Saturday, January 22, 2011


Ben Folds Five with Battle of Who Could Care Less, from the album Whatever and ever Amen (1997).

They formed in 93 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Singer/songwriter Ben Folds also plays the piano. In spite of their name, there were only three band members.

Brad with The day brings.

Guys hail from Seattle, where they formed in 1992. Five years later, this hit was drawn from the album Interiors. Frontman is Shawn Smith (vocals, keyboards).



Friday, January 21, 2011


It's been some time since we last heard of Mark Steyn, but for the moment he's back. Over at The New Criterion, a thought-provoking essay about our changing times and how a handover of global dominance by, well, you know who said that the dollar was a thing of the past this week...

... how a handover of global dominance might be different from the last time the baton was passed, when Britain lost its Empire and the USA assumed the role of the world's policeman.

"... The baton of global leadership had been passed. And, if it didn’t seem that way at the time, that’s because it was as near a seamless transition as could be devised—although it was hardly “devised” at all, at least not by London. Yet we live with the benefits of that transition to this day. To take a minor but not inconsequential example, one of the critical links in the post-9/11 Afghan campaign was the British Indian Ocean Territory. As its name would suggest, it’s a British dependency, but it has a U.S. military base—just one of many pinpricks on the map where the Royal Navy’s Pax Britannica evolved into Washington’s Pax Americana with nary a thought: From U.S. naval bases in Bermuda to the Anzus alliance down under to Norad in Cheyenne Mountain, London’s military ties with its empire were assumed, effortlessly, by the United States, and life and global order went on.

One of my favorite lines from the Declaration of Independence never made it into the final text. They were Thomas Jefferson’s parting words to his fellow British subjects across the ocean: “We might have been a free and great people together.” But in the end, when it mattered, they were a free and great people together. Britain was eclipsed by its transatlantic offspring, by a nation with the same language, the same legal inheritance, and the same commitment to liberty.

It’s not likely to go that way next time round. And “next time round” is already under way. We are coming to the end of a two-century Anglosphere dominance, and of a world whose order and prosperity many people think of as part of a broad, general trend but which, in fact, derive from a very particular cultural inheritance and may well not survive it. To point out how English the world is is, of course, a frightfully un-English thing to do. No true Englishman would ever do such a ghastly and vulgar thing. You need some sinister rootless colonial oik like me to do it. But there’s a difference between genial self-effacement and contempt for one’s own inheritance.

Not so long ago, Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian and soi-disant Islamophobe, flew into London and promptly got shipped back to the Netherlands as a threat to public order. After the British Government had reconsidered its stupidity, he was permitted to return and give his speech at the House of Lords—and, as foreigners often do, he quoted Winston Churchill, under the touchingly naive assumption that this would endear him to the natives. Whereas, of course, to almost all members of Britain’s governing elite, quoting Churchill approvingly only confirms that you’re an extremist lunatic. I had the honor a couple of years back of visiting President Bush in the White House and seeing the bust of Churchill on display in the Oval Office. When Barack Obama moved in, he ordered Churchill’s bust be removed and returned to the British. Its present whereabouts are unclear. But, given what Sir Winston had to say about Islam in his book on the Sudanese campaign, the bust was almost certainly arrested at Heathrow and deported as a threat to public order.

Somewhere along the way a quintessentially British sense of self-deprecation curdled into a psychologically unhealthy self-loathing. A typical foot-of-the-page news item from The Daily Telegraph:

A leading college at Cambridge University has renamed its controversial colonial-themed Empire Ball after accusations that it was “distasteful.” The £136-a-head Emmanuel College ball was advertised as a celebration of “the Victorian commonwealth and all of its decadences.
Students were urged to “party like it’s 1899” and organisers promised a trip through the Indian Raj, Australia, the West Indies, and 19th century Hong Kong.

But anti-fascist groups said the theme was “distasteful and insensitive” because of the British Empire’s historical association with slavery, repression and exploitation.

The Empire Ball Committee, led by presidents Richard Hilton and Jenny Unwin, has announced the word “empire” will be removed from all promotional material.

The way things are going in Britain, it would make more sense to remove the word “balls.”

It’s interesting to learn that “anti-fascism” now means attacking the British Empire, which stood alone against fascism in that critical year between the fall of France and Germany’s invasion of Russia. And it’s even sadder to have to point out the most obvious fatuity in those “anti-fascist groups” litany of evil—“the British Empire’s association with slavery.” The British Empire’s principal association with slavery is that it abolished it. Before William Wilberforce, the British Parliament, and the brave men of the Royal Navy took up the issue, slavery was an institution regarded by all cultures around the planet as as permanent a feature of life as the earth and sky. Britain expunged it from most of the globe.

