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RIP – Peaches Geldof (13 March 1989 – 7 April 2014)

While I always regret the death of some mothers daughter, and some child’s mother, I am at a loss to understand why the Australian ABC radio news is headlining the demise of some obscure British media personality.

Yale Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

This is outrageous — the Yale Administration’s Mommy-Knows-Best attitude, if that’s what it is…but no, I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s the “You’ll do what I say, OR ELSE, young lady!” attitude. In loco parentis* on steroids! I have to cheer this woman for writing this up, even if she did see fit to post it on HuffPo.

Coming on the heels of Prof. Rubenfeld, he of the Yale Law School, and in light of Yale’s reputation for having an unfortunately highly Progressivist weltanschaaung, I find myself disgusted with Yale altogether. When Lucy grows up I’m sending her to Oxbridge.

Herewith, the whole thing. I just don’t see how to break it up without ruining the flow.

–J.

Yale University Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

“I don’t know if my body is even capable of gaining three more pounds.”

The nurse looked at me apprehensively. “It’s easy to gain a couple pounds. What I’m afraid will happen is that you’ll lose it again and you’ll just be cheating yourself.”

I couldn’t keep the impatience out of my tone. “So you’re just going to keep checking on me until I graduate?”

“If we don’t tackle your low weight now, it will kill you.”

***

In the past three weeks alone, I have spent ten hours at Yale Health, our student health center. Since December, I have had weekly weigh-ins and urine tests, three blood tests, appointments with a mental health counselor and a nutritionist, and even an EKG done to test my heart. My heart was fine — as it always has been — and so was the rest of my body. So what was the problem?

The medical professionals think I have an eating disorder — but they won’t look past the number on the scale, to see the person right in front in them.

I visited the cancer hospital on September 17, 2013, worrying about a lump in my breast. It turned out to be benign, but I received an email in November from the medical director about “a concern resulting from your recent visit.” My stomach lurched. Was the lump malignant after all?

I met with a clinician on December 4 and was told that the “concern” was my low weight and that I would meet with her for weekly weigh-ins. These appointments were not optional. The clinician threatened to put me on medical leave if I did not comply: “If it were up to the administration, school would already be out for you. I’m just trying to help.”

I’ve always been small. I’ve been 5’2” and 90 pounds since high school, but it has never led to any illnesses related to low weight or malnutrition. My mom was the same; my whole family is skinny. We all enjoy Mom’s fabulous cooking, which included Taiwanese beef noodle soup, tricolor pasta, strawberry cheesecake, and cream puffs, none of which make the Weight Watchers shortlist. I just don’t gain weight easily.

Yet the clinicians at Yale Health think there’s more to it. Every week, I try to convince my clinician that I am healthy but skinny. Over the past several months, however, I’ve realized the futility of arguing with her.

“You should try to gain at least two more pounds.” (What difference does two pounds make?)

“Come next week to take a blood test to check your electrolytes.” (No consideration that I had three exams that week.)

“I know you’ve said in the past that you don’t eat as much when you get stressed out.” (I’ve never said that.)

So instead of arguing, I decided that perhaps the more I complied, the sooner I could resume my normal life.

I was forced to see a mental health professional. She asked me all of the standard questions — how I felt about my body, how many calories I ate. I told her everyone’s body is beautiful, including mine. When I said I didn’t know how many calories, since I don’t care to count, she rephrased the question, as if that would help.

Next step was a nutritionist. The nurse passed a post-it note, saying “Here are two times for the nutritionist next Tuesday. Usually it takes three months to get into nutrition at all.” What a privilege! Now I get to feel guilty about using clinical resources in desperately short supply!

Finally, I decided to start a weight-gain diet. If I only had to gain two pounds, it was worth a shot to stop the trouble. I asked my health-conscious friends what they do to remain slim and did the exact opposite. In addition to loading up on carbs for each meal, I’ve eaten 3-4 scoops of ice cream twice a day with chocolate, cookies, or Cheetos at bedtime. I take elevators instead of stairs wherever possible.

Eventually, the scale said I was two pounds heavier. When I saw her last Friday, I felt my stomach tighten, my heart racing. Would I finally be granted parole?

“You’ve gained two pounds, but that still isn’t enough. Ideally, you should go up to 95 pounds.” I hung my head in disbelief. I’ve already shared with you the memorable exchange that followed.

