Gazing upon the Wreckage of the Norris Campaign

Two milestones have been reached on this blog of late. One is the rather minor matter that this piece marks my fiftieth posting.

The other is that the story broke on this site on Sunday July 24th has since gone national. After gathering interest for a number of days on Politics.ie and among Facebook friends, including some journalists and politicians, on Friday evening David Norris’s director of communications, Jane Cregan, and director of elections, Derek Murphy, resigned from Mr Norris’s campaign team. More have joined them today. Murphy and Cregan did not specify why they resigned, but Stephen Collins left readers in no doubt on the today’s Irish Times that it was due to knowledge of Ezra Nawi’s conviction for sex with a male Palestinian minor in Israel getting to the Irish public. Little did I know innocently blogging on Sunday that Norris’s letter appealing for clemency in his lover’s sexual offence case would be leaked by today. The letter is worth reading for the arrogance on display alone. Norris drops the fact that he got a double-first at undergrad level, and claims he can give ‘expert evidence’ to the esteemed judges on the High Court of Jerusalem while talking at length about other irrelevant legal systems. To any decent person, Norris’s actions must rival much of what was revealed in the Cloyne and Ryan Reports in their evil. Unfortunately, classic anti-Semitic motifs among Norris supporters, that I care not to link to, are on display all over Ireland in depicting this as an Israeli conspiracy. No, people: I was the conspirator.

After it all, I’m left pondering a few things. I was able to put damning evidence on Nawi and his relationship with Norris together in a few hours of searching Google and LexisNexis. What was wrong with the Irish media that the pieces were not put together years ago, or even after the Helen Lucy Burke Affair? Clearly if David Norris were an English politician this would never have been the case. Either the Irish media are more respectful of our private lives, or they are marred by timidity. This is a another triumph of the blogosphere, which has really come into its own after the financial crisis of 2008.

Then there are the people in the Norris campaign team, and Norris himself. I have no illusions that these people were not aware of the ticking bomb. The fact that Cregan and Murphy immediately resigned on the news coming out, rather than putting up some kind of fight, is telling. I am only reminded of John Edwards in the 2008 US Presidential election. How could a man continue campaigning knowing he could never keep the affair a secret, much less the resulting child, all behing the back of a dying wife? Was it arrogance? Delusions of grandeur and invincibility? Can we compare this with Norris?

When I get through all the hate mail, I might come back with an answer.

Why Free Markets Will Make More Room In Israel

With the average price of a four-bedroom apartment in Tel Aviv coming to over $660,000 (2.25 million NIS), and after seeing a 12 percent housing price increase in the first quarter of 2011 alone, its no wonder Israelis are so disgruntled. While Israeli unemployment is at the low level of 5.67%, wages have been stagnant, and the average worker would need to labor for twelve years in order to cover the cost of a home.

It is a shame that the tent-dwelling protesters against high property prices on Rothschild Blvd. and elsewhere have the softness of heart that too often gets to the head. No doubt Likud MK Ofir Akunis was exaggerating when he claimed “part of the protest going on at the moment on Rothschild Boulevard is being driven by a gang of anarchists”, and that many protesters come from  “the adjacent Ahad Ha’am Street, where, as you know, the main branch of the Communist Party is located”. Yet it is true that over-represented at these protests are environmentalists and leftists that don’t realize capitalism is not what is breaking the Israeli working man. The vestiges of socialism in Israel are, and the only solution is simple and elegant: more freedom. Let us hope this new movement is not too hostile to that.

The first priority for those who want more affordable housing should be dismantling the relic of socialism that is the Israel Lands Administration. This state body owns and administers 93% of the land in the country, making it something that really belongs behind the Berlin Wall during the Brezhnev era. The ILA has released land very slowly to buyers, in order to obtain extremely high prices for it. Selling off most of the land in the ILA’s responsibility would see prices fall drastically and should be supported by all those who want to aid the working poor. Even the expectation of mass privatization of ILA holdings would likely see prices for current marketable properties plummet.

