It’s what they do. Like creating new Acts containing a variety of themes and hoping nobody notices the really intrusive or offensive part.
So yes, I’m sure this insider “enquiry” will find a few NHS doctors who have groped children and some more dead or aging weirdos employed by the BBC and some nonces-in-frocks in “the Church”. Continue reading
by Dick Puddlecote
Who’s Been Misleading The EU? Now this is interesting.
European officials have been wrongly labelling e-liquid as extremely toxic.
The civil servants had been misclassifying e-liquid as either a CLP category 2 product, alongside strychnine, or a category 3 product, alongside formaldehyde. The new report demonstrates that the acute oral and dermal toxic hazards of the strongest consumer e-liquids only merit being classed as category 4 – along with washing-up liquid – while the vast majority of e-liquid (which has nicotine concentrations below 25mg/ml or 2.5%) does not require any type of formal hazard warning.
by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Free Immigration Is Forced Integration
The classical argument in favor of free immigration runs as follows: Other things being equal, businesses go to low-wage areas, and labor moves to high-wage areas, thus affecting a tendency toward the equalization of wage rates (for the same kind of labor) as well as the optimal localization of capital. An influx of migrants into a given-sized high-wage area will lower nominal wage rates. However, it will not lower real wage rates if the population is below its optimum size. To the contrary, if this is the case, the produced output will increase over-proportionally, and real incomes will actually rise. Thus, restrictions on immigration will harm the protected domestic workers qua consumers more than they gain qua producers. Moreover, immigration restrictions will increase the “flight” of capital abroad (the export of capital which otherwise might have stayed), still causing an equalization of wage rates (although somewhat more slowly), but leading to a less than optimal allocation of capital, thereby harming world living standards all-around.
In addition, traditionally labor unions, and nowadays environmentalists, are opposed to free immigration, and this should prima facie count as another argument in favor of a policy of free immigration. Continue reading
by Kevin Carson
The Question is, Why Would ANYONE Trust the Government?
The drastic long-term drop in Americans’ trust for government since the 1950s periodically evokes pearl-clutching on the center-left. Liberal radio talk show host Leslie Marshall recently tweeted, as apparent cause for concern, a Pew Research poll finding the percentage of the public that trusts government to “do the right thing” most of the time or “pretty much always” at 19% in 2013 (by way of background, it peaked at 77% in 1965). She linked to a piece by Julian Zelizer at CNN (“Distrustful Americans still live in age of Watergate,” July 7), lamenting the low level of faith in government (“which is necessary for a healthy society”) as a cultural inheritance from Vietnam and Watergate and calling for political forms to root out corruption, restore public trust and render the political system once again functional. Continue reading
by Richard North
EU politics: MPs duck out on opt-ins
The Financial Times tells the tale of the House of Commons “rebellion” that never was, with the Guardian (and others) adding more detail. You wonder how well briefed the MPs (and the media) actually are, though, when the still refer to 35 opt-back-ins, when the actual figure has been reduced to 33. But then, what does a little detail like that matter? Continue reading
by Richard North
Trade agreements: is “unbundling” the future?
A little while ago, the Financial Times ran a piece by Alan Beattie on UKIP’s trade policy (above), who argued that it “would leave Britain isolated and vulnerable”. I didn’t write a review then, as there was more to the issue which Beattie raised that, what he termed “Farage’s dream of prosperity” which is to be “born of a US treaty”. This, Beattie thinks, is “a dangerous fantasy”.
The points made, however, are bigger than UKIP’s trade policy, and could have been raised without reference to “Farage’s dream”, one that comes with a promise of a new trade deal “as soon as Britain’s exit liberates the UK from the dead hand of European protectionism”. Continue reading
There are many aspects of modern charities which run contrary what is still, despite all the bad publicity charities have had in recent years, the general public’s idea of what a charity should be; an organisation which is doing good works by raising money from individuals, is the reverse of self-serving and a morally good thing.
There is much dislike about modern charities. They are frequently incompetently run, often too much of a charity’s income goes on administration, especially the pay of the senior staff, embezzlement by the staff of charities is too frequent for comfort and larger charities often take much of their funding from the state. However, those weaknesses are not the subject of this piece. What I am concerned with here is the political aspect of charities in Britain, an aspect which seems to loom ever larger. Continue reading
by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/film-review-transcendence/ Film review – Transcendence
Johnny Depp as Dr. Will Caster, an artificial-intelligence researcher.
Morgan Freeman as Joseph Tagger, a government scientist
Rebecca Hall as Evelyn Caster, Caster’s wife and a fellow academic.