She had finally cracked me. I was Sisyphus the Greek king, forever trapped trying uselessly to push a boulder up a hill. Being forced to meet a standard that I could never meet was stressful and made me resent meals. I broke down sobbing in my dean’s office, in my suitemate’s arms afterwards, and Saturday morning on the phone with my parents. At this rate, I was well on my way to developing an eating disorder before anyone could diagnose the currently nonexistent one.

It seems Yale has a history of forcing its students through this process. A Yale Herald piece from 2010 told the story of students in similar situations. It’s disturbing how little things have changed. “Stacy” was “informed that if she kept failing to reach [Yale Health]‘s goals for her, she would be withdrawn for the following semester.” Unfortunately, “the more she stressed out about gaining weight, the more she lost her appetite.”

Furthermore, a recent graduate messaged me saying that her cholesterol had actually gone up due to the intensive weight-gain diet she used to release herself from weekly weigh-ins.

It is clear that the University does care about students suspected of struggling with eating disorders. And it should. Eating disorders are particularly prevalent on college campuses and Yale is no exception. However, because the University blindly uses BMI as the primary means of diagnosis, it remains oblivious to students who truly need help but do not have low enough BMIs. Instead, it subjects students who have a personal and family history of low weight to treatment that harms our mental health. By forcing standards upon us that we cannot meet, the University plays the same role as fashion magazines and swimsuit calendars that teach us about the “correct shape” of the human body.

I was scheduled to have a mental health appointment at 9:00 a.m. and a weigh-in at 10:30 a.m. this past Friday. But I’m done. No more weigh-ins, no more blood draws. I don’t have an eating disorder, and I will not let Yale Health cause me to develop one. If Yale wants to kick me out, let them try — in the meantime, I’ll be studying for midterms, doing my best to make up for lost time.

. . .
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

Prof. David Bernstein discusses the 1905 Supreme Court case “Lochner vs. New York”

Prof. David Bernstein of George Mason Univ. published in 2011 his book Rehabilitating Lochner. So vass ist ziss case Lochner, anyvay?

The Foot of All Knowledge explains:

Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that held that “liberty of contract” was implicit in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case involved a New York law that limited the number of hours that a baker could work each day to ten, and limited the number of hours that a baker could work each week to 60. By a 5–4 vote, the Supreme Court rejected the argument that the law was necessary to protect the health of bakers, deciding it was a labor law attempting to regulate the terms of employment, and calling it an “unreasonable, unnecessary and arbitrary interference with the right and liberty of the individual to contract.”

Lochner is one of the most controversial decisions in the Supreme Court’s history….[SNIP]

…and has until recently enjoyed a lousy reputation among the right-thinking (that is, the librul-Progressive, which is to say, not at all right-thinking) legal professoriate.

Professor Bernstein, along with Profs. Randy Barnett and Richard Epstein (as we inferred from his remarks in his last appearance on CCiZ) disagree on that, stout fellows that they are. They talk about legal esoterica such as Freedom of Contract and other stuff that is not for the tender and innocent ears of the Elite (or of various Union leaders or members and their legbreakers and enforcers).

David Bernstein is one of the contributors to Prof. Eugene Volokh’s law weblog The Volokh Conspiracy. (The Volokh Archives going back to 2002 are now found here.) Interviewer Josh Blackman is also an attorney and an Assistant Law Professor at the U. of South Texas. You can read his short summary of the interview at his website. You can also download the interview as a podcast there, watch the video there, click on over to Vimeo and watch it or download it as an mp4 there, or stay here and listen to the audio.

Epstein Thrashes Rubenfeld on Natural Law; Panel on Redistribution of Wealth

I would swear that I saw, for the first time ever, outright anger in Prof. Epstein’s face the first time I watched this clip. Never mind, you can hear it in his voice as he gives Yale Law School’s Prof. Jed Rubenfeld a concise and pithy jolly what-for for a**-hattery.

This is the final 5:48 of a panel discussion described as below. The whole thing is quite interesting. Steve Forbes also seems to have some understanding of what’s what. Andy Stern of the infamous SEIU brings along his flag and his violin. And the odious Prof Rubenfeld is…well, odious. Although his question in Part 11 is one we all get asked a lot, and I’m glad to have Prof. E.’s response.

Best part first. The series begins with Part 1, below Part 11 here. I think you can just click through the segments from there.

–J.