Something interesting yet relevant is that the land situation in Israel would be significantly worse without the economic struggle the kibbutz movement faced during the 1980’s. The debt crisis in the kibbutzim necessitated privatization schemes that permitted many of them to sell their lands, which ended up spawning many new housing projects. Privatization proved highly profitable to the kibbutzim on the narrow coastal Gush Dan region, where most of the Israeli population and economic activity is based. Many kibbutzim became suburban communities for the expanding cities of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. In light of this, Israelis should consider the effect massive agricultural subsidies are having. They may be preventing kibbutzim from engaging in more economically useful activities.

A note to the Israeli environmentalists among the tent-dwellers: Many worry land privatization would see all the forests torn down for shopping malls and coffee shops springing up in every corner of every city park. I have seen the state of many nature reserves and parks in Israel and have been appalled, like many Israelis, at the amount of trash left by visitors. I even remember a Roman era theater near an archaeological park full of shopping bags, cartons and so on. Something like that would be unheard of in many countries. Ten years ago veterans of elite naval commando unit Shayetet 13 and their families were given compensation by Shaul Mofaz for the possibility that their training in polluted rivers like the Kishon had made them more prone to cancer. The fact is the ILA and state control have allowed this to happen. Private ownership of waterways and nature reserves (by an individual or even conservationist or sporting groups) would ensure greater incentives exist to guard against pollution, especially with the possibility of individuals taking legal action against those who do pollute. In the UK, fishing rights in rivers are privately held. The Anglers Co-operative Association has brought literally thousands of lawsuits against those who damage fish stocks and has been a powerful force in keeping British waterways cleaner than their Israeli or American counterparts.

More highways like the Ayalon and buildings like the Azrieli Center are the future for the Tel Aviv Metropolitan region.

I guarantee many of the tent-dwellers cling to sacred cows that harm their own stated agenda: more affordable housing. Israel is not a big place. Unfortunately, like a lot of countries in Europe there exists a bizarre aversion to building upwards. The norm for Israeli apartment complexes is that they are under nine stories. Tel Aviv may be bustling, but it is far less densely populated than Paris, London and other perfectly liveable cities. It could easily afford exceeding the currently accepted limits. Everybody loves New York, right? Look at the number of film and other artistic depictions of Manhattan. A city simply doesn’t need strict height limits to remain breathable or to retain character. Environmentalist organisations are once again major culprits in progress prevention. Many influential, dedicated organisations in Israel have campaigned against more road and highway building to outer suburban areas and towns, in the fanatical campaign against urban sprawl. They are helped by the perception that because Israel is a small country, it is critical to curb human development soon before all of nature is destroyed. Yet road projects that faced opposition on environmental grounds have taken significant population and traffic pressure off cities and opened up cheaper housing opportunities for city workers. The CATO Institute’s Randall O’ Toole has done great work exposing the farce that is anti-road, highway, car and urban sprawl fanaticism, as well as the constant push for alternatives such as light rail by urban planners.

Finally, and this will be highly contentious, is that immigrants deserve some blame. Tel Aviv’s southern neighborhoods, rough around the edges but historically a source of cheap apartments, are now a haven for illegal African migrants. Controversy reverberated around the world when the decision was made to deport many children of these workers who were raised in Israel. The Israeli left championed the rights of asylum seekers and migrant workers to remain. The thousands of Sudanese people that call southern Tel Aviv neighborhoods home have certainly increased costs for the natives. That factor cannot be ignored. To be fair, a similar effect has been seen in Mamilla in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, where many prosperous Anglos have purchased holiday homes. The solution to these problems does not rest exclusively with protectionist measures, however, but once again primarily putting more land on the market.

Now it is more important than ever for Israelis to embrace the market, not the state.

