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Racism shoots to prominence in Virginia

The other day Vester Lee Flanagan, a former employee of the local TV station WDBJ, shot dead two of his ex-colleagues on air before killing himself later in the day.

The victims, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, were white, Flanagan was black, and that chromatic distinction apparently precipitated the incident.

In the aftermath, TV audiences have been treated to yet another chorus of demands to ban guns, for, had Flanagan been unable to get his hands on one, the two young journalists would still be with us.

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Trust Jeremy Corbyn to protect women

People misjudge Jeremy. They see him as a dangerous madman combining Trotskyist views with support for Hamaz and Hezbollah.

Lefties fear, while Tories hope, that Jeremy will destroy the Labour Party if he ever gets to lead it. More farsighted people fear he’ll destroy Britain if he ever becomes prime minister.

They all fail to see Jeremy’s noble inner core, which only my X-ray moral vision can discern.

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Putin’s statistics and Russian suicides

For reasons that would take a book to explain, many Westerners have always been drawn to various types of Russian fascism.

The international Bolshevik variety attracted the left end of the political spectrum, those Lenin accurately called ‘useful idiots’. Yet not all of Lenin’s Western supporters were fools. Some were knaves.

G.B. Shaw was both, which he proved by summing up the prevailing Fabian sentiments in a 1931 Moscow speech:

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My friend Junk should work on his timing

Junk is the nickname by which Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, is known to his friends, of whom I’m proud to be one. Junk has many fine qualities, prominent among which is his enviable ability to drink any Russian under the table.

Possibly because he shows off this talent too often, he sometimes speaks out of turn, saying things at a wrong time and producing a sound effect akin to that of two pieces of glass being scraped together.

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Yesterday marked a great anniversary of human folly

On 23 August, 1939, Joachim von Ribbentrop and his Soviet counterpart Vyacheslav Molotov signed an agreement known as the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.

The two predators divided Europe between them, pushing the button for history’s bloodiest war. A week later the Nazis attacked Poland. In another 17 days the Soviets followed suit. A year later Nazi bombs began to rain on Britain, many of them made in the USSR.

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Caliph Omar, say hello to Peter Hitchens

Lest I might be accused of Islamophobia and summarily imprisoned (shot?), I don’t reject out of hand everything of Muslim provenance.

For example, I like the Moorish splendour of southern Spain, Avicenna, Persian rugs, Averroës, Lebanese food and Hafiz. I’m also greatly inspired by Caliph Omar’s terse explanation of why the Library of Alexandria should be burned.

“If these books say the same as the Koran,” he’s alleged to have said, “they are redundant. And if they say something different, they are dangerous.”

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Germany demands

There’s something aggressively irritating about this phrase, isn’t there? Or is it just me?

Any demand issued by any country, even one without Germany’s track record, presupposes the possibility of enforcing compliance. That in turn implies a position of superiority, legal or otherwise.

Such a hierarchical relationship can’t possibly exist outside some kind of imperial setup, with the metropolis lording it over the colonies.

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Sex in Russia: bear facts

All of you, my readers, doubtless espouse and practise Judaeo-Christian morality, which condones only marital sex in the missionary position. Perhaps a special dispensation can be obtained for one or two more adventurous postures, but that’s it.

Hence, since all deviations are unequivocally off limits, it’s a safe assumption that none of you has ever tried or indeed desired rapture with a species other than Homo sapiens of the opposite sex.

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'Music' gets its own 'politics'

Just as Mayisyahu, the Jewish-American reggae singer was due to appear at a Spanish festival, the organisers asked him to state his “positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

When he refused, his invitation was withdrawn, an action that resulted from a hysterical campaign by the anti-Israeli organisation Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

Apparently Mayisyahu had said things about Israel that suggested that his values differed from those of the festival, listed as “peace, equality, human rights and social justice”.

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Classlessness is a pipe dream (or rather nightmare)

Sir Patrick Stewart is a fine Shakespearean actor, but he can’t be immune to the typical foibles of his profession.

One such is a rather light burden of intellect (having grown up in an actor’s family always surrounded by his colleagues, I feel qualified to generalise).

This stands to reason: a man who slips into various personalities as easily as Sir Patrick does is unlikely to have much of a personality of his own, though I’m aware of a few exceptions here and there.

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