Uploaded on Nov 17, 2009

The Federalist Society presented this panel discussion on Redistribution of Wealth at the 2009 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2009. Panelists included Prof. Richard A. Epstein of New York University Law School; Mr. Steve Forbes, Chairman and CEO of Forbes Inc. and Editor of Forbes Magazine; Prof. Jed Rubenfeld of Yale Law School; Mr. Andrew L. Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union; and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit as the moderator. Part 11 of 11

The whole thing is very much worth seeing, highly recommended, and be sure you have your kidney basin at the ready for Prof. Rubenfeld’s first appearance:

What is in a name?

They can be millstones. I have heard of an Arthur “Art” Kraft and an Ophelia Tushmann. They were first gen Americans so they probs hadn’t got the hang but arguably the must risible was a Fanny Doktor. Of course I was to have a kid I’d give them a serviceable name though I’m not up on the idea of shortened forms as official names. I am officially a Nicholas but everyone calls me Nick. So this crop of Charlies and Archies (the later mainly to be found in a buggy the size of a Challenger 2 tank going round Waitrose (possibly with iDave at the helm)). Nah! Give ‘em the long forms but use the short unless they have been very naughty and then they’ll know they are in for it!

I recently saw a plant in Amsterdam that is virtually extinct. It was quite sad. It is the only one left and it is from an old species that comes in male and female forms rather than being male and female as most plants are. They can take cuttings mind so it ain’t exactly over. He’s a boy and he’ll never meet a girl. Well, maybe those genetics wizards will figure something out. I saw as much as I could stand of “Sharktopus” on the telly. That was bloody dreadful. So God alone knows. Let’s call him Bob.

Anyhoo, ancestry.com has compiled a list of similarly dying names in much the same way botanists classify endangered species though frankly I’m not sure a name dying is quite the same as a species kicking the bucket eternal. You wanna hear them? (these are UK).

‘Extinct’ – (None recorded in latest birth records):
Male – Cecil, Rowland & Willie
Female – Bertha, Blodwen, Fanny, Gertrude, Gladys, Margery, Marjorie & Muriel

Cecil, Rowland & Willie – Sounds like a Dickensian law firm.

‘Endangered’ – (Have fallen in prevalence by 99 per cent since 1905):
Male – Clifford, Horace, Harold, Leslie & Norman
Female – Doris, Edna, Ethel, Hilda, Marion & Phyllis

And it goes on… My personal feeling is most of the names to have fallen into disuse deserve their fate. The only Horace I ever met was hungry (or skiing or fighting spiders).

So it just goes to show… something. Some modern names are curses too but so are some of the oldies. But oddly enough some names never seem to go in or out of fashion. Rachel or Thomas spring to mind as hardy perennials. There are loads more of course. And of course there are names which have nothing wrong in themselves taken individually but the first/surname mix makes it risible. Austin Healey and Minnie Driver spring to mind. But it goes way back

What is in a name? A lot. It defines you in various ways and it kinda sticks. And I think it is a responsibility for parents to select something wearable. In many ways it is the first and most important decision they have to make.

This has to be a Darwin…

From the NST we have this wondrous story…

LUSAKA: A Malawian man has been left without a penis and is missing three toes after they were eaten by a hyena in a Zambian border town, a local hospital said Wednesday.
Chamangeni Zulu, in his early twenties, was discharged from the Chipata General Hospital this week, a senior nurse told AFP.

“He was discharged on Monday after the relatives requested that he should be transferred to Muchinji in Malawi,” said Sister Precious Matongo, referring to a town just across the border.

“They should be constantly cleaning the wounds but he is stable,” she added.

Local media reported that Zulu sacrificed his body parts after being told by a traditional healer that it would help him become rich.

“I went to a bush where I was instructed to be naked and a hyena came to me and started eating my toes and eventually my manhood was eaten,” he is quoted as saying by the Times of Zambia.

Many Malawians cross the border between the two southern African countries to work on Zambia’s commercial tobacco farms. — AFP

Apparently he stood bollock naked in the Zambian bush at 4am due to the prognostications of a witch doctor until a Hyena ate his penis. All across the world there is a dimwit born every minute. Fortunately (as in this case) his line is ended.

My parents worked in Zambia and going out in the sticks at the dead of night was a very stupid thing. I mean our largest and meanest natural predator is the badger. In Africa they have critters the likes of which…

Anyway, this daft sod won’t be paddling in the gene pool.

