Saturday, February 19, 2011


Cream with White Room. 1968.

Easy Lover, by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey. 1984.



Thursday, February 17, 2011


Not much time. What follows are three works by an American painter I admire very much, John Singer Sargent. I say "American" painter, since to the best of my knowledge he had an American passport, being the son of an American couple, but I'm inclined to think he thought of himself more as a European. After the death of a sister born earlier, his mother was so distraught that she somehow convinced his father to give up his job as an eye surgeon at the famous Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, and adopt an almost nomadic lifestyle throughout Europe. It is there that John was born, in Florence in 1856, and it was also there that he died, in London in 1925. You should discover Sargent. He crafted around 900 oil paintings and some 2,000 watercolors - there's an ocean of beauty to be discovered there.

First Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. 1885.


Then The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882).


At some point, Sargent became very enamored with all things Spanish. This painting, the psychological aspects of which deserve closer scrutiny, owed much to a Velazquez painting - at least with regards to composition. The beautiful Japanese vases still exist and have even been donated by heirs of the Boit family to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. There they flank this painting, which in 1919 was donated to the museum by the four siblings depicted.

None of these girls would ever marry and they would live lonely lives, with only the two youngest ones, those in the foreground, keeping contact with each other. The two oldest would as adults suffer from debilitating mental illnesses. The names of the girls are Mary Louisa, Julia Overing, Jane Hubbard, and Florence.

It is... as if Sargent has painted here a foreshadowing of these lovely girls' fates. Notice how the older girls seem to be withdrawing already in darkness.

Sad. If it's any consolation for the girls' souls - Sargent has made them immortal.

I suppose this is my favourite. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw. Painted in 1892 and 1893.


Classy Lady. Somehow Sargent has captured here sensuality without the slightest hint of eroticism.

Enjoy, nite. Oh yeah...

... Dead White Male.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We don't let our light shine too often on Oz, but today I came across a marvellous Tim Blair observation in his Daily Telegraph blog:

The insane cost of green appeasement:

- Successive federal governments have spent more than $5.5 billion over the past decade on climate change programs that are delivering only small reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at unusually high costs for taxpayers and the economy.

It’s all been for exactly nothing. The precise cost of the 17 programs analysed is $5.62 billion, which equals the pre-tax average annual wages of nearly 90,000 Australians – every cent of it blown to hell.

• Greenoids and environmentalons who complain about public funding of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix should consider that, at just $50 million per year, the amount spent on green dreams would be enough to secure the event until 2123 – when, on current trends, the race will feature gravity-powered nerf karts.

• Australia’s great green waste is more than double the current insurance bill from the massive Queensland floods.

• It’s enough to pay Tim Flannery’s tax evangelism salary until he is more than 31,000 years old, by which time one or two of his predictions may have come true.

• Hand those billions over to Sydney city council and they’d be able to build 14,800 kilometres of cycle lanes for nobody to use.

• Speaking of wasted money, $5.62 billion would fund the entire ABC for nearly seven years. Or seven and a half years once Phillip Adams retires.

• With that kind of cash, the government could put boaties in hotels for 198 years.

Hilariously, green types are using universal past failures to justify the introduction of a carbon tax:

Andrew Macintosh, the associate director of the Australian National University’s centre for climate law and policy, said: ‘’Market-based measures like a carbon price will be far more effective than this sort of scatter-gun approach.’’

Then again, wouldn’t anything be more effective? So far we’re $5.62 billion for zero. Let’s try putting howler monkeys in an industrial centrifuge, or naming our children after shapes. Maybe interfaith staring contests will fix things. Hey, if you’re really crazy, we could always put a tax on fumes that plants eat.

UPDATE. Terry McCrann:

The “Julia” carbon tax will have to raise at least $10 billion a year and continually increasing. Every year. Forever.


Tim Flannery is the quintessential complete nutcase ecobozo, formerly a mammalogist and palaeontologist. He should have stuck with his kangaroo species and his fossil bones, alas, this would be May 68 fossil is now more interested in kangaroo courts.


In 2005, he warned against imminent extreme drought in Australia:

"Three major phenomena are depriving Australia of its rainfall..."

"The worst case scenario for Sydney is that the climate that's existed for the last seven years continues for another two years... In that case, Sydney will be facing extreme difficulties with water."

"Large cities are the most vulnerable of all structures to water deficit because you've got 4 million people who need water there just for everyday survival."

"If you think there's only a 10 per cent chance that this rainfall deficit's going to continue for another few years, you'd be pulling out all stops to preserve water. Because every litre you use now on your car, or your garden or whatever else, you might want to drink in a year's time."

