all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

24 May, 2017

As in the Blitz!

In the wake of yet another attack (which had nothing to do with Islam, obviously, by a deluded lone wolf), some people (the same folk, for the most part, who blether of tolerance and the pressing need not to blame our Mahometan neighbours who are, as ever, the real victims here) urge Britons to carry on as normal—as in the Blitz!—in order to defy evil terrorists.  Of course, though Londoners, for example, did do their best to live their lives as normally as possible during World War II they did so whilst their military forces were actually fighting the Axis powers by, say, constantly bombing the enemy.
Things would be very different if the politicians of today had been in power during WWII:
BBC announcer: Here is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, speaking from the smoking ruins of the Palace of Westminster.
Prime Minister: Good evening. I speak to you tonight, grief-stricken by the horrid events of this day. As you are probably aware, waves of aeroplanes of the Luftwaffe, Nazi Germany’s airforce, again dropped thousands of bombs over south-east England today, many over the great city of London, and many hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians are dead and many, many more are grievously injured.  There has been great destruction of property, including damage to our most beloved buildings of outstanding cultural worth.
But we cannot allow loss of life and heritage—which is just part and parcel with living in a modern city, really—to fill our minds with hate.  Not all Germans are Nazis, and not all Nazis are evil.  Furthermore, National Socialism is a great political ideology, with many peaceful adherents, and a long and rich history.   Nazism has absolutely nought to do with war or terrorism.  Many (or, at least, some) Nazis, according to reliable surveys, are quite moderate and are not entirely supportive of the total abolition of democracy, the brutal repression of “non-Aryan” peoples, and the pitiless extermination of Jews.
We ought to send only good wishes to our enemies, as we send our thoughts and prayers to those in sorrow, and we must let Nazi Germany know that we shall welcome them all, with loving, open arms, not with force of arms, whenever they choose to visit our rich and hospitable, borderless land.  We shall welcome the Nazis on the beaches, we shall welcome them on the landing grounds, in the fields and in the streets, we shall welcome them in the hills; we shall never surrender to hate.  The way to stop conflict is to refuse to participate in conflict!  We must shew the good people of Germany, in word and deed, that we shall not stoop to similar acts of destruction and intolerance.  Instead, let us send messages of peace and good will to the ordinary people of Germany whilst shewing those who attacked us that they cannot triumph over us.
We will live our lives as if Herr Hitler and his arrogant but wrong-headed cohort of intolerant National Socialists had not declared war on peaceful democracies and completely subjugated the citizenry of France and Poland and several other countries which few have heard of.  We will keep our streets well lit, we will impose no curfew, we will continue to work and play as if nothing untoward occurred and, in short, we will bravely carry on as usual.
It won’t be long before the leadership of Nazi Germany realises that diversity beats uniformity, open-hearted liberalism overcomes narrow-minded provincialism, tolerance defeats intolerance, and love vanquishes hate and no one ever achieved anything with violence.
Good night from what was, once, the House of Commons and the home of representative government.
UPDATE I:  see “‘Dangerous Woman’ Meets Dangerous Man” by Mark Steyn:
“Carrying on exactly as before”, as The Independent advises, will not be possible.  A few months ago, I was in Toulouse, where Jewish life has vanished from public visibility and is conducted only behind the prison-like walls of a fortress schoolhouse and a centralised synagogue that requires 24/7 protection by French soldiers; I went to Amsterdam, which is markedly less gay than it used to be; I walked through Molenbeek after dark, where unaccompanied women dare not go.  You can carry on, you can stagger on, but life is not exactly as it was before.  Inch by inch, it’s smaller and more constrained.  […]
All of us have gotten things wrong since 9/11.  But few of us have gotten things as disastrously wrong as May and Merkel and Hollande and an entire generation of European political leaders who insist that remorseless incremental Islamisation is both unstoppable and manageable.  It is neither—and, for the sake of the dead of last night’s carnage and for those of the next one, it is necessary to face that honestly. Theresa May’s statement in Downing Street is said by my old friends at The Spectator to be “defiant”, but what she is defying is not terrorism but reality.  So too for all the exhausted accessories of defiance chic:  candles, teddy bears, hashtags, the pitiful passive rote gestures that acknowledge atrocity without addressing it—like the Eloi in H G Wells’ Time Machine, too evolved to resist the Morlocks.
On the supposed inutility of violence, see Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (New York, 1959), Chapter II:
One girl told [the teacher of History and Moral Philosophy] bluntly:  “My mother says that violence never settles anything.”
