Sunday, June 29, 2014

Diary: June 24 to June 30, 2014

  • This week, Andis tries to name seven politicians that he admires.
  • Tony begins his summer vacation.
  • Andis takes the 617 bus to get to school.
  • Andis finishes reading a book about Chairman Deng.
  • Andis discovers a new use for an umbrella in China.
  • Andis notes a WWI anniversary.
  • Andis watches the movie Under the Skin.
  • A student tells Andis he hates the number 250.
  • Andis wonders when the Wuxi Subway will begin operation.
  • Andis goes to Wuxi Blue Marlin.
  • Andis stays up late to watch Holland—Mexico soccer game.

Tuesday [June 24]
[Home Laptop]
  • Tony has just two days more of school till his summer vacation starts. I look forward to not having, for the summer, to get up and take him to be picked up at 7:00 AM.
  • Mexico advances in the WC! Hurrah!
  • This week I will try to name seven politicians I admire.
  • It is easy to name the first politician I admire: Preston Manning.
  • For those rare readers of this blog who aren't from Canada, Preston Manning started a new party, the Reform Party, from scratch that became the official opposition in the federal parliament. The current Prime Minister of Canada was a member of that party.
  • You could say the Reform Party had parallels to the Tea Party movement in the USA though it is not an exact similarity.
  • Manning could have retained control of the party but choose to stand up for a leadership review which he lost. He was a Canadian Cincinnatus.
[School Laptop]
  • This week's shifts: Tuesday 13:00 to 21:00, Wednesday 13:00 to 21:00, Thursday 10:00 to 21:00, Friday 11:00 to 21:00, and Saturday 10:00 to 18:00.
  • I took the number 617 and number 3 bus to get to school today because I felt like looking at some scenery, or at least something different.
  • Early in the 617, I was thinking how amazing it seemed that there was an area of the city with shops and businesses that I hadn't really explored but would if I had the time. [I have lived in Wuxi ten years and like to think that I have seen it all.]
  • I wish I could have taken a photo of a shop sign that said Samsung and was accompanied by the famous Apple logo.
  • The ride on the 617 was bumpy. The parts of Wuxi that the route took us through didn't seem to have been blessed with easy government construction money.
  • The skies of Wuxi were brown with smog.
  • I had to get off the 617 to catch a number 3 which would get me to school. I tried to get off at a stop that was early in the number 3 route so I could get a seat. The stop that I choose to get off the 617 was rather forlorn. It had no shelter or seats; just a dinky sign on the side of the road. The sign was placed on the side of the bicycle lane and so I was confused about whether to wait by the sign or cross the wide bicycle lane (where big trucks were being driven as well as bikes) and wait at a muddy spot between bushes on the narrow median that was between the bike lane and the main road. [The bus stopped on the road and not near the sign.]
  • On the number 3 bus, I saw another massive office complex under construction. Enough already!
  • Tonight, the high school students will learn the results of their university entrance examinations. If you want to pay for the phone call, they can find out at 5:00 PM. Otherwise, the results will be available on the Internet at 8:00 PM.
  • I just had a student who has spent the last year studying at Kent State University. She knew about the infamous shooting of the students in 1970 and told me that she was shown a video of about the incident when she first came to the school.

Wednesday [June 25]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • I had a Chinese lesson this morning. My teacher Angel was grilling me on my tones which I haven't quite grasped. Embarrassing to say after ten years of living in China.
  • Tony's summer vacation starts tomorrow. So for two months, I don't have to get up early in order to get Tony to school.
  • Many students have told me that they heard that the Subway was supposed to begin operation on June 28th. Others have told me July 1st. So, I have no definite word about it.
  • I spent an hour participating in the taping of some commercial that will be seen on the subway (whenever it opens.)
  • I have downloaded Under the Skin. I have read the novel that the movie is based on.
  • I have discovered another use for an umbrella in China. You can use one to whack a person who cuts in from of you in a lineup. Just now, I had a woman squeeze herself in front of me when I was standing in line waiting to order food at McDonald's. There was but a foot between me and the person in front of me when the woman budded in. So I took my umbrella and tapped her on the shoulder with it. She looked back at me and went to the back of the line. Hopefully, she was suitably chastened....

