Brexit betrayal?

It looks as though some talk about a ‘betrayal’ of Brexit, on the eve of the actual event, may have been right after all.

As this news article indicates, the MEPs, the people who sit unelected in the European Parliament, rather than looking at the exit of Britain as a portent of change for the EU, look at it as an occasion to clamp down on any potential freedoms of ‘member’ countries.

Per Guy Verhofstadt, MEP:

The former Belgian prime minister said: “This lesson, dear colleagues, is not to undo the union, as some are arguing. The lesson is to deeply reform the union. To make a real union in the coming years.

“That means a union without opt-ins, opt-outs, rebates, exceptions, and above all without unanimity rules and veto rights.”

So: you can get into the EU but never get out. Who in their right mind thinks this situation would be desirable? Evidently somebody did, or does, though Heaven knows why.

I thought totalitarians generally had enough discretion, or sneakiness, to conceal their power-hungry aims in advance, and only show their hand when the people were safely in the trap. But now they are advertising their intentions to potential members. But who is trying to get into the EU now? Are there any gullible enough?

Actually it seems much of Scotland wants to remain in the EU, and I am guessing this is just for the sake of the ‘economy’ or for the sake of ‘trade’ but any advantages to remaining don’t seem worth it to me.

This, too, looks a little troubling. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer , a German defense minister, says the UK needs to obtain ‘defense privileges’, and continue to work as a sort of subordinate power in conjunction with the EU. Why did Boris Johnson et al not address this before there was a done deal? Why would anyone accept this halfway-house ‘independence’ or sovereignty that is no sovereignty in lieu of the real thing? It sounded all right until the fine print hinted at somebody reneging on the deal.

 

Origins of our Second Amendment

What with all the controversy over our Second Amendment rights, and the outright attack on our liberties, I thought we might re-visit this piece about the origins of our Second Amendment. Too often we hear Britain or England derided because they lack the rights that we (at least on paper) have. But it’s necesssary to remember how those rights came about.

The linked piece is from the England Calling blog, and it was written 12 years ago but it’s relevant to today.

“When judging the intent of the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (which contains the Second Amendment) it is necessary to know the general social and intellectual backcloth against which they worked. They were heir to the English tradition of liberty and government by consent rather than pure tyranny. The Americans who rose against the England of King George 111 did so because they considered themselves part of the tradition of English liberty. In seeking independence, they were not repudiating that tradition but in their own minds returning to what they imagined was the true path of English liberty which had become corrupted in England. It is against this ancient English tradition that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be set.

The rest is at the link. As I’m always saying, our liberties were originally thought of as ‘our rights as Englishmen’, in the context of English liberty.  This piece also touches on the analogous rights in England — in past generations of course.

Credit where due: would our forebears have insisted on certain basic rights had they not been nurtured on the idea of English liberty?

Our cousins in the UK are sadly reduced to using makeshift defensive weapons as in the recent attacks in London, where a narwhal tusk of all things was used to defend against an attacker. We may be on the way to that kind of situation if certain leftist officials are successful in nullifying our Second Amendment. The recent rally showed that there are people who are willing to staunchly defend our rights and liberties, in a lawful manner. But then there are those who are just as determined to deprive us of our historical freedoms.

H.P. Lovecraft on the future of Americanism

H.P. Lovecraft, the great New England writer of fantasy-horror stories, wrote a great deal on many subjects in his time. In 1919 he wrote the following:

“The greatest foe to rational Americanism is that dislike for our parent nation which holds sway amongst the ignorant and bigoted, and which is kept alive largely by certain elements of the population who seem to consider the sentiments of Southern and Western Ireland more important than those of the United States. In spite of the plain fact that a separate Ireland would weaken civilisation and menace the world’s peace by introducing a hostile and undependable wedge betwixt the two major parts of Saxondom, these irresponsible elements continue to encourage rebellion in the Green Isle; and in so doing tend to place this nation in a distressingly anomalous position as an abettor of crime and sedition against the Mother Land. Disgusting beyond words are the public honours paid to political criminals like Edward, alias Eamonn, de Valera, whose very presence at large among us is an affront to our dignity and heritage. Never may we appreciate or even fully comprehend our own place and mission in the world, till we can banish those clouds of misunderstanding which float between us and the source of our culture.

