Essays in Idleness


A few ideas

Perhaps a new organization is required, to replace NATO. It would include all the current NATO members, minus Erdogan’s Turkey; but would add Taiwan, Japan, the Korean republic, the Philippines, Eretz Yisrael (to the Jordan), and eventually India and a few more nation-states. It would be explicitly trans-national, but expressly opposed to any form of “world government”; a military alliance, not an infinite bureaucracy. Members would withdraw from the United Nations, upon joining.

The Czech defence ministrix, Jana Černochová, might be among the first movers of this proposal. Like all the allied defence ministers, she has seen the Hamas attack videos from October 7th (filmed largely by Hamas itself); the Israelis made copies. But alone among them, she has pointed out that these images are not only in bad taste. They indicate that a new Holocaust has begun against the Jews; and resigning from the U.N., which “diplomatically” supports it, is incumbent upon every civilized state.

One could be tedious and add vignettes from the pro-Hamas, pro-Jew murder demonstrations of Islamists and Leftists right around the world. This would include scenes of mobs, hunting unambiguously for Jews to kill in places like Dagestan and Pakistan; but also filling the streets in the urban West with their sympathizers. The scheme of importing quite unexamined Muslim immigrants into Europe and North America on an incredible scale should itself be definitively “re-examined.”

For our “anti-terrorist” laws need force. Supporters of Hamas and of other terrorist entities must be deported, if they are not citizens, or imprisoned if they are. The argument for imprisoning them is far more lucid than Roosevelt’s, who was putting Japanese immigrants in prison camps during World War II. For this is not a question of mere ethnicity, but of their conscious criminality.

Needless to say, my proposals are unlikely to prevail in the foreseeable future.

Prayer intentions

The pope and my archbishop have called for a day of prayer, today. They request “all Christians and all people of good will to pray for the people of Israel, Palestine, and the entire region that we know as the Holy Land.”

I am reminded of the days, some years ago when I was parked in Jerusalem, of all the tee-shirts and posters that read, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” If you were a vendor of trinkets for tourists, this message would be prominently displayed in your stall. As seemingly every Palestinian resident of all religions was a salesman of trinkets to tourists, this message was oppressively common.

Hamas slaughters 1,400+ Jews and their guests, and desecrates their bodies; we pray for “peace, peace,” in anticipation of the reply.

My own instruction would be, instead: “Pray for the destruction of Hamas.”


I sometimes berate my firstborn because, while he has an advanced degree in electronic engineering, and the powerful advantages of the cis-male gender, his lily-white privilege, and a few text books with pretty illustrations, he has failed to invent a portable device for drawing hydrogen from water.

Eheu: perhaps my instructions were insufficiently clear.

You see, I have long been convinced that water — plain, no additives — contains hydrogen and oxygen, just as the manuals say. Aware of the difficulties of transporting hydrogen (which tends to evaporate quickly at room temperature), I have further noticed that water is the most reliable carrier, far in advance of expensive high-tech alternatives. Now on the U-Boob, you will find several videos suggesting that my mechanical gizmo has already been constructed, but frankly, I don’t trust them. The same for Meta, Instagram, and Facebook, which have attracted lawsuits in most of the states of America and Europe: they are entirely unreliable. But my son I would trust.

The invention I desire would be modest in scale. It would be a small portable device that splits water into its components (hydrogen; oxygen) such that the hydrogen could then be used in fuel cells to power land vehicles, such as cars and carts, at, say, one hundred nautical miles to the gallon. I imagine that variations would provide home heaters and a thousand other “consumer durables.” All would be powered exclusively by water, which I think is cheaper than oil, petrol, lithium, or uranium. It is also by reputation safer, although there is the ever-present risk of drowning.

Indeed, the “beauty” of this invention, as soon as my son has made it, is that it will put most of the big-league capitalists out of business, along with most of their eco rivals. However, governments would naturally intervene, to raise taxes on water to five dollars per liquid ounce, citing the emergency of Global Drying. So we would still have to overthrow them.

The people who manufacture our spiffy (yet cosmically simple) new engines would flourish, mightily. They are the craftsmen upon whom, together with the farmers, God usually smiles.