Kate Mara as Bree, the leader of Revolutionary Independence From Technology (R.I.F.T.)
Cillian Murphy as Donald Buchanan, an FBI agent.
Cole Hauser as Colonel Stevens, a military officer.
Paul Bettany as Max Waters, Caster’s best friend.
Director: Wally Pfister Continue reading
Note: One must always try to hear the other side. SIG
Review: #LIFTChange Some people think I’m bonkers, but I just think I’m free. Reviewed by Ben DeVere.
“Some people think I’m bonkers, but I just think I’m free” was the fifth event in LIFT’s Change for a Tenner! season, dedicated to exploring ideas around social and political change. We were introduced to eight campaigners who demand change through sometimes bonkers and often beautiful acts in The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick. Why do they do it? When will they stop? Are they making a point, or do they really believe that a change is going to come?
First up was Ellie Harrison who pointed out that today’s eccentricity is tomorrow’s common sense, and took us through her (really very sensible) campaign to Bring Back British Rail. The most eccentric idea on her menu was of politicians admitting they’d made a mistake. Wessex Regionalist Colin Bex wasn’t very silly either. A very English secessionist, he upped the non-nonsense by reasonably setting out a localist agenda in the name of autonomy and old school common sense. A lovely man with a fine beard, socked feet in sandals and lots of badges. You know the type. Probably a rambler. Continue reading
by Murray Rothbard
How To Have Law Without Legislation
[Adapted from Rothbard’s book review of Freedom
and the Law by Bruno Leoni. This review first
appeared in New Individualist Review ,
edited by Ralph Raico.]
[In his book Freedom and the Law,] Professor [Bruno] Leoni’s major thesis is that even the staunchest free-market economists have unwisely admitted that laws must be created by governmental legislation; this concession, Leoni shows, provides an inevitable gateway for State tyranny over the individual. The other side of the coin to increasing intervention by government in the free market has been the burgeoning of legislation, with its inherent coercion by a majority—or, more often, by an oligarchy of pseudo-“representatives” of a majority—over the rest of the population. In this connection, Leoni presents a brilliant critique of F.A. Hayek’s recent writings on the “rule of the law.” In contrast to Hayek, who calls for general legislative rules as opposed to the vagaries of arbitrary bureaucracy or of “administrative law,” Leoni points out that the real and underlying menace to individual freedom is not the administrator but the legislative statute that makes the administrative ruling possible.  It is not enough, demonstrates Leoni, to have general rules applicable to everyone and written down in advance; for these rules themselves may—and generally do—invade freedom. Continue reading
by the Rev. Dr Alan Clifford
What about the events of 1562-5?
As sexual perversion and Islamic darkness tighten their grip on the USA, Americans need to recover their earliest history…
AMERICA’S HEROIC DAWN
THE HUGUENOT MARTYRS OF FLORIDA
Dr Alan C. Clifford
A largely-forgotten history reminds us that the first attempted Christian settlement in North America was by Huguenots seeking a haven from persecution in France. This follows the era of Christopher Columbus whose first adventures to the New World date from 1492, soon followed by the Cabots from England a few years later. Not to forget the English Jamestown settlement of 1607, the Huguenot adventure occurred sixty years before the Pilgrim Fathers founded the Plymouth plantation in 1620.
This was the era of Iberian domination, when Spain was the world’s ‘super power’. With the blessing of the Pope, Spain and Portugal laid claim to the New World. Their brutal Central and South American conquests brought justifiable opprobrium upon the cruel fascism of King Philip II and his ilk. Predictably, war was inevitable as less-compliant European nations resisted this evil and expanding tyranny. The Protestant Reformation fuelled the animosity as anti-Catholic sailors from Normandy found courage to challenge Spanish arrogance. One form of resistance was to attack the Spanish treasure ships bringing gold and silver from Mexico, Peru and elsewhere. Outraged by the cruel horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, hot-headed French pirates thought nothing of enriching themselves at Spain’s expense. They were the scourge of the Spanish Main. The Spaniards called these high-seas raiders corsarios luteranos, i.e. ‘Lutheran pirates’. However, among these ‘Protestant adventurers’ were more noble souls with more honourable aspirations, properly called Calvinists. Continue reading
Rolf Harris – Beyond Reasonable Doubt?
Rolf Harris has been convicted and for many that is conclusive proof of his guilt. However, we should not forget that the British justice system is not perfect, it can make errors, as these high profile miscarriages of justice show.
I do not know if Rolf Harris committed the crimes he was accused of. However, I find the fact that he was convicted, based on the evidence reported by the BBC, alarming.