Anders Behring Breivik is a (Insert Your Bogeyman Here)

First they blamed it on the Muslims. Now they seem to be blaming it on neoconservatives, white nationalists, libertarians, Christians, Mossad and Geert Wilders.

It was natural for many to assume the Oslo incident last Friday was the work of Muslims. Norway still has NATO troops in Afghanistan, is partaking in the Libyan adventure and, much like its Scandinavian neighbors, having trouble with an internal Muslim population. I thought it was fairly obvious who was behind it all, but I kept my mouth shut until I knew for sure. Bizarrely, far more prominent personalities than myself seemed incapable of common sense behavior and fell into the trap of making statements that can, and will, be used against them in the future.

The circus that occurred afterwards disappointed me. The folks at LewRockwell.com went for the jugular, stating for definite that Breivik is a neocon. Incredibly, some of Rockwell’s contributors claimed that because the leftists had held a pro-Palestinian demonstration, it may have been Breivik’s motive, as he wrote favorably of Israel.

Yes, the young leftists did indeed hold a pro-Palestinian rally, but it was among many other political activities promoting leftist positions that Breivik wouldn’t have liked. Breivik also expressed admiration for Japan and South Korea with regards to their policies on immigration. Breivik’s manifesto quoted many neoconservative writers, yet his footnotes also point to libertarian works published by the Mises Institute, as Rockwell (its President) admits. To my mind, Breivik’s views on immigration make him similar to the Paleo-conservatives like Pat Buchanan, who frequently contribute to Rockwell’s site. While LewRockwell.com contributors feared Breivik would be exploited by the left to demonize people who disagree with them, they themselves ended up doing exactly that by taking a cheap shot at Israel and neoconservatives (a movement I have no great love for, as I’ve written about earlier).

I’ve criticised people from my own side of the ideological spectrum for exploiting Breivik’s killing spree first, but there is no doubt that others have been doing the same thing to a similar or an even worse extent. The Angry Arab rants: “Imagine if a terrorist cited the writings of leftists like me as his inspiration. Would not TV trucks be parked outside my home?”

Well, sir, here is Reverend Benjamin Weir, who was abducted by Islamic Jihad in Beirut in 1984: “There became available to us a few books in English, provided not only for our recreational interest but presumably for our education. There was Edward Said’s Covering Islam”.

Everybody is out to blame somebody, it seems. Most of the American cable news channels have settled on the ”right-wing Christian extremist” label. I’m inclined to say our villain is a white nationalist in the BNP/Front Nationale mode, but not a Nazi. That label is just lazy. Breivik condemns Nazism—saying he wished he had a time machine so he could go back to 1933 and kill Hitler himself. He hates Nazism as much as Marxism, that’s for sure.

I personally feel somewhat unnerved: there is much in Breivik’s manifesto I agree with. I am not a supporter of mass Muslim immigration, particularly when there exists an extensive welfare state. Breivik rightly characterizes leftist Oslo anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen’s aim to “deconstruct the majority…and do it thoroughly, so that it can never be called the majority any longer” as genocidal hate speech. Breivik could certainly string an argument together. Then I get to the part where he says he has to kill people. A man like Breivik makes the Oslo killings a lot more scary than if it had been some lone, barely literate nut. No, this man is brutally logical and idealistic. The fact that he did not direct his wrath at an Islamic center or mosque, against the people a white nationalist would most naturally hate, is fascinating. He went for the leftists, the people he knew were enabling the excesses of multiculturalism.

I suppose people are capable of killing for any belief system. Right-wing terror hasn’t been prominent in Europe of late. Before Islamic terrorism grabbed headlines, domestic terrorism on the continent seemed very much a Marxist affair, considering the Baader Meinhoff Gang, the Red Brigades and so on. Breivik is no doubt trying to start a trend.

Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal probably had my favorite take on Oslo:

The more telling side of Breivik’s manifesto is his self-description as “Justiciar Knight Commander for the Knights Templar of Europe,” a group he claims has some 80 members and held a secret meeting in London in 2002. The fetishistic medievalism—Breivik seems to have designed a military dress uniform, and wants to wear it to his trial—is significant: Like Osama bin Laden and his epigones, his worldview seems mainly defined by the politics of the 13th century. And that worldview is fundamentally geared toward hastening an apocalypse.

In a superb new book, “Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of Millennial Experience,” Boston University’s Richard Landes notes just how pervasive this kind of impulse has been throughout history and across cultures, and how much its many strains—Christian, Marxist, Islamist, Nazi, environmentalist and so on—have in common. Breivik, Mr. Landes says, was of a piece: “Like many active cataclysmic apocalypticists, he believed that the socio-political world is in huge tension, like tectonic plates about to crack, and if he can set off a small explosion in the right place it will unleash far greater forces.” In this sense, Mr. Landes adds, “the thing he resembles most is the people he hates.”

He’s right, and not just in regards to methods. Just as al Qaeda’s primary fury has always been directed at Muslims who they view as apostates, traitors or stooges of the West, the main object of Breivik’s hatred was what he called the “cultural Marxists” who dominated Norwegian politics. “If they refuse to surrender until 2020,” he said of them, “there will be no turning back. We will eventually wipe out every single one of them.”

Similarly, the purpose of Breivik’s massacre wasn’t simply to kill off the Labor party’s leadership, current and future. It was to create a spectacle, and in doing so energize a cause. It’s no accident that he wants media present at his trial: He has now entered what he calls the propaganda phase of his campaign, in which he imagines he will be given “a stage to the world” through which he can win over “tens of millions of European sympathizers and tens of thousands of brothers and sisters who support us fully and are willing to fight beside us.” This was precisely what al Qaeda hoped to achieve (and to an extent did achieve) with 9/11.

I will certainly be reading Richard Landes, and watching the trial.

My Take on the Norris Campaign

Davis Norris is not affiliated with a political party. He is a Joycean scholar and preserver of historic buildings. To me, these things make him a much more appealing candidate for the office of President of the little Irish Republic than the other contenders. I’ve always thought it disappointing that the political parties have been the gateway to the Irish Presidency, considering the office is largely ceremonial. The President is meant to be a mostly apolitical figure and representative of Ireland to the outside world. Who could be better than the charismatic urbane intellectual man steeped in some of the best of Irish culture? Isn’t that the image Ireland wants?

Of course, embarrassing past interviews re-surfaced. We all know the story by now. It appeared in his infamous Helen Lucy Burke interview (Here, Here and Here) that Norris was advocating the abolition of the ‘age of consent’ though he claims he has been misunderstood and his words distorted.

That may be so.

It never seemed to affect his lead in the polls. My main problem with Norris in recent times has been his outspoken criticism of Israel. There is lots of that in Ireland (indeed, all of Europe). Yet Norris went much too far for my taste by inviting the Israeli Communist historian Ilan Pappé, a controversial and highly biased academic, to address the Oireachtas. The average Irish parliamentarian would simply have no idea where to begin in confronting the man. Pappé doesn’t fit my definition of a proper historian, and  therefore I do not want to waste my breath by attacking him. I will say that at least this fellow is quite open about his sympathies and political agenda (he ran for Knesset elections as a Communist in the 1990s, and claims Israel’s existence is a nuisance that gets in the way of solving larger problems, such as those relating to the environment).

And yet there are past associations of David Norris that are less explored that would seem very relevant. In light of the age of consent controversy it would be highly appropriate to bring up facts about his former long-time romantic partner, the Israeli Communist Ezra Nawi. Nawi is a plumber by profession but also a political agitator. Few are aware that Nawi was convicted of sodomizing an underage Palestinian Arab boy in 1992, as well as the illegal use of a firearm, growing narcotics and transporting Palestinian Arab workers who did not possess the proper permits into Israel. Nawi was given light sentences so as to not give him the status of a martyr among Israeli Anarchists and Communists. David Norris was certainly aware of Nawi’s history of intercourse with underage boys while they were a couple. Why has this been ignored in the public debates?

