A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Monday, December 17, 2012

Right Stuff Day

World's first test pilot makes world's first flight test
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Dry Wit

David Warren who formerly wrote a column for the Ottowa Citizen or some such newspaper in the great white north has appeared in the blogosphere with Essays in Idleness.  He has a hand for the turn of phrase.  A few examples harvested at random:

  • We have seen the past, & it works.
  • Those were also the days before what is mildly called “political correctness” made every journalist his own gestapo against candour of any kind.
  • That fatuous worldview, in which evil is an artefact of short funding for progressive social schemes.
  • Cause & cure are likewise beyond them. Outrage over the transit-bus gang rape is evident through the Indian media. Indians are not yet as stupid as Americans, & thus less likely to say, “Why why why?” But give them time. For as in the West, the thinking in India becomes focused on the technical fix, & away from wrestling with intractable human nature.
  • For the state, the whole miserable fiscal point of “traditional” marriage — one man & one woman, for life — was to limit claims on the welfare rolls. Even if cynically, they grasped the connexion. Progressive politicians have been overcoming this “uncaring” backwardness through legal & social engineering, with ever greater enthusiasm. For they have discovered that single moms, & vagrant dads, welfare dependents, & even the criminal class, vote overwhelming for progressive politicians, & respond reliably to “make the rich pay.”
  • The last time we tried to exchange a gold note for the gold it specified, we were gawped at by the bank manager as if we had stepped from a time warp in ancient Sumerian clothing.
  • The degeneration starts with pride, envy & covetousness; with the discovery that the government’s monopoly on force can be used to appropriate goods & services; to settle all the old scores by spite; to advance one’s class at the expense of another; to free the citizen from his moral obligations — all demands spoken in the name of the demos, the mob, The People, “equality” — from astride a tall wild horse.
  • One indication of how intelligent they are: we have never seen a crow reading Discover magazine.
On matters ecclesiastical (he is a convert from atheism to Catholicism via High Church Anglicanism):
Our theory is that Christ goes where He is wanted, & leaves when He is not. He has gone, perhaps to Africa.

We put it that way in the full knowledge that we will be treated as mad, by the atheist Enlightened. Their reaction might be, “Have you been to Africa lately?” To which we might reply, “Have you checked on those Vandals & Huns?” The Europe that was raised by the Church from savagery to the highest pinnacles of civilization started with unpromising tribal material. It took centuries to Christianize them; centuries through which heresy often flourished within the Church herself. Some centuries from now, we may look to Africa again, as the centre of our human world; to the magnificent cathedrals of Africa  — Europe having returned to its barbaric condition, & America with Europe. Already, we are in more need of missionaries from Africa, than Africa is in need of missionaries from us.
And too good to pass up, a comment from one of his commentariat:
  • Nature abhors the vacuous.


  1. The good David Warren has actually been in the blogosphere for years now, but it seems he has reinvented his website. He is definitely worth reading from time to time.

    Sadly, I myself was soured from him for a while because of his views on torture, which I could not agree with. Every other matter he has written about, though, has been excellent.

    1. Sadly, I myself was soured from him for a while because of his views on torture...

      Here's something too good not to share:

      "He [KSM] had us chasing the goddamn geese in Central Park because he said some of them had explosives stuffed up their ass," one FBI counter-terrorism agent said in frustration.

      In other words, an actual wild goose chase.

      You can't make this stuff up.


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