I suppose I should give my son more time. Patience is a virtue. Meanwhile, those who travel short distances should continue to walk; and those who would travel long distances may use horses and tents in their pilgrimages.


At least five thousand Hamas rockets have landed within the boundaries of the Gaza strip, during the current campaign.

Of course,  this is another thing the Jews can be blamed for: Palestinians are being killed by rockets that were intended for the Jews. If the Israelis would only allow free trade to the Palestinians, with, for instance, Iran, the Palestinians could buy rockets with much better technology, instead of relying on home-assembly from plumbing pipes and other primitive materials, delivered in aid programmes. They could then hit targets with greater accuracy, and therefore murder Jews more efficiently.

Perhaps this analysis is too glib. Hamas isn’t especially interested in accuracy, and if they kill mostly Arabs, or cause Arabs to be killed (in reprisals), their purposes are probably better served.

One thinks, for instance, of the BBC, among the world’s leading Palestine promoters. Day after day they headline casualties from the Israeli assault, in which they have included, for instance, the (misfired?) Hamas rocket that struck a Christian hospital, and the large number of secondary explosions from the Hamas tunnel network, in which explosives are stored.

The Hamas strategy is, more simply, to kill a lot of people, for instance a lot of Jews on the morning of Saturday, October 7th — to the praise of their international allies — but also many Muslims, day in and day out.

Such, however, are the politics in this world, that they will always find supporters — among Islamists and Leftists, currently, and among other devils in human flesh, when another murderous cause is to be served.

And politics includes the art of compromise, with such devils. Land for peace, the bifurcation of states, and subsidies for fake humanitarianism, are among the concessions that nice liberals and conservatives make. That is why I am neither a liberal nor a conservative; but a reactionary, and apparently a war-monger.

For I think the purpose of wars, including many of the wars that Jews and Christians have been getting into during the last few centuries, is Victory. Defeat is always a mistake.

There will always be more wars — among humans and the other killer apes — but they must be fought, with attention, one battle at a time, with an eye to victory and the extinction of the evil that must be fought. Wars can be quite unpleasant.

But the good news is that they can generally be avoided by a side that has a reputation for winning them, quickly and decisively.


It was very sad that the German people had to be seriously inconvenienced during the Second World War, but the brutal bombing and invasion of German territory proceeded, without consulting them. This followed from German non-consultation about the invasion of Poland, &c, but to coin a phrase, “war is war.”

The inhabitants of Gaza have been told to clear out of the northern half of their rather small homeland, and deprived of electricity and a few other things which were previously supplied (for free in many cases) by Israel — food, drinkable water, and common medicines being among the greatest necessities. However, Jewish like Christian religious principle insists on making arrangements, and international law, founded on Judaeo-Christianity, demands that efforts shall be made. Institutions like the Red Cross (and its Muselmann partner, the Red Crescent) may be called into service.

Nevertheless, the inconvenience is likely to cost several thousand lives, not all of them Hamas agents, though most of them Hamas supporters, judging from reports. Similar reports came out of Germany after 1939: that the majority of Germans were loyal to the Nazi regime; and there was little to contradict this appalling fact. That many Germans didn’t know what was happening in Auschwitz, let alone Berlin, has been charitably received as a tall tale.

An immense tunnel complex running under Gaza city environs, and extended beyond Israeli and Egyptian borders whenever there is opportunity, will simply have to be excavated and filled. So will all the rocket-making and launching facilities and indeed, all the other “assets” of Hamas and friends.

This will cause quite terrible inconvenience but, just like the Second World War, it will be over, eventually.

Iron domesticity

The “Iron Dome” has been, for the last decade or so, protecting Israelis from rockets fired at them from, e.g., Gaza. It is a remarkable piece of technology, invented by Rafael Systems and improved by Israel Aerospace: a showpiece for the sheer goodness that can be achieved by the defence industry — in solving the problems it has itself created. This Iron Dome launches its own rockets to intercept the enemy’s. It can tell from the trajectory which of the “incoming” would land in a populated district, and eliminate at least nine in ten of the rest.

Hamas psychopaths have collected many tens of thousands of rockets, designed by Iran and smuggled in; but most are now constructed in Gaza itself, where they benefit from American and European “compassionate” foreign aid. This displays what the Gazans might be capable of, technically, were the culture not morally degenerate. As it is, Jew-killing is the only successful export from the enclave.