Let me explain why: Continue reading
July 5, 2014
Imagine waking up one day and discovering that, although your country has not changed, the rest of the world has. You find that while your immediate surroundings have not altered, everything outside your country has inexplicably reverted to a time of about a millennium ago.
This is the setting of Sean Gabb’s new novel The Break: In the year 2017, after days of violent storms, which ground all planes and force all ships into harbour, modern Britain, with all its cars, TVs, smartphones, CCTV cameras, unaccountable police and militant political correctness, finds itself surrounded by a world which considers the year to be AD 1064. The cities of mainland Europe have disappeared or contracted to clusters of a few thousand thatched houses. Roads, railway lines and canals have all vanished. The rest of the continent consists mainly of forest and other uncultivated land. Further south, the Byzantine Empire is still going strong – just. The great schism that split the early church into an eastern Orthodox and western Catholic branch happened only 10 years previously. And the Normans have yet to invade England. Continue reading
Hello Mr. Gabb.
My name is Drew Warner, a friend from across the pond.
I stumbled across your blog after a night of surfing the internet. Love the gun rights posts, and the chutzpah. I’ll continue to read it.
I’ve been following the issues of overbearing domination by the power of the state on your side of the pond, and thought that some of these videos could provide some assistance. If you already are aware of these, or do not need them, I apologize. I only send them because they’ve helped out in quite a few of my own debates about the rights of free citizens (particularly when cornered by gun grabbers that are only too pleased to share their wisdom with me uninvited).
If you have any advice yourself for us Americans dealing with the gun snatchers over here, I would appreciate the advice of an old hand. United we stand, and all that.
Good luck Sean. I mean it. Don’t give up, and remember… you’re fighting on the right side of history. Keep it up mate.
Note: Apparently, the LA Blog is being blocked by Talk Talk. That might explain why I sometimes have trouble accessing it. Another reason, I suppose, for not renewing my contract with this crappest of crap ISPs. SIG
Dear Sean Gabb,
As you may know, the government has persuaded ISPs to introduce web filters that claim to protect children from content they shouldn’t see online. In reality, filters block much more than they should leading to the censorship of information. Continue reading
by Kevin Carson
This Superpower Needs to Be Fired and Forcibly Escorted From the Building
If you want a glimpse into the US bipartisan foreign policy establishment’s Heart of Darkness, you need look no further than Robert Kagan. He, along with his father and brother, was a signatory of the Project for a New American Century’s manifesto “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” — something normally associated with the neoconservative circles around George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But he also advised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Obama had a very positive reaction to his article in The New Republic, “Not Fade Away: The Myth of American Decline.” And of course he has ties to both the Brookings Institution and Council on Foreign Relations. Continue reading
Note: The main source of instability in the July Crisis was the Asquith/Grey policy. The Austrians wouldn’t act without German Support. The Serbs wouldn’t act without Russian support. The Russians wouldn’t act without French support. The French wouldn’t act without British support. The Germans wouldn’t act if it meant war with Britain. If it had been made clear in advance either that we would support the French, or that we would not, the Crisis would have fizzled out in an exchange of sharp words, and perhaps a joint policing action in Serbia.
The problem was that, right up to the last moment, the French were sure they had our support, and the Germans strongly suspected they hadn’t. If for opposite reasons, either a Labour or a Conservative Government in 1914 would have avoided the catastrophe.
I read Morley’s Minute on Resignation when I was twenty, and have hated Churchill ever since. But Asquith and Grey must take the chief blame for what happened. No later than 1911, they should have said in public what their policy was. If they really thought doing that would have had them out of office, they should have backed away from the French.
The moment Princip opened fire, the railway timetables all across Europe went into crash mode. Only in London was there freedom of action – and look what the scumbag Liberals did. SIG Continue reading
Note: I won’t praise Paul Gottfried twice in one week. Instead, I’ll say how impressed I remain by Mr Obama. He is the least deranged President the Americans have had in my lifetime. Indeed, his handling of the attempted neo-con coup last summer was masterful – no Syrian war. Perhaps we should try for a black Prime Minister. SIG Continue reading
by Paul Craig Roberts
The US Restarts Its Cold War
The Cold War made a lot of money for the military/security complex for four decades dating from Churchill’s March 5, 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri declaring a Soviet “Iron Curtain” until Reagan and Gorbachev ended the Cold War in the late 1980s. During the Cold War Americans heard endlessly about “the Captive Nations.” The Captive Nations were the Baltics and the Soviet bloc, usually summarized as “Eastern Europe.” Continue reading
Satire – Libertarians have a sense of humour too…really, I mean it
By Keir Martland
TO: OTHER TORIES
Dear member (giggle),
We have cause for optimism! It seems that everyone is turning Tory – let me explain:
Only 10 days ago – Ed Millerband, much like Mr Paxman, came out of the closet. Yes, he’s a Tory too!