This grave tale of grimnacious stupity has a kerching with me dear reader because I was conceived in Zambia.

Daniel Hannan on that “far right” surge in France

At the Telegraph:

It is important to understand that Marine Le Pen positioned herself to the Left of the UMP and, at least on economics, arguably to the Left of the Socialists. She railed against capitalism and globalisation, called for higher expenditure, and supported state-run energy, healthcare, education, transport and financial services. Where her father used to complain about welfare scroungers, she wants a more generous range of entitlements.

You don’t say.

Libertarianism and Conservativism – foes or friends?

F.A. Hayek at the end of his “Constitution of Liberty” (1960) wrote “Why I am not a Conservative” – which is odd as Hayek had (perhaps without knowing it) a good grasp of what actually is a positive conception of conservatism, and a poor grasp of libertarianism.

Hayek rejected the word “libertarian” as “artificial” which is just as well as he was not a libertarian – philosophically or politically.

Philosophically Hayek was a determinist (like so many 19th century and early 20th century thinkers, he assumed that “science” mandated determinism). Hayek took David Hume literally (whether Hume should really be taken literally is a hotly contested issue), the “I” (the human person) is an illusion, as is human choice – a thought does NOT mean a thinker (a reasoning “I”) and as there is no agent (no human being – no reasoning “I”) there is no agency (no free will), actions are predetermined by a series of causes and effects that go back to the start of the universe – and humans (who are not beings) can do no other than we do (we could not have done otherwise – as choice is an illusion).

Politically Hayek claimed to an “Old Whig”, but is hard to see how his philosophical views are compatible with the Whig point of view – which was based on the MORAL value of human free will (it is not an accident that David Hume was not a Whig) . The determinist (such as the Thomas Hobbes) holds that “freedom” is just an absence of external restraint – for example when a dam fails the water is “free” to rush out and destroy towns and so on. “Freedom” (in the determinist view) is not a matter of moral choice (remember choice is an “illusion”) so “freedom” is like taking one’s hand off a clockwork mouse and letting this clockwork mouse go around on the floor. It is hard to see how this “freedom” can be of any moral importance at all – if any view of politics can be based upon it would be a politics of tyranny (exactly the politics that Hobbes did base upon it), after all walls of water from broken dams (and so on) does not sound very nice.

Still does Hayek say anything else about his politics? Yes he does – again in the “Constitution of Liberty” we are told that he supports the “limited state” not the “minimal state”, because (according to Hayek) the minimal state can not be defined and the limited state can be defined.

Hayek is just wrong – the minimal state is easy to define (although very hard to achieve or maintain – an anarchist would argue impossible to maintain or achieve). The definition of a minimal state is one that just uses force only against the violation of the non aggression principle (attacks on the bodies or goods of people or groups of people). It is actually the “limited state” that is hard to define. Limited to what?

Hayek does make some vague efforts to define the “limited state” – for example he says that such a state applies “general rules” that apply to everyone.

O.K. then – everyone is to have their head cut off. Is that a good example of a “limited state”?

Hayek also says that a limited state does not seek to have a monopoly of any service.

O.K. then – everyone but the children of Mr Smith of 25 Silver Street to go to a state school?

Unfair example? O.K. – how about the state hands education and healthcare “free” (at the expense of the taxpayers), but you are free to pay twice (i.e. pay again on top of taxation) to go private? Is this the limited state?

How about you can go to any doctor you like and send your children to any school you like, but the state pays the bill (no matter how big it is), is that the limited state?

Such a state (one that seeks to provide or pay for education, healthcare, old age provision and on and on) will end up spending half the entire economy (and still fail). That does not sound very limited or sustainable – and Hayek (in his attack on the Welfare State) shows he understands this. However, his “limited state” is not defined in a way that prevents it.

Oh dear this post seems to have turned into “why Hayek is crap” which is unfair as anyone (even the best of us) looks terrible if one just concentrates on errors and weaknesses. I will leave the above out if I ever give a talk on this subject (because it sounds terribly negative) – but it needed to be put on record.

So why is Hayek (perhaps without knowing it) insightful about Conservatism?

Hayek’s own definition of Conservatism (given in “Why I am Not a Conservative”) is not good. He just defines it as being opposed to change – so (for example) a North Korean conservative now would be a socialist (or that is the system they have) and a British conservative I (say) 1870 would be a free market person – as this was the system of the time.