Thursday [June 26]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 21:00.
  • Tony's summer vacation begins today. I get up at 6:30 AM – later than I would have been arising if Tony had to go to school.
  • It's pissing down rain. Maybe my 10:00 student doesn't show up.
  • I saw my sometime 635 bus companion Sophia this morning as I was picking up breakfast at the McDonald's that is near my school. I asked her how she was doing, and she said she wasn't well to which I quickly asked why...
  • She told me she was pregnant and was experiencing morning sickness – it was an awkward way to report such news. I had to ask her if she was happy about the fact of the pregnancy to which she replied that she was and then I offered her my congratulations. She is engaged to be married and her fiancee would like to have two children.
  • I will have to yield Sophia my seat on the 635 bus home for the next eight months.... But she usually goes back home in the daytime and so my chances to be gallant will be few and far between.
  • I watched all of the Under the Skin film that I downloaded yesterday. Here are my thoughts about it:
  • I had been waiting a long time to see the movie since I read about it in at a Catholic website. [Crisis Magazine in an article entitled life imitates art.]
  • I had read the novel. It made the female alien, who was preying on male hitchhikers, seem very human or at least full of human concerns.
  • The film was a very loose adaptation of the novel.
  • I experienced the feeling of the novel being better than the book.
  • I wonder how the film would have struck someone who hadn't read the novel. Reading the novel may have taken away some of the film's power.
  • So, I did feel a let down after having wanted to see the movie since I read that article about it in Crisis magazine.
  • I suppose the film couldn't be faithful to the novel because it was done on a low budget.
  • A lot of the film's shots didn't really advance the story.
  • The film didn't make me want to go to Scotland. The place seem damp and dank, full of people with barbaric accents.
  • While the novel engrosses us in the thoughts of the female alien. The film presents us an alien who is silent and dour.
  • The novel's way of trapping the hitchhikers with needles embedded in the passenger seat was better than the film's having the men follow the female alien into a pit of ooze. And there was no need for the film to show these men naked. It was gross.
  • The best part of the film was its hypnotic music.
  • I give the film a rating of three point five stars out of five.
  • The best recent film (film made in the two years or so) that I have seen this year is the Lunchbox.
  • A student tells me that a whole lot of businessmen, who were operating in the Hui Shan district, are in jail for having bribed the leader of the Hui Shan District. These businessmen are parents of his classmates so that is how he knows.
  • I have just spent two hours studying Chinese.
  • So give me a medal!

Friday [June 29]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 11:00 to 21:00.
  • I am just about finished reading a book about Deng Xiao Peng. In the concluding chapter (I am still in the midst of its appendix mateiral), the author makes the claim that no man in history could claim responsibility for improving the lives of so many people as Deng did in his days as the supreme leader of China. I dispute that claim on many grounds. First off, all Deng did was stop his country from being so stupid – this stupidity was brought to China in the first place by his earlier efforts in working for Chairman Mao. Secondly, it was people in the West who stood up to Communism that are ultimately responsible for the rescuing of China from poverty. The real heroes stood up for a system that produced people like Edison and Brunell who really were responsible for the material betterment of people all over the world and including China. Deng was merely artful in not letting the writing on the wall stop the Communist party from existing.
  • It's wet outside. Inside, I feel muggy.
  • It took me three frigging hours to get my USB Wifi device to work. The device has to be put in the USB slot in just the right way. Earlier, I had the device working if I pressed down on it but as soon as I released my finger, I would lose Wife and began to screw profusely.
  • Andis: The sky is black. Student: It looks like Obama. Andis: We would say it looks like rain.
  • A student told me that the subway will begin operation on July 1st. Or at least that is what she thought she heard on the local news.

Saturday [June 28]
[School Laptop]
  • This morning on the bus, I saw video which seem to be saying that the subway would begin operation on July 1.
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 18:00. Afterward, I have to go to the pub with the trainers for some reason.
  • Last night, I very briefly saw what appeared to be a man giving the driver of a car a piece of his mind. The car driver's door was open and the man was speaking to the driver in a very threatening tone.
  • Tony wanted to make me a sandwich last night. Lord knows where he got that idea from.
  • Jenny tells me that Tony will be taking karate classes.
  • Good.
  • I finished reading the Deng Xiao Peng book. I started reading Pilgrim, a thriller novel, and the Twilight of Abundance – a dystopian look at the rest of the 21st century.
  • I am playing that same farging game with the USB device. When you have Wifi, it is pain to lose it, like it would be a pain to lose electricity.
  • Last night, a student told me that his least favorite number is 250 because it means dumb person in Chinese. That is, 250 or 二百五十,erbaiwushi in pinyin means dummy.
  • Oh my God! I forgot to list the politicians I admire. I have mentioned Preston Manning. Now here are four more: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Sarah Palin, and ….