It happens I was first dawdling around Israel in the early 1970s. I have the fondest memories of my life in “Cairo House,” near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, still not very long after the “West Bank” was conquered. Peace prevailed in those days (defining “peace” as freedom from the threat of war), and I found from the many Palestinian Arabs I met a much gentler disposition than was apparent in my visits later.

Indeed, I was struck by how well the two sides — still called “Arab” and “Israeli” — got along. Both Israeli-citizen and “occupied” Arabs seemed, in high proportion, actually to admire the Jewish Israelis, and more than one told me he hoped that his children would grow up to be not only faithful Muslims, but the equal of the Jews. Economic opportunities for Arabs were much greater than they had ever been before, and the disappearance of corrupt, petty Jordanian officialdom was appreciated — by the Arabs themselves. Honesty, in business, was beginning to be possible.

How sad that the next generation — and now there have been two of them — should have been intensely politicized instead.

Israel had a colonizing task, a civilizing task, towards the people who had come under Jewish rule, and they failed in it. This was largely because, under modern political conventions, they did not accept the responsibility; yet under old-fashioned arrangements they would have had to. The Palestinian Arabs were now with them permanently; no Arab state would take them in as refugees (only Christian Lebanon let in a few), and a separate “Palestinian” state was out of the question. For Israel already had enough mortal enemies around her borders.

Making the best of things meant making them good Israelis; and this was the most reliable route to regional peace and prosperity. Instead, inspired or directed by naïve post-Christian idealists in the West, Israel embarked on what became an utterly unrealizable “two-state solution.” The Palestinian Arabs were put under the tutelage of bloodthirsty, moral monsters.

Gun ownership

The Hamas invasion of southern Israel, Saturday morning, provided a good argument for permitting gun ownership, at least among Jewish adults. It is not generally understood that civilians have almost as much trouble obtaining arms in Israel as they do in, say, Canada, owing to the proliferation, there as here, of asinine liberal politicians. But the murder of many hundred unarmed and unthreatening people, by terrorist psychopaths giddily at leisure, may influence public opinion.

While restricting gun ownership to Jews might seem illiberal, it could perhaps be justified if it applied to everyone who has served in the defence forces.

Israel has, like Switzerland (another of my favourite little countries) a national system of military conscription, and has had since its Declaration of Independence in 1948. But unlike the Swiss, those who have completed their service, which of course includes good training, including target practice, are not allowed to keep their rifles upon their retirement. While there are more legal gun-users per acre in Tel Aviv, than in Toronto, this is only because there are more soldiers on the streets there than here. And as Hamas has demonstrated, you can never have enough; and life will illustrate the old Boy Scout adage, “Be prepared.”

The Israeli draft laws extend only to Jews, but include both males and females; and Circassians, and Druze (males only). Musselmans and Christians and Haredi Jews are exempt, although they may join up voluntarily. Perhaps that could be the condition for a shooting licence, if a restriction had to be made.

I had a delightful encounter with a reserve female paratrooper, in Jerusalem just over fifty years ago, but perhaps today is not the day to recount it. But I still remember her explanation for why a woman would be carrying an impressively high-powered gun, and look like she could use it. “We [reserve female paratroopers] go in after all the men are dead,” she explained. Female reservists should be, on this Israeli model, employed wherever they are needed, in war. It’s not a feminist principle.

It is instead a principle of war: that sacrifices are made that would not be contemplated in peacetime. It is a principle of civilization, that it must be defended against barbarians and savages. Guns have, in principle, practical uses.

More war

Unnecessary wars are the most necessary, because they are the hardest to avoid. They happen in defiance of all rational cause. The Islamic criminal organization, Hamas, has given us another example out of Gaza. Its attack on Israel was absolutely unnecessary, and counter-productive, very bold, and hopeless unless they can get the war to spread. But defence against it is correspondingly necessary. The attack consists, as usual, of intentional slaughter not only of the Jewish inhabitants in Sderot, &c, and of anyone in the path of many thousands of their missiles, but by this provocation Hamas will achieve the slaughter of many in Gaza city, too. Indeed, domestic arrangements in Gaza (and the “West Bank”) are made to maximize civilian casualties when the Israeli Defence Forces inevitably reply.