“So?”  Mr. Dubois looked at her bleakly.  “I’m sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that.  Why doesn’t your mother tell them so?  Or why don’t you?”
They had tangled before—since you couldn’t flunk the course, it wasn’t necessary to keep Mr. Dubois buttered up.  She said shrilly, “You’re making fun of me!  Everybody knows that Carthage was destroyed!”
“You seemed to be unaware of it,” he said grimly.  “Since you do know it, wouldn’t you say that violence had settled their destinies rather thoroughly? However, I was not making fun of you personally; I was heaping scorn on an inexcusably silly idea—a practice I shall always follow.  Anyone who clings to the historically untrue—and thoroughly immoral—doctrine that ‘violence never settles anything’ I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it.  The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon.  Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst.  Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.”
UPDATE II (25 May):  Mark Steyn writes a sequel to his article quoted supra:
My thoughts yesterday did not meet with universal agreement.  Linda Cianchetti emails:
The killer was the queen of England’s clan.
Rothschild Soros club.
Stop zionist Israel jews from manufacturing all this illusion. They are the banking cartel around the world. Stop blaming everyone but the culprits, themselves. Or we will have no respect for journalists and the tales they put out.
Well, thanks for clearing that up.
I get a lot more of this than I used to.  I suspect Ms Cianchetti would blame “zionist Israel jews” and “the queen of England’s clan” whatever happened, but it’s a close call whether she’s any more detached from reality than, say, Newsweek fretting about “reprisals” against Muslims or the nincompoop diversicrat who serves as Chief Constable of Greater Manchester sternly warning that we must not “tolerate hate”—by which he means not the hate of people who shred little girls’ bodies with nail bombs but the mean-spirited Tweets of people who get angry at the people who shred little girls’ bodies with nail bombs
The Official Lies are getting more ludicrous, and (with respect to the investigation of Fleet Street columnists for entirely innocuous observations) dangerous and totalitarian.  One further danger of the Official Lies is that their obvious fraudulence bolsters the confidence of Ms Cianchetti and the similarly inclined in their derangements.
UPDATE III (25 May):  see “After Manchester: It’s Time for Anger” by Brendan O’Neill:
As part of the post-terror narrative, our emotions are closely policed. Some emotions are celebrated, others demonised. Empathy—good. Grief—good. Sharing your sadness online—great. But hatred? Anger? Fury? These are bad. They are inferior forms of feeling, apparently, and must be discouraged. Because if we green-light anger about terrorism, then people will launch pogroms against Muslims, they say, or even attack Sikhs or the local Hindu-owned cornershop, because that’s how stupid and hateful we apparently are. But there is a strong justification for hate right now. Certainly for anger. For rage, in fact. […]
The post-terror cultivation of passivity speaks to a profound crisis of—and fear of—the active citizen. It diminishes us as citizens to reduce us to hashtaggers and candle-holders in the wake of serious, disorientating acts of violence against our society. It decommissions the hard thinking and deep feeling citizens ought to pursue after terror attacks. Indeed, in some ways this official post-terror narrative is the unwitting cousin of the terror attack itself.  
[…]That the post-terror narrative is fundamentally about taming our passion and politics is clear from its sidelining of all issues of substance. We are actively warned against asking difficult questions about 21st-century society and why it has this violence in it, this nihilism in it. Question the wisdom of multiculturalism, of refusing to elevate one culture over another and instead encouraging people to live in their own cultural bubbles, and you’re racist. Wonder [whether] the obsession with combatting ‘Islamophobia’ might have given rise to a situation where some Muslims, especially younger ones, cannot handle ridicule of their religion, and… well, you’re ‘Islamophobic’. As for immigration:  this is the great unmentionable; you’re a fascist even for thinking about it. The post-terror narrative that barks ‘You must empathise!’ also says, implicitly, and sometimes explicitly, ‘You mustn’t think! […]
It is wrong to have core values in a society built on diversity, apparently, and we mustn’t ever suggest that any particular ideology poses a threat to those values, because that might involve ‘punching down’, singling people out, etc. We end up with a unity of shallow feeling, a union of highly individuated mourners, not a unity around real ideals and things and vision. Their cry of unity is a lie. The fact is there are people in our society willing to attack us, others who will think those attacks are justified, and others still who will apologise for those attacks by saying they’re a product of ‘Islamophobia’ or Western intervention overseas.  
[…]
Stop and think about how strange it is, how perverse it is, that more than 20 of our citizens have been butchered and we are basically saying: ‘Everyone calm down. Love is the answer.’ Where’s the rage? If the massacre of children and their parents on a fun night out doesn’t make you feel rage, nothing will. The terrorist has defeated you.  You are dead already.