It is pathetic but unsurprising how ignorant all these brave “anti-fascists” are. But there is a lesson here not just for Britain but for the rest of us, too: When a society loses its memory, it descends inevitably into dementia. As I always try to tell my American neighbors, national decline is at least partly psychological—and therefore what matters is accepting the psychology of decline. Thus, Hayek’s greatest insight in The Road to Serfdom, which he wrote with an immigrant’s eye on the Britain of 1944:

There is one aspect of the change in moral values brought about by the advance of collectivism which at the present time provides special food for thought. It is that the virtues which are held less and less in esteem and which consequently become rarer are precisely those on which the British people justly prided themselves and in which they were generally agreed to excel.
The virtues possessed by Anglo-Saxons in a higher degree than most other people, excepting only a few of the smaller nations, like the Swiss and the Dutch, were independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one’s neighbor and tolerance of the different and queer, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.

Within little more than half a century, almost every item on the list had been abandoned, from “independence and self-reliance” (some 40 percent of Britons receive state handouts) to “a healthy suspicion of power and authority”—the reflex response now to almost any passing inconvenience is to demand the government “do something.” American exceptionalism would have to be awfully exceptional to suffer a similar expansion of government without a similar descent, in enough of the citizenry, into chronic dependency...."

I got the embed code at Breitbart. The caption underneath there drily reads: "President Obama is doing a great job of increasing America's stature and respect in the world."

You bet.


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Canada's National Post, Wednesday 19, 2011:

"... The Harper government sent a diplomatic note to Iran Wednesday, as Heritage Minister James Moore lashed out at Tehran for its part in a campaign that cancelled the screening of a movie critical of the Iranian regime at Library and Archives Canada.

On Wednesday morning, the Minister instructed Library and Archives Canada to show Iranium, a documentary critiquing Iran’s nuclear program, after it cowed to numerous threats of protest and an official request from the Iranian embassy in Canada to not present the film Tuesday night, as scheduled.

In its diplomatic note to Tehran, the government said Canada is a free country and that freedom of expression is a core value that won’t be compromised.

“This movie will be shown, the agreement will be kept and this movie Iranium will be shown at Library and Archives Canada. We will not be moving it to a different facility, we’re not bending to any pressure,” said Mr. Moore on the CBC’s Power and Politics.

“People need to be kept safe, but we don’t back down to people who try to censor people by threats of violence.”

Mr. Moore also called on Canadian authorities to investigate threats made against the Library. He said the potential need for an increased security presence “will be taken into account” when the screening is rescheduled in February.

In a statement to the media, the Library said it had no choice but to close the Wellington Street building around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“The decision to reschedule will allow [the Library] to take the necessary security measures for the upcoming viewing over the next few weeks,” the statement read.

Fred Litwin, president of the Free Thinking Film Society, said he was relieved to hear the Library will play host.

“Still, the bigger question to me is what really happened this week? What were those threats, what was said?”

The cancelling indeed prompted a sharp and bold rebuke from Canada's Heritage Minister, James Moore. Check out this video:

The reaction was swift and, actually, not entirely expected. From a country like Canada, where it was possible to stage high profile kangaroo trials against Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant - a dhimmi attitude would not have surprised me in the least. Perhaps Moore's reaction is one more indication that people have it had islamic blackmailing. From there to having it had with islam tout court is another matter, but one can always hope.

Be that as it may...

... how long is the West going to pander yet to Iran? For those who are short of memory, read this telling 2008 article by Debbie Schlussel. The hostagetaking in Tehran in 79, the Beirut embassy and Marine Barracks bombing in 83, the Buenos Aires bombings in 92 and on and on and on, over the truckloads of IED materials shipped into Iraq after 2003 to Afghanistan....

... it's always Iran, Iran, Iran.

In 1885, then Governor General of the Sudan Major General Charles Gordon Brown, died a hero's death defending Khartoum against the hordes of Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad. His body was decapitated and the head desecrated. Then, as now, the West was far too slow to realize the intrinsically evil character of an islamic uprising. Still, thirteen years later, at the Battle of Omdurman, the Mahdist Army was all but wiped out by a much smaller British force equipped with Maxim machineguns and artillery. After the battle, Kitchener ordered the remains of Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad (he had actually died but a few months after Gordon) exhumed, burned and its ashes dispersed. Yes, Kitchener knew how to deal with islamic terrorism.

Not so a good century later. 31 years after the beginning of Khomeiny's Revolution, and after countless often very blooded provocations, Iran continues to up the ante... to the point where they think they can dictate what can and cannot be shown to the Canadian public.

