Sex, Lies and Audiotape

7, James Street, Cardiff, credit Wikipedia

Sex, Lies and Audiotape

A Killing in Tiger Bay, 3 Episodes, BBC Two, reviewed by Leslie Jones

In 1988, prostitute Lynette White was brutally murdered in Butetown, Cardiff. The prime suspect, identified on Crimewatch, was a bloodied and confused white individual, seen near the location of the murder, 7 James Street. But as time passed with no arrests ensuing, South Wales Police came under increasing media and public pressure. The search for the perpetrator was superseded by the need to convict someone. In due course, five black and mixed race men, namely John Actie, Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi, Ronnie Actie and Stephen Miller, Lynette’s ‘boyfriend’, were accused of White’s murder. All of the defendants were known to the police. All had alibis.

The trial was switched from Cardiff to Swansea, where convictions seemed more likely, as there was no black community there. One of the key witnesses for the prosecution was prostitute Leanne Vilday, who, like the ‘Cardiff Five’, had been subjected to remorseless police pressure. Another witness, Angela Psaila, reportedly had an IQ of 55. The judge in the trial died of a heart attack, necessitating a re-trial. Three of the defendants, Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi and Stephen Miller, were eventually found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Some of the individuals who feature in this story, notably investigative journalist Satish Sekar, Michael Mansfield QC and veteran crime reporter Tom Mangold, assiduously sought the truth. Nevertheless, innocent men spent years in jail. All of the ‘Cardiff Five’ were psychologically damaged and some of them died prematurely. The convictions of Paris, Abdullahi and Miller were eventually declared unsafe by the Court of Appeal, because of the oppressive questioning of Stephen Miller (recorded on tape), who confessed to the killing. Lynette White’s actual killer, Jeffrey Gafoor, was subsequently convicted, thanks to familial DNA searching. Yet to date, not a single police officer has been successfully prosecuted for framing the ‘Cardiff Five’. All sophistry aside, Thrasymachus, one of Socrates’ interlocutors in The Republic, was surely right – “justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger”.

Dr Leslie Jones is the Editor of QR

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Full Circle

Hunslet Mills, credit Wikipedia

Full Circle

by Bill Hartley

The South Leeds Stadium lies at the heart of a complex which provides a wide variety of sports facilities. Such is the range available that it may help explain why the cities’ athletes pick up so many medals at the Olympic Games. The stadium lies in Hunslet about a mile from the city centre and it is also home to Hunslet RLFC, the other rugby league club in Leeds, who returned to the district after a nomadic existence which saw them move home six times.

Hunslet itself is one of those places a motorist may hardly notice when leaving the city. Even some of the locals would find it difficult to tell you where it begins or ends. There’s a big open space where the Tetley Brewery used to stand. Tetley, a name formerly synonymous with Leeds, was a victim of rationalisation, when the brewery combine who took it over shut the place due to ‘overcapacity’. Much of its output used to go into Hunslet, a district once known as the workshop of Leeds, though it had competitors for the title. The list of enterprises which used to operate there is a long one and a snapshot of Victorian industrialisation at its height: foundries, malthouses, heavy engineering and a giant gasworks. Until the 1970s Hunslet was also overlooked by allegedly the filthiest power station in the country. It may have inspired the late Keith Waterhouse to describe his birthplace as ‘the city of dreaming cooling towers’. Continue reading

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ENDNOTES, September 2021

Semyon Bychkov

ENDNOTES, September 2021

In this edition: British oboe quintets, from Chandos Record; Holiday music by Elgar; reviewed by Stuart Millson; Coda, Romancing the Dome, by the Editor

The Doric String Quartet accompanies Nicholas Daniel, oboe, on the Chandos label in a new issue of quintets by Arnold Bax, Gerald Finzi, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arthur Bliss and Frederick Delius – although in truth, only the Bax and Bliss works from the 1920s are specifically named by their composers as “quintets”. The Vaughan Williams contribution to the programme, the impressionist-in-timbre Six Studies in English Folksong from 1928, for example, appears in a 1983 arrangement for cor anglais; and there is an earlier version of the work (again on Chandos) for clarinet and piano. The Delius item is an arrangement of Two Interludes from Fennimore and Gerda, crafted by the composer’s amanuensis, Eric Fenby. The Finzi work dates from the 1930s and is entitled Interlude (Op. 21) for oboe and string quartet; a work in a single movement that carries the composer’s distinctive gift for pastoral melancholy, yet personal strength of feeling and harmonic individuality.

