Revolving Door

I was reading an article in today’s WSJ about Facebook’s struggles with the Eurocrats and who did I see there, big as life? Why, Nick Clegg, formerly leader of the UK Lib Dems and Deputy PM under the execrable David Cameron. Turns out he’s now Faceberg’s vice president of global affairs and communications, i.e., spin doctor and flak.

That is all.

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Book Review: I Will Bear Witness. Vol. 2

“I Will Bear Witness”, vol. 2. by Victor KlempererThis is the second volume in Victor Klemperer’s diaries of life as a Jew in Nazi Germany. Volume 1 covers the years from 1933 through 1941, in which the Nazis seized and consolidated their power, began to increasingly persecute the Jewish population, and rearm in preparation for their military conquests which began with the invasion of Poland in September 1939.

I described that book as “simultaneously tedious, depressing, and profoundly enlightening”. The author (a cousin of the conductor Otto Klemperer) was a respected professor of Romance languages and literature at the Technical University of Dresden when Hitler came to power in 1933. Although the son of a Reform rabbi, Klemperer had been baptised in a Christian church and considered himself a protestant Christian and entirely German. He volunteered for the German army in World War I and served at the front in the artillery and later, after recovering from a serious illness, in the army book censorship office on the Eastern front. As a fully assimilated German, he opposed all appeals to racial identity politics, Zionist as well as Nazi.... [Read More]

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Entering Advent

“Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,/Exalted manna, gladness of the best,/ Heaven in ordinary, Man well drest ,/ The Milky Way, the Bird of Paradise,/Church bells among the stars heard. The soul’s blood./A land of spices. Something understood.”

George Herbert’s lines are not about Advent. The poem is called Prayer. But I have always associated them with the Christmas season. ... [Read More]

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Miracles

The first thought after seeing this was to make sure my fellow Ratters see it, too.  The is a 19 minute glimpse into some recent history that is epic in nature; it’s horrifying, interesting, thought provoking and metaphysical all at once.  This video’s impact is on par with Bill Whittle’s examination of the nuclear strikes on Japan.

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Oikophobia

No, it’s not an irrational fear of pigs; that would probably be oinkophobia. Oikophobia is the opposite of xenophobia: cultural self-hatred, an aversion to one’s own nation and culture. This meaning was coined by Roger Scruton in his 2004 book England and the Need for Nations. The term has been getting some press lately*, most recently in this Quillette article by philosopher Benedict Beckeld.

Oikophobia describes “…a civilization that has stopped believing in itself, that hates itself, and that is therefore unwilling to defend the values of individual freedom, democracy, and scientific and scholarly skepticism that have been handed down to us since antiquity.” Beckeld takes a historical perspective, giving examples of other civilizations that have fallen into oikophobia. He explains that... [Read More]

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Peak Absurd

Ross Douthat has a column in the NYT today entitled The Case for Bernie, which actually includes the phrase “the conservative’s case for Bernie.” He may as well have written “the conservative case for socialism.” But don’t worry too much; Douthat “technically” prefers “a moderate like Biden or Amy Klobuchar.” Whew! That’s a relief.

This is the latest in a seemingly endless series of “the conservative case for …” pieces by alleged conservatives. We’ve finally reached the point where Conservative Inc is advocating socialism because, I guess, OrangeManBad. This is even worse than Bill Kristol. What’s next, the conservative case for communism?

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This Week’s Book Review – From Kites to Cold War

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.... [Read More]

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What are your opinions on this story?

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/newsweek-fires-reporter-who-published-inaccurate-story-on-trumps-thanksgiving-day-plans

The above story was about the Newsweek article about how Trump was going to spend Thanksgiving. It was written before news was known about Trump’s surprise visit to the troops. The reporter was fired for writing a story that Trump would be golfing and tweeting. It showed Trump in a negative uncaring light. Should the reporter have been fired? ... [Read More]

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First Run

O is it true? We’re supposed to get, maybe 8 inches snow by Monday! I dug out my cross country ski gear from behind my biking gear. There they alike in trembling hope repose!
Come quickly, my lord Frost!
I want to see how black the flowing streams and rivulets, and the pines, look against the snow. I want to see the shivering copper of the beech leaves looking somehow pink against the pristine sparkling landscape.
Elinor Wylie, the daughter of a governor of Pa born (and buried) not far from here, wrote a poem called Wild Peaches. Her lover tells her how wonderful it would be to live on
the Eastern Shore, what we call “DelMarVa”, where it never gets really cold, Nature is mellow and fruitful all year. She says:

Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones
There’s something in this richness that I hate.
I love the look, austere, immaculate
Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.
There’s something in my very blood that owns
Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate,
A thread of water, churned to milky spate
Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.... [Read More]

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