The motive, for Hamas, is an almost pure race hatred. Their founding documents make clear that they are committed to the complete annihilation of Israel. Jews are openly despised, as Jews, in their propaganda. This is a powerful tool for social control, and it has reduced the “Palestinian” (local Arab) population, to enthusiastic psychopathy. But the consequence will be, as it has been throughout history, disaster for the hateful party. Alas, they have made a pact with the devil. They have sold their souls and cannot redeem them.

And yet greater Islam is, gradually, learning from this Palestinian mistake. Israel and Saudi Arabia were at the point of signing an effective peace treaty like those which the Trump administration negotiated between Israel and the Gulf states. Indeed, the Iranian sponsors of Hamas and Hezbollah had, as a possible minor motive, the desire to wreck that diplomatic prospect.

What is to be done? Sell Israel whatever arms it needs to conduct the war, and replace its losses, and give Israel diplomatic cover when it does what it must necessarily do: eliminate Hamas.

Wasted years

My “good intention,” to file an Idlepost last Friday, was upset by a transient ischaemic event, that left me intellectually floundering. But ah well, I might have had an attack of Nominalism, which would have been much worse.

My lost Idlepost for the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels was to be about waste; my own, especially. The Angels, who to my mind have some of the qualities of Down Syndrome children, look on uncomprehending as we waste our lives. My own time was consigned to oblivion while thinking about politics, and through the laziness of walking through decades of “journalism” on chiefly political topics.

Literature, the arts and the sciences, philosophical inquiry, scholarship, and the Christian life, might have been, by comparison, unwasted time.

Ed West, whose Substack journalism is promisingly entitled, “The Wrong Side of History,” is now doing what I used to do, though he does it much better: filling a prodigious amount of space. His own weekend offering, “Thirteen Wasted Years,” is a summary of the debilitation from “Tory” government in Britain. Under David Cameron and the other incompetent fluff that succeeded him, the Conservative Party sold out its conservative supporters, and allowed the satanic, Woke ideology to take possession of the bureaucracy and British public life.

But this was also the case under Donald Trump in the United States, who provided mere bumps in the Woke slide that began, more intentionally, under Obama … or was it Bush? Readers must grasp that Dr Anthony Fauci and the whole Batflu hysteria was enabled by Trump’s nominally Republican administration, and judging from the Congress, a milquetoast president would have made no difference.

The argument for voting rightwing has been obviated. It was the last argument for democracy: that the rate of moral decline could be slowed if we would elect the other party. The same bureaucracy will remain in place unless it is removed, in addition to the politicians.

In Canada, we have learned that Conservative and Liberal politicians cooperated, or rather conspired, to sabotage the truckers’ convoy, and demonize its ingenuous supporters. Both watch complacently as the law is used to condemn the impressive organizers of this harmless protest, as is done against “January 6th” protesters in the U.S.A.

What is the lesson in this? That one should not be hanged for a lamb, but for a sheep, rather.


Heisenberg starts from the particle theory of the electron; Schrödinger from the wave theory; and then, via quantum theory, they each arrive at the uncertainty principle. Max Born, using statistics, showed that each was reducible to the other; i.e. reducible to the common irreducibility. It was XXth-century physics come into its own, a century ago, where our instruments permanently obscure the result they would observe, and our arithmetic confirms that we cannot know — and something like this is the treat that awaits us in all scientific disciplines.

Nevertheless, we can be happy. Scientific discoveries have, if anything, expanded, in company with an expanding universe. The discovery, a mere generation ago, of “cosmic acceleration,” confirmed the higher uncertainty. Not only does the universe contain functions that we cannot predict. It contains more of them than we could ever have predicted. We are, in the words of a refugee Polish physicist, trying to explain the eccentric details to me, “just bugger’d.” (This was in my distant past.)

I can’t even remember his name, except that it was “Kaiser.” He had escaped Communism (with a capital-C) from moral, as opposed to scientific, certainty. The tyrants who then managed his country claimed to be the embodiment of settled science, rather as our public health administrators now claim to know what they cannot know, at the meeting place of arrogance and stupidity. We might call this their “intersectional” principle.