A melancholy mood sets the stage at the opening of Bax’s quintet, a sense of the Celtic twilight for which the composer (a lover of Irish culture) was renowned. Nicholas Daniel plays the gentle, rolling opening of the work superbly – with a wave of emotion soon appearing from the strings (a moment reminiscent of Warlock’s astringent meditation on loss, The Curlew). Folk-like fragments begin to appear in the music – more momentum develops, and then, like a tide beginning to ebb, another lull appears, with the oboe serenading us and gentle whispers from strings answering in turn.

The Bliss quintet was commissioned by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, an American sponsor of the arts and a great believer in modern composers, and came from a productive time in the composer’s life spent in the United States. The piece, graceful and effortless, flowing like a stream at its outset, climbs into more intricate tributaries and territories as it progresses; and seems to withhold itself from the more impetuous, sometimes manic momentum which can be so dazzling in other Bliss works such as A Colour Symphony. For those accustomed to the bold phrases and commanding presence of Bliss’s symphonic music, this quintet – dedicated to that aristocrat of the oboe, Leon Goossens – offers a more introspective side to this sometimes under-rated 20th-century composer. Lovers of the genre of music which combines English romanticism and the tense, more “acute”angles of early modernism will relish the piece, and will find playing of the highest order. Nicholas Daniel and the Doric are especially impressive in the Andante second movement, with its haunting pizzicato and then gradual acceleration into a wider, arching theme, before falling and fading away to the haze of the horizon with the lightest of musical brush-strokes.

If the spirit of this CD collection could be distilled into one short musical utterance it would have to be the third section of Vaughan Williams’s Six Studies in English Folksong – the softest, simplest, most heart-breaking Larghetto movement, based upon the folk-song, Van Diemen’s Land. There is a profound sense of looking back, of regret, in this tiny piece; with the reedy cor anglais – shortly before the end – just raising the music above the treetops, or taking flight in a moment where the harmony changes, allowing the folk-tune to soar for those beautiful few final seconds.

More music now that soars across the landscape: Elgar’s 1905 Introduction and Allegro for Strings (Op. 47), a great Handelian-style concerto grosso; an intense 15-minutes of breathtaking string writing which has some of its origins in the fresh, coastal air of West Wales. On a holiday to Llangranog in Cardiganshire, Elgar said that he heard – drifting on the breeze – the songs of country-people, one voice answering another on a summer hillside. This nostalgic recollection informs the famous gentle theme, which drifts like a cloud, soon after the impetuous, commanding opening to the work; and the whole piece receives a sensitive, exciting interpretation by the Capella Istropolitana on an album that has arrived in the CD review pile at The Quarterly Review, entitled – ‘The Best of Elgar’.

The orchestra on this Naxos-issued CD may not have quite the taut precision of classic versions of the Introduction and Allegro – such as Benjamin Britten’s reading with the English Chamber Orchestra (on Decca), but the Capella’s performance is nonetheless exciting – with conductor, Adrian Leaper, setting out the work in a grandness of style; slowing the music at certain important moments, an effect which contributes to the noble character of this monumental piece of British orchestral music. At times, the listener might feel as though he or she is watching a film of our landscape, but with the sequences gradually slowing and lingering over particular hilltops and views of the sea.

It seems that Elgar had in mind a possible Welsh Overture, an idea which the composer eventually discarded. His greatest work for strings more than makes up for the unwritten Cambrian orchestral fanfare. By all accounts (see Jerrold Northrop Moore’s, Elgar – A Creative Life) the Elgar holiday to Wales was a great success – and not by any means just a spiritual composing affair. One young relation commented on Elgar in his Edwardian beach attire: “Uncle Edward looks like a monkey!” – an amusing anecdote, and one which sheds interesting light on the ordinary, day-to-day lives of our great composers.

Stuart Millson is the Classical Music Editor of The Quarterly Review
CD details: Nicholas Daniel plays Bax, Vaughan Williams, Bliss oboe quintets, Chandos 20226.
The Best of Elgar, including the Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Naxos, 8.556672.
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BBC Proms, 2021, Friday 3 September, reviewed by LJ

Romancing the Dome

Inane football commentators would call this concert a “game of two halves”. Before the interval, Beethoven’s stirring Overture Coriolan, with its echoes of the warlike references in Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony no 3, was followed by Kirill Gerstein’s rendition of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor. Both performances were well received. But the BBC Symphony Orchestra and its dynamic conductor Semyon Bychkov had evidently been husbanding their resources for The Scottish Symphony. When it commenced, the audience was instantly rapt and the orchestra was on fire.