Sunday [June 29]
[Home Laptop]
  • and, and and Scott Walker from the state of Wisconsin.
  • I hate pubs. I hate pubs. When I go to them, I drink and I give in to the urge to smoke and feel like shit, both morally and physically. There has got to be a more civilized place to meet with people. There has got to be place, other than a bar, where civilized people can be found.
  • I type these complaints because I went to the Blue Marlin last night. I had to do so for work.
  • We sat on a patio next to a canal that goes through the Nanchan Temple Market area. Towards the end of the evening, the place was infested with mosquitoes.
  • As I was leaving the pub, a former student, her name was Rose, came up to talk to me. I couldn't recall her and I tried to finesse the fact by being overly jocular. As I went to catch my bus, I thought about what a dipshit I had been. I then put it out of my mind and returned to thinking about my petty grievances against the world.
  • Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of Gavro Princip shooting Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The assassination then lead to one thing which lead to another, and some parts of the world are still screwed up because of it. Anyway, when quizzing the students about the date, I found one student had a vague idea about it. Another student told me that he thought World War One was a series of sword fights and that they didn't use guns during it.
  • No shifts today.
  • It is muggy outside. Walking briefly in the morning, I felt sweat and saw haze, and a lazy feeling came over me so I don't want to do anything today but read.
  • Because Tony hasn't been getting up early this week, I have missed making entries at TKIC Wordpress.
  • I published Dispatches from Akicistan #9.
  • I was crossing the street on a green light when a minivan cut a little too close when making a right turn around me. Farging ass-hat!
  • The Wanda Plaza Grocery had lineups at the checkouts that were twenty five persons long so I decided that I wasn't going to buy anything. I could go tomorrow when no one would be in the store, I reasoned.
  • The Twilight of Abundance book predicts that the Chinese will start a small war in their region in 2016 because they believe that Obama is weak and won't honor the mutual defense treaties that America has with some of China's neighbors. A bold prediction that I would bet against. I don't think the Chinese care so much who is the president of the USA. They are very self-centered people.
  • I had no control over today. I had no plan. I now feel very unfulfilled and ineffectual.
  • Chile and Brazil went to penalty kicks as I predicted.
  • I am still in a bad mood from having gone to pub the night before.
  • The problem with House of Cards is that all the characters are Democrats. The Republicans who do show up in the show are caricatures of what Democrats imagine Republicans to be.
  • And I do have to mention a politician I admire. Today's choice Rob Ford. Bad as he may seem. He is a four in world of ones and zeroes. You have to admire a man who has the guts to not make an obligatory appearance at a Gay Pride Parade in this day and age.
Monday [June 30]
  • No shifts today.
  • It's the last day of June. It's the last day of June! If I don't get some, I think I'm gonna swoom!
  • Get What?” you ask.
  • I watched the Mexico – Holland game last night. What a heartbreak for Mexico, but they have no one to blame but themselves. They took the 1-0 lead and proceeded to wilt or play very defensive. The Mexicans were hanging on at the end...
  • I thought Robben dived at the end and got Holland the game-deciding penalty.
  • I had predicted a Mexican victory in the school prediction competition. I was wrong about the first three games of the round of sixteen.
  • Tony likes watching Godzilla versus the Sea Monster.
  • I am making Tony lunch.
  • A rare thing for me to be doing.
  • One more politician whom I admire:
  • I should have penultimated my answering of the question with Mayor Rob Ford but I didn't and I am not interested in changing the sequence of this diary. I can edit yesterday's entry to improve the language but I won't change the fact of the entry.
  • You may also have noticed that I am trying to change penultimate into a verb.
  • I am stalling because no other politicians come to mind and I am trying to penultimatize.
  • I couldn't think of any and now I can think of many: George W Bush, John A. McDonald, Deborah Gray, Winston Churchill, Spiro Agnew, and John Howard.
  • Bush, a decent man, did what he thought was the right thing and was utterly lambasted by the Left and by some feckless conservatives. He has not responded with any bitterness to the many cheap shots directed his way by the demonic Left. [There is an argument to made that the Left resent him because he stole their foreign policy idealism. No doubt, the idealism was naïve but it was something the Left would have stood beside if it was their guy and not a White Texas Christian who was advancing it.]
  • John A was the first prime minister of Canada and a bit of drinker like Toronto mayor Rob Ford.
  • Deborah Gray was the first Reform Party member to be elected to parliament.
  • Churchill was Churchill. He took lickings and kept on ticking. His life story makes Barabbas Obama look like a pantywaist.
  • Spiro Agnew delivered the line about the nattering nabobs of negativism.
  • John Howard was an Australian admirer of the USA. Good on him!
  • Tomorrow: Canada Day. Canadians are boring but delicious.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dispatches from Akicistan #9

Gratitude:  I have so much to be thankful. I have a wife. I have a son. I have a job. I have some life left in my body. I have great technology that allows me to access things that twenty years ago would have cost me an arm and a leg.

