Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Forgotten Kingdom of Araucania-Patagonia

Almost a century and a half after Orélie-Antoine de Tounens assumed the title of King of Araucania-Patagonia, his descendants still lay claim to the throne of that putative monarchy at the southern tip of South America.

Those who wish for the independence of this putative country have a website here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Act of Settlement

God Save Our King – the Duke of Bavaria

The obsession with appeasing minorities now includes Roman Catholics, who are apparently pining away for want of being able to become King of England, or to marry into the Royal family. I should have thought there were more important issues as Britain sinks into the swamp, but never mind. If we overturn the Act of Settlement then it seems to make sense to go the whole hog, and restore the Stuart (Catholic) line to the throne, from which it was debarred in 1701. This, as my colleague Mandrake discloses today, means turning the Duke of Bavaria, a descendant of James II, into King Francis II. This would be but a small undertaking for a Government that has already brought Britain to its knees, and how we must look forward to it.

Duke Francis of Bavaria given hope of claiming British throne

Jack Straw's review of the law banning Roman Catholics from succeeding to the throne may have some intriguing ramifications. It had been envisaged that any change to the law would apply only to future members of the Royal family, but the present Duke Francis of Bavaria, who claims to be the rightful king of Scotland, England, Ireland and France, is likely to be consulting m'learned friends about how it will apply to him.

Hat tip: Roncesvalles.

Act repeal could make Franz Herzog von Bayern new King of England and Scotland

Monday, December 8, 2008

Yet another argument against the metric system: it annoys kittehs!

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Someday My Prince Will Come

No doubt many of you have read the charming Someday My Prince Will Come: True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess by Jerramy Fine. If you haven't, here's the official summary:

Most young girls dream of becoming a princess. But unlike most girls, Jerramy Fine never grew out of it. Strangely drawn to the English royal family since she was a toddler, Jerramy finds Peter Phillips (the Queen’s oldest grandson) in a royal family tree when she is only six years old, and decides immediately that he will be her future husband. But growing up with hippie parents (who gave her a boy’s name!) in the middle of a rodeo-loving farm town makes finding her prince a much bigger challenge than Jerramy ever bargained for.

She spends her childhood writing love-letters to Peter c/o Buckingham Palace, and years later, when her sense of destiny finally brings her to London, she must navigate the murky waters of English social circles, English etiquette and English dating. Along the way, she meets Princess Anne (Peter’s mother), befriends Earl Spencer, and parties with the Duchess of York.

Yet life is not the Hugh Grant movie she hoped it would be. Her flatmates are lunatics, London is expensive, and English boys can be infuriating. But just when she thinks it might be time to give up and return to America, Peter magically appears in her life.

Someday My Prince Will Come is a hilarious and heartwarming true story about having the courage to pursue your childhood dream no matter how impossible it seems.

The book is indeed a highly enjoyable read, even though I don't see eye to eye with Miss Fine about everything. Because of Miss Fine's textbook case of Anglomania, I thought my aunt, who is also an anglophile, might like to have the book for Chanukah. (Chanukah didn't used to be a gift-giving holiday, but we kind of picked up the habit to keep our kids happy.) I hadn't gotten around to ordering it when I received a notification from her website:

Dearest All,

The holidays are upon us and I'm sure you're all racking your brains for unique yet affordable gift ideas. Rack no longer!

How about getting your sister, mother, cousin, aunt, niece, friend, co-worker – a personalised, signed copy of Someday My Prince Will Come?!

Just tell me exactly how you want me to sign the book (who it's for, any special message, etc). I will engrave the book in gold pen according to your wishes and airmail it out to you in time for Christmas or Hanukkah. Cost is $30, which includes international shipping. Supplies are limited so first come, first serve. (US orders must be placed by Dec 10th.)

Royally yours,


If anyone else would like a nice autographed copy of this book, you can email Miss Fine at

Sunday, December 7, 2008

This article speaks for itself. No comment necessary.

Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children's dictionary

Oxford University Press has removed words like "aisle", "bishop", "chapel", "empire" and "monarch" from its Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like "blog", "broadband" and "celebrity". Dozens of words related to the countryside have also been culled.

The publisher claims the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society.

But academics and head teachers said that the changes to the 10,000 word Junior Dictionary could mean that children lose touch with Britain's heritage.