Whatever Hayek may have believed that is not a serious definition of Conservatism. But Hayek (again perhaps without knowing it) does give a description of Conservatism – in “Constitution of Liberty”, “Law. Legislation and Liberty” (and other works).

Cosmos not Taxis – spontaneous order (evolved over time) not top down planning. What Hayek called the results of “human action not human design” (it would be have been better to say the results of voluntary action not forced action – but Hayek had philosophical problems with even voluntary design).

Or (in the language of the conservative writer M.J. Oakeshott) a Civil Association not Enterprise Association, a Societas not a Universitas.

Institutions and customs that evolve over time often without people knowing the reasons they are useful – till they are broken.

As Tolkien’s (Tolkien being a Catholic Conservative) character “Gandalf” puts it in the “Lord of the Rings” – “he who breaks a thing to find out what it is, has left the path of wisdom”.

This is what Conservatism is about – a preference for evolved custom and ways of doing things (ways of living) over imposed “rational” planning by the state.

The state (in the Conservative view) is like the Thrain of the Shire (Tolkien’s) and the Mayor.

The Thrain does nothing in peacetime (in war it is different) – he just farms his estate. And the Mayor is the leading figure at formal dinners (like those of the old Closed Corporations that were the only “urban local government” before the Act of 1835 in England and Wales), he does not order folk about. Families govern their own affairs and do not attack each other (police forces were not compulsory on the counties of England and Wales till 1856). There is plenty of (moral – traditional) authority, but little naked “power”.

I think it is obvious show this view of Conservatism is close to libertarianism (hence “Tory Anarchist”) – a friend not a foe. But is it tied to Hayek and his philosophical opinions?

No it is not – which is why I mentioned Oakeshott and Tolkien (two Conservatives with very different philosophical opinions to Hayek). Both Oakeshott and Tolkien believed in free will (agency – moral responsibility, the ability to choose to do otherwise).

Even in the 18th century Conservatives did not follow the philosophical opinions of David Hume (again IF they were his opinions – I repeat this is hotly contested). Neither the Tory Conservative Dr Johnson or the Old Whig Conservative Edmund Burke (a real Old Whig – unlike Hayek) accepted determinism and the denial of human personhood (moral choice – the ability to choose to do otherwise). Edmund Burke and Dr Johnson (the Whig and the Tory) both believed in free will (agency – moral responsibility, the ability to choose to do otherwise) and were moral universalists (not just Dr Johnson – but Edmund Burke also, for the T. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson view of his is totally wrong, to Burke it did not matter if something happened in the Middle Ages or right now, in India or America – right was right and wrong was wrong).

Is this the only view of Conservatism?

Of course not – there are other views of Conservatism. For example the statism of Disraeli (with his life long commitment to “social reform” – yuk).

However, that is hardly “doing nothing” (against those who do not themselves aggress against others). The Tauist Old King Log sitting in the shade – rather than Young King Stork “helping” his subjects by eating them.

MAC on the Cinderella Law

Mac on the Cinderella Law

Recipe for Spoiled Brat Nation

Rachel Canning

Changes to the child neglect laws will make “emotional cruelty” a crime for the first time, alongside physical or sexual abuse. The Government will introduce the change in the Queen’s Speech in early June to enforce the protection of children’s emotional, social and behavioural well-being. Parents who deliberately starve children of love face jail under new Cinderella Law

The biblical proverb (Proverbs 13:24) from which we get the more punchy aphorism “spare the rod and spoil the child” may be a bit dated in an era where all but the mildest of parental chastisement is potentially subject to intervention by agents of the state and the criminal sanctions for being found guilty, not only the incarceration of the parent concerned, but the force seizure and adoption of the children of such a parent.

Such laws are brought about due to a handful of cases each year, usually where children have died due to parental abuse (quite often the boyfriend of the mother rather than an actual parent) and often exacerbated by woefully inadequate child / social services.

So to make matters worse, the UK now intends to expand the boundaries of the state to allow child / social services to intervene and prosecute “mental cruelty”.

So what is “mental cruelty”?

Certainly water boarding little Esme seems to be covered by existing laws, so it’s obviously not that.

Sending her up to bed without any pudding because she was cruel to young Tarquin? possibly.

Telling Tarquin he should play with his toy cars rather than dressing up Esme’s Bratz dolls and having an impromptu tea-party? Absolutely! - Gender stereotyping, lock ‘em up, throw away the key and snatch the kids into the state sanctioned redistribution programme, known as adoption.