Acknowledgement: I have been lazy and so I haven't publish one of these Akicistan blog entries. I am also rude to my co-workers. As well, I harbour bitter thoughts
Request(s): Please visit the page I have dedicated to my father and make a comment. If you are having trouble doing this, you can email me at

What is Akicistan? It isn't a place. It is a state of mind that places cutting-edge state-of-the-art sticks in mud. The word Akicistan is formed from the initials AKIC and the root stan.

If Akicistan was an empire, it would comprise China, Canada, the Red States of the USA, Latvia, and the parts of the world that comprise Modern Christendom as well as ancient Christendom.

Akicistan news in brief: Life has carried on in Akicistan. Tony goes to his school and Andis talks at his.
Important Akicistan Links:

In Akicistan:

Some of us can speak Chinese! 我的生活是好的。我有一个孩子。我有一个妻子。
我觉得中国共产党是盗贼团伙. 我觉得无锡不需要地铁。
现在我看很多无锡人买了车。 我不喜欢汽车。

We sometimes pay attention to China. I hear China is having trouble with its neighbors Vietnam and Japan. It is all that is shown on the Chinese news.

We are fond of Canada! At least, I pay lip service to Canada. I was thinking of going back but I may stay in China as long as I can. I don't want to deal with the winters and having to own a car. The prospect of another Trudeau being prime minister is also another reason to stay put.
We are fond of Latvia! It is a shame that they aren't in the World Cup.

The Politics are Conservative and Reactionary! My hero is Nicolas Gomez Davilla.

English is taught! I have reading a lot of grammar books lately. I now know the difference between using that and which in relative clauses. It was the book When Bad Grammar Happens to Good People that taught me.
Citizens aren't freaks! If they were, they would be expelled, unless they were me.
Reading is the #1 Pastime! Here is what I had been working my way through the past few months or so:
Don Colacho's (Nicolas Gomez Davilla) Aphorisms.  There are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled for myself.  I try to read at least one aphorism a day.  I cut and paste the better ones -- they are all profound actually -- and I put them in the AKIC Weekly. (See below)
The Summa by Thomas Aquinas. This is a hard book to read. I have had to re-read every section in the book so far.

The Holy Bible (RSV-C2E version, aka the Ignatius Bible, and Douay-Rheims version).  I will read the two versions in conjunction. Last week, I finished reading the Book of Genesis. I am not in the Book of Exodus. In the New Testament, I am reading the Gospel According to Matthew.

Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare. [Finished] I have a plan to read all of Shakespeare's plays.

As You Like It by William Shakespeare. [Finished] I will read Shakespeare's in alphabetical order, by title.

Other Limits of Reason: Nolson S. Yanofsky. [Finished] A Difficult book to read. Very mathematical and thought provoking.

Travels in West Africa by Mary H Kingsley. [Finished] This woman went to Africa in the 1890s before feminism and political correctness.

Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin [Finished] This book is not a bio but a memoir of Bushkin's time with Carson. Shows the fleetingness of fame and not much else.

American Gun by Chris Kyle [Finished] Not a great book but a good book to read for the purposes of annoying Leftists.

Under the Skin by Michael Faber [Finished] It was at a Catholic site that I learned of the movie that this book is based on. An alien woman goes around Scotland in a car picking up male hitchhikers for the purpose of processing them into meat. The novel follows the thought patterns of the alien.

Infinite Ascent by David Berlinski [Finished] A history of Mathematics. I understood just a little of it.

The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton. [Finished] Merton chronicles his life and his decision to become a monk. It is quite well-written and inspiring.

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra Vogel. This was the subject of a multi-part series of the China History Podcast.

Routledge – Teaching English as a Foreign Language. The book is jargon-filled and makes mention of Chomsky.

Beauties of Tennyson by Baron Alfred Tennyson [Finished]. The best book of poetry I have read this year.

The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare [Finished] I would love to see this play performed.

Coriolanus by William Shakespeare. [Finished] This play contains some of my favorite Shakespearean dialogue. The things that Coriolanus says in his detestation of the mob are delicious. How are you doing you fragments?

Jesus Christus by Romano Guardini. [Finished] Flannery O'Connor said she tried to read everything she could of Romano Guardini. Maybe I should too. This short book of meditations was quite profound.

President Me by Adam Carolla. [[Finished] From the divine (Guardini) to the crude. I like the libertarian part of Carolla when he criticizes those who don't, but can, look after themselves. However, I wish he wouldn't be so vulgar.

