Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.
E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)
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Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.
( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)
The Old Comrades:
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Sunday, August 13, 2006
Britblog roundup time. I particularly liked the post by Tim Newman of White Sun of the Desert in which he "rather takes apart a Russian pondering upon the reasons why democracy causes civil wars." The dismemberment is purely verbal and metaphorical, and that is the point.
I'm off to visit family for a week starting Monday. I may or may not get a chance to blog. Cheerio, all.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
"The Daily Telegraph seemed to imply," writes Inayat Bunglawala in the Times, "that there were Muslims out there who know of murderous acts being planned but who were for whatever motive — perhaps divided loyalties? — refusing to come forward."
In May a Reuters employee was suspended after sending a message from a made-up email address called "email@example.com" to LGF that certainly seemed to support murderous violence. ("I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut.") The message was sent from Mr Bungawala's workplace, the Reuters office in Docklands. The referring site was a reference to LGF in the comments to this Comment is Free article by, as it happens, Mr Bunglawala.
I am sure that if Mr Bunglawala has any suspicions as to who sent this threatening message he will not be slow to come forward.
You mean that was sex? The scoundrel said it was Pilates!
Tim Blair asks,
Let’s see how the “Pope was a Nazi!” crowd copes with this:Tim Blair links back to a previous post of his quoting the many expressions of outrage at the elevation to the papacy of a man who was drafted into the Hitler Youth at the age of 14. Something I never understood about that reaction was that all the same people fall over themselves in their anxiousness not to "stigmatize" 14 year-old "troubled youths" of our own day who are "forced into" to a life of crime. The youths, of course, are forced into crime by truly irresistible forces like inequality and racism rather than anything so feeble as the Nazi State.
Liberal blogger Majikthise, linked to by Tim Blair, asks how this was kept under wraps for so long. Compare it to the way that T.S. Eliot's flirtation with fascism or Ezra Pound's actual fascism have been discussed for decades. I'm afraid that the answer to this is probably that Grass is left-wing, not right. He's in the same Famous Writers Speak Out bracket as Pinter or Chomsky. (This article name-drops nearly every name in the category, although it spoils the effect by dropping Nadine Gordimer's name wrong.) Günter Grass flays Bush. He is "a living legend. When this Nobel laureate speaks, people listen." Can't have living legends showing up in those sinister, disturbingly well-cut black uniforms. I reckon it's been discovered several times and hastily undiscovered an equal number of times.
But to be fair to the old Bush-flayer, he was only 17, and it was Nazi Germany. As the Telegraph article Tim links to points out,
Its members initially volunteered, but after 1944, as Germany's military strength was weakening, members were drafted at random from the male population. Grass, who had volunteered for the submarine forces at the age of 15 to "get away from the family" but had been rejected, was recruited into the SS in the winter of 1944-45.I've said, and meant, that we shouldn't be too harsh on Grass for doing no better than millions of other propaganda-sodden German youths, and a great deal less badly than some. However I do think that someone so disenamoured of his family that joining Hitler's navy seemed preferable to their continued proximity ought to show a little more humility when diagnosing others as having "hereditary compulsions".
The next paragraph is unintentionally funny. One of God's own innocents, our Günter:
Asked when he had first realised that he was in the SS, Grass replied: "I'm not sure how it was. Did the draft order give it away, or on the letterhead? The rank of the signatory? Or did I first notice it when I arrived in Dresden?"
Measures to take until the regime change comes. This is three years old, but still glorious. Found via an idiosyncratic but sadly now-defunct blog called Not Again Please, I present "Understanding the U.S. War State", by John McMurtry PhD, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Guelph and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
"Outgrowing the ruling group-mind to which we have become enslaved begins with refusing to expose oneself any further to its conditioning. No more American television or media except to expose their lies. No more American junk food or drink inside any free home, and no more fast fat- food and beverages outside it. No more American autos. No more American appliances. No more American or vassal-British gas. No more violence entertainment, and no more American drugs. No American financial services or stocks at any level. No more U.S. dollars or travel until the regime change comes."Until that happy day comes, we must stay clean.
The strike starts with U.S. oil and gas products across the world. Every ExxonMobil, Texaco Chevron, and BPAmoco brand pump is boycotted as the war state's prime sponsors. Every American media and its Canadian imitators are switched out of. Every fat-and-cancer food and drugged beverage is refused. This structure of choice does not just stop the fuel of the war machine and its conditions. It releases the lives of all those who choose it and their communities into new life and well-being.Switch out of their every media! Drink not out of their drugged beverages! Purity of essence, that's what we need.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Remember the Religious Hatred Bill? Fortunately the government failed by one vote to overturn Lords amendments that somewhat neutered its restrictions on free speech.