Of course, being the leader of the Labour party has meant that Mr Millpond has had to avoid using the word ‘Tory’, but his message is much the same. He believes, like all of the hard-working, honest, decent, simple, tax-paying British families of Britain (henceforth HWHDSTPBFB) that “Young people should sign up for training, not sign on for benefits”. Indeed, their representative, Auntie Beeb, said that 9/10 HWHDSTPBFB’s believe that young people should sign up for training, not sign on for benefits. Continue reading
AFRICA RESEARCH CENTRE
“Ex Africa semper aliquid novi”
THE REALITY OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
The Africa Research Centre has published Justice Denied: The Reality of the International Criminal Court, a 610-page study of the International Criminal Court by Dr David Hoile.
The book is available to read or download at <www.africaresearchcentre.org>
Justice Denied: The Reality of the International Criminal Court finds the ICC, established in 2002 by the Rome Statute, to be unfit for purpose. The ICC’s claims to international jurisdiction and judicial independence are institutionally flawed and the Court’s reputation has been irretrievably damaged by its racism, blatant double-standards, hypocrisy, corruption and serious judicial irregularities. The study demonstrates that while the ICC presents itself as the world’s court this is not the case. Its members represent just over one quarter of the world’s population: China, Russia, the United States, India, Pakistan and Indonesia are just some of the many countries that have remained outside of the Court’s jurisdiction. The author points out that a court is only as credible as its independence. Far from being an independent and impartial court, the ICC’s own statute grants special “prosecutorial” rights of referral and deferral to the Security Council – by default its five permanent members (three of which are not even ICC members). Political interference in the legal process was thus made part of the Court’s founding terms of reference. The Court is also inextricably tied to the European Union which provides over 60 percent of its funding. The EU is additionally guilty of blatant political and economic blackmail in tying aid for developing countries to ICC membership. The expression, “He who pays the piper calls the tune”, could not be more appropriate. Continue reading
by the Rev. Dr Alan Clifford
THE SPARK WHICH IGNITED WWI
Dr Alan C. Clifford
On 28 June 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo. This was the spark which started the ‘Great War’ (1914-18). The European powers then engaged in mutual slaughter. It was a war that should never have happened. Yet is it was promoted with political and religious intrigue (the Vatican being a leading culprit). Much has been written regarding the ethics of war. The following is a contribution to assessing fundamental issues which still trouble today’s world. Continue reading
by Tom Jackson
Sean Gabb’s ‘The Break”
Although it has little to do with the point of this blog, I’ve been interested for years in the period of history known as “Late Antiquity.” It’s a period of history that runs roughly from 300 C.E. to 700 C.E. that’s known under a variety of other names, e.g. “The Fall of Rome” (a misnomer, as the eastern half of the empire continued for centuries), “The Dark Ages,” “The Later Roman Empire,” the “postclassical world,” etc. This interest occasionally crops up in this blog, for example in my posting about the historian Procopius as a classical liberal.
Anyway, I can’t get enough of reading about Late Antiquity, and I like both nonfiction and well-researched historical fiction. That’s how I got interested in a British novelist named Richard Blake, who has written a series of novels about an Anglo Saxon man named “Aelric” who winds up in various parts of the Byzantine Empire in the early 7th century. Each book focuses on a different city — the books have titles such as Conspiracies of Rome, The Terror of Constantinople (about the reign of the emperor Phocas, not exactly a happy time for the Roman Empire), The Blood of Alexandria, and so on. The novels are in a sequence but they also stand alone nicely. Continue reading
by David D’Amato
The Avarice of Corporate Power
Recent studies estimate that the federal regulatory burden has impaired the United States economy to the tune of almost $40 trillion, “act[ing] as a hidden tax on individuals.” Precluding new competitors and entrepreneurship, new regulations often favor established firms at the expense of both consumers and economic growth generally.