Ezra Nawi on a flamboyant display near Hebron

Nawi’s bizarre activities didn’t stop in 1992. For instance, the man seems to be fond of exposing himself in public.  In 2006 he was charged for displaying his genitals to a religious Jewish farmer’s wife near Hebron, who photographed him. In a separate incident, Nawi exposed his anus to an Israeli police officer. Norris was no longer involved romantically with Nawi at that stage. However, he continued to offer him the assistance an Irish Senator with strong Human Rights Industry connections could. The Senator admits to lobbying on behalf of  Nawi’s Arab partner, who was jailed for working without possessing proper documentation. When Nawi was in prison for supposedly assaulting an Israeli police officer, David Norris expressed solidarity with him in the Oireacthas. Nawi was quickly released due to foreign pressure and because the evidence against him was not so strong. In 2007, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and other Bishops of the Left also expressed solidarity with Nawi after an earlier assault and rioting incident. A fawning documentary was made by leftist filmmakers about him (it doesn’t mention young boys or firearms). Nawi was given a light 1-month prison sentence after that episode. There may indeed have been questions about Nawi’s most recent assault conviction, but he is certainly not some angelic character concerned solely with human rights. And he is certainly not the kind of man a politician embroiled in conflict over his views on pedophilia would want to be seen assisting.

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UPDATE (July 29th, 2011) : It is interesting that Ezra Nawi’s Hebrew Wikipedia page mentions the sodomy against a minor conviction, but the English one does not. Nor do any Nawi biographies on the websites of ‘human rights’ organisations. Here is the Hebrew Ha’aretz article used as a reference for the conviction on the Hebrew wiki. An English Ha’aretz report on Nawi’s 1-month prison sentence I have embedded in the post also refers to the 1992 conviction.

The Battle of First Manassas (or Bull Run) and ‘Mighty Stonewall’

Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson earned his non de guerre at Manassas 150 years ago today

This day, July 21st, 150 years ago, saw the first major engagement of the War Between the States at Manassas, Virginia. The date ranks as one of the most important in history. It was at Manassas that Lincoln and the Federal army believed they could crush the nascent Southern rebellion once and for all, and open up the way to the vulnerable new Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia. The Northern public’s enthusiasm for military action helped persuade Lincoln to command a more cautious General Irvin McDowell to move his 33,000 troops against 22,000 Confederates thirty miles west of Washington D.C.

The Northerners were optimistic. Many Washingtonians rode out with packed lunches in their carriages to view what they thought would inevitably be a whooping of the rebels. It did not turn out as they had hoped. The day initially went against the unseasoned Confederates under P.G.T. Beauregard, until the arrival of reinforcements from the Shenandoah Valley by rail that allowed the rebels to extend their lines and break the Unions right flank. The battle finished with a chaotic scramble of Federal troops and civilian onlookers back to Washington.

However, it was a relatively unknown newly-appointed brigadier general called Thomas Jackson who earned the most renown that day. Arriving later in the battle, he held his ground under heavy assault at Henry House Hill, famously remaining serene in the midst of the chaos and danger, which earned him the nom de guerre of ‘Stonewall’. His discipline encouraged the Brig. Gen. Barnard Elliot Bee Jr. to re-form his disordered brigade under the rallying cry: “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!” Stonewall and Bee’s brigades turned back a seemingly overpowering force against their strategic position.

In a single day of fighting, the Union’s hopes of ending the rebellion quickly were devastated. It would now be a long and grueling four year total war.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis visited the battlefield shortly afterward, to whom Jackson proclaimed: ”Give me ten thousand men and I will take Washinton tomorrow!” Davis refused, and he lived to regret the decision, considering it one of the greatest mistakes of the war. By all accounts, Washington was woefully under-defended at the time. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson was quickly promoted to major general and given command of the Valley District, thereby responsible for the defense of the Shenandoah Valley.