In eloquent contemporaneous letters home, Mendelssohn referred to the awful weather that he and his companion Karl Klingemann experienced in Scotland during their 1829 visit, which made “trees and rocks crash”. Their brief encounter with Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford was a non-event. The poverty of the people and melancholy character of the countryside left an indelible impression on the composer. So did the ruins of Holyrood Chapel, where Mary was once crowned Queen of Scotland. “Everything [now] broken and moldering, and the bright sky shines in”, he ruefully recorded.

Maestro Bychkov’s attention to detail is remarkable. His hands, when he dispenses with the baton, are as expressive as Mendelssohn’s score. What other great symphonies will he rejuvenate next? “Rigorous Russian pedagogy” will alone decide.

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The Kaiserreich’s Militant Tendency

Kaiser Wilhelm II, portrait by Max Koner, credit Wikipedia

The Kaiserreich’s Militant Tendency

Werner Sombart, Traders and Heroes; Patriotic Reflections, translated with a forward by Alexander Jacob, Arktos, London 2021, 115pp, reviewed by Leslie Jones

The sociologist and economic historian Werner Sombart (1863-1941), a former student of Gustav von Schmoller, was Professor of Economics at Breslau, then at Berlin. During the earlier stages of his career, “der rote Professor” and historian of socialism was profoundly influenced by Marxism and upheld the progressive role of the English trade unions under ‘late capitalism’. But as Vitantorio Gioia observes [i], around 1911 there was a marked turn in Sombart’s thinking, an epistemological gap, signalled by the publication of The Jews and Modern Capitalism. The latter study constitutes both a critique of historical materialism and a riposte to Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-5).

Sombart believed that without the input of the Jews, the development of capitalism would not have been possible, for they had “given certain aspects of economic life the specific features they bear”. The Jews had substituted “economic rationalism for time-honoured tradition”, pursuing business for its own sake and recognising “the supremacy of gain” over any other factor. [ii] Now that he regarded the acquisitive spirit as immoral and destructive, Sombart viewed the medieval guilds in a favourable light. And he regretted the declining significance of Christianity which had once been a counter-weight to the commercial spirit. As for the goals of the English trade unions, these were now dismissed as “nothing more than capitalism or commercialism with inverse insignia’, since their members put comfort before all else.

Traders and Heroes; Patriotic Reflections (1915) self-evidently belongs to this second, culturally pessimistic phase of Sombart’s thinking. It is dedicated to the “young heroes, out there facing the enemy”. German nationalism and veneration for the state are treated therein as an antidote to the rampant commercial spirit espoused by England. “All Great Wars”, Sombart opines, “are religious Wars”. Ideals rather than economic interests drove German statecraft, in his estimation.

Herbert Spencer, for Sombart, epitomised what he disparagingly called the English ‘trader’s mentality’ and the “superficial trader’s conception of the state”. Spencer’s sociology hinges on his dichotomy between two ideal types, the ‘industrial’ and the ‘militant’ type of society. The former is based on ‘self-ownership’. The latter is characterised by the ascendancy of the state, coercive rule and imperialism. For this product of provincial dissent, the England of 1850 was the acme of individual freedom, when men could work, move and trade freely. Spencer regarded a residual state, or ‘joint stock protection society’, as the goal of social evolution, to be brought about by natural selection and use-inheritance. A bastion of the Ratepayer’s Defence League, he considered education and road-making as outside the proper sphere of government.[iii]

Sombart, a great admirer of Nietzsche, acknowledged that critics of so-called German barbarism and militarism, paradoxically, were partly right, for war is “the greatest moral force that is employed by providence to preserve man…from dissipation and indolence”. Materialism, or ‘comfortism’, conversely, were destructive of ‘true culture’, turning a nation into an ant hill or “a heap of living corpses”.

In his perceptive forward to Traders and Heroes (Händler und Helden), Alexander Jacob contends that “the British trader’s worldview …continues to rule the world today”. Maybe so, but Sombart overstated his case in this piece of wartime propaganda. When Spencer’s Principles of Sociology vol 3 was published in 1896, he was already a passé figure, as the vogue for such diverse supporters of the state as T.H. Green, William Morris and Ruskin indicated. Indeed, their rejection of materialism and eudaemonism had been anticipated by Thomas Carlyle. [iv] In the 1890’s, Spencer himself detected a pronounced reversion to the ‘militant’ order, as evidenced by imperialism, arms races and the accompanying jingoism. To view this return of coercive rule as confirmation of a law of rhythm, manifested in all things, provided Spencer with but little comfort. 