We need a new Kitchener. But where is he?


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Do not miss this extraordinary interview with Melanie Phillips on Israeli TV:

As I heard Mrs. Phillips elaborate so eloquently about the near total lack of an rightwing antiweight to the leftist media juggernaut that is European MSM, I was reminded of an article with a very similar message on the Brussels Journal, by a young Norwegian author, apparently a student no less (!). Come to think of it, the mere fact that I feel compelled to use an exclamation mark in connection with a person who's in his early twenties and who's rightwing, is telling. The author's name is Svein Sellanraa, and his short essay is titled Generation Y Radicals.

Here's an exerpt:

"... I have written before about the cultural hegemony the Left exercises in Norway, and about how it has turned universities and schools into indoctrination camps. The generation of Norwegians born in the late 1980s and early 1990s is the first to have lived its entire life in the shadow of this hegemony. Most every teacher, government official, journalist, celebrity, or family member they have encountered spouts the same leftist talking points; most everything they have read, watched, and listened to to has been carefully bowdlerized to make apparent the wickedness of Western culture, the division of history into oppressor and oppressed, and the goodness of egalitarianism. The members of Norway's Generation Y are not the first to embrace the views of the postmodern, politically correct Left – that dubious honor belongs to their parents and grandparents –, but they are the first to absorb it by osmosis. Given the state of Norwegian schools and culture, most of them have probably never even heard of Lukács, Adorno, or Marcuse. They are not only committed to the Cultural Marxist Weltanschauung, but unaware that there is any alternative to it. The upshot of this is that they are not usually bad or stupid people, just grievously misinformed. None of the anecdotes I give here are intended to mock or humiliate the people they depict, many of whom I consider friends. The fault lies not with them, but with the sociopathoid armchair Berias responsible for their indoctrination.

Norway's Gen-Y radicals are utopians. By this I do not mean that they want a perfect society. They are rarely utopians in that sense, just as they are never radicals in the sense of wanting to overthrow the existing order. Like most of the post-Marxist Left, they have abandoned the pipe-dreams of the first socialists; if they believe in the “end of history” at all, they think of it in terms of managerial welfare-state democracy, not a property-less Eden. No, they are utopians in the sense that they believe social problems to be the result of faulty institutions and social structures, and thus also solvable through the modification of those structures. For them, human society and human nature can and should be engineered. This strips the individual of moral responsibility, promotes a sterile, teleological view of society and an interventionist, utilitarian view of the state, and begets the opinions that hierarchy is always unfair and arbitrary, that crime is never the criminal's fault, and that every social institution hides a Darwinian struggle for “resources” between faceless, impersonal forces.

The radicals also have a hefty sense of entitlement. They do not request things -- they demand them. They are perpetually shocked, indignant, and concerned about something. Their shock, indignation, and concern is most frequently directed at Racism, Poverty (which they are demanding – demanding! – be Made History), War, and all the other Important Causes. These evils, they reckon, are best controlled by expanding the State, dismantling what remains of the European heritage, and empowering left-wing internationalist institutions like the EU and the UN. Like China's Maoists the Gen-Y radicals pursue a perpetual, institutionalized revolution in which all humanity is subsumed into isms, ologies, and bureaucratic duckspeak. Like Italian Fascists they are vitalists who value mass political action for its own sake. (I remember an acquaintance who in December 2009 considered going to Copenhagen and protesting the climate summit; she didn't make it clear why she thought the summit should be protested, and I don't think she quite knew -- the important thing was that going to marches and protests is the sort of thing socially conscious and morally upstanding people do.) And like the Brezhnev era's "conservatives in the Kremlin" they see themselves not as reconstructive radicals, but as defenders of an ongoing revolution..."

It is all true. The key to solving our predicament is re-conquering the narrative. Or, perhaps I should say simply "conquering". Was there ever a time truly rightist ideas were spread out and lauded unhindered throughout Europe? I don't think so.

I have to stop now, for lack of time. It's very late, and tomorrow, like on all other days, there's a tremendous amount of work to do. But I have to say one thing yet, and it is destined for the young readers out there. By young I mean, yes, 18 to 25 years old.

If you are in that age group, and words and meanings like individualism, pride in your country's past, duty, honor, christianity, family values, capitalism and free markets, the desire for knowledge, a strong defense, the will to contribute to society rather than claim entitlements from it... mean much more to you than the endlessly repeated mantras of the leftist church...

... then you should consider yourself part of an elite. Much will depend upon you. Don't get disheartened. Connect with likeminded people. They are out there, I'm sure of it.


Sunday, January 16, 2011