Black Mischief

Reflections on the Rainbow Nation, South Africa ‘You know,’ he added reflectively, ‘we’ve got a much easier job now than we should have had fifty years ago. If we’d had to modernize a country then it would have meant constitutional monarchy, bi-cameral legislature, proportional representation, women’s suffrage, independent judicature, freedom of the Press, referendums . . .’ ‘What is all that?’ asked the Emperor. ‘Just a few ideas that have ceased to be modern.’  (Evelyn Waugh, Black Mischief, (1932), p. 128). South Africa’s once diamondiferous soil was always leavened with blood, running down the anthill to the lowest point of Kimberley’s…

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The Guns of August Revisited

July 31, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, LIFE, POLITICS, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(By Barbara W. Tuchman, 1962) Tuchman’s classic history of the stirrings of WWI deserves a fresh look, when one compares some of the events leading to and culminating in August 1914 with some of the events leading to and maybe culminating in August 2023: 1910: Edward VII dies / 2022: Elizabeth II dies. A comet appears in both years (“When beggars die there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes” – “Julius Caesar”) “All the old buoys which have marked the channel of our lives seem to have been swept away.” (Lord Esher, 1910)….

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Bandt Musik

"Google it, mate"

Leader of the Australian Greens, Mr. Adam Bandt, is on record as wanting – a Treaty; A Republic (for which he called on the day QEII died); eliminating coal and gas as sources of energy; wiping student debt and funding free education for all; a cheap housing construction orgy; tenure for all; an end to all forms of discrimination (including the good ones), and defenestrating the Australian flag. So here’s our Song for Adam (with apologies to Stuart and Marco): [For Michelle] “Well I’m standing here looking at you What do I see? I’m looking straight through It’s so sad,…

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And Justice For Some

June 24, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume |

When one does a crime We expect one will do time: But today it all depends On who are your true friends. A lass who thought that Pell Belonged in deepest Hell Tried to justify this thought All the way to the High Court. The judges boxed her ears And conviction disappears, But confronted with bent cops She did not pull out the stops. In the Land of the Free, It clearly pays to be A member of the Club Who won’t even have to scrub A charge from his good name; There’s none to lay the blame. You can…

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F.B.I. – Following Barack’s Instructions

May 29, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, POLITICS, Ulalume |

The Durham Report drops (12 May 2023) On 6 May, 2016, George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign for the Presidency, indulged in bar talk with some Australian diplomats in London, to the effect that Russian operatives had supplied dirt on Hilary Clinton, to the Trump campaign. As if one couldn’t find enough Clinton dirt on one’s own. The diplomats passed that info to the Obama Administration, and Barry’s goons went to work immediately. All the odious apparatus of the Deep Swamp State went into overdrive, and as Durham concludes (in his truly stunning, and likely…

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