Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quotation of the Day

The government of the uncontrolled numerical majority, is but the absolute and despotic form of popular government.

~ John C. Calhoun

Argument for democracy not holding up

One of the most common arguments in favor of elected governments is that it makes governments answerable to their citizens, and gives the people what they want. That last is dubious enough, but even if it weren't, the fact is, elected government doesn't do that.

Leading climate scientist: 'democratic process isn't working'

James Hansen, a climate modeller with Nasa, told the Guardian today that corporate lobbying has undermined democratic attempts to curb carbon pollution. "The democratic process doesn't quite seem to be working," he said.


Hansen is funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute under the ‘Politicization of Science’ program. In December 2008, it was discovered that Hansen’s claim of the hottest October on record was due to false numbers being used. It was also dicovered in 2007 that Hansen had falsified records. Source.

So if it isn't working, just what are we supposed to do? Declare martial law, I suppose.

What else?

More than three-quarters of Britons want to see jobless immigrants forced to leave UK

You see these articles all the time. Most Americans or Europeans aren't in favor of all sorts of things: abortion on demand, gay marriage, unlimited immigration, the EU, etc. etc. Yet governments continue to force some or all of these things on us, knowing full well that we don't want them.

Is this "government of the people, by the people, for the people"? Is democracy really giving us what we want from government?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

God save the Queen

You know, we Americans don't have any comparable expression. Can you seriously imagine anyone saying, "God save the President"?

Last night I went to a play. A character who was frustrated trying to come up with an idea exclaimed, "My head is so empty I could run for public office!" It got an easy laugh. Random, nonpartisan denigration of politicans is always good for an easy laugh. Remember this exchange from the movie The Last Action Hero? "There are lots of worse things. Politicians, wars, forest fires, famine, plague, sickness, pain, warts, politicians...." "You already said politicians." "Well, they're twice as bad as anything else."

I could be wrong, but it doesn't seem that people ruled by monarchs and nobles, past or present, have the same attitude towards their rulers as those of us who elect them do. Every president or prime minister has his fans, but I've never seen the kind of affection for them that British subjects have for their sovereign. Nor do subjects joke about their sovereigns the way citizens do about their politicians.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Source.

Kings

I've never been much of a TV watcher, but now and then they air something I actually find worthwhile.

For example, Kings, which premiered on Sunday. The first episode can be viewed at the link. It's a modern-day version of the Biblical story of David. We have King Silas (Saul) carrying a cell phone and giving press conferences, "Goliath" is a type of tank, and so on.

I do have some criticisms. David's characterization is too idealistic for my tastes; the historical King David was, in my view, quite the Machiavellian. I have heard rumors that he will become more so as the series continues; I can only hope so. The Tudors had the courage to make their protagonist unsympathetic and look how successful it has been!

I also was not pleased to see the dreary PC details that were shoehorned in. But then, I didn't imagine that the Ministry of Propaganda would allow any show to be released without that.

But I won't let these flaws deprive me of the show. Royalty, court intrigue, and implicitly Jewish characters - how could I resist? And it's beautifully filmed, well acted, complexly plotted, and well scripted with many subtly funny lines. At the beginning, Reverend Samuels (the prophet Samuel, of course) meets young David Shepherd and remarks, "You're a polite young man."

"Just the way I was raised," David replies.

"Yes? Well, you'd better get over it before you go out into the world," Samuels remarks wryly.

Historical movies and shows always inspire me to do research to learn how accurate they are. I've been reading a lot about the Tudors because of the series about them, and The Last King has me digging around to find out all about the Merry Monarch. (I recommend the movie and will blog about what I'm learning in time.) This one will send me back to the Bible to refresh my memory about the events they're dramatizing.

The ratings haven't been great so far, but I think the show is really good. So unless you are one of those who has, understandably, sworn off the idiot box, then please, tune in to this show. We should encourage the TV makers when they do something right for a change.

Depressing news

As Tax Havens Acquiesce, Monaco Adopts Standards

PARIS — Monaco succumbed to international pressure over the weekend, becoming the latest country to adopt international standards for banking openness and information-sharing at a time when the United States and its European allies in battling tax evaders face what could be years of negotiations before they are able to proclaim victory....