ENDNOTES 

[i] Prof Vitantonio Gioia, University of Salento, ‘Werner Sombart and “Modern Capitalism”, a Working Hypothesis’
[ii] Werner Sombart, The Jews and Modern Capitalism, 1911, translated by M Epstein, Batoche Books, Kitchener, 2001
[iii] Leslie Jones, ‘A Social Theorist in the Age of Imperialism; the Life and Thought of Benjamin Kidd, 1858-1916′, PhD thesis, LSE, 1984
[iv] Sombart did not consider Carlyle “an English mind” since “from early on he absorbed only German intellectual food”. N.B. Carlyle was a Scot

Soldiers from the 4th Division near Chateau Wood, Ypres, in 1917

Dr Leslie Jones is Editor of QR

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Bringing the Military-Industrial Complex Home

The Last Stand, by William Barnes Wollen, 1898, credit Wikipedia

Bringing the Military-Industrial
Complex Home

 by Ilana Mercer

With the American media as master of ceremonies, pundits and politicians—all partners in the neocon-neoliberal joint venture in Afghanistan—are barking mad over the images coming out of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, and the reality these optics portend. Naturally, media “reporting” from Afghanistan is nothing but unremitting sentimental gush, aimed at creating a state of heightened emotions. “The children; the children; the translators; the translators. Americans held hostage behind enemy lines. ‘Teach the Taliban a lesson, Corn Pop,’” demanded a “macho” personality at Fox News. The same litany runs on a continuous loop.

Forbes reporters dissolved into puddles of tears at the sight of U.S. Air Force pilots bringing in plane loads of young, strong, military-aged men, unfreighted by women and children. On August 20, about 5,700 people had been flown out of Kabul. Only 169 were American. “Make no mistake,” slobbered Forbes, “lifting six times more people than an aircraft is designed to seat is a heroic achievement of logistics, skill and sheer grit.” I for see a medal of commendation for the pilot, who commandeered a U.S. Air Force C-17 to airlift 800 Afghani passengers from Kabul to Qatar.

War: The Health Of the State —And the Statists

So, who exactly are those “trapped” Americans living in Afghanistan? What are they doing in such inhospitable climes, in a country most of whose inhabitants hated the American presence? The incurious moron media have never asked. My guess is that U.S. citizens in Afghanistan have hitherto lived within Army-erected green zones, paid for by American taxpayers. My guess is that these Americans are mostly military contractors, an extension of the military-industrial complex—also the ultimate state, make-work scheme.

A likely breakdown of our “Americans in Afghanistan” comes via Danger Zone Jobs, “which tracks more than 300 companies with overseas contracting jobs in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.”Most “jobs” for Americans in a place like Afghanistan revolve around the military, “the two primary sources of jobs [being] with private contractors supporting the military and companies who subcontract to various international relief and development efforts.” In other words, the NGO racket. By Danger Zone Jobs’ accounting, “Approximately 29,389 DoD contractors supported operations in Afghanistan during the 1st quarter of 2019.” There you have it. To paraphrase Randolph Bourne, war is the health of the State and the statists.

Still, you are not a good American unless you fret about Afghani translators (who, in turn, complain on-camera endlessly, and as loudly as CNN’s Dana Bash, about American dereliction).

Realpolitik: What a Modest Foreign Policy Might Look Like

Similarly, you are not a good pack animal unless you worry about “the Uyghurs, the Uyghurs. China is oppressing the Uyghurs. Our values, our values.” Uyghurs are also China’s biggest headache, now that America is no longer mired in Afghanistan. What the dummies on the idiot’s lantern fail to tell you—although analysts at The Economist do—“Uyghurs count among thousands of foreign jihadists active in Afghanistan, mostly enlisted in Taliban ranks.”

So, as the skittish media hounds and politicians stateside, gnash teeth and beat on breast over Afghanistan, less hysterical countries, abutting Afghanistan, are acting calmly in their national interest, to ensure that Jihad and heroin don’t spill over their borders. Unlike Lara Kissinger Logan of Fox News, who “thinks” America could have won a war that other superpowers have lost—the Chinese and the Iranians are hip to what just happened. This was “probably one of the best conceived and planned guerrilla campaigns ever,” says Mike Martin, a former British army officer in Helmand province, now at King’s College London. “The Taliban went into every district and flipped all the local militias by doing deals along tribal lines.”