But the features of Americanism peculiar to this continent must not be belittled. In the abolition of fixed and rigid class lines a distinct sociological advance is made, permitting a steady and progressive recruiting of the upper levels from the fresh and vigorous body of the people beneath. Thus opportunities of the choicest sort await every citizen alike, whilst the biological quality of the cultivated classes is improved by the cessation of that narrow inbreeding which characterises European aristocracy.

Total separation of civil and religious affairs, the greatest political and intellectual advance since the Renaissance, is also a local American—and more particularly a Rhode Island—triumph. Agencies are today subtly at work to undermine this principle, and to impose upon us through devious political influences the Papal chains which Henry VIII first struck from our limbs; chains unfelt since the bloody reign of Mary, and infinitely worse than the ecclesiastical machinery which Roger Williams rejected. But when the vital relation of intellectual freedom to genuine Americanism shall be fully impressed upon the people, it is likely that such sinister undercurrents will subside.

The main struggle which awaits Americanism is not with reaction, but with radicalism. Our age is one of restless and unintelligent iconoclasm, and abounds with shrewd sophists who use the name “Americanism” to cover attacks on that institution itself. Such familiar terms and phrases as “democracy,” “liberty,” or “freedom of speech” are being distorted to cover the wildest forms of anarchy, whilst our old representative institutions are being attacked as “un-American” by foreign immigrants who are incapable both of understanding them or of devising anything better.

This country would benefit from a wider practice of sound Americanism, with its accompanying recognition of an Anglo-Saxon source. Americanism implies freedom, progress, and independence; but it does not imply a rejection of the past, nor a renunciation of traditions and experience. Let us view the term in its real, practical, and unsentimental meaning.”

From The United Amateur, July 1919

Obviously Lovecraft was unorthodox by today’s skewed standards, and he was probably even to the right of many of his contemporaries. He did not conform to the popular beliefs, such as the ‘great American Melting Pot’ or in equality, which is in fact an abstraction that can never be realized, much less maintained, in a fallen world, a world in which innate differences are fact.

So I think Lovecraft’s instincts were more right than wrong, and worth considering. He was certainly a man with unique viewpoints which might have something to offer today’s world, though the trend is very much in the opposite direction.

Another archaeological find in the UK

The Express (UK) newspaper has a story dating from December 2019 describing a new find in the vicinity of the Coventry Airport. Joel Day, the writer of the  piece, describes finds, what he describes as ”a wealth of Roman and Anglo-Saxon artefacts” at the burial site. Included among the finds, from gravesites near the airport, are items indicating that the buried included a Roman officer and a young Roman girl.

There were also a dozen Anglo-Saxon graves at the site. One of the Anglo-Saxon graves evidently was that of a “high-status” individual.

Of the jewelry that was found, the experts say that some link to southern Europe was indicated by the motifs used, or the symbolism, such as that of a cicada.  Roman-style jewelry was found.

But should this be a shock, or a startling find? It’s been said for years that the Roman Empire carried on a trade with Britain even in the time of Jesus, and before; there was the tin trade between ‘the Isles’ and Rome.  There was seagoing traffic between the Phoenicians and western Europe.But it’s good to have some verification, if this find provides it, that Britain was not isolated from the rest of the known world then. Some dispute that, but it seems more plausible than not.

 

 

 

 

 

The phalanx

I’ve just been reading a blog thread about the UK, in which the subject was the ‘exploitation’ (what an understatement) of young people, mostly girls, by so-called ‘grooming gangs.’ The commenters are mostly American, with a few British commenters.

Sorry I can’t quote anyone there; the comments on that blog are under copyright and can’t be quoted or reproduced. I’ll just give the gist of what was said where I need to.

On every thread about the dire events in the UK, there are comments that disparage the British/English for being weak or cowardly or ineffectual. I still say this is more than a little hypocritical, because things of the same nature happen here in our country, though little publicized by the media. And what have we done to deal with this problem? Nothing much that I’m aware of. However, in Texas some years ago (10 or so years ago?) a man in a small South Texas town found his young child being, let’s say, harmed by one of our ‘guest workers’. In saving his child he beat the attacker badly with the result that the attacker died. Now, as this happened in Texas, the grand jury did not indict the man who saved his child. Which is just as it should be. Who wouldn’t do whatever is necessary to save their little child, or anyone’s little child?

Americans in discussing events like that in the UK (involving teens rather than small children usually) condemn British men for doing nothing — but actually some fathers tried to rescue their children, or sought police help — and were themselves arrested and charged. Why do so few Americans know this? It’s been reported. People seem unaware of the sad realities in other countries.