13 May, 2017

Potato, Sweet Potato & Misnomers

If I were given some sugared flesh when I asked for a sweetmeat, or supplied peas after I ordered some sweet peas I should be disappointed almost as much, I warrant, as a diner who asked for a plate of sweetbread with some sweet corn on the side and was instead served a slice of bread and honey, say, with some sugared wheat or barley; similarly, if I ordered some mashed potato or fried potato chips and was instead given some mashed sweet potato or fried sweet potato chips I should be rightly peeved.  The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is not the same as the potato (Solanum tuberosum), and perversely providing a dish of sweet potatoes instead of a dish of potatoes when potatoes were ordered is insultingly wrong.
On a recent episode of MasterChef Australia a contestant, Benjamin Bullock, deliberately provided a meal featuring sweet potato beignets (which he called “doughnuts”) though the meal was meant to feature potatoes—it was a “potato challenge”—wherefore he failed entirely to supply a meal which had to feature (in the words of Gary Mehigan, one of the judges) potato as “the heart of the dish”; that mischievous contestant should have been soundly horse-whipped and sent home in disgrace.  The contestant who was instead eliminated from the competition, Josh Clearihan, had prepared inadequate gnocchi (which he insisted on pronouncing “nocky”); he ought to have been punished for his wilfully wayward pronunciation of a classic Italian dish but at least he used real spuds in the potato challenge.

quite appropriate for a potato challenge
quite inappropriate for a potato challenge

See the the first paragraphs of Chapter One, “Misnomers”, from Thomas Love Peacock’s novel, Gryll Grange (London, 1861):
‘Palestine soup!’ said the Reverend Doctor Opimian, dining with his friend Squire Gryll; ‘a curiously complicated misnomer.  We have an excellent old vegetable, the artichoke, of which we eat the head; we have another of subsequent introduction, of which we eat the root, and which we also call artichoke, because it resembles the first in flavour, although, me judice, a very inferior affair.  This last is a species of the helianthus, or sunflower genus of the Syngenesia frustranea class of plants.  It is therefore a girasol, or turn-to-the-sun. From this girasol we have made Jerusalem, and from the Jerusalem artichoke we make Palestine soup.’

Mr. Gryll.
A very good thing, doctor.

The Rev. Dr. Opimian.
A very good thing; but a palpable misnomer.

Mr. Gryll.
I am afraid we live in a world of misnomers, and of a worse kind than this. In my little experience I have found that a gang of swindling bankers is a respectable old firm; that men who sell their votes to the highest bidder, and want only ‘the protection of the ballot’ to sell the promise of them to both parties, are a free and independent constituency; that a man who successively betrays everybody that trusts him, and abandons every principle he ever professed, is a great statesman, and a Conservative, forsooth, à nil conservando; that schemes for breeding pestilence are sanitary improvements; that the test of intellectual capacity is in swallow, and not in digestion; that the art of teaching everything, except what will be of use to the recipient, is national education; and that a change for the worse is reform.

14 February, 2017

If You Need to Lie anent an Opponent’s Supposed Lies…

Speakers of Lies in Hypocrisy*

I should have hoped that
decent people would not need
this explanation:

all those who condemn
liars on moral grounds have
an obligation

to ensure their own
claims are based on facts and true.
A declaration


which merely repeats
another man’s fallacious
representation,

unchecked, is as wrong,
morally, as a willful
calumniation.

Still, it’s good to see
that even liars dislike
tergiversation.

*    “ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων…” (I Tim., iv:2).
†  I say this because the leader of the world’s most powerful nation is called a liar by the most flagrant liars; their denigration seems moved by hatred for popular policies on immigration (and the like) which, they assert falsely, are quite fascist in motivation.

UPDATE I (16 Feb. 2017):  see John Nolte’s “24 Pieces of MSM Fake News in 5 Days” and Daniel Payne’s “16 Fake Stories Reporters Have Run since Trump Won”; see also “If You Just Started Caring about Political Scandals Again, You’re a Brazen Hypocrite” by Matt Walsh:
The truth matters.  It matters now just as it mattered for the past eight years.  So when Dan Rather claims that Trump may already be guilty of the biggest political scandal in his lifetime, and the New York Times insists that Obama had a scandal free White House, and USA Today along with many other outlets echo that absolutely ridiculous assertion, it behooves those of us who value the truth to calmly respond: UM, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT?
UPDATE II (16 Feb.):  see “When Lying about Secret Meetings Was OK” by Jack Cashill.

UPDATE III (16 Feb.):  watch “Lying to America” written and directed by David Gray:


UPDATE IV (17 Feb.):  Katty Kay, an alleged journalist for the BBC, posted a series of complaints on Twitter mocking Pres. Trump including this inaccurate assertion:


I posted a response:
Katty Kay is dissatisfied.
“Some people say we’re fake,” she cried,
“and then Mr. Trump said ‘They lied’!”
(BBC folk cannot abide
being criticised; they may chide
leaders but it’s undignified
for a president to deride
the world’s self-appointed news guide.)
Katty Kay, have you really tried
to be more honest and less snide
and, for once, to try to provide
accurate news, not of one side,
but with fairness strictly applied?
No, you are completely one-eyed.
Chuck Todd, an alleged journalist for NBC News, posted this complaint on Twitter:


I responded:
If delegitimizing the press be so heinous, @chucktodd, perhaps the press should stop delegitimizing itself with crazed bias.
UPDATE V (2 March):  watch the NRA’s “Truth Doesn’t Matter to The New York Times”: