Saturday, 31 March 2007

British sailors kidnapped by Iran

Appeasement of agressors never has worked and won't work this time, as Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute knows:

Hostages of IranFriday, March 30, 2007 By: Elan Journo
Irvine, CA--"There is a profound, but unrecognized, lesson in the West's weak response to Iran's hostage-taking of British naval personnel," said Elan Journo, junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

"The U.K. government and Washington are widely regarded as aggressive defenders of their interests in the face of Islamist aggression. But the present Iranian hostage crisis shows, again, how these would-be defenders of our life and freedom are pathetically timid--while our enemy is shameless and ever more confident.

"Iran is a leading world sponsor of Islamic totalitarianism and has long been waging a terrorist proxy war against the West, through groups such as Hezbollah. In Iraq, Iran's proxies have been slaughtering U.S. and British troops. Iran initiates all of this aggression--to say nothing of its nuclear weapons program--with the confidence that it has an Allah-given right to murder. No surprise, then, that when 15 British naval personnel came near Iranian waters, Teheran took them hostage--and unabashedly demanded an apology from Britain, its victim.

"What has been the British, and American, response to Iran's outrage? What has the West done in the face of such a confidently evil regime? Did Britain give Iran an ultimatum backed by the threat of force? Far from it. With Washington's endorsement, London meekly protested, renounced using force to free its troops, and solemnly vowed to pursue 'patient diplomacy.' It has brought up the issue at the international sewer known as the United Nations, London is hoping that the U.N. will condescend to issue a press statement--its weakest possible statement--deploring Iran's actions. But since the U.N. is packed with Iranian allies and sympathizers, even this futile gesture is unlikely to happen.

"What underlies this unconscionably weak response? Fundamentally, it is the corrupt moral principle that dominates the West, the principle that regards selflessness as a virtue and self-assertion in pursuit, and defense, of one's interests as immoral. To punish Iran militarily for its many acts of war would be wrong, it would flout the will of the 'international
community,' it would, on this premise, be 'selfish.' It is this premise that inhibits, and thus disarms, the West in the face of the enemy--and, as a result, spurs our enemy.

"While the British may hope that their timid, deferential approach will avoid inflaming the crisis and antagonizing Iran, they are accomplishing the opposite. The spectacle of Western nations bowing in submission is an encouragement to Iran and Islamic totalitarians worldwide.

"Iran and other evil regimes grow stronger and more threatening precisely because the morally good nations, who should defeat Iran's regime, are cowardly, apologetic, and meek."

As for those "confessions", John Nichol put it this way in today's Daily Telegraph:

'Unless you have experienced the fear and the uncertainty over what happens next it is impossible to understand what it means to be captured by an enemy.

"Some people have criticised the captives' appearances on television. How dare they? In this situation, each man and woman is fighting a personal battle with their courage, honour and dignity.

I echo his words: how dare anyone critise these soldiers for the words extorted from them. What they deserve is a government that will respond to Iran as it deserves.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Global Warming

I am grateful for the recent, temporary, and probably brief warm phase. My problem is that I don't know whom to be grateful to. The warmth of the past decade or two certainly can't be credited to God, and almost as certainly wasn't caused by mankind. But surely it can't be natural, can it? Could thousands of politicians, grant-dependent scientists and bottle-washing housewives really be wrong?

Yes, according to the startlingly good Channel 4 documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle, first broadcast on 8th March:

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Cat Drying

No, I don't mean where the person drys the cat (though this is a rainy place and we do have to dry ours every few days). I mean where the cat dries something. For instance, this morning I told Pussy Janeway to dry the frying pan. This is a large cast iron job that would be excellent for braining intruders, if only I could lift it more than two inches. Pussy Janeway is very absorbent and would be just the right size; but she wouldn't do it.

I've also wondered about using the cats after my shower. The trouble is, they don't have handles, so deploying them would be awkward (but oh! how warm and soft!)

Mod Cons

Whatever happened to drip-dry clothing? When I was a girl in the sixties and seventies my mother wore nothing else. These drip-dry clothes: you washed them in cold water (and there was even a washing powder specially formulated for that) and then you hung them out to dry. No ironing. I think my mother knew how to iron, but I never saw her do it. Where are they now, all those nylon trouser suits that needed no pressing and lasted forever?

Friday, 2 March 2007

David Kelley's petty deceit...

... Petty, but disgusting. See below.

On 28th January the London Observer published a good article about Ayn Rand and the film of Atlas Shrugged:,,2000313,00.html

However, the article did contain one error: it said that David Kelly was the founder of the Ayn Rand Institute. Later on The Observer published an inaccurate correction, so I sent them an email about it. I received the following reply:

Dear Valda Redfern,

Thank you for your e-mail pointing out that Leonard Peikoff was the founder of the Ayn Rand Institute. We were about to run such a correction last week when the letter printed below arrived from David Kelley giving us a different version. As he was one of the subjects mentioned in the story, we assumed that his version was the reliable one.
It was good of you to take the trouble to write.


Teresa Goodman
Assistant to the Readers' Editor

January 28, 2007
Letters to
the Editor

To the Editor:
In Paul Harris’s otherwise thoughtful and accurate article on the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged ("Jolie to film the cult ‘bible of selfishness,’" Sunday, January 28), he mistakenly identifies me as founder of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI). In fact, I am the founder and now senior fellow of The Atlas Society.

The ARI is a wholly different organization, founded by Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider. Snider, who is no longer associated with ARI but serves on our board instead, has been involved in several efforts to adapt Rand’s novel, including the current one.


David Kelley, Founder & Senior Fellow
The Atlas Society
1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 425
Washington, DC 20036