Would the men in South Texas be just as ready to use force in protecting their families if they knew they would be arrested while the perpetrator walks free?
I surely hope they would, but after years of such conditioning to train people into passivity and fear of the consequences people might be less bold — I hope not, but it would be possible. Who ever thought Europeans would be so meek and passive while these things go on openly? It’s much the same or worse in continental Europe, than in the UK, as attackers in parts of Europe have harmed children and walked free thanks to judges to don’t know what justice means, or don’t care to implement it.

We hear less derision and criticism of the Europeans, who are even more passive, than we hear of the British in the face of this kind of thing. Why?

Maybe this whole situation is being allowed, knowingly, purposely; what else can one think when the ‘law’ does not enforce the justice system that supposedly exists?

Why are Americans so often eager to rip the English/British as weaklings?
Is there really such a rivalry between the UK and our country thanks to the fools here who are still fighting King George III?

The English are not our enemy.

And on the thread there was one person insisting that there is some kind of English/Norman ”elite” plot against everybody; ‘they’ are really the ones to blame. This illustrates exactly why I write about the whole Norman thing, what with Normans and English always accused of being arch-villains. Enough of that.
Just as I always say about the supposed ”WASP elites” who are in on some big conspiracy, who are they? Name names. Who? Where is the evidence? Nobody has any to offer, they just make these big sweeping assertions.

Then predictably someone pops up to repeat that canard that there is no Anglo majority in America. We’re really Scots-Irish and German. We? Who exactly is we?
No one ever counters these silly rumors by saying ”prove it!”

There is no proof of those assertions. Period. Full stop. End of.

There is no proof. Just empty statements by people who probably don’t know their own ancestry except by family myths and legends.

Show us the DNA and the statistics. But they won’t. They just keep on with their unsupported claims.

(Could I respond on the blog thread in question? Doubtful; my comments on blogger blogs never get published, ever, for some reason.)

The self-promoting stories are the weapon of people who resent Anglo-Saxons and want to usurp the primal place in American history. Well, it’s all becoming moot now because our country will be so multicultural that it won’t matter. Either there will be no majority or there will be a Hispanic majority. We will all be demoted out of our own history.

If I sound as though I’m fed up with this, it’s because I am. I’d rather this blog were more light-hearted and nice, but we live in an age in which dire things are happening around us and being pollyannas gets us nowhere. Niceness is not goodness. Sometimes it’s just a way of avoiding unpleasant realities. I’m not an aggressive person, and prefer to get along with all, if possible but on the other hand in my lineage people do not sit back and watch bad things happen; speaking the truth is always in order, not silence when lies are so rampant. Lies have to be countered. What was it Solzhenitsyn said — ”Live not by lies”?

I really don’t know how or when this renewed hostility towards our English cousins started, or why. It didn’t exist when I was a child. We knew England was our “mother country” and that the English were our cousins, sharing our language, history, customs, and even our faith back then. Now the world has changed and there’s more division in this age of ”globalism” than ever.

And this did not happen by accident.

From an old book I found, printed in the 19th century, there is a little parable, in the form of a poem about unity. It tells about a herd of oxen, who are fighting amongst themselves. Then they are attacked by a pack of wolves, and suddenly they stop fighting one another and defend themselves.

“‘Twas just in time! for scarcely were they marshall’d back to back,
When down upon the herd already bursts the rav’ning pack:
But all in vain the Wolves assail; for everywhere they meet
A phalanx of opposing horns, their onset fierce to greet
[…]
The few remaining take to flight, nor dare th’ assault again.

So should confed’rate States and Peoples hush all inward strife,
When from without a foreign foe assails the Nation’s life;
All discords then out-trodden — ’tis by Unity alone
The Free shall save their Freedom, and the Brave preserve their own.”

We need to form a phalanx, and stop the petty jockeying for primacy or pride of place. We need to attain some kind of solidarity with our kindred folk — there is nothing wrong with that, nor should we allow anyone to try to make it a crime or some kind of social offense. And we need to show solidarity with our cousins wherever they are — especially the Anglosphere and our European kin. But the English and the Anglosphere first as being most closely connected with us.

Canada, the UK, New Zealand, SA, Ulster — and from there to all our kin. We are all in the same boat.

The people who foment division on the basis of European ethnicities or age groups, generations, regions, whatever, are troublemakers. On the internet they may be shills who are not at all who they pretend to be, merely there to cause dissension. And they are succeeding at it, much to our detriment. It’s been documented fact that the powers that be openly admit to using operatives to disrupt internet discussions and to plant disinformation.

