2021 was marked most strongly for me by personal events rather than by political or academic events. My semi-relationship with Anne changed just before the beginning of the year in that she no longer sleeps at my place for one night a week plus the following morning. I now see her one morning of the week only. She has for a couple of years had a new man in her life who is understandably nervous about Anne still seeing me at all. So Anne has placated him by seeing me for only that one morning of the week. She and I do however enjoy our time together as much as we always did. It is now a very affectionate friendship rather than a relationship. We were an item for 14 years and have now been in a semi-relationship for nearly two years.
In my early days with Anne
My ex-wife Jenny has however been very supportive of me in my semi-divorced state. She and I split up a quarter of a century ago but for all the subsequent time we have kept in touch and been supportive of one another. So when Anne moved out of my life, Jenny moved back in. We now dine together frequently. She still has feelings for me but wants only a strictly platonic relationship these days. So I have ended up with two very close female friends in my life, which is pretty good. Both are former lovers so that broadens the friendships concerned.
Needless to say, however,I would like a new, more orthodox relationship and have had some attempts at initiating that since the break with Anne nearly two years ago. I got quite close to a new relationship a couple of times in that there were two ladies (JD and JH) I spent some time with. But neither lasted. I still miss JD -- below
In my younger days, when one relationship ended I would be in a new one very rapidly. For example, I had a 4-year relationship with a very nice lady named Judy before Anne and I met.
And the very day after Judy moved out, I met Anne. And I met Jenny just two weeks after my arriving back in Brisbane after my 15-year sojourn in Sydney. And at one stage in my 50s I had simultaneously three girlfriends -- all of whom knew that they were not the only one in my life. I have a rigid rule that I never lie to women -- which can get rather wonderful results. It is wonderful what women will putup with for a man they like but one thing they will very rarely put up with is being lied to.
But now that I am 78, my physical attractivesness has diminished greatly -- and that greatly inhibits the formation of new relationships. See the current me below
So I am lucky still to have two former ladies in my life as close friends. I was still pretty good even in my early 60s -- see below -- but the current me is pretty wrecked.
Things are looking up however. I do have a new lady in my life at the moment who really seems to like me. But it is early days as yet so who knows where that will go?
My first girlfriend -- way back in the 60s -- and I had a good relationship that we never really ended. She was only 16 so after around a year together we were pushed apart by her father. A couple of years after that she moved permanently to France. We kept in some contact by mail over the years however and in 2021 we began to correspond frequently. As part of that she sent me a picture of herself in the 70s that I really like. It is below. I think you can see that she was quite a gal
So we have a friendship that has endured for over 50 years, which is pretty good. It was of course a big point of our correspondence to see if we still could have congenial conversations with one another. A lot can change in 50 years so would we still get on with one-another? We did. But we also saw that we were clearly different in some ways from our old selves. An interesting thing that we realized is that we both have some autistic tendencies. That area of similarity was/is probably a major source of our original and present compatibility. I have written about my own autistic tendencies here
The other notable event for me in 2021 is that I got a dangerous visitation from stomach cancer. I lost a lot of weight and it went close to killing me but immunotherapy pulled me back from the brink and the cancer has now completely gone. Jenny was hugely supportive during my illness.
And my rehab is now just about complete. I am back to my normal sedentary self: healthy but very unfit. I still take no pills other than a nightly sleeping pill (temaz) and an occasional aspirin for a stiff neck. I rarely even take analgesics after surgery. If the plastic surgeon gets a good closure, healing should be well underway by the time the local wears off. I have also cut back my alcohol consumption -- now a very occasional glass of wine with dinner and just one whisky and dry before bed.
The COVID-related restrictions in Queensland were very mild so restricted my daily life very little. The border closures did however grievously prevent reunions with friends and family from interstate and overseas
So politics have these days made way for the personal in my life. But I offer a some recent essays below that I think make some political contribution
Clarifying the meaning of "Right-wing"
It does not always imply racial hostility
My son and I recently had a discussion about being "Right-wing". We agreed that I am. But in what sense?
I mentioned that Syngman Rhee was in his day notably called "so far Right he was almost out of sight". He was a South Korean politician who served as the first President of South Korea from 1948 to 1960. But there were no racial issues in his term in office so how was he Rightist?
Although they themselves -- from Karl Marx on -- are often antisemitic, Leftists today use the terms "Rightist", Right-wing", racist", white supremacist" for anyone they disagree with who has any group-denominated views. To the Left you can be a racist even if you express no views about any race. Opponents of vaccination mandates are, for instance, sometimes called racists even by mainstream voices of Leftism. See for instance here
So if Rightist implies racism, I am very clearly a Tory rather than a Rightist, as the term "Rightist" is commonly understood. By Tory I mean traditional conservatism as seen in the British Conservative party prior to WWII and as seen in the more traditional stream in the current U.S. Republican party. In line with that, I think the individual is much more important than any group that he/she belongs to. But, insofar as generalizations have some value, I think highly of both the Chinese and the Jews. And I have a very low opinion of Muslims and blacks.