Monaco is joining Switzerland, one of the countries that told the organization in the last few weeks that it would abide by the standards outlined under Article 26 of the organization’s Model Tax Convention, which requires the tax authorities to exchange information on request if there is probable cause to suspect tax evasion.

The other governments joining Switzerland and Monaco are Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New links

I've added several new blogs to my blogroll. Sorry there are too many to list; I've been putting off doing this for months, and there's a lot of them. If you want more monarchist blogs, I've got piles of 'em for you.
Identification of two missing Romanov children

One of the greatest mysteries for most of the twentieth century was the fate of the Romanov family, the last Russian monarchy. Following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, he and his wife, Alexandra, and their five children were eventually exiled to the city of Yekaterinburg. The family, along with four loyal members of their staff, was held captive by members of the Ural Soviet. According to historical reports, in the early morning hours of July 17, 1918 the entire family along with four loyal members of their staff was executed by a firing squad. After a failed attempt to dispose of the remains in an abandoned mine shaft, the bodies were transported to an open field only a few kilometers from the mine shaft. Nine members of the group were buried in one mass grave while two of the children were buried in a separate grave. With the official discovery of the larger mass grave in 1991, and subsequent DNA testing to confirm the identities of the Tsar, the Tsarina, and three of their daughters – doubt persisted that these remains were in fact those of the Romanov family. In the summer of 2007, a group of amateur archeologists discovered a collection of remains from the second grave approximately 70 meters from the larger grave. We report forensic DNA testing on the remains discovered in 2007 using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), autosomal STR, and Y- STR testing. Combined with additional DNA testing of material from the 1991 grave, we have virtually irrefutable evidence that the two individuals recovered from the 2007 grave are the two missing children of the Romanov family: the Tsarevich Alexei and one of his sisters.

Quotation of the Day

Monarchy can easily be ‘debunked;' but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.

~C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Electoral College and True Democracy

Yesterday I was leafing through a local publication and came across a rant about the electoral college. According to the ranter, she was an Obama supporter but was still mad because Hilary Clinton got more votes in the primaries and thus should have been the presidential candidate, not Obama. I don't know if that's true or if that's how primary elections work, and I frankly don't care enough to figure out how to look it up.

She finished by declaring that it is time we did away with the electoral college and directly elected our presidents. That, she said, would be "true democracy".

Only a couple of years ago that phrase wouldn't have bothered me a bit, and by the way, I frankly don't think that it makes much difference whether we have an electoral college or not. But now, I am struck by the fact that this anonymous ranter clearly considered the phrase "true democracy" to be an argument in her favor. You know, the whole problem with our democracy is that it isn't democratic enough, and making it more democratic would be a good thing. We're all so brainwashed about the innate virtue of democracy that all you have to do is use that magic word to justify making major changes in the processes of government.

Of course, even had I not become a monarchist, I would now be feeling rather disillusioned about democracy, considering the fix it's gotten my country into. I have no doubt that this latest election will awaken more Americans to the folly of democracy, "true" or not.

And while I am on the subject, I would like to apologize on behalf of my country to England for the appalling behavior of our current "president" towards Gordon Brown. I am no fan of Gordon Brown, but that does not change the fact of the respect with which England's prime minister should be received. I am utterly humiliated that someone who purports to represent my country should behave in such a fashion.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Webcomic: Democracy Exposed!

I didn't post the comic itself 'coz there's bad words.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Earl forced to flee castle blaze

LONDON — Scottish firefighters say they battled a fire in a 13th century castle for more than five hours before bringing the blaze under control.

The fire forced the Earl of Glasgow and his son from Kelburn Castle in the early hours of Monday. No one was injured.

The castle is located on Scotland's west coast, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of Glasgow. The castle's Web site says Kelburn is believed to be the oldest castle in Scotland continuously inhabited by the same family.

A spokeswoman for the castle says the fire was concentrated in a billiards room. There is now a hole in the roof above the billiards room. There is also water damage to the dining room below. The fire is not believed to be suspicious.