Well-meaning people who are on our side will not be dividing us.

Andrew Fraser on English ethnocentrism

Apropos of the piece below this one, about ethnocentrism and ethnic identity among different peoples, the name of Andrew Fraser came up in a comment, and I happened to read this quote from his book The WASP Question:

“The defining characteristic of WASPs White Anglo-Saxon Protestants] is that they are much less ethnocentric than other peoples; indeed for all practical purposes Anglo-Saxon Protestants appear to be all but completely bereft of in-group solidarity. They are therefore open to exploitation by free-riders from other, more ethnocentric, groups. It seems unlikely that nominally Americanized Changs, Singhs, and Gonzales are as committed in a practical sense to the anti-discrimination principle as Anglo-Saxon individualists. There is no shortage of evidence to suggest that the Changs, the Gonzales and the Singhs (not to mention the Goldmans with their well-known animus toward WASPs) still practice forms of ethnic nepotism strictly forbidden to Anglo-Protestants. In these circumstances, an interesting question arises: are contemporary WASPs entitled to recognition as an historic people? If not, why not?”

That’s something to ponder. I would say “yes” to the question as I did in fact, in a post the other day, on this blog. But maybe that is a sentimental response rather than a ‘reasonable’ one. Obviously the naysayers out there say the English are down for the count. But maybe they are the ones doing the wishful thinking.

I am thinking of the Scripture, in Psalm 83, and the phrase, ”come, and let us cut them off from being a nation…” I think that’s what’s happening, really to all of us in the Anglosphere and in former Christendom. But according to Scripture, God ordained nations as a way of organizing humanity. One World just returns us to Babel. I suppose this makes sense only to Christians.

But are we cut off from being a nation? People can still be a nation without a state or a territory that is theirs — but we don’t have that, really, and we are weak on sticking together. And the social cohesion is at the heart of being a people or a nation.

Religion and ethnocentrism

At Ron Guhname’s Inductivist blog, he looks at whether religious people value their ethnicity more than the non-religious or secular. He includes various ethnic groups in examining the question.

People were asked how important their ethnicity was to them, with (1) being ” unimportant” to (4)”very important.”

Of the non-European ethnicities who were asked, the group with the highest ethnocentrism was American Indians, at 3.50.That’s what I would expect.

The lowest ethnocentrism score in that group being the Jewish people. That one is puzzling, in my opinion.

In the European grouping, the highest score was the Scots, though their score was lower than the non-Europeans’. Not surprising, given how ethnocentrism is falsely labeled ”racism” and criminalized in some places. It will be hard to find many European-descended people who will openly express that they value their ethnicity highly.

The apparent role played by religion in making people more (or less?) ethnocentric isn’t clear. Ron Guhname says that the more religious people have higher scores on the ethnocentrism scale.

whiteidupdated
Institute for Family Studies poll

The above poll from a few years ago, which is an American study,  supports Ron Guhname’s conclusion that religiosity does affect ethnic identity postitively.

So where are the English in the Inductivist poll ? Where do you think? Second from the bottom.

For whatever reason, the English and Welsh were lumped together. It may be that if the two groups were rated separately, the English score would be lower. I think (correct me, someone, if I’m wrong) that the Welsh are more ethnocentric than the English.

Is it possible to restore a healthy ethnocentrism and ethno-loyalty? I suppose only time will tell on that question.

Our linguistic heritage

I’ve been vainly searching for some of my papers about the development of the English language, but failing to find them (I’m not well-organized) I thought I would write about the subject here on the blog, rather than look for my missing work.

Obviously I think that  in historical accounts of Britain, the Normans are given short shrift, alluded to as rapacious and cruel people who invaded the island of Britain in 1066 and spoiled (in all senses of the word) the idyllic existence of the Saxons. They are often reduced to a “mocking and a byword”, seen as aliens even these centuries later. It seems most people either know little about the Normans at all, or they know them to be bad guys, of whom we are well rid. People do talk about the Normans, if at all, in a very negative way for the most part. Everyone seems to speak of them in the past tense, as if they are gone and left no progeny.

But just by surnames, it’s evident that there are many descendants of those Normans both in the British Isles and in all of the Anglosphere. I don’t know if DNA testing can differentiate Norman DNA from the other kindred peoples of the places where the Normans ruled. In my own extended family we all show some Norwegian descent though in our family tree we have scant documentation of recent Norwegian ancestry. But as we all know, the Normans, (‘Northmen’) came from Scandinavia, and mostly Norway and Denmark as far as British Isles ancestry is concerned.

Another evidence of the influence of the Normans is the presence of many words in our English vocabulary which had Norman origins. Since I can’t seem to find my own list of Norman words, I’ll refer to the website,The History of English:

“The Normans bequeathed over 10,000 words to English (about three-quarters of which are still in use today), including a huge number of abstract nouns ending in the suffixes “-age”, “-ance/-ence”, “-ant/-ent”, “-ment”, “-ity” and “-tion”, or starting with the prefixes “con-”, “de-”, “ex-”, “trans-” and “pre-”. Perhaps predictably, many of them related to matters of crown and nobility (e.g. crown, castle, prince, count, duke, viscount, baron, noble, sovereign, heraldry); of government and administration (e.g. parliament, government, governor, city); of court and law (e.g. court, judge, justice, accuse, arrest, sentence, appeal, condemn, plaintiff, bailiff, jury, felony, verdict, traitor, contract, damage, prison); of war and combat (e.g. army, armour, archer, battle, soldier, guard, courage, peace, enemy, destroy); of authority and control (e.g. authority, obedience, servant, peasant, vassal, serf, labourer, charity); of fashion and high living (e.g. mansion, money, gown, boot, beauty, mirror, jewel, appetite, banquet, herb, spice, sauce, roast, biscuit); and of art and literature (e.g. art, colour, language, literature, poet, chapter, question). Curiously, though, the Anglo-Saxon words cyning (king), cwene (queen), erl (earl), cniht (knight), ladi (lady) and lord persisted.

While humble trades retained their Anglo-Saxon names (e.g. baker, miller, shoemaker, etc), the more skilled trades adopted French names (e.g. mason, painter, tailor, merchant, etc). While the animals in the field generally kept their English names (e.g. sheep, cow, ox, calf, swine, deer), once cooked and served their names often became French (e.g. beef, mutton, pork, bacon, veal, venison, etc). Sometimes a French word completely replaced an Old English word (e.g. crime replaced firen, place replaced stow, people replaced leod, beautiful replaced wlitig, uncle replaced eam, etc). Sometimes French and Old English components combined to form a new word, such as the French gentle and the Germanic man combined to formed gentleman. Sometimes, both English and French words survived, but with significantly different senses (e.g. the Old English doom and French judgement, hearty and cordial, house and mansion, etc).

But, often, different words with roughly the same meaning survived, and a whole host of new, French-based synonyms entered the English language (e.g. the French maternity in addition to the Old English motherhood, infant to child, amity to friendship, battle to fight, liberty to freedom, labour to work, desire to wish, commence to start, conceal to hide, divide to cleave, close to shut, demand to ask, chamber to room, forest to wood, power to might, annual to yearly, odour to smell, pardon to forgive, aid to help, etc). Over time, many near synonyms acquired subtle differences in meaning (with the French alternative often suggesting a higher level of refinement than the Old English), adding to the precision and flexibility of the English language. Even today, phrases combining Anglo-Saxon and Norman French doublets are still in common use (e.g. law and order, lord and master, love and cherish, ways and means, etc). Bilingual word lists were being compiled as early as the 13th Century.”

The English language as it is today would not be what it is if not for the infusion of Norman-French words which are part of our daily usage. My personal belief is that the language would not be as complex and nuanced without the Norman influence. Some see that as a bad thing; some time ago I wrote here about the movement started by one scholar to de-Normanize (if there is such a word) the English language, and turn to the old Englisc tongue, which is more basic, using more one-syllable words and compound words to convey the message.

We can’t know how things would have happened had history taken a different course; had William and his knights failed in 1066, had the Normans never ruled, we can’t envision the result. To insist, as many do, that nothing but good would have befallen (there’s a good English word) England if the Norman Conquest never happened, is idle supposition.

The website which I quote above is a very interesting one if you are at all interested in the history of England or Britain and in the language we speak and the quite different language our ancestors spoke in the times of Chaucer, as the writer discusses. There are sound clips here and there on the web page so that you can listen to the Prologue to Canterbury Tales, for example, to hear the sound of the language of Chaucer.

I admit I love our language; I’m a partisan when it comes to the English language. Now, our cousins across the Atlantic may think our American version of the ‘tongue that Shakespeare spake’ is not very English at all but the language is a part of The Old Inheritance, and it’s very much a part of the English people and of our history and culture.