That latter opinion will produce immediate howls of rage from Leftists, but, in their usual way, that is bereft of context. Am I a racist if I approve of some minorities and disapprove of other minorities? The Left in their simplistic way do not even consider that matter. To them it is just another opportunity for abuse and attack. They act as if all thoughts about race are fundamentally evil. Though if you speak well of one of their favoured minorities that is fine, of course
I would say that I am only a racist insofar as I think that group identity can sometimes make a difference. I don't think that the astronomical rate of violent crime among blacks is coincidence, for instance. It does NOT mean that I approve of bad treatment of someone solely on the basis of their race. I actually agree with the statement in the United Nations charter that says each case should be judged on its individual merits. The conservative whom I have quoted most in my writings is in fact a black man -- Thomas Sowell
And that non-hostile view is a Tory position, not a specifically Rightist one. There are indeed Rightists who wish to persecute all members of some race, usually Jews, but I am not one of them.
So let me allude to some famous Tories and their opinion of Jews. In the 19th century, the British Conservative party (Tories) made a proud Jew their Prime minister -- Benjamin Disraeli.
And the British Prime Minister who declared war on Hitler -- Neville Chamberlain -- had some antisemitic views. So conservatives can have some views about a particular group -- in this case Jews -- without wishing them ill. You can even promote their cause -- as the Conservative Party did in the 19th century and as Neville Chamberlain did in the 20th.
And the greatest Tory of all, Winston Churchill, voiced some very negative views of Muslims but pitied them rather than being hostile to them. See here
So my position on racial questions is in fact a Tory or conservative one, not a Rightist one. Leftists will of course be uninterested in that distinction. It does not give them enough opportunity for abuse
The great irony of course is that the old Soviet view of Hitler as a Rightist is now generally accepted. He was indeed to the Right of the Soviets in that he allowed more individual liberty than they did but that is not saying much. The truth of the matter is that Hitler called himself a socialist and had a broad range of socialist policies -- including comprehensive party control of industry. His deeds have lasting relevance but they are relevant to Leftism, not conservatism. He is another example of the generalization that hostile racial obsessions are mostly Leftist, not conservative.
So the grossly inaccurate view of Hitler as "Rightist" has thoroughly muddied the waters. People understand the meaning of the term "Rightist" to mean conservatism plus racial ideas. But the misattribution of Hitler causes people assume that all racial ideas must be hostile, including racial views among conservatives.
As we have seen, however, this is wrong. People with conservative views may see racial differences as significant without being at all hostile to the races they take an interest in. They may even favour and think well of some races.
I see myself as wishing no-one ill on account of their race and as having many conservative views. I in fact usually describe myself as a libertarian conservative.
Another huge irony, however, is that libertarian ideas are often described by the Left as "Right wing", when they are not. They are thoroughly opposed to both traditional conservatism and racial awareness. Conservatives who are sympathetic to libertarian ideas represent, in fact, a major stream in modern-day conservative thought.
The most loved and most influential conservative leader of the 20th century knew what conservatism was about, of course. He said: "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism..... The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom" And if Ronald Reagan did not know what conservatism was all about, who would?
Reagan also conveyed the patriotic, pro-Christian message that Trump later used to such strong effect. I align with both those orientations. I am pleased to be born a 5th generation Australian and even more pleased to be a product of the Anglosphere. And I was a strong Christian fundamentalist in my teens. Subsequent to that, however, I have been a thoughgoing atheist (in the Carnap manner) for the whole of my adult life. Nonetheless I still have the warmest memories of my Christian days and still try to live by Christian principles. And I find that whenever I do the Christian thing I get a reward, often very rapidly. And when I allow the Devil to dominate I stumble. And there is a Devil. Whether you conceive of him as a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, or as a fallen angel or the destructive side of human nature, there is clearly much evil in human life. Freud called it "Thanatos", the death instinct. And I still go to church on some (rare) occasions
So I do have many traditional conservative views -- also including the view that the justice system often goes too easy on criminals, that homosexual "marriage" is a travesty and that traditional sex roles are largely inborn. I even practice "ladies first" and open car doors for women. And such attitudes in combination with some libertarian views make me seen as extremely Right-wing. I readily accept that ascription as long as it is understood that my thinking about other races is of a conservative or Tory kind -- i.e. not hostile towards any individual solely on account of his/her race.
Kevin Drum has an article in "Mother Jones" trying to explain the furious political polarization that has evolved in America today. It is too long to reproduce so I will comment on it only.
One expects simplistic thought from Leftists and Drum gives us a prime example of that. He makes a case that is well-argued and worth reading but his conclusion is in the end risible: He blames it all on Fox News!
He is undoubtedly right in identifying the importance of Fox News but to blame a vast demographic change on on one media outlet is risible.
A demographic change needs a demographic explanation. And if I can risk being ass simplistic as Drum, my explanation is: Hispanics.
America's two major minorities are very responsive to the brainless arguments of Leftists and one of those minorities has steadily become much larger than it was. The size of the Hispanic population has reached a tipping point where it has a big effect on election outcomes.