In negotiations with the Taliban, Beijing has thus realistically demanded that Afghanistan not become “a base for ethnic Uyghur separatists.” For their part, “Taliban leaders have pledged to leave Chinese interests in Afghanistan alone and not to harbor any anti-China extremist groups.” Like Beijing, Teheran, too, is pursuing realpolitik. While Iran is “delighted to see the Great Satan, America, abandon its bases next door,” it worries about cheap heroin flooding in from Afghanistan, as well as the persecution of the tiny Shia minority of Afghanistan.

Don’t Know Shiite from Shinola?

There is another matter that vexes the Shia of Iran, but is of no concern to the State Department, which generally “doesn’t know Shiite from Shinola” (The phrase is, “Doesn’t know sh-t from Shinola.”) “Shia Muslims … view their own Islamic revolution as a modernizing movement,” explains the Economist. After all, “Women can study, work and hold office in Iran, so long as they veil.” Consequently, Iranians “look askance at the Taliban’s hidebound Sunni fanaticism.” Shia Iran worries about the Sunni insanity, and rightly so.

That’s yet another aspect of foreign policy that good Americans are not permitted to question. For merely asking, “When last did Iran commit terrorism against the US?,” Fox News’  Tucker Carlson was attacked viciously by rival personality Mark Levin. Carlson, however, was on the money. As I chronicled in 2017: “Iranians killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks in the US between 1975 -2015.”

What do you know? When compared with Sunni Islam, a faction of Islam with whose practitioners the West feels much more simpatico—Shia Islam (Iran’s poison of choice) is more enlightened. Yet America and Israel side with Saudi Arabia, the epitome of Sunni insanity.

After Afghanistan, we can all agree that American foreign policy is an angels-and-demons Disney production—starring the prototypical evil dictators killing their noble people, until the US rides to the rescue—and that the producers at Foggy Bottom don’t have the foggiest idea what they are doing.

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WATCH ilana and David Vance discuss “Afghanistan: Bringing the Military Industrial Complex Home

https://youtu.be/YKifokEod8k

LISTEN on the go: https://HardTruthWithDavidVanceAndilanaMercer.podbean.com/e/afghanistan-bringing-the-military-industrial-complex-home/

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian think piece since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s onTwitter, Gab, YouTube & LinkedIn; banned by Facebook, and has a new Podcast

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Biden Decamps from Afghan Hellhole

C17s support Afghanistan drawdown, 2021, credit Wikipedia

Biden Decamps from Afghan Hellhole

by Ilana Mercer, August 19, 2021

Yes, we know it was chaos, but then again there was no good way to leave that dusty “shithole,” as the much-missed Donald Trump would have put it. Joe Biden was right in his “Remarks on Afghanistan“: “… if Afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the Taliban now, there is no chance that one year — one more year, five more years, or 20 more years of U.S. military boots on the ground would’ve made any difference.” Tempting as it is for right-thinking conservatives and paleolibertarians, in particular, to use the inevitable collapse of the charade in Afghanistan against Biden—honesty demands that we avoid it.

TV Republicans, no doubt, will join the shrill CNN and MSNBC females and their houseboys, who love nothing more than to export the American Nanny State, in bashing Biden for his decisive withdrawal. The president said, “I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.” Falling into the Republican line of partisan, tit-for-tat retorts is wrong. The man made the right choice—as opposed to Barack Obama’s. Indeed, Afghanistan was a war Obama had embraced . Continue reading

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Verdi’s Luisa Miller

Guiseppe Verdi by Giovanni Boldini, credit Wikipedia

Verdi’s Luisa Miller

Glyndebourne, Saturday 7th August 2021, reviewed by David Truslove

Glyndebourne is in full swing this summer after reopening its doors in May with Káťa Kabanová. Since then, there’s been Il turca in Italia and Così fan tutte. Luisa Miller, Verdi’s middle period opera first performed in Naples in 1849, is currently receiving its debut at this Sussex venue. Linking all four stage works is the conflict between love and duty. Glyndebourne’s Artistic Director Stephen Langridge suggests that the “institution of marriage often represents the duty aspect, an opposing force to unruly anarchic romantic love”. This antagonism is at the heart of Luisa Miller.