I expect I will probably have more to say of the Normans; they are a neglected part of the story of England/Britain, at least as it is told in our day.

The talking points for the one-world types

In searching for some other topic, I came across a blog post which sets out to discredit the belief that Anglo-Saxons have a common origin. The writer asserts, very early in his essay, that there is no common origin; ‘Anglo-Saxons’ or English folk are descended from a very mixed conglomeration of various peoples who wandered onto the island and became part of this congeries of peoples who blended into the group  now called ‘British’ (or ‘English’, if you want to be more accurate.)

Before I continue with this piece, I think that this kind of blog post is one that I am inclined to write. Why? First, because it has to do with our origins and our identity and who we are, biologically, culturally, and even spiritually. And we live in a strange time in which everybody gets to identify as part of an ethnicity or people or tribe or nation. This is, despite all the overdone rhetoric about how ‘we’re all one race: the Human Race.’ That statement is the stock response to the issue of the place of peoples and nations, or of nations vs. ‘One-worldism’, also known by some as ‘Babelism’.

Being of Anglo-Saxon, (or not, according to the author of the article) origin is a doubleplusungood thing, because our ancestors were explorers, enterprising people who ended up controlling much of the world, and in today’s convoluted thinking, that means that such a people must be punished and cut down to size. The reason? Being successful and dominant means there must have been oppression toward the subjects of colonial or imperial rule. The ancestors of many European people are automatically judged as bad and dangeroua, the sort who probably would return to oppressing the world if given a chance. It seems the one-worlders want to render those of English/Anglo-Saxon lineage weak and ineffectual. There is so much propaganda aimed at just this, and it operates among all people of European descent as well, but it seems as if the Anglosphere countries are a special target.

Hence you find these articles that tend to demean and dismiss the English and Anglo-Saxon in particular. There is a great deal of denigration of our folk online and in the real world to a lesser degree. I wonder if that Anglophobia is ‘grassroots’ or if it’s shills and operatives promoting this  kind of thing online.

But to give an idea of what kind of approach the writer takes to the subject at hand, he eventually comes to declare that actual genetic origins, (though he says the English have no common origins of any consequence), are in fact irrelevant; the peoples of Britain would consider anyone that lived in proximity to be part of their people, as one of them.

“…[T]hese ancient people did not distinguish biological heritage from cultural association. In other words, someone who lived and died in the fifth or sixth century Anglo-Saxon village of Oakington could have been biologically related to an earlier inhabitant of England, a recent migrant from continental Europe or a descendant of either or both – they were all treated the same in death.”

The writer then says that the Anglo-Saxons were ‘written into history’, as if to suggest a fiction was created; no such people existed in any real sense of the word:

“Biologically then these people were a mixed group who shared what we consider Anglo-Saxon culture. But they did not think of themselves as Anglo-Saxons.

The idea of the Anglo-Saxon is a romanticised and heavily politicised notion.”

Surely the writer should be aware that many groups originated in another part of the world, and that over time they encountered, associated with, and melded to some extent with other peoples. But does this mean that the resulting admixture was not considered part of a nation with considerable homogeneity? A factor that is usually downplayed if not denied is the fact that the peoples of the British Isles are not drastically different peoples, despite some ethnic conflicts that have persisted and been rekindled by the political agitators and the media. The writer mentions the Dutch and Danish as being genetically close to the English; that is factual. The Dutch seem to have been a very open and welcoming country, as witness how the Pilgrims, looking to escape persecution in their home country, went to Leyden, Holland for refuge, living for some years there.

The Dutch welcomed Huguenots fleeing France, and there was considerable intermarriage between those peoples. Does all of the above mean that the Dutch ceased being a people because they had intermingled with other peoples? No one seems to say that  — yet. But it seems there is a drive to deracinate the English, and to a lesser degree, other Europeans. And the word ‘deracinate’ reminds me that the etymology of the word has to do with ‘roots’. Today’s upside-down world expects us to disconnect from our roots, to become rootless, without the thing that sustains us and keeps ups grounded.

As I finish this post, I know that some people are not comfortable with my writing about these kinds of things; some people prefer more superficial and upbeat subjects. But this is the sort of subject I feel a certain urgency about on behalf of people on both sides the Atlantic.

Still I am open to writing about less weighty subjects if that’s preferable at times.

But since I seem to have a polemical tendency, this is primarily what I do, but not exclusively. I enjoy writing about cultural and historical subjects, the arts, the English language, biography, and so on. I’m open to hearing what interests you out there.