What’s more, left-wing revisionists such as Gabriel Kolko have convincingly argued that suffocating and overwhelming smaller competitors has too often been just the point of new regulations — or at the very least among their prime motivations. Far from high-minded concerns about consumer protection, big business has lobbied for higher regulatory barriers as a way to rid the markets of inconvenient pests in the form of smaller businesses. Continue reading
by M. LaFave
Orwell, Orthodoxy and Organization
This summer, I joined the reading group for Kevin A. Carson’s daunting, 600 page tome Organization Theory. In the first section, Carson presents a compelling mass of research and careful criticism of cross-ideological views of economies of scale. He argues that top economists, from Ronald Coase to John Kenneth Galbraith and Joseph Schumpeter, “accept ‘economies of scale’ as a sufficient explanation for the rise of the large corporation from a supposedly ‘laissez-faire’ economy”, failing to consider the systemic effects state intervention has on the architecture of large firms that would otherwise bow to real market forces. Continue reading
A Sixth Century libertarian?
by Tom Jackson
Note: I agree with Tom. Procopius would have been a happy man in the 2nd or 18th centuries. Instead, he had the misfortune to live in a world run by ranting lunatics.
This being said, I will try to be fair to Justinian. He was, from the outset, extravagant with the taxpayers’ money and a bigot. But he did begin with a full treasury and a commanding position on the Persian frontier. The Eastern part of the Empire had enjoyed a good fifth century, and there was a moral and strategic case for taking back the Western provinces. The Western collapse was recent enough for it still to be shocking for Roman citizens and for Rome itself to be under barbarian rule – barbarian rule which, in the case of Africa, was grossly oppressive. Africa was recovered with one battle. An uncertain part of Spain may have taken without that. Italy turned out to be harder, but could have been taken without great cost. Whether he also wanted Frankish Gaul and even Britain can’t be said. But Justinian had the will and apparently the means to reunite the Empire after one of its recurrent periods of disintegration.
What sent everything tits up was the first visitation of bubonic plague in 542. It may have killed off a third of the Mediterranean population. In particular, it ended Greek domination in Syria and Egypt. For a thousand years, Semites who came from the countryside to cities like Alexandria and Antioch and Damascus etc had been expected to make themselves into Greeks – and, more recently, Orthodox Greeks – before they could move up the social ladder. In one season, these Hellenised ruling classes were swept away, and hardly anyone after that felt the need to learn Greek. Except Islam wasn’t yet part of the mix, the settlement that became visible in the 630s was already present in the 540s.
Justinian can be blamed for not realising this. The last response he should have made was to centralise the Imperial State and to sharpen its fiscal and theological teeth. He can be blamed, because it is the duty of a ruler to see things as they are. He should have called off the war in Italy and struck a deal with the heretical Semites in Syria and Egypt. He could then have spent the last half of his reign staring down the equally shattered Persians and nursing the Empire back to some kind of health. Instead, he carried on regardless. Because of that, he presided over the collapse of the Ancient World.
I think Procopius realised this. He was himself a Hellenised Syrian, and knew how thin the crust of Greek had been outside the Home Provinces. He spent the best years of his life flattering a bankrupt megalomaniac, and it seems to have sent him mad.
In short, he’s a good read. SIG
The Curse of Babylon is the sixth in Richard Blake’s Aelric series of books. Those who have read previous instalments will not be disappointed as it contains all the qualities that places it several notches above most historical romps. Equally, it is a volume that can be enjoyed as a stand-alone.
Set in the early seventh century, its youthful protagonist has risen to high office in the Eastern Roman Empire. Despite his humble ‘barbarian’ English origins, he lives in some style in Constantinople as Lord Treasurer. However, his fiscal duties are disrupted after he is presented with a possibly maleficent artefact and comes into contact with a mysterious young woman. Events move quickly thereafter with treachery in high places and the threat of a Persian invasion much to the fore.
Two features of the novel stand out. The first is a wonderful evocation of time and place. Constantinople may be the capital city of a great, albeit declining, empire, but it is also – as described – a place of terrible poverty, full of schemers and plotters, where episodes of lurid violence are commonplace. The second is a narrative that unfolds swiftly and often surprisingly, leading to a final showdown with possibly the most sadistic fictional bad guy I’ve ever encountered.
Notwithstanding the above, the tone is frequently darkly comic. My favourite moment comes when, against the odds, Aelric effects a daring escape from his pursuers and crashes through a window only to find the grossly obese City Prefect in a somewhat compromising position. All in all, highly recommended.
Review published on Amazon on 25th June 2014
by Dick Puddlecote
The WHO Attempts To Censor Websites As well as being entirely unelected, it appears that the World Health Organisation also doesn’t care much for openness and transparency.
Rumours have reached Puddlecote Towers that the WHO is spitting blood about a leaked document from a November 2013 meeting being widely discussed, and is busily putting the frighteners on those who are discussing it. They are not happy with minutes which mention that the WHO views e-cigarettes as a threat – and which prompted a much-reported recent letter to the WHO by over 50 health professionals – reaching the internet, so are doing their best to make the document disappear. Continue reading