Jackson’s subsequent operations ranked as the most spectacular military achievements of the nineteenth century. His 16,000 troops defeated some 45,000 Federals during the Valley Campaign in the battles of Kernstown, McDowell, Winchester, Cross Keys and Port Republic. Rumours circulated that he would indeed take Washington. Writers began comparing him to Napoleon. In the eyes of the Southerners, he became second only to Robert E. Lee. How history would have been different had he not been killed by friendly fire at Chancellorsville is a vexed question, but when General Lee learned of Jackson’s death, he told his cook, “William, I have lost my right arm” and “I’m bleeding at the heart.”

Here is an excellent portrayal of the Battle of First Manassas from the movie ‘Gods and Generals’. Notice the Confederacy had not yet adopted the famous ‘Stars and Bars’ as their flag.

Exposing the anti-Israel United Nations farce, in under four minutes.

In anticipation of the upcoming Durban III Conference in New York City, some good souls have created an outstanding video explaining how the UN became horribly biased against Israel, as well as blind to the world’s worst human rights violators.

Take a look. In less than four minutes, you’ll get an excellent (and shocking) lesson in UN history and the origins of the Socialist-Islamist Alliance…

Film Noir: Dark, Delicious and Deserving of a Comeback

Celebrating American independence need not entail fireworks displays and barbecues, especially on this side of the Atlantic where such things may not be practical for most of us. This Fourth of July, why not enjoy one of the truly American art forms? Along with the Western, the most American of film genres has to be Film Noir – and moreover, it just happens to be my favorite one. These films from the 1940’s to the mid-50’s are not only entertaining but incredibly stylish. Look back at a time when men wore hats, always had their hair sharply parted and ties and jackets were a given. It seems that even the bums and hobos of that era dressed better than, say, retail business managers today. Perhaps the Great Depression forced people to sell themselves a lot more? The cursed casual movement of the sixties still upsets me to no end, and I long for a time when something resembling civilisation might return. Another round of quantitative easing might just do the trick. The women looked swell, too. Curvy actresses and the good old 70% waist-to-hip ratio, ideal for childbearing, were in. Sure women were slapped around a lot, but they often deserved it. Film noir featured lots of moral ambiguity, which I always found fascinating, considering they peaked at a time when we were fighting the ‘good war’ to save civilisation.

There has been no great flood of film noir titles in recent years, so its the perfect time to anticipate a trend. Hollywood will no doubt look to the past when ideas run dry. One of my favorite films of the noughties was the unique neo-noir ‘Brick’ (2005) where many of the essentials of film noir (cynicism, crime, the femme fatale, a fast-talking detective and informant) were transplanted to a modern California high school. It worked. Kids talked Raymond Chandler and Hammett. Along with Polanski’s ‘Chinatown’, this film proved that film noir need not be in black and white.

One thing annoyed me about Brick. It was meant to be in 2005, but I don’t think I saw a computer or cellphone in the entire film. We see the lead character in a payphone several times. Why the absence of modern technology?

Still from 'Brick' (2005)

It actually made perfect sense. The plot of many a classic noir always seemed to hinge on cases of mistaken identity and the unknown, plots to which technological limits lend more credence. In 1955’s ‘The Night of the Hunter’ a murderous deranged felon is a able to pass himself off as the prison chaplain of the penitentiary where a widow’s husband was executed (whereas in fact he had shared a cell with the man). The poor unsuspecting widow Willa Harper today could browse the details of every Federal inmate incarcerated since 1982 on this website, and probably find profiles of all the staff on the individual prison’s website.

Likewise ‘Detour’ in 1945 concerns a hitchhiker picked up by a man who dies suddenly. Fearing blame, the hitchhiker is able to dump the body, assume the identity of the deceased (who had not spoken to his parents in years and had no way of locating them) and even sell the car. Yet it gets truly terrifying when he picks a woman up who demands to know where he’s hidden the body.

