Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 22 October 2015
A novelist may have bad opinions but write good books. I haven’t read any of the detective stories of Henning Mankell, the Swedish world best-selling author who died recently, but I’m perfectly prepared to believe that they were good (my wife tells me that they were). I did, however, read his obituary ...Read More...
Posted on 10/22/2015 9:29 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
The following headline on the website of the Guardian, said to be the third most-visited newspaper site in the world, caught my attention: US GOVERNMENT DEPORTING CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS TO THEIR DEATHS. The following was printed in large letters: “Guardian investigation into consequences of Obama’s ...Read More...
Posted on 10/20/2015 8:05 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 15 October 2015
The Pope’s recent address to a joint session of Congress was greeted ecstatically, though (or perhaps because) it was notable mainly for its secular rather than for its religious pieties. It was the speech of a politician seeking re-election rather than that of the spiritual leader of a considerable ...Read More...
Posted on 10/15/2015 5:30 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Mr Corbyn is scruffy in a social worker kind of way, but whether this is natural to him or a matter of calculation I do not know. I suspect that it comes to him naturally, or at least is now second nature to him (no one, after all, is born to be scruffy, or can do nothing about it), and that in effect ...Read More...
Posted on 10/14/2015 5:23 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 12 October 2015
In 1963, James Baldwin, aged thirty-nine, published the open letter to his nephew, aged fifteen, that forms the first part of The Fire Next Time. In 2015, Ta-Nehisi Coates, aged thirty-nine, published an open letter to his son, aged fifteen, titled Between the World and Me.1 The book is Coates’s The ...Read More...
Posted on 10/12/2015 5:48 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 9 October 2015
Passing a kiosk in France recently, I noticed a magazine on the rack that promised to reveal to the multitude the secrets of the One Percent. The One Percent in question was, of course, that small and now infamous proportion of humanity that is separated from the 99 Percent by its wealth and, presumably, ...Read More...
Posted on 10/09/2015 7:12 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 5 October 2015
People always like to talk about their dogs: it is one subject about which they can be frank and unaffected, for no one enters a conversation about dogs who does not love them.
My wife and I were walking the other day in Paris - down the Avenue Gambetta, to be precise - when we saw a man coming ...Read More...
Posted on 10/05/2015 6:02 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 27 September 2015
The purpose of research is to discover what was previously unknown. Research wouldn’t be necessary if we knew everything there was to know, but that will never be the case so research will always be a necessity, so long as knowledge remains preferable to ignorance. And while wisdom may be folly where ...Read More...
Posted on 09/27/2015 5:33 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 26 September 2015
There seems to be a lot of fraud these days, but perhaps there always was; maybe it was just that we more naïve in those days. As soon as the Volkswagen scandal broke, the personal injury lawyers were out in force — a group whose activities are usually morally fraudulent if not illegal.
Research ...Read More...
Posted on 09/26/2015 7:21 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 13 September 2015
Nothing is more tempting, or intellectually hazardous, than to draw broad conclusions from a single isolated case. Indeed, whole clusters of unusual incidents may mislead people into thinking that they represent a serious trend, when in fact they represent nothing more than the operation of chance in ...Read More...
Posted on 09/13/2015 5:39 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 10 September 2015
A friend of mine, David Fraser, who is writing a book about our criminal justice system soon to be published, recently pointed out to me a startling, but by no means unusual, discrepancy in the statistics provided by the Orwellianly-renamed Ministry of Justice.
In the Criminal Justice Statistics ...Read More...
Posted on 09/10/2015 5:14 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 4 September 2015
Do politics come before economics, or economics before politics? The question is probably not susceptible to a definitive answer, but this doesn’t prevent us from wondering.
Recently, I saw Tunisian olive oil on the shelves of my local supermarket in France for the first time in more than ten years. ...Read More...
Posted on 09/04/2015 8:39 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
A well-known religious figure is reported to have said: “For ye have the poor with you always.” This is even more the case if economic inequality persists (as the history of the world suggests it might) and poverty is defined in relative terms. The same well-known figure added, however, that “whensoever ...Read More...
Posted on 09/02/2015 6:05 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 28 August 2015
Perfection is not of this world, and indeed we have difficulty even in conceiving of what it could be. We suspect that it might be boring and therefore, paradoxically, imperfect. Our natures are contradictory; we desire incompatible things and pursue incompatible ends, often at the same time; and we ...Read More...
Posted on 08/28/2015 7:48 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 27 August 2015
A recent article in the French newspaper Le Monde drew attention to an important difference between the French and the Germans. The French, said the author, think that the government spends other people’s money; the Germans think that the government spends their own money. This, if true, is important ...Read More...
Posted on 08/27/2015 5:29 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
We all want to be treated in the best hospitals by the best doctors, but this is not possible so long as any difference in quality between them exists. The best hospitals and the best doctors cannot treat everybody. Moreover, it is much harder to tell which hospital and which doctor is the best than ...Read More...
Posted on 08/25/2015 7:51 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 20 August 2015
If one used only the Guardian as a guide to reality, one would imagine that, where property rental was concerned, only landlords were dishonest and exploitative, never tenants. There are a score articles easily available on its website about the evils of landlords, but not one about the evils of tenants. ...Read More...
Posted on 08/20/2015 4:59 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Some climates are better, or at least more agreeable, than others. Furthermore, it is well known that extremes of temperature raise death rates considerably. It has been estimated, for example, that they increase by between 8.9 and 12 percent during heatwaves, and by 12.5 per cent during spells of exceptional ...Read More...
Posted on 08/19/2015 7:05 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 16 August 2015
Being mortal, we are all under sentence of death, but the execution of the sentence is more imminent in some of us than in others. People who suffer from angina, for example, are aware that they could suffer a fatal heart attack at any time; and even if human beings can accommodate themselves to most ...Read More...
Posted on 08/16/2015 7:39 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 15 August 2015
A science that hesitates to forget its founders is lost, said the great philosopher of science, Alfred North Whitehead: and yet it is worthwhile in the case of psychology (supposing psychology to be a science in Whitehead’s sense) to read the pretensions of our forebears. At the very least those pretensions ...Read More...
Posted on 08/15/2015 5:13 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 9 August 2015
I try to avoid big cities these days, but they have their advantages. For example I went to Paris recently to the exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of Le Corbusier's death. It is said that one should keep one's friendships in good repair, but so it is with one enmities as well, and I can hardly ...Read More...
Posted on 08/09/2015 5:19 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 7 August 2015
Sometimes the employment of a single word in common use gives away an entire worldview. There was just such a usage in the headline of a story in the Guardian newspaper late last month: “How the ‘Pompey Lads’ fell into the hands of Isis.”
Pompey is the colloquial name for Portsmouth, the naval town ...Read More...
Posted on 08/07/2015 7:47 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 31 July 2015
Listening to and reading Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent speech about Islamic extremism in Britain, I realized why I could never be a practicing politician. Its mixture of good sense, half-truths, evasions, political correctness, and electioneering was anathema to me. It was the stock-in-trade ...Read More...
Posted on 07/31/2015 12:23 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
In my long-distant childhood phase of collecting stamps - it was after the dinosaur phase which I now rather regret did not last the rest of my life - I thought that French stamps were among the most beautiful that there were. They were always engraved, they were monochrome, and generally had as their ...Read More...
Posted on 07/29/2015 5:34 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 6 July 2015
Casting my eye idly over my bookshelves the other day, I picked out The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes, his internationally best-selling attack on the Treaty of Versailles, published immediately after his resignation from the British delegation to the Peace Conference in 1919. ...Read More...
Posted on 07/06/2015 5:40 AM by Theodore Dalrymple