The Story of the Greeks (Yesterday's Classics) by H.A. Guerber. [Finished] Meant for high school students. I am reading it to hone my knowledge of ancient Greek.

Everyday English by Michelle Finlay. [Finished] I will be reading a lot of these guides this summer.

When Bad Grammar Happens to Good People by Ann Batko. As I just said I will be reading a lot of books this summer about English grammar.

Cymbeline by William Shakespeare. A not so famous Shakespeare play.

Memorable quotes are presented and discussed!
Nicholas Gomez Davilla:
874 Many doctrines are less valuable for the truths they contain than for the errors they reject. [Could this be an argument for pragmatism? No. Pragmatism rejects doctrines.]
876 The reactionary does not become a conservative except in ages which maintain something worthy of being conserved.
878 Philosophy is the art of lucidly formulating problems. Inventing solutions is not an occupation of serious intellects. [A middle-of-the-roader said something about wanting to embrace all tools in order to solve problems. Pragmatists imagine there are solutions to every problem.]
881 We only succeed in saying what we want when we accidentally say what we should. [There is nothing I can add to this. ]
882 The modern world demands that we approve what it should not even dare ask us to tolerate. [Gay Marriage.]
883 The colony which gains its independence passes from acknowledged imitation to artificial originality. [Describes Canada to a tee.]
884 Journalists and politicians do not know how to distinguish between the development of an idea and the lengthening of a sentence. [Only journalists and politicians?]
885 Those who remove man's chains free only an animal
888 We can never count on a man who does look upon himself with the look of an entomologist. [Most people are insects!]
903 Reading the newspaper degrades whomever it does not make into a brute. [Reading the newspaper everyday does make people stupid.]
904 Perhaps individually men are our neighbors, but massed together they are surely not. [It goes without saying that we should avoid the mass. But what about the individuals one knows who are surely a product of mass thinking? Should I avoid them too?]
907 Faith in God does not solve problems, but makes them laughable. The serenity of the believer is not a presumption of knowledge, but a fullness of confidence.
908 The punishment of the man who searches for himself is that he finds himself. [You could also say that yourself finds you.]
909 Knowing which reforms the world needs is the only unequivocal symptom of stupidity.
912 The old despotisms limited themselves to locking man up in his private life; those of the new stamp prefer that he have nothing but a public life. To domesticate man all one has to do is politicize all his gestures. [That LA Clipper owner comes to mind.]
915 Would that the philosophers of the 18th century would rise from the dead with their wit, their sarcasm, their audacity, so that they would undermine, dismantle, demolish the “prejudices” of this century. The prejudices that they created.
917 The most repulsive and grotesque of spectacles is that of the superiority of a living professor over a dead genius. [Scientists can be bad for this.]
921 Man's three enemies are: the devil, the state, and technology. [I was listening to a podcast from Winnipeg where a police officer was defending all the things his organizations did to stop automobile accidents. The State, technology. What is the devil's angle in this.]
923 The most ominous of modern perversions is the shame of appearing naïve if we do not flirt with evil. [Or of appearing uncool....]
925 I am not a non-conformist modern intellectual but an indignant medieval peasant. [I am so tainted by modernity that I can only sympathize with the medieval mindset.]
926 The writer cannot pride himself on the successes he attains, but on the mistakes he avoids. [So true. When I read over my work, I see nothing but mistake after mistake after mistake.]
928 The intention to engage in dialogue, today, presupposes the intention to betray.
937 A gesture, just one gesture, is enough at times to justify the existence of the world.
938 When reason takes flight to escape history, it is not the absolute where it alights, but in the fashion of the day.
939 Confusion is the normal result of a dialogue. Except when a single author invents it.
941 Contemporary thinkers differ among each other in the same way as do international hotels, whose uniform structure is superficially adorned with indigenous motifs. When in truth, the only interesting thing is mental localism which expresses itself in a cosmopolitan vocabulary.
942 Capitalism is abominable because it achieves that disgusting prosperity promised in vain by the socialism that hates it.
951 To be authentically modern is, in any century, a sign of mediocrity.
954 “Solutions” are the ideologies of stupidity. [Pragmatist say they are only concerned with what works.]
955 Once youth is past, chastity forms a part not so much of ethics as of good taste.
956 To discover the countenance of Christ in the face of modern man requires more than an act of faith – an act of credulity.
964 The Belief in the fundamental solubility of problems is a characteristic peculiar to the modern world. That all conflict between principles is simply a matter of equivocation, that there will be aspirin for every headache. [Someone tried to defend the middle-of-the-road label to me by saying that they had more tools to solve problems.]
969 At the end of the last century, there was only an “art without style”; in the second half of this century there is only a style without art. [It carries on into the 21st century with these ideas of being hip or being cool.]
971 Bureaucracies do not succeed revolutions by coincidence. Revolutions are the bloody births of revolutions. [The gulag was very bureaucratic. China is a vast bureaucracy today. How can it have another revolution?]
972 The noblest things on earth may not exist except in the words that evoke them. But it is enough that they be there for them to be.
975 Every non-conformist knows, in the depths of his soul, that the place his vanity rejects is the exact same place nature has assigned him. [God, I rejected many places in my life out of vanity. What was the place nature assigned me?]
977 The most to which a man who knows himself can aspire is to be the least repugnant possible. [I try to not be repugnant by keeping quiet and keeping to myself.]
984 Nations or individuals – with rare exceptions – only behave themselves decently when circumstances do not allow for anything else. [I am not one of those rare exceptions.]
987 Whoever does not get a head start on his old age does not prolong his youth, but corrupts even his memories.