Based loosely on Friedrich Schiller’s tragedy Kabale und Liebe (Conspiracy and Love), Luisa Miller is rich in human detail and powerful emotions, but it also focuses on class conflict and the corruption of power. Indeed, Verdi’s work closely follows the Year of Revolution (1848) and a period of bitterly resented despotism of King Ferdinand II. Power struggles emerge in Luisa Miller when Rodolfo, the son of the tyrannical Count Walter, challenges his father’s plans for him to marry the duchess Frederica. But Rodolfo is in love with the young country girl Luisa, the daughter of Miller, an old soldier who is one of the Count’s tenants. Abduction, blackmail and betrayal ensue and when the truth is finally disclosed the two lovers drink from a poisoned cup (Luisa unwittingly) and Rodolfo kills Count Walter’s henchman, the scheming Wurm. Continue reading

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Financial Terrorism and Social Excommunication, part 2

Clarence Thomas, credit Wikipedia

Financial Terrorism and Social Excommunication, part 2

Ilana Mercer, on Justice Thomas’ Solution 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is a meddlesome, shakedown operation, in the mold of the Southern Poverty Law Center, that has taken it upon itself to decide who lives and who dies socially and financially. The ADL deems people like Pat Buchanan and Tucker Carlson  to be mired in white supremacism. PAYPAL HOLDINGS, Inc, is an indispensable, American, global corporation, without whose services, financially transacting online is difficult. The company is worth $16.929 billion. The ADL and PayPal have conspired to ferret out “bigotry and extremism” from the financial industry, by which they mean ban thought crimes.

“Racism—systemic or other—remains nothing but thought crime: impolite and impolitic thoughts, spoken, written or preached. Thought crimes are nobody’s business in free societies.” In response to this particular collusion against thought crimes, Fox News personality Tucker Carlson stays chipper. But this is not sufficient a solution from so powerful a persona as Mr. Carlson. Continue reading

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Letter to the Editor, Bell Curve Reverberations

Letter to the Editor, Bell Curve Reverberations

Sir,

I write in response to the review of Charles Murray’s Two Truths about Race, published in the TLS on August 6. The reviewer, Patricia J Williams, is a lawyer and a supporter of Critical Race Theory. She is the author of Giving A Damn: Racism, Romance, and Gone with the Wind. Eminently qualified, then, to address the history of eugenics, social Darwinism and race differences in IQ!

According to Professor Williams, Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man is “the most well-known refutation” of Murray and Herrnstein’s The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. But how can a book, to wit, The Mismeasure of Man, first published in 1981, be a refutation of a book, The Bell Curve, that was only published in 1994?*

When is IQ evidence acceptable, when not? Williams celebrates the “Flynn effect”, which is supposedly reducing racial gaps in IQ. But she also contends that IQ tests are “culturally specific”, i.e. when they inconveniently reveal ongoing race differences in cognitive ability.

As an exponent of Critical Race Theory (CRT), Professor Williams considers the US a bastion of white supremacy and “a majority white nation in which most crimes are committed by whites”. Your indomitable columnist Ilana Mercer is correct. CRT equals anti-white racism.

Ritortus

*Editorial note; in ‘Curveball’, New Yorker, November 1994, Gould retrospectively reviewed The Bell Curve. 

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The Epistle to the Romans, Part IV

Saint Paul, Rembrandt van Rijn, credit Wikipedia

The Epistle to the Romans, Part IV

by Darrell Sutton

Literacy in the ancient Greco-Roman Republic was more widespread than in some other civilizations. Oxyrhynchus papyri-texts are extant and confirm that assertion. Depending on the writings one studied, the culture of Rome seemed refined. It was deemed by themselves to be superior to the values in other nations. Rome’s readers were aware of the sciences and philosophies in surrounding territories. A well-read people, they learned old myths, memorized legends and travelogues written by wanderers to faraway lands. Agricultural details also frequently appear in Latin through various forms of literature. And comments about Roman gods and goddesses in antiquity show up regularly in Latin poems and in prose texts. Cicero and other educated Romans could express themselves proficiently in both Latin and Greek.

Paul was an urbane and sagacious scholar. Mastery of his letter to the Christians in Rome is vital for apprehending the intricate systems of his thought and for grasping those principal doctrines pioneered by him and declared throughout the Aegean and Mediterranean provinces. In Late Antiquity, differences of opinion regarding ‘grace’ often incited disagreement. The East-West Schism of 1054 is well known. Afterwards, and during the [Counter] “Reformation” centuries, sometimes violent confrontations occurred in the battle to control how basic beliefs about this letter were to be understood within Protestant and Catholic factions. Continue reading

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