Quick reality check. Sydney, Colo River, a good one month ago:

More ***EXTREME DRAUGHT*** in Australia:

Econutters. Just how long are we going to keep up with their nonsense?


Monday, February 14, 2011



Hey, any excuse to post a Gemma Atkinson pic is good.


Sunday, February 13, 2011


Between gnarling teeth and a lot of hissing the BBC published this update on the Swiss referendum held today, dealing with tighter gun control in the Alpine nation, population about 7.8 million, who together own between 2 and 3 million firearms kept freely at home. The fact that nobody knows just how many firearms there are at home is a clear indication of the very "liberal" view on keeping and owing guns. Swiss soldiers, upon leaving the army, are even allowed to keep their SG550 assault rifles!

We have already seen that the Swiss have both more backbone and more common sense than your average EU-citizens. In November 2009, a referendum brought up by the Swiss People's Party, despite its name rightwing, led to a ban on the construction of minarets. Today, Sunday 13 February 2011, the Swiss roundly rejected a bill that would have imposed severe restrictions on gun ownership:


"Swiss voters have rejected proposed tighter controls on gun ownership, final results show. Twenty of the 26 cantons and 56.3% of voters rejected the plan, meaning the current system allowing army-issue weapons to be kept at home will remain.

Supporters of the tighter curbs wanted to have weapons kept in armouries and were demanding stricter checks on gun owners. Opponents said the move would have undermined trust in the army.

For the proposal to succeed, it required the support of the majority of both citizens and cantons. Geneva and Basel both bucked the trend by approving it, according to the Swissinfo website. But German- and Italian-speaking cantons outvoted the plan's supporters in the French-speaking west.

'Growing awareness'

The result is a blow to gun-control groups in Switzerland, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva reports, but supporters of the initiative said they had at least started a debate.

"We achieved a great deal by launching the initiative... There is a growing awareness of the risks of firearms," leading women's organisation Alliance F said in a statement quoted by Swissinfo."

Belgium's "top" newspaper De Standaard wouldn't be the leftist rag that it is if, in the runup to the referendum, it wouldn't have forwarded completely ludicrous arguments as to exactly WHY the Swiss would be better off if they turned their weapons in:


The key sentence here is:

"In Zwitserland plegen jaarlijks zo'n 1.300 mensen zelfmoord; in een kwart van de gevallen wordt een vuurwapen gebruikt, dat is voor Europese begrippen erg veel."


"In Switzerland, some 1,300 people commit suicide yearly; in a quarter of the cases a firearm is used, a staggering figure for Europe".

Fucking BOGUS De Standaard. A quick reality check:

Switzerland has 7.8 million people. As we have seen every year there's 1,300 suicides.

Now for Belgium. Belgium has 10.8 million people. Belgium also has one of the severest gun control laws in the entire world. Citizens are basically absolutely powerless to stop criminals, and every once in a while, if a jeweller DOES shoot a perpetrator, it's the former who lands in prison. Well, the number of suicides in Belgium in 2009 was:


Only one EU country, Finland, does bet, erm, worse. Even if you adjust for the population disparity (7.8 million vs 10.8 million), Switzerland would have around 1,500 suicides compared to Belgium's 5,700 or...


Which is a thought exercise De Standaard won't bother to make, let alone suggest you do it. Instead it adds the completely superfluous "in a quarter of the cases, a firearm is used, a staggering figure for Europe".

Which proves absolutely NOTHING, except for the fact that in a country where so many firearms are at home, and some of those hapless souls who do decide to commit suicide - relatively speaking only 25% of those in the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics of Belgistan - simply grab for the most obvious and most easy way out of this life.

As if these people wouldn't commit suicide IF ONLY there were no firearms at home. The reality is that WERE IT SO, the person involved would simply jump off a bridge or in front of a train. But thinking that through must have required too much brainpower from De Standaard's editors.

Well, maybe they do possess the brainpower, and like always it's just that plain old leftist reflex again, Power not to the People, as they so often claim, but to their self-invented God, the State. Liberals and socialists alike, they don't like people who can think for themselves, can fend for themselves, and can DEFEND themselves.

I'd like to end with two memorable quotes. The first one is from Thomas Jefferson:

"An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject."

The second one is from Niccolo Machiavelli:

"The Swiss are the most free and the most armed people of Europe."

Damn right. Congratulations for the Swiss.

Or rather, for the true descendants of Wilhelm Tell.