And because Hispanics have until very recently been thoroughly "rusted on" to the Democratic party, that has enabled the Left to take less care to farm other population segments. To put it blunltly, the white vote matters less to the American Left these days.
Some whites will always vote Left can takes a fair slice of the white vote for granted. If their policies are unpalatable to other whites, the Left don't need to care about that. They have always got the minority votes to prop them up.
So in the circumstances, the Left can be what Leftists all want to be: Radical. Communism is their ideal and they want to get as close to that as they can. In the Soviet era they excused Soviet brutality by saying that the Soviets were just "reformers in a hurry" and to this day they excuse the Cuban regime.
So it is the Left who have changed, to the horror of many reasonable people who don't want their country to be turned on its ear. The Left have by their policies and actions generated in many normal people a great dislike of themselves and that has made them return the compliment. It infuriates them that the wonderful reforms that they have finally accomplished are not universally acclaimed.
A San Diego State University dean recently called conservative ideas a 'stench'. Since when has that been civilized discourse? How is that respect for others? There is no mistaking the furious hate that pervades the current American Left. They have abandoned restraints that once kept them civilized and reasonably moderate. People like that have got to be very hard to talk to
The ideas of Doughnut economics are pretty woolly but it seems to be catching on in Greenie circles so I want to note a few things about it. I give below a link to a very sesquipedalian article about it.
Although its proponents are very vague about it, Doughnut economics can in fact be summarized very simply: prioritize the environment over money. In other words, do things in a way that is better for the environment rather than in ways that are most economically efficient.
Despite its promotion as a "radical new economic theory" it is in fact a very old feel-good idea, and what it has led to -- as set out below -- shows the lack of understanding of the world that it embodies: When we do things in the most economically efficient way, it is not money we are prioritizing, it is human work and effort. Money is just a marker. It tells us how much effort is required to produce a good or service. The are imperfections in the system but that is basically it. Study economics if you want the detail.
So we see the stupidity of some of the actions that are praised below. Instead of buying new computers, they employ people to fix up old ones -- which is very labour-intensive. And in the end you still have an old and limited computer. In terms of human effort the refurbished computer is in fact very expensive. A lot of valuable human effort has been used to produce an inferior product. If we did everything that way, we would have a much reduced availability of goods and services.
The circular economy adds up to a waste of human labour and effort. How is that humane or wise? If the environment really needs saving, there are surely better ways about it
Why I Love Great Britain
A very recent talk by Jordan Peterson. Wonderful to hear him in good voice again. I have been pretty Anglophilic at times but Peterson easily outdoes me in that.
Warmists versus conservationists in North Queensland
Wind farms wrecking the natural environment
More vaccinated people are dying than unvaccinated people? The extract from British statistics above seems to say so, but it is misleading. See:
A statue of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement, was removed by a local council because it was threatened by extremists who criticised B-P's “homophobia, racism and enthusiastic support of Hitler”. See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10376803/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-world-really-gone-stark-staring-mad.html
B-P was a tormented old queer but what he created gave much to many -- even though he couldn't bear sleeping with his wife. And his emphasis on outdoor skills and living is probably needed now more than ever -- when the alternative is turning into blubber in front of a screen
ANOTHER white "Aborigine". There is NOTHING about the appearance of Kate Maree Cooper that is Aboriginal. But she apparently has some remote Aboriginal ancestry. So what? Two of my remote ancestors were convicts. Does that make me a criminal? Remote ancestry is irrelevant
The old East Germany is still remembered fondly by some of its former citizens.
And now for something lighter
Emerald Robinson is a real gem. She is an outsoken anti-vaxxer. With looks like that, she gets a lot of attention, even though her ideas are rather wacky.
Electric car blues. Range anxiety. Heating a car by electricity uses up a heap of it rapidly do it seems unlikely that such cars will be of general use in Northern winters. Heating will eat up their range
The gender wars were one of the great idiocies of 2021
The 4year old Cleo Smith was kidnapped by a deranged Aborigine and was not found for 4 days. Against all expectations, she was unharmed
The conventional Mercator projection can be misleading
Ghislaine Maxwell, a great lover who did too much for her man. See https://awesternheart.blogspot.com/2021/12/blog-post_19.html
Miss India was white in 2021: Bollywood star Harnaaz Sandhu. Beauty contests in India normally have winners with what Indians call "wheaten" skin
Belarus ("White Russia") is in the news lately. It is to the East and the North of Poland -- which must make it a very cold place
Hunting to hounds is still openly allowed in Northern Ireand
Two elderly lovers, Russell Hill and Carol Clay, kept their feelings from their respective families but went on camping trips to remote places together. On one such trip their happiness was short-lived. They were discovered and murdered by a much younger brute. I rather admired their discretion but it was their undoing. Honesty would have protected them
Australian cricketer Chris Lynn went to India to play in the IPL. A border clampdown kept him there however. He is pictured there with partner Karlie. If I were "stranded" in India with Karlie I don't think I would be feeling too sad about it
I write from Brisbane, Australia. I am a former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, a former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.
If you were looking for a less serious pictorial home page from me, go HERE