Arguing for the Bill in Parliament, Home Office minister Paul Goggins gave as an example of a statement that would be caught by the Bill a poster asking what Burqa-wearing women were hiding under their clothes.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
If this goes on I shall be quite put off air travel. It's not the fear. I have a near religious faith in statistics. It's not the hassle, or the inconvenience. I understand the need. It's the boredom. First they said I couldn't sew, now they say I can't read a book. The prospect of having to watch the in-flight movies does not please and that of having to talk to the person next to me terrifies.
(And the last time you got on a plane was how many years ago, Natalie?)
That old trouper, Green Helmet. A post for Samizdata.
As for modern Scottish doctors - five quarters of them are dessicated corpses only maintained in a semblance of life by bathing in the blood of Socialist MSPs.
A Scotsman of the living one-quarter speaks.
Carbon dating reveals that these two emails (both referring to this post) date from what we bloggers call the Plasticine Era. Scientists think they may be as much as a week old.
Squander Two writes:
I hope you're enjoying your sewing.Yes! I am going to right an honest to goodness sewing post Real Soon Sometime - NS
And JEM writes:
Ae you serious about the Poor Man's Turing Test for Souls? Any computer, or even an iPod or mobile phone say, could be programmedI took it as axiomatic (translation, I assumed without saying) that by "ask" I meant really ask, ask oneself, ask with a sincere desire to know. Perhaps I should have said "worry." - NS
(You may say the iPod can ask, but cannot hear the answer. True, but that was a qualification you did not make. But with that qualification added... well.. as Francis Bacon wrote in his essay On Truth, "'What is truth?' said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer." So would Pilate have had a soul if he had asked the 'soul' question instead on this occasion?)Incidentally, this book (I had better say that I know the author) on the history of chloroform argues that the extent to which Christian thinking on pain was thrown into confusion by the discovery of anasthetics has often been exaggerated, partly the result of the "get your retaliation in first" pamphlet arguing against any and all possible religious objections written by the irrepressible pioneer of chloroform, Sir James Young Simpson.* I said more in this old Samizdata comment.
*Incidentally to my incidentally, I have only with difficulty stopped myself from digressing even further on the character of this bombastic, quarrelsome and really rather wonderful man. At the
Saw a plane leaving Stansted not long ago. And that completes my on-the-spot reportage of today's events.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Endangered birds nesting round here? Fetch me a chainsaw! - a post for Samizdata.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Yes, I did go all the way. Missing you already! (Via Tall Minor. Beat the lad soundly, Laban, it will do him good in the end.)
To those who reproach me for finding time for such foolishness while not finding time to give you my thoughts on the World Situation, I can only offer my regrets that I cannot
...post o'er land and ocean without rest;
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Britblog roundup is particularly splendiferous today. But if you're here, maybe you already knew that.
More Reuters picture oddities. Drinking from Home posts two Reuters pictures (CORRECTION: one Reuters picture and one AP) of a woman lamenting the destruction of her home by the Israelis. Different dates, different homes, same woman.
(Cross-posted on Samizdata, and the "more" in my title is a reference to the previous posts which in turn refer to LGF's exposure - if you'll forgive the pun - of a fraudulent Reuters photo.)
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Qana - the Director's Cut. The most recent of a now rather famous series of posts by Richard North at EU Referendum. Shane Richmond at the Telegraph blog knocks down one of North's constentions but the others still stand, and Richmond does his own reputation no favours by calling it all a "conspiracy theory." North has made no claim that Qana did not happen, or that the corpses of children shown are not real, or anything like that. What he has claimed - and to my mind demonstrated - is that Hezbollah are moving corpses around to get the best images and that the press are going along with it in exchange for access.
Tommy Sheridan sex libel shocker! As he says, what a turnaround. It all sounds like something by Jeffrey Archer. Things must have looked black for Mr Sheridan when twenty witnesses, spoke against him, eleven of them former colleagues from his own party, some of whom may now face perjury charges. The Times reports:
Perhaps the most decisive testimony of all was that of Mrs Sheridan, 42, a glamorous air hostess, who said that she would have murdered her husband had he cheated on her.What need of prostitutes has a man already captured by such a lovely lioness?
I am confident that a man of Mr Sheridan's amiable disposition would not wish those who perjured themselves to be pursued too officiously.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Communism is dead! I knew I'd find some good news if I looked hard enough. There had been a few indications before now that communism might be dead, but now I know for sure. It appears that Fidel Castro handed over Cuba to his brother while he had an op. Back when Communism was alive, they may have been gut-churningly evil mass-murdering scum, but they respected the forms. A society in which anyone could say, "Here y'are, bro, take the whole country" was exactly what they were there to extirpate.
The French Revolution finally died when Napoleon took to handing out the crowns of Europe to his relatives.
I've just come back from Belgium. Beer still nice, Belgium still Belgish, gun laws a little less liberal than they were.
I am now afflicted, if that is the word, by the least favourable conditions for blogging: (1) world going to hell in a handbasket, (2) my life going just dandy.