Peter Hitchens
The EU is, as I keep pointing out, the continuation of Germany by other means – though, unlike in 1914 and 1939, this time it is Germany with full American backing. [An interesting observation though I don't agree with the idea of America backing. Many American conservatives hope that the EU will fail.]

Theodore Dalrymple
By their language shall ye know them. But knowing them is not the same, alas, as keeping ourselves safe from them. 'They' and their language are everywhere, from Parliament to Tesco. Their language in not intended to express but to prevent thought.

I think I can put my hand on my heart and say that I have no tyrannical leanings, though no doubt like everyone else there are a few things that I should like to see prohibited, such as (in my case) chewing gum, drinks sold in cans, baseball caps, rock and other forms of pop music in public places, and preferably in private as well, fast food, men wearing suits without ties, television, mobile telephones in trains and restaurants, burqas (except for drunken British girls on Friday and Saturday nights, for whom they should be compulsory), tattoos, piercings, celebrity magazines, pasteurised cheese, the use of the word chair for chairman, conversations in public about football, the Olympic Games, jeans, skateboards, eating in the streets, coffee served in plastic containers, basketball, etc. My father liked to tyrannise the people around him, and so immunised me against the desire for power.  [Link I agree with everything in TD's list. Unfortunately, I am addicted to some of them.]

The ingredients that are needed to transform information into knowledge are perspective and judgment: a lesson more than ever important in the so-called information age. There is something to be said for reading disregarded old books. They rarely have nothing to say to us.    [Link]     

David Warren
The modern man is free only to indulge his lusts and perversions; to display “choice” in his consumer selection of “products” almost invariably fake. He has no patience for the good, the true, the beautiful — and is therefore a cringing slave in his nature, compelled to participate as an easily replaceable cog in the infernal machinery.

 if one is lucky enough to live in a slum or ghetto, one may be on a street where no one owns a car. [As soon as a few people own a car, the community they come from is destroyed.]

That the book of Genesis is not a biological treatise should be apparent to anyone with sufficient intelligence to master the Roman alphabet, and yet the mocking, facetious question reduced it to that. Much of the conceit of scientism — in its most ignorant form — is to dismiss everything that cannot be repeated in a laboratory test to “myth.” I put the quotes because there is no understanding of myth, either; that it may be true deeply below the factitious level; or that by this tactic everything we know, without exception, including the efficacy of laboratory tests, becomes “mythical.”

I think the whole matter illustrates by analogy the importance of Tradition, where Scripture is silent or obscure. Trust the Tradition. Do not simply assume that you know better than the people who were there. By reversing the analogy, we see that the whole world makes a lot more sense on the “conservative” principle, or better, the reactionary principle, that our ancestors knew what they were doing. It is when the (self-selecting) smart people — the “enlightened” types — the “Brights” as the New Atheists like to call themselves — start to tinker with Tradition that the gates of Hell begin to yawn.

She [Warren's Mother] had a number of eccentricities, and one of them was distaste for the expression, “passed away.” She preferred the term, “dead.”  [Carlos Caso-Rosendi: Thank you for sharing with us your mother’s preference for “dead” over “passed away.” A healthy distaste for euphemisms is a good way to learn to live in truth. One may start with things like “passed away” and end up being politically correct.]

