It’s time for all rationalists to keep and bear arms

Pass a couple of simple tests and I will sell you the means to protect yourself against the opponents of life, freedom, peace and prosperity in your neighbourhood.


  1. Let’s rule out those who believe in Allah and other flying spaghetti monsters. You will cook for consumption by the two of us a gargantuan mixed grill including but not limited to bat, bear, beef, bird, camel, cat, cheese, chewing gum, crab, crocodile, dog, egg, fish, fungi, guinea pig, horse, human, insect, lettuce, monkey, offal, pork, poppy seed, rabbit, rat, snail, squirrel, turtle, vegetable and whale.

    This will be accompanied by liberal quantities of alcohol, blood, coffee, tea and human breast milk.

    We will then smoke roll-ups if fhat will cause discomfort in some such imaginary community.

    After an appropriate wait, you will deposit the results over all known holy books.

  2. Now, following AS Byatt, let’s disqualify all the adepts of the new religions – those who posit their existence on, and source their morality from, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and who tend to go postal when they realise it’s all a load of bollocks.

    Someone will have to explain to me how to do this.

  3. I can see into the souls of flag-owners.


I have 2,000 Chinese pieces in stock which will instil fear into the wildest of foe and which I can provide to you from my stall in Ridley Road or at another mutually agreeable location. Scroll down for a sample image.

I may incorporate this list of madnesses at a later date.

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  1. You like Niall Ferguson, don’t you? He’s gone off the cliff in dog whistle terms (avoid the Murdoch payment wall here: The problem with experts in any field is that they think their expertise makes them uniquely gifted in analysing current problems. I’d argue that Ferguson especially is actually hobbled by his insistence on comparison. We’d all be better off re-watching Syriana.

    BTW, electric cars are probably a better solution to all this than boots in the desert.

  2. Think Ferguson’s mad (I don’t, though he blusters), try Mark Steyn, who bollocks up his facts and has still produced something that some people think is the main driver behind the benefits cap for numerous families.

    One other thing I just don’t understand: if a man kills a woman, the official diagnosis is that of sexism, even if that had nothing to do with it; but if a Muslim crying “I do this is God’s name!” kills someone eating a pizza, the official diagnosis has generally been that it may have something to do with the pizza.

    I’m all for starving the Saudis (and taking gift-wrapped explosives off the street), but again isn’t the official line that we need to end rather than increase poverty in the Middle East? And anyway the principal internal threat to German security is not from IS-Daesh-Saud (not to be confused with our Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) or Pegida, but probably from the Islamic-nationalist movement sponsored by the corresponding part of the Turkish state (i.e. the AKP and clients), which won’t be a big oil producer until it reverts the Ionian Sea to the Ottoman status quo.

    I’ll watch Syriana. It can’t be more disturbed than Happiness, which dripped out of the screen the other night to the joy of some and the horror of others.

  3. Happiness – yeah, I’m not sure why I watched that with my father, which was a pretty uncomfortable experience. No more or less than it ought to have been, thankfully.

    Anyway, this is clearly all god’s fault.

  4. Steyn: “As I write, Paris is under curfew for the first time since the German occupation…” – wow, a factual error in the very first thought of the article. This is promising.

  5. If there is hope, it must lie with the Kurds. Democratic confederalism as an alternative to nationalism or Islamism, offers a genuinely-homegrown option to societies in the middle east which extends beyond western-created frontiers and divisions.

  6. “As I write, Paris is under curfew for the first time since the German occupation…”

    Steyn is here only repeating an information? released from Associated Press, that contained one glaring error ( no curfew that night at Paris ) and a tricky one. There was one curfew in Paris in 1961, but as it was aimed only to algerians, it could be dismissed as a half-curfew.

  7. I hadn’t heard about Kingsland at all. Thanks for the link.

    The Kurds are emphatically not, though, this conflict’s equivalent of the Mujaheddin. In Rojava, they’re building an egalitarian society, rejecting nationalism, paternalism and religious orthodoxy. It might sound a bit pie in the sky but it looks a fuck’s sight better than anything anyone else seems to be trying. Well worth looking into. I’ve been reading ‘Coming Down From the Mountain‘, about the PKK’s transition. It’s fascinating.

  8. I’m all for pie in the sky, but my main memory of Kurds is the destruction wrought in the Wagenstraat in the Hague after the arrest in 1999 in Turkey of Abdullah Öcalan, and the stories told by Iranians smuggled to Greece by Kurdish mafiosi in the 90s. Haven’t bought anything from Zed Books for a long time!

  9. Öcalan’s arrest seems to have been a good thing in retrospect, for the PKK as well as Öcalan himself. I’m not about to sign up to join them but it does seem that his time behind bars has led to an ideological maturation of sorts. Again, I’m sure things are far from perfect but it seems like a movement which defends women’s rights – and even considers gay rights to be a possibility – is better than nearly all the other forms of government currently on show in the region. That it’s something authentic and not imposed by godless Americans gives me some hope.

  10. That was a weird business because unless I and the Turkish commie councillor whose sister I fancied are grievously mistaken Öcalan was actually a bleeding Turk and spoke dodgy Kurdish.

    I will read it all when I’m finished with Gaston Leroux’s death-ray barrel organ saga.

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