Technological limits make the film noir world go round somewhat. Characters have to be anonymous, mysteriously displaced or with an unknown past that’s not possible in the age of Google.

So, while I’m not a person who holds that true film noir is no longer possible since the colour camera, I do think to be as ‘real’ as possible they have to take place in the 30’s (like Chinatown and L.A. Confidential did) or the 1940’s. Nothing wrong with that. We can get fashion tips. Is yours a face for a trilby or fedora?

Zionist Puppets Unite!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my views on those controversial Chris Andrews tweets. For those that don’t know, on June 27th Andrews tweeted:

Lab are pro-Israeli party & FG foreıgn affaırs on İsrael are determıned by İsraels puppet ın Ireland Alan Shatter Gov wıll support Israel

 

The ever cerebral Chris went further downhill from there, ranting that many countries, including Greece, were in the pockets of that favorite bogeyman, the Israel Lobby. Andrews defended himself from angry tweeters by doing the ‘its about human rights’ thing, in twitter hissy fits that are still ongoing.

Look, I’m sure Chris Andrews is one of those people who has his heart in the right place, but his brain is out there somewhere cold, dark and covered with spiders. It may all be just typical Fianna Fáil populism raising its ugly head, rather than something more sinister. Chris Andrews is something of a political slut when it comes to the Human Rights Industry, which he clearly wants behind him in future campaigns for parliament and possibly in order to win cushy jobs at the UN or EU.

Andrews is from one of those Fianna Fáil political dynasties, similar to the late Brian Lenihan or Brian Cowen. This type of person is usually clueless when it comes to finance or economics, as evidenced by their criminal reaction to the crisis in the Irish banking sector in September 2008, a situation in which the entire Irish Cabinet and political class were in way over their heads. These people are experts in getting liked by constituents, such as by securing a new swimming pool in their area or fixing a road. Getting aboard the Palestine™ bandwagon is just another variation on this theme. I simply tweeted in response to Andrews that this nonsense proves ”Fianna Failures should stick to shaking hands at funerals and stay out of complex matters abroad”.

 

On a brighter note: I believe Enda Kenny has been far more balanced than the last regime when it comes to this whole flotilla farce. He declared in Parliament in response to Joe Higgins that there was no aid on the Irish ship last year or this year, which seems to be a controversial thing to admit for some reason.

Does England Need Guns? A Warning From History

A fascinating Spiegel article I saw a few weeks back brought attention to the fact that Britain is far more Germanic than many believed in the past.

While we all know the Saxons, Jutes and such flooded the island of Britain between 450 and 550, the numbers have been intensely debated. According to the article, archaeologist Heinrich Härke of the University of Reading has estimated “up to 200,000 emigrants” crossed the North Sea. We know they were a tough bunch:

The estimated 200,000 intruders faced an overwhelming number of Britons, about a million, and yet the invaders triumphed. The kingdoms that soon developed, like East Anglia, Wessex (West Saxony) and Essex (East Saxony) were run by robust chieftains like Sigeric and Cynewulf.

Wait, the German tribes were outnumbered 5:1 but they still beat the Britons hands down? How did they do that?

The Celts were no match for these roughnecks. The Romans had taught them how to play the lyre and drink copious amounts of wine, but the populace in the regions controlled by the Pax Romana was barred from carrying weapons. As a result, the local peoples, no longer accustomed to the sword, lost one battle after the next and were forced to the edges of the island.

The Old English heroic epic “Beowulf” suggests how coarse and combative life was among the pagan conquerors in their reed-covered huts. They had soon occupied eastern and central England.

So the cultured Britons raised in a Roman nanny state were effectively wiped out by less sophisticated, but armed and dedicated immigrants. I wonder are there any lessons from this episode relevant to today?