Now, I have touched before on the natural alliance between “liberals” — or, Liberals, as in this case — and the criminally insane. The former are perhaps the latter’s most pampered constituency, but the two are not interchangeable. While the criminal tendency pertains to both, the element of calculation differs between “politician” and “client.” Yet, as in any feudal system, lord and peasant, provider and supplicant, share material interests, and an essential point of view. Each is capable of identifying with the other, so that whether the issue is disarming the law-abiding public to improve the criminals’ chances, or launching whimsical programmes to spread the working stiff’s lifeblood around, or inventing new “human rights” with which the criminal may turn the tables on the just man, or select fresh victims for his sport — services are indeed provided in return for a reliable vote.

For centuries, the secret of success for the parties of the Left has been to encourage their avant-garde. When every public policy you offer so obviously advances the interests of the Devil, it is important to avoid reason, and cultivate fashion instead. The Left has been consistently fashionable since the 18th century, at latest. There has been no pendulum of political fashion. Or if there was one, it broke long ago. And since, there has been at the heart of every fashion statement, an irruption of madness.

Canadians, like Germans, and Swedes, are an industrious people. And we are never working harder than when towards some profoundly counter-productive purpose.
The gratuitous nature of some of these projects astounds me. Take for example the workmen I discovered repaving a back lane, then installing speed bumps over the smooth concrete. Any rational creature, such as an Italian, could see the same end could be admirably served by leaving each of the potholes in place. The peace of the neighbourhood is being disturbed for a prolonged period — for the sake of the peace of the neighbourhood. (And they call me crazy.)

My hero (the secret patron of this blog) Nicolás Gómez Dávila [ditto]

... I outline a new Manifesto for the Conservative Party, one that will break decisively with its dreary past:
If elected, we promise to do nothing. There will be no new initiative in any area of government. Should some foreign power threaten us, we shall smoosh them promptly. Should some other unforeseen event positively demand our attention, we shall respond in like spirit to make it go away. Such contingencies aside, we shall avoid enterprise of any sort. Instead, we shall devote our entire attention, not to doing, but to undoing things. And not just little things but big things; and not just a few notoriously rotten apples in the eyes of vested interests known to be unloved, but the whole apple pie, the whole bakery. We shall make the Tea Party in the United States look like a bunch of socialist whiners. We shall make the UKIP in Britain look like Europhiles. Our ambition, as we cling to power, shall be to undo every gratuitous Act of Parliament, or other superannuated government measure, going back to Confederation, if not to Champlain. We shall repeal legislation, erase regulations, close government departments, demolish the buildings, salt the earth on which they stood, fire and retire civil servants by the refugee shipload. We shall sack them on the beaches, we shall sack them on the landing grounds, we shall sack them in the fields and in the streets, we shall start with the CBC. Our motto shall be that of the Machine Gun Corps of the British Army in the Great War. (‘Saul hath slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.’) We shall do this deliberately and persistently and remorselessly with no more attention to public opinion than will be necessary to lure our opponents into traps.” [Yes to all of this! Yes to getting rid of the CBC!]

The secret of worldly pessimism is to look at each situation deadpan. You don’t even have to be jaded; just look at what’s there, and ask yourself what it looks like, with all excuses and extenuations removed. Making a good Confession frequently is tremendously useful in developing this skill.

In the small society, people can see who is the natural leader, and instinctively support him. No one needs to strut: whatever the job, the man who can best do it will be revealed in the doing itself. Whether that small society is a village, or a chamber ensemble, we can see who should play first violin. I have myself been fortunate to obtain plenty of experience in such small societies wherein, from top to bottom by a natural hierarchy, the members were not externally sorted, but in effect sorted themselves, into a team with their natural captain. This is how the world works, by natural design. Our abstract and artificial arrangements subvert this natural order, with results we can see all around in the triumph of ugliness and mediocrity.

civilization depends far more on intolerance, than tolerance. [The barbarities that are done in the name of tolerance.]

Anthony Esolen
...because the good sentinel loves his city, he calls up a host of subordinate virtues to support his piety. He calls upon self-denial. He is sometimes sleepy, but he never winks. He is often hungry, but he puts it out of his mind. He is often weary, but he does not flag. He calls upon foresight. He makes sure that he is physically and mentally ready to begin his watch, and orders his day accordingly. He calls upon industry and humility, as he considers that no work, no matter how small, is beneath his care, if it bears upon his duty. Other men may instruct a page boy to clean their rifles. He cleans his rifle himself.

It is a telltale sign for our times that our most heated debates arise from the sexual faculties. We suppose ourselves enlightened in these matters, having matured far beyond the repressions and the taboos of our ancestors. One might note also that we have matured far beyond other qualities of our ancestors: their racism, perhaps; and that may be the best we can say for ourselves. We have matured far beyond their industriousness, their artistic skill, their loyalty, their honesty, their filial duty, their self-denial, their courage, their personal generosity, their purity, their neighborliness, and their reverence. Lawyers devour a full tenth of our nation’s income, as we take one another to court for a cross on the side of a public road, or a hot coffee that an old lady spills on herself at the drive-through—and that alone gives the lie to the single virtue we claim as our most precious. For we are, in fact, the most intolerant generation ever to walk upon the face of the earth.