Expect the legislation to be so broadly and nebulously written that it can be interpreted as meaning whatever the hell the agents of child / social services want it to mean.

So next time little Esme asks for that pony, you’d better start thinking about stables and hay suppliers rather than committing an act of mental cruelty on her by saying “No” you CHILD ABUSER!

What do you mean you can’t afford it? You need to be asking yourself a different question – “Can you afford the financial, legal and emotional costs of NOT buying her a pony?”

Obama and Putin: Playing the Same Game

The War of the Community Organizers. Mr. Greenfield explains that both of them need their enemies, in order to ensure their power.

Obama and Putin: Two Totalitarians, One Game
March 27, 2014 by Daniel Greenfield
86 Comments

[ ... ]

Every time a battle is won and an election ends, a new source of social conflict is dug up and deployed for war.

As a domestic radical, divisiveness is his natural weapon. Obama plays on fragmented identities, assembling coalitions to wage war against some phantom white heteronormative patriarchy consisting of a middle class barely able to pay its bills.

[ ... ]

[Obama's coalition] needs an enemy to give it meaning. Without a common enemy it will tear itself apart and die.

The same is true of the anti-American coalition that Putin has cobbled together out of Marxist dictators in Latin America, Shiite fanatics in Iran, a North Korean prep school grad who starves his people to build nukes and radical American leftists convinced that every war is a CIA conspiracy. Like allying the NAACP, AFL-CIO and GLAAD; it’s an odd conclave, but as long as everyone focuses on a common foe, they can all be herded in the right direction.

Obama is an adequate national community organizer, but Putin is a global community organizer.

It’s not just that Obama is weak and inept, but he’s using a rulebook that Moscow is entirely familiar with because its men helped write it. The KGB vets running the show understand Obama intimately because they understood his mentors. The tactics that Obama and his people imagine are clever and innovative are minor examples of the tactics that the USSR was using abroad before he was even born.

Obama isn’t isolating Putin. Putin is isolating Obama. He’s doing it in the same way that Obama did it to Republicans.

Anti-Americanism has nothing to with America. Anti-Americanism creates a phantom enemy.

[ ... ]

Obama needs a Republican enemy to keep his people in line. Putin needs an American enemy to keep his people in line. If Obama understood this, he would also understand that Putin is as likely to work with him to defuse the conflict, as Obama would with John Boehner.

Putin and Obama are both deeply corrupt men whose former popularity has waned and are badly in need of distractions.

[ ... ]

Obama thinks globally and acts locally. Putin thinks locally and acts globally.

Putin is determined to score points from the post-American transition. Reducing American power and influence worldwide was a move that the foreign policy left believed would defuse tensions. Instead it has turned into a gold rush for every petty tyrant and terrorist eager to count coup by humiliating the United States.

Obama wanted a peaceful post-American transition. Instead he’s getting worldwide chaos and war.

Putin seeks out a conflict with the United States for the same reason that Obama seeks one out with Republicans….

[...SNIP...]

On This Day – 28 March 1854

Charge of the Light Brigade

Thought I’d kick off a new historical section for CCiZ given the circumstances.

On this day 160 years ago, Britain and France formally declared war on Russia after Russia ignored an Anglo-French ultimatum to withdraw from the Danubian Principalities, a conflict most commonly referred to as the Crimean War.

The Economist explains “What the original Crimean war was all about”

What with the War in Afghanistan and now tensions in the Crimea, I’ve come to the conclusion that the universe is having a joke on us and we’re actually replaying the 19th century all over again.

History may not repeat itself, but it certainly carries a tune.

Laugh of the Day.

On the day that Antony Wedgewood-Benn was buried… So long Tone, let’s hope we don’t see your like again soon…

I was watching the Chase (a half way decent UK quiz show). This question was asked…

 

What did Tony Benn want removed from British Postage Stamps in the 60’s?

The contestant answered …

The Glue?

Ah from the mouths of clueless quizzers eh? the wrong answer of course but so very very right about Tony Benn. He really was that barmy.

Off to Dorset for a week.

Billary 2016 – The World’s worst kept secret

Billary 2016

Another day, another press conference, another “hint” about the worlds worst kept secret. Will she or won’t she?