"We have a certain Christian narrative which has given meaning to us over the last 2,000 years. To say it is all relative and replaceable is questionable," said Professor Alan Smithers, the director of the centre for education and employment at Buckingham University. "The word selections are a very interesting reflection of the way childhood is going, moving away from our spiritual background and the natural world and towards the world that information technology creates for us."

Friday, December 5, 2008

How Obama Got Elected

The great mass of people are not sufficiently interested in politics to learn what is necessary to know in order to make informed voting decisions. Besides that most charitable observation—for it is to Americans’ credit that they value other things more than politics—it remains true that many people are stupid, uneducated, and lacking in practical wisdom. According to Andrew the logic professor, only a minority of his students—people in a selective university who have chosen to take courses in logic—are capable of discursive reasoning. Basic syllogistic steps, repeatedly explained over the course of fifteen weeks, are too much for them to grasp. How, then, can we expect every adult with a pulse to judge the complex matters of public policy?

It is absurd! Democracy is ridiculous, in theory and in practice. Yet, it holds such a commanding hold on the allegiances and aspirations of all. Simply baffling . . .

Thailand’s revolting middle-classes

Remember all those theories about how the emergence of an urban middle-classes is a force for democratisation, because the bourgeoise will demand political rights? Well, in Thailand the precise opposite is happening. The urban middle-classes are rising up and demanding that democracy be rescinded.

Hat tip Eunomia.

The King We Never Had

This was linked by several people on my blogroll, but I saw it first from Wilson Revolution Unplugged:

The Man Who Would Be King

If George Washington had been made monarch, this Texas family might be American royalty today.

Lore has it that President Washington was so well liked after his Revolutionary victory that a group of citizens frustrated with the Continental Congress floated the idea of a coup-d'etat and the installation of King George and the creation of an American monarchy. But Washington, who believed that anyone (anyone!) might make for a good leader, staunched the idea and eventually relinquished his power as commander-in-chief.

Since then, genealogists have been pondering the possibilities had President Washington been a bit more power-hungry. As early as 1908, newspapers published accounts of history buffs who worked their way through the Washington family tree using rules of succession to determine the rightful heir to the theoretical American throne. But without the Internet, branches of the Washington tree would be lost in Ohio, say, or forgotten by lineage sleuths who couldn't quite decipher a family tree made complicated because Washington himself didn't have any children.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Democracy is bad for business

Via the fledging blog A Letter To The Times, two quotations from the 1972 book Panics & Crashes and How You Can Make Money Out of Them, by Harry D. Schultz.

Left to itself the business cycle would probably ebb and flow in small waves at relatively frequent intervals. No government can stop this from happening. All it can ever do is alter the timing. For example, government may stop us having a minor recession every couple of years, one which we would barely notice. Instead, we get the recession in one big glob every 20 years or so, and then we suffer for several years from it.

Why does government do this? To buy time. A politician’s first duty is to get elected. Thus when things look slightly bad the politician feels obligated, for self-survival, to cover up.

Politicians also find inflation a good thing. They can promise wage increases and subsidies. They can announce all sorts of public works projects, knowing full well that inflation will soon offset their grandiose figures.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This is, I believe, the 19th coup since the Thai monarchy was made ornamental.

Hooray for elected government!

Monday, December 1, 2008

His Majesty, the President

Why Americans Are Reluctant to Admit Their Presidents Are Kings

indeed, it is one of the great ironies of America that the Founding Fathers invested more power in the presidency than ever exercised by George III, a monarch described as a ‘tyrant’ in the Declaration of Independence. The Stadholder of the Netherlands, William V, was explicit. He wrote to John Adams, ‘Sir, you have given yourselves a king under the title of president’.

When our republic was founded, there was a great deal of debate over things like how to address the president; such things as "Your Excellent Highness" [or something similar] were suggested before they finally settled on "Mr. President". And when the White House was first being built, it was referred to as "the President's Palace".

Incidentally, the page has a link to a book called Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter. I'm not familiar with the book, so I don't know if it's just tired America-bashing or if it actually deals with the folly of voting, but a folly it is. Nor do I imagine that voters in other countries are any wiser; indeed, the evidence is to the contrary.