...we are now in the odd position of supposing that sex is too trivial to require virtue for its exercise, but that it is simultaneously so significant, so determinative of a person’s identity, that to suggest any restraint upon its consensual exercise is an affront to the most important fount of human dignity. It is at once nugatory and holy. We are at once to think nothing of it, and everything. It is at once like scratching an itch, and worshiping a god. It requires no sacrifice from its exerciser, and the sacrifice of everything else to it: the welfare of children and the family, public morals, the common good, and liberty itself.

My father never told foul jokes or listened to them.  That wasn't because he thought he was better than other people; he'd have said, if you asked him, that he wasn't interested in that stuff.  He never gossiped, nor did he listen to gossip.  He was a keen judge of character, but only once or twice in my life did I ever hear him say anything about someone that he would not have said to the person's face.

Robert Eady (David Warren Blog Commentator)
What one should strive for is to be “marginal,” “fringe,” or “out there.” It’s really quite simple for Christians — accept and try to live what the Church teaches as per moral issues and be very noisy about it. Blessings immediately follow like having the vast majority of human beings despise and shun you. It’s a misanthrope’s dream.

The best way to get rid of most annoying music snobs is to say you like country music even if you don’t. Most such snobs are liberals so they hate the American working class and country music is very American working class.

Mary H. Kingsley. “Travels in West Africa.”
A great woman, either mentally or physically, will excel an indifferent man, but no woman ever equals a really great man.

Kathy Shaidle
Within living memory, Westerners at least paid lip service to the ideal that “justice must be seen to be done.” Today, ain’t nobody got time for that. What “must be seen to be done” instead is trendy, risk-free, bumper sticker level moral preening that burns as few calories as possible.
In a society that valorizes conspicuous exertion—by the steroid-powered professional athlete, the 80-hour-a-week attorney, the Christmas morning jogger—it’s revealing that this is what passes for compassionate, socially aware “activism.”

For people obsessed with “raising awareness,” it sure takes leftists a long time to get outraged about stuff that actually matters. At this rate, expect to see the hashtag #RememberBenghazi turning up in leftists’ Twitter feeds sometime around, oh, 2026. [Link]

ChiCom apologist Eric X. Li, for example, in his side of a Foreign Affairs debate last year: 
Beijing will be able to meet the country’s ills with dynamism and resilience, thanks to the CCP’s adaptability, system of meritocracy, and legitimacy with the Chinese people. In the next decade, China will continue to rise, not fade. The country’s leaders will consolidate the one party model and, in the process, challenge the West’s conventional wisdom … In the capital of the Middle Kingdom, the world might witness the birth of a post-democratic future. [Link]

Lists are made: Bands, Musicians & Singers I have liked:
  • Frank Sinatra
  • New Order
  • The Beatles
  • Elvis Presley
  • Husker Du
  • Rolling Stones
  • The Clash
  • The Sex Pistols
  • R.E.M.
  • The Buzzcocks
  • U2
  • David Bowie
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Fred Astaire
  • Johnny Cash
  • The Velvet Underground
  • Joy Division
  • Iggy Pop
  • Kris Kristofferson
  • The Jam
  • The Replacements
  • Dean Martin
  • The Pogues
  • Toby Keith
  • ZZ Top
  • Early Van Halen
  • The Pixies
  • The Police

Words that I wished rhymed but unfortunately don't
  • Obama and idiot
  • Atheists and devils
  • Communist and devils
  • Pragmatist and Charlatan

Thoughts are thought

  • The Nazis were Racist Socialists. The American Democratic Party has adopted a milder form of Racial Socialism.
  • If it makes them stop talking to you than silence is the best policy.
  • Doing nothing is the best way to get back at people.
  • Now that they are saying that sitting is the new standing. What clever rationale will the left and health fascists come up with to justify the concept of second hand sitting?
  • If you can't sustain a life-long relationship with a woman, you should go gay.
  • Progressives love homosexuals; they don't love rural folk from the Southern U.S.A. Progressives despise the latter which is strange since they believe that rednecks have homosexual tendencies as in the movie Deliverance.
  • To say you are middle of the road is to say that you are modern. Perhaps that is all it means. But people who classify themselves that way are trying to take on a pose of transcendence even if the modern world goes out of its way to deny such ideas.