Hillary Clinton again hinted that she may run for president in 2016 on Saturday night, telling an audience in Arizona she was “very much concerned” about the direction of the country and was considering “all kinds of decisions” about her future.

Hillary Clinton hints at second presidential run in 2016

The suspense is killing me. NOT. If Hillary seriously thinks that she can just brush all of the dirt she has done over the years under the carpet, especially the truth about Benghazi then she is as delusional as Ted Kennedy was over Chappaquiddick.

Shit sticks and the intervening years don’t make it glitter.

I sincerely hope that Billary does go for the presidency in 2016 and that her opponents, both Republican and Democrat alike rub her nose in all the shit she has done and the lies she has told over the years, from Little Rock to the White House to the State Department and back.

I will enjoy seeing the truth about this misandrous harpy writ large, especially how her incompetence in previous high office left blood on her hands. I want to see her weeping in a corner when she receives the bill for her arrogance, hubris and pride, either during the nomination proceedings or the election itself.

I will certainly be keeping a copy of the speech announcing her withdrawal / defeat as a treasured memory – to watch for the lulz in years to come, not because of hatred, but rather as a reminder of karma. To paraphrase the bible, she has sown the wind, and now she shall reap the whirlwind.

Even if by some miracle, or more likely the weakness / incompetence of her opponents she does become POTUS in 2016, she will only accelerate the decline. The Marxist quisling currently in office has already commenced or completed most of the main items on the collectivist playlist, Billary would just carry them forward with her usual vicious feminist twist that has become her trademark, along with a dash of venality and incompetence for flavour.

The petrels of Muscovy are alive and well and finding the climate bracing. I certainly wouldn’t want to be male there during or after a Billary presidency. I suspect it would make the height of Mccarthyism seem like a walk in the park.

 Alternately, I can just sit back and enjoy the decline, because as a non-US citizen, I am not a part of that demos*, for which I am eternally grateful. Unlike the 314 million Americans who are on the Road to Hell, I am only watching.

“Sancerre anyone?”

* Actually it was a bloody close run thing as I lived in the US on an L1 Visa during 1994 through 1996 and would have foolishly accepted “the worlds most expensive passport” at that time if it had been offered.

Fortunately my stay there disabused me of my old-world delusions of “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.

Americans in general are decent, genuine and nice people especially in the mid-West, but their government bureaucracy bleeds them dry; their interstate banking is a 1950′s style joke and their law enforcement agents are thugs, especially the TSA.

Was it worth it?

We go to war for reasons. For resources, for land, for the hell of it. Sometimes for the very survival of civilization.

The last is the only one I fully back. Now Saddam was vile bastard beyond all possible redemption. Am I sad that he isn’t walking this goodly Earth? No. But…

Iraq (twinned with Iran and Irate) is planning to allow 8 year old girls to get married and also to abolish marital rape.

Nigh on 5000 US personnel have died* for the great task of enabling the freedom of preverts in Iraq to shag girls who haven’t had their first menstrual period. Eight year old girls want to play with dollies** and Lego and stuff. In my country (and the US and all the others) if you have sex with an eight year old girl you go to jail. You get put in the Sir Jimmy Saville Memorial Wing for a very long time. Rightly so.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a pacifist. If my land was under threat you’d have to drag me kicking and screaming from the seat of a Typhoon fighter. And, well everywhere I go I visit war memorials. I know my family members have killed and died so basically I can mooch around Europe without a rifle and bayonet. Now that was an appalling cost but it achieved something worthwhile. The legalisation of rape and kiddie-fiddling is not such a cause. It is not one for me or any right thinking person to get their boots on for.

And what right-minded person wants to have sex with a girl that age anyway? Utter sick bastards. They require treatment. I prescribe two spoons and a rusty farming implement. I mean if you don’t and can’t regard the man or woman you have sex with as an equal with absolute agency then what is the point?

We have enabled utter barbarism at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives either wiped out or maimed.

Or to misquote from the end speech at the end of the movie “300″, “We haven’t – at enormous financial, material and human cost singularly failed to ‘rescue a World from mysticism and tyranny’”.

*And a load of Brits and others and God knows how many wounded. And I have recently been watching Prince Harry taking a team of wounded soldiers across the Antarctic. Good on the fella but the wounds are tragic. On folks so young. It is heartbreaking.

**There is a very specific reason I mention this. Aisha was 8 when married to the middle-aged Muhammed.

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